RF Election! - Page 5

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View Poll Results: which party do you support?
NDP 8 22.86%
Conservatives 7 20.00%
Green 7 20.00%
Bloc 3 8.57%
Liberal 10 28.57%
Voters: 35. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-15-2011, 12:33 PM   #81 (permalink)
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A wise man once said, "If you are under 30 and are not a liberal, you don't have a heart. If you are over 30 and are not a conservative you don't have a brain"

to paraphrase
that's not wise, that's ridiculous.

as an example, my father, who witnessed and suffered very real oppression as a young person, has voted for all major parties. as he ages he has found increasing sympathy for those facing oppression or for those marginalized into the cracks of our social fabric. he has become increasingly opposed to military intervention around the world, and, as his income has increased and his need of our social safety net has decreased, he has become more opposed to tax cuts and related social service cuts. he recognizes, as a wiser, older man, the necessaity of those services for marginalized people and that the community is more important to him than the selfishness of his own desire to accumulate wealth.

you may or may not agree (ok, you don't agree), but to suggest that wisdom lies in conservatism is appalling.

i would argue that you are more likely to find, these days, youth coopted into the idea of the individual's birthright to wealth generation, and more adults and seniors that understand the vital importance of our social safety net.

the wisdom to be found in older age is not in an entrenched position with only one possibility for your vote. it is found in the ability to conceptualize outside the self and in keeping all options open - right, centre and left.

that mauy just be a saying from which you are trying to make a joke, but it is most definitely not an accurate depiction of reality.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:52 PM   #82 (permalink)
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that's not wise, that's ridiculous.

as an example, my father, who witnessed and suffered very real oppression as a young person, has voted for all major parties. as he ages he has found increasing sympathy for those facing oppression or for those marginalized into the cracks of our social fabric. he has become increasingly opposed to military intervention around the world, and, as his income has increased and his need of our social safety net has decreased, he has become more opposed to tax cuts and related social service cuts. he recognizes, as a wiser, older man, the necessaity of those services for marginalized people and that the community is more important to him than the selfishness of his own desire to accumulate wealth.

you may or may not agree (ok, you don't agree), but to suggest that wisdom lies in conservatism is appalling.

i would argue that you are more likely to find, these days, youth coopted into the idea of the individual's birthright to wealth generation, and more adults and seniors that understand the vital importance of our social safety net.

the wisdom to be found in older age is not in an entrenched position with only one possibility for your vote. it is found in the ability to conceptualize outside the self and in keeping all options open - right, centre and left.

that mauy just be a saying from which you are trying to make a joke, but it is most definitely not an accurate depiction of reality.
Don't yell at me, yell at Churchill.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:59 PM   #83 (permalink)
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i'm not yelling, i'm debating. are you suggesting that everything churchill said is correct and applicable right now? if that's how you make you political choices, i'd argue you aren't doing much analysis benzo.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:14 PM   #84 (permalink)
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i'm not yelling, i'm debating. are you suggesting that everything churchill said is correct and applicable right now? if that's how you make you political choices, i'd argue you aren't doing much analysis benzo.
Tongue was firmly planted in cheek.

Again I prefer not to be affiliated with a party. The Conservative Party of Canada just happens to be the most closely aligned with my value set.

One thing I wish would be properly debated, and it never is, even by those who are for it, is that the big bad corporate tax cuts are not bad. In fact in some cases they are downright necessary. Everybody has visions of CEO's getting rich, " a tax cut for big business only makes the rich richer" and the truth could not be farther from the truth.

They are for better or worse the corner stone of our economic system. Removing corp tax cuts could be disastrous for small businesses ( I have owned more than one, I am speaking from experience) and then saying you are for "business" by giving a 2% tax break, come on. This is very short sighted.

Its the old paradox of, you could give every homeless person in Toronto a 40k a year salary if you just gave them the money we spend in the system directly. Its a fact. Its short sighted though, because removing the system would put so many people out of work, it becomes uneconomical.

