Sunday, September 21, 2014

Control Freaks: GOP or DFL?

My spending proof will need to wait another day or so, I misplaced a source and need to find it again...  To fill the void: here is a new discussion from the MinnPost Is the Party Over for the Independence Party article.  A couple of the other readers disagree with the following Nolan diagram.

This Nolan Diagram would likely draw similar criticism. For diagrams see G2A Moderate MN.
In summary, they think that only the GOP is interested in using governmental laws to control the behaviors of others. (ie social engineering, morality, etc)  I'll let their statements speak for themselves.
"Let me spell it out for you...your perception of what a liberal democrat is nothing but myth. And it seems to me that the only party that continues to want people to tow a certain line is the GOP. They're the party of social engineering." Jason

"Democrats and Liberals have a long list of principles we're very passionate about. One of them is allowing people the freedom to have their own principles." Paul

 "As we have discussed here over and over again, Liberal Democrats want many many laws to control the actions and behaviors of people based on their beliefs. Here are just a few:
- forced acceptance of the gay lifestyle in private arenas
- forced purchase of birth control methods that are against a group or individual's morals
- loads of regulatory emission control laws
- endless attempts to control gun ownership
- forcing to employers to pay employees more than the market requires.
- forcing people to pay to subsidize the health insurance, food bills, housing, etc of other citizens
- oppose free trade: try to limit the choices of people and businesses
- limit legal immigration by giving illegal immigrants priority
- other

All of these being excellent examples of why the image creator placed both the DFL and GOP below the Independents on the social freedom axis. Both groups avidly pursue laws to control other citizens." G2A

 "Right and you're so moderate that you only listed "Lib'rul offenses." 'Loads' and 'endless' and 'forcing' of things going on here... long on drama and short on specifics, or thought, or empathy. I notice the homophobia is still present, as ever." Jonathan

"The point of disagreement was regarding the DFL and their desire to use Laws to control personal freedoms. Paul and Jason denied this reality. I argue that they belong in the lower portion of the diagram along with the GOP.

If you want me to list how the GOP wants to use Laws to control personal freedoms. Here you go...
- Force women to carry embryo / fetus to birth.
- Deny people the right to physician assisted suicide.
- Deny people to marry a person of the same sex.
- Deny people the right to clean water and air.

As for things that both sometimes support...
- Deny people to be legal prostitutes, strippers, etc
- Deny people access to certain drugs
- Deny people the freedom to gamble
- Excessive taxes to disuade people from smoking/drinking

Now have I shown that I can see both sides?" G2A
Now what is interesting about this topic is that the far right conservatives say the same thing about Democrats.  It seems that both sides want to complain about Government mandated "Social Engineering" while striving to use it to their party's advantage.  Therefore they believe they belong in the upper half of the diagram or at least in the middle, and for sure not below the center line.  I mean both think they are fighting for freedom, not against it...



Laurie said...

I think undecided voters pay too little attention to politics to pick a side. I think the most of the so called independents vote for the same party a high percentage of the time. I think most moderates vote for the democrats.

John said...

To paraphrase, you think moderates, centrists and swing voters are actually Democrats / Liberals, therefore they should be drawn to the Left and not in the Center.

This sounds a lot like when Paul said that Independents are all actually fiscal conservatives. Implying that DFL has a monopoly on liberalism.

"Yes Jason, republicans and conservatives are far more reliant on a variety of stereotypes (i.e. "myths") about everything from government workers to liberals. It's kind of interesting to watch what happens on these Minnpost comment threads when these guys run into actual liberals rather than the liberal stereotypes of Ann Coulter's imagination.

And by the way, any adult who's using a chart of some kind to locate themselves or anyone else on the political spectrum probably has little business dispensing advice about political identity or ideology.

I've never seen a group of people who are so consistently confused about the political spectrum as IPer's, republican's, and right wing conservativs. Basically they seem to be trapped in a fantasy wherein they are "moderates", no one exists to the right of them, and everyone else is a socialist. When it comes to sorting out the alignments of left and right and liberal and conservative the whole game completely falls apart.

