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Thread: Obama's Bailout. Feelings?

  1. #1 Obama's Bailout. Feelings? 
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    I'm thinking Wall Street will make all the same stupid choices they made the last time they got bailed out.

    Feel free to post predictions, ideas as to what might be a better plan, and rants, as necessary.

    Um... since this is the Politics forum (not business/economics), it's probably best to focus on the political implications. What does it say for Obama to be doing this? Are we really the slaves of a bunch of self stuffing corporates? Is there any such thing as economic responsibility when each private interest is being heard in such a way as to blind our leaders to the bigger picture (by a bunch of kids screaming "gimme" in their ear)?


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  3. #2  
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    The problem with government intervention is that it's like applying gauze to an open wound. It might help stop the bleeding, but eventually you have to rip the gauze away from the wound or the flesh will grow into the gauze. Ripping away a bandage that has grown into your body hurts like hell. Likewise when the stimulus provisions spur the economy enough that they're deemed unnecessary, and they get pulled, it's going to hurt like hell.


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    Except they'll never be pulled. This is how politics works. Promising a temporary package and then omitting the "temporary" part.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  5. #4  
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    Not always. Checkout this graph.
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  6. #5  
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    Regardless of the fact my assumption was incorrect (at least in this context), that graph only serves to horrify me. Increase taxes! Increase spending! Increase meddling! Stronger government! Weaker people! CRUSH THE OPPOSITION! YIELD TO NONE! FOR THE MOTHERLAND!

    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  7. #6  
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    I think a lot of people just want to get a job that isn't attached to a profit motive. Government has those kinds of jobs. It's the only institution that isn't concerned with self preservation, or beating the competition.
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  8. #7  
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    Premise: The government offered these jobs, not the other way around.

    Argument: More people work for the government as a result of the government needing more workers.

    Conclusion: More workers means more meddling
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  9. #8  
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    If you view taxes and government spending as bad, then yes, it's a horrifying graph. However, there are other graphs you can make using GDP. Like this one showing the US's share of the world's GDP. The scale is different from the other graph, but I think you can see a positive relationship between the government spending as % of GDP and the US economic growth relative to the world.

    This doesn't necessarily indicate a causative relationship, of course, but it's just something to think about. Be careful about any ideological assumptions you bring to the macroeconomic table.
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  10. #9  
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    Premise&conclusion: Growth is related to taxes

    Evidence: The chart

    Retort&conclusion: Growth is not related to taxes

    Evidence: This chart and this chart.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  11. #10  
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    I'm so glad you've learned reductionist logic. Makes your posts far less verbose :P

    Your charts demonstrate what taxes are spent on. I don't see how it has any bearing on whether federal spending and growth are related.
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  12. #11  
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    It's WHAT they are spent on that counts. Somehow I doubt paying our politicians and funding the military with the majority of taxes contributes to growth. In fact the opposite is true. Consider a pacifist country, for example. If the logic followed then they added amount of taxation focused entirely on the people would make growth go through the roof. There is no evidence for your correlation.

    In fact, furthermore, consider Canada. It has almost no military spending yet our growth overshadows it. What REALLY matters about growth is unrelated to taxes.
    Om mani padme hum

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    There's flimsy evidence, but I showed you two graphs with a rough correlation. My actual belief is that the rapid growth of America came about through our building a transportation network, which facilitated other industries to grown in a non-zero sum way (real economic growth). In the 1800s, this was private railroads funded through federal land grants and subsidies. In the 1900s, this was public roads (interstates and highways). In both cases, the government was using its assets to construct or enable construction of a new transportation network which likely would not have been implemented as fast or at all otherwise. This network fueled growth above and beyond the cost of constructing it.

    So I would tend to agree that military funding probably does not cause economic growth disproportionate to the investment. But I also recognize that economies are complex beasts and you have to have an open mind for things not working the way your politics says they should.
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    That is a good argument. Also, I always use logic in my posts. Most people are just too stupid to see that. It's obvious by my now simplified version I have to dumb things down if I want to get anywhere.

