Jump to content
Simon

Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)

Recommended Posts

On 1/20/2020 at 8:07 PM, Iuz the Evil said:

Pretty much, except instead of Frex, huge geographic areas of California are really pretty pissed off about the lack of representation their population translates into. Doesn't really make the news outside the Golden State, because who cares about a handful (few million) folks living out in the sticks anyway. And we need their water and resources. 

 

I generally find their platform and positions ludicrous, but then I would. I live in the SF Bay Area so i'm by definition part of the region oppressing their representative government with my own regional values that don't align to theirs. 

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_(proposed_Pacific_state)

 

It's an interesting dilemma, but I'd vote against what they want. And so it won't come to pass, because 2.3M < 36M humans. But it is still a problem for them getting their voice heard. 

That's what coalition politics is all about--make a deal with other groups, give a little to get a little, etc.  

My take:

In practice, when you give a demographic minority not just disproportionate political power but strategically important political power, they will use it for "rent extraction"(i.e., to get stuff they want, including "extra stuff", if possible).  They can also use it to "stuff" the majority, blocking anything that might be proposed, for naked partisan gain.  I'm speaking specifically of the US Senate, where two facts obtain:

1) The 15 largest states, mostly blue and purple states, represent about 2/3 of the population but only have 30 seats in the Senate

 The 35 smallest states, a mix of red, blue and purple, represent about 1/3 of the population but have 70 seats in the Senate

2) The legislative filibuster amplifies the power of small state senators immensely, since you only need 41 votes to block legislation from going forward

We have a situation where legislation of immense importance to majorities living in urban areas lies fallow in the Senate after passing through the House, because small state senators see little benefit in spending money on urban areas or doing things that primarily aid urban areas.  This, to be blunt, is dysfunctional as hell.  Dystopian, even.  

There's also the matter of "maker" and "taker" states:  in practice, large and/or wealthy states wind up "sending" some of their federal tax revenues to smaller, more rural "taker" states.  

70% of the US population live in communities of 50k+ population(i.e., urban or dense suburban), 10% live in communities between 2500 and 50k(suburban/exurban, dense rural), and 20% live in communities smaller than 2500(rural).  Demographic trends point in the direction of this disparity getting more pronounced over time.  

I understand the argument about local vs state politics in big states with large urban areas and significant rural population, but, again, my advice would be to network with other "out" groups and form coalitions to get things they need.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/20/2020 at 2:37 PM, Hermit said:

 

Because it is still a concern. in our often take all or nothing system, sometimes you do have a smaller population that is indeed totally in need of protection. Frex, a small town might cease to exist without a river, and some huge ass metropolis decides they'll just TAKE that river and drain it dry (Screw your forests, farms, or what not) so they can have that golf course going, that's how it will be under a 'more  populous is always right' stance.. And it does affect minorities at times... for example, certain Pipelines going through or near Native American Reservations rather than richer more populated cities (Despite assurances it would be totally safe ..and the next year there was a spill) ...why? Because the Reservation didn't have the political power to stop the 'will' (or Apathy) of the mostly white majority.

 

 

 

Even if these were minority issues that justified a system loophole like the EC--and they certainly aren't--the EC does nothing to stop any of this from happening today.  Pipelines still go through Native American reservations.  Rivers are still drained.  Not only does the EC not protect rural minorities, it creates a rulebreaking mechanism that has directly facilitated their exploitation through the subversion of the popular vote.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, megaplayboy said:

That's what coalition politics is all about--make a deal with other groups, give a little to get a little, etc.  

My take:

In practice, when you give a demographic minority not just disproportionate political power but strategically important political power, they will use it for "rent extraction"(i.e., to get stuff they want, including "extra stuff", if possible).  They can also use it to "stuff" the majority, blocking anything that might be proposed, for naked partisan gain.  I'm speaking specifically of the US Senate, where two facts obtain:

1) The 15 largest states, mostly blue and purple states, represent about 2/3 of the population but only have 30 seats in the Senate

 The 35 smallest states, a mix of red, blue and purple, represent about 1/3 of the population but have 70 seats in the Senate

2) The legislative filibuster amplifies the power of small state senators immensely, since you only need 41 votes to block legislation from going forward

We have a situation where legislation of immense importance to majorities living in urban areas lies fallow in the Senate after passing through the House, because small state senators see little benefit in spending money on urban areas or doing things that primarily aid urban areas.  This, to be blunt, is dysfunctional as hell.  Dystopian, even.  

