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What can we expect from government ?

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  • Democrat
    Lawrence, MA
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    In these forums I often see assumptions made concerning what we might expect from government or how we as citizens might influence its decisions And. while it is true that we can influence the government to bring about some needed if minor reforms from time to time, the basic inequities built into ther system cannot be eliminated. These assumptions are based on a false idea about the purpose of goverment. In an exploitative society the interests of the exploiters ( the Users) and the exploited ( the Used ) are diametrically opposed. The Users attempt to use the government treasury for theirrown purposes through a host of programs such as subsidies for oil and agra business, tax money funneled lavishly into industrial military contracts. favorable tax rates for themselves and their supporters, in many case no taxes at all for some of the biggest corporations in the nation ....GE, for example. etc. etc. And . whenever possible , the Users arrange to have the Used population foot the bill for their programs. Programs aimed at alleviating the poverty or need of the Used population, or giving them a chance at modest life style are resisted at every turn by the Users. Money spent on so called entiltlement programs , or things like public education, is something the Users oppose through their political agents ( Republicans and a good number of Democrats ). The Users want money being put into programs like Socail security and Medicare , into public ecucation into roads, bridges and prisons.....to be be privatized. Turn this money over the the Users, it is said, and you'll see what a wonderful world will trickle down on the majority.
    This political system is not one in which two opposing parties face each other with various proposals and then arrive at compromises for the the good of the nation. However, both perites represent the exploitative system Reforms have and will sometimes happen , but not when a proposal would infringe on the exploitative perogatives of the Users. The basic system is not equitable and that's the way it's going to stay.......That's why so many people were disappointed that Obama didn't bring about any suibstantial change in his first term. What he gave us is the most we can expect from any President .....Hillary, Biden, The Fat Guy from N,J. .......a little tinkering with the system.
    We're hearing a lot lately about how the Republican Party has to find ways to appeal to black people, minorites ans workers if they want to be a viable party in the future. Think about that? What can the Party do to accomplish this? It's not going to abandon its base among the Users. So that means it can only appeal to minorites by trying to convince ( bull shit ) them into thinking that they can best represent the majority......Remember George Bush's campaign to turn the Social Security System over to Wall St. ? He said this would result in a glorious future for retirees. Shortly, after the stock market collapsed. If The Bush plan had been in effect tens of millions of Americans would now be living in new Hoovervilles. ....Reducing the deficit is not the Republicn priority . Getting their hands on the National Treasury is. This is a good thing to keep in mind when we think the Republicans are negotiating with the interests of the entire nation in mind.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    If Democrats had any understanding of how the monetary system actually works, they would not fall for Republican B.S. regarding deficit reduction.

    Democrats need to learn how to tell Republican liars to go fuck themselves.

    See my posts on the matter:

    http://www.democratichub.com/posts/8442/the-greatest-keynesian-president-of-all...

    http://www.democratichub.com/posts/8330/fiscal-cliff-deal-is-pro-cyclical-and-d...x
  • Democrat
    Lawrence, MA
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    Carlitos Wrote: If Democrats had any understanding of how the monetary system actually works, they would not fall for Republican B.S. regarding deficit reduction.

    Democrats need to learn how to tell Republican liars to go fuck themselves.

    See my posts on the matter:

    http://www.democratichub.com/posts/8442/the-greatest-keynesian-president-of-all...

    http://www.democratichub.com/posts/8330/fiscal-cliff-deal-is-pro-cyclical-and-d...x
    Carlitos, Thank you, but you have not understood what I wrote. All these politicians. republican and democrat represent the system as it is. They are not so much in charge of the system as the system is in charge of them. It has its own dynamic and makes it s own demands. A politician who said that caitalism must be brought under control.....must be made to serve the interests of the people and not vice versa.....would be gone by the next election if he wasn't shot first.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    While we are on the subject of what we can expect from government there's a story from the NY Times today and here's a few lines from this disgusting story...

    "Just two weeks after pleading guilty in a major federal fraud case, Amgen, the worlds largest biotech firm scored a largely unnoticed coup on Capital Hill: Lawmakers inserted a paragraph into the 'fiscal cliff' bill that did not mention the company by name but strongly favored one of its drugs."

    "Critics including several congreessional aides who were stunned to find the measure in the final bill, pointed out that Amgen had already won a previous two year delay and they depicted a second one as an unnecessary giveaway."

    "It is projected to cost Medicare, thus taxpayers, up to $500 million over the next two years."

    "Amgen has a small army of 74 lobbyists in the capital." (74 lobbyists from one company!!!! How can they afford it? Because of decisions like this from our politicians, that's how.)

    "Amgen has deep financial and political ties to lawmakers like Mitch McConnel R-Ky, Max Baucus D-Mont, and Orrin Hatch R-Ut" (that means that Amgen OWNS these three lawmakers and probably plenty of others.)