    The "problem" with taxes even FOR the people, such as the railroad project, is that it assumes people are not intelligent enough to direct the flow of cash to areas they will need or need. In this manner I COMPLETELY agree (modern people are retarded), but only for that purpose and only if freely given. If the public WANTS to give the government money to fund a project, it's their freedom of choice to do so. Demanding a percentage from everyone regardless of their opinion on the matter is not, however, acceptable.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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    Maybe not from a philosophical standpoint, but from an economic standpoint there's no reason why taxing people isn't valid. There's a known choking effect of governments meddling in the free market, so as long as government provides services with that money which offset that choking effect plus some, it's a net win.

    A modest military, for instance, prevents being conquered by a foreign power (a grass roots rebel army notwithstanding), which has value well above and beyond the constricting effect that those taxes have on the economy. Likewise a legal system and police force (within reason), because they help protect private property rights. I think transportation networks fall under this category, too. And probably education and vocational training as well. And maybe things like health care, though that's a rather contentious topic.

    Other social programs, like especially social security and unemployment, probably have a net constricting effect on the economy. But they exist primarily as a method of wealth redistribution to help stabilize the economy. And a basic desire for human decency.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Maybe not from a philosophical standpoint, but from an economic standpoint there's no reason why taxing people isn't valid. There's a known choking effect of governments meddling in the free market, so as long as government provides services with that money which offset that choking effect plus some, it's a net win.
    The government is a huge and inefficient organization that sinks billions of dollars into things people do not want to waste money on. Earmarking is one of the worst examples. Bridge to nowhere, anyone? There's a factual reason for why taxes should not be imposed, not just a philosophical one.

    As for the rest, I would willingly aid in funding the military, police force, and so on, but I would make strict demands as to how my money would be spent so it did not end up in the wrong (greedy) hands. The fact is, you can no longer argue with a retardedly inefficient government lacky that you pay their salary. Though true, it's not voluntary, so there is no way you can stop or rally people to stop paying until demands are met. Your hands are tied, which means the gubment can run wild and do as it pleases.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  17. #16  
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    Government is inefficient compared to the free market, but not egregiously so. The problem is that you're taking your political beliefs and looking for justification in the economics of the situation. Nothing says economics has to conform to your world view.

    You have issue with what the present US government spends its money on. That's fine. That's also a political issue. From this issue you conclude that taxation is morally wrong and government in any form can't help but be corrupted and bend to special interests. That's something of a logical leap.
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  18. #17  
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    Show me one government that does not waste tax dollars in an absurd manner. My logic is that ALL governments inevitably become corrupt and start throwing around your tax dollars like it's water.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  19. #18  
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    Show us one dollar that hasn't been spent and re-spent in absurd manners, by business, consumers, and yes government. I dunno what you're doing, but I'm eating shrimp chips at the moment.

    Ever drink bottled water?
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Show us one dollar that hasn't been spent and re-spent in absurd manners, by business, consumers, and yes government. I dunno what you're doing, but I'm eating shrimp chips at the moment.

    Ever drink bottled water?
    That's...LIKE an argument.
    Om mani padme hum

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    I'm not saying your conclusion is wrong, I'm saying it does not follow. Don't try to find justification for it in macroeconomics, because your conclusion is a political one, and macroeconomics is apolitical.
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    One could argue my conclusion is more relating to human nature. By your categorization, all flaws within any system are not the fault of the system itself, but human nature.
    Om mani padme hum

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  23. #22  
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    That's a fine reasoning, just notice it isn't an economical reasoning. From just the economics of taxation, it is theoretically possible for it to be beneficial.
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  24. #23  
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    But it never is in practice.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Show us one dollar that hasn't been spent and re-spent in absurd manners, by business, consumers, and yes government. I dunno what you're doing, but I'm eating shrimp chips at the moment.

