A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
'Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.' - Groucho Marx

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  1. #1
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    Question How Do You See The USA 50 Years From Now?

    If someone has a bright picture, i sure would like to hear it.

    I'm in my mid 40's and i have wittnessed 4 generations including my own and we're going on 5. I have noticed a steady pattern emerging and it's not very pretty at all and it can't continue. Every generation is doing less and less while getting more and more while acquiring more debt and becoming more dependent, not to mention using more and more natual resources.

    On both sides, my grandparents had only 1 loan for their home which was paid by their mid 40's and a smaller loan for their car. On one side they built their first house and the other side had their home built. The side that built their home sold it and bought another couple fix-it-upers and re-sold them for a profit. The other side kept their original house till the kids moved out and sold it for a smaller home. By the time they were 50 both had their homes paid in full and cash in the bank. They never had a credit card or owed anyone past the age of 50. But this really isn't about money and it's not the moral of the story....

    My grandparents on both sides had their own well, sewer, heat(wood stove, furnace or both), grew their owned garden and canned food, burnt or burried their own trash and did any and all home repairs theirself. They were pretty much self sufficent their whole lives and going to their paying job during their working years was only 50% of the work they did. Basically, it was work, work, work from daylight to dark 7 days a week. There's more...

    Neither one owned more than 1 car at a time during their lifetime and didn't travel 1/10 or burn 1/10 of the fuel people do now in a month. If you walked into their house you was lucky if there was more than 1 light in every room and god forbid if you left one on it was like you was burning the house down. They probably went to the grocery store 2 times a month and bought and consumed 1/10 of what people do today in a month.

    Right now every man, woman and child in this country owes $46,000 of debt. What if all the sudden that came due? I'll say a good 90% of us would have to be put to sleep.

    This doesn't include the thrashing of natural resources. I read an article the other day from a pretty reputable source that for every 1.5 years of natural resources we go through world wide, it takes the earth 1 year to replenish. Now, if i was to fact check their numbers and information, i bet money it's bs and were already burning more that's being replenished. Not to mention we're consuming more and more with each generation.

    Now yes, every generation should be doing better than the next, and every generation should be a little easier, but my question is, are we even close to doing this the right way and how long can this continue? I see no way of avoiding a major reset within the next 50 years, if not much sooner. And "reset" is putting it midly.

    Last edited by Go Deep; 06-08-12 at 05:20 PM.
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    I wrote a three part series on this last fall, but it went the way of the dodo with the forum renewal. I kept it saved in a file.

    Here is part one. Two more will follow in a few minutes.

    This is about the kind of economics which is something like we have never seen in our nation's history. It's a paradigm shift of incredible proportions and if something isn't done within the next few years (or less), we will go into an abyss that has two possible outcomes - we go to a third world country status or the U.S. will see a second civil war that will be fought like no other battle in history.

    Yes, politics plays a significant role and to a degree, politics can fix this situation. Look at the big name companies that continue to lay off workers. That is going to become a trend. If the policies in this country don't change, it will become a normal reality each week. The economics of this new reality can be summed up in one simple sentence. It is becoming cost-ineffective to do business in the United States of America. Are there too much in the way of taxes? Sure. Too much bureaucracy and paper work? Yep. Favoritism? Hey, GE just reported (in 2011) an income of $5.3 billion in the U.S. and didn't pay a single cent in taxes.

    If you want to start a business, can you succeed if there are too many taxes? Maybe. Can you succeed if there is too much in the way of red tape? Maybe. Can you survive if a competitor is able to pay zero taxes and you are asked to take up that slack? Now it is getting difficult. I think you know where this is going.

    My cousin in DFW works for a large pharma company. Later this year, many of the jobs (including hers) are being relocated to Singapore. As a reward for her hard work (and they really do like her), she has been given a "special" deal. She can keep her job and move over there - for thousands less each year. Outsourcing can be a good thing and I'm all for it under the right circumstances. Many companies are facing the economic realities of being located in the U.S. and trying to make a simple profit. It's getting to a point where they have no other choice - close up shop or move the jobs offshore. There is no alternative.

