General Government Discussion Thread

  • #61
    If your minimum wage is high, business people just won't be able to do anything about creation of new job places

    Won't be able to, or won't want to? Big difference. You really think they'll go out of business if they pay their employees more? Yeah, sure, if you're a very small business, that might be true. You think Walmart'll go out of business if they pay their employees good wages? (the current ones are unbelievable...)
  • #62
    Minimum wage in the U.S is relative to the state. Washington state, my state, has the the highest minimum wage at $8.55 an hour. There is also a federal minimum wage at around $7.00.

    I'm not going to complain about my state's minimum wage; it's at a preferable level for me.

    I hate the way you cling to ignorance and pass it off as innocence
  • #63
    Oh really, well lets back that up with some facts. It's actually $8.67 for minimum wage for Washington state.

    My first job and I got an offer for $11.00/hr for paid internship. I'm in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
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  • #64
    It's still the highest in the country though. I just put $8.75 on all of my applications, but now I might starting $9.00 altogether.

    Damn, I need a job. I want to be able to actually drive this summer and I am not mooching off my parents for gas money.

    I hate the way you cling to ignorance and pass it off as innocence
  • #65
    I find that politicians, debaters and similar never talk about the deeper underlying concepts of where they want society to head or how to get there, it's all tax number-crunching, but is this the plan?Politicians and debaters? I'm a bit confused. Like are you saying that government should be outlining how society should be and their plan to get there? Personally, I find that's mostly all politicians do. They speak in rhetoric and idealism to the point where nothing makes sense to me. Few politicians are ever more pragmatic and speak more of how things really are. When they're thinking in numbers and working with empirical facts, this to me is when they're at their best.

    I mean, you can't be so pragmatic though as to be nihilistic. Some of us HAS to start to ask, shouldn't things be this way or that way. But obviously things are being shaped by ideals. I just don't think an ideal should be the definitive model for how to proceed in society. But I'm not sure I understood your point here anyway so I best just not get too deep into it until I think I understand further.

    Faced with the everpresent problem of dooming a certain percent of the population to be poor no matter how much we advance technologically, is education the only way we see out of it?

    Well, no I guess not but you gotta admit education is a pretty damn good solvent. And even if you don't feel education is gonna solve everything, you still gotta admit there is a lot of the world that still needs way more education before you can seriously ask if there's a better way to solve things like poverty and what not.


    Minimum wage in the U.S is relative to the state. Washington state, my state, has the the highest minimum wage at $8.55 an hour. There is also a federal minimum wage at around $7.00.

    I'm not going to complain about my state's minimum wage; it's at a preferable level for me.

    Yeah, Washington is pretty sweet. You're damn lucky to live there. I wanna get my Master's there.
  • #66

    If your minimum wage is high, business people just won't be able to do anything about creation of new job places

    Won't be able to, or won't want to? Big difference. You really think they'll go out of business if they pay their employees more? Yeah, sure, if you're a very small business, that might be true. You think Walmart'll go out of business if they pay their employees good wages? (the current ones are unbelievable...)

    My point is that high minimum salary just reduces the speed of economical recovery, because job places are created much slower. I'm not talking about any of the extremely big and rich companies. But you know, small bussiness is key to economy.
  • #67

    Yeah, of course there's always going to be a 'ranking' of sorts. The problem is that right now it sucks major nuts to be on the bottom half of the ranking. And not in relative terms...in absolute terms. If you equate not being able to feed your kids to not having a private spaceship, that's your problem.
    200 years ago everyone was dirt poor in Sweden. Hell it was pretty bad even a hundred years ago. Since then, thanks to the development of society and most importantly the economic system, we've seen a major increase in well being for all. 200 years ago crops could go bad, you could die of pretty much any disease, you worked most of your life, you got little education and although we had stopped warring with other countries at that point it hadn't been long since the king had forced you to march against the russians. And these people weren't the unfortunate ones, they were the "middle class" of the time

    Today, everyone has it better, although the increase hasn't been uniform. Even those at the very bottom don't have to worry about starving to death or dying of tuberkulosis and in theory they can also get an education up to high school. Speaking of Sweden specifically here of course.


    Cost too much? Yeah, maybe for very small businesses, but they're not the problem. The problem is the people that already make a million euros a month, but nonetheless fire people because "it costs too much". Who the fuck cares? I think you can afford to make, let's say, 800.000 euros a month instead, and keep those jobs. That's the problem. People don't care a rat's arse.
    That's not what I was talking about, although skyrocketing executive salaries are pretty ridiculous at times. But that's not an easy topic to get to the bottom of either.

    No what I mean is, is that if you raise the minimum wage, then some professions will simply not make as much money as they cost.

