Banner
Views: 793,528,228
Time:
15 users online: Big Brawler, Cheolpeoduck, Dispace,  E-man38,  Giftshaven, Israelcv12cv, Katrina, LuhLSG, Maxodex,  Nameless, OhMuramatsu, Romano338,  Ryaa, Sixcorby, Turret 3471 - Guests: 50 - Bots: 215 Users: 41,420 (1,479 active)
Latest: Rgothic
Tip: Try to make a hack that is both hard enough to be challenging and easy enough to be fun.Not logged in.
Looks like Obama gets four more years.
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Forum Graveyard - Hot off the Press - Looks like Obama gets four more years.
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 »
Originally posted by HuFlungDu
Originally posted by BlackMageMario
Also, I really hope the tea party (and the bible belt itself) keeps losing ground, I'm definitely not a fan of their policies at all.

Why do people consider the tea party to be part of the "Bible Belt"? Just because that's the part Fox News (and the rest of the news stations, honestly, but for opposite reasons) wanted to show everyone doesn't make it so. The tea party is just kinda the stupid wing of the libertarian movement (think OWS to socialism, ignoring the large number of capitalists there, it's still a kind of "poster child"). They don't have the knowledge, but they sure are useful (as long as we avoid association).


... well, thank you for enlightened me on that issue. Still though, it doesn't make me like them anymore than I do now.

Also, speaking of Fox News, I hope that starts dying.

- BlackMageMario
We're all struck by the crisis, guys.

What is there to do about it now?
I am a bot.
Kick the rich dudes in the pants so they cough up some dough.

I'd love another New Deal.
Originally posted by Kaijyuu
I'd love another New Deal.

Ah yes, good ol' new deal. If burning crops, killing farm animals, and creating monopolies can't fix the economy, then I just don't know what can.
Unregulated capitalism, of course. Why have the government ruin the economy when people can do it themselves, with added horrors like those in the gilded age?
Originally posted by Kaijyuu
Unregulated capitalism, of course. Why have the government ruin the economy when people can do it themselves, with added horrors like those in the gilded age?

As an argument against capitalism fixing the economy, you point to literally the greatest period of economic growth in the history of the country, as well as the greatest increase in the standard of living for the common man ever experienced on the planet, and say that capitalism caused that?
Urgh!

The problem is that good standards of living is present only the developed countries... of course, since we exploit the discomfort and the stress of underdeveloped ones (but even he poor people in the developed ones like China) for our own comfort. It's right to go against this capitalism, based on powerful enterpreneurs accumulating more money possible instead of giving a real benefit to the community.

You should remember that when you buy an expansive pair of Nike shoes, you buy something that has been produced at low cost by poor workers that are usually in the eastern countries like China, Taiwan, etc...
But it is not only closed to shoes: it is almost everything else! Sometimes i feel ashamed of buying something like these because i am aware of getting something that hides a very harsh and cruel exploitation. The same happens even where you live, in your "advanced great country": in Italy, i have heard, there are places where immigrants (yes, immigrants) are exploited by corporals. These corporals are part of criminal organization like Mafia. One story i have heard is of one camp where these poor workers harvesting tomatoes for a ridicolously low salary. One of them fought against this when things would get worse and managed to subvert that cruel system affecting that area, forcing Italy to make a law against corporals!
See, this does not happen only in poor countries. See, even when you eat "tomatoes" you are exploiting the poor workers.

I even knew this a lot of time ago, but just yesterday i have watched some pieces of the Zeitgest documentary, a REAL documentary! It explains how money and capitalism is just ruining us and not improving the community at all! I want to watch the Zeitgets documentary entirely, when i take time.

--------------------
My deviantART
My Youtube channel
My avatar
Watch, i made a Super Mario 64 level
Originally posted by HuFlungDu

As an argument against capitalism fixing the economy, you point to literally the greatest period of economic growth in the history of the country, as well as the greatest increase in the standard of living for the common man ever experienced on the planet, and say that capitalism caused that?

That's tricky.

The gilded age was unquestionably a period of massive growth and increase in the standard of living.

But to say capitalism did that? Less easy to say.

First of all, you can say "increase in standard of living" for almost any given period throughout history. Economic growth is kind of a standard of capitalist society if only because population growth = economic growth. Now of course the Gilded Age has a effect on those factors, but they are not the only causes. The advance of civilization itself has those effects. The miscellaneous wars and relative economic decline of Europe during that time. The massive influx of immigrants (related to Europe).
So don't say captialism did that alone.

The Gilded Age was also a time of massive, widespread abuse. Government was unquestionably corrupt. The economy, although generally on the rise, was incredibly unstable as monopolies rose and fell. The economic growth, I would argue, was a function of the spread of industrialism following the Civil War and not the companies who championed it.

Payment was too low for most to live. The wealth divide was the largest in American history (until just recently where the rich are the "richest" they've ever been). The social, moral, and economic abuse of the immigrants and slaves put them in a unescapable lower class. And the working man fared little better, making just enough to scrape by. Kids lost their body parts with no compensation and worked 10,12,15 hours a day.

The name "Gilded Age" itself refers to this fact. To "gild" an object is to cover a normally worthless item with a thin layer of gold to create a false guise of value.

The deregulation of companies in the Gilded Age contributed to economic advance; however, once a monopoly is formed (through dirty tricks rather than true market domination) there is no incentive to innovate.
Originally posted by Maxx
But to say capitalism did that? Less easy to say.

I didn't say that, he did. It's true, but I hadn't said it yet.

Originally posted by Maxx
First of all, you can say "increase in standard of living" for almost any given period throughout history.

No, you really can't. For most of history, the standard of living was more or less the same for the average man. The average guy in ancient Egypt didn't live any worse than the average serf in medieval Europe. Or, more appropriately, the average guy in Egypt 2000 years later. They were certainly different, but all measurements of standard of living (infant mortality, average life span, etcetera) were essentially the same from the beginning of civilization until right around the enlightenment.

Originally posted by Maxx
The miscellaneous wars and relative economic decline of Europe during that time. The massive influx of immigrants (related to Europe).
So don't say captialism did that alone.

Obviously the wars were a part of it, but to discount capitalism because something else comes up to explain part of it is not right.

Originally posted by Maxx
The economy, although generally on the rise, was incredibly unstable as monopolies rose and fell.

Which kind of proves my point. Monopolies can show up, but they go away if they don't continue to serve the consumer. This is not instability, this is the market creating the best possible value for the consumer. For individual businesses this may be bad, but for people in general this is a great thing.

