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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 10:38 AM
Original message
can we start the "grown-ups party"
the discussion of dean and the middle class tax cut has my blood boiling. we need to shift the discussion to the common good. THE COMMON GOOD. not what's in it for me. or your kids are your own problem, or whatever new nimby argument is going around.
my response to the people bashing dean about this is - GROW UP.
anyone else care to contribute platform planks to the 'grown-up party'
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. But the COMMON good would NOT place the burden on the middle class
nor the working class. Granted they should contribute but COMPARATIVELY they are shouldering a huge burden right now and are getting further and further in debt.

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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. i am the middle class
maybe we should define the middle class. i am upper middle class, and my taxes have been slashed. i have tried to make up for it by giving to charitable orgs that do what i think the gov is not. but really, the clinton tax burden on us was not excessive. stiff, but not excessive. but worth every penny. in fact, it was more than made up for by the bonuses that the great economy made possible. they disappeared entirely under *.
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OhioStateProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
30. upper middle class is actually wealthy(nt)
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. NO
i am upper middle class, but i don't have a dynasty to hand down to my children. that is wealthy.
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OhioStateProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. well
in truth, i don't know what you make, and don't care to know...but I know people in teh upper crust bracket (6 figure income and above) have no right comparing themselves to true middle class people who earn much less
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Printer70 Donating Member (990 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
28. Bad politics, Bad policy
Recent USAToday poll, published today, shows that only 2% of Americans consider taxes the most important issue. Americans DON'T want another tax cut. They want their schools funded again, their states to be solvent, and to stop mortgaging the future of their children through irresponsible federal spending- we can't afford this tax cut. We can't beat the Right by playing Mini-Me in this tax-cutting charade.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
3. I'm confused
You say that you think we should be focused on the common good (and I agree wholeheartedly), but that we should not criticize Dean's plan to remove the few good tax cuts that were put in place by Democrats.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. right- good
common good. lay it out. no nimbys allowed.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Okay
Well first off I think we should bash Dean's plan to rescind the tax cuts that were put in place by Democrats.

Yes, he's right, we need fiscal responsibility, but let him place the burden where it belongs: on the top 1% who have benefitted so very, very much these past 20 years.

Additional planks?

How about:

Willingness to develop programs which are truly 'family friendly', such as: mandatory 4-week vacation time for workers; cradle to grave, single-payer *healthcare* (NOT insurance); reversal of imperialist policies which put America first in line and forces sovereign governments to forgo their own interest in order to gain access to our markets; massive overhaul of our education system to implement real education, not programming...

That's just off the top of my head... but it would be a good start! :D
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. yeah, i know
i guess part of the back story of this thread is a thought of - why is dk unelectable? he was so cute in the tv debate the other day when he said "i'm electable if people vote for me"
i do agree with most of what he saya. but i feel the same as i felt about nadar- he's right, but even if he gets elected, he will never get these things done. he is not on the political reality planet.
so, the quesiton- how to sell this progressive agenda. it seems like common sense. why won't it fly? how do you overcome selfishness, and sell community? what is the tipping point?
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. You can't, if you play by the rules as they are now
That's why DK supporters and Nader supporters are vehemently behind these guys.

All the others (nearly all) have to play by the 'establishment rules'. Doing that, there is no chance in hell we'll advance a progressive agenda. That's the nature of the beast -- to prevent a progressive agenda from getting off the ground.

You say 'he will never get these things done'. I disagree strongly. When FDR was elected he had some of the longest coattails ever. Over 100 Democratic congressmen and senators were elected that year, and this was interpreted correctly as a mandate from the people.

Similarly, if DK is the nominee, you will see the same situation again. There will be a mandate (remember Reagan? imagine it for our side), and there will be no wiggle room for those who wish to oppose him. All they can do is try to compromise, and even then they will lose ground because unlike other candidates, DK does not start the bargaining process from an already-compromised position (centrist).

So, we can't sell it the conventional way. We have to do it the way we are right now. Door to door, person to person.

Otherwise, if we don't, the tipping point will be just what Nader and others have said: that only a catastrophe along the lines of the Depression or worse will rouse the sleeping middle class from their comfortable slumber, and force them to act in the best interests of all.

