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drummnutt (< 20)

I guess "balance" is a dirty word?

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February 02, 2009 – Comments (9)

Balance has been one of my favourite words for many years. The reason for this is that when it comes to life - including political views, economic policy, etc - the concept of "balance" seems to elude almost all human beings on the planet. You are a righty, OR a lefty, you want free markets OR regulation, you like icecream OR pizza. This final (rediculous) example should now elude to what I am about to say next; often, you can replace the "OR", with an "AND" to achieve a stronger position. Does this idea seem paradoxical?. It is. But first, let me point out (obviously) that there are times when you cannot replace an "OR" with and "AND"; racism v's equality, slavery v's freedom, sexism v's freedom. Polar opposites that cannot be united to form a stronger middle ground.


To assume that you cannot combine other SEEMINGLY polar opposits is not true, although lazy thought would prefer it to be true. Combine pizza and icecream and you have a meal, PROVIDED you don't eat them at the same time. Combine free markets AND regulation and you have stabilty AND prosperity PROVIDED neither becomes too strong a force. Combine government AND individual freedoms and you have, justice AND liberty for all PROVIDED again that neither ideal dominates the other. This is not fence sitting, it is an intellectual approach that does not allow for lazy opinions handed down from generation to generation via rhetoric and cliche's.


Our Prime minister, Mr Kevin Rudd, has written a paper due to be published shortly that will show how this idea of synthesising seemingly opposite views can create a stronger middle ground.
"While Mr Rudd advocates new regulation and government intervention for financial markets, he warns that the advantages of the free market should "not be thrown out with the bath water"...Ironically, it falls to social democracy to prevent liberal capitalism from cannibalising itself... The intellectual challenge for social democrats is not just to repudiate the neo-liberal extremism that has landed us in this mess, but to advance the case that the social-democratic state offers the best guarantee of preserving the productive capacity of properly regulated competitive markets, while ensuring government is the regulator, that government is the funder or provider of public goods and that government offsets the inevitable inequalities of the market with a commitment to fairness for all,"
full article available here...

My previous blogs, here and here, resulted in some healthy discussion, but it unfortunately also drew alot of extreme views. It should now be clear that I am not saying that a government should take ALL of your hard earned dollars as tax, I am saying SOME of your hard earned dollars should go towards building a better society for all, through taxes, and thus find a stronger middle ground.

PS. could we please not get in to a debate about guns on this one, let's stick to the idea of synthesizing ideals to create a balance, particularly regulated free markets.

9 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 02, 2009 at 4:20 AM, Donnernv (< 20) wrote:

The best way to deal with this is to not rec and to not respond.

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#2) On February 02, 2009 at 4:40 AM, drummnutt (< 20) wrote:

Objective at least in recommendation. Too bad you have no constructive proposition, retort or argument to add. Thanks anyway (not)!

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#3) On February 02, 2009 at 6:40 AM, Hudarios (< 20) wrote:

You still haven't given the details of a single law or policy that would improve America. Gun ownership was the only topic that even came close - and rather than getting pinned down on how the details would work, you've nixed the topic. Instead you're musing about your favorite words, tripping over "and" and "or," and quoting more non-specific text from other socialists.

Hundreds of words with no concrete ideas tells me that you, drummnut, don't actually have any. When human life and liberty are at stake, word games just aren't going to cut it. If America is in decline right now, it's because a growing number of our leaders think just like you do.

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#4) On February 02, 2009 at 7:48 AM, foolsMeThrice (99.63) wrote:

You are absolutely right.  However... yin and yang, sweet and sour, rich and poor, hot and cold, but not warm.  You get it?

 

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#5) On February 02, 2009 at 8:34 AM, devoish (98.08) wrote:

Drummnut, One rec for you for a well written post. Hodarius, as soon as you add one single regulation free markets cease to exist and the harder work of getting it right needs to be done. That is the concrete idea in this post.

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#6) On February 02, 2009 at 9:09 AM, drummnutt (< 20) wrote:

Thanks devoish.

foolsMeThrice; do you like hot baths or cold baths? I like warm. Do you like hot days or cold days? I like warm. Do you like hot rooms or cold rooms?... You get it??

