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USA Politics Thunderdome

Brett327

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Joe and Jane six pack are more interested in quantifiable facts,
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.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
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Disagree.

Not a Trump guy. No desire to debate what this administration has done or not done for the country, let alone one class of people. I will say, only to restate what has been said by people smarter than me, you marginalize a whole, rather large class of people in this country at your peril. Moreover, your condescending stereotypical profile of these people would not be stood for if it were any other class of folks, except religious American, which likely includes many of the people we are talking about.

Just when did the Mk 1 Mod 0 American get so stupid, uneducated, uncouth, and Hannity influenced (as if Maddow doesn't have her lemmings)? Was it not so when they elected Obama, TWICE? Was it so when they elected Reagan, or forgave Bill Clinton and reelected him? Or maybe they are only such when passing on God's gift to America, Hillary Clinton. Americans, and just as many Blue Collar as college educated professionals, ARE ignorant of many things. But they have managed to avoid electing anyone who did or would, yes, even now, do significant harm to the country. The constitution and independent institutions have been strong enough to prevail through a foreign invasion, civil war, Watergate, and dozens of scandals at the highest levels. That is because ordinary MK 1 Mod 0 Americans supported their country, representatives, and military. Just how worthless are they? If they are not as engaged as you and me it is because in the past they have generally been happy and secure in the administration of their government.

On economics, most blue collar people know profit loss and the free market at the retail level. That is more than most of the people showing a new found interest in socialism know about the economics. Really, the law? These are the people who sit on juries. They apply the law. I am amazed at how serious jurors take their jobs. And, they get it right 90+ percent of the time. They know what is right and wrong. On a day to day basis, they know all they need to about the law. And science as a basic pillar of government? New to me. The record is replete with statements of politicians, our ruling class, saying amazingly stupid things about science. Liberal Hollywood types are invited to testify about their pet science projects like they were expert, and they are frequently wrong. Gwyneth Paltrow is telling everyone who will listen the sun is not bad for you. It's natural, so it can't be bad for you.

It is not good for a healthy society to marginalize and denigrate an entire class of people. I can't say our society has necessarily done so with blue collar types, but our ruling class has, and your comments indicate that is a position you may be sympathetic with. I agree, there is nothing particularly noble or romantic about blue collar American. But there is absolutely nothing noble or romantic or even patriotic about the faceless bureaucrat churning out regulations or applying them without reason, politicians that calculate everything they do so they may get reelected. With rare exception there is nothing creative or new coming from those people. Decades to solve some problems and they get worse. Increasing budgets with no improvement in service or investment in technology. Getting a check from Uncle, occupying a seat in the faculty lounge, or congress, or the state house does not make you smarter, or the sole source of solutions to America's problems. As for the last 20-30 years, the best they have done is mark time.
 

Brett327

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you marginalize a whole, rather large class of people in this country at your peril.
I'm not marginalizing them - they simply are what they are. I'm just not ascribing expertise to them that they do not possess. I think the masses have, more or less, always been that way. Probably a factor in why the founders decided on a republic, vice direct democracy. People are illiterate in all the things I described because they can afford to be. American life is, for the vast majority, a comfortable existence. There's no need for the auto mechanic to understand the details of international relations or monetary policy.

So I level no critique at the uninformed. My critique is of folks like you, who imagine that local solutions from Joe six pack are the answer to our complex problems. That view is aspirational, and while I certainly understand where that drive comes from, it is not reality. We can have an honest debate over the effectiveness of our bureaucratic institutions, but the answer is not to replace that system wholesale with the ideas and opinions of the uninformed.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
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I'm not marginalizing them - they simply are what they are. I'm just not ascribing expertise to them that they do not possess. I think the masses have, more or less, always been that way. Probably a factor in why the founders decided on a republic, vice direct democracy. People are illiterate in all the things I described because they can afford to be. American life is, for the vast majority, a comfortable existence. There's no need for the auto mechanic to understand the details of international relations or monetary policy.