    Example: Let's say you have people picking berries in a field. They can pick berries worth 10$ an hour, and you pay them 6$ an hour. This is cheaper than hiring a machine to do it, which would cost 7$ an hour. If the minimum wage is then raised to 8$ an hour, the machine will be the more economical choise, and the workers will be laid off.

    This is true for anything, provided you just raise the minimum wage high enough. How great the effect is of course very hard to predict and depends on many factors, but it is there and is something that has to be kept in mind.


    We already have that to an extent, but the actual handling of those finances lies in the hands of federal bodies and banks, which are run by people (including stock market speculators). If you could take the human element out of all of that and have financial systems run by computers, then government could become much more efficient and the financial system, hopefully, wouldn't be so rife with corruption and error. The only thing I'd really be afraid of is hackers.
    Computers already run a lot of stock market investments, in fact the whole financial sector is incredibly computerized these days. Programs handle a lot of investing and speculation, with humans merely acting as overseers.

    But you're talking about a cyberocracy, and without some form of advanced AI that doesn't really solve any of the underlying problems with society except perhaps by speeding up bureaucratic processes.


    Politicians and debaters? I'm a bit confused. Like are you saying that government should be outlining how society should be and their plan to get there? Personally, I find that's mostly all politicians do. They speak in rhetoric and idealism to the point where nothing makes sense to me. Few politicians are ever more pragmatic and speak more of how things really are. When they're thinking in numbers and working with empirical facts, this to me is when they're at their best.
    What I'm saying is, and perhaps this is a natial difference, politicians often get very nitty-gritty. Should we lower that tax by 1%, should we increase that tax by 2%, should we give funds to that type of school, should this policy make it so bus drivers have to have breaks every 2 hours or whatever. When pressed about why, we may get some nebulous answer about how Sweden is suppoesd to be a land of knowledge to make us competitive in the future.

    Take our schools. We have a problem here with quality dropping steadily in the last 10 years (seems like everyone has), but instead of saying "why is there a problem" they say "how much money do we need to fix it?"

    I was pleasantly surprised the other week when two politicians in a debate over our school systems really got down to what they think causes our societal problems. It was refreshing and actually provided some insight into the current situation, which was about segregated schools.
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  • #68
    Hey, didn't some really right wing guys get into your parliament recently??
  • #69

    What I'm saying is, and perhaps this is a natial difference, politicians often get very nitty-gritty. Should we lower that tax by 1%, should we increase that tax by 2%, should we give funds to that type of school, should this policy make it so bus drivers have to have breaks every 2 hours or whatever. When pressed about why, we may get some nebulous answer about how Sweden is suppoesd to be a land of knowledge to make us competitive in the future.

    Take our schools. We have a problem here with quality dropping steadily in the last 10 years (seems like everyone has), but instead of saying "why is there a problem" they say "how much money do we need to fix it?"

    I suppose I understand. But money, at least indirectly is pretty much the only way government can solve anything. I mean, to take just about any idea and implement it into policy requires money. So even if some deeper soul searching takes place and a government gets to the heart of the matter as to why a thing is the way it is, to fix that problem is still likely to cost money. And government's money all comes from taxes. I do sense what you're getting at, though.
  • #70

    Hey, didn't some really right wing guys get into your parliament recently??

    Yeah, the Swedish Democrats. Though they're not exclusively right wing, they combine ideas from the entire spectrum. Infofar as they have actual ideas that is, since just about the only solution the have to any problem is "blame the immigrants!" Currently they only have around 7% percent and haven't really been able to affect any policy in favor of their own program, but there's indication that they may get even more support in the next election.


    I suppose I understand. But money, at least indirectly is pretty much the only way government can solve anything. I mean, to take just about any idea and implement it into policy requires money. So even if some deeper soul searching takes place and a government gets to the heart of the matter as to why a thing is the way it is, to fix that problem is still likely to cost money. And government's money all comes from taxes. I do sense what you're getting at, though.

    Obviously. The problem is however that it's not "hmm, our schools aren't doing too well. Could it be that there is one, or several, fundamental flaws in how the current system is structured?", but rather "hmm, our school aren't doing too well. How about we give you 10 million extra?".

    Whether this is a marketing problem from our parties, or our media only focusing on numbers, or something else, I don't know. But it feels weird when politics only seems to be about adjusting numbers here and there. Though come to think of it, it's not that surprising. The only reason our "right" parties defeated the "left" last election is because they emulated the left so well they basically took over their entire program.
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  • #71

    Infofar as they have actual ideas that is, since just about the only solution the have to any problem is "blame the immigrants!"


    haha yeah, I watched an interview with their leader on BBC, and he kept steering the conversation to immigration.
  • #72

    Obviously. The problem is however that it's not "hmm, our schools aren't doing too well. Could it be that there is one, or several, fundamental flaws in how the current system is structured?", but rather "hmm, our school aren't doing too well. How about we give you 10 million extra?".I do understand your point. It's not just a matter of throwing money at the problem, but really figuring out the underlying issue that is causing a myriad of problems. Ultimately though the solution would probably still involve funding somewhere along the line. Whether that mean cutting funds or adding to them. But governments do tend to waste money with blanket solutions that involve simply using more money, yes.

