POL Survey: Who are you and what drives your socioeconomic and political views?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Emfuser, Jul 2, 2008.

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  1. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Super Moderator

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    For the past month or so I have noticed that this forum lacks any concentration of direct explanations by the posters themselves on their own socioeconomic and political views. I am curious what drives people to hold the beliefs that they do, and was inspired by a thread in LAOT where the posters there revealed what drives their religious (or non-religious) beliefs.

    What I'd like to do is have people just explain a bit about what got them to where they are and what they believe in a more direct fashion, rather than in bits and pieces that show during various debate threads. If you're not shy, please include some demographic information, a little history of where you grew up, what sort of education you have, and what sort of political environment you were raised in. These sorts of things influence our views, obviously.

    Please share, and don't muck up the thread with douchebaggery. If you want more details about someone's views, just ask them instead of flinging shit.

    I'll get the ball rolling... (YOU DON'T HAVE TO EXPOUND ON THE SAME "CATEGORIES" THAT I DO. THEY ARE JUST WHAT I WAS THINKING ABOUT AT THE TIME)
    ------------------------------------------------------

    Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
    Current residence: Irmo, SC (attached to Columbia, SC)
    Other locations I've lived in: W. Lafayette, IN
    Education: BS Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University

    I'm a regular white guy who grew up in the midwest. My parents are conservative. Mom doesn't care much about politics, but my dad is pretty right-wing (even had a stint listening to Rush Limbaugh :ugh:). My dad and I like to get into heated debates about politics because he swings hard right and I'm more moderate.

    My own views are roughly categorized as libertarian (small 'l'). In generic words, I'm an economic conservative and a social liberal. I'm a strong advocate for personal responsibility, community awareness, individual and community-driven charity, local & state government that answers close to home, and the basic set of ideals laid out by the framers that people should be able to live free of interference and restriction, to pursue their own happiness. Obviously I am influenced by the law of equal liberty concept. My beliefs all revolve around a core belief that people solve problems for themselves and those around them, not governments, and that the tendency over the past centuries to shed responsibility to governments is only leading us down a path of apathy, dependency, and weakness.

    Politics:
    I am strongly opposed to nationally legislated "positive rights" and their necessitating having a national welfare state because I believe that people should be allowed to fail and learn from their mistakes, but with the philanthropic caveat that it is up to friends, family, and community to take care of those who have fallen on hard times, and not a federal government. It is for these reasons that I oppose national social welfare programs, but am more likely to support local ones if they are constructed in such a way to discourage dependency and encourage responsibility. With the right direction, such programs would help close the gap between charitable means of assistance and the needs of people incapable of helping themselves. The key in all this is community leaders and local officials that must answer to their neighbors and friends. Accountability and avoidance of political entrenchment are necessary for such ideas to really work. I absolutely abhor the concept of career politicians, political entrenchment, and powerful national government that can too easily abuse the apathy of the population. Not surprisingly, I am less than thrilled with the current state of the federal government and many of the changes it has undergone during the 20th century.

    Economics:
    On the more economic side of things, I'm a big fan of free markets, but I am not a purist of any sort nor an anarcho-capitalist. I think market failures and falterings should not all be instantaneously and viciously attacked by economic controllers of a government and knee-jerk reactions of politicians pandering to a spooked populace, but more carefully watched or very gently tended to when absolutely necessary. It is worth noting that my idea of "absolutely necessary" is pretty stringent, and does not mean engaging economic muddling every time a market is judged by someone to not be "perfect." I am opposed to our current national banking system as administered by the Federal Reserve because it has allowed for too much abuse of monetary policy which has greatly devalued our dollar over the past century.

    Political parties:
    Party politics disgust me because they promote mindless fanboi-ism, serve as an excuse for people to be closed-minded, and discourage political awareness. I wouldn't hate parties so much if they didn't work so hard to apply a stranglehold to political ideas and turn every debate into ugly false dilemmas and ultimately serve as vehicles for career politicians to sell themselves to a populace bribing them with their own money to keep them in a perpetual state of apathy and fear. Because national parties in the here and now almost universally seek to expand the powers of the federal government (a salesman with nothing to sell won't be in business for very long), I tend to oppose their platforms.

    Government:
    I am basically a minarchist. As stated before, I believe it is up to people and communities to look out for themselves and their best interests because they are the ones most capable of making the necessary changes. Obviously I don't have much faith in federal governments to do those same things because the scope of interests of communities and individuals sharply contrast with the scale on which the national government operates. The history of western nations and particularly our own country has shown us repeatedly that we're far better off looking out for ourselves on a smaller scale than the national government is or ever will be.

    Influences:
    Alexis de Tocqueville, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Thomas Paine, Herbert Spencer, Ludwig Von Mises, George Reisman, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, John Locke, Friedrich Hayek, Bertrand Russel, George Stigler, Isaiah Berlin, Robert Nozick, Immanuel Kant, Ronald Regan, Barry Goldwater, Ron Paul and others I can't remember.

