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1 hour ago, Scott said:

Um, actually Trump did what Bernie was suggesting.  Only it will be $1200 rather than $2,000.

Minor correction: $1000 per adult, $500 per child.  For a family of four, that would be $750/person.  And that was only proposed legislation that Congress has to vote on.

And it was not "per month".  It was only a one time shot, which has the option of being offered again in six weeks.  No repetition after that.

Quote

Also that's a cut and paste of cherry picked comments.  This was not an actually discussion between Trump and Bernie.

I highly doubt anyone here got the impression that the graphic was meant to indicate this was an actual back and forth between them.  I was a comparison between their rhetoric.

14 minutes ago, Scott said:

Trump is planning on bailing out industries.

Thus far he is planning on a $50 billion for the airlines and $450 billion for other businesses.

Yes, he is.  So, we're talking about:

$500B for the population (in two payments).
$200B for businesses that provide essential services (including airlines).  I haven't heard of the $50B or $450B.  Could you provide a source for that?

Edited by Vernor's Ginger Ale

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2 minutes ago, Vernor's Ginger Ale said:

 I haven't heard of the $50B or $450B.  Could you provide a source for that?

Sure.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/forget-the-debt-why-trump-and-pols-want-a-trillion-dollar-bailout

Trump is pushing Congress to approve $500 billion in cash payments to Americans, $300 billion to help small businesses, $50 billion to shore up the airlines now that travel has plummeted, and $150 billion for other industries.

Edited by Scott

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1 minute ago, Scott said:

Ah.  Thank you,

Well, as a liberal, I'm sure you can appreciate the fact that the bulk of the money $300B is to help small businesses.

Conservatives should be able to appreciate the fact that the need for the bailout comes due to government mandates causing their businesses to crash, rather than market forces deciding their fates.

From your link:

Quote

It was easy to hate TARP, since big and reckless banks got bailed out, with no one going to jail, while ordinary Americans lost their homes and jobs. But the virus is just as much an existential threat to financial stability, or more, and some on the right are calling it an act of God--the better to justify their support of massive government spending.

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8 minutes ago, Vort said:

2Does anyone else of around my generation hear the Schoolhouse Rock version of the preamble when quoting or thinking about it?

Me. The song was instrumental in memorizing the Preamble in 8th grade.

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16 minutes ago, Scott said:

Trump is planning on bailing out industries.

Thus far he is planning on a $50 billion for the airlines and $450 billion for other businesses.

There's a difference between a bail-out and a subsidy.  A bail-out is basically the government giving money to a failing industry/business without the government being the direct cause of such a failure but simply to keep the economy from going into depression.  A subsidy is the government giving money to an industry/business to either 1.) prevent the industry/business from failing due to a government decision that directly impacts the business (e.g. government mandated travel bans causing a subsidy to travel industry, government mandated restaurant lockdowns causing a subsidy to restaurant owners, or commodity tariffs on a trade war causing a subsidy to the affected commodity, etc), or 2.) guarantee industry viability for national security (e.g. the subsidies to energy sectors).

 

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50 minutes ago, Vort said:

2Does anyone else of around my generation hear the Schoolhouse Rock version of the preamble when quoting or thinking about it?

 

Apropos of nothing, I love how the entire lower 48, but not Alaska or Hawaii, are shown as the United States when singing about the origin of the US constitution. Not the original 13 colonies. Not all 50 states. Just the good ol' U S of A during most of the Eisenhower administration.

EDIT: Look at that. Arizona and New Mexico are actually only one state.

ANOTHER EDIT: Canada is smaller than the US. Take that, Canada!

Edited by Vort

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42 minutes ago, Vort said:

2Does anyone else of around my generation hear the Schoolhouse Rock version of the preamble when quoting or thinking about it?

Hearing that song in my head, allows me to quote it.  Some of my best education happened on Saturday mornings.

