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Thread: Why we need a strong government to check capitalism.

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    Senior Member Lady Onogaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why we need a strong government to check capitalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SIR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RNHC View Post
    I am sorry to disagree with my friend, SIR, but the problem with direct democracy is the underlying assumption that a hundred idiots can make a better decision than one genius.
    By whose standards do you judge them idiots and what is the cause of them being idiots?
    Just because we don't understand them does not mean they do not understand us... or that they are less intelligent, but mental aptitude is only inherent to a certain extent, a lot is the result of nurture and methods of teaching; further, economic and other issues extrinsic to education, learning, and social integration play a very large part in shaping mental development. Freud is renowned for overlooking environmental influences in the analysis of psychology and mental development.
    We need to get away from the idea of 'original sin'; investment in a persons development is multifaceted - differences in spiritual, emotional, psychological, intellectual, and sociological factors should not preclude an individual's involvement in communal politics.
    Original sin does not enter into it but education does.

    I cannot address the education in other nations but in general in the US it is abysmal.

    We do not teach what is needed to be an informed citizen.

    We do not teach How to think; the processes required to think.

    We do not teach actual history but rather myth.

    We do not teach critical thinking.

    We do not teach personal responsibility.

    The average natural born American could not begin to qualify for citizenship compared to those immigrants that do try to become citizens.

    This thread is a great example. Much of what has been touched on is simply not known by the average US voter.
    Jar,

    I teach writing courses, so l have some experience with this. The thing about critical thinking is that it can't overcome tribalism. Every study shows that people will vote against their own self interests rather than break with their tribes. I've seen this over and over again in discussing everything from elections to tattoos. And the desire for your tribe to be right means that whatever its leaders must be right too. So you have to accept that they know what they are doing even if it's pretty clear they don't. My students, for example, will agree that some no name brand of x works as well as y which costs much more. But they will still buy y. Their tribes buys y, so they will too. The same thing applies to politics so far as l can hear. It isn't that people don't see the problems with their candidates. They will follow their tribes. They just don't want the problems to be there. It's Colbert's truthiness in action whatever the issue may be. Look at Imhof and his snowball stunt. There's no climate change because I have a snowball here? There's so many problems here l can't address them, but this is a person who doesn't want it to be true. I can think of some economic reasons he doesn't want it to be true, but maybe he actually fears it's true. And he's doing this to get the support of his tribe to tell him he's right. Tribalism has its good aspects, but it has some awfully bad ones too.

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why we need a strong government to check capitalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Onogaro View Post
    The thing about critical thinking is that it can't overcome tribalism.
    I disagree somewhat. It can, but it isn't easy. As jar points out, the fact that we don't teach critical thinking exacerbates the problem.

    The problem of logic vs emotion, or reason vs rhetoric is not new (and I think that is the crux of the issue rather than 'tribes', although certainly like-minded people tend to group together).

    Plato said "I see what is right and do it". Ovid, refuting Plato, said "although I clearly see what is right, my base human nature prevents me from doing it." Mark Twain noted "People do no end of feeling, and mistake it for thinking". Those paraphrased comments differ in age by roughly two millennia, and they're still true today.

    Still, we see rational actors break from their 'tribes'. Listen to or read Camille Paglia. She has broken from the tribe of mainstream feminism. Plenty of people on both sides of the political spectrum broke from their 'tribes' in this last election, voting (or not) for the two main candidates.

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    Senior Member Lady Onogaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why we need a strong government to check capitalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Onogaro View Post
    The thing about critical thinking is that it can't overcome tribalism.
    I disagree somewhat. It can, but it isn't easy. As jar points out, the fact that we don't teach critical thinking exacerbates the problem.

    The problem of logic vs emotion, or reason vs rhetoric is not new (and I think that is the crux of the issue rather than 'tribes', although certainly like-minded people tend to group together).

    Plato said "I see what is right and do it". Ovid, refuting Plato, said "although I clearly see what is right, my base human nature prevents me from doing it." Mark Twain noted "People do no end of feeling, and mistake it for thinking". Those paraphrased comments differ in age by roughly two millennia, and they're still true today.

    Still, we see rational actors break from their 'tribes'. Listen to or read Camille Paglia. She has broken from the tribe of mainstream feminism. Plenty of people on both sides of the political spectrum broke from their 'tribes' in this last election, voting (or not) for the two main candidates.
    I think they just make or find themselves new tribes. Look at what Napoleon said about capturing the imagination of the populace. He disdained the French populace, in the main. But he knew he could lead people who were afraid. ("Good and decent people must be protected and persuaded by gentle means, but the rabble must be led by terror.")

