I was talking with a group of friends the other day. and I suggested that there should be a national tax, where the money collected should be distributed evenly among every U.S. citizen, and I was labled as a socialist.
I don't understand what would be so wrong about distributing that kind of money evenly. It might even put money into the hands of people who never had it before, thus puitting spending money into those hands, that will eventually go back into the economy to generate more tax that would be distributed again.
If a child was singed up to receive this tax incentive. Imagine how much money he could have saved for his or her future if he were only able to collect the money at the age of 18. No need for his or her parents to worry about their future, and, that person might even be able to use that money to get a nice home.
Another thing this might do, is help the homeless. And, my idea would also put more money into the hands of Police, and fire departments, social security, and hospitals where it is needed.
My friends claim people would get lazy and not want to work.
Big F'n deal. I say if companies want people to work for them, they shoulod give them the incentive to do so. No more of this my way or the highway BS.
Imagine how much better this country would be if a lot of people would not have to wrry about where their next meal is coming from. And, how much more business would prosper if everyone had access to income, no matter where it is coming from. I think we would all be better off.
If you believe that taking property by force from some people and giving it to others is a good thing, then you are a socialist. That, in essence, is the meaning of socialism.
What I find annoying is that many people will admit that they want to re-distribute, but won't admit that they are socialist, because the label "socialist" has been universally accepted as a bad thing, while the ideas of socialism have not. How did this come about?
Nobody saisd anything about taking property. This is just a simple tax that is collected, and then given back to the people, police, fire, healthcare, education, military, and small business.
Nobody is taking anything away from anyone. They are only receiving evenly distributed funds, to use at their leisure. Just like our government collects taxes and wastes the money on war, and pet projects. Only this tax would be helpful to everyone.
Actually, that is not the definition of socialism. It isn't a mystery, go get a dictionary sir.
Brilliant! I hate work anyway! I'd love to just sit home and wait for my distribution to come so I could buy some new shoes and stuff! That would be great for the economy all of us ladies staying home and shopping 24/7! LOL! I'd be living my dream!
What is the purpose of this redistribution?
It's not redistribution. It is just an idea for a national sales tax, where a percentage of the tax would be distrubuted evenly among all of our citisens. Nothing is being taken away from anyone.
Here is a breakdown of my idea. A 1 percent tax divided out of 100 percent colection as follows.
1. 50 percent given back to all citizens
2. ten percent going to our police and departments
3. Ten Percent going to our nations hospitals
4. Ten Percent going to education
5. Ten percent going to transportation ands road work
6. ten percent going to provide loans to businesses, and not money to bail them out. If they can't be in business they shopuldn't be in it.
How anyone thinks this would be bad thing, isn't using their brains.
The more money that is put into a larger number of peoples hands, the more money will be added to the economy.
We are currently heading in the direction of the super-rich, and those who have nothing. Only if this keeps going on, the number of rich joining the poor will expand. As people who have nothing, have no money to spend, and people who received it in the past will eventually get nothing.
Nobody is taking anything away from anyone, it is only an oppertunity for those who have little to eventually have a lot.
"It's not redistribution. It is just an idea for a national sales tax, where a percentage of the tax would be distrubuted evenly among all of our citisens. "
I'm afraid i must object.
How can something NOT be redistribution if the money is being taken away and then distributed back to the people?
Right now it is being taken an given to corporations. Are you more in favor of this model, which has led to the largest income gap in 80 years, that has allowed the living wage to not increase since 1972? OR, is your problem taxes in general? Do you want to live in an anarchy type society? What would you prefer?
It is the very definition of wealth redistribution. Taxing a persons earnings or property is an aggressive act. (Nasty things will be done to you if you try to avoid paying).
Taxes are a necessary evil, but should be kept at the lowest level required to keep the government solvent and to pay for legitimate national needs - Not just for the military as the right would have you believe, nor the alleviation of all want as the left claims.
i can at least agree with part of what you said : "taxes are... evil.. [they] should be kept at the lowest level..."
If I were to rewrite you sentence in that fashion, we would agree...
... that's... something? right? don't hate don't hate
Like i've said before - I'm an anarchist, but I'll settle for the Constitution.
You actually think that we should have a federal tax so large that it can fund all our governments, federal and local, including fire and police and education and so on, and THAT be only HALF the revenues? The other half you redistribute to the politically favored.
I think you haven't the faintest idea what any of these cost, and cumulatively, our federal and state governments cost us somewhere in the 6-8 trillion annually. So we'd need a tax that raises 12 to 16 TRILLION a year. That is approximately 90,000 FOR EACH EMPLOYED PERSON a year. And then you'd redistribute about 45,000 each year, on average, per employed person. This includes all full time, part time, seasonal, and self employed people.
Sorry, I think you haven't the faintest clue what your ideas actually mean, and you're just posting something you read somewhere and have an emotional attachment to. Bad, BAD... No, really unbelievably stupid idea.
You have no right to take something from someone else and give it to a third party. Your belief that you can do that is what makes you a socialist. You're only entitled to what you work for. Why in God's name should you work if you know you're going to get a handout?
Every place that has tried what you propose has failed. Why? Because if someone is poor or homeless, there is probably a reason for it. Sometimes it's because a person has run into an overwhelming problem, but those cases are rare. When one person can't keep their life from spiraling out of control, they lean on friends and family to stabilize themselves. If they can't do that, it is most likely because they have done something to alienate their family and friends.
Get a clue, most people in this country don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. Materially speaking, we're one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Try looking at some places around the world. Those places have real poor people. Mexico City for example. You can see the shanty towns rising from the hills that ring the city. We're talking real Hoovervilles here. No running water, corrugated steel roofs and plywood walls if you're lucky. Here our poor people have cable TV's and get money for having kids.
Your friends are right. You're lazy and have a horrible entitlement attitude. Stop pretending this is about helping others and it's not really about you wanting to get something for nothing.
breathtaking response in terms of arrogance, ignorance and sweeping generalisations.
Welcome to Led's world - where everyone else can go f**k themselves because he's alright.
You must be so proud of that warm caring outlook on life and those less fortunate.
"You're only entitled to what you work for." Which is why the estate tax is the only unambiguously moral one: it takes money from the dead, who have no further use for it.
If people are only entitled to the wealth that they work for, the dead person's heirs are no more 'entitled' to the estate than any random stranger is.
When the person dies, the person who worked for his wealth (the person himself) no longer exists, therefore, with an estate tax, the government isn't taking any wealth from anybody.
You are right in pointing out that "You're only entitled to what you work for" is a problematic statement. People are entitled to give other people gifts. People are entitled to accept gifts. "You're only entitled to what you own and what others choose to give you of their own free will" is a better statement.
It's not a better statement. In a modern industrial democracy when people become unemployed as a result of government economic policy or other factors beyond their control, they are entitled, with no apologies to anyone, to unemployment compensation and other appropriate assistance from their government.
You obviously don't believe in Family and legacy. The idea of building something that goes beyond your own life time.
Actually, I do believe in building things that outlast one's own lifetime.
I also believe in working for what you get.
I also believe that merit is best measured not only by where you end up but also by where you started from.
I also believe that concentration of wealth in Europe is what made people come to America, to search for a way to earn wealth that wasn't already controlled by the upper classes*.
I further believe that once wealth gets too concentrated in America, that there's no place else to go to make a start.
I further believe that as this concentration of wealth continues, we'll either end up with another New Deal-like program, or else a revolution, or a series thereof.
I do not begrudge wealthy people the riches that they earn, but I lol when someone born on third base acts like they hit a triple.
*Of course, this assumes that the people already here didn't have any right to the land they'd been living on for however long before the Europeans came to make their new start. "No flag, no country," as the comedian said.
I understand. Paris Hilton comes to mind.
When you say: "I do not begrudge wealthy people the riches that they earn, but I lol when someone born on third base acts like they hit a triple."
Do you mean that these people should be "reigned in" their money taken? Taxed downed to size?
yes yes yes... paris hilton is a retard. But just because there's a prime example of a jerk getting free money from their parents does NOT mean that government is allowed to steal wealth.
I simply cannot understand "we need to tax inheritance" arguments. They rest on "the children didn't earn it!!!"
did the government earn it? ... nope. The arguments clearly make a hypocritical argument.
Then they ignore the fact that you earn money so that you can choose to spend it. And if your final act is to spend it for your children's future, then who are we to deny you that ability?
Exactly my point. Once you open the door.....
All that proves is that if you want to screw up your kids lives all you have to do is let them know they're going to get an inheritance. Seriously though, do you really think Hilton's parents ever really expected her to amount to much? Give the way she acts, I think it's pretty safe to say that the parents Hilton weren't really cut out to raise a kid.
For those of you who hate the idea of passing along wealth, never fear. A fool and her money are soon parted, so you can be sure Hilton will blow through her inheritance before too long. Think about all the jobs she'll create by frittering away her inheritance.
If we really want to talk about Hilton, instead of inheritance, then we might as well just say "wow, what a waste of money. Those Hiltons must not be as smart of investors as we once thought".
... although... she is famous... maybe they DID do something right.
"I simply cannot understand "we need to tax inheritance" arguments. They rest on "the children didn't earn it!!!""
Well, all the arguments against taxation rest on this argument: it's wrong to take wealth from someone who earned it and give it to someone who didn't.
In the case of an inheritance tax, the person who earned the wealth is dead. He has no further use for the wealth he earned. Who has the right to that wealth? Nobody. Or everybody. Either way. It's not hypocritical at all.
Plus, if the children of the person who earned that wealth have any merit of their own, they'll be fine. They'll be able to earn plenty of their own wealth through their own merit. Probably better able, since their wealthy parent had the ability to send them to the finest colleges, and when they graduate, they won't have to pay off any loans. They'll be able to use the earnings that most of us spend on paying off our student debt to invest in their own future.
Leave trust-fund parasites like Ms. Hilton out of it, if you like. What about folks with merit who happen to have been born to wealthy parents? They have earned their wealth entirely on their own, right? Well, they earned it, to be sure, but this leaves aside the assumption that they earned thier wealth in a vacuum, assuming that they did not benefit from the existence of a stable society, thier expensive college education, the contacts they made through university and their parents' social circle, the existence of an interstate highway system, their parents' wealth, etc., etc., etc.
These guys were born on third base. They didn't hit a triple. Have they earned their wealth? Sure, but it's not as though they didn't have a bit of a leg up from their circumstances.
