Some people are more equal than others.

November 18, 2019, 6:14 pm

Agree22 Disagree31

42%
58%

The debate "Some people are more equal than others." was started by romkirk95 on November 18, 2019, 6:14 pm. 22 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 31 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most people are against to this statement.

Nemiroff posted 1 argument to the agreers part.
Nemiroff posted 9 arguments, historybuff posted 7 arguments to the disagreers part.

romkirk95, elly, Unaluhabe and 19 visitors agree.
Nemiroff, carson, Cisco, historybuff, jrardin12, RoyDierlijk, beware_of_my_mouth_honey, fireball4thewin and 23 visitors disagree.

historybuff
replied to...

You seem to be assuming his timing is random. As in he just all of a sudden for no reason at all decided to run. If he really wanted to run and thought he would win, he would have done it months ago. He is doing it now because something has changed. In the last few months Warren and now Sanders have been surging. He is running because he is afraid of a progressive being the nominee and he wants to prevent that.

Here is an article about his spending. He is spending more than all his competitors combined in some states. He is using his money to drown out everyone.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/27/bloomberg-crushes-2020-competition-with-super-tuesday-ad-blitz.html

1 week, 5 days ago
historybuff
replied to...

I don't think my language was clear enough. I don' think there was some Machiavellian plan where the system was designed by cabal of billionaires. But the system was built piece by piece over years. The people who built it were all rich and connected, or had been seriously supported by people who were rich and connected. No one person decided to design a broken, corrupt system. The broken corrupt system was designed by a series of corrupt people making corrupt decisions over time.

If a politician takes corporate money so that they can get elected, they are corrupted. They are now dependent on those corporations. Getting elected is just the beginning. You have to keep getting elected, over and over and over. And if you bite the hand of the people who got you there, you won't get elected again. And those same people aren't just corrupting 1 politician, they are corrupting lots of them. So even if the politician bucks their donors and fights against corruption, the other corrupt politicians block it and they quietly lose their next elections once their donors turn on them. The only way to break this cycle is to make it unacceptable to take that money in the 1st place. That means a blanket ban on those donations. Do you really think someone like Biden or Butigieg you have numerous billionaire donors is going to try to ban their primary source of funding? of course they wont. They will do some sort of half hearted measure that will allow them to keep taking in millions of dollars from rich people which will allow the corruption to continue.

Once a politician puts themselves in a position where their livelihood is dependent on high dollar donors, it becomes harder and harder to ever stand up to them. Eventually they become your standard corrupt politicians doing whatever they have to to win their next election. That is why we desperately need a president who doesn't owe those people any favors so that they can actually get to work stopping the corruption. if you elect someone who needs corporate money in order to win, then they will never do what is necessary to stop the corporate money infecting politics.

1 week, 5 days ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

as for Bloomberg's parachuting... he is entering the race within the deadline. i see no difference between that and if Bernie jumped in last minute pushing far left policies into a moderate field. there is nothing nefarious about his timing.

as for his money, is he drowning out progressive voices? id have to see a spending comparison, but i dont think bernie or warren have much less campaign money then he does.

coming in late, not qualifying for debates, those are all disadvantages, not advantages, and options that were available to anyone. i definitely like his current policy claim of we need more immigrants. im not saying he is honest, but noone has put that idea forward yet, and i definitely agree with that sentiment. if that idea enters the mainstream, it will be a win for the nation. thats some good developments from his entry.

