Time to call it quits?

The United States: Salvageable or Too Far Gone?

  • Our nation is strong, we will get through this together and work past our differences.

    Votes: 10 55.6%
  • Our divisions are too deep, best to dissolve the Union peacefully while we still can.

    Votes: 8 44.4%

  • Total voters
    18

wiscoaster

Well-known member
That is what incentives are.
Incentives can be positive or negative; they can promise a reward for something accomplished or they can threaten a penalty for not accomplishing it. I'm just saying the former works better than the latter. The former is more likely to be used by private enterprise, while the latter is more likely to be used by government.
 
Last edited:

WrongHanded

Well-known member
Now it's my turn to ask you to explain what you mean and to be specific about how you expect that to be the result.
Okay, but I should warn you first that my response was largely based on an inference I made. Which was that you would prefer we defund some public programs, and deregulate trade and industry. I came to that based on what roscoe was referring to as "incentives", and that you believed the best incentives were no incentives. So if that's not what you meant, my explanation doesn't really apply. But here it goes.

Without government intervening on behalf of the common citizen, those with massive wealth have ultimate control over the economy and therefore our society. Because those who control the raw materials, lands, agriculture, manufacturing facilities, energy sources, and distribution and communication networks, control us. That means very few (but very rich) people can - without the interference of OUR government, on OUR behalf - effectively rule everyone else. Feudalism.
 

M5-Shogun

Member
Keeping in mind I was a teenager when the Great Recession happened:

Every indication and analysis of monetary policy under the Obama administration did not benefit the middle class at all. We didn't have any direct stimulus (not that I support that) and neither did employment recover until well into his second term, and it didn't fully recover until Trump was in office about 2017-ish. My argument about spending was that Obama's spending was wasteful and unbeneficial to the poor or middle class, full stop. Expansion of bailouts (economic protectionism) set an expectation that has continued into the present day. Businesses no longer feel that they need to be fiscally responsible, especially if they're big, because the government will bail them out with impunity again and again. Additionally, the same mistakes that were made in the 10-year runup to the 2008 Economic Crisis (Great Recession) are being made right now - as SJWs claim that banks won't lend to blacks. The reason is because a significant portion of the Black population has no culture of fiscal responsibility. You lend them money, they won't be able to pay it back. That's plain and simple. Risk is not racist, unless you want to really say that criticizing someone's financial responsibility is racist, in which case you're literally stupid.

Blaming republicans for high government spending is in direct violation of facts. Economic recovery cannot be propped up by money alone. The New Deal was a failure, and it wasn't until the war economy of WWII that the US pulled itself up by its bootstraps. Our modern monetary policy is based on a casino rigged against everyone except the elite. That's not communism, that's not capitalism, that's not corporatism. it's Plutocracy
 

roscoe

Active member
Incentives can be positive or negative; they can promise a reward for something accomplished or they can threaten a penalty for not accomplishing it. I'm just saying the former works better than the latter. The former is more likely to be used by private enterprise, while the latter is more likely to be used by government.

Maybe, but we still need laws to set limits. We don't seem to be able to positively incentivize people out of rape, murder, fraud, reckless driving, and jaywalking. So we disincentivize people, to varying degrees, for those acts. There is no philosophical difference with the economic sphere. We want to discourage monopolies or war profiteering or tax evasion, we set up negative incentives.

Anyway, private business can't really punish in the way government does. But if they could, they would. And in the past, they did (look up the history of the Pinkertons).
 

wiscoaster

Well-known member
Without government intervening on behalf of the common citizen, those with massive wealth have ultimate control over the economy and therefore our society. Because those who control the raw materials, lands, agriculture, manufacturing facilities, energy sources, and distribution and communication networks, control us. That means very few (but very rich) people can - without the interference of OUR government, on OUR behalf - effectively rule everyone else. Feudalism.
If only it were so!! If only the government actually represented the common people!! As it is, those very entities you rail against are the ones that control the government by their political donations and therefore they are the ones that benefit the most from the resulting incentives and regulation.
 

WrongHanded

Well-known member
If only it were so!! If only the government actually represented the common people!! As it is, those very entities you rail against are the ones that control the government by their political donations and therefore they are the ones that benefit the most from the resulting incentives and regulation.
But you understand the reason the government doesn't work for the people is largely because the people will not work together, right?

I hear this same argument time and time again, about how the government is corrupt and shouldn't be trusted. As if giving up on the very mechanism that makes this country great is the best option.

The ever-widening political divide is a tool used for political corruption. We talk about draining the swamp without ever acknowledging that the swamp only exists because voters were emotionally manipulated into voting for elected representatives that were never worthy of power to begin with. And mostly the voting is fear based, with the idea that "the other guy" just can't be allowed to win or else doom doom doom. Etc.

I don't have the solution to the political divide. I don't have the solution to lazy or ignorant or fear based voting. But I know that complaining about how the government is this, or the government is that, or the government has too much power is unhelpful and counter productive. It's OUR government, and in it totality it represents the collective "us". If it's a mess, that's because we're a mess.
 
Last edited:

wiscoaster

Well-known member
The ever-widening political divide is a tool used for political corruption.

No kidding!!

If it's a mess, that's because we're a mess.

And again!!

Wow, I can't believe you and I are in total agreement. I think I'm going to call it a day and go straight to happy hour!!

But more seriously, I think it might be more productive for the people to ask themselves how it is we go to this state ...
 

WrongHanded

Well-known member
But more seriously, I think it might be more productive for the people to ask themselves how it is we go to this state ...
Absolutely. And for many of the laws or "incentives" we can look to history. The formation of unions, striking and strike-breakers. Public education increasing literacy and numeracy rates post civil war. Etc.

Sure we've got problems. But whatever happens to be the biggest problem in the present (however small), tends to seem like a really big problem. I think when we talk about learning from history, we often fail to view the current situation from the perspective of the past. There was no magical period in history when things were perfect (despite what we may sometimes fool ourselves into believing - I think we're all guilty of this from time to time). Within the timeline of the USA, things really are pretty good right now. Of course we can make the future better, but deciding what "better" really is and how we reach that goal is the challenge.
 
Last edited:
Top