    Whether this is a marketing problem from our parties, or our media only focusing on numbers, or something else, I don't know. But it feels weird when politics only seems to be about adjusting numbers here and there. Though come to think of it, it's not that surprising. The only reason our "right" parties defeated the "left" last election is because they emulated the left so well they basically took over their entire program.
    While politicians quote numbers and figures a lot, they really don't understand the true numbers behind solutions. They'll make a flimsy case using some random statistics and then decide on a policy more on a political basis rather than a mathematical solution. Then it's really up to the administrators to crunch the numbers.
  • #73
    Immigrants have been the brunt of criticism for centuries. In my AP US class, we cover a new wave of nativism almost every three chapters (we're on chapter 25 or something, just finished WW2). In my opinion, it's a disgusting way of thinking.

    "It's the ________ fault that we have all this crime!"
    "________ are taking away jobs from normal people!"
    "________ are giving drugs to our kids! They're degenerates and need to go back to where they came from!"

    But can you really prove it? Unless the group of people you are trying to exhume are undoubtedly the primary cause of your troubles, you must place the blame on underlying problems within society. Why do you think they're coming into your country in the first place? Did it ever occur to you that, maybe, the place they're coming from was terrible? What if you lived in a place where you didn't feel safe, where your family didn't feel safe? Would you not want to leave for greener pastures?

    I live in the US and I don't ever want to see our borders closed. Immigration is inevitable, whether it be illegal or legitimate, and I don't think people really understand that. It doesn't matter how much money you invest into putting 30 meter fences along the border, people are still going to get in, whether you like it or not.

    I hate the way you cling to ignorance and pass it off as innocence
  • #74

    But can you really prove it? Unless the group of people you are trying to exhume are undoubtedly the primary cause of your troubles, you must place the blame on underlying problems within society.Perhaps you should just know better than to assume people would be that logical about it. The immigration issue is largely an emotional issue and people hardly know the facts.

    Why do you think they're coming into your country in the first place? Did it ever occur to you that, maybe, the place they're coming from was terrible? What if you lived in a place where you didn't feel safe, where your family didn't feel safe? Would you not want to leave for greener pastures?You and I can agree on that all we want. That yes we would seek out greener pastures. But that argument doesn't carry any weight with most people against immigration. Ideally it should. It would be nice if we could all just say, yes, they're just seeking out better opportunities for themselves so we should let them into our country as much as they want.

    I live in the US and I don't ever want to see our borders closed. Immigration is inevitable, whether it be illegal or legitimate, and I don't think people really understand that. It doesn't matter how much money you invest into putting 30 meter fences along the border, people are still going to get in, whether you like it or not.
    I agree that immigration is inevitable. But that doesn't mean it still needs to be heavily regulated. But you're right. Building walls is hardly a solution. The reason more security along the border appeals to so many people is because a wall with security guards and guns, those are tangible things. They are things people look at and see an immediate result of their taxpayer money.

    The long term more permanent solution to this problem is one that doesn't promise immediate results. So when politicians and policy makers talk about immigration reform, people want immediate solutions to the problem now. A bigger wall in their minds would be that immediate solution. Our own economic policies though are what is really making most immigrants come over to the U.S. to work. Even to an extent our foreign trade policies.

    Adjusting those policies is what really helps to alleviate these issues but they take a long time to implement and a longer time before people start seeing results from them. And they are also usually politically unpopular.
  • #75
    You also need to remember that, whether you like to hear it or not, American foreign policy throughout the 20th century (esp. the second half) has screwed over a number of countries and peoples.
  • #76

    You also need to remember that, whether you like to hear it or not, American foreign policy throughout the 20th century (esp. the second half) has screwed over a number of countries and peoples.

    Well that's a pretty broad statement although I won't necessarily disagree with it. Just about every government has done things that's screwed somebody over. It's inevitable. I'm not excusing it. But I'm reluctant anyway to get into that argument. Cause a lot of countries love our foreign aid that we give them too. And people that are quick to criticize our foreign policy never seem to acknowledge how we've fulfilled our obligations to help as well. But anyway, that's not what I was talking about just now.

