Utopianism is the real crux of the problem: the insistence of attempting to establish that which can never exist. We are a society which is driven by hope. We are fed hope by every commercial, billboard and salesperson! We live for hope, thinking there is a magic fix for every ill. Government can offer hope to a certain extent, but we must realize the basis for government and how policies must be based on the truth of human nature. After all, as stated in the Federalist papers, If all men were angels, we would not need government.
Do you really think average voters think of this?
I agree with your statement which acknowledges that Government is necessary not so much a straight jacket to deny tendencies of human nature, but not allow human nature to reach a point of detriment to others. So why do conservatives hate Government?
Because liberals use it as a tool to steal with and to institute unnecessary and unethical control with.
Because conservatives interpret taxes and the necessity of same as theft, of course there are limits. Because conservatives would leave corporate America without proper regulations turning our world and environment into a toilet that they insulate themselves from.
So what would conservatives do with the Government except to allow those that exploit others to continue to do so with impunity? But, the right is ok with that, am I right?
But there don't seem to be any limits to the taxation by a liberal. Just whatever they can grab, and it goes up every year.
Ahh..."proper" regulations according to the liberal, who knows how everyone should behave and who will make the rules themselves without input from others.
Shrink it back to the size necessary to provide for the country. The nation, not the nanny state caring for each individual from cradle to grave; that was never the intent of those that formed this nation. Only those that desire great power over everyone around them intend that; the liberals of the world, doing good as they see it by instituting their brand of controls over everyone else. That and the far right radical Christians doing the same thing.
Crudely put, and with extreme spin, but yes. At the bottom of it all we are each and everyone of us responsible for ourselves. And "exploit" of course, references every action between any two people whether by agreement or by force. One or both will always "exploit" the other, and in the business world it is always both doing the "exploiting". Really, it's only the liberal spin that makes business transactions seem so evil; if people didn't want them they would do them.
Ah yes, the liberal insists on taxes being spent bailing out the bankers and other big corporations.
They insist on huge taxes to kill people of other countries.
Wait, but those are good taxes. The only evil taxes are those used to counter the deprivations caused by corporate greed.
What corporate greed are we talking about? I just hear more excuses as to why corporations should be robbed.
Try work sometimes -
The bankers who stiff us all but get massive bonuses after we've bailed them out. for example.
You try work sometime, I've done about forty years of it
You speak of corporate greed. Why don't you speak of government greed? You speak of corporate abuse of power. Why don't you speak of government abuse of power? Both exist. Are you failing to recognize that reality? Power and influence corrupts, and both are readily available in corporations and in government.
You speak about greedy bankers. Why don't you ever mention the politician who enters his career poor and leaves wealthy? Shall we talk about the insider trading that occurs in Congress? Does anybody believe that our politicians are not profiting from their positions of power?
John, can you name a single leader in a socialist country who lived an average life, one without wealth? Socialism aims to even the playing field, yet how often have we seen the leaders within these socialized countries live like kings? Can you name a single instance when this didn't occur?
Again, who runs the media in a socialist country? Who do you consider the "people" to be?
Because corporate greed and government greed are one and the same. Governments are in the hands of the corporations. The government abuses are the corporate abuses.
The greedy banker and the greedy politician are one and the same. let's talk about the insider trading in congress, the banks and other large corporations.
I can't name you one leader of a socialist country - I'm still waiting for you to name me a socialist country. Wait, Silver did remind me of Cuba, but Castro was a communist rather than a socialist!
If you can not grasp who "the people" are then you are a lost cause.
But the greedy worker, demanding pay double what the work is worth, demanding pay for sitting home, demanding ever more perks in the job place - they are different, aren't they?
"Now, then, if labor is social, it stands to reason that the results of it, the wealth produced, must also be social, belong to the collectivity. No person can therefore justly lay claim to the exclusive ownership of the social wealth. It is to be enjoyed by all alike.
“But why not give each according to the value of his work?” you ask.
Because there is no way by which value can be measured. That is the difference between value and price. Value is what a thing is worth, while price is what it can be sold or bought for in the market. What a thing is worth no one really can tell. Political economists generally claim that the value of a commodity is the amount of labor required to produce it, of “socially necessary labor,” as Marx says. But evidently it is not a just standard of measurement. Suppose the carpenter worked three hours to make a kitchen chair, while the surgeon took only half an hour to perform an operation that saved your life. If the amount of labor used determines value, then the chair is worth more than your life. Obvious nonsense, of course. Even if you should count in the years of study and practice the surgeon needed to make him capable of performing the operation, how are you going to decide what “an hour of operating” is worth? The carpenter and mason also had to be trained before they could do their work properly, but you don’t figure in those years of apprenticeship when you contract for some work with them. Besides, there is also to be considered the particular ability and aptitude that every worker, writer, artist or physician must exercise in his labors. That is a purely individual, personal factor. How are you going to estimate its value?
That is why value cannot be determined. The same thing may be worth a lot to one person while it is worth nothing or very little to another. It may be worth much or little even to the same person, at different times. A diamond, a painting, or a book may be worth a great deal to one man and very little to another. A loaf of bread will be worth a great deal to you when you are hungry, and much less when you are not. Therefore the real value of a thing cannot be ascertained; it is an unknown quantity.
But the price is easily found out. If there are five loaves of bread to be had and ten persons want to get a loaf each, the price of bread will rise. If there are ten loaves and only five buyers, then it will fall. Price depends on supply and demand.
The exchange of commodities by means of prices leads to profit making, to taking advantage and exploitation; in short, to some form of capitalism. If you do away with profits, you cannot have any price system, nor any system of wages or payment. That means that exchange must be according to value. But as value is uncertain or not ascertainable, exchange must consequently be free, without “equal” value, since such does not exist. In other words, labor and its products must be exchanged without price, without profit, freely, according to necessity. This logically leads to ownership in common and to joint use. Which is a sensible, just, and equitable system, and is known as Communism.
“But is it just that all should share alike?” you demand. “The man of brains and the dullard, the efficient and the inefficient, all the same? Should there be no distinction, no special recognition for those of ability?”
Let me in turn ask you, my friend, shall we punish the man whom nature has not endowed as generously as his stronger or more talented neighbor? Shall we add injustice to the handicap nature has put upon him? All we can reasonably expect from any man is that he do his best-can any one do more? And if John’s best is not as good as his brother Jim’s, it is his misfortune, but in no case a fault to be punished."~ Alexander Berkman
But of course value can be determined; it is, in spite of protestations to the contrary, the price the can be had.
That figure will vary by buyer, yes, and we therefore just set an general average, a price range if you will, and call it value. Any other definition other than what people will pay for a product, is nonsense. It isn't the time involved in making it, it isn't the raw materials, it isn't what the maker thinks their product is worth. Value is what people will pay for it, whether payment is their time, their skill, their money, their love, or anything else they are willing to trade.
Value is an absolute, although variable, figure and not some philosophical meanderings through the quagmire of right and wrong. As such, it most definitely can be determined.
That is the thinking that will render this planet uninhabitable.
I must be particularly dense today - putting a price tag on what we own I don't see as ruining the planet. I don't know about one on the mountains, though - few people own their own mountain.
It hasn't thus far and there is far less of the put a price on everything mentality now than there was 100 years ago.
You say "what is the job worth" I say what is the man worth.
Why? The man isn't selling himself, he is selling the work he did. The product he made, the ditch he dug, the invention he came up with for his employer. Why would you expect paid for something you did not transfer ownership of?
When you are at work are you free to do anything you want or do you do what your employer tells you?
If you can't do what you want then you are owned.
If you have agreed to do a particular job, then honor demands you do that. Plus, of course, if you fail in your agreement you will not keep the job...
Agreeing to do a job (trade labor for money or other goods) does not mean you are owned; nothing but a slave to someone else.
Measured against what John?
Anything you measure has to be measured against something surely.
Yes, measure it against the cost of housing, food, transport and everything else that is needed for life.
But how are those costs set? By committee, general vote or market value?
Well, seeing how you're so attached to market value let them be set by market value.
Good! People will appreciate it, at least those that have made the products.
Can I assume that the sale of labor will also be set by market, not a faceless committee somewhere? Or is that specific product, sold by an individual rather than a business, still to be treated differently than everything else?
We were talking about putting a value on the man who does the job.
Hmm. No, while you may have been trying to put a value on a man, I wasn't.
The value of a man is immeasurable, and one cannot be bought. Not by ethical people, anyway.
The value of a man's labor, on the other hand, is determined only by what he can sell it for.
Capitalism is sad isn't it? Values a man at no more than a can of beans.
Nice spin, but YOU are the one putting a value on a man, not I and not capitalism. Shameful, really, but most of the concepts behind socialism are when truly examined beyond the surface.
What? it's shameful to value a man for what he is rather than for how much money he can make for his employer!
