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Conversation Continued about about Health Care
Taken from the Top
This is a continuation of a conversation between Louis Ayoub and myself that took place on Facebook and was reprinted in an article on Hubpages at http://hubpages.com/hub/A-conversation-about-Health . He was ecstatic about the victory in the recent Governors Races and was challenging the Administration to try to pass the legislation now that the Tide of history had swept against them. His defense of his Anarchic Libertarianism is still very much alive and he felt he had much more to say. Here is his own words.
A view of Liberty
William Hodge Oh! I published our conversation on my Hubpage Blog. http://hubpages.com/hub/A-conversation-about-Health
Louis Ayoub Answer my question you old fart. I don't have time for jungle games!
William Hodge You claim to be free like a Lion and yet you know nothing of how a lion actually lives. You use metaphors without meaning. You pose questions that have nothing to do with our discussions. You say nothing that teaches and hear nothing to learn from. You have no connection to coherent thought and ideas. You speak slogans that frame your thoughts but are not connected to the real world. Just read the blog I wrote that frames our conversation and see if you can figure out what we have been talking about. If you convince me that you have understand any of it, it is worth continuing the dialog. Tell me in one short paragraph what you think I believe in. Convince me that you are not wasting my time.
Louis Ayoub Did I say lion? I meant to say lying. The lying politicians are feeding the crowd not the Pride. They are killing the pride of a once great nation. Yes the lyingness does kill to feed the lying. once lying start they can not stop. Its a vicious CYCLE OF political LIFE.
I don't care to see for I have the viewers of your post to see for me. I do not need to know because they know. There is no need to read because they can read between the lines.
I am going to ask you one more time a direct question and you answer it with a straight forward answer or you will prove yourself to be the bad of wind that is empty...
So are athletes and actors great contributors to society? Are politicians? Are garbage men and janitors? How much should each of these people make?
William Hodge Athletes and actors sell there services to the public through the respective distribution organization for which the do their job. They bargain for the pay they receive. It is ultimately paid by the public they serve. If their work is not profitable they ultimately loose their bargain power. Top Business executives set their pay themselves by the control they exercise over the Board and it comes out of the pockets of the shareholders(owners) with out their consent through a vote. It is not the size of the rewards of either that concern me. It is there willingness to support the whole community from which their huge salaries ultimately come by paying taxes determined by Representatives elected by the people in our democracy that concerns me. The belief among many of the wealthy that they have no obligations to the other members of society is dangerous to the survival of the whole.
Louis AyoubAll of these people from all of these backgrounds all give by way of taxes and by philanthropy. The degree of what they give is what is in question here I guess.
Taxes! Remember the politicians set the rules here. You might argue that the rich set the rules because they influence the politicians and you are correct. That is what I have been telling you!!!
So how do we separate the two so that the system works for the community? From all of your posts all I can gather is that you are willing to keep feeding the beast.
Income and giving! You need to spell out exactly how much a person needs to give and what it is based on. Do you seriously thing that if you make more the percentage should go up? Again, from your posts I am hearing that we are dependent on the community so we should contribute to it. Is that based on our consumption or our intake of money?
Explain (in plain talk) why a football player or executive should give 50% and a teacher should give 30%.
William Hodge If a working man spends all his money on what is necessary to live and you tax him for 50% of that you kill him. If you tax a man who makes a million a year and often much, much more you still leave him with life, wealth, power, and gratification of all his need and wants. If he wants to preserve a way of life that rewards him handsomely, he must accept the larger burden of preserving life for all. We are now back to the beginning of our discussion. How much is a mans life worth
Louis Ayoub We are not closer to the beginning. We have much ground to cover.
What we are back to is my straight forward question, to go along with your response above, "how much it enough for the average family to live on per year?" Give me what number you think that might be for today.
We are going somewhere and we will return to your original question, but not just yet.
William Hodge Pick any number that seems reasonable to you and tell me why it is relevant. The argument is still about whether or not the Community institution(Government) has a responsibility to the general welfare of all the citizens it governs or only to the "Rights" of those who own property. Do we have a responsibility to the survival of the whole "Pride" or just to the head "Lion" who eats all of the food he wants before those who brought the food to the family get anything. Do we live in the "Jungle" or the "Village of Man" You ask me how much it takes to give life to the family. I say to you it takes what it takes. Apply any figure you like to that and I will accept it as my own for the sake of argument. How much is life worth. What figure is reasonable before You say. "Let them pass away. I will not pay."
Louis Ayoub Cute, but I was and still am looking for a specific number or range. As you request, I will pick for us and then ask more questions.
Lets go with what I tossed out, $100k a year for the average family. Now why don't we just allow the government to come take everything above that? My goodness imagine how well the community would live then. Not only would we be afforded healthcare, but better schools, food for all, shelter for all and who knows what else.
Is this a good plan for the community of man?