    Ever drink bottled water?
    That's...LIKE an argument.
    Then bluntly: Waste is subjective. There is nothing a dollar may do that someone won't think "absurdly wasteful". For example I feel your proposal to keep citizens heavily armed is wasteful. You might argue it creates jobs.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Then bluntly: Waste is subjective.
    Sigh. I only wish you would have understood that's why I said "That's LIKE an argument" in the first place. Labeling it as subjective so you can sweep it under the rug due to your own inability to see how many ways it can be objectively calculated is not an ARGUMENT, it's an appeal to your own dogma.

    To take your own logic to the extremes, nothing can ever be argued definitively because everything is subjective to human experience. In that case this forum is a worthless exercise in futility.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  27. #26  
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    Okay then in many ways objectively calculate "wasteful" transactions by consumers, businesses, and government. Let's all do that. Then let's see if we agree on what is wasteful.

    If we did all agree, because our values match, this would freeze the economy.

    My earlier point was that you'll find plenty of waste anywhere you look for it. Objectively I'll admit to flagrant waste e.g. the shrimp chips or a stupid vacation property if you wanna get serious. Someone paying me for my labour might resent that waste if they audited me, but I'm in on a cartel of wasters AKA dumb consumers so they'll have to pay at least a munchies tax one way or another.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    It's clear at this point nothing can be conclusively argued. Our "opinions" on what objective reasoning is and how to arrive at it clearly differs to such a large degree that discussion is fruitless. So I'm left with my final message: Taxation is a fine theory. Terrible practice. Bridge to nowhere is the rule, not the exception.
    Om mani padme hum

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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    That is a good argument. Also, I always use logic in my posts. Most people are just too stupid to see that. It's obvious by my now simplified version I have to dumb things down if I want to get anywhere.

    The "problem" with taxes even FOR the people, such as the railroad project, is that it assumes people are not intelligent enough to direct the flow of cash to areas they will need or need. In this manner I COMPLETELY agree (modern people are retarded), but only for that purpose and only if freely given. If the public WANTS to give the government money to fund a project, it's their freedom of choice to do so. Demanding a percentage from everyone regardless of their opinion on the matter is not, however, acceptable.
    Some people see through a microscope. Others see through a telescope. You can't approach a microscopic problem with a telescope, and you can't approach a telescopic problem with a microscope.

    If government tries to micromanage the economy, they always screw it up, but they macro-manage it, they actually contribute quite a lot. If private industry tries to macro-manage, private industry always screws that up, but they're usually geniuses at micro-management.

    Use the right tool in the right situation, and you get the best result. Don't let the screwdriver tell the wrench it's useless. (Nor the other way around either)


    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    There's flimsy evidence, but I showed you two graphs with a rough correlation. My actual belief is that the rapid growth of America came about through our building a transportation network, which facilitated other industries to grown in a non-zero sum way (real economic growth). In the 1800s, this was private railroads funded through federal land grants and subsidies. In the 1900s, this was public roads (interstates and highways). In both cases, the government was using its assets to construct or enable construction of a new transportation network which likely would not have been implemented as fast or at all otherwise. This network fueled growth above and beyond the cost of constructing it.

    So I would tend to agree that military funding probably does not cause economic growth disproportionate to the investment. But I also recognize that economies are complex beasts and you have to have an open mind for things not working the way your politics says they should.
    Here we have an example where a whole bunch of private companies, motivated only by their own personal profit (In other words seeing through tunnel vision) were pretty unlikely to figure out a way to work together well enough to accomplish what the government accomplished.

    You have to stand back to see a big picture thing like that clearly, and private corporations are not capable of doing this very well. They can do it to a limited degree, but it's not one of their strong points.

    If private industry did try to build a railway, then the most likely the form it would take would be for several companies to each be building their own separate rail network instead a common shared one (so they could be clear on who had the right to charge people for using it). The waste from that would be so colossal, that it's hard to imagine a way for the government to do worse.