    Most politicians use that to pull together their tribes, and then everyone else is the enemy of the tribe. And it seems to me that that's why we are not going to be a united people anytime soon. We can't pull together against a common enemy or for a common purpose. Instead, we are looking at each other as the enemy, and our governmental leaders are even saying that they no longer have a common vision and can no longer work together. I'm entirely depressed by it. I really don't see a way out. The only thing that makes me hopeful is that when I turn off the TV and just go about my life, people are kind, helpful, and concerned about each other.
    Lady Onogaro

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why we need a strong government to check capitalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Onogaro View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Onogaro View Post
    The thing about critical thinking is that it can't overcome tribalism.
    I disagree somewhat. It can, but it isn't easy. As jar points out, the fact that we don't teach critical thinking exacerbates the problem.

    The problem of logic vs emotion, or reason vs rhetoric is not new (and I think that is the crux of the issue rather than 'tribes', although certainly like-minded people tend to group together).

    Plato said "I see what is right and do it". Ovid, refuting Plato, said "although I clearly see what is right, my base human nature prevents me from doing it." Mark Twain noted "People do no end of feeling, and mistake it for thinking". Those paraphrased comments differ in age by roughly two millennia, and they're still true today.

    Still, we see rational actors break from their 'tribes'. Listen to or read Camille Paglia. She has broken from the tribe of mainstream feminism. Plenty of people on both sides of the political spectrum broke from their 'tribes' in this last election, voting (or not) for the two main candidates.
    I think they just make or find themselves new tribes. Look at what Napoleon said about capturing the imagination of the populace. He disdained the French populace, in the main. But he knew he could lead people who were afraid. ("Good and decent people must be protected and persuaded by gentle means, but the rabble must be led by terror.")

    Most politicians use that to pull together their tribes, and then everyone else is the enemy of the tribe. And it seems to me that that's why we are not going to be a united people anytime soon. We can't pull together against a common enemy or for a common purpose. Instead, we are looking at each other as the enemy, and our governmental leaders are even saying that they no longer have a common vision and can no longer work together. I'm entirely depressed by it. I really don't see a way out. The only thing that makes me hopeful is that when I turn off the TV and just go about my life, people are kind, helpful, and concerned about each other.
    Although the far right is bat-sh!t crazy too (IMHO), I think the majority of the country is tired of the left and their antics; and driving most people back to the center. For some hope, watch The Rubin Report on YouTube. Dave Rubin is a gay liberal who used to be on The Young Turks. He's had enough, and is rebelling against the radical left; calling himself (rightly so) a "classical liberal". He does some great interviews now with all points of the political spectrum.

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    Senior Member Lady Onogaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why we need a strong government to check capitalism.

    I'll check it out.
    Lady Onogaro

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why we need a strong government to check capitalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Onogaro View Post
    I teach writing courses, so l have some experience with this. The thing about critical thinking is that it can't overcome tribalism. Every study shows that people will vote against their own self interests rather than break with their tribes. I've seen this over and over again in discussing everything from elections to tattoos. And the desire for your tribe to be right means that whatever its leaders must be right too.
    Saw this link on FB today and thought of your post.

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe_clean

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    Default Re: Why we need a strong government to check capitalism.

    Dave Rubin always cracks me up when he calls himself that--though while I don't love interviewing style, he does manage to provide his guests with space to more thoughtfully lay out their arguments. His brand of "classical" liberalism just excuses or masks bad policy and bigotry--I lost respect for him when he called the Trump win a "victory" for free speech.
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    Senior Member Lady Onogaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why we need a strong government to check capitalism.

    Yeah. Checked him out. I'll pass.
    Lady Onogaro

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    Default Re: Why we need a strong government to check capitalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Onogaro View Post
    Yeah. Checked him out. I'll pass.
    I'm curious about what you didn't like? I've found some of the interviews to be boring, but some, like the one with Yaron Brook, are fascinating.

    For fountainpenkid, which are you referring to? This is the only one a quick Google search turned up, but I don't see anything unreasonable in his points.


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    Default Re: In Praise of the 900lb gorilla; Why we need a strong government to check capitali

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Just came across these pictures I took a few years back and that might be something a few folk may not have seen.
    And the next time someone tells you we need a small government, to get rid of all the rules and regulations, the EPA, the Clean Air Act, the Fair Labor Practices and all the other governmental benefits we have implemented in the last half century, take a look again at these coins and the pictures of the Lintheads.
    I'll tell you we need small government. Working at a small version of the companies you described in the 1980s was what allowed me to go to college. Thank goodness for Ronald Reagan, limited government and lots of job creation. Think big government is good? North Korea has it. It takes care of everything, cradle to grave. The two won't be all that far off unless one does exactly what one is told. Bigger isn't necessarily better.

