drwho: You write "I suspect that Phil and Diane would probably agree that a fair government and fair society is one in which the state provides for everyone's needs." Of course, I can't speak for Phil, but that's not an accurate description for me. I would not say "state provides" . . . I'd say it would be a society where we all care for and about each other. Utopia. We'll never reach that. But within our grasp (at least in the US, with its abundant wealth) is that no one go without basic health care, where water is safe, where no one starves, where taxes are based fairly and on ability to pay, for a start.
ik911 is absolutely right: "an 'I am right' conversation is different that 'What is the problem' discussion." We could have a most interesting conversation here if we combine that comment with hk's comment after her interesting history "People today have a vastly different & individualized understanding of what the word 'Freedom' truly mean."
"where taxes are based fairly and on ability to pay..." This!! The item which is second on the list of 'why gub-mint does not work" after the 'prostitution' issue is the tax code. Solution: 1) flat tax system 12.5% for income and 2) 18.5% for business with an exempt tax floor of 30k to 35k; period. No deductions. No preferences. There will be more money available for 'basic services' - roads, socialize health care for those who need it, etc, etc.
Explain why this is not hypocrisy please. And please don't say both sides do it. When you are caught, own up to it. Don't say both sides do it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPSj0jgF-_w
Flat tax unfairly punishes lower earners. 12.5% of $15,000 has a greater negative impact then 12.5% of $250,000. Of course it is more money but in terms of affecting their "pursuit of happiness" the flat tax punishes the low end of the economic scale.
Tuco, your argument begs the question, why are they low earners? I was invited to attend a graduation ceremony at UMass. A friend's daughter was rec'ing her diploma. 28 people were given MSc's in chemistry that day. 27 of them were boat people, sons and daughters of Cambodian and Vietnamese rice paddy workers brought here thru Calif and Texas in the post war immigration program.
The cost of your university education disadvantages intelligent people from poor backgrounds. They may not be able to access the degrees leading to well paid jobs as a result.
Why "they" are low earners is immaterial. I don't understand why you are bringing up the children of immigrants who are achieving their goals. Are you insinuating that they had special treatment or that they worked hard and deserved their diploma? From what you wrote it seems they were American citizens.
I'm at a loss in following either one of you in your logic. You seem to be emotionally invested in your arguments and I'm not interested looking for an argument. How much one makes or what one does for work isn't necessarily correlated to education, intelligence or opportunity, but there are multiple avenues to success if one truly wants to find it.
It mainly depends on what one defines as success. Money is a poor benchmark IMO.
Diane: my apologies for getting carried away. You believe the government should insure the everyone's basic needs are met, not care for everyone all the time.
The distinction is important to you, but my basic point still stands, the original design of our government was in stark contrast to the aims of the French revolutionaries. We did not then believe nor should we now believe government has any place in caring for people.
My point with the children of the boat people is they saw opportunity and they seized it by the throat. They endured hell to get there too. One woman I talked with said she had to learn English first and went through two different internment camps in Texas while she took ESL courses.
Diane: Frederic Bastiat points out that the goal of insuring everyone's basic needs are met and the goal of establishing justice are mutually exclusive goals.
g,ng medium, no hard techniques required. Are people focusing on the media-driven myopic political and financial issues du jour when there are greater issues at stake, like our survival? I think so. We are moving to a cashless welfare state and a binary neofeudal society where the basic necessities will be free while only the privileged have access to everything else. The markets are dying. Large corporations are buying stock back at reduced prices and I see them going private. In the future corporations will control government. What privileges our families enjoy will be dependent on quaternary strings of genomic code. Its already happening in biolabs around the world.
Difficulty score 26. No green, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Hey Angie: about those spelling errors. Haste makes waste. I make a lot of typing errors when I type quickly, and I am typing as fast as I can because I don't want to waste the time of those people who are complaining about all the political debate here.
Maybe this will settle all the political debates here. You know what George Washington would say if he were alive today?