Many of us keep pointing the fact that he IP is simply NOT in the MIDDLE of the political spectrum. And they keep trying to argue that they are... look at the chart? It's almost comical.
" Paul

"And speaking of using stereotypes... "IP is simply NOT in the MIDDLE of the political spectrum"

So it seems you are saying Philip who is Independent must be a fiscal Conservative, even though people perceive him to be Liberal. And your rationale is that he must fit into the stereotype that you have created.

And you say this in the face of dozens of comments here that say the IP is a diverse set of people with little common ground. Which seems to part of why their party is failing.
" G2A

John said...

I would be fascinated to hear where Paul, Jason, etc see themselves on the diagrams above.

My guess is that they see themselves as Economic Liberals who are fighting for freedom from government mandates that control Americans. Therefore somewhere in the upper left portion.

Yet they lobby for dozens of laws to control the behaviors of Americans who do things that they believe are wrong or unjust. Just as the religious right tries to do.

John said...

By the way Laurie, you may be correct in the Minnesota Twin Cities Metro. Our center maybe a bit Left of many other Americans.

Iowa may be a bit more representative of the nations center.

jerrye92002 said...

I think the biggest "freedom" that modern liberals seek is the freedom to define their own terms. For example, "forcing a woman to bring a fetus to term" might also be called "allowing a woman to murder her child." "Deny ... same-sex marriage" might be called, "giving states the right to define legal marriage" or better yet admitting that the current definition of legal marriage does absolutely NOTHING to prevent two people from having a religious commitment ceremony, living together, and creating legal contracts together. Enshrining the marriage definition in the constitution to prevent arbitrary rewriting of the law by the courts does zero to change that. Like I said, liberals like to twist the language into unrecognizable pretzels.

John said...

My point is that both sides want to use the "State" / Government to legislate and control morality, values, etc.

Yet both sides usually accuse the other side of doing this terrible "Big Brother control" thing while claiming they are out to support the freedom of the citizens.

I mean the State of MN has made gay marriage legal, yet to this day you fight it. You would prefer to keep gay couples from experiencing the joy of a legally recognized marriage and the potential excitement of a legally recognized divorce.

John said...

Now I do agree with you that abortion is a much more complicated issue. Since the freedom of 2 individuals are in play.

However physician assisted suicide is definitely a case where the religious right works to mandate morality. A citizen in their right mind wants to end the pain and yet "those who know better" insist that the individual live with the pain.

So much for keeping government away from the patient and their Doctor...

Laurie said...

about "I think most moderates vote for the democrats."

I think this graphic I found shows I am right (again). It is a little confusing but it seems to show that many people who hold consistently liberal or mostly liberal views self identify as moderate. I like to think of myself as moderate, though I know I score as liberal on those questionnaires.

Ideological Self-Placement Mostly Corresponds to Political Values, With Some Exceptions

It is weird reading some of the Pew reports on political ideology. It seems more people are identifying as independent at the same time they are becoming more ideological. People may hold liberal posistions but they don't want to be labeled as liberal or a democrat. Conservatives seem more okay with the conservative label but have distanced themselves form the republican party.

John said...

"many people who hold consistently liberal or mostly liberal views self identify as moderate."

Maybe this explains why Paul and Jason see themselves as more moderate than their comments indicate. Personally I think most people see themselves as rationale, balanced, moderate, etc. Therefore it may be hard for many to believe they are far left or far right.

Would your comments indicate that Conservatives are more pragmatic about themselves and their beliefs?

Now more on topic, do you see yourself as a control freak who wants government to enforce your Liberal will, beliefs and agenda upon all the other citizens of the country?

Or do you see yourself as the hero who is trying to free other citizens from the governmental restraints?

Laurie said...

" a hero who is trying to free other citizens from the governmental restraints?" seriously, you want to live in a society free from governmental constraints?

I am a proponent of a good government that passes laws promoting the common good.

as someone who participates in the democratic process I don't consider myself a control freak.

John said...

"passes laws promoting the common good"

Remember that thing about good intentions.
Comic 1
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Comic 4

John said...