Just my opinion, of course. :D
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. it is important to have dk and cmb in the race
i hope they can stay in the race as long as possible. i think their candidacies are such important platforms for "grown-up party"
so how to get them elected, or at least widely supported. what would you do differently. and how did fdr grow those coattails? what would happen if dk campaigned by campaigning for congresspersons who could work with him?
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. oops
Edited on Thu Jan-08-04 02:58 PM by mopinko
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NewGuy Donating Member (305 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
5. Any candidate we select...
needs to also be elected by the majority of Americans. The tax plan proposed is not likely to help in that area. Many people do not have kids and do not benefit from this plan.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. more pandering to slefishness
"Many people... do not benefit from this plan."
where is the common good?
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NewGuy Donating Member (305 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Can Dean/Clark?anyone work for the common good...
if they cannot first get elected?

Politics is the art of the possible!! It may be an excellent idea to become a complete welfare state and have all workers submit 50% of their salary to the govt., but no one will vote for you if you run on that platform. Any politician who wishes to do good in office must first get into office.

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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
34. exactly my dilemma
"It may be an excellent idea to become a complete welfare state"<<<

is it? the thing about this is that i don't think it takes human nature into consideration. i don't think this is the place where the common good and the individual good intersect. i don't want to kowtow to the practical, but i don't mind a nod.
but if you do believe this is best, how would you at least try to sell it?
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OhioStateProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #34
41. why don't you just elect Kucinich?
these things will come about with his election
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
6. Why is he changing his mind?
Look, clear back in 2002 Dean was wishy-washy on his tax plan. I argued it on this board most of last year. I posted quotes. Is Dean really against the Bush tax cuts, does he really think they ALL have to go in order to get health care and balance the budget. Or is it just fodder for mud-slinging. Will he roll out tax cuts of his own as soon as he locks up the nomination or needs to move right to get more voters.

Well sure enough, like clockwork, he has.

He has no position on tax cuts. He has no position on anything. He just wants to win and will say anything and do anything to accomplish it.

So let's get the grown-up party, for chrissake please. And let's start looking at what each candidate has done, has said, and says they will do and see whether it all matches up. Choose a candidate accordingly, like a grown up.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. ugh, how dissapointing
we need to shift the discussion to the common good.
not what's in it for me. or your kids are your own problem, or whatever new nimby argument is going around.
anyone else care to contribute platform planks to the 'grown-up party'
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info being Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Spoken like someone from the upper-middle class
When you worry about paying next month's rent, about getting healthcare, about finding a job, "common good" is about as far off your radar as can be.

I'm not speaking for myself...I'm relatively well-off...and I agree with you...but the idea of "common good" can only exist in a country which has a safety net. Kind of a catch-22.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. ok this is part of the problem
"When you worry" >>about yourself>>""common good" is about as far off"

everyone has worries. but pretty much everybody (at least in the middle class" pays their rent. and feeds their kids. when you relieve someone of their responsibility, you infantalize them. when you ask someone to do their part, no matter how small, you empower them to solve their problems. you give them a say in shaping the future. true as your statement is, there has to be a way, or you never get out of the present and into the future.
(lifting more people into the middle class would, of course, be part of the plan. henry ford's arguement that his workers must be able to buy his cars ought to be a part of the tax plan.)
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OhioStateProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
33. the truth
household incomes over 100,000, tax increases are due

and single people who are poor, should recieve tax cuts too
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. this is what they say
more pandering to selfishness. how does this feed the common good?
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OhioStateProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. it is not selfish to demand well paid people to pay more taxes
and it isn't selfish to ask that poor people get tax breaks

facts
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OhioStateProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #35
39. "common good" is a control tactic
common good is mistaken sometimes for "what is right"

I will choose what is right, over what is common good

call me crazy
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. let me be more clear
in illinois a few years ago, we had a chance to elect a great, great governor, dawn clark netch. she had a marvelous plan to shift the funding for public schools from the property tax to the state income tax, fulfilling the promise of the illinois constitution. its language clearly states that state government is responsible for the "majority of funding for the common schools". this clause has never been upheld in court as mandating any more than the budget appropriations, which have never achieved 50% funding. she was soundly defeated. she was "mondalized". like walter, she was proven right in the end. there was a big study recently that recommended basically her plan.
so what i was really trying to say, although i was a little too po'ed to say it clearly is, how do we shift the political debate, away from sound bites and backstabbing, and the media pandering of the day, to some climate that allows the election of someone who looks you in the eye and says grow up, pay your taxes.
THE QUESTION IS NOT ABOUT WHETHER HOWARD DEAN OR ANYONE ELSE HAS A GOOD TAX PLAN, OR WILL FOLLOW THROUGH IF/WHEN THEY ARE ELECTED.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
14. I don't wanna grow up
My contribution to the grownup party is that we start listening to kids:

Grownups say stuff like "Life Isn't Fair"

Grownups are cynical.

I know what you're saying, but sometimes you have to get into the fresh mind of a 12-year-old to bring real change - for the common good.

