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Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:12 PM

Why Libertarianism Doesn't Work

First, here is Matt Stoller:

<...>

Paul is deeply conservative, of course, and there are reasons he believes in those end goals that have nothing to do with creating a more socially just and equitable society. But then, when considering questions about Ron Paul, you have to ask yourself whether you prefer a libertarian who will tell you upfront about his opposition to civil rights statutes, or authoritarian Democratic leaders who will expand healthcare to children and then aggressively enforce a racist war on drugs and shield multi-trillion dollar transactions from public scrutiny. I can see merits in both approaches, and of course, neither is ideal. Perhaps it’s worthy to argue that lives saved by presumed expanded health care coverage in 2013 are worth the lives lost in the drug war. It is potentially a tough calculation (depending on whether you think coverage will in fact expand in 2013). When I worked with Paul’s staff, they pursued our joint end goals with vigor and principle, and because of their work, we got to force central banking practices into a more public and democratic light.

<...>

What we’re seeing on the left is this conflict played out, whether it is big slow centralized unions supporting problematic policies, protest movements that cannot be institutionalized in any useful structure, or a completely hollow liberal intellectual apparatus arguing for increasing the power of corporations through the Federal government to enact their agenda. Now of course, Ron Paul pandered to racists, and there is no doubt that this is a legitimate political issue in the Presidential race. But the intellectual challenge that Ron Paul presents ultimately has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with contradictions within modern liberalism.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/12/matt-stoller-why-ron-paul-challenges-liberals.html

It's really fascinating to witness the rationalization of Ron Paul, a man who has been a part of the Washington Republican establishment for more than three decades, and now his son has joined him.

Why Libertarianism Doesn't Work

by thereisnospoon

A bunch of libertarians have taken great offense at my earlier post yesterday on libertarianism in Somalia. The key part of that post was:

This, by the way, is why racism, theocracy and libertarianism go hand in hand, when from a philosophical point of view they should have little to do with one another. The negative effects of the lack of a central government are so obvious in developing countries that wherever the social order fails as in Somalia, it must have been due to bad religion, or the defect of having been born to an inferior race.

Ron Paul fans must reassure themselves that such things would never happen to white, Christian folk. They're immune from the Somali problem by virtue being of different stock and different values, you see.

The "Somalia" argument is a sore spot for libertarians. They either fall back on the old line of race and religious prejudice I outlined, or they claim that it isn't true Libertarianism, you see: it's anarchy. True Libertarians believe in just enough government to protect private property and personal safety; without those protections, they argue, anarchy ensues.

The only problem for libertarians is that they cannot point to even a single current or historical example of a government that functions as they imagine it should. They have no concrete, real world examples, so they ply their arguments in a theoretical construct.

<...>

Libertarianism is a philosophical game played by those without either enough real-world experience of localized, non-state-actor tyranny, or enough awareness of history to understand the immaturity of their political worldview. Unfortunately, the harm they do to the social safety net and to governmental checks and balances is all too real, and all too damaging.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/12/29/1049619/-Why-Libertarianism-Doesnt-Work


This is exactly it. People like Stoller ask others to ponder ridiculous hypothetical choices: civil rights vs. the drug war. They don't consider the real impact of choosing the latter over the former because all is fair in theory.

They don't consider the despair associated with an ideology that has "nothing to do with creating a more socially just and equitable society." All that matters is their phony progressive postulating that Democrats are the bad guys and the cause of everything wrong with the country. They ask you to overlook the Republicans' flaws and lunacy, either by creating false equivalencies or by claiming that Democrats haven't done enough to change things for the better.

If the likes of Paul were to create the kind of society he envisions, what would Stoller do? Where would he fit in? Where would blacks, gays and the poor fit in? How would the lives ruined compare to expanding "healthcare to children"?




