The recent election

edited 11/04/2010 @ 6:12:30 AM in General Discussion
So, who's happy about this election? I heard one comment about Obama's administration finding itself in this bad economy and doing nothing about it. It appears like there's anger against the Democrats for doing nothing. Weren't they obstructed by the Republicans? So, now we have the Republicans in control of the House. Will this fix the economy and get those jobs on the table?
I see this election as a message of anger with no real direction or solution - maybe it's just exasperation. I also don't understand if the electorate has such a disdain for the Republicans (I'm just repeating what I heard on the news) why they voted so many in? What does the Tea Party promise to do? Are the rich Corporations keeping the tax cuts by this? Can someone straighten out my confusion?
Tell me who is happy.


  • Did computers break down during the election? Why is this topic here?

    Moderator, send this to GD.
  • It will be interesting to see if America is "too racist" to re-elect the first black president.
  • iggy, you can just click edit in the first post and that'll allow you to change the category.
  • OK,
    I'm sorry I stuck this in the wrong list. I'm also sorry that I'm so confused by all of this. Maybe I haven't been as exposed to all the campaign ads and Fox (the balanced news agency). The California voters stayed pretty blue.

    I do agree that Obama has been slow in implementing the changes he promised during his campaign. (He'd be out if he had to sign that contract of promises. I wonder who would be campaigning to be the next President under these lame-duck circumstances) But, even though he had a Democratic majority in both houses, there was a lot of obstruction in getting his bills passed. So, he looked bad because the economy, jobs, and foreclosures were on everyone's mind. I was surprised how quickly he bailed out the Wall Street Banks which, I thought, were his enemies. Maybe he's more pragmatic than meets the eye. They have paid those loans back and the economy hasn't gone way bad like it was threatening to do.
    Yeah, I guess oil, aerospace, pharma, insurance, and Wall Street will get those Bush tax cuts and everything will be fine. Let's see how this affects Joe Public.
  • edited 11/04/2010 @ 7:49:23 AM
  • edited 11/04/2010 @ 8:44:03 AM
    Well, the free market label can be bandied about in any economic situation. Do you mean untaxed market? Because we are free to buy and sell whatever we wish. The taxes are the government's way of providing the various services that "We, the people," have decided we want to have.

    I suppose we could have an election full of Propositions to change the Fire, Police, Armed Forces, Garbage, Roads all to private 'Free' companies and watch how the prices for these services get collected.

    I bet a company like 'Blackwater' would be happy to finish the wars we've got going at the moment. But, wait a minute, would they want to finish the war and come home? Wouldn't they rather stay in a job that paid as well as they've been paid (as contractors)so far?

    Would the free market throw out the lobbyist system to convince the remaining judges how to vote, the remaining Congress what laws to put forth, etc?

    How can you be certain that the Free Market wouldn't also have ups and downs as the market we have today has had?

    There are still ethical rules the market would have to follow - whether we had taxes or not.

    Although I see your comparison with Obama as dictator getting all of his bills implemented, but still having the economic situation of today. I think if Congress wasn't so petty about winning their arguments about abortion, compromised bills would have helped the economy more than no bills. But, then again, the Republicans wouldn't have had their landslide win then, would they?

    Who's been set up in all this? I'm still following the money right to Rupert's bank. I think Fox was very effective convincing the population that they have the Democrats to be angry at for this economy. Let's have the Bush economy back. Then, it'll all be the way it was.
  • This video was a real eye opener for me. Thanks Geno. I could see the money getting the bankers richer while the US economy was getting stopped. The Madoff issue, the Lehman Bros, and all the Wall Street names got some of that bailout money that we borrowed (at interest) from them.

    Wow! What a concept. We have certainly bought a financial system from the bankers that benefits them.

    Cng, how does this work in the Free Market system? Doesn't Ron Paul advocate a return to the gold-backed money system? Maybe that's what you're talking about when you say there would be no ups and downs in the economy.

    The Oz story had a lot of symbols that were changed in the movie. I wonder if any bankers had anything to do with the production of the movie.

    Well, we've got the old San Francisco Mint sitting right here with nothing to do. Let's put it back into operation and print some greenbacks.
  • The best thing to do is burn down the House and start over. Neither Republican nor Democrat can do much. They are merely puppets in the hand of the lobbyists and BIG corps.

    Don't think of it as a bailout, but a payback, er refund of the taxes that have been paid over the years. It is time for the common man to be left alone and allowed to make a decent living. All this talk about taxing big business, high income earners, etc is all crap. They have the ability to pass on the taxation to the common man through various means of higher prices, lower salaries and flushed investments.

    Government is just a faux hope of one day getting even. Never going to happen. Turf the system and start over. Why not free market?
  • edited 11/04/2010 @ 6:36:16 PM
    OK Carnoj and Cng, you are both saying just throw out the old thing we have today and let the free market just show up. No government, no taxes, no police, jails, courts, Congress, Presidents, Armed Forces, Embassies, nada. This sounds like a plain ol revolution to me.