    Feel free to ask questions. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  2. Karnejj

    Karnejj “A true conservative is one who can't see any diff OT Supporter

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    Interesting thread idea ......
     
  3. thekinggovernor

    thekinggovernor OT Supporter

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    I first I was :ugh: and then the second paragraph explained the first :hyper:
     
  4. AVengeance

    AVengeance Active Member

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    ok, I'll bite.

    Hometown: southeastern corner of the middle of nowhere, MO
    Current residence: central-eastern corner of the middle of nowhere (outside STL), MO
    Other locations I've lived in: Fort Riley, KS

    Education: HS + 1 semester of college; self-taught and well read

    Current Employ: IT Mgr for small Direct Marketing firm, where I do programming, and server/workstation builds and repair. Home business, where I design and build race-car parts. Home business (retired) where I built and repaired home PCs and tutored new users

    Past Work Experience: started working fast food part-time when I was 15. Have worked laying carpet, spraying fiberglass on truck hoods, driving a forklift, and a million other things before my current employ

    Family Status: happily married w/ kids

    Politics:
    I do not believe the Constitution to be handed down from God Himself, but it was an evolution of government in what I believe to be the correct direction. Government should be limited to protecting the individual citizen-members from enemies foriegn and domestic, and even from branches of itself. By "protect", that is, when someone is having their personal rights violated by another person or entity of persons. Government should not protect people from their own stupidity. Government should not attempt to manipulate family structure or business structure. Government should stay out of trying to "do business" that can be done in the private sector wherever possible, and should not show bias for one citizen or entity over another (taxing one citizen more than another, giving one citizen more rights than another, giving a company a no-bid contract, etc.). The government should also stay out of feeding, clothing, housing, and caring for the poor. Instead, the government should encourage citizens to care for one another.


    Economics:
    I am not an economy major in college, nor do I play one on TV. I do manage my own personal family finances fairly well, and most of it is by keeping debt low and buying what is needed before even thinking about buying what is wanted. I feel a good and right government approaches economics the same way. I would probably be viewed as a fiscal conservative, although my libertarian leanings show that I'm a free-market capitalist. I think people should do stuff themselves and be rewarded for their successes without fear of punishment from government.

    Political parties:
    As a youth, I never really thought of political parties. I tend to vote for Republicans, but I realize now that political parties are the "easy way", much like if democrats always wore red suits and republicans always wore blue suits, and people that don't know anything about either candidate just looks at the clothes they wear, and say "oh yea, I'm wearing blue, so I gotta vote for the blue suit guy". Political parties have become (if they weren't always) an excuse for the stupid masses to vote for "their guy" and vote against "the other guy" instead of actually researching the candidate and his issues.

    Government:
    I'm not an anarchist by any stretch, but you might think so if you've heard me talk about the obesity in federal government. In reality, I prefer multiple layers of government, where the most government control over people is exercised from nearby (local, county level) and the power lessens as the government entity grows (state, federal). The federal government should be little more than a consortium of states working together, like a neighborhood watch program. Specific DOs and DON'Ts should be on the local level, making it easier for people to change bad laws and have less detrimental effect on people where some laws may not apply.


    Influences:
    too many to mention. Sometimes the influence is from real people in real politics, such as Dr. Ron Paul. Sometimes it is in fiction or satire. Lessons can be learned about politics from a movie like Star Wars, for example. The biggest influence on my socio/political views are probably my parents, who strived long and hard to teach me to be able to do for myself and to help those that cannot do for themselves, through not only their words, but their example.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  5. red

    red New Member

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    A short background:

    I was raised in San Diego, CA. My parents split when I was 5, and I was raised mostly by my mother. My Dad moved off to Tennessee when I was about 10. Mom was an ultrasound technician (retired). Dad is a Biology Ph.D and freelance writer/college professor. Both are remarried. Both of my parents are fairly liberal, but neither was particularly politically active (beyond voting) until W took office. My mother actually flew to Pennsylvania in 2004 to campaign for Kerry (or against Bush, as the case may be. I don't think Kerry was her preferred candidate.). I've had a number of political discussions with both, and I find that my mother has a tendency to automatically side with the Democratic party before she understands why, whereas my father's opinions are generally well-reasoned.

    I often find myself to the right of both my parents, but that's not saying a whole lot.

    Economics
    I generally see both sides of the economic coin, and find that I tend to favor a pragmatic approach above all else. I think pure capitalism is less fair, and certainly less practical, than many people make it out to be, and pure socialism is absurd. I have noticed that most of the people on the left on economic issues make terrible arguments, and those on the right have far more approachable, solid arguments. I don't have to belabor the arguments for capitalism here, since most of you are well-versed.

