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Old 08-29-2010, 07:35 PM   #16
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I looked at this and very quickly skimmed the study that this op references. I think that statement about how they spend their money on vices is a HUGE generalization. Let's put it in perspective - that actual quote is from an opinion piece. As for the study he references, I only skimmed at this time but will read more later. What quickly jumped out at me though was that the situation described in it is FAR more diverse and complicated than we he is saying. What he is saying, and especially that one quote you gave me, is largely being taken out of context in this discussion as the article is about poverty all around the world when I'm talking about the U.S. What I did notice while skimming is things such as the poor often having a limited access to 1) good infrustructure, 2) savings accounts or 3)effecient markets and 4) that in many countries schools are dysfunctional. So if they don't even have local access to education worth spending money on it is understandable why they would not. Also, if you are raised in a society that does not value education this makes it more complex - the whole problem becomes cyclical as an individual will not even know what he is missing and should be doing (getting an education that is). Third world poverty is complex and I don't think either side (right or left) has it right.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:52 AM   #17
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But it essentially comes down to this: 1. Either you let a few children and innocent people (people down on their luck do to no fault of there own) starve to ensure no one cheats the system or 2. To ensure no innocent people or children starve you accept that a few cons might cheat the system.
I wish there was a way we could set it up so the people that genuinely need help can get it without having to go through all this red tape bullcrap, but which also made it nearly, if not completely, impossible for people to cheat the system. Maybe we need to make the punishment for people who cheat the system as tough as it can be? Because I fully agree we need to do something about the cheaters-not only is there the fact that they are cheating, there's also the fact that they're making it a lot tougher for people who honestly need help to get what they need, and that can potentially really hurt those people in the long run, it's deeply unfair to them. The cheaters rob from people across the board, so maybe they need to get a stronger punishment than they do right now.

If pressed, though, I'd personally pick the second option from your quote there. It goes back to the belief I've shared many a time here-I don't believe it's fair to punish a whole bunch of innocent people because a few out there have committed some sort of wrong. You punish those who actually have done wrong and let everyone else be able to go about their lives.

What kills me are the people who bitch about the government and how bad it is when they're benefiting from that very government. I have a cousin who's deeply anti-Obama, has a habit of railing against him and the Obama administration on a regular basis on his Facebook page...and yet said cousin is collecting unemployment benefits. Benefits that Obama allowed to be extended for people like him. Benefits that, had Obama let them expire, the same cousin would be complaining about not getting from that very same president. And I remember a story in the news about some guy who was part of an anti-Obama thing-think he was even supportive of violent action against the government-who was getting Social Security benefits. Try and figure that one out.

Angela
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:08 PM   #18
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I wish there was a way we could set it up so the people that genuinely need help can get it without having to go through all this red tape bullcrap, but which also made it nearly, if not completely, impossible for people to cheat the system. Maybe we need to make the punishment for people who cheat the system as tough as it can be? Because I fully agree we need to do something about the cheaters-not only is there the fact that they are cheating, there's also the fact that they're making it a lot tougher for people who honestly need help to get what they need, and that can potentially really hurt those people in the long run, it's deeply unfair to them. The cheaters rob from people across the board, so maybe they need to get a stronger punishment than they do right now.

If pressed, though, I'd personally pick the second option from your quote there. It goes back to the belief I've shared many a time here-I don't believe it's fair to punish a whole bunch of innocent people because a few out there have committed some sort of wrong. You punish those who actually have done wrong and let everyone else be able to go about their lives.

What kills me are the people who bitch about the government and how bad it is when they're benefiting from that very government. I have a cousin who's deeply anti-Obama, has a habit of railing against him and the Obama administration on a regular basis on his Facebook page...and yet said cousin is collecting unemployment benefits. Benefits that Obama allowed to be extended for people like him. Benefits that, had Obama let them expire, the same cousin would be complaining about not getting from that very same president. And I remember a story in the news about some guy who was part of an anti-Obama thing-think he was even supportive of violent action against the government-who was getting Social Security benefits. Try and figure that one out.

