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Discussion in 'Crew NSR' started by KCbus, Jul 9, 2012.
I heart Fox News. Fair and Balanced.
Well I am lower-middle class, as are most of the people I know. I do have some rich friends - "don't own a boat, just have friends who own boats." But I seriously doubt anyone's personal experience qualifies them to claim "our systems of social support are being seriously abused." Your post is the argument that always gets brought up when "welfare" is mentioned - someone points out that they know a person who is gaming the system, and this proves welfare is just there to make crooks rich. It's Reagan's "welfare queen" claim (http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/23/politics/weflare-queen/index.html). It's why I said, "the belief that I find pervasive in America - is this means 'welfare' will produce a class of people receiving government checks who are better off than those earning paychecks." Does corruption of welfare exist? Yes. Does corruption exist in banking? Are cops fraudulently impersonated? Do commercial goods get sold illegally in black markets? Yes.
To me, knowing about a case of corruption isn't a reason to get rid of anything, it's a reason to better police it. And knowing about a case of corruption certainly doesn't qualify you to say there is serious abuse. Lots of evidence exists that demonstrates people on various forms of welfare in the US are seriously needy, and I can give you sob stories tit-for-tat with "welfare queen" examples.
I don't think I ignored your other two: seasonal workers are often young, and migrant farm workers rarely get counted because of their frequently undocumented status. As I noted, I don't see a lot to suggest minimum wage earners hold other jobs at a significant rate - the best I can find about minimum wage earners holding other jobs is that 10% of minimum wage earners work 15 hours or less a week.
The sad thing? The Republicans probably won't do any better. They'll blame "not being able to get things done" on the Democrats. It's all finger-pointing and blaming. Everyone WANTS to work together, but when push comes to shove, they really all act like a bunch of babies.
The other sad thing? There's really only two people who have any chance of winning, yet there's a lot of candidates. I'm not suggesting anything, but I've been hearing a lot of interesting things regarding Gary Johnson lately:
I had no desire to put words in your mouth, but the fact of the matter is that it is apparently a very short logical leap to go from "economics is more used than biology" to "we need more economics and less biology" to "lets start getting rid of biology". This is already happening with a number of subjects - go back and see my quote of Florida's governor for a real-world example.
I am not accusing you of this position, by the way - but I think you can discuss the need for more economics and 'government' or 'citizenship' without bringing in a discussion of other subjects that people seem to "use less" and might be curtailed. That's where Rick Scott crossed the line.
A corollary to that is that we are increasingly seeing politicians and politics deciding on the composition of school curricula, and making determinations I feel they are totally unqualified to make. To a certain extent this is impossible to avoid, but it must be kept to a minimum.
I think that's rather a big stretch. It's a very clumsy statement by Obama, but apparently even that wasn't good enough for you; you decided to make up your own, even more outrageous statement and declare that that was what he really meant. That's not very convincing.
State governments suffer from exactly the same types of corruption, bureaucratic inertia, partisanship, and heavy-handedness that the federal government can feature at its worst. They are exact copies of the federal government, with the exception that they govern tens of millions of people rather than hundreds of millions. On a detail level it is often desirable to shift jurisdiction between state and federal levels, but I'm not seeing state governments as the end-all and be-all of governance. I don;t see them as being inherently more responsive or just. States like to blame the federal government when something bad happens. Sometimes they are right, but usually it's a classic case of passing the buck. But many people listen, and seem to have decided that state governments are bastions of democracy whereas the federal government has become something horrible and monolithic. I don't buy that.
I don't want to live in a confederation of American states.
Whoosh, that went right above you. I never advocated to abolish federalism, but give more power back to the states. Let them regulate it at a more localized level. Example: Education has no business being administered at the federal level. We have politicized education with the No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top bullshit. Our students are struggling now because they are not required to understand much, but to pass standardize tests that we can create further layers of bureaucracy in administration. Ridiculous. Since the Feds have mandate all states to raise the drinking age to 21 in order to receive federal highway dollars, states have pretty much lost their power to regulate matters in their own state. The federal government is a monolithic and bloated bureaucracy serving the interest of special-interest entities, not the populace. No doubt the state levels have corruption, but the power of the citizenry holds more because they can impact things better than doing so at the federal level. It is so hard to go after federal officials for their actions because of the layers of bureaucracy and the distance from Main St USA. We can't touch those people, but we sure as hell can hold the state officials to better scrutiny. We need more accountability in our governance and that is going by the wayside as the feds keep getting bigger and bigger.
We need shorter term limits for elected officials.
What makes you think states don't politicize education? On the contrary, some of the most bitter battles over the intrusion of politics into education are happening at the state and local level - such as how to fund it, how to create and mesaure standards and other fundamentals.
Again, this is not a federal problem. Every level of government has wholeheartedly embraced the concept of standardized tests. So have universities, both public and private. I don't see a reduction in federal authority in this area as likely to do anything other than to create a mosaic of standards where there are currently a few.
