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USA Politics Thunderdome

I think you'd be hard pressed to find a government policy (conservative or liberal) that hasn't come from a seed of common/greater good.
I'd be a lot more prone to believe this if the politicians sponsoring bills actually knew what was in them before they voted for them, didn't laden every piece of legislation with a laundry list of pork, and didn't take advantage of the system by becoming professional politicans who focus primarily on re-election and secondarily on the national interest. The fact that multiple people have served thirty-plus years in the Senate and House is an abomination. On both sides. Term limits for everyone. Maybe then we'll have a representative government that actually knows what's going on in society at the present moment. When was the last time you think Mitch McConnell had to call the SSA to get his checks straightened out or Nancy Pelosi had to discuss a bill with Medicare?

Representing your community in the Senate or the House is supposed to be a two way street. Yes, you should be advocating for your locality when it comes to receiving federal aid, new projects, etc. But no, you shouldn't refuse to vote for something you know is in the national interest unless you get X number of dollars for some pet project in your district. That's extortion. Maybe you were going to vote for it anyways but wanted to get in a little something extra - that's even worse, given that we haven't balanced a federal budget in God knows how long. At some point during your term you might have to go back to your constituents and explain that you had to vote for something because it was for the good of the country as a whole, not just your small slice of wherever, and it wasn't appropriate to ask for a $50 million bridge when you are debating healthcare legislation (or military budgets, or social security, or whatever).

Blue collar vs white collar? Why can't we have both? It's a little absurd to assume that a community whose predominantly employment comes from farming or manufacturing is going to be adequately represented by a lawyer or a doctor. Where you came from and what you do isn't as important as how you purport yourself.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
If we’re generalizing, yeah. It’s not that they’re stupid. Most people are going to prioritize their proximal needs before engaging in altruism.
I can't really agree with this when it is far from agreed upon by sociologists, psychologists, economists and anthropologists. In fact, there is plenty of evidence it isn't so. The experts can't even agree whether mankind can be truly altruistic, let alone our society. Maslow's hierarchy and its relation to altruism is tentative at best. Makes intuitive sense, but it just isn't so.

In the analogy at hand, you assume that Joe Sixpack views his regulatory burden as personally valueless. I think you are saying Joe Sixpack must be completely secure in shelter, food, safety, etc before he can accept his responsibility to do his part keeping water clean. But this isn't a third world country ( where there are plenty of examples of altruism btw). So does Joe Sixpack need to not, in fact, be a hourly working stiff getting by pay check to pay check before he cares about clean water? I am quite sure the Sixpack's children drink water and they desire their progeny stay healthy. So, OK. Lets not put used oil down the drain. Now, if the Sixpacks inherited the last 70 acres of the family farm and they wanted to subdivide it for development so they could send the wee Sixpacks to college, but were stopped and threatened with a law suit under the Waters of the United States regulations because a half acre duck pond was on the land, they would be angry. But not altruistic? No.

Sorry, I just can't picture the preposterous notion that a bureaucrat making regulation or a congressionally staffer writing a bill are doing so out of altruism. But it must be true that the gas station owner, teacher's aide, and Piggly Wiggly cashier can not be altruistic.
 

Pags

Well-Known Member
pilot
I can't really agree with this when it is far from agreed upon by sociologists, psychologists, economists and anthropologists. In fact, there is plenty of evidence it isn't so. The experts can't even agree whether mankind can be truly altruistic, let alone our society. Maslow's hierarchy and its relation to altruism is tentative at best. Makes intuitive sense, but it just isn't so.

In the analogy at hand, you assume that Joe Sixpack views his regulatory burden as personally valueless. I think you are saying Joe Sixpack must be completely secure in shelter, food, safety, etc before he can accept his responsibility to do his part keeping water clean. But this isn't a third world country ( where there are plenty of examples of altruism btw). So does Joe Sixpack need to not, in fact, be a hourly working stiff getting by pay check to pay check before he cares about clean water? I am quite sure the Sixpack's children drink water and they desire their progeny stay healthy. So, OK. Lets not put used oil down the drain. Now, if the Sixpacks inherited the last 70 acres of the family farm and they wanted to subdivide it for development so they could send the wee Sixpacks to college, but were stopped and threatened with a law suit under the Waters of the United States regulations because a half acre duck pond was on the land, they would be angry. But not altruistic? No.