So I level no critique at the uninformed. My critique is of folks like you, who imagine that local solutions from Joe six pack are the answer to our complex problems. That view is aspirational, and while I certainly understand where that drive comes from, it is not reality. We can have an honest debate over the effectiveness of our bureaucratic institutions, but the answer is not to replace that system wholesale with the ideas and opinions of the uninformed.
Ah, the "complex" problem. I read that, the unsolvable by me problem. Or the too hard problem. Complex problems are nothing more than a number of smaller problems. As I said above, "complex" has become an excuse. There are not too many major problems solved to a degree of universal satisfaction that was called complex, only ones that remain unsolved. The small answers that make up the larger solution to so called complex problems are well within the grasp of the right MK1 Mod 0 American. So don't go to the auto mechanic for answers to monetary policy. That is a straw man. You wouldn't go to a health care policy expert for an opinion on monetary policy. But the auto mechanic knows plenty about running a small business, hazardous material disposal, recycling components, workers comp insurance, occupational safety, duplicate or contradictory local regulations vs federal. Your MK1 Mod 0 American auto mechanic probably knows more about all that and science and physics then the typical politician and bureaucrat that spent last 15 years at the Department of Education (with a degree in history) before transferring to OSHA where he now is enforcing regulations on the auto mechanic.

I am not at all saying the professional civil service or most of the bureaucracy be trashed. Just that they become a smaller less consequencial part of government knowing they serve the people and not the government.

My final thought is to remind you that in your career you have looked to your sailors for insight, even inspiration. I am quite sure you have actively encourage your sailors and JOs to solve problems at the lowest level possible and if their shadow crosses your hatch to be bringing a recommended solution. You would not be as successful as your are if you operated like you had all the answers. You leverage the talent of your people. The federal government acts as if they have all the answers. They clearly don't because complex problems are too hard, too costly and take forever. They have said so.
 

Brett327

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But the auto mechanic knows plenty about running a small business, hazardous material disposal, recycling components, workers comp insurance, occupational safety, duplicate or contradictory local regulations vs federal.
Great. If I have a question about how to dispose of used antifreeze, I'll ask the Pep Boys guy. But if I want someone to oversee national environmental policy, I don't think the Pep Boys guy is the right choice.

You can have smaller government as your desired end state, and certainly find plenty of fault/inefficiencies in our bureaucracy, but your Joe six-pack argument makes zero sense to me.
 

Pags

Well-Known Member
pilot
Ah, the "complex" problem. I read that, the unsolvable by me problem. Or the too hard problem. Complex problems are nothing more than a number of smaller problems. As I said above, "complex" has become an excuse. There are not too many major problems solved to a degree of universal satisfaction that was called complex, only ones that remain unsolved. The small answers that make up the larger solution to so called complex problems are well within the grasp of the right MK1 Mod 0 American. So don't go to the auto mechanic for answers to monetary policy. That is a straw man. You wouldn't go to a health care policy expert for an opinion on monetary policy. But the auto mechanic knows plenty about running a small business, hazardous material disposal, recycling components, workers comp insurance, occupational safety, duplicate or contradictory local regulations vs federal. Your MK1 Mod 0 American auto mechanic probably knows more about all that and science and physics then the typical politician and bureaucrat that spent last 15 years at the Department of Education (with a degree in history) before transferring to OSHA where he now is enforcing regulations on the auto mechanic.

I am not at all saying the professional civil service or most of the bureaucracy be trashed. Just that they become a smaller less consequencial part of government knowing they serve the people and not the government.

My final thought is to remind you that in your career you have looked to your sailors for insight, even inspiration. I am quite sure you have actively encourage your sailors and JOs to solve problems at the lowest level possible and if their shadow crosses your hatch to be bringing a recommended solution. You would not be as successful as your are if you operated like you had all the answers. You leverage the talent of your people. The federal government acts as if they have all the answers. They clearly don't because complex problems are too hard, too costly and take forever. They have said so.
Great. If I have a question about how to dispose of used antifreeze, I'll ask the Pep Boys guy. But if I want someone to oversee national environmental policy, I don't think the Pep Boys guy is the right choice.

You can have smaller government as your desired end state, and certainly find plenty of fault/inefficiencies in our bureaucracy, but your Joe six-pack argument makes zero sense to me.
I understand and appreciate the idealism behind Wink's idea but it's been shown to be unrealistic. Someone needs to represent national concerns and to look beyond local interest.

What may make the most sense for Joe Six Pack's auto shop would be to pour used hazmat down the drain because that's the cheapest for Joe. But Joe's bottom line needs to be balanced with other priorities such as where is that hazmat going and what is it doing to Joe's water supply. Local interests have often shown an inability to balance priorities effectively at their level hence the need for there to be federal policies on things like hazmat dumping, school desegregation, civil rights, etc.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
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@Pags @Brett327 You still miss my point. Not recommending the auto mechanic, landscaper or auto parts store owner formulate the larger answers, like a national environmental policy. I am saying the people that ultimately do formulate policy like that start with folks like the mechanic and never lose sight of how those rules will effect their real customers, ordinary Americans.
 

