You do of course understand that this is a result of the growth and importance of lobbying and political fund raising that corporations love, right?
Corporations PAY to be able to do this stuff. The FCC is as close to an independent watchdog with any power that can control this. They made a decision that better protects the individual and offers less protection to the big companies and in todays world that's a big deal.
PS nice post actually.
Lobbying and ruling from K Street is something I regularly allude to on this board. How you get that the FCC protects the individual as anything more than an unintended by-product at best is beyond me. Like most federal agencies these days, the FCC started out with good intentions but has become the "morality bludgeon" that those in DC can circumvent whenever they wish. What we've DONE is make it easier for the federal government to amass dossiers for an entire population to use at their whim under the guise of "it's for your own good".
Do you think, for a second that if the IRS wrongly fined 100s of thousands of regular people or "rogue parties" deemed to be a threat to a controlling political entity that this would be used in conjunction with said investigation or against it? These are the same guys that control you being able to sue them only if they allow it. People being what they are, recognize this very reality and hence, K Street exists now, not as a means to inform Capital Hill to make better informed decisions for the purposes of the public good, but to actively change the playing field for the market to squash competition.
The standard bearer of anti-corporatist entities (which ironically employ a lot of anti-labor policies of their own), Gordon Gecko, is often quoted with "Greed is good". The proper context to understand this is not in the charicature splashed on the big screen to be held up for generations. Rather, a more realistic application for the mass of businessmen in America is how it plays out in "Other People's Money".
Greed as a driver for morality is abhorrent for those that seek to live their lives in the service of others. However, self-interest is a basis of human behavior that cannot be eradicated simply by ignoring it. Rather, what a free market would allow (if allowed to exist) is a means where self-interest is turned against itself to drive competition for the benefit of the consumer. This is not theory. It is employable, observable, and undeniable fact that we see play out in our lives every single day. What it hinges upon is that people are allowed to act of their own free will.
The democratic republic as envisioned by Madison, Mason, Henry, etc. sought to put this freedom at the apex of priorities for the federal government. The way this was born out (as is very evident in the Constitution) is a spelling out of how government is limited rather than empowered to carry out its functions because of the extensive track records of governments failing to serve their people, but instead oppress them. Almost always, such actions are committed in the garlands of "protecting us". The ultimate fallicy that should raise your hackles is when you are being told that something is done to you or taken from you for the purposes of "protecting you from yourself".
It may be true. It might be irrefutably true. But to entertain the notion of assuming ownership of another law abiding citizen's free will where no one else's freedoms/rights are being violated is too costly a rabbit hole for the nefarious to exploit, regardless of original intent. I tell you this as someone that has come by this wisdom through the eyes of others that have seen the incredible cost incurred in recent history.
This update to FCC definitions is the latest in a litany of deals with the devil. It brings us that much closer to having that door to having that free will without fear of governmental reprisal shut. What you are doing is giving the federal government that much more power to exercise over you at their whim when those persons assume power. When it gets to that point, it is long too late to retract the thousands of baby steps that landed us exactly on the opposite shore of freedom.... all because that inconspicuous van with "Free Candy" on the side of it was too tempting to let your better judgement rule against looking inside.
I don't know which is more insulting.... that GRP lumps all soldiers under the consciousless murderers category, or PhillyB lumping most soldiers under the hapless rubes category. GRP is obviously in the minority and doesn't seem to appreciate that his ideologies are made possible to exist because of the people that are subject to his ire.
Philly represents the much larger class of people that would pity entire classes of persons while being happy to let these same people do all the sacrificing for them. At best, it's akin to an affection for a loyal guard dog. At worst, it's outright classism with all the stereotypical trimmings.
I know that many of my former professors would agree with you. I am fortunate enough now that I don't have to confine myself to these types of people or be beholden to them for a passing grade. I am happy enough to let anyone else live their life, so long as they don't intrude upon my own.
I'm confident enough in my own life experiences that I exercise civility where I deem it to be warranted, and flip someone off when I am wise enough to know not to care about their opinion. Moreover, I now know that if certain people are jockeying for your validation, it is a sign of bad things about one's fundamental character. As one gets older, we typically get better at spotting bullshit in all its glorious forms.
I enjoy reading threads like this which tend to be derailed into a variety of directions by a variety of people who never served.
I also find it interesting that I've never been asked or otherwise enjoined in a conversation about my experiences or firsthand knowledge during the course of my career which spanned a period of time which included the last days of Saigon, Grenada, Panama, Iran-Iraq 1987-1988 and Gulf War 1. Consequently, I'm curious as to what life experiences or exposure to the subject at hand led to the opinions expressed by some of these folks, since they have no direct experience or understanding?
I know that I haven't asked you or anyone else out of respect of your service. If that is something you'd like to divulge, I think the vast majority of us would give you more credence with respect to your opinion on the matter.
As for myself, I can only speak to my own experience in being a cadet (a bad one at that) and whatever was relayed by my father (serving in Vietnam and Gulf War I) and grandfather (having served in WWII) and brother in law (sniper scout for 5 tours in Iraq and Afghanastan). Because anything I relay from their stories wouldn't do them justice, I simply refrain from trying to convey them.
I instead hold in high regard those persons that have sacrificed where I have not. Whatever their opinions may be, I treat them with a certain reverence/respect as those persons and those like yourself have undergone a crucible that I have not.
I'm late in getting back into the discussion, so I will address what I can remember. What sticks out most in my mind is pstall and teeray's discussions regarding what a free market is. For myself, slave labor is not a function of free market, but of civil rights. Government failed at one of its few jobs to protect the rights of natural born persons to the US. Child labor gets a bit stickier as it does with all discussions involving children and their roles/rights in society. We obviously want to protect the helpless and keep the inherent violation of free will from being recognized. Hence, slavery of any kind is an abomination to liberty. Labor that is free to be conducted under one's volition is another matter entirely.
What muddies the waters is the recognition of child (whatever that is) to adult (whatever that is). People often will cite the chronological markers as it is the best of bad measures that we can employ on a large scale. When we are faced with the issues of mentally ill/handicapped adult-age persons, we are brought right back to the problem inherent in how we regard children. Obviously able to exercise their free will, but not necessarily of what is regarded as sound judgement (which, again, brings up an entire nasty nest of ethical hornets that most don't even wish to consider).
All of this is orthogonal to the discussions regarding the merits/pitfalls of the free market. The clear and distinguished marker for myself is when we seek to protect able-bodied/minded people from themselves. Fraud is still clearly illegal and should be rectified expeditiously in a court of law. However, the notion of keeping people from making informed bad decisions (while likely noble in intent) is still clearly wrong.
Regarding how inflation has been defined in this discussion. Most people will simply tie it to how the Fed will continue to crank out QE and let it die there. A more holistic view is how the accepted tender devalues goods/services. The original intent of making the scarceness of tender a non-issue when there was plenty of services/goods in demand worked well when it did nothing more than keep pace with population growth. However, what politicians (just like every other time in the past) found is that they can use this to manipulate tender to devalue it for the purposes of "honoring untenable debt" when they are actually doing the opposite.
Additionally, I would amend pstall's comment about what a free market is to not just being a buyer and seller. It is actually a voluntary buyer and a voluntary seller. If the government is confiscating funds to purchase goods/services, they are effectively making us all involuntary buyers of goods/services we don't necessarily want or need.
You can't take someone else's money to buy stuff and call it a free market in any sense of the word. It is why I asked teeray the question of how much HE would pay for a janitor's services. THAT question hits at the heart of what makes how this discussion playing out so ludicrous. If someone is mandating that someone else should employ a "fair wage of appropriate value", then you've violated the tenets of freedom of exchange in accordance to recognized value.
Is that value wrongly recognized? The purveyors of big government would not only say yes, but would bend everyone else's will to their bidding regardless of the violation of ethics. Additionally, what happens in real life is that these trusted "executors of fairness" will ultimately exempt themselves (and whatever friends deemed useful at that time) from the restrictions of what is deemed fair.
Like raising the minimum wage, re-norming currencies is a short-term fix for a long-term problem. Ultimately, we are placing trust not in what is an actual collective operation in determining what is of value and how that value changes, but in the conscience of people that have consistently shown that they are not trustworthy.
So the world is spiraling toward another major economic crash.
Do you see any sure-fire way to prevent that now?
Or would it be better to let it happen as soon as possible and start over?
We already have far too much in unfunded liabilities. There isn't enough cash on the planet to make good on the promises of a gaggle of bureaucrats without invoking hyperinflation. The Swiss have pulled the trigger to save themselves. It doesn't matter what I want. I'd prefer to have to deal with the fallout rather than my kids, but it's out of our hands now. ECU and those like him are simply telling you what's coming. Accept it or not, that's the reality
Do you think having a minimum wage is a good thing?
Like almost every other government program, it likely started with good intentions, but now defeats the purpose for which it was originally designed. Anyone that thinks this isn't the exact same economical mechanics that has put the Grecian economy in the shitter is out of their mind.
Money should be a means to exchange good/services of appropriate value. With how this is playing out, any argument against how free market capitalism is killing us now fails to understand that what we've got in action in the US today has very little to do with those concepts.
Nonetheless, people still plow on insisting that their crap is worth more than what people are willing to give. It's exactly wrong. While everyone scampers to delay the inevitable economic crash, this simple and basic fact is what is going to bring down the system defended by the brain trusts on full display around the world. The only hope for that utopia is a world of self-sustaining robots/infrastructure with unlimited resources to pamper to our every stupid whim without question.
Imagine living in Lynchburg where you are surrounded by Liberty idiots who think the earth is around 5-7 thousand years old and have a dinosaur skeleton to prove man and dinosaur lived together
It is marginally less ignorant than people that accept unsubstantiated speculation as scientific cannon for reasons that end up being that believing this non-understood paradigm is less likely to be questioned than any other for the time being
Zeitgeist, you fickle bitch.... CWG is calling again
I speak for myself when I say that I'm a big believer in the scientific method. My experiences don't allow me to accept that it is applied with the necessary rigor with many of today's fields. Sometimes it is by necessity to further the paradigm, but it rarely comes with the disclaimer of how the "discipline" is deviating from the scientific method and thereby vulnerable to those trappings.
The egos at stake are all over the place, and the scientific community has repeatedly demonstrated the same failings of regular people by closing ranks, denying access to raw data, spuriously eschewing anomalous data as non-representative outliers, etc. If a field of study is continually having to explain why the proof isn't necessarily in the pudding, then it's a dead give-away to this very failing.