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Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
I thought about putting this in the sequester thread or the "stupid self-inflicted debt crisis" thread or any of the related farm bill threads (going back to 2004 even) that talk about the relationship between corporations and government but in the end figured let's just go with something new.

With the assistance of 1,063 lobbyists, the Senate has passed a version and there is a version sitting before the House. In 2008, the farm bill was projected to spend about $608 billion. The new Senate approved version is at $955 billion and the House version is currently sitting at $940 billion. Both version represent increase of well over 50%, essentially a trillion dollars. The sequester, yeah, it's terrible.

Among the provisions:
quote:
..the House bill guarantees farmers of Japonica Rice that if market prices drop below 115% of the average price of all types of rice, they will get a government payment to make up the difference. …
What else we got ... let's see:

quote:
How about money for windmills, for 15 different duplicative food programs, cash – lots of it – to make sure country folk get great Internet service, a grant to study moth pheromones, funding to help ethanol producers (thought we’d gotten rid of that, didn’t you?), protection of our wealthy sugar producers, $25 million to study the health benefits of peas and lentils, an amendment that could allow Californians to continue enjoying foie gras, insurance against lower milk prices for dairy farmers, grants for the locavore movement (consult your dictionary), help for popcorn growers, grants to study how to make cut flowers last longer in a vase, a boost to organic growers (as though their price premiums aren’t sufficient compensation), a boost for maple syrup makers, lofty cotton supports and money to underwrite wine tastings overseas.

Price guarantees and pork barrel, it's what's for dinner.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Just more proof there are fewer and fewer differences between the parties. Boehner can be just as corrupt as Pelosi.

Throw them all out.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
I'm actually much happier to see stuff like this -- research grants and the like -- padding out the bill than subsidies and stuff like "insurance against lower milk prices." Although I suspect the latter sort of thing makes up the vast bulk of the cost, sadly.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Some of the grants may appear wasteful but actually are likely quite beneficial to the public - ie longevity of cut flowers - if you realize how much it could save in wasted energy and raw materials (tens or hundreds of millions due to air conditioned transport of flowers to shops; saved fuel costs; saved fertilizer from reduced numbers of flowers that need to be grown, etc.) then it is actually a rather beneficial public research.
 
Posted by djquag1 (Member # 6553) on :
 
LetterRip, I'm sympathetic to publically funding public welfare programs, I really am, but the longevity of cut flowers? Really? Here's an idea, why not let the private flower companies pay for and develop that? Since they're going to be the ones that eat all the profit from any advances, and then they'll bitch about being asked to pay a little more tax.

The only thing I see in the excerpts that I'm okay with is the expanded internet access. Whether we like it or not, the internet is needed more and more for just normal everyday life. Internet access should be looked at as baseline infrastructure, like roads. The only shame is that no doubt any publically built broadband lines will be turned over to a private company who will proceed to rape the countryfolk who now have one option instead of none, in the name of private business.

I understand the need to keep food prices and supply stable, but farm bills still manage to leave a bitter taste in my mouth. Almost all of the money goes to megafarming corporations - small farmers are virtually extinct. They get paid to not grow stuff, they're basically getting paid off as a reward for keeping our food supply hostage.

I wish there was a better way, but I'm cynically certain that even if there was, there'd be no way in hell it would pass. Not with a thousand lobbyists and all the money they have behind them (soon to increase by a trillion dollars or so) working against it.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
djquang1,

quote:
? Here's an idea, why not let the private flower companies pay for and develop that?
Actually the benefits are diffuse. Stores would have longer shelf life, but flower growers would have reduced orders, and the public would have longer lasting flowers. Also the public would have reduced pollution.

To me the most important factor is leverage - $s spent vs $s benefit. The cost of such research would be quite small, the potential public benefit is likely multiple orders of magnitude more than the research costs.

[ June 17, 2013, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
I'm sympathetic to publically funding public welfare programs, I really am, but the longevity of cut flowers?
I'm less sympathetic to publicly funding welfare programs than I am to publicly funding research. The assumption that florists and suppliers are the only people who'll benefit from research into cut flowers is flawed; history tells us that research almost inevitably winds up benefiting multiple recipients across multiple industries through synergy.
 
