Happiness is closely tied to freedom.
But, so is security and comfort.
Which is the most conducive to happiness: freedom or security?
Will we choose oppression to guarantee security through the implementation of social democracy?
Or will we (citizens in the US) fight against this growing trend?
For that we have to define freedom.
Merriam Webster's dictionary defines as follows:
free·dom noun \ˈfrē-dəm\
Definition of FREEDOM
: the quality or state of being free: as
a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
SO I would argue that social democracies make you much, much, much more free.
The person with free higher education for example is free from the necessity of working menial and low paying jobs.
The person living in a social democracy is free from the constraint of not being able to marry who he or she wishes.
The person living in a social democracy has the choice to decide what happens to her own body when she gets pregnant.
The person with universal healthcare is free to take their child to the doctor when they get sick.
People in social democracies are not coerced into working in dangerous conditions for fear of not being able to feed their families.
The 45 000 people who die every year in the USA because they don't have healthcare had no freedom.
The only constraint is slightly higher taxation sometimes (several social Democratic nations have more or less the same taxes or lower).
Objectively in the impact it has on the freedom of the average individual social democracies offer more freedom.
...and more security along with it? It sounds like a win win. But, why do we fear it so?
The common fear is oppression in some form.
Isn't the ACA tax an example of the oppression we fear? Isn't it oppression to be taxed for something we are not willing to pay for, for the sake of others?
The question is, what would make me willing to chip in and get this thing off the ground.
Answer: If everyone would get on board willingly, and not through oppressive taxation.
That would be impossible you say?
I have a full grown up daughter who is a politico over there in DC. When we get together we sing, "On The Road Again" and Dire Straights "Money for Nothing".
We always drive somewhere over 100 MPH. Freedom is just another word for nothin left to loose is our bally-wick.
Our freedom is found in the security of loving each other with a ton of history and a whole lot of future.
Our government does not oppress us. We see inequity and we fight it. She likes her job and the money it makes, I hate gov. and the money it takes. So between us we seek solutions for ourselves -- and that is freedom.
Why did the Port Authority of New York change the original name of the 104 story supertall skyscraper, built on the site of the original 6 World Trade Center, from "Freedom Tower" to "One World Trade Center ?"
We see inequity?
We fight it?
We will fight the unjust taxation of ACA?
Why do we fear it so? Well most of the world has already embraced it, America is doing so now too, the thing is America is terrified of change that is why we are always behind the 8ball when it comes to important changes.
We were late on slavery, late on the vote for women, late on segregation, late on the 8 hour day, late on same sex marriage and late on healthcare etc.
We will be late on this too but it inevitably happens.
Many of us are not afraid of change. We just don't believe that the change that is taking place is positive change.
Let's not measure our success based on another country's failures. Who cares if there are other nations with higher taxation rates? This is America; I fully believe in exceptionalism, and I'm tired of being compared to countries like Guatemala so that some liberal can justify socialism in America.
Conservatism is by definition a rejection of change. As in to CONSERVE the status quo.
As for exceptionalism I am yet to encounter so illogical a theory in all of politics. Do you know how many civilizations thought they were exceptional? most of them are dust, have some concept of your importance in the universe. People are people everywhere and no space between imaginary lines is more exceptional than any other.
Of course you are tired of comparative studies, that would be objective, empirical, logical and factual. Scientists do that stuff, real 'Mericans know your gut is a much better indicator.
Conservatives do want change. Here are some examples of what some of us conservatives would want to change:
I want a balanced budget.
I want less taxation.
I want the abolition of Obamacare.
I want better security in schools.
I want to abolish the Department of Education at the federal level.
I want healthcare reform to fix some of the serious issues that really do need to be addressed.
I want to deport illegal aliens and actually secure our borders.
So basically you want to go back, that isn't change that is regression.
Conservative, it really is right there in the word.
