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America Stopped Caring About The Public Good  
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12457 posts, RR: 25
Posted (1 year 5 days ago) and read 4207 times:

Interesting article at http://www.businessinsider.com/heres...aring-about-the-public-good-2013-8

I'll just post the last few paragraphs but the whole article is worth a read.

Quote:

America has, though, created a whopping entitlement for the biggest Wall Street banks and their top executives — who, unlike most of the rest of us, are no longer allowed to fail. They can also borrow from the Fed at almost no cost, then lend out the money at 3 percent to 6 percent.

All told, Wall Street’s entitlement is the biggest offered by the federal government, even though it doesn’t show up in the budget. And it’s not even a public good. It’s just private gain.

We’re losing public goods available to all, supported by the tax payments of all and especially the better-off. In its place we have private goods available to the very rich, supported by the rest of us.

It's pretty depressing, because if you accept what he's saying the tipping point was right around the 70s/80s and it's hard to even imagine a way to "rebuild the middle class" as our President keeps saying he wants to do, whilst continuing to have Wall Streeters run the country's finances.


Inspiration, move me brightly!
117 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineWarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 8873 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4056 times:

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
It's pretty depressing, because if you accept what he's saying the tipping point was right around the 70s/80s and it's hard to even imagine a way to "rebuild the middle class" as our President keeps saying he wants to do, whilst continuing to have Wall Streeters run the country's finances.

It is depressing, and I agree, Wall Street, enabled, fed and enriched by both parties who are subservient because of the corruption of money fed to them by the power structure through the political donation system which buys both parties. The system is so riddled with loopholes it is pathetic. We will need a whole new congress to ever have chance to change this corrupt system.



It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3010 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4029 times:

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 1):
It is depressing, and I agree, Wall Street, enabled, fed and enriched by both parties who are subservient because of the corruption of money fed to them by the power structure through the political donation system which buys both parties. The system is so riddled with loopholes it is pathetic

Right now it is fueled by QE 3 which is putting $85B per month (over $1T per year) into Wall Street. I would not expect Obama to drop that before 2016 election. This is one of the two major sources of PAC donations to the Democratic Party.

The other major PAC donation is college and universities, I just can not imagine why Obama is out on a University tour promoting efforts to fund the universities at the students expense.


Okie

[Edited 2013-08-25 20:02:24]

User currently offlineWarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 8873 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3930 times:

Quoting okie (Reply 2):
Right now it is fueled by QE 3 which is putting $85B per month (over $1T per year) into Wall Street. I would not expect Obama to drop that before 2016 election. This is one of the two major sources of PAC donations to the Democratic Party.

The other major PAC donation is college and universities, I just can not imagine why Obama is out on a University tour promoting efforts to fund the universities at the students expense.

A corrupt system, both sides are guilty as I said. The donations feed the system, the system feeds the politicians, we pay, morally and financially. I do not think that anyone could say otherwise with a straight face.



It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
User currently offlinebhill From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 966 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3901 times:

Let's see what BMI's 2 cents are...wanna place a bet?


Carpe Pices
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5521 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3881 times:

Quoting okie (Reply 2):
Right now it is fueled by QE 3 which is putting $85B per month (over $1T per year) into Wall Street. I would not expect Obama to drop that before 2016 election.

I am confident you will see it ending this year and gone by next year. Basically the Fed has been properly getting Wall Street ready for it. There will be some waves each time something happens and changes with it, as there are various parties and interests that have placed various bets on what they think will happen and the market then reacts as these play out, but nothing too awful and long lasting will happen now.

The biggest and most important group of people in any society are "the middle class" (however that is defined in each country). They are the biggest job creators and the biggest tax payers (no not all wealthy are instantly wealthy, most of them are middle class at some point), they are also most sensitive to tax impacts and therefore more active in voting and legislation affecting them. If monetary policy can be focused on the middle class tax payer group it will benefit the entire nation but it is often not done that way as lobbying takes a large share and focuses on the highest money levels.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14003 posts, RR: 62
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3869 times:

Quoting bhill (Reply 4):
Let's see what BMI's 2 cents are...wanna place a bet?