    So, there is the issue of how do We, the People, feed ourselves? If there are no Police or Courts to control the food in the food stores, wouldn't we just go and take the food from the shelves? No act gets called a crime until the new police/court becomes installed. Who would be installing these systems? Who would be deciding yea or nay about any law?

    Since the old money system is corrupt, wouldn't we just burn the banks and the accounts therein?
    I guess there wouldn't be any Fire Fighters to stop the blazes we begin.
    This could be a song as long as the words continue rhymin.
    I'd personally have to find some insulin.

    I've been saving some insulin in the refrigerator and it could last about 6 months or so. I'd learn to stretch it to a year maybe.
    I'm hoping my garden provides enough veggies to get us through until the free market showed up selling some food from Guatemala or some such place that still would exchange gold-based money for farmer goods.

    The transition would be a bit of a translation into the new system. I guess those arm bearing fellows might do me some harm. Eh? My garden is somewhat out of the public view. Not many of my neighbors know much about what I've got. I'd probably last a few weeks keeping my family going. And then, the free market would just have to materialise.
    This plan would need a few adjustments. But, I'd be willing to give it a shot - oops I can't give it a shot. I have no gun. No bullets either. I still just don't want to shoot anybody. I'm hoping for some other ways to survive the changes this free market would bring.

    Does anyone have another view of the how the free market would come into being?
  • edited 11/05/2010 @ 10:46:50 AM
    Do all the companies that provide the services, that the taxed-based government used to provide, just advertise on TV? There aren't many newspapers left out there.

    There are certainly lots of hair-gel, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Geico, ads on Hulu. Has anyone noticed that there are more ads on Hulu than there used to be? If there was a free market, could I just change the website and watch "Gray's Anatomy" on another less-ad-filled site? How do I find alternatives?

    The competition for service companies to get established would also be fertile ground for kick-backs and corruption that isn't displayed to the public. I think the Mafia would love the free market. Once they got a few service companies established in a city - they have the deep pockets to fund the enterprises, you'd have to buy a package deal of service companies or you wouldn't get the chance to use the 'good' company you want. Who would police these systems to see that they stay honest?

    Once Microsoft got the Windows monopoly into place, nobody could get another OS established.

    It's all about money and the power it gives those who control the money. I'm not sure that the free market would change who the richest people are. It wouldn't change what those richest people want to achieve.
  • We keep going over the same issues without getting to the crux of the matter.

    So you have rules you've decided about your property and yourself. Are they written somewhere? Who enforces the rules? Who pays the enforcer? What if you decided to change one of your rules. Would you write it somewhere so the rest of the population would know that your law about something on your property had changed?

    The rules by which you live may conflict with the rules your neighbor has decided to live by. Who would resolve petty conflicts. Do you just call a court from the phone book and go settle the dispute?

    Who would pay for the Police, jails, courts, Congress, Armed Forces, Embassies? I agree that they are very necessary and there's nothing inherently wrong with them. How do they provide the services if they are independent entities competing for their market share? What if you both pay the same police company the monthly bill? How does the police stay neutral during a dispute if they're paid by only one of you?

    Who polices the police? Are there ways to disagree with a court's decision? Can you be tried twice for the same crime?

    In order to be a fair society, there have to be mechanisms to deal with all of the above questions. We have a government that passes laws to insure that every one gets a fair shake. It's a work in progress that will never end because as a new invention gets installed into society - like the internet, rules of ethical behavior also need to be decided upon.
  • edited 11/06/2010 @ 12:49:07 PM
  • edited 11/06/2010 @ 1:34:29 PM
    I see the vision you have of how a free market would work. I'm seeing a rather utopian approach here - IMHO. I think that if everyone was as predictable as you expect them to be, the free market system would work.

    Criminals would love this approach. Whatever I want, I buy/rent/steal and throw out when I'm done. I don't need it any more, so I'm not returning it. It's yours. Come and get it yourself. Bring your rent-a-cops if you want. I'm on my land and can legally defend myself with my bazookas and 50 caliber machine guns.

    What I think would make the free market system not work is that people would find loopholes in the use-and-discard approach to service providers. The local courts and the local police would develop their own monopolies by writing/enforcing laws that benefit themselves.

    If everyone is only looking out for #1, then the free market system wouldn't fly. #1 would get together with #2 and win the argument with #3 because he has more force at his disposal.

    If there were appeals courts, would there be a Supreme Court - the ultimate appeal court?
    Would they be installed by some elected President or would you just call another Supreme Court if you didn't like how they ruled on an issue concerning you?

