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 Post subject: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 24th, 2021, 11:25 am 
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Non-paddling related discussions.

How Democracies Die

I present one possible scenario. UNFUNDED LIABILITIES which at present amounts to almost $158 trillion dollars.

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/


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 24th, 2021, 12:40 pm 
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158 trillion dollars is an immense sum, scary in fact.

May I add ignorance and apathy to the list of "How democracies die" David?


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 24th, 2021, 1:17 pm 
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Putting obstacles to discourage some groups from voting and putting politicians in charge of the election process is a much faster way.

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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 24th, 2021, 5:15 pm 
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Quote:
May I add ignorance and apathy to the list of "How democracies die" David?


“The best defense of democracy is an informed electorate.” ― Thomas Jefferson

unfortunately for this perspective, Jefferson is not in favor these days, evidenced by the his material removal from the public square, metaphorically speaking.


Last edited by david demello on October 25th, 2021, 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 24th, 2021, 8:20 pm 
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How Democracies Die is a 2018 comparative politics book by Harvard University political scientists Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt about how elected leaders can gradually subvert the democratic process to increase their power.[1] In 2021, The Economist described the book as the "most important book of the Trump era."[2] The book, which offers stark warnings about the impact of the Republican Party and Donald Trump's presidency on U.S. democracy, influenced Joe Biden prior to his decision to run for president in the 2020 presidential election.[3][4]


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 24th, 2021, 9:51 pm 
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Putting obstacles to discourage some groups from voting and putting politicians in charge of the election process is a much faster way.
That is an issue best addressed by the courts. And it has been addressed.

"The Constitution protects the right to vote but also the right of states to set the manner of voting. You cannot protect one by negating the other. If states deprive “millions” of voters of the right to vote, as claimed by Democrats, then they will be stopped by the courts."
https://jonathanturley.org/2021/08/05/b ... nt-page-1/

Ben Franklin, “A Republic, if You Can Keep It.” If the Constitution offends you, change it. That is not my argument.

My argument is how the Federal government managed to generate $158 Trillion dollars in Unfunded Liabilities while the states governments are constitutionally constrained. "Bankruptcy in the U.S. is governed by federal law and handled in federal courts. States are not allowed to declare it as per the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Changes to the bankruptcy code would require Congress to pass legislation." INVESTOPEDIA - Deborah D'Souza -Published April 24, 2020

If the Federal government is beggaring the future why should we trust them with governing the present?

C'mon Man!


Last edited by david demello on October 25th, 2021, 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 25th, 2021, 12:35 am 
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"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." Louis Brandeis


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 25th, 2021, 7:44 am 
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david demello wrote:
"Putting obstacles to discourage some groups from voting and putting politicians in charge of the election process is a much faster way." That is an issue best addressed by the courts. And it has been addressed.

[/b]



You're kidding me. That is so obviously not true, When you just have 1 party that supports democracy then you have gone a long way in losing it.

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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 25th, 2021, 8:39 am 
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david demello wrote:
"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." Louis Brandeis

This is amply demonstrated by the GOP and the Trumplicans in their comprehensive efforts to subvert the established democratic process. Parallel measures to undermine multiple institutions at all levels of government - to make the whole idea of governing look worse - spell longer term trouble for our American friends and neighbours.

It is direct commentary on the uninformed polity that the GOP in particular can run up record deficits and then blame the Democrats for it, all while blocking Democratic efforts to raise revenues.

As for any possible government bankruptcy, it is not because of continued, let alone planned, spending but rather because of a refusal to generate revenue even from those parts of US society that gain most from being part of the US economy.

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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 25th, 2021, 10:56 am 
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David DeMello wrote:

Quote:
"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." Louis Brandeis


"This is amply demonstrated by the GOP and the Trumplicans in their comprehensive efforts to subvert the established democratic process."

Please it should read David DeMello quoted

and who did David DeMello quote? Louis Brandeis.

