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Old 10-25-2011, 11:29 AM   #81 (permalink)
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Outlander, I've often said that the Military in this country is the largest socialistic program we have. It makes a lot of people mad, obviously.
I think it only makes people who do not have an understanding of what socialism (small s) actually is. Managed correctly as it generally is within the military, it actually works very well and is actually pretty damn cost effective. I have always gotten a chuckle at some of the irony of being in the military; we are charged with defending the freedoms this country stands for, but as military members we give up many of those freedoms under the UCMJ.

It is funny you mention it really because the reason our military has been so effective over the years has been partly due to this "scocialist" structure. It is the introduction of the "free market" (no bid contracts, out sourcing of certain AFSC`s ,etc) that is actually making the military less efficient (in my opinion).

One thing that I always chuckle at when many people make the statement that under "socialism" there is no incentive to achieve. The reason I chuckle is that within the military, there is almost no economic incentive to achieve, yet we tend to be the most competitive when it comes to making rank and setting high standards and then having enormous pride in said accomplishments. We are so mission oriented that becomes the incentive to give 110%. Military people are not that different from anyone else. If America were to turn into a total Marxist state tomorrow, people would still take pride in accomplishment and being the best. It is simple human nature.
 
Old 10-25-2011, 11:35 AM   #82 (permalink)
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Precisely. History does not offer many examples of a ruling class voluntarily relinquishing power over its subjects.

Edit: not limited to 'ruling class' but also should include things like special interests, politically privileged groups/people/organizations, etc.
This I agree with. Isnt it funny (ironic) that the same problem exist regardles of the form of government or economic system. Russian and Soviet history is a great example. Under the Tsars, you had these "ruling classes" and "special interests" intertwined with the government of the day at the expense of the majority of the populace. Then, in 1917 when the Communist Revolution gave birth to the U.S.S.R., these same forces corrupted the Communist Party clear up to the level of the Politburo and the cycle continued. Like the old adage, different boss, same shit...

Sad but funny how history repeats itself....
 
Old 10-25-2011, 11:43 AM   #83 (permalink)
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This I agree with. Isnt it funny (ironic) that the same problem exist regardles of the form of government or economic system. Russian and Soviet history is a great example. Under the Tsars, you had these "ruling classes" and "special interests" intertwined with the government of the day at the expense of the majority of the populace. Then, in 1917 when the Communist Revolution gave birth to the U.S.S.R., these same forces corrupted the Communist Party clear up to the level of the Politburo and the cycle continued. Like the old adage, different boss, same shit...

Sad but funny how history repeats itself....
Yep, it's a problem inherent to any centralized power system.

Russian history, esp. the 20th century, is illustrative of the consequences of a totalitarian state, especially one that interferes with all aspects of economic interaction.

Inter-war Germany is another. I am currently reading a history of the German economy during the interwar period (The Vampire Economy: Doing Business Under Fascism, by Gunter Reimann), and there are several striking parallels to today.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:18 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Outlander, exactly. I think that things are good in moderation. Things like socialism, capitalism, regulation, etc.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:41 PM   #85 (permalink)
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Cheese going back to your post like 2 pages ago, you're still missing the point. But since I realize this is all just verbal masturbation for you I'll let outlander take over.
Since you still haven't made a point, no I didn't address anything. The only thing you've done is make baseless declarations without explaining the reasoning for them.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:24 PM   #86 (permalink)
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At the risk of keeping the thread slightly off topic, but still related to the overall topic, I would submit the following regarding regulation and why we must have it. Granted, some endeavors require less, some more. I speak from the position of a flight crew and as such am very closely tied with both military and civil aviation since we fly our KC-135 in civilian airspace 99.9% of the time.

Air travel is a shining example where regulation that is uniform both nationally and internationally is absolutely imperative. Since deregulation, the airline industry has been in a race to the bottom in order to remain competitive and profitable. There are numerous cases where this has lead to terrible accidents that have claimed the lives of many people. One high profile case involves the crash of a DC-10 as the result of poorly designed cargo doors that the NTSB and FAA mandated correcting. The airline in question did not do the required work and their influence pressured local Flight Standards boards to extend deadlines to such an extent that the door failed and brought the plane down.

Another issue is how these regional carriers who are not as heavily regulated as the major airlines economically abuse their flight crews. They get away with this because these young pilots need to build time in order to move to the majors. Now I am all for training wages and pay based on experience, but there has to be a reasonable limit. Often regional pilots work terrible hours and routinely earn less than $15K a year. Often they are forced to take second jobs and are physically unfit for flight when the arrive for work.

