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Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 7:48pmSanction this postReply
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Stossel, Beck, and Cato have all put forth a set of cuts that take us to a surplus and do it without putting seniors at risk of diminished social security or Medicare.

Rand Paul has a plan for a 500 billion cut - no where near a surplus, but a whale of a good start.



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Friday, February 4, 2011 - 1:21amSanction this postReply
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I think the "untouchables" should also be phased out despite the complaints from the progressives.



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Friday, February 4, 2011 - 4:40pmSanction this postReply
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Yeah, Stossel mentioned privatizing Social Security, but that it was too controversial for the scope of that piece.



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Friday, February 4, 2011 - 7:24pmSanction this postReply
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My understanding is that Social Security doesn't need to be cut now, but it must be changed to avoid collapse in future years (things like means tests, raising the age, privatizing for those under a certain age, etc.) One of the suggestions I heard for Medicare was shifting first to a kind of voucher system for paying - to get rid of the problems arising out someone other than the consumer doing the paying.

I don't see any rational problems with making cuts deep enough to get rid of the deficit, and eliminating the debt in a fairly short amount of time. And it wouldn't be a problem making the fixes into a sound structure - like a well written balanced budget amendment. A friend of mine advocated a simple change: After getting what cuts can be achieved this year, then pass a resolution that requires a 2/3 majority to overrule that says that the spending shall decrease by 1% each year for the next twenty years. (I'd be tempted to make it 2%).

The big irrational problem is the greed, egoism, power-grabbing, hidden agendas, ignorance and political cowardice on the part of the politicians.
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A much bigger problem is inflation. I see no way to get around the massive damage that will come from either a collapse or hyperinflation - and no way to avoid one or the other at this point - that I can see - based on the amount of purchasing power that has been pushed out already and is just starting to come out of the central bank reserve accounts.



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Sunday, February 6, 2011 - 9:44pmSanction this postReply
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Yes, Steve...cause the voters have absolutely nothing to do with that, right?


Not like they freak out or anything the minute anyone even suggests it like Warren G. Harding #2--AKA--George W. Bush did..oh wait, they totally did; my mistake.



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Monday, February 7, 2011 - 1:22amSanction this postReply
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its not really the politicians as much as it is the people who elect those politicians.



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Monday, February 7, 2011 - 11:09amSanction this postReply
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"its not really the politicians as much as it is the people who elect those politicians."

That's a good point. Particularly today with the Tea Party who are doing better at holding up their end. But the fact is that if we had better politicians we wouldn't need the people to be as active, and if the people were more active we would have better politicians.

Both the voting population and the politicians need to understand the constitution and basic economics much better.

I usually target the politicians for my criticism because they swear the oath of office, they pass the laws that shouldn't be passed. They spend the money that shouldn't be spent. They take on the responsibility, the job, and do so without the basic knowledge they should have.

What I like about the tea party is not just that they are demanding certain basic, commonsense principles from their candidates, but also that they staying (so far) responsible for keeping after the politician (no more elect and forget... I hope). And they are not letting themselves be turned into a single organization or actual political party - if that happened it would no longer be 'the people' and it could be co-opted more easily, and it would start having its own organizational agendas and cravings for power as an organization - contrary to those basic principles.



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Monday, February 7, 2011 - 7:35pmSanction this postReply
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And Steve, throughout history, humans have shown to truthfully give a damn, right?

Another thing you have to remember is humans are notorious for putting pragmatic emotions over logic and reason in most cases; I mean fer chrissake even Cicero brought that up.

What honestly would indicate that has suddenly changed?

Politicians represent the terrified, emotion-based majority; always have, and will continue to for a very, very long time.

Humans put politicians and government on a pedestal with the same blind faith that they put religion on.

They do it due to an incredibly poor level of esteem and general confidence- a level they've always had.

They want "the other guy" to have the answers when they don't...and they put all their faith in those people--and at times superstitious omnipotence- to do it. They then lie and rationalize to themselves when the ideas fall short because they're so heavily emotionally invested, they believe that if the person that represents the idea they've built up to be the be-all-end-all fails, it's a reflection of them.

Everything we humans need to thrive we already have, and plenty of it. Sadly, humans don't want to use it. Some do...and you do hear about those people, but they're a very small minority. In many cases, they don't even understand the moral reasons for doing it; they do it out of necessity, not desire.

Due to humankind's desire for an emotional utopia, they'll keep trying failed ideas "until they work".

Is there any hope for this? Yes...just not anytime soon.