Change must be for the sake of what is good for humans... which is a constant. Its known as human nature. (David Hume 1711- 1776 wrote of it, and John Locke 1632-1704.) Our Constitution and form of government was based on the reality and enduring consistency of human nature.
You were not born an American citizen. You chose to move to or work in America. This 'Merican is tired of hearing you bash America, my country. There's absolutely nothing wrong with loving your country and being proud of it. Yes, I believe in American exceptionalism, and I make no excuses about that.
You hide behind your pseudo-objective, liberal agenda and peer down at others with disdain. This 'Merican doesn't need to be preached to by a man who twists reality to fit his beliefs, a man who has to denigrate a country that provides freedom and opportunity to him. If you hate America so much, why are you here?
I'm as well educated as you are, perhaps better. I possess three college degrees and graduated at the top of my class. I hold countless awards and am highly respected in my field of expertise. I understand something about being objective, empirical, and logical. I also know that political beliefs can stem from opinion. You believe that anybody who does not agree with you is not seeing logic and thus must have a lack of these attributes. When they emphatically disagree, you turn to petty, derogatory remarks. Would these remarks be appropriate for a graduate-level course, perhaps a debate in a political science course? We both know that any serious debate centering on logic and evidence would not include derogatory rhetoric like you include in your sanctimonious rebuffing. Your comments lack maturity.
Frankly, I'm finished dealing with you. I'd be happy to debate. This isn't debate. Grow up, and act like an academician if you are, in fact, logical, objective, and empirical. Otherwise, we're finished debating. Life's too short to continue debating with a man who tactlessly belittles his adversary when the two disagree.
Josak has been served.
However, I love it when he responds. Keep your enemies close I say!
The comment got the reply it deserved.
It's great you are educated but you sure as hell don't use it. If you know about empiricism then why are you criticizing comparative study which is one of the foundations of empirical logic?
If you understand empirical logic then why are you hiding behind something so banal and anti intellectual as "I love my country"? That isn't a logic argument it's an appeal to emotion, one of the greatest fallacies.
If you understand empirical logic then why are you a believer in and defender of the illogical belief of exceptional-ism one of the clearest cases of perspective induced bias?
I never denigrated America and I commented on "'Mericans." Big difference. They are actually (thankfully) a minority.
Start conversing like an educated and intelligent person and you will get educated and intelligent replies. You were given facts and figures from comparative studies. You responded with clear cases of appeal to emotion and perspective bias and then cried foul when you got a similarly dumb response.
YOU devalued the conversation by rejecting logic and analytical study. When you learn to deal in facts you can expect a similar reply when you intentionally avoid factual debate and instead lean on anti intellectualism then expect a reply that suits that level of conversation.
P.S. Did you ever consider how illogical it is that the biases you have are to the country you were born in, there have been during your lifespan over 300 sovereign states in existence do you seriously expect anyone to believe your reasons for "loving" (really just blindly following) the one you just happened to be born into are logical? Ridiculous.
[driv-uhl] noun, verb, driv·eled, driv·el·ing or ( especially British ) driv·elled, driv·el·ling.
childish, silly, or meaningless talk or thinking; nonsense; twaddle.
Exactly the standard of response I expected
Avoid all facts as per usual and if anyone raises facts don't attack those facts but the very notion of using facts for comparison.
To think a few hours ago you were ranting about proper debate form, you aren't capable of it.
(2) Patriotic Approach: "Draping oneself in the flag." This argument asserts that a certain stance is true or correct because it is somehow patriotic, and that those who disagree are unpatriotic. It overlaps with pathos and argumentum ad hominem to a certain extent. The best way to spot it is to look for emotionally charged terms like Americanism (American exceptional-ism), rugged individualism, motherhood, patriotism, godless communism, etc.
Thanks for the textbook fallacy example in a post where you raise the proper debate form
Nothing at all wrong with loving your country, plenty wrong with being blind to its faults and believing you are better than you are and better than everybody else.