Everything parties like the NDP, Bloc and Green party say is absolutely irrelevant because they know they will never have to live up to the promises, they are empty.

I have heard many people here rag on the C's for the attack ads, without a whisper of the ones going the other way.

Politicians will lie, its fact, not restricted to a party. Elections are dirty, I just prefer to look through all the "fuddle duddle" and look at the pillars the parties are running on.

This time around my support lies with the Conservatives.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:25 PM   #85 (permalink)
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you are arguing for trickle-down economics and the reagan philosophy of tax breaks. the reality of this is that those breaks do not trickle down. they are absorbed as profit, and we have seen it time and time again. take a look at the aftermath of the financial bailouts, which is essentially the same thing - money given by government to save troubled institutions. and once they recover they pay out huge bonuses and nothing goes back into the economy except as conspicuous consumption by the same people that took home the increases.

this is not to say that the bailouts were unnecessary, nor that corporate taxes should be excessively high. rather it suggests that we need to strike a balance there, and as individuals are getting hammered and marginalized people are really suffering at increasing rates, now is not the time to be giving corporate execs more take home pay.

the ndp plan of tax breaks for hiring new employees is an attempt at getting to the bottom of that - giving tax breaks for things that actually do create jobs and redistribute wealth. simply giving that break on gross revenues is wrong-headed, and with serious consequences. i will add that i am not campaigning for the ndp and do not plan to vote tfor them this year. i am merely rebutting your opposition to what they proposed earlier in this thread.

just remember, benzo, that with the financial values that you vote for comes social values too. that's where the insidiousness of the cpc platform lies. and i don't mean soft social values like gay marriage, i mean hard social values like the foundational ecenomic elements of our most vulnerable community members.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:29 PM   #86 (permalink)
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and on the topic of lying - campaign promises are one thing, and stretching the truth is one thing, but attacking your opponent for a fictional political process and then lying to the electorate about the constitutionality of that process is another. it's downright shameful. he's a constitutional scholar for crying out loud. and given his track record of squaring off against others for their lies or lack of transparency, he's really insulting every one of us with this nonsense.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:36 PM   #87 (permalink)
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you are arguing for trickle-down economics and the reagan philosophy of tax breaks. the reality of this is that those breaks do not trickle down. they are absorbed as profit, and we have seen it time and time again. take a look at the aftermath of the financial bailouts, which is essentially the same thing - money given by government to save troubled institutions. and once they recover they pay out huge bonuses and nothing goes back into the economy except as conspicuous consumption by the same people that took home the increases.

this is not to say that the bailouts were unnecessary, nor that corporate taxes should be excessively high. rather it suggests that we need to strike a balance there, and as individuals are getting hammered and marginalized people are really suffering at increasing rates, now is not the time to be giving corporate execs more take home pay.

the ndp plan of tax breaks for hiring new employees is an attempt at getting to the bottom of that - giving tax breaks for things that actually do create jobs and redistribute wealth. simply giving that break on gross revenues is wrong-headed, and with serious consequences. i will add that i am not campaigning for the ndp and do not plan to vote tfor them this year. i am merely rebutting your opposition to what they proposed earlier in this thread.

just remember, benzo, that with the financial values that you vote for comes social values too. that's where the insidiousness of the cpc platform lies. and i don't mean soft social values like gay marriage, i mean hard social values like the foundational ecenomic elements of our most vulnerable community members.
1. Was not arguing trickle down eco's, was arguing making doing business in Canada profitable and keeping corporations here. The bailouts are not the same, I would have let those corp's crumble. I want to attract business to Canada. What you are describing sounds alot like when government imposes a temporary tax and it just never goes away. Finally THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH PROFIT. NOTHING.

2. 4k for a new hire, ( and we don't even know the parameters around that) is nothing more than lip service, its an irrelevant amount of money. "Small Business" is not mom and pop shops that people picture in their head, like the cute little stores on Bayview, we are talking about companies that can have up to 200 employees. The money can be better spent.