In the case of inheritance, the person who earned the money CHOSE to give it to their children.
I fail to see how this fact would entitle "nobody. Or everybody." to claim ownership of the money. It isn't like "if you don't spend all your money by the time you die, then it becomes the property of whoever can find it first!!". If that were true, then I'd leave my money in a sock drawer so that my fiance could find it as soon as I get hit by a bus tomorrow.
The money STILL exists, and it was owned by the person who earned it - that's the principal of homesteading - and the person who earned/owned it CHOSE, free of aggression and manipulation, to give it to their children.
If you're arguing that giving money to people willingly as a final act is truly to be taxed away to oblivion, then I have to ask you...
... why would it be legal to donate money to charity? Why would it be possible to even GIVE the money to government? Taxes would be "taxed away", charity donations would be "taxed away".
Furthermore, the argument that "you've been born to rich parents"... haven't all Americans been born to rich parents? I mean, you and I are fantastically wealthy, compared to the peasants of the dark ages!! I have running water!!! that's amazing!! and it's ALL thanks to my ancestors investing in the future - even if that investment happened right when they died because of writing a will.
I mean, what if a poor guy with a wife and 2 children, who had a hundred bucks to his name, got hit by a bus tomorrow? his 100 bucks, in accordance with the "tax inheritance" ideology, would HAVE to go to the state - after all, his children didn't earn it! Those parasites!
Inheritance tax arguments are complete nonsense. Taken to their logical conclusion, then charity is impossible; taxes are impossible (which i'm all for); the state gets to soak up any money that hasn't been invested by the time you die (good luck figuring out when that will be); the state gets to decide for you how to invest in the future, and as a consequence, gets to tell you how to raise your children.
Let's go through one more example: Poor guy gets hit by bus. His children don't get his leftover money because they're just parasites. But, his children aren't able to get any money from charity, because giving money to charities is illegal -- after all, they didn't earn it. Then on top of that, the money that the poor man had was SUPPOSED to go to the government, but they didn't earn it either, so the government doesn't get it. It just sits there ... doing nothing... helping no one (except for the way that any destruction of money would help people - it would lower prices. Less money chasing the same amount of goods). And then the mother has to get a job, and the children might have to get jobs, too. That is, if it were legal.
when you die, you have the right to give your money to whomever you want.
If you choose to give your money to your son, then how is this a bad thing? The government is stealing the money because it's not theirs, it's the property of the person who just died.
It's amazing: everyone who wants there to be an inheritance tax will tell you with a straight face that they also value paying for education. These two things are the same thing: investing in the future generation. You save up your money, then in your will give it to your child - you invested in his future.
IF we follow the logic behind the inheritance tax to it's final conclusion, we would require that any investment whatsoever in the future is bad, and that the government is the one who decides how to feed your children and nurture them.
No ledefend you are the one that needs to get a clue. You are saying exactly what the idiotic republicans are saying about the unemployed and the homeless. As if they wanted money they should go out and get a job.
In an economy where jobs are constantly being move to other countries, and companies that are earning billions are getting billions in bailouts from the same government that wants to take money away the working man. And, then giving their workings the shaft, when they receive it.
If you want to talk about a handout. Why should we constantly give our tax dollars to the banks, the auto industry, and the airlines. If we have to go out and struggle to get a job with that view, shouldn't these companies have to suffer along with us?
With my idea nobody is left out in the cold. Why should only multimillion dollar corporations continue to get all the tax perks. If the government can't give something to everyone, then they shouldn't give it at all.
That's all I'm saying.
why are jobs being moved abroad?
... because it's cheaper to hire a foreigner, you say?
why would it be cheaper to MOVE AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY AND START INVESTING FROM SCRATCH THERE?
... because of minimum wage laws, and numerous other laws restricting free trade, you say?
hmm....It almost sounds like "being paid less than what everyone else gets paid" is much much much better than "not being paid at all"...
The answer is New World Order. Mwahahahaha!
No, really. A socialized global system would make sure everyone gets equal pay no matter what nation. It would solve that problem, among others (such as terrorism, maybe). It also might cause a massive, world civil war... so...
The other option is abadoning socialism for the short-term, until our economy gets back to speed.
It hurts to say that. I believe in trade unions and child labor laws... but it's a tough market.
a "socialized global system" would indeed make sure that everyone gets paid the same amount..
And that would be god-awfully horrendous.
"Hey, I just cured cancer!!! ... what? i'm still only going to make 10 bucks an hour? really?"
"Hey, I know, I'll invest heavily in a water-cleansing system for the third world countries! It'll be cheap, and thus only mildly profitable! ... wait... I won't get to keep any of the money that i earn? ... oh... well, i guess i'll just sit on the couch!"
"Hey, I have the choice to either be a Doctor who has to spend countless hours awake and working hard each day to unclog arteries... ... oh wait, I'm not going to make any money based off all this God-Like hard work? ... oh... I'll just be a hooker - it'll be more fun and easier."
This is why socialism fails. the classic "who'll take out the garbage" : who'll do the crap-work if you're going to be paid the same?
... the answer - do it or else the government will murder your children.
let me also address this "New World Order" crap.
I also think that it's lunacy to think that there are people taking over the world.
But as I post here for freedom and liberty, people tend to see me as a NWO conspiracy theorist. I'm not.
It just so happens that people who Fight against the NWO happen to demand freedom every once in a while, and I demand freedom as well.
to reply to you more in depth- let's think about your statements.
When you give money to the bank, are you simply throwing your money away? -- no. that would be a VERY POOR investment decision on behalf of the bank. When you give them money, they invest the money for profit elsewhere; they make YOUR money available to others who are trying to start businesses. They co-ordinate investors with investees.
So are banks evil? in this sense, no.
then why do we hate banks? well... try starting your own bank to compete with them!! wal-mart tried, and the government told them it was illegal.
The real problem, as this example shows us, ISN"T THE BANK!!! it's the government.
Who do you think it is being given to right now? The third party are lobbying group's funders, corporations. There is your third party. Furthermore, you need to get a dictionary to learn what socialism is.
Taxes are by nature socialist. They are also aggressive.
Think about it: if you want to help people out, what's the best way to do things (short of running a business that provides people with what they want for a price).
Government? - forcibly take money from one another to spend it on "things people need". (by the way, does this even make sense? if people need something, wouldn't they just pay for it on their own?)
Or, the other option
CHARITY - simply willingly giving your money away by choice.
simply positing this question shows you just how ludicrous taxes actually are.
If you'd like another illustration of the idiocy of taxes, let's use the Iraq war (but we could easily use any tax-supporting institute)
If I have the right to free speech, then I should at the very least have the right to act on this speech. For example, if I can speak out against the war, but I can't act against it, then I don't really have any freedom.
...so I SHOULD be allowed to not pay the taxes in question.
Taxes by nature are socialist?! :-0!
Come on EvanG now you're falling off the cliff with this. We don't get to choose where our tax paments go do we?
A tax paying pacifist might not want to make a contriibution to defence especially if it means bombing foreign countries for ther oil.
Tax paying nurses would maybe prefer to see all of their taxes contributing to a better health system for those worst off.
Teachers in tough schools might prefer to see their tax money helping to improve those schools.
Actually maybe you're right if you gave people the choice of where ther tax dollar went it would paint a truer picture of the US than an corrupt media or govt ever could.
It would be an interesting and probably desperately sad indictment of society if most people voted for their tax dollar to go into security, defence and dealing with crime and not a cent going into social research in an attempt to address the problems that result from security and crime.
But it would be representative of what society desired, as a majority, rather than what society was being manipulated to become, by a minority.
Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner, that's a realism, not a joke.
The sheep may want everyone to eat grass and get along, but the wolves exist and disagree.
you vote EVERY day as to how your money can be spent.
did you want a tie? a blue tie? a blue tie with stripes? -- such choices you're given with a market.
But when it comes to voting for politicians... ew... No choices whatsoever. In fact, ask any political campaign adviser - stay as close to the middle as possible.
The fact is that competition, TRUE competition, breeds variance, and abundance.
So what I'm hearing is that free speech is nonsense.
"Sure you can speak out against the war all you want *grin*... but the SECOND you do ANYTHING about it, you're ass is in Jail".
Hitler tried to deal with crime. He did it by murdering Jews. And he was elected via democracy!
hmm.... it almost seems like a leader who isn't chained by a steadfast interpretation of some sort of Constitution can easily distort the mass's logic to horrible and perverted conclusions....
Taxes predate socialism by about 2 thousand years. Your talking points are not valid. Again, grow up. This is ridiculous.
not as bad as capitalism which causes more death and misery than any act of socialism ever could.
Tell that to the victims of the Killing Fields in Cambodia, the Nazi death camps and the Soviet Gulags. Jesus, the ignorance that comes out of people's mouths sometimes.
... oh wait... jeezus?! You're SERIOUS?!
NAZI - a socialist party that killed... what 11 million people?
The Commie revolution in Russia led to like 10 million more
And we still don't have a concise agreement as to how many died due to China's socialist endeavors! Was it 10 mill? 20? upwards of 150 million!!!
Are you f-ing nuts? You name one genocide that EVER happened without the aide of government, and You will have FINALLY pinned down a crime dealt by Capitalism.
Government is NOT capitalism.
Hitler wasn't a sociaist he was a f-a-s-c-i-s-t (say it after me f-a-s-c-i-s-t you getting this yet?) but it if helps you get through the day believing such a one sided view so be it.
I'll just sit here with my fishing net and wait for you and your fellow imperialist Led to jump on in.
George W must have loved you two, easiest votes he ever got.
'America revolutionised the world'? That EvanG is your funniest yet.
'commie revolution' also made me laugh. You mean a paranoid murderous psycopath with an ego the size of his country of course. This had nothing to do with socialism. If you think socialism is so dangerous why has Castro survived so long and in a country 90 miles from the US coast? I guess the right wing histroy books did their job on you and Led eh?
Could you and Led be any more stereotypical of right wing america?
Led - you accusing others of ignorance is also very very funny
I know I'm now a commie mofo a bleedin heart liberal yada yada isn't that how it goes.now or do I wait for the threats from you two now?
You both need to get out more and you certainly need to travel abroad occasionally too. Might get you away from Fox News which is clearly your place of learning.
socialism leads to fascism you say?
In EVERY case?
hmm... perhaps they are the same thing!
