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America Stopped Caring About The Public Good  
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Posted (1 year 4 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4349 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, 9292 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4198 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, 3190 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4171 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, 9292 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4072 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, 1023 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4043 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, 5797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4023 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, 14139 posts, RR: 62
Reply 6, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4011 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, 7846 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4008 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, 3190 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3985 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, 20358 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (1 year 4 months 22 hours ago) and read 3927 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, 8977 posts, RR: 39
Reply 10, posted (1 year 4 months 21 hours ago) and read 3898 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, 20358 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (1 year 4 months 21 hours ago) and read 3894 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, 15835 posts, RR: 27
Reply 12, posted (1 year 4 months 21 hours ago) and read 3893 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, 5797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (1 year 4 months 20 hours ago) and read 3876 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, 8977 posts, RR: 39
Reply 14, posted (1 year 4 months 20 hours ago) and read 3874 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, 8977 posts, RR: 39
Reply 15, posted (1 year 4 months 20 hours ago) and read 3865 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, 20358 posts, RR: 59
Reply 16, posted (1 year 4 months 19 hours ago) and read 3847 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 4 months 19 hours ago) and read 3844 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, 15835 posts, RR: 27
Reply 18, posted (1 year 4 months 18 hours ago) and read 3833 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, 8977 posts, RR: 39
Reply 19, posted (1 year 4 months 18 hours ago) and read 3812 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, 8292 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (1 year 4 months 17 hours ago) and read 3784 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, 11806 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (1 year 4 months 17 hours ago) and read 3771 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, 20358 posts, RR: 59
Reply 22, posted (1 year 4 months 17 hours ago) and read 3766 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, 15835 posts, RR: 27
Reply 23, posted (1 year 4 months 16 hours ago) and read 3764 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, 5797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (1 year 4 months 16 hours ago) and read 3753 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
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15835 posts, RR: 27
Reply 25, posted (1 year 4 months 16 hours ago) and read 3796 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 24):
"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.

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, large or small, because they benefited from them. So why shouldn't people withdraw support from common institutions that do not help them? It makes perfect sense that people would yank the political and financial rug out from under that which they do not need.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 26, posted (1 year 4 months 16 hours ago) and read 3780 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 25):
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, large or small, because they benefited from them. So why shouldn't people withdraw support from common institutions that do not help them? It makes perfect sense that people would yank the political and financial rug out from under that which they do not need.

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 not what that person particularly wishes to be or be doing in that community), because if they don't the community either doesn't need them or they are not contributing such that they earn the benefit of the community (and you should well know that politics exist in a small community too).

From a small community to a large country are not two different things, they are two similar things just different scale.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8292 posts, RR: 26
Reply 27, posted (1 year 4 months 16 hours ago) and read 3802 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 25):
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, large or small, because they benefited from them. So why shouldn't people withdraw support from common institutions that do not help them? It makes perfect sense that people would yank the political and financial rug out from under that which they do not need.

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 alternative is, like you say, to go off the grid. Unless one is prepared to do that, these arguments are moot.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15835 posts, RR: 27
Reply 28, posted (1 year 4 months 16 hours ago) and read 3799 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 26):
People in a small community also do things they do not wish to do and cannot really "withdraw" from contributing (even if it is not what that person particularly wishes to be or be doing in that community), because if they don't the community either doesn't need them or they are not contributing such that they earn the benefit of the community (and you should well know that politics exist in a small community too).

But they wouldn't contribute when they do not need certain things the community offers and demands they contribute towards. If the "community" needs middle and upper to pay into social programs, but those people derive no benefit from those programs, why wouldn't they withdraw support?

Quoting tugger (Reply 26):
From a small community to a large country are not two different things, they are two similar things just different scale.

The scale is the difference. It's one thing to help someone you know and, presumably, like. It's another to pay into giant, nebulous programs that don't really benefit you.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 29, posted (1 year 4 months 16 hours ago) and read 3798 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 27):
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 alternative is, like you say, to go off the grid. Unless one is prepared to do that, these arguments are moot.

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). Once the off the grid person lives their life, it is done and no more is gained. So you can live but you can't prosper to the level that you can in a group.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11806 posts, RR: 15
Reply 30, posted (1 year 4 months 15 hours ago) and read 3788 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 23):
be one of those odd off the grid people

Except when power companies charge people for being "off the grid". Yes, PG&E does that.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 23):
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.

How would Safeway survive? People need to be charged for their own biological needs, according to you.



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15835 posts, RR: 27
Reply 31, posted (1 year 4 months 15 hours ago) and read 3790 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 27):
The alternative is, like you say, to go off the grid. Unless one is prepared to do that, these arguments are moot.

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 why I wouldn't just send all I could to a tax haven and keep it where governments can't get to it. I could still invest and maintain a steady income, just without as many hands in the pot.

In another thread someone said that people who send their kids to private schools should pay to support public schools because it helps them. I didn't think it warranted a reply at the time, but that line of thinking is wrong. It doesn't help them. It doesn't help me since I'm not in school and I don't have kids. I support funding the schools because I'm a nice enough guy that I don't want to leave kids high and dry for life, but I get nothing from that. Schools don't exist for taxpayers (other than, tangentially, parents), schools exist for the students.

Quoting tugger (Reply 29):
Once the off the grid person lives their life, it is done and no more is gained. So you can live but you can't prosper to the level that you can in a group.

Again, it is still possible to gain a return on money one already has. And there are places that make a business of being the off the grid financial enclaves.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 30):
How would Safeway survive?

Safeway survives thanks to providing a service to its customers. If they were to abuse that, customers would go elsewhere quickly.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11806 posts, RR: 15
Reply 32, posted (1 year 4 months 14 hours ago) and read 3776 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 31):
Safeway survives thanks to providing a service to its customers. If they were to abuse that, customers would go elsewhere quickly.

Shop around. That is what working people who get food stamps do!



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 33, posted (1 year 4 months 9 hours ago) and read 3709 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 31):
Schools don't exist for taxpayers (other than, tangentially, parents), schools exist for the students.

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 business succeed, I think I might see the public school system as providing me a valuable service whether I had kids in it or not.

Same if that school system prepares young people to serve effectively in the military in order to protect me.


User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 34, posted (1 year 4 months 9 hours ago) and read 3707 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 33):
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 business succeed, I think I might see the public school system as providing me a valuable service whether I had kids in it or not.

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.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 35, posted (1 year 4 months 8 hours ago) and read 3688 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 10):
You mean people are choosing to move away from "public" things? What a shocker! That's because they suck.

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 of the best learning institutions in the US at all levels are public. The real issue is how well these institutions get funded. While there are wasteful practices in many, the problem is that instead of fixing the problems people are in many cases working against the idea of institutions for the public good.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
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.

Not sure your statements are consistent - the first speaks to the public good, the second speaks to individualism.

I'm the child of immigrants and I can tell you it wasn't individual greed that motivated my parents to come here.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 18):
The point is that the idea that middle class life requires starting with a trust fund is horseshit.

The trend lines aren't good. The middle class IS disappearing. The fact that a relative few can find a way to enter it or stay in it doesn't change that. The idea that it's the fault of the lower class is absurd, both currently and historically. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the middle class is disappearing.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 36, posted (1 year 4 months 8 hours ago) and read 3675 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 31):
Again, it is still possible to gain a return on money one already has. And there are places that make a business of being the off the grid financial enclaves.

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 those "off the grid enclaves" are on the grid. They either get infusions from outside of their enclave or invite new people to the enclave to keep it vital. You do not get a return from stuffing your wealth into a mattress, you can save yes, but a "return" where your wealth is doing work for you only happens in a group (and the larger the group the more opportunity your wealth has).

