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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 24th, 2021, 10:50 am 
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Joined: September 19th, 2003, 8:46 am
Posts: 975
littleredcanoe
Quote:
Not me. I don't visit here regularly anymore because I can listen to 35 channels of opinion masking as news here on TV. Every one has a s hole and an opinion.



"Every one has a s hole and an opinion" is not restricted to 35 tv channels.

I can understand the confusion between fact and opinion. This $161.2288 trillion is fact, this "Putting obstacles to discourage some groups from voting and putting politicians in charge of the election process is a much faster way." is opinion.

Let me explain by quoting a great Democrat's opinion

“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”
― Daniel Patrick Moynihan


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 25th, 2021, 12:06 pm 
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Posts: 975
It appears that there is no response to my thesis concerning the United States' "Unfunded Liabilities" regardless of whether we survive or not.

What happens when the "due date" comes due? When the promises behind our Unfunded Liabilities start to come due? Hating Trump is not the answer. I had hoped that the methods which manufactured the numbers would be proved specious. Not yet.

methods

Quote:
Total US Unfunded Liabilities includes Social Security, (Medicare Parts A, B, and D), Federal Debt Held by the Public, plus Federal Employee & Veterans Benefits. (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) Source US Treasury
My single source is https://usdebtclock.org/

Oh, I almost forgot $161.250050 trillion

One possible way would be for the United States to convert to Canadian dollars without a valuation change.


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 25th, 2021, 9:51 pm 
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Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 5891
Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/20 ... democracy/


“The United States, the bastion of global democracy, fell victim to authoritarian tendencies itself, and was knocked down a significant number of steps on the democratic scale,” the International IDEA’s Global State of Democracy 2021 report said.

The report’s U.S. assessment centered on developments during President Donald Trump’s administration. It called Trump’s factually baseless questioning of the legitimacy of the 2020 election results a “historic turning point” that “undermined fundamental trust in the electoral process” and culminated in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Trump’s tactics had “spillover effects, including in Brazil, Mexico, Myanmar and Peru, among others,” the report concluded.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-backsli ... mocracies/


"The visible deterioration of democracy in the United States, as seen in the increasing tendency to contest credible election results, the efforts to suppress participation (in elections), and the runaway polarization... is one of the most concerning developments," said International IDEA secretary-general Kevin Casas-Zamora.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlieport ... 45e49d7fd9

The report’s authors also expressed concern for the wave of voting restriction bills passed in states across the U.S., which researchers say disproportionately affect minorities and will prevent them from casting ballots.


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 25th, 2021, 10:45 pm 
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Posts: 975
Don't you not get it yet? We have 3 branches of government that act as "checks and balances" on each other

Quote:
The system of checks and balances in government was developed to ensure that no one branch of government would become too powerful. The framers of the U.S. Constitution built a system that divides power between the three branches of the U.S. government—legislative, executive and judicial—and includes various limits and controls on the powers of each branch.


https://www.history.com/topics/us-gover ... d-balances

Trump lost even if he is of the opinion that he won. The decision was held up by State and federal courts. TRump vacated the office of the presidency.

Elections have consequences. Court rulings have consequences. Biden is president and has been for 10 months.

What has also happened during this time is the uncontrolled growth of future debt called "unfunded liabilities". It has reached monstrous proportions, $ 161.2588 trillion Thur 8:23 pm 11/25/2021. It was $161.250050 trillion Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:06 pm.

If you want to establish Trump as a possible candidate on "How Democracies Die" rather than a candidate on degrading of civil discourse you need to get the FBI to reverse its judgement that January 6 was not an insurrection.

incidentally, the FBI's decision against calling January 6 an insurrection came well after the date your article was published, January 6, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. EST versus the Reuter article dated August 20, 20217:43 PM MST Last Updated 3 months ago. And well before your post of today. Thus ignorance is no excuse.

I have mentioned that Biden acknowledges he willfully broke the law. Picking and choosing which laws you uphold as president is ominous at best. What law did Trump break?


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 26th, 2021, 12:13 am 
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Posts: 975
This is from Freedom House 2020

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 26th, 2021, 12:28 am 
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Joined: September 19th, 2003, 8:46 am
Posts: 975
Countries With Freedom of Speech 2021


https://worldpopulationreview.com/count ... -of-speech

There is not one country with a higher rating than the United States. Canada rates rather poorly

I do find this interesting quote from your article:

Quote:
The U.S. found a place on the list after it “fell victim to authoritarian tendencies,” according to International IDEA, which listed election integrity—and specifically, former President Donald Trump’s insistence that the election was “stolen”—as a key factor in the determination, along with challenges to voter access.