I stand by it: the human mind must evolve to its next level before that can happen.

As long as humans still show such incredibly irrational contradictions which influence the rest of society, no real improvements can be made. Humans aren't ready for them.

Just to reiterate on a point I made earlier, one of my girlfriend's relatives told me he'd recently read a book by a clergymen who had to write it in secret, as the church opposed his writing and discussing of the ideas-- apparently he too suggested that humans have not reached their evolved mental state yet, and it would take several thousand more years to go before that happens.

I already say it's at least gonna take a thousand years( 500 *if* we're lucky) before any real changes happen. I know it sounds depressing, cause no one thinks we'll survive it.

I beg to differ, as humans have survived thousands of years of civilizations rising and falling. Is it pretty and comfortable to think about? Of course not...but it's reality, and it's history.





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Monday, February 7, 2011 - 8:17pmSanction this postReply
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Mr. Kay,

We disagree. At it's root your argument is against free will - maybe not on the theoretical level, but definitely on the functional level.

I don't know why you bother arguing since in your view people aren't capable of rationally choosing to side with you for - not for another 500 years or so.

I find your opinion of man to be distasteful. If I had your beliefs I wouldn't support freedom, not for all those irrational, emotional creatures that don't give a damn - as you characterize man.



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Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 9:34pmSanction this postReply
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Steve, the way I see it, I am not the judge, jury, or executioner.

Be thankful that there is still a small percentage of people--of only a very tiny amount--that keeps things going, revolutionizes, and makes this world as great of a place as it can be.

I believe man does have the right to choose his own fate; as history shows, man usually doesn't choose too well overall...but it is still man's choice nonetheless.

I am sorry to hear that if you supposedly had my beliefs, you wouldn't be in support of freedom; if anything I figured it wold be due to that incredibly small minority that would do something really great that you would indeed be in favor of it. Just because the majority don't want it doesn't mean it isn't worth fighting for.

You're saying you'd only support it if the majority suggested they wanted it? I find that most unfortunate.

In the very least I thought you'd at least want to support freedom enough to keep even the faintest glimmer of hope around long enough for when that mental evolution does in fact take place.



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Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 9:45pmSanction this postReply
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Mr. Kay,

Perhaps you are trying to be funny? Or maybe you just didn't understand what I wrote.

I said that if I thought people were the miserable lot that you think they are I wouldn't be motivated to seek freedom for them. Don't misunderstand that. It isn't a statement about my political beliefs (which are for freedom) or about my view of man (which is that he is a rational being with a degree of free will who is heroic).

My statement was about your misanthropic views.



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Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 11:53pmSanction this postReply
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Steve, I wasn't trying to be funny.

Consider though: people are always looking to what they refer to as a "higher power" for the answers they so desperately seek, as they don't see those answers themselves.

They don't see the faith in themselves to find those answers, so they look to a "higher" power for it, whether it be government or religion.

The answers are already there--we have them, and we know what works, if only from a few assorted examples here and there where it's worked.

Leonard Peikoff himself I believe even referred to humans as very pragmatic beings; well, I'd like to throw in emotion-based over logical to that description. Whether you like hearing it or not, all you need to do is read plenty of history; it's all there, pleasant to hear or not.

Another thing to consider is humans attempt to avoid accountability as much as possible, which is another reason religion and the "current" state of politics are both so popular, and pretty much always have been. Need a perfect recent example? How about when everyone started freaking out about President Obama's announcements to implement the very programs he campaigned on during the '08 election? All I keep hearing now is how "he lied to us"..which is funny because I was still completely focused on politics then, and I don't remember any point where he lied; he pretty much said exactly what he planned to do. The point is..humans find it easier just to "pass the buck", and blame someone else when what they want but never works...well, doesn't work rather than up and admitting "my ideas failed; let me try something else".

Yes, the Tea Party now has momentum, but once again...even if they do manage to successfully push for any reforms, or get a free-market Capitalist elected in '12, let's see how long it lasts before that politician pushes for a major free-market/deregulating initiative, only for the people to freak out and demand that that things "stay as they are".

Much as you, I too shall always keep pushing for freedom. I love it, and whether or not most of humanity prefers it, I at least think they deserve the choice in any situation.

Again..it is not my place to decide for them which route they shall take. I can hope that they will eventually choose the path that will lead to success and prosperity.

However, they can keep screwing it up all they please, but I will not be there to bail them out of their own destruction.