There's also the matter of "maker" and "taker" states:  in practice, large and/or wealthy states wind up "sending" some of their federal tax revenues to smaller, more rural "taker" states.  

70% of the US population live in communities of 50k+ population(i.e., urban or dense suburban), 10% live in communities between 2500 and 50k(suburban/exurban, dense rural), and 20% live in communities smaller than 2500(rural).  Demographic trends point in the direction of this disparity getting more pronounced over time.  

I understand the argument about local vs state politics in big states with large urban areas and significant rural population, but, again, my advice would be to network with other "out" groups and form coalitions to get things they need.  

I generally agree with you, unfortunately the population and political disparities are so great I believe they have little opportunity to seek any real amelioration of their concerns. We're talking 15x the population in the areas that have political disagreement with them. I suppose that's democracy at work, but I would not like it if the shoe was on the other foot...

 

Honestly, at a federal level it is. I don't like that experience. So I sympathize, while still voting my interests. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Old Man said:

 

Even if these were minority issues that justified a system loophole like the EC--and they certainly aren't--the EC does nothing to stop any of this from happening today.  Pipelines still go through Native American reservations.  Rivers are still drained.  Not only does the EC not protect rural minorities, it creates a rulebreaking mechanism that has directly facilitated their exploitation through the subversion of the popular vote.

 

We both agree that the EC is broken though we might vary on what to do about it. My point about the pipeline was not about the EC specifically, but rather the idea that urban majorities can and do abuse rural minorities... be they white, Native American or so on.  Ditto for the River example.

 

You said "Why is this even a concern?  There are fewer people in densely populated areas, therefore there are fewer people in densely populated areas.  Why is this a special voting bloc that needs some kind of special protection?"

 

And the answer , historically and sometimes currently, is YES. Rural dwellers themselves are a minority. Urban and Suburban dwellers have them out numbered... and neither quite understands the other. It's not unreasonable for rural citizens to fear a possible Tyranny of the Majority situation of Urban focused politicians screwing them over through ignorance (and sometimes Malice). Now, you can go on about how the EC does NOTHING to help less populated states against abuses, but from their perspective at least it makes them important every four years. Disproportionately important (Again, we agree the EC is broken) but from their viewpoints, it is a protection. The fact it is a weak protection doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't help them at all.

 

Maybe it's my anti corporate bias coming out, but if we could undo Citizens United, it might help with the abuse of the EC because, less populated states are often in a economic and influential chokehold by certain big money interests because they're cheaper to manipulate IMO. Trying to buy florida influence is a war... an expensive one. A company wants to own the Dakotas? Set up shop , make their economy reliant on you and gain a near monopoly there, then own their messages political and otherwise... and you can get it for a comparable bargain. 

BUT again, personal bias there.

 

And, in case it need be said, again, Your mileage May and probably does vary and I get that. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Iuz the Evil said:

I generally agree with you, unfortunately the population and political disparities are so great I believe they have little opportunity to seek any real amelioration of their concerns. We're talking 15x the population in the areas that have political disagreement with them. I suppose that's democracy at work, but I would not like it if the shoe was on the other foot...

 

Honestly, at a federal level it is. I don't like that experience. So I sympathize, while still voting my interests. 

 

Props to ya.

If our country had more people who sympathize with those even though they vote differently or in other interests, we'd be a lot better off.

It's one of the reason's Trump's cult disgusts me. "He's hurting the wrong people" to quote an article that showed what's wrong with some of his followers.