Originally posted by Maxx
The economic growth, I would argue, was a function of the spread of industrialism following the Civil War and not the companies who championed it.

The industrialization would never have happened without those companies, you can't separate them like that.

Originally posted by Maxx
Payment was too low for most to live.

Originally posted by Maxx
And the working man fared little better, making just enough to scrape by.

The massive increase in both population and average life expectancy seem to contradict that sentiment, just on mathematical grounds. In addition, the real income per capita of that time was going up by almost 4% per year, an unprecedented increase not seen before or since. Imagine a world where your wages consistently go up and the prices of everything you buy consistently go down.

Originally posted by Maxx
The wealth divide was the largest in American history (until just recently where the rich are the "richest" they've ever been).

When you talk about the wealth divide you ignore the fact that the poor people of the time lived as well as kings did at any given period of time before that. I'm not usually one to call people jealous of the rich (for instance in the case of "welfare" programs and other such socialistic ideas), but in the case of a wealth divide that is pretty much the only thing I can call it. I'm not usually a big fan of Margaret Thatcher, but I think she made a very insightful point here.

Originally posted by Maxx
The social, moral, and economic abuse of the immigrants and slaves put them in a unescapable lower class.

What slaves? Do you mean the ex-slaves? The Jim Crow laws really screwed them over, but those existed as a distortion of the market, created for the sole fact that the market would never support that kind of discrimination, but the people who owned the businesses wanted to be able to discriminate against black people.

Originally posted by Maxx
Kids lost their body parts with no compensation and worked 10,12,15 hours a day.

As opposed to before, where the exact same thing happened, except on their farms at home instead of at a workplace. The only difference, the only reason why this is of note during this time, is because the liberalization of the economy created so much wealth that people actually thought it was possible to not have children work, a wholly foreign concept up to that point.

Originally posted by Maxx
The name "Gilded Age" itself refers to this fact. To "gild" an object is to cover a normally worthless item with a thin layer of gold to create a false guise of value.

I am familiar with the roots of the term, I'd call it something else, but it wouldn't be recognizable.

Originally posted by Maxx
The deregulation of companies in the Gilded Age contributed to economic advance; however, once a monopoly is formed (through dirty tricks rather than true market domination) there is no incentive to innovate.

You said yourself that monopolies rose and fell during this period. If a monopoly can fall, and in fact did on a regular basis, then that alone is incentive to innovate. For instance, When you look at a "monopoly" formed by natural means, like say Rockefeller with standard oil, you actually saw prices drop dramatically and stay low, in addition to quality rising substantially, because in order to achieve market dominance and keep it, you have to continually offer the best product at the lowest price, which standard oil did.

In addition, the "dirty tricks" were pretty much exclusively "get the government to grant me a monopoly", which is strictly anti-capitalism.
Quote

No, you really can't. For most of history, the standard of living was more or less the same for the average man. The average guy in ancient Egypt didn't live any worse than the average serf in medieval Europe. Or, more appropriately, the average guy in Egypt 2000 years later. They were certainly different, but all measurements of standard of living (infant mortality, average life span, etcetera) were essentially the same from the beginning of civilization until right around the enlightenment.
I would 100% disagree but I have absolutely no facts to back it up so I'll leave this point be.

Quote

Obviously the wars were a part of it, but to discount capitalism because something else comes up to explain part of it is not right.
No I agree, but I also think that you can't give capitalism all the credit. History is never that simple.

Originally posted by Maxx
The economy, although generally on the rise, was incredibly unstable as monopolies rose and fell.

Quote
Which kind of proves my point. Monopolies can show up, but they go away if they don't continue to serve the consumer. This is not instability, this is the market creating the best possible value for the consumer. For individual businesses this may be bad, but for people in general this is a great thing.
First of all monopolies don't fall because of consumer choice, they fall for other reasons. Explain to me how we have so much anti-monopoly legislation here in the US if we still get such a good value for products?
You missed my point; the stock market looked like a seismograph. The economy was out of control. People lost whole life's savings, livelihoods, jobs randomly because of the instability of the market. On the whole we came out with more money, but the individual toll was enormous. See panic of 1873, 1893 (especially).

Quote
The industrialization would never have happened without those companies, you can't separate them like that.
You need companies to industrialize. That doesn't mean you need unregulated companies to industrialize. Companies only innovate as much as they have to to keep making money.
Quote
The massive increase in both population and average life expectancy seem to contradict that sentiment, just on mathematical grounds. In addition, the real income per capita of that time was going up by almost 4% per year, an unprecedented increase not seen before or since. Imagine a world where your wages consistently go up and the prices of everything you buy consistently go down.
Prices fluctuated as a result of the economic instablity and monoplies mentioned earlier. I'm going to need a source on the real per capita; I would believe per capita, but not real per capita. (A source here gives 2.5.) Also consider that the South continued to sink deeper into economic decline and irrelevancy compared to the north. Again, of course it was an age of economic growth. But that doesn't mean anyone was better off. A 2.5% increase is mere cents given the low wages they were making (and accounting for inflation). They made less than possible to live, regardless of wage growth.


Quote
When you talk about the wealth divide you ignore the fact that the poor people of the time lived as well as kings did at any given period of time before that.
That's not a valid metric. The majority of people lived poorer than the rest by a wide margin. The failures of the past do not excuse the failures of the present.
Quote
I'm not usually a big fan of Margaret Thatcher, but I think she made a very insightful point here

Wealth divide is indicative of a inequal distribution of capital. Inequal distribution of capital is a hinderance to money flow which in turn drives economic growth. "Trickle Down" is a myth. The rich do not spend their money in a healthy way like if it was distributed to the rest of the population. I don't think government is a good way to redistribute that wealth but on principle a large wealth divide lowers overall standard of living more than a small one does. 1% rich 99% poor versus 50% a little rich and 50% a little poor? I'd rather have us all suffer a little than a many suffer a lot so a few don't have to.


Quote
What slaves? Do you mean the ex-slaves?
Yeah.
Quote
The Jim Crow laws really screwed them over, but those existed as a distortion of the market, created for the sole fact that the market would never support that kind of discrimination, but the people who owned the businesses wanted to be able to discriminate against black people.
Then how is the government siding on the side of companies not a "distortion of the market?" I've yet to find one strike in the gilded age (or even progressive era until Roosevelt) where government has sided with labor. Granting monopolies is a distortion of the market. The fact is these companies would have never been able to accomplish what they did without the help of a corrupt government; not at all true captialism.


