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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    27 Jan '10 06:13
    I've heard people idolize certain societies as being as close to ideal as any society ever has been.

    The Spanish Anarchists in and before WWII (rwingett).

    The USA in some past time, probably the 1800's (Wajoma).

    The Nordic countries today (don't remember who).

    What do you think?
  2. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    27 Jan '10 07:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I've heard people idolize certain societies as being as close to ideal as any society ever has been.

    The Spanish Anarchists in and before WWII (rwingett).

    The USA in some past time, probably the 1800's (Wajoma).

    The Nordic countries today (don't remember who).

    What do you think?
    I don't know but I sure don't agree with the suggestions.

    Spain during the times of and following the revolution? Certainly not if you were on the republican side.

    U.S. in the 1800's - god, I'd hate to be black, mexican, or an native american.

    Nordic countries today.... well, maybe. I wouldn't want to live there, but not for "societal" reasons.
  3. 27 Jan '10 07:13
    It depends on how you measure "best".
  4. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    27 Jan '10 07:42
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    It depends on how you measure "best".
    5 World Cups. Brazil.
  5. 27 Jan '10 10:16
    The Tasaday.
  6. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    27 Jan '10 10:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    It depends on how you measure "best".
    The one you'd like to be a part of; that you think best exemplifies the most ideal way for a society to function.

    Ignore technology, geography, etc. I'm more interested in government, laws, law enforcement, defense, customs, etc.
  7. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    27 Jan '10 14:17 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I've heard people idolize certain societies as being as close to ideal as any society ever has been.

    The Spanish Anarchists in and before WWII (rwingett).

    The USA in some past time, probably the 1800's (Wajoma).

    The Nordic countries today (don't remember who).

    What do you think?
    USA, late 1990s. Booming economy. Federal budget surplus. Falling crime rates. Internet boom. You could also throw western and northern Europe into the mix; no inherent difference.
  8. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    27 Jan '10 14:22
    Originally posted by sh76
    USA, late 1990s. Booming economy. Federal budget surplus. Falling crime rates. Internet boom. You could also throw western and northern Europe into the mix; no inherent difference.
    No inherent difference between Swedish democratic socialism and US free market capitalism?
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    27 Jan '10 14:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    No inherent difference between Swedish democratic socialism and US free market capitalism?
    I meant in terms of their economies in the late 1990s and the functioning of society.

    But, in any case, the US policies are not completely free market capitalism and the Swedish economy is built on a capitalist platform as well. The difference is degree. Elect five more northeast style Democratic Senators (think Pat Leahy, Sheldon Whitehouse and John Kerry) in 2010 and the US will look a lot like northern Europe in a few years.
  10. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    27 Jan '10 14:43
    Originally posted by sh76
    I meant in terms of their economies in the late 1990s and the functioning of society.

    But, in any case, the US policies are not completely free market capitalism and the Swedish economy is built on a capitalist platform as well. The difference is degree. Elect five more northeast style Democratic Senators (think Pat Leahy, Sheldon Whitehouse and John Kerry) in 2010 and the US will look a lot like northern Europe in a few years.
    Yes, they're both capitalist countries, but I think the difference is more than just "degree." They have fundamentally different approaches toward capitalism. Although I would dearly like to be more like northern Europe, I think it would take far more than the election of a mere five senators.
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    27 Jan '10 14:51
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Yes, they're both capitalist countries, but I think the difference is more than just "degree." They have fundamentally different approaches toward capitalism. Although I would dearly like to be more like northern Europe, I think it would take far more than the election of a mere five senators.
    If President Obama and Congressional Dems didn't have to worry about pleasing the Ben Nelsons of the World and had a "real" filibuster-proof majority, you don't think they'd enact things like higher tax rates, universal healthcare, expanding social services and the like?

    Maybe not to the same degree as Sweden, but much closer.
  12. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    27 Jan '10 15:26
    Originally posted by sh76
    If President Obama and Congressional Dems didn't have to worry about pleasing the Ben Nelsons of the World and had a "real" filibuster-proof majority, you don't think they'd enact things like higher tax rates, universal healthcare, expanding social services and the like?

    Maybe not to the same degree as Sweden, but much closer.
    The filibuster is a big part of the problem. You need a super majority of 60% to enact any significant change. This acts as a natural bulwark against change and furthers the status quo. I don't know if other democratic countries have to contend with this type of legislative roadblock.
  13. 27 Jan '10 15:29
    Originally posted by sh76
    If President Obama and Congressional Dems didn't have to worry about pleasing the Ben Nelsons of the World and had a "real" filibuster-proof majority, you don't think they'd enact things like higher tax rates, universal healthcare, expanding social services and the like?

    Maybe not to the same degree as Sweden, but much closer.
    it would be interesting to see what would happen if either party was to have the presidency, the House, AND something like 65 Senate seats.

    it would seem that this would lead to an avalanche of laws from that party with the minority totally powerless to stop it. But I would predict there'd be just as much gridlock as there is now.

    Take healthcare reform right now. All of the interest groups who are against reform would realize that the GOP was now totally moot. So all of that money would now flow towards the conservative Dems, and suddenly Nelson would be joined by a a small flock of other Dems from red states, all of them opposing the "public option" or "higher taxes" or whatever it took to block "real reform".

    Another scenario would be that the liberal Dems (with lots of extra money flowing to them from pro-reform interest groups) would use that 65 seat ultra-majority to become extremely ambitious and refuse to accept anything except an extremely generous single-payer plan that would clearly split the party.
  14. 27 Jan '10 15:35 / 1 edit
    How about Republic of Ireland during the Celtic Tiger years.

    Booming economy. Well educated population. Peaceful. Young people staying after centuries of emigration. A nice balance between free market and socialism. Plenty of good pubs.
  15. 27 Jan '10 16:48
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The filibuster is a big part of the problem. You need a super majority of 60% to enact any significant change. This acts as a natural bulwark against change and furthers the status quo. I don't know if other democratic countries have to contend with this type of legislative roadblock.
    No, but there are other roadblocks. Coalition politics often leads to a more volatile political system, where many governments don't last their full term.