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 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 1
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American PoliticsPage 1 of 7    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Is, I believe, the notion that the opposition has actual, destructive, bad intents.
Whether you are someone on the "right," and want to pretend that those on the "left" actively want to see America go down in flames, or you are on the "left," and want to pretend that everything the "right" says or does is due to greed, or the desire to turn us into an Autocracy, you are indulging in this nonsense.
Claiming destructive intent, and refusing to even think about the possibility that the opposition might have legitimate concerns that your side hasn't appreciated or addressed, has long been a popular way for people to try to get their way.
I believe it is due first of all, to LAZINESS. It is much easier to shout that your opposition is evil, than it is to explain your goals in a persuasive way to them. The bulk of people I've witnessed indulging in hate mongering, can't explain their desires in any truly rational way.
An extension of that laziness, can be found amongst the many politicians, who rather than formulate a logical plan to see to all of the populace, they pretend to believe the "evil" claims, in order to get voted into office. Even the ones who do this, and then behave more rationally as they do their jobs in office, are making things much worse overall, by encouraging the lies that gave them power, to grow and further confuse the real issues.
Once they choose to subscribe to "anti-ism," these same people will, rather ironically, put tremendous effort into "proving" they are right, by seeking out any tiny example of a person who CLAIMS to be a member of the opposition, who does something obviously bad, and trumpet that example as representative of the entirety of the opposition.
Another aspect to this, once it gets going, is FEAR. This approach to politics (and life in general) feels good going in, and once they adopt the notion that nothing the opposition says can be trusted, they are stuck with maintaining their errors, regardless of all new information that comes to light.
This "anti-ism" is standing in the way of ANY real solutions being found to many of our challenges, BECAUSE it insists that only ONE half of America's concerns are to be accepted as valid. Since only one side will be "helped," any "fixes" installed will likely damage at least half of the country. Unless you are nutty and/or extreme enough to believe that we DO need to destroy half the country, following a pure "anti" approach to politics will cause you to stymie the nations' success, and very likely your own, as well.
 _TALL_IQ2_
Joined: 2/10/2010
Msg: 2
The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 4/9/2011 10:44:26 AM
FEAR. This approach to politics (and life in general) feels good going in, and once they adopt the notion that nothing the opposition says can be trusted


This is part of the brain's default evolutionary survival mechanism, that OUR tribe is better and theirs is full of lying criminals, with deceit and harmful intentions.. So we must FEAR them all..
Irrational FEAR is extremely hard to overcome, takes much experience and education, which is sorely lacking worldwide..

So some rulers make it seem ok to hunt down "enemies" and slay them when they get "out of hand".
Still prevalent in much of the world today especially in the Middle East..
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 4/9/2011 12:23:08 PM
"If the policies they support and implement are actually destructive then I don't care a whit about their intentions. Regardless of whether Obama, for example, is a Kenyan Muslim Communist or just a buffoon, I want him gone ASAP."
I agree count (though I don't feel AS intensely negative about Obama as you appear to), but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the use of demonization as a political ploy to get ahead in politics.
Demonizing the opposition gets in the way of finding real solutions to any situation, UNLESS you actually want to physically destroy the entire opposition.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 4/13/2011 7:08:35 AM

The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Is, I believe, the notion that the opposition has actual, destructive, bad intents.
Whether you are someone on the "right," and want to pretend that those on the "left" actively want to see America go down in flames, or you are on the "left," and want to pretend that everything the "right" says or does is due to greed, or the desire to turn us into an Autocracy, you are indulging in this nonsense.
Exactly. One of the easiest ways to defeat a nation is to make them turn on each other. The Romans used to call it "divide and conquer".

Republicans and Democrats attack each other.
Liberals and libertarians attack each other.
Atheists and fundamentalist Xians attack each other.

The enemies of America don't have to destroy America. Americans are doing that, all by themselves.

