Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:21 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:I don't think we're at the stage where flaws need to be found in your hypothesis; that stage comes after you've made a convincing argument for the proposition, and I don't think you've done that.

Since federal revenues are far too low, relative to other developed democracies, it seems that we do not have enough spending, let alone too much "wasteful" spending.


That is also not a very good argument. Evaluating your budget based on what others are spending seems inherently inaccurate...and certainly not a good method for determining levels of waste.

Strictly speaking, we ALWAYS have too much waste. All governments do(state, federal, foreign, whatever). Everyone wants less waste pretty much all the time, so they can have more resources for pursuing their goals, whatever they might be. However, chasing waste gets diminishing returns, and categorizing intentional goals of the other party as waste, while common, is not exactly accurate.

The OP's issue isn't in his goal, but in his method. State government is still government. Moving a function from one part of government to another does not inherently improve it. Some sort of reasonable mechanism for improvement needs to be proposed for examination.

EMTP wrote:
duckshirt wrote:I think it's fair to say eliminating wasteful spending is good regardless of other democracies' revenues


Nope, you still need to demonstrate that. I can eliminate wasteful leg fat by amputating your leg, but despite the elimination of waste, that is still a bad deal.

Now, if you can eliminate waste whilst growing federal spending and expanding and strengthening the social safety net, we might have something to talk about.


Duckshirt's comment is entirely accurate. The goal is good. Methodology is a different thing entirely.

Note that you are tossing other goals into this as well. Growing federal spending is a goal that not everyone shares. In fact, it seems really strange to have that as a goal. One would think that, at most, that'd be part of a plan to achieve some other goal, because that goal happens to need funding. Federal funding isn't inherently good, it just is.

User avatar
EMTP
Posts: 1556
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:39 pm UTC
Location: Elbow deep in (mostly) other people's blood.

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby EMTP » Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:29 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:To the contrary, it's as easy as it gets to stop pork barrel projects in other states. They are, by definition, projects that have to be approved by a congress of full of representatives that do not benefit from them. If people wanted to stop them, they would stop tomorrow.

People still approve them. As part of the deal-making of politics. They get something in return, that they consider worth more than the price. Win-win, you know. You think there's no deal making on the state level?


You could make an argument that any entity that is larger (be it a large corporation, a large military, or a large government) will have more room for waste, since it's hard to keep track of everything and assess the value of all expenditures.

But you would have to weigh that against all the advantages of a larger entity over a smaller one, such as a larger pool of talent to draw upon, ease of implementing successful solutions over a wider area, and less vulnerability to local prejudices and the like.

If small entities were simply better than large ones, we would expect huge multinational corporations to be driven into bankruptcy by Mom-and-pop businesses. Which is far from what we see in the market.

If we returned federal tax collection to the states (remember, it started there, but was moved by the 16th Amendment) we would also have to address the question of states defaulting on their debts to the central government. Would the federal government then seize the assets of the state? Would the state be placed in receivership until the debt to the federal government was paid off?

Perhaps the federal government could deal with recalcitrant states by raising their tax obligations until they defaulted. The most vulnerable to such treatment, of course, would be the states which are today subsidized by the federal government, so if we look at the map:

Image

. . . we see that the South and the rest of "flyover country" would be the most vulnerable to that treatment.

So potentially that would be a concern to take back to your libertarian-leaning friends: by making the states directly responsible for the federal tax bill, you would give the federal government potentially dictatorial power over any state that found itself in the red (where most states are today.)
"Reasonable – that is, human – men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life."
-- Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen"

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:43 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:You could make an argument that any entity that is larger (be it a large corporation, a large military, or a large government) will have more room for waste, since it's hard to keep track of everything and assess the value of all expenditures.

But you would have to weigh that against all the advantages of a larger entity over a smaller one, such as a larger pool of talent to draw upon, ease of implementing successful solutions over a wider area, and less vulnerability to local prejudices and the like.

If small entities were simply better than large ones, we would expect huge multinational corporations to be driven into bankruptcy by Mom-and-pop businesses. Which is far from what we see in the market.


The traditional libertarian answer to that is that the market isn't entirely free, and that large corporations routinely engage in unfair business practices to crush smaller competitors, assisted by government. Little lobbying one way and the occasional fat donation, and the occasional law helping out big business in return. Oddly enough, this particular argument is not very different from the views of many on the far left.

