If you have read Animal Farm none of what we currently face is news. However, the point of the ever growing welfare state is to put more people into a government preserve and using their political support to enslave those unlucky enough to be working.
"We're living in an economy where productivity is no longer the goal, employment is. That's because, on a very fundamental level, we have pretty much everything we need. America is productive enough that it could probably shelter, feed, educate, and even provide health care for its entire population with just a fraction of us actually working."
http://articles.cnn.com/2011-09-07/opin … PM:OPINION
There's surely a threshold with this sort of stuff - you can have a certain percentage of the population living entirely off benefits, but there will come a point where there aren't enough people in work to pay the tax needed to support the benefit claimants and people on pensions. So you will have to tax the "workers" so highly that they all end up emigrating or trying to work in the black economy. I suppose that's where the "slavery" part comes in - with the tax, or with increasing surveillance to ensure that every bit of money you earn is taxed.
No, slavery starts when one man's property is taken and awarded to someone who did nothing to earn it. The pensioner is just a condition the taker accepts for the power "to take and to award" making himself invaluable to the recipient of the taken property. It doesn't end at the pensioner, the taker must expand the population of recipients in order to increase his power and subdue the producer. It separates the needy from the productive by the use of government and bureaucracy removing all charitable feelings from the contributor and all gratitude from the receiver.
That's a black and white viewpoint if you ask me. To describe the taxation and welfare benefits system that exists in Western countries today as "slavery" is too extreme, and is insulting to people who really ARE under the yoke of slavery.
However, as with a lot of things there is the question of degree - if the taxation became high enough and if it was enforced in a highly punitive way, then yes, I can see it tending towards slavery.
Can you explain this bit? Me no quite understand!
I suppose the trouble with welfare benefits is that they're like a highly addictive drug - at first, you are grateful that you can go on them so that you don't end up homeless or whatever. But once you're on them, it's very hard to come off, because you'd have to earn quite a lot in an actual job to cover all the "perks" you'd lose when you come off benefits. (Might work differently in the US, I don't know.)
I think some people develop an entitlement mindset once they've been on benefits for a while - which is quite worrying, yes.
Slavery is hardly a matter of degree, perhaps a matter of condition. The slave in the welfare state may not be beaten or branded but he is not free of the yoke - even a civilized yoke like the law.
The taker - the state - uses this power and the pretend compassion of providing for the pensioner to guarantee his power and expand it. Government is greedy and craves power. If that power flows from the Church he seeks the bishop's approval. If it flows from arms he courts the generals. If it flows from the ballot box than it seeks to corrupt the populace. The welfare state is a means of that corruption.
When the personal nature of charity is removed the relationship becomes distorted and filled with darker things than love, hope, charity, gratitude.
The welfare state creates a distorted relationship between those who need and those who have. It forces that relationship into an adversarial rather than cooperative one. It fills the one taken from with resentment and the one receiving with envy. It does not serve our higher nature. It is not what Christ asks.
http://www.acton.org/about/acton-instit … principles
Do you have a personal hotline to Christ then?
I am an agnostic. I think of organised religion as being a bit like stabilisers on a bicycle. Being adults, we really, really should have outgrown them by now and internalised a half-decent moral code that's truly independent of religion (whatever that religion happens to be).
Your argument would make more sense if you could point to a golden time before welfare benefits existed, when the bountifulness of charity on the part of the well-off, voluntarily and joyfully given, was enough to meet everyone's material needs. As if
There has always been envy and resentment between rich and poor - you only have to think of the French and Russian revolutions to realise that.
I totally agree with this statement. The idea seems to be catching on in a big way today!
"ever growing welfare state?'
You mean like Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan where government and private employee pensions, health care wages have been cut? Now, most of the GOP candidates want to transfer future Medicare cost increases to retirees and "privatize" Social Security. Governor Snyder just cut 40,000? needy children off welfare benefits.
You mean those states whose budgets have grown to the point that they were facing bankruptcy or huge tax increases during a recession.
Maybe if each one of those poor children was given a working man to look after their needs? Slavery does have its strengths.
People who don't want to get their hands dirty by doing something other than collecting their government checks, housing vouchers and food stamps could be given someone like me.
Someone who has to scrub the dirty out from under his nails at the end of a 12-14-16 work day to put the spoon in the mouth of the lazy so they don't have to feed or care for themselves.