PS: i hated Bush with a passion. I still do. The Patriot Act is one of the greatest threats to our country ever. (and note: it wasn't capitalism that passed the patriot act, it was government).
PPS - If you don't consider "introducing democracy for the first time in over a thousand years" a revolution... then... you must really have some impressive things up your sleeve. Also, Americans are the leading economic force in the world. and have been for about a century.
ppps- You're right. Because Castro, the dictator of CUBA is still alive, that means that Socialism is safe...
... do you mind telling that to the thousands of people he had lined up in front of firing squads? http://www.therealcuba.com/page5.htm
I'm a bit shocked at the following statement that seems to be repeating itself on this forum:
" 'America revolutionised the world'? That EvanG is your funniest yet. "
Listen, I hate Americans for many reasons, and I love them for many reasons.
But anyone who says we didn't revolutionize the world is just plain ignorant (the only reason I used ignorant instead of other words is that i don't want to be banned)
What's the leading business language? English.
America instituted one of (if not THE) first written government-binding documents.
America is also the strongest economy in the world, and has been for a century or so.
Everyone knows Obama's face the world round.
Numerous pioneering Americans have shaped the world: Henry Ford, Rockefeller, just to name two.
We've been in so many wars (note, not good wars, just wars) that it would be ridiculous to say that they haven't affected the world.
Countless people the world over dream about moving here.
If you want to hate Americans, go ahead. But don't say stupid things like "Americans haven't revolutionized the world"... that's just not accurate.
Define what you consider Socialism and then we'll talk! In many countries Socialist systems (when paired with Capitalism) function beautifully, but in countries like Cuba and China Socialism has been the facade of true Communism - which is a beautiful concept but a complete Eutopia. There has to be balance of Capitalism and Socialism in order for it to work to the benefit of the masses.
I would agree that there should be a balance of commerce and social responsibility for any society to function properly.
China is pure Communist through and through and working just fine in many ways, and like Capitalist systems it is failing in others. The evolution of Chinese Communism that has taken Capitalist methods as an addition to its thinking is working just fine and providing a better 'balance' for its masses than US Capital at the moment - and looks to better this as it goes on.
social responsibility is a dangerous slope to fascism.
Who defines it?
And, no, china isn't communist "through and through", the only reason it's working is because there is a huge, enormous capitalist black market.
Social responsibility is recognised as a bench mark of civilization; it is one of the main reasons that countries outside the US consider you less civilised than you maybe should be.
Sorry to disillusion you about China but all government is Communist Party, including governing bodies of education, and they have a seat on every board. The reasons for its success are hard work with cheap labour, coupled with the arrogance of the US in over-pricing its goods and forcing them on the world market by various tactics of coercion masked as 'fair trade'. Like all your poorly thought through ideas, you simplify to the point of extinction and then overblow one facet and think you are making a point.
When China overtakes America in the next few years as the first economy perhaps they will teach the US to manage its economy better.
China's Communist government is responsible for over 50 million deaths. I'm glad you like them so much. i don't.
China isn't communist anymore. Just type into google "is China Communist" and become flooded in articles arguing that it's Capitalist.
here's one: http://www.businessweek.com/1999/99_39/b3648087.htm
Also, any sort of "china will overtake the US in superpower-ness" has a heavy flaw in reasoning.
1st and foremost, people have been arguing this since the 1950s, if not earlier. I used to argue this, before I came to my senses, I would demand "more government powers! spend my tax money and tax me more!! If we don't do that, then China will take over the world"... my dad finally told me "Evan, they've been saying that since the 50s, if not earlier."
And that moment has been engraved in my head permanently.
2nd- any attempt to argue such nonsense TRULY doesn't understand how money works. If china keeps buying up the resources to pay for their expansion, then ... prices HAVE to increase!!! Thus, they're "current rate of expansion" will HAVE to stop at some point SIMPLY because there are a finite number of resources on this earth.
What bothers me the most about questions like this is not so much the question as the comments it inevitably receives. The model you describe is economically flawed. There are far too many variables involved including the fact that taking money away and then giving it back doesn't quite work. I don't want to go into all the problems of it but you may find that the cost of administering such a program would soon exceed the income and there would be a deficit in the program. There are numerous others but that's not why I'm replying.
I was reading a blog by a friend of mine from Wales where he was discussing the hyperbole of UK politicians. I can't help but compare that with the hyperbole in American politics. The comments here demonstrate that. I cannot see anywhere in this suggestion of yours anything approaching Socialism. It seems that anything that involves government involvement in alleaviating poverty is immediately labeled "Socialism" A "dirty word" as klarawieck said. even barak Obama, who at best is a moderate conservative, by international standards, is accused of being some kind of communist.
When you were told you were being a "Socialist" you were being attacked by people who would rather use inflammatory and emotive language than engage you on the value of your suggestion. It's intellectual laziness butt it seems it's what you get for trying to think outside the box.
This suggestion you have is flawed, but keep thinking. The world relies on fresh thinkers.
Could not agree more.
I have said elsewhere that Socialism only exists as a counter to Capitalism.
New thinking is required, if the right think that 'returning' to some kind of modern captialist feudalism is a good idea then they deserve what they would inevitably get.
The money needed to run a country comes from taxes, every paving stone in the road and every bullet in the guns of the armed forces must be paid for. Capitalism is no better than Socialism at managing the money, it gets stolen, misdirected and generally wasted whoever controls the purse strings.
Our friend Led thinks that the only important thing is his stuff and everyone who does not have what he has is a lazy sponger.
Evan who is terminally confused about taxes, free choice, free speech and about everything really.
Klarie . . who can't seem to think past the connotations of a word so labels it 'bad', no thinking required here.
There has to be a new approach to controlling the very rich who own us, supporting those who for any reason are unable to support themselves without wasting shedloads of money, reducing the aggression in the world, spreading the benefits around to allow poverty stricken countries to lift themselves up - there is abetter way and discussion is one way of exploring it, dogmatic ideology thumping just works to delay and distort everything.
thanks for the casual insult.
But mine are the only consist arguments here. You speak out against "capitalist feudalism" but then demand that we have a select few people decide how to dish out everyone's money. You are arguing against feudalism, then say that we need to have a military!
Then you make the completely unbelievable statement that "capitalism is no better than socialism" -- Tell that to the 20 million or so people that lost their lives in the past - what? 75 years? - DIRECTLY because of the implementation of Socialism. NAZI (a socialist party, yes), eastern europe, russia, china, and so many other countries have had tremendous hardships brought upon them because of socialism.
And you're calling ME confused?
That's ok it is so easy to find fault.
I demanded nothing of the sort ! this comes directly from your imagination.
Using the armed forces as an example of tax spending does not in any way say that I support armed forces - BUT they are a necessary evil even if nations could keep them solely for self defence, rather than irrationally attacking countries like Iraq.
Then you link the Nzi with Socialism because they called themselves a name. This is blind stupid comparison in support of an indefensible idea.
And the numbers of deaths around the world you attribute to Socialism, you don't like to include the deaths due to Capitalsim ?? The massacre of most indigenous peoples on the planet, the slow deaths of untold millions in deprived conditions under Lords and Barons, and through to recent history with the horrifying slaughter of people in Vietnam, random bombings of Cambodia that helped a mentally unsatble ruler to destroy that country, the huge numbers of Iraqi people - you should really stop ignoring history and reality in pursuit of your utopia where there are no government, no taxes, no armed forces, no health care, no police, just you and everyone else bigger and more aggressive than you - good luck back in the stone age pal
lords and barons have nothing to do with capitalism, bud. That'd be feudalism or mercantilism.
You are confused.
National Socialism is not the same as socialism. It was communism that influenced the East not socialism. This form of communism was as corrupt as captalism and it's clear thant both systems has caused the deaths of millions. Are you seriously saying that Capitlaism has not brought hardship to the world? That sort of makes your argument a bit inconsistent and one sided.
I wouldn't lke to read your history books they must be pretty thin.
every example of capitalism's "evil" has the hand of government in it.
Laissez-Faire capitalism does not use government.
At least you are consistent in missing the point. The fascist government in Germany was not socialist. Just because something has the word "socialist" in it doesn't mean it is. Notice how most Communist countries had the word "democratic" in their name? Is that an indictment of Western democracy? How about some real analysis rather than playing the Hitler card? Incidentally, the Chinese just sailed past the economic crisis the rest of the world is experiencing...
Mao - responsible for over 10-20m deaths
Stalin - responsible for over 10m deaths
Hitler - Responsible for over 10m deaths.
All claimed to be socialist. And they all were.
Just because socialism directly leads to dictatorship (EVERY example has proved this), doesn't mean that dictatorships are not socialist. They WERE socialist, and they were responsible for MILLIONS of deaths.
so what you're saying is that the people came into power via promises of socialism...
... then it turns out that socialism always leads to dictatorial governments...
... and then "that's no longer socialism"?
I fear that I must disagree profusely. if EVERY SINGLE* attempt to be socialist has led to dictatorships murdering people...
... then I must admit that I'm not a fan of socialism.
(* Yes, I'm fully aware that people argue that there are currently socialist countries. But before you argue that European countries are socialist, then you must agree that the US is socialist: they have VERY similar tax rates.)
Mao - responsible for over 10-20m deaths
Stalin - responsible for over 10m deaths
Hitler - Responsible for over 10m deaths.
Mao - Despot who ruled through fear
Stalin - Paranoid Psycopath who ruled through fear
Hitler - Megalomaniac psycopath who ruled through fear
All surrounded by by sycophants willing to murder for a corrupt cause
Is there any difference to the above if I add PolPot and Idi Amin to the list?
Oh but they were not 'socialists' huh?
Nothing to do with socialist ideaology at all
Republican govt in the US Particularly during the Bush regime;
A bunch of control freaks who convinced its own population that wars in oil rich countries (whilst US supplies were running low - no coincidence at all) were somehow necessary to prevent terrorism in America. Millions of innocent people killed for this cause. Thousands of US soldiers killed for this cause. A media campaign by right wingers to convince its own population that fear is the new terrorism.
Rove, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush and the syophants and psycopaths that bought into the whole 'Saddam is a monster threatening our country myth' (a man so dangerous that Bush Senior was happy to do business with him long after the first US Iraq invasion) should be tried for war crimes.
I'm sorry Evan G but I guess I'm also confusing ideaology and psycopathic behaviour. Or is that how democracy in your world works?