Why am I guessing that this is the common theme for most Americans.

"I am a proponent of a good government that passes laws promoting the common good."

Have you ever heard someone say...

"I am a proponent of a bad government that passes laws discouraging the common good.

John said...

By the way, most people don't consider themselves control freaks or supporters of totalitarianism, yet many seem to want to keep passing more laws to bind the citizens more and more.

Comic 1
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Comic 4

John said...

Now that I have had my fun.

How many laws, regulations, bureaucrats, inspectors, police, etc do we need to "maximize the common good"?

In your opinion, is there a point where more of these laws etal cause the common good to shrink?

Remeber to look at the diagram as you consider this.

Laurie said...

sometimes good government requires repealing laws, such as the "1,175 obsolete, unnecessary and incomprehensible laws that Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature repealed this year as part of the governor's

John said...

I do agree, that was a good thing.

Gov Unsession

Of course on the other hand they traded off a bunch of obsolete laws that probably cost little since no one knew they existed.

Where as it looks like they did their best to replace them with more expensive and restricting ones. TC 2014 Leg Session

John said...

Let's see...

They made private employers pay more than market wages.

They decided that local schools and citizens were incompetent regarding how to address bullying, so they mandated certain expensive rules.

They mandated how private businesses should manage their employees.

They mandated a kill switch on phones and banned a common chemical called triclosan.

And they refused to let alcohol be sold on Sundays.

John said...

Not to mention the huge bonding bill, the new office building, etc that we citizens will be working to pay back for decades.

At least they did cancel some of the taxes they had passed just a year before. And according to the link it looks like they delayed raising transportation taxes into a non- election year.

They did align the MN tax laws with the Feds in many ways, however they left the marriage penalty in place.

I agree the unsession was a good thing, however I still think we lost ground in the area of local governance and personal freedoms.

John said...

Now that I am done ranting.

It still seems to me the GOP and DFL both want to legislate their view of morality, fairness, etc into our society.

This isn't necessarily wrong, however it explains why the graphic creators draw them where they are.

Sean said...

Are Republicans really winners in the area of "local governance"? I don't think so.

When they had the majority, they tried to prohibit property tax increases by cities and counties, and tried to limit when a school district could call a referendum and tried to impose a pay freeze on public school teachers.

Of course, we won't hear you talking about those things...

John said...

And why wouldn't I? I agree that both parties try to force their will on others by passing laws. I think that is what I have been saying.

John said...

Thanks for a few more examples!!!

Sean said...

"And why wouldn't I?"

Well, you didn't mention them at the time.

John said...

I gave examples from both parties, not a comprehensive list of every occurence. I don't watch the details enough to compile that encyclodedia.

Please feel free to add examples from both sides.

My point is that both sides seem interested in having the state control more and more of our lives. Just in different ways.

Just think of the innocent looking things like Social Security and Medicare. The State determines what you will pay, where you will invest, what benefits you will get, when you can use them, etc. And some people welcome that control.

And to be fair, in some places laws keep same sex partners from getting a legally acknowledged marriage. And some people welcome that control.

Sean said...

"My point is that both sides seem interested in having the state control more and more of our lives. Just in different ways."

Yet, you consistently support one side of the aisle. Why is that?

John said...

Probably because on the first graphic, my views land somewhere near the second D in INDEPENDENTS.

Therefore I value having control over my own finances. And expect other citizens to take responsibility for their own education, employment, finances, etc.

Just curious. Where do you think you reside on the first graphic?

Sean said...

"Where do you think you reside on the first graphic?"

The one time I took the Nolan test, I was at the intersection of the blue and green lines.

Not sure how accurate it really was, though, as for several of the questions I found all of the answers severely lacking.

More to the point, though, what does it matter where I lie on that chart or any other of the diagrams that you're so fond of? Policy isn't made or implemented by looking at ideological charts.

You spend way too much time, IMO, trying to classify things instead of looking at policies that can solve problems.

John said...

Do you mean at the O in MODERATES?

As for the importance of diagrams, I do think it is important for people to know where they stand relative to the playing field and the other participants.