Yes, it is shameful to even try and put a value on a man. It's called slavery, and is probably the worst "sin" man has every come up with.
Value what he can produce, value what he can do, value anything you wish except the man himself. Men's value is immeasurable.
But that's exactly what you do when you say a man is only worth X $ an hour.
Sorry, John, I don't buy slaves. I don't even rent them for a day.
I WILL buy the labor someone offers to sell me, and have often done so in the past, but I will not buy a person. You are playing with philosophical games and spin, trying to turn something quite reasonable and above board, into something evil and dirty. Won't work - every person I have ever hired had the freedom to walk out the door either before or after the agreement. I only bought the labor, you see, not the person (and technically not even the labor, but the results of that labor).
Yes. We capitalists do have a conscience that guides us - something the socialists that think everyone and everything within sight is owned by them do not understand.
Reasonable, I suppose, as once you've decided that you have a right to confiscate wealth to give to someone else, the rest kind of naturally falls into line. Ownership becomes a myth, and the right of people to exist outside your personal world, to make their own decisions and actions, disappears. All are but children, subject to the will and desires of government in all things. Slavery, actual if not overt, quickly follows.
The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose.
The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who takes things that are yours and mine.
The poor and wretched don’t escape
If they conspire the law to break;
This must be so but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law.
The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
And geese will still a common lack
Till they go and steal it back.
- See more at: http://onthecommons.org/magazine/%E2%80 … RyOao.dpuf
A fine sentiment. useful to encourage thieves to steal. It always helps to vilify your "opponent", doesn't it? Especially when they have done little to nothing wrong.
As a factual statement, then, it is quite lacking - I have yet to have a rich man steal from me. Poor to middle class, yes - I have been the victim of theft many times - but never the rich. I know it happens, but it is fairly rare, much rarer than theft by the poor.
In fact it is so common that you no longer notice it.
Remember the bank bail outs?
The US govt. bailed out a handful of companies when The Socialist hit the White House. It has also done so in the past to an additional 3 or 4.
Does that make it status quo for capitalism? Or so common as to be unnoticed? I don't think so.
But you said you'd never been the victim of theft by the wealthy!
The wealthy did not steal; the money was given to them by the govt. (assuming however falsely that only the rich own the business getting a bailout). Just as it is given to the individual poor, in their charity checks. Or are they stealing, too?
The rich do not need our money, the poor do.
Tell me why the government felt obliged to hand the banks cart loads of our money?
And you think, or claim, that because the poor need help makes it OK to take from the rich and give to the poor.
From my own earlier post, concerning a conscience: "...something the socialists that think everyone and everything within sight is owned by them do not understand." Socialists simply do not seem to understand that
they do not have an innate right to the goods owned by others (the rich) no matter how badly they think it is needed elsewhere. The only possible justification is for the survival of the nation and even that is very slippery.
The poor CAN work for their money. We DO NOT owe the poor anything. People are poor mostly because of their erroneous life choices- poor education, poor lifestyle choices, having MORE children than they can support and take care of, electing not to better themselves-using EXCUSES instead, not thinking beyond their immediate pleasures and gratifications, wanting to live at the LOWEST and BASEST common denominator, NEED I SAY MORE.
Sure, the poor can work for their money - give them jobs!
Or haven't you noticed that the rich don't want to erode their short term profits by employing them?
I have a 4-year college education, I don't have kids, and I've never used a credit card. Yet, I'm constantly sending my resume to workplaces in the area, and every job I try applying to never calls me back.
Clearly it's all those poor life decisions. I guess I deserve to be poor.
You attained an education, extended avenues to obtain employment. You are trying, Zeke. Was not addressing your situation. Everyone is aware of diligent people who are trying to make their way in the world. You are to be applauded. What is addressed is not your particular situation or the situation of people who are trying hard to succeed. What is addressed are those people who REFUSE to do anything to improve their life situation. You are being PRO-ACTIVE and I applaud YOU in that.
+1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, besides it is OUR tax dollars who support those poor who do not work.
“The first person who, having enclosed a plot of land, took it into his head to say this is mine and found people simple enough to believe him was the true founder of civil society. What crimes, wars, murders, what miseries and horrors would the human race have been spared, had someone pulled up the stakes or filled in the ditch and cried out to his fellow men: "Do not listen to this imposter. You are lost if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong to all and the earth to no one!” ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The entire world was once the commons and now most of it has been stolen and is “owned” or is in the process of being stolen. Right?
Receiving Stolen Property:
“The offense of acquiring goods with the knowledge that they have been stolen, extorted, embezzled, or unlawfully taken in any manner.”
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictiona … n+Property
How are we not all accomplices with this knowledge? How is it all okay?
“The greatest weapon in the hand of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Steve Biko
Unfortunately for the philosophy of Rousseau the truth of it is that were that first man not only allowed but followed by others very few of us would be alive today. Without improvement to the land, few can survive. Improvement meaning making farmland (clearing it, picking out rocks, providing irrigation, etc.), building housing for protection from the environment, removing resources (wood, oil, metal, etc.). We require all those things, but if anyone that comes along can take over our improvements, no one will make them.
Speak for yourself; I have never knowingly received stolen property. You will have to be more specific, I'm afraid, but must also start with the premiss that property actually can be owned as I reject the premiss that it cannot.
And why can that land only be improved by having one wealthy man and plenty of serfs?
Sorry, I don't know of any farmers that have serfs. I have never owned any myself, either, although I own land and have made improvements on it.
One CAN do it via one man hiring serfs, of course, but for the most part improvements are not made that way. Much more common would be to look for partners with "capital" (whether money, products or more land) and then trade something of value for improvements beyond the ability of a single person to make. Economies of scale mostly prevent one man farms or businesses dependent on muscle power any more. Mostly, not all.
The first men to farm land!
I think you need another history lesson.
Well, the first men to farm land made plenty of use of serfs.
They certainly did not - I think it is you who needs a history lesson.
The first "men" to farm were almost certainly women, and they operated as a commune, living in a small community and using community labor to do what little farming was done while the men hunted more traditional staples.
It took thousands of years to develop the medieval methods of King, Lords and Ladies I presume you refer to.
Yeah, about those “improvements”
“In North America,[annual] agriculture has been responsible for 66% of the soil loss”
“topsoil is eroding faster than it can be replaced”
http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globa … d_deg.html
“A few basic principles of the earth's life in the cosmos have now been established. Balance is cosmic law. The earth revolves around the sun in a finely tuned balance. The heat budget of the planet is a finely tuned balance. If the incoming heat declined, we would freeze or if the planet did not dissipate heat properly we would burn up. The climax ecosystem maintains a balance and stability century after century as the diverse flows of energies constantly move and cycle within it. In the same manner the human body maintains balance (homeostasis) while motion of blood, digestion and cell creation, flow within it.
The life of the earth is fundamentally predicated upon the soil. If there is no soil, there is no life as we know it. (Some micro-organisms and some other forms might still exist). The soil is maintained by its vegetative cover and in optimal, balanced health, this cover is the natural climax ecosystem.
If one can accept these few simple principles then we have established a basis of communication upon which we may proceed. Anyone who cannot accept these principles must demonstrate that the world works in some other way. This must be done quickly because the life of the planet earth hangs in the balance.
We speak to our basic condition of life on earth. We have heard of many roads to salvation. We have heard that economic development will save us, solar heating will save us, technology, the return of Jesus Christ who will restore the heaven and the earth, the promulgation of land reform, the recycling of materials, the establishment of capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism, Muslimism, vegetarianism, trilateralism, and even the birth of new Aquarian Age, we have been told, will save us. But the principle of soil says that if the humans cannot maintain the soil of the planet, they cannot live here.” ~William H. Koetke
“Every human society that has relied on annual crops as staple foods in their diet has collapsed; every single one. Every human society from the temperate zone to the tropics that has relied on annuals to feed itself, is now gone. And the rich, abundant ecosystems where their temporary societies once flourished have been rendered into dust.~ Mark Shepard
“It's often said that the ability to recognize patterns is one of the signs of intelligence. So, I'm going to list a pattern here, and let's see if we can recognize it in less than five or six thousand years. When you think of the plains and hillsides of Iraq, is the first thing that you think of normally cedar forests so thick that sunlight never touches the ground? That's how they were.
The first written myth of this culture is Gilgamesh going in and deforesting those hills to make cities. When you think of the Arabian peninsula, is the first thing that you think of oak forest? That's what it used to be. Let's move a little bit west, and you get the cedars of Lebanon. They still have one on their flag.
Plato was commenting on how deforestation was destroying the springs and rivers in Greece. And I'm sure that those in power said, Well, we need to study it a little bit longer first, to make sure there's a connection. Greece was heavily forested, Italy was heavily forested, North Africa was heavily forested.