Quoting Margaret Thatcher:
"There isn´t such a thing as "society"!"

Jan


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7296 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3866 times:

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 3):
I do not think that anyone could say otherwise with a straight face.

I'm sure BMI love's the current (race to the bottom) situation, it keeps his ego filled up, as we all know he's paying the tax of 1.6 people  


User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3010 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3843 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 5):
I am confident you will see it ending this year and gone by next year. Basically the Fed has been properly getting Wall Street ready for it. There will be some waves each time something happens and changes with it, as there are various parties and interests that have placed various bets on what they think will happen and the market then reacts as these play out, but nothing too awful and long lasting will happen now.

You seem to have about the same opinion as myself. In spite of the July durable goods report being dismal the only talk on WS was about QE and the market only ended the day about 60 points down.

Wall St is like heroin addicts waiting on their next months fix (QE). I see a little adjustment this fall 10-15% but as long as the economic indicators keep looking bad the Obama administration will continue to print the heroin.

I would be more worried about fall 2014 early 2015 an economy built on borrowed money will have to face reality like the housing boom did. Could we see the Dow at 9,000 in 2015?

Mean time the market players will continue to play the market, they make the money going up and going down.

Okie


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19575 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3785 times:

Apparently, caring about the public good is "socialist" if it's done by the government, but "charity" if done by a church.

The all-out assault on the middle-class is going to be a very bad long-term arrangement. As it stands, your two options in this country are to be wealthy because you were born that way or to be poor because you were born that way. There are a very few high-profile exceptions, but you're better off buying Powerball tickets than actually trying to get rich by doing the American dream.

But as the middle class disappears and all the wealth begins to concentrate at the top, you see the seeds sown for a revolution. No, I am not calling for one or predicting one in the near future. But as wealth concentrates at the top at the expense of everyone else the have-nots will revolt. It happens every time. Russia (followed by the USSR), France, China, Spain, etc. etc. etc. Every single violent revolution happens when the people have nothing and their leaders have everything. By contrast, nations with a more egalitarian wealth distribution almost never revolt.

The trouble with such revolutions is that they rarely end well. They usually wind up replacing one leading class with another and most peoples' lots in life don't improve. I don't want to see that happen in the USA, but I am concerned that if current trends do not reverse that we will see it happen.


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8959 posts, RR: 40
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3756 times:

You mean people are choosing to move away from "public" things? What a shocker! That's because they suck.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
Apparently, caring about the public good is "socialist" if it's done by the government, but "charity" if done by a church.

The church no longer uses violence to take people's money. In a way, it's like they are more progressive than "progressives"!



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19575 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3752 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 10):
The church no longer uses violence to take people's money. In a way, it's like they are more progressive than "progressives"!

The church doesn't use violence to take people's money because people decided that they would rather have a government in which they have a voice, unlike an autocratic Holy Roman Catholic Church. Violence was required to loosen the Church's grasp.

If you are suggesting that all taxes are violent extortion, then I invite you to move to Somalia, where there are no taxes.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15735 posts, RR: 27
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3751 times:

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
It's pretty depressing,

Nothing depressing about it at all. It's a continuation of what made America what it is in the first place. After all, there was a time when the slums of Naples, Dublin, and Shanghai were full of people dreaming of going to America and helping build strong public institutions. Building such a society is precisely the motivation behind every Cuban who ever set sail on a pile of garbage.

You build stuff for yourself. You contribute for yourself. And you work for yourself.

Furthermore, the involvement in banking that is pointed out as "welfare" is actually not hypocrisy on the part of those who prefer to keep government out of business but rather a symptom of having the government involved with business. When you go to a system based on fiat currency controlled by a central bank, that's the way the system has to work. I don't find it a particularly horrible system, but it is what it is. Furthermore, when I think of agencies that should be cut down to size, the Federal Reserve and Bureau of Engraving and Printing aren't high on the list at all.

Quoting bhill (Reply 4):

Let's see what BMI's 2 cents are...wanna place a bet?