Posted by djquag1 (Member # 6553) on :
 
Okay, but if flowers lasted longer, and flower growers got less orders, at the very least they'd jack up their prices. Consumers might see a very small price cut, but I'm assuming that the sellers will keep as much of the new profit as they can. And it's not like flowers are a vital need or resource.

The pollution, while real, is so microscopic in light of the overall pollution problem that I'd rather throw the money slated for making cut flowers last longer at alternative energy projects. Especially since you'd be taking public money and using it to try and enrich one special private business. Private business has a fine record of taking care of itself already.
 
Posted by djquag1 (Member # 6553) on :
 
Tom, you have a point about new research crossing industries.

But still, aren't there better things that that money could be spent on, possible side benefits of extended cut flower life aside?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Possibly. My wife's currently research is about 80% grant-funded; she's looking for ways to more efficiently extract nitrates and potassium (mainly for dry fertilizer) from wastewater treatment plants, thus reducing both the cost of making that water potable again and generating a revenue stream that helps recoup the cost of treatment (and becomes increasingly important as potassium resources are depleted). If it all works out, it'll make some companies a few extra million dollars, will benefit the environment in a dozen different ways, and she'll move on to something else. But there are certainly more important things that we could be spending her $300,000 in research money on -- we could be trying to cure cancer or reduce oil dependence or invent a flying carpet -- and no doubt someone could make light of what she's doing by dismissively asserting that she's trying to figure out how to more efficiently make fertilizer pellets out of ****, something humans have been doing for thousands of years, and wastewater treatment plants should be paying for the research instead.

Priorities are priorities. But as long as we still have boots on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'm unsympathetic about people complaining about scientific research costs.
 
Posted by DarkJello (Member # 6828) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Just more proof there are fewer and fewer differences between the parties. Boehner can be just as corrupt as Pelosi.

Throw them all out.

Pretty much this.

100s of billions in fiat currency (money without intrinsic value) that is spent passionately, like $5 bills in a business that involves a lot of "dancing" guys or gals. [Eek!]

The following makes more sense:

http://dailypicksandflicks.com/2012/05/23/daily-picdump-467/hello-kitty-darth-vader/
 
Posted by djquag1 (Member # 6553) on :
 
Your wife's work will have an immediate public benefit, both here and abroad. I live in a desert, I understand how important conserving and recycling water is, and how much more important it will be in the future. The same with being able to make fertilizer.

But making cut flowers last longer? I'm skeptical of the far reaching implications of such research, and even more skeptical that in a time when all government services are suffering a budget crunch, that it deserves public money.

You also won't find me having been a cheerleader for the recent wars. I consider it one of the more disgusting wastes of public wealth and citizen's lives in recent history.
But are the worries about the economy and the deficit all entirely groundless, then? There's nothing to worry about? Otherwise I don't see how pointing at the military industrial complex (which I, too, consider to be a vile leech on our society) and saying "They get to waste a crapton of money, why can't we do the same for our stuff," to be very responsible.

Scientific research is good. Publicly funded scientific research is even better. But unless we really can just spend as much money as we want on any frivolous thing that catches our fancy, with no consequences, then a line needs to be drawn somewhere.
 
Posted by djquag1 (Member # 6553) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DarkJello:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Just more proof there are fewer and fewer differences between the parties. Boehner can be just as corrupt as Pelosi.

Throw them all out.

Pretty much this.

100s of billions in fiat currency (money without intrinsic value) that is spent passionately, like $5 bills in a business that involves a lot of "dancing" guys or gals. [Eek!]

The following makes more sense:

http://dailypicksandflicks.com/2012/05/23/daily-picdump-467/hello-kitty-darth-vader/

Here's how I look at it. The entire system is crooked from top to bottom, with even initially well meaning politicians being dragged down into the muck by virtue of them having to listen to money or be defeated by opponents who do.

I might as well support the side most likely to enact policies that benefit me, personally, as they go about being bought by lobbyists and pulling every dirty trick in the book.