Quote
As opposed to before, where the exact same thing happened, except on their farms at home instead of at a workplace. The only difference, the only reason why this is of note during this time, is because the liberalization of the economy created so much wealth that people actually thought it was possible to not have children work, a wholly foreign concept up to that point.
The farm is not and was not nearly as dangerous as a factory. Child labor laws did not exist until the progressive era for the most part.

Quote
You said yourself that monopolies rose and fell during this period. If a monopoly can fall, and in fact did on a regular basis, then that alone is incentive to innovate. For instance, When you look at a "monopoly" formed by natural means, like say Rockefeller with standard oil, you actually saw prices drop dramatically and stay low, in addition to quality rising substantially, because in order to achieve market dominance and keep it, you have to continually offer the best product at the lowest price, which standard oil did.
"Buying up all the barrel companies" is not a valid form of market dominance through quality and price. Rockefeller and other monopolists constantly attacked and destroyed their competitors by abusing market dominance rather than simply keeping market dominance. Also I'll need a source on that oil prices dropping. If it did it was still much much higher than it had to be. Why in the world would a monopoly lower their prices if they had nothing to lose by raising them? They have no competition.
I agree with you on the front of "true" monopolies like Apple, who dominates the phone market without ever resorting to horizontal or vertical (sorta) integration. The iPhone is an example of a company providing excellent value (according to the consumer) and keeping their place in the market. Standard Oil was outright not. I'll have to look up some of Rockefeller's quotes about competition.

Quote
In addition, the "dirty tricks" were pretty much exclusively "get the government to grant me a monopoly", which is strictly anti-capitalism.
Hard to get a monopoly without government intervention. We certainly did not see a single monopoly in the gilded age that existed without the help of government.

The Gilded Age was not an example of true capitalism. It was an example of how unregulated growth can go wrong. Take the government out of the Gilded Age and I would agree with you in part, because even monoplies are not immune to the laws of the market. But that's not the gilded age.
I feel partially responsible for this debate popping up, so um, sorry :X
Originally posted by Kaijyuu
I feel partially responsible for this debate popping up, so um, sorry :X

Don't be sorry, debates are good, they are how we learn.

To Maxx, I'm at work right now, so I'll respond later, may not be able to give a proper response till the weekend, we'll see.
In my experience economic debates are long (very long), circular, and end with people throwing rocks at each other. :|

But if ya'll resolve something, then great. I'll be standing on the sidelines.
Originally posted by Kaijyuu
In my experience economic debates are long (very long), circular, and end with people throwing rocks at each other. :|

But if ya'll resolve something, then great. I'll be standing on the sidelines.
I totally agree. But nothing is more healthy intellectually than being exposed to new (and opposing) ideas.

Besides, HFD is quite smart.
Originally posted by Kaijyuu
In my experience economic debates are long (very long), circular, and end with people throwing rocks at each other. :|

I don't talk about these things with people I think will end up throwing rocks at each other, exception given to family. We're all grown ups.

Originally posted by Kaijyuu
But if ya'll resolve something, then great. I'll be standing on the sidelines.

It's not necessarily about resolving anything. Even if we don't convince each other (and you should go into every discussion assuming you will convince no one, but still being open to being convinced, while still recognizing that you probably will not be convinced, and that it's probably because of your own biases), we can still learn, even if it's just learning new defenses for your arguments. Also, even if no one is convinced outright, it leaves people with things to think about. For instance, I used to be against so called "death with dignity" laws, then I had a discussion with byuu about it, and though nothing was resolved initially, around two weeks later I just silently decided that byuu was right. I think the only time I've been immediately convinced in a discussion was when Ixtab convinced me about gay marriage.

Originally posted by Maxx
But nothing is more healthy intellectually than being exposed to new (and opposing) ideas.

Right. If you only ever expose yourself to your "intellectual clique", you will never know if you are wrong.

Originally posted by Maxx
Besides, HFD is quite smart.

Daaaaaawwwwwwwwwww.

Now, on to the unpleasantness.

Originally posted by Maxx
No I agree, but I also think that you can't give capitalism all the credit. History is never that simple.

But there have been wars and large immigration before, but they never created that kind of wealth increases.

Originally posted by Maxx
First of all monopolies don't fall because of consumer choice, they fall for other reasons. Explain to me how we have so much anti-monopoly legislation here in the US if we still get such a good value for products?
You missed my point; the stock market looked like a seismograph. The economy was out of control. People lost whole life's savings, livelihoods, jobs randomly because of the instability of the market. On the whole we came out with more money, but the individual toll was enormous. See panic of 1873, 1893 (especially).

The "long depression" of 1873 is certainly a curious case. I'll quote Rothbard on this:
Originally posted by A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II
Orthodox economic historians have long complained about the “great depression” that is supposed to have struck the United States in the panic of 1873 and lasted for an unprecedented six years, until 1879. Much of the stagnation is supposed to have been caused by a monetary contraction leading to the resumption of specie payments in 1879. Yet what sort of “depression” is it which saw an extraordinarily large expansion of industry, of railroads, of physical output, of net national product, or real per capita income? As Friedman and Schwartz admit, the decade from 1869 to 1879 saw a 3-percent per-annum increase in money national product, an outstanding real national product growth of 6.8 percent per year in this period, and a phenomenal rise of 4.5 percent per year in real product per capita. It should be clear, then, that the “great depression” of the 1870s is merely a myth – a myth brought about by misinterpretation of the fact that prices in general fell sharply during the entire period. Indeed they fell from the end of the Civil War until 1879. … Unfortunately most historians and economists are conditioned to believe that steadily fall prices must result in depression: hence amazement at the obvious prosperity and economic growth during this era.


As far as 1893 goes, the causes for that were pretty much exclusively government caused, from the subsidization of railroads causing over expansion, which eventually led to them coming crashing down, to the government buying up huge amounts of silver, causing a run on the banks. None of that can be even remotely considered a free market problem.

Originally posted by Maxx
You need companies to industrialize. That doesn't mean you need unregulated companies to industrialize. Companies only innovate as much as they have to to keep making money.

They innovate more if they can make more money. There is no such thing as enough money. Minus coercion (patents, government enforced monopolies, killing the competition [literally, like you get with drugs]) innovation has a very high chance of increasing money, so they'll do it. You see this even with non entrepreneurs, I make plenty of money right now, but I'm not doing the bare minimum to keep my job, I'm doing as much as I can to either increase my pay at this company, or be picked up by another company. After subsistence is met, people don't just quit, they want to be as affluent as possible, and that's no different for businessmen.