3. I am all for funding groups and services that can't fund themselves and are necessary. I think we should ensure they are properly ,managed and not wasting money, some do. I am not for funding special interests groups that should survive on memberships of its people.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:38 PM   #88 (permalink)
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and on the topic of lying - campaign promises are one thing, and stretching the truth is one thing, but attacking your opponent for a fictional political process and then lying to the electorate about the constitutionality of that process is another. it's downright shameful. he's a constitutional scholar for crying out loud. and given his track record of squaring off against others for their lies or lack of transparency, he's really insulting every one of us with this nonsense.
I find it a waste of time, but if you would like me to lay out all the craziness that is Michael Ignatieff I will.

In the end it doesn't matter
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:46 PM   #89 (permalink)
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re. ignatieff, go for it if you think it helps. if you can find a bold-faced lie from an area at which he is a supposed expert (like harper is with constitutional law and politics), and that impacts the fundamental layout of our political system i would love to hear it.


as to your 3 points:

i am not opposed to profit. in fact i am involved with social enterprise profit in what i do for a living. that doesn't mean that all profit is good or that as a community we shouldn't think about the ways in which we re-distribute wealth. tax breaks on total profit (or on revenue, depending on how you slice it) are way too high up the chain to make a real difference. they can be too easily absorbed before the benifits reach those that really need it. i don't want to hamper competitiveness, but i don't give a rats ass about a business that isn't willing to take on it's share of social responsibility. profit is good, but it can't be the sole, or even the primary, motivator. if it is, it crushes everything that is vulnerable.

a $4k tax break for a new hire is very relevant. ask any very small business. it could (and probably should) be higher, but that's not the same argument as dismissing it. there is great value in exploring other options besides straight up corporate tax breaks. i applaud the creativity, if not the final number.

your last point is pretty vague. and i don't know how you could possibly vote tory if you really believe in funding groups and services that can't fund themselves. are you aware of what has happened with the united way over the last few years, as an example?
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #90 (permalink)
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re. ignatieff, go for it if you think it helps. if you can find a bold-faced lie from an area at which he is a supposed expert (like harper is with constitutional law and politics), and that impacts the fundamental layout of our political system i would love to hear it.


as to your 3 points:

i am not opposed to profit. in fact i am involved with social enterprise profit in what i do for a living. that doesn't mean that all profit is good or that as a community we shouldn't think about the ways in which we re-distribute wealth. tax breaks on total profit (or on revenue, depending on how you slice it) are way too high up the chain to make a real difference. they can be too easily absorbed before the benifits reach those that really need it. i don't want to hamper competitiveness, but i don't give a rats ass about a business that isn't willing to take on it's share of social responsibility. profit is good, but it can't be the sole, or even the primary, motivator. if it is, it crushes everything that is vulnerable.

a $4k tax break for a new hire is very relevant. ask any very small business. it could (and probably should) be higher, but that's not the same argument as dismissing it. there is great value in exploring other options besides straight up corporate tax breaks. i applaud the creativity, if not the final number.

your last point is pretty vague. and i don't know how you could possibly vote tory if you really believe in funding groups and services that can't fund themselves. are you aware of what has happened with the united way over the last few years, as an example?
I was a very small business.....it is not relevant ...Give me a tax break on my profit any day of the week and twice on Sunday, I can hire more people with that than I can with 4k.

Re: United Way
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United Way Ottawa announced last Friday, April 8, that they are investing $31.5 million in programs, services and initiatives for measureable change in the community.

They also announced total revenue of $35.6 million in 2010, which includes the $33.2 million raised with record breaking private and public investment in priority goals through Targeted Community Investments, grants and contributions by other charitable organizations.
If we tax big business more than other places, they will leave. Bottom line, I don't give 2 shits where the profits go, but I prefer they employee Canadians over Americans.

Remember when it was really inexpensive for Americans to make movies here and we had the second largest amount of films in North America in Toronto. 1000's employed. California, cut the taxes on profit to lure them back and it worked, there are 50% less being made now. If we remove the tax cuts, businesses that moved here because of them will leave and with that 100's of thousands of jobs.