I believe it is due first of all, to LAZINESS. It is much easier to shout that your opposition is evil, than it is to explain your goals in a persuasive way to them. The bulk of people I've witnessed indulging in hate mongering, can't explain their desires in any truly rational way.
In "The Chinese are coming", Thomas Friedman said that what Americans fear, is not Chinese communism, but Chinese capitalism, and that the hard-work, can-do attitude, that people used to say about Americans, are now saying about the Chinese. How do Americans portray themselves now? Look at American TV. Americans watch themselves as being fat, lazy, incompetent slobs, like Homer Simpson, because that is how they see themselves. Is it any wonder that China is rising, and America is falling?

Once they choose to subscribe to "anti-ism," these same people will, rather ironically, put tremendous effort into "proving" they are right, by seeking out any tiny example of a person who CLAIMS to be a member of the opposition, who does something obviously bad, and trumpet that example as representative of the entirety of the opposition.
You've just summed up the arguments between atheists and religious people. Just saying, is all.

Another aspect to this, once it gets going, is FEAR. This approach to politics (and life in general) feels good going in, and once they adopt the notion that nothing the opposition says can be trusted, they are stuck with maintaining their errors, regardless of all new information that comes to light.
Americans have been afraid for a very long time. One military base in Hawaii got bombed by the Japanese. They nuked them in retaliation. It's been said by many experts, that even in the 70s, Americans were afraid, all because they lost Vietnam, and because they were also going through an economic crisis.

What your ideas have in common, applies not just to America, but to the whole West, and is often referred to as "entitlement".

Americans believe they have a "manifest destiny". The people of Western countries have generally believed themselves to have science and technology that makes their achievements superior to anyone else's. Those people generally worked very hard, for generations, to get to the top. Once they reached the top, militarily, economically, and scientifically, they believed they were "entitled" to the things they earned. So they stopped working hard, and assumed they would stay at the top forever.

But what happens when life throws you lemons? What happens when Americans do NOT win all their wars, like in Korea, and in Vietnam? What happens when Americans experience an economic crisis? What happens when the West generally finds that countries like India, China, and Russia, are improving economically, and Western countries are getting worse?

The same as any person who has been used to believing they are doing fantastic, and then gets a setback. It's the same as when stockbrokers lost most of their money in a stock market crash. SOME say "it's time to make lemonade". Many refused to accept that they were unjustified to think they were automatically going to always win, and tried to jump out the window. Some succeeded, which is why the windows in the London Stock Exchange were replaced with ones that wouldn't open far enough to let someone jump out of them.

You cannot live your life as completely goal-oriented. For one, what you had to do to get where you are, is what you have to do to keep being where you are. If you put your all to getting where you are, then you have to keep putting your all to keep being there. Most people just could not keep that up forever, even if they wanted to. For another, it means that while you are trying to get where you want to be, you are ignoring your family. You may promise yourself that when you get there, you can relax, and spend more time with them. But by that time, the wife has been so neglected, that she's found herself another man, and the kids are grown up and living their own lives. Your family are simply not there to spend time with.

So in reality, you cannot look at what you do to get to your goals, as a "quick fix", to achieve your objective. Fairy stories end with "and they lived happily ever after". But we know that's not what happens in a real relationship.

The laziness we see in Western countries, comes from believing that we "got there". So we think we don't have to work anymore.

The fear we see in Western countries, comes from seeing that we are losing ground with no way of stopping us lose more ground. This comes from believing we "got there". As a result, we relaxed and took life easy. Meanwhile others are continuing to work hard, including nature. Eventually, we find that we are losing the ground we used to have. The only way of stopping it, is to keep working hard forever. We don't want to do that, because we put our all into getting there. We know that we cannot give our all forever. If we did, our bodies would give out. Even if they could keep on like that forever, our lives would be a constant drudgery. The results would no longer be worth the effort.

The conflicts we see in Western countries, come from both, but applied to conversation. We made the effort to bite our tongues, and work together, in order to "get there", to get to a point where we could do what we like, and say what we like. Now, we want to take it easy, and say whatever we want. If we don't like the way others do things, then we criticise them for it. If others do not like the way we do things, we criticise them for not supporting us. If others call us lazy, we criticise them for pointing out our flaws. What is more, every time that we feel afraid, we criticise others, to make us feel that they are still worse off than us. Then we can feel rest assured that we are still "at the top".