I wish all I had to contribute to the "public good" was 2 cents. Unfortunately, welfare is pricier than that.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 7):
I'm sure BMI love's the current (race to the bottom) situation,

I'd call it a race to the top myself.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):

Apparently, caring about the public good is "socialist" if it's done by the government, but "charity" if done by a church.

Or you could pick a secular, private charity. You can throw a rock and hit one.

Secondly, have you ever been taxed by a church? I haven't.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
There are a very few high-profile exceptions, but you're better off buying Powerball tickets than actually trying to get rich by doing the American dream.

Really? A few high profile exceptions? I'm neither, but I am 23 and make more than my parents, without a lottery ticket.

[Edited 2013-08-26 17:23:51]


Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5521 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3734 times:

Quoting okie (Reply 8):
Could we see the Dow at 9,000 in 2015?

If we do, I'll be buying some indexes again, nothing like a good panic to create value....

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Secondly, have you ever been taxed by a church? I haven't.

The Mormon's might say "yes", though I am sure it is an honor and a responsibility to do so (or else they cannot be full members).... and in their day "the church" did tax the people.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Really? A few high profile exceptions? I'm neither, but I am 23 and make more than my parents, without a lottery ticket.

I am curious if this is true.... with what you earn, can you do more than your parents (your father really in all probability) could at the same point in their earning/career level?

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8959 posts, RR: 40
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3732 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11):
The church doesn't use violence to take people's money because people decided that they would rather have a government in which they have a voice, unlike an autocratic Holy Roman Catholic Church. Violence was required to loosen the Church's grasp.

Oh yes they sort of have a voice, unless you're a minority. Then you're "fair game" especially if you are not a very popular minority for whatever reason!

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11):
If you are suggesting that all taxes are violent extortion, then I invite you to move to Somalia, where there are no taxes.

Ah this absurd comparison once again!

Somalia was a communist country for a long time which resulted in a bloody civil war that still has not ended. This civil war is amongst different groups fighting for the monopoly to violently extort money from the Somalis. Mexico would, too, be a more peaceful place if there was only one giant drug gang with a monopoly on trafficking.

Taxes are a violent extortion by definition. As you said it yourself in another thread, they are not voluntary, which only leaves us with one option.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8959 posts, RR: 40
Reply 15, posted (1 year 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3723 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 13):
The Mormon's might say "yes", though I am sure it is an honor and a responsibility to do so (or else they cannot be full members)

They may call it a tax, but it's voluntary. They will not throw you in jail if you stop paying it.

It's a simple concept, and I know **everybody** gets it. But alas, some people's hunger for power and wish to mold society into what they dream of is greater than their civility.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19575 posts, RR: 58
Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3705 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 14):
Taxes are a violent extortion by definition. As you said it yourself in another thread, they are not voluntary, which only leaves us with one option.

They are consensual. If you want to stop paying taxes in your country, you can renounce your citizenship (except in the USA, which is a different discussion about a different outrage).

By consenting to be a citizen of your country, you consent to pay taxes to that country. Now, if you violate your agreement with that country, then that country has every right to exact the agreed-upon payment from you and that is also part of your agreement to be a citizen of that country.

Now, you may protest that there are barriers to giving up citizenship, but there need not be. You may give up your citizenship, but in doing so you will have no nationality and most countries will not allow entry to people without a nationality. Because all of the Earth's usable land is occupied by nations, they assume that almost all humans on earth are members (citizens) of a given nation. But you can sometimes enter a nation without a passport. Mr. Snowden recently demonstrated that. And I would be very surprised if Mr. Snowden files with the IRS for 2013.  

But the point is that if you want to live on land on Earth, you need to consent to pay the taxes of a nation. It is not extortion. It is necessity. The one exception is Somalia. There is no government there to pay taxes to and thus nobody to administer the land. And Somalia is an excellent example of why anarchy is not such a wonderful idea and why you don't want to stop paying taxes. Of course, they don't issue passports either, I'm guessing.


User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (1 year 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3702 times:

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
They can also borrow from the Fed at almost no cost, then lend out the money at 3 percent to 6 percent.

So you're saying that if you print a load of money and give it to bankers it creates a bloated financial sector and a huge wealth/income divide? Well paint me stunned!