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 37, posted (1 year 4 months 7 hours ago) and read 3670 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 34):
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.

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 funded schools provided me quality job applicants, as a business owner I would see that as a service to me in exchange for my property tax dollars regardless of whether or not I or my kids attended the schools being funded by those taxes. Same for qualified applicants for military service or other vital public functions.

I didn't say it was the only way, the preferred way, or even a justifiable way to do it. Whether those job applicants or military inductees could or should be provided more efficiently/effectively by some other vehicle than tax-funded public schools is a separate issue and one that I don't presume to be qualified to evaluate. But I think it is inaccurate to say that those who don't personally have kids in public schools don't get ANYTHING in return for their property taxes. There are second- and third-order benefits of tax-funded public education that need to be weighed carefully against the cost.


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7846 posts, RR: 5
Reply 38, posted (1 year 4 months 7 hours ago) and read 3669 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 34):
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.

Yup they'd just be for the elite few who could afford private education.


User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11806 posts, RR: 15
Reply 39, posted (1 year 4 months 6 hours ago) and read 3639 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 18):
The point is that the idea that middle class life requires starting with a trust fund is horseshit. It's just a narrative.

So everyone should start at the very and absolute bottom and claw their way to the top.



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 1424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (1 year 4 months 5 hours ago) and read 3616 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 34):
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.

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 then ultimately get better educated and end up in better paying jobs. That's just obvious.

However I believe that money should be no factor in education, your own motivation and abilities are the only things that should matter. Your ideal system would just fill high paying positions with idiots who had rich parents while many really intelligent and talented people would never reach their full potential because their parents are poor.

[Edited 2013-08-27 08:59:19]


"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2755 posts, RR: 8
Reply 41, posted (1 year 4 months 5 hours ago) and read 3616 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 34):
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.

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 politicians that cover for them.

Quoting pvjin (Reply 40):
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 then ultimately get better educated and end up in better paying jobs. That's just obvious.

That already happens with the public schools with the richer areas having better schools that the poor ones.



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently onlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2570 posts, RR: 14
Reply 42, posted (1 year 4 months 5 hours ago) and read 3607 times:

I heartily agree with the statement that the U.S. (and many other countries) have lost the public good as their main goal.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 39):
So everyone should start at the very and absolute bottom and claw their way to the top.

Right. Let's see how many of our boys and girls end up at Harvard or Yale or in a cozy home in the Hamptons if we draw an equal starting line for everybody that is born.

The more successful people attribute most of their success to their own willpower or abilities, thus losing their sense of solidarity. Why should I pay may share for somebody else?

The less successful people wrongly attribute most of their failures to bad luck, thus losing their sense of self-reliance and honest work. Why isn't someboy else supporting me?


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 1424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 43, posted (1 year 4 months 5 hours ago) and read 3604 times:

Quoting windy95 (Reply 41):
That already happens with the public schools with the richer areas having better schools that the poor ones.

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. Children of multi-millionaires and working class parents study in same places all the way up to university levels, I really like it.



"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 44, posted (1 year 4 months 5 hours ago) and read 3601 times:

Quoting windy95 (Reply 41):
But that is the only one they have in order to protect the teachers unions and politicians that cover for them.

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 educational institutions in the US at least have unionized teachers.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 45, posted (1 year 4 months 4 hours ago) and read 3583 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 37):
I didn't say it was the only way, the preferred way, or even a justifiable way to do it. Whether those job applicants or military inductees could or should be provided more efficiently/effectively by some other vehicle than tax-funded public schools is a separate issue and one that I don't presume to be qualified to evaluate.

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'd say it is unlikely to be.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 38):
Yup they'd just be for the elite few who could afford private education.

Nonsense, public spending on education is very low. Well within the reach of most family. The ones it isn't in reach for might think twice about having those kids if they had to pay for their kids. Of course there would still be charitable schools, even the Kowloon walled city had schools.

Quoting pvjin (Reply 40):
Your ideal system would just fill high paying positions with idiots who had rich parents while many really intelligent and talented people would never reach their full potential because their parents are poor.

First of all i continually stated on this forum i am ok with tax spending on education provided it is from neutral taxes. Secondly, it is not the case that talented people would never reach their potential because such people would be sought after and trained at an advanced level by employers, in exchange for x years service.

Quoting pvjin (Reply 43):
and true freedom it gives us

It restricts your freedom. Taxation is a restriction of freedom.

As an aside, one thing i've picked up over the years, is that rich people often bring up their kids to value money, this accounts for a lot of their future financial success.


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7846 posts, RR: 5
Reply 46, posted (1 year 4 months 4 hours ago) and read 3574 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 45):
Nonsense, public spending on education is very low. Well within the reach of most family.

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 best teachers, they can do that because they have the money to do it, now if you cut of public funding to all public schools and made the fee paying I bet you'd end up having to close most as people simply wouldn't be able to afford to send kids to school, the social cost would be enormous, you'd go from free to othousands of dollars, pounds, NOK per term, it wouldn't work. Having kids is expensive enough as it is now without having to pay full school fees on top.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20358 posts, RR: 59
Reply 47, posted (1 year 4 months 4 hours ago) and read 3575 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 23):
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.

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 there is one place where you can go without being in a country and that is Somalia. In freely choosing to renounce all citizenship and live in Somalia, you are accepting certain consequences, just as you would be by choosing to not shop but instead subsistence farm.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 18):
And it would be nice if you could point out in this thread or any other where someone advocated anarchy.

The logical conclusion from "all taxes are coercive" is that all taxes are bad. Because taxes are absolutely necessary for any country to exist, then all countries are bad. If A implies B and B implies C, then A implies C.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 31):
Safeway survives thanks to providing a service to its customers. If they were to abuse that, customers would go elsewhere quickly.

Free countries survive thanks to providing a service to their citizens. If they abuse that (so sayeth the Declaration of Independence), then the people may either choose to leave or revolt.

Again, if you do not want to live in the USA, you are free to move elsewhere and renounce your citizenship. And you and you alone are responsible for the consequences of that. That does not make all taxes mean theft.

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 34):
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.

So if someone is poor and has kids, then those kids can't get an education because they can't afford a school and there are no public schools. Thus, being born poor becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. We might as well just call them serfs and be done with it.

Everything you guys are arguing for basically comes down to "More for me and less for everyone else." Me me me me me. And that is what this thread is about. Interest in the public good is gone on the Right. It's all about me me me.


User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 1424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 48, posted (1 year 4 months 4 hours ago) and read 3563 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 45):
It restricts your freedom. Taxation is a restriction of freedom.

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 of freedom and in the end is likely to also cost you more than the extra taxes you have to pay to fund the education system.

[Edited 2013-08-27 10:23:29]


"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 49, posted (1 year 4 months 4 hours ago) and read 3562 times:

Getting back to the topic of the thread...

Apparently some people believe themselves to be part of a 'collective' entity - whether a country, a society, a community, or the human race itself...and to them the well being of that entity has genuine value above and beyond the material benefit that accrues to them personally.

For others, every interaction between individuals is a transaction whose value is measured primarily by the specific, material benefit to themselves or perhaps their immediate family. The more the better.

I don't know if it is possible to decisively make the case that one or the other approach is 'right'...you have to do what you think will make you happy, or what suits your nature. In my unscientific observation of going on 42 years I haven't seen much of a correlation between individual success (defined as personal material benefit) and happiness, at least not past having the basic needs covered. Choose wisely.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 50, posted (1 year 4 months 4 hours ago) and read 3549 times:

Quote:
For others, every interaction between individuals is a transaction whose value is measured primarily by the specific, immediate, material benefit to themselves or perhaps their immediate family.