You know me well enough to realize that I'm all too aware of America's grave faults; we've discussed many of these faults at length. Nobody can name any country that is perfect and has no faults; people love to obsess about America's faults though. I'm here to say that America, with all her faults, is great. I love my country, and I am not ashamed of that.
No don't you know criticizing a country makes you unpatriotic, you think America has problems? I had no idea you hate America and want the terrorists to win.
People don't criticize things precisely because they care about them right? No, that would be too complicated.
You did say "Yes, I believe in American exceptionalism"
I do believe in American exceptionalism. I don't believe America is perfect. No country is perfect. America has made many mistakes and continues to do so. The positives far outweigh the negatives.
In my book, Britain exceptionalism could certainly be a relevant topic for discussion too. I certainly would not put Britain on the same level with Guatemala when looking at countries that have made the largest contributions to humankind. Would you?
In no historically aware analysis would America show up in the top 50 nations in largest contributions to mankind.
Josak, that is just leftist gobbledegook. You know full well they would top the list. Or do you discount the Internet you are on? Let us see, more immigrants per year than the rest of the world combined. But all those are fleeing freedom to the land of oppression?
Strange that, that you and Don W are speaking "American English".
American Constitution and the Bill of Rights
Bretton Woods (world economy tied to America)
electric light bulb
covalent bonding of electrons
Golden Gate Bridge
hepatitis B vaccine
integrated circuit and transistor
in vitro fertilization
largest economy in world history
rock and roll
smoking and cancer link
vitamin A discovery
vitamin E discovery
World War II
A similar list could be made for Britain, as I told John.
This list of American contributions is highly abbreviated. I agree with you; I'm pretty confident we are in the top fifty.
DO you think any of those combined add up to anything like the invention of democracy, logical thought, philosophy, written language, or being the birth place of civilization, the creation of trust currency, or even gunpowder.
There are some great inventions in there, some aren't even inventions though... The golden gate bridge?
The US has existed for 200 years we have 8000 years of recorded human history... it just isn't going to happen.
And highly deceptive, for instance the first motorcycle was invented by the French and the first motorcycle employing the internal combustion engine by the Germans.
Disregarding contributions that are only of use to Americans like the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam, many of the rest are not exclusive American inventions being simultaneously invented in different countries.
American English? Really.
It takes a profound lack of awareness of the history of mankind to put the US in the top 50.
IS the US more important in history than the concept of currency?
Is the US more important historically than the development of agriculture? OBVIOUSLY not.
Is the US more important historically than capitalism? Obviously not.
Has the US been more important historically than Christianity? Obviously not.
Probably not even more important than Islam or Buddhism
Has the impact of the US been greater than the invention of writing? obviously not.
Has the US been more important historically than the concept of Democracy? Obviously not.
Is the US more important to human history than mathematics or the scientific process? Obviously not.
Has the US even been as important as something so relatively recent as electricity?
According to John, many of these can be used as examples, because they are contributions that are used by many other countries. Further, many of these advancements were invented simultaneously in different areas, and they can't be used as examples either, according to John.
John said, "Disregarding contributions that are only of use to Americans like the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam, many of the rest are not exclusive American inventions being simultaneously invented in different countries."
The land of opportunity and freedom. I do not really care about the "stuff". I care about this beacon of hopes and dreams. And the only real proof is the millions upon millions that have come and will come and want to come here to live. Even during our worst times people risk their lives daily to land upon these shores or cross the deserts. Bash away all you want you cannot change that fact.
Remember that in the early days the USA did not recognise international patents therefore it was possible for an American to claim invention of and patent an idea that was not their work. US laws also prohibited aliens from applying for US patents.
So you think the nation that made the USA possible, that created the largest empire in human history, that founded the industrial revolution, that established dozens of nations which exist today and is the reason we are all speaking English is less historically significant than the USA... Cool.