My heart is with soldiers who were brave enough to fight for their country despite being sent into wars that were based on lies, greed and corruption. Democracy eh? I include soldiers from Europe who were also duped by their govts into fightng in Afghanistan for a cause that doesn't exist.
Try reading stuff outside of your country's right wing media and maybe dare yourself to read intelligent (ie politically neutral) papers from around the world and get a wider perspective of how the US is seen. It might wean you off the shit you've swallowed.
You are incorrect. Because the Nazis had socialist in their title, does not mean they were socialist by any measure. No political theorist or teacher in the world would consider them to be socialist. Seriously man, you need a full load of classes this year to understand the basics of what is going on. Where in the world did you go to school? Further, they didn't use socialism to get into power. Hitler used democracy. Stalin used a revolutionary coup under Lenin, and Mao used the same. Armed revolution has nothing to do with the Communist Manifesto and is not worded a single time therein. Socialism is an economic theory, not a military theory.
You really don't know what you're talking about do you? The Nazi party stood for National Socialism. Since you can't seem to understand that, perhaps a definition would help:
I suggest you pay attention to the words "economy subordinated to the....state" and "Hitler effectively supported mercantilism". "He believed that the only means to maintain economic security was to have direct control over resources rather than being forced to rely on world trade."
"A number of Nazis held strong revolutionary socialist and anti-capitalist beliefs, most prominently Ernst Röhm, the leader of the Nazis' main paramilitary group, the Sturmabteilung (SA). Röhm claimed that the Nazis' rise to power constituted a national revolution, but insisted that a socialist "second revolution" was required for Nazi ideology to be fulfilled. "
Now you probably are confused because national socialism is opposed to Communism. That is a valid confusion. Rather than trying to achieve international socialism, which is what communism was really about (Workers of the World Unite), National Socialism held the state as the highest authority for society.
Being anti-capitalist does not automatically make one socialist.
"Nazism rejected class conflict-based socialism and economic egalitarianism, favoring instead a stratified economy with classes based on merit and talent, retaining private property, and the creation of national solidarity that transcends class distinction."
From an economic perspective, Nazism combined elements of both socialism and fascism, but wasn't a pure form of either.
Nazism and fascism are the same thing. It is a political philosophy which espouses accumulation of all power with the state. Have you ever even read or listened to any of Hitler's speeches? He said numerous times that the State is the Mother and Father of the Volk. You don't like that because you think that government, while not necessarily the mother and father of the people, cures all ills. If Hitler espoused the same sort of thinking you do, then you'd have to reexamine your beliefs and you don't want to do that.
Except that you ignore the fact that people are freely allowed to give their money away if they choose to do so. Just like a person is free to give to charity if they so choose, so too a person can decide what happens to their wealth when they die. You might want to reconsider your greed. Stop eying other people's money and get to work yourself.
I don't think Evan missed any points, and addressed them quite well. . . and if the Chinese in fact are sailing past this economic crisis (certainly they are doing better, and it 'aint' cause they 'stimulated' their economy in Obama fashion), then dry bulk shipping should be booming, and perhaps all Americans can make back all that's been lost simply by buying into the shippers.........unfortunately, that is a load of bull ship. And are you familiar with the BDI? And its economic significance?
Hmmmmmm, I wonder if Biden knows what the BDI is? Or even what the GDP actually represents....... maybe he'll give us all a cute answer during his Road to Recovery ritualistic rhetoric......
Nothing could be further from the truth. Speak to anyone who knows me personally and they'll tell you I'm full of charity. You cannot, however, be charitable with other people's money. That is why I don't support tax funded charity. That and the fact that when you do create a tax funded welfare state, you inevitably create a group of second class citizens.
But what do you care, it's not like you care about failed outcomes of your precious collectivist schemes. In your mind, it's a collectivist idea and therefore must be good.
CJ, you're quoting from the Preamble. It's the introduction to the Constitution. All that does is describe what the document is about, it doesn't really enumerate any powers of government. By all accounts the Constitution is a restrictive document and details what the federal government cannot do, not what it can and should do.
I don't need you to tell me what I'm quoting. To be exact I was paraphrasing. I totally understand in what manner the Constitution was written, don't need that explained to me either. I happen to agree with you, the Constitution is "restrictive" therefore the RESTRICTIONS listed in the preamble regarding taxes should be taken seriously.
Your a very smart, everyone realizes that, but do you have to talk down to everyone?
It wasn't meant to talk down. Especially when you consider the number of people who use the Preamble for any and all sorts of crazy socialist justifications. Sorry you feel I was talking down to you.
psycheskinner, how do you figure. Most openly socialist countries have a VAT tax, which we here in the States don't (yet) have to pay. Your income tax may be lower, but the total tax load you pay is much higher than that in the US.
Under your system we would soon be tripping over beggars on the sidewalks all over the country much like Bangladesh or Bombay a hundred years ago.
I just love what liberal politics and unions have done for Detroit. VERY COSMOPOLITAN!
By "liberal politics" I assume the dogmatic, mindless free trade policy supported by both political parties which turned our manufacturing industry to China, Mexico, Bangladesh and Cambodia. Unions also contributed to the exodus, but they were a small factor compared to greedy, short-sighted managements.
NAFTA Belongs to Clinton. It was a bad deal. Look next door, looks like WI is next....Harley Davidson is threatening to leave.
They saved Mercury Marine, so maybe there is hope for them.
I do agree that it was Bipartisan......I just think it was Union Greed that led to NAFTA..... Specifically the UAW.
I spent 34 years bargaining with the UAW on behalf of an auto company. There were two signatures on every contract, one union and one management. (Actually there were 30 signatures or so from each side on every contract.) I could write a book on labor-management issues in the auto industry.
If there was no UAW the industry would still be there. If there were no Unions there would be an I-9 and a policy manual to sign that's it. You are right GM and others were fools for agreeing to some of the UAW's demands.
But in this case the UAW got all they asked for. In the end, it hurt the very people they organized to protect.
The UAW didn't come close to "getting all it asked for." Actually, the wages and benefits were similar to those in the steel, rubber, trucking and chemical industries. One of the unrecognized benefits of collective bargaininn, aside from paid holidays, paid vacations, pensions, life insurance, health care insurance, etc., was the establishment of a system of jurisprudence calle impartial arbitration to provide for an impartial review of management's compliance with the contracts and disciplinary and dismissals. This introduced a measure of due process to insure fairness on the shop floor. The system is not perfect, but if was an improvement over the previous situation where workers faced a variety of insecurities related to their supervisor, their company, their industry and recessions in the U.S. economy. As a result of U.S. blind dedication to free trade American workers must compete with Chinese workers who enjoy none of these benefits and whose wages are around 90 cents an hour for working long hours in unsafe, unhealthful plants which are polluting the world's environment. No one should be surprised over the decline of Detroit auto companies and their workers.
Ralph, he's 89.....you know where he comes from. How could you not expect it to mold his world view.
He is head of the ultra-right Sha party which is part of Netanyahu's coalition.
My point is that Jews and Christians should look into a mirror before they spout off with blanket criticisms of Islam. They point to the mote in the eyes of Muslims while having a beam in their own.
He's 89, he's probably not the head of his own head.....
so there is guilt by association? REALLY?? HMMMM......
Muslims aren't the only religion that has brought strife to the world. Christians and Jews have a sad history of mischief equaling if not exceeding the Muslims.
ok, but what does that have to do with the thread?
Nothing. I posted it on the wrong thread by mistake. By the time I realized and tried to delete it you had responded. I then posted the comment about the Israeli Rabbi on the thread about the Muslim cultural center. Sorry for the confusion.
"you may find that the cost of administering such a program would soon exceed the income and there would be a deficit in the program"
There in lies the problem.
ianto? Ah... you really shouldn't quote me...
I have no fkng clue what the hell I'm talkin' 'bout.
I would love to see a social experiment where all the Ledenfen's and Evans of America were given a state of their own - completely free of roads, hospitals, police, refuse collectors etc. I wonder how long it would take before they realised they needed some kind of tax system?
Income tax was first implemented in Britain by William Pitt the Younger in his budget of December 1798 to pay for weapons and equipment in preparation for the Napoleonic Wars. Pitt's new graduated (progressive) income tax began at a levy of 2 old pence in the pound (1/120) on incomes over £60 (the equivalent of £48,700 in 2007) and increased up to a maximum of 2 shillings (10%) on incomes of over £200. Pitt hoped that the new income tax would raise £10 million, but actual receipts for 1799 totalled just over £6 million.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_i … ed_Kingdom
Income tax is a new invention.... yes we need a tax system to fund essential elements that are required for society, but it should be consumption based rather than income based.
Implementing a safety net for those in genuine (not self induced) need obviously makes sense, or they will be forced to steal what they need to survive, therefore costing more to society, and hampering their ability to rejoin society on equal terms.
It's also what a moral society should do in any case.
Trying to restrict the fat cats who legally steal billions from society does not work, their lawyers and accountants are too slick for that, besides they are normally also income and employment generators for society.
Folk need to accept that those who ride the top of the gene pool for greed, just need to be either let be, or shot at dawn!
Trouble is, if you shoot them, you will probably be in a real mess soon when nothing functions anymore.
Fact is, if you took ALL the wealth and assets in the world ad divided it equally between EVERY human born today, you would probably get a few dollars each to live on for a year.
95% of the wealth is controlled by 5% of the populace, and that 5% includes you... (and me) so if you want REAL equality, prepare to get REAL poor, by your inflated western standards.
Anyhow, if you did a fair division, in a short while some folk would be a millionaire again, and the rest would be back in poverty....
Face it people, God gave us all different levels of ability, plus just being born into a western society gave you a boost in the survival stakes, and even if you are a homeless person living off handouts, you are still better of than 90% of the worlds living souls.
Sorry, that turned into a rant, and maybe a hub!
Interesting - how would that work from your point of view?
First sack MOST of the tax collectors, then make all tax payable on consumption, and make it payable ONCE only at point of manufacture, importation or first sale, i.e. a farmer sells a supermarket his crop, they pay whatever rate of tax has been estimated on that crop (as an end user tax) and when they sell the crop onward, they reclaim (from their customers) the tax they paid. The farmer has no paperwork, the supermarket pays the tax directly to the government.
Same for manufacturing, and imports and anything else, tax gets paid ONCE at first sale, and each link in the chain adds nothing more, except their profit to the transaction, and in the end result the consumer has paid the tax with minimum paperwork attached, less accountants required and no avoidance.