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 from the context of having already benefited from the contributions of others, yet are not willing to admit to it because it makes it impossible to say they've done it all on their own and are thus entitled to any/all benefits they can take.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 51, posted (1 year 4 months 4 hours ago) and read 3550 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 46):
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 best teachers, they can do that because they have the money to do it, now if you cut of public funding to all public schools and made the fee paying I bet you'd end up having to close most as people simply wouldn't be able to afford to send kids to school, the social cost would be enormous, you'd go from free to othousands of dollars, pounds, NOK per term, it wouldn't work. Having kids is expensive enough as it is now without having to pay full school fees on top.

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 bizarre position to hold. Some people seem to think the world would fall apart if it weren't for the government.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 47):
Everything you guys are arguing for basically comes down to "More for me and less for everyone else."

That's exactly what the left argues, the difference is the left want more for me and don't want to earn it, at least the right are ok to earn it. It's actually not the position i hold anyway, people who add value to society get to keep the full fruits of their labour, that's the best way for increasing the size of the pie - which is the true public good. But I've never argued against tax funding for schools anyway, i have just merely pointed out that if there was no government, there would still be school, and probably pretty cost effective ones.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 52, posted (1 year 4 months 3 hours ago) and read 3540 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 51):
people who add value to society get to keep the full fruits of their labour, that's the best way for increasing the size of the pie

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 gap between the rich and the poor is growing fast with time. The right seems to be happy to blame this on the poor rather than the rich, which is pretty strange logic IMHO.

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 51):
i have just merely pointed out that if there was no government, there would still be school, and probably pretty cost effective ones.

Doubtful they would be very affordable, and not very sure how a for-profit entity would be all that effective.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20358 posts, RR: 59
Reply 53, posted (1 year 4 months 2 hours ago) and read 3517 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 51):
That's exactly what the left argues,

Because we're correct.

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 51):
the difference is the left want more for me and don't want to earn it,

Incorrect. I am quite solidly on the left and I earn my living, thank you.

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 51):
Some people seem to think the world would fall apart if it weren't for the government.

Without the government, you have...Somalia. A very real-world demonstration of what happens without a government.

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 51):
people who add value to society get to keep the full fruits of their labour, that's the best way for increasing the size of the pie - which is the true public good.

Increasing the size of the pie so that you can eat more of the pie and leave the same amount for everyone else is not public good.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." Whatever happened to that?


User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 54, posted (1 year 4 months 2 hours ago) and read 3508 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 53):
Incorrect. I am quite solidly on the left and I earn my living, thank you.

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. You're gay right? I bet if i tried to tell you what you can/can't do in the bedroom you'd get pretty annoyed, and rightfully so. But what gives you the right to tell me what i must do with my earnings?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 53):
Without the government, you have...Somalia. A very real-world demonstration of what happens without a government.

Well actually Somalia has rather improved since it got rid of its government, but i appreciate that you probably haven't even bothered to look into that. Funny for a bunch of people who claim...

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 53):
we're correct.

But it's a strawman anyway. Sure a state is generally needed to play referee. It isn't necessary to provide goods/services to people though. The market can do that by itself. The US got exceptionally rich in the early days with almost no government.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 53):
Increasing the size of the pie so that you can eat more of the pie and leave the same amount for everyone else is not public good.

That's impossible to do in a free market though. You can't get rich without enriching others.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 52):
What is shown to be true is that the gap between the rich and the poor is growing fast with time. The right seems to be happy to blame this on the poor rather than the rich, which is pretty strange logic IMHO.

Nothing to do with Reagan or keeping your earnings nor the rich or the poor. All to do with fiat currencies, see Mr Nixon.


User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 1424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 55, posted (1 year 4 months 1 hour ago) and read 3487 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 54):
Well actually Somalia has rather improved since it got rid of its government, but i appreciate that you probably haven't even bothered to look into that. Funny for a bunch of people who claim...

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 collapsed and bunch of extremist groups and warlords ruled the country. It was definitely way better when it still had a functioning government.

In northern parts they formed a new government and established a country called "Somaliland" although other countries haven't acknowledged it's independence yet as far as I know. Again, government brought that area stability which has made it the safest area in whole old Somalia.

Only thanks to international help also Southern parts have become a bit more stable and Islamic extremists aren't controlling Mogadishu anymore.



"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 56, posted (1 year 4 months 1 hour ago) and read 3474 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 54):
You don't earn my living though, so hands off of mine.

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 societal constructs around them...unless they've hacked their living out of the jungle on a deserted island in complete solitude. That is the justification to take some of their earnings back to support that society.

It's absolutely right to criticize how government goes about it, but the general concept of feeding some of 'your' earnings back into the system to preserve its ability to function, up to and including financial assistance to people to whom you personally owe nothing, is not as egregious as you suggest.

It's not a perfect world, and the fact that basically every other country on earth have found the 'market' to be an inadequate provider of certain services is instructive.

[Edited 2013-08-27 13:06:42]

User currently offlineTristarAtLCA From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (1 year 4 months 1 hour ago) and read 3463 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 54):
Well actually Somalia has rather improved since it got rid of its government, but i appreciate that you probably haven't even bothered to look into that.

  

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 whole country.

Any British nationals in Somalia should leave.

Terrorist groups have made threats against westerners and those working for western organisations.

All areas across Somalia are suffering food shortages resulting in the displacement of thousands of Somali people.

There are basic hospital facilities in Hargeisa. Elsewhere medical facilities are extremely limited or non-existent.

Polio remains a major problem in Somalia.


Anyway, you'd hate it. Full of poor people  



If you was right..................I'd agree with you
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 58, posted (1 year 4 months ago) and read 3435 times:

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 have praised the idea that it is true, but none have denied that it is true.

Very interesting, yet for me, sad.

To me I feel it is not that true, at least in my area. There are a lot of things going around in my area that are for the public good, and function well and are efficient. There are a few others that function well but are inefficient, and less that do not function well at all.

Interestingly enough to me, the one that works for the public good that functions the worst is our local privately funded soup kitchen, which is just overwhelmed with demand and bereft of supply. I suppose that means some here are happy, since they think that charity is the way to go and are glad no tax dollars are involved and that poor people should suffer as much as possible.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15835 posts, RR: 27
Reply 59, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3385 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 33):
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 business succeed, I think I might see the public school system as providing me a valuable service whether I had kids in it or not.

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 you because you're nice enough to pay for their public school, they do it because it will lead them to a career. By your standards, public schools are the exactly the sort corporate welfare the left loves to hate: using everyone's taxes to ensure them a stream of applicants. And the public schools turn out so many graduates that it fuels the race to the bottom.

The truth is that schools exist for the students, and a student that is going to school for someone other than himself is likely on a path to nowhere.



Quoting Revelation (Reply 35):
I'm the child of immigrants and I can tell you it wasn't individual greed that motivated my parents to come here.

Did they come here so they could pay into Social Security? Or was it their great admiration of Amtrak that led them to our shores?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 35):
The fact that a relative few can find a way to enter it or stay in it doesn't change that. The idea that it's the fault of the lower class is absurd, both currently and historically.

The idea that the rich should be forced to subsidize non-competitive entry into the middle class is absurd. And if I am one of the "relative few" then I don't care.