I just want to make clear that this is not a praise of Britain or a criticism of the USA, creating a colonialist empire is not a GOOD thing (though it is significant to human development) and the US is hardly to blame for being a younger nation but the statement defies all reason.
Let us see here John. First US patent from Mass. 1641. Earliest real statutory patents we England 1624. Now remember the US did not exist until 1776, constitution 1787. So that is fair to engender laws from 350 years ago.
Of course we waited until 1970 for WIPO and the UN to help establish some international standards that began in --- dang you guessed it, the USA. Of course after England came Germany in 1877 following the US lead so you really make a good point.
America is not exceptional. No amount of chest-thumping, flag waving temper tantrums will change that. Man up and get over it. America does however have the potential to be exceptional, but only if hysterical, paranoia is replaced with reason.
My first thought is security. I say this b/c I think of prisoners who are released from prison after many years and commit a crime just to get back in. They are overwhelmed by the real world and want the security of their known surroundings again.
Women in bad relationships who stay b/c they feel they have no other choice... they prefer a roof over their head to the freedom to start over.
I'm sure there are many examples like those, but my guess is the majority want security. It's an interesting question.
Castles constructed with the vibrant activity of love and freely guided will provide more security as they stand throughout time. Castles made in the sand of puny government handouts won't last long.
It is obvious which offers lasting security. A kept woman is not as happy as an independent women. A prisoner is not as happy as a free man.
In All Reality, If You Really Think About It.
(Not to be snarky, Beth.
Thank you for your on point musings.)
You're right, freedom is preferable. I just think many feel security is the safer bet. Maybe it's only the unwell minds who feel this way.
Interesting, happiness, if only there was a metric for national happiness across nations so we could have a look at what makes people happy... OH, there is?
Well according to Forbes it's #1 Norway #2 Denmark #3 Australia.#4 New Zealand #5 Sweden
http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mef45ejm … w-zealand/
So all social democracies.
While the world happiness index has in order.
Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Austria, Iceland and Australia.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/trave … untry.html
All ten social democracies...
So no, social democracies are happier.
We have a democratic republic, We are lucky. Do you know why our democratic republic works? Because it is not too small and it is not too big. We are in the realm of the goldilocks principal. Why not take advantage of it? Its been working thus far. It really is not something broken which needs to fixed.
The basis and foundation of
AMERICA IS NOT BROKEN.
Hmmmm might be a good forum topic...
Well if Americans are less happy then obviously it ins't working in that respect.
If Americans have a lower well being then obviously it isn't working there either.
If Americans have a lower standard of education then ditto.
Same for health, crime etc.
If it ain't broke don't fix it only woks if it is in fact not broken.
I think a songwriter once got it right:
"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."
Me and Bobby Mc Gee made famous by Janis Joplin. She led the depressed life of a rocker. She was addicted to sex and drugs and died of heroin overdose. Thanks for that input.
Love her music though.
The fact is maybe Joplin, in her addictions, understood this statement better than most can.
This is a response that I really do not understand. Perhaps you can elucidate.
A couple of things:
1. Joplin did not write the words.
2. Just because someone has problems with addition or drugs does not mean that their thoughts and opinions and expressions are invalid or minimized in any way.
3. Think about it: Addiction robs people of freedom. Addiction causes loss.
I found this amusing.
This is the freedom index run by the heritage foundation an extremely conservative American body. They found America to be #10 behind several social democratic and socialist nations.
Your opinions just don't jive with any facts.
My opinions are based on HUMAN NATURE.
WHY do you keep arguing?
Your opinions are factually incorrect irrespective of what you believe you are basing them on.
Human nature is an incredibly complex concept which we do not understand and my guess is you are not a behavioral psychologist. Which would explain why what you keep saying is factually wrong.
The conclusion is that social democracies are oppressive through taxation. Taxes are not bad, but unjust taxes are.
What is the difference between just and unjust taxation?