    On the macro level it's a waste because you're building several redundant railway systems when you could have built only one. On the micro level, I'm sure they'd each be very streamlined operations (whereas the government version probably wasn't very streamlined).

    So, sometimes big picture coordination matters more than micro-economic streamlining. Sometimes, it's the other way around, and streamlining matters more than the big picture. I say we should keep both tools in our toolbox.
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  30. #29 Re: Obama's Bailout. Feelings? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    What does it say for Obama to be doing this? Are we really the slaves of a bunch of self stuffing corporates? ?
    No. You are slaves of Israel.

    Now is a great time to be jewish. If you are jewish, you stand to get...what is it now? 700 billion from Bush. Then another 700 billion from Obama. Plus the promise of more if things do not work out.

    Dang I wish I was one of the jewish guys that bankrupted a wall street corporation.

    Obama would be begging me to take billions of dollars of good old USA dollars.
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    You know there are gentile bankers.
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  32. #31 Bailout 
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    All his bailout money is going to big banks while we just watch and suffer its horrible. He has done pretty much nothing these 100 something odd days. Were is all this change he was talking about and the new healthcare stuff is a load of poop
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  33. #32  
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    Maybe instead of sending the money directly to the banks, he should have used it directly to pay down all the overvalued mortgages out there. I know a fair number of people who owe on mortgage loans for land that now values less than the amount they originally borrowed. Maybe the government should just give banks the difference between what's owed and what the collateral is worth, and then have the banks write off that difference to the customer?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Maybe instead of sending the money directly to the banks, he should have used it directly to pay down all the overvalued mortgages out there. I know a fair number of people who owe on mortgage loans for land that now values less than the amount they originally borrowed. Maybe the government should just give banks the difference between what's owed and what the collateral is worth, and then have the banks write off that difference to the customer?
    I couldn,t agree more
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    Most of the problem lies elsewhere, not in the mortgages themselves - giving the banks the difference between the face value of their derivatives and other paper, and what those derivatives are worth in a sound market, is kind of what's supposed to have happened.

    But why are we calling the bank money "Obama's bailout"? The TARP stuff was W's bailout.
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  36. #35  
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    I don't know how I feel about socialization, but that seems to be where this is all heading, no?
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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    I don't know how I feel about socialization, but that seems to be where this is all heading, no?
    Not much sign of that, yet. Certainly not in the bank bailouts.

    An expanding and increasingly authoritarian government giving money to private corporations, privatizing formerly governmental services, protecting and supporting corporate interests, etc, is headed toward fascism, not socialism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    I don't know how I feel about socialization, but that seems to be where this is all heading, no?
    Not much sign of that, yet. Certainly not in the bank bailouts.

    An expanding and increasingly authoritarian government giving money to private corporations, privatizing formerly governmental services, protecting and supporting corporate interests, etc, is headed toward fascism, not socialism.
    It's funny how the two can seem so similar. I don't perceive that private corporations working for the government are really a lot more efficient than an ordinary government agency would be. They tend to waste the same amount of money, just in different ways. A government agency is usually less streamlined, but a corporation is always looking for ways to keep as much of the money as it can as profit.

    Both situations eventually lead to authoritarian rule.
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  39. #38  
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    "headed toward fascism, not socialism."

    fascism as in Nazism?

    Nazism is National Socialism. Some critics of socialism say that there is no real difference between socialism and fascism, since the central idea revolves around an elite aristocracy distributing money as they see fit, which is precisely what you describe, no?
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    Some critics of socialism say that there is no real difference between socialism and fascism,
    Some critics of geology say the whole landscape was made in Noah's Flood. You can't do much about people like that - just nod at them, and smile. If the problem is that they don't speak English very well, you can sometimes help them out.
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    It's funny how the two can seem so similar.
    Only if the socialism is very authoritarian, your viewpoint is from the middle of the economy only, and foreign trade isn't much of an issue.

    Or you're getting your description of things from an economist on Fox TV.
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  41. #40  
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    Please answer the question, and try to avoid straw men.

