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October 30, 2014, 08:43:48 am
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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101  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mental Health Issues Put 34,500 on New Yorkís No-Guns List on: October 20, 2014, 06:47:30 pm
I wonder if I'm in it.  odds are not.

...unless you're in OMH's system and have spent time in the back of an ambulance or police car since last spring.
102  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of MW Governor LeBron FitzGerald (Running for Re-Election!) on: October 20, 2014, 04:44:09 pm
I'd nearly forgotten that you have been ignoring my question about this:



I reiterate: Why do you support teaching creationism instead of evolution in science classrooms?
103  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Am I really such a bad person? on: October 20, 2014, 12:11:28 pm
Don't be melodramatic. Your posts don't prove that you're a bad person, and you don't need to hurl yourself through a plate glass window at full running speed for not understanding the rituals of this peculiar tribe. If you want to be liked, quit being so tedious.
104  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Alabama treats inmates like Victorian debtors at best, stray animals at worst on: October 20, 2014, 08:40:46 am
So Cassius' brutal rejoinder to R2D2 consists of (1) a yogiism ("That isn't word, and you're using it wrong!"), (2) a tautology ("You are merely an individual!"), and (3) a demand that R2D2 produce a deity to legitimize his opinion?
105  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: RIP MattVT, FF on: October 20, 2014, 08:21:16 am
Sir, how can you defend Matt from VT while condemning Napoleon?
106  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Tax the Bastards Act of 2014 (Debating) on: October 20, 2014, 08:16:19 am
Nay. I won't vote for this bill, but I don't understand the point of tabling it.
107  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: October 2014 Presidential Debate on: October 19, 2014, 01:40:54 pm
How will Atlasia be different after your Presidency? How will we know whether you've succeeded or failed?
108  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Tax the Bastards Act of 2014 (Debating) on: October 19, 2014, 11:52:32 am
JCL and the Dragonzord second the motion to table.

Huh
109  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: The Atlasian Universal Education Bill (Debating) on: October 19, 2014, 09:50:48 am
I assume nix thinks this would be unconstitutional based on this:

Quote
No Law requiring any action to be taken or to be not taken by a Region shall be passed, except to preserve the rights of the Senate or of the People enumerated under the Constitution.

But that specifically says that the rights of the senate overrule this, and one of those rights is:

Quote
To promote the distribution of Knowledge of Science and useful Arts, by assisting and fostering persons seeking to be educated, to provide education, or to produce educational materials.

Which I think clearly encompasses abolishing tuition fees.

That's a tendentious interpretation of the Science and Useful Arts Clause, but fair enough. I'm less worried about passing an unconstitutional bill than I am about passing one that would have devastating effects on Atlasian public education.

And that's exactly what this bill would achieve. The mandate that it proposes would deprive regional universities of almost half of their revenue. Many would close, and the quality of education offered at the rest would fall precipitously.1

The student debt clause is almost too vague to criticize at this point. (Does it apply to all student loans, or only public ones? Does it apply to all students, or only those who attended public universities?) Whatever the case, it's too broad and too expensive a policy to be a good idea. Moreover, its redistributional effect would probably favor Atlasians who are wealthier than average.

Most importantly, this effort ignores the real, fundamental problems in higher education. Does anyone honestly believe that ending tuition will solve the problem of rapid cost inflation at colleges and universities? Will it improve the poor learning and career outcomes of marginal students, or marginal degrees, or marginal institutions? No. It's difficult to see how it would have any meaningful effect.

1 Actually, if the practices of public universities in states where tuition is capped is any guide, schools would simply raise their fees and require students to live on campus and pay exorbitant rates for room and board.
110  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Solving Long Term Unemployment Act (Debating) on: October 18, 2014, 05:44:23 pm
I understand all of that, but both of my concerns stand. I'm not confident that this law will have the effects that you intend, and I'm even less confident that it will be cost-effective.
111  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: The GM Independence Amendment (Debating) on: October 18, 2014, 05:37:57 pm
Nay.

What an idiot I've been. We cannot trust the same Senate that consistently makes excuses for reprobates like Justice Opebo and Senator Napoleon, among others, to hold the Game Moderator accountable. Better to leave the position toothless and ignored than to proceed with this charade.
112  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Sgt. Where's My Car?' Act (Debating) on: October 18, 2014, 05:36:44 pm
It's been seven days, so the original, borderline incomprehensible text has become law.