    However, I'm largely of the opinion that arguing for purer brands of capitalism is just easier than arguing for a nuanced, pragmatic approach. You're afforded the advantage of making a philosophical argument, and, rather than dealing with the real-world weaknesses of the argument, proponents are able to merely suggest that those suffering under capitalist systems just aren't working hard enough, which is an incredibly shortsighted and incomplete answer.

    I think the inverse, socialism, is easily dismissed out of hand, and that the ideal economy is something like a 70/30 mix. Incidentally, the U.S. approaches that fraction pretty well.

    Social Issues
    I tend to stray right only on economic issues. My estimation is that social conservatives, in large part, are without a point, and simply trying to institute their own brand of morality on others. The only issue I might see the other side of is abortion. There's an ethical argument that can be made against abortion, but I disagree with it.

    Political Parties
    I think that the inescapability of the two-party system in the U.S. is one of our government's greatest problems. In Congress, whichever party controls the majority, controls the schedule, which is an enormous power in terms of killing legislation or making progress. That power can only be wielded by a party large enough to maintain a majority and, thus, anoint a Speaker and a Majority Leader.

    That's the situation which gives rise to parties which include both rich Wall Street traders and poor midwestern farmers. These people don't share values, they've simply been connived into supporting the others' values for the purposes of building a party large enough to maintain a majority. That party, once in power, is then utterly emasculated by the need to oblige the disparate interests which brought it together in the first place. It's the Catch-22 that leaves our government constantly deadlocked, afraid to move, for fear that they lose their grip on power.

    Government
    I do agree with all of the libertarians here that the government budget contains a whole ton of waste. There are few branches of government that I would nominate for amputating wholesale, but, having worked for the DoD for some time, I've gotten a firsthand look at the kind of utter inefficiency and waste that government is capable of. It ain't pretty. For the moment, I don't have a better solution, but privitization of everything under the sun is not the answer.

    Influences
    Oh, that's a rough one. I suppose I've got a little bit of influence from all over the map. At the core, I would say, I'm in the strongest agreement with those who are both pragmatic and rational. If there's one thing that I cannot abide, it's dogma.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  6. :hsugh:

    Pet Peeve: people not reading the first post in a thread.
     
  7. macbook bro

    macbook bro Guest

    hometown: all over
    education: GED
    inspiration: ron paul

    beliefs: lolololanarchylolololol
     
  8. red

    red New Member

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    :mamoru: I skimmed too fast. I swear I caught most of it :p
     
  9. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    I guess I'll go.

    Born and raised in Las Vegas, NV
    I currently live in Las Vegas although I have spent some time in southern Florida.
    Education: High school with some college. I was initially majoring in business but later switched to theater with a technical focus.
    Employment: I am currently working as a union stagehand although I have been doing IT work for the past few years. Mainly network admin stuff.

    Economics I tend to be fairly conservative although I do support certain social programs that benefit the people. I believe the development of human capital is of key importance to our success not only as a nation, but as a species. I could be roughly classified as a libertarian although not in the commonly understood American sense. I don't buy into Anarcho-Capitalism and I do find some heavy flaws in typical Market Anarchism. I believe government has a role in the market and a responsibility to keep it stable and working to benefit the people.

    Politics The constitution was a well written document although I do disagree with certain things about it. I do differ wildly from the constitution in that I believe the idea of separate states and federal government to be a bad idea. Over human history we have been able to determine that government will always expand itself as far as it can. Government will grab power if at all possible and there is no real way to take it back without violence. While I understand the idea behind creating separate governments, the reality of the situation is that instead of keeping each other in check and efficient, all 51 governments (federal and 50 states) end up fighting each other for power that was taken from the people in the first place. You end up with 51 overbearing masters instead of only one.
    In my mind, a better solution would be one federal government with satellite control in the states, or a loose federation of states with a few democratically implemented departments to ensure uniformity of rights and justice among all states.
    My political leanings could be called slightly anarchist in that I believe the individual is sovreign over all else.

    Political Parties a big mistake. Nuf said.


    I may add more later.
     
  10. Karnejj

    Karnejj “A true conservative is one who can't see any diff OT Supporter

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    Hometown: None, really. Been a lot of places. Southeastern US, Germany, Southeast Asia.
    Education: Georgia Institute of Technology


    I have lived mostly disinterested and apathetic about politics. None of the political parties generally ever seem to touch upon the real fundamental issues that need fixin' in this country.