William Hodge I know that I have stated on a number of occasions that I believe in greater reward for greater contribution. You want to cast me as a Communist, which I am not. I never have been and never will be. To present that as my position is to lie about my position. You are building a straw man and pretending that it is me. Deal with the facts as they have been presented.
I believe that a Community of Human Beings must provide a safety net of Food, Clothing, Housing, Education, and Medical Care for all of is citizens. I believe it should be paid for by those who have benefited the most from living in our Human Community. I believe that all citizens should shout contribute as much as they are capable of to benefit that Community. I believe in Workfare, not Welfare. We have an excellent model in the programs nationwide for the Mentally and Physically challenged. It is not beyond imagination to create work programs for every citizen who is unable to find jobs in the regular market, just as we did in the CCC camps during the Great Depression. It was those jobs that allowed my three uncles to provide a living for the whole family. They earned $30 a month and $25 of it was sent home to my Grandparents and the other children. Let us discuss that instead of the "straw man" you are try to build.
Louis Ayoub William, slow down! I am not putting words in your mouth. I am trying to find where you draw the line and why you draw it there.
Have you ever adde up all the taxes we now pay to see what the real % is for you? After your state and federal income tax you need to add your sales tax, your property tax, your auto tax, your utilities, capital gains, inheritance and many more. Do the math and get back to me.
So a man that makes $1m should pay 50% income tax? Is that your belief?
William Hodge No. I used that figure to make the point that he would no go hungry if he did. He would not pay that amount until his income reached 1,000,000 and then it would only be on income over the million. That is the way the tax system already works now. Only the rates would change.
I am retired and have an income of less than $1200 a month. Out of that I pay $200 a month for Prescription insurance and Supplement Insurance to my Medicare. I also have to pay deductibles and copay on my prescriptions. I pay 7% sales tax on everything else I purchase. The wealthy do not spend a large portion of their income on consumables and therefore are not taxed at the level that I am. The wealthy do not pay social security taxes or Medicare taxes on most of their income and therefore are taxed at a lower % level than the working man. I am not asking for a confiscation of wealth but only a fair tax on earnings. My state increased sales taxes to shift the burden from the large property owners to the working poor. I do live in a Republican State. The Rich man is not going to be denied access to his goodies. He is only being asked to help feed , clothe , house , educate and see that all people have health care. The money sacrifice he makes saves lives without doing noticeable damage to his. The well being of the whole community makes possible the well being of the individual. The question again becomes - How much is a life worth to you in $Dollars$
Louis Ayoub Well I think we agree that the rich should not be given tax advantages just for the sake of being rich. I think it gets muddled when government tries to use the wealthy to generate more money by offering tax incentives so that they build and hire and spend.
How can you say the wealthy don't spend on consumables? I think they spend to the point of waist. That is their right and they pay the same as you and I on food, cars and houses, no? Luxury tax - what a joke. Why tax someone more because they are spending their money on something nice and extravagant?
What do you say we come up with a fair tax that is simple to understand and simple to pay? The % can be debated, but we need simple!!!
William Hodge If you agree that all citizens are entitled to food, clothing, housing, education, and health care at a reasonable level, I will agree that every citizen should be taxed at the same % on his income as long as it includes earned income, interest income, capital gains, and inheritance income. That simple enough for you.
Louis Ayoub No on inheritance. That is double taxing. A man should be able to decide for himself that he wants to save more or less for his family. He he is taxed fairly on it then no his next of kin should not have to pay again!!
Are we close or what?
William Hodge The people who inherit it did not earn it. The earner can give the amounts allowed by law both before and after death as the law now provides. Tax free inheritance give undue power not earned by the recipient. You are advocation a form of Capitalist Royalty I can compromise on the degree of taxation but not free of taxation.
Louis Ayoub No way. It was earned and taxed therefore if the earner wants to eat it, burn it, burry it, or give it away that is his choice without new taxes.
William Hodge Inheritance is the Hidden Hand of Wealth that unduly controls the Democratic process in normal times. But I am willing to compromise that point if you agree that society owes Food, Clothing, Housing, Education and Health Care to all of its citizens.
Louis Ayoub Can we pick a different word than owes? Its not fitting.
It is in its best interest! It is a wise investment! It is curtail to its existence, survival and progress. Any of these work?
Now that we are close to agreeing on the value of life how do you propose we achieve what has not been achieved before? We have the wealth in this country, but much of it is squandered by corruption. You know the politicians, bankers and people of influence.
We were here once before, you surly don't continue to enable the crack addict buy providing unlimited funds to buy more crack do you? He counts for a life, but you fix the problem not fuel the fire.
Can you not understand how people are fed up with their money being taken by force and misused? I think most people would gladly pay a flat tax that benefits the community of man. The problem is the money isn't getting to the source of the need now.
Taking and taking and taking without showing results is a self defeating exercise. Its insanity and it is the crux of the problem. How are you going to fix it?