1 week, 6 days ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

you are talking as if this system was intentionally created for nefarious reasons, and not natural reasons stemming from the inherent power of name recognition and the cost of advertising. i think your starting down a conspiracy rabbit whole without considering simpler, more innocent explanations. certainly moneyed interests have taken advantage of the broken system, but the broken system was not intentionally made to be bad. it just became that way due to the need, and cost of, advertising.

as for the candidates, you are wrong. a construction company gives you money for looser language in a legislation, but that doesnt stop you from limiting, exposing, or eliminating future money entering politics. someone can compromise on some minor legislations in order to pursue a greater good, and your bashing of these people walking a fine line will end up with only the trully corrupt entering politics, thats a loss for everybody. many candidates run on limiting lobbying, and most of them took money for their campaign. if they didnt, they would not have even had an opportunity to do any good at all. we absolutely need to fix the system, but we cant blame individuals because the system is broken. im sure in other contexts you would readily agree that systemic problems do not mean bad individuals (like black crime rates).

i dont think someone who did what they had to do in order to do good is corrupt. honest people do occasionally lie. good people do bad things. smart people can do dumb things. your view is absolutist and does not account for the complexity that is people. being a politician doesnt mean you are by default bad, even if you had to shake some dirty hands to get there. what you do after you shake those hands is also very relevant.

1 week, 6 days ago
historybuff
replied to...

Agreed. private money controls america's politics. I mean Bloomberg parachuting in at the last minute and dropping 10's of millions to drown out progressive voices is a good example.

But we sort of disagree on the point of whether shaking rich hand is acceptable. If you lay down in the mud, you get dirty. The system is designed to only allow people with money and connections reach the top. So if you take that money and make those connections, you now do not have the freedom to go after the corruption that helped get you there. So if candidates are willing to engage in that corruption to do good, they only end up as another corrupt politician and become part of the problem they wanted to fight.

We agree that the underlying corruption needs to be fought. But a corrupt politician isn't going to do that. Which is why we need a sanders (or maybe a warren) who hasn't been corrupted to be at the top of the ticket. If someone who is only there because of the corruption is the candidate, then to quote Biden "Nothing would fundamentally change".

2 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

before i respond to your point, let me elaborate on the problem as i see it.
a misunderstanding of who your first sentence was referring to lead to this thought. (capital = Washington)

there are good people who want to go into politics to do good things. the problem with the current system is that even the good people have to raise money or they have no chance. in order to do mostly good, they must shake rich hands, and sometimes return favors. that doesnt make them bad representatives, that makes them good candidates navigating a bad system.

fighting broader corruption is absolutely necessary and also never ending, but this system of necessary corruption must be fixed ASAP.

2 weeks ago

Bump. I think this is the one you meant nemiroff.

2 weeks ago
historybuff
replied to...

Frankly, anyone that would want a job at Bain capitol, not matter how skilled they are, is not someone I would want anywhere near government. That company is a personification of the things that are wrong with capitalism in america.

But your point is valid. There may be people who would avoid public service because it could reduce their opportunities. But my counter is, that is a really low price to pay. Crony capitalism has become endemic in america. Corporate execs run for office, or people in office become corporate execs. in many cases they go back and forth like Duval Patrick wants to. Even if they are the most skilled candidates in the world, it almost doesn't even matter. Their skills are being used in corrupt ways. I would rather have someone of moderate skill doing their best for their constituents then someone of high skill doing their best to personally profit from their office.

2 weeks, 5 days ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

what job he gets can matter depending on reasons, but you make excellent points regarding tracking.

however, if we block these paths, we also block legitamete people from getting a job after office, a position that can be fickle. how do you attract quality candidates?

2 weeks, 5 days ago
historybuff
replied to...

Respectfully, what job he got after leaving office is incredibly relevant. The entire point of the modern corruption racket is the veneer of legality. It isn't only what policies he pushed for that could be corrupted, which would be easier to check. It could be who he appointed/assisted in getting key roles. It could be bills or reforms he helped to block. It could be information or assistance he provided them that would not show up in an official record. They have polished this turd until it shines. They have mastered the art of milking politicians in ways that aren't technically illegal but give them huge benefits. I believe that politicians should be banned from working at a high level for corporations for a few years after leaving public office. This would discourage them from using their office as a way of soliciting a cushy job. They should also be banned from ever being paid for things like giving speeches. This is a common way for corporations to pay off politicians.