For me, in my situation, that would be the Democrats. Other people in other situations might have their own interests best served by Republican policies, and I can understand that. What we should never do, is to let the reality TV drama that is the United States political system and it's media make us forget the ugly truths underlaying the system.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
quote:
The entire system is crooked from top to bottom, with even initially well meaning politicians being dragged down into the muck by virtue of them having to listen to money or be defeated by opponents who do.
Let's stipulate that you are correct. Do you believe that the entire system has always been corrupt, that it used to be less corrupt, or that it used to be even more corrupt? If you believe the level of corruption has been the same or higher for the past century, then essentially everything we know about American society and our economy has been based on such systemic corruption. Given this stipulstion, what would a non-corrupt America look like? Is there any other country in the world that provides an example that is not corrupt?
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Given greed and human nature corruption is inevitable. The only thing you can do to make corruption less harmful is make sure that the people prone to develop corrupt behavior are not all powerful. This is why the NSA/IRS/etc should be abolished and the government's budget should be cut down to what the founders envisioned: a weak central government and strong state governments and people with the freedom to move to a different state if it suits them.

This is the same reason the state should not have the power to use the death penalty, it cannot be trusted with that much power, regardless of how emotional the public gets about certain horrible criminals. Once the state assumes the power of life and death over its citizens within its borders there is no way to limit its power.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by djquag1:
Okay, but if flowers lasted longer, and flower growers got less orders, at the very least they'd jack up their prices. Consumers might see a very small price cut, but I'm assuming that the sellers will keep as much of the new profit as they can. And it's not like flowers are a vital need or resource.

Because flowers are the only things that would be affected by figuring out how to maintain plant freshness longer after being cut?

Id imagine that such research (on plant matter that is a bit more complicated, but also a but lower in practical utility) would fairly easily be generalized to keeping fruits and vegetables fresh longer between harvest and in the store.

More to the fundamental issue though, at least doing some kind of research is better than the alternative here, which would be more unemployment and completely wasting resources by leaving the facilities idle.

We're not suffering any notable shortage of research facilities or scientific researchers- just the opposite, in fact, I hear nothing but concerns about grant money drying up and potential unemployment among most of people involved in research that I know.

The question of whether or not any given publically funded research effort is worthwhile should only be relevant if there's a lack of real resources for other, more important research, it's an absurd issue when the problem is not producing enough grant money to keep all currently available people employed and facilities fully operational.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
But unless we really can just spend as much money as we want on any frivolous thing that catches our fancy, with no consequences, then a line needs to be drawn somewhere.
Sure- it should be drawn at full employment of scientific researchers and full utilization of research facilities. Anything more or less than that is wasteful.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
The question of whether or not any given publically funded research effort is worthwhile should only be relevant if there's a lack of real resources for other, more important research, it's an absurd issue when the problem is not producing enough grant money to keep all currently available people employed and facilities fully operational.
Spoken like a true tax-and-spend liberal who doesn't care about deficits, debt-solvency, inflation or the longterm effects of a fiat-currency policy.

So you think the only reason we should question publicly funded studies is only if there is another more important study? Why have the government do these studies at all?

Why not simply leave it to the private sector and the people? Government is notorious for bureaucratic waste. Corporations are accountable to shareholders and have to yield results.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Corporations are accountable to shareholders and have to yield results.
This is a common misconception to which many on the Right cling rather religiously: the idea that a corporation, because it is beholden to shareholders and competes with other corporations for profit, must be responsible with its money.

Think for a moment about whether you truly believe this. If you do, think for a moment about whether you have any evidence for this belief.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
quote:
Government is notorious for bureaucratic waste.
So are corporations. Bureaucratic stupidity increases exponentially (sometimes logarithmically) with the size of the organization.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
quote:
Government is notorious for bureaucratic waste.
So are corporations. Bureaucratic stupidity increases exponentially (sometimes logarithmically) with the size of the organization.
Difference being when a corporation wastes money that harms its interests the leadership gets thrown out and fired. In government people are rewarded for wasting money, there are no consequences for waste.

Look at any major company posting huge losses. They typically fire their CEO.

How often are Congressmen and women fired (not merely "losing the next election," but FIRED mid-term) for wasting money or not getting good returns on use of taxpayer money? I can't think of a single case EVER.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
The question of whether or not any given publically funded research effort is worthwhile should only be relevant if there's a lack of real resources for other, more important research, it's an absurd issue when the problem is not producing enough grant money to keep all currently available people employed and facilities fully operational.
Spoken like a true tax-and-spend liberal who doesn't care about deficits, debt-solvency, inflation or the longterm effects of a fiat-currency policy.