    Capitalism is our friend. Especially for those of us who want to get ahead in life.
    Last edited by Pendragon; May 10th, 2017 at 01:19 AM.
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    Default Re: In Praise of the 900lb gorilla; Why we need a strong government to check capitali

    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Just came across these pictures I took a few years back and that might be something a few folk may not have seen.
    And the next time someone tells you we need a small government, to get rid of all the rules and regulations, the EPA, the Clean Air Act, the Fair Labor Practices and all the other governmental benefits we have implemented in the last half century, take a look again at these coins and the pictures of the Lintheads.
    I'll tell you we need small government. Working at a small version of the companies you described in the 1980s was what allowed me to go to college. Thank goodness for Ronald Reagan, limited government and lots of job creation. Think big government is good? North Korea has it. It takes care of everything, cradle to grave. The two won't be all that far off unless one does exactly what one is told. Bigger isn't necessarily better.

    Capitalism is our friend. Especially for those of us who want to get ahead in life.
    Capitalism is a friend as long as it benefits you. But capitalism is also ruthless and uncaring and without empathy or consideration. Unchecked capitalism is terrifying.
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    Default Re: In Praise of the 900lb gorilla; Why we need a strong government to check capitali

    Unchecked capitalism is also unchecked freedom, which for hardy, intrepid, independent souls, is a splendid thing with endless opportunity. Unchecked government is what is truly terrifying. Look at Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, the Roman Emperors Caligula and Tiberius...

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    Default Re: In Praise of the 900lb gorilla; Why we need a strong government to check capitali

    Quote Originally Posted by EricTheRed View Post
    Unchecked capitalism is also unchecked freedom, which for hardy, intrepid, independent souls, is a splendid thing with endless opportunity. Unchecked government is what is truly terrifying. Look at Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, the Roman Emperors Caligula and Tiberius...
    Yes. Balance is good.
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    Default Re: Why we need a strong government to check capitalism.

    Here's how I envision a Democratic system that actually works:

    • Voting is mandatory, from age 18 up to 70, unless you're mentally disabled, hospitalized, or in a sanitarium. If you don't vote, and you're not counted, then you suffer a tax penalty. You want to live here? Then participate in the basic level of politics -- VOTE! You don't have to be informed. You don't have to be brilliant. Just vote.
    • Political service must be diversified, by race, gender, and economic level. The tendency is for wealthy elites to usurp political offices. This must be prevented.
    • All politicians MUST disclose their finances. Even the president.
    • There must be, at all times, at least 3 political parties. A 2-party system is fraught with problems. You need at least 3 to have checks & balances
    • The president must abide by clearly laid out public protocol. He is not permitted to publicly deride any person, company, party, or country. He may not show direct favoritism to any business.
    • The president may not directly own any business or stock. Within 60 days of assuming office, he must be completely divested of any financial instruments that he has designated, and everything put into a blind trust.
    • The president may not hire any relatives, even as advisers, that would have official positions in the White House. Of course, he is free to talk to anyone he wishes, but no relatives may be appointed cabinet positions.
    • The government's key mission is: 1) Providing a fair and balanced business environment that works for everyone, 2) Protection of the people, 3) Protection of the environment, 4) Financial accountability for all expenses to the people, and 5) Providing guidance and security for allied nations across the globe.
    • The government must be prudent with revenue. Major budgets must be voted on by both Congress and the Senate. No more endless monies for military, intelligence, and black ops activities.


    Our present system is broken and corrupt. It cannot continue as-is. Trump is simply exposing the worst of it.

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    Senior Member ethernautrix's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Praise of the 900lb gorilla; Why we need a strong government to check capitali

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by EricTheRed View Post
    Unchecked capitalism is also unchecked freedom, which for hardy, intrepid, independent souls, is a splendid thing with endless opportunity. Unchecked government is what is truly terrifying. Look at Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, the Roman Emperors Caligula and Tiberius...
    Yes. Balance is good.
    Yes. Why extremes?

