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Author Topic: AmeriPol thread  (Read 1519505 times)

wierd

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32940 on: October 16, 2019, 09:01:49 pm »

It is irrational to expect career politicians to fix problems.

A career politician is interested in election, and then immediately upon being re-elected.  Fixing problems erodes their election platform, and makes them less needed.

EG-- why would you elect say, Sanders--- If there was no issue with wealth disparity or with abuses of corporate power?


The bread and butter of politicians once they are in, is in getting various pork projects through that get their population hooked on a specific industry or interest.  Take for instance, defense budget expenditures and contractors.  For places like Seattle, where you have BOEING and pals, this is a big thing.  Why elect somebody that would fix the runaway issue of the military industrial complex, when that is a major part of the local economy?

Career politicians pander to these things to stay elected, and so problems never actually get fixed, and if there is incentive for them to get worse (because money is involved), they will.
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smjjames

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32941 on: October 16, 2019, 09:09:08 pm »

This is very interesting to read. Sometimes I think that a big enough company can become a government though, with governments caring more about profits than their people/environment, governments seem more like giant companies with too much power.

This is why socialists hate liberals. Democracies need close watch from an informed and diligent electorate to avoid becoming, well, what the USA is.

Except that liberals are socialist and liberals in the US are what would be called social(ist) liberals elsewhere. So, it's sort of like (socialism=liberalism)=/=(socialism=/=liberalism)=(socialism=liberalism).
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Naturegirl1999

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32942 on: October 16, 2019, 09:13:45 pm »

It is irrational to expect career politicians to fix problems.

A career politician is interested in election, and then immediately upon being re-elected.  Fixing problems erodes their election platform, and makes them less needed.

EG-- why would you elect say, Sanders--- If there was no issue with wealth disparity or with abuses of corporate power?


The bread and butter of politicians once they are in, is in getting various pork projects through that get their population hooked on a specific industry or interest.  Take for instance, defense budget expenditures and contractors.  For places like Seattle, where you have BOEING and pals, this is a big thing.  Why elect somebody that would fix the runaway issue of the military industrial complex, when that is a major part of the local economy?

Career politicians pander to these things to stay elected, and so problems never actually get fixed, and if there is incentive for them to get worse (because money is involved), they will.
Yes, I worded this poorly. I hope someone who isn't a career politician becomes president, and that people who aren't career politicians become congress members, that people who actually want to fix the problems get elected
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MetalSlimeHunt

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32943 on: October 16, 2019, 09:15:57 pm »

Career politicians are only a problem for neoliberal shitheels and those like them, because they have no belief system other than capitalist realism. Sanders represents someone who, even if only marginally, does have an ideology other than religious fascism. Such an opportunity cannot be missed by anyone seeking to not have the 21st century remembered as the Century of Extermination.
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smjjames

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32944 on: October 16, 2019, 09:23:29 pm »

It is irrational to expect career politicians to fix problems.

A career politician is interested in election, and then immediately upon being re-elected.  Fixing problems erodes their election platform, and makes them less needed.

EG-- why would you elect say, Sanders--- If there was no issue with wealth disparity or with abuses of corporate power?


The bread and butter of politicians once they are in, is in getting various pork projects through that get their population hooked on a specific industry or interest.  Take for instance, defense budget expenditures and contractors.  For places like Seattle, where you have BOEING and pals, this is a big thing.  Why elect somebody that would fix the runaway issue of the military industrial complex, when that is a major part of the local economy?

Career politicians pander to these things to stay elected, and so problems never actually get fixed, and if there is incentive for them to get worse (because money is involved), they will.
Yes, I worded this poorly. I hope someone who isn't a career politician becomes president

Trump? Though to be fair, he wasn't completely new to politics as he did the usual politiking on the fringe since he had plenty of political interactions, but he wasn't a career politician by the definition.

Be careful what you wish for there.
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Devastator

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32945 on: October 17, 2019, 12:06:59 am »

Ispil, we live, today, in a highly automated society.  90% of the population is no longer chained to the production of food for immediate survival.  This is a post-work society.