Yes, 12-year-olds are spawns of satan, but at least they haven't been beaten down yet.

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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Hey! Isn't Natasha 12?
You have a very good point, friend!
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Printer70 Donating Member (990 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #14
29. I don't want politicians telling me....
....they are going to cut my taxes, balance the budget, and create all kinds of new programs. I wasn't born yesterday.
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Terwilliger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
17. if you want "common good" then forget about politics
you'll never reach common good through politics
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. we're dreaming here
but if you agree that this is a good dream, what step would you take to get there?
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
21. it's unrealistic to expect adults, children, pets, or anyone else
to ignore self-interests. There is a huge literature in several different social science fields, across many cultures, to support that, in case you doubt it.

A more realistic goal is to ask people to consider

--the common good
--self- interest
--fairness
--costs and efficacy of alternatives

etc.

Good people are able and willing to consider problems that are not black-and-white, zero sum, etc.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. i think the thing is
to find the place where the common good and self interest intersect. i don't expect them to forget their self-interest. that is why i don't think a "welfare state" will ever work.

ask people to consider >>>
ask them how?
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. However, there is an emerging literature that says conventional economic
wisdom is a clay vessel filled with foecal matter.

Note particularly the reports on experimental fairness: sharing out a substantial windfall, where one person makes an offer that the other must accept for either of them to get anything. Received economic 'wisdom' says no matter how little is offered, the person will take it as it's 'found money' and better than nothing. But in fact researchers are discovering that people would rather walk away than knuckle under to someone who's being greedy.

Interestingly, the amount of fairness in the offer seems to be bound to culture more than to the individual (something that socialists have always claimed, I should point out). The people of 'greedy' cultures tend to spend a lot of time calculating, but then they lo-ball and get nothing, whereas the people of 'sharing' cultures tend to offer an even divvy as a matter of course, no calculation involved. Also interesting is that in every culture, a few minutes' shared conversation between the two people tends to improve generosity.

It's fascinating research.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. this does not surprise me
"wisdom is a clay vessel filled with foecal matter."

so turn your opinion into a platform plank, and give us a campaign slogan.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Please note that I said "social science" not simply economics
Economists, and particularly neo-classical economists, are not the only ones who are interested in how people behave. Psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, and others can also argue that they study how people behave. It is not only economists who have found that self-interest is A FACTOR in how people behave. For example, see the vast social psychological literature on altruism and prosocial behavior.

Please note also that I specifically stated that self-interest is not the only factor people may consider, but that it is one of them. Please cite me a body of research that demonstrates that self-interest is not one of the factors.

This is not an ideological question; it is an empirical one.

People with low incomes, for example, may have self-interests in mind as well as justice, when they seek income redistribution. There is nothing wrong with that, but we need to be honest about it.

As for how to ask people to consider factors other than self interest, any charity can answer that, as well as many of our Democratic leaders, as just 2 examples. There are so many angles on this question, it can't be answered in a simple sentence or 2.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. but the question is
"There are so many angles on this question, it can't be answered in a simple sentence or 2.">>>

but this is politics, and you have to. you are running for president- what is your slogan? what is your platform??
let's take an example of the common good that MOST of us can agree on- children. what do you think the feds should do for kids?? please don't say nothing- we are dreaming of a place where everyone wants to promote the common good.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 05:32 AM
Response to Reply #26
42. Yes, I know.
The people conducting this research are social psychologists. It's the 'Chicago School' economists who are getting the drubbing.

I responded because 'self-interest' has come to be understood since Reagan to mean 'narrow economic self-interest'. It's represented by people like the adolescent 'Libertarians' and the old curmudgeons who say 'eff the school bond issue, I don't have any kids in school'.

Whereas real self-interest includes thwarting the greedy so that the social structure benefits everyone rather than only the pathological.

This research demonstrates that we've lost something in our 'homo economicus' society that we'd better recover before it's too late.
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Printer70 Donating Member (990 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
27. But mopinko, I thought we decided good politics...
...is all that matters. If it polls well, we'll do it. Screw the ramifications like plunging us further into debt and shortchanging the states. We were hammering Bush for his tax cuts and now Clark proposes his own irresponsible tax cuts, and some here couldn't be happier. Clark is running his campaign on "electability" and slogans, not a progressive platform. If this is what we want, I think we've taken a step away from Democratic principles.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. this is why
i am dreaming of another place.
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arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-04 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
40. well, Edwards wrote a platform a year ago that STILL works
and he talks about this vision clearly and convincingly to every room he finds. And everyone likes him.

I think you already have your wish, you just need to take the first step.
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