    "With that two year exclusion set to expire in 2014, Amgens lobbyists began making rounds again on Capital Hill seeking another two year exemption." (Anyone here want to bet against them getting it? Not me.)

    It is pure corruption and waste and THIS is what we can expect from our government.
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    Unbelievable jamesn, just goes to show you the power of the almighty dollar (billions of 'em). The point I would like to make is how can a defendant (Amgen) be allowed to continue their lobbying of the Federal government when they were convicted of a Federal crime? This is absolute nonsense. Surely the Congress--both houses knows about how "other" crimes are dealt with. Let's say that another company (company B) manufactures seat belts for the automotive industry, and that they too have lobbyists trying to promote their business interests. All of a sudden, there are dozens of vehicular deaths due to failed seat belts made by this company. Are those lobbyists going to continue to carry any of the clout that they had before this occurred? Or better yet, would they even be allowed to lobby any longer? If the answer is "yes then something is terribly wrong. Obviously our laws permit this lobbying to occur. Maybe this too (in addition to laws governing the second amendment) needs some cleaning-up, via real sensible law reform: either re-writes or amendments.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    michaels I say that one of the things that should be done is to start term limits on Congress. If it is good enough for the office of the president, it should be good enough for congress. How many decades have these three crooks been in Congress anyway? They should be kicked out so that some new and hopefully less corrupt blood can get in Congress.
  • Democrat
    Lawrence, MA
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    And it's all legal because it's their government. The Users tell their lackeys in governmentwhat they want done and the lackeys deliver. They have devised a system of legal bribery to have their agents in Washington service thier needs. This is npthing new. It's just that in recent times its being done out in the open without fear of interference. By any stetch of the imagination it is outright bribery. This bribery is well known and, in fact, is the subject of many political talk shows. But nothing is done about it. Nor can anything be done since it would require that those who are being bribed give up the money that they're being bribed with.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    lefty unfortunately you are right, and it will not get better it will only get worse. Lobbying Congress is a growth industry and it will never go away nor will we get term limits on Congress although both these measures would make things better. Common sense ideas like those have no chance in Washington the most corrupt city in the USA. It does make me wonder if one company has 74 lobbyists, how many lobbyists are there in Washington? Thousands or tens of thousands? Where will it end?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Yes I wrote about this before; I lived besides a lobbyist in Washington area. He also worked for pharma (Pfizer) so that was the same thing.
    My experience with aviation is that that lobby is even stonger if it involves the military because the margin are much higher in a lot of cases.
    As I said the influence peddling here is pure corruption, just about for everything that is the main reason that the common man here has no influence whatsoever; everything is kind of shielded only the people who have something to offer can get may be their foot into the door.
    People like McCain even openly admit that they ties to Honeywell, Lockheed etc. Yes daily hard workers and ideologists wake up, the lobbyists run this country not your vote.

