Strong Fed vs. Decntralized Govt Redeux

Discussion in 'Politics' started by IndependntLogic, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. IndependntLogic
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    IndependntLogic Senior Member

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    I have to give some of the Tea Partiers and Libertarians credit. The ones who have responded with reason and calm, have swayed me big time. There are over 2 dozen Federal agencies I would restructure & combine, or eliminate altogether. I'm still not in total agreement with you but I'm a helluva closer than I was before. Well done.

    So let's talk about what I perceive would be the unintended result, if you guys totally got your way.
    First, a few observations. Some people have the tendency to project an extreme opposite view onto anyone disagreeing with them. Let's try to avoid that. I'm a business owner. Obviously, I don't want a nanny-state, a liberal totalitarian government or whatever.
    Also, I dislike both Bush and Obama. This isn't about candidates or the fact that Bush passed the Patriot Act or Obama passed Obama care. THis is just about what would result from getting the kind of government we want.
    So instead of diverting the subject with finger pointing, maybe we can just discuss ideology and the results they would produce.
    Last thing. This isn't 1776, 1876 or even 1976. So let's keep it as contemporary as possible. We have terrorists, racial equality, the internet, nukes and nuke power and all kinds of things the Founding Fathers couldn't even imagine. That doesn't mean I am discounting their principles, but let's also not discount the impact of change.

    So if we got rid of all the agencies and Federal agencies, regulations and controls you want, I see an unintended consequence of a nation of corporatocratic city-states and robber barons where local politicans are owned by local corporations who then dictate what environmental standards will be, labor laws will be, legislate elimination of culpability and so on.
    This is what happens all over the world when a strong, centralized government is either eliminated or replaced by a weak one. Look at all the former Soviet countries. Would you want what they have for us? Mexico? Peru? Malaysia? Slovakia?
    Where in the last 40 years, has a country's citizens benefitted from a weak central government? I just haven't seen it.
    I have seen Lake Erie and the River Rouge polluted so badly by the Big Three Auto makers, that until a bunch of danm Liberals from the Fed (along with those socialist Canadians) made a national issue of it, state politicians did nothing. Why not? You wanna try to get elected in Michigan after pissing off both the Auto execs and the union members? Good luck with that. That's one example and there are certainly others. So while it isn't always great to have some Liberal from California or Connecticut impact those in Texas, I'd rather see that happen, than the politicians whose office was bought and paid for by Big Oil, decide whether valves in the Gulf are just peachy.
    While the SEC may seem like a scam to a lot of you, I would like to see it be even bigger. We had friends in Houston who were died in the wool Conservatives. Salt of the Earth. He worked for a utility his whole life and she stayed home. She also ended up with Parkinson's. Then Enron when under. They lost his job, their retirement, their insurance - everything. Plus she couldn't get insured afterward. I'm not saying it's perfect or even great but it's a helluva lot better than nothing.
    Same with the FAA, CIA, USDA and a few others.
     
  2. Auxous
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    Auxous BANNED

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    The break up of the Soviet Union was a good thing, not a bad thing.
     
  3. IndependntLogic
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    IndependntLogic Senior Member

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    LOL! I fully agree! I'm talking about the fact that during the last 20 years, many of those countries have very little in the way of centralized government regulation or enforcement. I lived in The Ukraine for a while. It is a Liberatarians dream but I wouldn't want what they have for America.
     
  4. Auxous
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    Auxous BANNED

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    No offense, but it is dumb to think that we would turn into the Ukraine by scaling back some of the federal government's overextending powers and bloat.
     
  5. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Why would we end up with a nation of corporatocratic city-states, whatever that is?

    One thing you seem to be missing here is that most people who advocate for cutting the size of the federal government do not want a weak federal government, they just want it limited, and smaller than it is. Taking all the power away from it would be stupid because there are some things that can only be accomplished at a federal level. The problem does not come when that happens, it occurs when it tries to deal with things that should be happening at a state or local level.

    Let us take education as an example. In a world where the DOE did not existed we would not be faced with the head of the DOE declaring an intent to rewrite existing law and issuing waivers to every single state because he decided it is impossible to meet the goals of the law.


    Arne Duncan to issue 'No Child' waivers - Abby Phillip - POLITICO.com

    With a limited federal government states would be able to set their own goals, and not have to worry about being punished because some idiot in Washington decided that it would be nice if everyone in the entire state could read at their grade level.

    Since you choose the SEC as an example, let me point out that there is always bad even when you think something is only good.

    The SEC encouraged investors and banks to rely on rating agencies like S&P. They even issued regulations requiring some institutions to hold a certain percentage of investments rated by those agencies, and rules that required them to hold a certain percentage of investments with that rating.

    Those same agencies rated the mortgage backed investments at AAA, even though they were decidedly shaky. The proof of that is the fact that the entire world was rocked when the housing bubble burst. The FEC was therefore a direct contributer to our economic collapse.