Taxes would need to be calculated progressively, so basic foodstuff may be very low, but luxury foods would be higher, likewise cars, buy a basic model, pay less tax, buy a luxury job, pay more tax, so the rich guy can drive a basic car if he wants to pay less tax, and the poor guy can drive a luxury car if he can afford to pay the tax.
Neither of them are paying income tax, so both have more disposable income, and all they can do with their cash is spend it or save it, both of which help an economy....
I really need to write that hub!
The theory sounds good, but I'm not sure it would work. First off, would that generate enough revenue for all the services required by society? Someone would have to do the maths on that one, but I don't think it would. In the UK we have VAT which we pay on most goods and services, which is a consumer based tax and we pay income taxes as well as other taxes. I don't think VAT on it's own would be enough especially if only paid once and if it was at a higher level to make up for no income tax, then I think a lot of basics would be out of many people's reach. It would hit the poorest hardest.
Just did a bit of digging aroundon UK gov't income:
Income tax - gross amount 2007 - 2008 157 billion
Vat - gross 2006 - 2007 680 billion
I'm not awake yet and not sure I could do the maths even if I was! But VAT would have to increase a lot - at the moment it's 17.5 %. In your system I'm guessing it would have to be more than 50% (if only paid once.)
We are talking here about semantics, the 'tax burden' remains the same however you raise it, but by putting that burden onto consumption rather than income, one demonstrates fully the level of tax payable by individuals, now IF the majority of folk decided to buy low tax items and shun luxury goods,and the tax burden was not met, then government would know that the people had spoken with their pocketbooks, and desired less services.
I would guess (because getting actual statistics on taxes is difficult) that most folk 'in the system' end up paying 80% of their income back to the state in direct, indirect and stealth taxes.
My purchase tax system would need constant recalibration to allow for consumption patterns, and you could protect the genuinely low paid by introducing a tax rebate scheme, where essential items they bought would be credited back to them, possibly on the same 'credit card' that was charged up with their welfare payments in the first place. That card could also allow instant 'tax discount' on approved items for the welfare recipient...
Many areas to be worked out, but it would and could work... I wrote a hub on it months ago...
'Bread'(and other essentials) could be non taxed anyway!
This statement doesn't ring true with me:
"IF the majority of folk decided to buy low tax items and shun luxury goods,and the tax burden was not met, then government would know that the people had spoken with their pocketbooks, and desired less services."
I can't imagine going into a shop to buy a TV and deciding to buy the more expensive one solely for the reason of giving the government more money. Another issue is that the government wouldn't be able to plan because they'd never know how much money they might have to work with.
Tax credits are already in existence in the UK, I think the US too?
Analysis in the UK shows that increases on VAT (consumer tax) hit the poorest hardest:
"VAT is a regressive tax – those on lower incomes pay a larger proportion of their income in tax than those on higher incomes. This is in large part because household expenditure takes up a larger proportion of income for lower-income households than for higher-income ones."
http://www.leftfootforward.org/2010/06/ … ook-at-it/
http://www.talktalk.co.uk/shopping/feat … rease.html
I believe that income tax is the fairer method of raising income for governments.
But like I have said, the fat cats can avoid tax, if you have money you can save money, and the 'others' will still pay 80% of their income in tax, is that fair?
What a man earns should not determine his tax rating, for as stated, those who make real money can easily avoid paying tax.
I know a guy worth 30 million + who boasts that he has never paid more than 3% tax in his life.... go figure!
The TRUE tax burden, which DOES fall on the ordinary taxpayer, should be exposed, THEN maybe folk would think seriously about how they want their taxes spent, and on what.
Government is there to SERVE the people, not RULE them.
I agree that the richest often pay a much smaller % of their income through taxes. Maybe the better solution is to address this inequality rather than wholly change the taxing system, maybe through changing rules on things like off shore banking and tax breaks. What about asking people what they think their tax dollars should be spent on? This is happening here: http://www.bmgresearch.co.uk/essex/KMS/ … aignId=107
"Government is there to SERVE the people, not RULE them." I couldn't agree more, but we do have power to influence who is in government through voting, lobbying, protests, exposing corruption etc. Unfortunately a large percentage of people can't be bothered.
the issues with lobbying and all that IS NOT the fact that the people are lobbying.
The problem is that the government keeps dishing out money TO the lobbyists .
If a company spent millions of dollars trying to bribe a congressman, and then the congressman NEVER dished out money to the company... how long do you think they'd continue to lobby?
The REAL problem is that our government has forgotten the 10th amendment.
And regarding the tax system "exploiting the poor", here's a GREAT article showing that this is nonsense. http://cincinnatiteaparty.org/blog/?p=198
right now the rich ($75,000+/year) DO pay about 51% of the income generated by income taxes.
Off the cuff, I would say your proposal would be regressive, i.e., a tax on bread affects you more based on your income level. You want to change the tax rates and have higher tax on luxury goods I suppose that may help.
When I first came to HP, I had great respect for Evan G Rogers, however, I have progressively lost trust in what he says or follows. He's neither for socialism nor capitalism. For capitalism is three fold,
the worker and
In order to control the three, there should be some kind of co-ordination. This translates into management, governments are "National" management systems. I wouldn't imagine that this would elude Evan G.
In my Country, people build in wetlands. However, they run to gov't when they are faced with floods, become sick. We all have our selfish desires, it is only logical that they should be trimmed off by some powers. Otherwise you sound an anarchist.
I'm 100 million percent for capitalism. I'm confused as to why you'd think i wasn't.
The co-ordination between the three groups is called "prices" and "profits". When X become profitable, people want more money (this is called greed) and thus try to provide X in a cheap way.
You're talking about a government that needs to co-ordinate, this is either called Mercantilism, feudalism, socialism, communism, dictatorship, or any slew of other tyrannical words.
But NOT capitalism.
True capitalism needs NO government intervention. Militaries can be provided privately, so can roads --- you name it, and if it is "valuable to someone" then prices and profits will coordinate it to the appropriate degree.
It sounds to me that you are the one who is not for capitalism. You seem to be advocating tyranny.
I'm sorry that your country has problems with floods, but I'm sure that capitalism could easily provide your country with better relief than any government could.
I guess you are a Capitalist - there can only be 100% but the Capitalist model requires there to be more than 100% to work - which is why it isn't working any more.
Military can be provided privately !! You are living in a cloud cuckoo land of atrnomically dangerous proportion. You are regressing to the start of the colonial era - but there are no more lands to 'conquer' and rob blind to fund 'Capital', no more 'natives' to wipe out for their lands to create extra 'capital'. You cannot just ignore history and randomly suggest such blinkered stupid and dangerous ideas to support your confusion of nonsense.
What you are advocating is tyranny of the worst kind in a muddle of nonsensical ideas that ignores the simple fact that greed drives the capitalist system, not need. If your ideas wremade real then you would be one of the first to go in the hail of bullets that takes the property off all the weak.
I too was once an individual who actually believed the "militaries are good and keep us safe" mantra.
quote by you: "no more 'natives' to wipe out for their lands to create extra 'capital'"
Actually, the vast majority of the natives were killed by acts of Lincoln so that the Railroads could steal their land. Look it up: the civil war wasn't only about slavery, it was also about raping and pillaging the natives for Lincoln's mercantalist schemes.
How can i be preaching "tyranny" when i'm the only one here demanding that people who don't want their money going towards needless wars should be allowed to exempt themselves from taxes? You make little sense, good sir.
"capitalism could easily provide your country with relief better than any government."
I think "capitalism" would simply aggravate the situation since those greedy hyenas would be looking for opportunities of making profits from the homeless.
if they made profits from the homeless, how would they do it?
Would they do it by putting a gun to their heads and saying "you owe the government $5,000 in taxes, pay up or you'll be executed!!"
or would they do it by giving them a somewhat-crappy job and paying them 3 bucks an hour?
... cuz i'm pretty sure that EVERYONE would HAPPILY choose the second alternative rather than the first. This is why i want capitalism: there's only one way to get money under capitalism, and that's by making agreements with one another freely.
i deny your premise: we do NOT need a tax system to pay for things that are quote-unquote "unable to be provided by a private system".
Private ownership can provide anything that is necessary. It's just a matter of letting them do so.
if I were in a world without government stealing my money, and there were no roads...
... I would probably start a road building company and make trillions of dollars.
It'd be very very very nice. Please institute such a world for me, because I'd love to be rich, and not have to pay 75% of my taxes to the government.
You want that kind of system, round up your mates and buy an island together! Would they use your road and pay a toll for the benefit or would they work together and make their own road? Who knows. Give it a go.
Exactly: competition would ensue.
... wait a minute!! i want to be rich!! I know, I'll set up a government with me in charge (I'll just say "we need to pay for stuff that we can't pay for on our own", and then take their rights away).
Then I'll outlaw "building roads".
Then i'll be rich - thanks to government.
Exactly: competition would ensue."
*Drive on my road: It'll get you there smoother and faster, and no billboards.
*No, drive on my road, it'll get you there smoother and faster, and yeah, there's billboards, but there's no tollbooths.
*No, drive on my road; it's got a much better view, and there's a fueling station every 100 miles.
**Why would I want to drive on any of your roads? Everything is a road! There aren't any destinations anymore!
Wow, socialism really has become such a dirty word in America that even socialists see it as an insult.
Yes. Anybody have any idea how this happened?
it's... responsible... for over 100 million deaths in about a 50 year span of time...
It's a confusion between the terms socialism, communism and facism that was promoted by US propaganda during the cold war. They were lumped into one thing when they aren't the same at all. Unfortunately, many still wrongly think you can't have one without the other.
Socialism, Communism, Fascism - they all have horribly strong connecting features:
1- it won't work. None of them. Who will take out the garbage? How will competition encourage people to work hard and improve their product if it doesn't exist?
2- because it won't work, you need to force people to do what they would normally do under capitalism. Thus, we need more government.
3- the government needs to be very powerful, and all-intrusive. And things will quickly go down hill from there.
The problems with calling these things different things is simply that they all end in the same thing: uber-government using force to ... well, force... people to do what they would normally do under a simple capitalist "you own your own property and can do with it as you wish, so long as it interferes with no one else's right to do the same. And if you make money, it's because you were good at for-seeing what people want" system
Yeah, I know that. But how come just the word "socialism" became taboo, but the ideas are still considered noble?
ah - it's because the idea of "everyone getting along and working for one another without concern of their own advancement" is what... ... well... that's what angels do... i suppose...
