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Old 07-17-2009, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 22,448,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by City Fanatic View Post
Mr. Steiner, a few points to make:

1. Minnesota is one of the most liberal states in the U.S., and definitely the most liberal within the midwest.
Yes, it is in many respects, hence my observations regarding the differences between MN and GA and the general attitude towards government that one finds in those two respective states and their populations.

It should be noted, though, that MN is not "liberal" in quite the same way that California is ... it has fewer "granola" liberals, and the area is also laced with scandinavian pragmatism and a German work ethic. Very different from Georgia demographically.

People in MN seem be more interested in working within the system. People in GA seem to be more interested in gaming it or getting around it. That may be the result of experience with functional versus disfunctional governments, but I'm not sure. To me, Cobb County seems like a sane place to live. The City of Atlanta, on the other hand, seems to have some issues that I would only expect to see in a third-world country...

Quote:
2. Midwestern States such as Missouri, Kansas, and, to a lesser extent, Ohio, are more in-line with "southern" way of thinking.
I know very little about the specific political climates in those states, having never lived in them, but it would not surprise me if what you say is true.

Quote:
3. Many non-southern states believe in limited government and constitutional governance, such as Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and even New Hampshire, not to mention the midwestern states already pointed out.
Not surprising. States which are largely rural tend to lean towards having strong individual rights. I don't know much about New Hampshire.

Quote:
4. States with vastly different demographics from the south are going to think differently about the possibility of success of a socialized form of government. Southerners have seen the massive waste and the lack of success, given the overwhelming number of people with a hand-out, something of which is less common in the uppermidwest, given different demographics. Hence, we're less apt to even support it at the state level.
I think this is one of the key reasons for the differences I've seen. The state of MN has seen considerable success over the years when it comes to cooperative ventures and state-sposored programs. Also, recent policy shifts towards the right by the existing Governor have had an adverse impact on things, or at least that is a common perception. You can visit the MN forums here to verify.

Quote:
5. The "Southern" way of thinking, as you put it, is nothing more than a true "American" way of thinking along the lines of limited government and constitutional governance, founded and implemented upon by men such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton. Certainly you're not saying that you support government control that runs contrary to the founding of this country?
The world is a very different place from the world of the late 18th century.

While I *do* tend to be a believer in a small central Federal government in the general case, I don't hold that same attitude about local governments (having experienced both Minnesota and Twin Cities governments in action for 40+ years), and I'm also not at all convinced that the existing pro-corporate system ... a country largely driven by corporations which seem more interested in taking short-term profits than in making effective long-term strategies and investments ... is in the best interest of American citizens. The end goal seems to be filling the pockets of HMOs, investment banks, and other similar entities instead of focusing on actually providing products and protecting the existing rights of citizens.

I know it's an oversimplification, but I believe the "hands off" attitude of the Federal government, lack of regulation, lack of actual enforcement of some of our existing laws in some cases, and increasingly pro-corporate mindset has been the primary reason why we've seen such recent things as the Wall Street debacle, a patent office which is grossly abused by corporations on a regular basis, a desktop software industry that has been stagnant for the past 20 years except for outside-of-the-market influences like Linux, Firefox, and other FOSS projects, copyright law which stifles many types of creative activity in favor of lining the pockets of media companies, and a health industry that keeps on jacking up basic costs while providing fewer and fewer actual services.

I do want to clarify: I don't have a problem with the way things are in Georgia. Certainly folks here have a right to govern themselves as they see fit, and I'm still not sure if the GA way is "better" or "worse" than the way things are done in MN. It's just different, sometimes starkly so.

However, from my perspective, the GA system seems to have created a more fragmented political and social environment with fewer services in some sectors and far smaller safety nets for people who hit on hard times, and in my opinion that is causing both the state and its residents more problems than it seems to be providing in advantages. In good economic times that might not be so apparent, I dunno...

Is it really a good trade-off from your perspective?

Last edited by rcsteiner; 07-17-2009 at 10:57 AM..
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