I believe in these fundamentals, and arguing political parties is senseless unless you think you can move me from belief in..

-Free Market
-Less Government
-Freedom of the individual

Everything else falls in there somewhere.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:24 PM   #91 (permalink)
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I was a very small business.....it is not relevant ...Give me a tax break on my profit any day of the week and twice on Sunday, I can hire more people with that than I can with 4k.

Re: United Way


If we tax big business more than other places, they will leave. Bottom line, I don't give 2 shits where the profits go, but I prefer they employee Canadians over Americans.

Remember when it was really inexpensive for Americans to make movies here and we had the second largest amount of films in North America in Toronto. 1000's employed. California, cut the taxes on profit to lure them back and it worked, there are 50% less being made now. If we remove the tax cuts, businesses that moved here because of them will leave and with that 100's of thousands of jobs.

I believe in these fundamentals, and arguing political parties is senseless unless you think you can move me from belief in..

-Free Market
-Less Government
-Freedom of the individual

Everything else falls in there somewhere.
ok so you're post about the united way proved my point. they broke records mostly because of individual and organizational donations. the government sponsorship of those kinds of organizations is drying up and org's like the united way are picking up the slack becasue concerned citizens are making huge donations to offset what the goverment is no longer doing.

i oppose a completely free market because the market has no conscience. i am willing to do that because i don't believe in complete freedom of the individual, i believe in the health of the community. free individuals trample the vulnerable. free markets not only enable this, they encourage it. we need to tend towards free markets, but check them when they degrade the social health of the community. i believe in an involved government because it is the only thing with the strength to rein in the tendancy of free markets to dominate the weak (and i don't mean the lazy or the stupid, i mean the truly vulnerable).

compassionate conservatism, on a fiscal level, is not a tenable position. you can't believe both in complete individual freedom/completely free markets and also in social safety nets that protect the marginalized. and once you accept that some intervention is necessary your arguments on curbing that intervention can no longer be logically based on the free market position, since we are no longer talking about a free market, nor about unfettered individual liberty. the argument needs to be a rational analysis of needs and possibilities, of limits and balance. if you accept that any of this has to be done, i don't see you can can also be unwilling to move from any of those 3 core beliefs.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:36 PM   #92 (permalink)
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ok so you're post about the united way proved my point. they broke records mostly because of individual and organizational donations. the government sponsorship of those kinds of organizations is drying up and org's like the united way are picking up the slack becasue concerned citizens are making huge donations to offset what the goverment is no longer doing.
This disproves the rest of your post, Individual and Organizations, picked up the slack, without government intervention. You are saying that without government intervention these orgs would not exist, you just proved otherwise. Here is the kicker, with tax breaks, people will support them more.

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i oppose a completely free market because the market has no conscience. i am willing to do that because i don't believe in complete freedom of the individual, i believe in the health of the community. free individuals trample the vulnerable. free markets not only enable this, they encourage it. we need to tend towards free markets, but check them when they degrade the social health of the community. i believe in an involved government because it is the only thing with the strength to rein in the tendancy of free markets to dominate the weak (and i don't mean the lazy or the stupid, i mean the truly vulnerable).
Assumptions I disagree with, history supports me. You make it sound like under a conservative government we were out kicking babies, its sensationalism.

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compassionate conservatism, on a fiscal level, is not a tenable position. you can't believe both in complete individual freedom/completely free markets and also in social safety nets that protect the marginalized. and once you accept that some intervention is necessary your arguments on curbing that intervention can no longer be logically based on the free market position, since we are no longer talking about a free market, nor about unfettered individual liberty. the argument needs to be a rational analysis of needs and possibilities, of limits and balance. if you accept that any of this has to be done, i don't see you can can also be unwilling to move from any of those 3 core beliefs.
Again I don't support your thesis statement, so the rest of it is conjecture to to me.