So, the concept of "angels" is nobel.
But because we're humans, whenever we try to force people to be angels, the demons of hell always come forth.
Evan, from the religious camp, that might be a good answer. But many of those who support redistribution are not religious. Angels mean nothing to them. They will tell you that they are realistic about human nature. When they change the name of the doctrine of redistribution for the common welfare from "socialism" to something else, is it in order to fool us, or to fool themselves?
Oh, sorry, i just used "angels and demons" because it emphasized the ideas. Lord knows angels aren't involved with communism, and demons aren't involved with dictators: it's just people reacting to incentives.
I just meant that the concept of socialism: "everyone selflessly acting to help one another" sounds a lot like something that everyone wishes would be the way people act.
Like, if I painted a picture of heaven, but still required people to eat and sleep and poop, or whatnot, it would probably involve everyone acting together selflessly without putting their own interests ahead of others.
All I'm trying to say with the "angels" thing is that it seems like a really nice and happy thing.
The demons is the same thing only backwards: what really happens with socialism SEEMS like it would be the work of the devil.
I'm an atheist, but I think that the imagery works in this case. "angels=good=the concept of socialism, demons= bad=the reality of socialism"
socialism is responsible for over 50 million deaths the world over.
If it didn't have a bad name, then ... yeesh, i don't know what it would take.
Actually, thanks for making me cite sources: it turns out that the death rate was TWICE AS HIGH AS I THOUGHT. My bad.
NAZIs - socialist (yes I'm aware that they were a dictatorial menace, but socialism ALWAYS turns into this) - 11m -17m deaths: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust
Russia- Socialist/Communist - Stalin was responsible for up to 6 times the deaths hitler was responsible for. 20-60million deaths: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_peop … talin_kill
China- socialist/communist - Mao killed 50-70m people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao_Zedong
Here's a great article to read to discuss it further. It discusses "death by government" and "death by socialism"
So... y'know, Sorry I'm right about this. But socialism is directly responsible for over 100million deaths (if we take the highest numbers of each estimate, we get about 150 million)within a 50 year or so time span. ... that's an average of 2 million a year!
... i guess socialism IS efficient in one regard....
Haha, LOL ya then we cans alls be equal! The richer peoples owes us theyre money cause they dont deserve to be rich!
Its not fair some peopler have more money or are richer or smarter or better looking.
pluss we should have free plastic surgery paid for by good looking peoples cause we should be equal as good looking too!
God save our educational system....
Taxes are meant to pay for government business, provide for the common defense and support the general welfare of the people. Its the later that has caused so much trouble. The phrase is vague. To me it means things like roads, postal service, general health services(vaccinations/water and food testing etc). To others it may mean complete health care with no out of pocket expense at the time of care. It may mean free college and garunteed job placement. The cost currently associated with keeping up the "GENERAL WELFARE" is generally breaking the country.
actually, if you read the arguments of the founders, "general welfare" was supposed to be an ADDITIONAL restriction on government, believe it or not.
It was to provide for welfare of the general sort, instead of in the specific way.
Plus everyone at the ratification meetings knew darn well that it didn't grant any other powers to the federal government: edmond randolph, one of the leading proponents of federal power argued that it can not mean what it has come to mean.
But of course, i'm a loon for saying something as "wacky" as "the interstate road system is unconstitutional".
Strangely enough, openly democratic socialist countries (Can., NZ) have tax rates at or below what is paid in the US.
That's why I argue that the US is socialist! We ARE paying about 50% or more of our income in taxes
30% in federal income tax
0-15% more , depending on the state,
3-10% sales tax on just about everything you buy
~~1% or so in "inflation tax", because all those " out of thin air" dollars have consequences
and all the other taxes we deal with.
The US is socialist!! Your stuff is even funnier than I could ever imagine.
Inbetween your patronising insults to anyone who disagrees with your view, you come up with real gems like above. Let me know which comedy club you at I just might come and watch.
Thank you for making me smile although I'm sure it wasn't your intention.
I wonder if people who are in favor of redistribution but don't like being called socialist would prefer the terms Jacobin or Fabian.
Well they called it mercantilism back then. It's more akin to Progresivism than true socialism. Which is why Progressive thought originated here first, I guess.
Hamilton openly wished for washington to be the monarch of the US.
he's either socialist or an evil jack-!#%
Actually Hamilton wanted to recreate the British system. He only supported the Revolution so he could have a chance at power that he could never have had while a subject of the British Crown.
He is also responsible for the economy crises we're encountering: the huge pushes for a central bank would not have as much credibility if not for him trying to be the king of the US.
Well, then it was a good thing Burr killed him. Any idea what that duel was about? Was it fiscal policy?
all of american history can be seen through the lens of "State's rights vs. Federal Governmental power".
The duel was basically the culmination of insulting your political rival during election years. -- we talk about how horrible political campaigns are today, but they ended in death back then.
Anyway, the State's Rights "Burr" won (thankfully, in my opinion) and Hamilton died.
Heh, that may have been the only good thing Burr did his entire life. I do have to feel a bit of regret for Hamilton's death. He was courageous, without a doubt and at least stood for what he believed in. And to be completely fair, there wasn't much good scholarship done on France's first national bank and things like the South Seas bubble, at the time.
But Hamilton and Jefferson set the tone for the course of the US for the next century. It wasn't until the triumph of Progresivism, that you saw the debate change. The interesting things is that the old debate about central power vs decentralized power is taking front row center these days. The more things change.....
Capitalism may be evil, but it is "natural" like our life itself. It evolves and changes with time and has a very considerable advantage: it gives you choices, it give you options and variants, different paths in life. Socialism gives you the only right: to be a sheep, an agreeable element of the system, without a voice or right, or independent opinion. You can call it socialism, communism, national socialism, - same bird, different feathers; you can quarrel about it till fried rooster will crow, call each other names, get some quotes from dictionaries and political pamphlets, it is not going to change the essence. Socialism is essentially evil, much more evil and dangerous, because it eliminates your ability to think, to create,to control your life, to live your life the way you want it. It may be a fairy tale, but the end is too horrible, don't tell it to your small children. I know, I've lived it for almost 40 years, I was brainwashed by it, I pretended and lied to survive, but I never believed in it, because I felt the truth was out somewhere. and I was right.
And makes it very easy for a leader to take total control over the population.
Do you even think or just spout off whatever you think sounds good? Bush was obviously a fascist. Both in terms of military might and economic thought. I especially loved his "destroy capitalism, in order to save it" stupidity.
Kia, if you want to see a leader completely take over a country, see Communist ones. Hitler, Mussoilini, FDR, Kim Jong Il, Castro, Ho Chi Mihn, Mao, the list goes on and one. Do you know what they all have in common? Socialism.
Noooo... like Castro! Try being in control for 51 years!
nothing like murdering people with firing squads to "help the people".
When a country has freedom you can always elect a new leader - that's why Bush is no longer in charge. But in countries like Venezuela and Cuba, the election process is a joke! Can you imagine Bush being president for 51 years?!
I agree with just about everything you said, but I want to comment briefly on one thing.
The problem with your first sentence, "When a country has freedom you can always elect a new leader" is that the very definition of a country is of an entity that restricts freedom.
So, EVERY country HAS freedom, it's just that in some places it's horribly restricted.
For example, In America, I'm free to buy a computer, access the internet, and then voice my opinions.
But I'm NOT free to start a rival Doctor's Union (the AMA is a government enforced cartel), nor am I free to get married to another man (not that I'd want to, but freedom is freedom), nor am I allowed to hire a prostitute in my state, nor am I free to walk down the street naked.
I simply want to point out that Government is the definition of restrictions of freedom. If a person HAS a government, that person is NOT 100% free.
I have such a hard time understanding why capitalism has such a bad name.
Just about EVERY single bad thing that is blamed on capitalism can EASILY be traced back to government intervention: the BP oil spill, diamond mines, slavery, cartels, monopolies, and so much more.
It ain't capitalism if you find the hand of government in it.
"It ain't capitalism if you find the hand of government in it." Then whats the difference between a capitalist and an anarchist? I am sure your not even for insurance.
insurance is a great idea --- if it's consensual.
Government isn't consensual. The only thing that could possibly be pointed to in order to make the argument that it IS consensual are the following two facts:
1- I don't leave for another non-consensual government
2- there's a Constitution that our government refuses to uphold.
And as you can see, neither of those arguments holds any water.
capitalism can only be evil if you think that "being greedy" is actually evil.
for a brief rebuttal to the "of course greed is evil", allow me to demonstrate an interesting story.
I went to the store today, and i bought some cheddar and sour cream chips.
That's it. That's the whole story.
How does this illustrate my argument? well... I know damn well that the potato farmer wasn't thinking "oh man, i love Evan, and I need to get him a potato!", nor was the oil producer thinking anything towards his love of humanity, nor was the person operating the "shoot the potato into a slicer" hydraulic pump thinking "man, i just love helping people out!", nor was the person who maintains all of the equipment involved thinking "i get such satisfaction out of helping others!", nor was the clerk at the store I bought them at thinking "i'll waste my saturday JUST so that evan can buy some chips. I love everyone so much!"
I have yet to find a single person who earns a paycheck spend that money ONLY on necessities. Instead I see everyone buy things like "energy to warm their homes", "microwaves", "refrigerators", "food that tastes good and is fatty", "gasoline for their cars", "cars", and COUNTLESS other non-essential items that can ONLY be considered greed-items.
Every single one of the people involved with mythical, enormous, breath-takingly beautiful "potato chip production system" was working for money; for greed. They were working so that they could take the money that i blew on chips and then proceed to use it to purchase something else. .
If this is evil, and you really want to create a socialist community where this would be outlawed... ... then sign me up! I'd love to sit on my arse and play video games in a world where people went to work to be my slaves!!
but the only way to enslave the population in that sort of sick twisted socialist/communist system is to ... well... enslave them!
I will never support any sort of socialism.
I am afraid you too idealistic! You are assuming a World where everything is equal, well that can only be fantasy and it is not uncommon with capitalists.