    Another subject; I did get a virus in my old computer and am working on a spare one, so I may be out of the running for a while till the thing is fixed. Have fun without me.
  • Democrat
    Lawrence, MA
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    At the risk of seeming to beat a dead horse I'd like to point out that while most of us are angry, startled or horrified that this legal bribery goes on right out in the open.......we shouldn't get the idea that if only we could reform the system to ban lobbyists, or go to a system where campaigns are paid for by public funds......the adversarial nature of American politics would disappear. Even if that happened we would still be living with a system wherein the exploitation of the many by a few is the legal norm. No doubt. the outlawing of the lobbying stystem would be a benefit. Even so, the chance of that happening is slim to none. The creation of an equitable, just and peaceable community of citizens can never be realized within a system where a few are leagally allowed to enrich themselves at the expense of the majority. The possibilbilty of changing this state of affarirs is even less likely than simply getting rid of the bribers in Washington. So, for us living today, the future is not bright. However, I believe it is better to know what we're up against than to spend our time pretending that a ittle tinkering and some minor reforms are going to usher in a new American golden age.
    We are living in an age of decline. Many of our ancestors lived through similar times. But it is not all bleak. In fact, it may offer us opportunites for personal and spiritual growth, opportunites to create communities of like minded people, and/or little islands of peace for ouirselves and our loved ones. I know this sounds like more doom saying. I would ask, however, if an honest look at the situation we are in today..... in Jan. 2013..... realistically offers anything to refute it. If we're going to organize in ways to help ourselves it should not be to build castles in the air or reformists organizations in Washington. The ice berg loometh.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "left" I wonder how the Europeans can escape this system. As far as I know this has never been a serious problem in Europe; of course bribery happens also there, Berlusconi is a typical example. However it is not so widespread as here. Anyway an improvement should be if term limits would be installed, especially for the senators who sit there until they are 100 years old. So that should be the first step.The second should be if a lobbyist gets even close to any Senator or government representative then at least 10 years jail etc, If they do not have the guts to do so, then my prediction will be that this country becomes a hostage of the ones who can push the most money into heir direction, which in the end will mean that your vote is totally wasted and only the castle lords will reign, without the common people.
    In other words a dictatorship by the well to do, which is now just about the case. EQUALITY?? I doubt it!!!
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    Wow Dutch, what an excellent suggestion: Term limits for senators AND outlawing lobbying. No one, absolutely no one could have suggested anything better. Now the only hangup is to get these suggestions into the right hands (whose?) so something can get started. How could anyone argue against it? It sure looks like THE solution to me, so let me know who to send it to, and I will. I am even willing to "dress it up a bit" just to make it more of a formal presentation.
  • Democrat
    Bowling Green, KY
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    I hear and understand what you are saying, but I wonder if the grove of trees you speak of is hiding the rest of the forest? Who are the "users"? I suggests we look to those who profiteered on all sides of WWII, (drugs and weapons) and continue to do so today. Who are financially supporting the "christian" Taliban in legislating their extremist religious views? Who are fighting the registration of combat weapons by civilians? Who are fighting to eliminate Unions and collective bargaining? Who tried once (again) to crash the economy, and are threatening to do so again? Who is fighting to prevent the job creation which would increase our tax base, eliminate the deficit, and provide employment for our returning military? Who works to keep our attention on enemies foreign (and not domestic)? To keep as many true patriots out of the country as possible? Who financially supports the NAZtea Party? Who finances those who are fomenting racial and religious bigotry? Who defected from the Democratic Party in the 60's, to eventually become the base(?) of the Republican Party? Who finances those who now claim to be the base of the Republican Party? Who is supporting those who are threatening impeachment and succession? Who opposes allowing millions of currently undocumented citizens to pay into our tax system? Who seeks to prevent women the wages and birth control needed to compete in our economy?who created the inflation which force most families to require at least two family members to be full time wage earners?
    Reaching into my own area of expertise, my own grove of trees, who refused to allow funding for the Nurse Reinvestment Act of 2002 to pay for instructors who could have taught the nurses we need now? Who created the conditions in healthcare which have driven a quarter million licensed nurses out of the profession? Who is preventing the teaching and praxis of the Nursing Arts and Theory, allowing only/mostly the teaching and practice of high cost medical science?
  • Democrat
    Lawrence, MA
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    TVP. I think you pretty well answered your own question...."Who are the users? " That question was answered 150 years ago, when nine year old boys were being crushed in English coal mines, and ten years old gilrs were having their scalps ripped off in New England Textile mills. In 1912 the average age of a textile worker in a New England Textile mill was 36 years. The textile town I live in had the highest infant mortality rate in the WORLD. Measnwhile, the President of the largest mill had a 12 car heated gagage which is still standing today. We don't hear or see much of this today because the Users have moved their operations to places liker Bangladesh where the butchery is seldom reported. And the capitalist propaganda machine has made it risky to openly criticize the system. So you ask who are the Users ? The capitalists are the Users, But to take the edge off a word that now carries too much historical baggage.....let's call call them the corporations. These are organizations that exist by appropriating a good part of the wealth that labor produces and keeping it for themselves. The goal of corporations is to produce as much wealth as possible with as little expenditure for labor as humanly possible. In recent times we see this occuring in the move of American corporations to dismantle the nation's industrial capacity and ship it overseas where they have access to a labor market that is a peg or two above outright slavery. These are the Users, TVP. despite what they taught us in school or how many flags they waved at us. .....these are the heirs of earlier Users with names like Morgan, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Lamont Bowers, the Havermyers, the Dukes, the Mellons.....From the time we enter school we are taught in many ways that we are all in this together....we are all Americans with a common goal. Unless we are mentally challenged our life experience in this country should prove to us what a lie this is....especially if you are. or were. a blue collar worker......To speak about things like domsetic tranquility in an arena of mortal combat is a black joke. But never mind focusing in on these words....words are abstractions...Look at the reality.....Many millions of young black men in our devasted cities with no hope of ever being gainfully employed.....over twomillion of them either in prison or back in their neighborhoods as ex convicts. Despite "Obamacare" there are many sick and dying Americans with no access to health care.....a military budget that eats up more than half off all revenues collected. ....many hundreds of military bases spread across the globe .....( protecting what ? )The beat goes on. ......Reality, TVP. Reality is mother.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "michaels" You must be kidding; you know as well as I do that what I proposed never will happen. Term limits, what do you think, the old buzzerts won't leave without at least to their last drop blood in their bodies. Lobby reform; forget it; they own the Government. So forget my great idea's.
    Even your great writing will end up you know where!!!