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Shock-horror in the Soprano state

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  • #16
    Red states are net tax consumers, blue states are net tax contributors.

    Agriculture is a great example of the way the blue-state tax payer subsidizes the rural political economy. Something on the order of 80% of subsidies go to the biggest 20% of farm operators. In fact, most "farmers" don't even get the subsidies -- they get passed on to landowners either directly or in the form of higher farmland rents (lots of ag subsidy checks go to Manhattan). It's shameful -- paying de facto welfare to some of the richest people in America.

    And please, the idea that ag subsidies are needed to make sure there is enough for everybody to eat doesn't even pass the laugh test.

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    • #17
      Originally Posted by Prodigal Son
      The two party system in the US is a direct artifact of our electoral laws.


      No, the 2 party system is there because most people don't know there are more than 2 parties. All that is truly required for a change, is for people to start voting for the other parties. Check out http://www.militaryaffairsboard.com...read.php?t=1604 for a "quiz", it's kinda fun if you're into that stuff, and links to other party websites.
      :-) Sorry Confed, but its the electoral law. This is as close to a scientific law of politics as there is.

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      • #18
        Well, then maybe you think this is laughable....some excerpts from the link Gio posted from Metro v. Retro:

        "Petroleum is the single most prosperous portion of the mining industry. Most oil production occurs in Alaska, California, Louisiana, and Texas; consequently, these states are the largest beneficiaries of oil subsidies. " (Chapt. 2, Page 2). CALIFORNIA IS ONE OF THE LARGEST BENEFICIARY OF OIL SUBSIDIES.

        "For 15 Retro states versus 9 Metro states, nondurable goods manufacturing represents a higher proportion of GSP than the national average. It's notable that in the Retro states, nondurable goods manufacturing represents a larger economic sector than their extraction industries." THE SOUTH CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT YOUR POLITICAL REPUBLICAN HANDOUTS.

        "In 17 Retro states, federal military spending (see Map 2-1) represents a bigger fraction of gross state product, by at least 10 percent, than in the United States as a whole. Only six Metro states (plus Maryland and Virginia) have larger-than-average shares of federal military spending. Similarly, federal civilian spending is a larger share of GSP, by 10 percent or more, in 13 Retro states and in only 4 Metro states. Overall, in 21 of the 25 Retro states, federal military or civilian spending is higher by 10 percent or more as a portion of GSP than the national average, while this is true in only 7 of 23 Metro states, excluding Maryland and Virginia."

        "Many of these high-federal-assistance states have reputations for nurturing rugged-individualist cultures --- Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and the Dakotas --- yet these are states whose lifestyles are supported by Metro taxpayers. In these states, politics is anti-government and state taxes are low --- attitudes that can be sustained only by federal government handouts and favors." NOTICE SOUTHERN STATES, I.E. GEORGIA, IS NOT LISTED AS A WELFARE STATE.

        The Retro States are "reinforced by economic intimidation, aided by lax state and local industrial regulations and low tax rates that minimize public investment in social services and education. The national Republican leadership has adopted this legacy of elitism and oppression, and now presents it as the ideal society for all of America: a very wealthy management class favored by low taxation on both income and capital, with a heavily taxed middle class and a working class locked in increasing competition with cheap overseas labor. And all the while, Republican apologists accuse the Democrats of elitism. (THAT WOULD BE BUSH)


        Just from those few facts cited above, you can see what us Southern States has to offer and what we have to deal with from our Republican Government. So if you got any complaints, VOTE DEMOCRAT, is all I can say!

        Last edited by Julie; 05 Oct 04,, 19:47.

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        • #19
          I would be quite happy if the South left. It would require my Texan relatives to get a passport to visit me. :-) Also, less money I have to spend on handouts to weeping hurricane victims.

          Using "states" isn't appropriate -- metro vs. retro is a regional thing. Illinois has a metro area -- Chicago and its environs -- while the rest of the state is an agricultural retro area. The point is that metro areas, not necessarily states, are heavily subsidizing retro regions -- small town/rural America at a net loss. The fact that Cali gets a lot of oil and farm subsidies is due to the fact its a big state with lots of retro regions and people.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Prodigal Son
            I would be quite happy if the South left. It would require my Texan relatives to get a passport to visit me. :-) Also, less money I have to spend on handouts to weeping hurricane victims.

            Using "states" isn't appropriate -- metro vs. retro is a regional thing. Illinois has a metro area -- Chicago and its environs -- while the rest of the state is an agricultural retro area. The point is that metro areas, not necessarily states, are heavily subsidizing retro regions -- small town/rural America at a net loss. The fact that Cali gets a lot of oil and farm subsidies is due to the fact its a big state with lots of retro regions and people.

            Oh, please, give me a break. Georgia, the safe-haven state, had to handle the influx of Floridians and the unfortunate surrounding states that was dealt the blow of the hurricane tracks. It is better for you not to consider coming to the South because you would not survive a day. I am sure Florida would not have been given $12 billion dollars, Johnny on the spot of taxpayers money, had Jeb not been Bush's brother, and at election time when Bush is opting for Florida.

            As far as the "big Metro California goes," what decent labor was in California has headed for the hills, or abroad, and the state is left with practically button pushers for a work force. The majority of citizens can't even keep their lights cut on because they don't even know who to pay for their electricity. California can't even handle the revenue they have, or they wouldn't be on the verge of Bankruptcy.

