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N3bu
We don't create and use policies because they are for the greater good, we use them because the majority wants them, with a few notable exceptions. We just try and appeal to the good in the majority of people to institute policies we think work towards the greater collective good.


No, because politics are about power, and virtually every political philosopher agrees that the use of power is only justified when it defends or advances the public good.


Rune Verloren
azulmagia


I don't think you get the very concept of politics.

It's not about rejecting policies because you don't personally like them or that they'll make your tax bill larger. Politics is about the common good, not your individual good. All political questions must be framed it that light, otherwise you're doing it wrong.


Um... no.
Just no.
For two reasons:
1. The vast majority of people vote in their own self interest. That's human nature. Maybe YOU vote against your own self-interest (which I highly doubt, but let's imagine you do), but you are in a tiny, TINY minority. And to pretend otherwise is delusion. For example, welfare states do well not because the people PAYING for them vote for more welfare programs, but because the people BENEFITING from them vote themselves more free stuff.


Where did I say anything about people voting against their self-interest? All I said was that politics is not about the interests of any given individual - including the voter - but is about the common interest.

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Not to mention that part of my argument here was that I will be forced to subsidize stuff like Viagra - a purely recreational drug - whether I want to or not due to how Obamacare is set up, going back to how insurance works. You know, that half of my post you didn't see fit to comment on. Hardly a public good.


Proof that subsidizing Viagra is part of Obamacare?

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2. Maybe my idea of what's best for society as a whole is different from yours. It does also line up with my own self-interest as outlined above. But I also think it would be better for society as a whole. OMG PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS TO YOU. SHOCK. AWE.


Well, you've given no evidence that you've even been considering this as public interest.

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You know that the US, under its current system, forks out more for health care in percentage terms than any other industrialized country out there, and still doesn't have 30 to 40 million covered, whereas all the other countries do have all theirs covered, don't you? You are aware of this, right?

Yes. I'm also aware that most of those countries have shitty healthcare, and do little to no R&D in the medical field. The vast majority of medical advances come out of America, that's just facts. With Obamacare, well, hope you like stagnant medical sciences. Places like Canada or (God help you) Cuba? Name medical advances that have come out of those countries since they went the nationalized route. Please. R&D for new medicines is HUGELY expensive, and guess what? It's the first thing that gets cut when the government gets involved, because governments are a)inefficient by their nature, and b)greedy. You really think every cent you put into a nationalized program is going to go towards healthcare? You haven't been paying attention then. The government WILL NOT put in the same amount of money to healthcare that Americans currently do. They couldn't possibly do so. Not while adding millions to the bill and trying to keep the price they charge their consumers level. So... the quality of healthcare will go down, R&D will get cut, etc. So what's better - really good healthcare that only a majority of people have, or crummy healthcare that everyone has?


And how much of this R&D is exclusively paid for out of the private sector dime?

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Sure it can. It's called taxation. That's how the public good is paid for. And if the government can take your a** and conscript it, and that's constitutional, a fortiori levying a fine if a person doesn't buy health insurance is also constitutional.


Ignoring the fact that I'm not a supporter of reinstating the draft and consider that nearly as bad as this, the draft is a public service. By the actual definition of a public service, meaning that it is actually within the purview of the government, and all benefit goes to the U.S. Government and the people of the United States equally. The Obamacare money would be going to private institutions to pay for a specific service. That's not a tax, and it can't be considered a public service because the actual service is being provided by private companies and individuals. So... the government has no business DEMANDING money for it.


If you think that all classes benefit equally from US use of the military, then nothing I can say can change your mind.
Raxa's avatar

Shameless Seeker

Heimdalr
Raxa
It's a case of Darwinian Economics. Individual incentive trumps group benefit, and the incentive causes everyone to vote towards a result that hurts the group, supposedly benefits them, and results in what is "normal" being shifted. To make the Darwin part clear:

Peacocks have large colorful tails for mating rituals. Colorful tails is a sign of a healthy immune system, as sick members cannot make the colors. Females tend to mate more often with larger more colorful tailed individuals. The individual incentive to breed towards bigger more colorful tails will keep moving the species towards bigger tails. However, very large tails hurt their ability to escape predators. Hence, larger tails benefit the individual, but hurt the group, but no individual has the incentive to breed towards smaller tails, as they will lose out in mating.

