Politics Thread


#1077

I mean the tiny states already have been left in the dust and Texas flourishes because of insane government subsidies and favourable tax laws.

If the fed were to come in and cut Texas subsidies and rewrite the tax code to get more favourable incomes out of energy and gas companies then the “legendary” Texas boom would come crashing down.

Also we’d have to pay state income tax again.


#1078

Making Texas pay! I like it! Now somebody needs to launch it into a national movement, a more fair system means Texas and presumably Hollywood and Silicon Valley pay their fair share again. :wink:


#1079

That’s part of it, but it’s also the aggressive checks and balances - which make change painfully slow by design, make it hard to get anything done and are sometimes perverted against themselves, but they also help to block dictators and prevent utter madness.

Trump isn’t failing to get anything done just because he’s got a carrot for a head. It’s because the Senate is shaky right now, much of what they do is vulnerable to filibuster, and his incompetence is so great that the left wing of the Republican Party are breaking ranks with him just to keep the country level.

@Bryce_Kaldwin: You think your oil companies get all the money? Come up here to Alaska, where the legislature works for the oil companies - not a metaphor.


#1080

Oh man, I know- it’s kind of sobering when you realize just how corporations have a lock on our politics.

Whataburger as @Lotus and @Atlas can attest has been named a Texas State Treasure by an Act of the State Legislature.

I find that to be hilarious on more than one level.


#1081

Ahahaha. That’s an absolute classic.


#1082

1976 would have been a poison pill for anybody with circumstances largely beyond the control of one single president or administration that had been set in motion well before then. It would have been far better if Ford and by extension the Republicans had swallowed it and would have been left holding the bag.
The 1980’s cast a long shadow as we’re still living under the economics categorized by de-regulation, outsourcing and an increasingly out-of-control financial system largely pioneered back then.


#1083

That would go a long way


#1084

Second US Republic? If it ever happens and you do go proportional and parliamentary, I do hope you keep up the idiosyncratic habit of calling your ministers “secretaries” as that would likely make your hypothetical PM and most powerful individual politician (though vastly less powerful then the current imperial US Presidency) the Secretary General. :grin:

If only, if only. :persevere: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

@Bryce_Kaldwin this is a bit old, but it seems increasingly accurate. :unamused:


#1085

@idon’tlikeusernanes

Californians already pay a disproportionate share of US taxes. With elimination of deductions for many SALT and medical expenses it will only be getting worse. You’re like pouring salt in the wound.


#1086

Too late to comment on the main thread but it seems to me that this is really just making the case for tackling Silicon Valley’s toxic labour relations. Maybe an idea for California’s politician’s state and local running in those districts? Or maybe this will inspire more people to found their game development studio in Europe’s Nordic countries, assuming we don’t fall to copyright and censorship internet filtering insanity.


#1087

It isn’t about Silicon Valley - its about the trend in America to hire “independent contractors” in place of employees for whom the company has more responsibilities for - things as simple as family leave which has been established in Sweden for decades is still unsettled practice here.

Creativity and artistic creation is fostered in environments of stability and support. In the Pacific Northwest of the US, there is such a belief put forth in practice as well as in theory. That is why you have so many independent developers up here and why large tech companies survive and thrive here too.

Now some of these companies are being pressured to help address the problems they help create (ie. homeless problem in Seattle) and so you see them start to look towards future exploitable environments. Yet, even with these pressures, the entire whole is still far superior to some areas in the nation.

Heck, the differences can be localized in the US to be seen in cities. Columbus, OH. has embraced and worked towards fostering an environment like this and they are actually growing and thriving. Go 30 miles to the next urban area and you see the typical “rust belt” issues that elected Trump.

Game developers who follow the old-school way of exploiting their employees are in a constant cycle of boom and bust. Developers that succeed change up some if not most of those practices.


#1088

Independent contracting is becoming a scourge in Europe too, which is why we need laws limiting it and a greater involvement of Unions in the process. Still it seems the US could reap tremendous benefits from a legislature, both state and federal willing to take these issues seriously and take steps towards addressing it.