            For the South to be so dependent upon the most revenue-producing Region, it is safe to say, that Metro American does pass the laughable test in Retro-America.
            Last edited by Julie; 05 Oct 04,, 21:45.

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            • #21
              :-)

              I would be quite happy to live in the south -- so long as it was in a metro part and as far from a born-again Baptist camp as possible. Folks who mention Jesus at least once is passing conversation scare the hell out of me.

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              • #22
                Too hot and humid. I'll take my perfect weather here. :P

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Prodigal Son
                  :-) Sorry Confed, but its the electoral law. This is as close to a scientific law of politics as there is.
                  I don't know what you're talking about. You actually think there are only two parties in the US? There's no law that says there can be only 2 parties.
                  No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
                  I agree completely with this Administrationís goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
                  even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
                  He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. Itís the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

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                  • #24
                    Originally Posted by Prodigal Son
                    :-) Sorry Confed, but its the electoral law. This is as close to a scientific law of politics as there is.


                    I don't know what you're talking about. You actually think there are only two parties in the US? There's no law that says there can be only 2 parties.
                    No, of course not. I'm referring to what's known as Duverger's law (Click here for info on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duvergers_Law), It's a social-scientific law/principle that states first-past-the-post electoral systems (single-member-plurality election districts) produce two-party political systems. There are exceptions to the law, of course, but it holds strong in an overwhelming number of instances.

                    The law goes something like this:

                    An election district, for Congress say, gets to send one person to the legislature. Any number can run, but to win you have to get a simple plurality (most) of the votes. This creates a dilemma for the voter -- voting for your first choice may actually lead to you worst choice being selected because your second choice failed to get your vote. This is irrational in the long-run and so folks will eventually start voting for their second choice candiate if their first choice consistently gets beaten.

                    Greens or Libertarians in the US or the Lib-Dems in Britain may actually have a lot of support, but it's spread out and they don't constitute a majority in any one district -- and so they are usually unable to get candidates elected in first-past-the-post systems like in the US and the UK. Even if they are elected they are almost certain to have no power in the legislature because of their limited numbers, so in addition the low probablity of a candidate winning voters also have to put up with the fact that these third parties will be ineffective in pushing through their agenda. It makes no sense to throw your vote away like that election after election.

                    People aren't stupid -- if they see their votes essentially leading to their least-liked choice consistently being elected they'll either stop voting or switch their vote over to the "lesser of two evils". There may be blips -- look at Ross Perot in the US -- but in countries with our type of electoral system they're just that, blips that may reflect voter anger in a particular year but no long-term threat to an established two party system. Voting for lovable losers just isn't in the long-term interest of the voter.

                    So...to make a long story short...yes, Libertarians, Con Law party, Greens are all out there, but the way we convert votes into seats makes them unlikely to get elected. Because they are unlikely to get elected they have no power in the political system. Because they have no power in the political system it makes them unlikely they will get elected. It's a vicious circle that is a direct result of our electoral laws.

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                    • #25
                      But, if one party collapses, another will fill the vacuume. It won't become a 1 party system as you imply.
                      No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
                      I agree completely with this Administrationís goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
                      even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
                      He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. Itís the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        But, if one party collapses, another will fill the vacuume. It won't become a 1 party system as you imply.
                        But you see, the Democrats won't implode -- the party is the oldest political party in the world. What will happen is that who comprises the Democratic party will change much as who comprised the GOP changed in the latter half of the 20th century after it was shut out at the national level between the Depression and 1980. The party will linger on, kept alive by the electoral system, until some new coalition takes up residence under the "big tent" known as the Democratic party, refurbishes it, and begins to win elections again. If that should happen then the GOP would dominate politics in that interim period. The US has had several eras when one party or another dominated national politics while its counterpart restructured itself.

                        Of course, the GOP has the same problem in terms of its coalition politics. How libertarians and Bible-thumping conservatives get along is beyond me and is basic axis of conflict in the party. Similarly, GOP policy is also a bit of a paradox since it's econ policy eats the very people who have given the party its massive new strength -- small town and rural America.

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                        • #27
                          I thought I was the only one in the south that realized that very important issue.

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                          • #28
                            Julie wrote:

                            I thought I was the only one in the south that realized that very important issue.
                            You're right -- many southern states are in large parts one-party states controlled by the GOP. That's just as bad as having a state controlled by the Dems -- look at California.

                            Anyway, I picked up a good book on the Conservative movement in America called "The Right Nation" by two Economist reporters. I really liked it.

                            In many ways the GOP's current strength is populist in nature...sort of a "peasant's" revolt against those perceived to be big and powerful in America. It's not so much an economic rebellion so much as a "values" rebellion. Traditional America is suffering from future shock -- dramatic change is occuring so quickly and so powerfully that folks there are reacting against it. Economic conservatives and economic libertarians (one wants government handouts for business, the other wants free markets) have hitched themselves to this populist anger and is using it to push through their agenda. If 20th-century American political history had been reversed -- with GOP dominating and the Dems being the outsider party -- then it would be the Dems capitalizing on this populist anger, not Republicans, much as they did at the end of the first period of Republican ascendency in the 1930s.
                            Last edited by Prodigal Son; 07 Oct 04,, 20:57.

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