"The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby NWDave83 » Jun 24, 2012 8:39 pm

:lol:
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Windwalker » Jun 25, 2012 3:00 am

I 'probly could have met you for a beer this weekend, too, I was in the Seattle area.... well Vashon Island anyway.

:lol:
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Bearsy » Oct 25, 2012 1:44 pm

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... alism.html
Image


There's a charming conceit abroad that Tea Party Republicanism expresses some kind of revulsion against crony capitalism and lobbyist government. There's not much evidence in favor of this proposition - not at least if we judge people by actions rather than words. On the other side of the ledger, there's the story of Michigan's Proposal 6, a proposal put on the ballot by a billionaire monopolist in hope of retaining his monopoly.
Manuel (Matty) Moroun, an 85-year-old self-made billionaire who owns the 83-year-old Ambassador Bridge, is Cynic-in-Chief. The Ambassador is currently the only transport truck-bearing bridge in town. Twenty-five percent of Canadian-American trade, representing about $120-billion, flows across it each year.

It is a perfect monopoly for the Moroun family, a golden goose that just keeps on laying eggs, putting upwards of $80-million a year in tolls, duty free gas and shopping sales in their pockets. Allowing a Canadian-financed competitor into the ring without a fight isn’t an option.

For months, Michiganders have been fed a robust diet of Moroun-family-financed television commercials urging them to vote “yes” to Proposal 6 on Nov. 6. Proposal 6 is a statewide ballot initiative that, if successful, would see Michigan’s state constitution amended and make any new “international bridges” subject to the approval of a majority of Michigan voters.

The Morouns have reportedly spent over $10-million to thwart the free bridge, an effort highlighted by door-to-door flier campaigns, robocalls and their ubiquitous television spots featuring a soundtrack of ominous-sounding piano chords and a series of plain-talking Michigan folk — retired cops, stay-at-home-moms, nurses aides and longtime Detroit residents — striking apocalyptic notes about a paid-for-by-Canada border crossing.

“There is no such thing as a free bridge,” one woman says.

“Eventually, we the people are going to end up paying for it,” warns a Vietnam veteran with an American flag on the back of his motorcycle.
The ad is flatly and brazenly untrue. All the economic risk of the bridge has been assumed by the government of Canada.
But if money cannot buy itself its own facts, what good is money?

And look who Maroun has mobilized in support of his monopoly: the local chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the main Tea Party group in the state.

Sean Higgins in the Washington Examiner writes:
AFP is also taking the same position as Moroun on Proposal 6. AFP argues the bridge project could be a burden on taxpayers.

Moroun is widely suspected of underwriting AFP. Scott Hagerstrom, state director of the group, declined to tell me whether Moroun was financially backing AFP or the Michigan Alliance for Prosperity, a separate nonprofit group also involved in the initiative with ties to AFP. He told me his group won't reveal its backers until after the election. He did insist that there is "no quid pro quo" involved in AFP's backing Proposal 6 …
The word "could" has to do wide duty here. And now look who else has thrown his support to Maroun: Grover Norquist, the Washington anti-tax-crusader (and - although it's considered impolite to mention this - sometime lobbyist).
From the Detroit Free Press, Oct. 3:
Anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist has joined ranks with Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun in urging passage of Proposal 6 on the November ballot.

Norquist, CEO and founder of the anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform, will join Mickey Blashfield, a top Moroun aide and head of the People Should Decide group backing Proposal 6, in a call-in news conference Thursday morning to urge passage of Proposal 6.
Here's Norquist's statement:
It is imperative that any discussion of such a massive government-sponsored project should give taxpayers a final say. A yes vote on Proposal 6 ensures that federal and state lawmakers must make the case to voters that any new bridge to Canada is in Michigan’s best interest. Unfortunately, it appears that many Michigan politicians hope to rush this project through with little public input. The current arguments for a new government subsidized bridge are insufficient.

This project relies on hundreds of millions of dollars in federal spending. While proponents may claim that no state taxpayer dollars will be used, they conveniently ignore that Michigan residents are United States citizens who pay federal taxes. These dollars come out of their pocketbooks. And borrowing money from Canada means that money must be paid back – with interest. Most studies show that Michigan’s indebtedness to Canada will continue for decades, meaning the state will realize no revenue from tolls for years and years to come – if at all.

A new bridge funded with a mix of federal government spending and state government borrowing is certainly a dubious proposition. But not even giving state voters the opportunity to weigh in on the issue is unacceptable. I fully support Proposal 6, which would give Michigan voters a say on this multi-billion dollar project.
Whether or not you find that argument convincing may depend heavily on whether you are receiving a check from Matty Maroun. But the flow of deceptive advertising suggesting that a second bridge will raise Michigan taxes is having its impact on the Michigan voter:
Polls show voter support for Proposal 6 at about 50%, down from 57% a few months ago.
Remember Proposal 6 the next time you hear a Tea Party supporter bemoan "crony capitalism." Turns out, it all depends on the meaning of the word "crony."
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby jonathan.jam » Oct 25, 2012 3:34 pm

This is one of the reasons why I dislike the idea of proposals, initiatives and referendums. The ads on TV and in the mail are so deceiving that many people don't know what to think. The proposal is also deceptive because some (mainly the older folks) believe that voting yes on the proposal means that they support the bridge.

