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Your Senator Cerealman

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  • Your Senator Cerealman

    Due to the saddest of circumstances in my AP American Gov class I(an INTJ) was forc- er persuaded to be the Senator in my group.
    Supposedly because I never talk and I'm so "mysterious"...
    We'll be holding the whole political video about voting me and what not, but also we'll have a tiny debate about the points I and other "senators" have picked.

    So I've liked to hear you guys thoughts(good or bad) on the political issues I've picked.

    Prisons: For some time the prisons within the US(also in my state of Minnesota)have had an overcrowding problem.I believe that more should be built or at the least current prisons should be expanded in size which of course possibly means higher taxes just a tiny bit...

    Gay marriage: I don't know if this will surprise anyone but I do think gay marriage should be legal.Though religious institutions and private business holding to a certain faith that rejects homosexuality should not be forced to do something against their faith.This way we can stop problems such as the whole bakery thing from a few months ago, I will not have the rights of one overpower another.

    Death Penalty: I support the death penalty with of course a reasoning of the prisoners death.
    These circumstances I deem right for the death penalty is mostly aimed at murder if no intentions of self-defense are present.

    Social Security: A member in my group recommended that I speak on this though I don't know much about this issue.
    The least I can say is privatize it and let the people put their own money into it.



    So yeah that's it what are you guys stances on this?
    "Kahahaha! Let's get lunatic!"-Add LP
    "And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility"-Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    Oh ye of little fiber. Do you not know what I've done for you? You will obey. ~Cerealman for Prez.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cerealman View Post
    Prisons: For some time the prisons within the US(also in my state of Minnesota)have had an overcrowding problem.I believe that more should be built or at the least current prisons should be expanded in size which of course possibly means higher taxes just a tiny bit...
    That seems okay in the short-term. Longer-term, what would you propose to address this problem:


    A significant contributor to this is that there are currently mandatory life sentences for non-violent drug crimes on a three-strike system. Addressing various failed War on Drugs policies (remove the mandatory life sentences, legalize marijuana etc.) would be a good way to reduce the prison population.

    Similarly, increasing social programs to at-risk groups in order address the social origins of crime and prevent it happening in the first place would be a good way to long-term reduce the prison population. This is fiscally worth doing because prisons are expensive - it's cheaper to fully fund a person for a year at Berkeley than it is to imprison them for a year. So instead of wasting bucket-loads of money on prisons you'd be much better to be spending a lesser amount of bucket-loads on social programs that prevent the need for those prisons to exist.

    This graph is worth bearing in mind:

    There was clearly a significant policy change during the Reagan presidency or possibly just before him, which lead to a massive increase in the US incarceration rates.

    It's also worth bearing in mind that imprisonment in the US is a significant function of race:

    While this can reflect certain underlying truths (eg blacks in the US tend to be poorer, and poorer people more often end up in prison), it can also reflect systemic bias (eg the DOJ's analysis of Ferguson concluded that blacks were being regularly and deliberately harassed by police with routine drug checks etc, yet the data showed that whites were more likely than blacks to actually have drugs on them).
    Last edited by Starlight; 05-21-2015, 07:25 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Cerealman View Post

      Prisons: For some time the prisons within the US(also in my state of Minnesota)have had an overcrowding problem.I believe that more should be built or at the least current prisons should be expanded in size which of course possibly means higher taxes just a tiny bit...
      Shouldn't some money go into reformation,rather then incarceration?


      Gay marriage: I don't know if this will surprise anyone but I do think gay marriage should be legal.Though religious institutions and private business holding to a certain faith that rejects homosexuality should not be forced to do something against their faith.This way we can stop problems such as the whole bakery thing from a few months ago, I will not have the rights of one overpower another.
      Agreed.

      Death Penalty: I support the death penalty with of course a reasoning of the prisoners death.
      These circumstances I deem right for the death penalty is mostly aimed at murder if no intentions of self-defense are present.
      I personally am favour of it, only dictated by a jury, when a crime has been shown to happen thoroughly, and there is no conflicting evidence.

      Social Security: A member in my group recommended that I speak on this though I don't know much about this issue.
      The least I can say is privatize it and let the people put their own money into it.
      Er, I wouldn't recommend that unless the corporation handling it has strict guidelines on how to handle the money..
      "It's evolution; every time you invent something fool-proof, the world invents a better fool."
      -Unknown

      "Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words." - Most likely St.Francis


      I find that evolution is the best proof of God.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cerealman View Post
        Prisons: For some time the prisons within the US(also in my state of Minnesota)have had an overcrowding problem.I believe that more should be built or at the least current prisons should be expanded in size which of course possibly means higher taxes just a tiny bit...
        From this perspective, I would focus on 1) the deterrent effect of prison terms and the effectiveness of lengthy prison terms requiring the increased capacity and 2) whether privatization of correctional institutions has been effective (in terms of cost and rehabilitation) and whether you'd offset more taxpayer costs by increasing privatization.

        Originally posted by Cerealman View Post
        Gay marriage: I don't know if this will surprise anyone but I do think gay marriage should be legal.Though religious institutions and private business holding to a certain faith that rejects homosexuality should not be forced to do something against their faith.This way we can stop problems such as the whole bakery thing from a few months ago, I will not have the rights of one overpower another.
        I would try to carefully define where you're going to draw the "religious freedom" line. Does it apply only apply to "closely-held" businesses (where there are only a small number of owners/shareholders)? Does it apply to all businesses and institutions? At what point would you say the religious rights of a business are overpowering the rights of an individual to freely engage in public commerce?

        Originally posted by Cerealman View Post
        Death Penalty: I support the death penalty with of course a reasoning of the prisoners death.
        These circumstances I deem right for the death penalty is mostly aimed at murder if no intentions of self-defense are present.
        As with prison expansion, I would aim this argument toward the effectiveness of the death penalty as a deterrent, as well as a defense of the cost of the death penalty through history or a proposal for how to reduce the cost of death penalty sentences. (Death penalty sentences end up being about twice as expense as life sentences)

        Originally posted by Cerealman View Post
        Social Security: A member in my group recommended that I speak on this though I don't know much about this issue.
        The least I can say is privatize it and let the people put their own money into it.
        I'd look at the recent recession, concede that this is a terrible idea and flip-flop.
        "I wonder about the trees. / Why do we wish to bear / Forever the noise of these / More than another noise / So close to our dwelling place?" ó Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cerealman View Post
          Prisons: For some time the prisons within the US(also in my state of Minnesota)have had an overcrowding problem.I believe that more should be built or at the least current prisons should be expanded in size which of course possibly means higher taxes just a tiny bit...
          It would help if people weren't sent to jail for absolutely nothing. Isn't it a bit weird how they say that crime is falling yet when you look at charts the incarceration rate is going up.
          ďI didnít go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly donít recommend Christianity.Ē - C.S. Lewis

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cerealman View Post
            Gay marriage: I don't know if this will surprise anyone but I do think gay marriage should be legal.Though religious institutions and private business holding to a certain faith that rejects homosexuality should not be forced to do something against their faith.This way we can stop problems such as the whole bakery thing from a few months ago, I will not have the rights of one overpower another.
            But what you're saying is that the religious have a 'right' which trumps other's 'rights'.

            'Rights' and 'freedoms' frequently clash so the solution then isn't "let's not have any right/freedom trump another" but necessarily "this right/freedom is more important, and this is why..."

            Oh, and I'd suggest college debt as a more relevant topic than Social Security.
            Last edited by Paprika; 05-22-2015, 09:54 AM.

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