Politics?

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Is representational democracy the best form of government and is capitalism the best economic system?

Both together provide for the optimal society
3
25%
Democracy is the best form of government, but Capitalism leads to corruption
7
58%
Capitalism is the most profitable economic system for all, but Democracy leads to Anarchy and uninformed and unjust laws.
0
No votes
Both Capitalism and Democracy have severe issues, and societies would be better off searching for alternative forms of government and economy
2
17%
 
Total votes: 12

Pete
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Post by Pete » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:52 pm

devilsadvocat wrote:
Pete wrote:Err... So that's why all of the latest studies have shown that the gap between richest and poorest in the UK is wider than it has ever been? Right-o.

EDIT: Here's a good guide to Labour's approach to education... Nice and consistent

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/67 ... uture.html
The gap between rich and poor has increased because the rich are getting even richer, not becuase the poor are getting poorer. The figure you actually want to look at is how many children are still growing up beneath the poverty line, which has decreased. right-0
We're equal bottom with Italy and Spain in Western Europe when it comes to child poverty actually. It has been one of Labour's main policies and they have failed dismally despite spending huge amounts of cash on it.

So essentially Labour, during good times, have had an inordinate amount of cash to spunk on one of their main policy objectives, yet we are still bottom of the league table in Western Europe, Brown has once again changed the targets and dates they are aiming for and this is what you define as a policy success?
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

Pete
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Post by Pete » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:54 pm

devilsadvocat wrote:

Edit- Id never have thought the Torygraph would have a pop at labour, in other news this week, the pope goes to mass, and yes, bears really do shit in the woods
Here's the source for my last post...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog ... -countries

Suppose the Guardian hate Labour too...?!
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

devilsadvocat
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Post by devilsadvocat » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:58 pm

Pete wrote:
devilsadvocat wrote:
Pete wrote:Err... So that's why all of the latest studies have shown that the gap between richest and poorest in the UK is wider than it has ever been? Right-o.

EDIT: Here's a good guide to Labour's approach to education... Nice and consistent

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/67 ... uture.html
The gap between rich and poor has increased because the rich are getting even richer, not becuase the poor are getting poorer. The figure you actually want to look at is how many children are still growing up beneath the poverty line, which has decreased. right-0

We're equal bottom with Italy and Spain in Western Europe when it comes to child poverty actually. It has been one of Labour's main policies and they have failed dismally despite spending huge amounts of cash on it.

So essentially Labour, during good times, have had an inordinate amount of cash to spunk on one of their main policy objectives, yet we are still bottom of the league table in Western Europe, Brown has once again changed the targets and dates they are aiming for and this is what you define as a policy success?
We may be equally bottom but we have improved domestically, you cannot expect us to leap to the top of the table overnight. Yes the figures seem huge, but there has been progress on the ground, change is expensive. In my mind, you cannot rely on the public alone to help change society, an issue we will clearly have to agree to disagree on.

Pete
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Post by Pete » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:05 pm

So in your mind people cannot be trusted to look after their own? So who exactly can be trusted to look after the best wishes of the people? It's clear our own political classes cannot after they've been shown to rip us off left right and centre, no? Government after government have been shown up to only be interested in their own ends rather than the greater good of the people. What makes politicians more trustworthy and better at doing this than the man on the street?

I'd say people feel far more affiliation to their community, to where they are from, to their local area, than they ever do to the country as a whole. If you can devolve power and make people see what they are doing actually makes a difference then this country will become a better place to live.

Your blindly Statist approach, with evidence piled up to the contrary, is absolutely ridiculous. You have 12 years of a supposedly Labour government and the best things you could pull out were Sure Start and the Child Poverty figures? Surely that alone should make you sit back and wonder.

You said before you thought democracy was the best we had to offer, but now you're saying people can't be trusted. So do you really want an authoritarian dictatorship where you don't have to worry about what to do or who needs help, you just pay your taxes and trust them with the rest?
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

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ZaryAnne
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Post by ZaryAnne » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:12 pm

Pete wrote:The whole stigma of Libertarians being gun toting maniacs has arisen from the States and understandably, but the UK Libertarian movement is something altogether different. Unfortunately at the moment we're all flagged as internet geeks sat chatting to each other on blogs, but hopefully in time if we get enough geeks we'll be able to disseminate the message beyond the blogosphere and through to rank and file people who will understand it's essentially an aim to get back to small localised governments, to neighbourhoods and communities having spirit and identity and working together for themselves rather than relying on the state to do it for them.

