American Politics

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: American Politics

Postby Ben » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:46 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:Anyone else here remember him?

Indeed,I do!
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"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

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Re: American Politics

Postby Hanzze » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:41 pm

Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: American Politics

Postby Virgo » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:10 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
Tea: for fiscal conservatism, balancing budgets, not wasting funds on government pork / special projects, etc.


You seem like a smart man. I commend you.

David N. Snyder wrote:Green: for socially liberal, pro-human rights, environment, animals, freedom to choose, tolerance; not bombing other nations, etc.


You sound like a Constitutionalist to me. The same document that says that all mean are created equally (socially liberal), pro-human rights (The Bill of Rights which are the first ten ammendments of the Constitution), environment (well environmental issues weren't really a concern in that day the way they are today), freedom to chose (the right to vote protected by the Constitution), tolerance (all men are created equall, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, etc. all protected by the Constitution), small federal gov that does not force it's will on the people or the states but is meant to represent and serve the people as a tool not to rule them (Constitution set forth our government as limited, a government that does not even enforce it's own views on it's own people, what about on other nations).

I like the fact that you are Green and pro-human rights David, but that is really found in true Constitutionalism, which is real Conservatism.

I don't fit into any party either. I am simply very politically conservative. I am not a fan of most politicians and I won't vote Republican just to vote. I will only vote for Conservatives, like Rubio.

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Re: American Politics

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:44 pm

Virgo wrote:You sound like a Constitutionalist to me.

I like the fact that you are Green and pro-human rights David, but that is really found in true Constitutionalism, which is real Conservatism.


Hi Kevin,

Thanks for bringing that up about Constitutionalism. Here is another idea that I have:

That Constitutionalism is similar or at least very compatible with the doctrines and structure of Theravada. Here's some evidence:

A. Constitutionalism

1. A strong constitution is needed to protect the individual rights of people, to protect them from the tyrannies of government and the masses. The Founding Fathers of the U.S. were skeptical of too much democracy and wanted a Republic where there would be a strong constitution, which would not be easy to amend or change. Constitutional Conventions for making significant changes are rare.

2. The Constitution is the Law of the Land and over-rides the whims of the people and public opinion. If the Congress and President pass a law, it may be reviewed by the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court deems that the new law does not fit with the Constitution, it can be declared un-constitutional and thrown out.

3. The size and scope of government is to remain relatively small, without a strong central government. Rights are retained to the people and the States.


B. Theravada

1. The Dhamma-Discipline is the teaching of the Buddha(s) and provides the map of the Path to the end of dukkha. If a monastery or monk sets up a new doctrine that does not fit with the Dhamma-Discipline, then it is not Buddhist. Buddhist Councils are rare and are usually done to clarify the original intent and meaning of the Dhamma-Discipline.

2. The Dhamma-Discipline is the doctrine of Buddhism / Theravada. If a monk or nun violates the Patimokkha in any serious way, i.e., the parajikas, then they can be expelled from the Order. If one comes across a new teaching or idea from a monk, nun, or anyone else, one is to examine if this teaching leads to the cessation of suffering; if it is compatible with the Dhamma-Discipline or not. If it does not, then one should ignore it.

3. The hierarchy of Theravada is deliberately de-centralized with no Pope, no ruling elite of monks. When asked who would lead the Sangha, the Buddha replied, "Let the Dhamma be your guide" (Digha Nikaya 16). This helps to prevent changes to the doctrine of Theravada so that it can remain pure for a longer period.


I see some similarities / compatibilities between the two, but maybe I am politically biased. :thinking:

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"democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch."
Benjamin Franklin
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Re: American Politics

Postby Luke » Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:45 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:The Republicans / conservatives have the Tea Party and the Democrats / liberals have the Coffee Party.

Hmm... I suppose these organizations give the illusions of being "grassroots organizations" while really just being proxies for the two establishment parties.

David N. Snyder wrote:Some current U.S. figures that I think fit pretty closely to the more "middle" position include Arnold Schwarzenegger

Are you sure you would really want the Governator to be part of your hypothetical Green Tea Party? From what I've read, it seems that Schwarzenegger's policies badly damaged California's economy and really hurt the poor there.
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Re: American Politics

Postby Dan74 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:23 pm

Hmmm....all I can say is:
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_/|\_
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Re: American Politics

Postby Hanzze » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:48 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: American Politics

Postby alan » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:09 am

Tilt: Funny stuff! Thanks.
David and all conservatives: deficit spending saved the capitalist system. We need more stimulus. After that, taxes will have to be raised on the wealthy.