Originally posted by Maxx
Prices fluctuated as a result of the economic instablity and monoplies mentioned earlier. I'm going to need a source on the real per capita; I would believe per capita, but not real per capita. (A source here gives 2.5.) Also consider that the South continued to sink deeper into economic decline and irrelevancy compared to the north. Again, of course it was an age of economic growth. But that doesn't mean anyone was better off. A 2.5% increase is mere cents given the low wages they were making (and accounting for inflation). They made less than possible to live, regardless of wage growth.

A) Inflation is a non-issue, since real per capita already takes inflation into account, and also there was actually deflation during that time
B) The 4% (actually 3.8%) number is from page 93 of "A monetary history of the United States, 1867–1960". Unfortunately, that page is missing from the google books preview, so not really much I can do about that. It's only talking about one particular decade (1880s) so that may be where the numbers differ.
C) Again, it's mathematically impossible that most of them made less than is possible to live on, given that most of them lived, and lived longer than their ancestors.
D) People were better off, a real income increase automatically means that they were better off. A real income increase of 4% means that people could buy 4% more than they could before, not just that they got 4% more money. That means that, at the end of that decade, the average person was able to buy 48% more than they could at the beginning of the decade. That's not one specific person progressing through his life, that's the average, meaning you would be 50% better off than your parents. That's huge.

Originally posted by Maxx
That's not a valid metric. The majority of people lived poorer than the rest by a wide margin. The failures of the past do not excuse the failures of the present.

There will always be a majority of people living poorer than the rest by a wide margin in a capitalist society, no matter what you do. The advantage over other kinds of societies (like socialism or communism, recognize that I'm not conflating your position with socialism) is that the poorest people live better than they otherwise would.

Originally posted by Maxx
Wealth divide is indicative of a inequal distribution of capital. Inequal distribution of capital is a hinderance to money flow which in turn drives economic growth. "Trickle Down" is a myth. The rich do not spend their money in a healthy way like if it was distributed to the rest of the population.

I hardly would call my self a "follower" of the "Trickle Down" theory, because it is completely devoid of a real understanding of economics and human action. They still accept that spending is the only thing that makes an economy grow, and that increasing spending is the be all and end all goal, they just take a different approach to the subject. Another wing of "Keynesianism", if you will. These theories ignore the individual in favor of businesses, which is a mistake. In a free, in other words non-coercive, market, however much money somebody has, they have necessarily created more wealth than that for others. When I buy a pizza, I don't look at it as having $20 less, I look at it as having another pizza. Likewise, Papa John's doesn't see itself having one less pizza, it sees itself having $20 more, and we are both happy with this arrangement, otherwise we never would have done it. We are both better off because of our trade. This follows from a basic axiom of human action, that human beings only do things with a perceived benefit to themselves. Obviously some people make mistakes, but, in aggregate, the mistakes can be ignored.

Originally posted by Maxx
I don't think government is a good way to redistribute that wealth but on principle a large wealth divide lowers overall standard of living more than a small one does. 1% rich 99% poor versus 50% a little rich and 50% a little poor? I'd rather have us all suffer a little than a many suffer a lot so a few don't have to.

I guess, ideally, that would be true, assuming you could keep the exact same level of production and have the wealth distributed equally. However, what you really get is lower production and lower wealth for everybody. This is due to the distortion of the price system that this kind of thing creates, and the price system allows for the most optimal allocation of resources currently possible. Of course, that's ignoring the morality of the issue, which I also find abhorrent.

Originally posted by Maxx
Then how is the government siding on the side of companies not a "distortion of the market?" I've yet to find one strike in the gilded age (or even progressive era until Roosevelt) where government has sided with labor. Granting monopolies is a distortion of the market. The fact is these companies would have never been able to accomplish what they did without the help of a corrupt government; not at all true captialism.

In my world, the government would not be involved in strikes at all. Employment is a voluntary action, which means if you don't want to work, or you want to picket, or whatever that's totally fine. Unlike conservatives, I'm a big advocate of unions, just as long as they don't use violence to get their way (violence includes not only Jimmy Hoffa stuff, but using the government to force association as well) I think they are one of the better things to happen to labor and gave power to the final missing leg (other legs being the company and the consumer).

As for government granted monopolies, they did not create wealth at all, and were not a contributor to any innovations, really. Once you remove choice the previous axiom obviously falls apart. See railroads, steamboats, and the post office, all of which had a monopoly (either enforced outright or enforced through subsidy) and froze innovation until real entrepreneurs came in and ignored the enforced monopoly and made a lot of money for themselves and wealth for consumers. See specifically Lysander Spooner's "American Letter Mail Company", which, even though it was eventually shut down by the federal government, still caused a drastic reduction in the cost of postage. See also the "Great Northern Railway", the only railway in the history of the United States built without any government subsidy whatsoever. It provided the highest quality rail, laid in half the time, charged the lowest prices, and never went bankrupt. These are the kinds of people that created the wealth of the "Gilded Age", not the companies with enforced monopolies. All that to say that your statement that the companies couldn't do what they did without the force of the government is true, as the ones with government support did very little. In aggregate, companies could have done far, far more without the corrupt government, but there was still a healthy amount of ignoring laws that went on at that time, creating the wealth.

Originally posted by Maxx
The farm is not and was not nearly as dangerous as a factory. Child labor laws did not exist until the progressive era for the most part.

Even if they weren't as dangerous (arguable, they were pretty dangerous) children still worked on farms, they were still injured on farms, and they still got no compensation. Again, the increase in wealth created the idea that children didn't have to work, and even led to the eventual removal from the child in the work place.

Originally posted by Maxx
"Buying up all the barrel companies" is not a valid form of market dominance through quality and price. Rockefeller and other monopolists constantly attacked and destroyed their competitors by abusing market dominance rather than simply keeping market dominance. Also I'll need a source on that oil prices dropping. If it did it was still much much higher than it had to be. Why in the world would a monopoly lower their prices if they had nothing to lose by raising them? They have no competition.

The threat of competition is more than enough to keep companies honest. Here's a good paper about standard oil's methods and their effects, including lowering prices.

Originally posted by Maxx
Hard to get a monopoly without government intervention. We certainly did not see a single monopoly in the gilded age that existed without the help of government.

Not a coercive monopoly that actually made things worse, unless you can come up with another example.

Originally posted by Maxx
The Gilded Age was not an example of true capitalism. It was an example of how unregulated growth can go wrong. Take the government out of the Gilded Age and I would agree with you in part, because even monoplies are not immune to the laws of the market. But that's not the gilded age.

I'm not going to say the "Gilded Age" was perfect, see above, but it was about as close to real capitalism as the world has been, and it created the greatest increase in real wealth that has ever been seen.



