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Who Are Your True Representatives?

Xerographica

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Ever watch Tosh.O? A while back he made this statement regarding politics..."The idea that any of these candidates represent my interests is absurd." So who are Tosh's true representatives?

From my perspective, it seems pretty straightforward that whoever Tosh gives his money to are the people who represent his interests. Because, it wouldn't make sense for Tosh to give his money to somebody who didn't represent any of his interests. What does make sense though is that the more money he gives to somebody...the greater he values their representation.

With that in mind...what percentage of your income do you voluntarily give to politicians? Honestly I've never voluntarily given any of my money to any politicians. That's why it's a funny joke when Tosh pointed out how absurd it is to refer to politicians as representatives. Yet, it's not funny when people who do not represent my interests get to spend my money. But maybe it's my fault for not voting? Or maybe the problem is that the power of voting is diminished by all the money in politics?

We engage in two types of voting...literal and figurative. Literal voting is conducted with ballots while figurative voting is conducted with dollars. How often do you engage in each type of voting? Personally, every day I engage in figurative voting...I give my money...the product of my labor...to the people who represent my interests. This is why taxpayers are our true representatives.

Yet, even though we all figuratively vote for taxpayers on a daily basis...and even though we voluntarily give them considerably more of our money than we voluntarily give to congresspeople...it's extremely difficult to persuade people that our true representatives should have the freedom to choose which government organizations they give their taxes to. This problem boils down to failing to understand economics.

Figurative voting involves sacrifice...while literal voting does not. When you spend your money on one thing...you can't spend that money on another thing...

By contrast, if a consumer wants a new TV set and a new washing machine and he can afford only one of these without drawing on his savings (which he dislikes), he is in a cross-road situation. He must deliberate until he arrives at a decision as to which course of action he prefers. Thus, while we have reason to assume that preference functions for alternative uses of private funds (including the savings alternative) have some firmness and consistency, our findings raise doubt whether the corresponding concept of a preference function for alternative fiscal policies is fruitful. - Eva Mueller, Public Attitudes Toward Fiscal Programs

Figurative voting requires that you decide between a new TV and a new washing machine. Literal voting does not require that you spend any money. You can simply indicate on a ballot that you support the candidate that promises you both a new TV and a new washing machine. That's why figurative voting holds infinitely more weight than literal voting. Figurative voting reveals your actual priorities and all our priorities determine how resources are used. That's how economics works. If you take our true priorities out of the picture...then resources will be misallocated...which leads to recessions and/or depressions.

Let's go back to your cross-road situation. What happens if you choose to spend your money on a TV? Then you would be figuratively voting for all the taxpayers who produced/supplied that TV. For simplicity sake we'll refer to all of them as Mr. TV. You would be indicating with your hard earned money that Mr. TV represents a portion of your interests. In a pragmatarian system, Mr. TV would then take a portion of his income and choose which government organizations he gave his taxes to.

Which government organizations would he give his taxes to? He'd give his taxes to whichever government organizations represent his interests...just like you give your money to whichever private organizations represent your interests. It stands to reason though...that Mr. TV would be motivated to give his taxes to whichever government organizations help him represent your interest. This is because your interest is his livelihood. For example, if he doesn't give any of his taxes to repairing the roads...then you won't be able to drive to his store to purchase his TV.

So the next time you spend your money...please try and understand that you are figuratively voting for your true representatives. If you value your interests...then you will support giving your true representatives the freedom to use their taxes to better serve your interests. Nobody knows your interests better than they do.
 

Jetboogieman

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You can try to frame your idea any way you like.

It has not gained any values since the aliens invaded :roll:

Give it up man... your idea is insanely idiotic.

We've been through this a billion times, getting the populace to decide where their tax money goes is idiotic beyond belief.
 

Xerographica

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Jetboogieman, what do you think the ratio is between private and public goods? Do you think it's a 1 to 1 ratio? Or perhaps a 100 to 1 ratio? What's your guess?
 
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RGacky3

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It depends where you live and what your options are ... I live in a country with public health care and good public transportation, many people don't have those options.
 

Xerographica

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It depends where you live and what your options are ... I live in a country with public health care and good public transportation, many people don't have those options.

If taxpayers had the option to directly allocate their taxes...would more people have the option of public healthcare and public transportation?