Basically, it creates a case where society loses, and individuals destroy their own advantages when everyone homogenizes towards something. And when everyone has the new advantage, no one has the advantage. It has become the new normal.

Yes, some people vote against their own personal interest. Look at hockey. You have to wear a helmet. If that wasn't a rule, some players would wear them to get some kind of advantage, resulting in more injuries. The collective at some point all decided that they wanted to vote against their own interest towards a societal benefit.

The problem we have in the US today is that politicans working towards society being better are poor at getting their message sold, and have considerably less money. The money being thrown towards radically smaller government and personal benefit trumps all else is much greater.

Assuming that the voting block has perfect information (you probably know this is false), and is perfectly rational is clearly a bad idea. Individuals are not rational, never have good information, and as we know in the US, most voters lack even sufficient information to make a logical guess. Our founding fathers knew this, hence we are a republic with elected representatives rather than a true democracy.

Personally, I would advocate moving towards a more technocratic government as a solution.

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Many political theories require perfect knowledge and rationality in order to function optimally. I was referring to those, in case one of them would be brought up. Seemed imminent enough.


I understand, and to do some meaningful research it has to be assumed. We can all agree though that clearly things are very conditional in reality. I just have this more sociologist streak to my economic leanings and I often digress towards them.

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The thing is, I'm not seeing enough in-group fraternity in the US to warrant them being governed on this scale at all. They've tried; national identity is being hammered in from an early age; the Pledge of Allegiance is the only one of its kind IIRC. They have their inflatable external enemy they pound on from time to time, like every good superpower. But once you ask them about people from this and that state, the next town, those hoodies in the projects, hell even their neighbor: gallons of bile.
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Oh specifics. Our populace is very schizophrenic when it comes to them.

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Most states fall back to meritocracy or technocracy when groups do not constantly fight each other for power. Limiting the influence of politics on state power may remove some of their incentive for this power struggle; but generally, I see a people that allows technocracy to happen as one that is already harmonious within their group. One cannot safely remove democracy from a nation already in conflict, even if it is done incrementally.


As evidenced in Europe, technocracy might also be begotten from severe crisis. See Italy. Still, needing extremes for it to happen isn't promising.

Main problem is technocrats are under represented in politics today, as our political system lends itself to requiring career politicians for most national positions. If I wanted to be a senator, I would probably have to start now. Unless one is a war hero, or some other person with great public fame already, it is difficult to get into national political office. To make an example, I'm from Ohio and John Glenn was a senator from the state for some time. One would need that kind of public fame.


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I see the union of the States as a useful vessel for blocking the more egregious pieces of legislation, but that's about it. I am of the opinion that they must decentralize most authority in order to form a decent bond with each other internally.


Decentralization/devolution will probably happen whether we like it or not, as more local politics are better able to offer some services that are more tailored to their populaces needs. However, this won't happen evenly, nor successfully if looked at today. Local municipalities are already strapped for money in many areas, even some wealthy areas. This will be the primary barrier. Conversely, some wealthy areas will clearly offer better services and be better equipped to make such a transition. What is decentralized will also change things.

Though I believe the other extreme will become more important as well, our national government will only play a bigger role as globalization marches on. Though more global alliances might play bigger roles here in the future rather than individual states. (EU block, US block, Chinese block, etc)
azulmagia
N3bu
We don't create and use policies because they are for the greater good, we use them because the majority wants them, with a few notable exceptions. We just try and appeal to the good in the majority of people to institute policies we think work towards the greater collective good.


No, because politics are about power, and virtually every political philosopher agrees that the use of power is only justified when it defends or advances the public good.

Didn't the large majority of political philosophers like, die, before the widespread growth of the liberal democracy?
Also the opinion the hold are seemingly irrelevant to how the system actually works. How they think power should be used has no bearing on the fact that the current political system is dominated by elect-able policies.
Raxa

It's a case of Darwinian Economics. Individual incentive trumps group benefit, and the incentive causes everyone to vote towards a result that hurts the group, supposedly benefits them, and results in what is "normal" being shifted.