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3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

I have never seen the contrast so transparently laid out between the two main ideologies in this country, than this morning in my twitter feed:

772964352_IMG_30151.thumb.PNG.0070d61308f7bcca759841cbc6d906f9.PNG

It seems that the British government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who many regard as very close ideologically to President Trump, is following a path similar to what Bernie is advocating:

Latest coronavirus updates as of 5.30PM on 20 March

UK government to cover affected workers’ wages

The UK government has announced that it will pay 80 per cent of wages up to £2,500 a month for employees who are not working during the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme will last at least three months, backdated to 1 March, and it could be extended for longer if necessary. UK pubs and restaurants will also close, mirroring moves in other countries around the world.
Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2237475-coronavirus-latest-news-uk-government-to-pay-up-to-80-of-wages/#ixzz6HGEiZRF5

I'm wondering if the extremely high levels of debt that will be required to pay for this will put the country at greater risk than the corona virus outbrerak. Somewhere down the track, well after this current outbreak is over, lives will be lost because hospitals won't have all the resources they need to save them because resources are being directed towards the repayment of government debt.

 

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6 hours ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

Ben Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." And yet, the governors of the states are enforcing unconstitutional dictates and using the virus as the excuse. The snakes are showing their true colors. It is one thing to request people to stay home, it is another to order it. We need to support freedom, not dictators.

This statement was made by a wealthy, white, male, and I'm guessing that he was speaking or writing to a wealthy, white, mostly male audience. As a political rallying statement its kind of cute and seems to fit in quite nicely with the statement “give me liberty or give me death” attributed to another wealthy white male. As political rallying calls, they are kind of cute, and have a certain appeal, as long as they are not analysed too carefully. They probably served a useful purpose, at a particular moment in time, but there may be reason to consider that they might not be undying, universal truths.

I think the main danger with statements such as this is that they are too black and white in a world that is infinitely grey. They invite people to choose extreme positions – death or liberty - and in all likelihood, it will only be an extremely small minority who are comfortable in either of these two positions. I think a far better method is to search for a more considered position arrived at through considerable reflection, discussion, consultation and compromise involving some degree of trade off between the two positions of liberty and death, as negotiated by the peoples'' elected representatives. I think that Franklin’s statement in particular overlooks the obvious facts that the value of liberty is significantly decreased if the environment in which it is experienced is not safe, and its existence is likely to be extremely short if that environment is not safe. It’s also possible that when making these statements, neither Franklin nor Henry had significant regard to the complexities of managing states during times of global pandemics, when the best available medical evidence suggests that compulsory and temporary reductions in liberty are one of the best ways of preserving safety. I suspect that an absence of restraint on liberty in a time of global pandemic will very quickly lead to mass death and the breakdown of all government structures needed to preserve liberty. Ideally, humanity can exist in a state of liberty without the involvement of governments, but history suggests that for the natural man, that is not the case.

 

I agree that we should be supporting freedom rather than dictators, but when the dictators seem to be advocating a course of action that medical evidence suggests might be for the greater good, then the question becomes a bit more complex. 

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5 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

This statement was made by a wealthy, white, male, and I'm guessing that he was speaking or writing to a wealthy, white, mostly male audience.

Benjamin Franklin was what we would call a largely self-made man. He did not grow up in a privileged environment, but found his place in society through a lot of hard work. Franklin was rather the opposite of an elitist. He had a keen sense of fair play and knew by personal experience what The Common Man® was up against.

When Franklin offered aphorisms, either under his own name or that of Poor Richard, he was not spewing empty froth. As with the other so-called Founding Fathers of the USA, Franklin felt in his soul what he preached about the surpassing importance of freedom. Franklin encouraged unity between the signers of the Declaration of Independence by telling them, "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." In the closing words of that document, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." They were not just blowing smoke.

Benjamin Franklin was no poser. He was absolutely authentic, not given to airs. When he said, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety", he was not speaking only to the privileged, nor was he floating high-falutin abstractions. He meant what he said. I believe he was right.

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Ben was indeed both a self made man and a wealthy white male and I like to think he believed what he said when he spoke about trade offs between giving up liberty to purchase security. Personally, I was disappointed with the people of Scotland in 2014 who voted not to become an independent country, in part because remaining as part of the United Kingdom offered economic advantages. However, I think it is presumptuous of Ben or anybody else to tell me what I deserve. It was the soldiers of the 13 colonies who gave up their personal liberty by subjecting themselves to the control of their military leaders who gave the US the beginnings of the security it now enjoys and it is the soldiers of today, giving up some personal liberties, and subjecting themselves to the control of the military, who continue to pay for that security. Its an arrangement that most people seem to be happy with. Sometimes security can only be purchased by reducing liberty. That's also part of the reason why we have jails - we make our streets safe and purchase our security at the expense of the inmates' liberty. Of course there are other reasons why we have jails, but the security of those outside the jails at the expense of the liberty of those inside is one of the reasons.