Did you know that a $10 million investment in public transportation results in a $30 million gain in sales for local businesses? I found that out the hard way when I got a speeding ticket. If that little tidbit is true though...then why wouldn't local businesses owners, if given the option, give more of their taxes to public transportation?
 

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If taxpayers had the option to directly allocate their taxes...would more people have the option of public healthcare and public transportation?

Well, not if the people with the money have private health insurance and cars ... because they are the ones with the money and they don't care about the poor, even though numerically the poor are much more, it doesn't matter, because the rich have more money ... Its called plutocracy-

Did you know that a $10 million investment in public transportation results in a $30 million gain in sales for local businesses? I found that out the hard way when I got a speeding ticket. If that little tidbit is true though...then why wouldn't local businesses owners, if given the option, give more of their taxes to public transportation?

Because they can make more money selling cars ... I dont' know you tell me, the fact is in many cities private capitalists (in conjunction with local governments) have dismantled public transportation.

But you don't understand why plutocracy doesn't benefit everyone???

(BTW, call it what it is, its PLUTOCRACY).
 

CaptainCourtesy

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Seems to me that every couple of weeks, Xero creates a thread about his ridiculous already completely debunked idea. This, I would say, is starting to border on spamming. For no, I will just make a "friendly" suggestion that you stop doing this.

Next time, my "suggestion" will be more official.
 

Xerographica

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Seems to me that every couple of weeks, Xero creates a thread about his ridiculous already completely debunked idea. This, I would say, is starting to border on spamming. For no, I will just make a "friendly" suggestion that you stop doing this.

Next time, my "suggestion" will be more official.

Yeah...because your "official" suggestion would have absolutely nothing to do with your painfully obvious bias. What do you suggest I do? I'm a pragmatarian like RGacky3 is a socialist. I fundamentally believe that socialism is a ridiculous and already completely debunked idea. Yet, even if I had the power to do so...I would NEVER EVER consider the thought of limiting his ability to post new threads. Who the F*** would we debate if we got rid of all the people who disagreed with us? In case you missed it...the name of this website is DEBATEPolitics.

People just like you were responsible for killing Socrates and Jesus. You probably won't read my thread on the value of tolerance...but you really should.

Also, if you're going to threaten me with official action for merely sharing my political/economic perspective then at least have the decency to specify exactly which forum rule I am in violation of.

But how about this...if you don't like my threads...then just don't read them. Would that really be difficult for you to not click on a thread that I started? And if you truly believe that just because you don't find value in an idea...that nobody else will find value in it...then you should really think long and hard about your level of conceit. In other words...the parable of the blind men touching different parts of the elephant was written just for you.
 

gavinfielder

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Indeed, I like the idea of this, but I'm still forming my thoughts on it. I'd at least like the chance to discuss it, and I, as a new user, am a valid reason why not to disregard it as spam :p

but here we go:
Show how taxpayers would be rational/efficient in allocating money for government spending.
Values are subjective...so how could there be a "wrong" answer? If I spend all my taxes on cancer research...is that an example of irrational spending? If you spend all your taxes on environmental protection...is that an example of irrational spending?

You would spend your taxes on the things that you value...and I would spend my taxes on the things that I value. It's as simple as that.

I'm a pragmatarian like RGacky3 is a socialist. I fundamentally believe that socialism is a ridiculous and already completely debunked idea.
I think this calls for some historical discussion. Are you familiar with how socialism spread in Asia? I'm going to direct you to a major artifact of this:
May Fourth Movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The May 4th movement was a cultural revolution. It was an advent in popular sociopolitical thought in China, and is the birthplace, or at least a strong artifact of the origins, of Chinese communism.

Given this, If you believe that socialism is a ridiculous and completely debunked idea AND that popular opinion can responsibly shape government, why is China socialist?
 

CaptainCourtesy

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Yeah...because your "official" suggestion would have absolutely nothing to do with your painfully obvious bias. What do you suggest I do? I'm a pragmatarian like RGacky3 is a socialist. I fundamentally believe that socialism is a ridiculous and already completely debunked idea. Yet, even if I had the power to do so...I would NEVER EVER consider the thought of limiting his ability to post new threads. Who the F*** would we debate if we got rid of all the people who disagreed with us? In case you missed it...the name of this website is DEBATEPolitics.

People just like you were responsible for killing Socrates and Jesus. You probably won't read my thread on the value of tolerance...but you really should.

