Aside from the impact on people who fail in life and wouldn't have a government to help them out, are their any negatives to a society that offers no social programs (in my thoughts this would be except disability)?
"All men are created equal...." and "of the people, by the people, for the people...." famous phrasing from two of this nation's most historically important documents. Let's imagine the two authors Jefferson and Lincoln meant what they wrote. Neither was weak or ineffectual. Putting these words to paper and through their utterance they acknowledged the promise of the words they wrote had not been met. The documents in which these two phrases were such important elements wouldn’t have been necessary if this were otherwise.
The passages speak of all the people and their participation in this democracy. The nature of the phrasing is wholly socialistic. Knowing the intent and perception of our early leaders was inclusive; we have little choice but to accept social programs as part of this nation’s governance.
I believe you answered your question when you ticked off disability as the exception to your question. All governance is meant to lead, protect, and preserve. Not all governance encompasses the citizenry as ours does.
The negative for this nation to exclude social programs would be that we would be denying the essence of this country's existence. I will leave to others the debate concerning the level of participation or non participation they think appropriate.
My answer to your question is No. It is not necessary for social programs to be apart of government responsibility. But for the USA, it is. Some would ask why? The answer for us should be Why not?
NO, if there was no governmental programs except for aid for the disabled and the elderly, people will be forced to take actual responsibility for their lives. They will come to realize if they want something, they have to become educated, plan, strategize, and work smart to achieve their goals. Yes, some people do fail but they manage to pick themselves up and succeed. Many people use failure and government assistance as an excuse not to be successful and to take responsibility!
It's no idealism, that kind of reaction would come from self-interest. When given responsibility with measurable consequences for failure, formally lazy people will become surprisingly active.
Innersniff, I think you overestimate the number of people who don't work because they are lazy and underestimate the number of people who don't work because either a) there are no jobs b) the jobs that are available so stresses them that they face having nervous breakdowns through the abuse.
They are all contributing factors, which makes it into an endless cycle. Whether you believe the unemployed are lazy or not, the system needs to be re-worked.
Oh, I totally agree it needs to be reworked.
For instance, start educating all people equally. Next, start paying a living wage to people. Next, cut the amount of money a CEO can legally earn. No human being is worth one million times more than the other.
The reason we have welfare issues is because the top 1% are robbing everybody else blinds. It's a cycle. It happens throughout history.
What if businesses cannot afford to hire people at a 'living wage'? There are going to be even less jobs available and put an even heavier burden on the welfare system, and you're going to blame capitalism again.
innersmiff, oh puh-lease. Every single CEO that is earning $50 million a year and paying out billions to shareholders can afford to pay better wages.
If you honestly think that Apple with all its billions of spare cash cannot afford to pay better wage to its factor workers in the east, you are extremely naive.
What about all the businesses that aren't fortune 500 companies?
When the playing fields aren't level, then small business a) struggles for business b) cannot afford to adequately pay staff, etc. When big business is removed from the equation (it is destroying everything), then there will be a better balance, and small business can afford to pay a living wage. In the 50s and 60s, all small businesses paid living wages. They could afford to.
When the government has created an unbalanced market through money manipulation, subsidies and bail-outs you don't want to then create a further imbalance by compelling businesses to hire at a certain wage and 'remove big businesses from the equation' (which sounds rather frightening to be honest). As you said, in the 50s and 60s, businesses could afford to pay better wages. I agree, and this was also at a time of lower government intervention in the economy.
You're getting two things wrong:
You're missing the key role of the government in 'destroying everything'
You're trying to fix a broken system rather then re-build the system itself.
The result of what you and the more idealistic statists want is that small businesses will suffer the most. In actuality, big corporations are the least affected by regulation and taxes. This may lead you to start proclaiming that big business should disappear. It's kind of obvious that that would be a disaster for everything, but the real issue with that statement is that it is a statement of aggressive violence, and as a pacifist I can not support that. The only way to deal with the problems in this world is through cooperation.