The difference is a matter of opinion. The true test is whether taxation is so excessive it's damaging the quality of life of it's citizens. But there are nations with much higher taxes with much higher quality of life so our taxes aren't oppressive.
Just my opinion.
Good that you recognize that as an opinion. Quality of life is an opinion. I think atheists have a lower quality of life, but if I knew a forehand I would still not abort them. Taxes only effect the quality of life for those who judge it by the money they make/take.
I just do not let that crap effect my quality of life or freedom. But I get and sympathize with those who do.
I think quality of life has some fundamentally agreed upon metrics. I think most of us like not dying, being able to go to school and not starving.
No one wants it handed on a silver platter, or rolled out on a red carpet, or handed to them without deserving it. Think of the lion in the zoo. The most powerful of creatures lolling about waiting for his slab of meat. His strong muscles and finely tuned nervous system atrophying... soon he will not be fit for the freedom he still reminisces about. Perhaps he would rather be dead.
Try starving for a few months and get back to me on how you just don't want the food someone is giving you for free.
I've been there, I grew up begging on the streets, trust me you'll take anything you can get.
Middle class afflictions of people who don't know anything about need.
You are mistaken. The social democrat very much wants life handed to him/her on a that mythical silver platter. Personal effort and reasonable reward are the antithesis of a social democracy; it is all about getting what one did not earn.
It has become a massive problem in the US as so very many demand that someone else pay their way, whether it be food on the table a new water treatment plant for their community, or an entertainment complex for the masses.
For Josak is right - the US is headed for social democracy. We have forgotten how to care for ourselves, always wanting the nanny state to do it for us. We either wake up or join the other such countries in falling ever lower in our standard of living.
Wilderness, I do not think that we can say this much without making clear that the elected officials with this agenda, intend the consequences of people being dependent so they can be ruled rather than participate in governance.
It is scary because the people seem to be going voluntarily down this path.
This is true, that our "leaders" (actually masters) in DC fully understand and support making people dependent on them. People used to taking care of themselves are much harder to control, and one must always be watchful that they don't rise up and take back their country, leaving the politician bereft of both power and money.
Unfortunately, you're also right that people are voluntarily going down the path. Unwilling to put forth the effort and make the sacrifices necessary for self-support they are only too happy to accept the crumbs the masters throw their way. The price of freedom and pride of self gives way to indulgence and perceived riches.
No thanks to life support, most successful folks I know forewent college. And a country boy can survive. Dependence is lack of freedom.
You could lock me up and throw away the key. Let me die, let me atrophy. You cannot take away my freedom of thought. I am human and your physical denials and/or atrocities are nothing for you cannot take away that which makes me me.
Taxes are funny. Who cares really? It cannot effect my soul.
Taxes are still low in this country, Eric. Enjoy it while it lasts… then we'll see if it effects yer soul or not.
Lived in crazy France, Socialist Mexico and Communist Vietnam. Also live under a bridge in Vermont. Taxes is taxes.
I worked for a man who basically turned down a deal because he would make too much and have to pay huge taxes. I have seen common folk go and devalue their homes so they pay less taxes and then cannot get a refinance cuz their home has no value.
People are funny. The gov. can only tax you for money you make. They take from me nearly a third. I do not eat a third less.
Once, way back in the day, I was in a holding tank for five hours, Eric. I was thrown in there unjustly. Finally after five hours of a lady cop coming and asking me whose fault it was, I lied and said it was my fault, (when it truly was the cops' fault,) just to get the heck out of there. Have you ever been locked up, Eric???? Your only thought is that you are really really limited. It is the worst feeling in the world.
Unjust taxes are a intellectual masturbation issue. Where these days are people taxed to heavy to get by?
Obama Care is causing my insurance company (Blue Shield) to raise their rates. So, I now cannot afford my insurance and I yet if I decide to drop it, I will be taxed in order to insure others... who can't afford it.