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2 hours ago, askandanswer said:

Ben was indeed both a self made man and a wealthy white male and I like to think he believed what he said when he spoke about trade offs between giving up liberty to purchase security. Personally, I was disappointed with the people of Scotland in 2014 who voted not to become an independent country, in part because remaining as part of the United Kingdom offered economic advantages. However, I think it is presumptuous of Ben or anybody else to tell me what I deserve. It was the soldiers of the 13 colonies who gave up their personal liberty by subjecting themselves to the control of their military leaders who gave the US the beginnings of the security it now enjoys and it is the soldiers of today, giving up some personal liberties, and subjecting themselves to the control of the military, who continue to pay for that security. Its an arrangement that most people seem to be happy with. Sometimes security can only be purchased by reducing liberty. That's also part of the reason why we have jails - we make our streets safe and purchase our security at the expense of the inmates' liberty. Of course there are other reasons why we have jails, but the security of those outside the jails at the expense of the liberty of those inside is one of the reasons.

You seem to equate "giving up liberty" with any action that might limit one's personal freedom. This is not correct. It is certainly not the American way of thinking about these issues.

The American model is roughly as follows: Men have by their very nature the exercise of certain privilege, which the Declaration of Independence calls "unalienable [sic] Rights", and with which they are "endowed by their Creator". So this is what a "right" means, at least in American-speak: An exercise of privilege that is inherent in the mere fact of being human.

These rights—which again, please note, are "unalienable"—include many of the things listed in the Bill of Rights (which constitute the first ten amendments to the Constitution). They include such things as:

  • Speaking your mind on political topics
  • Worshiping God as you see fit
  • Gathering as groups to enjoy company or discuss items of common concern
  • Keeping and bearing arms for protection of self and family
  • Keeping home and family safe and separate from soldiers and other government agents and intervention without an explicit court order
  • Not being forced to testify against oneself
  • Having a prompt and open trial by jury when charged with a wrongdoing

and so forth.

Please note: These things are not granted by the government. They exist as an inherent consequence of being a breathing human.

What is liberty? It is the power to exercise one's rights. This is why governments are instituted. The duty of government is to protect human rights. But the rights themselves do not proceed from the government. Many people say, for example, that the Chinese people do not have the right to free speech. In the American model, this is false. As long as Chinese are human beings, they have the right to free speech. Their government may not protect that right, and in fact may actively suppress its free exercise. But they still have the right, built into their very existence.

There are certain times when the exercise of one's rights may conflict with other goals, such as national defense or another's rights. In such cases, judgment calls must be made as to how we can best balance the seeming conflict. It is well-established in US law that the freedom to exercise certain rights may be suspended in cases of emergency.

With these points in mind, Franklin's point seems clear, at least to me. We may agree to suspend certain liberties for a time under threatening circumstances. But when we agree to forfeit our liberties because someone is offering us money, or a chicken in every pot, or to keep those dirty foreigners at bay, then we are selling off our human birthright for a very meager mess of pottage. At this moment in American history, this is a primary separator of the Democratic Party from the Republican Party: The former seeks to curtail liberty in order to (as they promise) obtain more security, as for example when they want to eliminate the protection of keeping and bearing firearms or outlaw certain forms of speech that they claim "harm" others, while the latter at least pretends that it wants to stand up for liberty and protect our God-given, inherent rights.

Please note how being white, male, and/or rich has nothing to do with the above arguments. Dismissing or diminishing Franklin's words by saying he was a rich white man is as irrelevant and nonsensical as dismissing his words because he was balding, bespectacled, and spoke French.

