Why is there so much liberal and socialist bias on the escapist?

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TheIronRuler:

I can't believe that conservatives can contain people as extreme as these libertarians I heard of, like Danyal. Conservatism is keeping the status quo, rescinding social programs set up by the previous government and resisting change. Nowadays you have bloody reactionaries going head-strong with reintroducing religion into every fathom of the government and the state, something I just can't stand to hear as being called "conservatives". When you want to abolish universal suffrage and deny women the right to vote along with other minorities, I do not dare call them Conservatives. I call them bloody revolutionaries that have romanticized the old times to such an extent they believe slavery was something good.

Call them what they are, reactionaries. Dinosaurs who want to turn back social reforms and harken back to the "good old days". They haven't been true conservatives since the 1970s or so.

That said, I wouldn't confuse all Libertarians with reactionaries. There is a leftist, socialist type of libertarianism associated with Noam Chomsky - with which I find some but by no means all common ground1; "traditional" libertarians, who like socially libertarian policies but desire limited government; and religious rightists/teabaggers who wish for limited government yet want nothing of social libertarianism. Only really the last set could be described as reactionary.

1. I favour strong social liberty and moderate socialism, but limited government just isn't plausible.

Danyal:

TheIronRuler:
Right wing and Left wing are relative to each specific parliament. French or not, I assure you that not that many traditionalist and aristocracy rooted political parties remain in the world. Thus the right wing had been given a different name and appearance, such as nationalists and in some cases liberals (When the left which opposes them is socialists/communists). The term right wing and left wing is relative to the parliament itself and the parties within in. That's all.

And Wikipedia's definition of Libertarianism is relative in the same way.

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Wikipedia can kiss my big white ass.
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MammothBlade:

TheIronRuler:

I can't believe that conservatives can contain people as extreme as these libertarians I heard of, like Danyal. Conservatism is keeping the status quo, rescinding social programs set up by the previous government and resisting change. Nowadays you have bloody reactionaries going head-strong with reintroducing religion into every fathom of the government and the state, something I just can't stand to hear as being called "conservatives". When you want to abolish universal suffrage and deny women the right to vote along with other minorities, I do not dare call them Conservatives. I call them bloody revolutionaries that have romanticized the old times to such an extent they believe slavery was something good.

Call them what they are, reactionaries. Dinosaurs who want to turn back social reforms and harken back to the "good old days". They haven't been true conservatives since the 1970s or so.

That said, I wouldn't confuse all Libertarians with reactionaries. There is a leftist, socialist type of libertarianism associated with Noam Chomsky - with which I find some common ground; "traditional" libertarians, who like socially libertarian policies but desire limited government; and religious rightists/teabaggers who wish for limited government yet want nothing of social libertarianism. Only really the last set could be described as reactionary.

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Aye, aye, I also acknowledge the other groups here but they are more revolutionary than anything. Any movement that seeks to break down today's government for whatever reason is a revolutionary one - whether they want to instill the law of the bible instead of secular laws or cut down government so much that its sole role is to protect its citizens from other nation's armies and other threats on their personal security (internal terrorists, terrorists, etc.). I'm not even going to start touching the turd that is Ayn Rand.

Charles_Martel:
I see that I ruffled some feathers about my comments on youth and idealism. The upcoming US presidential elections will be an excellent vehicle to show what I'm talking about.

Young people (18 - 22) were very enthusiastic about Obama. If after seeing President Obama in action these same young people now 22 - 26 still support Obama I'll be very surprised. If someone can prove that the 22 - 26 years olds vote in as great or equal numbers for Obama as the 18 - 22 years olds did four years ago I'll delete my account and stop posting here. One less old fart :)

I know it's not really fair but it will show how the idea of Obama changes when faced with the reality of Obama. Disillusionment can be a harsh lession but the wisdom gained makes up for it.

For a person who is so quick to praise the virtue of 'disillusionment', you seem to suffer terrible illusions of your own supposed 'wisdom' and grandeur without providing any actual content to demonstrate it aside from claiming: "I'm old, therefore I'm wise", and "I'm right because I believe I'm right". Neither has any basis in fact.

Apparently side-stepping an argument merely because it's not favourable to one's belief that one is so 'wise' is wisdom.

Xanthious:
Winston Churchill once said "Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.". While I certainly don't agree that any conservative under 30 is a heartless bastard nor any liberal over 30 a mouth breathing idiot I do think the quote is correct in saying that people tend to trend more conservative the older they get.

Hell, when I was in my late teens to mid 20s I thought feeding the poor, green energy, and raising taxes on the rich was just tits. Then I got a few promotions and I got a little older and had to write a check or two to the IRS and all of a sudden green energy is simply too damn expensive, the poor can go feed themselves, and the rich pay enough in taxes.

The fact of the matter is that people's priorities change as they get older. Being idealistic is all well and good when you are younger when you are spending other people's money but once you start writing checks to the government every April those things that once seemed important don't seem quite as important anymore.