Any way of life that's based on the use non-renewable resources and based on the hyper-exploitation of (so-called) renewable resources... Any way of life that perceives the world around them as consisting of resources and not beings and communities to enter into these reciprocal relationships with, is going to destroy its land base.” ~ Derrick Jensen
As we return to the hunter/gatherer stage of our history, will it be OK if you and your family are the first to starve?
Like them or not, the agriculture methods used to squeeze ever more food from the ground are what is keeping us all alive.
It's not a matter of like Mr. Wilderness. I like and even love the modern world. Hot showers, food, music, movies from all over the world, chaw-ling the fat with you fine people, but it's running the species off a cliff. Seriously, where do you see this going? How will the world be for our descendants? Business as usual ain't cuttin it.
Hot showers aren't the problem; too many people are.
The earth will support a lot of people in the lap of luxury, but not as many as the human race is producing. Eventually half will die (starvation, war, disease, whatever) and the balance will be restored. That's how nature works for every other species; there is no reason to think ours is any different.
But a lot of that food is being stockpiled to maintain the high price of that food and it is failing to keep millions alive.
http://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/hist … ndians.htm
A great writer once wrote…
“When it comes to the end of the day, when we begin to add it all up, one of the things that must be considered is that moral concepts and structures change. They never remain static for very long, and when we try to compare our current moral acceptance to that of the past we must remember this. Slavery was quite moral in the past, while a beach bikini would have shocked great grandma nearly to death. Racism was not only rampant, it was quite accepted as a very moral attitude and when the Christian religion impressed their belief on the nation by printing the words "In God We Trust" on our money in the 1950's it was considered quite appropriate. Spousal and particularly child abuse was common as both were often beaten savagely in a "necessary" effort to maintain control. Women in particular were second class citizens if considered a citizen at all.
None of these would be considered acceptable today and we have come a long way from the (now) misguided attitudes and ideas of the past.”~ Dan Harmon
Though far off, beyond my lifetime, if our species survives long enough I think the idea of owning land will more widely become an unethical concept, time will tell.
Wow - smart man!
Who knows - you may be right in that one day no one will own land. Or anything else, perhaps. That time, however, is far in the future, far beyond our lifespans. Someday, perhaps when there is plenty of everything for everyone, we won't own anything, but until then ownership is a concept that man has used since time memorial.
The man is worth quite a lot, but his hamburger flipping has a value. If his pay exceeds the value he adds, why should anybody employ him?
When I was young, my father was a miner who belonged to a union. The union came in and demanded higher wages. The company said that they could not afford to give the raise, because production and metal prices weren't high enough. The company said that it could not run a business at a loss. The company countered with enticing benefits that were quite valuable, but the union held its ground and demanded significant raises. The mine was shut and didn't operate for twenty years. My dad lost his job, and we almost lost our home. Should the company have operated at a loss? No.
You can't expect a business to pay an employee more than the employee brings to the business in any system, from capitalism to communism.
John thinks that under his socialist system they will be able to make a car for £50000 that would normally cost £20000 and still be able to sell or trade it.
But of course you can do that. You just subsidize the cost of the car with the taxes confiscated from the rich to the tune of $40,000. This reduces the cost to only $10,000, whereupon more are sold, more people are working (building cars) and more taxes are paid by the workers.
That it is a ponzi scheme doomed to failure is irrelevant; it will work in the (very) short term.
We have seen it here many times Wilderness, coal, steel, the car industry, ship building and many other industries propped up with taxpayers money failed miserably.
Of course it fails - it is but another socialist scheme to redistribute wealth. If something costs too much for the poor to buy, subsidize the cost and MAKE it affordable. Wealth redistribution.
And it fails because in the long run it is a losing proposition. An effort to set value by committee rather than what people are willing to pay - completely artificial and out of whack with reality.
Why would anybody be motivated to better themselves with more training or education if they were paid well to do menial labor? Why would anybody be motivated to work their fingers to the bone opening a small business if they were paid well to perform a task that is well below their ability? Why would anybody want to become a doctor when they could earn comparable money doing something that requires far less stress? Socialism doesn't promote hard work and self improvement.
Because everybody may be governed by money but not everybody is motivated by it.
By offering equality of opportunity socialism encourages self improvement and hard work.
Offering the opportunity is not encouraging it. Remember the carrot and stick, where either can be used to encourage? Well, giving the opportunity is holding either one (carrot or stick) but not using it.
In the great British sell off there was a car manufacturer (BMC I think) that had a profit making car division and a loss making commercial vehicle division. The gov sold off the profitable car division and kept the loss making commercial vehicle division.
The privatised car division went on to develop losses and eventually disappeared with a huge loss of jobs (and tax payers money) while the gov owned commercial vehicle division turned round and became profitable.
Which says absolutely nothing about govt. subsidies and the value/result of them. More information is necessary. Plus, of course, there is always the possibility that management was the primary culprit in either success or failure. Even a government will occasionally get something right, operate efficiently for short periods or in other was behave as it should. Seldom, but it DOES happen occasionally.
There are no rich people in his socialist country of dreams; you can't tax the rich if they never had a chance to get rich. Further, how would you tax these same people who have no money, take their vouchers away from them?
OH no, John has said that accumulation of wealth is permissible, although it must not be allowed to happen because it takes money out of circulation.
Perhaps you can "tax" via forced blood donations - blood is always in demand somewhere in the world...
He further believes that the man who pushes the broom in the factory should be paid the same as the man who engineers the car and that both should be remunerated in vouchers.
Stop applying capitalist measures to socialism.
You can never name anything negative about a socialist country. All you do is say that there are no socialist countries. Then, when you want to make a point, you talk about some great program that is in a socialist country. It's a great, convenient way for you to make points and dodge reality.
I didn't think you would be able to name anybody who lead a socialist country who didn't live like a king. That's the point.
Yes, the greedy politician and the greedy CEO are the same kind of person, however, your analysis that the government is controlled by corporations is unsupportable by evidence, data. Please prove your point, or is it just opinion?
I'll ask the same question again. In a socialist country, who are the "people" who control the media? You haven't answered the question. You keep dodging this.
And you keep dodging the naming of this mythical socialist country where the leader lives like a king.
I can't name one; people are smart enough to know that a completely socialist country would fail. Now, are you going to answer the question?
Who would control the media in a completely socialist country? Who do you consider "the people" to be?
Let's hear the name of any president, from a mixed economy that has any significant level of socialism, that doesn't live like a king.
Fredrik Reinfeldt prime minister of Sweden earns $285,604 per annum. Healthy but hardly enough to live like a king.
Fredrik Reinfeldt has a net worth of about $8 million
Not poor is he.
Hardly like a king though, is he? There are plenty of capitalists worth a lot more than $8 million.
Of course there is, take the great capitalist Fidel Castro, reportedly worth $900million.
What country is he the president of then?
Successful businessmen do tend to be wealthy.
Education Answer wanted an example of the leader of a socialist country that did not live like a king.
I pointed out that there were no socialist countries but that the prime minister of Sweden earned about quarter of a million US $ a year and that was hardly living like a king.
Keep up at the back there.
And I said that the leader of Sweden is worth $8million and is not exactly broke.
I also said the Fidel Castro the leader of the nearest thing to a socialist country you could get was worth $900million.
How can we keep up at the back when you keep changing the position of the back line?
All right but even $900 million hardly allows you to live like a king does it?
Our Queen is worth about $33 trillion, that would allow you to live like a king (or Queen)
Yes John but its not bad for someone who has accumulated the wealth in his own lifetime is it.
I think I would live very well on $8million never mind $900million, would you John?
Actually the Queens personal net worth is about $500million. The rest is the Crown estate which she gets to enjoy while she is Queen.
Maybe Castro could live like a Queen then John?
That political leaders can and do live like king and queens. Wasn't that the argument you had?
Here is another question for you then, if the electorate in the UK (for instance) decided at the next election that they wanted a totally socialist government how would you convince the rich people to give up their wealth?
A) Ask for it nicely.
B) confiscate it.
C) Let them leave the country with it.
The question was
"Let's hear the name of any president, from a mixed economy that has any significant level of socialism, that doesn't live like a king."
and I supplied one.
As for your second, let them keep it for their lifetime, but not let them transfer it.
Tell the hamburger flippers, ditch diggers, factory workers, and other blue-collar laborers that he isn't rich. He's worth many, many times more than I will earn in my entire lifetime. Yeah, I consider him rich. While I wouldn't consider him to be as rich as a king, this is the best example you could find, a man worth millions of dollars?
You only asked for an example of a leader of a mixed economy who didn't live like a king.
As balance, the richest man in Sweden is worth $28 billion in US dollars.
Do you think the guy living under the bridge considers him to be wealthy? How is income redistribution working?