With regards the NHS, this is the one point where I will freely admit I don't know the answer. I sincerely believe the NHS is not the right way to do things but I even more strongly oppose the current US model. That's not to say there is no other way around it, I just don't know what that way is. I do believe anyone who is ill should be entitled to treatment and healthcare. God knows had the government not been freely wasting £3bn a year on things it now says it can easily cut back, maybe those with cancers deemed not commercially viable to treat would have actually got their treatment. We spend an incredible amount of money through our government, numbers I cannot get my head around, I do not believe the benefit is anywhere close to the cost.
Unfortunately, I think the whole Libertarianism's bad image coming from the States is true. We have a surprising number of "Libertarians" who really are more anarchal, but believe the Libertarian party can give them a platform, which just ends up making those of us who know what we are talking about (ish), look really bad. I once had to explain to my history teacher that Libertarianism and Anarchy are not the same thing at all. That did not go over well (Silly liberal education).

Furthermore, I am all for a public healthcare option of the government can tell me who is paying for it? Oh, that's right, the people who can already afford it (upper/middle class) are supporting those who cannot, which sounds very ethical on the surface. But I do not believe health care is a right. I mean, I think people have more of a right to food, water, and shelter, but believe me, that would cost so much money that no one ever discusses making viable public options for that. And the government housing that does exist in America is shit, most people would rather live on the streets.

My main issue with large government is that it spends money it does not have on things people don't really understand or if they do understand, don't care about. It further plunges countries into enormous debt along with interfering with our daily lives (I believe in gun control, but not regulation... as in, we have a right to bear arms, but not bazookas). This whole health care plan for a "public option" sounds good. Believe me, I would love for people to be able to be cured even if they don't have the money. The sad fact is, it's just not possible. Other countries have done it, and when the rich people of those countries get sick, they come to America because doctors in America have an incentive to be great; they want to make more money.
“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”
Benjamin Franklin

devilsadvocat
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Post by devilsadvocat » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:16 pm

Pete wrote:So in your mind people cannot be trusted to look after their own? So who exactly can be trusted to look after the best wishes of the people? It's clear our own political classes cannot after they've been shown to rip us off left right and centre, no? Government after government have been shown up to only be interested in their own ends rather than the greater good of the people. What makes politicians more trustworthy and better at doing this than the man on the street?

I'd say people feel far more affiliation to their community, to where they are from, to their local area, than they ever do to the country as a whole. If you can devolve power and make people see what they are doing actually makes a difference then this country will become a better place to live.

Your blindly Statist approach, with evidence piled up to the contrary, is absolutely ridiculous. You have 12 years of a supposedly Labour government and the best things you could pull out were Sure Start and the Child Poverty figures? Surely that alone should make you sit back and wonder.

You said before you thought democracy was the best we had to offer, but now you're saying people can't be trusted. So do you really want an authoritarian dictatorship where you don't have to worry about what to do or who needs help, you just pay your taxes and trust them with the rest?
haha, no, i believe that elected representatives are in the best position to run this country. Yes most people have an affiliation with their communities, but some areas are in such a state where community spirit simply doesnt exist, how can someone on benefits in tower hamletts help their neighbour if they dont have anything to give? also what do you mean by governments "own ends"? as ive said before, get rid of government and big buisness gets even power, do you think there going to be really nice and hand all their profits out to consumers? pah!

Pete
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Post by Pete » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:27 pm

So you didn't actually answer any of my questions. You also clearly didn't bother looking at what a Friendly Society was. And you don't seem to grasp the concept of small government and devolved local power as opposed to entire removal of the state. What exactly would big businesses interfere in if there was no big state to inferfere with?

Labour are almost bankrupt, they are at the mercy of the unions and businesses that fund them, they are more easily influenced than any party has been for decades. All political parties require funding which means chasing money from businesses and selling out to get that cash. Take away the big state, take away the need for a lot of that money. It's by no means an overnight quick fix, it's a generational change that needs to be done over a sustained period of time. It's not a case of saying 'lets cut everyone off right now, anyone poor is fucked' it's a case of gradually taking away having the state as a crutch and people regaining control of their communities and becoming part of their local government.

I find it so hard to believe that anyone can argue against cutting the state back from what it's become. Do you genuinely believe the state should not be cut back significantly from where it is now?
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

devilsadvocat
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Post by devilsadvocat » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:52 pm

Pete wrote:So you didn't actually answer any of my questions. You also clearly didn't bother looking at what a Friendly Society was. And you don't seem to grasp the concept of small government and devolved local power as opposed to entire removal of the state. What exactly would big businesses interfere in if there was no big state to inferfere with?

