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You are making an argument that shows economic ignorance, tries to draw conclusions from very meager data, and ignores the fact that the last thirty years was a failed experiment in free market economics and deregulation. What happened was that as tax rates on the wealthiest lowered, the money did NOT get invested in creating a sustainable economy, but went to bubble chasing (an effort for easy money) and foreign goods. The reason why middle class growth is important is that it shows where there is demand for sustainable investment, and helps feed investment. When the relative gap between the middle class and wealthy grow, the propensity for bubbles to arise also grows. Lower taxes led to bubbles. Deregulation led to bubbles and Wall Street making obscene amounts of profit while not benefiting the economy. Countries that followed our path include Iceland and Ireland, two countries the deregulating free marketeers tried to posit as successes. Look now. To pretend that the three decade experiment in deregulation, tax cuts and blind faith in markets (economic theory is a vast over simplification of reality, free marketeers believe the simplified version and don't take into account the social, political and economic complexities) is to be out of touch with reality. http://scotterb.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/the-failure-of-the-free-market-experiment/
1 year, 1 month ago on Obama: Doubling down on economic ignorance
@kyle8 Most people on the left believe strongly in liberty. You again are simply defining another perspective as inherently immoral and anti-liberty, you are denying the legitimacy of a position different than your own. You are lost in ideology, you are out of touch with reality.
1 year, 1 month ago on The will to power, exemplified
You write: "it is not possible to have a sustainable, self-governing polity when a substantial portion of the electorate denies the fundamental morality or legitimacy of their opponents."
EXACTLY! That's the point I've been making here -- and then you go and do to "progressives" exactly that, calling them "totalitarian" as a group because of one silly example. The delicious, tasty, wonderful irony of you doing exactly what you condemn within a few inches of text. The thing is, I don't think you even realized you were doing it. That's a sign that you are so lost in ideological fog and a belief in your own inherent morality that you don't think the same rules apply to you that apply to others. Your hypocrisy so so obvious, yet you don't see it. Amazing.
Of course, that's been my point here -- you guys attack all those (political types, pundits, etc.) who disagree with your ideology as being inherently immoral and anti-freedom. When I make an argument you quickly try to turn it into something personal about me (especially when my argument is strong) because that's what people do when they define the opponent as inherently immoral. They don't engage (why engage someone inherently immoral?), they just attack personally.
But the fact you would so openly do what you condemn is testament to the fact you don't see what you're doing. I think you need to step back, reflect and really ask yourself if you've not dived so deep into ideological jihad that you can't trust your reactions -- you need some self-critical thought. That's the key to avoiding ideological blinders.
What utter crap. To say that morality isn't involved in liberalism/progressivism is insane -- most progressives are motivated by real concern for the poor, the disadvantaged, and are opposed to abuses of power. You may disagree with their views, but to try to discredit an entire different perspective by the ridiculous claim they just want power and aren't guided by principles is utterly and completely dishonest and absurd -- making such a claim shows lack of principle. To claim that progressives are mainly concerned with identity politics is similarly silly - that's a small sometimes extreme portion, comparable perhaps the the tea party extremists in the GOP (but smaller and less powerful within the Democratic party).
Most progressives I know want to empower individuals, have a strong belief in liberty (that motivates), and a large number of them go to church and have strong religious beliefs. Many (including myself) were disgusted by Clinton and even though I didn't think impeachment was appropriate, I never liked the way the Clinton White House operated. Both sides do it, it's funny how you seem to think it's only on the left, and ignore all the power grabbing that comes from the right. That's a problem with our political system -- people get addicted to power. Smart people recognize this is a universal problem, but many fall to the pettiness of seeing their side as inherently moral and the other side as having no principles.
What you have done is caricatured all progressives by focusing on your own extreme rendition, with no evidence except sensationalist stories about Clinton and Limbaugh and how SOME people reacted. Sometimes you post things that make sense, McQ, but I'm tempted to use this post as an example of propagandistic BS that is so over the top that it's a sign of the kind of demonization and irrational discourse that has added so much toxicity to our political system. It's disgusting, and it's sad to see that you've fallen this far -- at one point, even when I disagreed with you, I respected many of your principles and often did agree. But this post here is bizarre. And yes, when I see claims on the left that make a similar argument about the right, I'll call them out for that kind of BS. You can do better than this, McQ.
1 year, 2 months ago on The problem with “Progressivism”
To be sure, Limbaugh and talk radio - as well as blogs and new media that work against real discussion in order to push an ideological line - are part of the problem. Limbaugh today defend Joseph Kony and the LRA in Uganda, saying that Obama was siding with Muslims and targeting Christians. Unfortunately many people get their politics news from someone so ignorant.
1 year, 2 months ago on Politics has become a “reality show” of diversion
@Ragspierre Now, Rags, despite your protests people like me are working to try to maintain our standard of living, despite people denying science and having ideologically driven understandings of reality. Someday, you'll be glad people didn't follow your ideology -- or at least your kids will.
1 year, 2 months ago on Obama claims oil a “fuel of the past”
@timactual That's the point - if we wait until they become economically viable the transition period will be too long. That's why it's important to be getting to be developing alternatives now. Markets are not magical perfect things - they are often flawed and operate without regard to the human consequences of the logic behind choices made.
@sshiell Heck, I could give you lots of links. I've researched quite a bit for a course I taught. I've also had a fossil fuel geologist (a Republican, in fact) come to class to speak. Here are some good links: http://www.theoildrum.com/ McQ's claim above is silly on its face. First, oil is an international commodity subject to massive demand - how long passenger cars in the US could be fueled is utterly irrelevant and misleading. Moreover, total recoverable oil includes a lot that will take immense effort and cost to recover, and often may not be worth it or be politically infeasible.