Quoting tugger (Reply 36):
You do not get a return from stuffing your wealth into a mattress,

You do get a return from offshore hedge funds though.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 39):
So everyone should start at the very and absolute bottom and claw their way to the top.

Everyone should start wherever fate puts them and try to claw their way to the top, whatever the top may mean to them.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 47):
The logical conclusion from "all taxes are coercive" is that all taxes are bad.

Not at all. Taxes are effectively a necessity to live and are therefore coercive, just like eating is a necessity to live. But eating isn't bad. Eating certain things is bad, and eating too much is bad.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 49):
For others, every interaction between individuals is a transaction whose value is measured primarily by the specific, material benefit to themselves or perhaps their immediate family. The more the better.

That's exactly what it is. A caveman getting together with a few friends to kill a mammoth is a good deal. But a caveman who kills a mammoth himself and then has 47% of the village claiming a piece of it just because they live in the same village is getting a raw deal.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineWarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 9292 posts, RR: 12
Reply 60, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3367 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 56):
It's absolutely right to criticize how government goes about it, but the general concept of feeding some of 'your' earnings back into the system to preserve its ability to function, up to and including financial assistance to people to whom you personally owe nothing, is not as egregious as you suggest.

"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 that I have it, I like to think that I know who has it. I like to think that I know who does not have it.



It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 61, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3367 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 59):
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 you because you're nice enough to pay for their public school, they do it because it will lead them to a career. By your standards, public schools are the exactly the sort corporate welfare the left loves to hate: using everyone's taxes to ensure them a stream of applicants. And the public schools turn out so many graduates that it fuels the race to the bottom.

The truth is that schools exist for the students, and a student that is going to school for someone other than himself is likely on a path to nowhere.

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 that support public schools.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 59):
That's exactly what it is. A caveman getting together with a few friends to kill a mammoth is a good deal. But a caveman who kills a mammoth himself and then has 47% of the village claiming a piece of it just because they live in the same village is getting a raw deal.

But in reality if I'm the caveman the success of my hunt depends on tasks that those 47% perform that aren't directly engaged with bringing down the mammoth...Thag who is good at making spears, Gorog the sandal repair pro and Sheena the loincloth tailor, Phil who empties out the fire pits and of course the Witch Doctor. I need them to thrive for me to be successful, and even more importantly we all need to be ready to fend off the neighboring clan if and when they attack. Plus I like having them around and when they are happy I am happy too.

So I don't have a problem handing over some of my mammoth after each kill to be dried and stored in case some of them have a problem in their tent that keeps them from being productive for awhile, or if they are hurt and need to be nursed back to health. Or if we have too many spear makers in the tribe and they need to practice making axe heads for awhile before they'll have any good ones to trade.

And since our clan gave up leaving people outside the camp for the wolves to take, there may be a few cavemen who aren't quite right in the head or are too old to be of any practical use - we'll put some mammoth aside for them too. After all, at the end of the day I will still have enough for myself.


User currently offlineWarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 9292 posts, RR: 12
Reply 62, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3364 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 58):
Interestingly enough to me, the one that works for the public good that functions the worst is our local privately funded soup kitchen, which is just overwhelmed with demand and bereft of supply. I suppose that means some here are happy, since they think that charity is the way to go and are glad no tax dollars are involved and that poor people should suffer as much as possible.

  


It does make one wonder if their very poorness is blamed on them. Economy, society, station, education, neighborhood, geographic location, family has nothing to do with it. Nah! We are all equal in the US. Some more than others. Some may deserve poverty, many, many more millions do not, it is forced upon them, here and all over the world. They are exploited on a grand scale these days. Of course some will say, they deserve it, some will say Exploited! They eat do they not? They have cloths. What more could one aspire to? I guess that is somewhat true in a third world nation. I wonder when did we officially become one?



It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
User currently offlineWarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 9292 posts, RR: 12
Reply 63, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3346 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 61):
And since our clan gave up leaving people outside the camp for the wolves to take, there may be a few cavemen who aren't quite right in the head or are too old to be of any practical use - we'll put some mammoth aside for them too. After all, at the end of the day I will still have enough for myself.

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.



It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 64, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3347 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 59):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 35):
I'm the child of immigrants and I can tell you it wasn't individual greed that motivated my parents to come here.

Did they come here so they could pay into Social Security? Or was it their great admiration of Amtrak that led them to our shores?

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 children. This meant they valued the society in general, the fact that their children could expect the chance to be educated, and their children could expect opportunities to advance. They valued its safety nets in particular. That meant they were willing to work (and indeed worked very hard) and pay taxes to support the society.

Yes, there are wasteful government programs, but they would feel (as I do) that one should work to fix those instead of feeling that everything the society has built up over the years is awful and the only solution is to 'starve the beast'.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 59):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 35):
The fact that a relative few can find a way to enter it or stay in it doesn't change that. The idea that it's the fault of the lower class is absurd, both currently and historically.

The idea that the rich should be forced to subsidize non-competitive entry into the middle class is absurd.


Generations of rich did not think this way, and many still do not, so it seems you have many absurd heros.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15835 posts, RR: 27
Reply 65, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3335 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 61):
So I have no problem paying property taxes that support public schools.

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 bunch of public benefits.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 61):
Thag who is good at making spears, Gorog the sandal repair pro and Sheena the loincloth tailor, Phil who empties out the fire pits and of course the Witch Doctor.

That's why people cleverly came up with the idea of paying money for goods and services.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 64):
My parents came here to be a part of a society that would be a good place to have children.

In other words, they came to improve their lives and yours. That's not the public good.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 64):
That meant they were willing to work (and indeed worked very hard) and pay taxes to support the society.

When they left for work each day, did they do it to support society or did they do it to support themselves and their family?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 64):
Generations of rich did not think this way, and many still do not, so it seems you have many absurd heros.

They're free to give away as much of their money as they like. I don't even mind giving away some of my money, but I have an immense problem with others giving away my money.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 66, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3314 times:

Quoting pvjin (Reply 55):
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 collapsed and bunch of extremist groups and warlords ruled the country. It was definitely way better when it still had a functioning government.

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

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 56):
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 societal constructs around them...unless they've hacked their living out of the jungle on a deserted island in complete solitude. That is the justification to take some of their earnings back to support that society.

You DO earn all of your living. Other people get paid to do their part, you get paid to do your part.

Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 57):
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/somalia

I never suggested holidaying there. Although the UK foreign office is beyond paranoid. But of course, what would it have said when the government was in power. It would have said it was a hell hole then too.

Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 57):
Anyway, you'd hate it. Full of poor people

I think you have me mixed up with somebody else. I have no problem with poor people, and i propose policies that will make their lives better.


User currently onlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2570 posts, RR: 14
Reply 67, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3310 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 45):
It restricts your freedom. Taxation is a restriction of freedom.

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, fire department, trash removal and road builders?




David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 68, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3311 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 65):
In other words, they came to improve their lives and yours. That's not the public good.

They realized they needed the public good to improve their lives and mine, so yes, it is about the public good.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 65):

When they left for work each day, did they do it to support society or did they do it to support themselves and their family?

Both, because they knew that supporting society was supporting their family, and back then, rich people in large numbers realized their success was built on the backs of others.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 65):

They're free to give away as much of their money as they like. I don't even mind giving away some of my money, but I have an immense problem with others giving away my money.

Then you should revisit your statement that "The idea that the rich should be forced to subsidize non-competitive entry into the middle class is absurd" because there clearly are some rich people who feel it's the right thing to support the public good, not as many these days as before, but still there are some.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 1424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 69, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3300 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 66):
No i'm not joking, many key indicators have improved. It's important to look at facts and not resort to hyperbole.