51 replies, 6910 views

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Arrow 51 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Libertarianism Doesn't Work (Original post)
ProSense Dec 2011 OP
TheWraith Dec 2011 #1
Poll_Blind Dec 2011 #25
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #2
Betsy Ross Dec 2011 #7
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #8
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #9
hifiguy Jan 2012 #49
Sarah Ibarruri Jan 2012 #50
JDPriestly Dec 2011 #11
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #12
dawg Dec 2011 #3
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2011 #10
abelenkpe Dec 2011 #4
ProSense Dec 2011 #14
deacon Jan 2012 #36
onehandle Dec 2011 #5
PowerToThePeople Dec 2011 #6
quaker bill Dec 2011 #13
ProSense Dec 2011 #15
quaker bill Dec 2011 #19
ProSense Dec 2011 #21
freshwest Dec 2011 #17
izquierdista Dec 2011 #16
napoleon_in_rags Dec 2011 #18
ProSense Dec 2011 #20
napoleon_in_rags Dec 2011 #22
ProSense Dec 2011 #23
napoleon_in_rags Dec 2011 #24
ProSense Dec 2011 #26
napoleon_in_rags Dec 2011 #27
ProSense Jan 2012 #28
napoleon_in_rags Jan 2012 #34
ProSense Jan 2012 #38
napoleon_in_rags Jan 2012 #39
ProSense Jan 2012 #40
napoleon_in_rags Jan 2012 #41
ProSense Jan 2012 #42
napoleon_in_rags Jan 2012 #45
MH1 Jan 2012 #46
napoleon_in_rags Jan 2012 #47
Night Ripper Jan 2012 #29
ProSense Jan 2012 #30
Night Ripper Jan 2012 #31
ProSense Jan 2012 #32
PeaceNikki Jan 2012 #33
deacon Jan 2012 #35
hughee99 Jan 2012 #37
TheKentuckian Jan 2012 #43
ProSense Jan 2012 #48
Quartermass Jan 2012 #44
ProSense Jan 2012 #51

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:19 PM

1. Libertarianism is like salt.

A tiny pinch of it, used in the right places, improves things greatly. Too much kills everything.

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Response to TheWraith (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 09:18 PM

25. +1 Perfect analogy. nt

PB

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:20 PM

2. Libertarians - Right wingers that like sex, drugs and rock and roll. nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:53 PM

7. If that's an original line, I'll cite you.

That's a really concise definition.

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Response to Betsy Ross (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:54 PM

8. I don't think it is. I think I may have borrowed it. Let me look...

I just googled it. I found myself lol I don't know though. I may have borrowed it or not. I can't recall at all.

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Response to Betsy Ross (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 10:00 PM

9. I think I may have heard it but I swear I can't remember who said it nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 3, 2012, 02:59 PM

49. I think that source of that line may be

P.J. O'Rourke. Who was funny, once, a long, long time ago.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #49)

Tue Jan 3, 2012, 03:04 PM

50. Ah, thank you! nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 10:06 PM

11. Libertarians -- People who don't plan to have children and who don't think they

will grow old.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 10:14 PM

12. Libertarians - Just right wingers who are trying to fool us all. nt

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:22 PM

3. Libertarianism is just "selfishness" as a political philosophy.

I like the conservatives better. Misguided as they are, at least they stand for something.

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Response to dawg (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 10:00 PM

10. This is true, dawg. nt

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:32 PM

4. Thank you

I read that article by Stoller earlier today and was pretty disgusted to see yet another person defending Ron Paul or libertarians.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 10:55 PM

14. It has

"I read that article by Stoller earlier today and was pretty disgusted to see yet another person defending Ron Paul or libertarians. "

...been non-stop and pervasive. Here Stoller even acknowledges that Paul panders to racists but still cherry-picks from Paul's twisted views to draw a contrast between him and "authoritarian Democratic leaders." It unfrigginbelievable.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 08:30 PM

36. George Will's career is cemented in using that writing formula.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:33 PM

5. The theory of 'I got mine, Jack' doesn't work? nt

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:50 PM

6. may not be bad

Place 100% inheritance tax. Make everyone earn their own way.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 10:28 PM

13. What the Somalia illustration points up is the obvious logic flaw

In this country we started off with a government that had a great deal more in common with a libertarian approach than what exists today. We had a weak central government, tariff and trade disputes between the states, laws that allowed folks to be kept as slaves in some states and not in others. In some places all races could vote, in some places not, one could go on and on.