Just as I believe in the importance of clear principles.

Without these I am not sure how people would evaluate the policies that are being proposed. Or judge those that are disagreeing with them. I assume they let their emotions guide them...

Sean said...

No, directly left of 'CENTRISTS'.

The problem with the diagrams is that they serve no real purpose. On an overall scale, I may be directly left of "CENTRISTS", but on different issues I'm in different locations.

Knowing that I'm left of centrist but you're near the second D in independents doesn't do anything to move the ball forward. It's just a polite form of name-calling that allows one to discredit an idea based on classification instead of the merits. (i.e.: We can't trust Sean's proposal: he's on the left side of the chart.)

Principles are different. They provide a framework for moving towards a solution.

John said...

Comic 1
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Image 1
Image 2

John said...

Sorry... I thought I read blue and red for some reason...

I think knowing where people sit helps me to understand their intent better. And it helps me balance my evaluation of policies better.

If the proposed policy removes freedoms from citizens and gives more power to the state, it is likely I will be against it. Not because I am greedy and selfish, but because I believe in allowing people to make their own choices, own mistakes, etc.

Can this perspective into my brain help you understand why I write the way I do?

Or am I just a greedy selfish fiscal conservative?

Sean said...

"I think knowing where people sit helps me to understand their intent better. And it helps me balance my evaluation of policies better."

First off, I would say that looking at a point on a chart provides no meaningful information in regards to a person's intent. You have chronically made false assumptions about what I believe or what I intend based on where you think I am on the stupid chart.

In fact, what you're really doing is discrediting ideas without doing the hard work to understand them fully. For instance, you've commented multiple times about how you don't like the ACA, but you've also admitted you don't understand it very well. But since you've decided where it lies on the chart, you've deemed it to be "bad".

It is similar to your so-called analysis that determined that 33% of GDP was the appropriate level of government spending. It was based on feel and what sounded good versus any real economic analysis.

John said...

"You have chronically made false assumptions about what I believe or what I intend based on where you think I am on the stupid chart."

Impossible. I had no idea where you were on the chart until you told me.

Sorry... When evaluating a policy one needs to look at both the big picture and the details...

Turning healthcare and more than 38% of our GDP over to the State is too far towards Totalitarian to me.

As for the details of ACA, I see the pros and cons. By the way, I am an analytical type A personality who thrives in details. My standard for understanding "well" is very high. I am guessing I understand it better than most citizens.

As for the details of forced wealth transfer / % of GDP, I think there are a lot of very smart people who disagree if it is good or bad. Who's economic analysis would you see as real?

Do they account for the behaviorial and belief changes that occur in a society as one changes the risks, rewards, penalties, etc by arbitrarily taking from one party and giving to another?

Sean said...

" I had no idea where you were on the chart until you told me."

Really? You've consistently referred to me as a liberal since I've come on to your blog, and talked about my preferences for wealth transfer.

"As for the details of forced wealth transfer / % of GDP, I think there are a lot of very smart people who disagree if it is good or bad. Who's economic analysis would you see as real?"

There are many reasonable perspectives on such issues, based on data. You didn't base your opinion on data, though. You picked it because it "sounded good".

"by arbitrarily taking from one party and giving to another?"

Supporters of such policies don't find it "arbitrary" at all. If you wonder why some people don't see you as the moderate you see yourself as, it's because you like to slip in little loaded phrases like that in...

John said...

G2A Freedom As Defined by Liberals

Though I started "just because" you did pull some of my rationale out. Remember...

"Here is some more qualitative rationale that one of the Pauls reminded me of.

The USA is overall the best and most unique country in the world. We are wealthy and powerful and willing to use that to help others all around the world. We have destroyed aggressive nations and then helped to rebuild them. Millions of citizens from around the world would love to come live here and die trying, even though many of our own citizens take it for granted or complain that it still is not good enough for them.

And we did that with a governmental system that cost 33% or less of our GDP.

With that in mind why do you think we should screw with the most successful country in the world? Rationale and cost anaysis expected." G2A

And at least I proposed a number and some rationale. I have yet to hear that much from you.