In the end though, this proposal won't do anything to the DRIC if passed. Law cannot be changed retroactively, and the interlocal agreement has already been signed. Extra time and money will probably be wasted in court battles, but the bridge will ultimately be built.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Bearsy » Oct 25, 2012 4:05 pm

Its good to note who is on whose side.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Americalex » Oct 25, 2012 4:10 pm

Bearsy wrote:Its good to note who is on whose side.

The baddies resort to democracy, which Karl Marx warned us is the tool of socialism lol
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Bearsy » Oct 25, 2012 4:18 pm

democracy is important but to have a system that can get something so brazenly corrupt on a ballet is indicative of a weak democratic system that is bound to de-legitimize itself sooner or later.

A simple democracy that is unabusable is possible and desirable!
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Americalex » Oct 25, 2012 4:20 pm

Bearsy wrote:A simple democracy that is unabusable is possible and desirable!

From a socialist perspective yes.
"Entre le fort et le faible, c’est la liberté qui opprime et la loi qui affranchit." - Lacordaire
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Bearsy » Oct 25, 2012 4:36 pm

Also from a reasonable and balanced perspective.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Americalex » Oct 25, 2012 4:49 pm

Bearsy wrote:Also from a reasonable and balanced perspective.

Only a socialist would make such a ridiculous claim.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby jonathan.jam » Oct 25, 2012 5:20 pm

In Michigan, only 10% of the population who voted in the previous gubernatorial election are required to sign a petition in order to get it in the running to be on the ballot. Therefore, only 322,609 are needed. In a state of almost 10 million people, this is a really small number, about 3% of the population. If initiatives are allowed, the required petition number should be much higher.

Another interesting twist is the cost of the customs plazas for each country: U.S. Customs plaza: $413.6 million; Canadian Customs plaza: $387.6 million... totalling $800 million! Adding in the permanent use of huge swaths of riverfront property, the customs plazas are costly slabs of concrete. Imagine how much nicer (and cheaper!) it would be if the United States and Canada were one country (or if there was at least an open border)!
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Americalex » Oct 25, 2012 6:43 pm

It's abusive. By contrast look at the Swiss system and how they were able to ban Minarets, it required majority support from all counties except one, in a representative system broad consensus is required before such things can affect outcomes.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Bearsy » Oct 25, 2012 8:33 pm

Americalex wrote:It's abusive. By contrast look at the Swiss system and how they were able to ban Minarets, it required majority support from all counties except one, in a representative system broad consensus is required before such things can affect outcomes.

You dirty democracy loving socialist.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Americalex » Oct 25, 2012 8:43 pm

Bearsy wrote:You dirty democracy loving socialist.

Your crap gun is running out of ammo!
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Windwalker » Oct 25, 2012 8:49 pm

Bearsy wrote:A simple democracy that is unabusable is possible and desirable!

Beside the obvious (as Americalex pointed out): this statement stems from a socialist perspective, how could there possibly be an "unabusable" democracy. Even the most basic democratic unit (a family unit where the Father figure and the Mother figure both have an equal vote in family decisions) there is room for abuse.

Please enlighten me if I am mistaken, but I am under the impression the only "unabusable" democracy is a democracy with only 1 person.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Bearsy » Oct 25, 2012 8:53 pm

Switzerland? Alex fucking said it. We said virtually the same thing. But i'm the bad socialist man
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Americalex » Oct 25, 2012 8:58 pm

Bearsy wrote:Switzerland? Alex fucking said it. We said virtually the same thing. But i'm the bad socialist man

It's semantics but we differ on definitions we can adjust by clarifying that.

For me, Switzerland is a representative system with some democratic components. But you view Democracy with some representative components as being ideal, whereas for me such a setup only incites progressive corruption and implosion. A simple democracy is a guarantee of quick and radical corruption and implosion. Democracy is evil basically. Democracy is popular government.

Now imagine you have daughters. They go in a house party. Do you want them to do the popular thing? Or do you want them to do the correct thing. Representative government is best expressed by the term 'Righteous Government'. There is a Greek word for it too. It is certainly not an egalitarian system of government like democracy, which gives every person an equal say in the affairs of government. Righteous government is an equitable form of government, not an equal form of government like democracy.

Dikaiokratia FTW
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby Bearsy » Oct 25, 2012 10:51 pm

I don't think we even differ on semantics. I had said something needs to balance the democracy element of governance. There must be some kind of democracy not only for legitimacy but for the people to feel they have a stake in the success of their country. I am not saying its the be all end all of governance.
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby jonathan.jam » Nov 06, 2012 10:28 pm

Looks like Proposal 6 in Michigan, whether or not it would have applied to the DRIC, will not pass. :D
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Re: "The U.S. and Canada: We Used to be Friends"

Postby dans » Nov 06, 2012 10:45 pm

The way I see it, it's a matter of time preference. Voters have the shortest time preference, only considering election to election, or maybe even just the next year or next month. (Inflation decreases time preference, though, so perhaps voter's low time preference is caused by inflation. We need a control group to determine that.) Politicians care only about their term and possibly the next after that. What I think could do some good is a constitutional monarch with strict, enumerated powers, probably just veto powers (and maybe foreign policy). Liechtenstein has a similar system. The prince (who happens to be quite popular, he's got an approval rating most politicians would kill for) can veto the Landtag and cause the issue to go to popular referendum. Switzerland has something similar, minus the monarchy. Of course, it helps that Liechtenstein is so tiny.
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