Surely you see the unfairness inherent in allowing the top 1 percent to gain, while the rest lose?
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Re: American Politics

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:26 am

alan wrote:Surely you see the unfairness inherent in allowing the top 1 percent to gain, while the rest lose?

There's also a lot of research which shows that income disparity is the best single predictor of unrest, crime, social breakdown and general misery.
Look up 'Affluenza', among other studies.
:namaste:
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Re: American Politics

Postby alan » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:34 am

"Balanced budget" has been chosen by the Tea Party overlords--the propagandists who control those feeble minds not capable of independent thought--as a key rallying point.
But how many teabaggers have the slightest clue about economics? I'd say zero. Deficit spending, for example, is crucial in a crisis like the one we are experiencing. In the face of zero demand, Government is the spender of last resort. Deficits can be paid off later; avoiding catastrophic collapse is paramount. Hence TARP, Hence Auto bailout. Both of which have worked, by the way.
Even in good times going into deficit is not always bad. Investing heavily in infrastructure, for instance, has been shown to pay for itself in future productivity gains.
I'm afraid Americans have been brainwashed by the likes of FOX news and other corporate-controlled media to act against their own best interests.
Truth is, there is a positive role for Government to play. American history shows us that. But most "folks" nowadays have been brainwashed to think otherwise, which is a tragedy.
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Re: American Politics

Postby Virgo » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:34 am

alan wrote:Tilt: Funny stuff! Thanks.
David and all conservatives: deficit spending saved the capitalist system. We need more stimulus. After that, taxes will have to be raised on the wealthy.

Surely you see the unfairness inherent in allowing the top 1 percent to gain, while the rest lose?

Yes we need more stimulus. So for example, instead of spending millions on a stimulus package whereby each person gets a few hundred dollars to spend, and millions on unemployment extensions that are only necessary because there are not enough jobs, we could pool those monies together to slash taxes, thereby allowing every person to have more money to spend, and allowing business to grow because they have less overhead. When the businesses grow, they create jobs, not send people to the unemployment line for more handouts.

I see unfairness in taxing the top 1 percent more. Why? They are citizens just like poor old me. The Fedral government should have no right to tell them to cough up a higher percentage of their earning than I have to cough up. We are equal. When you get into being able to charge certain people more, you are impinging on liberty-- the only thing which keeps our country from turning into a tyrannical dictatorship.

In the heart of man is greed. History has shown this again and again. When people in power have too much power, the rights of the people will be taken and they will lose their liberty.

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Re: American Politics

Postby Virgo » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:38 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
alan wrote:Surely you see the unfairness inherent in allowing the top 1 percent to gain, while the rest lose?

There's also a lot of research which shows that income disparity is the best single predictor of unrest, crime, social breakdown and general misery.
Look up 'Affluenza', among other studies.
:namaste:
Kim

In Communist Russia, if you wanted a vehicle, a family would have a mandatory 10 year wait before they could attain the vehicle. I will say that again, a mandatory 10 year wait. You also had to pay up front. This is a fact.

That is what happens when governments are given too much power. Eventually dirty, greedy people get in their and with their power they take all the peoples liberty. It will happen again and again as long as samsara lasts. People generally want utopita. Socialism seems like utopia to many, however, for it to work, the goverment must have strong regulating power and rights must be given away. In the end, the people will all the power will take all your money and liberty. It is only human nature.

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Re: American Politics

Postby alan » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:55 am

That is the whole point of a strong Federal government--to curb the excesses of the powerful, and to help insure the well being of society. It is the basic social contract at the heart of the Constitution.

Comparisons to Soviet Russia are irrelevant at best.

As for your idea on taxation, I'd like to hear how anyone who cares about social justice could claim those at the top of the pyramid--those who have obviously benefited from the system--should not be required to pay a higher share of their incomes than wage-slaves. Want to talk about greed? Your opinions express it perfectly.
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Re: American Politics

Postby appicchato » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:01 am

As for your idea on taxation, I'd like to hear how anyone who cares about social justice could claim those at the top of the pyramid--those who have obviously benefited from the system--should not be required to pay a higher share of their incomes than wage-slaves. Want to talk about greed? Your opinions express it perfectly.