I do not disagree that values can and do change. But all you have demonstrably done is change from one set to another when you couldn't be bothered to fully understand the implications of your prior ideals, giving them up when you realized you likely either couldn't manage to bring them about on your own, or found them to be too much work and settled for something more within your power. Am I wrong? Or are you going to spout some more nonsense that a person cannot be a responsible adult and remain an idealist?

Values may change, but value never goes away when it comes to humans.

To make it worse, you have convinced yourself that your pauper's sense of ideals somehow makes you superior to others whose ideals you once supposedly 'shared'. Exactly how does that work? There's no 'fact of the matter' there. Just you self-affirming that you are 'better' than others because you believe you can 'see reality clearly', when all you have shown is how inescapably entrenched you are within your own delusion. You changed your ideals, so what? Who decided aside from you that they were somehow objectively 'better' than others?

Being an idealist does not automatically make one inflexible, nor irrational.

Xanthious:
Just as soon as green energy sources become financially viable and not a massive pain the ass I'll start caring about them. However, as it is they have LONG way to go. Car companies can barely give away hybrid cars because there is so little interest in them. Meanwhile solar and wind power can't hold a candle to the convenience of coal. It's been proven time and again that green energy can not exist currently in the free market without some bloated government subsidy propping it up.

So what? You expect new energy sources and technologies to magically spring forth out of the ground? This stuff doesn't just magically develop without investing in developing it. And arguing that we shouldn't spend money developing it now because it isn't financially viable right now is ludicrously short sighted. Oil is going to run out. This is an inevitable reality. Waiting until it does is not the time to invest in new energy sources unless you think there's going to be a lot of investment and technological advance when western civilization grinds to a halt. Sitting around hoping to see if new technologies happen to be developed that can get us off of oil before we run out instead of investing in them now is like being diagnosed with cancer and hoping your body just magically goes into remission someday instead of going through chemo.

It's also because of these green energy loving people that the US is not allowed to utilize our own natural resources. The US is sitting on a massive amount of oil and fossil fuels but in the name of "environmentalism" isn't allowed to touch it because some rare species of mouse might be inconvenienced.

Feel free to ask Alberta how awesome it is when companies are allowed to get at the oil by any means necessary.

So while you may think looking to the future is all well and good it doesn't do a damn thing to help anyone in the here and now. In the here and now green energy and things done in the name of green energy are providing way more of a hassle than they are any kind of benefit and it doesn't look to be changing anytime soon.

I'm sorry you think paying slightly higher gas prices (you're argument about California paying $5/gallon might be a little less laughable if prices throughout the US weren't so much lower than most of the rest of the western world) and higher taxes now is worse than the collapse of modern civilization if we don't replace oil in the next few decades. I'm guessing you justify it by telling yourself that while millions, if not billions could die sometime in the future as a result of something we might be able to prevent now, they might not die too. So why should I demonstrate some social responsibility now? Why should I be concerned with conserving things like the environment, or conserving our way of life, or playing things conservatively in the face of potential future disaster? No, the conservative thing is clearly to keep trucking along, business as usual, and just hope everything's ok. I mean hell, plenty of supposedly conservative politicians like to talk about leaving things up to god and just praying that it all works out okay as long as living on a fat income right now.

All I'm getting from you, Xan, is that you used to believe in being socially responsible, until you realized that might take some actual work and sacrifice on your part and decided that other people and the future of our species be damned, I want my money right now. Am I wrong? Because that's essentially what you seemed to be arguing and are still arguing now.

I like the way John Stewart put it. He said that some of us deal with reality, but others live on Bullshit Mountain. Stewart sums up with:

The biggest problem with the denizens of Bullshit Mountain is they act like their shit don't stink. If they have success, they built it. If they failed, the government ruined it for 'em. If they get a break, they deserve it. If you get a break, it's a handout and an entitlement. It's a baffling, willfully blind cognitive dissonance best summed up by their head coach, in what is perhaps my favorite sound bite of all time.

Why does nobody remember me? I'm the most important user here!

Hap2:

Being an idealist does not automatically make one inflexible, nor irrational.

I read your post with interest, but this caught my especially eye. As I am currently studying Theories about Rationality, I am interested in what you consider to be "irrational".

Vivi22:
Oil is going to run out.

Some day? Sure. Anytime soon? No, not by a long shot. America has an absolutely stupid amount of untapped resources essentially locked up thanks to arbitrary regulations. A 2011 study done by the Institute for Energy Resources reported just how crazy the amount of untapped natural energy America is sitting on top of:

* North America is blessed with enough energy supplies to promote and sustain economic growth for many generations. The government's own reports detail this, and Congress was advised of our energy wealth when the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress released a report showing that the United States' combined recoverable oil, natural gas, and coal endowment is the largest on Earth.

* The amount of oil that is technically recoverable in the United States is more than 1.4 trillion barrels, with the largest deposits located offshore, in portions of Alaska, and in shale in the Rocky Mountain West. When combined with resources from Canada and Mexico, total recoverable oil in North America exceeds 1.7 trillion barrels.

