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Why do our governments suck so bad?

  1. May 24, 2007 #1


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    I've been watching a lot of political shows lately, from both sides of the spectrum. I've seen stuff by John Stossel (libertian), Penn & Teller (libertarian) and Michael Moore (super socialist). The part that seems really weird is that the polar opposites Michael Moore and John Stossel seem to fundamentally agree on a lot of things since most of government activity could be classified as pork projects.

    Fence at the Mexican border:
    Penn & Teller did a demonstration of how retarded this idea was. They paid some Mexican illegals to build a high quality fence similar to what would be put on the Mexican border then timed how long it took for those same Mexican workers to get through/around the fence. 2 of the Mexicans went over the fence (it was a very high fence), 2 went under the fence, and 2 went through the fence. For all 6 of those Mexicans to get to the other side, it took 3 minutes. Will building a several thousand mile long fence stop Mexicans from entering the country? Yes... for about 3 minutes. Retarded.

    Requiring a passport to move between Canada and USA
    We are very good trading partners and we've been friendly nations for a very long time (since the war of 1812 ended). After some terrorists from Saudi Arabia attack the US, Canadians are now evil? What? Some hillbillies even talked about building a wall to prevent Canadians from entering the US, which is hilarious because historically it has been the other way around (see: Vietnam, Iraq).

    Corporate Welfare
    If John Stossel, Penn & Teller, Michael Moore, and Ralph Nader all think this is retarded, there's probably some truth to it. Why do we keep paying for stuff that isn't self sustaining? If I start a construction company and it tanks, I wouldn't get a hand out, so why should the farming industry get a hand out? If farming somehow fundamentally more important than construction? Who knows.

    At one time people didn't need a driver's license. Then you needed a driver's license. Now people in Alberta, Canada need 3 licenses before they're fully qualified to drive a Geo Metro.
    A newer one is boating license. I've been camping at a popular lake for the past 21 years and I've never even heard of a boating accident; never. You're probably more likely to die from a plastic bag than from a boating accident. We should start licensing plastic bags; actually, they're already becoming illegal in some cities.

    Horrible Police
    Crime is somehow not important anymore. When choosing between stopping crime and handing out traffic tickets, traffic tickets always wins. My city, Edmonton, is the murder capital of Canada, and nobody wants to admit the obvious truth that it's because we don't have police to stop crime anymore. They're all on busy roads giving out speeding tickets, just conveniently ignoring the crime happening around them. Murder is apparently acceptable, but you better not drive 70 in a 60 zone, doing that could kill people!

    All of these rants are cliche, but that doesn't mean they're wrong. How or why did things get this bad where our governments don't seem to have any common sense? Politicians almost act like religious zealots who take pride in maintaining faith even when statistics and reality fly in the face of what they preach.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2007 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    That's right. The real problem is that the gov refuses to enforce the laws that already exist. We are being sold out by Republicans for cheap labor and big business, and the [bleeding heart] dems won't do anything about it apparently because they believe that we can afford to offer free social programs to anyone who shows up - by the millions. This in spite of the fact that our medical, social security, and public education systems are already in crisis.

    We're not worried about Canadians. We're worried about the Alaskans. :tongue:
    Last edited: May 24, 2007
  4. May 24, 2007 #3
    They not only refuse to enforce existing laws, they have been sending Border Patrol Agents for duty in Iraq.


    This is happening at the same time the Border Patrol is trying to increase it's manpower on the border and the national Guard is starting to pull out.:rolleyes:

    Recently the volunteer assignments have turned into an all out recruitment effort by a government hired company called DynCorp. (The private army company) I posted this on another thread.
    They are offering BP agents $134,000 to sign a one year contract to work in Iraq plus a $25,000 sign up bonus.

    The BP agents are supposed to train the Iraqi's how to guard their own border.??

  5. May 24, 2007 #4

    I don't see this as a big deal. They could have put it into the contract not to hire existing government employees but that would turn into a can of worms by those who want the opportunity to go to Iraq who currently work the Mexican border. There is nothing "wrong" with this situation. We just need more border folks.
    Last edited: May 24, 2007
  6. May 24, 2007 #5
    I agree with drankin that this isn't necessarily a problem. Could you explain why you think it is?

    It also occurs to me that, at this point, it might be easier to convince people to become BP officers than it is to convince them to join the armed forces with the intention of going to Iraq. And it's probably easier to convince people who are already BP officers to go to Iraq than it is it convince the average Joe. Convenient... :)

    Of course, none of that (necessarily) has a basis in any statistics or anything. Just a thought.
  7. May 24, 2007 #6
    I live close to the border for one thing. We are in the process of trying to increase manpower on the border at the same time DynCorp is here trying to take them away.:rolleyes: And it is happening just as the National guard troops assigned to the border are pulling out.