Too right..
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Re: American Politics

Postby Modus.Ponens » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:03 am

Hi Virgo

So why do people have to pay the same percentage of taxes? by your logic that is also an unfair redistribution of wealth! So by your logic, people should pay a fixed amount of money (not percentage), rich or poor.

Progressive taxes exist for a reason: to correct the unjustices of capitalism. Why should people with the same ammount of effort in their work (like a fisherman and the president of microsoft) and not that great difference in talent, have such a huge difference of income?

Finaly, your refference to URSS is ridiculous. There are successful forms of government in Europe that are not savage capitalism and not comunism. For your information, nordic countries have more social mobility than the US so the american dream is realy a farse.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: American Politics

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:04 am

alan wrote:That is the whole point of a strong Federal government--to curb the excesses of the powerful, and to help insure the well being of society. It is the basic social contract at the heart of the Constitution.

Comparisons to Soviet Russia are irrelevant at best.
It is like palying the Nazi card. It is meaningless.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: American Politics

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:22 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:So why do people have to pay the same percentage of taxes? by your logic that is also an unfair redistribution of wealth! So by your logic, people should pay a fixed amount of money (not percentage), rich or poor.


Under a Flat Tax system, the rich and poor would not be paying the same dollar amount, just the same percentage. In absolute dollars, the rich would still pay more. For example:

$1,000,000 income per year times 15% = $150,000
$100,000 income per year times 15% = $$15,000
$30,000 income per year times 15% = $4,500
$15,000 income per year times 15% = $2,250

The Flat tax system might have a chance for working if you eliminate all of the loopholes and I mean all of them, including mortgage deductions, charitable contribution deductions, etc. The problem is there are too many special interests that want the loopholes to remain, so then the only way to make it more equitable is a progressive tax system, at the moment.

Pres. Bush cut taxes to the wealthy and then spent money like crazy, including on unnecessary wars which cost billions per month. Sometimes it is the Republicans who are the biggest spenders, in spite of the stereotypes of the Democrats as the tax and spenders.
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Re: American Politics

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:34 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:So why do people have to pay the same percentage of taxes? by your logic that is also an unfair redistribution of wealth! So by your logic, people should pay a fixed amount of money (not percentage), rich or poor.


Under a Flat Tax system, the rich and poor would not be paying the same dollar amount, just the same percentage. In absolute dollars, the rich would still pay more. For example:

$1,000,000 income per year times 15% = $150,000
$100,000 income per year times 15% = $$15,000
$30,000 income per year times 15% = $4,500
$15,000 income per year times 15% = $2,250
$4,500 of $30,000 is a sizeable chunck of low income wage. $150,000 out of a $1,000,000 mean that poor family has only $850,000 to try to get by on.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: American Politics

Postby Virgo » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:36 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Pres. Bush cut taxes to the wealthy and then spent money like crazy, including on unnecessary wars which cost billions per month. Sometimes it is the Republicans who are the biggest spenders, in spite of the stereotypes of the Democrats as the tax and spenders.

No words more true. In general since the death of JFK the Democrats have gone far left. The Republican party has also lurched left since Ronald Reagan. Now don't get me wrong, there have been some conservative things since then with Republicans. There have been some aspects of their politics that are conservative, but, in general, the Republican party has lurched left since then too. I haven't seen true conservative politics since the great Reagan.

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Re: American Politics

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:54 am

tiltbillings wrote:$4,500 of $30,000 is a sizeable chunck of low income wage. $150,000 out of a $1,000,000 mean that poor family has only $850,000 to try to get by on.


I hear ya, but sometimes the loopholes (with the current system) are so large you have things like this:

Billionaire Warren Buffet pays 19%
His employees pay 33% despite earning considerably less money than Buffet.

http://nextbigfuture.com/2010/11/how-mu ... t-pay.html

Whenever anyone talks seriously about a Flat Tax, the special interests come out to butcher it up and put in their pet deductions, which are just more ways for the rich to avoid taxes. Some rich pay hundreds of thousands in mortgage deductions, despite having much wealth, including second homes and investments, also charitable contributions to their own foundations. In theory, it is possible that the rich would be paying more than they currently do, if all deductions and loopholes were eliminated, but they never do get eliminated. So I do not support any kind of Flat tax or Consumption tax because they all just become ruined and messed up even more than the current income tax, even though in theory it may have worked. Under the current system there are still too many loopholes, but hopefully some of these can be eliminated, but I'm not holding my breath.
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