That would be bad enough if we only did that with foreign countries. However, the laziness we see, results in each one of us, just thinking about what WE want. All humans are different. So naturally, they do different things. Naturally, with no effort to try and establish common ground, we end up living different lives. So we end up seeing our own people like strangers, and those conflicts and criticisms rise up amongst each other.

You have to look at how you intend to reach your goals, as how you intend to live for the rest of your life. If living that way is not going to make you happy, then you need to adjust your goals a little bit, and with it, how you do things to get there and stay there. Then you look at them again, see if that is how you want to live your whole life, and if that's not entirely perfect, then you make another adjustment.

In this respect, it's like driving. You have to constantly make little adjustments, to keep yourself on track. But what you do, affects others, and what others do, affects you. So you keep having to change a little bit, then look around, to see how your changes have affected everything else, and then make another small change.

It sounds incredibly complex, and it is. It would be reasonable to believe that it's impossible. But the incredible thing is, that in driving, we do this all the time, even in the most complex of situations, and 99.99% of the time, it works. It works so much so, that most people find driving quite easy.

The difficulties, are that you can never take your eyes off the road, not even for a second, and, when making a change, a manoeuvre, you have to keep total control of the car, until the road goes back to being straight and clear again. Cruise control is great for a highway when everything looks clear, and all you have to do is keep moving forwards. But even then, if you take your eyes off the road for a second, you can find that quickly things have changed, and the only way to survive is to react to keep your car and your passengers safe.

We might be able to use cruise control for a bit. But there are plenty of times when we need to keep to keep control of the car, and then we cannot use it. One place where cruise control is just not reasonable, is when we are in traffic, that is, close interaction with others, which in the world, is when we have regular global trading, as is the case today.

If we just sit back, set the car on cruise control, and take our eyes off the road, we are an accident waiting to happen. When everyone in our country does that, we get a pile-up that involves most of our people.

But if we keep our eyes on the road, on everything that is going on, and keep making small adjustments to our lives, then we will see when we cannot afford to be lazy, or when we need to change our policies, and we will make those changes, and then life can be mostly as comfortable as driving often is.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 4/15/2011 5:05:03 AM
I'm glad that you got what i was talking about scorpio, but I take issue with some of where you want to take it.
This in particular: "One military base in Hawaii got bombed by the Japanese. They nuked them in retaliation." Is NOT in my thinking at all. The fact is, we did NOT "nuke japan" as a retaliation for Pearl Harbor. Japan had decided that in order to establish the sort of economic security they thought they needed, that the way to get it, was to destroy the US power in the entire pacific, and take over the lands and resources of the entire region (including the slave-labor of the various conquered peoples therein). We nuked them ,because they would not give up on that notion until we did.

I'm a problem SOLVER by nature and philosophy. That's why I so dislike these
"Anti-ists". They are NOT trying to solve anything, even though many of them THINK they are. They think that if they get enough people to believe that their opposition has evil intent, that they can "simplify the solution" by IGNORING the legitimate concerns of the opposition. I happen to know to the core of my being that such a plan NEVER works, because the oppositions concerns are almost invariably quite real. And real problems don't go away because you label them as madness or delusion.
Take the whole Global Warming concern as an example: a bunch of folks want to declare either the warming itself, or the idea that we ought to do something to try to reduce it, is all an evil plot by people who hate American free-market capitalism. By insisting this, they not only ignore the ideas the opposition has that they dislike, they further turn their backs on taking ANY preparatory action at all, and thus WHATEVER is really going on (and it's clear something is), will roll over us unimpeded.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 4/20/2011 1:37:24 PM
You're right, that is an overly long post. You might have done better by hitting a few highlights in your own words, and posting a link to the rest of it.

One point I want to draw attention to:

"A corporate tax rate that is too low actually destroys jobs. That's because a higher tax rate encourages businesses (who don't want to pay taxes) to keep the profits in the business and reinvest, rather than pull them out as profits and have to pay high taxes."

This doesn't sound right to me, mainly because the phrase "keep the profits in the business and reinvest" sounds like the kind of thing that COULD mean hiring more people. SO that bit, at least, isn't logical reasoning. Who ever wrote all that needs to support such a statement with something factual.

