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-   -   The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=7145)

miceelf 11-06-2011 03:11 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230533)
So much to balk at here. The banks who made the loans in question were not operating outside the law. If you doubt this, please tell me who has been sent to jail?

I assumed we were discussing what the law SHOULD be.

Diane1976 11-06-2011 08:59 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230431)
I've been looking for a musical accompaniment for a video I'm going to be putting on my website. I rediscovered this last night and was so taken by the sincerity with which it talks about good, honest and humble work. Good old Van Morrison.

What's my line?
I'm happy cleaning windows
Take my time I'll see you when my love grows
Baby don't let it slide.
I'm a working man in my prime
Cleaning windows.

Great. :-)

Here's one for you.

"It's a working man I am...."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-Eiw...eature=related

BTW, I'm sympathetic to OWS. I just think they need to get their act together. I should go check out the ones in Ottawa. They're trying to build something warmer than their tents for the winter. Igloos maybe? (lol)

badhatharry 11-06-2011 09:06 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 230550)
I assumed we were discussing what the law SHOULD be.

I don't think that's what I was discussing. As I recollect I was saying that it is very important for consumers to be careful about what they get themselves into.

So what does your analogy to drug dealers have to do with what the law should be? And what should the law be?

Diane1976 11-06-2011 11:18 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 230420)
I agree with this. Health Care is the final entitlement nail in the coffin, usually. I suspect this upheaval will save us from the Jacobins, though. Bismarck was right after all, eh? God does protect the United States of America.

Here’s my theory, for what it’s worth. In the US people look at these things like “entitlements”, something that undeserving people are getting that other people paid for. The politicians are aware of this feeling but also feel some vague obligation to do things to help people. So, if they think poor people don’t have sufficient living accommodations, instead of building public housing, they come up with a scheme so they can get loans. If public education doesn’t seem sufficient for people to get jobs, instead of extending it, they have a loan scheme. If not enough people have health care insurance, they figure out some complicated plan to subsidize the insurance industry. It sort of works, but it’s very complicated and gives people the feeling the government is forever meddling.

Hume's Bastard 11-07-2011 01:53 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230532)
I don't think any of this is what, in the US, is considered legal. If bailing out banks is outrageous what sort of moral hazard would take hold in this country if suddenly no one had to honor their contracts? Your proposal is entirely unrealistic.

I don't dismiss this concern completely. I would however weigh the trade-offs of policies designed to support moral hazard as the sole value and the economic costs to those who not only are saddled with mortgage debt, but are also saving to compensate for that debt. Both the debt and the private savings, as well as the disincentives to investment from QE will do real damage to the national economy. And, it will not help with the time bomb coming when boomers retire. I'm wary of an argument that makes moral hazard a sacred value, and would prefer a more utilitarian approach.

miceelf 11-07-2011 07:14 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230571)
I don't think that's what I was discussing. As I recollect I was saying that it is very important for consumers to be careful about what they get themselves into.

So what does your analogy to drug dealers have to do with what the law should be? And what should the law be?

You were objecting to the notion that there should be any laws to protect consumers vis-a-vis banks. And then you were saying that it wasn't fair to blame banks without also blaming their consumers.

miceelf 11-07-2011 07:17 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 230581)
It sort of works, but it’s very complicated and gives people the feeling the government is forever meddling.

Yes, and it's also a way to funnel money to so-called "productive" middle men (insurance companies, to use one example). Another example: student loans- largely they were primarily a subsidy to banks, where taxpayer money went, not to help students but directly to banks, which just skimmed. Witness the hue and cry when government decided to issue the loans themselves, at lower taxpayer expense, and less fraud to the students. But oh noes, socialism!

stephanie 11-07-2011 01:23 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 230581)
Here’s my theory, for what it’s worth. In the US people look at these things like “entitlements”, something that undeserving people are getting that other people paid for.

That's not actually the usual definition of "entitlements" in the US. "Entitlements" refer to programs that people become entitled to through contribution or are entitled to just by nature of being a citizen. For the most part these are the popular programs -- SocSec, Medicare, and -- the fear of most opponents -- potentially a universal health care system should we ever get one passed. That would be consistent with the experiences in other countries.

The programs that tend to be unpopular and considered for the undeserving (i.e., welfare) aren't generally classed as "entitlements" in the US. Perhaps there's some effort to confuse the terms, though -- I have noticed "welfare" being expanded to include the SocSec type programs in some rhetoric, presumably justified by the fact that it's part of a "welfare state."

I agree a good deal (not entirely, as it depends on the case) with your comments about the half measures having negative effects. I just don't think that's about "entitlements."

miceelf 11-07-2011 01:27 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 230616)
The programs that tend to be unpopular and considered for the undeserving (i.e., welfare) aren't generally classed as "entitlements" in the US. Perhaps there's some effort to confuse the terms, though -- I have noticed "welfare" being expanded to include the SocSec type programs in some rhetoric, presumably justified by the fact that it's part of a "welfare state."