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 Somaliland has quite stable government nowadays, I wonder if that study does even count it, no time to read it through properly right now.

Anyway the funny thing is Somali people themselves clearly don't seem to prefer anarchy, since collapse of Somalian government Finland has been flooded with Somali refugees.

Nah, I think without international help none of those things listed would have improved.

[Edited 2013-08-27 20:10:29]


"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8292 posts, RR: 26
Reply 70, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3286 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 54):
But what gives you the right to tell me what i must do with my earnings?

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 majority of people in a functioning society will use a public service, directly or indirectly, in the course of securing those earnings.

Did you drive on a road, use water or electricity, or take a subway today? Give me a break...



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15835 posts, RR: 27
Reply 71, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3277 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 68):
They realized they needed the public good to improve their lives and mine, so yes, it is about the public good.

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" from which one does not benefit?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 68):
Then you should revisit your statement that "The idea that the rich should be forced to subsidize non-competitive entry into the middle class is absurd" because there clearly are some rich people who feel it's the right thing to support the public good, not as many these days as before, but still there are some.

There's a world of difference between giving away your money and having someone else give away your money.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 70):
But unless you are some kind of marvel of luck and circumstance, the vast majority of people in a functioning society will use a public service, directly or indirectly, in the course of securing those earnings.

Of course that doesn't account for the same public service being used by someone who makes more and therefore pay far more for the same service.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8292 posts, RR: 26
Reply 72, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3267 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 71):
Of course that doesn't account for the same public service being used by someone who makes more and therefore pay far more for the same service.

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 an aberration in any of the world's largest economies.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 73, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3237 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 67):
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, fire department, trash removal and road builders?

You obviously don't know what freedom means. I would encourage you to learn before you continue in this debate.

Quoting pvjin (Reply 69):
no time to read it through properly right now.

No but incredibly you still try and tell me i'm wrong. What waste of time you are.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 70):
Did you drive on a road, use water or electricity, or take a subway today? Give me a break...

But you can just pay for those things when you use them. They don't need to come out of taxes.


User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 1424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 74, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3223 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 73):
No but incredibly you still try and tell me i'm wrong. What waste of time you are.

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 made in Somalia aren't because of anarchy but because of all the increased international aid brought there by chaos that started after the collapse of Somalian government.

Alone the amount of lazy Somali refugees my country has received since collapse of Somali government proves my point, they wouldn't have left if they actually felt thing had improved thanks to anarchy or shall we say rule of various different armed groups.

But I guess you ignore the facts in your anti-government crusade.

Go live in Somalia to see how your ideas would work in reality, I wish you good luck in avoiding getting kidnapped by locals.

[Edited 2013-08-28 04:23:06]


"A rational army would run away"
User currently onlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2570 posts, RR: 14
Reply 75, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3220 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 73):
You obviously don't know what freedom means. I would encourage you to learn before you continue in this debate.

Let's do it simple. So, what is freedom according to your book?


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 76, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3211 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 65):
That's why people cleverly came up with the idea of paying money for goods and services.

Well, sure...a pure barter arrangement is not sustainable. My analogy still holds though - my success depends on Thag being able to provide spears for our clan whether he is getting paid in $ or in mammoth chunks. So it's in my self interest to help him out if he runs into the kind of hard times I suggested. Within the clan individual attention is manageable but when you're talking about a nation of >300 million people we unfortunately have to rely on systems that are admittedly flawed at times.

I'm not arguing on behalf our current entitlements system. I'm arguing that collective effort matters for the success of any group of humans (call it 'society' or 'public good' if you must)...and because people are by nature self-centered we have a scheme of forced taxation to provide for the Thags of the world, as well as for the services that would be unobtainable for the unwealthy in a purely 'market' arrangment. Not out of the kindness of our hearts but because it is in our interest as a group to do so (which is also the standard by which the utility of these programs should be evaluated).

Either way, if human generosity was equal to the need we wouldn't be having this conversation. I also think you'd have a far different view of this issue if you were the same intelligent, hard working person who didn't have good parents to depend upon when you needed (or still need?) them and was legitimately facing starvation without some 'government cheese' or what have you. The situation that we're born into absolutely matters and though it may be more 'fair' to let people's kids suffer for the sins of their parents, and have everyone individually pay for the government services that they use (and tough shit if you can't afford them) the great nations of the world don't seem to be going that route. Think about why that is.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 77, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3194 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 71):
So, then, why is it in anyway wrong to withdraw political and financial support from those elements of the "public good" from which one does not benefit?

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. Remember the hubbub when a fire department watched a house burn because the owner chose not to pay the fees for fire protection? I'm sure that made your heart sing, but for many of us, it was tragic.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 71):
There's a world of difference between giving away your money and having someone else give away your money.

My point is that there are some rich people who disagree with you. These days it's fashionable to cling to the the last penny of the last dollar but that's not the way it's gone historically. Thus the title of the thread, "America Stopped Caring About The Public Good".



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8292 posts, RR: 26
Reply 78, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3181 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 73):
But you can just pay for those things when you use them. They don't need to come out of taxes.

They do, because of their scope and size. This is precisely the reason huge undertakings like militaries are not privately organized.

When talking about this kind of infrastructure, we are not speaking of a Google or Facebook maintaining some server farms. Just as an example, do you have any idea how large the interstate highway system is in the States?



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 79, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3178 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 78):
When talking about this kind of infrastructure, we are not speaking of a Google or Facebook maintaining some server farms. Just as an example, do you have any idea how large the interstate highway system is in the States?

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 England. In fact even today roads costs are typically "taxed" separately, which is really more of a broad free for use as supposed to a tax. In the UK road and fuel duty more than covers the cost of maintaining the infrastructure of the roads. Go to France or Ireland, all of the motorways are toll roads.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 75):
Let's do it simple. So, what is freedom according to your book?

My definition of freedom is the actual definition.

the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint

That means that somebody taking your earnings and spending it on stuff is not freedom.

Quoting pvjin (Reply 74):
But I guess you ignore the facts

No i did read the facts, you are the one that openly admitted you hadn't remember...

Quoting pvjin (Reply 74):
I don't need to read it to tell you are wrong

           


User currently onlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2570 posts, RR: 14
Reply 80, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3163 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 79):

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 freedom to choose how you act.

But this does not touch the topic of taxation.

But can you use your freedom of movement if the public did not build roads? Or enact car safety laws, so you do not have to educate yourself to be an automotive engineer in order to assure your car's safety?

If you refused to pay taxes, okay - the public won't bother you. But this would mean that you would have to grow your own food (no public roads to drive to the shopping mall), you'll be broke if serious illness afflicts you, and who'll defend your country?

The issue of health insurance is especially rife to discuss freedom and taxation.

If (and only IF) you have enough money to pay your cancer treatment upfront, you don't have to worry about future illness. You simply have to care about your own, daily life.

But if you belong to the lower class, there is absolutely no way of saving enough money in order to get a decent treatment in case of sickness. You would have to work overtime (also on Saturday and Sunday) in order to enjoy secure healthcare. In my own income situation, getting two years of leukemia treatment would leave me in debt for the next ten years. Which means that I would either have to die, or the government (and thus the citiizens) have to pick up the tab.

Having to choose between certain death or certain, longlasting debt is nothing I compare with "freedom".


So there needs to be taxation and solidarity among the people.




David

[Edited 2013-08-28 07:43:11]


Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 81, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3158 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 80):
Great, that was a little trap I set up for you.

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.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 80):
Having to choose between certain death or certain, longlasting debt is nothing I compare with "freedom".