Oh well, I tried.
113  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Regulatory Review Thread (Voting) on: October 18, 2014, 05:33:08 pm
Shouldn't we vote on these one at a time?
114  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: LGBT Equality in Schooling Act (Debating) on: October 18, 2014, 05:31:51 pm
Aye. If we're going to pass this it makes no sense to discriminate against polyamorists.
115  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: The Atlasian Universal Education Bill (Debating) on: October 18, 2014, 05:26:37 pm
I think we've got some problems. We have a mix of public and private institutions, so what powers do we have to abolish tuition fees?

The bill specifies that it applies to public institutions, but that's still a problem. The Senate only has power over the National University System, which was only established two years ago and probably accounts for a negligible share of college students in Atlasia.

We obviously cannot tell the regions that they must abolish tuition at every institution of higher education that they run. In at least a couple of cases, there isn't even much need to for us to do more than the regions are already doing. The Pacific and the Northeast have passed generous tuition assistance policies over the past several years, IIRC.

That doesn't mean that we can't do anything, of course. (See this and this for past examples.)

As in the NE, I wrote the bill that abolished tuition fees as I said. I'd like to see such a policy applied nationally.

We simply do not have the authority to do that.
116  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Solving Long Term Unemployment Act (Debating) on: October 18, 2014, 08:56:13 am
Cynic, I'm hesitant for a couple of reasons.

First, we already offer substantial tax incentives for hiring the long-term unemployed
(Long-term Unemployment Relief Act) and for businesses that locate in economically distressed communities (Establishment of Social and Economic Development Zones Bill).

In addition, we run several dozen job training programs that have existed since before Atlasia's establishment a decade ago. According to a 2011 GAO report, there were 44 federal job training programs in 2003.

Second, I have doubts about the effectiveness of offering a no-interest loan to someone who has been unemployed for more than six months. People don't always have a good sense of what training they need to become employable. If someone takes the loan and spends months in training but still cannot find work, they'll be worse off than they were before we intervened.
117  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: The Atlasian Universal Education Bill (Debating) on: October 18, 2014, 08:24:43 am
I think we've got some problems. We have a mix of public and private institutions, so what powers do we have to abolish tuition fees?

The bill specifies that it applies to public institutions, but that's still a problem. The Senate only has power over the National University System, which was only established two years ago and probably accounts for a negligible share of college students in Atlasia.

We obviously cannot tell the regions that they must abolish tuition at every institution of higher education that they run. In at least a couple of cases, there isn't even much need to for us to do more than the regions are already doing. The Pacific and the Northeast have passed generous tuition assistance policies over the past several years, IIRC.

That doesn't mean that we can't do anything, of course. (See this and this for past examples.)
118  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: October 2014 Presidential Debate on: October 17, 2014, 08:52:27 am
I think the regional laws on the books question is a bit absurd. No candidate is going to know every law in every region.

Perhaps the candidates will invite you and your towering intellect to moderate the next debate, in that case. For the remainder of this one, I kindly ask that you defer to them and not interrupt us with your live commentary, however incisive it may be.

The next question will be a follow-up, since Marokai mentioned the Mideast Right to Life Act. Should the Mideast Right to Life Act be struck down as unconstitutional? Should the right to an abortion be protected or restricted nationwide, or left to the regions?
119  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Keep Them Fearful Act of 2014 (Debating) on: October 17, 2014, 08:39:13 am
Aye
120  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Solving Long Term Unemployment Act (Debating) on: October 17, 2014, 07:22:35 am
Abstain, because I can't imagine supporting the final bill unless it takes existing federal job training programs into account.
121  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Regulatory Review Thread on: October 17, 2014, 07:18:26 am
That's correct.
122  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: October 2014 Presidential Debate on: October 15, 2014, 09:58:48 pm
Let's move on to a question about the regions.

Do you believe that any regional laws, either on the books or under serious consideration, are unconstitutional? If you do, will you direct your Attorney General to challenge those laws?

123  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE2: Blam This Crap Act (At Final Vote) on: October 15, 2014, 09:50:02 pm
Banning harmless electronic devices is ridiculous. Will sign this.

You sure about that?

124  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Sgt. Where's My Car?' Act (Voting) on: October 15, 2014, 09:28:43 pm
We don't have much longer left to discuss this.
125  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Police Militarization and Civil Rights Act (Debating) on: October 15, 2014, 09:26:32 pm
I'll repeat the questions that I asked Yankee earlier:

Maybe I'm confused. I thought that the bill pertained to direct funding only. Wouldn't non-cash transfers be irrelevant?

Moreover, we very rarely grant money to the regions without requiring that it be used in a specific way. Couldn't the "Y% of funding" mandate in this bill conflict with those requirements?
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