You will notice, that I have no once tried to sway you from your beliefs because I think that the difference of opinion is part of what makes it all work. You yourself are the antithesis to what you are afraid of. I have faith in people even in a free market, because people like us exist.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:49 PM   #93 (permalink)
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This disproves the rest of your post, Individual and Organizations, picked up the slack, without government intervention. You are saying that without government intervention these orgs would not exist, you just proved otherwise. Here is the kicker, with tax breaks, people will support them more.



Assumptions I disagree with, history supports me. You make it sound like under a conservative government we were out kicking babies, its sensationalism.



Again I don't support your thesis statement, so the rest of it is conjecture to to me.


You will notice, that I have no once tried to sway you from your beliefs because I think that the difference of opinion is part of what makes it all work. You yourself are the antithesis to what you are afraid of. I have faith in people even in a free market, because people like us exist.
wait a minute.... you're suggesting that because some people have dug deep to rescue vital agencies it's proof that governments don't have to? really? doesn't that just encourage the free rider problem? doesn't that mean that most people will then contribute nothing? because that's exactly what is happening.


what i argued about free markets vs social safety nets is not at all sensationalism. it's an argument of degrees. reducing it to kicking out babies is sensationalism. the fact is that funding for disabilities, for community agencies, etc has dropped dramatically. there are massive waitlists that we cannot unload because we don't have the staff or the funding. this is not the way it needs to be. and history absolutely does not support you. i'd love to see some real evidence of this, becasue i work in these agencies, and i can promise you that we are in dire straights becasue of funding cuts to essential social programs.


what you called conjecture was the argument that supports the thesis. it's not something that follows, it's the nut of the argument. that's like saying i don't agree with the thesis therefore i will ignore the proof. that's logically backwards.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:53 PM   #94 (permalink)
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wait a minute.... you're suggesting that because some people have dug deep to rescue vital agencies it's proof that governments don't have to? really? doesn't that just encourage the free rider problem? doesn't that mean that most people will then contribute nothing? because that's exactly what is happening.
No it means people stepped up, you said they wouldn't


Quote:
what i argued about free markets vs social safety nets is not at all sensationalism. it's an argument of degrees. reducing it to kicking out babies is sensationalism. the fact is that funding for disabilities, for community agencies, etc has dropped dramatically. there are massive waitlists that we cannot unload because we don't have the staff or the funding. this is not the way it needs to be. and history absolutely does not support you. i'd love to see some real evidence of this, becasue i work in these agencies, and i can promise you that we are in dire straights becasue of funding cuts to essential social programs.
I am in full support of social program support, which is why I am not an anarchist. History does support, how has Socialist societies or old school monarchies treated its people?


Quote:
what you called conjecture was the argument that supports the thesis. it's not something that follows, it's the nut of the argument. that's like saying i don't agree with the thesis therefore i will ignore the proof. that's logically backwards.
Only if I accept your thesis as
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true compassionate conservatism, on a fiscal level, is not a tenable position
is true.

I don't believe it is.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:57 PM   #95 (permalink)
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History does support, how has Socialist societies or old school monarchies treated its people?
Many of the happiest countries in the world are socialist.
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:28 PM   #96 (permalink)
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Please allow me to propose the German model. This is from an issue of Harpers from last year.

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Consider the Germans
By Thomas Geoghegan

Come on: Is the West really in such decline? Yes, we can sit here on our island continent and gloom about the rise of China, as our elite now like to do. Or we can go out into the world and start competing like the Europeans. For here’s a strange fact: since 2003, it’s not China but Germany, that colossus of European socialism, that has either led the world in export sales or at least been tied for first. Even as we in the United States fall more deeply into the clutches of our foreign creditors—China foremost among them—Germany has somehow managed to create a high-wage, unionized economy without shipping all its jobs abroad or creating a massive trade deficit, or any trade deficit at all. Sure, China just pulled slightly ahead of Germany, but that’s mostly because the euro has soared, making German goods even more expensive, and world trade has slumped. Meanwhile, the dollar is dropping, and we still can’t compete with either nation. And even as the Germans outsell the United States, they manage to take six weeks of vacation every year. They’re beating us with one hand tied behind their back.