However, even in abstract, one can find examples of companies that are not particularly heavily influenced by lobbying(for instance, in emerging markets, where there may simply be very little legislation yet). Sometimes larger companies thrive, sometimes smaller ones. The reasons for each will vary depending on market conditions. Huge initial investments tend to rule out mom and pop shops, for instance. Not a lot of mom and pop processor making concerns. To pull this over to government, we see some of the same issues of scale. A mom and pop shop ain't making, operating, etc an aircraft carrier, let alone a large, unified military.

On the other hand, small shops thrive where the demand is simply too small to be satisfied by massive chains. The game store industry is fairly resistant to chains, despite no shortage of attempts, because the market just isn't huge in a given area. You can't get the turns walmart needs on most products, and it doesn't scale upward indefinitely in size, because the local customer base is limited. So, you don't have walmart sized game shops everywhere.

It isn't a matter of one size being ideal, it's a matter of which size is optimal for a given need. Given two actually detailed tax systems, it should be a relatively simple matter to compare them and see which is more practical.

So potentially that would be a concern to take back to your libertarian-leaning friends: by making the states directly responsible for the federal tax bill, you would give the federal government potentially dictatorial power over any state that found itself in the red (where most states are today.)


Not really. You seem to assume that "libertarian" is code for "super red". Most libertarians view republicans and democrats as all essentially the same, embraced in different strategies of struggling for power, but essentially almost identical in nature. The frequent republican failure to actual deliver on promises of fiscal responsibility is not news to them. It's a huge part of why so many of them ARE libertarian instead of republican.

User avatar
EMTP
Posts: 1556
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:39 pm UTC
Location: Elbow deep in (mostly) other people's blood.

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby EMTP » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:25 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Sometimes larger companies thrive, sometimes smaller ones. The reasons for each will vary depending on market conditions.


Exactly. And I suggest that, analogously, sometimes a larger government unit is better or more successful than a smaller one. If the structure of organizations was such that a larger entity inevitably produced more waste without any associated benefit, one would expect that in a competitive market large companies would vanish, replaced by small companies. That we instead see a mixture of large and small business units suggest that both have advantages and drawbacks.

So potentially that would be a concern to take back to your libertarian-leaning friends: by making the states directly responsible for the federal tax bill, you would give the federal government potentially dictatorial power over any state that found itself in the red (where most states are today.)


Not really. You seem to assume that "libertarian" is code for "super red". Most libertarians view republicans and democrats as all essentially the same,


Citation needed. In my experience most self-identified libertarians are in fact right-wingers. But that's not relevant to the main point, which is that the proposed change could make individual states subject to greater direct control by the federal government, which is presumably something libertarians (left and right) would oppose.
"Reasonable – that is, human – men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life."
-- Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen"

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10550
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:30 pm UTC

You mean the teabaggers and the paulbots? They are about as libertarian as an-caps are anarchist or as the people's democratic Republic of Korea is the first three things.

HungryHobo
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:01 am UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby HungryHobo » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:34 am UTC

"Libertarian" is one of those super-wide banners that covers everything from pseudo-communist geolibertarians(Tag line, you have the right to the fruits of your labor but your labor didn't make the land) to left libertarians(Don't read my mail or take my guns but also don't be a dick to poor people) to Randians(fuck you I've got mine) to the "Libertarian National Socialist Green Party"(who knows).

https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve ... Party.html
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.

leady
Posts: 1592
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:28 pm UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby leady » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:00 am UTC

Maybe true, but any libertarian worthy of the name has to be on the right to be consistent

There is no such thing as libertarian socialist, its a contradiction. What there are really are nasty and nice libertarians, but you can only have both in the nasty libertarian framework (which of course annoys people ala hoppe). Fundamentally all rights flow from the right to be a dick, but not a violent one

Autolykos
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:32 am UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby Autolykos » Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:58 pm UTC

leady wrote:Maybe true, but any libertarian worthy of the name has to be on the right to be consistent

There is no such thing as libertarian socialist, its a contradiction. What there are really are nasty and nice libertarians, but you can only have both in the nasty libertarian framework (which of course annoys people ala hoppe). Fundamentally all rights flow from the right to be a dick, but not a violent one

I'd say a libertarian can't be on the left and be consistent. That's a small, but subtle difference - sometimes you have to implement policies that aren't from the "political right" (or even contradict it) to get the most freedom for everyone. But when you start implementing enough left-wing policies to be called "left", you'll definitely have to compromise on freedom.

leady
Posts: 1592
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:28 pm UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby leady » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:55 pm UTC

Autolykos wrote:most freedom for everyone.


you see is such a loaded subjective term implying positive rights that I have a hard time reconciling it with libertarianism as it seems to violate a fairly central tennet (Progressive conservatism? )

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7604
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:15 pm UTC


You could make an argument that any entity that is larger (be it a large corporation, a large military, or a large government) will have more room for waste, since it's hard to keep track of everything and assess the value of all expenditures.