This may be part of our difference in experiences, but I think this confusion is happening so much that the old, intended meaning of entitlements has almost disappeared entirely.

stephanie 11-07-2011 01:34 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 230427)
I feel frustrated with the OWS protesters because they don't have a great and noble cause, as far as I can tell, something idealistic and greater than themselves and their own situation, something noble, and romantic. Something like a civil rights, peace, environment, womens' movement.

What would you suggest?

Of course, I think there's a lot of self-interest (nothing wrong with that) involved in the movements you are calling noble and romantic, too. Sure, the civil rights movement, especially from the perspective of whites, is a pretty pure cause, but the people who did the most were protesting laws that hurt them. Same with women and the women's movement, many young people and the anti-war movement (with the draft and all).

I see OWS as predominently about something other than individual people's benefits. The illustrations are given to show that real people are suffering (and yes some of the illustrations aren't as compelling as the people involved may think they are -- I see part of this as the product of our stupid anecdote-based politics). But what we've seen in the US since '08 is a lot of discontent at the economy and to the political system's response. Initially, of course, the response was an immediate effort to prevent a much worse crash that resulted in the bailouts. But the discontent plus the bailouts have been taken advantage of politically to suggest that doing anything more is seen as too leftwing, as bad, that despite all the polls to the contrary those who care enough to protest think the government needs to do less. OWS is out there saying that's not it -- the government needs to do something to help Americans who are out of work (beyond extending unemployment benefits, although it's interesting that the right is increasingly complaining about even such benefits). The government needs to do something to help those who were hurt by the same economic changes that gave great benefits to others. So on.

stephanie 11-07-2011 01:38 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 230617)
This may be part of our difference in experiences, but I think this confusion is happening so much that the old, intended meaning of entitlements has almost disappeared entirely.

Interesting. The reason I question this is SocSec and Medicare remain popular. So when people say negative things about "entitlements," what are they referring to, in your experience?

Don Zeko 11-07-2011 01:45 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 230621)
Interesting. The reason I question this is SocSec and Medicare remain popular. So when people say negative things about "entitlements," what are they referring to, in your experience?

I find that the term is normally used by people that are not fans of Medicare or Social Security but are also cognizant of the popularity of those programs.

miceelf 11-07-2011 02:09 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 230621)
Interesting. The reason I question this is SocSec and Medicare remain popular. So when people say negative things about "entitlements," what are they referring to, in your experience?

When Republican politicians talk about cutting entitlements, they mean SocSec and Medicare, among other things. When most people hear the republican politicans talk about cutting entitlements, they hear "welfare." Support for "cutting entitlements" remains much higher than support for cutting SocSec and Medicare. Republican plans to cut "entitlements" are much more popular than their plans to actually cut the actual entitlements (SocSec and Medicare), even though they occasionally claim that their having been elected means they have a mandate to cut actual entitlements.

stephanie 11-07-2011 02:26 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 230630)
When Republican politicians talk about cutting entitlements, they mean SocSec and Medicare, among other things. When most people hear the republican politicans talk about cutting entitlements, they hear "welfare."

Polls?

Honestly, this level of ignorance, if true, is just so depressing that it makes me almost not care.

miceelf 11-07-2011 03:28 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 230635)
Polls?

Honestly, this level of ignorance, if true, is just so depressing that it makes me almost not care.

"get your government hands off my medicare"

This was just my gut based on conversations with people IRL who: 1) oppose "entitlements" and think they should be cut, and 2) love medicare and socsec.

Sulla the Dictator 11-07-2011 03:40 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 230642)
"get your government hands off my medicare"

Bah; that is the "Welfare Queen" of the Left. There is no poll I have ever seen which supports that anecdote. If you have one, it would genuinely change my opinion of this matter.

miceelf 11-07-2011 03:43 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 230644)
Bah; that is the "Welfare Queen" of the Left.

Wait, does this mean you believe "welfare queen" was: a) accurate and fair characterization, or b) false?

stephanie 11-07-2011 03:50 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 230642)
"get your government hands off my medicare"

True.

Sulla the Dictator 11-07-2011 04:44 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 230647)
Wait, does this mean you believe "welfare queen" was: a) accurate and fair characterization, or b) false?

It means I believe it was misleading. Not false, because there were certainly anecdotes of people seriously abusing the welfare system (Including the birth and neglect of children for checks), I don't think that it was a fair characterization of the entire program. Even though I do agree with the ends, and approve of the result.

miceelf 11-07-2011 05:15 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 230656)
It means I believe it was misleading. Not false, because there were certainly anecdotes of people seriously abusing the welfare system (Including the birth and neglect of children for checks), I don't think that it was a fair characterization of the entire program. Even though I do agree with the ends, and approve of the result.

Thanks. I don't think all of the opponents of medicare/socsec or "entitlements" hold this view, but I think it explains at least some of the disconnect between supporting one's own entitlements and voting in politicians that are promising to end "entitlements."

kezboard 11-07-2011 05:25 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
I think that "cutting entitlements" is the way Republicans and Very Serious Centrists talk about cutting Social Security and Medicare without using the actual names of these programs.