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#7) On February 02, 2009 at 12:10 PM, socialconscious wrote:

Hmm Drummnut interesting. I first welcome any voice including those that are different then my own. I also welcome your call for a "civil discussion" hopefully free from perjorative remarks,ad-hominem attacks and subtrafuge. I quote Dr. Leonard George who said" A danger sign of the lapse from true skepticism in to dogmatism is an inability to respect those who disagree."

 I believe we that we concur that any successful government is a hybrid. Free enterprise is needed but it has to have check and balances through government regulation In that way the needs of all are a met. Social assistance programs are needed to dispel anarchy and have educated, and able workers In that way the needs of all are met.  That being said I have a question below.

Are you repudiating the left and right for sake of the center when you say? -> "Ironically, it falls to social democracy to prevent liberal capitalism from cannibalising itself... The intellectual challenge for social democrats is not just to repudiate the neo-liberal extremism that has landed us in this mess"

Please clarify and expound on your point.Thank you

All best. Social C

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#8) On February 02, 2009 at 1:56 PM, drummnutt (< 20) wrote:

SocialC, you have no idea how refreshing your post has been for me to read! Thankyou.

Your second paragraph sums up perfectly what I have attempted to put forward in some of my previous blogs.

In response to your question: Firstly I must point out that these are not my original words. I placed these comments in parenthesis as they were extracted from an article which described a paper written by Kevin Rudd (soon to be published). I forgot to add his name at the end of the parenthesis (sorry for the omission). However, to answer your question, I am suggesting that there are strengths to be found within the ideals of capitalism. There are also some strengths to be found in the ideals of communism (this may be hard for many to swallow). However, I feel that both of these extreme views also encourage great negatives for society as a whole; Unbridled capitalism yields greed and a society where the disadvantaged rely solely on charity. Likewise communism attempts to provide for all in an egalitarian way, but squashes the very important element of free enterprise - which you have advocated in your 2nd paragraph.

I think that your suggestion of a "hybrid" is a good one. Like a hybrid car, this new system would take the best elements that we have learnt from our modernist experiments and synthesize them into a new vehicle. Whilst it will not be perfect (what human system will ever be so?) it will be the best that we can employ in today's post-modern era.

Finally, (IMHO) the neo-liberalism is personal and corporate greed disguised as political-economic policy that grew from the Regan/Thatcher era. The ideas seemed easy to sell to an American audience. Joe and Jill on the street loved the rhetoric fed to them. Joe and Jill loved the sound of lower taxes. Joe and Jill loved the sound of less government intervention. Finally, Joe and Jill jumped at the opportunity to buy houses, cars and TVs that they couldn't afford through cheap credit that arrived through inflated asset prices due to the market dictating lending criteria. All of this lack of gov't intervention and regulation has come with a price tag that the world is about to pay. The future regulation required must be responsible, and not excessive, but we do need it.

"...but to advance the case that the social-democratic state offers the best guarantee of preserving the productive capacity of properly regulated competitive markets, ... with a commitment to fairness for all,"

I would be interested to hear your thoughts. If you were the architect of the american political and economic model, what would it look like?

Regards.

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#9) On February 02, 2009 at 3:10 PM, socialconscious wrote:

 Drummnutt well put! Imho would replace "socialism" for "communism". If I was the architect of the american political and economic model, what would it look like? This thesis would require at least a day for an practical cursory outline 

on matters of Government intervention 

Politcians should be more accountable to their constinuency and the will of the people.The term "representative government" is not an elastic clause. To that end laws abating the practice of lobbying of any kind should be instituted and strictly enforced. This includes lobbying which I or you may be amicable too. Sadly the degree of government intervention that is necessary is to curtail this abuse and others is minimal. It fails in its lack of diligence. 

On matters of Government aide to business 

Government should regulate that any aide be largely used for the express purpose it was intended and to help the people of the US in this most direct manner, i.e GM using US government money to sure up their Brazilian operations is unacceptable. Of course GM says it too avoid the same labor problems they face in the US. Always an external excuse for an internal mismanagement/ engineering problem with a billion of our money. the same with 20 billion for bonuses excused as talent retention.

http://news.in.msn.com/business/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1672588

On matter of ethics.. 

I hope the lesson are not forgotten and we head into an era where ethics are practical and not an academic theory

 Well the list will go on forever. All best

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