Stepwise, the people demanded and politicians created government per their demands.

The people actually like the services of government. Most just don't care for the obligations of having one (complying with laws and paying taxes). I take complaints for a government agency and I find conservatives just as if not more demanding of service. Libertarians are no exception. If they think their neighbor is doing something that is (or should be) against the "rules", they will want something done about it.

Government did not arrive fully formed during an alien invasion. The people invented it, and if it were removed tomorrow, the people would immediately begin to re-invent it.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 11:46 PM

15. The

"Government did not arrive fully formed during an alien invasion. The people invented it, and if it were removed tomorrow, the people would immediately begin to re-invent it."

...consequences would be catastrophic. Paul is trying apply the most backward 19th century thinking to 21st century life.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 08:54 AM

19. My point is that even if tried, it would not work

True, the attempt would be ugly and well worth a great deal of effort to avoid.

Bottom line, people always want their "freedom" personally, but when their neighbor puts a junker vehicle on blocks in the front yard, they want government to do something about it. I have been to Homeowners Association meetings (as a guest speaker). They are a great example of what the people do with "government" when you bring it down local and put it in their hands.

What happens is the precise opposite of anarchy. Given the freedom to do as they wish, people make up rules and enforce them upon each other....

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 03:29 PM

21. Agree

"True, the attempt would be ugly and well worth a great deal of effort to avoid."

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 11:50 PM

17. Very well stated, their vision versus the reality of the past, present and future.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 11:49 PM

16. The same reason 5-year olds can't play soccer.

 

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 02:22 AM

18. "The people with the money and guns will always abuse the people who don't have the money and guns"

"unless there are multiple levels of checks, balances, and legal and economic protections..."

Which will eventually be dictated by the people with money and guns, which is what you have OWS out in the street protesting things like the revolving door policy, which ensures people who work in DC get high paying corporate jobs for favors. Or the CEO of Halliburton working as VP, pressing for a war in Iraq where Halliburton would be awarded no bid contracts to pay crews $100,000 a day to stand around and do nothing:
http://able2know.org/topic/73474-1

The reason Libertarianism is suddenly getting so much attention is that its the state isn't doing any of those things its supposed to do, at which point it becomes a source of weakness, not goodness. The people being drawn to it now see it as a long term solution for government the same way a gardener sees a bucket of herbicide as a long term solution for a garden: Its not the end goal, but it might get rid of the weeds so something nice can grow.

edit: BTW, the reason a right wing reform movement popped up at all is because Obama continued so many of GWB's policies, making them such a part of the Dem brand that Republicans actually started rebelling against their old policies for that reason. Dems took a compromise position that left them dirtied with some bad, bad policies. What's needed is mo' power to OWS, more house cleaning action on the left, that's what I say.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 10:03 AM

20. This

The reason Libertarianism is suddenly getting so much attention is that its the state isn't doing any of those things its supposed to do, at which point it becomes a source of weakness, not goodness. The people being drawn to it now see it as a long term solution for government the same way a gardener sees a bucket of herbicide as a long term solution for a garden: Its not the end goal, but it might get rid of the weeds so something nice can grow.

edit: BTW, the reason a right wing reform movement popped up at all is because Obama continued so many of GWB's policies, making them such a part of the Dem brand that Republicans actually started rebelling against their old policies for that reason. Dems took a compromise position that left them dirtied with some bad, bad policies. What's needed is mo' power to OWS, more house cleaning action on the left, that's what I say.


...makes no sense. In fact, those who seek to push this lunacy have been spinning their asses off to distort the President's policies. The crazy thing is that they do it from the left, and the turn around and push this idiocy!