    Mexican drug gangs are bringing an ever increasing level of violence to the border area. The Mexican anti kidnapping chief was recently kidnapped.:surprised The drug smugglers are now the people smugglers.

    The average Joe wouldn't be accepted even if he wanted to go. DynCorp is looking for experienced Border patrol and Customs agents. Problem is that's the same people we have a shortage of on the Mexican border. The military should have thought of doing that type of training about 4 years ago.
  8. May 24, 2007 #7


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    I'm starting to wonder just the opposite of "why do our governments suck so bad". Looking at world history and civil wars since the end of World War II, I wonder how in the world a democracy can work in a country whose history consists of wave after wave of immigrants.

    Ethnic diversity dooms the chance of democracy succeeding so often that one would assume ethnic and cultural homogeneity is a prerequisite for democracies to have even a remote chance of succeeding.
  9. May 24, 2007 #8
    Regulations come about because of statistics like these. Some people just aren't responsible and as a result everyone must be licensed so that the priveledge can be taken away from those who would abuse it. That's the theory anyway. If someone can make a buck out of it then it's just additional incentive.

    Police sure do hand out a lot of tickets. I heard a policeman talking about this. He said that there is no quota, but they are instructed to hand out as many tickets as possible. Again, anything to make a buck. But, short of putting a cop on every streetcorner I'm not sure how they can prevent crime. I think it's more of a sypmtom of society than a result of poor policing. Handing out tickets don't make police bad. Shoddy investigation and police abuse of authority and corruption make for untrustworthy police. Now that could be a problem.

    I'm not sure why farms should get handouts to keep them open. I seem to remember a thread of farm subsidies around here somewhere. I'm kind of glad that farming isn't 100% in government control, but mostly for sentimental reasons. I'll have to check out that argument sometime.

    Farming sure is important though. I heard a saying that any city is just a week away from revolution (without food). I'm not sure that the same could be said for construction. Not that shelter isn't just as necessary for life, but it's not quite as urgent as food.

    I think the requirement for passports isn't to keep Canadians and Americans from crossing each other's borders. I guess it's to keep criminals and terrorists from getting into Canada and then strolling across the border into the U.S.

    I'm seriously considering becoming an immigrant myself. Australia looks pretty good.
  10. May 24, 2007 #9


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    Not to be a dick but did you actually look at those statistics? Top 3 causes of boating death:
    Falls Overboard (15)
    Capsizing (11)
    Collision with vessel (7)

    You are twice as likely to die from falling in the water as you are to die from actually hitting a boat. People not knowing how to drive isn't the cause of these deaths; it's people not knowing how to swim. Mandatory swimming lessons would statistically make more sense than requiring boating licenses.

    Sorry I gave the wrong impression. I don't mean giving out tickets makes you a bad cop, I mean prioritizing the wrong things makes the overall police force useless. When did police work become a for-profit business?

    Food is important but what I meant is that Canada and USA do not have a shortage of food; obesity is not a sign of hunger. Paying people to grow food that simply is not needed makes no sense.

    The theory is sound, but what I mean is that it's based on speculation. The solution to crime isn't to treat the entire world as suspects.
  11. May 24, 2007 #10
    Yeah, a lot of times things don't work out as planned. While the laws are intended to make people more secure, they often just seem to be another burden to society. I have that opinion regularly. It seems like government comes up with a new law all the time and applies it like a band-aid. I like responsibility to be in the hands of the individual and it seems like more and more of it is slipping towards a government that is not always responsible themselves.

    What would encourage people to accept responsibility for themselves and others, another law to punish them if they are not?
  12. May 24, 2007 #11
    The stats give a % of people that know how to swim too, which is over 80% IIRC. Most of the victims die from drowning because they weren't wearing any PFD (Personal Flotation Device). They may have been badly injured, unconscious or intoxicated and found themselves in the water unable to swim. It may not be a problem at the lake where you are, but there are some lakes here in the U.S. where these sorts of accidents happen regularly.

    Not that I think a law will make irresponsible people act more responsibly, but I understand the need to regulate the use of boats and automobiles and such.
  13. May 28, 2007 #12


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    Yes, but potentially capsizing, colliding with a vessel, colliding with an object, flooding, skier hit object, sinking, struck underwater object and hit by boat could all be reduced by regulating who can drive a boat.
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