    In little way does the criticism from sociologists about different ideologies compare to the criticism of some fundamental Christian's critisism of geological dynamics.
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  42. #41  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Some critics of socialism say that there is no real difference between socialism and fascism,
    Some critics of geology say the whole landscape was made in Noah's Flood. You can't do much about people like that - just nod at them, and smile. If the problem is that they don't speak English very well, you can sometimes help them out.
    This is just a problem with the limitations of language, then. Communism(by which I mean authoritarian socialism) and fascism are very similar. Unfortunately, it seems there doesn't yet exist a word in common English to describe a softer form of fascism.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    It's funny how the two can seem so similar.
    Only if the socialism is very authoritarian, your viewpoint is from the middle of the economy only, and foreign trade isn't much of an issue.

    Or you're getting your description of things from an economist on Fox TV.
    So, non-authoritarian fascism, and socialism are similar? That works for me. I guess non-authoritarian fascism would just be a version of socialism where the government hires private corporations to perform most economic functions rather than performing those functions itself.

    Basically, the difference between soft fascism and a free market is that instead of consumers deciding what they want to buy for themselves, they pay taxes to the government, which then turns around and uses the tax money to buy stuff on their behalf from the private sector. The difference is that the government usually buys higher quality goods, and pays too much for them.

    Now, if you were a private corporation, which system would you prefer: ordinary capitalism, or soft-fascism?
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    There is no such thing as non-authoritarian fascism. Fascism revolves aroung the concept of a dictator: the ultimate authority.

    i do no agree with the theory that socialism and fascism are the same, I was just asking for other people's opinions by presenting this idea. Sadly people are quicker to say what they don't agree with, instead of saying what they themselves think.

    Politics is complicated and imbiguity has held the floor for too long.

    A monarchy is a type of fascism, as is an empire. A fascist nation can be many different things, depending on the character of the dictator, and his relationship with the people he rules.

    It's not merely a matter of "This is the man in charge, and this is the nation he wants, so this is the nation that is"

    There is more to be said about the relationship between government and people, than one or the other, when you want to understand either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Communism(by which I mean authoritarian socialism) and fascism are very similar.
    ? They have much of the bad side of authoritarian government in common, but structurally there are some fairly crucial differences - money can't buy you power, for example, under socialist oppression. Inherited wealth is treated much differently. The degenerate state is tribal, rather than feudal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    There is no such thing as non-authoritarian fascism. Fascism revolves aroung the concept of a dictator: the ultimate authority.
    Then how do you describe something that reflects fascism's economic methods, but not it's authoritarianism? It's like I said: there's no word for that, so I was just trying to use the closest words I could find.

    Are you suggesting that this thing I am trying to describe does not exist, and can't ever exist, or are you just saying that I chose the wrong words to try and describe it with?


    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Communism(by which I mean authoritarian socialism) and fascism are very similar.
    ? They have much of the bad side of authoritarian government in common, but structurally there are some fairly crucial differences - money can't buy you power, for example, under socialist oppression. Inherited wealth is treated much differently. The degenerate state is tribal, rather than feudal.
    True. In socialism, power mostly gets peddled in terms of politics. It's who you know, and your connections. People are still just as corrupt, of course, because they all want to get promoted to the highest position in the government, so they can have a nicer apartment. (Because we all know the leaders still get the nicest things.)

    It's interesting that you think of it as tribal instead of feudal, though. I tend to think of a feudal lordship as being nearly identical to a communist state. The peasants have no possessions of their own. (None the Lord can't just seize as he sees fit), and the goods and services are mostly apportioned according to your rank in the system, rather than how hard you work.
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    Fascism doesn't have any inherent economic methods. The fascist regime can decide how to run the economy however they want.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Fascism doesn't have any inherent economic methods. The fascist regime can decide how to run the economy however they want.
    That's true of autocracy in general, at least. It is time to refer to Wiki.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

    In the economic sphere, many fascist leaders have claimed to support Republicans in economic policy, which they believed superior to both the rampant individualism of unrestrained capitalism and the severe control of state communism.[10][11] This was to be achieved by establishing significant government control over business and labour (Mussolini called his nation's system "the corporate state").[12][13] No common and concise definition exists for fascism and historians and political scientists disagree on what should be in any concise definition.
    It's that last line in the paragraph: "No common and concise definition exists for fascism and historians and political scientists disagree on what should be in any concise definition." So you might be right, for all I know.