The solution is obviously to stop the government printing money. It's bad enough they steal huge proportions of it via taxation, but at least that's honest theft, unlike the theft they perform through counterfeiting it.

Quoting okie (Reply 8):
Wall St is like heroin addicts waiting on their next months fix (QE). I see a little adjustment this fall 10-15% but as long as the economic indicators keep looking bad the Obama administration will continue to print the heroin.

I would be more worried about fall 2014 early 2015 an economy built on borrowed money will have to face reality like the housing boom did. Could we see the Dow at 9,000 in 2015?

Mean time the market players will continue to play the market, they make the money going up and going down.

        


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15735 posts, RR: 27
Reply 18, posted (1 year 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3691 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 13):
I am curious if this is true.... with what you earn, can you do more than your parents (your father really in all probability) could at the same point in their earning/career level?

Just to be clear, not more than my parents when they were 23 but more than my parents now, although the difference is unfortunately much smaller after taxes. My parents have never really been that interested in making money, but that's not the point. The point is that the idea that middle class life requires starting with a trust fund is horseshit. It's just a narrative.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 16):
But the point is that if you want to live on land on Earth, you need to consent to pay the taxes of a nation. It is not extortion. It is necessity.

If I need to do it in order to live, then it is, by definition, coercive. It's like saying that giving your wallet to a mugger is totally optional: the options are give up the money or stop living.

And it would be nice if you could point out in this thread or any other where someone advocated anarchy.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8959 posts, RR: 40
Reply 19, posted (1 year 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3670 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 16):
They are consensual. If you want to stop paying taxes in your country, you can renounce your citizenship (except in the USA, which is a different discussion about a different outrage).

By consenting to be a citizen of your country, you consent to pay taxes to that country. Now, if you violate your agreement with that country, then that country has every right to exact the agreed-upon payment from you and that is also part of your agreement to be a citizen of that country.

Consensual is the Mormon church tax example given above.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 16):
By consenting to be a citizen of your country, you consent to pay taxes to that country. Now, if you violate your agreement with that country, then that country has every right to exact the agreed-upon payment from you and that is also part of your agreement to be a citizen of that country.

Citizenship says nothing about one's affiliations nor is it any type of contract. It's a mere cultural/geographical identification. Justice is not a membership club.

The last time someone was born into a contract in the USA was back in 1865. Let's leave that concept in the history books.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8135 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (1 year 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3642 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 19):
Citizenship says nothing about one's affiliations nor is it any type of contract. It's a mere cultural/geographical identification.

If that were all it was, there would be no need for passports or elaborate nationalization processes to obtain citizenship.

It is a privilege in the most literal sense of the word. It can be both obtained and revoked, according to an individual's actions, as prescribed by law.

What about that is so difficult to understand?

[Edited 2013-08-26 21:10:44]


If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11591 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (1 year 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3629 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 17):
The solution is obviously to stop the government printing money.

Or prove that the "too big to fail" banks are not too big to fail. It worked out just fine in Iceland. In fact, those who broke laws are now behind bars! What happened in the United States? Billions of dollars in bonuses. hmmmmm....



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19575 posts, RR: 58
Reply 22, posted (1 year 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3624 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 18):
If I need to do it in order to live, then it is, by definition, coercive.

So is Safeway charging me for buying food coercive? The electric company? That means that all monetary exchanges necessary for life are coercive.

You realize what you are saying makes no sense, right?


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15735 posts, RR: 27
Reply 23, posted (1 year 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3622 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 22):
So is Safeway charging me for buying food coercive?

No, you could go anywhere else to get food or be one of those odd off the grid people. You even admit that being a part of a country is basically mandatory to live on the planet.

Furthermore, the need for food is just that: a need that is dictated by biology. Being part of a country, however, is not. That is a human created concept.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5521 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (1 year 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3611 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 23):
Furthermore, the need for food is just that: a need that is dictated by biology. Being part of a country, however, is not. That is a human created concept.