That may have been one of the longest posts (time wise) I've ever done. Between absorbing your comments, researching them, considering if they are true, considering their effects, questioning my own objectivity, thinking of responses, researching responses, typing it out, and proof reading. I started on Thanksgiving morning.
Wow sorry. Life hit me hard, then I forgot about this, and then...yeah.

Originally posted by HuFlungDu

It's not necessarily about resolving anything. Even if we don't convince each other (and you should go into every discussion assuming you will convince no one, but still being open to being convinced, while still recognizing that you probably will not be convinced, and that it's probably because of your own biases), we can still learn, even if it's just learning new defenses for your arguments. Also, even if no one is convinced outright, it leaves people with things to think about. For instance, I used to be against so called "death with dignity" laws, then I had a discussion with byuu about it, and though nothing was resolved initially, around two weeks later I just silently decided that byuu was right. I think the only time I've been immediately convinced in a discussion was when Ixtab convinced me about gay marriage.
Right. If you only ever expose yourself to your "intellectual clique", you will never know if you are wrong.
I agree 100% with what you have here.


Quote
But there have been wars and large immigration before, but they never created that kind of wealth increases.
But not in the scale or in the right set of circumstances of the Gilded Age. Those aren't the only factors, just some. Also consider the massive impact industrialization had on society. It was arguably the largest revolution in technology (until the computer age perhaps). Mechinization allows for such a massive change in the mouse of stuff produced, and stuff = wealth at some point down the line.

Quote

The "long depression" of 1873 is certainly a curious case. I'll quote Rothbard on this:
Damn I stand corrected. Nice article.

Quote
As far as 1893 goes, the causes for that were pretty much exclusively government caused, from the subsidization of railroads causing over expansion, which eventually led to them coming crashing down, to the government buying up huge amounts of silver, causing a run on the banks. None of that can be even remotely considered a free market problem.
Upon closer inspection I would agree with you. However the consolidation and collapse of the related businesses was also a major amplifying factor of the panic. "Too big to fail" railroad monopolies cannot of had a positive effect when ex. The Philedelphia railroad went bankrupt. That was the bigger point I'm getting at- recession and 100 small businesses go bankrupt, that's a bad thing. recession and Goldman Sachs goes bankrupt, you have financial collapse. It's dangerous to have so much of the economy resting on a few firms.

Quote

They innovate more if they can make more money. There is no such thing as enough money. Minus coercion (patents, government enforced monopolies, killing the competition [literally, like you get with drugs]) innovation has a very high chance of increasing money, so they'll do it. You see this even with non entrepreneurs, I make plenty of money right now, but I'm not doing the bare minimum to keep my job, I'm doing as much as I can to either increase my pay at this company, or be picked up by another company. After subsistence is met, people don't just quit, they want to be as affluent as possible, and that's no different for businessmen.


If everyone was smart, I would agree- and "real" monopolies like Apple are fine. But my main concern is that you can't always trust a monopoly to innovate.
1. Monopolies destroy competition through completely legal and fair means. The preponderance of the monopoly inherently discourages better products from emerging because of the ubiquity of the monopoly. Of course if the monopoly is innovative, continues to satisfy the consumer, then great, and we don't need more companies. But innovation can be stifled since monopolies don't have the competitive force driving them or supplying options to the consumer. Innovation slows, perhaps stops, or at least becomes harder when you have to push against a behemoth of a corporation.
2. Innovation doesn't necessarily increase profits - nor do people always opt for it. People want more money but they will do incredibly stupid things in the long run to do it. Like, for instance, handing out house loans to people who can obviously not pay for it. It's profit in the short run but those people- who had Masters in economics - ultimately self-destructed through greed. People are dumb and greedy and while capitalism takes that to its advantage, it doesn't mean acting dumb and greedy is always the way to go.
3. Corruption. With no competition and a lot of power and profits, monopolies often become corrupt and shoulder up to government. That's an inevitable process for as long as government isn't an immaculate organization. It's not a one to one correlation, but the idea of a single entity holding all power over X disturbs me. As a child of the internet, it makes sense I'd believe decentralization is the best way to avoid abuse. More people = more options = less power for each = less possible abuse.
4. Lack of protection for the consumer. The line is incredibly fine, but monopolies have no incentive to protect the consumer and the government has to act. With no competition, they can feed you "beef" that is 90% rotten duck intestines with no ramifications (a la The Jungle.). Government regulation is necessary. The state it's in today is a mess, but there's always going to be somebody wanting to make a dirty dollar and they'll hurt the consumer for it. Government has to establish a baseline. Disclaimer, I absolutely hate gov't regulation, but feel that it does need to set and standard (FDA is a decent example- most others are not).


Quote

C) Again, it's mathematically impossible that most of them made less than is possible to live on, given that most of them lived, and lived longer than their ancestors.
D) People were better off, a real income increase automatically means that they were better off. A real income increase of 4% means that people could buy 4% more than they could before, not just that they got 4% more money. That means that, at the end of that decade, the average person was able to buy 48% more than they could at the beginning of the decade. That's not one specific person progressing through his life, that's the average, meaning you would be 50% better off than your parents. That's huge.

I meant that more as a reference to standard of living. Their pay precluded a reasonable standard of living, for no reason other than the company didn't share the profits. As a proportion of pay vs company gross income, I doubt you'll find a worse ratio than the Gilded Age. Maybe the modern era. I wouldn't have a problem if the possiblity wasn't there for a better standard of living. The technology for these people to live a reasonable life (by their own contemporary standards) were there but people were, by and large, not capable of affording them. I have no idea what statistic I would point to on that subject. The problem is more with an unfair wealth divide than the pay specifically that they made.

Quote

There will always be a majority of people living poorer than the rest by a wide margin in a capitalist society, no matter what you do. The advantage over other kinds of societies (like socialism or communism, recognize that I'm not conflating your position with socialism) is that the poorest people live better than they otherwise would.
I agree with you there (in practice, of course) but disagree with the point that capitalism inherently creates a lower class. I guess that's just logically true, someone has to be at the bottom, but that doesn't excuse a poor standard of living compared to everyone else. It's unfair and recognizing that capitalism has a tendency to inequitably divide wealth is where the government needs to step in.
Once again to clarify I do not at all believe the current state of American government does any of the things I mentioned.