    The U.S. led the world in just about every productive category that you can name. That is no longer the case. During various recessions along the way, I can recall people being concerned, but determined to get through it anyway. Fast forward to today. This is the first time that I have heard friends and family say things like "I'm scared" or "The future is very uncertain". "I worry about having nothing in the coming years". "A few years ago, I was excited about the future for my children, but now..."

    I am not blowing smoke here. It's scary. It really is scary.
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    Here is part two.

    First and foremost, this is not about a right/left, Republican/Democrat, black/white issue. Get that out of your head as we continue this discussion.

    As for the third world country status that we could see in years to come, it is showing some signs of unfolding right before our very eyes today. The middle class is starting to rapidly disappear and a fair number of upper middle class are heading in the same direction. I won't post the stats here (you've seen them elsewhere a number of times), but we have record numbers of citizens who RELY on welfare, food stamps, subsidies, and entitlements. The number will only grow from here if left unchecked. We're on a pace for at least seventy percent (and possibly much more) of our citizens being assisted in substantial ways.

    Guess who has all the power at that time? Yes, to a certain degree, it is elected officials – and they share a substantial portion of this power with a small group of individuals. Have you figured it out yet? It will be in the hands of those who have the money. Period. Moguls and their cronies (politicians) will be able to rise above all and create an empire that is completely and totally tilted in their favor. At one time, anyone could create a business and succeed (or fail) on the merits of their hard work and determination. Slowly but surely, we are headed to a third world country status that will allow you to succeed - but only if the ruling syndicate allows it. Too, it must be under their rules and they will certainly take a large measure of what you earn. In part one, I told you about GE paying no taxes on $5.3 billion. I wonder how their direct competitors feel about it. Get the idea now?

    How about Wall St.? I've told you in the previous paragraph about those who will have the money. In recent years, we have seen many politicians voice a lot of anger at Wall St. They passed some meaningless legislation not too long ago. It was like putting a blue dress on a dirty pig. Bottom line - it is still a dirty pig. If we continue on the current path, Wall St. will become the focal point of power (along with their political allies) in what is left of the United States of America. This is not a scare tactic. This is a reality.

    This where I transition to talk of a second civil war in part three. Will it happen? Maybe. Maybe not.
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    Here is part three.

    As stated earlier, I believe we could see another civil war in the not too distant future. It won't be fought like "traditional" wars. This war could involve anarchy, assassinations, electronic terrorism, eco-terrorism, enviro-terrorism, mob rule, attacks by citizens on government infrastructure, cyber-terror, civil disobedience, etc.

    We have seen the beginnings of a possible civil war in recent months. That is how it starts - slowly and in small numbers. It grows and multiplies to a point where chaos reigns supreme. We've seen it do good things - the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. We've seen the ugly side of it as well - the rise of any dictator or brutal monarchy.

    Can we avoid this civil war? Sure. It will take a multitude of changes. Recently, the NYT posted an article about Gov. Sarah Palin. Before you turn your nose up at this link, just know that it will surprise you (for those who tend to lean more to the left). Just read it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/10/us...0tZqZl8xOiUg7g

    In addition to these ideas (and I agree with them), we need to admit that some policies don't work - at all. Here are some:

    A. Most, if not all, of the free trade agreements need to be scrapped. Trade agreements are good if it is truly beneficial to both sides - and that is the direction that we need to pursue with our trading partners.

    B. A flat tax for all is needed. Businesses and individuals should pay no more than a total of 20% of income in taxes. This has been examined numerous times in this forum - no need to elaborate.

    C. A balanced budget is needed asap. Tough choices will be made - this is not a time for extravagance, it is a time for TRUE sacrifice.

    D. No more sweetheart tax deals for large corporations - think of the deal for GE.

    E. No more lobbying members of Congress and the presidency. There is something wrong with the system when seven of the ten richest counties in the U.S. are surrounding the DC area - ALL politicians and corporations are married to one another in a way that does not benefit our country's citizens.