I care very much about deficits; I just actually also understand the math behind them, rather than appealing to nonsensical mythology. Federal deficit = Non-federal surplus.

I also do very explicitly care about inflation which is why I explicitly pointed to the 0 inflation point- using no more or less than the available capacity. Inflation comes from attempting to buy more than is currently available, deflation results from leaving slack capacity. It's specifically inflationary pressure that should be our overall guid in figuring out how much public fiscal output is needed to maintain economic health.

You understand that we use (and, more importantly control our own) fiat currency, so you apparently already know that "debt-solvency" is a non-issue (except in the case of a willful default) by the very nature of fiat currency. Any "debt" is an account with the funds necessary to pay the debt; insolvency can only happen if a willful decision is made to not release the funds.

quote:
So you think the only reason we should question publicly funded studies is only if there is another more important study?
Not quite. Rather, if it is taking away real resources needed for something more important.

quote:
Why have the government do these studies at all?
For an economic perspective, because leaving the resources to conduct them idle is an unrecoverable loss. We can't go back in time and retroactively use that slack time. From a practical perspective, because the knowledge and technology that come out of it adds to overall public wealth and the resources freely available to the private sector to build on, particularly in situation where the long term common value of a particular field of study is not well reflected in short term marketability.

quote:
Why not simply leave it to the private sector and the people?
Because the private sector is not fully employing the available resources. IF it ws the question would be moot, as there would be no slack for the public sector to need to pick up to maintain full utilization.

quote:
Government is notorious for bureaucratic waste.
"Waste" is a completely arbitrary value judgement here.

quote:
Corporations are accountable to shareholders and have to yield results.
For the share holders, not for the public, in fact, quite often producing share holder results drives behavior that is completely antagonistic to the public interest, specifically because they are not publicly accountable.

Government is accountable first and foremost to the public community at large and similarly must produce results for it, and it doesn't suffer from the perverse incentives that corporations have to try to maximize profits regardless of public benefit.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Difference being when a corporation wastes money that harms its interests the leadership gets thrown out and fired.
Leaving aside the question of how often this really happens, you may want to examine this process in more detail to see whether it is in fact a sufficient deterrent to corporate waste.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
"Difference being when a corporation wastes money that harms its interests the leadership gets thrown out and fired."

That is a surprisingly naive view.

"Look at any major company posting huge losses. They typically fire their CEO."

And often give them HUGE severance packages.
quote:
Corporate governance advocates and shareholder activists have long complained that chief executive officer pay, which has jumped by a third since 2007, is sometimes way out of line with a top executive’s on-the-job performance. Severance packages for executives fired by their boards are often far bigger than those corner-office salaries. At least a dozen executives of companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index stand to receive more than $100 million if they’re dismissed, according to a Bloomberg review of proxy data.

The potential payouts show that golden parachutes live on—even after the uproar over Jack Welch’s $417 million farewell kiss from General Electric (GE) more than a decade ago. At the top of the list compiled by Bloomberg are three executives who each would receive almost a quarter of a billion dollars or more if they were sent packing: McKesson (MCK) CEO John Hammergren, eligible for $303.4 million; CBS (CBS) CEO Les Moonves, with $251.4 million; and Discovery Communications’ (DISCA) David Zaslav, with $224.7 million.

It's only little people who get stepped on, not heads of corporate mega-companies. They are probably the most mis-managed and corrupt entities in the country, far more wasteful and greedy than federal employees and agencies.

What happened to the HP CEO after he authorized the purchase of Autonomy for $11B and a year later HP had to write down an $8.8B loss on the investment? That deal was initiated by former H.P. CEO Léo Apotheker and closed under his successor, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who was on the board during the purchase and approved it, and was then appointed Apotheker's replacement as CEO. He worked there less than a year and got a $25M severance package on top of the $4M signing bonus, $4.2M relocation package and $1.2M annual salary, and Whitman (who had to approve all of those bits of largesse) is still the CEO.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Government is accountable first and foremost to the public community at large and similarly must produce results for it, and it doesn't suffer from the perverse incentives that corporations have to try to maximize profits regardless of public benefit.
If you really believe this then there can be no meaningful communication.

