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"Hi, I am a Tea Partier" (video)
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tyler marlow

Locale: UTAH
Strategy on 08/12/2011 16:49:15 MDT Print View

Maybe the best political strategy would be recognizing that your political agency doesn't begin or end at the ballot box and acting accordingly.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Vote 'em out on 08/12/2011 17:34:18 MDT Print View


Bad idea to vote out all incumbents

Then the only ones left in DC that know how to make things work will be the lobbyists

Better to create public funding of elections, illegal to give money to politicians, that should be called bribery

And corporations should not be allowed to run political ads. If a real person wants to run a political ad they should have to identify themselves in the ad or be as restrictive as possible without being unconstitutional.

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Vote 'em out on 08/12/2011 18:24:05 MDT Print View


I agree that it would be a great idea if we could get all special interest groups out of the picture. Including:

- Corporations
- Unions
- PAC (both parties have plenty of those special interest groups)

Public funding of elections? Last thing I want is more tax dollars going to fund a govt program.

However your suggestion is never going to happen because those in power would have to agree to limit/eliminate their power.

I have mentioned several times that another good option would be to outlaw lobbyist/special interest and put term limits on Congress. Again this is not going to happen.

We can't expect those in power to make those decisions. The people are going to have to step up and force a change.

On the flip side the voters can make a statement by shaking things up at the polls.


James Lantz
(jameslantz) - F

Locale: North Georgia
Is Atlas contemplating his shrug? on 08/12/2011 19:03:48 MDT Print View

The ongoing tension between the producers & the looters continues.... Where is Galt's Gulch & when is John coming to get me? ;)

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Vote 'em out on 08/12/2011 19:12:37 MDT Print View

I agree it would be difficult to eliminate private funding of elections.

Maybe if we all "get mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore"

The tea partiers were briefly not controlled by the elitists, but it didn't take long for them to be taken over

I know you're skeptical of government spending on anything, but if we could eliminate the current private funding I can't think of anything better to spend government money on

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Critique this... on 08/13/2011 05:18:01 MDT Print View

Begin rant:

Obviously I am something rare in this discussion so far- a moderate. I usually describe myself as a "Schwarzenegger Republican", which means very green, with a moderate/libertarian streak on social issues, but erring somewhat conservative on business and foreign policy.

But I MUST say that I agree with the thoughts earlier on this page- corporations are not human beings and should not have the same rights. A corporation can't vote, so why should it be able to contribute to a political candidate or air political advertisements? As conservative as I am regarding business I can't help but weep for the error that the supreme court recently made in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission.

But I'll take that a step further...

Part of my conservatism is a staunch belief in HUMAN rights, which is expressed in one form in the U.S. Bill of Rights, etc. I categorically reject the argument that forbidding corporations/PACs/unions to contribute to politicians is an infringement upon free speech. All of these entities represent HUMAN BEINGS. For instance, if a corporation wants to support a candidate they are free to send mailing to their shareholders explaining why they should donate to a given candidate, and then those HUMAN BEINGS can donate if they agree. (They should NOT be allowed to send mailings to the general public.) The problem with allowing corporations to give donations is that the vast majority of people cannot be involved in decision making at the corporations, so the sole motivation devolves to the corporate default- profit. For instance, I have no realistic way to take part in the corporations in which I own stock through my various investment funds. Thus decisions are generally made by the few VERY rich who hold the most shares and elect corporate officers. So, essentially, those big shareholders are stealing money out of the pockets of smaller shareholders and using it to promote politicians that the smaller shareholders might well find distasteful and refuse to support otherwise. So in this case- as it usually is- it is the very rich who are the "looters." Mind you- I believe that corporate motivation SHOULD be profit, but it's just not the proper principle upon which to base a government- which is in what corporate support for politicians results.

Obviously, there would have to be serious consequences to corporations trying to circumvent such a law by, for instance, giving every employee a "bonus" on the condition that they donate part of it to a given politician. Something THAT egregious should be considered an infringement upon civil rights and result in public flagellation of the guilty corporate officers and confiscation of all their assets, as well as severe repercussions to the corporation involved.

I would also consider limiting the size of donation that a given person can contribute to a given candidate per year, so that a rich man doesn't end up with "more freedom of speech" than a poor man. (I'm not as committed to this one.) But it needn't be a farcically low sum- ten thousand dollars might work (COL adjusted)- but it would at least keep one uberrich Trump from buying elections. I would still allow lobbying by corporations, as well as other organizations, but not donations. The Sierra club and the UAW can feel free to send mailings to their members, too.