You could of course, get health insurance. But you are free to go without, or free to simply die if you want. That is what freedom is. Being forced to buy healthcare for yourself, or forcing others to buy it for you, or being forced to buy it for others is not freedom.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 80):
But can you use your freedom of movement if the public did not build roads? Or enact car safety laws, so you do not have to educate yourself to be an automotive engineer in order to assure your car's safety?

Honestly what the hell are you on about? You think you need taxes for any of this? I have just explained in the last post how you don't need taxes for roads. You don't even need government for roads. And you don't need taxes or regulations or need to be an automotive engineer in order to assure car safety either.


User currently onlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2570 posts, RR: 14
Reply 82, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3149 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 81):
You could of course, get health insurance. But you are free to go without, or free to simply die if you want. That is what freedom is. Being forced to buy healthcare for yourself, or forcing others to buy it for you, or being forced to buy it for others is not freedom.

Getting health insurance does not solve the problem. Youre *forced* to make a decision, so you've lost freedom already. In my situation, going without insurance would be disastrous. And here, health insurance is mandatory to begin with. (And I do not feel any of my freedoms touched because I *have* to pay for insurance. I know it's a good thing.).


Perhaps a little clearer:

Somebody is a lazy guy and sits in front of the TV set the whole day, and never does any work.

He says he can't feed his family. The city tells him to get a job.

This very moment he loses his freedom. Dang.


By defining freedom as

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 79):
the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint

every lazy bum never has to work.

Every freedom has some limits. I can't just grab a gun and kill some stupid people.  



David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 83, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3146 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 81):
And you don't need taxes or regulations or need to be an automotive engineer in order to assure car safety either.

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 industry had not been coerced by the government to update their safety standards.


User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 84, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3125 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 82):
This very moment he loses his freedom. Dang.

No, you are free to die if you want. Most people don't choose that option.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 82):
I can't just grab a gun and kill some stupid people.

As above, you are free to commit suicide. You're not free to kill others though, that violates their freedom. As is using coercion to extort people's wages (taxation).

It's clear that you're being a bit obtuse now though...

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 82):
Youre *forced* to make a decision, so you've lost freedom already.

So i'm unlikely to humour you any further.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 83):
if the auto industry had not been coerced by the government to update their safety standards.

Companies are rather incentived to build safer cars though, people care about safety. But you pay for the level of safety that you deem necessary anyway. It's likely that regulations are making us buy more safety than we actually want. Take aviation for example. Much safer per passenger mile than cars, yet most of us get in a car without hesitation. That suggests that we'd probably accept a lower level of aviation safety for lower fares.

I'm not really interested in getting into a debate about the efficacy of government regulation though. But in the absence of it, there would likely be a form of private regulation, and safety certification. In fact that already exists in various fields. As of now, government essentially crowds out any role for that. I want to make it clear right now that i am not arguing for or against safety regulations, but the market does want to find the right level of safety consumers want.


User currently offlineTristarAtLCA From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 85, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3128 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 66):
Although the UK foreign office is beyond paranoid. But of course, what would it have said when the government was in power. It would have said it was a hell hole then too.

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. The advisories are a fair reflection of what is currently happening in Somalia and certainly has nothing to do with holidaying. To dismiss them as paranoid is quite frankly ignoring the factual evidence of an unstable country. As you concede Somalia 1.0 would have been described as Somalia 2.0, we appear to agree there has been none to little improvement.

http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Somalia

http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/somalia

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 66):
It's important to look at facts and not resort to hyperbole.

The paper you linked to is interesting, thoughtful in parts and six years old. Quite how it can be described as factual considering accurate data gathering could only be politely described as 'ropey' in Somalia is a mystery. Its also interesting to note that the year this paper was published, 2007, was the year that the AU sent a force of peacekeepers under UN approval to provide a bare minimum security presence. Its still there and its numbers stand at around 17,000. We'll leave aside the number of admissions in the paper of 'unmeasured' and 'tentative' evidence and 'unable to be definitely decided' suppositions and say it was a paper of its time and in no way an unimpeachable document of fact.

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 66):
I think you have me mixed up with somebody else.

I'm certain I haven't.

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 66):
I have no problem with poor people, and i propose policies that will make their lives better.

No you haven't. You have proposed opinions that a re-aligning of the government and market driven ratios in conjunction with making other areas fully free market would benefit your net earnings (like not paying for the 5 poor people as you stated in the NHS thread) and benefit society greatly once the shackles of government interference have been relaxed. Thats a perfectly valid and reasonable belief as long as it remains an opinion. Sadly you have shown a tendency to treat and defend your opinion as fact. You have never proven that your ideologies would benefit the poorest of society nor make their lives better for the simple reason that your statements are always devoid of the details required to call something a policy and are based on, by your own admission, theoretical studies in some undisclosed industries. Societies are way more complex than two sentence solutions. Your obviously an intelligent guy and who knows, you may be more right than wrong in some of your beliefs but devoid of the necessary details required on how you would massively modify key social programmes your just shouting at the rain.



If you was right..................I'd agree with you
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8292 posts, RR: 26
Reply 86, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3062 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 79):
In the UK road and fuel duty more than covers the cost of maintaining the infrastructure of the roads. Go to France or Ireland, all of the motorways are toll roads.

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 miles driven. It would not be possible to sustain American consumer prices and economic growth if users were charged the actual cost per mile driven.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently onlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2570 posts, RR: 14
Reply 87, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3055 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 86):
Again, you are talking about tiny countries here.

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 highways as much as you want.

But this pays only a tiny fraction of the road maintenance costs.

Private companies only do pick the cherries. Switzerland has one single road that is fully paid for by the users - the Grand Saint Bernard tunnel (19.10 US$ for using these 3.6 miles once). But connecting villages in the countryside? No way. There's no business case for it.


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15835 posts, RR: 27
Reply 88, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3040 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 76):
So it's in my self interest to help him out if he runs into the kind of hard times I suggested.

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 anything from them and they don't provide me any service.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 76):
I'm arguing that collective effort matters for the success of any group of humans

The private sector does a very good job encouraging collective effort where it is beneficial.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 77):
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.

I pay for plenty of things I don't need everyday. That's not the issue.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 77):
Remember the hubbub when a fire department watched a house burn because the owner chose not to pay the fees for fire protection? I'm sure that made your heart sing, but for many of us, it was tragic.

That guy was a dumbass who took a risk and got burned. Or his house did anyway.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 77):
My point is that there are some rich people who disagree with you.

I don't disagree, and I don't have a problem with that.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21875 posts, RR: 55
Reply 89, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3015 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 73):
But you can just pay for those things when you use them. They don't need to come out of taxes.

That strategy would, of course, make them more expensive, which would ultimately drive up costs for everyone and be damaging to the economy.

When everyone benefits from the existence of something, even those who don't actively use it, it makes sense to have everyone pay for it. Infrastructure is a prime example.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 90, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2988 times:

Quoting TristarAtLCA (Reply 85):
You have never proven that your ideologies would benefit the poorest of society nor make their lives better for the simple reason that your statements are always devoid of the details required to call something a policy

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 with theory and data how the government has shafted almost everyone and particularly the poor with fiat currencies.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 86):
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 miles driven.

Again size does not matter. The US is big, but it has a lot more people and a lot more money.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 86):
It would not be possible to sustain American consumer prices and economic growth if users were charged the actual cost per mile driven.