    F. True and meaningful campaign finance reform.

    G. Term limits for members of Congress and at every level of government.

    H. Extensive tort reform.

    I. The following departments need to see massive reductions/reforms: Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, and Treasury.

    J. The following departments need to be eliminated: Commerce, Interior, Environmental Protection, Energy, and Labor.

    K. The following departments need to see some reduction and reform: Education, Defense, Homeland Security, State, and Transportation.

    L. The Federal Reserve Bank needs to be fully audited along with massive reforms.

    M. The "marriage" between Wall St. firms and politicians should end. The two are glued together and massive reforms are needed.

    N. Full and complete disclosure of all relatives of politicians who could benefit from legislation.

    O. Corporate reform and strict enforcement of the Sherman Antitrust Act is needed.

    P. A new commitment is needed for national infrastructure including roads, bridges, the grid(s), rail/mass transport, and irrigation/desalinization.

    Q. A comprehensive energy policy that is geared toward becoming independent and reliable. This includes the drilling for oil/gas/natural gas/coal and having a detailed "green" policy that embraces nuclear, solar, wind, fuel cells, and water. None should be subsidized.

    R. Public/government unions should be eliminated. It is nothing more than a money laundering scheme (taking money from tax payers and funneling some of it to one political party).

    S. Educational reform. Classes that are dedicated to learning mathematics, English, history, science, technology, etc. would be an absolute priority.

    T. A line item veto should be given to the presidency. To override a LIV, it would require the support of two-thirds of Congress.

    U. True immigration reform. No need to elaborate.

    Will any of these changes/reforms reduce the chances of a civil war? Well, if we do nothing, the problems will not go away. I hope for the best, but fear the worst. Time will tell.
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    That's some good stuff BB on what needs to be done, but even if you could somehow pull a lot of that off, i think we're still screwed. We're so interwound in this global society we're pretty much bound to being consumers and borrowing.

    If we go "green" well there go's the dollar as the world currency reserve. Yea, it's nice to think we should wean the world of oil, but it bites us in the ass if we do.

    As far as restructruing trade agreements, well that sounds good, but who really nowdays will find pride working in a factory and could we even compete doing much of anything on a global front?

    Then people say we should borrow less, hell, i say borrow while you can because it's got to come to an end.

    In my mind the tipping point to where we're at now started 20 yrs ago with no credit, bad credit come on in and buy a house or car at 20% intrest. I knew that crap didn't calculate no matter how you cut it. Little did i know the borrowers could care less if you paid them back as long as you paid enough for them to turn around and insure the loan. It wasn't just these tactics that targeted the sub prime market, but it was other bs banks were doing to the prime borrower's and purposely over extending what they could afford. Hence, this all lead to the banker bailouts which you really gotta be a special kind of stupid to agree with imo. It didn't solve a thing, we're all still in debt, but the bankers made out like the thieves.

    Then we made these stupid trade agreements that priced us out of the market of ever competeing in manufacturing.

    This is all being proped up, by who, i'm not sure, but i got some pretty good ideas and if it wasn't for us having the leading military industrial complex the money would have dried up a long time ago. Again, i don't like our military being spread out as it is, and i rather see us lead more by example rather than an iron fist, but on the other hand, if you go cutting the military there goes our ever ending line of credit, i gurantee it.

    I'm completely lost on how in the world you could ever fix this mess. We will have to take a couple steps back before we could ever go forward again.

    I could easily make the case that this was all purposely planned by some global banking criminals and others, while we were all blinded by having a blast on our credit cards and other loans that we couldn't afford. I tried to make myself believe that this was just a result of some bad decision making moving forward into a global society, but when you really look at it and get into it, it's much more than just that.
    Last edited by Go Deep; 06-08-12 at 09:35 PM.
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    Both me and BB have discussed this exact topic in very lengthy detail on the forum. For whatever reason, it doesn't seem to generate interest, and it should. It always ends up me and him discussing identical views on the future for 2 or 3 pages, then it disappears lol.