Why is Germany beating us? It’s tempting to say it’s because we beat them. After all, we helped put a major component of the German model in place, which is the role that German workers have in running their firms. After World War II, we had a problem: Who would keep watch over all the German businessmen who had supported Hitler? We couldn’t put them all in jail. Back in that New Deal era, we and our allies were quite willing to put workers on the boards to keep an eye on businessmen. Still, the idea of works councils was not invented by Americans. In fact, it had its origins in Weimar Germany. And now Germany is the country, out of all countries, including Communist China, in which workers have the greatest amount of control over (dare I say it) the means of production.

Okay, it’s not that much control. But it’s enough to make the German system a rival form of capitalism. And because German workers are at the table when the big decisions are made, and elect people who still watch and sometimes check the businessmen, they have been able to hang on to their manufacturing sector. They have kept a tool-making, engineering culture, which our own entrepreneurs, dreamily buried in their Ayn Rand novels, have gutted. And now, thanks in large part to these smart structural decisions, Germany is not only competitive, it’s rich. Although it’s unlikely that even the most liberal of American politicians would ever use a phrase like “worker control”—much less describe people who work as “workers”—it might still be worth at least considering what would be involved in emulating the German model.

Let me here cart out the big three building blocks of German social democracy: the works council, the co-determined board, and Germany’s regional wage-setting institutions. If I were teaching a class, I’d put these up on the blackboard and talk about them at the beginning of every class. “What do I mean by the German model? I’d like to see hands.” No one knows. So I give the answer: “It’s the works council, the co-determined board, and the wage-setting institutions.”

Everyone in class groans. Whatever does that mean?

Well, the works council is simple in theory, though hard for an American to take in. Let’s say you work at the Barnes & Noble at the corner of Clybourn and Webster avenues in Chicago. You may be just a clerk, no degree. (In Germany, you’d have a certificate in bookstore clerking, but in the United States there’s no need.) Still, you could be elected to a works council at this store. That means you help manage the place. You help decide when to open and close the store. You help decide who gets what shift. On layoffs and other issues, the employer must reach an agreement with the works council. So you may ultimately decide whether Ms. X is to be laid off or fired. How did you get into this kind of “management”? Barnes & Noble had no say in it. You were elected by your fellow workers. You went out and campaigned: “Elect me.”

The result is that there are thousands of clerks and engineers in Germany who now are (or a few years ago were) elected officials, with real power over other people. They are responsible for other people. They are responsible for running the firm. They make up a powerful leadership class that represents the kind of people—low-income, low-education—who don’t have much of a voice in the affairs of other industrialized countries.

If that’s a works council, what’s a co-determined board? These apply mostly to the largest companies, those with more than 2,000 employees. We now leave behind the bookstore at Clybourn and Webster and try to imagine all of Barnes & Noble, the whole company. Way at the top, in the boardroom, where you expect to bump into Robert Rubin, the clerks get to elect half the board: not a fifth, not a third, but half—the same number of voting directors that the hedge funds get to elect.

Of course there’s a catch! Under German law, if the directors elected by the clerks and the directors elected by the shareholders are deadlocked, then the chairman can break the tie. And who picks the chairman? Ultimately, just the shareholders. So capitalism wins by one vote, provided the stockholders, the bankers, and the kids from Goldman Sachs all vote in a single bloc. But the clerks still have a lot of clout. If the shareholders are divided on whether “A” or “B” should be the next CEO, the clerks get to pick the king. “A” is CEO but he owes his job to the clerks. By the way, the clerks have all this power without owning any shares! In this stakeholder model, they need only act on their interests as “the workers.”

