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Government Dysfunction?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Arnold Panz, May 7, 2013.

  1. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    I once had an international CEO ask me how it is a country like the US can produce companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, GE etc. and still have all of the dysfunction in our politics and legal system that we have. It's a great question, and one i have been trying to figure out for years.
     
  2. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    Some wag said years ago (and I'm paraphrasing) that the American system of government is a lousy one, but better than the alternatives...
     
  3. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    It's because our best and brightest are rarely involved in public service. By default, those public positions largely get filled with opportunists. You can see it at the city council level, and you can see it in the U.S. Senate. If the federal government began behaving like a successful corporation (i.e. not spending it doesn't have, and planning more than four years into the future), we'd have a very different situation.
     
  4. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    That was a derivation of Churchill's famous quote that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all of the others that have been tried.
     
  5. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    Entropy - Any system left to its own devices will devolve to the lowest possible state. We are on our way. It is only when people like Musk and the Tesla team put some effort back into the system that things improve. At some point, all the original energy put into building the US will have evaporated and we will be the balance of decay and the current amount of effort we are putting into our country. It is only then that we will see who we really are.
     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    If you have no empathy (but can fake it), are really good at lying, and want to make a lot of money without actually producing anything, public office is one way to go.
     
  7. toto_48313

    toto_48313 CAN P #5

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    I think it's because it's dysfunctionnal enough to support crazy ideas like Elon one's. US has no fear to start from zero and try something big, this is a huge difference with most of other countries that doesn't want to take too much risks.
     
  8. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    Yeesh -- and I thought I was cynical! :)

    It's not quite that bad -- I worked in Congress many years ago (before law school), and have many friends who still work in and around government. Like any other profession, you have some people who are in it for the wrong reasons, but definitely have a lot of people who are there for the right reasons and trying to do the right things.

    I'm actually much more cynical about the apparatus that has built up around government, especially the media industrial complex that makes large profits off of supposed conflict between the parties. Where there are numerous issues where there is either general consensus or a relatively easy to reach compromise, it is unfortunately in many people's interests to not have people reach practical solutions ever because that doesn't drive ratings/fundraising/elections etc.

    This thread, actually, is a perfect example of people from the alleged far right and far left ends of our political spectrum (and many in between) who agree on something of relative importance in current events. If you listened to our supposed leaders, this should be an impossibility because the other side is evil and trying to ruin the country, impose their will on others, etc. Unfortunately, that apocalyptic language about the "other" is what keeps those people in power at the expense of all of us.
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Not cynical. Observational to the possibilities.
     
  10. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    Arnold,

    I've had very good conversations with those on the far right and left. Once the conversation moves away from the thought that I might be attacking their "side" I normally find that I can agree with most thoughtful people on about 90% of how life works. I also find I can respect their views on the other 10%. The only explanation I have been able to come up with is that todays Right and Left are fabrications.
     
  11. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    Bingo! And as they might have said during Watergate, just follow the money? Who benefits from the faux conflict we (allegedly) have with our fellow countrymen? Who has less power and suffers financially if we didn't have all of our manufactured conflicts between Right and Left? Once you start asking these questions, the answers become fairly obvious, and you become immediately immune to their efforts to divide us along these lines.

    I'm currently working on an issue for my company on which there is complete agreement between labor unions and the Chamber of Commerce, and the hardest issue we have to overcome is how to portray the issue in such a way that it looks completely neutral, because as soon as it gives the appearance that it's a union issue or a business issue, we know that we'll immediately draw the ire of one or the other side. It's so ridiculous.
     
  12. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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    We need to do more of this. Compromise is a lost art that I sure wish we could get back to.
    across the isle.JPG
     
  13. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    easy.... delete $ from the equation.

    I do not want to be flip here but the system has reached "corrupt" and is accelerating towards "absurd".
     
  14. PeterSZ

    PeterSZ Petrolhead Electrified

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    Allow me this as an outsider: corruption is legalized in the US and it's called lobbying. For us Europeans it's impossible to understand that the NRA has so much influence.
     
  15. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    Ahh yes. The famed dysfunction of the U.S. Government.

    Let me preface my comments by saying that while I recently joined the dark side, I was a life long Republican and small government type. Technically I was more interested in "rational" government than strictly small government, but still. So I am not a rabid big government librul, even today.

    That said, my degree is in International Relations, which is basically a political science degree that included a lot of comparative politics classes where we study foreign governmental systems. And IMHO the key to U.S. success is extreme levels of transparency and oversight, along with checks and balances. As much as folks like to hate on government bureaucrats, ours are usually best in class when compared against other governments.

    As a "for instance" that is much in the news, the U.S. Postal Service is the best in the world, by far -

    Which country has the world's best postal service? Here are the top 6 | syracuse.com

    You see that pattern repeated endlessly, with the U.S. being stocked with first rate agencies that are highly efficient in comparison to their counterparts. In the case of the U.S. Military, the comparative advantage is obvious, because its the only governmental agency that engages in combat with the foreign competition. NSA, CIA, FBI, Social Security, IRS, USDA, FDA, EPA, etc. All of them are comparatively efficient and are world class organizations. The difficult thing to do is to find a U.S. agency that is comparatively "bad." The worst U.S. agencies are likely one of the 2 or 3 best such organizations in the world.

    The reason our companies are so amazing is because our government does an outstanding job of creating an environment where innovation can flourish. Most of the "dysfunction" occurs in the political limelight and is more show than reality. Even in the hyper polarized media saturated environment today, there are large numbers of Congressfolk doing important oversight and conducting the real business of the Federal government where the cameras aren't watching.
     
  16. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    Transparency is, like sunlight, a very good thing. However, it is only as useful as a people's willingness or ability to respond to what they see. Citizen's United is completely out in the open. We all see it. We all know that the presidential candidates spent something like $1B each last cycle to win a job that pays $400Kish a year. What is happening is right out in the open and it does not drive us to action.

    What did Gordon Geko say?

    CO,
    I feel a lot like how you describe yourself. One example of my views is that I will not let someone bleed out in front of me so I am for a safety net. At the same time, I'd like everyone to gather around in a circle with their checkbooks in their hands and have a discussion about what that safety net will look like. When the discussion is done, we all right (oops, funny typo write) a check and then move on to the next issue. Common sense has left the house (pun intended).
     
  17. rogbmw

    rogbmw Member

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    Hmmmmm......I thought this thread was how people were thinking about Tesla cars and the positive impact they were having........
     
  18. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Yep. I've asked one of the mods with privileges in this subforum to peel them off into their own off-topic thread. Thanks for pointing it out.
     
  19. Kaivball

    Kaivball Member

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    The dysfunction is by design. Three equal branches of government to keep each other in check and prevent over reach.

    Americans are not supposed to look at their government for solutions but at themselves.

    We have limits government for a reason with enumerated responsibilities but extensive individual rights. The main purpose of the federal government is to protect the borders, to protect individual rights and ensure that interstate commerce is not hindered. Government does not create wealth and prosperity. It can only protect the environment that allows the private sector to succeed.

    Many believe that the federal government has exceeded it's constitutional powers by getting involved in activities that ought to be left to the states or the people.

    Too much centralization of power and attempts of centralized planning, in spite of ample historic evidence that planned economies miserably fail.
     
  20. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    rogbmw, and a little bit about why something that is obviously good on so many fronts has been a bone of contention for a large portion of the population (but point taken).
     

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