* That is more than the world has used since the first oil well was drilled over 150 years ago in Titusville, Pennsylvania. To put this in context, Saudi Arabia has about 260 billion barrels of oil in proved reserves. For comparative purposes, the technically recoverable oil in North America could fuel the present needs in the United states of seven billion barrels per year for around 250 years.

* North American recoverable coal could provide enough electricity for the United States for about 500 years at current levels of consumption.

* Given that U.S. consumption is currently about 24 trillion cubic feet per, there is enough natural gas in North America to last the United States for over 175 years at current rates of consumption.

* Restrictions in the form of federal bans and leasing combined with declining offerings of lease acreage mean only about 2.2 percent of America's offshore acreage is currently leased for production.

* While the US and North America contain enormous energy wealth, US policies have increasingly made exploration, development, production and consumption of that energy more difficult. Therefore, a scarcity of good policies, not a scarcity of energy, is responsible for US energy insecurity.

Source: http://www.energyforamerica.org/inventory/

Mainly because the people here tend to be educated and intelligent.

Xanthious:

Vivi22:
Oil is going to run out.

Some day? Sure. Anytime soon? No, not by a long shot. America has an absolutely stupid amount of untapped resources essentially locked up thanks to arbitrary regulations. A 2011 study done by the Institute for Energy Resources reported just how crazy the amount of untapped natural energy America is sitting on top of:

* North America is blessed with enough energy supplies to promote and sustain economic growth for many generations. The government's own reports detail this, and Congress was advised of our energy wealth when the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress released a report showing that the United States' combined recoverable oil, natural gas, and coal endowment is the largest on Earth.

* The amount of oil that is technically recoverable in the United States is more than 1.4 trillion barrels, with the largest deposits located offshore, in portions of Alaska, and in shale in the Rocky Mountain West. When combined with resources from Canada and Mexico, total recoverable oil in North America exceeds 1.7 trillion barrels.

* That is more than the world has used since the first oil well was drilled over 150 years ago in Titusville, Pennsylvania. To put this in context, Saudi Arabia has about 260 billion barrels of oil in proved reserves. For comparative purposes, the technically recoverable oil in North America could fuel the present needs in the United states of seven billion barrels per year for around 250 years.

* North American recoverable coal could provide enough electricity for the United States for about 500 years at current levels of consumption.

* Given that U.S. consumption is currently about 24 trillion cubic feet per, there is enough natural gas in North America to last the United States for over 175 years at current rates of consumption.

* Restrictions in the form of federal bans and leasing combined with declining offerings of lease acreage mean only about 2.2 percent of America's offshore acreage is currently leased for production.

* While the US and North America contain enormous energy wealth, US policies have increasingly made exploration, development, production and consumption of that energy more difficult. Therefore, a scarcity of good policies, not a scarcity of energy, is responsible for US energy insecurity.

Source: http://www.energyforamerica.org/inventory/

So, you mean that everyone who's claimed that the oil will run out in some 50 years or so were speaking out of their asses?

Realitycrash:
So, you mean that everyone who's claimed that the oil will run out in some 50 years or so were speaking out of their asses?

I don't have time to take an in depth look at these guys Xan linked to right now, but if a quick glance at Wikipedia is remotely accurate, their CEO used to work for Enron and at least some of their funding comes from the Koch brothers. Two people whose company is, among other things, involved in the refinement and distribution of petroleum. They also don't publish their financial statements on the website, nor disclose who their donors are. Neither did their study list the authors or any potential conflicts of interest.

You can take from that what you will, but I spent five minutes looking into them and things already smell a bit fishy.

Vivi22:

Realitycrash:
So, you mean that everyone who's claimed that the oil will run out in some 50 years or so were speaking out of their asses?

I don't have time to take an in depth look at these guys Xan linked to right now, but if a quick glance at Wikipedia is remotely accurate, their CEO used to work for Enron and at least some of their funding comes from the Koch brothers. Two people whose company is, among other things, involved in the refinement and distribution of petroleum. They also don't publish their financial statements on the website, nor disclose who their donors are. Neither did their study list the authors or any potential conflicts of interest.

You can take from that what you will, but I spent five minutes looking into them and things already smell a bit fishy.

..Is it wrong that a part of me is actually looking forward to the oil running out?
It will probably spark some major wars and be insanely cost-full for all of us, but I can't help but feel curious. Who will strike the first blow? Who will get annexed first?

Bah, I've been playing too much Fallout.

I suspect that if you did a demographic survey of age range and professional employment status, much would be revealed. It occurs to me that ideologies (including political and religious ideologies) are flexible and often change over time based on one's continuing life experiences. These changes can be subtle or drastic, depending on the age and experience of the person.

I for one am generally conservative. I am very pro-gun and gun ownership. I support same sex marriage, but believe that it's a state's rights issue and not a federal one. I support the legalization and aggressive taxation of marijuana. I also support a pro-choice stance on abortion, despite being against the idea in my personal life. But I am not fool enough to believe that what is good for me, is good for everyone.

