Thursday, June 14, 2012

Confusion

Pro-life people have teamed up with fiscal conservatives so that those who are pro-life can get elected.  Those who are pro-life argue that we should have more programs in place to help those who are struggling with unintended pregnancies or who otherwise feel like they cannot have children.  Fiscal conservatives do not think the government should be running these programs.  When these programs are run by outside agencies that also offer abortion services, they are called evil, abortion factories, etc. 


Possible Strawman Alert: People have been posting on their Facebook about how we need more regulation for those receiving food stamps, unemployment, welfare, etc., in order to make sure that the money is spent in an efficient manner and that those who are on those social welfare programs are not abusing the system.  The problem with this is that fiscal conservatives who are concerned with the idea that people should not be abusing the system do not want more government bureaucratic officials interfering with government money.  They have proposed to make drastic cuts in these social welfare programs instead of investigating ways to stop people from abusing the system.  The claim that they make is that since people abuse the program we should cut it instead of spending a little bit of money to provide additional oversight into the program to prevent this abuse and eventually save money in the long run.

6 comments:

  1. Do you think more strict campaign finance laws would lead to more or less ideological diversity in political candidates?

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  2. The arguments I've heard in the past is that it is hard for a candidate to raise money when he doesn't go with the party line on a number of key issues because the political parties and their national offices hand out money. With the invention of Super PACs, we saw in the Republican Primary already a number of Republican candidates had the main talking points but a number of the wealthiest people contributing, gave their money to the individual candidate based not on what the establishment of the party wanted but rather based on the differences in the candidate. If we had stricter campaign finance laws, one could argue that only the candidates who constantly have the same ideas as the party, itself, would be able to raise money. Also, with Super PACs, they can use all of their money to support candidates that highlight the differences between their candidate and others.
    Ideally, stricter campaign finance laws would contribute to more diverse candidates because the political parties wouldn't have their hand in the total money so it wouldn't be as important for the candidate to behave the same way as the party wants them to.
    My guess would be that if there were stricter campaign finance laws then we would see less money overall flowing into the system, so you might see candidats branch out and embrace issues that they typically would not, to highlight their differences especially when running against candidates of the same political party. We could just as easily see candidates not branch out because they might not think by branching out that they will get the money that is needed to win an election.
    I guess my answer is that it would lead to more diversity but it would depend on what restrictions are put in place by the new laws.
    What do you think?

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  3. I think that the fundamental flaw in campaign finance laws as well as publicly funded campaigns is that it places the power of funding electoral opponents in the hands of incumbents. I find it hard to imagine any scenario where this power is not used to entrench the parties further than they already are. Look at the problems we have with gerrymandering. I think we can expect the same kind of self serving policies when it comes to financing elections. I doubt that having less money in elections would reduce the extent to which politicians are beholden to the rich or corporations' interest (I don't believe they are anyway, I think that most politicians truly believe that when they pass some sort of favor for a constituent they are doing it in a good faith attempt to help the country or at the very least their constituents). Regulations will be set, and people will find ways around them. The more complicated the regulations, the more time and effort it will take to get around them, which still leaves the rich with a distinct advantage.

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  4. Are you in favor of completely government funded campaigns?

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  5. No, I probably should have made that more clear. The parties are able to wield a huge amount of power, so placing power in the hands of the government de facto places it in the hands of the parties.

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  6. I just realized I posted on the wrong post, sorry.

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