The reason it's getting attention is because of the constantly flawed arguments of support coming from people like Stoller. They've been rationalizing this nonsense for so long they confused a lot of people. Hyping Paul as some anti-war, protector of civil liberties and ignoring his lunatic views didn't help. In fact, if Paul's racist, anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-civil rights, anti-government views hadn't come to the forefront, some of these same people would have continue hyping him.

The U.S. safety net programs are what they are, and during the economic crisis, they kicked in to help millions of people.

Crucially, of course, the report documents the vast human damage being inflicted by a weak economy. It also documents the ways in which safety-net programs have at least mitigated that damage — notably, uninsurance among children has actually fallen thanks to SCHIP and Medicaid, unemployment insurance has literally kept millions above the poverty line, and the early features of the Affordable Care Act have helped hundreds of thousands of young adults retain insurance. We’ll have a fuller read on this, with the effects of food stamps and other in-kind benefits, next month.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/the-slump-before-the-slump/


Yeah, they need to be stronger and income inequality desperately needs to be addressed, but why on earth would people who shoudl know better continue to hype flawed libertarian views that they know would devastate the most vulnerable Americans?



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Response to ProSense (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 04:14 AM

22. What you're not seeing is how bad it is.

"Make for thyself a definition or description of the thing which is presented to thee, so as to see distinctly what kind of a thing it is in its substance, in its nudity, in its complete entirety" -Marcus Aurelius

"have been spinning their asses off to distort the President's policies" -ProSense.

Yes. So what is that in its nudity, as Aurelius would say? Its deception. Its perception management. Its "PR" as a few anorexic old blondes who specialize in ruining people's lives still call it. Its about concealing the truth.

I was looking at a chart the other day, US debt to GDP ratio. It has this huge spike around 1944, WWII. Basically you had every aspect of everybody's lives locked up in the war effort: you'd carpool with all your neighbors to save gas for the effort, Lucky Strikes green had gone to war (and all kinds of products were effected) 16 MILLION people were in the military to fight, much more than today. Women working in the factories that had been converted to make tanks and planes. (Rosie the riveter) etc. And the whole thing funded by more debt than the country had ever gotten in, a GDP to debt ratio of over 100%. After that, the chart shows the fruits of the war effort and peace, as the debt declines over the next century. Until the present, where we now have national debt of 15 trillion and 14 trillion GDP, giving us a ratio of over 100% again, meaning that in terms of borrowing, we are now at WWII crisis level, with no end in site. No post war construction, no influence that comes from being the worlds only nuclear power, no plentiful resources and influence spanning half the globe. No magic bullets.

You talk about people who should know better than to hype Libertarian efforts. I suppose I would fall in the group you intended. My life exists, such as it is, because of big government: I help mentally ill/disabled people live fruitful lives in the community. The funding comes from the state. Also there was a time awhile back when I was on Washington state health assistance, and was afforded quality health care with the help of state subsidies and reasonable payments. My partner got in a pinch, and needed food stamps some time ago. ER hospital bills from an accident I had before I had health insurance were paid by a mysterious force once I proved my nominal income to the hospital, that force was probably the state. I get it. I am loyal. I see the good. I had hard times and got through them because of these policies, because of the state.

But the stakes right now are higher than they have ever been, we are in a different kind of situation than previous politics have prepared us for. Having just seen the 1-2 punch of Obama not being able to stop Bush tax cuts, and Republicans not being able to raise payroll tax or change social security/welfare without violent threats from their own base, I realize there is no force in DC which can stop the current crisis. We as a nation simply don't have a political system which provide us with a leader who can be a long term asshole when a long term asshole is needed.

When I say that, I mean there are two ways forward: The first is a Ron Paul path, which massively cuts both welfare and warfare while keeping taxes marginal. This will piss people off as their government benefits disappear. The second is the left wing path that currently has no Dem standing up for it, but basically means massive tax increases to pay for the current system. This is what I advocate, because social programs are my bread and butter. But it will piss people off, and it will take an anti-corruption movement the likes of which this country has never seen to restore the lost trust in government so that people don't feel robbed paying the taxes, feeling like they will go to bailouts or Cheney or revolving door. IT will take a big cleanup, but I feel its worthwhile.