Given that Trump's "authoritarian tendencies" failed and the rule of law won, thus ensuring election integrity perhaps The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance will revisit the issue and give credit just how durable and robust the U.S. government is in its "checks and balances"


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 26th, 2021, 10:44 am 
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Joined: September 19th, 2003, 8:46 am
Posts: 975
Quote:
International IDEA bases its assessments on 50 years of democratic indicators in around 160 countries, assigning them to three categories: democracies (including those that are "backsliding"), "hybrid" governments and authoritarian regimes.
from "European thinktank adds U.S. to list of "backsliding" democracies for 1st time"

Although the United States is democratic it is also a constitutional republic. That could lead to a confusion of duties not appreciated, thus making false assumptions about who can do what.

"Republic Vs Democracy

The answer to the question “Is the US a republic?” is a definite “yes.”

"Whereas saying the United States is a “democracy” may get controversial and requires some more diving into detail, saying the United States is a republic is 100 % correct – in fact, it was the first constitutional republic in the world, established at a time where monarchy was the default form of government."

"The Founding Fathers of the United States did fear “mob rule” or the “tyranny of the majority,” and in this case spoke of “democracy” negatively while promoting the virtues of a specifically republican form of government."

https://constitutionus.com/democracy/is ... -republic/

An example of the benefits of a constitutional republic: "Democratic governors reject Trump’s call to send in military" PBS, Jun 2, 2020, 8:23 AM EST. If Trump was guilty of creeping authoritarianism then surely this was a missed opportunity if it were available. Obviously then President Trump knew and accepted the limitations of his power Compare that with Biden's knowingly breaking the law.


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 26th, 2021, 3:10 pm 
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Joined: September 11th, 2019, 5:54 pm
Posts: 71
Maybe your thread should be called How Republic Corpses Start to Stink?


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 26th, 2021, 6:09 pm 
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Wabakimi Guy "Maybe your thread and
If you read my very first post, you would have come across these words "Total US Unfunded Liabilities includes Social Security, (Medicare Parts A, B, and D), Federal Debt Held by the Public, plus Federal Employee & Veterans Benefits." (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) Source US Treasury

Both Social Security & Medicare are federal programs both in origin and function. So is the federal debt and federal & veterans benefit. It is not difficult to conclude the responsible agent is the federal government. thus the unfunded liabilities ( presently @ $161.275269 trillion) are a product of the federal government efforts. Can you just imagine if voter eligibility/identification was under the bailiwick of congress/federal government?

When the Constitution was written, the Framers expressly warned of the need to keep the federal government at bay in elections.

This view was reflected in the Electors Clause of Article II, Section 1, which confines the power of Congress to determining “the day on which [electors] give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.” Where Congress is left with the timing of such elections, states are left the manner in which those elections are held.

https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/5 ... principles


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 Post subject: 161.275269
PostPosted: November 26th, 2021, 10:34 pm 
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Joined: October 11th, 2021, 4:19 pm
Posts: 61
Good-night David.


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 26th, 2021, 11:19 pm 
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boat_mouse "Good-night David."

"sleep, those little slices of death, how I loathe them,"

$161.3007 trillion unfunded liabilities


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 29th, 2021, 7:08 am 
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Joined: September 19th, 2003, 8:46 am
Posts: 975
TOO LATE

The "Me Generation" (otherwise known as the "Baby boomers" - 1946 to 1964) causes a fiscal indigestion problem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyNyHark4xk


Quote:
Time for the Federal Budget Process to Include Unfunded Entitlement Obligations
- February 3, 2005

David Walker, Comptroller General of the United States (1998 to 2008), has noted:

Quote:
Without reform, known demographic trends, rising health care costs, and projected growth in federal spending for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will result in massive fiscal pressures that, if not effectively addressed, could cripple the economy, threaten our national security, and adversely affect the quality of life of Americans in the future.
https://www.heritage.org/budget-and-spe ... bligations


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 30th, 2021, 1:46 pm 
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Joined: May 6th, 2005, 12:52 am
Posts: 127
Location: Ottawa
There is no link between "unfunded liabilities" and the failure of democracy unless someone wants it to be that way for their own resaons.

The plain fact is that the idea of "unfunded liabilities" arises from a desire by US Republicans and their backers (the richer then more so) to reduce taxes, and without much care about spending.

So here's the playbook:
Refuse to increase taxes (voters like)
Refuse to cut services (voters like)
Cut some taxes (voters really like)
THEN
Big effort to show the newly created "unfunded liabilities" are a result of sending by "the other party"
Appeal to voters that the country will go broke (compare with Greece, Venezuala, Argentina, etc.) unless spending is cut, especially on medicare/aide, social spending, and so on.