Of course the man living under the bridge thinks him wealthy - why shouldn't he? That wasn't in the question.
As fir redistributing income, it's working very well. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer/
If the rich are getting richer, that's not really income redistribution.
Of course it is, the incomes of the poorer people are being redistributed to the richer.
Why would you think it wasn't?
Bit of a sweeping statement John.
Maybe the poorer workers should stop buying the products of the rich! (another sweeping statement)
But look at the facts. The rich in the UK have tax cuts whereas the poor have tax increases.
Wages have gone down in real terms whereas profits are at an all time high.
Let's hear your more in depth reasoning Silver.
The highest rate of tax in the UK is 45% the lowest is 0% those on higher incomes are taxed more per £1 than those on lower incomes, those on the lowest incomes receive aid from the taxpayer in the form of tax credits etc,
Everybody who buys something in the UK is subject to 20% vat, both rich and poor pay this unless you are a company who claims tax relief.
If a rich man buys a IPhone he pays exactly the same as the low income workers, this does not stop the low income worker buying it. in the process it makes those with shares in IPhone richer. Should the lower income worker be stopped from buying the IPhone to stop the rich getting richer?
Wages have gone down in real terms because of poor decisions by governments, the increase in profits have come because people are buying more, retail sales have increased.
Yes 45%, cut from 50% earlier this year. Or don't you see that as a tax cut?
So somebody buys an I phone and the share holder gets richer, in what way is that not income redistribution?
What poor decisions by government? Not increasing minimum wages, not legislating against zero hour contracts?
The poor buys an iphone, worth $100. The rich get $10 of that in profit, with the rest spread primarily to the workers that made the phone or the materials for the phone.
So the poor now has a $100 phone, the rich have a $10 bill and the workers have a $10 bill each. Where is the redistribution? The method of counting wealth has changed (the poor traded his money for a phone, the worker traded his time for the money and the rich rented his money out for more (hopefully he came out ahead), but each has what they started with.
Now if you decide that you will take 5 of the $10 the rich earned and give it to the poor, that would be wealth redistribution.
But you've already taken that $10 off the poor so how can giving them half back be redistribution when taking $10 off them in the first place isn't!
No, you didn't take the $10 off the poor. You traded your phone for it.
Of course, that statement is predicated on the concept that people actually DO own their possessions, whether phone or dollar bills, and deserve to do with them as they please. A hard concept for the socialist used to simply taking whatever they want, but a very useful and fair one.
No, you traded the workers income for the phone.
A hard concept for a capitalist's slave to reconcile but true anyway,
True. You traded the workers, and all the other workers and capitalists back up the line, for the phone before you traded the phone for the $100. That even includes the people that financed the construction of the dump truck that hauled iron ore to the smelter that smelted the ore that produced the iron that was formed into sheets that was used to make the case of the phone. Even the people that built the machine that made the tires for that dump truck!
It is indeed how capitalism works; a little incentive all the way down the line, resulting in massive improvements in production rates and quality. Mutually agreed upon trade is just far superior to simple confiscation - something the socialist never seems to understand. Always a greedy "Gimmee, gimmee" without a care for any agreement, just "Gimmee what I want!".
No economic system has freed and enriched more people than price regulated free markets - capitalism. Prior to that system, and in places where it does not hold sway, humans froze and starved in dark never knowing when the representatives of the state would swoop in to take what tiny surplus they could scrape from an ever more sterile soil. Ah, the glories of the all powerful state, a necessity if one is going to be the re-distributor of property.
The socialist never gets beyond their own greed. When it comes time to consider human reaction and what happens when all incentive is removed they just kind of turn their face and hide from reality. It's more pleasant to think they can go on forever, playing Robin Hood, and taking whatever funding they want from the "rich" without being concerned that when they have turned the "rich" into the "poor" there is nothing to take any more.
They fail to comprehend that Robin Hood was stealing from the agents of the STATE.
But we do understand that Robin Hood was a mythical figure.
Anyway, I thought you were in favour of reducing the power of the state?
Nothing grows the power of the State faster than permitting it the power to regulate free economic exchanges.
When Robin Hood is understood to stand in opposition to a powerful, redistributionist state - I am all in favor. When Robin Hood robs from the rich and gives to the poor - I am not.
I am a Socialist and I am not sure how it is greedy of me to want my rather respectable income taxed to help other people.
If you belong to the crowd that wishes to force others to pay taxes for zero return, spending their money as you see fit, then you are greedy. Give your own to the poor as you see fit, allow others to do the same, but do NOT decide you know better than they what they should do with THEIR money.
And yes, I recognize that survival of the country demands that the rich pay taxes, and pay taxes far in excess of what the poor do.
The survival of a civil society benefits the wealthy and the poor, therefore some taxation for its maintenance is required. This is the rational position taken by conservatives who are routinely lambasted for hating government or being anti-government. They are anti-redistributionist government .
It is unfortunate, but true.
Our morals will always bow before reality, except those exceedingly few cases where death is preferable. Personally, I will support taking additional funding from the rich to keep the country healthy before allowing it to deteriorate and eventually fall into ruin (destroying the rich as well as the poor). I will NOT support taking from the rich simply to make someone else richer than they are; a stated goal of the socialist and one that is justified by twisting morals out of all semblance.
It is exactly that. You don't want to help others directly, you want the STATE to compel all others to help who you want. If your income is so respectable why are you waiting for the STATE to force it out of your hands and throw its inefficient bureaucracy then back out to those you want helped. Why not do the most efficient, rational, free and natural thing and help those you want to see helped directly through your own actions.
Lefties are greed and lazy wanting everyone to be forced to do what they want done. This is the height of elitism. The Pharaoh wants a tomb constructed and everyone has to contribute. The lefty wants a welfare state constructed so everyone must contribute. Send in the troops.
If you looked a little back at history you'll see that when it was left to the individual to look after the disadvantaged people starved to death, had no permanent home and had a fairly short but brutal life.
You may want to return to those days, many of us don't.
So like far too many people with good hearts and good intentions you lack a work ethic. Isn't this why morality, religion and education exist to elevate the individual above the cruelty to which we are all predisposed? It irritates me no end when church men and other decent people want to invest in the State the power to do that which they are able to do themselves.
John, I will never doubt your decency. I believe that you want people to have better lives. Socialism will not accomplish this, it is just another misapplication of power.
Good heavens, you don't even know me but you've decided I lack a work ethic! How dare you?
Enjoy your indignation - I hardly single you out. I think all those who espouse a welfare state are lazy.
Then don't back us up to the days of low productivity. The days when the nation could barely feed it's own, let alone help other nations. The days when luxuries were so costly as to be available only to a very, very few.
Leave it be, where people want to produce, will work for more production and thereby lower prices. Give people an incentive to produce and they will do so; remove that incentive and production will inevitably fall.
But haven't people got plenty of incentive to work now? The problem is that capitalists have no incentive to employ them,
Oh, and the times I'm talking about, when people starved to death and generally died early were amongst some of the most productive and wealthiest times, for a few that is.
Incentive to work? When the socialist government will not only provide the necessities of life but luxuries as well? Where is the incentive?
Greed isn't the only incentive and not the incentive that drives 95% of the people.
Some want fame, some want to be able to sit down and write their magnum opus, some want to serve and protect their fellows like nurses and health workers in general. Many young people in the UK go abroad to voluntarily serve others.
There are probably as many incentives to do something as there are people.
The point of socialism is not to make everybody poor but to make everybody rich. Unlike capitalism that wants to make the few fabulously wealthy at the expense of the many.
The point of capitalism is to facilitate the most efficient economic exchange. The intention of socialism is not its ultimate product. Free economic exchange is a natural system, observable in all of nature, that rewards innovation, efficiency and frugality. Socialism is a system designed to obviate all of these with the magical ability to award to everyone what is, by its physical nature, scarce and without regard to reality.
Unfortunately, most people understand that removing incentive to produce, to improve both country and person, is not conducive to producing riches. Most people also understand that not everyone lives a totally altruistic life, that those that do are an extreme minority (1 per generation, maybe?). Most people do not have a set or morals that allow (encourage) them to make up excuses for taking what others have worked to accumulate, understanding the basics of ownership.
All of which comes together to very plainly say that socialism will not only not make everyone rich, it will make them poor instead. One day, when mankind has grown and developed to the point of Star Trek, perhaps it is workable. Until then, no.
But capitalists have been removing true incentive for several centuries.
Pure survival is no incentive to build a better mouse trap or to make a better cheese.
It drags everybody down to the meanest level.
Typical fallacious socialist reasoning.
Giving people what they want removes incentive to work for it. Making work/production the only method of getting what they want adds incentive. And if you're hungry, existing on rat meat, you have a definite incentive to build a better mousetrap.
A million repetitions that socialism adds incentive won't alter reality, John. Giving people what they want without need to work for it will never add incentive to work.