I'm a simple person, and I try to avoid being pretentious. Sorry, can't cotton to phrases like "binary neofeudal society", and if I'd heard of Frederick Bastiat, I've long forgotten it. Here's what I do know: (1) many other countries provide for their citizens' basic needs like health insurance, and provide a safety net for those who need it. They are very successful, and lack no freedoms (well, except perhaps to kill each other with guns). (2) reading between jackt's big words, I think we're in agreement that the rich are getting richer, and corporations have too much power. (3) the income and geography of parents in large part dictates the success of children, despite anecdotal stories about children of certain immigrants. Poverty breeds poverty, period. Lack of education breeds lack of education, period. Sure, there are exceptions to every rule, but not many. (4) A flat tax sounds good, but as tuco points out, $6,250 is much more significant to someone earning $50,000 than $125,000 is to someone earning $1M. I favor a simplified tax regime (remember, I'm simple), but graduated. Canada had an extremely simplified personal income tax system (very few deductions) but the rate increased the more one earned.
<Clawing at coffin lid> "Let me out of here."
I guess not. For those of you concerned about money in politics, how about some concern for how much money the politicians get to spend?
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
-- P. J. O'Rourke
Diane: Here is a good place to start learning about Bastiat:
A short essay on government by Bastiat.
Adr41n - You raised an important point, 'however,' since I was born in the USA (where the distinction is of zero significance, quite the opposite really, uniformity is the norm), I was given the 'ski' as was my mother when she married my father here. They got engaged in London. It's a tricky thing, switching countries.
You know what makes me nuts - all these Hispanic news reporters. They do the entire segment in perfectly enunciated English, when they sign off, all of a sudden, they say their names with a Hispanic accent. What the heck is this BS? I could well have been doing the same thing my entire life, Polish being the first language & learned & spoke here. Makes me nuts.
bastiat and ayn rand are similar and if we remember Alan Greenspan. He said at one of his last congressional hearings. "My ideology was flawed"
Greenspan = huge Ayn Rand proponent and friend.
Helen, you made me think of a hockey player. Richard Martin. Part of the French Connection line for the Buffalo Sabres years ago. Anglo sports announcers called him Richard Martin. His name is pronounced Ree shard Mar tahn.
I always heard him referred to as Rick Martin here in the States.
and Hi HelenK. ski, ska, it's all the same here.
drwho, it saddens me to think that an intelligent person such as yourself could make such a comment about governments caring for people. Of course that is and should be part of their role. Do you really believe children with cancer for example should not receive healthcare if their parents can't afford it? Or an innocent victim one of your many mass shootings should be turned away and a disability not be provided for the rest of their lives? Or mental health? Seriously?
tuco = you made me think of Maurice Richard - whose name was ALWAYS pronounced the 'French' way, at smidge before my time, however many comparisons were made to him - I am from Chicago, grew up with Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Tony Esposito - difficult for me to appreciate most hockey when that is the standard of playing one is raised with. Huh? They were special? :)
Helen, My Polish friend ( female ) insisted that the tradition should be kept up even if not in Poland ( Or her parents did )
But I have heard it is not followed in the US ( Forgot yesterday )
No, it is not widely followed here at all. Very few Polish women have kept the 'a'. Of course, when I traveled to Poland many years ago, they ((airport, hotel people . . .) automatically would pronounce it with the 'a' even though it read as 'i'/
I tend to agree with your friend - if only . . .
Adr - are you in Switzerland?
Helen, no England ( Cross of St George )
ah, I guess I could have just clicked on your icon. I am not pro here, I am on Babble. Just asked because I have been to Switzerland, best country ever!
I will say this though: I am forever in deepest gratitude to the Brits for taking in my parents, along with so many others after WWII. Events of the world really sadden me today.
We have had a new wave of Poles recently, our local Costa ( Like Starbucks ) is full of them!
I have recently read an article on a small group of Nazi Poles - I would very much like to come over & do evil things to them.
Small group in England, I should say.
A lot of Poles have come here, there is even a Polish Supermarket in our town ( outskirts od London ).
You get a large group of anything, there will be some bad ones ...
Right you are. I wonder why they are leaving Poland, from what I hear, things have greatly improved there. Matter of fact, Poles are leaving here to go back 'home.'
Pay in Britain is considerably higher than pay in Poland.
Well, there you go!
As are state benefits. But, I think most Polish immigrants to the UK (free movement is allowed within the European Union) also get UK rates of state benefit. Again, higher than Polish rates. But I don;t think many Polish immigrants claim benefit, they seem to be a hard working group of people.
too much talking here - now I gotta start over!
but later, bye all
Yes most of the ones I know are working and sending money home, p.s. Swiss flag is the inverse of ours, White Cross on a Red Background.
Adr - oh, what a horrible mistake, I'm getting old!