I think you are seriously overestimating the difference in responsiveness between state and federal government. While there is, by definition, a difference, I have zero confidence that the 'power of the citizenry' would be usefully enhanced by a widespread divestment of federal powers to the states. Local interests might benefit, but I am also convinced that such a move would weaken the US in terms of our domestic infrastructure, foreign policy, national defense, and trade.
I also think that a certain lack of responsiveness is deliberately built into our system for a very good reason. Bureaucratic inertia is necessary to prevent a 'tyranny of the majority', those siutations in which too much responsiveness results in perennial instability of policy. The federal government is less at the whims of briefly fashionable legislation initiatives than local forms of govnernment .
As a matter of fact, the total number of civilian employees of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government is smaller now than during the Reagan administration.
Why are dictates from Washington better?
Oh, noes! Different standards! One-size-fits-all does not allow for much innovation. Might a bunch of different standards be messy? Sure. Feature, not bug.
Why not devolve powers back to where they were established to be (the States or the People - as in local levels)? That way you have thousands of laboratories of innovation in any number of areas (shamelessly stolen from Gary Johnson).
The latter three of those were specifically areas where power was reserved to the federales, for lots of good reasons. No one is suggesting 50 or more separate foreign policies (though I wouldn't mind an alternative to idiotic wars of choice, torture, and murder-droning). No one is suggesting 50 different standing armies (and militias in the form of the National Guard are already doing much of the heavy lifting anyway). No one is suggesting (in fact the Constitution expressly forbids it) 50 different trade policies. As far as infrastructure, you really honestly think that Washington can decide what happens where and when more effectively than local and state actors?
Wow, that's the stretch of all stretches, and you're blatantly stealing the language of anarchists, minarchists, libertarians, and small-r republicans. Bureaucratic inertia is NOT necessary to prevent a 'tyranny of the majority' any more than it's designed to polish your teeth to a gleaming white. A republican form of government is necessary to prevent a 'tyranny of the majority' and maintain liberty. Now if you were talking specifically about referendum-crazy California, I'd agree that there's a lot of whimsical bullshit. But that's the decision of Californians to govern that way and they're one of the only states to even try dropping every little thing on a statewide ballot. It's why I want absolutely nothing to do with the place. Luckily, there are 49 other states that have much less direct democracy.
Well, there's my rebuttal. What he said.
What does Reagan have to do with this? Is that a liberal bullet point for debates? I hear that "Reagan" benchmark all the time and it is quite stupid because that is 25-30 years ago. Maybe I will dredge up the size of William Howard Taft's kitchen staff. I am reading the chart and the number is going back up from the W years.
That isn't an answer to my criticism, nor is that a convincing argument f0r a major reorganization of education oversight.
The "one-size-fits-all" criticism can be applied until every person becomes a republic of themselves. The notion that national education standards are always going to be too restrictive is false.
You're calling for innovation in all areas except in government. This is originalism, and I don't find it convincing. Our federal government is bigger now than when it was originally established, but so are the state governments. Yet you can only find problems with the growth of the federal government?
States are often very self-interested, and the federal government acts as a critical cohesive force when it comes to getting the nation to work as more of a unit. Nobody might be suggesting 50 different foreign policies now, but the more states are allowed to pull in opposite directions the more likely we will reach a point when getting anything done on a national level requires considerably more interstate negotiation than now. This is a subjective threshold, but even staying within the confines of the constitution it is very possible for the federal government to be weakened to the point where it hurts the country.
As for the National guard and militias, they are a badge-engineered extension of the US military. This is not a criticism of their performance or purpose, but they are not 'militias' in the technical sense any longer. The states have a limited amount of control of them compared with 18th century militias, particularly in time of war.
As far as infrastructure, emphatically yes in many cases. Our highway system is the result of federal leadership and funding. The states would never have been able to coordinate the project as effectively. I'm not asking the federal government to look after every fire hydrant, but large-scale infrastructure projects generally require some federal assistance and oversight or they'd never get done.
Hardly. The phrase neither originated with any of those political factions, nor is it available exclusively for their use. A majority of libertarians may be as tyrannical as any other majority.
Bureaucracy is not the only or even the primary means by which such tyranny is prevented. It was not my intent to imply that - though it is an integral feature of republican government. Inertia is an important feature of any republic however, and sometimes the bureaucracy plays a significant role in that. It is generally vilified, but the fact of the matter is that when it comes to liberty and efficiency, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
The United States majorly (yeah, not a word) reorganized education more than 30 years ago and look what it's gotten us: phenomenal increases in per-pupil spending, lots of administrators and not much else.
That isn't an answer to my criticism, nor is that a convincing argument for maintaining something that has demonstrably not worked.
...the ********? I'm calling for innovation in all areas, ESPECIALLY government. And holy Jesus Christ, there's problems with growth of government at BOTH levels. I'm talking about devolving power as far down the chain as possible. Let this be my definitive argument so you can no longer misrepresent me: the growth of government is a problem EVERYWHERE. The centralization of authority needs to be reversed. End. Of.
Very debatable. That may be the ideal, but in practice?