I have been very happy with my insurance and I was promised I could keep it by Obama, himself. Essentially, I am being forced to sign up for Cal Covered but, I don't want government insurance. However, I, for all intents and purposes, am being forced to get it! ARE WE ALL?
One small step forward for government… One small step backward for US citizens.
An intellectual masturbation issue? Wow.
Non-sequiter - if someone slaps you round the face for no reason at all, it is perfectly logical to say that the act was unjust whilst maintaining that it did not inconvenience you to any great degree. If someone steals 1 penny from you, it does not affect your ability to get by that much, but the act is still unjust.
Unjust taxes are taxes which people have not agreed to. How I wish we could get rid of the tax I will have to pay if I do not have insurance. And I need to drop my insurance because it went up from $450 to $500 dollars. It is not the money… (well, yes it is)… it is the principal of the matter.
Let alone that Obama promised I would be able to keep my private insurance… An insurance man just told me that after such and such a date, my insurance company will not be covering me… none of them will. really irks me... and yes, I feel oppressed.
Exercise of authority in an unjust manner.
Feeling of being heavily burdened.
I do not agree that being concerned about unjust taxes is intellectual masturbation.
It is my viewpoint that we need to do something to nip the oppression of unjust ACA taxation in the bud.
Our Autonomy is at stake if we don't.
The only way we can fight it is to stand united against it. Perhaps the governors can demand state elections regarding the matter.
Support in mass our representatives who oppose it. They are already there and need public support.
Did you support the gov. shutdown?
But do not go around whining "oppressive". Save oppressive for those things that truly hurt people. Not money matters.
And this is not taxation without representation. Majority ruled on this one.
Nip it in the bud, I still say. The majority had no idea. The majority was lied to. Yet, now the majority is yielding even when a matter of injustice is staring them in the face.
The great plan is already being nipped. The longer the fiasco goes, the more "nipping" will be necessary, just to maintain the fiction that it can be done at all.
Prediction: in less that a year, the program will be changed to the point that it will not be recognizable as coming from the "parent" bill put forth by Obama. It will still exist as national health care, but the specifics will be far, far different from what they are now. Within 5 years, either actual savings will be found or the whole thing will perforce die a natural death from either common sense or nationwide bankruptcy.
It'll have to be changed. Republicans haven't been able to stop Obamacare, and in its current state, this "law of the land" is destined for failure.
Agreed. The people demand health care, paid for by someone else, and that's what Obamacare was promoted as. It isn't, as people are quickly finding out, and in fact is far more costly than most people already had.
Yet, people want and demand that someone else pay for their care. So the law will have to be modified to provide that, or something far closer than the abortion we have on the books now. Hide it far better in the tax code, while doubling taxes to pay for it.
Hey how does a 56 year old - me, find out what it will cost. My 20 something children say they have to pay for me to get ACA.
Go to your state exchange. If it's like mine, it will send you to the federal site, which will tell you to wait. I got far enough to find out that a plan would cost me around $300 (+- maybe $300) per month, but was unable to figure out what the plan was. Deductibles, out of pocket, what is covered - all are still a mystery.
Or you could consult a fortune teller - it would probably result in quicker results that are more accurate.
wilderness I went and played around looking today. I did not really learn a thing because I cannot give that data to a web presence that I could in no way trust.
But happy day, our family/group plan did not again raise premiums for the 3rd time this year (whew you say?) No they just increased our deductible 30% and our copay by $10 a visit or prescription.
I could get angry here.
But you won't cuz its just money. We can rise above these trivial matters.
That's a big problem in Idaho - you have to give all personal information just to "window shop" - and I don't expect it to go away.
That's kind of the point; insurance is not available under Obamacare (because costs are then more than income) without either raising the fees or lowering the costs. It's easier to lower costs and far more politically "hideable"; You just kind of sweep those increased deductibles and such under the rug and pretend they don't exist. If anyone is crass enough to mention them you just respond "YOU JUST WANT TO KILL THE CHILDREN" in a loud voice and they will slink away into the corner.