Nations can nuture people who produce for other reasons. Some of the most secure and socialist nations are also the most productive because people produce as a calling, service, or to get more than a living wage--rather than just to not starve.
There are indeed people that work for pleasure, or for the satisfaction of producing. What, one in a hundred? One in a thousand? One day that percentage may be high enough to make the system viable, but that day is far, far in the future.
If socialist nations were highly productive, the price of luxuries would fall and every citizen would be more likely to have those luxuries. Yet it hasn't happened in any country of any size - almost all of the countries with very high per capita wealth are those selling off their natural resources (Kuwait) or providing safe haven for the very rich. They aren't doing it via high production, and all are very small to boot.
Apparently vocabulary is a difficulty for some. Price is an agreed upon value that encourages an economic exchange. That free will exchange regulates a market place in which no one is compelled to participate.
Wouldn't it be fantastic if capitalism did work like that!
However, your understanding of how capitalism works is just as fantastic as your understanding of socialism.
Because he has a phone that he valued at $100 (or more) and you want the government to force a change in the value of that freely purchased product. The result of compelling a price is a change in the initial price. An iphone that is sold for $100 is valued at that price by the poor man who purchases it at that price and the rich man who sells it at the price. When the government tells the rich man the phone is actually worth $105 they are also telling him that he must either charge more or reduce the cost of the iphone if he wishes to maintain his income. This will not result in a more equitable distribution without employing force.
That is the lesson of the lefty, force must be used to compel all to live in the lefty's Utopia. Where is the force in the free exchange of purchasing an iphone? It is a rational event. The purchaser believes he is getting something worth more than what he is paying for it or he would pursue a less expensive alternative or not purchase it at all.
More wonders of capitalism I don't doubt.
You are using several of those miracles to communicate around the world right at this moment.
A miracle devised by several governments around the world and only taken up by capitalists when most of the risk had been eliminated by states around the world.
A miracle (WWW) designed by a handful of people playing in their garage with the results of other capitalists that designed and produced a highly efficient and desirable product (personal computer) they could sell for necessities and luxuries they desired.
It's how capitalism works - with high productivity, people have time to play and come up with new things.
I laugh at your description of CERN as a few people working in their garage.
Still, I suppose CERN is the equivalent of a handful of people working in their garage to an American
You are communicating from the efforts of a nuclear research group of people?
I could have sworn it was over the internet, which is not nuclear and did not need nuclear research to function.
Berners-Lee was working for CERN when he developed the WWW.
CERN is a government body.
Hmm. Looking around at the origin of the internet, I find nothing about a group of college kids playing in a garage with a connection between their computers - what I thought started it all.
I also find nothing about CERN or Berners-Lee, although several sources say it came out of DARPA - a defense project. Others say Xerox, and there are a dozen others yet.
Maybe God dunnit.
Er, you started talking about the WWW but then changed to the internet!
But still, whoever was responsible for the Internet, the hand of government has been visible.
World Wide Web - Internet - about the same, aren't they?
While Darpa (most likely candidate I found) played a hand, it was strictly a private interconnection for them. It took free people, outside government, and the capitalist system to expand it into what it is today.
Concentrating only on the internet is too narrow a focus. What makes communication world wide is an array of inventions and innovations that transcends any central committees ability to completely list let alone completely control or distribute. The raw materials alone that go into a modern laptop computer come from all over the world.
These raw materials number in the hundreds and are used in producing thousands of components needed in the manufacturing of the laptop; the machinery necessary for its production;the processes needed to refine, cast, create all the innumerable steps necessary for manufacturing on such a scale.
What group of limited number, you know those committees that make the decisions and the governments that pretend that such committees actually work, can accomplish what the trillions of economic decisions made by the millions of people involved in the production and consumption of this one object - the laptop?
The actual internet itself is more complex than the laptop that demands it to continue. Add to this one activity all the other economic activities in which individuals engage and the insurmountably complex and organic aggregation of economic decisions renders the notion that any government can command sufficient information to operate and economy laughable.
Government control of economic decisions does nothing but make people poorer and their lives meaner. When the people of West Germany had access to Volkswagens, Audis, BMWs and Mercedes their brothers in East Germany had the TRABANT!! This is the inherent superiority of a capitalist system versus a government controlled system.
Lefties can pretend to the contrary but the superiority of capitalism has been demonstrated time and again since the publication of "The Wealth of Nations."
What is really kind of sad is that when we deal with John's socialist countries (and, just as we point out, we do every day) we deal in what we consider the superior economic system - capitalism. But instead of dealing in their concept of what is best (socialism) and just giving us what we want because they are richer than we are, those countries rise to the occasion and become capitalists. How does that work?
If your capitalist world is so great why do so many people in it starve to death every day?
But MY world doesn't have people starving to death. I highly doubt there has been a single death in the US due to starvation for the past several decades.
No, that is reserved for tribal Africa, where the lifestyle is more socialistic. As to why - perhaps because the are is overpopulated for the technology available for food production. Perhaps because life was too easy for too long (speaking tens of thousands of years here, not a decade). I'm really not sure just why that area of the world has lagged so far behind the rest, but I doubt it has much to do with their economic style.
Any program that has worked in the third world has been based on capitalist principles. Farming programs are not just about feeding the farmers but are about feeding the farmers and selling the surplus on to create wealth.
The reason why there are no full on socialist societies is because the ideology behind them is flawed.
Actually, I don't see either total capitalism or socialism as a workable society. Both need a little of the other, but it matters a great deal whether the relative percentages are 90/10 or 10/90.
Yes, it seems that breaking up the small socialistic tribes into capitalistic individuals results in more production. Not surprising, except to socialists expecting people to work harder when the fruits of their labor go to someone else.
How about 50/50?
it's capitalists who expect people to work harder and give the fruits of their labours to others.
Actually John under capitalism you work you eat, you don't work you eat. Under socialism you don't work you don't eat.
So which is more beneficial to society then?
50/50 has way to much socialism to be efficient or productive.
Capitalism gives the option of giving away your work results; socialism demands and requires that it go to the ruling government.
Who said socialism demands and requires giving away your work results to government?
That's certainly a new one on me - I thought it was capitalism that demanded and required the giving away of work results to the ruling class.
It's called taxes, John. Extreme and excessive taxation, far beyond what the country needs. A socialistic vice, not capitalistic.
Capitalism leaves it to you to make the choice (who you work for, what pay is acceptable, etc.); under socialism you either pay those excessive taxes or go to jail. Clear now?
Unlike Capitalism, where if you don't pay your taxes, you go to jail!
Did you see the "Extreme and excessive" part there? Perhaps you should read and respond to what is said, not to an isolated, highly spun portion?
Or do you think the socialistic countries have lower taxes in general than capitalistic ones?
John believes the government in a socialist system wont interfere with the running of the country, community or individual, he thinks the socialist government will be there just to oversee things.
There would be no need for money as you will be paid in products produced from fellow workers. Or as he intimated before vouchers (a form of money) which could be traded (hold on, sounds a bit capitalist to me) however who would regulate the worth of the vouchers and would some workers be worth more vouchers than others?
There would be no rich people, everybody would be equal, except of course those who are more equal than others.
Hm, taxes a socialist vice! That must be why after the revolution in Cuba just about all taxes were eliminated and only as they are entering free market reforms of their economy they are reintroducing taxes.
They deemed all income as already taxed, mainly because everybody was paid by the government, food and resources were rationed and the whole economy was propped up by the USSR and other socialised governments.
After the fall of the USSR the country started to decline with famine and tighter rationing by the government. since the issuing of entrepreneurs license's in 1998 things have improved with over 400000 Cubans taking up the offer to buy the licence.
So? That doesn't alter the fact that they paid no tax does it?
BTW are you suggesting that the fall of the USSR was responsible for the hurricanes that destroyed Cuba's crops?
Actually John the Cuban government was on a slippery slope downwards from the time they snatched power. It only stayed buoyant because of the help of the soviet countries and latterly the Paris club and other western nations.
In 1986 it defaulted on $10.8 billion dollars of debt and in 2002 defaulted on £750m in Japanese debts.
Since the introduction of its capitalism program the country has started to improve economically although corruption is still said to be the highest in the region.
No it didn't default, unless of course you count renegotiating as defaulting.
In 1987 Cuba stopped paying on its debt to the Paris club. And Russia wrote of $29 billion of Cuban debt of $32billion.
In 1986 it defaulted in 1987 it stopped paying, I think that's pretty plain John.
Cuba's current debt stands at $31.6billion.
And what has any of that got to do with the fact that rather than being a high tax regime it was a low/no tax regime?
BTW, what's our debt, what's the US debt?
The fact is John the government controlled the money by paying the people money after they had taken out the costs (tax) the same as most employers do here its called PAYE I believe and whatever you think they borrowed to prop up the system.