Quote

I hardly would call my self a "follower" of the "Trickle Down" theory, because it is completely devoid of a real understanding of economics and human action. They still accept that spending is the only thing that makes an economy grow, and that increasing spending is the be all and end all goal, they just take a different approach to the subject. Another wing of "Keynesianism", if you will. These theories ignore the individual in favor of businesses, which is a mistake. In a free, in other words non-coercive, market, however much money somebody has, they have necessarily created more wealth than that for others. When I buy a pizza, I don't look at it as having $20 less, I look at it as having another pizza. Likewise, Papa John's doesn't see itself having one less pizza, it sees itself having $20 more, and we are both happy with this arrangement, otherwise we never would have done it. We are both better off because of our trade. This follows from a basic axiom of human action, that human beings only do things with a perceived benefit to themselves. Obviously some people make mistakes, but, in aggregate, the mistakes can be ignored.
Really eloquent way to describe it, I totally agree. My point is that when you put 50% of the money in the hands of 1% of the population, you have a less vibrant economy than 50% of the wealth in 10,20,30% of the population. An income divide is inherent in capitalism, but the smaller that divide is (without government redistribution, that never seems to end well unfortunately) the better off the economy is because more people are spending more money than keeping it holed up in Luxembourg until you die.

Quote

I guess, ideally, that would be true, assuming you could keep the exact same level of production and have the wealth distributed equally. However, what you really get is lower production and lower wealth for everybody. This is due to the distortion of the price system that this kind of thing creates, and the price system allows for the most optimal allocation of resources currently possible. Of course, that's ignoring the morality of the issue, which I also find abhorrent.
I agree and meant it only ideally. I trust government to keep the consumer's interests in mind only as much as I trust a company to, that is, very little and only as far as they have to.

Quote

In my world, the government would not be involved in strikes at all. Employment is a voluntary action, which means if you don't want to work, or you want to picket, or whatever that's totally fine. Unlike conservatives, I'm a big advocate of unions, just as long as they don't use violence to get their way (violence includes not only Jimmy Hoffa stuff, but using the government to force association as well) I think they are one of the better things to happen to labor and gave power to the final missing leg (other legs being the company and the consumer).
Yeah, I would agree on that point. I don't agree on Freedom of Contract on the whole since it opens up the possibility for abuse of the lower class. But government should be neither union's nor corporation's vehicle.

Quote
As for government granted monopolies, they did not create wealth at all, and were not a contributor to any innovations, really. Once you remove choice the previous axiom obviously falls apart. See railroads, steamboats, and the post office, all of which had a monopoly (either enforced outright or enforced through subsidy) and froze innovation until real entrepreneurs came in and ignored the enforced monopoly and made a lot of money for themselves and wealth for consumers. See specifically Lysander Spooner's "American Letter Mail Company", which, even though it was eventually shut down by the federal government, still caused a drastic reduction in the cost of postage. See also the "Great Northern Railway", the only railway in the history of the United States built without any government subsidy whatsoever. It provided the highest quality rail, laid in half the time, charged the lowest prices, and never went bankrupt. These are the kinds of people that created the wealth of the "Gilded Age", not the companies with enforced monopolies. All that to say that your statement that the companies couldn't do what they did without the force of the government is true, as the ones with government support did very little. In aggregate, companies could have done far, far more without the corrupt government, but there was still a healthy amount of ignoring laws that went on at that time, creating the wealth.
Yeah, I can go with that.

Quote

Even if they weren't as dangerous (arguable, they were pretty dangerous) children still worked on farms, they were still injured on farms, and they still got no compensation. Again, the increase in wealth created the idea that children didn't have to work, and even led to the eventual removal from the child in the work place.
I would agree with you and find judging the standards of the past by our standards a mistake. However in the farm environment children were in some way required to work on the farm to make ends meet. Corporations did not have to put children under horrible, stressful, labor at such low pay. I would argue that companies intentionally ignored the injustice of the child labor system. Currently researching that for a class so I could elaborate on that point in the future.

Quote

The threat of competition is more than enough to keep companies honest. Here's a good paper about standard oil's methods and their effects, including lowering prices.
Also a really cool read. I should forward this off to my liberal friends.
As for the threat of competition keeping companies honest...I don't know. I don't really have a lot to say on that subject. I would generally agree I suppose but haven't thought about it.


Quote

I'm not going to say the "Gilded Age" was perfect, see above, but it was about as close to real capitalism as the world has been, and it created the greatest increase in real wealth that has ever been seen.
I'm not sure about that last line- there are a lot of ways to measure wealth.
As for real capitalism I don't know. Government corruption played such a big role in economics on the whole. From the political machine in the cities to the constant conflict of the farmers and the railroad companies (who gov't sided with) to the government-supported monopolies, the face of the Gilded Age seems very different to me without the willing government backing companies up at every turn.



Your idea of the gilded age is very eye opening and I enjoyed reading about it. History has a known liberal bias (:P) and this was a distinctly different perspective. One of the very few times that I've conceded arguments in a debate or had my whole perspective on a topic changed significantly.







Originally posted by ZMann
I disagree, we're all fucked.

Obama seems to want to make everyone dependent on the government, meaning socialism, which doesn't work; in fact, it's completely against what the U.S. was founded upon. So government spending will keep on, and eventually we'll go bankrupt...

Yeah, we're all fucked. Just telling it like it is.


Don't mean to sound rude, but you sound like one of those conservative pricks like Trump and O'Reilly.

--------------------
Originally posted by CJtheLesser

Don't mean to sound rude, but you sound like one of those conservative pricks like Trump and O'Reilly.

Trump is an idiot. Hard to disagree.
And O'Reilly is an idiot- on air. The O'Reilly factor is the same sort of mush you see on Fox News day in day out.

But you may be suprised to know (you watch the Daily Show I have no doubt :P ) or you may have noticed from interviews that he is actually one of the very smart conservative pundits.

His blogs here are quite insightful (although somewhat snide and most certainly conservative. But get a camera off of him, and I actually like him as a more moderate, reasonable person (until religion comes into play).

Do some research- off of Fox News he may be worth listening to.


Quote
Dan Cathy, recently told an Atlanta radio station that by supporting gay nuptials, America is "inviting God's wrath...that remains to be seen


Quote
If someone sincerely believes that so called "marriage equality" is the fair and just thing to do, that belief should be respected.


Quote
As a one-percenter, I would feel mighty bad if my mailman is forced to subsidize my lifestyle. It just doesn't seem right. I've been lucky in my career and have done well. I really don't want some guy working at Taco Bell contributing to my electric bill.

So, if Mitt Romney is really considering taking money from the folks and giving it to Warren Buffett, I hope he will reconsider. This is not the way the America should work. In this country, we are supposed to work hard and render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's.
Originally posted by Maxx
Wow sorry. Life hit me hard, then I forgot about this, and then...yeah.

Ain't no thing. If you actually put real thought and research into these things, it takes up a lot of time, and you're not obligated to entertain me.