"You are doing an excellent job of being critical of me, how about you start describing what you think "success" is?

What is your rationale and proof that a different number is better?

Carrots and sticks are necessary to deal with the reality of human nature. We need enough incentive for people to want to learn, work, invent, take risks, etc if we want to keep America strong and influential.

However we still want to be compassionate and take care of those who are truly unfortunate and in need. " G2A

And if the number is not arbitrary... Please state a firm number and the detailed rationale for why it must be that number... Not 20% higher or 20% lower... And the rationale should be solid enough that 80% of us rational Americans can agree to it.

"Arbitrary" does not need to be a negative term. Many values are set based on the arbitrary opinions of people. I challenge you to provide a number and a proof that a significant number of our population agrees with.

Since I think this is unlikely, I use the term arbitrary because each group is picking it based on their analysis which is based on their perception of reality.

Arbitrary: "depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law"

John said...

By the way, I guessed you were just left of center on the economic axis since you are much more rational and balanced than Paul, Jason, etc.

I had no idea where you were on the social freedom / government control axis.

Sean said...

"And at least I proposed a number and some rationale. I have yet to hear that much from you."

I have not given you a number, that's correct. But I have given you my rationale for why I can't give you a number.

John said...

I think "as much money as needed to do the job" is neither a target nor a rationale.

Nor much of a way to manage a household, business, state or country.

Come on. State some assumptions and commit to something.
Just throwing rocks at my glass house is pointless.

jerrye92002 said...

Let me just point out that the latest Gallup poll finds most Americans believing that government wastes 51% of all the money they take in. I stand opposed to wasteful spending, and to collecting the taxes to waste on it. Does that make me a radical conservative, or just common sensical?

John said...

I think Sean, Laurie, Hiram, Yourself and the rest of us may agree that waste is occurring, however I doubt highly that you would all point to the same "wastes". See the second link.

Gallup 51 cents
Incorrect Math, Correct Sentiment

jerrye92002 said...

We aren't likely to even agree on the same definition. For example, I would count as waste anything that could be done better by private citizens, corporations, non-profits/charities, or state and local government. Excluding Medicare and Social Security for the moment (and only the moment), and those parts of national defense being done efficiently (much of it by private business), that leaves about 40-some percent "waste," IMHO.

Sean said...

"I think "as much money as needed to do the job" is neither a target nor a rationale."

Let's start off with the extreme example and work backwards. Should we have stopped fighting WW2, because government spending surged past 33% of GDP? Of course not, right?

The fact that government used to be able to do the job at 33% of GDP doesn't necessarily apply to today. The demographics of the country have changed, technology has changed, so on and so on. As the country (and the world) changes, the amount of resources required for government to do its duties may change.

Therefore, assigning an arbitrary limit to government spending makes no sense at all. Government needs the resources to competently complete its role.

Government should work aggressively to eliminate waste from their processes (something they are not good at), and keep that % as low as feasible. In some cases, that % may be below your picked out of the air number, in other cases it may be higher.

jerrye92002 said...

Sean, I like your comment, but I would go a step further. That % could ALWAYS be lower, and should be lower, because government, like every other "business" should become more efficient over time. Unfortunately, there are no incentives for government to become more efficient, since they are spending someone else's money and get paid the same whether they get results or not. And since they have the unlimited power to tax, they don't worry about competition.

Sean said...

I would certainly agree that much of the purely administrative function of government should be able to be done more efficiently year-over-year.

But that's certainly not all that government is buying with our tax dollars. For instance, technology -- while driving cost savings in administrative functions -- can drive increased spending in defense or health care.

jerrye92002 said...

That's certainly true, but spending on defense technology is "buying" actual national defense, directly. Even though it is often wasteful in terms of its process (I know, I did it for a time), it is certainly something reasonably done best (and constitutionally) by the federal government. One might make the same argument for national health research. I think if you added up only those things which the federal government is best suited to do, and found the way to do them with reasonable, business -like efficiency, you might cut federal spending by 80%.