    I was referring to very specific economic and foreign trade policies that do little to reduce the incentive of illegal immigrants coming here to work. If you want to get into that other American foreign policy stuff then I guess we could as well. I'm not necessarily defending U.S. foreign policy at all. But nor am I just dismissing it over having screwed over a bunch of countries. I think it's a more complex issue than that.
  • #77
    I was not attacking the United States in any way. European countries obviously done it as well, but that's also why a lot of countries have especially lenient immigration laws towards certain countries, like the UK towards India and Pakistan, or Portugal towards former African colonies (and, to a lesser extent, Brazil). In the case of the U.S., I would argue that it meddled a lot in Central/South American national politics during the 20th century, for example.
  • #78

    I was not attacking the United States in any way. European countries obviously done it as well, but that's also why a lot of countries have especially lenient immigration laws towards certain countries, like the UK towards India and Pakistan, or Portugal towards former African colonies (and, to a lesser extent, Brazil). In the case of the U.S., I would argue that it meddled a lot in Central/South American national politics during the 20th century, for example.
    This sounds like you're saying that most lenient laws toward immigrants are the result of guilt. I'm just not so sure that's the case.

    And the U.S. actually has pretty strong laws against illegal immigrants. They're just difficult laws to enforce. Because immigration is a huge problem for a lot of countries. It's a bit of a logistics problem for law enforcement to crack down on illegal immigrants or their employers because they're just so many. Sometimes they'll do raids but only as publicity stunts to try and send a political message that they're cracking down on illegal immigrants. That's what happens here when a mayor or governor wants to look good, he can make his district attorney go crack down on some immigrants. But whenever that's done, it barely solves anything. Not because the laws aren't actually there, but because you could do raids on immigrants all day and you'll still barely capture a fraction of the ones in your country. Many of that small fraction anyway are going to find a way to return to your country if they want work there anyway.

    So it's like really expensive to enforce those laws, when really some countermeasure legislation would be better in reducing the impact of illegal immigrants. It's a problem you can never make go away. So the real issue comes down to how you manage it.

    But I'm not so convinced by your claim that immigration laws are more lenient toward the immigrant depending on which country they're from as a result of the colonial era. I mean, when like Britain and France carved up the Middle East and drew arbitrary lines over their former mandates and called them countries, that created a ton of problems in the Middle East that still exist today. Yet Britain and France has done a far poorer job of integrating their immigrant population than the U.S. has. And I don't think this failure has anything to do with the degree of guilt we feel toward Central America. Maybe I missed your point. I don't know.
  • #79

    This sounds like you're saying that most lenient laws toward immigrants are the result of guilt. I'm just not so sure that's the case.

    That is what I'm saying, yes.


    Yet Britain and France has done a far poorer job of integrating their immigrant population than the U.S. has.

    That's because the US has (almost) always needed more manpower, it was big country with few people in it (except for the natives, but we all know that story). Europe's been filled to the brim for a long, long time, now, so yes, I think accepting so many immigrants from some countries/regions has a lot to do with guilt.


    And I don't think this failure has anything to do with the degree of guilt we feel toward Central America. Maybe I missed your point. I don't know.

    That's what I'm saying, you DON'T feel that guilt (in my opinion). Whether that's a good or a bad sign, I'll leave up to you (and others). But, for example, I don't think you feel any guilt towards Native americans. And they're barely around, anymore...
  • #80

    That is what I'm saying, yes.Well that just makes no sense to me. Cause the U.S. doesn't technically have lenient immigration laws. Like I said before it's just difficult to enforce those laws on a daily basis.



    That's because the US has (almost) always needed more manpower, it was big country with few people in it (except for the natives, but we all know that story). Europe's been filled to the brim for a long, long time, now, so yes, I think accepting so many immigrants from some countries/regions has a lot to do with guilt.But now Europe is actually facing a labor shortage crisis. The birthrate in Europe is very low in a lot of countries and they're becoming more depending on migrant workers yet STILL they are having a harder time integrating them into the population than the U.S. is.

    This is also due to how heavily regulated the labor industry is in many European countries where in the U.S. it's not very difficult to get a job when it comes to filling out a job application.

    I've just never heard this guilt theory until you mentioned it and it continues to make no sense to me. I'm not saying there aren't individuals who feel guilty about things. But I don't see the sense of guilt on such a scale as to produce lenient immigration laws.

    That's what I'm saying, you DON'T feel that guilt (in my opinion).I'm doubly confused now though. I thought we did feel guilty hence our lenient immigration laws.

    Whether that's a good or a bad sign, I'll leave up to you (and others). But, for example, I don't think you feel any guilt towards Native americans. And they're barely around, anymore...
    Well we can discuss the Native Americans if you want, but I thought you were talking about immigrants. Native Americans aren't immigrants in the U.S.
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