Henry Woeltjen


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What Is The Correct Answer?

We are all influenced by politics. It's either directly through education and participation, or it materializes because of influence applied through legislation or regulation.

People seem to hold political views based on their own personal opinion. However, I don't think they consider long-term impacts, and long-term impacts are probably the only real reason we have government regulation.

I don't believe we can move forward on the back of general opinion. If we can acknowledge that many people are not educated when it comes to economics and general government procedure how can we value a popular vote?

I think it is important that we begin to educate ourselves on how things really work. Economics is not so complicated that you cannot, at the very least, understand the basic concepts.

How important do you think education is?

More importantly...do you believe we should have a global focus....or continue to run our country by how people feel in that given year?

I think we need to apply legislation according to its long-term impacts as it relates to our long-term goals. It's really the only thing that makes sense.

So the next time people on TV are talking about "EQUITY" or "CDO" you should probably take a look at what those terms mean.

Further than that...let's stop making our electoral system a joke. If you go out and vote please ensure you research your candidates.

Voting based on the color of the pin he or she wears...is obviously ridiculous.

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    Dec 13 2012: Firstly,…EDUCATION is Paramount…period

    Secondly,...the current global economic model, which insists on a climate of unemployment and poverty as necessary, is unsustainable and will continue to oscillate between flight and crash scenarios until it finally crashes so badly that we have no choice but change it because it's foundations will be irretrievable.

    Thirdly,…We in the US do not live in a democracy, we live in an oligarchy. We do not have any measurable influence over where the money running through our government comes from nor how it is used and if you doubt the validity of this accusation then take a Close look at our government's actions both domestically and abroad over the last 60 years.

    Having only the two sides of the same coin to choose a candidate from is not a choice, it's a manipulation...
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    Dec 13 2012: Amen.
    Education is perhaps the most important thing of a society, for if one does not receive a good education, he/she will not be able to determine personal opinion based on the facts. Rather, he/she will determine his opinion based on people he/she associates with.
    Without a good education system, however, it is impossible to educate the public on what is really happening in this world.
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    Dec 14 2012: Rational education is the wellspring of progress in any society. However, as you suggested, the popular vote loses its value as a reliable method for ensuring the best interests of the country when it is comprised of votes from a myopic, uneducated voter-base.

    Problematically, many individuals do not consider education to be a priority and thus, continue to vote based on ignorance, misinformation, emotion, opinion, etc. The vote of a person who takes the time to educate himself/herself on issues carries equal weight to that of a person who does not. The sheer number of uneducated voters can contribute to these tainted values dictating public policy.

    One logical (but idealized) solution to this problem would be to assign more weight to the votes of individuals who have taken steps to become educated on the issues, who have demonstrated the capacity to reason, think critically, and whose personal priorities don't pose a conflict of interest. Implementation of this could include classes on logic, reason, economics, social issues, etc. and some sort of test to prove both mastery of the educational material and critical thinking skills (which are likely more difficult to teach). Though not compulsory, voters would need to complete these classes and tests to acquire weighted votes. This would simultaneously shift voting power AND promote the value of education.

    This is the best solution I can think of with respect to this particular problem, but it has many susceptibilities and I doubt it would be well received by those who do not place the same significance on education as we do.
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    Dec 13 2012: Education period

    Krisztian was pointing out the other day the problem is that with physics or any science the results are objective and verifiable with economics this is not the case. In fact the powers to be benefit from making the subject ambiguous.

    This has been done in the past with sucess in Canada by Paul Martin and a series of national TV shows.

    Regarding global affairs you are no good to anyone if you do not take care of yourself first which means reduce central or OTUS to a fraction of it's current size and put the power back to the state and local level which empowers the individual as it should be.

    Another factor on this line is that war causes inflation. Granted some of it is necessary but it has to be reigned in a lot. How many soldiers did it really require to get Bin Ladin or Hussein. But if you look at a graph of inflation (see graph #10 at link) the spikes are associated with a war. Otherwise there would be no inflation until Nixon took us out of Bretton Woods.


    Unfortunately as witnessed in the last election when the government forces Peter to pay Paul you can always depend on the support of Paul.
    • Dec 13 2012: "Unfortunately as witnessed in the last election when the government forces Peter to pay Paul you can always depend on the support of Paul."

      And here I was thinking the social security and medicaid guzzling obese seniors, lowly paid (because they don't like book learnin'), medicaid taking, scoot-mobile bound, obese, diabetic teabaggers and bailout money / corporate welfare taking executives and capital gains moochers (the three population segments that cost the government the most money per capita) voted overwhelmingly republican...

