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disco

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I am pretty OK with people with lots of money making decisions for people without lots of money, as long as you throw crooks in jail, which we don't (how many CEOs went to jail for fraud in the last decade vs the previous...), so, fuck it.

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I'm not. Democracy demands equality in the political field.

 

yeah and? everyone knows democracy is a stupid idea

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Ideally.

 

How do we take money out of the equation?

 

by giving everyone equal voice (aka money) to spend on their candidate of choice. $10 is probably fine.

 

Would require matching funds from the government or something though.

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no, it doesn't require matching funds. it really doesn't take that much money to travel across the country and speak.

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no, it doesn't require matching funds. it really doesn't take that much money to travel across the country and speak.

 

it does require matching funds. $10 / person per candidate probably wouldn't be enough to produce advertisements, let alone buy the airtime to put them on. People may not like the idea of government-funded campaigns, but its either government-funded (and equal) campaigns or private-funded (and inequal) campaigns.

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Tell me Cat, why do you not have a problem with a billionaire businessman being able to pump 5 million into a re-election campaign, PAC, or outside group which directly campaigns for or against a given candidate? How can anyone not be deeply concerned that money so clearly controls politicians and elections? Seems pretty common sense to me.

 

First of all, money will always control everything that ever happens with any relation to power. Period. No matter how many laws you make to prohibit such behavior, that will always be the case. Someone will always find a way around the law.

 

Second, it's clear that neither party holds the advantage in fund raising. The playing ground is equal and the only time I ever hear anyone talk about restricting money for elections is when their party isn't doing as well as the opposition. So, I take it with a grain of salt. For instance, no one cared that Obama spent more money on his election than any other election in history when it was Obama winning it. Now that the GOP candidates are/were outspending the Democrats, all of a sudden, the political system is corrupt and we need to remove the money from the process. Whatever. Hypocrisy is hypocrisy no matter how you try to paint it.

 

You're not going to like my final point, but I don't care because it's how I feel about it. I don't have a problem with people who are smart/educated/informed enough, spending whatever money on whatever candidate they want because it's clear they at least understand what money is used for and are not enslaved by it, as most "poor" people are. People who have fought their way up the ladder to make a better life for themselves are generally better contributors to society in many ways. That being said, it's their right to spend their money in any way they can to either keep their position, or help others up into that position. It's in their best interest to do so, especially the latter. It is my opinion that people are not poor because they don't have money. They are poor because they don't understand how to use money as a tool and are not a slave to the ownership of it. I know several examples in my personal life of people who are at the same general financial status no matter how much money they have or make. I have read of a few lottery winners who are poor again within a few years because they have no concept of how to use money to better themselves or others. Someone who is not willing to work hard to get ahead and use what they have to help others do the same should not be able to influence elections, and it appears they don't.

 

But, I understand we're not talking about realism here. We're talking about our ideal conditions. My ideal political process involves all candidates, depending on the level of office for which they are running, receiving the same amount of federal funding and whoever can get the most out of it does so. So, for the sake of discussion, all legitimate POTUS candidates would get 250 million, gubernatorial candidates would get 50 million, etc. And that's it. They would all get it on a specific date and when the money runs out, it runs out. So, in an ideal world, I think you and I are a little more similar, but for different reasons.

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it does require matching funds. $10 / person per candidate probably wouldn't be enough to produce advertisements, let alone buy the airtime to put them on. People may not like the idea of government-funded campaigns, but its either government-funded (and equal) campaigns or private-funded (and inequal) campaigns.

 

"probably wouldn't be enough"... $10/person means like $800M dollars potentially, just based on the number of people who voted.

http://elections.gmu.edu/Turnout_2010G.html

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I disagree with your description of why poor people are poor, and find it rather insulting to poor people honestly. But your campaign finance proposal is not too different from mine, so on that I suppose we could say we agree. I also do not mind people donating money for political causes, but I do mind when one person can give 500x as much as someone else - that means they're getting more input, and just because they have money doesn't always mean they've "earned" it or use it wisely.

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i am very happy when rich people give their money away. i am very sad when poor people don't change their circumstances.

 

there is always going to be some poor people who honestly try to improve their situation and fail. but you know what? that's life. and it's much better to have a society where they have the chance to fail, than one in which they have no chance to succeed.

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I disagree with your description of why poor people are poor, and find it rather insulting to poor people honestly.

 

Of course you do.

 

and just because they have money doesn't always mean they've "earned" it or use it wisely.

 

Frankly, it doesn't matter how they use it. It's none of our business as long as it's legal. And I'm quite sure you're talking about inheritance, yet another evil we must fix. :rolleyes:

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yeah and? everyone knows democracy is a stupid idea

 

Not so. People who don't study history think democracy is something other than two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.

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Frankly, it doesn't matter how they use it. It's none of our business as long as it's legal. And I'm quite sure you're talking about inheritance, yet another evil we must fix. :rolleyes:

 

Again, I don't care how they use it. They can buy 50 yachts for all I care. They just shouldn't have more of a voice in politics simply by virtue of having money. There are many ways to be rich, and not all of them create people who are good for society. My comment was in reaction to your comment:

 

People who have fought their way up the ladder to make a better life for themselves are generally better contributors to society in many ways.

 

Which reflects a common misconception in our society that, because you've made money at something, you must be good as a person. But that's a different discussion.

 

My point is a rich person should not have more influence over politics than a poor person, or a middle-class person - and that's what we have now. If you want to fix that, then campaign finance has to be dealt with. And to avoid your "boo hoo liberals didn't mind in 2008", I did mind in 2008. I also minded in 2006, 2004, 2002, and 2000. Energy task force, anyone?