Actually you defeat your own point. "Country" is just a larger version of "community" and that is also very much dictated by biology. Humans are a "group animal". On our own we are relatively weak but organized, and in a community we are "so far" almost unstoppable.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
25 BMI727 : Being part of a group and being part of a large political entity like a country are two different things. Furthermore, people joined those groups, la
26 tugger : Still doesn't work. People in a small community also do things they do not wish to do and cannot really "withdraw" from contributing (even if it is n
27 Aaron747 : Look, I see what you're saying and your points are valid. But sooner or later philosophy 101 gives way to the reality of the life we all lead. The al
28 BMI727 : But they wouldn't contribute when they do not need certain things the community offers and demands they contribute towards. If the "community" needs
29 tugger : But how productive is one person (or perhaps a couple)? And for BMI727, how wealthy could they possibly be (equating wealth to productivity and value
30 seb146 : Except when power companies charge people for being "off the grid". Yes, PG&E does that. How would Safeway survive? People need to be charged for
31 BMI727 : Except that a lot of people who've already made money can do just that. Frankly, if I won the lottery tomorrow (in a sufficient amount) I'm not sure
32 seb146 : Shop around. That is what working people who get food stamps do!
33 SmittyOne : Interesting point. If I were in the position of needing a pool of qualified job applicants to select from for critical vacancies in order to make my
34 RomeoBravo : Yet another member is falling into the trap of thinking Schools wouldn't exist and we'd all be dumb-dumbs if they weren't tax funded.
35 Revelation : Actually they don't. I'm the product of a public education from grade school through university, and they were all good learning institutions. Some o
36 tugger : Yet again, that return on our money is due to a group or people pooling money to do something more with it. One person alone is... well, alone. Even
37 SmittyOne : Not true. All that I said, in response to BMI727's specific point above regarding whom a public school actually serves, was that if the publically fu
38 KiwiRob : Yup they'd just be for the elite few who could afford private education.
39 seb146 : So everyone should start at the very and absolute bottom and claw their way to the top.
40 pvjin : Probably they would exist for everyone, ones affordable enough for general population would be just way worse than those for the rich elite who would
41 windy95 : Correct. The argument that they would not exist is a poor one. But that is the only one they have in order to protect the teachers unions and politic
42 flyingturtle : I heartily agree with the statement that the U.S. (and many other countries) have lost the public good as their main goal. Right. Let's see how many o
43 pvjin : Indeed, that's why my country has all the major schools fully state funded without tuition fees, I love the equality and true freedom it gives us. Ch
44 Revelation : IMHO it's absurd to think the main benefit of publicly funded education is to provide protection for a teacher's union. Note that many non-public edu
45 RomeoBravo : Fair enough, it's true that business benefit from the education regardless of what it costs to them. It's not clear that it's a net benefit though. I
46 KiwiRob : Have you even been to a private school, I did, the facilities are far and away superior to the majority of public schools, they also tend to get the
47 DocLightning : You can go somewhere else to get food. You can go to a different country to live. Both are necessary for life and both cost money. I also stated that
48 pvjin : Not being able to study as well as your motivation and abilities would permit just because you don't have enough money is a more severe restriction o
49 SmittyOne : Getting back to the topic of the thread... Apparently some people believe themselves to be part of a 'collective' entity - whether a country, a societ
50 Revelation : I added in the word 'immediate' because it seems to be implied, at least to me... And IMHO a lot of the people making such statements are making them
51 RomeoBravo : Society is already paying for the public Schools. Why would you have to close most if that same money was allocated slightly differently? What a biza
52 Revelation : The USA has been moving that way pretty much since the Reagan era and it hasn't been shown at all to be true. What is shown to be true is that the ga
53 DocLightning : Because we're correct. Incorrect. I am quite solidly on the left and I earn my living, thank you. Without the government, you have...Somalia. A very
54 RomeoBravo : You don't earn my living though, so hands off of mine. If you want to help the poor, put your hand in your own pocket, don't put it in other people's
55 pvjin : Are you joking? Since the fall of Somalian government in the early 1990's the whole country fell into full scale civil war, everything pretty much co