Also, if you're going to threaten me with official action for merely sharing my political/economic perspective then at least have the decency to specify exactly which forum rule I am in violation of.

But how about this...if you don't like my threads...then just don't read them. Would that really be difficult for you to not click on a thread that I started? And if you truly believe that just because you don't find value in an idea...that nobody else will find value in it...then you should really think long and hard about your level of conceit. In other words...the parable of the blind men touching different parts of the elephant was written just for you.

I am uninterested in whether you think your "idea" is valid or not, nor do I care whether you talk about it. I've already said all that needs to be said about this silly position of yours. The issue I have is how many threads you start about it. Start one. Keep talking about it. If your idea required different threads because there were different concepts that encapsulated it, that would be another thing. But every thread is you presenting your premise...the SAME premise, and then talking about it, in the SAME way. Either show some diversity in your OPs, stick to ONE thread on your topic, or be aware that spamming would be a consideration.
 

Xerographica

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Indeed, I like the idea of this, but I'm still forming my thoughts on it. I'd at least like the chance to discuss it, and I, as a new user, am a valid reason why not to disregard it as spam :p

but here we go:

I think this calls for some historical discussion. Are you familiar with how socialism spread in Asia? I'm going to direct you to a major artifact of this:
May Fourth Movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The May 4th movement was a cultural revolution. It was an advent in popular sociopolitical thought in China, and is the birthplace, or at least a strong artifact of the origins, of Chinese communism.

Given this, If you believe that socialism is a ridiculous and completely debunked idea AND that popular opinion can responsibly shape government, why is China socialist?

My degree from UCLA was in international development studies and my two areas of focus were China and Sub Saharan Africa. I also studied and worked in China so am relatively well versed on the subject.

China is currently just as socialist as we are. Well...not exactly...but close enough for the purposes of this discussion. In other words...we both have mixed economies. Here's a diagram that I created to depict our mixed economy...



Now, just to be clear...a libertarian and conservative will argue for a smaller public sector. As a pragmatarian...the size of the public sector is not my primary concern...my primary concern is the fact that we allow 538 congresspeople to spend more than $3.5 trillion dollars. Nobody should have that much power without solely relying on persuasion.

For example...in a pragmatarian system...taxpayers would have the option to just give their taxes to congress rather than directly allocate their taxes themselves. If taxpayers voluntarily chose to give $3.5 trillion dollars to congress...then I might disagree with their decisions...but I would respect their freedom to do so. In this sense...congress can be seen just like any other government organization. It offers a public good that people either value...or they do not.

Regarding your comment on popular opinion responsibly shaping the government....pragmatarianism clearly delineates the division of labor between democracy and economics. For example....whether or not drugs should be illegal is the realm of direct democracy. If enough voters decide that drugs should be illegal then determining how much money should be given to the DEA is the realm of economics...aka taxpayers. Another example...whether or not we should go to war is the realm of representative democracy. If our leaders decide that we should go to war then determining how much money should be given to the DoD is the realm of economics...aka taxpayers.

So there are some areas which should be determined by voters...other areas which should be determined by our political leaders...and the areas involving spending should be determined by taxpayers.

It's kind of like if you showed me a spreadsheet of every single thing you spent your money on during the year. I wouldn't refer to it as a list of your opinions...I would refer to it as a reflection of your values. How much of your money would you spend on war...or on the war against drugs...or on the war against poverty? It's got to be your own money...or it doesn't count. Your money represents your labor, sweat, blood and tears. It represents your sacrifice. What is your sacrifice worth? That depends on your perspective. Here's the diagram I created to illustrate this...



Will taxpayers responsibly shape the government? Well...we all make mistakes. But the idea of a "mistake" only makes sense in terms of waste. Generally...we try to avoid giving our money to people who waste it. If we do end up giving our money to somebody who wastes it then we regard it as a mistake and regret our decision. In that sense...given that we voluntarily and continually give our money to taxpayers...they can be thought of as the least wasteful people in our society. As such they will actively avoid giving their taxes to any government organizations that waste their money. This is why 150 million taxpayers actively striving to maximize the return on their investment in the public sector will produce far more value than 538 congresspeople spending money that they did not sweat, labor and toil to earn.