But McQ cites a source that is driven by oil companies, gets money from the Koch brothers, and has an overt political agenda. I wouldn't trust their estimate. Even if it were true, though, it still doesn't alter practical reality and the fact that the era of cheap oil is over. If you want to pay $1000 a barrel, you can try to recover all of it (it would get even more expense than that!) Or we can move to make alternatives cheap and plentiful.
You're just wrong, McQ. The US does not have enough oil to really alter the world wide decline in production even if we drilled everywhere. We're probably at the peak of production now, meaning that in the future prices will go up radically as production declines, especially if Matthew Simmons is right about Saudi Arabia. Yes, we should drill and use oil sands and whatever we can to make the transition smoother, but only a fool would put on blinders and say "it's going to be OK, oil will last forever." We have to start the transition to alternatives - nuclear, wind, geothermal, clean coal, solar, etc. A mix of alternatives quickly developed (requiring government support - markets alone won't do it until its too late to have a smooth transition) can correspond to trying to enhance oil production. The 20th century was the cheap oil century, helping fuel a dramatic increase in prosperity and wealth. The evidence is very strong that this era is ending.
@looker Politics isn't everything. wednesdays they have night skiing and we were on the slopes from 3:20 to 7:30 (pick the kids up at school, drive ten minutes to the mountain). Best conditions of the year.
1 year, 2 months ago on Concession prices too high at theaters? Then don’t buy them
@looker Oh yeah, the price of tickets did go up a buck. It's still cheap (and there are matinees for less than $5). Of course our ski mountain is an even better deal (and that's where I was this afternoon - nothing beats New England winter beauty).
@The Shark I feel sorry for you - I live in a place with a theater that charges $5 entrance, have really comfortable seats (you can lean back, there's lots of leg room), popcorn costs $2, $3 or $5 (for a big bowl). Sodas are cheap too, candy is about what you'd pay at a convenience store. The movies tend to be packed, it's a good deal.
@Ragspierre It was a Scooby Doo episode my kids were watching.
1 year, 2 months ago on Watching the usual “national debate” and shaking my head
@looker I think that's a cool idea -- deforestation is a problem in Brazil. Politicians right and left have tried to pressure Brazil to stop it since the Amazon rain forest is so important to the planet's ecosystem. That's not a political stance, that's a scientific fact. You seem to be grasping at straws to try to prove "indoctrination". I can't believe teaching science is indoctrination! All you have is the pledge of allegiance and a cartoon (I've seen cartoons where the bad guys turned out to be environmentalists -- you can't fashion a conspiracy from one particular story line). You need to relax and not try to see conspiracies in everything.
The Volt will be a success, new technologies often start slow. I think the future is really going to surprise you, McQ. In fact, I think it's already starting! It is a bit sad how you started with an interesting idea, a "neo-libertarian" perspective and have fallen into posting a lot of right wing drivel. You can do better. Also, you might want to look at countries like Germany and the Scandinavian states - they have advanced welfare systems and are not on the brinnk of collapse. In fact, in many ways they're doing better than us. Your "narrative" has holes.
1 year, 2 months ago on Chevy Volt: “Car of the Year” in Europe
@coolpapa How so? Also, here's what I think the GOP needs to do: http://scotterb.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/a-sustainable-america/
@martinmcphillips Especially the young men? What a sexist you be!
@Harun All the evidence from inside reports were that Obama and even Boehner were hoping for a grand compromise. Now I suppose I could buy your conspiracy theory that its all a farce by the Democrats and the media played along. But that is a very weak position on your part since Republicans were clearly and adamantly saying no to any compromise that included a tax increase, and that the tea party wing was not wanting to do anything that might give Obama an accomplishment. They saw how Clinton benefited from working with the GOP and they were holding out to win in 2012 and simply take control. So I think I'm on pretty solid ground with accepting the reports on how Obama wanted to compromise - the evidence strongly favors that.
I have seen serious analyses of Obama's budgets -- I haven't seen them "laughed at," but as has been the case since Reagan sent up budgets that had no chance of being passed, a budget is the starting point of negotiation. A lot of people laugh at Republican proposals too. That's OK - you start with a position you stake out and negotiate in there, hopefully in good faith. For you to take one comment "I won" and somehow fantasize that it means Obama won't compromise is absurd -- it's hypersensitive to read so much into one factual claim by the President.
Nope, the evidence is overwhelming that the GOP refused to compromise - hell, they even bragged about it - with the goal of denying accomplishments to Obama and trying to weaken him. The result is nothing really got done, the 112th Congress has little to show for itself, and has far lower popularity than the 111th Congress ever had. But when you say things like "King Obama" it shows you're simply buying into the talk radio blogosphere demonization of Obama that has nothing to do with the man himself. Heck, you may actually believe it, if that's the stuff you read. Meanwhile, his personal approval is still over 70% and Americans generally like the man. He's self-effacing, gracious, and has won over many Republicans he works closely with (as well as former Democratic rivals). The Obama you imagine is a right wing caricature.
@myweeklycrime I think I'm more in the spirit of the founders than you are. I also don't thin they'd have tarred and feathered people for having different political perspectives and being willing to engage in spirited debate. They rather welcomed that.
@myweeklycrime "Compromise is not always a good thing..." wait, weren't you complaining about weasel words like all, always, etc. I mean, you could have a sentence inbetween you calling them weasel words and then doing it yourself!
Compromise is the essence of the American political system, it's designed for and can only operate through compromise. Moreover, democracy is strong because it encourages people with different perspectives to engage and listen to each other, and perhaps learn from each other. Ideological mindsets are inherently closed minded and interpret data into their ideology (and given how complex the world everyone can interpret reality into a pre-existing ideological perspective). Democracy at its best forces people away from that and causes constructive dialogue and mutual learning -- and thus better policy.