Individual incentive isn't also contrary to group benefit. It also depends on the values placed regarding group benefit.

The prisoners dilemma for example doesn't really occur because the prisoners are prioritising their own benefit over collective good, it occurs because their lack of perfect information makes them believe they cannot trust the other, leading to a situation whereby they think the group benefit has no value because it cannot exist.
Heimdalr's avatar

Mega Noob

Late reply, I had to get some sleep. sweatdrop
Raxa
I understand, and to do some meaningful research it has to be assumed. We can all agree though that clearly things are very conditional in reality. I just have this more sociologist streak to my economic leanings and I often digress towards them.

Which is good. Sociology is a very advanced branch of science and should be used for policy implementation in all cases. It is still in its infancy, however, and the empirical evidence is not all there yet. I've discovered the absence of comprehensive studies on authority and economic policy and their effects on groups, which should be some of the more crucial elements of forming a state. One can safely assume that scientific basis is not a requirement, or even a priority for most governments.
Raxa
Oh specifics. Our populace is very schizophrenic when it comes to them.

It wasn't the best example, but there is a tendency of large, diverse groups to enter a state of suspicion and discontent when being governed by a singular, expansive entity over which they struggle to assume control.
Raxa
As evidenced in Europe, technocracy might also be begotten from severe crisis. See Italy. Still, needing extremes for it to happen isn't promising.

Monti's technocracy is a quite refreshing break from their corporatist past. Yet it still remains to be seen how removed he is from the political circus. In any case, technocrats are appointed by any government that finds itself in crisis, more out of necessity than anything else. When stability consolidates, cronyism and incompetence starts to reappear. Perhaps it also has to do with public vigilance, that this effect is proportional to how much the government fears its people.
Raxa
Main problem is technocrats are under represented in politics today, as our political system lends itself to requiring career politicians for most national positions. If I wanted to be a senator, I would probably have to start now. Unless one is a war hero, or some other person with great public fame already, it is difficult to get into national political office. To make an example, I'm from Ohio and John Glenn was a senator from the state for some time. One would need that kind of public fame.

Those with the skill to become successful technocrats are not usually stuck in politics, (there are more lucrative options available) they are often hired by politicians however. Most of the employees of the executive branch in the US, or any government really, are carried over from administration to administration; these are not elected partisans. It is however a problem when the elected leaders decide to sack such technocrats and replace them with their own technocrats. Of course, they attempt to wrap it so as to give the impression that this technocrat was doing a poor job, but often it is more or less a political decision, if only to save face.

Raxa
Decentralization/devolution will probably happen whether we like it or not, as more local politics are better able to offer some services that are more tailored to their populaces needs. However, this won't happen evenly, nor successfully if looked at today. Local municipalities are already strapped for money in many areas, even some wealthy areas. This will be the primary barrier. Conversely, some wealthy areas will clearly offer better services and be better equipped to make such a transition. What is decentralized will also change things.

Though I believe the other extreme will become more important as well, our national government will only play a bigger role as globalization marches on. Though more global alliances might play bigger roles here in the future rather than individual states. (EU block, US block, Chinese block, etc)

I agree. Tendencies from all the way back to the ancient Egyptians and to the present secular federation suggest a looming progress towards decentralization. I do not believe this would happen evenly - any number of disasters or external influence may at any point revert the progress and deprive people of their autonomy. Whether an area is wealthy or not may set the difficulty of the initial stages of the transition, however this may even out in time if labor does not constantly escape an area to benefit the next. A more service-based economy is likely to have this effect.

People often call for decentralization of authority they do not themselves believe in, such as the power to restrict establishments from discriminating against minorities. Which has me thinking that people should get their priorities straight.