Edited by Vort

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40 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

Ben was indeed both a self made man and a wealthy white male and I like to think he believed what he said when he spoke about trade offs between giving up liberty to purchase security. Personally, I was disappointed with the people of Scotland in 2014 who voted not to become an independent country, in part because remaining as part of the United Kingdom offered economic advantages. However, I think it is presumptuous of Ben or anybody else to tell me what I deserve. It was the soldiers of the 13 colonies who gave up their personal liberty by subjecting themselves to the control of their military leaders who gave the US the beginnings of the security it now enjoys and it is the soldiers of today, giving up some personal liberties, and subjecting themselves to the control of the military, who continue to pay for that security. Its an arrangement that most people seem to be happy with. Sometimes security can only be purchased by reducing liberty. That's also part of the reason why we have jails - we make our streets safe and purchase our security at the expense of the inmates' liberty. Of course there are other reasons why we have jails, but the security of those outside the jails at the expense of the liberty of those inside is one of the reasons.

Jail -

This is not a question of security of the public paid for by the liberty of criminals.  This is - people who refuse to take responsibility for their liberty shall lose it.

Military -

This is not a question of public security at the expense of the liberty of the enlisted - that would be the Draft.  The US military is the voluntary application of the wolves, the sheep, and the sheepdog.  Just like there are people who voluntarily clean the windows of a skyscraper, construction workers building an intercoastal bridge, journalists covering warzones, missionaries working in the terrorist-ridden Samar mountains, etc etc, there are people who are sheepdogs and hold their chosen position with honor with or without the structure of the US Military.

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4 hours ago, anatess2 said:

There's a difference between a bail-out and a subsidy.  A bail-out is basically the government giving money to a failing industry/business without the government being the direct cause of such a failure but simply to keep the economy from going into depression.  A subsidy is the government giving money to an industry/business to either 1.) prevent the industry/business from failing due to a government decision that directly impacts the business (e.g. government mandated travel bans causing a subsidy to travel industry, government mandated restaurant lockdowns causing a subsidy to restaurant owners, or commodity tariffs on a trade war causing a subsidy to the affected commodity, etc), or 2.) guarantee industry viability for national security (e.g. the subsidies to energy sectors).

 

And of course, both of those are different than loans—which I understand was a significant portion of what TARP was (though I still did, and do, oppose it).

Vis a via the OP, I largely agree with @MrShorty.  I doubt Ben Franklin meant for his statement to be taken as an absolute.  He would have been well aware that the existence of any government represents a social compact that fundamentally trades liberty for security.  The question is not whether such a trade should be made; but at what point do we get to a scenario where the trade is no longer worth it.

I’m good with the in-home quarantines and limits on gatherings as necessary expedients.  I’m pretty suspicious of the proposed bailouts, either to business or to individuals.  But then, I say that from the standpoint of a state employee who is telecommuting from home and will still be collecting a full paycheck no matter how bad things get.

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I don't know if this has any significance or maybe it is just making casual conversation, but something in this particular conversation reminded me of the Empire duet by Orson Scott Card (warning: spoilers ahead, if you need to avoid them).

I forget details (did Averell Torrent ascend to the presidency in book 1 or 2?), but I recall that in book 2, Torrent solidifies his new status as more of an absolute leader rather than democratically elected president in the midst of a global pandemic. Not sure it means anything or not. Might need to read it again -- especially if/when we get quarantined at home with no where to go...

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On 3/20/2020 at 12:16 PM, anatess2 said:

There's a difference between a bail-out and a subsidy.  A bail-out is basically the government giving money to a failing industry/business without the government being the direct cause of such a failure but simply to keep the economy from going into depression.  A subsidy is the government giving money to an industry/business to either 1.) prevent the industry/business from failing due to a government decision that directly impacts the business (e.g. government mandated travel bans causing a subsidy to travel industry, government mandated restaurant lockdowns causing a subsidy to restaurant owners, or commodity tariffs on a trade war causing a subsidy to the affected commodity, etc), or 2.) guarantee industry viability for national security (e.g. the subsidies to energy sectors).

 

Call it what you want; they are still bailouts.

I guess I can understand the bailouts for the airlines and hotels since they are needed for commerce.

I still strongly disagree with the proposed bailouts for casinos and cruise ships.  If anything, cruise ship companies that didn't take enough precautions should be fined and punished, rather than bailed out.