Just curious... how, based on what I said above, do you deduce that a) I'm missing the key role of government destroying everything b) you're trying to fix a broken system rather than re-build a system
Please don't put words in my mouth. You have no idea what I'm thinking. For the record, I've been writing for about a decade on the fact that it's the system that needs fixing. I've even pointed out that neither Obama nor Romney can fix the economy because the issues are systemic and go back 30 or 40 years...
Of course, small business will suffer at this point if they pay a living wage. And so they should Nobody should be in business if they can't pay others a living wage. Also, if big business did not bribe congressman, then the laws that support big business and make it difficult for small business to survive wouldn't have been passed.
Of course, big business is the issue. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Any person or organisation that gets to a certain size becomes corrupt because it becomes too accustomed to doing things its own way and when, one day, it can't, it breaks the law or buys the law to do so. Big Business is no different.
Isn't this the point of a free market, if this business cannot pay it's workers a fair or living wage they are NOT a good business and probably should go under?
Chances are there was someone in the business over paying themselves or in some other way practicing bad business.....
Many reputable, profitable and ethical businesses, including my father's for instance, simply cannot afford to hire anyone. Does this make his a bad business? It does not, because the aim of any business is to provide a service. You're assuming that he is somehow overpaying himself or practicing bad business because you see the purpose of a business as to give people jobs. That's not true in the slightest. Hiring people is a means to the end of providing people a service. It is not an entitlement. It is very true that workers rely on their wages for their life, but if it is simply not sustainable to hire them at minimum wage, what is the business supposed to do? Would you compel my father to hire people by reducing his personal pay (which is not that much)?
Besides from being violent statism at its worst, its a disaster economics wise. There will be fewer entrepreneurs since there are so many regulations to fit for little profit, so you're going to have to provide incentives or even force them to open businesses, and so continues the cycle of anger when the government intervention doesn't work, the statists blame capitalism (which at his point is messed up beyond recognition, so using the word is redundant) and propose even more intervention to solve the problem. 'The Road to Serfdom' I think it's called. How can lefties get it so right on privacy and civil liberties in their personal life, but get it so wrong on economics? The only way you guys are going to get exactly what you want is to enact a police state upon the country, and then where are we?
My first question is, what service is it your father is offering? Your father may well be offering a service that isn't much in demand. A business like this will always be limited in how many jobs it can offer, or how much profit it can generate. This isn't to say it's not a valuable business, it is just somewhat silly to expect it to continually grow and generate more and more jobs and profit. It isn't liberals or government that is limiting this business to grow, it's simply the reality that it isn't sustainable as a big business (but if you are happy with a small business that it is a success).
I don't think I have ever met a 'lefty' who want a police state, usually these are people who don't trust the police (to put it nicely). I think what gets missed is that when we are talking regulations, those who are arguing for them are arguing for them in regards to BIG business, not small business. Basically, the potential harm you can do should be proportional to the regulation you as a business have. The problem is that the big boys usually have the money to pay off regulators, hide their unsavoury activities and generally get out of actually being regulated, all the while your dad isn't able to do the same and suffers. And here is the kicker, the regulations are NOT meant for your dad but for the big boys who could try to push him out of business through lies or other dirty business tricks. For my money, regulation isn't the problem but the corruption of regulators is.
I am truly fascinated with the idea of a free market but I honestly cannot see how it could work when so often people get away with lying (say on your resume) cheating and stealing and frankly it's easier to say sorry then to just not do these things. Frankly you are more likely to have success if you are willing to lie about it then say sorry if you should get caught (or say 'I wasn't aware of that truth' or 'I misspoke'). If I could see a way to ensure that no matter how rich or smart you are you simply cannot get away with lying or other dirty business practices then I would say the free market is the way to go. Sadly there are as many liars and cheats out there as there are good and honourable people (like your dad) and when they get away with it the damage caused is simply unacceptable.