    Politics:
    I hold that people should openly recognize the presence of systemic biases, and work to mitigate them if they are not contributory to social advancement. I believe an open governance and an interested populace are the keys to making our democracy work. I believe Ron Paul has been a factor in motivating many people about politics, so while I may disagree with many of his policies, I appreciate his efforts. I think that there is much that should be purged from the Federal Government for efficiency's sake, but just the size of government is not a factor of concern to me -- so long as civil liberties are generally intact and I believe the taxes paid are doing more good than harm.

    edit: I believe prudence should be legislated, since I find the premise of complete social freedom to be retarded. Complete social freedom doesn't even seem to be a good idea on paper, since allowing people to make their own judgements about dangerous behavior is squanderous of irreplaceable resources, and there are far too many idiots in the world. Until Courts can assign a proper amount of restitution to everything [perhaps even including resurrection of the dead], then it's pretty foolish to say that courts should adjust bad behavior retroactively.

    Economics:
    I believe greed is an effective motivation for technological advancement, but that it forms a very poor basis for social integration. Ultimately, I believe many price-negotiating market mechanisms are an excellent tool, but that markets are limited in usefulness to only short-term effects, and that external guidance is needed to achieve optimal long-term results. This is a critical role that I see the government being able to play. The most successful economic policy is that which can parlay the power of the markets into a vehicle that is guided towards stable long-term achievements. Something as simple as FDIC would be a prime example --- after centuries of regular economic tragedies every decade or so, such a fairly simple and cheap bit of legislation ended widespread bank failures, which no doubt has allowed for much freer capital flow. (Though, on that topic, I do not support usury.) I believe that government regulation is indispensable to the functioning of a market ... a truly unregulated free market is bound to suffer doom (in many cases, these are completely unnecessary declines often euphemized as "cyclical behavior"). I am particularly in favor of heavy regulation of the financial sector. None of this makes me a Communist, nor does any of it imply that I would desire any form of Communism. I fully favor private property, and do NOT see taxation as theft. Indeed ... for the vast economic potential that many regulations can bring, I see low-to-moderate tax payments as the means to purchase lives with a quality far above what we would have if dependent on unregulated free-markets.

    EDIT: I believe that the country's currency should be backed by a hard commodity of proven long-term value.

    Also, it seems quite apparent to me that market failures plainly exist, even in the absence of government involvement. Uncompetitive industries and several instances of industrial pollution seem to be obvious examples.

    Additionally, while I acknowledge the moral hazards created by a welfare system, I am unconvinced that many people are content to live a financially strapped life of subsistence and handouts. If these people are really so averse to productive work, then crime is the easier alternative for them, anyways ... so I find any argument for the elimination of welfare which simply appeals to a cost savings in dollars to be a simple-minded analysis.



    Political parties:
    Meh...... mostly a convenient blindfold, but probably "it's the worst form of government, except for all of the others."

    Government:
    I do not favor excessive curtailment of civil rights [civil rights as outlined in the Constitution]. If I have gripes about the trend of the federal governance, then I am generally only bothered by encrouchment on 4th amendment rights and a failure to have full accountability in the government's economic manipulation. Also, I do not believe altruism is widespread ... in fact, I believe that there is a general moral decay in this country (maybe the world). The increasing worship of successful capitalists (and their primary quality of greed) has played a part in this, IMO. It should be obvious that if the government willfully maintains a level of involuntary unemployment, then it is hypocritical to correlate economic status with motivation/intelligence/determination/etc.
    I do favor government regulation of greed. I believe that middle-class working Americans are the "bone and sinew" of this country, and if there is a conflict in some policy, then government should err to the side in which they are not disadvantaging the middle-class more heavily --- and I believe such conflicts arise in just about any legislation involving the allocation of funds. I would prefer that local governments handle any crucial tasks of resource allocation, but they seem unwilling or unable to do so .... so I have no qualms with the Federal government picking up the ball where the local/state governments are lacking. I do not see local governance as proving themselves to be more successful in recent history.

    edit: I believe there are public goods which should be supported, such as tuition assistance and a national military. Depending entirely on private militia for national defense is one of the most completely insane proposals I've encountered. Among other qualities, an effective military relies on coherence and over-preparedness --- neither quality would be encouraged by economics alone. A military composed of thousands of units that can all question their orders and even refuse strategic objectives sounds like the very definition of failboat.


    Influences:
    The Bible, the revelations within books of recent political history, Joseph Stiglitz, and to a lesser extent, maybe: Thomas Jefferson, MLK, J. K. Galbraith, Milton Friedman, etc



    cliffs: I'm a pragmatist.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  11. Hometown: Lookout Mountain, GA
    Current residence: Chicago, IL
    Education: BA, Economics, University of Chicago

    Dorky Whiteboy with an office job working for a hedge fund, not enough to do at work or at home, reads a lot.

    Typical (relevant) reading material:

    Internet aggregators, blogs, news sites
    http://www.aldaily.com/
    http://www.reddit.com/
    http://vicesquad.blogspot.com/
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/
    http://arstechnica.com/index.ars

    Other than that;

    Whatever floats my way through work (which is a lot)
    The Economist
    Various books on economics, policy (most recently Globalization and its Discontents )

    Politics:

    Support government intervention, but think that it should be kept in mind that the government should interfere in such a way as to let the market be the driver of the solution. I.e. Tax carbon and see what the consumers and producers come up with instead of regulate how to manufacture cars.