One can disagree, one can win, without hoping it turns into a torture session for the different.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm missing something here.  The number of primarily rural states well exceeds the number of primarily urban states, so rural states as a block will always get to decide the control of the senate.  Why isn't that enough power to ensure that they don't get steamrolled?  Why do we need a president decided by the EC as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Ranxerox said:

I'm missing something here.  The number of primarily rural states well exceeds the number of primarily urban states, so rural states as a block will always get to decide the control of the senate.  Why isn't that enough power to ensure that they don't get steamrolled?  Why do we need a president decided by the EC as well?

 

Not sure about "Will always" . What do you consider primarily rural? Because if it's states that have the majority of their population outside of cities, there may not be as many of them as you think.  If you mean the less populated states period, that still varies. Wyoming and Vermont each have 3 Electoral votes. They don't tend to vote for the same party though- on the opposite end of things for population, Texas and California aren't always drinking buddies (Though I do hope Texas will flip blue sooner rather than later, but that's me)

 

Speaking of California , it can pretty much steam roll any small state it wants economically  if not always politically. What I hear is that if it suddenly left the USA it would be the 5th Largest economy in the world. If it wanted to bully Idaho it has ways ;)

 

Many folks think the Electoral College is broken, I'm one of them, but I think it can be solved more gracefully and smoothly by having the electoral votes divided along percentages via popular votes than throwing it out entirely which will possibly cause a panic/resentment in less populated states. Maybe I'm too cautious there.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Hermit said:

Speaking of California , it can pretty much steam roll any small state it wants economically  if not always politically. What I hear is that if it suddenly left the USA it would be the 5th Largest economy in the world.

 

Not without the water they get from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, they wouldn't. Without resources from these small flyover states, California has no economy at all.

 

That's part of the problem I see with a lot of the current political rhetoric. The big states and the small states need each other. You can talk about how New York and California are makers and the smaller states are takers, but New York can't by any stretch of the imagination feed itself. There is an interdependence that all states, large and small, red and blue, need to acknowledge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Pariah said:

 

Not without the water they get from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, they wouldn't. Without resources from these small flyover states, California has no economy at all.

 

That's part of the problem I see with a lot of the current political rhetoric. The big states and the small states need each other. You can talk about how New York and California are makers and the smaller states are takers, but New York can't by any stretch of the imagination feed itself. There is an interdependence that all states, large and small, red and blue, need to acknowledge.

 

Excellent points there.

But I worry that acknowledgement is out of fashion in today's polarized political climate :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Pariah said:

 

Not without the water they get from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, they wouldn't. Without resources from these small flyover states, California has no economy at all.

 

That's part of the problem I see with a lot of the current political rhetoric. The big states and the small states need each other. You can talk about how New York and California are makers and the smaller states are takers, but New York can't by any stretch of the imagination feed itself. There is an interdependence that all states, large and small, red and blue, need to acknowledge.

 

That divide is being played up by both sides to maintain their power.

 

Texas could probably survive as an independent country though. It's come up in state discussions but never had any serious backing since right around the time it applied for statehood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Hermit said:

In our democratic race, it looks like Bloomberg's money dump is paying off.. he's in 4th place

according to a new national poll anyway

 

Man I hope Warren and Sanders can make nice again and team up 

 

I'm torn on this. I don't think he'd be the best POTUS of the Democratic candidates but he may be the only one who can beat Trump. And Trump has to go before he can set this country back any farther.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Grailknight said:

 

I'm torn on this. I don't think he'd be the best POTUS of the Democratic candidates but he may be the only one who can beat Trump. And Trump has to go before he can set this country back any farther.

 

In some areas, I am to the right of Sanders. But we've veered so far off to the right... as in, perfectly honorable and good Republicans are now considered RINOS or Lib lovers, that I think the country needs a hard jerk to the left to course correct back to the middle. My hope is that Sanders is the guy to do that. 

 

When I hear Biden has the lead, it always seems to be 'okay, he's safe' but I don't feel any enthusiasm for him. Maybe that's my bias and folks are shaking pom poms for him... but safe doesn't motivate folks to get excited enough to vote.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Pariah said:

Not without the water they get from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, they wouldn't. Without resources from these small flyover states, California has no economy at all.