Its not the debt it the ability to pay it back and it clear Cuba hasn't got the means.
Doesn't alter the fact that taxes were low to non existent.
The government employed 97% of the working population, I must compliment them on their smoke and mirrors idea that they were not taxed because they were. There would be no need for taxation because the money was already taken from them to pay for the government.
The new capitalists who own their own businesses are taxed, firstly by the licence they have to pay for and by income tax which is anything from 10% to 50% depending on earnings.
There is also a sales tax on imported goods and some services. corporation tax is 30% unless companies have entirely foreign capital then its 35%.
Was free and heavily subsidised food smoke and mirrors?
And yes, tax rates are now 10-50% with discounts of up to 70%.
Doesn't really gel with Wildernesses claim that all socialist countries tax heavily though does it?
I didn't say it did, but just for fun those with a socialistic styled government are high tax countries. As we have discussed before John there is no truly socialist government, not even Cuba now. But there are some with socialised policies and these have to be paid for someway. The tax Burdon in the much heralded Scandinavian countries are amongst the highest in the world.
Whether these countries are better or not is a matter of opinion.
The subsidies were paid for by the people, governments have no money unless they take it from the people in the first place.
Of course not! After all, if you change the name or method of collection it is money from the people any more.
Maybe that's what's wrong with Cuba - no public roads or road maintenance, no public water/sewer treatment, no public schools, no law enforcement. All that was left for taxes was to make payments to Castro.
Are you presenting Cuba as a socialist country, where everyone pays for everyone else?
No water, no schools! I think you have the wrong Cuba.
You're getting really slack about reading, John, or intentionally trying to spin the words of others into something they are not. A little more care please.
As in including the word "public" with the words "water/sewer treatment" or "schools".
Then explain how those things can exist without government money, and where that money came from.
In what world are poor people buying $100 phones?
That would be our world. A good friend recently bought a phone (used) for $250 - I happen to know the couple only earns around $25,000 per year. Poor, by definition, but can spend double and more over that $100.
That just cracks me up. I applaud you for such a statement. It is totally without foundation but a great rant. I am happy there are cool radical folks out there.
?But the position is totally ignorant of reality and the notion of social responsibility. And even that is good. So we pay attention which is more than these folks pay for life.
It always make me laugh when the freeloading conservatives go for the socialism BS. So let's look at which states have the highest rates of unemployment, lack of healthcare and comprehensive education...conservative states who love to brag how "conservatively low" their taxes are. Sure they are low...when you live off the federal tax revenues other states pay, why not? Conservatives in red states all ship their unemployed onto SSDI like in AL where the number of unemployed are now enrolled in SSDI for things people up north go to work with every day: high cholesterol, Type II Diabetes and high blood pressure. But in conservative states, these things preclude holding down a job. Take a good look at the welfare numbers in FL, TN, KY and the biggest federal trough feeder of welfare: MS...all conservative states. Meanwhile, people in the so-called liberal, moderate and progressive states are all out of bed every day at 5 AM and off to their jobs to pay for these freeloaders. Does TX need that $14 billion next year for its only major industry, Big Oil? You bet it doesn't. But they'll bash solar energy just so the rest of us can try to feed the insatiable greed of the Big Oil Bois. Sorry but you lose this one. If you can't learn to share fairly, that speaks volumes about who you really are and what you are not.
I'm happy to hear that you might believe that there are some non-freeloading conservatives.
You would be well here in Ann Arbor. We have a lot of misguided socialists here who attend the University of Michigan. Especially the 18 year old freshmen snot nose kids who think they have the answers to everything.
"Who could feel more betrayed in the desert of late capitalist nothingness than those most immersed in its recent worsening, and more desperately in need of diversion from its horrors?"
"Taking account of regressive features among some of the young, one has to recognize in these features at least a somewhat justified strategy, on whatever level it could be said to be such. The world that youth are expected to enter and reproduce is bankrupt, fearsome, and without prospects.
In fact, it is far more infantile in its workings and categories than in the defenses against it that youth erect for their own integrity. Not only, as a foundation of modern life, does the encroaching high-tech principle render us all daily more dependent; the institutions of society--and media is only the most glaring example--are themselves infantile and infantilizing. Who would legitimately feel anything but the need to "regress" in the opposite direction of such a non-future?"~ John Zerzan
Why always with the "Us" and "Them" argument. The more you ask for a division of thinking the more you will separate the two from a compromise. Do you think that a liberal is one day going to wake up and say "I have been terribly wrong in my assumptions and must throw them away to appeal to the conservative way of thinking and therefore make some progress" and vice versa. Most governance comes from the middle and they are the ones who have to cut through all the chatter the two sides throw out there to try and make an informed decision. That is even if they care enough to vote. There are valid points on both sides of most issues. So instead of getting something done both can live with, throw the whole thing into a ditch and get nothing done is the result. You have a lot of good ideas but your constant ranting on conservative/liberal rhetoric is most annoying and counter productive.
Most governance comes from compromising the future of the nation. The divide is between reason and emotion; reality and fantasy; conservative and liberal. What is the reasonable argument of the left with which conservatives should compromise for the benefit of the nation? When the Political Parties compromise the people suffer, as proof one need only look at the national debt.
And I suppose you're about to tell us that superstitious religious zealots are on the side of "reason" and "reality"?
Your statement is duplicitous at best. Your comparisons of the extremes as having no middle is misleading because it happens none the less. The elections usually come out with some sort of compromise and when there is no compromise the election reflects a balance of nothing getting done. Once again the middle is realized. When political parties compromise the people suffer is something in which I can see a little truth. The national debt is a whole other thing as politicians are looking for money from donations to proxy their votes and that is the thrust and not a compromise for good between parties. This is also what drives political parties to compromise if only as a bachground influence.
Lefties see conservatives as evil, one need merely read the forums here or listen to the actual language used by elected Democrats to describe Republicans. Conservatives see lefties as misinformed and damaged, at best, part of a Marxist/Socialist conspiracy, at worst. Where is compromise possible? Who would choose to compromise with evil? What conservative would choose to compromise with a Marxist? Compromise is by politicians who sole purpose is to remain in elective office, why? "It's good to be the king" or Senator or President or Governor, etc....
I am sorry you conscribe to the continued dribble about the "Us and Them" divisional thinking perpetrated by people who neither want and even abhor progress. Yes they want you to feel this way and bust their butts to make sure you continue this way. They remain in charge while you wallow in it. In your response you hold the keys to the answer although your attitude precludes you from ever getting there. "Compromise is by politicians who sole purpose is to remain in elective office, why?" The reason why they have to pay attention to this is because they wish to stay in office. If we practice derision and placate their proxies we can expect them to get nothing done. The "sheeple" must hold them accountable. But who are the sheeple? Ones that do nothing or one's who are mislead by the dribble?
Conservatives do not hate government, at all. Conservatives see government for what it is, a dangerous animal that must be contained or it will run wild and devour everything. I wonder sometimes why lefties cannot learn that exact lesson from recent history. How many millions of people have died in the last hundred years because governments ran wild? Why do lefties always turn to government for solutions to problems of human character rather than keep that monster chained? It is because lefties have a fantasy world in which they wish to dwell and will gladly use the vast powers of government to compel everyone to accept and dwell in their personal fantasy.
It goes far beyond a mere Utopian view. Utopia is an absolute impossibility, yet lefties seek its fulfillment. The ultimate outcome of leftist Utopian fantasies is horror and death. This has been demonstrated time and again, yet lefties still believe in Utopia.
What I wonder is, will American leftists ever see government as anything but a perfect solution even when America is finally bankrupt. TOO LATE.
Government is not a sole solution, but the concept of a government is held by most civilized nations, last time I check. Why do you rightwingers prefer anarchy? Well, I don't buy it, if there is something wrong with government, it is the corrupting influence of big money, (greedy private sector business interests) keeping it from being truly representative of the people that it is supposed to serve.
To paraphrase a great leftist government leader of the past century, how many divisions does Walmart have? Vast, powerful avaricious government dwarfs the perceived greed of business and distorts all economic decisions to satisfy the will of the government.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
No conservative cries out for anarchy, but why do lefties crave government so vast as to order you how large a reservoir your flush toilet can have and what light bulbs you can buy. It is the lefty who yearns for the tyrant who will make everything clean, neat, orderly, fair and equal no matter how much force is required.
Yes, you do use exaggerated examples of 'nanny government' that we all oppose. But the rightwinger complains about everything from the need for TSA to environmental regulators. Your big buddy business interests have nothing but the desire for the destruction of society and its people, in the pursuit of profit. They cannot be reigned in, at least I have some control over government through the democratic process.
I think members of the Left are more dangerous than anybody. They want control, control and control and will use the government as an ends to get it.