Pragmatarianism would subject the government organizations to market forces. Government leaders would be forced to compete for taxpayer funding. They would have to persuade us of the value/importance/necessity of whatever public good that they wanted to spend our taxes on. This would invariably result in far greater transparency and accountability...given that taxpayers would have the ability to withhold their taxes from any government organization that failed to justify its spending decisions.

What would the outcome be though? Would the public sector expand...or shrink? It's impossible to predict with any certainty what the actual priorities of 150 million taxpayers might be. But...I think public healthcare might be a winner...who knows though. I'm certainly going to disagree with many...most?...people's spending decisions...but I trust the process...the pluralism...and the heterogeneous activity...far far far more than I trust centralized power and control.
 

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Hmm, ok.

In your graphic, you make a clear distinction between social progression from history to the present to the future, and that suggests that you don't think such a system would be possible in, say, 13th century England, and any reasonable person would assume that's due to the general level of education of the would-be taxpayer. Doesn't your view require, then, the assumption that the general education of society will always improve over time? I can't think of any evidence that would clearly support otherwise, of course, but you do have to make that assumption, yes?

EDIT: Also, out of curiosity, how much taxes would one pay under this system, and how would it be determined? What about contributions? Do you think it should then be illegal to give more taxes than you owe? Or does the separation of the democratic process and the economic process cover this as well, meaning that the ability of the upper class to give more money of their choice does not affect the equal rights of the lower class?
 
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tessaesque

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Yeah...because your "official" suggestion would have absolutely nothing to do with your painfully obvious bias. What do you suggest I do? I'm a pragmatarian like RGacky3 is a socialist. I fundamentally believe that socialism is a ridiculous and already completely debunked idea. Yet, even if I had the power to do so...I would NEVER EVER consider the thought of limiting his ability to post new threads. Who the F*** would we debate if we got rid of all the people who disagreed with us? In case you missed it...the name of this website is DEBATEPolitics.

People just like you were responsible for killing Socrates and Jesus. You probably won't read my thread on the value of tolerance...but you really should.

Also, if you're going to threaten me with official action for merely sharing my political/economic perspective then at least have the decency to specify exactly which forum rule I am in violation of.

But how about this...if you don't like my threads...then just don't read them. Would that really be difficult for you to not click on a thread that I started? And if you truly believe that just because you don't find value in an idea...that nobody else will find value in it...then you should really think long and hard about your level of conceit. In other words...the parable of the blind men touching different parts of the elephant was written just for you.

He didn't say something because he doesn't like what you post. He said something because you post the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
 

Xerographica

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In your graphic, you make a clear distinction between social progression from history to the present to the future, and that suggests that you don't think such a system would be possible in, say, 13th century England, and any reasonable person would assume that's due to the general level of education of the would-be taxpayer. Doesn't your view require, then, the assumption that the general education of society will always improve over time? I can't think of any evidence that would clearly support otherwise, of course, but you do have to make that assumption, yes?

Pragmatarianism wouldn't have been possible in 13th century England because the taxpayers weren't educated enough? How educated do you have to be to spend your money? Pragmatarianism wasn't implemented because people failed to understand that progress and tolerance are positively correlated. But it would have worked just fine if it had been implemented.

Progress depends on innovation and innovation depends on people having the freedom to apply their unique perspectives to their limited resources. How much we learn...how much we discover...depends on how much freedom people have to tinker in their garages...and challenge ideas and concepts that society takes for granted.

EDIT: Also, out of curiosity, how much taxes would one pay under this system, and how would it be determined? What about contributions? Do you think it should then be illegal to give more taxes than you owe? Or does the separation of the democratic process and the economic process cover this as well, meaning that the ability of the upper class to give more money of their choice does not affect the equal rights of the lower class?

Let's say you randomly show up at my door and ask me how much I'm going to pay you. I'd probably want to know what skills you have. The more skills you have...the more responsibilities I'd give you....and the more I'd pay you. If you learn a new skill then I'd pay you more.

What skills does the government have? Does it have many skills or a few? I don't know.

We'd start with the current tax rate. The more things that the government is good at supplying...the greater the justification for a higher tax rate. The reverse is true as well. So we'd allow the skills of the government...or the lack thereof...to determine the tax rate. Well...congress would still be in charge of determining the tax rate...but it would behoove them to do a good job...given that taxpayers would be responsible for funding them.