Sorry, I just can't picture the preposterous notion that a bureaucrat making regulation or a congressionally staffer writing a bill are doing so out of altruism. But it must be true that the gas station owner, teacher's aide, and Piggly Wiggly cashier can not be altruistic.
Of course bureaucrats and staffers aren't making policy out of altruism. It's their job. It's not like policy is made as a hobby or as a volunteer effort.

Let's also not forget that some of these policies are there to protect Joe Sixpack from corporations and government.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
This is an interesting article about a trio of gentlemen advising the President and the Veteran's Administration on policy and administration. I don't have a problem with government agencies getting outside help and advice but there are already several formal and public ways to do that, and even if not done through those mechanisms such advice and help like that being done with the VA by this trio should be done publicly and with some accountability. To have this sort of work done in complete secrecy with no outside oversight makes such dealings ripe for corruption and abuse.
 

HokiePilot

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
This is an interesting article about a trio of gentlemen advising the President and the Veteran's Administration on policy and administration. I don't have a problem with government agencies getting outside help and advice but there are already several formal and public ways to do that, and even if not done through those mechanisms such advice and help like that being done with the VA by this trio should be done publicly and with some accountability. To have this sort of work done in complete secrecy with no outside oversight makes such dealings ripe for corruption and abuse.
I don't understand the big deal. It's not like they are paying $200,000 per year for access to the president...
 

insanebikerboy

Internet killed the television star
pilot
Contributor
Unless those facts don't support the worldview that Sean Hannity is selling to them, then those facts are called fake news. You seem to put a lot of faith in the sophistication of "Blue Collar" America. As we start seeing more and more examples of Blue Collar Americans who have (unwittingly) voted against their own economic interests and the social values they claim are important to them, you have to wonder.

I know it's not a popular thing to say about my fellow countrymen, but let's be perfectly frank for a moment. Most Americans are completely illiterate on matters of politics, policy, economics, law, science and all the other disciplines that support those basic pillars of our government. To ascribe some noble quality to Joe six-pack in this context seem to me, wildly naive or willfully ignorant of the ground truth of your MK 1 Mod 0 American.

I'm afraid the romanticised, pollyanna notion of the rugged individualist American forging their way across the fruited plain toward a better life in the American West, solving his own problems with the tools on hand, doesn't mesh well with Joe six-pack who works his 40 hour week at the Pep Boys parts counter and spends his free time watching reruns of Roseanne and Tool Time.

Not really looking for innovative solutions to complex policy issues from this guy.
Spoken like someone who hasn't spent a day with any of the people you are putting down.

I grew up working in tobacco fields, started driving the tractor when I was 8 years old. I learned how to pull and rebuild a motor when I was in elementary school. I lived on a dirt road till I was 12 and then it was gravel and we thought that was awesome. I've been around and a part of these types of people my entire life. I am these people you talk about.

Just because the people do grunt work doesn't make them stupid or naive. You would be surprised with what they know of the world and of politics. As an example, I learned about the Contra rebels in a tobacco barn while I was sorting various grades of tobacco leafs.

A big part of the reason that Trump won was because of your attitude. The people in the "elite" circles scoffed and looked down theirs noses, and belittled people in the idea that they'd vote democrat (does you're a misogynist if you don't vote for Hillary ring a bell?)

I could go on but until you give credit where it's due it's pretty pointless.
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I don't limit the scope of our nation's political illiteracy to blue collar or "grunt workers," as you call them. Our problem is much larger than that. I've spent plenty of days with all kinds of people who don't have the first clue about how our government works - many of them are professionals. This has less to do with socioeconomic class than cultural apathy brought about by a generally comfortable standard of living in this country. As I said before, people don't bother to learn about these things because they don't have to.
 