My Dad does office logistics, and thankfully he's quite busy at the moment and doing quite well, but it simply isn't necessary nor affordable to hire people. When necessary he enlists contractors to do removals, but doesn't actually employ anyone. It's perfectly sustainable and relatively prosperous like that, but the fact remains that jobs aren't being created. There are many factors that come into play, like excessive health and safety guidelines, and there is nothing to say that he wouldn't hire if given the opportunity, but his main focus is to run the business. Coming from the perspective of 'let's create jobs' creates unsustainable businesses because the tendency is to 'create jobs' working toward an undesirable outcome, which is mal-investment. In other words: if the free market isn't doing it, it probably wasn't worth doing in the first place. This also often involves tax-payer money, which is taken from already productive sources, which further inhibits businesses to hire. So all it's doing is moving around money and work without 'creating' anything. The main objective of any economy must be our quality and welfare, i.e. the services and products provided, not to create jobs.
Everybody blames businesses for not hiring, but it's not as if there are millions of jobs waiting there to be had, if only. Sure, maybe a small percentage could be offset by CEO bonuses going back into investment, but the main inhibitor to employment is regulation and economic manipulation by the government. And overall this would result in a much more free and balanced market with more job opportunities, and therefore businesses will actually have to compete for your labour with higher wages.
With a balanced market, there is no reason why we should target the biggest corporations specifically. First of all, these corporations are living off the back of the government - they wouldn't survive in the free market because in a truly free market the government isn't subsidising and bailing them out.
Secondly, in a free market, liars and cheats don't tend to do very well. Most consumers are smart enough to avoid people that are out to screw them over, and most businesses owners tend to avoid the cheaters and liars. The media tends to over-emphasise and sensationalise the crooked nature of our society, but think about what happens to those people: they certainly don't go on to be successful and productive. Making sweeping regulations for businesses based on how big they are is missing the point. There are ways to deal with criminals, and it doesn't need to involve big government.
Thirdly, it doesn't matter how much the government gets involved, there is always some area of society that statists deem needs to be improved. Never in the history of mankind has a government intervened and then said 'that's as far as we'll go' and then kept that promise. The temptation to intervene is always there. At some point we have to realise that, no, the market is not perfect, but there are ways society deals with imperfections, and instead trying to handle them with violence is a counter-productive and immoral exercise.
I don't blame businesses for not hiring, a business like your dads isn't in a position to hire. It has reached its point of sustainability, Your dad's business might not be able to hire directly but if it's services are good value for money for the businesses it works with, they might be able to increase their ability to hire, a domino effect and good business really. If I am to 'blame' anything it's only some businesses and more specifically certain business practices like outsourcing american jobs to china (or for here in the UK, UK jobs).
I find this a very naive statement, akin to believing in fairy tale endings where good always wins and the bad guys never do. I think it is safe to say that on this score we may never be able to agree. Monopoly building is as old as business itself and can get away with most crimes without taking much of a sting. Maybe I am just not getting how a free market works, what a free market is exactly, but I see places like africa where many of the countries have no government intervention in business as they don't really have much of a government at all. No government intervention has created some of the worst regions on the planet for living in. How can you tell me that a free market wont just turn the sates into a country like you would find in africa? Seriously, if you want to win someone like me over you gotta understand the fear that the free market will lead to the return to serfdom. How exactly is it that a bigger competing business wont find a way to discredit an honest business like your dad's successfully? If people weren't tricked into believing lies easily then there wouldn't be much lying in the world (we do stuff cause it works, like lying). Frankly lying in business only seems to come to light once so much damage has been caused that it cannot be covered up anymore (this can apply to government just as much as business, both imo need policing) and that is unacceptable.
Why does having the goal of fair and balanced regulation equate to violence? I really don't follow that line of reasoning.
I agree that we have to realise that no market model is perfect, nor is any government model (both give power and we all know power corrupts). It leads me to wonder if perhaps part of the problem is we all see the same problem, a system that isn't working, but do not see all the same reasons for the problem, so we come to different solutions based on what we can see. Leaving all of us very likely to not quite get it right as we are not getting past what we can see to see what the other is seeing.
I have been trying to figure out for some time now how a free market can sustain morality and ethics. When I ask how? to those who believe in the free market I don't get an answer. I simply get told that the market will self correct and punish dishonest behaviour but never how? When have we ever been able to stop dishonest behaviour in any area of life? ever?
Imagine what we could do if we could work out a way to ensure that lying never pays? To ensure that damaging behaviours will always be exposed before the damage can happen? If something that works can be found in the business world, imagine how we could then apply that effective method for discouraging dishonest behaviours to all aspects of life!