    If, on the other hand, we had a patchwork of rules where not everyone was relying on the exact same investments and could make decisions based on factors that worked for them, we would not face the danger of another systemic collapse if the underpinning elements of the system again crashed. After all, real estate is perfectly safe, and always goes up, even in a recession. At least it did until 2008.

    Strengthening the FEC would only make things worse if we ever face another situation where we put all our eggs into one basket and someone drops it again. It takes a systemic blindness to look at the lessons of what went wrong in the last few years and think the solution is making the agency that caused the problem stronger so it can force everyone to rely on another perfectly safe investment.
     
  6. code1211
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    code1211 Senior Member

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    Big changes are best done in small steps. In that way, the mistakes are managable.

    However, there are some large steps that need to be taken immediately. Shut down at least half of all post offices, reduce the USPS staffing by half and keep the postal rates stable. Reduce home deliver to 3 days per week.

    Reduce the staffing levels of all Federal employment to 2008 levels. The US Government is the only entity in the country that is doing less with more. It's time to return sanity to the staffing. How did computerization reduce every headcount in the country except in the Federal Government?

    Reduce all Federal payrates to 2008 levels. Mass departures? No problem. There are 15,000,000 underemployed people who would love the benefits.

    Eliminate the Department of Eduction and replace it with a central communications hub that the state DOE's could use as a bulletin board. Cut funding to 5% of the current level. If any of the current budget is currently used to support programs at the state level, send it to the governors in the form of block grants for now and then eliminate it in predicted increments.

    Examine the redundancy in Federal agencies. Just how many intelligence agencies do we need? Seems like 22 might be a tad heavy. Especially since, when we needed them to be spot on accurate, they all blew it and we ended up in a war in the Middle East.

    Eliminate all loopholes in all Federal taxation structures. Lower the Corporate tax to the lowest in the world. Eliminate the cap on the payroll deductions for Social Security, Raise the retirement age by 1 month for every year that passes until the retirement age is 70 years old.

    Tie the incomes of our legislators to the accuracy in balancing the budget. Produce a deficit? Lower pay. Produce a blanced budget? Bonus! Eliminate the royal treatment for these snakes and make them remember that they are public servants, not feudal lords of the manner.

    Repeal Obamacare. Keep the two or three things that were wise and poplular like the dependent care coverage. Also, provide a coverage like the Federally provided flood coverage for the currently uninsurable.

    I think these little things would go a long way toward balnacing the budget and would not be catastrophic by any measure. This would show our creditors and the world that we are serious and it would truly share the burden: This is something that the Big 0 talks about, but, like everything he endorses verbally, he avoids doing it as if it were the plague.

    Is that the kind of thing you're looking for?
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  7. Wacky Quacky
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    Wacky Quacky Silver Member

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    I hate responding to a question with a question, but. What reason do we have to believe that a stronger or weaker federal government will have any impact on corporations paying off politicians? Even with a very centralized and strong federal government, there's nothing to stop a corporation from bribing (I think the term Lobby is just a cop out) a politician. And since it's the politicians that are supposed to be policing themselves they can easily get away with whatever they want. It's not a question of centralized vs de-centralized, it's a question of moral vs immoral.
     
  8. IndependntLogic
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    IndependntLogic Senior Member

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    Okay 1st off, pet peeve time! Where did I say I think the SEC is "only good"??? WOuld that be the part about knwoing there is waste and inefficiency? Okay, nuff said...

    It seems like you're saying that it was a bad thing to rely on a private company ( S&P) for merely rating financial instruments. Just imagine how bad it could be if we let these companies regulate themselves!
    And the SEC did not cause the problem. They may have played a small role, in one segment, but there we numerous factors that were MUCH more significant in causing our current mess.
    Again, I'm not saying that any government agency is as efficient as a private company. I'm saying that in many cases, they are the best solution to a situation.
     
  9. IndependntLogic
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    IndependntLogic Senior Member

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    Yes exactly! There is actually a lot of merit in these ideas. Have to go play tennis now! Cheers.
     
  10. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    What I said was that the government required companies to rely on rating agencies, and then forced them to make decisions based on what those agencies said. The fucking agencies were related, and the problem still happened. How exactly, is it that I am supposed to look at that set of facts and conclude that the only possible solution is more government?

    As for your pet peeve, maybe it wouldn't bother you so much when people imply you said something you didn't, maybe it would not bother you half as much if you were not so blase about doing it to others. I did not say they were the FEC caused anything, I pointed out that they were a direct contributor to it.

    They were, even you admit that. There were plenty of other factors involved, many of which were also the direct result of various government attempts to regulate the perceived problem and prevent the last major financial disaster. Now you want to step in and make sure they prevent this one from happening again, which will only make the problem worse the next time something happens that no one expects. That is why we need to decentralize the regulation rather than concentrate it all in one place. The more options we have the easier it will be to weather the problems when they occur.

    A good example of this is the EU. The various governments decided to combine their economies, and now they are all paying the price for the bad decisions of other countries. There is a serious movement in Germany for them to decouple their money from the Euro and go back to the Deutschmark.
     

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