I have to say about the children. I am sideways happy that my wife will stop taking my boy in for every danged sneeze --- where they just love to prescribe antibiotics. Yikes. My son is the only boy at preschool who does not have a snotty nose.
The situation is bad and I cannot imagine the Gov. making it better.
We can move 100K soldiers under command to do great things. But trying to get 100k citizens to fall in lock step --- I doubt it. Leave that concept to existing communist states.
I don't see it nearly as much as citizens falling into lock step, as in hiding the actual costs. Those costs were carefully hidden in a massive stack of paper in the beginning, paper that no one was given time to inspect, but are beginning to come out with every policy purchased (just as you found) and people are NOT happy about it.
The socialists of the country have played heavily on both our greed and our desire to do the "right" thing, either neglecting right along to look at real costs or just lying about them. They're becoming apparent now, though, and it does not paint a pretty picture of what the ACA actually says or does.
I heard two figures for today, for October sign ups. 6 and 37. I understanding they need a minimum of 37K per day.
I guess the ACA voluntary notion is fading.
I personally give commercial trusted websites six months before I give them my data. Normally it takes a year first. Now we find out Google and Yahoo were hacked by NSA.
I in good conscience cannot expose my family to that invasion of privacy. Hey my wife's ob-gyn business is not even mine -- I am going to give it to NSA for free????
I think it's a completely false dichotomy. It is perfectly possible to have both absolute freedom in the only logically enforceable sense of the word (freedom to apply means to satisfy any ends in a voluntary manner) and security.
If a government wants to enforce one person's desire for freedom from having to pay for their house, another person's freedom necessarily needs to be restricted in order to pay for it. However, in a truly free society, the people who dislike the fact that some people don't have housing can achieve the task by raising funds to pay for it by voluntary means. The person who does not want to pay for housing for the poor can then co-exist peacefully.
You don't want people working below a certain wage? Great - persuade them not to.
You want everyone to give to under-privileged children? A noble cause - persuade them to.
You want an agency to protect you from foreign invaders? That's a really smart idea - pay for it.
After all, most people would say that they don't mind paying taxes when they are used to pay for what they see as useful and pertinent tasks. So what the heck is the difference if you voluntarily give up your money to pay for those things? Take out the middle-man! That way you'll be sure that your money is going to where you feel it is needed. In this scenario you will achieve the security you desire whilst maintaining your freedom.
Thank you for sharing your excellent thinking, inner-smiff. Of Course Alexander Hamilton knew the government itself needed money to enable the power to adequately do its job. So, of course we must contribute through taxes to the government. What would he say about taxing to distribute wealth amongst the citizens who are perfectly capable of taking care of not only themselves but their own loved ones who need help?
I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.
Yes lots of people believe in the exceptionality of their own nation.
Doesn't make them right.
In fact it highlights how irrational the whole belief is, people don't choose logically they choose emotionally, hence they choose their own nation, makes the whole process rationally worthless.
argumentum ad populum i.e. "Everyone is doing it."
"Draping oneself in the flag."... Again
We didn't become the most prosperous country in the world just by rewarding greed and recklessness. We didn't come this far by letting the special interests run wild. We didn't do it just by gambling and chasing paper profits on Wall Street. We built this country by making things, by producing goods we could sell.
Americans... still believe in an America where anything's possible - they just don't think their leaders do.
I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.
One of the great strengths of the United States is... we have a very large Christian population - we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.
I never commented on any of those things.
And the US was per capita the most prosperous nation on earth for about ten years just after WW2 and that was because Europe had just been ravaged by the war.
Separation of church and state is most definitely a very worthy achievement but the US was not the inventor of the concept and the constitution unfortunately does not strictly outline it.. or even mention it, it's a Supreme court interpretation.