It wouldn't be illegal for people to pay more than their fair share. Can you think of a public good that the less wealthy might object to if the more wealthy gave more than their fair share to?
 

Xerographica

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He didn't say something because he doesn't like what you post. He said something because you post the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

I post the same thing over and over? And you know this because you've read every single thread that I've posted? LOL Something tells me that you're not familiar with Einstein's definition of insanity. Well...unless you really love reading the same thing over and over? I'm flattered if you're arguing that my posts do not have diminishing returns.

Now...let's see. I've been a member here since Sept 2010 and have submitted less than 800 posts. You've been a member here since Apr 2011 and have submitted more than 12,531 posts. Out of all those posts...can you share two where you have posted different things about economics? As in...one post from the liberal perspective and another post from the conservative perspective?

You say I post the same thing over and over...so show me where you argue for capitalism in one post and socialism in another. Hmmm...let me go on a limb here. Just show me your pro-capitalism posts.
 

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Can you think of a public good that the less wealthy might object to if the more wealthy gave more than their fair share to?
Citizens United.

It should absolutely be illegal to give more than your fair share. If you're going to suggest that our figurative vote is in the money we allocate supporting public services, you absolutely first have to limit the relative power of each entity in that process. If this system was integrated in the United States, right now, then the lower class vote AND the middle class vote wouldn't just be disfranchised, they'd be completely marginalized to complete, literal insignificance in the 'figurative' electorate.

You're probably going to argue that Citizens United isn't a public good; it's not. But you admit that the democratic process occasionally makes mistakes. If this mistake is made, or any other mistake is made, it would allow a disproportionate income gap to completely demolish the democratic merits of the figurative vote by independent allocation of taxes.
 

Xerographica

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gavinfielder, but as Romney unintentionally pointed out to the entire country...only 47% of Americans pay federal income taxes. So the only way that the other 53% would be able to directly allocate any taxes would be if they actually contributed more than their fair share. In other words...more than $0.

But if somebody only makes $15,000 a year...and we imagine that they don't save any of it...then we can say that they figuratively voted 15,000 times. Who did they figuratively vote for? Taxpayers...the 47% of Americans that pay federal income taxes.

Which more effectively conveys their interests?

A. spending $0 to literally vote for a congressperson who may or may not win and may or may not follow through with their campaign promises even if they do win?
B. spending $15,000 to figuratively vote for the taxpayers who supply their apartment, food, clothes, cell phone, TV and so on?

My proposal is about delineating the division of labor between economics and democracy. Whenever we're talking about money being spent...we're talking about economics. If democracy ever invades the realm of economics...then we invariably will experience economic problems.

The funding of public goods is the realm of economics...not democracy. But whether something should be a public good in the first place IS the realm of democracy. So everybody should have the opportunity to literally vote on whether laptops should be a public good. If enough people decide that it should be a public good...then how many laptops should be supplied by the government can only be decided by economics...aka taxpayers. But just because Tim the taxpayer allocates $10,000 to the department of laptops...does not mean that he can show up at the dept of laptops, receipt in hand and ask for a laptop. That's not how public goods work. The dept of laptops would have the responsibility of distributing the laptops based on merit. I dunno...maybe they would have inner city youth submit essays or something. If Tim the taxpayer is happy with how the dept of laptops is spending his money...then he'll continue to give them his taxes.

Perhaps Henry David Thoreau best summarized the overall concept when he said, "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." So if you spend $10 on a book...and you earn $10/hr...then you exchanged an hour of your life for that book. Was it worth it? That depends entirely on your perspective. But if you can't choose how you spend your time/money...then your perspective does not influence how resources are distributed...which leads to a misdirection of resources...which results in the abortion of opportunities.
 

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China is currently just as socialist as we are. Well...not exactly...but close enough for the purposes of this discussion. In other words...we both have mixed economies. Here's a diagram that I created to depict our mixed economy...

Neither of them are socialist, since neither of them have democratic economies ... THATS WHAT IS MEANT WHEN SOCIALISTS SAY SOCIALISM!!!!

As a pragmatarian

Will you quit that, its not a real thing ... its not gonna catch on, there is no such thing as pragmatarianism, you just made it up.