Republicanism:republican |riˈpəblikən| adjective
(of a form of government, constitution, etc.) belonging to, or characteristic of a republic. Republicanism existed as an identifiable movement in the Roman Republic, where the founder of the Republic, Lucius Junius Brutus, denounced the former Roman Kingdom and had the Roman people declare a solemn oath to never allow a monarchy to return again.
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a society or state as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often through elections.
"utopian |yo͞oˈtōpēən| adjective
Modeled on or aiming for a state in which everything is perfect; idealistic." Dictionary
"A utopia /juːˈtoʊpiə/ is a community or society possessing highly desirable or perfect qualities. The word was coined in Greek by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island society in the Atlantic Ocean. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempt to create an ideal society…" Wikipedia
Inherent in the above and below is a rather distasteful vein of anger and resentment. One wields heavy labels, lefty or righty, liberal or conservative, completely dismissing the blatant fact that we, all of us, have this forum to whine within in the first place. In that one can take a shovel and start digging and become anything he or she wants, provided the passion and the intelligence is there, the overriding reality is that Utopia, for lack of a better word, is there for the taking. Will some be better at exploiting it than others? Clearly. But lest we forget that in much of the world this overarching concept we take for granted, Free Speech, disallows the have nots from enunciating their emotional pain and so called abuses of power. That we have a voice at all, each of us, should be celebrated and utilized to craft a balance between all people, regardless of their affiliation, rank, and attitude. Family Guiy defines government as electing officials to vote and solve our problems against taking some dough once and awhile to get the job done. Everyone in the Family Guy rabble applauded and there was no sneering division between folks. Kudos to Family Guy for breaking it down for the little people with the undying will to complain.
I have zero interest in hearing the "have nots" (or at least those that perceive themselves as being a "have not", which includes every person) enunciate their emotional pain. The only use for such is to attract more of the the same, filling the world with people crying their lot in life but doing nothing about it. I prefer to live in a positive world, not a negative one, and feel that the large majority of people are better off in a positive atmosphere as well.
So yes, enjoy and embrace that we have a voice, but then USE that voice for good, not to drive disappointment, despair and disillusionment in others.
How is a call to celebrate our voices and the freedom to do so negative? The world is our oyster and it's a positive oyster and happy new year miss positive.
But when more than half of the country clings to primitive religion and actively halts scientific progress at every turn (with either their vote or their dollar), how can there be anything but disappointment, despair, and disillusionment?
What scientific progress have Americans stopped then?
Wasting money in futile space excursions. Especially the fake ones to the moon.
Do you have any idea how much knowledge and information---not to mention "things" used in our lives every day from communication to medicine, are derived from what you mock as "futile space excursions"?
That was rather the point - that those "futile space excursions" have been curtailed. The progress has thus been stopped by Americans in almost it's entirety in that field..
Guess the sarcasm didn't come through very well.
And yet it is not the atavistic religious who have halted space exploration but the lefties. The current President has all but wrecked NASA.
Oh, please. Don't even try to pretend you care about intellectual advancement. Also, don't try to pretend Obama is anything but a slightly-to-the-right Centrist.
EDIT: Whoa, nevermind the "slightly". Or the "Centrist".
As an anti-leftist there is nothing more important to me than reason and learning, it is the essential reason why I am anti-lefty. Lefties have little in common with reason or intellect, but they do have wonderful imaginations and colorful, meaningless charts.
Yes, which is why you refuse to accept fundamental scientific facts in favor of a Bronze Age book of fairy tales. Because reason and learning are just so important to you.
Absolutely adorable, it is entertaining when the "add up the begats" crowd and the crazy, hateful leftys both preach from the same book. I am hardly stuck in the "Bronze Age" nor do I reject real, actual science - you know the kind not driven by government grants and politics - but it would appear that some cannot help but say funny things like "Bronze Age," I almost shot coffee out of my nose I laughed so hard.
In American politics, the POTUS is exceedingly liberal. He is, by no means, a centrist. He wants:
redistribution of wealth
extension of welfare benefits
"assault weapon" ban
extension of food stamps, to the greatest levels in history
tax increases on the wealthy
socialized healthcare putting greater burden on young and healthy
increased minimum wage. . .again and again
immigration reform that mandates full citizenship
massive regulations on Wall Street and the market in general
Few centrists support these policies. With few exceptions, these are the policies of the left, the liberal left.
I could make a pretty, colorful chart to prove it.
But all the things you list are attributes of the liberal right!
Not necessarily. If you look at any political stance graph, Left and Right are the x-axis while Liberal and Conservative (often called Libertarian and Authoritarian) are the y-axis. And just like any other graph you've seen, that makes 4 zones: Liberal Left, Liberal Right, Conservative Left, Conservative Right.
Not to the Brits. It think, being on the wrong side of the globe, they do everything backwards. Left is right, right is left, etc., much like the Aussies do everything upside down.
Wouldn't it just be a inverted oxymoron?
If people think liberals are right wing they should just take a listen to the rubbish the UK Liberal democratic party comes up with.
Not a bit of it. Right wing in that they believe in the free market and things capitalist.
Liberal in that they don't believe in using child labour, they don't believe in letting the unemployed starve to death. In fact they are pretty liberal in their attitude to their fellow men.
If you want to define political ideologies based on a quadrant graph, I guess you could make an argument. In reality, that's wrong.
President Obama is, increasingly obviously, to the center-right on social issues and to the center-left on economic issues.
This was very clear in his comments of 8 January 2013 related to extension of unemployment benefits. Rather than talk about job creation---which is center-right, he belabored the need to continue with the entitlement payments and clearly indicated his belief that these entitlement payments are key to economic stability. This is clearly center-left.
As for a "liberal right"---I don't think any such thing exists in the United States. The division right to left in the US tends to be social and economic.
I know some are extreme right but surely some of them believe in not exploiting children or letting the unemployed starve to death. Many I believe don't care one way or the other about such things as same sex marriages or abortion.
In other words, they have a liberal approach to the actions of their fellow men.
There are actually quite a few of us like that. Unfortunately at this point in the timeline not enough - the liberal left is still controlling the economics of the nation their way with as much giveaway as they can squeeze through; not exploiting kids or allowing the unemployed to starve is just the very beginning.
Even while the far right is still controlling too much of the social aspects of the country, forever trying to run the lives of everyone around them.
The political divisions in America are not so well delineated. There are Republicans that get very nervous around those who have strong opinions about anything that may be controversial. They like to call themselves moderates, I like to call them cowards. If one believes in something one should take a stand, whether I agree or not.
You, John always take a stand. Whether I agree with your stand or not, I appreciate your fortitude.
FYI Department: Meet the poverty liars: GOP peddles more garbage in war on the poor
http://www.salon.com/2014/01/08/meet_th … _the_poor/
Apparently lefties are winning the war on the poor since there are more poor now than when the "war on poverty" began. Well done, lefties have swollen the ranks of the poor, no better way to show your love for the poor, I suppose.
Just more proof that the reactionary right have been obstructing progress for the last fifty years.
You're right - the kind of progress Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain have all made.
But that's the reactionary right for you; just obstructing every chance they get, although I'm not sure I would call it obstructing progress. Just the socialism leading to the rat hole that much of Europe has fallen into.
I'm afraid that greedy US bankers screwing up half the worlds economies isn't socialism however much you would like it to be.
Sorry John but it was the government of Greece themselves that screwed up their own economy. It shows how socialist plans can fall flat on their face when economics come into play. Bad economics like paying train conductors €40K a year whilst the railways make huge loses will always lead to a poor financial future for a country.
You cant blame the bankers for everything but socialists will always try.
No John but not all of Europe is as well off as the Germans, some like Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Britain to some extent decided to sell off the future by borrowing money to fund the increase in socialist programs. The banks teetering on the brink just brought the whole thing to a head.
Sorry, but the large majority of the blame goes to the liberal politicians, spreading socialism in the country by insisting that everyone can have a house, whether they can afford one or not. Next on the list is the stupid people, unable to figure out they can't make the mortgage payments with their income. Far down the list are the bankers, caving in to the demands of the politicians that they make loans to people unlikely to pay them back.
So basically, it was once more socialism on the march that destroyed the economy of half the world.
Sorry, but there is absolutely nothing socialist about buying your own house - nothing.
It is in fact a means of trying to make people sympathetic to capitalists by pretending that they are capitalists too.
You must stop trying to blame all the worlds ills on socialism because it just isn't so.
No there is not. Nothing socialist at all; it's all capitalism.
When you want the government for force banks to give you a loan for that house that you cannot pay back - that's socialism. At the root it's a matter of forcing banks to make bad loans, then raise rates on everyone else to make up the loss (or get bailed out, which is what happened this time) because after all, everyone that wants one should have a nice new house. That poor people can't afford such a thing is intolerable; let someone else pay for it if they can't afford it.
no it isn't socialism and will never be how ever many times you try to claim that it is.
