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News What are your political and social views?

  1. Apr 16, 2010 #1
    I consider myself a social liberal and fiscal conservative, also known as classical liberal or libertarian

    so i would be a Atheist Libertarian
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2010 #2
    I am a jingoist.
  4. Apr 16, 2010 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    I don't believe in little boxes anymore. For the most part, for any classically liberal view that I hold, be it fiscally or socially, there is [I have] a classically conservative view somewhere else. In terms of economics, it is clear that financial markets are not self-regulating, at least not in such a way that is acceptable to the global economy, so the entire foundation of modern fiscal conservatism fails, in my view. Greenspan himself stated before Congress that, a lifetime of his personal belief and experience was betrayed by the failure of the financial systems. He thought it was simply not possible. I still believe in free markets, but clearly there is a balance to be found that acts in everyone's best interest. By definition, that balance cannot be found through pure ideology, so there is no need for little boxes and labels.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  5. Apr 16, 2010 #4


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    I hold to Bertrand Russell,s brand of liberalism:

    "The essence of the liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment."
  6. Apr 17, 2010 #5

    You name it and I don't like it.
  7. Apr 17, 2010 #6
  8. Apr 17, 2010 #7

    Good post.
  9. Apr 17, 2010 #8
    Classical liberal.
    Recent fiscal problems with market democracies are simply the result of the all too human temptation for the lazy majority to vote themselves largess at the expense of those who work. Consider Greece. Or California.
    Taxes and a safety net are necessary - but when governments increase the former to 40 percent of income and the latter to middle class(ish) levels, incentives to work and strive erode.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
  10. Apr 17, 2010 #9


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    Increases? The top tax rate used to be 90% in the 50's
  11. Apr 17, 2010 #10
    Ideally I would consider myself primarily Liberal with a definition close to that posted by Janus. I feel that education and healthcare are cornerstones for a strong and productive populous. I would like to see vast improvements in the education afforded to citizens and would like to see Universal Health Care in this country (the United States). I also have incredibly strong opinions on censorship.

    Practically I am more of a centrist. I feel that my personal philosophy of liberalism includes tolerance and respect for opposing opinions and the rights of those that I do not agree with. So I will compromise with, and fight for the respect of, those persons whom I do not necessarily agree with regardless of whether those persons would do the same for me. There are certainly those whom I have an inclination to punch in the mouth but I try mightily to hate only the ideas that disgust me so much and respect the person as a neighbour, fellow citizen, and (more importantly) a human being.
  12. Apr 17, 2010 #11
    Selectively well done.

    "Tax" > income tax. Consider the entire tax on labor. Especially the marginal tax effects on incentives when moving up the income scale.
  13. Apr 17, 2010 #12
    Yes I agree 100%

    What makes you say this? I think a classic free market view includes the rule of law. Laws against fraud and deception. For example if one buys transaction insurance from a third party at a premium rate that ALL parties know is fraudulently low (so low that if the market turns the insurer can never make good) there needs to be government law to stop the fraud.

    I would say the current situation is an example of the failure of "the rule of law". The rule of law was overcome by the power of money. I see nothing wrong with free markets. I do see that unbridled concentrations of money make "the rule of law" impossible.
  14. Apr 17, 2010 #13
    I am child of the enlightenment. Various algorithmic systems yield various results. We can study various proposed system through simulation and learn about outcomes.

    I like Frances Fukuyama's book "Trust: the social virtues and the creation of prosperity".

    Mostly what I see in history is the most aggressive, most vicious gain power and wealth. See for reference "The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant" by John Dominic Crossan, 1993.
  15. Apr 17, 2010 #14


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    I'm far more conservative fiscally than most people that I know, and that includes a healthy distrust for unregulated or poorly-regulated financial institutions. The recent recession was engineered, not accidental, and the people that engineered it were well-rewarded with the taxpayers' money. Neo-cons on the right are not fiscally conservative - they are fiscally radical and endanger the long-term health of our economy.

    Socially, I am quite liberal, and would like to see restrictions on personal freedoms rolled back. I am a strong proponent of gun-ownership, as are most people out here in the boonies, and I would like to see my state follow Arizona's lead in allowing concealed-carry without a permit. That would put a damper on the ambitions of some criminals.