As Rorschach said it best in Watchmen: "and the world will look up, and shout 'Save us!', and I will whisper 'no"
(Edited by R Kay on 2/09, 12:12am)




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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 11:02amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Kay, who are you saying is emotional over logical, pragmatic over principled, looking for others to save them instead of being responsible, blaming others instead of taking responsibility, screwing things up more than getting them right? Who? Are you speaking for yourself? Or just everyone else? Please don't speak for me.

You can't claim to be standing outside of the human race looking in and telling us that we are defective in all these ways. (But we shouldn't worry because in a 1000 years we will be better). That comes across as an unpleasant kind of superiority complex.

Why don't you understand that what you are saying is that man is not capable of exercising choice? You are saying we don't have volition when you locate the problem as being in human nature - in that which is common to mankind.

You CAN argue that many people currently hold beliefs or have low levels of self-esteem that generate these negative consequences, but those are open to any individual making better choices since man is a volitional creature. That would locate the problems in the ideas which can be combated and that recognizes man's heroic potential. That leaves us free to see all that is good and that has been accomplished through out history. That allows us to refuel our motive power in art and inspiration. Your view is anti-life.

I repeat that I find your ugly view of man's nature to be distasteful to an extreme.






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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 12:32pmSanction this postReply
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"You CAN argue that many people currently hold beliefs or have low levels of self-esteem that generate these negative consequences, but those are open to any individual making better choices since man is a volitional creature."


That's EXACTLY what I'm trying to say.

I of course think man CAN make these choices, I just don't see it as likely anytime soon considering the majority of previous examples in history.

To suggest that man is very likely to make the better choices more often is to deny the majority of history of civilization.

Has man shown the CAPABILITY to make better choices? Of course! Has man shown the DESIRE to do it? Not really.

And yes, amazing achievements have indeed come from mankind, which I've already mentioned; the thing is most of these achievements were only from a small percentage of the population. That's pretty much going back throughout human history.

We know about the genius of DaVinci and the incredible work that Michaelangelo did on the Sisteen Chapel. We know of the greatness of Tesla, Einstein, and Copernicus just to name a few.

Do we know much about the guy living a few doors down from them, though? No...not really. There's usually a reason why. That's all I'm saying.

In the case of Capitalism, I believe mankind in general is willing to use it, but only JUST ENOUGH to get by...preferring to spread the "joys" of Socialism. I see Capitalism as a system that is "needed, but not desired" by the majority. I think this is truly unfortunate. IMO, it should be both.

That's all I've been trying to say.



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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 1:47pmSanction this postReply
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Mr. Kay,

That is NOT all that you were saying.

You said, "people are always looking to what they refer to as a 'higher power' for the answers they so desperately seek..." [emphasis mine]

"Always" is an actual word and has an actual meaning.
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You said, "Another thing to consider is humans attempt to avoid accountability as much as possible..."

I don't and I know plenty of others that don't. That makes your statement false. To make it accurate all you had to do was substitute "... many people" for "humans." When you phrase it the way you did you made a statement about human nature that is patently false.
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You wrote, "All I keep hearing now is how 'he lied to us'..which is funny because I was still completely focused on politics then, and I don't remember any point where he lied; he pretty much said exactly what he planned to do. The point is..humans find it easier just to 'pass the buck', and blame someone else when what they want but never works...well, doesn't work rather than up and admitting 'my ideas failed; let me try something else'."

I assume that in reality you hear more than that one statement, "he lied to us" - but that was just a form of hyperbole. You don't remember any point where Obama lied? He said he would not raise taxes, but he has. He said he would implement transperancy, but did the opposite, he said he would veto bills with earmarks, but didn't, he said he would promote bipartenship, and on, and on... If you don't choose to take language seriously, why should anyone take what you say seriously?
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You wrote, "...the human mind must evolve to its next level before [things get better]"

You should have written something like this: "Far more people need to adopt clearer thinking and better ideas for our cultures and our societies to reach that next level where things will be better." That is accurate, doesn't make a false statement about the nature of human beings, stands clearly on an assumption that people have choice, and focuses on the real problems, and provides a direction for making improvements. An accountable person might recognize the need for clearer writing. :-)



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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 9:38pmSanction this postReply
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Ok, that's I guess another way to put it.

However, about the Obama point: no, he said he'd cut taxes for 95% of Americans. I think it's funny how no bells went off with many people wondering "who ISN'T getting the tax cut?", or "will that impact anyone else in the process?"

Sure, he promised transparency, and did anything else he said indicated we'd get it?



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