    Basically, my view is everything BB just said.
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    One other thing i will say, our government has evolved into something that's anything but a republic. We're not using the pony express anymore. In this day and age with electronic communications, i say we do away with all representatives. And does the idea of having a President and Executive branch represent a republic or corporation?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go Deep View Post
    One other thing i will say, our government has evolved into something that's anything but a republic. We're not using the pony express anymore. In this day and age with electronic communications, i say we do away with all representatives. And does the idea of having a President and Executive branch represent a republic or corporation?
    The entire government is useless, and has operated at an absolute stand still for nearly a decade now. Nothing short of a civil war or citizen uprising is going to change that. Nothing, no matter who is in office at any level. Both sides have given up on our country, and they are just in a Mexican standoff right now, and they are perfectly content with that. They don't have to work, and we still reward them with large salaries and hefty pensions while we starve and have to work our entire lives in hopes we have something to scrape by on when we get old. **** every single one of those worthless dirtbags in Washington. Every last one of them, no exception. Wipe the entire damn slate clean and start over. The Constitution has either failed us, we have failed it, or we have outgrown it. It no longer exists in the eyes of any one of those pieces of ****. Put the government out on the street and let them deal with us face to face.
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    Go Deep, one of the more interesting things you mention is that people would no longer be proud to work in factories, something I agree with. This is a major part of the problem I see today, that there is no strong work ethic being passed down to the next generations. My Dad was white collar, but worked his ass off, and we all knew it. His words and actions reinforced that constantly to us and made us want to work hard. I read a book recently that proposed the single parent families and both working parent families made this less common over the past 40 years. I suppose that's possible, though both my parents work.

    At any rate, I think one solution is to try to have two separate routes for kids in school, college and trade schools. And we have to do a better job of "selling" trade careers as valuable and meaningful. I think that is a step that could possibly help restore some of the American pride that once existed in some of those manufacturing jobs you reference.
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    Within the next 50 years, if the one thing that has a chance of "rebooting" not only the global economy, but also world society as well, takes place, things will be easier to do cause there will be fewer people to deal with.

    WWIII.

    Get it over with, and move on.

    To me, the only question is, which cities will join Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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    We are all gonna die!!! At least that is what my dog thinks.
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    well....su opinion....many of these prescriptive measures are certainly needed. but I don't see any of them righting a ship on a wayward course.

    - the fundamental contest between individualism and socialism (call it Statism if you like) has to be played out to its logical conclusion. that is what we are seeing now...in varying degrees.

    - some reality is going to have to be restored to language...everything these days is not what it appears to be. terms change on an ideological whim. we aren't better informed...we're worse off. we're worse off because the semantics of the very concepts we use to communicate with one another keep changing. it's being done deliberately...we are the sheeple.

    - the culture has to change in fundamental ways.

    - like many systems we are all familiar with through experience....some pronounced shock is going to have to occur (as Ax sarcastically notes).

    - somewhere...somehow....real leaders are going to have to emerge. where are these people?

    - somewhere...somehow.....everything can't be the outcome of a momentary feeling. there needs to be a foundation. we don't have that. far as I can see..the last 60 years have been an exercise in "constructive" deconstructionism
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    Quote Originally Posted by RG3 Fan View Post
    We are all gonna die!!! At least that is what my dog thinks.
    And your dog is right. We are all going to die. It's only a matter of when, and how.

    A logical, unemotional look at the many problems of the world, suggests that, on it's current path, world war is inevitable. It's already being fought within the economic skirmishes of the day. Territorial battles are always going on, with many more smoldering behind the door, waiting for the right trigger.

    Some believe it won't happen because they have faith that man is too smart to let it. I submit the only thing man has done consistently, from the beginning of our time, is kill each other.

    And, thinking practically, having a billion or more fewer to worry about, in the long run, would be a good thing.

    Especially if you're not one of them.

    I have zero faith in my fellow man, in case I'm not being clear, to truly fix any of the mess we have now.
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    For the record, i'm not suggesting or advocating a civil war as a fix or even as a high probability. That would be the worst thing that could happen on many levels and put us into a situation 10x worse. I'm not suggesting we tell the Federal Reserve and World Bank to go screw themselves. Atleast, not till we get out of this crazy debt.