Angela

There is a reason conservatives bitch about liberals despite benefiting from their policies like in the cases you mention. They are conservatives not because its in their best interest necessarily but because they have a moral worldview rooted deeply in their mind that values strictness, self sufficiency, self reliance and reward/punishment. A good example of this is some number of years ago a politician was trying to convince people in California to vote for a type of state socialized health care system. He had facts and figures that clearly showed how it cost LESS per person than their current system so would be in everyone’s best interest financially. Still, it was voted down. A woman who was asked why she didn’t like it despite that it would be better for her bottom line said “ yeah I hear that, but under this system I would be paying for someone else and that just seems wrong.” The mistake liberals make is always arguing defensively with facts and figures. For another example, this is what Gore did in the 2000 presidential debates when he attacked that Bush tax cuts as mainly benefiting the top 1%. You wont win over many middle or lower class conservatives with this because its not about self interest so much as it is that they have been convinced that morally those people in the top 1% deserve to keep their money they make and the government has no right to take it from them. George Lakeoff’s book “moral politics” explains this problem.

Conservatives have worked hard to convince people over the past 40 years that their party is the moral party because they have packaged all their positions on issues together in a cohesive way they that supports the moralities of strictness, self reliance, etc as being the one true value system that will build a successful society. However liberals have a moral value system too though that I would argue is better – One that values empathy, nurturance, fairness, understanding. But we argue issue by issue with facts and figures and don’t have think tanks and talk radio show hosts who are connecting the dots for people to show how the liberal position on seemingly unrelated issues actually all ties together to support this different morality. As result, people wishing to do right and live a moral life have been convinced that republicans are the moral party and democrats are just out for themselves with different special interests.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:22 PM   #19
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Inaugural Address of President John F. Kennedy
Washington, D.C.
January 20, 1961


We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom--symbolizing an end as well as a beginning--signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forbears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe--the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans--born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage--and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge--and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided there is little we can do--for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.

To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom--and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required--not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge--to convert our good words into good deeds--in a new alliance for progress--to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support--to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective--to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak--and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course--both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind's final war.

So let us begin anew--remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms--and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah--to "undo the heavy burdens . . . (and) let the oppressed go free."

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again--not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--not as a call to battle, though embattled we are-- but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation"--a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility--I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it--and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:55 AM   #20
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There is a reason conservatives bitch about liberals despite benefiting from their policies like in the cases you mention. They are conservatives not because its in their best interest necessarily but because they have a moral worldview rooted deeply in their mind that values strictness, self sufficiency, self reliance and reward/punishment. A good example of this is some number of years ago a politician was trying to convince people in California to vote for a type of state socialized health care system. He had facts and figures that clearly showed how it cost LESS per person than their current system so would be in everyone’s best interest financially. Still, it was voted down. A woman who was asked why she didn’t like it despite that it would be better for her bottom line said “ yeah I hear that, but under this system I would be paying for someone else and that just seems wrong.” The mistake liberals make is always arguing defensively with facts and figures. For another example, this is what Gore did in the 2000 presidential debates when he attacked that Bush tax cuts as mainly benefiting the top 1%. You wont win over many middle or lower class conservatives with this because its not about self interest so much as it is that they have been convinced that morally those people in the top 1% deserve to keep their money they make and the government has no right to take it from them. George Lakeoff’s book “moral politics” explains this problem.

Conservatives have worked hard to convince people over the past 40 years that their party is the moral party because they have packaged all their positions on issues together in a cohesive way they that supports the moralities of strictness, self reliance, etc as being the one true value system that will build a successful society. However liberals have a moral value system too though that I would argue is better – One that values empathy, nurturance, fairness, understanding. But we argue issue by issue with facts and figures and don’t have think tanks and talk radio show hosts who are connecting the dots for people to show how the liberal position on seemingly unrelated issues actually all ties together to support this different morality. As result, people wishing to do right and live a moral life have been convinced that republicans are the moral party and democrats are just out for themselves with different special interests.
I'd say this pretty well sums up the general stereotypical view of both groups. And you're right, liberals do have a harder time arguing their case. Emotion registers better than facts and figures do, and it's also, quite frankly, hard for people to step into another person's shoes and look at things from a new perspective.

I would argue that conservatives embrace the same moral value system as liberals do that you shared there. The problem, I think, lies in the fact that one side (and I'm speaking in general terms here) tends to see things regarding morality, be it in financial or social matters, in more black and white terms, the other tends to see those same issues in shades of grey. A conservative can empathize with and truly feel for someone who is struggling, just as a liberal can. They just differ on the best way to help them. And I'm all for self-sufficiency and self-reliance and all that jazz. I've got no problem with that, and applaud those who manage to get through life that way. But we also need to have a means around to help people out when they may not have all the materials at their disposal to take care of the problem themselves.