    The original Nazi fascists won their election in a fiercely contended race against the German Communist party, so that would have politically forced them to do things differently than the communists. But that kind of makes them a special case. Maybe other hyper-nationalistic states prefer to do things another way?
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    It is that very ambiguosness that allows for fascism to be given a negative reputation. For example it is not a prerequisit of fascism to hate minorities, or anyone. It is not required either that you practice eugenics either, but these things are commonly considered staple parts of fascism, because politicians who claim to be fascists, have preach these things.

    But these politicians are preaching these things to a democratic nation; they are not dictating what is and is-not right, they are trying to appeal to a popular vote. A true dictator would not run for office.

    Calling yourself a dictator and running for office is like saying you don't listen to others, while asking if others agree.

    The dictator doesn't ask for help or support, they force help and support.

    Fascism is not democracy, and the two are not compatible. As Aristotle has generalized: the end of tyranny(or in this case- fascism) is protection; the end of democracy is happiness. While he does not say there is no room for gray areas, it is clear that half of both is neither sufficient protection, nor sufficient happiness, to maintain a united society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I tend to think of a feudal lordship as being nearly identical to a communist state. The peasants have no possessions of their own. (None the Lord can't just seize as he sees fit), and the goods and services are mostly apportioned according to your rank in the system, rather than how hard you work.
    Even if you confine the comparison to authoritarian communism in effective operation (rather than the degenerate or falling apart state - how it disintegrates - as I was comparing) there are some major differences involving inheritance, the role of money, the transfer of power, the source and support of authority of the individual, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcus
    Fascism doesn't have any inherent economic methods.
    It has to be corporate organized and involve "private" ownership, or it isn't fascism. If the state owns and runs everything you have another form of government. See Mussolini's writings.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcus
    A true dictator would not run for office.

    Calling yourself a dictator and running for office is like saying you don't listen to others,
    But as wanna-be might run for office, and not call himself anything bad.
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    If by "bad" you mean, "not popular," I agree

    A fascism and socialism are not incompatible. You can have one dictator in charge of a nation, redistributing wealth as he sees fit. As has been said, fascism is not very well defined. This allows the critics to be critiquing something very different than the supporters are supporting, and ultimately the only accomplishment is we all fail to understand eachother, avoiding any and all oppertunity to learn.

    I have no problems with fascism, because it has yet to be defined. If one day it is defined as something I have a problem with, then I will see it necessary to call it bad, but until then, it's a word with a wide variety of meanings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I tend to think of a feudal lordship as being nearly identical to a communist state. The peasants have no possessions of their own. (None the Lord can't just seize as he sees fit), and the goods and services are mostly apportioned according to your rank in the system, rather than how hard you work.
    Even if you confine the comparison to authoritarian communism in effective operation (rather than the degenerate or falling apart state - how it disintegrates - as I was comparing) there are some major differences involving inheritance, the role of money, the transfer of power, the source and support of authority of the individual, etc.
    While, it's not a fundamental part of the system, feudalism seems to be the preferred direction that corruption takes in a communist government. North Korea and Cuba are basically monarchies, for all intents and purposes, because the next leader after Castro will almost certainly have to be a relative, and Kim Jong inherited his position from his father.

