Happiness? Quality of life? Freedom? Wealth? Safety? Comfort? Trust?
All of the above? I am interested in what people think
Well for kicks here is my opinion, quality and distribution of education, i.e. the more people are educated and the better they are educated. At first glance it seems unimportant but education is what signals:
#1 How nations will do in the future as these educated people continue to enter the workplace.
#2 The more educated people are the more informed and intelligent their political decisions and votes will be.
#3 It defines economic mobility, the most valuable asset anyone can have in the modern world is a good education, if everyone can access it then people will be able to improve their own lives and provide greater competition in the market.
The success of both the government or a system depends upon the satisfaction of the people.
Interesting opinion. Freedom defined how? Also do you think the State of World Liberty Index is a fair assessment of such.
Is that only freedom from government? What about social freedoms, workplace freedoms etc.
Last year the country that scored highest for the question: "Are you satisfied with your freedom to choose the direction of your life?" was Norway. 95% of respondents said they were. I think that is the real definition of freedom.
Also since everything else is secondary does that mean Somalia is the greatest country in the world?
The freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Liberty means to be free to do what you want, as long as you don't cause harm to anyone else.
You know where I stand on workplace freedoms, I think people should be free to propose and agree to contracts, and it should be left up to the individual to take responsibility for their actions.
I don't agree that a poll is a good measure of freedom. Many people think they aren't 'free' unless the government takes stuff from other people and gives it to them. That's not freedom.
I don't know about that ranking, and I don't really care. I never agree with those systems. I also don't know much about Somalia, it's not a topic I have much interest in.
That is what I call an honest and deep self evaluation of belief the shutters are well and truly closed.
Screw people feeling free they have to be free by my definition even if they think that is the opposite of freedom!
Feeling free and being free are entirely different. Free has a definition. If someone thinks they need to have someone else pay for their food, phone, shelter, transportation, education, and healthcare, are they not free until someone else is forced to do so?
If you want to have an honest conversation, then stop with the snooty remarks and have a real conversation.
Freedom is simple... you are free to do what you want, you aren't forced into things, and people can't take your stuff from you.
Yup as I said it's called ideological extremism, being unable to comprehend or accept that other people have different definitions of what makes someone free.
I think a country that has access to free education is much more free than one that does not because people have the freedom and opportunity to make something of themselves and improve their lives, people kept poor by a system are not free they are chained to the same miserable condition and place.
I don't think the person born into poverty unable to eat properly, get an education, feel safe or have a roof over his head who dies in his youth the victim of a crime ever had an ounce of freedom. Let alone the child born who simply starves to death because his country is too "free" to feed him.
So yes taking from people is coercion but the sum result is far more freedom. I doubt you will consider it but there is the honest discussion.
I know other people have different ideas, but that doesn't make them right. Free has a specific definition in English. You can't just change it because you want other people to pay your bills.
Who pays for free education? If anyone is forced to pay for it, then that's not freedom. It can't be, by definition.
By the definition of freedom a legal system makes us not free.
The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
Stopping me from killing people is taking my freedom by definition.
The truth is I was raised in an orphanage paid for by money forcibly taken from people (taxation) without it I would be dead the average street kid in Argentina at the time lived to twelve or so, most of them were killed to harvest their organs or simply because people saw them as criminals. Instead I own a business, I have an education and I can raise my children. Which gave me more freedom?
Simple question requiring a simple answer.
By that definition, you run into a conflict of freedom when one person wants to kill another. The killer wants to take away the freedom of the other person. Logic would dictate that maximum freedom is retained by restraining the killer, as then you have two parties who are still free to do whatever they want(except take the freedoms of another), than you would with only one party free to act.
Freedom is a difficult concept, it really is. I'm sorry about your past, but I believe the most freedom comes from letting people act according to their own conscience. My conscience causes me to raise goods and funds to help out children in foster care and orphanages. You will never create morality by law, but you will always have unintended consequences from force.
You should use your freedom to encourage other people to use their freedom to help those less fortunate. I would never try to force someone to feed a starving person.
Conflict of Freedom is not part of it's definition " The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint." Any Hindrance or restraint on what I want to do is taking my freedom.
Which is my point, no one is using the dictionary definition, there is no solid definition just opinions.
I don't want or need sympathy and really it turned out well (due to all that evil taxation) the truth is without it I had no freedom at all, the choice between starving to death or stealing and being killed not long after is not freedom. That loss of freedom is much greater than the one suffered by the man who paid some tax.
So more freedom was gained than lost. Not to mention that everyone except anarchists supports this "evil" coercion of taxes so attempting to draw it as a moral line in the sand is pretty false unless you yourself are an anarchist.
I say that with full respect for anarchists, I hope eventually humanity will be good and kind enough to adopt that system without horrible consequences, not there yet though I think
No, conflict happens by that definition. If I kill you, I take away your power to act, speak, or think as you wish. Therefore, we can't both be free to do what we want in that circumstance. Deny it if you want, but it's just fact.
I'm actually a minarchist, and I would accept taxation to take care of those who truly can't take care of themselves, but that is nothing like the system we have in the US today.
The fact is, stealing money steals freedom. Not doing something for a starving kid doesn't take away any freedom from them. Yes, it's much better for them to have food, but inaction doesn't take away freedom.
