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Guest sillybear2

He certainly was no idiot. He had very good political acumen and used it ruthlessly to his own advantage. I would agree that he was a statist as well. If we sum up his tenure as persident, we start to see certain trends: state expansion, new government departments, idealistic foreign campaigns, no cutting in spending at all. It's not looking good for anyone arguing Bush 2 was a conservative!

Like I said, he was an authoritarian, idealistic, liberal on everything but a few simple cultural issues and his opinions on them were probably informed by his religion.

i.e. A neo-con! A group that originally started off as 'liberal' democrats and became "liberals mugged by reality".

The "main characteristics of neoconservatism":

  • a tendency to see the world in binary good/evil terms

  • low tolerance for diplomacy

  • readiness to use military force

  • emphasis on US unilateral action

  • disdain for multilateral organizations

  • focus on the Middle East

  • an us versus them mentality".

Lots of overlap with an old God Fearing Republican of course. Maybe the statism wasn't deliberate, just a means to an end, remember they also employed many private security firms (mercenaries) in Iraq... hrm, but paid for by the state.

I would say Bush and the neo-cons were, erm, slightly conflicted! Given the width of people you need to appeal to within the US to gain the presidency I guess that's understandable.

Edited by sillybear2

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You will know how often conservatism and classical liberalism have been conflated in the past, at least on certain issues. Time blurs the boundaries of ideological beliefs, after all. Look at the GOP and its protectionist stance during the 19th century, and the free-trade Democrats! Now a total role reversal as the GOP generally argue for free-trade and the Dems slap tariffs on everything.................which brings us to Bush 2 and his steel tariffs - yes Barry another left-wing thing to do! By the way Barry I feel your line of questioning is trying to lead me up the garden path a little?

Give us your definition of a liberal.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1285146/How-ministers-wasted-71m-L-test-centres-motorcyclists-31mph-EU-metric-ruling.html

On the topic of speeding. Despite this being the Mail it sounds like it's all fairly accurate.

I mean, seriously, FFS. There's a question as to whether some people in the public sector need to not only be axed but sectioned too.

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Guest The Relaxation Suite

i.e. A neo-con! A group that originally started off as 'liberal' democrats and became "liberals mugged by reality".

The "main characteristics of neoconservatism":

  • a tendency to see the world in binary good/evil terms

  • low tolerance for diplomacy

  • readiness to use military force

  • emphasis on US unilateral action

  • disdain for multilateral organizations

  • focus on the Middle East

  • an us versus them mentality".

Lots of overlap with an old God Fearing Republican of course. Maybe the statism wasn't deliberate, just a means to an end, remember they also employed many private security firms (mercenaries) in Iraq... hrm, but paid for by the state.

I would say Bush and the neo-cons were, erm, slightly conflicted! Given the width of people you need to appeal to within the US to gain the presidency I guess that's understandable.

For sure, Bush's FP was never based on classical or even neorealism. Instead he was about the mission, his rhetoric was missionary, Wilsonian. The neocon movement, in terms of FP, is closer to liberalism than conservatism, in my view. Also, agree that Glass-Steagall Act was very significantly damaging.

Come on Barry, what are you getting at with the 20 Questions? A liberal is someone who favours liberalism as an ideology. Please don't ask me to define liberalism! You could always Google it...I am trying to argue (along with others, including some pretty big guns) that Bush did not run a conservative executive, he did not do conservative things to America, or the world, in a nutshell! His actions were more in line with the liberal-left. I think this will be widely understood and accepted in a few years. LIke people now arguing that JFK was a neocon and Nixon quite liberal on domestic issues, etc.

Edited by Tecumseh

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Come on Barry, what are you getting at with the 20 Questions? A liberal is someone who favours liberalism as an ideology. Please don't ask me to define liberalism! You could always Google it...I am trying to argue (along with others, including some pretty big guns) that Bush did not run a conservative executive, he did not do conservative things to America, or the world, in a nutshell! His actions were more in line with the liberal-left. I think this will be widely understood and accepted in a few years. LIke people now arguing that JFK was a neocon and Nixon quite liberal on domestic issues, etc.

All you've got is a circular argument.

Anybody who expands the government is a liberal.

Expanding government trashes the economy.

Therefore liberals always trash the economy.

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Guest sillybear2

All you've got is a circular argument.

Anybody who expands the government is a liberal.

Expanding government trashes the economy.

Therefore liberals always trash the economy.

