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News: Cast your Ballot in the 2016 Mock Election

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751  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should there be a maximum age limit for driving? on: October 31, 2013, 06:04:41 pm
There shouldn't be a specific age where you're not allowed to drive anymore, but testing should happen more often once humans reach a certain age, say, 65.

But I also think it should be quite a bit more difficult to get (and keep) a license in this country than it is now.  More like Germany (without the high cost though).  I've mentioned before, but I haven't taken a written drivers test since 1995 and I haven't taken a driving drivers test since 1989.  I've had a couple of accidents and LOTS of moving violations.

I really like this take on the issue, and think it might be worth a serious looking at for replacing concrete minimum age limits for driving as well.
752  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should joining a Trade Union be compulsory for all employees? on: October 31, 2013, 06:00:33 pm
753  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: anyone see the emergence of zero-sum politics? on: October 31, 2013, 04:30:48 pm
What I find especially disturbing is how it often applies to entire factions instead of specific pieces of legislation. I can see some reason in voting against something that contains provisions a person finds unconscionable - in that respect compromise is not necessarily a good thing. But when it comes to leaders only wanting to pass certain provisions or enact policies if their own faction gets full credit for it or there is more to gain, symbolically, from attacking opponents' proposals to improve the future competitiveness or appeal of their own faction the situation has really become sickeningly underhanded and inane. The priorities are all messed up. The integrity of policymaking processes matter far more than who wins or loses in the hearts and minds of people in the near future. The power hungry, career-focused, and small minded do not belong in positions of great responsibility and influence. Their corruption seems to hinder the healthful development of society.
754  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 22 Percent of Americans identify at libertarian on: October 31, 2013, 01:17:57 pm

1. The lack of a basic income or comprehensive, universalistic welfare regime requiring a very significant amount of tax implies a livable income is a privilege each individual must successfully seek out and compete for, or otherwise do without - not a right each person has regardless of their diverse abilities or productive outputs. The economic primacy of property rights for classical liberals does not allow for such redistributive "theft" or "confiscation" from the individual.

2. Likewise is true in principle for public, regulated, and taxpayer supported institutions of learning. Since not every student can afford to attend quality private schools, and vouchers to do so would not suffice to ensure children have access to primary and secondary education in all instances, education is also a privilege one must first acquire sufficient income to deserve.

3. The integrity of elections is compromised by private donations and media coverage of elections being protected as a form of personal expression. Those with the most resources have a competitive advantage in capturing and then exerting influence over capital, which in turn empowers candidacies to better compete against other contenders. The respective arsenals of capital at the disposal of each candidate creates an unfair competitive playing field - one on which victory comes from manipulating appearances and symbols - i.e by winning on a public relations front rather than actually having the ideas, values, experiences, etc. most compatible with and in the interests of the electorate. Libertarians, incidentally, are largely shut out of government because of this unless they allow themselves to be co-opted into the GOP. The end result is a government of the few, by the few, and - whether intentionally or not - oft for the few in spite of having an electoral process that mostly looks alright on paper.

4. Libertarians generally do not hold a position that workers cannot agree to own the means of production so long as they acquire the property consensually and without violence in the first place, and do not argue that workers should not be allowed to negotiate for workplaces run in a democratic fashion, yet in practice authoritarian models of firm management better lend themselves to efficiency and are often desirable to the self-interested actors who tend to found businesses in the first place. Also, workers are at a competitive disadvantage against managers, administrators, and/or owners under most conditions - individually having relatively little capital to use for influencing the outcomes of negotiations. It takes a lot more effort and organization for the disadvantaged many to successfully out-compete a highly priveleged few. Under most tolerable economic conditions, there is thus little hope for socialism to take root. An economic democracy of producers does not exist and nor does it - evidenced by the low number of consumer co-ops in the States - exist for those choosing which goods and services to buy.

5. But do environmental regulations not coerce private property owners to abstain from using what is theirs how they please without intentionally, directly inflicting harm upon others? It seems to me the classical liberal would contend that the only recourse for those detrimentally affected by pollution, loss of biodiversity, or other forms of environmental degradation should be through filling suit against the offenders - receiving compensation if they can clearly demonstrate how the accused has harmed them and is responsible for that harm. Environmental protections are also likely to affect prices, thus punishing some firms but helping others. Along those same lines, state ownership of properties set aside for environmental protection inhibit resource development and obstruct the People from providing supplies of resources in response to consumers' demands. State intervention and distortions of the market are not things I think go along well with a traditionally classical liberal attitude toward capitalism.

6. With all due respect, allowing businesses to bar their workers from forming one or more unions to collectively bargain or even allowing them to form a union while not allowing for workers to opt out and negotiate unilaterally steps on the metaphorical toes of freedom of association. Likewise, so too does letting employers discriminate for or against employees or prospective hires for either choosing to associate (or not) with any of a wide assortment of outside social circles and organizations. Many people are put under pressure to conform to the dictates of social mores (or at least an employer's expectations) or to fearfully conceal their associations rather than being truly free to openly, autonomously decide who to consort and identify with in day-to-day life. In regards to the criminal justice system, the main point of contention I have is that those who cannot afford competent, quality legal representation are basically screwed if those pressing charges want to see them punished for something; it is once again a matter of who has how much capital to help stack the cards in their own favor. To be honest, I am not entirely sure a system of common law can be made to guarantee the poor legal representation equivalent to that of relatively privileged others.