It was Duval that hired his wife, not biden. And taking your son on a plane that is a symbol of the US government, to a foreign country where he is trying to turn a profit, that is corruption. You are using the symbols and power of the US government to assist your family in profiting.

The reason things like the speeches (and certainly not just the speeches) matter is that they are crony capitalism. It is an easy way for companies to give politicians a golden parachute. Politicians are not supposed to be profiting from their office. If they can leave office and immediately start profiting from it, then their time in office stops being about public service, and starts becoming advertising for all the money they want to make once they leave. This taints their service while they are in office. Delaying a bribe till after they leave office doesn't prevent the bribe from affecting the politician if they are reasonably sure they will get it.

2 weeks, 5 days ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

sorry, the second paragraph starts referring ti Duval.

2 weeks, 5 days ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

biden, i have yet to see any talk regarding what relation this company has to us or what legislation affected them. it does look suspicious, but as of yet, no substance.

what job he got after leaving office is irrelevant without looking at what he did in office. Maybe he was given it as a return favor, but i would also hope our leaders would be executive level quality and highly sought after by the private sector based on their skill and qualification. idealistic, i know, but we shouldnt hold their employability against them without even suspicion of actual dirt. both of these examples of suspicion of POTENTIAL dirt.

i would certainly support investigating both of them, but these acts themselves do not equal guilt. why has the due diligence not been done? the bills and their votes/contributions are almost all in the public record.

biden certainly shouldnt have gotten her a fake job unless it was out of his own pay, but i dont care if our vice leader takes his children on a ride on our expense. that ride is a fraction of his budget and our leaders deserve such discretionary perks.

people want to hear speeches from famous people. rock stars dont show up for free either. kardashians get paid to party. that doesnt mean they changed their policy. the speech thing is completely innocent and is right wing propaganda effective subconscious effect. so what she got paid to speak? shes famous and IV league smart with tons of experience and accomplishments. whats next? omg bernie wrote a book people bought? so what? thats good rich. thats not polluting slum lord arms dealer rich.

we can make these things illegal, and make corruption harder and smaller. we just need go agree to stop bickering long enough to act on this, and then go back to bickering about other subjects. at least in regards to any of the suspicious things that show merit.

i really like the idea of stripping corrupt leaders of all benefits. that one will hurt. also, increasing benefits has often helped pervent corruption. we do want smart/skilled leaders right?

2 weeks, 5 days ago
historybuff
replied to...

I strongly disagree that direct corruption is in any way rare. They just found ways to make it less obvious. I mean a current example is hunter biden. A Ukrainian energy company paid millions to a man who had no experience in energy just to buy some influence. This is normal practice for politicians. There is nothing illegal about it but it is 100% corruption. They just made the corruption less direct.

Look at a guy like Duval Patrick, now running to be president. He fired the head of the sex offender registry when they insisted that Duval's brother in law should be registered as a sex offender after he was convicted of rape. (this is unconnected to corporate corruption, but an example of the general corruption that is permitted.) He touts himself as a corporate reformer, but the minute he got out of public service he went to work for a corporate raider firm, Bain capitol. Politicians know that as long as they play nice with billionaires and corporations, when they leave public office they get a huge pay day. Their family members can also cash in too. Duval once hired his wife to work as an "assistant" and paid her 75,000 per year with public funds. Biden's children regularly worked in fields he had influence in due to his senate committee rolls (and they usually had no experience in). He once took hunter to China on Air Force 2, where hunter's company then got a huge contract. Biden can plausibly claim he wasn't influenced because they didn't hand him an envelope of cash, but they wouldn't be giving Hunter that kind of money if they weren't getting some influence out of it.

People like Hilary Clinton get paid millions to just go around and give speeches to people. I mean part of that is the prestige factor of having her speak. But alot of it is crony capitalism. She and her husband looked after them while they were in office, so they take care of her. Anyone who challenges that sort of corruption get vehemently attacked by the party aparatus because everyone at the top of the part is in on it.