It will be unfair to blame you for the world you are living bit if you tried, and stretched your imagination to a greater World of you and I, then you will realize how different the real World is. There so much imbalances, for instance, how to we correct the imbalance created by slavery? How do we get these minority groups back on their feet? How do we carter for the disabled who can't find employment? These are questions that can not be treated fairly under your "perception" of capitalism.
Fantasy? The only fantasy around here is that some people actually believe the pure fiction that you can improve life by redistribution. You cannot. All redistribution does is disincentivise people to work, resulting in EVERYONE going hungry. How do I know? That is the result everywhere it is tried.
capitalism does NOT assume everything is equal.
That's what socialism does.
Here are two sentences, tell me which one sounds more capitalistic and which one is more socialist.
1- Because we're all humans who need to work together, we should be considered equals. After all, we all need to work for a better world. There should be no discrimination based on anything.
2- People are not equal, that's why there are slobs, lazy oafs, and hard working individuals. Some people are born deaf, others are born blind, some are born with greater intellects. people who work hard and help their fellow man should be rewarded based on their work, and those who don't shouldn't.
Americans discussing history...
Hilarious, but just for a while.
oh, i'm sorry, do we only have the cranial capacity to revolutionize the world and be the leading force in technology?
yeah... good job on that one.
It's not a matter of cranial capacity.
It's a matter of education, culture, knowledge.
Apparently your education system is as free of propaganda as the soviet's at the time.
What's the use of being "technological leader" when you have 20% of analphabets in your population and your public health is just entering the 20th century now at the 21st and for a good part of the population, the eventuality of being ill equals pure terror ?
What's the use ?
And you accuse Americans of being ignorant. Well, you just revealed a massive case of willful ignorance. Socialized medicine is so "yesteryear" and so obvious a failure.
Humorous, though. Eurosnobs pretending to be superior to Americans. Always good for a snicker. Sadly, the joke's on you, and you can't even comprehend why.
And america has no european influence whatsoever? No one from Europe has shaped America or contributed to its growth from a wilderness into the industrialised country it is now?
Nope God one da just dropped a whole bunch of white middle class folk in the Arizona desert and said go make a country and consider yourself true Americans.
and you're calling other people ignorant? - Priceless.
Another one for the pot I guess. Your picture and signature says it all.
The fact that your response is classic "red herring" illogic is quite telling. Nobody said "America and Europe do not influence each other". Eurosnobs certainly exist. They believe that Americans are innately immoral and crude and uncultured, just like any snob in any culture preens themselves looking "down" at anyone not just like himself.
Of course, these preening ninnies haven't a clue, because they live in a make-believe world, sheltered from reality by the hard work of others who have not yet surrendered their pride and independence to group-think and entitlement mentality.
for what?\European influence in the US?
How about millions of folk who crossed the Atlantic to help build, shape and add a considerable cultural mix to a country finding its feet?
Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, British, Scandinavia and (this is where Led and EvanG burst blood vessels) Russia and its former States.
Of course I could add native americans, africans latin americans etc but I think there's enough there to at least make the two protaganists twitch.
I don't mean you Susana.
i will NEVER say that europe didn't influence the US, that'd be ignorant. But Zampano seems to think that Americans are ill-equipped to discuss history..
... because we're americans.
And you're taking her side? This is nonsense. I was merely throwing Zampano's ignorance in her face.
Don't feel as if you were being aggressed, feather headed eagle.
I'm accusing nobody.
Besides I've no kind of authority in the matter.
And afterall, responsibility depends on knowledge. So you may not be responsible at all.
I've just been reading.
What I wrote was based on what I read and in the belief that every person should be given a chance of having their children go to school, have a decent health and grow up as well balanced as possible, in order to raise the nation from invading obscurantist shadows to put it in a plain simple manner.
And resources for that, can only come from the community's wealth, that's all.
Try discussing football ... or religion for that matter.
No, nobody has any such right. You have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of what makes you happy, but you do not have the right to take anything from someone else, or make anyone give you anything of theirs, nor make anyone provide you services or labor. The notion that one class of people has a right to take from another was debunked BEFORE the American revolution. Socialism is out of date by at least 300 years. Slavery, the belief that one class of people has a right to the labors of another, has been completely discredited as immoral and unjust, and socialism is just slavery by another name.
Zambano is from paris which is part of the EU.
Most Americans, historically, come from Europe.
She just insulted Americans' ability to discuss history.
Thus, she just insulted Europeans ability to discuss history, and this is true because of history.
... This is friggin' hilarious!
"The notion that one class of people has a right to take from another was debunked BEFORE the American revolution."
But practiced in America for more than a hundred years after the revolution. Slavery. Trail of Tears and many other land grabs so that white Americans could have a farm without having to do something like buy the land from the people who already live there.
America has its good points, more than many other countries. But it's not exactly a shining beacon of pure virtue, either. Our history is full of bad stuff. I hope we're trying to improve. But the idea that we don't need to improve is the kind of complacency that lets us do stuff like round up all the Japanese-Americans and put them in interment camps because we're at war with Japan, or say, deny Muslims the freedom to build a mosque in a location they own simply because we're at war with some Muslim extremists.
it's funny that she's mad at americans for discussing history... Like, that's the most ignorant and foolish thing you could do.
Aren't like, the vast majority of Americans from Europe?... and that's history?
Anyway, i'm having a good chuckle at anti-american racism on the behalf of Europeans.
whoa whoa whoa- you're preaching to the choir about propaganda.
I'm assuming that "stealing the wealth of the people to make a nationalized health insurance company that doesn't use market forces OR competition to make decisions" is YOUR idea of "21st century medicine"...
... if you can't see why that's ridiculous, ... then... i guess the argument is over.
I guess taxes will stay. And we still stay at our clean, convenient,airy apartments with gas,hot water,AC,fridges and stoves and what not and will continue to be angry at capitalism... dream about equal opportunities and fair distribution, of "good socialism" and do nothing.
Where is the solution? Any ideas?
Sure, there are plenty of good ideas. A repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the 16th Amendment come to mind.
Absolutely ridiculous and totally unrealistic!
that's not ridiculous - the Federal Reserve has only been in power since 1914, and in that time, we've had an economic crisis almost every decade (we've had two - possibly a third - in the last ten years!!)/ They've horrendously failed their goal of "economic stability", and anyone who looks at what they do -- create money out of thin air -- can see that they're evil.
Also, the 16th Amendment has only been in power since the same year (hint hint).
As I talk about in just about all my hubs: it isn't hard to "steal less money from the people" if you just "don't spend as much".
An obvious failure that performs as well as the US system and for a lower toal cost (NZ, UK as examples). The US spends more of its GDP on health care than any other coutry, and is middle of the pack for outcomes.
So why is the UK drifting away from socialized medicine?
De-centralized isn't necessarily de-socialized.
Our system of food distribution in the US is a centralized one, but not a socialized one (though Evan will certainly argue that the Government has made it centralized).
It's the money that's being de-centralized. Thats a strong indicator that government is unable to sustain care and support administrative cost associated with the program.
oh, Jeff, you're makin' me blush~~!!! tee hee.
Actually, i'll argue that I'm not very familiar with the current system of food distribution. All I know is that we still have insane tariffs and taxes on food production and the sort (seriously? a protective sugar tariff still exists?); that numerous "save the US from the great depression emergency action" laws are STILL on the books; and that recently there have been calls to strap more restrictions on farms that don't treat their animals like Paris Hilton.
as far as distribution? I dunno... gasoline taxes, federally funded interstate highways, and other things surely could be discussed.
What do you think is the greatest measure of "outcomes"?
"Middle of the pack for outcomes". This is what happens when propaganda is repeated as fact. It isn't so. When deaths by accidents, industrial, sports, and criminal are removed from the statistics on all deaths, American's longevity is right at the top. What's even more amazing, is that America has a LARGE percentage of people who have genetic tendencies to live shorter lives. Asians tend to live the longest, no matter what the environment, and that's true of American Asians. Blacks from Africa, and non-european Hispanics (Mexicans, for instance) are genetically predidisposed to live many years LESS than your typical, say, caucasian from Scandanavian gene pools.
But, none of this is figured into the absurd propaganda that Americans have poor longevity. In fact, we have the best survival rates of the deadliest diseases and worst genetic problems of any nation in the world. We have the most responsive, the most accessible, the fastest acting, and most "immediately available" health care in the world, PERIOD. Our medical professionals have the highest levels of training, education, and licensing standards. There is only ONE thing wrong with our health care system. Insurance. Or, rather, an abuse of "insurance".
I just wanted to add a responce that I am saddened that this subject has turned into a debate about who is right and who is wrong. Obviously comparing what I am talkinmg about to hitler, and communists, and war, has nothing to do with the question.
People in this country are obviously so brainwashed by the garbage that is put out by our political establishment that they don't see what could be good about a different way of our government doing business, and how a simple thing as a new tax designed to help people, is met with such fierce opposition.
I don't understand what could be so bad about people sharing the income generated from a tax. We tax things like Cigarettes and, have a lottery to fund education in Michigan, but do you think any of the money actually goes to what it is supposed to be used for? Hell no, it goes to bailout GM, and build the people mover, and pet projects.
Our money is constantly being wasted by our government. To me, if they are going to waste my tax dollars, at least getting something back would make me feel better. We apply to get a tax refund every year, so why would this be any different?
There are a lot more crazy ideas floating around out there right now than mine. here's one example.
Did you know that George Bush junior wanted to push of welfare and social security to the church? He though the church would be able to handle the millions of people who need help with food and housing. Talk about being out of touch with reality.
Most people don't even go to church on a regular basis, and the church certainly would come up with their own rules on who they would help, and who they wouldn't. It is hard enough for them to
have a food drive, without being overwelmed by the need.
That is the problem. People who have always had money run our country, and don't know how hard it is just to make ends meet.
I would like to take them up to Brohman, Michigan sometime, to see first hand how well that idea would work. It's wouldn't.
We would be going back to the 1700's. The vatican taking over the entire world. Scary!
I would demand that comparing your schemes to those of Hitler's and the Russian gulags are completely valid: those all had to paid for some how.
But to digress from those discussions a bit...
You're demanding that government NOT ONLY has the RIGHT to take our money freely, but also that IT SHOULD take our money from us.
Then you make the additional claim that NOT ONLY does government have the right to tell us how to spend our money, but that it SHOULD tell us how to spend our money.