7. I am familiar with the arguments made by many libertarians that it should be legal to subject debtors to indentured servitude or a more complete form of slavery, which they fiercely argue is protected under rights to private property. On a different front, it is also slavery to coerce any prisoner of the state to work. A great many libertarians oppose both practices, but these are things I am nonetheless wary about because they are compatible with classical liberal thought.

8. With respect, it is not libertarian to command firms to modify the compensation they award employees if they work more than a number of hours set by the state. And even without such requirements the workers would once again be at a competitive disadvantage negotiating with management, administrators, or owners. Firms do not really need to offer attractive terms of employment if there is sufficiently little competition to force them to within a given community, or if employers in that area generally offer terms similarly unsatisfactory to workers. Without a basic income or generous set of welfare policies a typical worker generally cannot afford to go without work for as long as elites can afford to go short a few hands in the workplace while trying to find other, less demanding (or more desperate, for that matter) people to hire. The individual is not necessarily an empowered, non-coerced actor under capitalism, and it is the classical liberal embrace of and support for capitalism that makes it so very objectionable.

9. Libertarians today are often concerned that social mobility has been restricted by state imposition of social rights that inhibit the individual's autonomous use of private property. But without efforts to promote equality of opportunity and a relatively egalitarian distribution of resources in society regardless of ones social statuses, wealth, income, etc. the prevailing class hierarchy will be one of privileged people making use of their privileges (made possible by superior degrees of influence over capital) to defend those privileges or even transfer them to their children (and occasionally also friends) while those who are deprived have much fewer options for escaping from deprivation and ensuring their progeny do not suffer the same fate. As a general rule, it is easier to experience downward social mobility than to go up, it is easier to go (and stay) up the higher ones class already is, and easier to go (and stay) down the lower in the hierarchy one already happens to be.

10. The classical liberal will not require businesses by law to pay a living wage, force them to hire people at least a certain number of hours per week, or otherwise guarantee that if one starts a new business that it will generate enough income to support the worker. Not only do many people lack a guarantee of sufficient income to make ends meet - they also lack a guarantee of sufficient income if they work and guarantee of even getting to work for pay (e.g. any of the long-term unemployed who have set low standards for themselves and are applying for any work for which they are qualified). Gainful employment is a privilege to the classical liberal rather than a morally justified entitlement.

11. Yes, businesses with bigoted standards can get by or even flourish anywhere locals allow for it. They tend not to because of state intervention in the economy and restrictions placed on the individual's right to private property, but in practice it is still possible for frequent customers themselves to ensure folk in certain minorities are dealt with (e.g. threatened, beaten outside, subjected to a hostile social environment) and will not return if they come to implicitly off-limits establishments. Though I may be mistaken, one of the saloons in my community comes to mind in offering this explanation. Without enough regulation I reckon at least some segregation in business would return to the U.S. There are people out there who get by just fine not putting their own rational, economic interests first on this matter.

12. In all honesty I do believe "libertarian" as a label only really should apply to anarchists but in this case I was using it for full adherents to classical liberalism so as to be more American in focus. There may be ways for some of these folks to rationalize traditionally anti-libertarian policies as, in fact, being pro-libertarian instead but on the whole your replies to my previous post strongly suggested to me that you are neither anarchist nor classical liberal. Respectfully, your responses read like those I would expect from a social liberalist. Perhaps that is where your convictions truly lie, and mainstream adherents to that way of thought in the U.S. are simply more communitarian, paternalistic, and otherwise excessively hands-on when it comes to what government's role should be in a liberal society? I am curious to read more of your thoughts on the matter.
755  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / Re: If the last three posters were running for POTUS who would you vote for and why? on: October 30, 2013, 04:23:41 pm
This is basically the order in which they most closely approximate my outlook on politics.

[1] 20RP12
[3] Supersonic
[2] ElectionsGuy
756  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / Re: Is the Above Poster To the Left or Right of Obama? on: October 30, 2013, 04:20:13 pm
757  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Greatest show of the 21st century so far on: October 30, 2013, 04:19:40 pm
Spoiled ballot - I've never watched any of the shows listed as poll options.
758  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: anyone up with making high school optional? on: October 30, 2013, 04:08:56 pm
No - young adults need training in civics, familiarization at a basic level with many fields of study, and other forms of capital (e.g. honed critical thinking skills) to competently grasp and partake in government, make informed decisions pertaining to personal development, and rise above what might otherwise be the tragic culminating results of over a decade of, er... less-than-excellent parenting. Job training is not the most important objective.

Though as a caveat, I am alright with people getting secondary education via state-regulated home schooling.
759  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 22 Percent of Americans identify at libertarian on: October 30, 2013, 12:19:38 pm
If 22% of Americans identify as libertarian, 30% have a positive opinion of social democracy and/or democratic socialism, and a significant number of folks in neither of those camps are Independent would it be fair to say that - regardless of how competently they pursue agendas in government - the two major parties only satisfactorily represent a minority of voting-age Americans nowadays? (Edit: on second thought, maybe not if only 7% are really classical liberals.)