America is a country with lots of positives... But declaring any nation exceptional is pointless and declaring the US to be exceptional is illogical. Especially if that perceived exception is so great as to invalidate all comparison, not only is it illogical it's harmful as it prevents all possibility of learning externally.
The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.
As have dozens of other countries, whose blood litters the whole world, from Canada, Britain, Australia etc.
Of course in the world wars those nations were in from the beginning to help others, not late when they were attacked.
And then of course we have to start talking about how positive American intervention around the world has been outside of the world wars, especially since these interventions regularly include aiding in genocides and supporting dictators, even most Americans admit there were many "mistakes" (they were not mistakes just bad decisions).
When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.
The U.S. military has performed valiantly and brilliantly in Iraq. Our troops have done all that we have asked them to do and more. But no amount of American soldiers can solve the political differences at the heart of somebody else's civil war, nor settle the grievances in the hearts of the combatants.
Problem with slavery: In the history of this very country, the slaves, even those who were treated well, once they were freed, had no idea how to survive.
Those that set off to the north, (determined and willing to die to escape the oppressions of their slave masters,) had more survival capacity in being imbued by a fierce (probably an understatement) determination for their independence and autonomy.
Got any stats to back that up?
Because what actually happened was people who left to the North were in the long term treated more equally and given more opportunities while Jim Crow laws and strict segregation made success for Southern African Americans all but impossible.
It's also false by the way. Most of the successful African Americans from the post war period came from slave owners who had turned a blind eye to them learning to read and write etc. turns out knowing how to read is pretty useful (who knew) and helps you be successful (again, who knew).
Josak, you are deviating from my point:
I have read accounts about the newly released former slaves and how they really did not know how to handle freedom once they were given it.
I am responding to the idea that security is more important than freedom. Without true freedom and autonomy you will not have security.
Freedom will absolutely guarantee security because it is grounded in will power and therefore strength.
I wonder if that depends on what you do with that freedom. If you squander it... if you don't survive on your own two feet, then some might argue that you were not better off.
School of hard knocks. It is better to die in the light of day fighting for freedom, then sitting in a dark secure room. However, Providence will assist in the former case and death can be averted. I really believe that.
Beth, consider the revolutionary war! Those soldiers were in the snow with rags around their feet during the winters. They fought for years against the British and the oppressive attempts/unjust taxation of England. Think of George Washington high on his horse with bullets flying all around him. He never took a bullet!
Even today there are so many cases of people setting out with nothing, my son for example, and ending up with SO MUCH!
My son knew he would not go to college. He taught himself everything he knows, mentored with business men, learned the ropes of the print business and computer programming. Started out in a rented room for $500 a month, now is in business for himself and can afford $2,000, a month for a very spacious apartment. Got married and now his wife is pregnant. She has the security she needs to have a child through the freedom he was given by this country, not welfare checks. He did all this in a matter of a decade. (And took no money from even his parents.)
And this is a very common true-story in America.
I don't disagree Kathryn... William Wallace knew what he was talking about.
I believe josak is holding you hostage right now. Free yourself. lol
Eh, I have said what I need to, for anyone actually interested in the facts they are there in properly sourced black and white.
Nope that is a middle class delusion.
I recommend a move to completely free (no government) Somalia, (not coincidentally also poorest nation in the world) try having nothing to eat for a month then come back and tell me that freedom guarantees security. (Or indeed that it is more important.)
If you are now doing so well, why do you not go help these people yourself? Cuz your wealth is being generated in a very prosperous democratic republic?
No you are deviating from your own point, that social democracies are less free and also thus less happy and prosperous.. All three of which are quantifiably false.
Do you really think that freed slaves had "no idea" how to survive or that only those slaves who attempted to secure freedom by heading north knew how to survive?
If yes, then read some history.
Start with Ira Berlin's "Many Thousands Gone".
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