Will taxpayers responsibly shape the government? Well...we all make mistakes. But the idea of a "mistake" only makes sense in terms of waste. Generally...we try to avoid giving our money to people who waste it. If we do end up giving our money to somebody who wastes it then we regard it as a mistake and regret our decision. In that sense...given that we voluntarily and continually give our money to taxpayers...they can be thought of as the least wasteful people in our society. As such they will actively avoid giving their taxes to any government organizations that waste their money. This is why 150 million taxpayers actively striving to maximize the return on their investment in the public sector will produce far more value than 538 congresspeople spending money that they did not sweat, labor and toil to earn.

You've NEVER addressed the obvious objection that your basically only supporting plutocracy.

I fundamentally believe that socialism is a ridiculous and already completely debunked idea.

It hasn't been debunked, and every time its been put into effect (I mean actually put into effect), its worked just fine.

Also, if you're going to threaten me with official action for merely sharing my political/economic perspective then at least have the decency to specify exactly which forum rule I am in violation of.

The fact is every single thread of yours is just promoting some ideololgy you just made up and like to pretend is a a real thing ... You never actually deal with any objections and just create new threads with the same idea under a different title, its rediculous and its really just spamming.
 

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My proposal is about delineating the division of labor between economics and democracy. Whenever we're talking about money being spent...we're talking about economics. If democracy ever invades the realm of economics...then we invariably will experience economic problems.
Funny, I would say that if economics were ever to invade the realm of democracy, then we invariably will experience democratic problems.

Perhaps Henry David Thoreau best summarized the overall concept when he said, "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." So if you spend $10 on a book...and you earn $10/hr...then you exchanged an hour of your life for that book. Was it worth it? That depends entirely on your perspective. But if you can't choose how you spend your time/money...then your perspective does not influence how resources are distributed...which leads to a misdirection of resources...which results in the abortion of opportunities.
Well, yes, exactly. Do you realize that there are people who actually can't choose how they spend their time and money?

You've NEVER addressed the obvious objection that your basically only supporting plutocracy.
Indeed. Xerographica, if we are given the power to choose based on the money we can pay, it is inherently a plutocracy and thereby complete anathema to democracy. I would take this a lot more seriously with simple limits placed on taxation and contribution.

This is not the division of labor between democracy and economics. You've simply split the democratic process into two parts: what people are governed by, and how much it governs them based on funding. The former is fine, but under this system, the latter completely destroys democracy and institutes plutocracy.
 
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Xerographica

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Funny, I would say that if economics were ever to invade the realm of democracy, then we invariably will experience democratic problems.

Recessions and depressions are examples of economic problems. What are some examples of Democratic problems? Democracy...in terms of voting...is simply tug of war. When we want to decide whether drugs should be legal...people are given the opportunity to engage in tug of war. People who feel strongly enough about the issue...make the effort to grab the rope and pull. The side that cares more about the issue pulls harder and wins. Surely we wouldn't want the side that could care less to win. So where are the problems?

Well, yes, exactly. Do you realize that there are people who actually can't choose how they spend their time and money?

Well...yeah...the millions and millions of people who exchanged their lives to earn more than $3.5 trillion dollars.

Indeed. Xerographica, if we are given the power to choose based on the money we can pay, it is inherently a plutocracy and thereby complete anathema to democracy. I would take this a lot more seriously with simple limits placed on taxation and contribution.

You can't just say "plutocracy" and leave it at that. Well...you can...but it's a much stronger argument if you show me the step by step process of where the danger is. Many have tried and all have failed.

Like I mentioned...democracy would decide whether something is a public good or not. Democracy also would decide who our congresspeople were...and hence...democracy would decide who wrote our laws. So please give me an example of how pragmatarianism would allow a small group of wealthy people to screw everybody else. Are they going to screw us by spending too much money on infrastructure? Are they going to screw us by spending too much money on national defense?

Tell me one thing that rich people all agree on...and I'll tell you something that poor people all agree on. There's a stronger correlation between religion and morality than there is between wealth and values...and there's absolutely no correlation between religion and morality.

This is not the division of labor between democracy and economics. You've simply split the democratic process into two parts: what people are governed by, and how much it governs them based on funding. The former is fine, but under this system, the latter completely destroys democracy and institutes plutocracy.

You're right that it's not the division of labor between democracy and economics...but it should be. And you don't get any points for saying "plutocracy" but you certainly do get points for showing me the plutocracy.
 

Xerographica

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Neither of them are socialist, since neither of them have democratic economies ... THATS WHAT IS MEANT WHEN SOCIALISTS SAY SOCIALISM!!!!