Originally posted by Maxx
But not in the scale or in the right set of circumstances of the Gilded Age. Those aren't the only factors, just some. Also consider the massive impact industrialization had on society. It was arguably the largest revolution in technology (until the computer age perhaps). Mechinization allows for such a massive change in the mouse of stuff produced, and stuff = wealth at some point down the line.

Right, but saying "Capitalism didn't cause this, increase in industry did" is the same to me as saying "I didn't kill him, the gun did". It's a proximate cause, but the ultimate cause is the increased individual freedom provided during that time. To me, it's no coincidence that the least regulated sector of the economy (computers, internet) in the past 50 years is also the healthiest and fastest growing, while the most regulated (banking) is causing all kinds of economic havoc.


Originally posted by Maxx
Upon closer inspection I would agree with you. However the consolidation and collapse of the related businesses was also a major amplifying factor of the panic. "Too big to fail" railroad monopolies cannot of had a positive effect when ex. The Philedelphia railroad went bankrupt. That was the bigger point I'm getting at- recession and 100 small businesses go bankrupt, that's a bad thing. recession and Goldman Sachs goes bankrupt, you have financial collapse. It's dangerous to have so much of the economy resting on a few firms.

If that's the way you see the "Gilded Age", that's fine with me, I'm not an advocate of the "Gilded Age", I'm an advocate of free market capitalism. It's more important to me that you recognize that every "too big to fail" company (be it the railroads during the "Gilded Age" or the banks now) was created by government intervention, not by the market, and that, of all the big companies, they are some of the most common ones to fail.

Originally posted by Maxx
If everyone was smart, I would agree- and "real" monopolies like Apple are fine. But my main concern is that you can't always trust a monopoly to innovate.

First, somebody not innovating is not a reason to impose violence on them. Imagine if that were applied to every average person in the country, it's insane.
Second, you don't need monopolies to innovate. If they don't innovate and the government doesn't stop others from doing so (patents, copyright) then the others will innovate.
Third, the Hobbesian "everyone is stupid" argument is extremely offensive. It's especially weird that everyone is stupid except for people who state the argument. Not everyone is stupid, for the most part, people are smart, and studies show that people are smarter in aggregate than any person alone.

Originally posted by Maxx
2. Innovation doesn't necessarily increase profits - nor do people always opt for it. People want more money but they will do incredibly stupid things in the long run to do it. Like, for instance, handing out house loans to people who can obviously not pay for it. It's profit in the short run but those people- who had Masters in economics - ultimately self-destructed through greed. People are dumb and greedy and while capitalism takes that to its advantage, it doesn't mean acting dumb and greedy is always the way to go.

The kind of environment where handing out loans to people who can't pay them is profitable would never come about in a free society. Banks only take up these practices because
A) They are considered "too big to fail" by the government and will be given billions of taxpayer dollars if they just ask for it.
B) They are "encouraged" (basically forced) to give sub-prime mortgages by the federal government, see specifically the "Community Reinvestment Act", which was created specifically to "ensure the provision of credit to all parts of a community, regardless of the relative wealth or poverty of a neighborhood." The idea that the free market is to blame for sub-prime mortgages is just silly when you really look at it.

Originally posted by Maxx
3. Corruption. With no competition and a lot of power and profits, monopolies often become corrupt and shoulder up to government. That's an inevitable process for as long as government isn't an immaculate organization. It's not a one to one correlation, but the idea of a single entity holding all power over X disturbs me. As a child of the internet, it makes sense I'd believe decentralization is the best way to avoid abuse. More people = more options = less power for each = less possible abuse.

That's a government problem, not a business problem. If the government couldn't regulate and and protect businesses, that problem would be irrelevant. They could give all the money they wanted to politicians, but it wouldn't benefit them.

Originally posted by Maxx
4. Lack of protection for the consumer. The line is incredibly fine, but monopolies have no incentive to protect the consumer and the government has to act. With no competition, they can feed you "beef" that is 90% rotten duck intestines with no ramifications (a la The Jungle.). Government regulation is necessary. The state it's in today is a mess, but there's always going to be somebody wanting to make a dirty dollar and they'll hurt the consumer for it. Government has to establish a baseline. Disclaimer, I absolutely hate gov't regulation, but feel that it does need to set and standard (FDA is a decent example- most others are not).

First, and I mean this with no insult intended, it's just that it's a common mistake that people make, The Jungle is a work of fiction, there is no historical evidence that anything it talked about even remotely happened. Coincidentally it also had nothing to do with the safety of meat packing, it was a work promoting a socialistic idea of the worker. Again, I mean this as no insult, and I do see how it can still be used as a rhetorical argument, it's just a really common mistake for people to try and use The Jungle as a logical argument, when it doesn't fit in that category at all. As for the rhetorical argument, I'll use something I heard someone say one time. Don't you feel better whenever you see a government inspection sign on an elevator? Because, as we all know, the best way for an elevator production company to make money is to make elevators that constantly fall and kill everyone inside.

Second, I don't question the need for oversight, I merely question the morality and, indeed, the effectiveness of having said oversight provided by the government through force. As for effectiveness, as you are well aware, consolidation of anything into a single entity causes stagnation. While companies will rise up in the case of a free market monopoly, the same is not true of the government. It's incredibly difficult for a company to compete with the government, especially in a country where an income tax and central bank are present, because the government has, essentially, unlimited money. What this means, in this case, is that we get an oversight of (for instance) food and drugs that is frozen in time from when it was created, rather than having constant innovation. Also you get fewer people actually looking into the safety of food and drugs, causing quite a lot of damage if they miss something dangerous, while having market oversight would give a huge number of organizations investigating the safety (think competitors looking for an edge in the market). More eyes means higher chance of finding problems. As the common argument goes, you don't trust the government to make or choose what phone you buy, why would you trust them to choose what food or drugs you buy, which is far more important? The morality argument is pretty simple, and it really comes down to who owns your body. If you own your own body, you are allowed to do whatever you like with your property as long as you don't stop someone from doing what they want with their property, and vice versa. This means that, if you want to buy food or drugs that are considered harmful by the oversight organizations, you should morally be allowed to do so. To say that the oversight organizations can stop you from doing so implies that the oversight organizations, in fact, has a higher claim to your property than do you.

Originally posted by Maxx
I meant that more as a reference to standard of living. Their pay precluded a reasonable standard of living, for no reason other than the company didn't share the profits. As a proportion of pay vs company gross income, I doubt you'll find a worse ratio than the Gilded Age. Maybe the modern era. I wouldn't have a problem if the possiblity wasn't there for a better standard of living. The technology for these people to live a reasonable life (by their own contemporary standards) were there but people were, by and large, not capable of affording them. I have no idea what statistic I would point to on that subject. The problem is more with an unfair wealth divide than the pay specifically that they made.