As for the money issue, unfortunately, what the people who rally around that top percent fail to realize is that nowadays a lot of people aren't too fond of the super rich and tend to think they haven't worked very hard for their money, therefore, they should share more of it. Even if that's not true, that's usually the mindset of the "lower classes". Again, I don't mind people who have HONESTLY earned their keep having a nice, comfortable living. That's fine. You earned that money, feel free to enjoy it a little. I don't understand, though, why so many who have disposable income are so bothered by helping out those that don't. Yes, people should work as hard as they can to earn a living, but many do and they still struggle, and even so, really, why not help? Nobody's saying you have to go broke, but if you're set for life, I think you can afford to part with some of your precious money to help give back to those who helped you get to where you are. The problem can't be as simple as "people love money", because Bill Gates seems to survive just fine despite being a charitable giver. Warren Buffett's had no problem, either. Being rich didn't stop them from remaining decent human beings. So what gives with some rich people?

Angela
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:04 PM   #21
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purpleoscar, pray tell which university in Canada did you attend where you encountered swaths of self-proclaimed openly Communist professors? I am really curious because it isn't the experience I had at all at either of my universities and other posters have shared my views here. For the fun of it I even asked a friend who went to school at Victoria (I am not sure you'll find a more leftist-leaning mainstream school in Canada) and she didn't know a single Communist prof in her day.
It was the University of Lethbridge (but these are Anthropology and Sociology classes which is expected). I didn't find any communists in my economics class or Finance. I found some far leftists (quoting Antonio Gramsci and his ideas of hegemony) in Political Science. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who thinks these faculties are far left. Sociology is inspired from Marx already. My anthropology teacher admitted that she wasn't supposed to talk about Karl Marx but she did anyways so the administration is aware of complaints and tries to get them to stay on topic. Probably the worst class was business ethics because your opinions were marked according to the professor's point of view and he pretended to support markets but his own essays show otherwise. In sociology and anthropology all that matters is writing tests with understanding of the material so their personal opinions were more horror or comedy than affecting my grades.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:48 PM   #22
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Sociology is inspired from Marx already.
Well that's proof enough for me.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:52 PM   #23
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Purpleoscar, I will say it again. Liberals are not communists – we believe in Capitalism and that yes – you need incentives for people to work.


I know not all liberals are communists but Marx's ideas are still influential (even if dictatorship of the proletariat is off the table). The fight between the left and the right is how much government do we actually need? We already have huge social programs and they never satisfy according to the left. We have large portions of the GDP in many countries with government workers. These workers get pensions that practically make them wealthy. Here's some basic math.

When I was younger I actually wanted to start work in government and they promised 30,000/year pension inflation adjusted (with no Canada Pension Plan, Old age security etc). In the private sector in order to get that I would have to have (at an average 4% interest rate for investment earnings) 30,000 divided by 4% = $750,000. This is unsustainable if you keep increasing the government because they fight for those benefits even during a recession when people should get less money (since prices are deflating). Yet the lady I talked to actually was complaining that they only got 30,000/year without the CPP. She never thought it was enough. That's how entitlement spending is a problem. We already have lots of government and in some states (or provinces) it's higher. The right has to find a way to balance the budget because they missed opportunies over the last decade and people like Krugman egg Obama on to treat this recession like it was WWII without the war in stimulus spending. Then you look at Japan and their seemingly permanent stimulus and you get the impression we are using the wrong terminology. How about stimulus = Spending + Debt. The debt has to be paid back at some point and the U.S. is

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My arguments against communism often involve professors who are openly communist and economic ideas that can easily lead to huge governments that would resemble something close to it”
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This is a pretty general statement. One can just as easily say that conservative style capitalism can easily lead to a situation resembling feudalism where a few people control all the wealth and power and democracy ceases to function effectively.


Haha! You're idea of Capitalism sounds exactly like Marx. That's not even close. The reason why Capitalism didn't fail like Marx predicted (Small group of people owning all the capital with underpaid abused workers in perpetual subsistance) is because Capitalists had to bid for workers which allowed enough income for these workers to save and become what is termed the Bourgeois or middle class. The reason why inequality is increasing now is because more people think good work is in government (just like articles I've posted in the past say) and because the general public is finding it harder to save (with the taxes and also because of poor spending habits). The U.S. actually has uncompetitive corporate taxes which many were okay with as long as China used their cheap labour but that leaves us beholden to them. Whatever reforms the U.S. decides on they need to lower corporate taxes so people find it easier to start factories there.