I can't think of a higher use for my efforts than to make the life of someone else easier and mine harder. Thanks liberals my arthritic back doesn't stop me from carrying your welfare charges on my back.
"the real cause is actually something much, much different. Consider that this year - like every year since 2006 - the Post Office is legally required to make a $5 billion annual contribution to a retirement account to pay for future retirees who aren't even born yet.
No other company or government agency has been asked to do something this crazy. Yet that's exactly what Congress - during the Presidency of George W. Bush - forced the Post Office to do. And now this poison-pill legislation from five years ago - has pushed the Post Office to the verge of not being able to pay its bills. So is this REALLY just another example of Conservatives manufacturing a crisis - so that they can privatize another essential government service?"
The very first official postal service in the American colonies was established by a colonial court in 1639. That was the last revolutionary innovation in how mail is handled in the United States. The USPS is going the way of Blockbuster and Barnes and Nobel.
As for the $5 billion - good. Why shouldn't the USPS retirement program be self sustaining except e-mail is the new mail and there is no E-USPS.
And you didn't read the point in the article behind the example of the USPS. That being - a job should probably become less common, while public assistance and make work should become more common, because the private sector is so productive that we all don't have to work.
When a man is compelled to work and surrender his property to another for the other's comfort, how is that not slavery?
How come you're working. Stop and live off the welfare state, as you characterize it.
Because it is immoral. I know that concept sends liberals into fits but there it is. It is immoral to demand the state take property from one man and award it to you because you made stupid life choices - laziness, ignorance, promiscuity have built a welfare state where the moral are ensalved to the immoral. Thanks liberal atheist society.
democrats controlled congress in 2006 til this year
Working IS a slavery. If I am sick, I still get up and go to work, because I need money. I cannot imagine how people survive on a welfare, esp. in Toronto, Canada. Everything costs money. Take a bus for 2 blocks, you'll need 6 bucks both ends. My 2 cats have not had a single vaccination for many years. I work for food and shelter basically. I am trying to save on everything. And if I go to a less expensive town to live - there will be no jobs for me at all. All in all I think this is a very complicated issue. Money-jobs-no money,taxes. We do not like taxes but we do like free stuff, don't we?
I think he means were we, the common folks, undertake to provide FARE to the WELL-off as part of our passage on the planet, particularly if we are the types of riders on their transportation who complain about unhealthy, disrespectful conditions. That's true capitalistic WELL FARE. Those sad losers you refer to: just the cost of doing business.
"democrats controlled congress in 2006 til this year". There's a difference?
I read that crazy piece yesterday! You cant possibly share that opinion? We have more than enough of what we need because it's profitable to produce and the workers that produce it make enough to grow their own wealth. Theres no way you're going to have a society of people with nothing to do but tinker around on computers trying to figure out how to make some virtual piece of art that someone else doing the same thing would buy with virtual credits. You'll never have a jobless society run by robots, you'll still need people.
One gives the time of their life. The other gives money. Is it an equivalence?
Where do libertarian/conservatives get their "themes"? They have a tendency to echo each other.
The latest theme is that the enslavement of the masses is almost upon us because us foolish citizens embrace the communist/marxist/socialist/evil policies of liberals, and we DESERVE it because we are lazy, selfish sheep.
A libertarian friend of mine recently wrote to me that I won't be able to enjoy my evil liberal ways when the government seizes control of my farm and feeds all of my goats to the masses. She said it very eloquently, too.
By the way, the irony is that my "libertarian" friend works for the government and still lives at home with Mommy & Daddy while calling for "REVOLUTION"! lol
Religion as a stabilizing force? Now that's a good one. I realize that's what their professors want to be thought, but reality has a way of uncovering ungrounded spin. Now outgrowing that need is a visualization I like. There really is no need to talking to invisible friends to solve these problems!
I agree totally with Uncorrectedvision in that Welfare is a type of slavery. It may be black or white. After all Grey is made up of the two colors, Black and White.
I think my Granddad summed up just how absurd a concept the Welfare State actually is when he asked the retorical question over half a century ago..."So help me understand this, we are going to PAY PEOPLE NOT TO WORK".
We pay people not to work so that we can pay those who do work less than they deserve.
Forget welfare being a tool of the socialists, it's a tool of the capitalists.
It isn't the socialist or capitalist that is best served by the welfare state, it is the demagogue and the tyrant. Constructing a preserve in which to feed and house a domesticated, docile and dependent voting bloc that relies on the welfare state for survival is invaluable to the tyrant.