I believe that a woman has a right to do whatever she wants with her own body, but I do not believe that taxpayers should have to pay for birth control or drive-thru abortions. I completely understand that abortions are a legitimate medical procedure and should certainly be made available to victims of sex crimes. But abortion as a method of birth control should not be treated as a "repeat business". I know everyone doesn't feel that way. I understand.

I am for higher corporate tax rates with fewer loopholes, but lower tax rates on individuals. The top 20% of wage earners in the country already pay 69.3% of ALL taxes in America (2010). That's a fact. Straight out of Mankiw's Principles of Economics (Sixth Edition). I'm so tired of hearing about how the wealthy "don't pay their fair share". BS.

As for the income tax, I support a flat tax on EVERYONE at every income level of 14%. My tax form would be three lines:

Gross Income:................
Tax rate (14%)...............
Multiply your Gross Income by 0.14, this is your tax...........

DONE. No loopholes, no credit for crapping out 6 kids, no credit for alimony, no bullshit.

Everyone pays the same rate. The poor pay very little and the rich pay a lot. But everyone pays the SAME RATE. That's fair. Fair implies everyone being subject to the same rules. Fine. One rate. Whether you make ten thousand or ten billion. 14%.

I am for helping people and families who are genuinely in need and unable to work due to genuine disability or other genuine cause. But I am against unending government handouts for those capable of work, but who choose not too.

Isn't it ironic that the Dept of Agriculture is so proud of the fact that they have doubled the amount of people on the rolls for Food Stamps. But the Dept of the Interior which runs the zoos in America puts signs up that say "Don't feed the animals. They will become dependent on humans and not learn how to fend for themselves."

Just because someone is a conservative or a liberal does not mean that they are automatically a bad person. If you think that way, you're nuts.

Realitycrash:

Hap2:

Being an idealist does not automatically make one inflexible, nor irrational.

I read your post with interest, but this caught my especially eye. As I am currently studying Theories about Rationality, I am interested in what you consider to be "irrational".

Such a question is complicated, and I will be unable to make an all-encompassing stab at it here with time and space limitations, but I'll do my best to accommodate.

It depends on whose perspective one is considering. In one case, one might conclude that a particular choice may be the only seemingly sane one after careful consideration of one's various contingencies (such as current circumstance, history, culture, beliefs, etc.). However, from an outside differing perspective, the choice made made by the former, might seem bizarre and incomprehensible if the contingencies that affect the former are of a different permutation from that of the latter (e.g. the confusion between atheists and theists over why the other believes what they do is an ever evident example here on this forum). The outside latter perspective might consider the former perspective to be 'irrational'. But despite however wrong or right, true or false the choice may actually be, the former perspective still made a rational choice based on the data and capability available to them at the time.

In other words, 'irrationality' in this case is not specifically an end to do with matters of actuality. We reason with what we have, and what we supposedly know (a priori and a posteriori, if such distinctions exist). Like logic, we get out of it what we (and other things) put into it.

Now, what about the case present before us? (i.e. this thread)

There seems to be this pervasive belief amongst a few posters here that holding ideals somehow makes one naive or inexperienced about the 'truths' of the world. That it is somehow irrational to hold particular ideals because they do not or no longer coincide with the personal set of values these particular posters may currently live out. Yet as I have demonstrated in the prior case, various contingencies do influence our reason (and our motivations). No particular being has access to some metaphysical perfect universal sphere of rationality; no particular being possesses a Form by which all forms are judged and justified by. We work with what we have (a priori, a posteriori, etc.)

I do not doubt that their past choices and actions were rational for their circumstances, knowledge and capabilities in some manner, but to jump to the conclusion that their path is the only 'wise' one, and then cheaply justify it with "because it is, because I say so, because it's mine" is absolutely ridiculous. How can such a thing be justified as being 'reality', how can they know? It's not logically consistent.

But does that mean it is necessarily irrational?

I suppose we could say an irrational person is one that capable of but lacks the awareness to recognize the limitations of their knowledge and capabilities. How one would determine such a thing in others seems suspect to me. But I believe there's more to it, and in our particular case here, it has to do with intention. Deliberate ignorance in the face of holistic consideration of fact - that might be a good example or sign of 'irrationality' in some sense. An intentional shutting down of rational discourse in favour of self-affirmation and gratification of personal belief - that might be another.

As I said, the question is complicated, and I doubt there is any straight answer I could give. Given enough time though, it seems like it would be an interesting one to break down and analyze carefully. I hope at least, I was not too obscure.

Xanthious:

* The amount of oil that is technically recoverable in the United States is more than 1.4 trillion barrels, with the largest deposits located offshore, in portions of Alaska, and in shale in the Rocky Mountain West. When combined with resources from Canada and Mexico, total recoverable oil in North America exceeds 1.7 trillion barrels.

Let me stop you right there. First of all "technically recoverable" means nothing. Because that could include oil reserves which are too costly to exploit. On top of that, shale oil? Really? Do you really feel like your gas guzzling SUV's are worth destroying the environment? Why not try getting smaller cars more popular in the US to reduce the demand instead of destroying nature.