But you would have to weigh that against all the advantages of a larger entity over a smaller one, such as a larger pool of talent to draw upon, ease of implementing successful solutions over a wider area, and less vulnerability to local prejudices and the like.

I would be willing to go a step further: while larger organisations have more room for intentional corruption or unintended waste, I have never seen much evidence that this room scales much faster than proportional with their size, or at all faster than proportional. Larger organisation don't have more waste and corruption relatively to their size. City boards already have all the trappings of US congress.

That doesn't mean I would automatically favour scale, in government or elsewhere. I would personally be very uncomfortable with the size if the US federal government, altough perhaps less if I was user to it.

It's just that efficiency or corruption are, IMO, not primary reasons to limit the scale of common government (or other organisations). People who rally against the inefficiency of a high level of government typically also have other complaints against that high level. They are almost always willing to tolerate inefficiencies on a closer level that they object to on a more distant level.

The primary problems of large-scale government are often about uniformity, when they are not about straight domination of some regions by others. Either the high level pushes down a best-effort compromise that people still object to. Or it fails to achieve compromise due to the divergent demands and becomes incapable. Or it takes painfully much time and effort to negotiate an acceptable compromise.

I would place pork barrel projects in that last category. They are not true waste or corruption, since the people involved desire them and the rest of the people actively agrees to them as part of the larger deal. They are the unavoidable grease to achieve compromise, but the requirement for grease shows the strains of the system.

From the outside, I'd still say that the federal US works remarkably well, given the size of the country. Perhaps it's too large by some standards, but it would be hard to regain such a system again.

KnightExemplar
Posts: 5494
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:36 pm UTC

For small-scale vs large-scale, you also have to factor into the equation the inefficiency of infighting between small groups.

For example, the Keystone Pipeline controversy right now (which is being pushed by the pro-Oil Republicans) would basically be dead if a single state (or even county) decided to block the pipeline. It is frankly easier to get the Federal Government, aka Congress, to approve of the Pipeline rather than for the pipeline to be built state-by-state. I'm generally for splitting things up by default. But I recognize that infighting between small groups leads to even _more_ inefficiency than conglomerating it all in a single, massive structure with a top-down vision. I'd split things up on a case-by-case basis.

Just look at the shear number of "natural monopolies" in the US. Google, Facebook, the Commodities market, etc. etc. These massive structures are efficient because they are big. As far as US Government structures go... the US Military, FBI, FDA, FCC (specifically radio regulations) all benefit from efficiencies of scale and size. The bigger the US Military is, the cheaper it gets (because fewer and fewer other countries will dare challenge it). The FCC's monopoly on licensing spectrum allows for extremely efficient allocations of spectrum. Without the FBI, there wouldn't be a national database of criminal fingerprints (and criminals who escape to another state would be effectively immune to punishment).

-------------------------

Lets take the recent Scotland independence thing as an example. Scotland was threatening to defund significant nuclear programs that existed in its country. It didn't happen, because they didn't vote to become independent. But it might have happened. Similarly, a "states first" funding methodology proposed in the original post would allow say... California (a big State with significant income) to defund the US Military by simply not contributing to the national pool of money. If any particular state (and we have 50 states mind you... so one of them is going to disagree) is against a war, or particular military action, then funding to the US Military can be severely threatened.

We currently don't have to worry about political infighting between states, which is a source of major inefficiency. For better or for worse, our military decisions are all-or-nothing. We stand united in our military strikes, and don't have to worry about appeasing individual states or their political agendas. (In contrast to say... NATO, or other more loosely formed alliances)

EMTP wrote:Image

. . . we see that the South and the rest of "flyover country" would be the most vulnerable to that treatment.

So potentially that would be a concern to take back to your libertarian-leaning friends: by making the states directly responsible for the federal tax bill, you would give the federal government potentially dictatorial power over any state that found itself in the red (where most states are today.)


Why the hell are "Red" states profitable and "Green States" unprofitable?

I like the information there... but good gosh, its confusing. Especially with your manner of speech "in the red". (which would be... "in the green", with respect to that graphic). Also, someone needs to be punished for forgetting about red/green colorblindness. :roll: :roll:
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:01 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Sometimes larger companies thrive, sometimes smaller ones. The reasons for each will vary depending on market conditions.