Anyway the bulk of all that really belongs in one of the other running threads about how everything ought to be different.
 wvwaterfall
Joined: 1/17/2007
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 6/20/2011 4:50:03 PM
I agree that all the anti-ism is very detrimental in our political landscape.

This is something Obama addressed in "The Audacity of Hope". Now, before all the anti-Obama folks reject it out of hand, see if it makes sense.

He noted when he got to the Senate that the elder Senators were much more likely to treat those on the other side of the aisle with respect, and much more likely to be willing to work with them on compromise legislation. The younger members, however, were far more likely to reject out of hand anything proposed by opposite party counterparts.

So he asked one of the elders why this was the case, and the response was that the elders had fought a common enemy in WWII, and thus shared a common bond, even if they were philosophically opposed.

That makes sense, but unfortunately makes it seem like the only way we'll ever get beyond all the negativism will be if we too face a major common crisis that will make all the political infighting pale in importance.

I hate to wish for a crisis, but it seems nearly impossible to make any sort of progress on any issue with the current polarization in politics. It just might take something bigger than R/D divisions to get us all moving forward.

Dave
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 8
The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 6/20/2011 7:45:00 PM

That makes sense, but unfortunately makes it seem like the only way we'll ever get beyond all the negativism will be if we too face a major common crisis that will make all the political infighting pale in importance.

The problem with that is that we have faced a common crisis-- 9/11. The result of the ensuing bipartisan cooperation was two invasions, one of which was against a nation unconnected with the particular act.

Obama is certainly making efforts to compromise, but the result of his efforts seems to be that he is still reviled by the entire right wing as much as ever and the more uncompromising sector of the left wing more recently.
 wvwaterfall
Joined: 1/17/2007
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 6/20/2011 8:30:06 PM

The problem with that is that we have faced a common crisis-- 9/11.


Good point, but while 9/11 may have resulted in a unified response, it was to a single act. One might argue that it was similar to our response to Pearl Harbor, but in that case we had a bona fide nation to focus our wrath on, not an elusive terrorist movement that left few clear targets.

I don't know what kind of crisis might engender sustained cooperation across party lines. It doesn't seem like any nation is likely to engage us in ongoing combat. Perhaps it will take some non-military crisis.

Of course the alternative is that all of our anti-ism inspired ongoing political stalemate will just result in persistent decline from international prominence. We could sink our Titanic while we're too busy pointing fingers at each other to realize when it's too late to do anything about it.

What a lousy choice - external crisis to unite us or continued internal crisis keeping us divided and ineffective. I hope there's another option, but I'm not sure what it might be.

Dave
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 10
The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 6/22/2011 7:56:16 PM
^^^ I understand why you would say that. But you're speaking as an American. Politics really does divide Americans. This is an international site based in Vancouver. For most of the world you don't see the same kind of polarization along partisan lines that you do in your country.
 mateo45
Joined: 1/17/2008
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 6/22/2011 11:38:45 PM
This is an interesting and complex issue that I'd like to offer a slightly different take on.
First, I wouldn't disagree re: the impact of "isms" and "demonizing", only that they're really just "Symptoms" of a growing motivational mindset behind it all, i.e. the rise of "Narcissism" in modern culture. Some of this has already been suggested by authors like Christopher Lasch, in "The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations". Lasch and others argue that western consumer culture since WWII has actually been CREATING a culture of narcissism, where people are increasingly disconnected from themselves and each other, and are literally "trained" to become dependent on acquiring that right car, house, clothes, education, music, food, cosmetics, politics, etc. now, in order to define "who they are".

Among the defining characteristics of narcissism (which research even shows is significantly on the rise), includes a very strong need for "Control", polarized "Black & White" & "my way or the highway" thinking, a strong sense of "Entitlement" & "Specialness", Solipsistic reasoning ("it's true because I think it is"), and the total absence of empathy (can't see any other's point of view) or accountability ("my side's never wrong"). Does any of that sound familiar?

Second, I'd also suggest that while "extreme" politics is not a new phenomenon, "selling" it is. But even though FOX, Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter and the rest are decidedly "political", what they really are is in the "business" of manufacturing and selling a "product" (albeit packaged as "politics") to a unique "niche market" (aka "narcissists"). This particular "product" conveniently provides them with a regular "fix" of adrenaline, dopamine and other neurotransmitters associated with what? Why, fear, rage, and paranoia of course (which kinda adds new meaning to the term "political junkies")! Oh, and there are Liberal narcissists too... they're just not as "profitable" (LOL)!

Also, I appreciate "vnufall's" connection re: neurobiology and heredity, and there is some evidence that "culture" (social, political and otherwise) has a genetic component.

BTW, so what is Lasch's prescription for "curing" a Narcissistic culture? He sugggests doing more things like volunteering, helping our communities, getting out from behind our computers, and actually getting to know our neighbors (regardless of their religion or politics)... in short, "re-connect" with each other, and ourselves!
 mateo45
Joined: 1/17/2008
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 6/23/2011 8:28:32 AM
There are plenty of "liberal narcissists" too, but FOX & Co. have figured out the "formula" for "motivating" the right wing variety. There's been polling that seems to indicate this ideology-driven "base" is really only about 20-some percent of the voting population, and agreed that probably most of 'em aren't nearly as affluent as the plutocracy they vigorously defend ("see, if it wasn't for Obama & the Guvmint, THEY'D be rich too!"). But they still make great "foot soldiers" on the "front lines", where you see 'em all over the place, noisely regurgitating all this "cultivated outrage" they feel so "entitled" to spread.

Although ironically, there are growing signs that the GOP may have created an out-of-control "monster" now, that's getting harder to "manage" and keep in sync with larger Party goals, especially since almost all their current presidential candidates reflect the extreme values of just this hardcore narcissistic "base", instead of your average "mainstream" voters, more concerned with things like "jobs" and such.

Anywho, I agree that polarization, "demonizing" and "cultivated resentment" are wrecking the political process, but on the other hand, why should we think that extremely sophisticated marketing research & methods would be limited to just selling cars & cosmetics?
 mateo45
Joined: 1/17/2008
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 7/1/2011 9:28:28 AM
That's 'cuz "Polarization" has become just another "snake oil product" or "drug" that you can buy like Aspirin or Tylenol to relieve whatever ails 'ya. Feeling anxious, depressed, a little down on your self that you're not "rich" yet, etc.? Hey, just pop a "Polarization pill" (aka FOX, Limbaugh, Palin, Beck, Coulter, etc.), and now instantly you can just blame everything that's wrong in your life on The Guvmint, Libruls, Illegals, Welfare Queens, Homo-sekchuls, Atheists, the "Educated Elite", etc., etc.!
 Neopoli
Joined: 3/1/2011
Msg: 14
The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 7/1/2011 2:36:35 PM

In the US, we have mainly the Dems & Reps...both of whom are in opposition, but play by a set of unwritten rules (you don't step on my turf and i won't step on yours) to maintain a status-quo such that a 3rd (viable) party does not form to upset their hegemony...each one tries to get an advantage on the other, by employing manipulation, distortion, subterfuge, deceit, etc...but neither party has a permanent edge....meaning that the playing field is level...as long as they are the main protagonists!


All that needs to be done is for the so called "Independents" to stand together, put up a candidate, & actually follow through & vote for him/her. But good luck with all that, huh??

The numbers vary state to state, but the national average of independent voters is somewhere around 25-35% of ALL voters. With this percentage, you should have a viable 3rd party, but you dont, because you all vote for Democrats or Republicans. Why?

What good is it to call yourself "independent" when you end up still voting for the 2 party candidates?

You shoot yourself in the foot because, you DONT support the independent candidate, so why do you boast that you're "independent" when you're not?

The part I dont get is that registering yourself as an independent actually restricts your vote, since there is no entrenched independent 3rd party in place. Many states will not let you vote for either Democrats, or sometimes Republicans in their primaries. If there are also no independents on the ballot, how do you benefit?

Independents cant ask us to support their cause since they collectively dont support it themselves. The 35% registered independents in the US are the ones responsible for this happening. Its their job to make it happen. I cant believe that a third of voters who are registered, or call themselves "independent" cant field independent candidates on most ballots to compete with Democrats & Republicans.

A little more than 1% of all voters actually voted for someone else besides a Democrat or Republican in 2004, & 25% of those voters were registered independent. That's a pitiful display of resolve.


I recently had a discussion with a self proclaimed Independent, after listening for 5 minutes about how she would never toe any party line I got the discussion turned to issues and voting history. Turns out that her ultra conservative appearance is merely a façade for a Kumbaya singing-Birkenstock wearing-granola chewing-tree hugger who thought the term “liberal” was a dirty word, and preferred to disassociate herself from the "kooks" (her word), by adopting the Independent mantra, even though she has demonstrated the absence of desire or ability to act “independent” of the two party system by never having voted in any manner other than for Democratic candidates.


This rings true more often than not, & it re-enforces the fact that independents are not independent voters as they wish to be viewed.

People like her feel the Democratic party isnt liberal/green enough; people like me think its not moderate enough. She casts off the Democratic identity & proclaims independence, while still voting Democratic; I retain the Democratic identity & try to force it to the center/right in the primaries, where I think it should be. If i fail, then I find another center/right candidate from another party that reflects my beliefs in November.

I am doing more to see my ideals become reailty than she is.

Most Independents seem to do nothing that changes anything.


 mateo45
Joined: 1/17/2008
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 7/30/2011 11:59:26 AM
You're correct, it does come from both sides. Although it's primarily the Right which defends this system the most "passionately", especially now that they've given corporations the same rights as "people".
 mateo45
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Msg: 16
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 7/30/2011 9:05:09 PM
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
 mateo45
Joined: 1/17/2008
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 7/31/2011 9:07:26 AM
OK, then try Thomas Jefferson.... "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

BTW, while my biases & reasons are fairly clear, how come you're such a defender of corporations (aside from the "party line"and all that)?
 mateo45
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 7/31/2011 10:07:59 AM
Au contraire, am not among those who think all corporations per se are necessarily "bad" (and prior to retirement I used to work for one of the largest). Although aside from the limits of their "profit motive" and their responsibilities to shareholders (and workers), we might argue about their "shared responsibilities" to the country and communities whose many benefits they also enjoy.

But basically I have the same problem with them as any other large "predator" (like "big" anything.... oil, pharma, the military biz., banks, etc.), which is how do you regulate them enough so they can still prosper, without turning everyone else into "prey", let alone at the bottom of the food chain? LSS, it's why folks don't appreciate "plutocracies" and "oligarchies". Whenever you have a system where the "power" all comes down to "money" (from the Right or Left), then you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see who's gonna wind up with both.... which is exactly what's happening now (in case you haven't been following the growing divide between rich and poor in this country)!

But you still never really answered my question.... why are you such a defender of the rights of corporations (aka, what's in it for you)?
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 19
The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 7/31/2011 11:11:07 AM

"You're correct, it does come from both sides. Although it's primarily the Right which defends this system the most "passionately", especially now that they've given corporations the same rights as "people"."

Now? Corporations are just groups of people. Individuals don't lose any rights by becoming a group. I wonder, which rights should Jon Stewart lose seeing that he's employed by a corporation?

You support Mateo's point nicely here by defending the "personhood" of corporations.

Ok, it isn't 'now," but the SCOTUS ruling of 1886. And more recently the Citizens United ruling. Individuals don't lose rights when they become a group, but the resultant group should not have the same, let alone more rights than an individual has.
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 20
The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 7/31/2011 7:39:24 PM
I don't understand when people acknowledge that money is a destructive influence, yet don't see that those with money do the most damage. Unions and Hollywood celebrities have a fraction of the money that people like Kochs have and they're willing to spend their money to influence the political debate. Look at the money the tobacco companies, oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, defence industry, insurance companies, factory farming companies, and on and on put into the process. They will massively fund the opponents of judges they don't like; create astroturf organizations; fund "research" foundations; buy politicians; write legislation.

If money is the problem, then those with money get the biggest benefits.
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 21
The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 7/31/2011 9:17:29 PM

How do you propose to take away rights from a group without taking away those rights from the individuals in the group? For instance if cable companies are prevented, by law, from showing the movie Hillary 30 days before an election, then how have the actors in the movies NOT lost their free speech rights? And which rights to corporations have that individuals don't?

Well, there was a time when corporations didn't have 14th amendment rights, and citizens did. So it isn't so much a matter of "taking away" rights as it is a matter of not granting them anymore.

Those actors can speak all they want about their political views as citizens. It's just that that particular movie wouldn't be shown at that time. It would be shown at other times. You see the difference there, I hope.

Corporations cannot be arrested or sent to prison as individuals can. Maybe not a literal "right," but definitely an advantage that individuals do not have. For corporations, money = free speech. Not so for individuals.

Government power spirals upwards and that power gets placed in the hands of the people who subvert that power for their own personal ends.

Only government power and corruption is mentioned with no acknowledgement of its close relationship to corporate power and corruption. Very telling about your bias in this discussion.
 mateo45
Joined: 1/17/2008
Msg: 22
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 8/1/2011 7:33:40 AM
I have 2 weapons: my vote and my wallet. Maybe my voice, if anybody is reading these words.
I don't own stock, and I earn under 50K/year , and I work for a major corporation right now. I do have a 401 worth about 20K, not much at my age.
People complain about how much an iPad costs, then they line up to but them. We cry about gas, but we pay half as much as they do in Europe. When I go to the store and buy bread or a box of cereal, I'm shocked.
If you don't like GM, don't but their products.
If you hate McDonald's don't eat there.
If you feel Hilton hotels are unfair to maids, don't stay there.
You may not think so, but corporations are very sensitive to lost revenue. Even small amounts.
I talk to people, and I hear some say its "the corporations" that are ruining us. The corporations. I usually ask WHICH corporation, and sometimes they say, BP , because it was in the news last year. Aside from that, they can't tell me anything, except "the corporations" are ruining our lives.

Can't speak for what "other" people say, but I'm pretty sure that we're both gonna "care" if either of our corporations decide to renege on our pensions, cut wages & benefits, harass any unions, outsource jobs, or just relocate offshore. And whaddaya bet that neither our votes, nor our wallets (let alone our voices) will make a whit of difference?!

I was fortunate to retire before it happened, but have since seen friends I used to work with uproot their families and move cross country to find a comparable paying job.... simply because it wasn't enuff that they helped make their division the most profitable in the company. Let's just move the whole thing offshore to drive the short term stock price up! Yeah, that's "family values" for 'ya!!
 mateo45
Joined: 1/17/2008
Msg: 23
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 8/2/2011 7:34:34 AM

If you're taking drugs and choose not to investigate the risks and make an informed decision, then you have no one to blame but yourself.

And no doubt most con men, grifters and snake oil salesmen would agree with you...
 mateo45
Joined: 1/17/2008
Msg: 24
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 8/2/2011 8:09:11 PM
Has nuthin' to do with "vegetarians", librarians, rotarians, Hitler, or either Groucho or Karl Marx. And BTW, am actually a big fan of "Caveat Emptor" (aka, let the buyer beware). But let's face it, there are also a lot of other, more "vulnerable" kinds of folks out there (the elderly, disabled, etc.) and I don't think they deserve to be treated like "prey".

In any case, would it be fair to say that you're more of the "social Darwinist" persuasion ("the natural order", "survival of the fittest", etc.), and if so, can you ever see any circumstances where a company should still be held accountable for it's products? Or should they all be free to sell whatever they want, as long as they just include the proper "warning" (if that)?
 mateo45
Joined: 1/17/2008
Msg: 25
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The Single Greatest Problem Damaging All American Politics
Posted: 8/3/2011 8:11:46 AM
You tell me.... if a Boeing 737 has a crash (BTW, taking your loved ones with it), perhaps due to a known design defect (like, say, the rudder), or maybe because the airline "deferred" some critical maintenance on it to improve the "bottom line", should you be able to sue either company? Or should we just let the "wisdom of the free market" decide?
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