It's kind of hard to communicate with you when you assign meaning to words that nobody else does...

Will you quit that, its not a real thing ... its not gonna catch on, there is no such thing as pragmatarianism, you just made it up.

LOL...and that's capitalism in a nutshell. I have the freedom to apply my unique perspective to my limited resources and the result is something that people may or may not value. If people do not immediately grasp the value...then it's my responsibility to show them the value. And this is exactly how our public sector should work. If government leaders can't convince taxpayers to fund their brilliant ideas...then their brilliant ideas should not be funded.

You've NEVER addressed the obvious objection that your basically only supporting plutocracy.

The objection is so obvious...yet all you're capable of saying is "plutocracy". Surely you must know that something is dangerous about plutocracy...or else you wouldn't use the word to attack pragmatarianism. So show me exactly how that danger applies to allowing 150 million taxpayers to choose which government organizations they give their taxes to. I really don't think 150 million taxpayers...half of our country...would really even remotely constitute a plutocracy. But maybe it has the same inherent dangers...but I certainly do not see them. If you see them...then please show them to me. If the dangers are so obvious...then you should have no problem doing so.

How are 150 million taxpayers going to spend their taxes to screw the other half of the country?

It hasn't been debunked, and every time its been put into effect (I mean actually put into effect), its worked just fine.

Socialism is a small group of government planners who decide how a nation's resources should be spent. It's failed every time it's been tried. If that's not what you're advocating then you're not advocating socialism. And like I already told you...I have absolutely NO objection to democratically organized companies. NOBODY is stopping you from starting a democratically organized company. Do you know how I know? Because as I already pointed out to you...democratically organized companies already exist...such as Armstrong Nurseries. We've already been over this. I already provided you the link to the thread where I have promoted democratically organized companies...

The fact is every single thread of yours is just promoting some ideololgy you just made up and like to pretend is a a real thing ... You never actually deal with any objections and just create new threads with the same idea under a different title, its rediculous and its really just spamming.

I really really really like it that you feel so threatened by something that you say is not real.
 

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I just had a realization about this. Just because the upper class can give more tax money than the middle class does not mean there will be no support for the middle class. The middle class simply has to take care of itself.

Ok then. The lower class is still an issue, though, because the lower class can be a huge number of people and yet not pay a lot in taxes. How will those who represent them get adequate funding?

Other than that, there would also need to be checks against government organizations to ensure that they don't infringe upon the rights of anyone who didn't fund them. Because that's entirely possible, and is easily seen with Citizens United.
 

Xerographica

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I just had a realization about this. Just because the upper class can give more tax money than the middle class does not mean there will be no support for the middle class. The middle class simply has to take care of itself.

Ok then. The lower class is still an issue, though, because the lower class can be a huge number of people and yet not pay a lot in taxes. How will those who represent them get adequate funding?

Other than that, there would also need to be checks against government organizations to ensure that they don't infringe upon the rights of anyone who didn't fund them. Because that's entirely possible, and is easily seen with Citizens United.

Let's say that I want you to spend your time reading my most recent blog entry...Noah Smith's Critique of Pragmatarianism. What would it take for me to persuade you to read it? Maybe a little...maybe a lot? I can't possibly know until I ask you to read it. What would your response be? Maybe you'll ask me WHY you should read it? That's a very reasonable question. My response would be because that entry contains a detailed explanation of the value of persuasion. Would that be sufficient to convince you to spend your time reading that entry? How could I possibly know that? Only you have that information. Only you know all the other things that you could spend your time doing. Only I know all the other things that I could be spending my time doing right now.

If you wanted taxpayers to spend their taxes on helping the less fortunate...then the amount of your own time that you spent trying to persuade taxpayers of the value of helping the less fortunate would reflect exactly how badly you wanted the less fortunate to be helped.

That's what I'm doing here. The amount of time I spend trying to convince others of the value of pragmatarianism reflects how badly I want you and everybody else to solely rely on persuasion to convince taxpayers of the value of spending their taxes on the less fortunate.