What's not an option is pretending to tell people they can have the longest war in US history, plus all these programs, plus these tax cuts, as the country sinks into WWII national crisis debt levels and nobody in congress can act because doing anything is too unpopular. What's not an option is pretending that perception tricks to keep people voting "sane" will deal with the insanity of this status quo.

So do you see? This won't go away, with any manipulations of public opinion. There are some things that don't go away when people stop believing in them. This country is headed toward a systemic break down, the Republic, for the first time in 250 years, is seriously at risk. If a manipulator of public perception is hearing this, he or she won't understand. We all project ourselves outward, so he or she will hear an attempt to manipulate public opinion from me. I've done everything to mitigate this, naming myself after a madman from a Bob Dylan song, posting only in a whisper at the bottom of threads, never an OP. To let those with an ear to hear that this is serious, that the weight of true words persists no matter how silently they are spoken. If the current path of telling the American people what they want to hear, without regard to the truth, if the current path of perception management, of "PR" (as a mentioned in the beginning of this thread) is pursued, then eventually reality will burst through in a most uncomfortable manner, and the likely reaction of the newly awakened American people will be a new reign of terror, a revolution. Deception always bites one in the ass. The collapse of all faulty models, played out in the streets in blood.

Gandhi's path of peace was the path of uncomfortable truth. As a child, he stole money from his father to buy some trinket. His father fell ill. Gandhi new he had to confess before his father died, so he told him his shame, what he had done. He confessed his evil. When he confessed, his sick bed ridden father showed great love, embracing his son. In the days and weeks that followed, he healed. This was when young Gandhi understood that truth was something bigger, something that could heal us. May God give us all the same insight now.

PEace




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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 11:43 AM

23. Yes,

What you're not seeing is how bad it is.

<...>

I was looking at a chart the other day, US debt to GDP ratio. It has this huge spike around 1944, WWII. Basically you had every aspect of everybody's lives locked up in the war effort: you'd carpool with all your neighbors to save gas for the effort, Lucky Strikes green had gone to war (and all kinds of products were effected) 16 MILLION people were in the military to fight, much more than today. Women working in the factories that had been converted to make tanks and planes. (Rosie the riveter) etc. And the whole thing funded by more debt than the country had ever gotten in, a GDP to debt ratio of over 100%. After that, the chart shows the fruits of the war effort and peace, as the debt declines over the next century. Until the present, where we now have national debt of 15 trillion and 14 trillion GDP, giving us a ratio of over 100% again, meaning that in terms of borrowing, we are now at WWII crisis level, with no end in site. No post war construction, no influence that comes from being the worlds only nuclear power, no plentiful resources and influence spanning half the globe. No magic bullets.

...it's bad, but how does that bolster the argument that making it worse is good?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 09:14 PM

24. Its about FACING IT culturally.

And accepting that fact that the reality on the ground calls for ugly policies. The kind of cuts Ron Paul advocates are ugly, really ugly, and the kind of tax hikes I am advocating are really ugly too. Its politically easy to smash either of these positions, eluding to some kind of rosy third way. But if that third way is just PR, just perception manipulation, then that leads us to the worse outcome of all, we could literally lose it all. The debate about who's got the right treatment comes after we face the fact that the patient is wounded, that's priority one.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #24)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 09:21 PM

26. No

Its about FACING IT culturally.

And accepting that fact that the reality on the ground calls for ugly policies. The kind of cuts Ron Paul advocates are ugly, really ugly, and the kind of tax hikes I am advocating are really ugly too. Its politically easy to smash either of these positions, eluding to some kind of rosy third way. But if that third way is just PR, just perception manipulation, then that leads us to the worse outcome of all, we could literally lose it all. The debate about who's got the right treatment comes after we face the fact that the patient is wounded, that's priority one.