There is no problem with an "unfair" wealth divide, one of my responses later in this post highlights why, and I don't want to repeat myself, but it's important to note that here as well.

I don't understand why people think companies should share profits. We don't share profits. I don't get a pay raise and think "Great! Now I can send sprint more money for my phone bill!", I think "Great! Now I can get more stuff!". The head of a company is just a person.

The technology exists now for us to print food, grow meat in a tube, and soon to have driverless cars. At some point in the future, someone will look back at us and say that, based on our technology, we don't live with a reasonable standard of living by our own contemporary standards, missing the fact that a reasonable standard of living is defined by the average income of a society.

Originally posted by Maxx
Really eloquent way to describe it, I totally agree. My point is that when you put 50% of the money in the hands of 1% of the population, you have a less vibrant economy than 50% of the wealth in 10,20,30% of the population. An income divide is inherent in capitalism, but the smaller that divide is (without government redistribution, that never seems to end well unfortunately) the better off the economy is because more people are spending more money than keeping it holed up in Luxembourg until you die.

Let's think about this for a second. Your main point is that if 50% of the money is in the hands of a small number of people, they don't spend the money as much as if it were distributed more evenly (I don't say fairly, because evenly distributing money is completely unfair, more on that later). Let's take this to an extreme. What would happen if one person had all but $1 which he refused to spend, and everyone else had to share what was left, and there was no alternate form of currency allowed (in a free society, we would just stop using the dollar)? Would everyone die because they couldn't even afford the small amount of money it takes to buy bread? No, what would happen is everything would cost less money, and that's it. Money follows wealth, not the other way around. There is always enough money to facilitate trade, since it's just a representation of actual wealth. Any money that is "hoarded" by a company or individual can just be considered to no longer be part of the money supply, causing prices to drop and the value of money to go up, no harm done. This is the main reason why a large divide in the amount of money people have frankly just doesn't matter.

Originally posted by Maxx
I agree and meant it only ideally. I trust government to keep the consumer's interests in mind only as much as I trust a company to, that is, very little and only as far as they have to.

Then why have the government do it if you only trust them to do the same as a company will? Seems superfluous.

Originally posted by Maxx
I don't agree on Freedom of Contract on the whole since it opens up the possibility for abuse of the lower class.

While not having freedom of contract necessitates the use of violence against everyone.

Originally posted by Maxx
I would agree with you and find judging the standards of the past by our standards a mistake. However in the farm environment children were in some way required to work on the farm to make ends meet. Corporations did not have to put children under horrible, stressful, labor at such low pay. I would argue that companies intentionally ignored the injustice of the child labor system. Currently researching that for a class so I could elaborate on that point in the future.

That argument makes a fundamental mistake, and I don't blame you, since it's probably the most common mistake made in amateur economics. It places an infinite value on human life and well being, and an even higher value on the life of a child (super infinite? I think you can see where I'm going with this). It's a really uncomfortable realization to come to, but there is not an infinite value on human life. The fact that we value the lives of children higher than of adults for one proves that adults don't have an infinite value. As for children, we do dangerous things with children all the time. Like put them in a car, they would be far safer if we would just walk them everywhere, or, better yet, keep them at home in a titanium box, but we don't, because the value of these things is greater than the risk put on their lives by doing these things. No one likes to say it, but the fact is that lives were simply worth less then than they are now, and that's ok. People are a resource, forcing better working conditions (or pay, or whatever) just means that there will be a sub-optimal allocation of resources, often making people willing to work in said conditions or at said pay (likely because they aren't that great at what they do) unable to get any job, which is quite a bit worse than having a job with poor working conditions (again, based on the axiom of human action). To put it in more economic terms, the capitalism of this time increased the value of people, children included, to the point where it's no longer of greater value to have children work than it is to have them, for instance, go to school. That's great.

Originally posted by Maxx
I'm not sure about that last line- there are a lot of ways to measure wealth.
As for real capitalism I don't know. Government corruption played such a big role in economics on the whole. From the political machine in the cities to the constant conflict of the farmers and the railroad companies (who gov't sided with) to the government-supported monopolies, the face of the Gilded Age seems very different to me without the willing government backing companies up at every turn.

The government played a tiny role in the economy compared to the time before or since.

Originally posted by Maxx
Your idea of the gilded age is very eye opening and I enjoyed reading about it. History has a known liberal bias (:P) and this was a distinctly different perspective. One of the very few times that I've conceded arguments in a debate or had my whole perspective on a topic changed significantly.

I didn't even know I was this supportive of the time. Always good to learn.

Originally posted by Maxx
And O'Reilly is an idiot- on air. The O'Reilly factor is the same sort of mush you see on Fox News day in day out.

It may seem that way, but he's actually just a populist, he rides the wave of popular opinion, depending on where he is. On Fox the popular opinion is what you consider stupid, but on the internet (or the Daily Show) the popular opinion is something you largely agree with. This accounts for the illusion. He gets away with it better than others, say Mitt Romney, but he's not any different. I'm not saying he's stupid, he's just useless.
Here's my opinion on it.
Politics - Fucked the system. If I remember from reading in history when politics was established during George Washington's Presidency, he said that politics will be the death of this nation. I think he's right honestly, there's to many people trying to 'outdo' the opposing team. Honestly, it should be a low paying job because they get a lot provided to them, benefits after the leave I can understand, but they should personally have to deal with it like a lot of lower-class to mid-class people struggle with. A lot of people in Congress that are not Senators have been in there probably for ages also because, not a lot of people really pay attention to the lower house as much. So many get re-elected time and time again since there is no limit to how many times they can run. True there's no limit on a Senator either, but they're more in the spotlight too. The system was a good idea then when people were more honest than today. The election system needs to be changed in my opinion along with the wages and benefits to it all. If that started to change then maybe things would change as well, till then, I see a vicious cycle just getting worse and worse.

--------------------
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 »
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Forum Graveyard - Hot off the Press - Looks like Obama gets four more years.

The purpose of this site is not to distribute copyrighted material, but to honor one of our favourite games.

Copyright © 2005 - 2019 - SMW Central
Legal Information - Privacy Policy - Link To Us


Total queries: 7

Menu

Follow Us On

  • YouTube
  • Twitch
  • Twitter

Affiliates

  • SMBX Community
  • ROMhacking.net
  • MFGG