      And man, all those red states mooching federal money from blue states must be a lie too, thank you for enlightening me Pat.
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        Dec 13 2012: I'm not a Republican. And yes I agree welfare is welfare.

        Although every employee pays 15.2% of their paycheck to medicaid and social security so it is not welfare.

        But none the less I hear that the average medicare recipient receives 3 times what they pay in.

        On the other hand healthcare is a bubble created by the government in the first place.

        But I do find it ironic that your sarcasm is aimed at me, your ignorance is the thing that is overwhelming, there really is something to know about this subject.
  • Dec 13 2012: "I think it is important that we begin to educate ourselves on how things really work. Economics is not so complicated that you cannot, at the very least, understand the basic concepts."

    The thing is that learning the basics means you're being fed a lot of hidden assumptions because "the basics" are often composed in such a way that the knowledge is readily applicable inside the relevant field, instead of providing you with an academic theoretical basis. Knowing the basics allows you to start learning more, but it often doesn't allow you to make informed decisions because you still lack knowledge of the hidden assumptions.

    Maybe in the far future we can improve our brains or upload information to our brains directly, so everyone can be an expert in everything, but until then we'll just keep mucking around.
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    Dec 13 2012: Electoral Professionals, I keep hearing this word lately.
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    Dec 13 2012: Democracy itself comes with the inherent flaw of Argumentum ad Populum, a line of fallacious argumentation that no one can coherently use for reasoning as to (i) why something is true/false and/or (ii) why we should act on it or dismiss it, in matters such as this. (Public perspective and yet-to-be policy).

    Education in the understanding of exactly what a candidate is/does/believes is incedibly important, however its important to note that there are also issues that come with that aswell which are rarely accounted for (thus only a step in the right direction but not the end goal).
    For example/
    -Politicians lie
    -Politicians promise more than whats attainable
    -Those required to enact/remove a policy don't necessary allow the changes the candidate wants
    -Politicians are not necessarily qualified themselves in all (or even most) of the matters they will eventually deal with
    -Short-term and Long-term strategic voting can divide voters
    -Agreeable policies can be later rejected, disliked policies that we ignore during campaigns can become a primary focus.
    etc etc.

    Personally I believe that only the most qualified and educated in any given field should govern that single field along with a similarly qualified congress for those individual departments, with anonymously selected independent regulators spectating their actions and progress, removing them from office infavor of the next viable candidate if they fail and keeping them in that position if they don't. But thats just me and very much a pipe-dream for the forseeable future.

    Still, education on the candidates is a great leap forwards, although to make this viable, the voting process would need to be drastically changed and the government would need to be the sole funder of all campaigners, giving all candidates an equal opportunity to present their policies to the masses who (lets be honest here) wont voluntarily research what isn't spoon-fed, atleast at present.
    • Dec 13 2012: Xavier.
      You stated, 1. "Politicians lie
      2. Politicians promise more than what's attainable."
      Number two is also a lie.
      Intentional or not.

      Better me thinks to always begin with:
      "all politicians lie."
      That stands a better chance of getting proof from them and real results achieved, based on promises made.

      I certainly do not believe one word, from one politician, any longer.
      I think any one who does is a fool and a brainwashed one at that.
      If they don't prove themselves, then I know exactly who and what they are. Liars and crooks.

      You said:
      "Those required to enact/remove a policy don't necessar(il)y allow the changes the candidate wants"
      That's cheating. Another word for it is corruption.
      We need to have the same policy they tell us they do, for ourselves and that is a "zero-tolerance policy"
      that is applicable to them.

      That would demonstrate that we have the ultimate power and that we will use it.
      Right now the reverse is true and here is something else that is also true.

      Politicians know exactly what they are doing. They do what they do on purpose. They are not stupid or uneducated. Don't fool yourself about it.
      They have no intention of solving the problems of any constituents, meaning you and me and all our fellow citizens.

      What this points to is that one "expert" should never solely govern any single field, ever.
      They should be used like a round-robin library of reference that a temporary elected group of conscientious and concerned citizens use to take in information and then figure out how best to use it or implement it. All done with the knowledge of the citizens themselves. Anyone, in any position of power, trust and influence, must be 100% transparent and answerable, even immediately so, for everything they do, propose and attempt to carry out.

      Another comment you made:
      " anonymously selected independent regulators spectating their actions and progress..."

      Anonymous to who, from who, or for who? Just who is anonymous?