That's not it. I could advocate tax hikes that aren't really ugly because they don't devastate the overwhelming majority of Americans, but they would benefit society. Really "ugly policies" are destructive.

So it's not about finding a middle ground between really "ugly policies" and beneficial ones.



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Response to ProSense (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 11:47 PM

27. So where are those popular tax hikes? Lets see them.

The math here is simple, debt is higher than GDP. That means if every cent made by everybody in America in a year went directly to the debt, it wouldn't be enough to pay it down. If there were no interest accruing, and current expenditures causing it to grow, then it would be manageable over a 20 year period with a 5% tax increase to everyone. (or more focused on higher earners, as you prefer) But with the current spending and interest, it will take even more to reign it in over a 20 year period, and those high taxes will be politically ugly. Nobody is going to be happy with them, especially visualizing their money being handed to wall street bankers and unnecessary wars.

edit: And what I just wrote ignore the fact that Americans getting together on anything over a 20 year period is a total fantasy. The minute somebody gets in who needs to win a political popularity content, he will "temporarily" get rid of them, and like Bush tax cuts, it will be politically infeasible to get them back.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #27)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 02:12 PM

28. Wait

"So where are those popular tax hikes?"

...popular tax hikes have to be present to reject really "ugly policies"?

Democrats have proposed a millionaire's tax, popular among elected Democrats and most Americans.

Democrats have proposed eliminating loopholes, popular among elected Democrats and most Americans.

In fact, here is the proposal President Obama sent to Congress:



http://www.epi.org/publication/ib316-joint-select-committee-good-options-progressive/

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Response to ProSense (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 07:12 PM

34. Help me out man, I'm hung over.

So that chart above looks pretty good, I mean it adds up. But what I'm seeing from the article is that the units in the columns are billions of dollars. So the total savings in a decade will equal 1,572 billion, or 1.5 trillion. Right? But then I remember that the national debt is 15 trillion not 1.5 trillion, and I wonder what the interest rates alone on it will be. So I google, and find this:
http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/02/news/economy/interest_national_debt/index.htm
Ending with this line:
"The president has proposed $478 billion in discretionary spending cuts and the Republican Study Committee has proposed $2.5 trillion in savings, but neither proposal would come close to even paying the interest on the debt."

I want to believe that there is a way forward like this, but I'm not seeing it in the numbers. I would love to be wrong here, and if I am, tell me how. Like I said, its my bread and butter, and I'm not looking forward to donning Franciscan monk robes to help the needy, but that's what will be left in any scenario where the government implodes due to debt.

As a side note, I think there are some tax the rich plans that could really stimulate the economy. I envision a policy that taxes stagnant wealth, wealth not working in the economy, but rewards active wealth - money that's tied up in businesses and investments and so forth, money that's circulating and creating wealth. You want to penalize scrooge McDuck with his money bin of non-working capital, but reward anybody who actually is being a job creator.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #34)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 09:07 PM

38. OK

"Help me out man, I'm hung over."

Let's look at each point you made:

Ending with this line:
"The president has proposed $478 billion in discretionary spending cuts and the Republican Study Committee has proposed $2.5 trillion in savings, but neither proposal would come close to even paying the interest on the debt."

I really don't care what Republicans propose because it always involves tax cuts for the rich on the backs of everyone else. Besides, it's their damn fault the deficit/debt skyrocketed.

President Obama proposed a $4 trillion package which Republicans rejected.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/04/13/president-obama-s-framework-4-trillion-deficit-reduction


I want to believe that there is a way forward like this, but I'm not seeing it in the numbers. I would love to be wrong here, and if I am, tell me how. Like I said, its my bread and butter, and I'm not looking forward to donning Franciscan monk robes to help the needy, but that's what will be left in any scenario where the government implodes due to debt.

Still, the goal isn't to finding a middle ground between really "ugly policies" and beneficial ones. It's to enact beneficial policies.