    The "war on drugs" is a failed effort on the part of the nanny-state to enforce laws that are all too easy to circumvent, and that increase the prices of drugs to fatten the coffers of criminal enterprises. That "war" has too high a price-tag, both in taxpayer dollars and human lives and ought to be dropped in favor of regulate-and-tax. It would be a whole lot easier to get an addict into treatment if his/her addiction didn't automatically make them into criminals. It would make our streets safer if addicts didn't need to come up with lots of money to buy drugs that are priced out of reach, so that's another immediate plus.

    I don't mind paying my taxes, but I feel strongly that tax-rates should be more progressive, and that capital gains and inheritances should be taxed at a level commensurate with earned income. The average US citizen earns wages, and pays income taxes at state and federal levels, and sales taxes and property taxes at the state level. Sales taxes are particularly regressive, since they are not predicated on one's ability to pay. If capital-gains tax rates were increased, it would provide a strong incentive to hold investments long-term and stabilize markets that are too unstable and jittery due to short-term investors (some of them very large).
  16. Apr 17, 2010 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    While fraud may have been involved in some cases, at the core of this was an array of complex, high-risk activities that were completely within the law. As I understand this, and apparently what Greenspan never thought possible was that companies [a global financial system] could be incentivized to self-destruct. It wasn't a matter of fraud so much as a case of capitalism failing at its core. And the lesson that I get from this is not only that financial institutions can be incentivized by market forces to self-destruct, but also that they can take us all down with them. To me the problem is obvious on one level. The future of a CEO needs to be tied to the long-term success of the company and not just the next quarterly report. But no matter how you slice it, it means that the government must intervene to protect markets even from themselves - a proposition antithetical to the principle that markets prosper most when unregulated.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  17. Apr 18, 2010 #16
    Please explain your understanding of this? Thanks.

    The way I understand this is executive get bonuses for short term profits regardless of long term risk. So they do the rational thing and build up as big a pile of money in their Swiss bank accounts as possible as fast as possible. This is not a failure of the system it is a failure of the structure of rewards with a company. The fault of the board of directors and the stock holders both for providing no oversight. These company need to go bankrupt so that better managed companies like Warren Buffets companies can take over.
  18. Apr 18, 2010 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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    No matter the path, it is still a case of companies not acting in their own best interest. I think what you describe is part of the problem, but whose problem? The point is that corporations allowed this self-destructive behavior. It was believed that a free market is self-correcting. While that may be true, there were no market forces on the front end to stop this. The only check in the system was a total collapse of the system. There is no need to prove this point because the financial markets did indeed collapse under their own weight, not due to regulation, taxes, or any other form of government intervention. It was a case of corporate-engineered suicide, for personal gain, driven by market forces, and capable of taking down the global economy.
    That is an unacceptable level of risk by anyone's standard. What matters is that we now know that free markets can self-destruct if not regulated. In terms that are acceptable by any reasonable standards, the foundation of free-market capitalism has failed. Governments must regulate markets in order to maintain a viable economy.

    I should add that in saying so, I am rejecting a liftetime of my own beliefs. I always held the view that regulation was needed to protect the consumer, not the markets themselves.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  19. Apr 20, 2010 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    There is a real irony in all of this. Perhaps the most basic error made - what ultimately caused the global financial systems to fail - was the bet made by the world's leading financial institutions that the system couldn't fail. That was the essential concept behind many of these complex trading tools, and the justification for increasingly risky trading practices. The crash of the housing market was the match that lit the fire, but the systemic risk was found in the trading tools that implicitly made this fundamental bet.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  20. Apr 20, 2010 #19
    The regulators were part of what caused the housing meltdown. The SEC gave these junk loans AAA ratings, that meant that they were held in the same esteem as T-Bills. Low interest rates by the FED, thanks to Greenspan, allowed investment banks to levy themselves to the kilt on housing. And thanks to the AAA ratings, the investment banks found themselves in a situation where they couldn't lose! They know the government must keep it's AAA rating to survive, so they reasoned that Congress would have to bail them out to safe face.

    I'll never understand how the say-so of a government regulator, Greenspan, passes as a legitimate argument against a supposed free market system. Greenspan needs to stop being a coward and blaming everyone else, and admit that he got Wall Street drunk with low interest rates.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
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