One major case involves the Q-400 crash over Buffalo, NY in 2009 where fatigue led to catastrophic mistakes on the part of the flight crew that brought a perfectly air worth airplane down. Investigations showed terrifying behavior prior to the flight with regard to lack of sleep and overwork just to make ends meat.

I am all for "free market" but I am sorry, I want the guy or gal who has my life in their hands at 30,000 feet to make substantially more than the kid who delivers my pizza! I don`t want that pilot out bussing tables or driving a taxi all day long before they show up at the airport to fly the plane that I am riding in.

Here is the Air Crash Investigation video that covers that horrific accident and their conclusions at the end are very troubling and speak directly to lack of regulation. You guys will never convince me that less regulation is the panacea that it seems like you make it out to be. You`re entitled to your opinion but I think you are wrong and in this case, dead wrong....


 
Old 10-25-2011, 09:58 PM   #87 (permalink)
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Although the question of air traffic control, and corresponding regulations, etc,, are wildly beyond my area of expertise (or even rudiimentary understanding) I would caution that "deregulation" is not always equivalent to "establishing a free market", in much the same way that NAFTA does not establish free trade between nations (it doesn't take 14,000+ pages to create freedom of exchange!)

In any event, I'm more than willing to concede air traffic control.

I would also caution that your conclusion "you'll never convince me that less..." Is a broad generalization drawn from essentially a single data point representing what all but the most ardent anarchists would consider an outlier, exception.

Isn't it, for example, possible for me to convince you that fewer regulations in some other sphere of activity (leaving ATC unchanged) could be an improvement?

As an example: many states, perhaps this is even a federal law, bar dairy farmers from marking their products as rgbh-free. Can you grant me that this regulation could probably be removed with no considerable diminution of net welfare?
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:45 AM   #88 (permalink)
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You raise several valid points and as the discussion progresses I think we all see that truth and wisdom lies in the middle. I am glad to hear you state that the FAA and it's regulatory responsibilities do serve a valid and important role in maintaining the safety of the flying public. I deliberately used this example to help illustrate my position because it is such an obvious concept that anyone who has ever boarded a commercial jet can personally relate to.

So now I think we can all agree that it is not government regulation itself that is a probl but pointless regulation and pointless application of regulation. Maybe this has been your point all along. If so then forgive my slowness at not understanding. The reason I raised the point in the first place was to add some needed clarity for the readers who also may have come away with the impression that if we just totally got government out of the picture all together, everything would be swell. Talk radio likes to do this and I hear it being repeated everywhere by the "dittoheads".

As is the case with aviation, many facets of our society must always have regulation. I am a proponent of nuclear power but the potential for disaster is far too great to not have a single regulatory body like the NRC and DOE administering it. I would also say the same with regard to the DOT and FHSA that regulates the safety of our highways and railroads.

I understand your point about all of this being relegated to the individual states. The idea sounds nice but in practice I believe that we as a nation found it far more practical and efficient to have one governing body at the federal level to coordinate these efforts than to try to get 50 states to coordinate everything independently. Personally I see this as an imperfect yet practical solution, not a sinister path to tyranny ( not that you or anyone here suggested that but there are those who believe this)

So just as over regulation is a problem ( and I agree with you that in many circumstances it is ) recklessly deregulating and gutting agencies can cause problems; some catastrophic in scope. I like your idea of periodic review of all regulations by every agency to evaluate which ones work as intended and which cause unnecessary problems without intended results. I also agree that no regulation should be enacted without all parties haveing read, understood and added input. As you and cheese said, too often regulations get manipulated by the very entities they were intended to regulate. So now GE works the system while uncle Fred's Widget Factory goes broke. I think Uncle Fred should have the same say in the process as GE.

So coming full circle, I think many in the OWS movement just want this more level playing field for all of the Uncle Freds out there. Problem is in my opinion, demands have to start out as outrageous so there is wiggle room to show compromise toward a point nearer to what you really want. Take for example their demand for a $20 an hour national minimum wage. Almost everyone agrees that is outlandish. Most people however would agree that $10 an hour is reasonable. So if they start out at $20 but then compromise at $10 it becomes a victory since states like Arizona still only pay $6.15 an hour.

As to your point about my statement about never convincing me otherwise, I concede that point as you are correct; there are no absolutes. I had just watched that crash video and it provoked a strong emotional reaction which influenced my communication....
 
Old 10-26-2011, 08:09 AM   #89 (permalink)
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Government regulation is evil. Can't we all just put our trust in the mega corporations to place what's best for the people, public, economy, and environment over their profits?
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:54 AM   #90 (permalink)
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Outlander thank you for taking the time to post that. We could post examples of that from nearly every industry , but it still wouldn't show the AFP drones how ridiculous their idealistic beliefs are.
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