So can you please explain to me, then, why it was that small business could afford to pay people a sustainable wage when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s?
Maybe it had something to do with the fact that in those days CEOs of big companies earned 40 times what the person at the bottom did, and these days (in America only), they earn 827 times what the person at the bottom does.
Also, in terms of shares, I think the figure is that 80% is about buying and selling trades that are computerized, literally on a microsecond basis. The original reason the stock market was created was to provide money for start up companies. At this point, only 20% of it functions that way.
While I understand that if small business paid a livable wage, the owner would have considerably less, and maybe, even, the business wouldn't even be profitable.
Since when is profit an ethical consideration. Profit is not a right. However, the right to be able to be paid a fair wage for his labor goes back to biblical times (even though it was often disobeyed and avoided as now).
Why not revert to Sparta Greece where they killed the weak children so that the strong would prosper. It puts a whole meaning to Nietzches' "What does not kill me makes me stronger" doesn't it? Your theory equally applied leaves a lot of people falling through the cracks. A lot more people fail than succeed so what would be the point of trying if you knew the odds to be against you all the way. Nobody gets to the top on their own and have received a helping hand somewhere along the journey. While I think it is absolutely imperative that enforcement of lazy or freeloading individuals should be identified and dealt with there is no way to say that there should be no help along the way.
The trick is finding a way to make the handouts not so good that too many people will call it "good enough" and just live off the system and breed, but generous enough so that if someone really needs help recovering from some back luck, the system can stabilize them and get them going again.
Easy to say, hard to do.
1) Extreme violence. Check out South Africa. There is a murder ever 7 seconds and a rape every three seconds. Everybody knows someone who has been raped, robbed, or murdered.
2) Corruption would increase to unprecedented levels as people sought to make money in any way they could. Check out all the countries where there are few jobs for people, and where the few jobs that are available pay wages that fall into the wage slavery category.
3) Civil War or Revolution. More and more disgruntlement as people battled to find food and shelter. Eventually, the numbers would be high enough to go against those people who didn't have full comprehension of what is happening. Another French revolution or another Russian revolution. And neither ended well.
I can't help noticing that some seem to think that if there are no government programs, then people will be forced to work.
WHERE EXACTLY ARE THESE JOBS?????
This morning, I went to a new store, Fresh and Easy, which was akin to all food and grocery stores. but they didn't have any people at the tills. It was completely self-service and it was as big as any Ralphs or Vons. I queried it and was told this was the wave of the future.
So, within the next 5 years, stores will no longer hire cashiers... People will check their own goods out. No more jobs for cashiers, either.
Within another two decades, more than half the people in this country will be either unemployed or earning so little that the degree of violence will take this country down to third world status.
I've now seen this happen in two different countries from close quarters. Believe me, I can see the signs.
There are no jobs for people to go to. They are not irresponsible, lazy, and whatever because they are using government benefits. They are using government benefits, because if they don't, they will be out on the street. They have no other option. The odd 1 or 2% that might abuse benefits are hardly worth counting.
In the small town I live in the unemployment rate is currently 18%. Why? Not because we don't have jobs to offer but because people won't work them. Just off the top of my head I can think of 3 gas stations and 4 fast food places hiring. People get these jobs, then quit a week later. My husband works for a large manufacturing company. In the last month they have lost 11 temp to hire employees. The company pays well, offers benefits, but people don't want to work 12 hour shifts or don't like the heat in the building on day shift. Our town has over 30% of people collecting welfare. This is my issue. I go to the grocery store and the lady in front of me pays with her food stamp card while talking on a brand new iphone while looking geeked up on some sort of drug, unable to stop moving her jar (this actually happened about an hour ago). Yet we refuse to demand anything from the people asking for assistance. I would love a system where only those who truly needed the help got it, but in my area that is not the case. While these horrible people collect welfare, my neighbor who's knees swell to the size of bowling balls keeps getting denied for disability.
Peeples, I am honestly both amused and bemused... Let me quote some of what you said back to you...