JTS11

Member
pilot
Contributor
I don't limit the scope of our nation's political illiteracy to blue collar or "grunt workers," as you call them. Our problem is much larger than that. I've spent plenty of days with all kinds of people who don't have the first clue about how our government works - many of them are professionals. This has less to do with socioeconomic class than cultural apathy brought about by a generally comfortable standard of living in this country. As I said before, people don't bother to learn about these things because they don't have to.
It's rational ignorance. You might find this article interesting as it relates to our current politics

www.nationalreview.com/2018/03/donald-trump-saying-stupid-things-rational-ignorance/amp/
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
It's rational ignorance. You might find this article interesting as it relates to our current politics

www.nationalreview.com/2018/03/donald-trump-saying-stupid-things-rational-ignorance/amp/
AND, as much so as any other reason, education. The vast majority of our public schools simply do not teach a thorough course of instruction on civics, government, and economics. Even when these subjects are taught with any seriousness, the syllabus often revolves around discussion and debate over subjective or debatable topics. I know that this is sold as engagement, and building critical thinking skills, very worthy. But middle school and H.S. is not college, and there are certain basic lessons and concepts that are immutable and go untaught or glossed over. Instead of spending an inordinate amount of time on the Affordable Care Act, the positions of actual political candidates, the Clinton impeachment or the scandal du jure, how about learning about the three branches of government, and how they interoperate? It might be good to learn the power and effect of a Supreme Court ruling as it differs from statue and regulation, the difference between budget deficit and debt, how the GDP and interest rates relate to the health of the economy and what the hell is the Fed? I'd like the 19 year old who might sit on my jury to know a citizen's constitutional rights before a lawyer advocate explains it to them to suit their case, if he can. Maybe they should learn the limits to their right to free speech so they don't ignorantly debate football players kneeling, or Westborough Baptist Church. Children between 13 and 18 need to be given the basic tools needed to exercise their citizenship responsibly. Most of our public schools skip over the basics and get into the sexy issues of the day, when their teachers are often no more qualified to debate those issues than the student.

Not meaning to go back to the former debate, as Brett and I at least are done, but I'd like to offer that if a person is under educated in economics, government, etc, and he ends up getting real world experience in those areas, it just might make him a more informed citizen then the college educated person with a white collar career who's real world experience has not improved on his poor civics education.
 

robav8r

D-FENS
None
Contributor
AND, as much so as any other reason, education. The vast majority of our public schools simply do not teach a thorough course of instruction on civics, government, and economics. Even when these subjects are taught with any seriousness, the syllabus often revolves around discussion and debate over subjective or debatable topics. I know that this is sold as engagement, and building critical thinking skills, very worthy. But middle school and H.S. is not college, and there are certain basic lessons and concepts that are immutable and go untaught or glossed over. Instead of spending an inordinate amount of time on the Affordable Care Act, the positions of actual political candidates, the Clinton impeachment or the scandal du jure, how about learning about the three branches of government, and how they interoperate? It might be good to learn the power and effect of a Supreme Court ruling as it differs from statue and regulation, the difference between budget deficit and debt, how the GDP and interest rates relate to the health of the economy and what the hell is the Fed? I'd like the 19 year old who might sit on my jury to know a citizen's constitutional rights before a lawyer advocate explains it to them to suit their case, if he can. Maybe they should learn the limits to their right to free speech so they don't ignorantly debate football players kneeling, or Westborough Baptist Church. Children between 13 and 18 need to be given the basic tools needed to exercise their citizenship responsibly. Most of our public schools skip over the basics and get into the sexy issues of the day, when their teachers are often no more qualified to debate those issues than the student.

Not meaning to go back to the former debate, as Brett and I at least are done, but I'd like to offer that if a person is under educated in economics, government, etc, and he ends up getting real world experience in those areas, it just might make him a more informed citizen then the college educated person with a white collar career who's real world experience has not improved on his poor civics education.
Great stuff Wink, thanks for sharing !!!
 
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