BTW my "general" statement was about specific people I've actually met and I'm not the only one with this impression. I've met people who talk like Anita Dunn, Van Jones and Holdren. It's not a shocker to me.

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But to be fair to what you were saying I do agree that not all conservatives are Super Libertarian. HOWEVER, experience has shown us over the past 30 years, especially that past 10 years, that the dominant forces controlling the republican party are extreme (radical conservatives), even though many individual conservatives are not and there is indeed debate among conservatives, while those on the left have moved more toward the center - It isn’t the other way around like you are saying. History shows this. Look at Clinton – he started out fairly far left but moved much more center due to pressure from the extreme right. It is the radcons who hold most of the political power on the right and that have beliefs close to the ones I listed.
I actually believe the 20th century was mainly the rise of government and taxes. The conservatives mellowed it out and maybe went too far to the left (eg. Bush's "compassionate conservatism"). No compassion for taxpayers of course. The risks Capitalists take and the work they do is taken for granted. Capitalists need profit precisely because they can often (very often) have losses. Profit in a competitive environment is not abuse. For many people without this motive why get up in the morning and go do a painful job?

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Our whole economy has become more conservative and “supercapitalist” over the past 30 years (see Robert Reich book by the same name). This has been due to globalization and rapid technological change and I’m not arguing that we turn back the clock. But it is important to remember that these structural differences in today’s economy make Americans more economically vulnerable than they were 40 – 60 years ago. We may be richer and have fancier stuff but that is not the point. Outsourcing, automation, globalization and the death of oligopolistic welfare capitalism along with sky rocketing costs of health care and education have made Americans more vulnerable to sudden financial disaster due to job loss or sickness and make year to year income differences more volatile than they once were (The Great Risk Shift | Jacob S. Hacker). Also, companies no longer provide the stable benefits of long term employment, retirement pensions, and in some cases even health care and yet despite this conservatives wish to eliminate or reduce funding to government programs in exsistance. Bush even tried to privatize social security. Liberals are only arguing that government help to fix some of these big holes that have developed in the safety net so I don’t’ agree with your framing of this as liberals wanting a “coddling, cradle to the grave welfare state”. You mention that my description of conservatives in inaccurate but that is not a description of what most liberals in America are and want. But just like you say, there are indeed weirdos in any movement and I won’t deny that some want too much from government.
The problem is that government makes all kinds of promises but because there is so little competition and it's difficult to fire people you get all kinds of inefficiencies that lead to more rationing so conservatives prefer what they think is the best option (not perfect). Trade barriers and subsidies are a problem but many on the left like it.

We probably do need a more flexible education system because many people switch industries more often than before, but people also have to save for a rainy day. This is something prior generations understood and did. For some reason now people feel different, and that credit is the same thing as cash. This sounds like coddling to me. I blame parents and easy credit card and monetary policies and think the education system will have to create courses for high school students to address that. Any responsibility that parents relinquish will be picked up by the government.

In some European countries (Like Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain etc.) definitely couldn't afford their governments).

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I have indeed done a lot of reading to understand conservatives. I understand where they are coming from and believe it or not I think you are well intentioned. But I don’t think our social problems, like those described by financeguy, are a result of liberal policies of “welfare entitlement”. Conservatives just love to talk about welfare checks like they are the only type of social program out there. Most social programs such as after school programs, job training, government student loans, unemployment insurance (which is temporary), mental health treatment, etc actually help to give people a ‘hand up’ and not a ‘hand out’ and many benefit the middle class. These hand ups offer many people a way out of poverty or temporary help in the event of job loss or some other big problem like major illness. I would argue that the lack of any help for the poor, especially those who are young, is what leads to people feeling that they can't get their foot in the door and turning to crime and drug use. Yes financeguy, there will always be a few people who milk the system. There is no perfect system and yes some people are hopeless causes but will be under any system. But it essentially comes down to this: 1. Either you let a few children and innocent people (people down on their luck do to no fault of there own) starve to ensure no one cheats the system or 2. To ensure no innocent people or children starve you accept that a few cons might cheat the system. I believe that perfectly sums up the difference between liberal empathy vs. conservative strictness.