"The company pays well, offers benefits, but people don't want to work 12 hour shifts or don't like the heat in the building on day shift. "
It doesn't occur to you that working 12 hour shifts are inhumane? Do you know that, historically, until the Industrial revolution, human beings worked about 20 hours per week and that's what their bodies are designed for. Are you unaware of the tremendous sacrifices your forebears made to get a decent work week of not more than 8 hours per day? Did you know that science shows that human beings have an attention span of between two and four hours a day, and after that, they shut down. I have no problem whatsoever with people refusing to work 12 hour shifts in the heat. It is completely inhumane and management and owners who demand this should be arrested and jailed.
"Just off the top of my head I can think of 3 gas stations and 4 fast food places hiring." And they pay minimum wage, right????
You do know, don't you, that it is absolutely and utterly impossible to pay rent, food, medical, transport, education, and all the other basics on minimum wage, don't you? Do you know that the international term for this is Wage Slavery?
http://capitalismandyou.blogspot.com/20 … -pays.html
"Our town has over 30% of people collecting welfare."
I assume you're speaking about SSI. Do you know that people are turned down between 3 to 5 times before they are accepted. Do you have any idea what the requirements are in order to get on it? If 30% of people in your town are on them, I would say that they are either mothers with young children or disabled. It is absolutely and utterly impossible to get benefits otherwise.
"In the small town I live in the unemployment rate is currently 18%."
Well, it's about that in most of America. Only the government is not being honest about it. I live in San Diego. One out of four of my friends - regardless of them being graduates actively looking for work - are out of work, and some have been out of work for one or two years. There just isn't work for them.
"This is my issue. I go to the grocery store and the lady in front of me pays with her food stamp card while talking on a brand new iphone while looking geeked up on some sort of drug, unable to stop moving her jar (this actually happened about an hour ago). " "I would love a system where only those who truly needed the help got it..."
So when your neighbor with knees that swell to the size of bowling balls finally gets her disability and goes shopping with her food stamps, someone will see her chatting on her brand new cell phone that her kid gave her for a birthday, and someone will say, "She can buy a brand new cell phone but she can't afford to pay for food. People like her suck our country dry." And, of course, your neighbors knees will be covered so no one will see the disability...
"People get these jobs, then quit a week later."
Um, yes, when one is treated like trash, that is generally what happens. The abuse of lower ranking personnel is absolutely disgusting. A friend of mine came over from the UK for two months to work in New York and Boston. She said she was shocked to the core at the way she saw management speak to low level workers...
While I don't have the time right now to go over half of what you said I will hit some of it. I don't see how you can say having a 12 hour shift is worse than being jobless. My husband works it and I have never felt that it was a bother and neither does he. It pays our bills and for that I am thankful. When someone quits they are basiclly saying "I'd rather have nothing".
While I know you live in an area where cost of living is high I don't. All bills combined on average for a family of 4 are about $1500 a month. That is on the high side and includes everything you just mentioned. So 2 working parents would make about $2000 a month after taxes (that they'd get back later anyway). That is plenty to pay the bills and feed their family. Not everywhere is like where you live just as everywhere is not where I live.
Peeples... There are always exceptional people. However, most people do not have the energy to work 12 hours.
They would be dead exhausted at the end of that and would then start eating incorrectly. One of the major reasons for the extensive obesity in the USA is the stress and lack of time to attend to basics.
When looking at the people around one, one cannot say, "Oh, I can do this, therefore everybody else can." It doesn't work that way.
"I don't see how you can say having a 12 hour shift is worse than being jobless."
Well, if it destroys your health, it absolutely can be. So what's the point of working 12 hours a day for five years until one burns out aged 30 (which is what happened to me), and then one has to spend the rest of one's life unable to do more than four or five hours work a day because one's adrenal glands burnt out.
There's a reason that half of Americans suffer from mental illness, have the highest rate of obesity in the world, and have the greatest number of cancers and heart disease. It's called over work and under pay.
I guess it depends on your own situation.
If you're fit and healthy with a good job, then it would have no impact on you - apart from the fact you might have to live in a gated community with security guards, since the poor would be driven to crime to survive. You'd also have to live in relative isolation, because if people stopped getting vaccinated for dangerous illnesses, epidemics would be rife - and the poor would be living in squalor, which would make whole neighbourhoods disease-ridden.