    What i'm implying is that we as a people are going to have to do a little more and expect a little less. I know, that's crazy talk and it's not what people want for their children or their chilren's children. Unfortuantely, the last couple of generations really screwed up. Not without massive help though from our elected officials and bankers, but none the less, it happened.
    Last edited by Go Deep; 06-10-12 at 10:38 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go Deep View Post
    One other thing i will say, our government has evolved into something that's anything but a republic. We're not using the pony express anymore. In this day and age with electronic communications, i say we do away with all representatives. And does the idea of having a President and Executive branch represent a republic or corporation?
    GD...goes beyond that. Look at the Democratic Party - it's a congeries of special interests, just like business (based on identity rather than profit)....that essentially works overtime for the same ends: promoting its internal interests.

    you may be right about expecting less. although I always lean to expect more...but earn it first.
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    The people in charge, who led us here, with our tacit approval, are still in charge. More firmly entrenched than ever.

    What in the world could make one think, for a second, that they will do little more than double down on the same mistakes?
    Seriously.
    We could vote them all out, but we won't. Ever.

    Barring a major world war, in 50 years, it'll be SSDD. Just deeper, and smellier.

    Oh, and in 50 years, few, if any, of us current BGO members, will be around to see who was right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    GD...goes beyond that. Look at the Democratic Party - it's a congeries of special interests, ice with noble intentionjust like business (based on identity rather than profit)....that essentially works overtime for the same ends: promoting its internal interests.
    you may be right about expecting less. although I always lean to expect more...but earn it first.
    You are kidding yourself if you think the Republican party is not the same way.
    Both parties only reason for existence it to get stronger politically. They are self serving and overall only care about power and reelection. Not concerned about the common good. There are a few noble politicians but they get pushed off by the ones who don't care about doing the right thing. If politicians cared about that we would see real progress and true principled leadership. George w. Bush came into offIce with noble intentions, but the party machine and his own lack of strong personal will created another failed presidency.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RG3 Fan View Post
    You are kidding yourself if you think the Republican party is not the same way.
    Both parties only reason for existence it to get stronger politically. They are self serving and overall only care about power and reelection. Not concerned about the common good. There are a few noble politicians but they get pushed off by the ones who don't care about doing the right thing. If politicians cared about that we would see real progress and true principled leadership. George w. Bush came into offIce with noble intentions, but the party machine and his own lack of strong personal will created another failed presidency.
    I'm not kidding myself. The Republican Party has its issues (and I'm not enamored of its leadership - whcih I dind to be uninspiring and weak)....but it is not the tent of competing special interests that is the Democratic Party. As for self-serving party goals...well...yea.....but the parties are clearly very different in many core issues - and they vote that way.

    you want it cleaned up? then the voters are going to have to move people into office who will do so. it's not just corporations......we the voters have been voting for vested interests as well.

    on a broader plane...what is it e all think the government ought to be doing? and how?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post

    you want it cleaned up? then the voters are going to have to move people into office who will do so. it's not just corporations......we the voters have been voting for vested interests as well.

    on a broader plane...what is it e all think the government ought to be doing? and how?
    Fan, do you really think voting the right people in is going to keep the corporatocracy from having influence? Would you or i refuse a board position or public relation job, etc.., or even more, from special intrest that would pretty much set our family and their family's family when we got done "serving" the people?

    Please tell me the difference between the two parties other than one pretending to be conservative and the other being liberal while scratching each others back in and out of office.

    As far as what government ought to be doing? Simply put into a political philosphy, something closer to anarchism rather than democracy. That would be 10x closer to a true republic than a democracy.
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    well...GD.....everyone has a right to influence the process. so that's not your beef. your beef is with the extent of that influence and what you think is the undue influence of money. or celebrity.

    sooooo...are you arguing that even with Democrats in power we get Iraq and even with Republicans in power we get Obamacare?
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