Yes, I hear Bezos and Amazon basically refused to pay their fair share or cooperate in addressing that particular housing and infrastructure crisis.


#1089

In principle, I don’t mind the independent contractor model - the idea that employers and employees exist strictly at arms-length and are not responsible for each other’s welfare - and a certain degree of such independence is actually valuable for innovation. But if you’re going to do that, then to have functional stability and support, the government has to step in and pay for it by taxing the big employers.

So, here’s a suggestion to bat around: Combine an abolition of minimum wage and right to fire (except for illegal reasons such as race or sexual orientation, obviously) with a no-strings-attached minimum basic income, single-payer healthcare and universal housing assistance.

Maybe I should call this “big-government libertarianism.” :sunglasses:


#1090

Seems similar to the “social(ist) market economy” that our social democrats used to espouse back in the 1970’s before being seduced by the neo-liberal, “ideology free” new left. Well ,except that termination would not have been quite as liberal as you’re envisaging.

Yes, but to make it work long-term and also cover the less employable and plain unemployable people as well as to insure against massive potential future reductions in the total number of (full time, full pay) jobs available due to increasing automation and robotization you’d really need to implement the universal basic income component at an acceptable standard that is a bit more than starvation in a crumbling tenement. Not even Finland has yet succeeded in accomplishing that…let alone we or the US who have stronger and some of the strongest in the world respectively of out of control conservative/reactionary forces to contend with.


#1091

Yeah. For liberal termination, I’m looking at Denmark - companies can fire freely there because the unions have negotiated very strong unemployment insurance.


#1092

Which was in my suggestion: Reasonably-high UBI, socialized medicine, housing assistance. Combine those three factors and you should be able to get a decent standard of living.


#1093

That is going to take some very serious political changes, in our neighbour, Belgium, it was sort of on the table a couple years back but the level it would have been at if passed would have been the one square meal a day in a crumbling tenement level, assuming you can get no other supplemental job(s) for whatever reasons.

Sufficient basic income would shift a lot of power away from the current status-quo and for the first time truly place the ability to vote with one’s wallet in the hands of (nearly) everybody. Which means I like but that also means it’s probably more democratic socialist than even social democrat policy because of the shifting of the means of production and levers of power it would accomplish.


#1094

It wouldn’t in fact shift the levers of production in the center away from the capitalists - just cream off their marginal profits. Such things as manufacturing, the service industry and AAA gaming are still going to be run through the lens of standard capitalism. What it would do is remove a key element in Marx’ assumptions: that the proletariat are forced to sell their labor to survive.

Ironically, this might facilitate a labor transition that we’re seeing happen already: a shift toward part-time work, temp work and independent contracting. The difference is that if we do it this way, it would actually benefit both the workers and (in the long run) the employers.


#1095

In the long run, I think it would, at least somewhat as I think it would certainly lead to more calls for public ownership of infrastructure and some resources, which could go a long way to curb megacorp power.

Don’t have that article ready, but with basic income I think we’re going to also see much more cooperative efforts in those sectors. But you are right that this could simply take the form of more employee-owned corporations. A lot of what the economy might ultimately look like even with universal basic income would come down to how and how much we reshape or do not reshape the regulatory framework, particularly with regard to the finance industry.

I do believe I would be more in favour of and much more ready to nationalize some key industries (particularly those erroneously “privatized” during our era of “ideology free” politics) and resources to help pay for basic income than you would.

On the other hand, I see a small business boom in my own industry (law) moving to much more part-time and small practices, particularly in the legal advice sector if there is no longer a need for jurists and lawyers out of school to sell our souls to the big or even mid-size firms. Speaking for myself it might just make running my own practice as a court-appointed attorney handling perhaps a dozen cases at any time feasible at standard legal aid rates. Which would be the closest I’ll ever get to my own dream of being a small-town attorney (since the courthouses are not going to come back to the small towns, at least in the short to mid-term).

Which is why it would probably take (the serious threat of) another revolution for it to happen. As i said, even Finland is getting cold feet on basic income.


#1096

I hope that wasn’t a pun.