I'd also fundamentally disagree with your explanation of a market economy.  "That one’s share of the distribution of the goods of a state is proportional to the contribution one makes to the state."

That's not the definition of a market economy.  It's the definition of a non-market economy.  The basic principle of a market economy is that the value of something is equivalent to the price one pays for it, which means that the economy is driven by the forces of supply and demand, not the forces set by state actors.

After that, having defined a market economy as a non-market economy, I find the further points lack force.  You could easily state that a command economy in a workless state would dispossess people as being non-contributors, and then label the forces that would lead to those effects as a result of the defined 'market economy.'  Or relable your description of a planned economy as a market economy, because under that plan, people are valued by their contribution to the state, just with different definitions.. you could say you're paying people to not create problems, for instance.

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With that particular definition, which admittedly is rather broad, there appears a rather curious conundrum- socialism somehow became a subset of capitalism, at least under how it was described. Hence, it might be better to refine our definition: what we have described above is not capitalism per se, but a market economy.

Or they could be two different things, but the wrong definition was used for one of them, making them seem identical.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 12:14:25 am by Devastator »
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Max™

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32946 on: October 17, 2019, 12:23:14 am »

So, not to skip out on the fun of defining things or the breakdown between highly automatable tasks and barely automatable tasks, but I was wondering after seeing discussions of healthcare-for-all cost projections being up in the tens of trillions of dollars range over the next decade and all that shit.

Has anyone seen a projection based on a realignment of healthcare costs where insurance companies aren't being rewarded for jacking them up into the exosphere?

I mean, I guess it is simpler to assume prices will remain the same without private insurance premiums involved, but it is plainly absurd, isn't it?
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Devastator

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32947 on: October 17, 2019, 12:46:40 am »

Truthfully?  There are plenty of savings to be made, but I'd highly doubt there are any cheap answers.  There are several different kinds of socialized medicine, and where broadly implemented, are all expensive.  In addition, there are a few additional costs that are usually overlooked:

Firstly, if you have money, American health care is really excellent.  There will be declines in the quality of services provided, in at least some areas, for some people, with the advent of a more egalitarian system.  This will also hit people lower down on the quality scale than you might expect, at least in part, by really rich people not being soaked as heavily.

Secondly, medical research is an extremely difficult field of human endeavour.  There is a very strong view today that medical research is cheap and only held back by legislative difficulties or fat profit-taking capitalists.  That view, by and large, is untrue.  Finding drugs and new treatments for humans is really, really difficult and really expensive.  The easy ones have been found.  The difficult ones have been found.  The targets people are going at today are extremely, absurdly difficult problems;  New technology helps, but in general, progress in medical research gets harder and more expensive every year.

And there's no getting around it.  Someone has to pay the bill, and the result is that everyone pays.  Americans pay a lot due to there being a lot of them, and generally being wealthy.  Countries with rich socialized medicine also pay lots, although generally less than Americans.  Poor countries pay too, albeit less.

The biggest chunk of the expense is also the one that can never by bypassed.  Clinical trials.  They're crazily expensive and absolutely necessary.  At the most basic, new discoveries are made by exploring the unknown.  That is, we are going to find new things by doing things that haven't been done before.  As a result, it is absolutely necessary to test said discoveries in order to learn if they work.

Cutting off the rest of the world doesn't make the problem better for Americans.  It means they'll have to foot 100% of the bill, instead of the current existing large percentage.  It is also one of the places where socialized medicine should help, by being able to cut out some middlemen in the process and more efficiently providing money for new drugs.

But it won't be cheap.  Cheap would give you health care that doesn't make people better.

..Also, ten trillion dollars over the next decade seems pretty reasonable.  There's what, 450 million americans?  One trillion a year is a bit over $2000 per American, which isn't an unreasonable estimate.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 01:21:55 am by Devastator »
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wierd

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32948 on: October 17, 2019, 06:19:35 am »

There is something to be said about a market economy though (presuming everyone HAS something that somebody else wants, anyway... That thing used to be labor, but with automation that is no longer the case, an is why the market economy is poised to fail): It is possible, with some cleverness, to get anything you want.