    I support wealth redistribution (of about the level we have now). I think we need a social safety net because the free market creates winners and losers. I think it's better to have someone that loses their job get some money from the government than have the government try to keep them from losing their job, and it's also in our interest to allow people to take risks and have something to fall back on should their employment fall apart. Furthermore I don't think humans are completely rational/don't always have accurate expectations for the future, and need some level of protecting from themselves. I think it's a ridiculous myth that if you have any kind of social welfare people will stop working if "they don't have to". I doubt anyone is happy living in squalor or has no desire to improve on their situation when they're on welfare and foodstamps.

    General policies: Government needs to be open and accountable. Many members of the Bush regime need to suffer criminal penalties for breaking U.S. laws. Civil liberties are more important than tax levels. Taxes aren't a violation of civil liberties. We should interfere less with people's lives. All drugs should be legalized without a prescription. If necessary, we could have a drug license that people who find themselves with drug problems could voluntarily surrender. This same license could also cover your (registered) handgun, which you can carry concealed.

    I am not a firm believer in mass democracy because one of the prerequisites is an informed and involved populace, which we fall far short of. I would want something closer to a Roman or Greek-style system with a smaller percentage of the population than we currently have being enfranchised. Of course, then this small group would use try to use their power to enrich themselves, but that's the human condition. One idea I often kick around is that the major candidates submit multiple-choice questions about their policies or the state of the country. These questions would be freely available prior to the election, and if you can't get a 80% on a test randomly drawn from the pool of questions, your vote doesn't count.

    Example: Johny Kerry or Howard Dean's anti-gun-control stance still surprises many conservatives that learn about it, despite it being well publicized prior to the election. People don't know what they're voting for or against.

    I'm rambling because I'm writing this in snatches.

    I think the ACLU is a great organization and that the people who demonize it are idiots. I think that a lot of democratic/liberal policies like affirmative action or overly PC/minority awareness/sensitivity are idiotic, but as massively overblown by the right-wing noise machine.

    I think that while the people in the media lean left, the actual media has no overall bias except sensationalism and deference to power. They ran Gore and Kerry into the ground unfairly, and have been ridiculously deferential to McCain.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with getting rich, but anyone acting like the deserve every cent of their millions is lying to themselves as much as someone that thinks the world can be made completely fair.

    I think that economics needs to be taught more thoroughly in schools and applied more strongly in public policy. I think someone needs to stand up to all the talking heads and tell them what meaningless idiots they are and what the real issues are.

    I don't think that Iran or Al-Qaeda are any kind of threat to the United States, and we certainly shouldn't be giving up anything more than some modicum of defense spending to deal with them. We should be more concerned with our economy, our education system, and our relations with our trading partners, and our power and transportation infrastructure.

    I think Israel is overall a damaging influence on the United States, as is Christianity.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2008
  12. erobbins

    erobbins Active Member

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    Location:
    under the 13th street causeway
    Hometown: San Diego, CA
    Now: Penis-cola, FL

    I had a normal suburban childhood, played baseball, golf, went to museums, airshows, etc, etc.. very typical suburbia stuff. Parents were moderate, didn't vote on party lines or any of that trash, looked at the issues and decided based on reason rather than emotion.. I was given a lot of freedom as a kid to figure things out and make up my own mind on issues.

    Being a product of upper middle class america I used to be much more conservative than I am now.. believed that "hard work" actually did amount to something, and that people should essentially fend for themselves. As I've gotten older I've realized that reality is far different than the picture postcard world that society likes to believe in.. I've seen people succeed more based on luck and family money/connections and even outright fraud/deception/lies than by hard work, and I've seen people work hard their whole lives and never get anywhere. I've also realized that people are only as happy as their current situation, and that by funneling money from the poor to the rich as our society is set up to do, that the people at the bottom will eventually become unhappy enough to lose hope and turn to crime/laziness/welfare because their empirical evidence has shown them that hard work actually doesn't mean a thing.

    Politics:
    So.. now I'm more ..libertarian socialist I guess. I believe that the purpose of a social contract is to benefit ALL members of society, not just the ones at the top. I believe in small, limited government, but also believe that government should serve the masses and not just elite landowners. I think that healthcare is a universal right of people in a developed nation that can afford it, because a healthy population is a happier and more productive population. I'm opposed to "authority" in most senses.. people should be free to do whatever they want as long as it doesn't harm anyone else. I have no problem with a free market, but an unconstrained free market results in harm to society so some limits are needed. I have no problem with bill gates making 50 billion dollars, but think the rich should be responsible for their just (not "fair") share of taxes, "just" meaning a larger share than people who need every dollar they earn just to eat.

