Rules of the Senate. Reid has voted against his own bills in order to be allowed to bring them up again.
That's a reason I'm never going to be a Senator. I'd have to get all cozy with people who make my skin crawl. Kinda like going to GenCon and rubbing up against the guy who thinks he doesn't have to shower.
Indifference to an Iran with nuclear weapons?He's axing the defense budget to try to push more money over to failed social programs?
He's a yes-man instead of focusing on what his responsibility as SecDef is supposed to be?
Gee, maybe some people think that a political hack in that job is a serious enough issue that his nomination should be filibustered.
I know, I know. "Democrats good, Republicans evil."
In 2005, Harry Reid said of the filibuster "It encourages moderation and consensus. It gives voice to the minority, so that cooler heads may prevail."
Oh, and "Now Mr. President, I will not stand here and say the filibuster has always been used for positive purposes."
Also, "Of course the President would like the power to name anyone he wants to lifetime seats on the Supreme Court and other federal courts. And that is why the White House has been aggressively lobbying Senate Republicans to change Senate rules in a way that would hand dangerous new powers to the President over two separate branches – the Congress and the Judiciary. Unfortunately, this is part of a disturbing pattern of behavior by this White House and Republicans in Washington."
And the kicker . . . "Some in this Chamber want to throw out 217 years of Senate history in the quest for absolute power. They want to do away with Mr. Smith coming to Washington. They want to do away with the filibuster. They think they are wiser than our Founding Fathers. I doubt that’s true. "
I'm as surprised as anyone that I find myself in agreement.
You'll have to forgive me for not following Internet memes. LOLcats had a disturbingly negative effect on me.
Usagi Yojimbo wrote:
The far more common usage is by leftists who use it as an insult.
Sort of like the Flat-Earth Society. It's a real thing, but the common usage is as a term of disparagement. As in: "It's a funny thing that the only people who use the term 'flat earther' are environmentalists who feel the need to disaprage those with whom they disagree."
Freehold, I appreciate your honesty and your willingness to engage.
Here's some more stuff to chew on:
Markets aren't as fragile as you think. Those markets that have the heavy involvement of government become much more fragile. The housing crash of 2008 was a price bubble fueled by artificially low interest rates which led to rampant speculation. The Community Reinvestment Act pressured lenders to give loans to people who wouldn't otherwise qualify for them. Banks, acting on the fact that most mortgages were backed by the government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac institutions, gambled that if mortgage-backed securities they sold collapsed in value, the government would step in to reimburse the loss. Which it did.
The stock market crash of 1929 was caused by speculation which was in turn fueled by artificially low interest rates (sound familiar?). The Great Depression was caused by isolationist policies such as the Smoot-Hawley tariff (read Charles Kindleberger's Manias, Panics, and Crashes.
The market for food products should be very unstable due to the occurrence of drought or floods, but since there's a free flow of supplies from around the world to meet demand, we see modest price fluctuations despite losses. You know where you see the most price increases in food these days? When the product involves corn. Corn is used to produce ethanol, which the government has it's sticky fingers in, messing around with the market.
Naturally, if you point to an example, I can provide a more specific response.
Matt Thomason wrote:
Matt, the pilgrims who emigrated to America tried just that. They almost starved.
As for not having money . . . money is simply a medium of exchange. It allows me to trade a certain amount of labor for products I can use, when my labor doesn't directly benefit the recipient. A system without a neutral medium of exchange means that someone needs to sit at the top to determine what's "fair," as well as the means to force exchanges that one party or another deem "unfair." Perhaps a Central Planning Committee? And with a secret police to make sure citizens don't trade their wares without the Committee's knowledge?
So it's your choice: money, or authoritarian bludgeons.
Freehold DM wrote:
I would counterargue, however, that a lot of what you are proposing here sounds less like libertarianism and more like anarchy. I have no problem with choice, but you're pushing a paradigm that could turn into utter chaos in one bad moment.
Freehold DM, perhaps you can provide a scenario you think could lead down that road.
Anarchy quickly leads to the guy with the biggest stick (or controlling the most sticks) being in charge, which is why you don't see anarchist government systems stick around. Libertarian systems allow government to stop that from happening since government's role is to protect the rights of its people.
Government was created to secure certain rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Rights to property as well, because without a right to property, it's impossible to pursue happiness. Note that I don't say government grants these rights. Inalienable rights exist outside of government.
Government still has a role to play, and because we citizens grant government the exclusive right to force, that role should be hotly debated when an expansion is suggested.
Yes, many services will be relegated to the private sector, or to the individual states, but this is not a bug, but a feature. A state can respond to its population far better than a centralized government. Private citizens and businesses respond to demand by creating products that people voluntarily purchase far more efficiently than government can provide. There's no corporation in existence that has the power to compel me to purchase its products, unless it is granted such power by government.
So what crisis do you imagine that such a system would devolve into anarchy? A Hurricane Katrina/Rita scenario was already shown to have created anarchy all on its own, but WalMart was able to get in and start handing out supplies before FEMA.
Alexis DeTocqueville already saw that despite his fears of the American Experiment turning into another version of the French Revolution, he found individuals working together for their mutual and communal benefit without a centralized government directing such efforts. Given the advances in technology since the 1840s, the necessity for a central planning committee seems even more distant.