 

 

This is sort of the scenario of the Indus Waters Treaty.  Pakistan and India have to share water resources.  If California broke away from the US, it would have to negotiate a treaty.  And of course, if a treaty was refused, direct conflict would be costly to all sides.  Now California will not break away, because it's economy would suffer greatly and it would no longer be such a super power, because of all of the expenses necessary in negotiations for food, water, shipping, etc.

 

For reference, see Brexit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Williamson Backs Andrew Yang!

 

I really like this lady. I think she's too much a mystic for the job and it's well she dropped out, but she's something of a breath of fresh air regardless. Also, I like a lot of Yang's ideas.

 

So this makes me smile, even if I'm still going Sanders or Warren

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Pariah said:

 

I'd like to say I'm not surprised...

 

but I'm actually pretty surprised.

 

 

I guess I should expect similar behavior when military personnel will be briefing them on the latest report on potential threats and damage caused by global warming?

 

...I'm a very one track person. >_>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't even realize this was a thing in the world: ‘Marry-your-rapist’ bill to be introduced by lawmakers in Turkey.

 

I feel sickened. This attempt at legislating normalization of sexual abuse toward women shows how powerful regressive forces in Turkey, once a moderating voice in the Middle East,  have grown under President Erdogan (whose expressed views quoted in the article align with this bill).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I am surprised I beat Cygnia to this one...

 

 

They kill her and stick her body in a fridge and let the Hardy Boys investigate, in a Nancy Drew comic.  Knowing but written by an all-male team likely not to be properly thought through...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

Well, I am surprised I beat Cygnia to this one...

 

 

They kill her and stick her body in a fridge and let the Hardy Boys investigate, in a Nancy Drew comic.  Knowing but written by an all-male team likely not to be properly thought through...

 

This is why the history of your field is important, folks...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

I didn't even realize this was a thing in the world: ‘Marry-your-rapist’ bill to be introduced by lawmakers in Turkey.

 

I feel sickened. This attempt at legislating normalization of sexual abuse toward women shows how powerful regressive forces in Turkey, once a moderating voice in the Middle East,  have grown under President Erdogan (whose expressed views quoted in the article align with this bill).

 

Ah. So Turkey is turning into Pakistan. (IIRC from BBC reports, this is... not rare in Pakistan. But instead of being formalized in law, it's tribal custom the government refuses to touch. But I can't cite a specific news story, so take this with a grain of salt.)

 

This is one of the reasons I am not against every form of Western cultural imperialism, and do not actually consider myself a liberal.

 

Dean Shomshak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

I didn't even realize this was a thing in the world: ‘Marry-your-rapist’ bill to be introduced by lawmakers in Turkey.

 

I feel sickened. This attempt at legislating normalization of sexual abuse toward women shows how powerful regressive forces in Turkey, once a moderating voice in the Middle East,  have grown under President Erdogan (whose expressed views quoted in the article align with this bill).

 

Ah. So Turkey is turning into Pakistan. (IIRC from BBC reports, this is... not rare in Pakistan. But instead of being formalized in law, it's tribal custom the government refuses to touch. But I can't cite a specific news story, so take this with a grain of salt.)

 

This is one of the reasons I am not against every form of Western cultural imperialism, and do not actually consider myself a liberal.

 

Dean Shomshak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, DShomshak said:

 

Ah. So Turkey is turning into Pakistan. (IIRC from BBC reports, this is... not rare in Pakistan. But instead of being formalized in law, it's tribal custom the government refuses to touch. But I can't cite a specific news story, so take this with a grain of salt.)

 

This is one of the reasons I am not against every form of Western cultural imperialism, and do not actually consider myself a liberal.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

I am reminded of an anecdote, regarding Sati, the (often involuntary) burning of widows with their dead husbands, and how the British outlawed it. How true the quote is I don't know, but I found it a good one.

 

A local man was said to protest the British saving the widows from the fire by saying "But Sir, it is our custom!"

 

The British official's response? "Yes, well, it is our custom to take those who burn women alive and hang them by the neck... until dead."

 

And hey, the practice fell out of fashion.

 

I'm sure it's not so simplistic, but I always gave a hearty thumbsup to that story.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...