Exactly. And I suggest that, analogously, sometimes a larger government unit is better or more successful than a smaller one. If the structure of organizations was such that a larger entity inevitably produced more waste without any associated benefit, one would expect that in a competitive market large companies would vanish, replaced by small companies. That we instead see a mixture of large and small business units suggest that both have advantages and drawbacks.


Yup. Likewise, some functions are best handled at state levels, and some are not. Usually, things that are extremely local concerns are better handled locally, simply because you're more likely to have knowledge about the area in the hands of the decision makers. Also, because US reps can't be expected to practically micromanage everything effectively.

Generally, in an argument for something being a concern of state/local governments, I'd expect to see a case made that needs vary strongly between states, and a one size fits all solution is a big problem, or something like that.

So potentially that would be a concern to take back to your libertarian-leaning friends: by making the states directly responsible for the federal tax bill, you would give the federal government potentially dictatorial power over any state that found itself in the red (where most states are today.)


Not really. You seem to assume that "libertarian" is code for "super red". Most libertarians view republicans and democrats as all essentially the same,


Citation needed. In my experience most self-identified libertarians are in fact right-wingers. But that's not relevant to the main point, which is that the proposed change could make individual states subject to greater direct control by the federal government, which is presumably something libertarians (left and right) would oppose.


The existance of a third party named "the libertarian party" should suffice to demonstrate that they are not merely a faction of the existing party in the way that say, the tea party is. The tea party is merely a faction within the republican camp. They still have voter ID cards with (R) on them, and vote for people with (R) in front of their names.

Not universally. While libertarians are generally for reduced government(myself included), they differ quite a bit on the how, and essentially all of them support at least some purposes that are best left to the federal government(military is perhaps the most agreed upon of these). Those who don't like the fed for ANYTHING are kind of anarchists or something else. There's not really a lot of those, they can be mostly ignored.

The reason why I dislike the change proposed by the OP is that it's vague and poorly supported. And also probably dysfunctional. Not because of ideology, necessarily.

leady wrote:Maybe true, but any libertarian worthy of the name has to be on the right to be consistent

There is no such thing as libertarian socialist, its a contradiction. What there are really are nasty and nice libertarians, but you can only have both in the nasty libertarian framework (which of course annoys people ala hoppe). Fundamentally all rights flow from the right to be a dick, but not a violent one


Right and left are inherently vague. I'm a libertarian, I'm all for married gays with guns. Does that make me right wing or left wing? Or hell, centrist?

And *every* side tends to think their side is consistent, and the others, totally not. Accusations of hypocricy are pretty universal in US politics.

KnightExemplar wrote:Why the hell are "Red" states profitable and "Green States" unprofitable?

I like the information there... but good gosh, its confusing. Especially with your manner of speech "in the red". (which would be... "in the green", with respect to that graphic). Also, someone needs to be punished for forgetting about red/green colorblindness. :roll: :roll:


Strictly speaking, this is about subisides, not profitability or need for subsidies. It just means that the green states, in general, get more out than they put in. One obvious potential cause is that senators are by state, not population, and thus, less populous states have proportionately more pull. In general, that map shows the most heavily populated states as donors, and less populated states as recipients.

leady
Posts: 1592
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:28 pm UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby leady » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:31 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Does that make me right wing or left wing? Or hell, centrist?


You are right wing - "nice libertarian" :)

cphite
Posts: 1370
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby cphite » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:31 pm UTC

leady wrote:Maybe true, but any libertarian worthy of the name has to be on the right to be consistent

There is no such thing as libertarian socialist, its a contradiction. What there are really are nasty and nice libertarians, but you can only have both in the nasty libertarian framework (which of course annoys people ala hoppe). Fundamentally all rights flow from the right to be a dick, but not a violent one


Generally speaking, libertarians are *more* to the right than republicans when it comes to fiscal matters, and *more* to the left of democrats when it comes to social matters. So while the term "libertarian socialist" is surely a contradiction, the term "Libertarian liberal" is not. But then, neither is "Libertarian conservative".

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:57 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
leady wrote:Maybe true, but any libertarian worthy of the name has to be on the right to be consistent

There is no such thing as libertarian socialist, its a contradiction. What there are really are nasty and nice libertarians, but you can only have both in the nasty libertarian framework (which of course annoys people ala hoppe). Fundamentally all rights flow from the right to be a dick, but not a violent one


Generally speaking, libertarians are *more* to the right than republicans when it comes to fiscal matters, and *more* to the left of democrats when it comes to social matters. So while the term "libertarian socialist" is surely a contradiction, the term "Libertarian liberal" is not. But then, neither is "Libertarian conservative".