It doesn't matter what you label them, the facts speak for themselves, if you expand the government so spending persistently exceeds revenues then it's a path to hell, regardless of their political hue. Modern politics in the US has basically descended into a gaint game of pork barrelling, with different sides simply arguing over how they should spend money they don't have, some want social programmes, some want a kick ass military, nearly all have been blackmailed into bailing out their banker friends, nobody wants to admit the truth. They use a phony cultural war to hide all that, distracting people with immaterial social issues to exploit peoples petty prejudices and reductionist ideologies.

Edited by sillybear2

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It doesn't matter what you label them, the facts speak for themselves, if you expand the government so spending persistently exceeds revenues then it's a path to hell, regardless of their political hue. Modern politics in the US has basically descended into a gaint game of pork barrelling, with different sides simply arguing over how they should spend money they don't have, some want social programmes, some want a kick ass military, nearly all have been blackmailed into bailing out their banker friends, nobody wants to admit the truth. They use a phony cultural war to hide all that, distracting people with immaterial social issues to exploit peoples petty prejudices and reductionist ideologies.

It wasn't me putting labels on.

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Guest sillybear2

It wasn't me putting labels on.

If you replace the word 'liberal' with 'statist' then your point is accurate.

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It doesn't matter what you label them, the facts speak for themselves, if you expand the government so spending persistently exceeds revenues then it's a path to hell, regardless of their political hue. Modern politics in the west has basically descended into a gaint game of pork barrelling, with different sides simply arguing over how they should spend money they don't have, some want social programmes, some want a kick ass military, nearly all have been blackmailed into bailing out their banker friends, nobody wants to admit the truth. They use a phony cultural war to hide all that, distracting people with immaterial social issues to exploit peoples petty prejudices and reductionist ideologies.

One of the best posts on HPC for ages. Just had to amend one word though.

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A real conservative would reduce the size of the state. That is what his ideology tells him is the best thing to do. Not that conservatism, strictly speaking, is an ideology, but you know what I mean.

So then neither Reagan nor Thatcher were real conservatives as they both expanded the state ?

The way you define liberalism/conservatism the US hasn't had a conservative president since Hoover, if ever. Reagan, like other republican presidents grew the size of the state in both relative and absolute terms.

Year GDP-US

$ billion Total Spending -total

pct GDP

1981 3126.8 33.64 i

1982 3253.2 36.25 i

1983 3534.6 36.31 i

1984 3930.9 34.44 i

1985 4217.5 35.48 i

1986 4460.1 35.71 i

1987 4736.4 35.09 i

1988 5100.4 34.73 i

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It doesn't matter what you label them, the facts speak for themselves, if you expand the government so spending persistently exceeds revenues then it's a path to hell, regardless of their political hue. Modern politics in the US has basically descended into a gaint game of pork barrelling, with different sides simply arguing over how they should spend money they don't have, some want social programmes, some want a kick ass military, nearly all have been blackmailed into bailing out their banker friends, nobody wants to admit the truth. They use a phony cultural war to hide all that, distracting people with immaterial social issues to exploit peoples petty prejudices and reductionist ideologies.

v. good post imo

Edited by Stars

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Why is it disgusting ?

The state needs the money.

No-one is forcing anyone to break the law.

I'd rather they raised the money by fining people willingly breaking the law than by taxing law abiding people for the work they do.

If anything raising funds in such a way is less disgusting than demanding it out of the pay packets earnt with peoples sweat.

I have no sympathy. If you don't want to pay the "Driving so fast it's a danger to other road users tax" then stay under the speed limit. If you still decide to speed, you knew the rules, you pay the penalty if caught and lower my taxes for me.

In the UK, scientific evidence that speed cameras actually reduce accidents and/or save lives is thin to nonexistant.

If states or any other governments need to raise more money, then there is one option that could actually work - namely raising taxes on the rich. Strange how this hardly ever gets on the table..

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In the UK, scientific evidence that speed cameras actually reduce accidents and/or save lives is thin to nonexistant.

Please point to any part of that post discussing speed camera's saving lives. It's all about fines saving taxes.

If states or any other governments need to raise more money, then there is one option that could actually work - namely raising taxes on the rich. Strange how this hardly ever gets on the table..

Personally, I'd also be in favour of that.

Here I was just arguing against the seemingly commonly held view that fining people for breaking the law, and raising revenue that way, is "worse" or "more disgusting" than taxing people on earned wages in a compulsory manner.

If we are to exclude everything else and just talk such compulsory taxes I agree that taxing the rich more is certainly more morally justifiable than taxing less well off people more.

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Guest sillybear2

So then neither Reagan nor Thatcher were real conservatives as they both expanded the state ?

Precisely, they cannot be called fiscal conservatives, for all the mythology of 'cuts' Thatcher only actually shifted resources about, she simply held the growth of state spending steady or below trend. Today we're into totally different territory with almost 20% cuts across the board, with no massive privatisations or a rush of North Sea oil to bail them out.

uk-public-spending-total.png

If people think the phantom 80's cuts were "savage" then they haven't seen anything yet.

Regan was even worse when it came to uncontrolled spending and debt.

Edited by sillybear2

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Perhaps they should invest in some speed cameras they are quite good at generating revenue or would the yanks just shoot them up with armour piecing bullets?

They appear to be in the death throws.

I told a US friend that the UK had more surveillance cameras per capita than any other nation.

They answered, in all seriousness, 'why don't you just shoot at them?'

Actually, why don't we?

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Precisely, they cannot be called fiscal conservatives, for all the mythology of 'cuts' Thatcher only actually shifted resources about, she simply held the growth of state spending steady or below trend. Today we're into totally different territory with almost 20% cuts across the board, with no massive privatisations or a rush of North Sea oil to bail them out.

uk-public-spending-total.png

If people think the phantom 80's cuts were "savage" then they haven't seen anything yet.

Regan was even worse when it came to uncontrolled spending and debt.

Interesting graph, I was looking at very similar data yesterday in a 2000 Government report, of 'General Government Expenditure' (at 1995 prices) that showed an almost steady rise from 1979 to 2000, with slight falls around 1987-90 and 1997-8 (the latter under Labour).

www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/rp99/rp99-111.pdf (Section IX, first graph)

My first reaction was 'where are Thatcher's (supposed) cuts'?

My guess is that as we are going to see real cuts in Government expenditure this time, it's going to be a lot more painful than the Thatcher years. :ph34r: Brown screwed up worse than Callaghan.

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I have mixed feelings about speed cameras, but there are other surveillance cameras and systems I would love to see destroyed.

Legal Note: This is NOT INCITEMENT, and if you choose to buy angle grinders here for the purpose I accept no responsibility.

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They've already got cameras in operation which catch you jumping red lights.

Out of curiousity I once did the maths and found that the timing of many traffic lights is set to entrap people. I contacted the DoT and found that there are no statutory traffic light timings.

It is possible to approach green traffic lights at a legal speed, and be in a zone where you can neither stop in time when they change to amber, nor get past them before they change to red.

It seems that some traffic lights in 40mph areas are set to timings that are usually used in 30mph areas.

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My first reaction was 'where are Thatcher's (supposed) cuts'?

They were only relative cuts. Public spending rose in absolute terms, but fell as a proportion of GDP.

It can potentially do so again in the medium term. But only if we can stomach a business-friendly period that'll raise GDP in the productive economy.

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They were only relative cuts. Public spending rose in absolute terms, but fell as a proportion of GDP.

It can potentially do so again in the medium term. But only if we can stomach a business-friendly period that'll raise GDP in the productive economy.

The document I referred to above also plots general government expenditure against GDP

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/rp99/rp99-111.pdf

It went up slightly in the early Thatcher years, then rolled off quite harshly. I presume this is only reconciled with data showing rising government expenditure because GDP was rising rapidly.

We are not now entering a period of rapidly rising GDP. Another reason to anticipate that things are going to hurt ... a 'business friendly period' is going to be necessary.

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He certainly was no idiot. He had very good political acumen and used it ruthlessly to his own advantage. I would agree that he was a statist as well. If we sum up his tenure as persident, we start to see certain trends: state expansion, new government departments, idealistic foreign campaigns, no cutting in spending at all. It's not looking good for anyone arguing Bush 2 was a conservative!

Like I said, he was an authoritarian, idealistic, liberal on everything but a few simple cultural issues and his opinions on them were probably informed by his religion.

Sounds like Mussolini's classical Corporatism: the alignment of business and state interests, Imperialism and social conservatism.

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Why is it disgusting ?

The state needs the money.

No-one is forcing anyone to break the law.

I'd rather they raised the money by fining people willingly breaking the law than by taxing law abiding people for the work they do.

If anything raising funds in such a way is less disgusting than demanding it out of the pay packets earnt with peoples sweat.

I have no sympathy. If you don't want to pay the "Driving so fast it's a danger to other road users tax" then stay under the speed limit. If you still decide to speed, you knew the rules, you pay the penalty if caught and lower my taxes for me.

It is disgusting because it is fundamentally dishonest.

If "the state needs the money" then they should be honest about it with people and raise taxes and/or chop the things they provide for everyone. Not whack up fines and penalties by large amounts, or suddenly start enforcing laws vigorously where you previously did not do so.

And this idea that because one person sets a quite arbitrary "limit" then you can automatically say that anyone driving faster than it, is therefore driving "dangerously" is just rubbish.

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  • 197 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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