Decentralization does not preclude globalization, in fact I believe it enhances it. Smaller, less authoritarian nation-states become more cosmopolitan as time passes - lol I almost brought up a comparison of Denmark and North Korea, shame on me.
azulmagia

It WOULD be constitutional under Hayek's "Constitution of Liberty":

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Once it becomes the recognized duty of the public to provide for old age, irrespective of whether individuals could have made provisions themselves, it seems an obvious corollary to compel them to provide against those common hazards of life. The justification in this case is not that people should be coerced to do what is in their individual interest but that, by neglecting to make provision, they would become a charge to the public. Similarly, we require motorists to insure against third-party risks, not in their interest but in the interest of the others who might be harmed by their actions.

You do realize that Hayek's Constitution of Liberty is a general political treatise and has no bearing on the legality of the Affordable Care Act under the United States Constitution, yes?
N3bu
azulmagia
N3bu
We don't create and use policies because they are for the greater good, we use them because the majority wants them, with a few notable exceptions. We just try and appeal to the good in the majority of people to institute policies we think work towards the greater collective good.


No, because politics are about power, and virtually every political philosopher agrees that the use of power is only justified when it defends or advances the public good.

Didn't the large majority of political philosophers like, die, before the widespread growth of the liberal democracy?
Also the opinion the hold are seemingly irrelevant to how the system actually works. How they think power should be used has no bearing on the fact that the current political system is dominated by elect-able policies.


This, and the reality that politicians do not vote only for issues for the greater good. They vote for what will benefit THEM. If someone is stupid enough to think they're out for the working class, then that person is too ******** stupid to wipe their a** after taking a dump.
Mister Daddy Smash
azulmagia

It WOULD be constitutional under Hayek's "Constitution of Liberty":

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Once it becomes the recognized duty of the public to provide for old age, irrespective of whether individuals could have made provisions themselves, it seems an obvious corollary to compel them to provide against those common hazards of life. The justification in this case is not that people should be coerced to do what is in their individual interest but that, by neglecting to make provision, they would become a charge to the public. Similarly, we require motorists to insure against third-party risks, not in their interest but in the interest of the others who might be harmed by their actions.

You do realize that Hayek's Constitution of Liberty is a general political treatise and has no bearing on the legality of the Affordable Care Act under the United States Constitution, yes?


Yes, but you do realise that wasn't the point I was trying to make, right?

N3bu
azulmagia
N3bu
We don't create and use policies because they are for the greater good, we use them because the majority wants them, with a few notable exceptions. We just try and appeal to the good in the majority of people to institute policies we think work towards the greater collective good.


No, because politics are about power, and virtually every political philosopher agrees that the use of power is only justified when it defends or advances the public good.

Didn't the large majority of political philosophers like, die, before the widespread growth of the liberal democracy?


And that vitiates my point how?

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Also the opinion the hold are seemingly irrelevant to how the system actually works. How they think power should be used has no bearing on the fact that the current political system is dominated by elect-able policies.


But it does have a bearing on the ultimate survivability of the system. A system that is completely corrupted and beholden to self-serving interests is degenerate and will probably go the way of Mubarak sooner or later.

People say politics is the art of the possible, but when the possible and the necessary diverge substantially, the society in question is in deep doo-doo.
Since when did both the citizens and the politicians start giving a s**t about the Constitution? That's news to me.
1. Why call it "Obamacare" when Anthony Weiner had more to do with the bill than Obama? You douchebags should be calling it "Weinercare"
2. I can't believe people are retarded enough to be against free healthcare, or worried about whether or not it fits into the 250-year-old plan for the country.
3. Not only should there be mandatory free healthcare but mandatory provision of healthy food, too. We wouldn't need nearly as much healthcare if we just stopped eating meats and processed s**t. I know being able to poison yourself is like, freedom or shwhatever, but maybe it's time to stop.
Just wanted to ask, is there a "free healthcare for all" clause yet? Because that part about reprimanding those without healthcare come 2014 while in the middle of an economic collapse kinda sounds like making the poor pay. What are the jobless and homeless that can't be covered by human services supposed to do? I myself work as an unpaid caretaker, and human services won't cover me nor is there free healthcare.
Arties's avatar

Savage Grabber

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Lets take out the word "health insurance" and replace it with "kidnapping and ransom insurance". The law will pass that everyone will have to buy kidnapping and ransom insurance from private companies.

A dumb law, yes.
How many people will suddenly say that its unconstitutional? I bet more than 62%.

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