    Economics:
    In favor of free markets with safeguards to protect against exploitation of the environment, less developed nations, and consumers/the working class. Government should not set economic polity or intervene when the economy stumbles.. the only exception may be creating tax breaks for industries that we wish to promote, like alternative energy.

    Taxation:
    I favor a progressive flat tax, with capital gains and income taxed the same.. say, 0% up to $20k/year, and increasing from there. I can't imagine top tax rates ever exceeding 33% ..if they do, the government is probably too large.

    Political Parties:
    completely opposed. Parties serve to divide people against each other and obstruct progress. As long as they do exist, I favor proportional representation and instant runoff voting. First past the post is awful as you can end up with a government (as we have now) that is opposed by nearly half the population.

    Government:
    Smaller is better. Weaker is better. The government should fear the people, the people shouldn't fear the government. A wall between church and state is fundamental.

    States rights:
    States rights are an anachronism that the founders came up with to get the original colonies to buy into the constitution, and 100 years later were eviscerated by lincoln who decided singlehandedly to deny states one of the most fundamental rights there is, the right of free association. These days, the phrase "states rights" seems to be code for "we want to do something incredibly moronic that the majority of the country would never go along with" like banning scary looking guns or teaching religious myths as science.

    Influences:
    Nicotine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  13. Karnejj

    Karnejj “A true conservative is one who can't see any diff OT Supporter

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  14. A_C_E

    A_C_E Guest

    Sigh. I'll bite, even though I doubt I'll get any more intelligent responses than usual.

    Hometown: Buffalo, NY
    Current towns: Philadelphia, PA & Washington, DC
    Education: Elitist prep high school, pursuing BA with a double-major in Economics and International Political Economy at the University of Pennsylvania
    Future Career: Either making tons of bank while working 70+ hour weeks, or hobnobbing with senators on the Hill. I haven't decided which yet.

    I'm a rather spoiled only-child from an upper-middle class family. Both my parents work in federal law enforcement, and have done so for longer than I've been alive. I always thought I was rather well-off growing up, then I went to college and was surrounded by people with far, far more money than me. But I always had the best schools money could buy, cool toys, vacations, a car, etc. My dad is a racist-yet-extremely-liberal second-gen Italian, and my mom is a left-leaning moderate. My parents never gave me any rules to follow, trusting me to make my own decisions. Both of my parents have long since given up discussing politics with me, as they know I am much more well-informed and rhetorically skilled than them, and, as such, frequently make them look like morons. I like arguing on the internet in my spare time, which I seem to have less and less of with each passign day.

    I used to be a self-defined Catholic; now I would say I'm Agnostic. I think it's idiotic to believe that a single being micromanages the entire universe, but even more idiotic to deny that such a being could ever exist. Thus, I am stuck in the middle. I definitely don't believe in an afterlife, and, as such, believe that every person should do what makes them happy in this life, while at the same time ensuring to pass on your genes as you are evolutionarily hard-wired. No one gets a second chance.

    Politics:
    My views don't map onto any particular ideology very well. I'm extremely socially liberal, and think that anything which goes on behind the door of my residence is my business and no one else's. I support full legalization of abortion, most drugs, prostitution, beastiality, public nudity, etc. I support strict registration and scoring/training requirements before owning guns, since, as someone who grew up shooting, I know what happens when people have guns without being properly trained in their usage. I want to burn the FCC headquarters to the ground and think censorship is an issue for parents, and no one else. I favor a safety-net setup when it comes to social welfare, and truly believe that anyone who thinks the average person born into poverty in America can escape it is an uninformed moron. I think everyone of age should either have a job or be actively trying to get one, and that people who choose not to are a drain on the system and should be kicked off the doll.

    I think the idea of naturally-endowed rights and private property is stupid, since each presuppose that there was some prior being which bestowed upon humanity said rights. In my opinion, such rights are only guaranteed when a part of a social contract, and that when one side of the contract decides to breach, the other should consider all bets off. I don't think humans have a fundamental right to freedom or property (outside of government) any more than I think cows, pigs, or apes have rights to freedom or property. The people agree to form the government and set up the rules to play by. But if the people, the government, want to change the rules, it's their prerogative to do so. I like lobbies and think they're an important part ofthe governmental process, and so does James Madison.

    I think as a combination evolutionary psychologost and economist.

    Economics:
    I support what could only be described as a mixed economy, one which trends toward regulated free markets. I believe the marketplace is the best indicator of personal preferences and economic advancement, but understand its many shortfalls and refuse to see the market as infallible. I support government subsidies for education, research and development. I strongly dislike tariffs and duties, and believe that freely-flowing international markets for capital have changed the definition of "economy" as we know it. I favor tax breaks to support the environment, green technology, keeping jobs in America as opposed to in China, and patent licensing. I strongly dislike intellectual property laws and want to kick Michael Eisner in the ballsack.