Brett327

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@Pags @Brett327 You still miss my point. Not recommending the auto mechanic, landscaper or auto parts store owner formulate the larger answers, like a national environmental policy. I am saying the people that ultimately do formulate policy like that start with folks like the mechanic and never lose sight of how those rules will effect their real customers, ordinary Americans.
No, I get what you’re saying, but I’m not sure what alternative to suboptimal bureaucratic effectiveness you’re offering. You waive away the notion of complex problems as though people just aren’t trying hard enough. You seem to leave no room for the possibility that some problems don’t have easy solutions, or any solutions at all. That is closer to reality than you think.
 

Pags

Well-Known Member
pilot
@Pags @Brett327 You still miss my point. Not recommending the auto mechanic, landscaper or auto parts store owner formulate the larger answers, like a national environmental policy. I am saying the people that ultimately do formulate policy like that start with folks like the mechanic and never lose sight of how those rules will effect their real customers, ordinary Americans.
I dont think that most policies come about to hurt people. I tend to think that there's a common/greater good element to most policies that may not always be as apparent to the aggrieved party. To keep our example going, Joe may not like the environmental policy because it's costing him money to have to properly dispose of water and then he has to pass this cost on to his customers who aren't thrilled about passing more for an oil change. All Joe and Jane see in the short term is an impact to their bottom lines. What they don't instantly see is the benefit they get from having clean drinking water and the fact their cancer rate hasn't gone up. That environmental policy is made with Joe and Jane's long term benefit in mind but all they see is that it's costing them money. 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.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I dont think that most policies come about to hurt people. I tend to think that there's a common/greater good element to most policies that may not always be as apparent to the aggrieved party. To keep our example going, Joe may not like the environmental policy because it's costing him money to have to properly dispose of water and then he has to pass this cost on to his customers who aren't thrilled about passing more for an oil change. All Joe and Jane see in the short term is an impact to their bottom lines. What they don't instantly see is the benefit they get from having clean drinking water and the fact their cancer rate hasn't gone up. That environmental policy is made with Joe and Jane's long term benefit in mind but all they see is that it's costing them money. 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.
So, Joe and Jane are too stupid to see the benefit of clean water, more interested in profit than the environment and too short sighted to be concerned with their health. Someone once called them The Deplorables. I hate to say it, because I don't participate in the Trump debate here, but THAT attitude is exactly why we have the President we have today. Who are your neighbors? Who does your dry cleaning? Ever talk to the cashier at the Piggly Wiggly? Ever debase yourself so far as to enter a rural Walmart?

Shitty regulations and policies come from a common or greater good? Oh, that is satisfying. OK then, that's fine, they had good intent. That's all that matters. Consequences be damned.

America works. Usually not too badly. But increasingly it is working less well. There is a lot of room for improvement in regulations, bureaucracy, and service. To disregard criticism of the government in this matter (which should be safely bipartisan) is to forgive a lack of pride, and excellence you would rarely see in the military.
 

robav8r

D-FENS
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Contributor
So, Joe and Jane are too stupid to see the benefit of clean water, more interested in profit than the environment and too short sighted to be concerned with their health. Someone once called them The Deplorables. Who are your neighbors? Who does your dry cleaning? Ever talk to the cashier at the Piggly Wiggly? Ever debase yourself so far as to enter a rural Walmart?

Shitty regulations and policies come from a common or greater good? Oh, that is satisfying. OK then, that's fine, they had good intent. That's all that matters. Consequences be damned.

America works. Usually not too badly. But increasingly it is working less well. There is a lot of room for improvement in regulations, bureaucracy, and service. To disregard criticism of the government in this matter (which should be safely bipartisan) is to forgive a lack of pride, and excellence you would rarely see in the military.
Elitism-101 Wink. Joe & Jane Six-Pack ALWAYS have the right to be wrong, or different, or less informed than the politicians.
 

Brett327

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Super Moderator
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So, Joe and Jane are too stupid to see the benefit of clean water, more interested in profit than the environment and too short sighted to be concerned with their health.
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.
 
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