56 SmittyOne : I think the point is that you didn't earn all of your living either. An individual's capability to earn a wage depends to varying degrees on the soci
57 Post contains images TristarAtLCA : https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/somalia Lets look at some highlights from the UK's foreign office: The FCO advise against all travel to the
58 Revelation : Interesting thread so far. The premise is that 'America Stopped Caring About The Public Good'. Some have lamented the idea that it is true, and some h
59 BMI727 : It's not the public school that provides you the service, it's the students. Those students aren't going to school to someday help out someone like y
60 WarRI1 : "The milk of human kindness". Shakespeare. So sadly lacking these days, so apparent on here at times. It never ceases to amaze me. I like to think th
61 SmittyOne : Agreed. But I don't have to be a student or have a child in school in order to benefit from it indirectly. So I have no problem paying property taxes
62 Post contains images WarRI1 : It does make one wonder if their very poorness is blamed on them. Economy, society, station, education, neighborhood, geographic location, family has
63 WarRI1 : A very good example of (the milk of human kindness) The feeling for those not so blessed, or able as others. They should be helped.
64 Post contains images Revelation : Thanks for your childish mocking references to my very own parents. My parents came here to be a part of a society that would be a good place to have
65 BMI727 : Nor do I, but students who think they're in it for me, you, or anyone else have another thing coming. Unfortunately, "another thing" might just be a
66 Post contains links RomeoBravo : No i'm not joking, many key indicators have improved. It's important to look at facts and not resort to hyperbole. Quite a good read You DO earn all
67 flyingturtle : I've not seen a more absurd phrase in the last few weeks. Actually, taxation removes many burdens on your life. What would you do without a police, f
68 Revelation : They realized they needed the public good to improve their lives and mine, so yes, it is about the public good. Both, because they knew that supporti
69 pvjin : Those improvements are likely only because of the all the aid flooding to the area, not because of anarchy itself. Also Northern Somalia, now called
70 Aaron747 : Nobody's telling you what to do with the entirety of your earnings. But unless you are some kind of marvel of luck and circumstance, the vast majorit
71 BMI727 : Only because it helped them. So, then, why is it in anyway wrong to withdraw political and financial support from those elements of the "public good"
72 Aaron747 : Then move to one of the delightful nations that are host to a flat tax, such as Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, or Mongolia. The above description is not a
73 RomeoBravo : You obviously don't know what freedom means. I would encourage you to learn before you continue in this debate. No but incredibly you still try and t
74 pvjin : I don't need to read it to tell you are wrong, anybody with even small amount of common knowledge can understand that whatever improvements have been
75 flyingturtle : Let's do it simple. So, what is freedom according to your book? David
76 SmittyOne : Well, sure...a pure barter arrangement is not sustainable. My analogy still holds though - my success depends on Thag being able to provide spears fo
77 Revelation : Because we as a society want to help others, and your lack of support today doesn't mean you won't be asking for those same services later in time. R
78 Aaron747 : They do, because of their scope and size. This is precisely the reason huge undertakings like militaries are not privately organized. When talking ab
79 Post contains images RomeoBravo : Why does size matter? I think you're clutching at straws now. Roads have historically been toll roads anyway - check out the turnpike trust in Englan
80 flyingturtle : Great, that was a little trap I set up for you. You managed to cite a definition of physical freedom - meaning the freedom of movement and the freedo
81 RomeoBravo : Really? It was a pretty frekking lame one if it was. All i can see is that you still don't understand what freedom is. You could of course, get healt
82 Post contains images flyingturtle : Getting health insurance does not solve the problem. Youre *forced* to make a decision, so you've lost freedom already. In my situation, going withou
83 SmittyOne : I disagree with this point. We'd still be getting impaled on non-collapsible steering wheels, torn to shreds by flying glass etc. if the auto industr
84 RomeoBravo : No, you are free to die if you want. Most people don't choose that option. As above, you are free to commit suicide. You're not free to kill others t
85 Post contains links TristarAtLCA : Paranoia must be endemic. Have a look at Australia's travel advisory to its citizens. Or Canada's. Makes the FCO's verdict appear almost positive. Th
86 Aaron747 : Again, you are talking about tiny countries here. The interstate system in the US covers 75,000 km of road and are used by over 1/4 of all vehicle mi