With works councils and co-determination, everything in the firm gets discussed, rather than the CEO going to the mountaintop without ever seeing a worker and deciding to pull the plug. “Wait,” people say to me. “You mean co-determination keeps jobs from going abroad?” No, they can’t stop a sale. They can’t stop outsourcing. But they can cut deals. “Conditions—that is my motto,” is how one worker-director put it in an issue of my favorite German magazine, Mitbestimmung. In the United States, people don’t even know the plant is closing until management calls a meeting and ushers everyone out under armed guard. But in a German firm, the workers are Cato-like guardians, able to look at all of the financial records and planning documents as if they owned the place. If a company wants to start a plant abroad, the workers can pressure the board to plow some money back into a German plant or provide a ten-year employment guarantee. Or they can fight to get a better owner. It’s not just the arguing: it’s the fact that they can be in the boardroom watching, or in the back room rifling through the files. Doesn’t your own behavior change when you think Cato is watching you? Well, it’s true for managers too. That’s why there is still a manufacturing sector in Germany.

Given the influence of the works council and a co-determined board, what remains for Germany’s many powerful unions? They do the bargaining over wages and pensions but at a macro level, with a federation of all the big bookstores, not just Barnes & Noble but Borders as well. This is the German model of regional or multi-employer bargaining. We negotiated wages this way in the United States in the 1940s and 1950s, but no more. I doubt many Americans under forty even know what I mean by regional wage-setting institutions, and yet they are probably the single most important way in which Germany is “socialist.”

This system is much in decline even in Germany, but it still has a huge egalitarian effect. The goal, never quite reached, is that every Barnes & Noble, every Borders, everywhere in the covered area, pays the same wage for the same type of work. Wages are not set person by person or shop by shop. They’re the same, everywhere, as much as possible. The result, from an American perspective, is a shocking transparency: in Germany the ideal is that everyone knows what everyone else is making. By contrast, who knows what Barnes & Noble pays in Chicago, or Borders in Joliet? In the German system, people can find out what other people are getting, and their unions in turn can demand the same.

The private export sector is the most unionized part of the German economy (even more than the public sector). And it is understood to be the vanguard, the industry on the front lines of the global economy. So if the engineers at ThyssenKrupp get a 3 percent raise, then certainly the clerks should get a 3 percent raise. Soon everyone in Germany is getting 3 percent! In a complicated and limited way, the whole country can have a voice, if not a vote, in what take-home pay they receive. Unification with low-wage East Germany has made this leveling tougher, but people in Germany can still actually talk about “wage policy” and “wage objectives.” There’s a national conversation, unknown here, as to how much everybody should get.

Yes, there’s much to like about the U.S. model. In global competition, the United States has almost every comparative advantage over Germany. We spend vastly more on basic research than the Germans do. We have much more land, more labor, more capital, much higher levels of formal education. But with our flexible labor markets we cannot develop human capital or knowledge to wean ourselves away from turning out crap and leaving the high-skill manufacturing to the Europeans. The one great comparative advantage of Germany is that it is a social democracy. Germany has its problems, and I take them seriously. But I’m also sure that German companies will lead the next industrial revolution, the “green” one, while we in the United States will merely watch.

If you ask most Democrats and their think-tank minions how to help our powerless middle class, they have no answer except to send even more of them to college, where with luck they get out being only $50,000 or so in debt. As for the high school graduates who make up the base of the party, we effectively tell them: You’re finished. There’s no role for high school graduates in our version of the global economy. In Germany, these same high school graduates could be sitting on a corporate board. Skeptical readers will say: Oh, but that’s Europe, it’s socialism, something like that is not possible here. I think it’s quite possible.

I now have stopped underlining and re-reading Wolfgang Streeck’s great 1996 essay, “German Capitalism: Does It Exist? Can It Survive?” Still, I recall his central, disheartening point that the German model, with its works councils and the rest, was simply too hard to replicate in other countries. In the end, global capitalism would force Germany itself into our simpler, top-down Anglo-American model.

But it turns out, at least in the European Union, that other countries are now keen on experimenting with co-determination and works councils. “Co-determination is our biggest export,” a former official in the German government told me. As it spreads through Europe, we may come to understand the German model as not just a rival but a better form of capitalism. It only takes a change in law. Maybe we’ll decide one day, simply out of patriotism, that we have no other choice.