Hap2:

Realitycrash:

Hap2:

Being an idealist does not automatically make one inflexible, nor irrational.

I read your post with interest, but this caught my especially eye. As I am currently studying Theories about Rationality, I am interested in what you consider to be "irrational".

Such a question is complicated, and I will be unable to make an all-encompassing stab at it here with time and space limitations, but I'll do my best to accommodate.

It depends on whose perspective one is considering. In one case, one might conclude that a particular choice may be the only seemingly sane one after careful consideration of one's various contingencies (such as current circumstance, history, culture, beliefs, etc.). However, from an outside differing perspective, the choice made made by the former, might seem bizarre and incomprehensible if the contingencies that affect the former are of a different permutation from that of the latter (e.g. the confusion between atheists and theists over why the other believes what they do is an ever evident example here on this forum). The outside latter perspective might consider the former perspective to be 'irrational'. But despite however wrong or right, true or false the choice may actually be, the former perspective still made a rational choice based on the data and capability available to them at the time.

In other words, 'irrationality' in this case is not specifically an end to do with matters of actuality. We reason with what we have, and what we supposedly know (a priori and a posteriori, if such distinctions exist). Like logic, we get out of it what we (and other things) put into it.

Now, what about the case present before us? (i.e. this thread)

There seems to be this pervasive belief amongst a few posters here that holding ideals somehow makes one naive or inexperienced about the 'truths' of the world. That it is somehow irrational to hold particular ideals because they do not or no longer coincide with the personal set of values these particular posters may currently live out. Yet as I have demonstrated in the prior case, various contingencies do influence our reason (and our motivations). No particular being has access to some metaphysical perfect universal sphere of rationality; no particular being possesses a Form by which all forms are judged and justified by. We work with what we have (a priori, a posteriori, etc.)

I do not doubt that their past choices and actions were rational for their circumstances, knowledge and capabilities in some manner, but to jump to the conclusion that their path is the only 'wise' one, and then cheaply justify it with "because it is, because I say so, because it's mine" is absolutely ridiculous. How can such a thing be justified as being 'reality', how can they know? It's not logically consistent.

But does that mean it is necessarily irrational?

I suppose we could say an irrational person is one that capable of but lacks the awareness to recognize the limitations of their knowledge and capabilities. How one would determine such a thing in others seems suspect to me. But I believe there's more to it, and in our particular case here, it has to do with intention. Deliberate ignorance in the face of holistic consideration of fact - that might be a good example or sign of 'irrationality' in some sense. An intentional shutting down of rational discourse in favour of self-affirmation and gratification of personal belief - that might be another.

As I said, the question is complicated, and I doubt there is any straight answer I could give. Given enough time though, it seems like it would be an interesting one to break down and analyze carefully. I hope at least, I was not too obscure.

Was quite nicely put.
What you describe coincides rather well with the "Present Aim-Theory of Rationality", where everything can be rational, as long as it is what your prefer.

recruit00:
Well, the ones I can name off the top of my head are

Xan Krieger
Xanthious
Hardcore_gamer
Gorfias
Heimholtz Wilson
Piffle (debatable)

It's the internet and specifically a game site so of course there will be more of a bias towards the left.

HOW COULD YOU FORGET SEEKSTER!?!

That aside it's good to be recognized for something, even if that something is when I open my mouth and 95% of the Escapist users jump on me like Mario trying to get more lives.

Xanthious:

Vivi22:
Oil is going to run out.

Some day? Sure. Anytime soon? No, not by a long shot. America has an absolutely stupid amount of untapped resources essentially locked up thanks to arbitrary regulations. A 2011 study done by the Institute for Energy Resources reported just how crazy the amount of untapped natural energy America is sitting on top of:

* North America is blessed with enough energy supplies to promote and sustain economic growth for many generations. The government's own reports detail this, and Congress was advised of our energy wealth when the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress released a report showing that the United States' combined recoverable oil, natural gas, and coal endowment is the largest on Earth.

* The amount of oil that is technically recoverable in the United States is more than 1.4 trillion barrels, with the largest deposits located offshore, in portions of Alaska, and in shale in the Rocky Mountain West. When combined with resources from Canada and Mexico, total recoverable oil in North America exceeds 1.7 trillion barrels.

And what is the EROEI (Energy returned on energy invested) on those 1.4 trillion barrels?

* North American recoverable coal could provide enough electricity for the United States for about 500 years at current levels of consumption.

Again is the EROEI considered into that calculation? And why even make a calculation based on current levels of consumption instead of expected future levels of consumption?

* Restrictions in the form of federal bans and leasing combined with declining offerings of lease acreage mean only about 2.2 percent of America's offshore acreage is currently leased for production.

* While the US and North America contain enormous energy wealth, US policies have increasingly made exploration, development, production and consumption of that energy more difficult. Therefore, a scarcity of good policies, not a scarcity of energy, is responsible for US energy insecurity.

