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Bernie Sanders Exposes Trump's Bait and Switch Trade Deals!

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by Sunstone, May 15, 2019.

  1. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    I was pointing out that not having a reputation for scrupulous honesty didn't seem to overly harm the 2 term presidents Nixon, Reagan and Clinton.

    As noted, Trump won't be running on 'I'm less bad than the alternative' ticket.

    Is Trump dishonest in a way that actually matters though? Abstract messages that have minimal emotional impact don't win elections. Folk don't really care if he tells a few fibs if he is perceived as being better on the economy, national security, etc. than his opponent.

    The questions of trust that really matter for moderate voters are: do you trust them on 1. the economy 2. healthcare 3. national security

    Since most people lack the willingness or ability to make systematic judgements on these issues, they will go with who they feel is best, which is largely based on the emotional resonance of message.

    Now, if you can link trust to, for example, healthcare then it becomes an emotive issue. But as trust is comparative, not absolute, this is only a corollary to your 'more trustworthy' vision on healthcare.
     
  2. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    Donald Trump's passion for lying goes well beyond that which we expect from politicians. That's why he is completely defenseless on the issue.

    Absolutely he is. But if you don't agree with David Gergen's point, then you won't get it. I think the swing voters will.

    There are voters who will vote for a candidate no matter what opponent's say about him/her. There are voters who will vote against him/her no matter what he or she says. Therefore, to win elections,your arguments have to be made to the swing voters, the people who can be persuaded by smart, truthful arguments. Donald Trump can't be trusted is the undeniable truth and I think you're wrong that voters won't care about trust.
     
  3. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    What bothers me is that you apparently don't seem to recognize that most of those problems are the result of human greed, and that capitalism is an economic system based purely on greed. It requires greed, it encourages greed, and then it rewards greed above and apart from all else. It is so socially toxic that no modern or even semi-modern culture has ever been able to allow it free reign without totally collapsing into lawless chaos and thug rule. And yet this unrestrained version of capitalism is exactly what the political sociopaths dominating the republican party in this country want, and so do the criminal sociopaths gaining fortunes from it. And they are intent on getting it by any means possible.
     
  4. Quetzal

    Quetzal A little to the left and slightly out of focus.
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    Okay, I am willing to go down this road but we both need to be more specific about what problem(s) we want to discuss. Is there one in particular that interests you?

    Again, we should be specific in order to come to a reasonable conclusion. Is there a specific event you would like to start with? Or an individual/company, maybe?
     
  5. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    The problem is the wildly inequitable distribution of resources and opportunities among humans, to the degree that millions struggle for survival against the elements and their fellow humans, while a relative few wallow uselessly in gluttony and excess.
    Let's start with the very simple fact that almost no human, anywhere on Earth, ever decides at any point in their lives that they 'have enough'. That they don't need any more than what they have, and that they are secure for the foreseeable future. And that therefor, they can pass whatever opportunities and resources that continue to come within their grasp on to others. Millions of us could decide this, because for millions of us it is true. But almost none of us will ever recognize this and act accordingly. Because no matter how much of anything we have, we always want more.

    This is the definition of greed. And it is the root cause of the vast majority of unnecessary human suffering. Not just in terms of people being deprived of needed resources and opportunities, but in terms of the violence and abuse that happens constantly to maintain and enforce that deprivation.
     
  6. Quetzal

    Quetzal A little to the left and slightly out of focus.
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    Interesting, I agree that if we expand the scope to the international, we begin to see some very upsetting trends. The good news is that the data suggests we are moving in the right direction in regards to resources such as food. There is still a problem, no denying that, but we are seeing a decline in hunger and hunger related problems across the board. I use this as one of many examples where things are getting better. Source: Hunger and Undernourishment

    Water is another example where things are trending positively. In most regions (save for Sub-Saharan Africa), the number of individuals without access to water is dropping. Source: Water Use and Sanitation

    With the basics in mind, there is a huge discrepancy in access to technology and medical services. This is a significant problem and it will be closed in time. However, in the more immediate future, this will be something we need to address.

    Fair enough, and I want to make sure I am understanding our theme in this discussion. Do you believe capitalism is a culprit here? Again, no right or wrong answers, just want to make sure I follow your train of thought.
     
