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Epistemology, Metaphysics and Ethics trumps Politics: vote Obama

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People can always ask for more. I doubt a voucher system encourages more asking than a system which hides costs. OTOH, if there is enough allowance for choice, a voucher system delivers more value, particularly to people who choose well.

Almost everyone in the country thinks the government ought to provide education, as an abstract philosophical principle. As a parent, if this had been implemented as a voucher system, I would have got more value than what I get today. And, kids from poor families, but with parents who truly aspire to have their do better would have seen a major step up.

Choice is not something incidental. As an economic force it is the key ingredient that makes the free-market more efficient than central planning, in principle.

I reject the idea that government spending will go up or down radically under the different variation that the GOP and Democrats can come up with. So, within that framework, I prefer giving people choice and having more choice myself.

(BTW: This does not mean one should vote GOP in every election. I voted for Obama last time around, and don't regret it..)

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People can always ask for more. I doubt a voucher system encourages more asking than a system which hides costs. OTOH, if there is enough allowance for choice, a voucher system delivers more value, particularly to people who choose well.

Almost everyone in the country thinks the government ought to provide education, as an abstract philosophical principle. As a parent, if this had been implemented as a voucher system, I would have got more value than what I get today. And, kids from poor families, but with parents who truly aspire to have their do better would have seen a major step up.

Choice is not something incidental. As an economic force it is the key ingredient that makes the free-market more efficient than central planning, in principle.

I reject the idea that government spending will go up or down radically under the different variation that the GOP and Democrats can come up with. So, within that framework, I prefer giving people choice and having more choice myself.

(BTW: This does not mean one should vote GOP in every election. I voted for Obama last time around, and don't regret it..)

This is an interesting side discussion...

I would question the idea that choice is good, or even helpful, from the standpoint of reducing costs / increasing benefits when the money you are choosing with is not your own. Obviously, when it's your own hard-earned money, you tend to be more careful (and as Objectivists we don't care whether you are or not that's your problem).

There seems to be an assumption here, however, that one will apply the same diligence to free money from the government as you do your own money. My guess is that it's radically different, but again, I'd like to see some data.

Or, we can see how this would play out:

1. Everybody gets vouchers of X dollars to buy health insurance.

2. Several private providers offer various plans, some matching the voucher amount, others costing somewhat more (a "supplemental" sort of plan which is what they end up with in Europe a lot).

3. Insurance companies offer less and less in the "base" plan and move more and more of it to the "supplemental" plans and increase the price of those plans. This is particularly exacerbated by medical technology.

4. Hence every cut (or failure to increase) in the Voucher amount translates directly to increased costs for most voters.

5. They vote themselves increases in the voucher amount, with the various insurance companies turbo charging their political muscle and providing organization (for, you are creating another industry with a vested interest in higher spending which is always dangerous).

***

Again, I'd love to see some hard data or an example of how this worked elsewhere...

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I would question the idea that choice is good, or even helpful, from the standpoint of reducing costs / increasing benefits when the money you are choosing with is not your own. Obviously, when it's your own hard-earned money, you tend to be more careful (and as Objectivists we don't care whether you are or not that's your problem).

Just a thought, I imagine what counts most is if an individual gets out of spending less than the government gives them. The origin of the money isn't the essential issue. Is there a refund? Is there a tax deduction? You can be given more choices by the government, sure, but if you get $200 which is nonrefundable, spending won't change at best. In fact, spending may increase with added choice if there is no refund or reward, since you have more to gain by spending every last dollar and you have more ways to spend.

Edited by Eiuol

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Here is a democrat elected official, the U.S. Representative Rep. Yvette Clarke from Brooklyn, asserting that the Dutch still practiced slavery in Brooklyn as late as 1898. I have every confidence that Rep. Clarke is better educated and a more critical thinker than the people who voted her into office.

original story: http://thehill.com/v...klyn-until-1898

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Democrats: Let's Ban Profits!

How many seconds do you think it will take me to find a Republican explaining how every species of animal on the planet fit into one giant boat? Or that God spoke to his profit using a hat?

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Democrats: Let's Ban Profits!

This is off topic but I would just like to say that people like Peter Schiff are the best type of non-Objectivists. He's friendly to Ayn Rand, spot on in terms of economics, is a social libertarian, unapologetically supports laissez-faire and his only big political mistake is not taking foreign policy seriously enough. Plus, he convinced me to invest in precious metals.

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How many seconds do you think it will take me to find a Republican explaining how every species of animal on the planet fit into one giant boat? Or that God spoke to his profit using a hat?

Those beliefs do not directly lead to actions destroying my life. It is not the case that all forms of stupidity are equally dangerous.

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Just to toss fuel onto the fire, here is another gem that speaks for itself from your friends at the DNC...

"The government is the only thing we all belong to."