And you don't think there is (or at least was) a reason for this? What about the increased risk of devastating oil spills you could expect from those remote locations with more extreme weather? And how could you even contain an oil spill in such a remote area when they couldn't even contain it the gulf of mexico? And what about global warming, you don't think the planet will be hot enough without that extra coal, gas and oil? (Just in case http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ ). Using those untapped resources simply isn't a viable option for a sustainable future.

Hop-along Nussbaum:

Everyone pays the same rate. The poor pay very little and the rich pay a lot. But everyone pays the SAME RATE. That's fair. Fair implies everyone being subject to the same rules. Fine. One rate. Whether you make ten thousand or ten billion. 14%.

How many times are various people going to have to point out the law of diminishing marginal utility before you see why that actually isn't fair?

Or are you starting from a rather more Kantian conceptualization of fairness, rather than one more utililtarian or consequentialist? Is welfare not what matters to you?

As for the OP:

Because the truth defies simplicity, and all too often right-wing views are overly simplistic. I see the reductionist foundations on which they rest, but it just doesn't cut it for me to be honest.

Danny Ocean:

Hop-along Nussbaum:

Everyone pays the same rate. The poor pay very little and the rich pay a lot. But everyone pays the SAME RATE. That's fair. Fair implies everyone being subject to the same rules. Fine. One rate. Whether you make ten thousand or ten billion. 14%.

How many times are various people going to have to point out the law of diminishing marginal utility before you see why that actually isn't fair?

Or are you starting from a rather more Kantian conceptualization of fairness, rather than one more utililtarian or consequentialist?

Edit: Even Kant wouldn't accept that as fair, as you have to formulate a maxim in which you have to accept the world where this is universal law.
And the generated world would probably not be one that he would accept.

(The Categorical Imperative actually works here)

Why is there so much talk about economics on the business channel?

Sometimes your percieved bias is just someone speaking the facts.

Hop-along Nussbaum:

I am for higher corporate tax rates with fewer loopholes, but lower tax rates on individuals. The top 20% of wage earners in the country already pay 69.3% of ALL taxes in America (2010). That's a fact. Straight out of Mankiw's Principles of Economics (Sixth Edition). I'm so tired of hearing about how the wealthy "don't pay their fair share". BS.

Yes, but the top 20% of wage earners in the USA earn about 61-2% of the national income (http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_589.pdf).

Also, the wealthiest 20% of Americans controlled 88.9% of America's private wealth in 2010. Naturally, the overlap between the 20% highest earners and 20% wealthiest is considerable.

In this light, it is hard to argue the wealthy are getting a particularly raw deal.

Hop-along Nussbaum:
Snip

Bob earns 2 dollars, pays 50% in taxes. Ends with 1, to live he uses 1. He ends with nothing and will most likely go into debt if he ever ends in an accident that requires him to go to the hospital.
Earnst earns 10 dollars, pays 50% in taxes. Ends with 5, uses 2. Ends with 3, those 3 he spends on insurance and then sends the rest off to some tax-haven to never be seen again. If he doesnt invest it to create jobs in India.

Flat tax fair my arse. Its by the very definition unfair. If the top 20% of the nation earns 80% of the wealth, they get to pay 80% of the taxes. Thats how it is right now, (Or how it ALMOST is, they still pay a little less. Which is shown by the increasing poverty of the lowerclass) Decreasing it so that they would pay less is a stupid, incredibly stupid idea. And politicians have lost their entire careers (two in Denmark) for even suggesting it. As it should be.

As for the support for people with children, well. You realize an overarching problem in the west is that we are gonna have a huuuge ammount of elderly and a comparably little working population, your solution to that is making sure people have less children... Genius idea.

2 sec, lemme find that Hermain Cain graph on taxes, to get back to that.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6034/6266698502_327fba8b0f.jpg

There.... The only ones who gets to save money on flat tax, are the exact same people whom usually fight for it and fund the fighting for it. The abselute top of the top earners. Still abselutely relevant on your 14 plan, its just a 5 difference. Same principle.

Hop-along Nussbaum:

As for the income tax, I support a flat tax on EVERYONE at every income level of 14%. My tax form would be three lines:

Gross Income:................
Tax rate (14%)...............
Multiply your Gross Income by 0.14, this is your tax...........

DONE. No loopholes, no credit for crapping out 6 kids, no credit for alimony, no bullshit.

Everyone pays the same rate. The poor pay very little and the rich pay a lot. But everyone pays the SAME RATE. That's fair. Fair implies everyone being subject to the same rules. Fine. One rate. Whether you make ten thousand or ten billion. 14%.

I'm not too sure about that, so it is time to do some investigating. With that, and seeing as I'm here in the UK, I'll be using UK figures so here goes:-

Full-time 40 hour job at the NMW: 12,875.20 gross annual pay, resulting in 11,288.74 take home pay after tax and National Insurance is deducted. (Source: The Salary Calculator)

Now the same conditions except that there isn't any provision for NI and the tax rate is a flat 14%: again it's 12,875.40 gross, resulting in 11,072.87 take home pay.