Finally, there is the issue of the “political class” and bloated government. I could not agree more that this is a problem. I actually take a conservative stance on this issue. I think government jobs could be made more efficient and that you have too many people doing too little work, with benefits that are too generous. The problem is, I don’t see either liberals OR conservatives tackling this problem as it has grown under Liberal AND conservative leadership with no one taking a meaningful stance. Have you ever heard of a republican congressman arguing against the lifetime full annual salary they get even after they serve?
Yes I agree and this will only come from people standing up. The Tea Party is a shadow of what is needed but I think people should focus on THEIR OWN problems because if we need less from government (because we are more responsible) that will affect more change and will allow MANDATES for change at the political level. There are probably conservatives out there that are with bad spending habits that will probably need government services in the future. When they need them they will switch sides ASAP. It's a "pass the buck on" attitude of the general public that eventually turns into scapegoating "the rich", "the bad political party" etc.

BTW remember that the U.S. has had the New Deal and Great Society and they love to pile on programs while at the same time not eliminating overlap. As long as this goes on there will be political pushes on the right to cut spending and rein things in (if the public pushes a MANDATE to do so). Government workers will fight tooth and nail for their privileges. That's when you'll see lots of protest, agitation propaganda when governments start holding back on spending and administer cuts.

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I'd say this pretty well sums up the general stereotypical view of both groups. And you're right, liberals do have a harder time arguing their case. Emotion registers better than facts and figures do, and it's also, quite frankly, hard for people to step into another person's shoes and look at things from a new perspective. Angela
Conservatives have facts and figures too. The argument is on who believes which facts and figures are correct and that isn't going to be settled this century.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:59 PM   #24
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Well that's proof enough for me.
It would be hard for conservatives to teach Sociology since they want fewer social workers and social engineers wouldn't it?
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:36 PM   #25
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Just when I thought I heard it all...
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:02 PM   #26
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It would be hard for conservatives to teach Sociology since they want fewer social workers and social engineers wouldn't it?
You do realize it is entirely possible for one person to have both conservative AND liberal leanings?

Besides, left-leaning ≠ communist.
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:15 AM   #27
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PurpleOscar, the statement I made below is indeed ridiculous and I don't believe it to be true so don't compare me to Marx! lol. You misunderstood me. My point was that your argument about liberalism leading to communism, which would be bad if it happened, is a slippery slope fallacy. So to illustrate my point I showed you what the fallacy looked like turned on its head to the other extreme by making that general statement - As you say, not even close! I say the same thing about you comparing liberalism to communism. Anyway, 4 am on a night shift right now.

This is a pretty general statement. One can just as easily say that conservative style capitalism can easily lead to a situation resembling feudalism where a few people control all the wealth and power and democracy ceases to function effectively.

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Old 09-01-2010, 06:43 AM   #28
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What's with all the funny fonts in this thread? I don't mean to nitpick, of course, but it's either that or scream.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:41 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by pcfitz80 View Post
PurpleOscar, the statement I made below is indeed ridiculous and I don't believe it to be true so don't compare me to Marx! lol. You misunderstood me. My point was that your argument about liberalism leading to communism, which would be bad if it happened, is a slippery slope fallacy. So to illustrate my point I showed you what the fallacy looked like turned on its head to the other extreme by making that general statement - As you say, not even close! I say the same thing about you comparing liberalism to communism. Anyway, 4 am on a night shift right now.

This is a pretty general statement. One can just as easily say that conservative style capitalism can easily lead to a situation resembling feudalism where a few people control all the wealth and power and democracy ceases to function effectively.
The Marx comment I was laughing at was because it was ironic and funny to have someone say "I'm not communist" and then use a general example (to make your point) that sounded like someone who read Marx. I get what you mean but I don't think it applies because I was talking specifically about professors I had and worldwide cap and trade which is OBVIOUSLY influenced by Marxism. These ideas influence the centre left much like libertarians influence the centre right (including myself when it comes to monetary policy but not fiscal policy). Anyways this debate was fun.

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Originally Posted by Diemen View Post
You do realize it is entirely possible for one person to have both conservative AND liberal leanings?

Besides, left-leaning ≠ communist.
It's nice you guys try hard but my point is that it doesn't have to be "communist" to be a problem and you don't have to be a communist to have some Marxist influence and not everything that Marx said was totally wrong (just mostly wrong). It's also possible to support policies that Marxists would like and still disagree with them on most areas. A conservative sociologist on the other hand would be EXTREMELY rare. I suppose there could be a Socially Conservative Religious Sociologist and he would look at social work the same way as religous "good works" but he wouldn't be fiscally conservative.

And just to get ahead of you guys: I don't believe Obama is a Muslim. Any conservatives that think he is need their heads examined.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:05 PM   #30
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A conservative sociologist on the other hand would be EXTREMELY rare.
Why? Because it would be hard to find a conservative that believed in science or higher education?
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