I don't know where to start with this gem. If road users aren't covering their costs, then the tax payer is. So purchasing power would remain the same, and economic growth would be the same. But consider if road users had to cover their costs, then people would try to act more efficiently - maybe they'd use rail more often. So in fact, purchasing power would be stronger because people would have more money in their pockets because of lower taxes, and couriers would be acting more economically efficiently which would result in stronger economic growth.

Quoting Mir (Reply 89):
That strategy would, of course, make them more expensive, which would ultimately drive up costs for everyone and be damaging to the economy.

See above. It would be beneficial to the economy.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21875 posts, RR: 55
Reply 91, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2968 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 90):
But consider if road users had to cover their costs, then people would try to act more efficiently - maybe they'd use rail more often.

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 daily lives would end up costing more, they'd have less money to spend, and the economy would suffer.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11806 posts, RR: 15
Reply 92, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2951 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 91):
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.

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 losing money on it's Pioneer route through eastern Oregon and Idaho so the got rid of it. But, there are still people who ask when it is coming back; people who want and used it.



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21875 posts, RR: 55
Reply 93, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2948 times:

Quoting seb146 (Reply 92):
I get that for most of Montana, but what about along main line tracks? UP has mainline tracks from Portland to Salt Lake.

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 capacity isn't there for the frequency of service that would be necessary due to freight traffic. One or two trips per day isn't going to get the job done.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 92):
It was said that Amtrak was losing money on it's Pioneer route through eastern Oregon and Idaho so the got rid of it. But, there are still people who ask when it is coming back; people who want and used it.

People like trains for the experience of being on a train, but if they had to get somewhere at a certain time, it's very unlikely they'd take the train. If the route was cut, it was cut for a reason.

There are a limited number of areas in the country where rail is a viable option. Not all of them have been developed, but we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking that it's anywhere near a replacement for the highway system.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8292 posts, RR: 26
Reply 94, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2939 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 90):
But consider if road users had to cover their costs, then people would try to act more efficiently - maybe they'd use rail more often. So in fact, purchasing power would be stronger because people would have more money in their pockets because of lower taxes, and couriers would be acting more economically efficiently which would result in stronger economic growth.

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 want to act more efficiently, hence their lifestyle and location choices. That's why we prefer roads instead of trains, and it ain't gonna change.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 92):
I get that for most of Montana, but what about along main line tracks?

Get real here, there is nothing economical in this day and age about long distance rail between remote corners of the US for any purpose other than hauling freight that doesn't need to get anywhere in a hurry.



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, 11806 posts, RR: 15
Reply 95, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2924 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 94):
there is nothing economical in this day and age about long distance rail between remote corners of the US for any purpose other than hauling freight that doesn't need to get anywhere in a hurry.

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 passenger rail service. However, there is also a mainline freight line between Portland and Salt Lake City through Boise. Those communities are asking if they will ever get passenger rail service back. I get that Empire Builder is beautiful through the Montana Rockies. I have taken it and it is beautiful. However, through ND and eastern Montana, forget it. I would think more revenue would be made PDX-BOI-SLC than SEA-GEG-FAR-MSP from what I have seen.



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 96, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2910 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 91):
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 daily lives would end up costing more, they'd have less money to spend, and the economy would suffer.

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 same if it were tolled and not tax funded life would not cost any more. Some things would cost more (using the roads) some things would cost less (most goods and services) or you'd have more money in your pay packet, but on average it would cost the same. But now people would behave more efficiently. That container of freight might go from Chicago to LA on the BNSF and not on Route 66 (or whatever it is now) because using the inefficient Route 66 is no longer being subsidised by the tax payer. Life would on average be cheaper because people would be acting more efficiently - the economy would grow.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 94):
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 want to act more efficiently, hence their lifestyle and location choices. That's why we prefer roads instead of trains, and it ain't gonna change.

They are entitled to act inefficiently if they have the money to pay for that inefficiency. Less people will want to if they have to bear the full costs of their lifestyle though. The US loves trains, just for freight and not passenger use.


User currently onlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2570 posts, RR: 14
Reply 97, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2896 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 96):
How can everyone's daily lives cost more? Where is the money to pay for the roads coming from? From the tax payer.

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. If somebody buys a ticket, the profit margin of the state-owned railway is in the 0.1 to 1 percent range - but track maintenance and newly built tracks (like the high-speed routes or the alpine tunnels) is nearly 100% paid for by the government.

This translates into efficiency for enterprises and citizen. The enterprises can count on workers being willing to take the train from BRN or BSL when they work in ZRH. The companies do not have to offer incentives. And the opening of the new Lötschberg basis tunnel has allowed people to live in Visp and Brig and to work in BRN. Before that, it was hugely inefficient to live in Valais and work in Bern. There's quite a mountain range in between.

And for the citizen, its more efficient because they can freely chose if they need a car, or can take the train. The can chose the most efficient transport mode. In the US, you often only have the car.

To put it short, there is stuff only the government can do (efficiently). Like investing upfront into public infrastructure, so that businesses and people can thrive on it. Would there be a business case for running the CDC in Atlanta? Or air rescue? (In Germany, air rescue is privately run, but hugely regulated. In Switzerland, it is run by a private charity, also heavily regulated.)

And there is stuff only enterprises or the singular citizen can do (efficiently). Like looking for customers willing to pay for any service. There, creativity can be put to work. Today.


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21875 posts, RR: 55
Reply 98, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2867 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 96):
Some things would cost more (using the roads) some things would cost less (most goods and services)

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 on to their customers.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 99, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2870 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 97):
This translates into efficiency for enterprises and citizen. The enterprises can count on workers being willing to take the train from BRN or BSL when they work in ZRH. The companies do not have to offer incentives. And the opening of the new Lötschberg basis tunnel has allowed people to live in Visp and Brig and to work in BRN. Before that, it was hugely inefficient to live in Valais and work in Bern. There's quite a mountain range in between.

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 people valued that train service so much they'd be willing to pay for the full costs of its implementation via fares.

To an ignorant person like yourself it might appear to be an efficient use of money, but you forgot to look at the unseen impact to the economy of taxing it to create that railway in the first place.

I don't mind governments running the rails because realistically it is a natural monopoly, but the cost of the infrastructure and operation need to be born by the people using it. Otherwise you are necessarily causing waste and inefficiency.


User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 100, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2863 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 98):
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 on to their customers.

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 behaviour, the economy would be in parity.


User currently onlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2570 posts, RR: 14
Reply 101, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2851 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 98):
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 on to their customers.

   A point I've not seen myself.

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 99):
but you forgot to look at the unseen impact to the economy of taxing it to create that railway in the first place.

The economy is THRIVING because managers, customers and workforce alike do not waste their precious time in traffic jams.

I'm pretty sure that our generous government support for the railway is actually a hefty, but unseen subsidy to our companies. So it required some substantial taxes in order to build and maintain the railway tracks and the stations, but now they're enjoying the dividends.


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 102, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2857 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 101):
The economy is THRIVING because managers, customers and workforce alike do not waste their precious time in traffic jams.

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 purposely missing the point. If people valued train travel over cars so much they would be prepared to pay the full cost of the trains via the fares.


User currently onlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2570 posts, RR: 14
Reply 103, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2824 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 102):

If Americans valued defense of their homeland that much, they would eagerly start and fund a company that fights America's wars.



David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 104, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2815 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 103):
If Americans valued defense of their homeland that much, they would eagerly start and fund a company that fights America's wars.

That's basically how America was founded yes. You're slowly learning.


User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11806 posts, RR: 15
Reply 105, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2786 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 103):
If Americans valued defense of their homeland that much, they would eagerly start and fund a company that fights America's wars.