Our government has proven that they are accountable to no one and do not care about the US. They are so far detached from reality and common sense in virtually everything they do. You really think the US can just spend an infinite amount of money beyond revenues gathered with no consequences...
Apparently you forgot about our foreign debtors who are trying to organize and construct a world where they no longer need us as they've realized they can't count on us to interact in the world economy reliably or in a healthy way.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
If you really believe this then there can be no meaningful communication.
If you do not, then you, sir, betray the American ideal. You are quite fundamentally unamerican.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Difference being when a corporation wastes money that harms its interests the leadership gets thrown out and fired.


Where it's interests are making more money, without any regard to the overall social and economic costs to others of doing so.

quote:
In government people are rewarded for wasting money, there are no consequences for waste.
That's because you're trying to apply a tangential metric and an arbitrary meaning of "waste". Elected officials are punished or rewarded for serving the interests of the public that elected them as a representative.

quote:
Look at any major company posting huge losses. They typically fire their CEO.
With a generous golden parachute, then vote them onto the boards of other companies until the publicity dies down and then hire them on as the CEO of another company that needs a good milking.

quote:
How often are Congressmen and women fired (not merely "losing the next election," but FIRED mid-term) for wasting money or not getting good returns on use of taxpayer money? I can't think of a single case EVER.
That's a problematic comparison in a couple of different directions- first of all, because few if any states have a recall mechanism for their US representatives, making the issue a technical impossibility, and because again you're talking about a completely tangential metric, rather than on how well they can convince their given electorate that they've done the best to serve its interests. Congressmen create accounts for executive departments to use to execute their functions, they don't spend anything. (And many Congressmen have actively resigned because of scandals that compromise their ability to do just that, which is about equivalent to a mid term firing. On the other hand executive officials that do actually spend the money allocated to them are regularly removed for failing to effectively accomplish the function of their departments properly using those allocations.)
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Difference being when a corporation wastes money that harms its interests the leadership gets thrown out and fired.


Where it's interests are making more money, without any regard to the overall social and economic costs to others of doing so.

quote:
In government people are rewarded for wasting money, there are no consequences for waste.
That's because you're trying to apply a tangential metric and an arbitrary meaning of "waste". Elected officials are punished or rewarded for serving the interests of the public that elected them as a representative.

quote:
Look at any major company posting huge losses. They typically fire their CEO.
With a generous golden parachute, then vote them onto the boards of other companies until the publicity dies down and then hire them on as the CEO of another company that needs a good milking.

quote:
How often are Congressmen and women fired (not merely "losing the next election," but FIRED mid-term) for wasting money or not getting good returns on use of taxpayer money? I can't think of a single case EVER.
That's a problematic comparison in a couple of different directions- first of all, because few if any states have a recall mechanism for their US representatives, making the issue a technical impossibility, and because again you're talking about a completely tangential metric, rather than on how well they can convince their given electorate that they've done the best to serve its interests. Congressmen create accounts for executive departments to use to execute their functions, they don't spend anything. (And many Congressmen have actively resigned because of scandals that compromise their ability to do just that, which is about equivalent to a mid term firing. On the other hand executive officials that do actually spend the money allocated to them are regularly removed for failing to effectively accomplish the function of their departments properly using those allocations.)

This is just one of the reasons I hate liberal relativism so much, you basically spew a load of smoke and then say everything is so relative that nothing can be judged to be "good" "bad" "useful" "wasteful" etc. but only when it pleases you.

The government itself, through the GAO, admits it is wasting giant portions of the budget, hundreds of billions.

I assume you'll respond with some long-winded explanation about how the GAO can't possibly be qualified to judge what "waste" is.

You can complain about how harmful corporations and private businesses are, but at the end of the day if they fail, they die (most of the time, except for the ones that the corrupt government bails out). The government never "fails" because the system is set up so that no matter how irresponsibly the government acts, they always print more money.

[ June 18, 2013, 02:46 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
You really think the US can just spend an infinite amount of money beyond revenues gathered with no consequences...