Consider it Exhibit 2000 on my I'm voting to fire the idiots.

Edited by Spiral Architect

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Here's his latest:

Oops, Grames had already posted this. I didn’t look, I just looked at the last couple posts, saw someone mention Schiff, and thought of this great video I’d just seen. A hit and run. Now I feel like a n00b. :glare:

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Here is a democrat elected official, the U.S. Representative Rep. Yvette Clarke from Brooklyn, asserting that the Dutch still practiced slavery in Brooklyn as late as 1898. I have every confidence that Rep. Clarke is better educated and a more critical thinker than the people who voted her into office.

original story: http://thehill.com/v...klyn-until-1898

She probably mixed up Dutch and Brooklyn with Belgian and Congo. It could happen to anyone!

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Those beliefs do not directly lead to actions destroying my life. It is not the case that all forms of stupidity are equally dangerous.

Well, this is the heart of the issue, indeed: what sort of form of control do you fear more?

Clearly this is a judgement call, but right now I fear the awfulness coming from the right more than that coming from the left...

Also, you might want to do some re-reading of a certain author's writing to understand how terrible ideas like the above directly lead to actions to destroy your life :-)... ("For every idiot who writes, there's a rascal who murders" -- [not Ayn Rand, but another author she admired very much ] ).

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think we're headed for a theocracy here any more than we're headed for a neo-Soviet state here anytime soon. Hence my interest is mostly philosophical when it comes to modern politics, not political.

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Just out of curiosity, which is worse, high corporate tax or a price-cap?

(I remember reading that Obama supported a carbon cap, but if you go under your allotted amount you can sell the rest. I wonder if that would be better or worse than a carbon emissions tax.)

Edited by mdegges

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I vote for price caps, since they suppress information the market leads, as taxes do not. I abstain on the question of emissions caps vs. taxes.

Edited by Reidy

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("For every idiot who writes, there's a rascal who murders" -- [not Ayn Rand, but another author she admired very much ] ).

Who? I googled it and nothing came up. "Rascal" makes me think of Dostoyevsky.

Here’s a quote that sometimes comes to mind when someone, invariably an Objectivist, demands an unrealistic level of intellectual consistency from a politician:

Primitive savages know how to start a fire by friction. They must have discovered the process tens of thousands of years ago. Yet as lately as the middle of the eighteenth century scientists were still debating whether or not heat was a material element (an "indestructible substance"), though they were already experimenting with the steam engine. So a principle may be put in practice long before it is understood or defined.

Isabel Paterson,
The God of the Machine
, Chapter 23

Now I’m gearing up to watch some DNC coverage tonight. They keep saying “Forward”, and here’s how I keep visualizing what they mean:

thelma.jpg

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Who? I googled it and nothing came up. "Rascal" makes me think of Dostoyevsky.

Here’s a quote that sometimes comes to mind when someone, invariably an Objectivist, demands an unrealistic level of intellectual consistency from a politician:

Primitive savages know how to start a fire by friction. They must have discovered the process tens of thousands of years ago. Yet as lately as the middle of the eighteenth century scientists were still debating whether or not heat was a material element (an "indestructible substance"), though they were already experimenting with the steam engine. So a principle may be put in practice long before it is understood or defined.

Isabel Paterson,
The God of the Machine
, Chapter 23

Now I’m gearing up to watch some DNC coverage tonight. They keep saying “Forward”, and here’s how I keep visualizing what they mean:

Victor Hugo / Ninety Three.

I just tried finding in on Google as well. No luck. Maybe I have the quote slightly wrong? It's been I while since I've read that one...

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These must be the smart, logical democrats that crow was talking about.

Here's a followup. Schiff acknowledges that about half the people he talked to answered in a more or less sensible manner. And they, naturally, didn't make the cut.

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I have a rather complicated point to make here, no doubt.

Today a great news story came across that underscores what I've been talking about:

Rick Santorum tells audience that ‘smart people’ will never be on his [Republican's] side

Somehow the Republicans have become the party of stupid people--and this is more important than what policy hairs we're splitting this election.

As Romney implodes, this might very well portend be a shift to the reasonable, a shift to the intelligent, a shift to intellectual integrity. Such a spectacular implosion should make Republican leadership re-think the cynical win-at-all-costs mentality.

Let's hope so anyhow.

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As Romney implodes, this might very well portend be a shift to the reasonable, a shift to the intelligent, a shift to intellectual integrity. Such a spectacular implosion should make Republican leadership re-think the cynical win-at-all-costs mentality.
If Romney loses badly, I don't think that's the message that would be gleaned. If the GOP had chosen Santorum or Bachmann and if independent voters recoiled, that might have been the lesson.

If Romney crashes, I think the lesson learnt will be that one should have a clearer, more aggressive brand.

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