Because young white males opinions are not as worthy as Hispanics, Woman, older White Males, or African Americans, or any other random demographic right?

Well, personally the stats seem hilarious because the demographic provided is that which has the most to gain from traditionally privileged social groups remaining so, and the most to lose from a level competitive playing field and any political agenda aimed at promoting equality of opportunity. It paints a ridiculous caricature in much the way it would if, say, a study found 70% of American communists are poor, chronically unemployed substance abusers aged under 30.

It's funny how much lefties care about this.  Oh noes, the libertarians are coming to take away our.....huh....right to....hmmmm.....

Well, you know - little things like rights to income sufficient for one to survive, some measure of formal education, free and fair elections, economic democracy, natural environs neither totally devastated by exploitation nor so toxic as to severely detract from ones quality (not to mention duration) of life, rights of association and adequate means of defense in the criminal justice system, to not be a slave, have working hours that leave healthful amounts of time for rest and leisure, to live in a society with a fair degree of social mobility, to render services via gainful employment and be served as a customer without being barred from it by others' bigotry, etc.

Idealistic libertarians are scarcely more than rejecting a few civil liberties away from being the fiercest enemies of actionable freedom and the Good Life out there, from a leftist perspective.
760  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How would the permanent end of the Update Saga affect your forum habits? on: October 30, 2013, 12:13:32 pm
Option four for me - I never read update threads and probably never will.
761  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Wool-Lined Jean Jackets on: October 30, 2013, 12:09:03 pm
Voted horrible jackets, though mostly out of bias against denim for its unappealing colour, texture, and because I associate the material with the excessive snugness of jeans.
762  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How often do you clean ... on: October 30, 2013, 12:03:23 pm
I do laundry every two weeks, vacuum once a month, anddust a bit every two months, but otherwise only put a serious effort into making the place look tidy once every 1 to 3 years. Cleaning is not something I do all at once; different tasks tend to be done at vastly different intervals of time.
763  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you support or oppose the "Anschluss" ? on: October 30, 2013, 11:46:06 am
No (US poster) - I am a world federalist but not an imperialist. Though I would very much like for the United States and Canada to eventually become part of a single country the terms of such a merger should benefit both peoples, be popular both north and south of the border, and avoid a symbolic incorporation of one country into the other (e.g. it would be inappropriate for a North American Union to have the U.S. flag, use the current U.S. Constitution, have a British monarch serving as head of state, become a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, etc.).

Following dead0man's line of thought and then taking it a bit further, I would very much like to see the process continue through Mexico and possibly the Caribbean and/or Central America while the South American Union continues to develop and incorporate new members alongside. These regional entities - and others around the globe - may one day be able to merge as well, in turn, serving as pillars in a federalist system supporting the roof that would be a world government. Ideally, this process could go even further if humanity colonizes nearby planets, moons, those in distant systems, and possibly even if we get along with advanced forms of extraterrestrial life.
764  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act on: October 30, 2013, 11:32:31 am
Yay (I/O) - though it doesn't go nearly far enough.
765  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: William Shatner has too much time on his hands on: October 29, 2013, 06:09:56 pm
Much better than the original story. There should be a picture book.
766  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What should the minimum age requirement be? on: October 29, 2013, 10:46:46 am
767  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should Homeschooling Be Banned? on: October 29, 2013, 10:44:55 am
I am fine with homeschooling and think there should be just enough regulation to avoid parents indoctrinating their children or giving them a generally terrible education that stunts their future potential for personal development and pursuits of fulfillment.
768  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Political Quiz List. Are you a Quiz Whiz? on: October 28, 2013, 08:13:20 pm

1. Liberal feminist (100%)
2. Socialist feminist (92%)
3. Radical feminist (37%)
4. Anti-feminist (0%)
769  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Which of these Atheist types best describes you? on: October 28, 2013, 07:51:02 pm
It is the intellectual atheist/agnostic type for me, with seeker agnostic as the next best fit.
770  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Size of your home county on: October 28, 2013, 07:21:19 pm
Flathead County, MT (~92,000)
771  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you own a car? on: October 28, 2013, 07:19:45 pm
No, and in all likelihood I will never own a car.
772  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of voting Positive/FF on Opinion of Adolf Hitler Polls on: October 28, 2013, 07:10:20 pm
Negative - even the worst polls deserve honest responses.
773  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of this leaflet on: October 28, 2013, 09:20:57 am
FL, though its content is antiquated if taken out of historical context.
774  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Battle of the East Asian Countries: Round 3 on: October 28, 2013, 09:14:52 am
Japan and Mongolia.
775  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: 1824 Party Caucuses on: October 27, 2013, 11:31:13 pm
Okay, I need to be honest with ya'll here. I recognize a few of those names but have no [Inks]ing clue where they stand on enough issues to choose from among them. I do not even know whether I could vote for any of them in good conscience, as opposed to offering a protest vote. D:
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