The corruption hasn't ever gone away or even really been reduced. They just hid it behind a thin veneer of legality. It isn't illegal for a politician to do things that help a company and then be paid millions by that company after they leave office. It is standard operating procedure.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

All people are equal.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

i think some level of redistribution will be enough. the point is to empower the majority, not impoverish the wealthy.

i agree with you about the scale of the problem, but i think you are overblowing the difficulty of the solution. Massive direct corruption is far more rare these days thanks to strong, independent enforcement of corruption laws thanks to divided government. the 2 major areas of corruption are the military industrial complex that i truthfully do not understand too well, and campaign finance corruption that seems incredibly easy to deal with once we surmount a major obstacle that has nothing to do directly with money, partisanship.

the seat of power remains with the people in most democracies. leadership is determined by some form of popular vote. campaign corruption is meant to be used to form our vote, but our vote is the ultimate prize. and this money doesnt go to making a politician richer, just for his fight for office. and it all revolves around the high price of interstate/metropolitian advertising.

i know youve heard this speech from me before, but the only benefitiaries are the donors and ad businesses, not even the politicians benefit from this system because they arent getting any of that money post campaign. eliminate this need for spending, and all this money will be forced into the dangerous world of old fashioned illegal corruption, in which case we just push on enforcement of corruption laws to inevitably catch offenders. there will always be some corruption, just like there will always be some crime, that doesnt mean we cant claim victory from minimizing it. what we need to focus on is the legal corruption, which isnt as daunting a task as you make it out to be. difficult, but not unwinnable.

2 weeks, 5 days ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

i was responding to something someone else said in that post. it wasnt an independent statement to the topic. please click the "replied to" box to see what i was "replying to".

im not sure how the formatting works on a web browser.

2 weeks, 5 days ago
Allirix
replied to...

Yeah. But non equal outcome is a non equal outcome, not someone being more equal

2 weeks, 5 days ago

I don't think any level of estate tax would be enough. I mean the Walton's as an example, even if you had an estate tax of 80% or 90% (which would be impossible to implement), they would still have vast amounts of wealth. They would still be capable of rigging what they want. Bribing politicians and manipulating the media and government in whichever way they want. That level of wealth is a power all on it's own, and it is a direct threat to democracy. Waiting until they are dead to do something about it will never be enough.

I think something like a wealth tax is needed. After someone passes a threshold from rich to uber rich (that point is debatable), they should be required to pay a percentage of that wealth back to the state to prevent anyone from becoming so wealthy the system becomes unbalanced. That wealth can then be used to provide things like free college, healthcare etc.

2 weeks, 6 days ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

i do not. nor did i say we have equal opportunities here. with enough of a estate tax and proper redistriubution i think relatively equal opportunity is possible.

what is your alternative? for everyone to be leader? is that functional? or are you hoping some ai can rule us for us (scary)?

2 weeks, 6 days ago

but by virtue of being a "pig" the system virtually always becomes unbalanced leading to increased opportunities for friends and family of the "pig" and reduced opportunities for everyone else.

We don't, and really no one does, live in a society with equal opportunities. those with wealth and power will always have huge advantages. Over generations those advantages only multiply. The Walton Family, if you add 6 members of the family, have more wealth than the bottom 43% of the country combined. Do you really think a child of the walton family and a poor kid have equal rights or opportunities?

2 weeks, 6 days ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

equal rights dong mean equal outcomes.
even equal opportunity doesnt mean equal outcomes. as long as everyone has a fair chance at becoming a pig, its equal.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

sounds to me like an allusion to animal farm's "all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others". it was used to explain why the pigs should be in charge of a society that was supposed to be equal.

3 weeks, 1 day ago

I don't understand this. Equality implies someone cannot be more of anything.

3 weeks, 1 day ago
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