Of course you'd also have to be utterly selfish with no compassion, so you wouldn't care about the thousands of people living in poverty, suffering with chronic illnesses, dying because they've been turned away from hospitals, and so on.
One of the marks of civilisation is a social conscience - the sense that the community has a responsibility to care for the needy. Seems to me people are becoming less and less civilized.
The OP said "society" not specifically "government."
So extrapolating that thought, that not only would there be no government aid programs, there would also be no charity aid programs, the negative would be that people would ignore the plight of those less fortunate than they.
They would justify their lack of compassion in any number of ways.
"It's nature's way." "Survival of the fittest." "I deserve what I have because I've earned it." "Everyone has the opportunity to better themselves, those who don't are lazy."
Kinda like some people do now.
But if there is still religion in the socieity, there will inevitably be charity work.
Even without organized religions, there will, I believe, always be individuals who feel compelled to help others. It's in their nature!
I'm glad the OP hasn't conflated government with society like so many tend to do on here. In all societies, there will be some who slip through the cracks of the market for various reasons, for example, illness, disability, being the victim of crimes; through no fault of their own, and were otherwise able-bodied. It is in society's interest, and the market's, to cater for these people because that is a whole section of the community that could be put to good use. In a truly free market, associations and individuals would be encouraged to voluntarily contribute to social programs. These programs would in actuality work better than what we have now because, due to the fact that they're putting their own money in it, contributors would constantly be looking to streamline the process to get people back into the work-force as fast as possible.
But no, the orthodoxy is that we must give the power to a group of privileged people to steal our money and a create bureaucratic mess that creates a permanent under-class of welfare recipients. When it's only worth perhaps 20% more to get back into work, you're not giving people anything, you're charging people not to work. And what a day for big corporations: they get to keep their power as there is no financial mobility, competitive companies stay still because they can't hire anyone and they get to keep wages low because there is so little labour competition. Again, the left ignore fact for what's politically fashionable by supporting programs that only serve to stunt the ability of poor people to get on their feet, and therefore benefit the biggest corporations.
I can't believe you are debating if paying a "living wage" is something businesses have to do...
You want people to work for you you have to pay them a living wage or good luck running your business all on your own...
gmwilliams, I'm just curious. Are you aware that the major difference between a first world country and a third world country is a thriving middle class. And are you aware that internationally, the middle class has shrunk.
And are you aware that the 2009 census showed that half of Americans were living in poverty?
In other words, America is approaching third world status.
This is because companies can't seem to, and/or don't want to pay a living wage.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-573 … ow-income/
Um, yes, the plantation owners had much the same grip about owning slaves. If they had to pay them, then their profits would be much reduced.
Read about the difference between slavery and wage slavery here...
Capitalism and You. Why Slavery Pays...
http://capitalismandyou.blogspot.com/20 … -pays.html
Selfishness will thrive which is not good. The basic tenet of society is interdependence.
There is always the problems of companies moving out of the country, but continuing to sell here and illegals taking jobs. A friend of mine has someone answering his phone who is in the far east. I have nothing against India but I cannot understand what they are saying.
If there is no aid then the government should remove all the barriers that they put in place to prevent people from starting their own small businesses to earn themselves money! You can't run a business from your own home, you have to have this certification and that and so on.. It means that for most people it is impossible for them to make money for themselves.
You go overseas to countries where there is no aid and few jobs and you will see most houses having small store fronts selling everything from small grocery items to repairing tires. They will also grow what they can where they can, keep chickens, pigs and whatever else they can fit onto their plot no matter how small.
Businesses and governments have encouraged people out from the countryside and packed them into compact cities as a pool of labour for those businesses and the governments that feed off of those businesses. As those businesses need fewer and fewer people to operate what happens to those excess people? Should not the government and businesses support them; after all they dragged them there in the first place!
Lean man, you are perfectly correct. One of the ways big business in the USA prevents small business from springing up and challenging them is by buying off regulators with bribes and ensuring that the laws and regulations play to big business and destroy small business.
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