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Which reflects a common misconception in our society that, because you've made money at something, you must be good as a person. But that's a different discussion.

 

My point is a rich person should not have more influence over politics than a poor person, or a middle-class person - and that's what we have now. If you want to fix that, then campaign finance has to be dealt with. And to avoid your "boo hoo liberals didn't mind in 2008", I did mind in 2008. I also minded in 2006, 2004, 2002, and 2000. Energy task force, anyone?

 

Of course, there's also the widespread misconception that "the rich" must have done something immoral to get their money, or they are keeping it from the poor, or that just because they are rich that they are bad as a person, or because their family made the money and not them specifically, then everyone else is also entitled to it... for some strange reason. So, I guess we're even. :P

 

But why shouldn't a rich person have more influence than a poor person? Each person has one vote. The amount of money a person spends on his candidacy doesn't make him any better or more truthful of a candidate. The money simply serves to get his message out. If you want to talk about specific donors getting some kind of "favor" or something because of the donated money, that's a different conversation altogether. What kind of power do you want each person to have? I don't think you're being practical with this.

 

And if you were wondering about the group to which I was referring when I talked about spending disparities, I was talking about both, all sides. I heard all kinds of whining from the right about the amount of money Obama spent, yet very little this past election. I know it's easy to think that I'm simply anti-liberal all the time, but that's simply not the case.

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But why shouldn't a rich person have more influence than a poor person? Each person has one vote. The amount of money a person spends on his candidacy doesn't make him any better or more truthful of a candidate. The money simply serves to get his message out.

 

You're simply being naive if you think that the message matters more than the media coverage a candidate gets. Mass media means that people can make others believe almost anything with enough money to buy the airwaves to convince them its true. As for why a rich person shouldn't have more influence than a poor person, you're either playing devil's advocate or an idiot if you think that's a perfectly acceptable situation.

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You almost sound like a conservative there, disco. I'm so proud of you!

 

And those are my only two choices? Devil's Advocate or idiot? Why not throw in naive and uniformed, you know, so I have more choices. Everyone has the right to vote, but not everyone exercises it. Some have the means to influence others to vote in accordance with their values and they should not be denied that privilege. You make a good point about media influence, but shouldn't it be the mainstream media's job to counterbalance the influence one candidate has over another by telling the truth about each candidate?

 

I actually don't disagree with any of what you said. I was partially being sarcastic and partially truthful. As you know, I have railed against "mass media" for a very long time, and not just the news organizations. I'm very aware of what propaganda can do to a population if engineered correctly.

 

But, you're making this out to be a rich vs. poor thing and that is not the case. I expect that from a rabid lefty like yourself :P but what I see when I see "the rich" contributing to politics is that no one party has a monopoly on a particular side of the spectrum. If that was the case, we wouldn't see the shift in political favor as often as we do. So, while neither of us really like that elections aren't as controlled as they can be, they are balanced out.

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Of course, there's also the widespread misconception that "the rich" must have done something immoral to get their money, or they are keeping it from the poor, or that just because they are rich that they are bad as a person, or because their family made the money and not them specifically, then everyone else is also entitled to it... for some strange reason. So, I guess we're even. :P
What's the expression - behind every great fortune lies a great crime?

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My point is a rich person people who create jobs should not have more influence over politics than a poor person people who live off government largess.

 

edited for clarity.

 

Frankly, I'm in support of an arrangement that, any 2-year period where you accept government handouts (excepting programs like Social Security that you actually contribute to), you aren't permitted to vote.

 

There's a serious problem with any democracy or republic once politicians realize they can bribe people with their own money, and the people realize they can vote for government goodies that are paid for by "Other" people.

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Some have the means to influence others to vote in accordance with their values and they should not be denied that privilege. You make a good point about media influence, but shouldn't it be the mainstream media's job to counterbalance the influence one candidate has over another by telling the truth about each candidate?

 

It's not an issue of whether or not media can counterbalance things. If one person can give 10 million dollars to a candidate and that person has a particular stance on one issue, odds are the candidate will find that his stance meets the donor's. How do you not see that as a bad situation? It's not a matter of influencing the public at large, its a matter of politicians caring only about what high donors care about - because that's where the money is, and money is what's required to win campaigns. The system we have today is legalized bribery. It's complicated bribery, because we limit donations to candidates but not to parties or PACs or outside organizations, but its still legalized bribery. Don't pretend that it's not.

 

But, you're making this out to be a rich vs. poor thing and that is not the case. I expect that from a rabid lefty like yourself :P but what I see when I see "the rich" contributing to politics is that no one party has a monopoly on a particular side of the spectrum. If that was the case, we wouldn't see the shift in political favor as often as we do. So, while neither of us really like that elections aren't as controlled as they can be, they are balanced out.

 

They may be balanced out, but that doesn't mean the system as a whole isn't fucked. I don't see "Well, everyone's doing it, so it must be ok" as an acceptable line of defense.

 

edited for clarity.

 

There's the troll-fahr I've been looking for. You're correct, there are two types of people in the world - rich people who make jobs, and poor people who live only off of welfare checks and supplement their incomes by robbing people for drugs.

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You're correct, there are two types of people in the world - rich people who make jobs, and poor people who live only off of welfare checks and supplement their incomes by robbing people for drugs.

 

Well, there certainly aren't any poor people who make jobs and rich people who live only off of welfare checks. Just sayin'.... :blink:

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Well, there certainly aren't any poor people who make jobs and rich people who live only off of welfare checks. Just sayin'.... :blink:

What about rich people that don't make jobs and poor people who don't live off of welfare checks?

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