Until you can tell me how "taking $5,000 from someone who worked hard and invested wisely, and produced a lot of things that people need and then giving that stolen $5,000 to a person who spent their money on lottery tickets" will create wealth, then I can not even consider your argument
You ask "what's wrong with just taxing people and then giving the money to the poor?" (basically). Well, think about it. Why bother buying things In the US when it costs 15% more, when you could just spend a 1 time $5,000 to move somewhere else to get everything you will ever buy for 10% cheaper? Surely the discount will eventually pay for the $5k.
Also, why even bother paying for education? maybe education isn't the best thing for government to be providing.
The problem with Evan is that you elevate capitalism to a level where every one is assumed abreast and that they will react to a given situation positively. This is what I consider Utopian. If capitalism was that perfect, they why are we faced with frequent economic depressions?
I wouldn't imagine, for instance, during the Catrina, the victims should have been left to the mercy of private individuals call them capitalists.
This is nonsense. "Capitalism" isn't "elevated" or "demoted" or anything else. Capitalism is merely the use of what one has to improve one's lot in life. It presumes that ownership is secure, that one's efforts can be freely traded, and that people are free to act as they see fit. Nothing more or less than that.
Capitalism is "perfect". There is nothing "wrong" with it. But nobody, ANYWHERE assumes that all people are equal, will have equal outcomes, or even CAN achieve the same. It would be folly. Instead, capitalism is merely the economic and legal system that allows a person to work for, accumulate, and then use whatever capital he has, be it property, money, knowledge, or skill. Socialists presume that there is inherent wrong in people having different levels of success, and thus attempt to punish the successful, and hand a material level of success to the unsuccessful, who have not earned it. This is counterproductive, as it deincentivizes those who could do the most for society, and removes any need for those who are NOT productive to become so. In this world, we all consume. ALL need to produce, whether it be large or small. And all deserve the dignity of having earned their own way in the world, without some interfereing ninny telling them they're hopeless and are going to have to live permanently upon the whims of the powerful.
You make many ASSUMPTIONS in your comment. One is that it is necessary for everyone to produce - this is not either required, practical or even advantageous to your Capitalist society. Because you think Capital you overlook too much, minimise too many things and so reach faulty conclusions.
Every society lives on the whims of the powerful, power comes from several sources of which wealth is one, the main one in the US and in much of the west.
Your model of Capitalism could possibly work if people were in real competition with each other, but huge conglomerates control every part of the process and the only openings for an individual are in the fringes doing things that are too small for the conglomerates to have controlled yet. To test this, sell your house and try to open a supermarket in your main street, if you gt past the traders who control your local town and their 'police' in the hygeine dept, fire dept, police dept, tax dept, fair trade dept, etc etc - you will find that you cannot source any of the stuff you really need to sell, or if you can find it at some traders store it will be about the same price as you can buy it in your local market. If and when you can set up shop in opposition to conglomerates and corporations your model might stand somechance of working, at least on a local level.
well, the simple answer to that is that we don't live in a capitalist society. We DO pay about 40-50% of our incomes to governments (through all the taxes we pay).
And then on top of that we have a Central Bank called the "Federal Reserve" that keeps inflating our money supply.
I've written an entire series of articles on this issue. Basically the reason for many of our economic woes boils down to too much money, too few resources.
And speaking about Katrina... the government has done a horrendous job at helping. People's homes are still destroyed. DO NOT ACT LIKE GOVERNMENT FIXED THAT PROBLEM.
Also, katrina was pretty much the government's fault: "hey, I'm the army corps of engineers, let's build an ENTIRE CITY below sea level, and then hold the water back with cheap crappy levees!!!". The government put this city under water.
But, alas, as my master once said (Walter Block. this is a loose quote) "it's not so bad that they made a mistake - we all make mistakes. The REAL problem is that they're still in business!! after thousands of deaths and billions in damage, the Army Corps Of Engineers and FEMA are still in business. THIS is the problem with government."
"hey, I'm the army corps of engineers, let's build an ENTIRE CITY below sea level, and then hold the water back with cheap crappy levees!!!"
That's an oversimplification. Actually, it was more like, "Hey, all these commercial interests are clamoring for a solution to all these shifting waterways so they can more easily and conveniently move their stuff up and down the river. Plus there's all these people who built their homes on low-lying ground. Let's dredge out the channel and build levees out of the stuff we dig up. We'll solve two problems at once!" But then maintaining the levees is costly, and since everyone hates taxes, and taxes are how the levee maintenance is paid for, the levees fell into disrepair. (The powerful shipping interests that pushed for the dredging of the channels have already got what they want, so they won't be lobbying for levee maintenance.) Then the CofE says, "Hey! The levees are deteriorating! We need to fix them! Can we please be authorized to do that?" And nobody's willing to pay for (that is, raise tax money for) something that basically maintains the status quo, because "all taxes are bad." And so for many reasons, irrational tax-hatred being one of them, the levees fell into disrepair, and that's why they failed. If they'd been maintained, Katrina would have been a much different experience.
Ah Saturday comes around again - SPAMday to get in the whole weekend while the team are all out spending our hard earned cash until Monday !!
Every country has some kind of tax system. It allows the country to purchase collectively goods and services that it is not appropriate to provide individually. This might be roads and railway systems, schools, a national health service, Armed Forces, police etc. How a country chooses to use that money will differ. Whether the state contracts with private enterprise to help provide these goods, or stands back entirely from some areas to let the market provide, or provides and organises that need entirely will depend on what that country's people decide.
It was the will of the British people expressed through a Labour Government that created the British National Health Service. However flawed it may be, it is better value for money than the USA system. No British politician could get elected on a programme to go over to the American model!
British capitalists required the then Government to bring in compulsory education to meet the needs of industry, and is now pushing for a higher proportion of our population to obtain degrees. Eisenhower warned about the military industrial complex influencing decisiuons in the USA - and that problem is much worse now than it was then. The rich generally have more influence in politics than the poor.
You can influence society with how you use the money - does the Government invest or does it fritter? In what areas does the Government decide to invest or fritter?
Secondly, how you raise the money is a political issue. Sales tax, income tax, inheritance tax, wealth tax, head tax are all possible and all have repercussions on who pays how much of their income and wealth.
I wrote a spoof hub where I posited that this year's British General Election was won by a combination of the Greens and the Monster Raving Looney Party (yes we have one which actually has elected representatives). The proposals illustrate my comments above quite well.
The heat generated in some of the contributions by fellow hubbers above somewhat misses the point. I am a socialist living in a broadly capitalist society. Many capitalists see the advantages of a healthy educated population and are prepared to put their money where their interests are. The Carnegie libraries are a good example. The Buffet / Gates proposals are good - and far more sweeping than most socialists would suggest.
I would suggest that we start by trying to decide what are the needs of our society - and then how those needs are to be provided. In some cases private enterprise is preferable. In some cases the state should provide - if only by commissioning capitalists to provide the goods and services.
Thankyou Mr Wright. There are no easy answers. I am less dogmatic that I was 30 years ago.
Even the USA restrains naked capitalism, because capitalists have shown that they sometimes cannot be trusted. Socialism relies on the quality and integrity of management even more than capitalism.
I try to imagine the young Bill Gates going before a bank manager or a socialist equivalent in about 1970 to explain that he wanted funds to build and market a machine that would put the power of an IBM mainframe on the desk of an ordinary person at the cost of less than a months earnings of an ordinary person. Both would politely explain that the ordinary person does not need the computing power of an IBM mainframe and would show him the door!
Can we devise a system that will work for kids with ability who do not have family money to help them?
I believe we have that system today. I believe that part of the problem is a person's attitude about money. I think most people believe the only answer to money problems is more money. In so many cases this doesn't work. Think entertainers, sports figures who earn millions only to die broke. They illustrate that point very well.
The right is going to have to admit that the nice cozy pocket of big business they sit in is not so cozy for the middle class. Big business has lost focus of who realy creates all that wealth. Its not only the big wig MBA's/CEO's or what ever title they may have attached to their names.
The left is going to have to admit that they can't solve all the worlds problems with a one size fits all solution. No matter how superior their intelect is.
Finally the consumer is going to have to admit that they are not simply a victim here. They can influence markets. You don't like jobs going over seas? Dont shop at walmart or other "Big Box" stores. Business' in a capitalist society will always respond to the consumer. As long as consumers allow themselves to be led by trendy advertising and slick sales pitches we can expect to get fleeced.
i don't think it's accurate to call the US economic system "naked capitalism"... i'm assuming that this means "unchecked capitalism".
There are over 80,000 pages of Federal (let alone state) regulations in our country.
I would say that both Britain and the USA have "regulated capitalism".
The format is capitalist, ,but there are rules on what the individual capitalist can do. We are aware of capitalists who broke the regulations - Enron, Martha Stewart etc. who get fined or even go to prison.
Capitalists who get away with it get richer quicker.
I call it "Corpratism", and occasionally "crony capitalism".
the problem stems from the fact that our government ignores its constitution. In fact, it openly ignores it, and people regularly discuss how outdated and unimportant the Constitution is anymore...
... but then they quote the first amendment (incorrectly).
Anyway, if government stopped handing out money, then the companies would stop asking for it. The founders knew this well when they wrote the 10th amendment.
Quick fact: did you know that our entire financial system is unconstitutional? States are not allowed to accept anything but gold or silver as legal tender! Also, states are not allowed to issue paper money! If you're amazed at this, please read the constitution, article 1 section 8-10.
The link between wealthy people and power goes back a very long way. Today a prudent large business will make sure that it has friends in the legislature and beurocracy watching out for its interests.
An arms company's main customer is the Department of Defence, so it is understandable that it has good channels of communication with the DOD and the "controlling" politicians. One can understand that an armaments company might be unenthusiastic about the prospect of 10 years of peace - what does it take to start a little war?
I admire the purity of ideology of Evan Rogers, but how practical is it simply to ask flies to keep away from the honey pot?
Any system has to have safeguards - and Evan rightly points out that a lot of the safeguards are not working or not working well enough.
As a socialist I think it is right to try to raise the poor to do better for themselves. An experiment in Seattle invested heavily in some babies from troubled families, and found that the investment had already been recouped before the children left school in reduced rates of imprisonment as against the control group.
One could argue that the drug dealers across America are simply trying to join the capitalist society in the only way that is open to them. Part of the answer may be to find lawful routes for them to demonstrate their talents.
We all recognise that there is an underclass. Society is not healthy. Given that we collectively are intelligent and not ourselves poverty stricken, what are we going to do about it?
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