    I just watched an episode on DVD of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (strong language and ideas alert): "Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass (2006)." (LInk is imdb.com's summary.) Idealism is a beautiful concept but impossible.
    _____________
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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why we need a strong government to check capitalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by myu View Post
    Here's how I envision a Democratic system that actually works:

    • Voting is mandatory, from age 18 up to 70, unless you're mentally disabled, hospitalized, or in a sanitarium. If you don't vote, and you're not counted, then you suffer a tax penalty. You want to live here? Then participate in the basic level of politics -- VOTE! You don't have to be informed. You don't have to be brilliant. Just vote.
    • Political service must be diversified, by race, gender, and economic level. The tendency is for wealthy elites to usurp political offices. This must be prevented.
    • All politicians MUST disclose their finances. Even the president.
    • There must be, at all times, at least 3 political parties. A 2-party system is fraught with problems. You need at least 3 to have checks & balances
    • The president must abide by clearly laid out public protocol. He is not permitted to publicly deride any person, company, party, or country. He may not show direct favoritism to any business.
    • The president may not directly own any business or stock. Within 60 days of assuming office, he must be completely divested of any financial instruments that he has designated, and everything put into a blind trust.
    • The president may not hire any relatives, even as advisers, that would have official positions in the White House. Of course, he is free to talk to anyone he wishes, but no relatives may be appointed cabinet positions.
    • The government's key mission is: 1) Providing a fair and balanced business environment that works for everyone, 2) Protection of the people, 3) Protection of the environment, 4) Financial accountability for all expenses to the people, and 5) Providing guidance and security for allied nations across the globe.
    • The government must be prudent with revenue. Major budgets must be voted on by both Congress and the Senate. No more endless monies for military, intelligence, and black ops activities.


    Our present system is broken and corrupt. It cannot continue as-is. Trump is simply exposing the worst of it.
    You lost me at people have to vote, but don't have to be informed.

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    Senior Member fountainpenkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Praise of the 900lb gorilla; Why we need a strong government to check capitali

    Quote Originally Posted by EricTheRed View Post
    Unchecked capitalism is also unchecked freedom, which for hardy, intrepid, independent souls, is a splendid thing with endless opportunity. Unchecked government is what is truly terrifying. Look at Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, the Roman Emperors Caligula and Tiberius...
    It is not possible to be this optimistic in the face of the body of scientific literature on the subject. As jar implies, it seems that the most successful modern economic systems have a balance of capitalist and socialist policy.
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    Default Re: In Praise of the 900lb gorilla; Why we need a strong government to check capitali

    Quote Originally Posted by fountainpenkid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by EricTheRed View Post
    Unchecked capitalism is also unchecked freedom, which for hardy, intrepid, independent souls, is a splendid thing with endless opportunity. Unchecked government is what is truly terrifying. Look at Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, the Roman Emperors Caligula and Tiberius...
    It is not possible to be this optimistic in the face of the body of scientific literature on the subject. As jar implies, it seems that the most successful modern economic systems have a balance of capitalist and socialist policy.
    Go back to the image in the OP.


    When you are paid in Company Money that is good only in the Company Store and cannot be converted into US currency and live in a house owned by the Company and can be evicted at any time and you are a Lint Head who will almost surely die from breathing the air inside the factory and your kids have to work there too just to get enough Company Money to buy food and clothes at the Company Store and if a hand gets caught in the machine you are likely to lose your hand and your job since you won't be able to do your job and if you complain about conditions you will certainly get fired and thrown out of the Company owned house but you do have unchecked freedom which is a splendid thing with endless opportunity for you and your family to starve, die from working conditions or simply accept what The Man allows you to have.
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    Default Re: In Praise of the 900lb gorilla; Why we need a strong government to check capitali

    Quote Originally Posted by ethernautrix View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by EricTheRed View Post
    Unchecked capitalism is also unchecked freedom, which for hardy, intrepid, independent souls, is a splendid thing with endless opportunity. Unchecked government is what is truly terrifying. Look at Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, the Roman Emperors Caligula and Tiberius...
    Yes. Balance is good.
    Yes. Why extremes?

    I just watched an episode on DVD of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (strong language and ideas alert): "Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass (2006)." (LInk is imdb.com's summary.) Idealism is a beautiful concept but impossible.


    You are correct--Idealism is Utopian and a wonderful concept. Unfortunately,human nature wrecks it.


    John

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    Default Re: Why we need a strong government to check capitalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Not at all; ignorance, particularly of history (witness the posts in this thread from folk who were not aware of rampant capitalism) and an uneducated electorate that have never been taught how (the process) to think is what I fear. We need protection from a tyranny of popularity as well as rampant capitalism and fascism.
    But who is going to protect us from the protectors? Joseph Stalin, Chairman Mao, and Ieng Sary and Pol Pot protected people from capitalism and fascism. Ninety million lives is a rather steep price to pay to eradicate plutocracy and feudalism. Even the Fascists did not do that much damage, and they were tremendously destructive.
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