Labour are almost bankrupt, they are at the mercy of the unions and businesses that fund them, they are more easily influenced than any party has been for decades. All political parties require funding which means chasing money from businesses and selling out to get that cash. Take away the big state, take away the need for a lot of that money. It's by no means an overnight quick fix, it's a generational change that needs to be done over a sustained period of time. It's not a case of saying 'lets cut everyone off right now, anyone poor is fucked' it's a case of gradually taking away having the state as a crutch and people regaining control of their communities and becoming part of their local government.

I find it so hard to believe that anyone can argue against cutting the state back from what it's become. Do you genuinely believe the state should not be cut back significantly from where it is now?
which parts of the state would you see cut back? departments etc?

Pete
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Post by Pete » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:55 pm

I'm not about to sit here and try to articulate a detailed plan of governmental funding post-my-election as new leader! The fact the government have just come out and said 'oh, yeah, we can cut back over THREE BILLION pounds' just like that, shows exactly how much fat there is lying around.
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

devilsadvocat
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Post by devilsadvocat » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:02 pm

Pete wrote:I'm not about to sit here and try to articulate a detailed plan of governmental funding post-my-election as new leader! The fact the government have just come out and said 'oh, yeah, we can cut back over THREE BILLION pounds' just like that, shows exactly how much fat there is lying around.
just one example then of one specific department you believe to be too big.

I would argue healthcare is a right, if is a baby is born with a serious medical condition through no fault of its own, why should its future quality of life depend on its parents ability to pay?

Pete
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Post by Pete » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:08 pm

Err... I've not argued at any point that healthcare isn't a right. Assuming that's directed to Anne.

I believe every single government department is too big. I believe cuts could be made in every single one. I believe whilst we are running a deficit larger than any deficit ever in the UK in absolute terms and proportionately larger than any other peace time deficit we have ever run we cannot afford to spend the money we are spending.

Asking someone to name specific cuts when they do not have access to the books detailing wages, job titles, work done, etc. is just a cop out from the argument. You know as well as everyone else in their right mind the money we are spending now is unsustainable.
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

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Tomasz
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Post by Tomasz » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:35 pm

Pete wrote:the concept of small government and devolved local power as opposed to entire removal of the state.
Sounds like the liberal democrats' policy
Pete wrote:Sometimes, I wish I was a dog on a swing.

Pete
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Post by Pete » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:36 pm

Tomasz wrote:
Pete wrote:the concept of small government and devolved local power as opposed to entire removal of the state.
Sounds like the liberal democrats' policy
See the link I posted to Charlotte Gore above... She is / was a Lib Dem and she disagrees.
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

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ZaryAnne
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Post by ZaryAnne » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:14 pm

Pete wrote:Err... I've not argued at any point that healthcare isn't a right. Assuming that's directed to Anne.
It's Zary, actually. Anne is my middle name. And like I said, it's as much of a right as food, both ideally would be open to everyone, but societies cannot function like that because it costs too much money. No one is advocating food for the entire country the same way they advocate healthcare, where I would say food is more of a necessity.
“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”
Benjamin Franklin

Pete
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Post by Pete » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:23 pm

ZaryAnne wrote:
Pete wrote:Err... I've not argued at any point that healthcare isn't a right. Assuming that's directed to Anne.
It's Zary, actually. Anne is my middle name. And like I said, it's as much of a right as food, both ideally would be open to everyone, but societies cannot function like that because it costs too much money. No one is advocating food for the entire country the same way they advocate healthcare, where I would say food is more of a necessity.
I think people do get food though. I don't think people physically starve to death en masse in the States or the UK. I see where you're coming from though. I would argue there is plenty of money for healthcare and a level of support for those truly in need that can be supplied through minimal taxation and the removal of massive wastes of money and beaurocracy(sp?). You think of how much the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us. How much the various Star Wars projects cost. For the UK, the 3% of welfare cash that the state admit goes on 'fraud / mistaken claims' (not to mention the other glaring flaws with the Welfare state discussed above). I don't know if you have 'QUANGOS' in the States but I'd recommend looking them up for your essay - they have essentially been used in the UK to create huge organisations paying their staff very high wages to wrap areas of government policy in so much red tape and beaurocracy at a cost of billions upon billions of pounds (although they're obviously all necessary according to DA).

In fact, think of the totally ludicrous amounts that have been squandered on saving reckless banks and that's about to be spent in environmental taxes. In my view at least, I'd rather look at cutting these and helping the genuinely poor of society, which I think can be done.

Edit: Zary? Really? Z isn't even close to M on a keyboard ;)
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

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