So, without a provision for health care, a person earning the NMW with the hypothetical tax rate of 14% will lose 215.87 - roughly the equivalent of a week's pay.

With all this in mind, let's jump to someone who gets a gross pay of 150,000pa. Their take home pay, right now, is 90,539.10 (53,126 in tax, 6,334.90 for NI). If they just paid 14% tax, it'd just be a tax bill of 21,000, or 129,000pa in their bank accounts every year - a big increase for those high earners. But just to prove I'm not being selective, let's look at someone earning 50,000pa. At this point in time, they'd take home 35,781.10 after tax and NI whereas under that 14% flat tax rate (and again, no provision for NI or an equivalent) someone earning 50,000pa would come out with 43,000pa.

After doing some further math, one would have to be getting 17,500pa before deductions just to break even with a 14% flat tax when compared to current tax and NI levels combined. Add to this that many administrators, supervisors, low-level PAs/typists and all the way down to the poor sods working retail trying to earn their parole won't see any benefit. And those who receive 35,000pa (gross) and below won't see much in the way of improvement (especially without also paying for health care)...leaving only those earning 50,000+ to be able to keep more money for themselves.

It is also best taken into account that whichever governing party is in power will have a far lower budget available, given that the only increase is a negligible value from low-paid workers and the very much not a negligible value not being received from those earning 50,000 and above. I wouldn't like to be the one setting the budget for that government I can tell you...

---

But, and here's the thing, with respect to the OP, at least on these forums (and over the past 12 years or so, I've been on a fair few) the typical population - despite any personal political leanings - tends to stay level headed (with any cheap shots usually intending to amuse as opposed to troll). Of course, that's an opinion that is always subject to change but from lurking for so long before registering (and taking the time to read the forums to get an idea of the place) for a "mainstream" forum, it's pretty good. And I look forward to reading Hop-along's other potential ideas or a discussion as to what would be a fair tax for those who are comfortably well off either here or in PM.

Also, Hop-along, I completely agree with the sentiment of "no credit for crapping out 6 kids". Or as I would say: "learn to put something on the end of it!" :D

I think the reasons are probably going to be pretty evident. We're gamers, largely. Many of us are probably under 30. Few of us, I imagine, are particularly wealthy or, conversely, particularly poor. I don't think the political leanings of such a demographic are particularly surprising.

In numerous polls it's been demonstrated that the vast majority of the population here are pro-choice, pro-gay marriage and pro marijuana legalization. Hard to hold those socially progressive views and yet vote for a party that opposes them. I guess if you're socially liberal but fiscally conservative you're pretty much boned coming and going. But that's life in the two party system!

A lot of people have already made good answers and made the joke about reality having a liberal bias, but another reality is that the conservative party of America has a lot of politicians that would be banned from the Escapist, so it probably isn't a surprise that people who actually believe Obama is a Muslim Socialist don't last long when (in theory anyway) politicians are more professional in their approach to things. Plus, the actual socialists are fast to correct those people.

Plus, in the current political climate with the way conservative policies behave, i wonder if a conservative CAN survive on a site where facts are checked. Xanthious and Gorfias are actually pretty tasteful and intelligent for conservatives and on the same page i'm posting on Xanthious posted a clearly biased article as if it were factually sound and Gorfias has made it clear he doesn't really have an opinion of his own and he doesn't really think, in fact with some of the things i've seen him do i wouldn't be surprised if he came out as being a poe trying to demonstrate why you shouldn't take Fox News and the National Review seriously. Yeah Wilson is also pretty forum friendly but i actually don't see much in the way of political arguments from Wilson, all i ever see Wilson do is split hairs.

Charles_Martel:

I know it's not really fair but it will show how the idea of Obama changes when faced with the reality of Obama. Disillusionment can be a harsh lession but the wisdom gained makes up for it.

Yea.

But unfortunately for you, dissillusionment does not always send one running into the arms of the conservative wing....

ElectroJosh:
In "free societies" (a general term) generations tend to be more liberal over time socially.

Yes but is that trend natural, ie an awakening of the moral side of humanity, or more a "well I dont want to be shunned for holding unpopular views so Ill go along to get along." Case in point: The word "nigger" is anathema in today's world. No one uses it unless they want an insta-banning from social circles. But is that because most people think it is a hateful word, or because they dont want other people to be mad at them for holding antiquated views?

Different way to put it: if you get beaten over the head enough times that X is bad, eventually you accept that X is bad just to stop the beating.

Xan Krieger:

recruit00:
Well, the ones I can name off the top of my head are

Xan Krieger
Xanthious
Hardcore_gamer
Gorfias
Heimholtz Wilson
Piffle (debatable)

It's the internet and specifically a game site so of course there will be more of a bias towards the left.

HOW COULD YOU FORGET SEEKSTER!?!

That aside it's good to be recognized for something, even if that something is when I open my mouth and 95% of the Escapist users jump on me like Mario trying to get more lives.

Seekster sadly doesn't post any more :(

i really miss him.

