Old 11-02-2011, 02:13 PM   #166
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Is it a problem if people outside the country - people's whose interests diverge sharply from those governed use their "voice?"

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Old 11-02-2011, 02:29 PM   #167
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So? Suppose you wanted to pay for a candidate's pamphlets anonymously. What would be the problem with that?
Are you seriously arguing that Super PACs are protecting the identities of people who are afraid of being identified, as opposed to being just a gigantic loophole to avoid disclosing who is donating money to a political cause?
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Corporations are simply groups of people. Do those people lose their free speech rights when they group together? Obviously not.
No, the individuals don't lose their free speech rights, no matter who they hang out with. Why do they need more than one outlet?

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Out of curiosity, should free speech apply to unions?
No more than corporations.

You didn't answer my question: How would getting rid of Super PACs infringe on freedom of speech?

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Old 11-02-2011, 02:31 PM   #168
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Is it a problem if people outside the country - people's whose interests diverge sharply from those governed use their "voice?"
Who was that directed at? And when you say "people outside the country", do you mean citizens living abroad, or foreign nationals?

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Old 11-02-2011, 02:37 PM   #169
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Victus.

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Old 11-02-2011, 02:44 PM   #170
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The problem with declaring money - the fungible value holder - is that no one is checking to ensure that the money is used to express ideas.

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:33 PM   #171
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Is it a problem if people outside the country - people's whose interests diverge sharply from those governed use their "voice?"
I don't see why.

Vis a vis free speech, what difference does it make whether the person doing the spending is an evil foreigner(!!!) eligible to vote or not? Suppose an American wanted to buy and hand out pamphlets (or buy airtime on TV/radio) to support a candidate who promises to raise the minimum wage to $100/hour (or the pamphlets/ads are simply supportive of the policy in and of itself). Now, both of us know that such a policy is not in voters self-interest (although it might be beneficial to low-skilled workers in other countries); basic economics and, dare I say it, common sense, tell us that such a policy would be a disaster in terms of employment and economic efficiency.

But does that mean that the American should be barred from running such an ad? Obviously not, because that would infringe on his/her freedom of speech (to say obviously stupid things out loud). What difference would it make if the person seeking to buy airtime is from/in/loyal to another country, then?

At the end of the day, if you think that democracy works then the ads that get run and who runs them (foreigners!!!) are irrelevant, because voters make their votes based on what they know, what their preferences are, etc; you can't get the electorate to vote for something against their interests (or preferences, probably more accurately). If you don't think democracy works, because the representatives are bought-out by moneyed special interests, or whatever, then the kinds of ads that get run an who runs them are, again, totally irrelevant, because the outcome of the election doesn't at all matter.

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The problem with declaring money - the fungible value holder - is that no one is checking to ensure that the money is used to express ideas.
Campaigns' finances are already pretty tightly monitored, but if this were the main objection, it would only suggest that campaign finances need to be, well, more tightly monitored.

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Old 11-02-2011, 04:06 PM   #172
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Are you seriously arguing that Super PACs are protecting the identities of people who are afraid of being identified, as opposed to being just a gigantic loophole to avoid disclosing who is donating money to a political cause?
What's the difference? And why would it matter?

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nkb wrote
No, the individuals don't lose their free speech rights, no matter who they hang out with. Why do they need more than one outlet?
Better question: who are you to decide how many outlets they can have? If someone hands out pamphlets, does that mean they should forgo airing ads on TV? After all, they only need one outlet!

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No more than corporations.
Why should there be restrictions on either?

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You didn't answer my question: How would getting rid of Super PACs infringe on freedom of speech?
It would restrict the amount that individuals (or groups of individuals) could donate.

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Old 11-02-2011, 04:23 PM   #173
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OK, first I'd like to clarify on where you stand.

Do you think that advertisements can affect elections? Can these ads influence people's decisions?

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Old 11-02-2011, 04:43 PM   #174
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OK, first I'd like to clarify on where you stand.

Do you think that advertisements can affect elections? Can these ads influence people's decisions?
I think advertisements raise political knowledge, but probably don't shift voter preferences. But even if they did, it wouldn't change my position.

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Old 11-03-2011, 06:29 AM   #175
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So, the politicians and their financial backers are just being altruistic, wanting the populace to be more informed?

And, if the ads raise political knowledge, why do you say that it wouldn't change your vote? Are you so set in your views that new information wouldn't sway you? Or are you saying that you already know everything?

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Old 11-03-2011, 10:09 AM   #176
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I don't see why.

Vis a vis free speech, what difference does it make whether the person doing the spending is an evil foreigner(!!!) eligible to vote or not?
It only makes a difference if "speech" is re-defined to mean things other than speech, which is what has happened in the US.

If the possibility that I might spend money on a "speaking proxy" means that money is speech, then by the same logic anything I might need gain a proxy is also speech. Torture is speech. Guns are speech. Ice cream is speech. Concert tickets are speech.

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Campaigns' finances are already pretty tightly monitored, but if this were the main objection, it would only suggest that campaign finances need to be, well, more tightly monitored.
Or just interpret speech, as speech.

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Old 11-03-2011, 01:54 PM   #177
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So, the politicians and their financial backers are just being altruistic, wanting the populace to be more informed?
Not at all. They desperately want to win their respective elections.

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And, if the ads raise political knowledge, why do you say that it wouldn't change your vote?
I didn't say that it doesn't/wouldn't change my vote - I don't vote. I don't think political knowledge affects how people vote, although it might increase the chances that someone will show up to vote for the candidate they already preferred.

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Are you so set in your views that new information wouldn't sway you? Or are you saying that you already know everything?
I don't vote. But if I did, it's unlikely that information contained in an ad would be particularly compelling. For one, I find the positions of almost all candidates to be basically indistinguishable from one another. And when they claim to have unconventional views (possibly even ones I agree with), I immediately discount their chance of either winning the election or implementing their policies if elected, or even that they would try to implement said policies if elected.

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Old 11-03-2011, 02:07 PM   #178
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It only makes a difference if "speech" is re-defined to mean things other than speech, which is what has happened in the US.
So if the government prevented you from paying for your own pamphlets or TV ads to support a candidate you like, that wouldn't that be an infringement on your freedom of speech? And if it is, why isn't it a similar infringement to prevent donating money for similar purposes directly to a candidate?

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ubs wrote
If the possibility that I might spend money on a "speaking proxy" means that money is speech, then by the same logic anything I might need gain a proxy is also speech. Torture is speech. Guns are speech. Ice cream is speech. Concert tickets are speech.
I think the world would be a better place if economic transactions that don't affect 3rd parties could be protected by free speech laws. Don't you?

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ubs wrote
Or just interpret speech, as speech.
If we did that, it would give the government quite a lot of power to regulate what people do (peacefully) with their own money (or even simply the ideas they express). Citizens United cropped up because election regulations made it illegal to make/release a movie critical of a candidate within some temporal range of an election. That seems like a pretty obvious and straightforward infringement on free speech.

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Old 11-06-2011, 12:40 PM   #179
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1. End the War on Drugs
2. Eliminate the income tax
3. End the wars, close all foreign military bases, & withdraw from all alliances
4. Have open immigration
5. 8 year term limit for all elected officials
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:29 PM   #180
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Oh ouch, Victus! Mises feels this very thread reflects it's creators full assimilation into central planning type thinking. TRAITOR!

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