I'm so tired of listening to so many clueless American people blame the problems of our society on those not working or failing to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps".
Crony capitalism is killing this country - you know, the free market cheerleaders like Exxon, GE, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Halliburton and the other War profiteers, etc. These same Corporations are making billions of dollars of profit every quarter, getting subsidies from you, me, and the government to do so, create jobs overseas, shelter their money overseas to escape paying U.S. taxes, and then get bailed out with our dollars when they fail.
Must be nice! My two small business haven't received the same subsidies and don't qualify for the same freebies as the "big job creators". I guess I'm not big enough nor important enough to qualify for such assistance. The real free market is my playground, since I don't have unlimited funds to buy my local Representative.
I work 6-7 days every week, so I'm not looking for a bailout or any handout, but, I would like to better understand the concept of why I'm having to pay nearly $1,000 a month for full medical coverage to support myself, my wife, and my two girls. Fortunately for us, we're young (37, 35, 4.5, and 2.5) with no pre-existing conditions, none of us have to take medicine of any sort; you get the picture ... we're lucky!
I guess I should be more like so many American people and simply blame my neighbor or better yet, I might as well blame everything on illegal immigration (hell, all immigration for that matter)!
Why be concerned with Blue Shield, Anthem, or any of the medical companies raising costs every bloody year? Yes, of course they have to in order to pay for all of the illegal usage of the system. Right? Hell, why not when you're a monopoly, you can, and someone like me has no choice except to pay another provider $1,000 a month to obtain comprehensive medical insurance coverage for my family.
Since these companies are so financially successful, I thought I'd model their example and raise my rates every year with my electrical company. Funny thing, it didn't work and I can't even begin to imagine why!
So, in the meantime, while I'm busy being competitive with my prices to operate a small business in today's economic environment without the social welfare afforded to the "big job creators", I'm looking forward to my yearly medical insurance cost increase. It's like a Christmas present!
After all, I want to ensure that these companies continue to deny coverage to the hardworking men and women in this country for every reason under the sun in order to reward their shareholders and executives. Let's not forget they also need to keep up with the cost of living during a depression and earn billions of dollars of profit to boot.
Yes, I am angry. These Corporations have so much money they're steam rolling everyone, yet millions of American people are so damned concerned with their neighbor. Not concerned with helping their neighbor, but concerned that their neighbor is using or abusing the system, or simply getting a better deal then they are. If you're in the bottom 90% in this country, you're not doing so hot in case you haven't taken a peak outside of your box!
God forbid we actually work together to help everyone, even those not fully contributing. Did you ever take the time to think that maybe some of these people didn't come from strong families or didn't have access to strong roll models and could actually use our help in getting back on their feet? There's a religious motif in there too, isn't there?
My rant is over, I've got to go spend $80 (20 gallons @ $4.00) to fill up my truck to go to work! I guess I should blame this on my neighbor, too.
Giant corporations do not want a free economy, they want an economy that protects them. No business wants competition, but rather, would prefer total control over the market for their service or product. Small businesses can only exercise political influence through professional associations and Chambers of Commerce. Giant Corporations dedicate vast sums to peeling away tax, environmental, financial and other regulations and restrictions imposed by an over reaching government, while leaving their industry to labor under those restrictions.
It is time to end the sweet deals that individual corporations get because they have powerful political allies. The level playing field is the one without government involvement.
As for us all pulling together, does that mean we are all shackled to the oars and whipped? Those who chose to squander their human potential and not bother finding their boots, let alone pull them on, are not pulling with the rest in the belly of the galley.
If one wants to help others one should be free from government regulations that twist and distort that helping. If one does not wish to help then one should not be compelled by an over reaching state to "help."
The sole role for government in this helping or not helping is facilitating it through education, encouragement and information - it should facilitate not compel sound moral action.
There is no compelled moral action - it is impossible. All moral action is personal. The idea of a collective morality eliminates the one true and certain thing in any society - it is made up of individuals not collectives. We do not share a corporate/collective mind. We are not a Volvox, an Aspen grove or even a bee colony, we are associated individuals - a society of individuals.
All moral action must come from the individual. To ignore the suffering or other or to ignore the work boots waiting for you to pull on are both moral actions. Are they correct moral actions. I would say no.
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