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#307427 - 07/14/18 02:55 PM Returning rationality to public policy
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16372
It seems to me, that most of the errors in public policy - for decades - are based upon a basic lack of common sense and rationality. Some glaring examples: "zero tolerance" (pick your topic); "trickle down"; "balanced budget"; "the Hastert Rule". Generally speaking, public policy is supposed to be based upon three things: 1) identify the problem; 2) analyze the why; and 3) craft the least imposing solution to the problem. Then, of course, follow up with empirical analyses of its effectiveness.

There have been very-recent-to-not-so-recent demonstrations of the infeasibility, and frankly, irrationality of each of the previous examples, yet we continue to pursue the same stupidity over and over again. In reverse order:

The "Hasturd" rule has prevented the GOP from governing at all - because it is premised upon no-compromising, party discipline, and ignoring the desires of at least half (although actually more) of the country's citizenry. It has never worked, and certainly not for the good of the majority of the country. The basic rational rule would be "govern for all of your constituents, not just your voters."

Balanced-budget amendments are an inherently stupid idea, and based upon basic illogic. (What they are really intended to do is starve government of resources.) Government, to be effective, has to have flexibility. If a 'balanced budget' had been required in 2008, our global depression would still be going on. Stimulus spending would be impossible, and taxes would balloon. Virtually every household in America functions on debt financing, as does every government. To pretend otherwise is to live in fantasyland.

When has anything, ever, "trickled down" (even water)? The premise, again, is inherently stupid. Resources get bottled up at the first opportunity (as every dam is intended to do). The response to every tax cut, ever, has demonstrated the infeasibility of the concept, yet... here we are again. As has been noted, repeatedly, in these forums, tides rise from the bottom. Period. Take care of the poorest and everyone up the chain will get theirs. (That would even have worked for Louis XVI, if he'd thought of it.) Think of it this way: Have you ever filled a pitcher of water from the top?

And "zero tolerance" is antithetical to "justice". The whole concept of justice requires the flexibility to apply facts to law. Zero tolerance means ignoring the facts. Stealing $.01 candy is the same as grand theft. It jams up the works - like the current "zero tolerance" policy at the border. There aren't enough officers, judges, or facilities to house all of the accused or convicted and leads to OBVIOUS injustices and inhumanity - including the incarceration of AMERICAN CITIZENS. Misguided youth end up being housed with hardened criminals, exacerbating, rather than alleviating, crime. Our prisons are full to overcrowding with non-violent offenders, yet our highest offices are filled with the most vile of offenders.

Those are my initial thoughts. This is a wide-open thread, and I am hoping to spur a good deal of discussion on a variety of subjects. Have at it, my friends.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#307467 - 07/16/18 01:44 AM Re: Returning rationality to public policy [Re: NW Ponderer]
Greger Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 14416
Loc: Florida
Quote:
a basic lack of common sense and rationality.

One of the major tenets of the Republican faith.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#307470 - 07/16/18 12:58 PM Re: Returning rationality to public policy [Re: NW Ponderer]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16372
I guess I was too persuasive.

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#307506 - 07/17/18 06:54 PM Re: Returning rationality to public policy [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8072
Loc: North San Diego County
Your four steps to public policy have been widely embraced by successful corporations for decades. Every successful manager knows them. Those managers and CEOs who don't follow the four steps have a dismal record of spectacular failures. But I guess the Chamber of Commerce branch of the Republican Party is no more!

Instead the "Trump as Businessman" fantasy is ascendant. This the Ayn Rand school of management by Ubermensch, which coincidentally fits nicely with Trump's affinity for Nazis and dictators.

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#307574 - 07/20/18 11:51 PM Re: Returning rationality to public policy [Re: NW Ponderer]
matthew Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 353
'
Propaganda and brainwashing have long been a more potent force in American political life than rationality.

To hope that, at this late date, rationality can be revived is a vain pipe-dream.
.
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

It is far easier to deceive folks than to convince them they are deceived

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#307591 - 07/21/18 06:35 PM Re: Returning rationality to public policy [Re: matthew]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16372
I'm not willing to give up. I don't think all of the voting population is in the thrall of their "monkey brains." More importantly, I don't think our political leaders should be. I believe that there is a core group of citizens that believe in real American values but they need to be motivated to get out and vote them. If they do, I think we can right the ship and bring it safely to shore.

To be sure, the ship of state has been battered and is severely damaged, we are surrounded by unholy weather and are in a life-and-death fight for control of the bridge. It is not a certain thing, and we're still taking on water, but we, as a people, have an incredible capacity for self-renewal. I get the feeling the values tide is turning.

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#307602 - 07/22/18 05:09 PM Re: Returning rationality to public policy [Re: NW Ponderer]
Greger Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 14416
Loc: Florida
Quote:
I believe that there is a core group of citizens that believe in real American values but they need to be motivated to get out and vote them. If they do, I think we can right the ship and bring it safely to shore.

That may be true. But conservatives will learn nothing if they are simply rejected by voters. They need to see the actual consequences of their foolhardy policies. This mistake needs to be burned into the memories of all living Americans. Like the holocaust was burned into the minds of GERMANS.

Although, come to think of it...Israel was populated by survivors of the Holocaust and is now governed by their descendants. They are practicing genocide as I type this....Perhaps it really is hopeless and humanity will never rise above fascism.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#307608 - 07/22/18 08:12 PM Re: Returning rationality to public policy [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2195
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
At the risk of repeating myself. Those that do not agree with the current administration's actions need to vote Democratic. Its that simple. My fear is that they will, again, argue some points from the left and either not vote or vote for a spoiler. People have to start understanding a simple fact - THERE ARE ONLY 2 SIDES THIS TIME AROUND! The other side knows this and votes because they know this. Its time the left wake up, smell the roses, and stop infighting to the extent they either don't vote or vote for a spoiler.

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#307609 - 07/22/18 09:53 PM Re: Returning rationality to public policy [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 1158
Originally Posted By: jgw
At the risk of repeating myself. Those that do not agree with the current administration's actions need to vote Democratic. Its that simple. My fear is that they will, again, argue some points from the left and either not vote or vote for a spoiler. People have to start understanding a simple fact - THERE ARE ONLY 2 SIDES THIS TIME AROUND! The other side knows this and votes because they know this. Its time the left wake up, smell the roses, and stop infighting to the extent they either don't vote or vote for a spoiler.


Imma gunna disagree with you here JGW. If the party leadership keeps running disagreeable candidates as it has done for a while now, I'm not supporting that. I'll stay home and eat beer and swill pizza. The democrats have been playing this game of 'were not as bad as them' for a while now. Then get indignant over people not showing up to help polish the turd.


Edited by chunkstyle (07/22/18 09:55 PM)

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#307620 - 07/23/18 05:02 AM Re: Returning rationality to public policy [Re: chunkstyle]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8072
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
I'm not supporting that. I'll stay home and eat beer and swill pizza.


Hooray, six more years of TRUMP! But after those 6 years they will all vote for a socialist paradise. If they have not all been gassed in the death camps by then. Or the Supreme Court has not decided it is illegal to vote Democratic-Socialist.

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