Funny (i.e. strange) that the US political right seeks to make voters fear turning into a miserable 2nd-world failure rather than aspire to be more like the many happy and successful 1st-world countries where everyone can live longer and happier lives at an equal or higher standard of living.

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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 30th, 2021, 5:59 pm 
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Joined: September 15th, 2006, 5:09 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Toronto, ON
Krusty, there are so many wrong points in your comment that I am not able to address all of them.

If you want to better understand the meaning of the terms socialism, statism and capitalism I strongly recommend Dan Mitchell web site https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/. Dan is a rabid libertarian and some of his ideas are rather extreme. At the same time he provides a lot of links to other sources.

Please do not read Dan Mitchell and what I write here if you are 100% certain that you are right.

Krusty wrote:
the terms Socialism is generally described as the ownership of the means of production by the workers.
Dan Mitchel defines two sides of socialism:
1) production side, including how it's affected by government regulations and taxes
2) redistribution side

Dan is saying that government involvement in production is much more detrimental, however large redistribution programs also lead to lower standard of life. He provides a lot of data to support these claims.

Dan's main idea is that socialism/capitalism is not a black and white dichotomy. In each society we have a certain degree of socialism (government control) and a certain degree of capitalism (free market).
The more government intervention we have into economy, the slower is economy growth. Active intervention of FDR into economy during The Great Depression is a nice textbook example. The Great Depression lasted longer in the US than in other western countries with less government intervention.

Even a small difference in a pace of economy growth, over the years due to compound effect would lead to significant differences in standard of life. Currently US standard of life is significantly higher than standard of life in Europe.

Krusty wrote:
The Scandinavian countries have had more equitable social policies for decades. According to your ideology they should be poverty-stricken communist dictatorships by now (hyperbole - exaggeration to make a point).
Speaking of Scandinavian countries, they had fast economy growth (with corresponding fast growth of a standard of life) up to implementation of their (in)famous social policies. After implementation of these policies their economy growth slowed down with corresponding slowdown of a growth of a standard of life.

Yes, some countries like Norway, Emirates, Saudi Arabia etc. have higher standard of life due to oil and gas.

Krusty wrote:
Wikepedia wrote:
in 2017, an Oxfam study found that only eight people, six of them Americans, own as much combined wealth as half the human race...
the bottom 50 percent of wealth owners experienced no net wealth growth since 1989. At the other end of the spectrum, the top 1 percent have seen their wealth grow by almost 300 percent since 1989...
The gap between the wealth of the top 10% and that of the middle class is over 1,000%; that increases another 1,000% for the top 1%.....
Krusty, thank you for sharing a nice example of a socialist propaganda.
I have a few issues with this quote.
1) Focus on the wealth of the top 1% or 0.1% is envy-driven and misleading.
Regardless of the growth of wealth of rich Americans, average Americans also enjoyed faster growth of their standard of life, that stalled only after ~1980 due to globalization, outsourcing and unconstrained immigration.
2) If we care about standard of life of people, we need to compare consumption of people at different income levels. Difference in income is significantly lower than difference in wealth.
The most interesting example is when people claim that the wealth of a person at the bottom is just a few hundred dollars of even negative. This is apparently BS, because even a homeless jobless person in the US has a wealth of several hundred thousand dollars due to his share of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and local benefits.
3) As a trained Marxist I prefer a clear distinction between "means of production" and "means of consumption".
As soon as politicians start talking about "wealth tax", you need to understand that they are actually talking about expropriation and government control. You can find quite a few examples on Dan Mitchel website showing that government control of means of production is detrimental to economy growth and growth of standard of life.
Dan is not using my Marxist terminology and is talking about "efficiency of investments", but overall conclusion is the same: market driven economy ensures the fastest growth of economy and the fastest growth of a standard of life.

Krusty wrote:
the terms Socialism is generally described as the ownership of the means of production by the workers.
BTW, ownership of means of production by the workers is just a BS slogan.
In real socialist economy means of production are actually owned/controlled by government bureaucrats and party apparatchiks.


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: November 30th, 2021, 7:00 pm 
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Joined: September 15th, 2006, 5:09 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Toronto, ON
david demello wrote:
If you are referring to that summer's countrywide violence instigated by Antifa and Black Lives Matter ...
david demello, I need to correct you.
This violence campaign was normalized and instigated by liberal #massmedia and #bigtech.
Antifa and BLM only implemented it.
In 2020 30% more Americans have been killed than in 2019.
Essentially these people were killed by liberal #massmedia and #bigtech.


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