Voting for President; why fucking bother?

damn, Charles… for $100 I’ll vote for your candidate of choice.

Obama is going to kick out the illegals?

Sure, let’s send even more jobs overseas. We can all work at Walmart or Starbucks.

expand immigration – ensuring cultural diversity and increasing the availability of skilled labor

We have enough unemployment already. And too many people, people everywhere!

simplify the tax code while lowering taxes – reducing the likelihood of non-compliance and thereby increasing overall revenue
Simplify yes. Lower taxes? How about spend the money in the right places, instead of a bottomless pit of a 100 year war?

introduce a school voucher system – ensuring competition amongst public schools and thereby forcing them to improve
Hasn’t this been tried already?

cap malpractice losses at a reasonable level – decreasing the demand for unnecessary tests and malpractice insurance and thereby lowering the cost of healthcare.
How about we take the power away from the HMO’s and insurers and give it back to the doctors?

reform or eliminate agricultural subsidies – need more be said?
ADM will be pissed!! Let’s take away subsidies from the world’s richest corporations too, while we’re at it. (Oil, in case you didn’t know.)

establish a cap and trade system for all polluting substances, not just carbon.
We need to reduce pollutants across the board, not use bullshit like this.

establish a stiff fine (500$ or more) for individuals who do not vote in national elections – Australia does it, and it works great
I’m against this.

Look, dude, that’s a pretty damn Republican agenda you listed. Can’t go for that.

Human institutions and political victories never last, no matter how good they are. Even the greatest leaders of the past eventually had all their achievements wiped away. Looking to humans for the answer to human problems is like asking a cockroach to fix itself.

None of the candidates will. Good for them.

[quote=“Midnight Son,post:23,topic:43301”]

How about we take the power away from the HMO’s and insurers and give it back to the doctors?[/quote]

Isn’t that what he just suggested? HMOs and insurers have the power because the doctors can’t afford the risk of a malpractice suit.

It’s a simplistic “solution” to a complex problem. And the lobbyists are pushing it hard.

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

By opening up, we create more jobs everywhere. Sure, not all of them will be here, but shouldn’t you, as a liberal human being, be happy that humanity reaps a net benefit, even if America doesn’t get all of it? Not only is it selfish to demand that America receive the totality of any benefit, it’s also short sighted – by increasing growth overseas, we pull people out of poverty and create more consumers for the high end goods produced here. And I dunno about you, but I’d rather work at Starbucks than in a textile mill. I prefer to spoil my lungs with cigarettes, thanks.

Our taxes are already high as hell, which encourages the use of noncompliance, whether by manipulating the tax code or moving elsewhere. Rather than keeping this silly system, where people with enough money can grab an effective tax rate much lower than their supposed one, we should reduce taxes and loopholes with the goal of creating a higher effective tax rate while reducing the costs of compliance. Everyone wins. Not spending money on stupid stuff is indeed a good idea, but making taxation less painful is more useful in the long run.

Vouchers have been tried to good effect, but they tend to get shot down by the same teachers unions that have stifled public schools for years. Either grant mayors the same sort of powers Bloomberg has been exercising to great effect for the past couple of years, or take the less difficult (politically) route and implement a voucher system. Attempting to reform public schools is obviously a non-starter – people have run on that plank for decades now. It would help more people faster if we simply helped kids - and their parents - vote with their feet.

Taking away power from the HMOs and insurers? How? It’s their money that makes the whole system work! Take away their power and you’ll remove their interest in healthcare. At which point the government will be the only remaining option – and the NHS in Britain makes it perfectly clear how crappy an option that is. Taking away some of the power from malpractice lawyers is a far more effective option. While some (heck, maybe even most) malpractice lawyers are decent folks, a significant number of them are total scum willing to take any case, no matter how spurious, in the hopes of forcing a settlement by the targeted doctor, who fears being driven out of business by a sympathetic jury or spiraling legal fees. Malpractice insurance is one major factor in the rising price of healthcare, and fears about liability – driven by fear of malpractice suits – generate the remainder. I’m not saying that these lawyers should be rendered toothless – in moderation, they serve an important role in protecting the rights of patients. But between them and the drug companies, things are getting pretty bad.

Another big deal for improving the health care industry would be forcing insurance companies to reveal their fee structures – as is, doctors continue to raise their prices until the insurance firm only pays part of it. Doctors also hit uninsured patients with fees that are triple what the uninsured get to recoup from nonpayment by other patients. Its a bad system, and the best way to improve it is greater transparency.

I agree, subsidies are bad. Distorting the market is an incredibly bad idea unless significant externalities can be generated by doing so. I don’t think that transferring more money to companies already enjoying massive profits is a positive externality. Subsidies that reward people for being early adopters on clean technology, or for users of mass transit, are great.

Capping pollutant levels and allowing firms to trade the right to pollute ensures that there is a positive element (above and beyond efficiency gains from using newer, less polluting technology) for decreasing overall pollutants, encouraging firms that find only marginal benefit from cutting environmentally unfriendly behavior to take the plunge into eco-land. Plus, it ensures that industries self police in order to prevent competitors from cheating. And, as we’ve seen time and again with collusion cases, we’re more likely to catch cheaters if we have industry insiders looking for them than if we only have government employees on the job.

Everyone should vote – if everyone had, I’d bet you Bush would have lost in '00, and we’d be in a better place today. If that means punishing people that don’t want to vote, I’m all for it. Better than enduring another wasted decade, that’s for fucking certain.

Punishing people for not voting. Wow. Home of the free I guess, eh?

Guess freedom to you means being free as long as you do what the government commands of you. What’s next, you’re punished if you don’t vote in local elections too or is it just the Presidential election? Ironic that I’m sure you think Bush has destroyed our civil liberties and here you are thinking we should destroy another.

Good job!

This isn’t novel, Australia already does it. It works great there. I believe it’s only for national elections, but I’m not sure.

For 3 million dollars, I’d sell my votes for the rest of my life. I would even let the purchaser determine where I live as long as the amount was adjusted for the area.

So yeah, if you’re a crazy obscenely rich person, don’t PM me or anything… because, you know, that’d be cough illegal.

Hey Bob, just think of it as a $500 tax rebate that you can only get if you vote or if you are ineligible to vote. It’s not a punishment, it’s an incentive! You and the other Bushies should be all over that!

If it works so great, how do you explain John Howard winning three contests?

Last time I checked, Bush lost the popular vote in 2000. Unfortunately, the Bush crew cheated.

It’s okay, I prefer the government to stay out of my daily life. You guys want government handling everything (since they’re so good at it) so have fun with that.

I just realized that every Midnight Son post is supposed to come with its own rimshot at the end. I guess Firefox had disabled it, now everything makes alot more sense.

Hey, I can’t explain y’alls bad taste. That said, didn’t he preside over the longest economic boom in Australian history? I expect that tends to excuse a lot.

And yeah, Bush lost. That doesn’t change anything about the importance of voting. Choosing not to vote is like choosing to get a lobotomy – I don’t know why, but it sure sounds good.

Yes, but the reason for such happening were outside of his control and the economic boom was inevitable. The Chinese economic boom caused an increase in demand for Australia’s natural resources, don’t expect Howard to ever confirm this.

Yeah, things suck like that. Cursed economic boom! Not sure how this invalidates the importance of voting though.

edit: you ninja’d me!

Keep in mind that if you don’t vote you lose the right to bitch and moan about how shit the government is.