  7. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    Your question was asked of Purex, but I'll offer an answer as well.

    I think of capitalism as a competitive economic system and socialism as a cooperative economic system. And, since a society is a cooperative endeavor, having people compete for survival would be a stupid thing to do except for the fact that... a full-blown socialist economy would require a government that was both effective in decision-making and free of corruption and we humans have yet to invent such a thing. Until we do, the capitalist free market serves a useful purpose in limiting the power of incompetent and corrupt governments.

    However, the capitalist free market works well in only part of the economy. It requires well-informed buyers, spending their own money. Where those criteria aren't met, fraud runs rampant. So, even poorly managed socialism is better. Thus the mixed economy is the best we can do for now.

    Long term, I think that cooperative economies, those that eliminate the competition for survival, are in humanity's future.
     
  8. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    But if they are "getting better", it's in spite of our greed (capitalist economics), not because of it. What progress we make, if we make any at all, is because there are always a few humans among of us that are willing and able to see past their own automatic selfishness to the well-being of others as being a pathway to their own.
    Is this because of our capitalized greed? Or is it because our technology is making finding and transporting drinking water easier? I think we both know it's the latter, as any "good capitalist" would be looking for ways to gain a choke hold on the flow of fresh water, so as to maximize the profit to be gained by exploiting the absolute human necessity for it. Not by making it easier for other people to get for themselves.
    This is just a symptom of the problem. The problem itself is our intrinsic GREED. And it manifests in everything we do (especially to each other). Everything we have that could be of any real benefit to someone else (materials, resources, information, ... anything) becomes a 'commodity' to be exploited for our own gain, at their expense, thanks to our intrinsic greed.
    Greed is the culprit. Capitalism is an economic 'system' that embodies and glorifies greed as it's only and primary purpose. It requires greed to operate, it skews every advantage in the system to further and favor greed as a primal commercial motivation, and then it rewards that greed to the exclusion of all else.
     
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  9. Quetzal

    Quetzal A little to the left and slightly out of focus.
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    You might be on to something here. I want to think about this some more.

    Do you think there is anything we can do to help counter this? If the problem is as deeply rooted as you suggest, and you may be absolutely correct, it feels like a helpless problem. What are your thoughts?

    PS: I enjoyed the rest of your post but don't have anything more to add, I want to think on it a bit.
     
  10. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    There are two very important things that we humans can do to counteract our innate greed. One is that we can RECOGNIZE IT, and recognize that it is ultimately counter-productive to the well-being of both the individual human, and to the human collective. Cooperation is FAR more an effective means of increasing both individual and collective well-being than competition is. Yet when we allow ourselves to be ruled by our greed, we become competitors in all things, and for all things, and thereby must not only only struggle against material circumstances to increase our well-being, but we have to also then struggle against each other, increasing the degree of struggle exponentially, as we are our own 'worst enemy' most of the time.

    And secondly, once we have recognized that our greed is our greatest adversary to our own and our collective sell-being, we can begin to design social systems that discourage our greed, and that encourage our mutual cooperation. We are quite clever beings when it comes to systemic design, and I have no doubt that once we applied ourselves to this task, that we could design political and economic systems that would greatly eliminate the negative influence and effects of the human propensity to be greedy. And having done so, we would see a significant drop in the many other social symptoms that are the result of our greed, such as violence, neglect, and bigotry.

    These are not unrealistic or unattainable solutions. But they can't happen until we recognize that we have a serious problem with greed, and that we are killing ourselves and each other as a result of it.
     
  11. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right about the problem but you only offer vague ideas about a solution. The current political system in the USA, with our decision-makers chosen by elections, has been corrupted by the very forces of greed you rail against. How do we dislodge them? Will force be necessary or do you have a way to persuade the greedy rich and powerful to see the error of their ways?
     
  12. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    At present, most of the American people are still in denial about the reality of their own greed and the damage it is doing to them. They feel the damage, but they are all blaming each other for it, rather than seeing the problem as being culturally endemic. What American has ever turned down a raise because they didn't need it or felt they hadn't earned it? And told their boss to pass it along to others who do? It would simply never happen. And now we see CEOs taking huge bonuses while the employees who actually produce the products and provide the services that profit the company struggle to pay their bills. We blame the CEOs while we NEVER bother to question our own greed.