Is it likely? No. Is it possible? Yes. At any rate, it’s just nonsense that “Europe’s way” and “our way” can never be the same. We may have messed up our part in globalization, but we still have time to fix things. It may be even easier in this wired world to exercise our greatest privilege as Americans—to astonish ourselves by being American and making a European idea of democracy our own.
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:31 PM   #97 (permalink)
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No it means people stepped up, you said they wouldn't




I am in full support of social program support, which is why I am not an anarchist. History does support, how has Socialist societies or old school monarchies treated its people?




Only if I accept your thesis as is true.

I don't believe it is.

i didn't say people wouldn't step up, i implied that only a select few will, and it shoud be the government's responsibility to care for the weak and underpriviledged. now you're straight-up putting words into my mouth.

the old-school monarchies and socialist governmenst argument is incredibly weak. you can do a lot better than that. you propose a confusion between authoritariansim and socialism. as acgm has pointed out, there are many happy and successful socialist nations that are not authoritarian.


you missed my point about the logical hurdle you made regarding my last point. you don't need to accept the thesis prima facie, you need to assess it based on the rationale that follows, although i will acknowledge that the word 'and' is causing confusion at the start of the 3rd senbtence. you can delete that.

compassionate conservatism implies that you are willing to accept some curbs on free markets, by definition. once you do that, you can't just argue from the position of free markets anymore. you need to make the position based on a needs analysis and balance. that is the rationale behind the thesis that the position is untenable, not a point that merely follows it.

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Old 04-15-2011, 03:36 PM   #98 (permalink)
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That's actually pretty cool, and it seems like "free market" rules exist, it's the internal companies that operate different.

This is just my opinion, but the reason this would never work here is because it would make our unions obsolete,

They would never go for it.

I love the idea of workers having insights and responsibility into the process of the corporation.

I would not call that socialism at all, more communal capitalism.
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:41 PM   #99 (permalink)
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And how do anarchists not support social programs?

As for the corporate tax cuts - well I am a ong way past 30, and I've seen tax cuts a plenty for the rich that failed to create jobs. Over the last 30 years it is an idea that has failed so often that the suggestion of not having a brain really needs to be directed at those that trumpet the concept as the bulwark of conservatism. Over the last 40 years the top 1 percent of wage earners have reaped all the rewards. That's been the extent of the success. That doesn't indicate any great creation of jobs. Certainly not jobs worth having. Everyone else has seen their earning power either in gradual decline, or a steep decline. Seriously - if I hear Harper trot out the idea that corporations need handouts so that we can all benefit from the "stable" economy, I might have to consider moving to Germany.
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:47 PM   #100 (permalink)
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i didn't say people wouldn't step up, i implied that only a select few will, and it shoud be the government's responsibility to care for the weak and underpriviledged. now you're straight-up putting words into my mouth.
RECORD REVENUE..not your words...fact

Quote:
the old-school monarchies and socialist governmenst argument is incredibly weak. you can do a lot better than that. you propose a confusion between authoritariansim and socialism. as acgm has pointed out, there are many happy and successful socialist nations that are not authoritarian.
Name a couple.

Quote:
you missed my point about the logical hurdle you made regarding my last point. you don't need to accept the thesis prima facie, you need to assess it based on the rationale that follows, although i will acknowledge that the word 'and' is causing confusion at the start of the 3rd senbtence. you can delete that.

compassionate conservatism implies that you are willing to accept some curbs on free markets, by definition. once you do that, you can't just argue from the position of free markets anymore. you need to make the position based on a needs analysis and balance. that is the rationale behind the thesis that the position is untenable, not a point that merely follows it.
IBID.

I still disagree, I believe a free market can will support social programs if they are transitioned to properly run businesses outside of government intervention. We already have them today, if they are rolled into the system of a free market they would be self sustainable. A private run credit program for charitable donations is a perfect example, there are many of these in existence today. They can be profitable.
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