Resources gathered? We can spend money in proportion to real resources available to be utilized. That's not an infinite amount. That's a real concrete metric rather than one based completely in emotional appeals that aren't even logically sound, never mind mathematically.

quote:
Apparently you forgot about our foreign debtors who are trying to organize and construct a world where they no longer need us as they've realized they can't count on us to interact in the world economy reliably or in a healthy way.
That kind of specualtion doesn't make much sense. We have many foreign depositors that need something to do with the money we allocate to their accounts in exchange for their output. The only way they could "no longer need us" would be to find better ways to fund their own domestic private sectors to soak up more output potential instead of relying on us to produce enough funds to keep their export markets healthy or to cut their domestic production to the point that they're no longer viable exporters. Either way we don't directly suffer much, since we have the domestic capacity to replace that output.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
This is just one of the reasons I hate liberal relativism so much, you basically spew a load of smoke and then say everything is so relative that nothing can be judged to be "good" "bad" "useful" "wasteful" etc. but only when it pleases you.
Way to go for the ideological plug instead of actually paying attention to the content. I do especially like how you try to translate my argument that we should use concrete metrics based on real results rather arbitrary ideological standards into relativism on my part rather than yours.
 
Posted by Seneca (Member # 6790) on :
 
Two responses and you didn't even touch this?

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11318sp.pdf

Is there is a reason you are avoiding it?

[ June 18, 2013, 03:21 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Why would that matter? Of course there is room to save money, and it's good that we have an agency devoted to identifying those opportunities. What point do you think that makes for you?
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Pyrtolin,

elected officials are rewarded and punished moreso by large donors than by the public. Also they can often do many things that don't serve the publics interests without consequence.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
elected officials are rewarded and punished moreso by large donors than by the public
Which is, of course, why the real solution is -- and has always been, every three hundred years, like clockwork -- to cull the rich people.
 
Posted by djquag1 (Member # 6553) on :
 
Tom - The rich people control the military, police, and media, all of which are much more impressive then they were three hundred years ago. I share the sentiment, but don't think it's likely.

Seneca - As noted by LetterRip, the US government is not unaccountable. The problem is that it's accountable to big business and lobbyists, and not the average American citizen.

Greg - I think the current system has been controlled by the wealthy and big business pretty much since it's inception.

I think mandatory voting and a parliamentary system that had more then two parties in it might help. But again, politicians control the laws, big business controls politicians. So implementing any sort of law or policy that might possibly impede big business is extremely unlikely. See the health care debacle - a half-assed law that no side really liked, even the one that pushed it through. The only ones that came out of that process happy were the insurance companies.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
"The only ones that came out of that process happy were the insurance companies."

I agree, but this is the first step toward what will hopefully become a rational national health care policy. Whether it does get there remains to be seen over the next few election cycles.

[ June 18, 2013, 05:39 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]
 
Posted by djquag1 (Member # 6553) on :
 
It also just occurred to me that our last fleecing of the rich came around with the monopoly busting at the end of the 19th century. So are we not due for another two centuries, or are you envisioning something more dramatic, more Dark Knight Rises-esque?
 
Posted by djquag1 (Member # 6553) on :
 
AI - That's part of the problem, isn't it? That to get beyond this steaming turd of a law,(and considering the problems that needed to be fixed, and how well they were addressed, that's exactly what it is) will presumably take several election cycles, if we even decide to go further in the first place.

The American people had a problem. The American people went to their representatives and asked for a solution. And big business won.

That's the problem, in a nutshell.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
So are we not due for another two centuries, or are you envisioning something more dramatic, more Dark Knight Rises-esque?
We're not due for a successful attempt for another two centuries. We're due for a failed attempt in another decade, though.
 
Posted by djquag1 (Member # 6553) on :
 
Do you that as being an armed conflict, ongoing riots and such? Or something more peaceful, like a Communist-lite party that rises up like the Tea Party, and is not only willing to openly proclaim wanting to redistribute wealth, but has a not insignificant amount of public support?
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
"The American people had a problem. The American people went to their representatives and asked for a solution. And big business won.

That's the problem, in a nutshell."

Big business won in a landslide, which by definition means they came out ahead by 55-45+. Progress was made, much more is needed. Imagine what progress would be possible without taking it in increments.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Riots. There will be no peaceable solution to this one.
 


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