Actually, a second-best solution to limit the influence of corporate and special interests without a total ban on their making donations would be to institute a cap as in the previous paragraph, with corporations limited to the same cap as citizens. There'd have to be a mechanism to prevent the establishment of multiple shell corporations solely as an avenue to funnel funds to politicians. Since I haven't come up with a good idea on that I'd rather just ban corporate donations.

I understand the arguments for publicly-sponsored funding of political campaigns. Obviously, the motivations for it are similar to mine, but I'd rather see how mine work before we try it.

Finally, to combat extremism I would adopt instant-runoff voting. I would not make voting compulsory, but I'm a big proponent of instant-runoff voting (a.k.a. preferential voting) because it generally discourages extremism. I'm not a big fan of our two-party system despite my (very liberal) college polysci professor's fawning admiration of it, and instant-runoff voting would probably mean the end of it. Obviously, I'm especially interested in the opinion of Australians and others who are experienced with this system.

The United States certainly does a lot of things right, but I sincerely believe that these measures would solve A LOT of what is wrong in American politics. Please critique me- honestly, there are some smart people on this forum and I'm smart enough to cut through the leftist and rightist propaganda that some are spewing, and I'm interested in whether or not I'm missing something obvious.

Edited by acrosome on 08/13/2011 23:26:55 MDT.

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
Even a Tea partier could follow it on 08/13/2011 08:27:52 MDT Print View

Here's an overview of a solution. Simple presentation, color graphs, easy to scan:

David T
(DaveT) - F
boooom. on 08/13/2011 18:19:05 MDT Print View

Good to have Fella-booooom! back in the game.

Always good food for thought.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: boooom. on 08/13/2011 22:26:06 MDT Print View

Yeah, I knew you'd like that.

Also, because of a PM I got I want to clarify something:

My rant against objectivism wasn't a personal attack against anyone. I was just trying to avoid wasting time by having someone try to use an objectivist argument against me. I reject objectivism. But anytime these subjects come up some diehard Randroid pops up and starts spewing it.

Please try to convince me some other way if you disagree. And I'm most interested in comments on the ideas "above the fold," anyway.

As a matter of fact, that's all kinda distracting. I'll remove it.

Don't get me wrong- I went through my own objectivist phase as an elitist self-absorbed teenager. But I grew out of it. (Heck, even Greenspan- the great objectivist- has admitted that he under-regulated the financial sector.) Personally, I now think Mill was on to something. Utilitarianism certainly has problems- it could lead to pure socialism if taken too seriously- but it's also certainly a heck of a lot better than objectivism! And, as long as you accept some realities of human nature it does not necessarily lead to socialism.

I do accept some objectivist points- I believe that as a PRACTICAL matter it is most efficient for people to watch out for their own interests in day-to-day life. No doubt. I certainly do not want government running everything! Remember- I'm a moderate conservative and a believer in human rights including self-determination. But selfishness is nothing upon which to base an entire system of morality, or even government.

Also, at least one part of objectivism is self-contradictory, and thus it fails as a logical moral system.

Edited by acrosome on 08/13/2011 23:31:44 MDT.

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
Monitor the party? on 08/14/2011 08:54:44 MDT Print View

Greenspan won't admit anything he actually did was a mistake, just thinks he failed to do more. That's a cop-out.

So, he gave teenagers hard alcohol ( in the form of ultra low interest rates) and then said maybe he should have monitored the party a bit better?

His and now Benanke's ultra/crazy low interest rate policies fuel this boom/bust cycle.

Edited by Jeannie on 08/14/2011 08:58:48 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Monitor the party? on 08/14/2011 09:16:19 MDT Print View

Greenspan is a Weazel - screws up and doesn't admit it

In 2000, to dampen the Tech bubble, he raised interest rates, which caused the economy to tank, as well as popping the tech bubble. He should have decreased the amount people could borrow to buy stocks. and/or put a small fee on stock transactions - long term investors would be effected insignificantly but short term speculators would have been dampened

And when Brooksley Born, chairman of CFTC, in 1999, tried to regulate the derivatives market which probably would have prevented the 2008 market crash, Greenspan, Treasury Secretary Rubin, and SEC chairman Levit politically assasinated her and forced her to resign. This was all during the Clinton administration - that moderate Republican that has done more to screw up the economy than anyone besides Bush.

The current ultra/crazy low interest rates stimulate the economy, which is what is needed now. If congress would do their job and stimulate the economy, like by having more stimulus, then it wouldn't all be on the Fed's shoulders.

It seems like the number one priority of congress is to make sure Obama isn't re-elected and the best way to do that is to do everything they can to make the economy terrible.