As a side note, I think there are some tax the rich plans that could really stimulate the economy. I envision a policy that taxes stagnant wealth, wealth not working in the economy, but rewards active wealth - money that's tied up in businesses and investments and so forth, money that's circulating and creating wealth. You want to penalize scrooge McDuck with his money bin of non-working capital, but reward anybody who actually is being a job creator.


Well, if you know who a "job creator," you might want to inform the GOP. They haven't been able to identify any: http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/12/09/143398685/gop-objects-to-millionaires-surtax-millionaires-we-found-not-so-much

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Response to ProSense (Reply #38)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 09:42 PM

39. But you didn't address my main point.

Its the CNN article:
http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/02/news/economy/interest_national_debt/index.htm

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Interest payments on the national debt could total $5.5 trillion over the next decade, or about 79% of the new debt estimated to accrue between 2012 and 2021.

So Obama's got a 4 trillion dollar plan, great. But if I am not mistaken, that means basically breaking even, paying down the interest on the existing debt without actually making it go away. Am I wrong? Explain.

Well, if you know who a "job creator," you might want to inform the GOP.

When I was researching, I came upon a conservative article that endeavored to explain why its a bad idea to tax the rich. It said liberals believe that the rich have big money bins like Scrooge McDuck, when in reality that wealth is tied up in factories employing people (In America no less! Chuckle) And paying taxes means liquifying parts of this working capital, the factory, and thus losing more jobs. This is their main talking point. So that's why I think I Scrooge McDuck tax would be a political winner: Basically you give deductions to people employing workers in America and that sort of thing, paid for by those making money who aren't. If conservatives are right, it will make them money. If their wrong it will cost them money.


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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #39)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 10:12 PM

40. Are

So Obama's got a 4 trillion dollar plan, great. But if I am not mistaken, that means basically breaking even, paying down the interest on the existing debt without actually making it go away. Am I wrong? Explain.

Well, if you know who a "job creator," you might want to inform the GOP.

When I was researching, I came upon a conservative article that endeavored to explain why its a bad idea to tax the rich. It said liberals believe that the rich have big money bins like Scrooge McDuck, when in reality that wealth is tied up in factories employing people (In America no less! Chuckle) And paying taxes means liquifying parts of this working capital, the factory, and thus losing more jobs. This is their main talking point. So that's why I think I Scrooge McDuck tax would be a political winner: Basically you give deductions to people employing workers in America and that sort of thing, paid for by those making money who aren't. If conservatives are right, it will make them money. If their wrong it will cost them money.

...you assuming that there will be a single proposal to erase the $15 trillion debt? And how exactly do you envisioning that happening if you're taking cues from "a conservative article" proposing more tax breaks for the rich?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #40)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 11:02 PM

41. You're in perception management mode, I'm not.

I chuckled at the conservative article I mentioned. I'm not making conservative talking points here, I'm asking basic, fundamental questions about how the debt is going to be eliminated without ugly policies put in place. You're not answering them.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #41)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 11:08 PM

42. No

"You're in perception management mode, I'm not. I chuckled at the conservative article I mentioned. I'm not making conservative talking points here, I'm asking basic, fundamental questions about how the debt is going to be eliminated without ugly policies put in place. You're not answering them."

...you're playing games and you don't like the answers. The solution is to ask the wealthy to pay their fair share, getting rid of loopholes for greedy corporations, eliminating fraud and waste in the system and time.

Beyond that, it appears you're smart enough to figure it out for yourself. You may even want to propose your own solution.



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Response to ProSense (Reply #42)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 03:57 PM

45. My final two cents.

I'm really not playing games, and I don't have the answers, but I suppose its fair to call me out on not proposing solutions. My two cents:

If that CNN article is right, than interest is the real killer. The question becomes how can we structure a situation where Americans hold more of the debt, so the interest, while brutal, is being paid out to Americans for US debt. Then we have a closed cycle, Americans paying Americans. So paying out and ending the debt to foreign interests becomes key.