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 dollars to make it work. There are huge cost over runs because everyone needs to take their cut. It isn't strictly fighting anymore. There are other components to it.



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20358 posts, RR: 59
Reply 106, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2785 times:

Quoting seb146 (Reply 105):
The problem with that is: the military is run by the government.

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, rail, airports, and healthcare.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21875 posts, RR: 55
Reply 107, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2765 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 99):
To an ignorant person like yourself it might appear to be an efficient use of money, but you forgot to look at the unseen impact to the economy of taxing it to create that railway in the first place.

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 cheaply and quickly, everyone benefits. And they benefit more than they would if taxes were lowered. That's the important point - it's true that I would have some limited benefit to me if I didn't have to pay taxes in order to support infrastructure, but could I use that extra money to as good an effect? Very unlikely.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 108, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2720 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 107):
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 cheaply and quickly, everyone benefits.

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 don't benefit because they are still paying for them. When you distort people's behaviour by offering subsidies you necessarily produce a less efficient outcome. You don't need to subsidise these things because if people truly valued them, they'd be willing to pay the full costs anyway.

Let's say the cost of road transportation is 7 units per container on the road and 5 by rail. But because the government subsidises the roads the cost to the consumer is 4 by road and 5 by rail. Now people will use the road more often and waste 2 units each time. They think they're getting a better deal but they are just paying the excess in taxes. So on the whole the economy is spending more money on transportation because they are choosing the less efficient mode of transport more often. If you remove the subsidies, yes people will by spending 1 more unit to transport by rail, but the tax saving will be greater so they will be able to afford that and the economy will have more wealth on the whole because it is being more efficient.


User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11806 posts, RR: 15
Reply 109, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2712 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 106):
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, rail, airports, and healthcare.

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 are going on from the military. In this country, the military is the be all and end all. Apparently, education can do nothing for this country but we had better give the military all our money or else this country will collapse. No one cares about the death panels in private health care, but no one but no one better take away one cent from the military. Why do we need a huge base in Okinawa?



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8977 posts, RR: 39
Reply 110, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2174 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 20):
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?

"Papers" are largely something that was brought over from the years before representative democracy was around. A tradition that needs to die out, and it slowly is - many jurisdictions don't require passports for visitors, at least from certain locations. Visa waiver programs are another indication that the days of this bureaucratic tradition are coming to an end.

The only other useful purpose of citizenship really is deciding who gets to vote.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5554 posts, RR: 13
Reply 111, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2128 times:

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):

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 a lot of those older than me saying we (America) lost something because of this. Though the government ( and not limited to the USA ) has probably lied to us before I feel this horrific event kicked off our government going rogue. I believe there was a conspiracy and the lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald spin is bull! This was the start of our expansion in Viet Nam and you can see where that got us.

Also, I throw some of the blame on my generation (Baby Boomers). We were the ones who were going to change the world, remember the hippies and free love? Well guess what? Those same druggie long hairs became the Wall Street Robber Barrons who are contributing to the demise of our great nation. We've brought you such ridiculous things as in no particular order:

* New Morality
* Political Correctness (taken to extremes)
* The Every Kid gets a Trophy/Ribbon
* Too much government intrusion
* The omnipotent rule of the Lawyers
* Death of Common Sense and Common Courtesy
* The expansion of that Me Uppity attitude.
* With the opression of the lawyer we also have rulership by bean counter.
* The Great divide and conquer culture. A growing gap between the haves and have nots

However to end on an up note, we have come a long way.
Relations between varous races, ethnicities has a way to go but, we don't have the Apartheid segregation we had through the mid 1960's.
We have a lot of technological goodies that for better or for worse have influenced our lives.
We have the capibility to correct a lot of these issues and when we do we will have the potential for a real golden age but, we have to get there first!



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineDarkSnowyNight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1412 posts, RR: 3
Reply 112, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2091 times:

I think it's hilarious that on the same post you call someone else an imbecile, you leave us with this gem...

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 108):
If you remove the subsidies, yes people will by spending 1 more unit to transport by rail, but the tax saving will be greater so they will be able to afford that and the economy will have more wealth on the whole because it is being more efficient.

Of course here on planet Earth it would be much more like...

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 108):
If you remove the subsidies...

... you will spend no more units transporting anything at all by rail, since without subsidies, there is no rail.

Go get your own dirt.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8977 posts, RR: 39
Reply 113, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2044 times:

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 112):
... you will spend no more units transporting anything at all by rail, since without subsidies, there is no rail.

Incorrect. Plenty fo rail has been build privately without subsidies.

Nowadays, yes, it's more difficult - especially since when there are people getting subsidies, it's kinda hard to compete!!



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 114, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2023 times:

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 112):
... you will spend no more units transporting anything at all by rail, since without subsidies, there is no rail.

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 subsidies here and there, hard to imagine they are getting more than $3.3billion in subsidies though.

[Edited 2013-09-07 11:13:14]

User currently offlineB747-4U3 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2002, 991 posts, RR: 0
Reply 115, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1953 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 114):

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 would not survive without government financial support (FGW, FCC, Southern, South Eastern, London Midland are amongst some who have had or are continuing to have subsidies and/or revenue support from the taxpayer). Crossrail would not be being built without government support. London Underground - whilst it may be operationally profitable - relies upon government subsidies for renewals, upgrades and extensions. Without government support the system would fall into disrepair as it did in the 80s.

Whilst one can argue whether this should be the case or not, the interesting question is what would happen to London if these companies suddenly stopped operating?

Free Market Theory would suggest that someone else would take their place, however passenger operations in the UK have historically been unprofitable. Companies factor in revenue support when they bid for franchises. If there was no revenue support it is entirely possible that no one would bid.


User currently offlineDarkSnowyNight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1412 posts, RR: 3
Reply 116, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1947 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 113):
Incorrect. Plenty fo rail has been build privately without subsidies.

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 redistributed by.... the gov't. Especially during our civil war, where the union figured out that rail was effectively the only way to win that thing, much of what we had here sidestepped Eminent Domain this way.

In any case, even a 50 mile shortline would today probably bankrupt just about any company you can think of just trying to secure all that right of way.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 113):
Nowadays, yes, it's more difficult - especially since when there are people getting subsidies, it's kinda hard to compete!!

Well Nowadays is where I live. And if we pull subsidies from rail, as mentioned above, there's a better than good chance no one would bid for the job, given the insane cost of entry

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 114):

According to this article article UP had profits of $3.3billion. That's probably more than AA, DL and UA combined.

And still nothing like enough $$$ to build a new surface line from LA to SF (about 360mi). I think you should really look up how much it would really cost to secure, develop, and track all that land. We haven't bought cars, paid workers, or funded rainy days yet either.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 117, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1940 times:

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 116):
And still nothing like enough $$$ to build a new surface line from LA to SF (about 360mi). I think you should really look up how much it would really cost to secure, develop, and track all that land. We haven't bought cars, paid workers, or funded rainy days yet either.

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 to build a new line along that route. San Joaquin valley is very flat and there are few obstacles.

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 115):
A large proportion of the companies that operate into London would not survive without government financial support (FGW, FCC, Southern, South Eastern, London Midland are amongst some who have had or are continuing to have subsidies and/or revenue support from the taxpayer).

Yes but they are also restricted into how much they can charge on tickets.

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 115):
Crossrail would not be being built without government support.

Good, it's complete waste of money. Nearly £2000 for every Londoner. I'd rather just use the tube to get to Heathrow. On top of that my local station (Farringdon) has been severely disrupted during construction.

[Edited 2013-09-08 07:09:05]

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