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A so-called government bailout that takes place when the government creates conditions overtly hostile to business, such as what we're talking about today, is different both in principle and in operation from a true government bailout where money is given to save a corporation or business sector from its own mismanagement, such as e.g. Chrysler.

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6 hours ago, Vort said:

A so-called government bailout that takes place when the government creates conditions overtly hostile to business, such as what we're talking about today, is different both in principle and in operation from a true government bailout where money is given to save a corporation or business sector from its own mismanagement, such as e.g. Chrysler.

Vort, what are your thoughts of the proposed bailouts for casinos and cruise ship companies?  (I have said that I am against it).

I guess it could be said that this might not be the casinos' fault, but cruise ships definitely did their part in spreading the virus.  If anything, they should be punished, not rewarded.  At least that's my thought.

 

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Bankruptcy IS a bailout.  For the first five decades of American history, there was no such thing as a voluntary bankruptcy at the federal level—you just went to debtor’s prison.

No one is telling the cruise lines or casinos or airlines that they can’t avail themselves of bankruptcy debt relief any time they want to.  They just don’t want to—either because they don’t want to at least *try* to pay as much of their debt as the bankruptcy code calculations dictate that they pay; or because they want to retain more control of their company generally than a bankruptcy court would allow.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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6 hours ago, Scott said:

Vort, what are your thoughts of the proposed bailouts for casinos and cruise ship companies?  (I have said that I am against it).

I guess it could be said that this might not be the casinos' fault, but cruise ships definitely did their part in spreading the virus.  If anything, they should be punished, not rewarded.  At least that's my thought.

I don't disagree, Scott. I find JAG's line of reasoning pretty convincing.

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On ‎3‎/‎20‎/‎2020 at 10:20 AM, Scott said:

PS, does anyone find it ironic that conservatives politicians are only conservative until a crisis hits and as soon as that happens, they are all liberals?

I could understand your point if you were referring to anarchists. Perhaps even Libertarian politicians. However, conservatives who call for government aid following a hurricane are not hypocrites. Hurricanes come under the "limited government" umbrella. Likewise with COVID19 (or Wuhan Virus, if you prefer). I suspect Ben Franklin would have been okay with federal government requiring infected individuals to stay home, by force of law, as well. But, see...I'm not an anarchist...and I am not Libertarian...so I get to support a few exceptions to the mostly government-stay-out-of-the-way approach I generally advocate.

Edited by prisonchaplain

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1 hour ago, prisonchaplain said:

I could understand your point if you were referring to anarchists. Perhaps even Libertarian politicians. However, conservatives who call for government aid following a hurricane are not hypocrites. Hurricanes come under the "limited government" umbrella. Likewise with COVID19 (or Wuhan Virus, if you prefer). I suspect Ben Franklin would have been okay with federal government requiring infected individuals to stay home, by force of law, as well. But, see...I'm not an anarchist...and I am not Libertarian...so I get to support a few exceptions to the mostly government-stay-out-of-the-way approach I generally advocate.

This libertarian (me) has no problem using government force to make sure infected individuals stay home.  You don't have the right to put my family at risk-and infected people out in public run the risk of doing that. 
 

I'm against the government bailing out anything. The market takes care of it better than the government can. 

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27 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

I'm against the government bailing out anything. The market takes care of it better than the government can. 

I used to 100% of this mindset. Maybe I'm getting soft in my late-middle years :::cough!::: but I could see a few well-placed government-subsidized loans speeding up the economic recovery, when the worst of this is over. I live in a community with many investment-immigrants. They came here seeking a better life, usually having to invest $500,000 or more in a small business. Generally, they run the restaurant/dry cleaning shop/nail salon etc. for 3-5 years, then sell the business at a profit to a new comer. Then they invest in a bigger business, and thus the cycle goes. The problem is, when these small businesses are closed for 3 months, they often become worth nothing. Their value is as a set-up business with loyal customers. Often, their buildings are leased, and they have no hard assets. So...should government loan these businesses some monies to keep them afloat, they would like gain most of the money back and would bring much benefit to local economies. So... I can support "conservative, limited government intervention" in this economic environment.

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