    I know for a fact that long-run purchasing power parity is equal, and so I like fiat currency and central banking as long as all other major world economies are using fiat currency and central banking. I find people who support commodity-backed currency hypocritical and unable to understand high-school level macroeconomics.

    Long story short: government has a role in the economy, to support the market in places where it will always fail (underproduction of education, clean air, roads, etc.) I am strongly in favor of government involvement in health care, social welfare, and education, as they are re-investments into American human capital.

    Political Parties:
    A necessary evil. A direct democracy in America is impossible, so an intermediary is necessary to promote common beliefs and organize election-season activities. I support throwing out every federal law which supports a purely two-party system, however.

    Government:
    The amalgamation of the People, by the People, for the People. Government should reflect the views of its citizens, with a ruling majority being careful not to stomp on a sizable minority. That's why I like filibusters. I think that people who disagree with a governmental setup are free to leave, and should be encouraged to do so.

    America has the best governmental setup in the world.

    Taxation:
    I favor progressive taxation, since I'm well-aware that wealthy people benefit even more from the system as it is currently set up than those who pay no taxes. I don't think an extra 40 grand is a big deal when you're still taking home $800K after taxes. Then again, I'm probably biased given the excesses of my friends' lives.

    Influences
    Blow and hookers., Elitist Ivy League administrators, Noam Chomsky, The Yale Authority study, Ben Franklin, John Forbes Nash, Rousseau, Mill, Rawls, Friedman, G.A. Cohen, Charles Taylor, Marx, Nietszche, Arthur Miller, Plato, Aristotle, Zeno, Sun Tzu, John Rockefeller, Franklin Roosevelt, Lincoln, The Economist, Thorsten Veblen, Warren Buffet, and pissing on copies of books by that self-important, pathetically-idiotic dyke Ayn Rand.



    I'm also agree with pretty much everything Humungus said, and know he's a shitload smarter than 99% of this place gives him credit for.
     
  15. A_C_E

    A_C_E Guest

    Oh, and I don't believe in luck. Only probability.
     
  16. Karnejj

    Karnejj “A true conservative is one who can't see any diff OT Supporter

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    Is there a single hypocrisy .... or do they come in a limited number of varying flavors? ....or is the hypocrisy guaranteed, but not necessarily specified (like debunking perpetual motion machines)?
     
  17. Marix

    Marix OT Supporter

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    Okay, here's mine. I know I haven't been posting here as much as I used to. First a shitload of exams, now family issues stopping me from spending much time on OT.

    Basically:
    Hometown: United Kingdom
    Other locations I've lived in: Nowhere else for any length of time
    Education: 4th year med student.

    I'm a regular white guy who grew up in the UK.
    My parents are pretty liberal, although they wouldn't admit it.
    My father is a very successful businessman and my mother is a housewife. Dad follows politics but doesn't really classify his views in one way or another. He is generally anti-carrying weapons (i.e. supports the UK knife ban) and he doesn't mind paying tax if he thinks the money is being spent correctly. That said, we use private healthcare and he sent me to private school, lol.
    Mum is just generally disinterested in politics apart from maybe the odd single issue which she thinks is important.
    It's sad to classify my parents as "single issue" voters or as intelligent people supporting silly ideals. They are both very intelligent but I think they are like most people... politics simply don't influence their daily lives enough to care strongly about anything.

    My own views are roughly categorized as liberal/libertarian, although probably more liberal than Emfuser.

    I would consider myself a PREFERRED economic conservative. I don't agree with just spending money for the sake of it. Just like you, emfuser, I'm a strong advocate for personal responsibility, community awareness, individual and community-driven charity, local & state government that answers close to home. I support all of those things and I believe that a lot of problems could be solved if people took more responsibiliy for their actions.

    However, I have no problem with government (and by default, my tax money) helping people who actually NEED it. I am strongly AGAINST supporting young people who are too LAZY to help themselves. However, I strongly support helping the elderly to have a dignified retirement and helping young people who are struggling.

    The problem is that young people grow up in bad areas and know nothing different. Although there is nothing in this country to stop you from succeeding, it is their upbringing and mindset that is at fault. They see their parents are in their 20's or 30's and probably jobless or in a low-paid job in a small council house and they will just accept it that they will be exactly the same. I have no problem helping these people to help themselves. Lift them out of this type of lifestyle and give them the confidence to succeed. That can be done by the schools, as well as local programs and activities. Absolutely, charities can be involved too but I'm in favour of local government intervention here too.

    I too favour human rights for people, although I think they should be based on practicality rather than ideals. It's hard to explain but there are lots of times on OT when people seem to talk theory, rather than taking into account human behaviour.