Oh, noes!!! You mean the stakeholders might have some differing positions over which to argue? Say it ain't so! Let them make their case and convince the others. Steamrolling (drinking age, anyone? Seat belt laws?) is just dandy!
It's also possible for the federal government to be strengthened to the point where other levels of government become vestigial patronage organizations with police power. So when does the country "get hurt"?
Yeah, and to a large degree, that's what's enabled the horrible foreign policies of the last two idiots in charge. Let's not continue that, m'kay?
The Eisenhower Interstate System is an example. That's pretty much it. And the way it was done was to build no more than was necessary at any given time and add capacity pretty much only when needed. And the states had a lot to do with the continuation of the program after the initial roads were built and the manner in which it was expanded. In fact the federal government pretty much grants funds and steps away more often than not.
Before the Interstate System, there was (and is) the US Highway System, which is a huge and still extremely important network of roads, much of which was done with little to no federal involvement. The only federal involvement now is a non-voting seat on the board for the USDOT.
See US Highways.
Name one other than the Interstate Highway System.
Didn't say it originated with them, but your use of it is both inappropriate and slightly insulting.
I did not say that or imply that you did. I was answering your charge that bureaucracy is necessary to prevent tyranny, which is ludicrous on its face. It might prevent tyranny, by accident. It also might enable it (and it seems to be going in that direction).
Holy Jesus...that is absolutely frightening and sounds like one of the recent spasms of vomit coming from the Administration's bootlickers in the professional opinionsphere. Hello, Thomas Friedman, et. al.!
I feel old.
I'm a little surprised you would be that dismissive.
I went back and looked at the post I responded sarcastically to and I can't quite figure out what you're getting at or why this particular post led to you coming out of semi-hiding (as far as I know).
P.S. Good to see you posting again.
Nothing special about the post itself. Just happened to be the one that I managed to find.
I'm surprised you would be so dismissive of the notion that the states rights cause is hopelessly intertwined with the cause of human chattel, and barring that, the economic and legal suppression of various classes of people. While I'm sympathetic to your views on decentralization, the historical context of the states rights movement in this country does not suggest positive outcomes as an end goal.
"States rights" as a mantra in the context of that time certainly has negative connotations. It's part of why you'll never see me use the term because people start trotting out the old "Jim Crow" trope as if that is some sort of trump card. Remember, that regime was tacitly (and sometimes directly) supported by the federal government. There are many, many, many ways to devolve many powers without reigniting Jim Crow, and Jim Crow is certainly not an inevitable result of devolution of powers.
Interesting that in many ways (some eminently measurable), things are more segregated than they were. Schools are a prime example. In lots of areas, the advent of segregation-busting school busing has led to increased segregation in major public schools.
And let's not even get into the horrors our various governments perpetrated on minorities (Tuskeegee, San Quentin forced sterilization, Stateville Penitentiary Malaria Study, the CIA's intentional infection of Tampa with whooping cough(!!), a crapload of Army experiments), some in the name of the Progressive concept of eugenics, during and after that era.
My friend from Nashville tells me the busing from metro area into the suburbs has ruined the wealthy public schools and those students have moved to private schools. Same applies here in Charlotte where there is a huge influx of white students bailing the public schools and going into the private and charter schools. Rather than use busing as an access point for low income students, why they don't address the problem at the core of the area? We can't do that because federal law says otherwise. Instead of promoting accountability within the community, we'll just send them to the rich suburbs so we can say it is equitable.
Mitt Romney famously stated that "Corporations are people, too." So some of you reading this may in fact be corporations. Maybe you are not sure if you are a corporation or a person. Joe Blundo in today's Dispatch has devised a simple test so you can determine if you are a person or a corporation:
You and I can agree that various Federal agencies and bodies have perpetuated atrocities in the name of the people, and that's a Bad Thing. I'm not sure it changes the fact that rolling back various civil rights protections and aid for society's most vulnerable remains a goal for many in the states rights (and its twin mantra "limited government") camp well into 2012. Which is a crucial difference between Jim Crow and your cheap eugenics jab. One remains a policy goal, the other was discarded long ago as a policy goal once it was scientifically discredited.
The eugenics bit was neither cheap nor a jab. Jim Crow and eugenics went pretty much hand-in-hand, and eugenics-style experiments (and radiological and chemical and biological ones, too) persisted AFTER Jim Crow went away.
So you honestly think that the bulk of the limited government crowd wants a return to Jim Crow, because "them darkies sure are uppity welfare cases"? Not even the bulk of the mainline Republican Party, which merely mouths things like "limited government" all the while wishing earnestly for its expansion into policy areas it favors, wants a return to Jim Crow.
I do think the sentiment you have expressed here underlies the movement and helps drive policy goals.
Slow down there. Let's spend a few pages hashing out who's part of what group here. States rights, limited government, Mainline Republican Party, Tea Party, Neo-Cons, Militia Movement, libertarians, Ron Paul Libertarians, White Power, etc., there's a lot to break down here and parse out as far as who constitutes "the right." We should be specific.
Then I think you're as bigoted as you think limited-government types are.
Now definitions matter?
I thought you were against playing the victim card?