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Change You Can Believe In - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Oct. 3rd, 2008

12:25 pm - Change You Can Believe In

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Well, the House just served the American public with a $700 billion crap sandwich with $170 billion side of pork.

So, how did Obama, champion of change, friend of the little guy, vote?

He voted for it, of course.

And twisted the arms of Congressional Black Caucus members–who originally voted against it–to change their vote.

McCain’s behavior was even worse.

But McCain doesn’t inspire beautiful delusions. Few expect anything but more of the same from him.

But Obama? Many Democrats believe that if only one of their guys, the good guys, got into power, things would be different.

And it’s true, the performance of government does depend to some extent on the competence of the person in office.

But the root problem isn’t Bush. Or McCain. Or Obama. Nor our Congressmen and women. I wager if you spent much time around our leaders, you’d discover that most of them truly believe in what they do, are reasonably good people, and are trying to do the right thing.

Our government leaders performs poorly due to the perverse incentives they face. And as long as those incentives remain, no matter who you feed into the grinder, you’ll still get a crap sandwich at the end.

So if you want change you can believe in, you have to change the systemic incentives.

Until then, please enjoy your sandwich.

Original: craschworks - comments

Comments:

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From:_luaineach
Date:October 3rd, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
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Fuckity fuck fuck.
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From:pasquin
Date:October 3rd, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
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McCain missed an opportunity, instead of being engulfed in the avalanche of calls for more regulation, Mr Deregulation should have poked the governmentist's in the eye and placed the blame on those perverse incentives.

Unfortunately, McCain believes in intervention. As for Obama, this is right down his alley - remember, more democrats wanted this bailout than Republicans. The man who has based his whole campaign on feeling does not want to tell America that the medicine tastes bad.

In Obama We Trust
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From:altamira16
Date:October 3rd, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
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The man who has based his whole campaign on feeling does not want to tell America that the medicine tastes bad.


He says things along the lines of we will all have to roll up our sleeves and work together to make it happen. This completely freaks out the Republicans because this type of talk for them is some weird socialist dog whistle that makes community service and low-paying jobs that make you feel better about yourself mandatory.
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From:_luaineach
Date:October 3rd, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
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It freaks fiscal conservatives out because sleeves have already been rolled up and work already being done; there are LOTS of people who live within their means. As said above me, if it was honestly meant that "we" would have to roll up our sleeves and fix it, then they would do it.
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From:altamira16
Date:October 3rd, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
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Honesty does not win elections. Though the appearance of authenticity has become more popular. Actual authenticity is still lagging.
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From:infrogmation
Date:October 4th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)

Yeah right

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" more democrats wanted this bailout than Republicans."


Um. Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke were appointed by what party? And what party does that George W. Bush guy belong to?

Sheesh.

Though if Republicans wish to distance themselves from the Bush administration, they'll have my full support... after I ask WTF took you 7 & 1/2 years too late??



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From:almond_tiger
Date:October 3rd, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)
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I don't know why someone whose behaviour is better than McCain's should be judged more harshly just because people seem to like him. But then, I'm happily not a part of this election.
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From:crasch
Date:October 3rd, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
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I don't judge Obama more harshly. As I said:

"McCain’s behavior was even worse."

However, many people seem to think Obama's an almost messianic figure. I'm trying to prick their bubble and get them to see that Obama's not going to be significantly better than McCain, that he's just the other head of a duopoly that will continue to implement bad policies, now and in the future, as long as the incentives they operate under remain the same.
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From:almond_tiger
Date:October 3rd, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
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I think you're right. Good luck getting people to see clearly, though - it seems like the entire US presidential election runs on the same kind of fandoms that run reality TV and the film industry. People like to think they're voting for some wonderful person, not a party or position. Some of the gushing I see over Sarah Palin makes me feel ill. "You go girl!" shouldn't be a motto for a political decision.
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From:danlyke
Date:October 3rd, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)

I'm not sure how many people actually like Obama

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Were this a normal election, I'm actually not sure how many people would like Obama. Before the Dubya administration it was easy to say "they're both lying lousy collectivist bastards", heck, until recently I had a "Cthulu for president, don't vote for the lesser of the evils" bumper sticker on my car that's been there since 1996, but George the younger and his cronies have shattered that illusion.

The bumper sticker is gone.

It isn't replaced by an Obama sticker, however, 'cause the Democrat's mishandling of the 2004 election has turned me entirely to supporting issues advertising and letting the corrupt bastards choose which of those social movements they want to embrace in order to gain votes.

And maybe I'm just old and cynical, but it feels to me like changing the systemic incentives by opening up more areas to populate just provides a temporary respite before the unwashed masses move in, in much the same way that the Internet has been overrun: New territory is fantastic, wonderful things happen, but eventually it just becomes more old territory.

Instead I think the goal is to figure out how to change the culture to see if there are other societies and collective ideals that can be as evolutionarily successful as what we've got.

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From:crasch
Date:October 4th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)

Re: I'm not sure how many people actually like Obama

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Sure, I think Obama may be the lesser of two evils for some people, but he's also wildly popular.


it feels to me like changing the systemic incentives by opening up more areas to populate just provides a temporary respite before the unwashed masses move in, in much the same way that the Internet has been overrun

Yes, that might happen. But 5/7ths of the earth's surface is covered in water, most of it uninhabited. I think we'll be dead or uploaded before the forces of parasitism reclaim the seas again. And by then, I expect that we'll have moved into space.

Instead I think the goal is to figure out how to change the culture to see if there are other societies and collective ideals that can be as evolutionarily successful as what we've got.

I think that's a worthy goal too, and I'd love to hear your ideas on how to do that. Seasteading seems to be the most currently effective way to reach the kind of culture I want, but I'm open to other options.
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From:browascension
Date:October 3rd, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC)
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It's cool that you put a seasteading tag here.
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From:_luaineach
Date:October 3rd, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
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I thought that, too!
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