    The fact is that on many issues, public opinion is very strong in one way. For instance, yesterday there was a HUGE protest in London against knife crime because there have been about 10 stabbings in London in 2008 so far. The overwhelming majority of people want harsher penalties for carrying knives. Nobody really thinks of letting everyone carry a knife to protect themselves. So although you could certainly argue the "2nd ammendment" argument, the fact is that people wouldn't WANT to carry knives and that type of law would only favour those who would misuse their knives.

    The same goes for guns. I know a lot of criticism pours in the direction of the UK, especially on OT where I see the term "police state" being thrown around a lot. However, most people in the UK don't WANT guns. Most people are probably terrified of guns and would certainly have NO wish to ever own or shoot one. I know this probably sounds horrifying to the ears of an American 2nd amendment supporter, but I think what you have to bear in mind is the differences between the two countries, which should always be in your thoughts before criticising.


    Politics:
    I don't really mind nationally legislated "positive rights" against discrimination. The fact is that these things still exist. Women are STILL paid less than men. Blacks are STILL less likely to be accepted for the same job etc etc etc. I have no problem with trying to make things more fair. However, I think this has to work both ways. I also know that black people commit more crime. This isn't a racist statement.. it's simply the truth. It may not be inherent to their race but more to do with upbringing, socioeconomic status etc. I think that if you're going to single out groups of people for support, then they can also be singled out for criticism or for anything else. We should be more open about race issues, and through that, more tolerance can be built. People are still scared to say things because they are "racist" or people are too protective because they don't wish to "offend" people. I just want people to be more outspoken. i.e. stories about people being told to take down christmas trees so it doesn't offend Muslims. The fact is that NO muslims have a problem with this... that stupid rule was decided by a think tank of overly-paranoid white people. But it still damages race relations.

    I think I have already stated what I believe about assistance programs, although I agree that at all stages, personal responsibility should be promoted. I have no problem helping people who NEED it but I hate the idea of career welfare-queens and people who see getting free stuff as a lifestyle choice.

    I agree with you that I absolutely abhor the concept of career politicians, political entrenchment, and powerful national government that can too easily abuse the apathy of the population. However, I see the root of this problem as being the apathy itself. As I said earlier, about my parents, it seems that very little that happens in government alters my daily life so it makes it very difficult to care about anything.

    Economics:
    I think I am similar to you on this too. On the more economic side of things, I'm a big fan of free markets also, but I am not a purist of any sort nor an anarcho-capitalist. This is another time when OT arguments become all about theory and fail to account for human behaviour. I do believe that sometimes governments need to intervene or steer the direction of the economy so that it benefits the people of that country. Businesses can be absolutely massive and overwhelmingly powerful. Sometimes you need something as strong as a government to actually make a stand.

    I have no problem with companies making money and I understand this is essential to the whole idea of ANY sort of economy. However, monopolies are a bad thing for everybody and government regulations to break them up, anti-competition laws etc are a GOOD idea IMO. One example I can think of is that last year, the EU imposed restrictions on mobile phone companies to limit how much they can charge for overseas calls within the EU. Most companies were hovering around the £1/min mark AND charging you to receive calls, which is crazy. But because all networks were doing it, people had no choice. It's not exacty an easy market to enter either. I don't know many people with the millions of pounds it would cost to set up a competing network with lower rates. Now the EU has capped the rate and EVERYBODY saves money. The phone companies can make the money back from somewhere else - perhaps from offering new services... win-win in my opinion.

    Political parties:
    I totally agree with you that party politics disgust me because they promote mindless fanboi-ism, serve as an excuse for people to be closed-minded, and discourage political awareness. I hate the idea that people label themselves as "labour" or "tory" because there is no way anyone can agree with 100% of the party ideas. I hate the stereotype that all labour supporters are council estate scum and all conservatives (torys) are upper class snobs.

    Government:
    I'll probably be repeating myself, so any more questions.. just ask.
     
  18. thekinggovernor

    thekinggovernor OT Supporter

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    aren't those terms the opposite of each other?
     
  19. macbook bro

    macbook bro Guest

    no uh errr uh um uhh
     
  20. Karnejj

    Karnejj “A true conservative is one who can't see any diff OT Supporter

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    :down:
     
  21. macbook bro

    macbook bro Guest

    ACE's influences are like a who's who of people i wish had been killed at birth
     
  22. thekinggovernor

    thekinggovernor OT Supporter

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    :rofl:
     
  23. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Super Moderator

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    Dude come on, I may disagree with some ideas and influences posted by various people, but I asked nicely for people to not pick at each other and be douchebags.

    Please stop trying to turn this into a petty squabble. :hsnono:

    Legitimate questions like what kinggovernor asked, are fine, but we don't need inane commentary.
     
  24. good luck with that.
     
  25. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Super Moderator

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    It's not hard for me to hit up Tank to knock out posts. It takes only a few seconds to check a post for deletion.
     

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