    Communist systems are usually not meritocracies, where individual accomplishment would be stressed more as a means of advancement. That's more of a capitalist ideal. What communists want is a level playing field, where everyone is equal... in theory.... the incompetent equal to the competent. That leaves interpersonal politics as the only remaining way to decide things, and in any highly political system (by which I mean one where interpersonal politics play a very strong role in deciding who gets what), there's going to be a lot of nepotism, and you can get promoted a lot faster if you marry the boss's daughter.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcus
    Fascism doesn't have any inherent economic methods.
    It has to be corporate organized and involve "private" ownership, or it isn't fascism. If the state owns and runs everything you have another form of government. See Mussolini's writings.
    That's a probably a good idea. Why not let the people who started fascism tell us what they meant it to be?

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    If by "bad" you mean, "not popular," I agree

    A fascism and socialism are not incompatible. You can have one dictator in charge of a nation, redistributing wealth as he sees fit. As has been said, fascism is not very well defined. This allows the critics to be critiquing something very different than the supporters are supporting, and ultimately the only accomplishment is we all fail to understand eachother, avoiding any and all oppertunity to learn.
    It also gives its supporters a lot of wiggle room, to try and make it sound better than it is.
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    Very true. Just to let you know, I wasn't intentionally evading that conclusion.

    But I think there is more to say about a political philosophy than whether it is good, bad, better or worse, than another.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcus
    I have no problems with fascism, because it has yet to be defined.
    Fascism has a reasonably clear and standard description, which is found in the writings of the fascist theoreticians such as Mussolini. If you don't know what it is, stop trying to assert nonsense to people who do know what it is.

    Briefly: it is the proposal of government by and conjoined with a corporate authoritarian elite. As Mussollini put it, the unification of the corporation and the State, placing the State at the service of the corporate class and vice versa.

    Thus: rightwing, by definition, because corporate (private ownership, all that stuff). Authoritarian, because that's how corporate ownership enacts its will - it gives orders, imposes policy from a boss.
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    While, it's not a fundamental part of the system, feudalism seems to be the preferred direction that corruption takes in a communist government. North Korea and Cuba are basically monarchies, for all intents and purposes, because the next leader after Castro will almost certainly have to be a relative, and Kim Jong inherited his position from his father.
    Having the head leader inherit his position does not make a feudalism - the ancient Egyptians did not have a feudal system, they had a quasi-theocracy of Pharoahs and such. This was important, because the irrigation etc had to be nationally organized and managed. And informal inheritance is not inherited monarchy - there are no boy-kings, in such systems as Cuba has.

    Feudalism involved, by definition and necessity, a hierarchy of lords. The analogy might be republic vs straight democracy. It's fascism, with its hierarchy of nested corporations and company towns, that devolves to feudalism. Communism devolves to tribalism - common ownership, not lordly puissance.
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Communist systems are usually not meritocracies,
    All the big authoritarian ones of late have strongly emphasized merit - with the State putting serious effort into finding and training the best athletes, musicians, engineers, etc, from the population, and political power often deriving from demonstrated military or similar command ability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    While, it's not a fundamental part of the system, feudalism seems to be the preferred direction that corruption takes in a communist government. North Korea and Cuba are basically monarchies, for all intents and purposes, because the next leader after Castro will almost certainly have to be a relative, and Kim Jong inherited his position from his father.
    Having the head leader inherit his position does not make a feudalism - the ancient Egyptians did not have a feudal system, they had a quasi-theocracy of Pharoahs and such. This was important, because the irrigation etc had to be nationally organized and managed. And informal inheritance is not inherited monarchy - there are no boy-kings, in such systems as Cuba has.
    This kind of feels like we're splitting hairs. Just like how most African dictators call themselves a "president", because it sounds nicer, but if they're ever voted out, they do like Robert Mugabe, declare a recount, and start brutalizing everybody who voted against them the first time around. So, formally, they're called democracies, even though it's obvious what they really are.