Starwatcher162536 11-07-2011 05:38 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Much of this is to do with, not people generally being less wise in their choice of major, but instead with the overall demographic changes of who is going to college. As both the destruction of well paying non college jobs and the arms race competition of needed education for X continues more and more people that 30 years ago wouldn't have gone to college are now doing so. This class of people is in my estimation going to have more problems with the professions on the left of your chart then the class of people they have been supplementing which naturally leads to more types of education like on the right being consumed.

We are in this weird middle ground between not providing help for prospective students and providing funding and choosing what type of professions will be payed for by the state. This middle ground is not tenable. If the state is going to come into at all it needs to also make these value command economy type of decisions. At least in this sector, otherwise you end up subsidizing alot of chaff.

stephanie 11-07-2011 05:49 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kezboard (Post 230662)
I think that "cutting entitlements" is the way Republicans and Very Serious Centrists talk about cutting Social Security and Medicare without using the actual names of these programs.

"Cutting entitlement spending" or "polls show support for entitlement programs" or so on is just typical media language, usually combined with references to the specific programs so that what is being referred to is obvious.

kezboard 11-07-2011 05:59 PM

Re: 2004 vs. 2012
 
Quote:

However, we Americans don't seem to have a problem electing people who make ridiculous mistakes. And, it's kind of hard not to in the 24/7 environment.
Clearly. Everyone should be allowed at least a couple ridiculous mistakes, not everyone has to perform perfectly in every debate, but one should at the very least not look like a blithering idiot every single time.

kezboard 11-07-2011 06:05 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Maybe you're right, but it still seems to me that it's fairly rare to hear someone in the media or in politics mention "entitlement spending" when cuts aren't being discussed. When was the last time you heard a politician express their heartfelt support for "entitlements"?

stephanie 11-07-2011 06:40 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kezboard (Post 230667)
Maybe you're right, but it still seems to me that it's fairly rare to hear someone in the media or in politics mention "entitlement spending" when cuts aren't being discussed. When was the last time you heard a politician express their heartfelt support for "entitlements"?

The media refers to support for entitlements when discussing polls that show that people like SocSec and Medicare or don't want to cut them.

I think political speeches are more likely to use the names when expressing support, sure -- specifics are how you connect with people and people relate to the programs they like by the names. "Entitlements," that's too non-specific. But this idea that it implies "entitled" and so a negative attitude toward recipients that seems to be common lately (Diane's comment and cragger's earlier) strikes me as wrong. Entitlements was (and in my mind is) a neutral term. If some people are reading in something negative, they are the ones misunderstanding the term, the problem isn't in the term's original usage.

What I'm arguing against is just the notion that the only people who use the term "entitlements" are against them, that use of the term demonstrates some plan to undermine them. I think a lot of people -- including many of those I hear talk about the programs -- just use the term as a neutral catch-all. It's possible that there's been some change or that there's a disconnect so that the term commonly used in one way is understood differently by others, so that miceelf's suggestion of politicians cynically using the term and knowing they will be misunderstood is possible, even likely. But if so they really haven't been paying any attention.

Sulla the Dictator 11-07-2011 08:14 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 230660)
Thanks. I don't think all of the opponents of medicare/socsec or "entitlements" hold this view, but I think it explains at least some of the disconnect between supporting one's own entitlements and voting in politicians that are promising to end "entitlements."

I don't think there is a disconnect, other than assumptions. People assume that since they have paid into it all their lives, the fair thing is to receive "what they pay in". The difference is, and you'll find plenty of people on the left who don't know this, that people get more from Medicare than they put in. Substantially more.

Medicaid is much worse, obviously.

miceelf 11-07-2011 09:08 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 230676)
I don't think there is a disconnect, other than assumptions. People assume that since they have paid into it all their lives, the fair thing is to receive "what they pay in". The difference is, and you'll find plenty of people on the left who don't know this, that people get more from Medicare than they put in. Substantially more.

Some people get more, some people get less. The contract isn't for a specific amount, but for a specified amount of care, if needed. This is very similar in structure to insurance. I don't expect to get the exact amount out of my auto insurance that I put into. I may get nothing. I may get substantially more, if needed.

In the aggregate, the difference between medicare expenditures and inputs is very modest, and especially so once we get out of the raiding of it to support the Iraq war or whatever else we are raiding it for on thursday.

badhatharry 11-10-2011 10:51 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 230596)
You were objecting to the notion that there should be any laws to protect consumers vis-a-vis banks. And then you were saying that it wasn't fair to blame banks without also blaming their consumers.

Again you mis-state my position. It's like you have a translator in your head. In go my words and out comes your absolutely incorrect interpretation of them. This is so annoying and says something about you.

PS It's like your president telling the nation that the Republicans want dirty air and water.

miceelf 11-10-2011 12:58 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230991)
Again you mis-state my position. It's like you have a translator in your head. In go my words and out comes your absolutely incorrect interpretation of them. This is so annoying and says something about you.

Possibly. It's also possible you aren't communicating what you mean to be in a clear way.

You habitually mis-state the positions of people you disagree with: "punish the banks" "eat the rich" etc., wo this may be a glass house type deal.


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