87 flyingturtle : Another tiny country, Switzerland, has a nominal fee - for highways. For 43 US$/year per vehicle - later to be augmented to 108 $ - you can drive on
88 BMI727 : Then you buy his company, pay him a wage, and you're set. Problem is that the people collecting welfare don't really do anything for me. I don't get
89 Mir : That strategy would, of course, make them more expensive, which would ultimately drive up costs for everyone and be damaging to the economy. When eve
90 RomeoBravo : I will never be able to "prove" anything because you can't rerun history with different variables. But i think i have demonstrated to a decent degree
91 Mir : Except that there is no rail in most of the country - the population density doesn't support it. That's not choice, that's geography. Thus, people's
92 seb146 : I get that for most of Montana, but what about along main line tracks? UP has mainline tracks from Portland to Salt Lake. It was said that Amtrak was
93 Mir : Which aren't designed for sustainable passenger service for trips of that length. The tracks are slow, so the trip will take a long time, and the cap
94 Aaron747 : The above is the gem, as you clearly don't understand how the United States works. The vast majority of people living outside the major cities don't
95 seb146 : Yes. That's what I am saying. There is a mainline freight line between Spokane and Minneapolis through Montana and North Dakota. Not much call for pa
96 RomeoBravo : How can everyone's daily lives cost more? Where is the money to pay for the roads coming from? From the tax payer. So even if road usage remained the
97 flyingturtle : A Swiss example. Our railways are world-famous, most probably on time, and we have a dense route network. It is heavily subsidized by the government.
98 Mir : No, they would both cost more because most of those goods and services would be using the roads as well, and would thus be passing the higher costs o
99 RomeoBravo : No it results in inefficiency, and apparently no matter how many times i explain it people will still refuse to absorb the point being made. If peopl
100 RomeoBravo : No, goods and services that did not make an above average use of the roads would be cheaper, and vice versa. Thus even if nobody changed their behavi
101 Post contains images flyingturtle : A point I've not seen myself. The economy is THRIVING because managers, customers and workforce alike do not waste their precious time in traffic jam
102 RomeoBravo : Again, you are failing to see the unseen costs of taxation, it would be thriving even more, and to be honest i'm getting a little big sick now of you
103 flyingturtle : If Americans valued defense of their homeland that much, they would eagerly start and fund a company that fights America's wars. David
104 RomeoBravo : That's basically how America was founded yes. You're slowly learning.
105 seb146 : The problem with that is: the military is run by the government. The military decides it needs some piece of weaponry and shells out billions of tax
106 DocLightning : Why? Why does national defense get a pass when healthcare and transit don't? Costa Rica exists without a military. No country exists without roads, r
107 Mir : And you're not looking at the broader impact to the economy of having cheap and reliable infrastructure. When goods and services can move about cheap
108 RomeoBravo : No they don't you imbecile, how many times do i have to explain this, this is really really basic econ? People who don't use the roads extensively do
109 seb146 : I don't know. People scream about how educators and transit workers are stealing the country blind, but don't care how much waste, fraud, and abuse a
110 PPVRA : "Papers" are largely something that was brought over from the years before representative democracy was around. A tradition that needs to die out, an
111 zippyjet : Personally, I feel this trend started on November 22, 1963 with the assination of President John F. Kennedy. I was only seven at the time but I hear
112 DarkSnowyNight : I think it's hilarious that on the same post you call someone else an imbecile, you leave us with this gem... Of course here on planet Earth it would
113 PPVRA : Incorrect. Plenty fo rail has been build privately without subsidies. Nowadays, yes, it's more difficult - especially since when there are people get
114 Post contains links RomeoBravo : According to this article article UP had profits of $3.3billion. That's probably more than AA, DL and UA combined. I have no doubt that UP get subsid
115 B747-4U3 : There are profitable railways in the world, there are also a lot of unprofitable ones. A large proportion of the companies that operate into London w
116 DarkSnowyNight : Are you sure? Even here in the states, where a lot of rail goes back over 100yrs or more, the majority of that rail was built on land confiscated and
117 Post contains images RomeoBravo : They don't need to build a new line from LA to SF though. There are 3 in place already. In fact i think asides from Tehachapi it would be very cheap
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