John, you will continue to claim that socialism isn't about redistribution the wealth; isn't about equalizing all people financially, but it is. Among other things, that's exactly what socialism is about; more government control to force all peoples to be equal economically. And that's where I have a major problem with the system and why it will always ultimately fail in any but very small groups of people.
Mankind simply is not ready for that great leap to total altruism.
I will continue to argue that socialism isn't about what you claim it to be because it isn't.
Equality of opportunity is not equality of outcome, it isn't about more government control, it's about less.
You saying it is doesn't make it so.
1 prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair: there was evidence of bias against foreign applicants | the bias toward younger people in recruitment | [ in sing. ] : a systematic bias in favor of the powerful.
Wikipedia: [bold italics mine]
Debt crisis (2010–)
Greek public debt 1999–2010 compared with Eurozone average
By the end of 2009, as a result of a combination of international and local factors the Greek economy faced its most-severe crisis since the restoration of democracy in 1974 as the Greek government revised its deficit from an estimated 6% to 12.7% of gross domestic product (GDP).
In early 2010, it was revealed that through the assistance of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and numerous other banks, financial products were developed which enabled the governments of Greece, Italy and many other European countries to hide their borrowing. Dozens of similar agreements were concluded across Europe whereby banks supplied cash in advance in exchange for future payments by the governments involved; in turn, the liabilities of the involved countries were "kept off the books". According to Der Spiegel credits given to European governments were disguised as "swaps" and consequently did not get registered as debt. As Eurostat at the time ignored statistics involving financial derivatives, a German derivatives dealer had commented to Der Spiegel that "The Maastricht rules can be circumvented quite legally through swaps," and "In previous years, Italy used a similar trick to mask its true debt with the help of a different US bank." These conditions had enabled Greek as well as many other European governments to spend beyond their means, while meeting the deficit targets of the European Union. In May 2010, the Greek government deficit was again revised and estimated to be 13.6% which was the second highest in the world relative to GDP with Iceland in first place at 15.7% and Great Britain third with 12.6%. Public debt was forecast, according to some estimates, to hit 120% of GDP during 2010.
Blaming the lender for what the borrowers want?
Those nasty bankers forced all that money on those poor European countries so they could afford their daily bread.
If a man wanted young girls would you absolve the supplier from any responsibility?
If there was no requirement there would be no need to supply.
Yes it is, its a better answer than your rather nasty question deserves.
So what you are saying is don't blame the addict blame the dealer!
But the pusher doesn't have to force the addict does he John?
I think both the government were hungry for money and the banks were hungry for business.
You may think that the pusher doesn't force the addict, maybe not, but they certainly work at getting people addicted.
Silverspeeder, your evasion of the main issue is revealing. Bankers bribe politicians to evade their public responsibilities in order to deregulate their finacial industry and then you fault the public by implying they should have been exploited for their ignorance of all of these intricate and clandestine backroom deals. So in essence, you label all this activity as capitalism doing its job while indicting public ignorance and complacency as just more socialism fouling business activity. Can't you recognize corruption for what it is and skip the petty labels and ideological accusations?
And you think there would be no corruption under socialism?
The governments of these countries deregulated the banks because they were hungry for cash themselves, are you seriously telling me the government is of the people, by the people, for the people?
I agreed with John that both the governments and the banks were to blame for the current situation, ultimately the people are to blame for voting the governments in accepted, but do you know what your government representative are doing right now?
My original point was do governments think that taxing a few rich people more will solve the problems the governments have got themselves into? What do you think?
So why are they taxing them less? Down from 50% to 45% and soon to go down to 40%!
If you think that is taxing people more . . .
45% is greater than 20%
If all things are equal then the percentage should be the same.
The poorest in the UK pay an effective rate of tax of 47%.
I don't really have the time to explain economics from first principles to you but here's one lesson.
Take a single person on benefits. They spend half their income on heating. This heating is taxed at 5%. Say their income is £80 a week, 5% of £40 is £2 or 2.5% of their income.
The man earning £800 a week spends a similar amount on heating but only spends 0.25% of his income on VAT.
Remember that the one earning £899 a week week have access to much cheaper power, discounts for paying by direct debit and many more advantages.
Most of us have access to free ATMs, unless you are poor that is in which case you only have access to ones that charge. The common charge is £1.75 to withdraw any amount of money. Think of that, you need some cash to buy your baby some food and draw out £10!
Single person on benefits? Do you mean someone who is working and receiving tax credits?
Someone on benefits are being paid from the taxpayer pot and therefor is just replacing some back into the taxpayer pot they were receiving from, thus this is a negative effect transaction and therefore doesn't constitute paying any tax at all.
A person receiving working tax credits will also be receiving from the taxpayers pot, so to varying degrees will be in a negative effect transaction.
A person who receives no benefits at all will be paying a varied amount of tax according to what they earn.
Missed this one!
No, I didn't mean somebody working and receiving tax credits. I meant somebody not working at all but as you've raised the question of tax credits - they are paid to benefit the employers, not the employee. Imagine a world without tax credits, either jobs would be impossible to fill or employers would have to pay higher wages which would result in lower profits. It would also mean an increase in tax revenues!
Tell me again who benefits from tax credits.
As without them there would be no means to pay for their survival.
And as those jobs wouldn't be available without the tax credits then the recipients benefit also.
So you agree that someone who receives benefits is not actually paying tax then?
The recipient what?
And no, I don't agree that somebody receiving benefits is not actually paying tax.
Would you claim that somebody who worked for the government didn't pay taxes?
Now you are getting the idea John
But there are differences between a government worker and a benefit claimant.
That a government worker provides a service and a benefit claimant doesn't.
No the idea that they both receive their income from the government but one pays taxes and the other doesn't.
We aren't just talking about income tax here, there are many other forms of direct and indirect taxation that few are free from. Those that are free are the few who live totally outside the system.
All taxes go to the government and are spent as the government see fit, although collected separately they go into one pot.
So, what's your point?
That comment has nothing to do with who pays taxes.
Sorry john I thought you were on about people and the tax they pay (adding to the tax pot) and that those with lower incomes pay more.
So the point is that anyone who receives a taxpayer benefit isn't actually paying any tax until that benefit is used up. So low paid workers actually pay less than people who don't receive any benefits.
It a good illusion that those paid out of the tax pot are paying into it, it says so on their payslips doesn't it!
So people on benefits are free from paying VT etc?
And have you really no idea at what level benefits stop at? For instance child benefit is payable until one of the couple earn over £50,000 pa! The cut off point for working tax credits is the same.
They don't pay VAT John, the taxpayer does. The person who makes it possible for them to pay it by giving them some of their tax.
I do know what level it stops at John and the answer is the same, they will pay back more into the pot that's all. (because they will be taxed on the original income)
So they still have the money they spend on VAT then!
Yes john they still have the tax money paid by others to facilitate their lives.
So where do these people pay more tax than the taxpayer who gave the money in the first place?
That's great, they buy something with VAT on it but they still have the portion that they spent on VAT!
I've been through that once but you refused to accept it.
There really isn't much point to this debate is there? Your down on the disadvantaged and your adulation of the wealthy is unshakable.
Let me try and explain this simply to you John.
the tax man takes £10 in tax, the tax man has £10, the tax man gives you £10 and you pay £3 in tax, therefor the tax man has £3 and you have £7. The tax man has a loss of £7 and you have a gain of £7 so where do you think you have paid tax? Just an illusion as I said.
I am not down on the poor John I just don't like discriminating against those who earn more.
And I didn't see Question time because I was at work.
I also get paid from the taxpayer pot John because I work at a college.
<sigh> if you have £10 and you give £3 back then you only have £7 to spend. Or, if you insist on your line of reasoning, we don't pay an unemployed man £71.70. We only pay him that amount less the tax he pays, about £35!
I don't know how you get your figure John, unless the unemployed man is spending more than the £35 you say he gets on cigarettes, booze and petrol. But he still has a net gain of £35 (your figure)
So someone who earns £600 a week must be paying £300 a week in tax (by your reckoning) and therefor have a net gain of only £300 for their efforts.
Don't divert! You are claiming that anybody receiving money from the government doesn't pay tax therefore you must agree that whatever the final figure is, a single person does not get £71.70 and in future when anybody claims that they do you will put them right.
I am not diverting John, anyone who receives benefits is getting a net gain for doing nothing. The person who receives the money has the right to spend it on what they like, those things may incur tax, would you suggest the benefit recipient carry a card around saying I don't need to pay tax because this is tax money I am paying with? (I suppose it would create another taxpayer funded job though)
And the benefit recipient does not pay any income tax which is still the greatest proportion of tax that the working man will pay.