Everybody is going to want to try and persuade taxpayers to spend their taxes every which way. It will be like a ticker tape parade of information raining down on taxpayers. Right now only a minuscule portion of this information drizzles onto congress. That's simply because only a small portion of people can have physical access to 538 congresspeople. But in a pragmatarian system...everybody will have access to many taxpayers. We're talking about 538 people versus 150,000,000 people.
 

gavinfielder

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Let's say that I want you to spend your time reading my most recent blog entry...Noah Smith's Critique of Pragmatarianism. What would it take for me to persuade you to read it? Maybe a little...maybe a lot? I can't possibly know until I ask you to read it. What would your response be? Maybe you'll ask me WHY you should read it? That's a very reasonable question. My response would be because that entry contains a detailed explanation of the value of persuasion. Would that be sufficient to convince you to spend your time reading that entry? How could I possibly know that? Only you have that information. Only you know all the other things that you could spend your time doing. Only I know all the other things that I could be spending my time doing right now.
Of course. Intellectual responsibility requires listening before speaking. Give me any reading you want.

Xerographica said:
Errr...because you would tell them. You would create a blog entry that offers conclusive proof that the Dept of Transportation can only really effectively spend $50 billion dollars. Isn't that what economists are for? And then the Dept of Transportation would offer conclusive evidence that refutes your conclusive evidence. And then all the trolls would chime in with their own conclusive evidence.

And taxpayers would be swimming in all sorts of conclusive evidence.
This doesn't happen though. It happens in an intellectual environment, and in many cases, taxpayers are not in an intellectual environment. It's why 90% of Americans will always vote for a single party regardless of just about everything. The people who actively worry about their government are a minority in just about every society I can think of. Most people won't want to deal with the torrent of information that you envision raining down on them. This will create a market for "Tax Contribution Guides" that will attempt to simplify the process, and will most likely be published by political parties and organizations, hell, even the biggest organizations that stand to receive tax allocation. I can't imagine that dissenting opinions of any particular allocation option is going to penetrate this market, because specifics in each government organization is too intellectual for people to want to deal with.

This brings to mind another very relative point. I am going to share a paragraph from "Deschooling Society" by Ivan Illich, which can be found here. (This essay's thesis is unrelated to this discussion, but this excerpt shows a very relevant truth in my mind)
Chapter 1. Why We Must Disestablish School
Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby "schooled" to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is "schooled" to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavor are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question.
In other words, our culture is one that has taught itself that improvement of the substance or results of a service or social institution implies nothing more than throwing money at it, which of course is complete bogus. Independent allocation of tax contributions would further realize that mindset in the public and remove thought towards intelligent reform and innovation in government.
 

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Xerographica said:
It's kind of hard to communicate with you when you assign meaning to words that nobody else does...

Not really, economic democracy has always been the definition of classical socialism.

Xerographica said:
The objection is so obvious...yet all you're capable of saying is "plutocracy". Surely you must know that something is dangerous about plutocracy...or else you wouldn't use the word to attack pragmatarianism. So show me exactly how that danger applies to allowing 150 million taxpayers to choose which government organizations they give their taxes to. I really don't think 150 million taxpayers...half of our country...would really even remotely constitute a plutocracy. But maybe it has the same inherent dangers...but I certainly do not see them. If you see them...then please show them to me. If the dangers are so obvious...then you should have no problem doing so.

How are 150 million taxpayers going to spend their taxes to screw the other half of the country?

Because its not 150 million taxpayers, its billions of dollars, most of which are controlled by a couple thousant rediculously rich people.

The danger is that the rich, who would have more say since they have more money, only use public funds to benefit themselves and not to benefit other people.

Xerographica said:
Socialism is a small group of government planners who decide how a nation's resources should be spent. It's failed every time it's been tried. If that's not what you're advocating then you're not advocating socialism. And like I already told you...I have absolutely NO objection to democratically organized companies. NOBODY is stopping you from starting a democratically organized company. Do you know how I know? Because as I already pointed out to you...democratically organized companies already exist...such as Armstrong Nurseries. We've already been over this. I already provided you the link to the thread where I have promoted democratically organized companies...

Democratically organized companies and the economy over all.

Also if thats what socialism is, a small group of planners, then every corporation is socialist and so is every monarchy, that isn't and never has been socialism.

Xerographica said:
I really really really like it that you feel so threatened by something that you say is not real.

No one feels threatened here, just frusturated at your thick headed ness and pompusness, inventing your own ideology and pretending its an actual movement, and simply ignoring all the obvious flaws in it, and your insistance on arguing against strawmen.
 
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