William Hodge Would you suggest that we kill all addicts including Rush Limbaugh. Or is he exempt because he can pay for his addiction. Are wealthy Alcoholics like Glen Beck excused while we eliminate the poor ones. There is some evidence that providing drugs is less costly than crime and corruption that accompanies the current method of distribution. We solve the problem by researching the addiction, not killing the addict. The waste in government is not due to government but to greed. It also occurs among free men engaged free enterprise.
Eliminating government will not eliminate greed. It just removes it from any chance of control. You cannot escape the responsibility of the community by eliminating the community. Community is always dynamic and changing and solution to problems must target the problems. You tell me how you would solve the problem and still serve the needs of the people.
Louis AyoubI am against the war on drugs. It is for someone's gain and control. It serves the community of man - NOT!
Don't get real drug addicts confused with my analogy. They were just used for the picture.
Our founding fathers tried to do what you and I agree is needed. They tried to strike a balance between anarchy and tyranny. Looks like tyranny is winning out in the end.
The system needs to be improved so that greed and power have less influence. This government is out of control. We need to bring it down to size while not harming the community of man. That means taking power away and see that the money that is collected goes to the needs not the favors of the rich and influential.
Smaller government, less power and more to the needs of the community!
William Hodge We have come around to disagreement again. The greatest damage to men from greed have always occurred outside the government. Government involvement has always been a product of lack of regulation or use of government by special interest to promote their schemes. The wall street crash of 1929 was because most stock purchases were done on10% down loans at profitable interest rates to the independent banks. The closest thing to the Great Depression since then is now. This time it came from cheap money, a housing bubble, and the collapse of the market. The Government role was precipitated by Outside Greed using Government power for private profit. These things have occurred many times in the past when their was no control over banking. These things will occur again again in the future if we have small government and no control. Your solution is a false solution because private interest will never solve public obligation unless they are mandated and supervise by the power of Law.
Louis Ayoub Don't be a nincompoop! Big government and big business have become one. I never said we need to abandon law and regulation. In fact I said the opposite.
We need separation of government and business so that Wall Street and Bankers don't have the ability to influence the laws and regulations made by government.
How do we live up to "Of, by and for the people?" Not, of, by and for the bankers.
The way I see it the government leaned on Freddy and Fanny to make money available to people who could not afford it. This was considered compassionate by people like you because everyone has a RIGHT to own a home. Not true. They don't even have a right to shelter. However, you and I agree that it is in the best interest of the community to provide it to all that need it.
When I say less government I mean smaller in numbers, more simple legislation, bills without any pork, accountability, and driven by the needs of the community. Not fewer regulations
William HodgeThen let us agree to disagree. Community cannot exist without government. Anarchy leads to tyranny by the individual(Law of the Jungle). Government is by the consent of the Governed or it is tyranny by Dictatorship. If the community is governed by any form other than anarchy, then "Rights" are privilege granted by Government. Rights are concepts of the mind, not precepts of natural order. When government assumes the power to rule it also assumes the obligation of "General Welfare" The size of Government needs to be the size it needs to be in order to meet its obligations.
Capitalism is an economic system that provides goods and service to the the community. It is not Government. If it goes unregulated, it will best serve the needs of Greed to the disadvantage of the larger community. Since both government and economy are products of individual effort they will both have the flaws of individuals. It is the Common Purpose of the Community to use the power of Law to control the damage done to the general welfare of the many by individual excess. Government needs to be as big as Government needs to be in order to meet its obligation to the Community it governs. So say we all.
Louis Ayoub You are so lost. So you really believe that government can be trusted unchecked and will always do what is in the best interest of the community? Horse shit!
What a fool you are showing yourself to be. Why do you think we are in this mess? I see, big business does what it wants to regardless of the rules and regulations of government? NO, No, No our government is devouring power by the truck load and we will end up in some other form of government if left unchecked.
Have you not heard third world leaders cheering for Obama to remain in office forever? Is that not a dictatorship? Get real William.
Proof is in what you are seeing with our representative system right now. A MAJORITY of the people do not want the health care bill as it stands yet it is being pushed thru. How is that of, by and for the people.
When government thinks it knows what is best and forces it on us we have a PROBLEM!!!!!
William Hodge Since this Post and thread have long past into history as far as my friends are concerned and is being read only by you and me it has become pointless. You and I live in different realities and are not going to find common ground. Since I am a writer by choice I will end this here and write an article and post it to one of my blogs. I leave you with this one point. My "point of view" won the elections and therefore represent the will of the people. In our Democracy we get to make the law. When your point of view has the majority of votes, that will become the will of the people. The rest of what is said is just rhetoric. The corruption of government is not measured by its size, but by the integrity of its servants. The elimination of Government leaves lack of integrity with no balance to the damage it does to the Community.
And so, this conversation comes to an end for now. Knowing Louis's Passion for his Philosophy, I am sure he will continue his Messianic Mission to convince my Friends and me that the world is going to hell in a hand basket and is near the brink of Revolution. It will not be long before he makes a new Post on my Facebook Wall and continue to try to save my Philosophical Soul. As has been said many times before, "Good Luck With That".