I'm probably this way because I would rather be free to help people the way I want to with my money, instead of having a corrupt government take my money, then take part of that money and use it for themselves or waste it, then inefficiently give it to people who don't truly need it.
My taxes would do more good if I were free to distribute them how I wish.
So you do support stealing from people to give to others who did not earn it. Your defense being "well I believe in it less" no man you definitely have the moral high ground in this discussion
"I would accept taxation to take care of those who truly can't take care of themselves, but that is nothing like the system we have in the US today." Boom that is the socialist philosophy on welfare.
"Not doing something for a starving kid doesn't take away any freedom from them." Perhaps not but it certainly gives them freedom so why is freedom taken more important than freedom given, surely they have the same worth.
It's great that you would be super charitable and help everyone, I really hope you would be though in my short stint of living in on the street I saw absolutely exactly the opposite from most people. But unfortunately we tried leaving these issue to private bodies and they failed to deal with them, in a system where people did that sufficiently without coercion I think we could have an anarchist system which is definitely the best system if everyone is a fantastic person with a high standard of education, unfortunately that is not the case.
Let's say that I'm a sociopath whose sole desire in all this world is to kill people. I don't care about food, water, sleep, shelter, entertainment, or anything else--all I want to do is kill. You're preventing me from doing the only thing I actually want to do, thus forcing me to do things I don't want to do.
Am I still free?
Here's my tax proposal:
Everybody, regardless of income, pays the same percentage of their income. The first 50 thousand dollars is tax free for any full-time employee; twenty-five thousand is tax free for any part-time employee. There are no loopholes and no deductions. The government shouldn't be in the business of rewarding people for owning a home, having a spouse, having children, or donating to charity. These are all personal decisions that the government shouldn't be involved in. After the tax-free 50 thousand dollars, everybody should pay the same rate, perhaps 20%. No exceptions. No deductions. No excuses. It's fair.
Then, the tax-free 50 or 25 thousand dollar number adjusts, typically upward, to compensate for inflation, annually. The entire tax code could be put on a piece of paper, and I believe it would be fair for all.
The exact same policy could be enacted for businesses. The first 1,000,000 dollars for a small business is tax free; corporations could have a larger tax-free number. No deductions, loopholes, etc. Then, they're taxed at 20%.
IMO, wages earned from the sweat, time, and energy of an individual should be theirs. Anything else is immoral. Wealth earned from investment should be the only income taxable. One is wages, while the other is income. How can any entity hold a claim to a portion of a human beings labor?
Well, I agree with that, but the reality is that we are stuck with federal tax. Because of this reality, we need to come up with a way to tax fairly. I believe my proposal is better than our current system.
I would prefer a national sales tax that would be voluntary and be paid by everyone equally.
I'm not opposed to that either. What I'm looking for is a tax system that simplifies our current system and takes the government out of the business of rewarding people for certain behaviors. It's not the government's business whether or not I'm married, own a house, have kids, or have made charitable donations. The reason I propose my plan is that it exempts the first 50 thousand dollars any full-time employee earns. Because of this, it really eliminates a lot of tax for many people. A sales tax would not do that, resulting in a greater burden for poor and middle-class people. My proposed system is equitable for all incomes yet easier on poor and middle-class people.
Send them over to my house, I'll feed them without being forced to.
Freedom has all the solutions that force can provide.
"I don't agree that a poll is a good measure of freedom. Many people think they aren't 'free' unless the government takes stuff from other people and gives it to them. That's not freedom."
This is an excellent point, and yes, freedom is the most important thing.
But without safety there is no freedom, without comfort and trust there is no freedom, without quality of life there is no freedom.
A successful government or system would give everybody the space and the opportunity to develop themselves fully.
Most government welfare systems were brought in precisely because private/church charity failed miserably to actually prevent harm to more than a very few select people., remember Dickens comment about the deserving and the undeserving poor! That attitude is still very much with us today, probably even more so.
I have to agree with Freedom being the most important. Everything else is secondary and cannot be achieved without freedom.
So yes. If someone wants to steal MY money that I worked for, because they don't have a job, and they don't think they are free unless I pay for their food, then screw them. Screw them a million times over.
If they have no work, they can come do my lawn and I'll pay them, but the government taking money from me to give to them is not freedom. It's coercion.
Since only the individual can best judge their own preferences regarding all of those things, a 'good' system or government's only role must be to protect the individual's liberty so he or she can pursue those things without hindrance. I use the word 'liberty' over 'freedom' seeing as "you do not have the freedom to murder" is a valid point. 'Liberty', or 'negative liberty' is the only truly enforceable kind of freedom because doing so doesn't violate anybody's rights. You are free to seek happiness, safety etc. as much as you want, without violating the rights of others, specifically: the right to one's self and property.
But the OP specifically stated "freedom" rather than liberty!
Though similar there are differences, one might have liberty but have restricted freedom or freedom and restricted liberty.
For example, Jaxson sees freedom as release from taxation, that may well make you freer but then it severely restricts your liberty. Whereas taxation actively increases your liberty.
The government's role, if it is to be tolerable at all, is to protect liberty so that the individual can seek freedom. There are many kinds of freedom, including economic freedom, emotional freedom etc.
Taxation, being a violation of property rights and an inhibitor of economic power, is a mark against both liberty and freedom.
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