In a more controlled economy, natural scarcities and government favoritisms will prevent certain goods or services from being available to all persons or parties, which will stifle innovation. (What do you NEED those femtosecond laser parts FOR, citizen? We can put those to work at a respected university instead of letting you purchase them!)



The issue with automation is that the universally desired service-- labor-- is no longer desired.  There is nothing that a good chunk of the population can trade, which effectively cuts them out of the market.  Once automation reaches its peak (where labor of any kind is no longer necessary or cost effective to hire), that is more than 90% of the population out of work, AND ostracized from the market.  If you are a wealthy plutocrat who makes money by having money, you don't sweat it. Hell, you might even ENJOY that the only people in the market are people like yourself, since now all the offers are tailored for you and those like you.  That wont make the starving masses any less destitute or hungry.

We either need a replacement for labor as a universal thing that anybody can provide, but which is in seemingly endless demand (that is naturally tied to that person), OR we need to introduce an artificial one, in the form of UBI. (Where each person has an allowance that is guaranteed, and which everyone is seeking to get a piece of, enabling bargaining positions.)


Otherwise, there will no longer be a mass market. There can't be.
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thompson

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32949 on: October 17, 2019, 06:30:45 am »

I think we're still a very long way away from automation reaching those levels. Your points are valid, given a long enough time horizon. Short term I think improving labour conditions needs to be the priority. Unemployment can be addressed through infrastructure spending - we'll need that anyway to reduce carbon intensity and whatnot. Once that's all finally done the world will be a very different place.

There's also a case to be made for reproductive regulation. Probably not necessary given birth rates in most developed countries, but that could change if you go all "post-scarcity" on everyone. The "tragedy of the commons" cannot be fixed with technology alone. Human behaviour also needs to change.
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Egan_BW

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32950 on: October 17, 2019, 06:40:28 am »

If labor is no longer desired, we just have to find universal values for something else that everyone has! I propose blood.
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Reelya

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32951 on: October 17, 2019, 06:47:06 am »

We also have to think that a lot of in-between steps are going to happen in that scenario. For example, consider that Coca Cola could automate all production, thus minimizing the costs of Coca Cola. However at the same time, all other companies are also automating everything, thus also minimizing the number of Coca Cola customers ... they'd end up with this huge automated factory making Coca Cola that there isn't any market for. Which just implies that they wouldn't have built that factory in the first place. The scenario of vast automated factories and nothing else thus won't happen, because there will be an equally vast lack of any customers.

It could be viewed as a Prisoner's Dilemma situation however. "Cooperate" is for the company to hire workers to make your product, where "backstab" is for the company to automate everything. The problem is that from any one company's point of view, automating everything is the way to go, but from a big-picture view, when all companies automate they crash the entire economy: no customers, no market, very few actual automated factories in existence. This may be how communism actually comes about. All the companies stab each other by shedding labor and automating in order to get a relative advantage, only to find nobody has a market anymore at the end of it, and the economy gradually becomes more and more dependent on direct government stimulus.

Eschar

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32952 on: October 17, 2019, 06:47:51 am »

If labor is no longer desired, we just have to find universal values for something else that everyone has! I propose blood.

... giving new meaning to the term "blood bank."
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scriver

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32953 on: October 17, 2019, 06:50:30 am »

If labor is no longer desired, we just have to find universal values for something else that everyone has! I propose blood.

My blue blood is worth a little more than yours
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Naturegirl1999

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #32954 on: October 17, 2019, 06:53:37 am »

If labor is no longer desired, we just have to find universal values for something else that everyone has! I propose blood.

My blue blood is worth a little more than yours
Yep, blood is indeed something everyone has, and can regenerate given enough time when the person is alive, though a blood based economy would be dangerous for obvious reasons. Maybe animal blood? but what animal blood is worth more than the blood of other anmals? And what of hemolymph? The "blood" of arthropods?
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