Strangely enough, the term "arachnocapitalism" is only used by leftists who feel the need to disparage those with whom they disagree.
Inconvenient rant; strongly suggest those on the left don't read.:
Very few libertarians want a divorce from society in which government exists. We instead point out the destructive consequences of the policies statists promote, and indicate that further eroding of power of the individual will have no benefit to society. The authoritarian underpinnings of the modern leftist are easy enough to see for those who but try to see them ("You must buy health insurance." "You must send your children to public schools." "You must not have too many firearms."). It is why I don't refer to leftists as "liberals." There is nothing liberal about them.
But to a good leftist, any dissent from their political point of view must be retaliated against. How could someone in favor of universal health insurance possibly be authoritarian? Obviously this person is an "arachnocapitalist" who only wants to see poor people dying in the street. And if you don't think we should subsidize "green" energy then you're obviously a shill for the oil corporations. How dare you advocate for school choice! Why do you hate teachers? How is it these people don't embrace our utopian society! What rubes! They're obviously not sophisticated enough to understand our nuanced approach to freedom.
Poking holes in their belief system that shows the Leftist Emperor indeed has no clothes is fraught with personal attacks, because it not only shows the skeleton upon which progressivism is built, but because it exposes their sense of moral superiority as a sham.
And on that happy note, I'm off to bed. Unlike some people, I actually need to produce something in order to pay my bills. The ground doesn't plow itself, the gas doesn't magically appear in my car's tank, and my kids won't have much of a chance at paying for their future college careers with Hope and Change.
Strangely enough, TriOmegaZero, that money didn't magically appear in my account. Maybe wishing harder? Or typing in all caps.
Yes, Scott, supply and demand do apply to health care.
I know you don't like it, but that doesn't mean the facts are on your side.
Every service and product follow the laws of supply and demand. But I'm sure you're going to lecture me on how health care is different. Feel free. But you'd be what is known as "wrong."
Ah, the "You didn't build that" example.
No, I did build that, and lots of people like you stood on the sidelines and make me work even harder.
I built it in spite of you, not because of you.
If you led the way, then I'd applaud your principles. But you didn't. Neither did any of the people who rallied for the ACA, nor any of the people who voted for it, and not the guy who signed the bill into law.
That alone tells you something, if you took the time to listen.
Scott, I'm well versed in economics. I apparently understand the laws of supply and demand better than you.
Once again, you make assumptions about posters. Congratulations. You've added arrogance to greed, sloth, and envy.
No doubt you'll want to punish me because I'm smarter than you and pointing out your failures, which would throw in wrath.
Let the evil flow. Don't worry, I won't think less of you for it.
I call it the Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is principle. You want others who you envy to pay more, then you lead the way and pony up first. Lead by example.
But, that would require initiative, and the slothful don't have initiative. The greedy don't have the ability, and the arrogant don't have the discipline.
No, punish those who have achieved more that you through faceless "government." It makes you feel better and requires no real effort on your part.
I understand completely. I have more respect for that guy who tried to mug me years ago. At least he had to do the mugging himself.
At least you're realizing that the weak cannot help the weak. In order to help, you need someone with strength. In this case, someone with more money. And if they choose to use their money for something you don't agree with (like, funding college for their children, or buying a new car), then you're okay with punishing them.
Makes perfect sense now.
Sure, not envy, nope, no way.
If you want to reduce inequality, why don't you work harder to earn more money, and then use that money to provide programs that actually lift the poor up? There are all sorts of programs that work to break the cycle of poverty that government programs have created. Generations of the poor have been doomed to continued poverty because they cannot escape with the "help" of government.
It's easier to tear down that build up, isn't it?
And its best if we take those people who have achieved more than you have and bring them down to your level. Because that's "fair." I see.
And what have you done, Matt, to help the poor with their health issues? Have you paid for another's medical care? Perhaps, as a physician, you have treated a patient without the expectation of payment. Have you actually DONE something directly for a sick person?
Or are you sitting back expecting someone else to do the dirty work? Are you slothful in your expectations that someone else pick up the tab?
I hate those evil racoons living in my neighbor's tree that stole all my apples this year.
On a related note, the fact that .22LR ammunition has become rarer than an honest politician only adds fuel to my hatred of those pesky nocturnal thieves.
On another related note, I hate the neighborhood cat that can't stay out of the live traps and thereby leaves its scent everywhere on the trap so the racoons don't go anywhere near it.
World-ending problems, I tell ya.
Scott Betts wrote:
When one robs Peter to pay Paul, one can always count on Paul's support.And, apparently, Paul's family's as well.
Lots of people try to do something with their beliefs and fail.
Business owners every single day close up shop, shutting down their dreams.
And some people try to get others to follow them only to find out their ideas aren't as widespread as hoped.
Welcome to life.
I'm not seeing why this is a disheartening example. You offered an item that most users saw no value in possessing.
This is the reason why money was created. It is a neutral medium of exchange that "everyone" recognizes as having a preset value in order to make trading goods more efficient.
In other strange news of the week, you'll note a rare instance of agreement between thejeff and me.
Honestly, does no one study economics anymore?