    I think the ideal free market does have some merit. But, there are many kinds of people in the world. If one that didn't agree with your view of the world moved in next to you, you'd have to agree on how much water he can take out of the river to keep his horses from being thirsty, you'd have to agree to put in fences to keep his animals from grazing your land. You'd have to agree to bring in a neutral surveyor to establish where the fences would be. These situations would require an arbitrator who would also have to stay neutral. How would you agree which arbitrator is more neutral? What is neutral anyway?

    The government we have has certainly grown into a huge system of laws, taxes, and immigration officers patrolling our borders keeping us free from those illegal welfare recipients. We are certainly still living a relatively easy life with all the food we want for sale at the store. I think the taxes we have to pay keeps this system going. (It is also imperfect - as you predict your proposed free market would be.)

    We do have very little to say about how our system works. But, we have installed the appeals courts, the Bill of Rights, and other laws that protect the freedoms the Constitution considers important. Is there a place you could go to improve upon the system we have in place today?

  • edited 11/08/2010 @ 12:07:11 PM
  • edited 11/08/2010 @ 12:28:05 PM

    Read the above link on the effects of government spending on domestic GDP. Especially interesting is the second last paragraph on what happens to states that get pork just because one of their reps becomes a chair of a committee.
  • edited 11/10/2010 @ 5:38:41 PM
    I'll read the book by Rothbard. Informative story about austerity. And Geno's solution certainly sounds easy to accomplish. Maybe I'll do that to stop being angry at the government.
    By the way, Cng, I'm not exactly what I'd call pro-government. I'm not at all happy with the Law and Order we have today. I would very happily not pay the taxes that support the cops, the firemen, the garbage collector - I make monthly dump runs, the Courts - who needs all those appeals and time-delaying postponements, the Armed Forces - why make war on anyone? I could continue for quite a while spouting how it could be if we didn't spend that tax money.
    What is clear is that we aren't just gonna change our system overnight. We've gotten to this position because we've had politicians making laws that have an affect on the population and somehow also benefit greedy people with lax ethical constraints. I believe that these people can become scapegoats for all of our financial problems. But, I say, if the shoe fits ...
    Government is controlled by Bankers, Oil, Pharma, Tobacco, Aerospace, the Media, Insurance and every other money-maker that wants THEIR say about something. Just pay the lobbyist.

    The middle-class worker doesn't have any clout against these powerful fellows. Forget about the poor guy. You mentioned voting with our wallets in the free market. It's still about money.

    So, if we installed a free market, what would keep these big rich guys from just joining in and marketing whatever product/service will sell today? Would we stop buying oil and cars? Would we just see what insurance is really about? Would we still thythe and keep that church afloat? Would we find a way to make drugs cheaper? Would we just stop having an Army?

    It's still gonna be about money, power and influence. The greedy guys will not just become ethical because the free market roots them out. Nobody admits to being greedy. They'll find the best way to remove the competition by using lawyers, Vinnie, or create monopolies like Microsoft. Linux is the free market's answer to Windows. But, the scale isn't gonna phase the established giant. How will the free market make people become honest businessmen? Won't greed still be out there? How will the competition stay on equal footing if a little money in the right Court might remove that competition?
    Post edited 11/10/2010 @ 5:38:41 PM by iggy8n
  • My modem needed it's hidden reset button to be pushed for 30 seconds. Then DSL came back and all was well. So, I've been away for a few days. I must have pushed the reset button 20 times before I got the picture about holding it in for a long time.

    So, I'm speeding along in my Mazerati doing 100 MPH on a public highway. It's not my private land. Would there be cops to pull me over and give me the speeding ticket if we had the free market? If I just decide that I don't wanna stop at this particular STOP sign, who in the free market would be caring? If there were no government, the answer here is nobody would care. Maybe the guy I crashed into when I went thru the STOP sign would have something to say. But that's his problem - not mine. I don't want any cops, so I don't buy their services.

    I think there would be lots of denials and conflicts between two citizens who would take the law into their own hands if there were no cops around to cool things down for both citizens. The Court that I pick might not be the Court he wants. How now?

    These days the local cops and local courts just sit there waiting - eating our taxes. The police would like to write more tickets to get that new cruiser next year.

    The utopian free market would only come into play if each citizen involved in a conflict agreed on a playing field and shared the cost. If they could do that, they could also work out the original conflict without any court.

    If I knew about a corrupt court, I wouldn't tell anyone. I would use it if I needed to get rid of my speeding ticket. I think many people would be finding out which court is the one that favors church-goers, or has a hanging judge, or likes the veterans. It would difficult to pick the right court/judge unless his reputation showed some bent.

    If there were no government, I could just go and threaten that judge or his family to judge my way. If the system is not powerful as you, what they say you must do may not come to pass.

    If we don't have an Army, the free market would have lots of militias, gangs, gun shops. Dynamite is illegal. So is C4. What about in the free market?
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