    We shop at stores like WalMart that seriously damage the communities that they inhabit just because it saves us a few dollars while our neighbor's shops and businesses are closed up thanks to WalMart's criminal greed and anti-social policies. And we never think twice about it, because saving those couple of dollars matters more to us than the well-being of our own communities and neighbors.

    We vote to elect politicians who promise to cheat the system in our favor regardless of how it will effect everyone else, and we think this is just "normal politics". We think it's how "democracy works". And then we're shocked and surprised when all our politicians turn out to be corrupt liars, cheats, and thieves. And we blame THEM for it.

    Greed has become such a common and 'normal' motive for decision-making in the U.S. that we don't really even see ourselves doing it, anymore. And should anyone bother to try and point it out to us, we'll reject their assertions and accuse and blame them, instead.

    Until we can face the reality of our own greed, and the damage it's doing to our own communities, families, and culture, we're doomed to continue choking on it. And it will destroy us in the end. Because greed poisons and destroys everything it touches. It always has and it always will.
     
  13. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    From your earlier post, I thought we were close to agreement on the nature of the problem. From this one, I'd say we agree that greed is humanity's number one economic problem.

    But you lay some of the blame on the average citizen for shopping at Walmart to save a few bucks. I don't. Average citizens are probably living from paycheck to paycheck. Their survival depends on smart shopping. This is the hand they were dealt, not one they created.

    I think you want a cooperative economic plan and so do I. But I don't think the world is ready for it because such a plan requires efficient, clean management and we humans have yet to invent a government that wasn't inefficient, corrupt or both.

    The competitive free market has functioned better than pure socialism in some segments of the economy because governments are flawed. They can't yet manage pure socialism. Until we invent a better decision-making model for public policy, mixed economies are the best we can do.
     
  14. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    The savings are actually minimal, and the cost was the gutting of the center of thousands of small and medium towns all across the country. WalMart and the other mega-big-box stores killed the town America because we wanted to save a few dollars and a few minutes instead of supporting the businesses owned and operated by our own friends and neighbors; often for generations. Stores where the owners had to look his customers and his employees in the eyes every day and so would not be inclined to try and squeeze every possible nickel out of them regardless of the consequences. And so now we are all stuck having to buy from the giant mega-corp. big-box stores where the CEO, living in some far away gates community, gets a million dollar bonus for thinking up new way of squeezing every possible nickel out of everyone that comes into their stores regardless of the consequences. Because he will never see or meet the people he's working so hard to squeeze, and he knows that we no longer have any honest alternatives. His big mega-corp. store has crushed all the honest competition and driven them out of business. AND DID IT WITH OUR HELP AND APPROVAL. Because our own greed and ignorance made us blind to the real consequences of saving those few dollars.

    We were able to afford those few dollars more at our locally owned stores before the big-box mega-stores came along. We were just too ignorant and greedy keep paying that little extra to maintain the integrity of our communities; to keep our manufacturing jobs at home, and to support each other's livelihoods. Greed turned us against each other, and we destroyed our own communities as a result.
    No government will ever be perfect, but that is not an excuse to dismiss pursuing something better even if we can't have 'the best'. Our current government is more corrupt then at any time on our history, so clearly, there is plenty of room for improvement. And it's our own individual greed that has in large part allowed it to get so bad. We routinely vote for any criminal liar and cheat that claims he'll lower our taxes. Or that claims he'll discriminate against those citizens that we don't like. Or that claims he'll advance our economic interests regardless of how it will effect our neighbors. We know he's a liar and cheat, but we vote for him anyway because we think he'll lie and cheat in our favor. It's our own greed that makes us think and behave this way.

    Which is why we must first face the truth about how we have let our own greed run away with us. And about what it's doing to us as individuals, and as a society, as a result. The death of our communities is not WalMart's, or McDonald's, or SuperMegaGiantCorp's fault. It's ours. We did it to ourselves by letting them use our own greed against us.
    There are no "free markets" anymore except the luxury markets. And if you don't understand this you are a fool who has fallen for the lies of the greedy capitalists who are robbing and destroying us all through our own greed and ignorance.
     
    #54 PureX, May 20, 2019
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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