At that point, you have this trillion dollar redistribution of wealth from taxpayers to US debtors in terms of interest payments, which can create inequality but at least the money is under the control of the US government. That's when you can put something like that Scrooge McDuck tax in, that basically requires them to pour it back into job creating investments in the US. This keeps the taxpayers afloat, so the cycle can keep going. The ultimate winners are those who hold the US debt though.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 04:41 PM

46. "the state isn't doing any of those things its supposed to do"???

Last I checked, there were still cops and street sweepers on the streets, and judges and clerks in the courts.

So I'd say that the state is still doing SOME of the things it is supposed to do.

Recently in PA, a judge was sent to prison for many years, for getting kickbacks for placing juveniles in juvenile prison for very minor offenses. If the state wasn't doing ANY of those things it's supposed to do, that wouldn't have happened - that judge would still be ruining lives and getting his kickbacks.

Some people see the system failing them. But that doesn't mean the system has broken down completely, because it hasn't.

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Response to MH1 (Reply #46)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 04:49 PM

47. No, it hasn't broken down completely at all.

But the damage to credibility has been pretty severe from many of the things in the past 10 years (mostly 2000-08)

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Response to ProSense (Original post)


Response to Night Ripper (Reply #29)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 02:21 PM

30. Sounds

The real issue is that people like yourself want to sidestep the basic question, when are we justified in using violence? The answer is, only in immediate self-defense of person and property. When you start taxing people under threat of violence or imprisonment, that's not self-defense. Until you can understand the basic principle of "keep your hands to yourself" then trying to debate anything more complex is pointless. Taxation is theft. If you want money, get it honestly, through free market trade. Welfare, personal and corporate, government regulations, etc, are violations of the "keep your hands to yourself" policy. If you're starving, you have no more right to rob me than any other time.

...like Ronulan speak.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #30)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 02:23 PM

31. derp

 

Did you have anything of substance to say as to why you have the right to rob me?

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Response to Night Ripper (Reply #31)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 02:33 PM

32. You're

"Did you have anything of substance to say as to why you have the right to rob me?"

...using selfishness to argue against the common good. When you learn to fly and don't need to use any public works, including the roads, then let me know.

Until then, bye!



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Response to ProSense (Reply #32)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 02:34 PM

33. He sleeps with the fishes.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 08:19 PM

35. Libertarianism is the belief you can travel to mars in a wright brothers plane. n/t

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 08:31 PM

37. It sounds like "libertarianism" has some of the same issues "communism" does.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 11:16 PM

43. No one thinks it works except delusional robberbaron types, delusional folk who aspire to be

robberbaron types, delusional post adolescent white males, delusional middle aged angry white males who think they built all they have from their bootstraps, and delusional amoral human predators.

This is speaking of the economic ideology.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #43)

Tue Jan 3, 2012, 02:40 PM

48. You'd be surprised. n/t

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 11:35 PM

44. I have two big problems with libertarianism.

 

1: It's a philosophy of leave everyone to their own devices. We tried that once, that was the old west, and it didn't quite work out. It had high rates of violence and few redresses of the law if somebody had their rights stepped on or a crime committed to them, and discrimination ran rampant.

Plus sometimes the government does need to step in on some things. Some people really truly do need help and private charities just will not help people if there's no incentive to, or there's not enough to go around. Same thing with jobs. It there is an area without any resources, the corporations simply will not go there nor hire local help.

there are many realities of life that the philosophy ignores, these are just a few,

2: Their concept of a free market. I'm for a regulated economic system, many of them believe that a free market will correct itself. History has proven true that a free market does not correct itself, those with the money will just hire thugs to enforce their will. That's how unions got started, because in a free market only corruption reigns free.

Other than that, I do agree that the government should keep out of people's private business. It's no business of theirs what sexual acts two consenting adults will partake of in the privacy of their own bedroom. It's no business of theirs who marries who, and it's no business of theirs what ethnicity one is, amidst other things.

I'm no expert on libertarianism though, but I have talked with a fair number of them over the years.


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Response to Quartermass (Reply #44)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 10:20 PM

51. as

"Their concept of a free market. "


...illustrated here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002149315

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