    Similarly, the fact that Cuba and N. Korea's systems don't have all the bells and whistles of a formally declared feudal state doesn't mean they aren't fundamentally the same thing. Of course, fascism has the fundamental elements as well, since ownership of a corporation is usually inherited. I think where we disagree is the tribal thing. I've never heard or seen a communist state devolving into tribalism. That's just a myth. It seems to me that both communism and fascism devolve into feudalism. It's just that the fascist version is an oligarchy, and the communist version is a monarchy.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Communist systems are usually not meritocracies,
    All the big authoritarian ones of late have strongly emphasized merit - with the State putting serious effort into finding and training the best athletes, musicians, engineers, etc, from the population, and political power often deriving from demonstrated military or similar command ability.
    ...Which is why Stalin felt the need to execute all the high officers of the military when he took power, in order to consolidate his control. In a true meritocracy, I don't think it would have been possible for him to do this. In a true meritocracy, those people would have held sufficient power to repel or depose him.

    What I'm talking about is merit- "ocracy" -- rule by the most capable. Not just putting emphasis on merit. A true meritocracy is not a situation where you listen to your most capable people's advice, and decide to fund their programs. It's where your most capable people give you orders and you follow them, or you go to jail, or get fired, or some other kind of punishment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Similarly, the fact that Cuba and N. Korea's systems don't have all the bells and whistles of a formally declared feudal state doesn't mean they aren't fundamentally the same thing.
    I would call the presence of feudal lords, landlords by inheritance, the possessors of a fief, a fundamental and defining characteristic of feudalism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feudalism

    There is no inherited landholding, in Cuba, for example. That's a serious difference, with multiple and extensive repercussions.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Just like how most African dictators call themselves a "president", because it sounds nicer,
    We surely aren't concerned with self-applied marketing or PR labels, are we? IIRC Idi Amin called himself the King of Scotland - Uganda did not thereby earn even a second's consideration as an imperial monarchy.
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    First its only fair to say is not "Obamas bailout" while he may have signed it and pushed for it. He did not create it. Congress did. While i realise this means little in terms of this particular question i'm a bit anal when it comes to little things like that. Now i am fiscally conservative. I personally dont think that the government should get involved in such matters. It is my opinion that the economy would have righted itself in time. Now i don think the government should have given out money. They should and could have done what we did in the deppression and created jobs. Massive public works that would benefit everybody, but no we gave companies who failed as companies more money to squander. Just because the government is involved doesnt mean greed will cease to be. The difference is now they are gambling with our money our children's money.
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    First its only fair to say is not "Obamas bailout" while he may have signed it and pushed for it. He did not create it. Congress did.
    The bailout the OP is talking about is of "Wall Street" and the like. That would be TARP, and that was the doing of the executive administration in power at the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Similarly, the fact that Cuba and N. Korea's systems don't have all the bells and whistles of a formally declared feudal state doesn't mean they aren't fundamentally the same thing.
    I would call the presence of feudal lords, landlords by inheritance, the possessors of a fief, a fundamental and defining characteristic of feudalism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feudalism

    There is no inherited landholding, in Cuba, for example. That's a serious difference, with multiple and extensive repercussions.
    I think I have to admit I might be wrong about comparing it to feudalism.

    It's true that it's not land that the various rulers own. Their territory is based on the definition of their roles. Also, unlike Lords, they don't get to keep the difference for themselves when they manage their section of the country more efficiently (or oppressively). So... I guess that does kind of make it look more like tribalism. Even the position of "chief" might be hereditary sometimes in a tribe.

    I'm not sure tribalism is a "degenerate" state, for it though. It seems like tribalism would be the ideal: the goal of the system, not a failure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chisco1389
    They should and could have done what we did in the deppression and created jobs. Massive public works that would benefit everybody,
    I'd have preferred that too.

    but no we gave companies who failed as companies more money to squander. Just because the government is involved doesnt mean greed will cease to be. The difference is now they are gambling with our money our children's money.
    Yeah. The greed will only get worse, because corporate America is starting to get a taste of what free money is like. Since corporate America controls the media, and the media controls re-election, the Congressmen themselves don't have to be greedy in order to be controlled by greed. It's their puppet masters who decide what happens, in the end.
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