"Justice Brandeis is widely considered to be one of the most famous and influential members to ever serve on the High Court." (1856-1941). IE He died before Trump was born. (June 14, 1946)

Please firm up Trump's connection with Louis Brandeis so I can make an informed response.


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 25th, 2021, 1:38 pm 
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Quote:
As for any possible government bankruptcy, it is not because of continued, let alone planned, spending but rather because of a refusal to generate revenue even from those parts of US society that gain most from being part of the US economy.


It is not true that the United States refuses to "generate revenues" because it does generate the revenues. It is the methods by which those revenues are generated. Printing it and borrowing from the future. On the printing aspect, one can only wonder the impact it has on the "good faith and credit" of the United States. On the borrowing aspect, one can only wonder how long others will willingly service our debt and under what conditions. 1st we have foreign debt ($7 Trillion) and 2nd public debt ($22 Trillion). THE REVENUES ARE GENERATED.

At some time the intergovernmental agencies will need to redeem their loans.
At some time the Public entities will want their money for whatever reason.

Given that the United States has a $158Trillion unfunded liability one wonders how. Perhaps we can print some Pelosi $1Trillion coins to pay the debt and save the environment at the same time. If President Obama can get a Nobel Peace Prize for??? Perhaps Pelosi can get two Nobel Prizes - one for Economics and one for the environment!

When all things are parseable all things are possible!

addendum: interest on debt is the fourth-largest budget expenditure at $407Billion yearly. Pretty soon we will be talking real money!


Last edited by david demello on October 25th, 2021, 3:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 25th, 2021, 2:44 pm 
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If you believe borrowing is "revenue" there is nothing to discuss with you.

PS: If you consider borrowing to be "revenue" then all things are fully funded!

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It is amusing how people hate taxes -- but love the things taxes provide. TANSTAAFL
Fitness program designed for men over 40: https://www.fitnessin10formen.com/


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 25th, 2021, 3:32 pm 
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Quote:
If you believe borrowing is "revenue" there is nothing to discuss with you.

PS: If you consider borrowing to be "revenue" then all things are fully funded!


It is revenue, borrowed revenue. I have been in real estate for decades. Until recently I borrowed money to service property/service debt. That property made money. All part of the revenue stream.

What I have the most problem with is the "unfunded liability" The distribution and nature of that "unfunded liability" and its demands in the near future worries me.

excerpt from The Balance-
By Kimberly Amadeo
Reviewed by Thomas J. Brock
Thomas Brock
Fact checked by Emily Ernsberger
on October 04, 2021


Quote:
The Mandatory Budget Dilemma

Demographics means that, at some point, Congress must amend the laws that created these mandatory programs. By 2030, those over 65 will compose 20% of the population.19 As boomers leave the workforce and apply for benefits, four things happen:

The percentage of the labor force under age 55 does not provide enough income via payroll taxes to fund Social Security benefits.
Economic growth slows as government spending becomes almost exclusively focused on paying benefits for these mandated programs.
The U.S. debt comes closer to Japan's crushing burden of a 200% debt-to-GDP ratio.20 21
The dollar weakens as investors in Treasury bonds switch to currencies in countries with brighter growth prospects.


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 25th, 2021, 4:10 pm 
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You're dodging the OP's point David. The money's borrowed because Republicans firstly gave unfunded tax breaks to the rich, then they refuse to tax the rich and corporations to fund social infrastructure programs that, in the end, make everyone richer.
There is certainly a discussion to be had about restructuring economies. The unfunded liabilities argument you make isn't without merit. Climate change. The continued encroachment of A.I. on a widening range of the job market. The concentration of wealth. Social justice issues. Yup, big changes and therefore big challenges ahead.
But I missed the point of your original thesis: why would a debt crisis necessitate the end of a democratic way of government?


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 Post subject: Re: How Democracies Die
PostPosted: October 25th, 2021, 5:09 pm 
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DD's house is burning down but he is more worried about increased mortgage payments

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