Blablahb is also a right winger but European (he's Dutch like Danyal) so with significantly less crazy and God :P

YicklePigeon, I really liked what you said, and found your breakdown interesting. What many people are failing to consider, is that while everyone may pay 14% in taxes, the wealthy will not take advantage of many societal benefits that are paid for by tax dollars.

For example, I would institute a state operated day care center and employ qualified professionals in many towns around the state/country. This would provide a place for little or no cost child care, so that lower income parents could work a quality job or attend school and progress up the proverbial income chain.

The wealthy would not likely take advantage of a system like this, in favor of a nanny or private day care, etc.

State sponsored job training in the trade skills to improve the quality of the workforce with good paying manufacturing jobs. Some people cannot afford college. But if the state provides training in some basic trade skills such as mechanical skills or wood working or metal working or other areas, the quality of the labor force could be improved.

The wealthy will not take advantage of a program like that. They'll take other paths towards their careers. But they'll spend their own money doing it.

So, while everyone would PAY the same rate, everyone WOULD NOT take advantage of many of the funded programs.

Hop-along Nussbaum:
YicklePigeon, I really liked what you said, and found your breakdown interesting. What many people are failing to consider, is that while everyone may pay 14% in taxes, the wealthy will not take advantage of many societal benefits that are paid for by tax dollars.

For example, I would institute a state operated day care center and employ qualified professionals in many towns around the state/country. This would provide a place for little or no cost child care, so that lower income parents could work a quality job or attend school and progress up the proverbial income chain.

The wealthy would not likely take advantage of a system like this, in favor of a nanny or private day care, etc.

State sponsored job training in the trade skills to improve the quality of the workforce with good paying manufacturing jobs. Some people cannot afford college. But if the state provides training in some basic trade skills such as mechanical skills or wood working or metal working or other areas, the quality of the labor force could be improved.

The wealthy will not take advantage of a program like that. They'll take other paths towards their careers. But they'll spend their own money doing it.

So, while everyone would PAY the same rate, everyone WOULD NOT take advantage of many of the funded programs.

What does any of that have to do with a flat tax being fair? Because who uses social programs and what those programs are has nothing to do with the fact that a flat tax provides lower taxes to the wealthy than they pay now and forces the poor to pay more of their already limited income on taxes than they do now.

Hell, the very person your replying to just explained, using actual numbers and calculations, that a flat tax is unfair. And yet you reply to that by saying that we're failing to consider the completely separate social programs you never mentioned (or if you did I missed it) which are entirely disconnected from the tax rate?

Is your argument really that because the poor use more social services it will balance out in the end? Because I'm not sure they'd feel the same about having less money for their monthly essentials, and I'm also not sure how you intend to pay for expanded social programs when the people paying the most in taxes now are paying less with a flat tax.

Kinguendo:

JRslinger:

Hardcore_gamer:

Is there any reason for why the forum doesn't have more conservatives? The only guys I have noticed is me and that other guy who wants to have sex with animals.

Anyone?

The public education system in the U.S. is dominated by liberals. Thus many young people get indoctrinated to be liberals.

Its almost as if all the more intelligent and thoughtful people are Liberals, how weird?!

Seriously, did you not see that gigantic trap you walked into? You should have, given that you set it up yourself.

Also, your comment doesnt really explain for the fact that people from the rest of the planet can access this site too and are also pretty Liberal-minded ladies and gents. Although there is the obvious answer that pretty much everyone has already stated... Reality has a Liberal bias. I am sorry that the world cant keep on sucking ass and being awful forever, but someone has got to clean up your mess.

And you should be thankful... if this is what Liberal bias looks like then you should count yourself lucky because we have seen what Conservative bias looked like back in the 40's and 50's and last time I checked you werent being arrested for being Liberal and then being branded as a "Communist" and blacklisted.

Suck it up, wimps. This isnt what persecution looks like.

I'd phrase it more politely (or at least...pretend to) but...yeah. Quite frankly I'm tired of being labeled as 'biased' and 'agenda-pushing' for being someone who wants more equal opportunities, and make black, gay and female people feel safe when they walk down the street.

I guess I'm a commi. None of my policies are political, I'm a humanist. I've been called liberal, yes, but well...labels don't benefit anyone. Maybe one day people will misuse humanist as a term. Until then, it's the only label I'll apply to myself. I don't consider equality and empathy to be controversial.

Xanthious:

Vivi22:
Oil is going to run out.

snip

You know I feel ashamed knowing that for a moment, I actually thought the information in that research was correct. I'm glad that common sense and google led me back to the correct path.

http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=115
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2010/08/05/206530/institute-for-energy-research-bp-shakedown/?mobile=nc
http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries/institute-for-energy-research/

I think it's because the 'moral majority' hijacked the republican party in the 80's and turned it from 'conservative economic values' into 'religious social values', and since everyone associates 'conservative' with 'republican', yeah.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_Majority#Organizational_goals_and_composition

Seriously, look at that list and then compare it to most modern campaign platforms. Surprisingly samey, isn't it? My mother identified as a republican until around the mid 80's when she realized what was happening.

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