Libertarian socialist originates with a very, very rose colored view of socialism...the one where it eventually leads to the withering of the state, much like in old timey communist views. While it's a really odd term, it isn't inherently a contradiction. Or at least, they don't realize it is. They genuinely want both liberty and socialism. Usually good people, just super-optimistic.

Fairly rare, too. Even by libertarian standards.

Autolykos
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:32 am UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby Autolykos » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:14 pm UTC

And that people in the US tend to use "liberal" synonymously with "socialist" doesn't help here, either. It just loses a pretty important distinction.
Maybe it's personal bias, but I find the European split into Conservative (regulate society, deregulate economy), Socialist (regulate everything), Market Liberal (deregulate everything) and Social Liberal (regulate economy, deregulate society) a lot less confusing.

User avatar
EMTP
Posts: 1556
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:39 pm UTC
Location: Elbow deep in (mostly) other people's blood.

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby EMTP » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:58 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
The existance of a third party named "the libertarian party" should suffice to demonstrate that they are not merely a faction of the existing party in the way that say, the tea party is. The tea party is merely a faction within the republican camp. They still have voter ID cards with (R) on them, and vote for people with (R) in front of their names.


Analogously, we might argue that because there exists a Green Party, that hard-core environmentalists are neither left nor right. Obviously, that would be silly to assert. Similarly, the existence of a tiny, powerless American libertarian party does not demonstrate that self-identified libertarians are not more likely to be right-leaning than left-leaning.
The reason why I dislike the change proposed by the OP is that it's vague and poorly supported. And also probably dysfunctional. Not because of ideology, necessarily.


Sure, fine, but the OP specifically said the he and his circle of friends where libertarian-leaning, so the possible implications of the policy vis-a-vis the libertarian preference for a more limited government seemed relevant. I always find it's more effective to argue a point to someone grounded in their own values.
"Reasonable – that is, human – men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life."
-- Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen"

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:16 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
The existance of a third party named "the libertarian party" should suffice to demonstrate that they are not merely a faction of the existing party in the way that say, the tea party is. The tea party is merely a faction within the republican camp. They still have voter ID cards with (R) on them, and vote for people with (R) in front of their names.


Analogously, we might argue that because there exists a Green Party, that hard-core environmentalists are neither left nor right. Obviously, that would be silly to assert. Similarly, the existence of a tiny, powerless American libertarian party does not demonstrate that self-identified libertarians are not more likely to be right-leaning than left-leaning.


It would be extremely silly indeed to tell a member of the green party that they are just democrats.

It would also be silly for a democrat to claim to be a green party member if he does not register, vote, or donate that way, simply because he agrees with them on a single issue.

Surely if one can differentiate between "being pro environment" and "being a member of the green party" it shouldn't be significantly more different to differentiate between actual libertarians and particularly outspoken republicans. Because we really don't like being lumped in with the latter group. Hopefully you can understand that desire.

User avatar
EMTP
Posts: 1556
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:39 pm UTC
Location: Elbow deep in (mostly) other people's blood.

Re: Current US Tax System Promotes Waste and Corruption

Postby EMTP » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:50 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
EMTP wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
The existance of a third party named "the libertarian party" should suffice to demonstrate that they are not merely a faction of the existing party in the way that say, the tea party is. The tea party is merely a faction within the republican camp. They still have voter ID cards with (R) on them, and vote for people with (R) in front of their names.


Analogously, we might argue that because there exists a Green Party, that hard-core environmentalists are neither left nor right. Obviously, that would be silly to assert. Similarly, the existence of a tiny, powerless American libertarian party does not demonstrate that self-identified libertarians are not more likely to be right-leaning than left-leaning.


It would be extremely silly indeed to tell a member of the green party that they are just democrats.

It would also be silly for a democrat to claim to be a green party member if he does not register, vote, or donate that way, simply because he agrees with them on a single issue.

Surely if one can differentiate between "being pro environment" and "being a member of the green party" it shouldn't be significantly more different to differentiate between actual libertarians and particularly outspoken republicans. Because we really don't like being lumped in with the latter group. Hopefully you can understand that desire.


But no one, least of all me, conflated libertarians and Republicans. What I said (in response to a claim to the contrary) was that in my experience, self-identified libertarians tend to be more right-wing, just as, if you take a hundred people at an anti-pipeline rally, they are going to be more to the left than the median voter.

I am sure that there are many libertarians who take an Iranian-type "Great Satan, Little Satan" approach to left and right, but I don't find that generally true of the group. But, as I said to begin with, I'd be happy to see a citation for that.
"Reasonable – that is, human – men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life."
-- Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen"


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests