Coffeehouse Thread

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I'd rather just pay more taxes

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  • User profile image
    Cream​Filling512

    , ScanIAm wrote

    Oh christ, now we get to rehash the same old arguments about how to interpret the the various founding documents.  I swear some folks read them like they're some kind of religious text. 

    They're not religious text, they're LAW.  That's one of the prime foundations of our civilized existence, you know, rule of law.  You don't get to run around selectively re-interpreting things because it's convenient for your political agenda.  The founders left legitimate ways to change the constitution, and other laws, and either you do that, or it's not legitimate.  It's as simple as that.  It's not up to your imagination.

    Regardless of how forward thinking you feel the authors were, they had no concept of how to manage a society hundreds of millions of people in a world filled with 6 billion people.

    I'd argue that federalism is even more relevent today because of the far greater diversity and population, and size of the nation.  The stakes are way higher too.  We can't afford to experiment with social programs on a nationwide level, the individual states are ideal laboratories.

    If you're engineering a new system, you don't go throw it on the production server without testing it, you dogfood it locally first at least.

    We need to make a decision, as a society, what we want to do with people who suck at life acutely or chronically.  If the decision is to say 'screw em', then I'll accept that.  If the decision is to try and help them, then I'll accept that.  We need to make this decision, however, because the constant back and forth over it is counterproductive.

    IMO change to laws should happen through a stable consensus and republican means.  The fact things go back and forth is because there is no consensus.  It's counterproductive sure, but what do you think is going to happen when you try to impose top-down social programs at a national level, waste is a given.

    If you're so frustrated with the progress, have you ever thought that maybe it's because the federal government is actually not the appropiate place for these programs?

    And this bull-sh*t where we play games trying to starve the beast only ends up hurting the people who actually need the help.

    No idea what this is supposed to mean, people get their entitlement checks regardless of whether it adds to the debt or not.

  • User profile image
    bryanedds

    I'd rather just have freedom and general prosperity.

    @CreamFilling512: Cheers. It's really sad how the left and right would trade away lawful government for their ideological crusades. It's as if they've never heard of what happened to the people underneath criminal governments throughout the 20th century. Rather than learning good economics and humbling themselves to dynamics of voluntary human action, they want to create a society built on their prejudices and hatred... enforced by thugs, jailors, executioners, and (now thanks to Bush il Deuce) torturers.

    It is set up to become a war of all groups against all others where at least one group has a target on its back. What was once a society will become a prison to the prevailing hysteria of the moment. We'll reinvent the same old totalitarianism under a new guise, all because too few are willing to humbly educate themselves on limited, decentralized, republican government and real economics (EG - not Keynesianism).

    I believe in America's core tradition of equal protection for everyone under the law. I don't care if you really ARE the 99%, the 1% has the same God-given rights as everyone else; the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness via the just acquisition of private property.

    It is time to say 'NO' to criminal government, your welfare checks and bloated warfare budgets be damned! Neither of those will save you when your own government's got a boot on your neck. And if you have your eyes open, you'll see said boot is getting closer everyday - http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-set-to-become-law-the-terror-is-nearer-than-ever-2011-12#ixzz1gYi1BuI7

    Ultimately, the argument isn't about whether you should help people out with your neighbor's money. The argument is about freedom - that is, the freedom to help yourself provided that you allow others to do the same for themselves and each other. Under an unrestrained criminal government, everyone is doomed. Mao, Hitler, and Stalin all provided gigantic welfare systems. In the end, their massive social safety nets only worked to ensnare and suffocate the people.

    So don't give us that agitprop about people having the freedom to starve under laissez-faire. What people really need, and what criminal government utterly destroys, is the freedom to survive, and the ability to flourish. That's what made America prosperous, and can again. So let's stop playing around with grand utopian ideals, and get America back to the business of liberty.

    Because it's either that, or http://jim.com/hayek.htm

    An individualist is he who is saving himself from all those who are saving the world.
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  • User profile image
    spivonious

    @CreamFilling512: Agreed. The Constitution is very clear about what powers the federal government has and specifically leaves everything else up to the states. If something really needs to be changed or added to it, there is an amendment process.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , CreamFilling512 wrote

    *snip*

    They're not religious text, they're LAW.  That's one of the prime foundations of our civilized existence, you know, rule of law.  You don't get to run around selectively re-interpreting things because it's convenient for your political agenda.  

    Generic Forum Image

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    @evildictaitor:

    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    I interpret this as "Since we will have miltias to fight off any attackers, the people need to be able to keep and carry weapons." As most (all?) states don't have a miltia anymore, this right is antiquated. Still, should militias need to pop up again, the people should be allowed posession and responsible use of firearms. The basic thought behind it is that the government can't forcibly disarm citizens who are otherwise respecting the laws (presumably to squelch a rebellion before it starts).

    With this interpretation, I don't think there should be any controls on who buys what weapons. If I want to buy an Abrams tank, I should be able to. Personally, I don't own any guns and don't feel that I have a reason to own any. But the second amendment is there to keep the federal government from interfering.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    And cue the chorus of 'welfare checks' and 'etitlement

    , CreamFilling512 wrote

    *snip*

    They're not religious text, they're LAW.  That's one of the prime foundations of our civilized existence, you know, rule of law.  You don't get to run around selectively re-interpreting things because it's convenient for your political agenda.  The founders left legitimate ways to change the constitution, and other laws, and either you do that, or it's not legitimate.  It's as simple as that.  It's not up to your imagination.

    Really?  The federalist papers and the millions of pages of reinterpretation of them are Laws?

    In reality, the few bits that are actually law are so vague that we have a concept called 'legal precedence' that can be used to 'selectively re-interpreting things'. 

    I'd argue that federalism is even more relevent today because of the far greater diversity and population, and size of the nation.  The stakes are way higher too.  We can't afford to experiment with social programs on a nationwide level, the individual states are ideal laboratories.

    If you're engineering a new system, you don't go throw it on the production server without testing it, you dogfood it locally first at least.

    I'm not complaining about the fact that we have laws, I'm just generally annoyed by the jingo-filled tripe that comes out of certain peoples mouths when the topic comes up.  I wasn't disappointed as a few of the usual suspects showed up.

    IMO change to laws should happen through a stable consensus and republican means.  The fact things go back and forth is because there is no consensus.  It's counterproductive sure, but what do you think is going to happen when you try to impose top-down social programs at a national level, waste is a given.

    If you're so frustrated with the progress, have you ever thought that maybe it's because the federal government is actually not the appropiate place for these programs?

    I'm not frustrated by the progress, I'm frustrated by the poor sportsmanship and dirty tricks being used to avoid having to come to a consensus.  In the wake of the financial meltdown, the senate, house, and executive branch voted into law a consumer protection agency to give the actual constituents some recourse.  Certain d-bags have decided to refuse to confirm an agency head, so the agency has done nothing for a year.  The progress was made, now the goalposts have been moved behind a vault door.

    No idea what this is supposed to mean, people get their entitlement checks regardless of whether it adds to the debt or not.

    And, of course, the old 'entitlement checks' chestnut comes out.  Nothing says "I pulled myself up by my priviledged bootstraps, why can't you" more than going on about entitlement checks.

    As I pointed out, earlier, quite a few programs have had their funds reduced, so no, in some cases they don't.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    , bryanedds wrote

    I'd rather just have freedom and general prosperity.

    @CreamFilling512: Cheers. It's really sad how the left and right would trade away lawful government for their ideological crusades. It's as if they've never heard of what happened to the people underneath criminal governments throughout the 20th century. Rather than learning good economics and humbling themselves to dynamics of voluntary human action, they want to create a society built on their prejudices and hatred... enforced by thugs, jailors, executioners, and (now thanks to Bush il Deuce) torturers.

    It is set up to become a war of all groups against all others where at least one group has a target on its back. What was once a society will become a prison to the prevailing hysteria of the moment. We'll reinvent the same old totalitarianism under a new guise, all because too few are willing to humbly educate themselves on limited, decentralized, republican government and real economics (EG - not Keynesianism).

    I believe in America's core tradition of equal protection for everyone under the law. I don't care if you really ARE the 99%, the 1% has the same God-given rights as everyone else; the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness via the just acquisition of private property.

    It is time to say 'NO' to criminal government, your welfare checks and bloated warfare budgets be damned! Neither of those will save you when your own government's got a boot on your neck. And if you have your eyes open, you'll see said boot is getting closer everyday - http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-set-to-become-law-the-terror-is-nearer-than-ever-2011-12#ixzz1gYi1BuI7

    Ultimately, the argument isn't about whether you should help people out with your neighbor's money. The argument is about freedom - that is, the freedom to help yourself provided that you allow others to do the same for themselves and each other. Under an unrestrained criminal government, everyone is doomed. Mao, Hitler, and Stalin all provided gigantic welfare systems. In the end, their massive social safety nets only worked to ensnare and suffocate the people.

    So don't give us that agitprop about people having the freedom to starve under laissez-faire. What people really need, and what criminal government utterly destroys, is the freedom to survive, and the ability to flourish. That's what made America prosperous, and can again. So let's stop playing around with grand utopian ideals, and get America back to the business of liberty.

    Because it's either that, or http://jim.com/hayek.htm

    Hahahahahhahah.

    You worry too much.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    , bryanedds wrote

    I believe in America's core tradition of equal protection for everyone under the law. I don't care if you really ARE the 99%, the 1% has the same God-given rights as everyone else; the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness via the just acquisition of private property.

    The only reason you can claim it to be private property is that society protects it for you.  And, frankly, if a small handful of Walton family members has more of it than a sizeable portion of the rest of the country, I'm interested in what you view as 'just'.  Is the walton family blessed with awesome genes that produce one good business idea after another, or did Sam just will it all to them.

     

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    According to XKCD (http://xkcd.com/980/huge/#x=-10250&y=-3142&z=6) the US's 400 richest people have the same net worth as the poorest 50% of people in the country.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @evildictaitor: Survival of the fittest Appropriate rewards for effort, that's why I bust my balls every day to get up that ladder. If there was no ladder, there would be no need to bust my balls. There would be no motivation to do the absolute best I could do, we would wade in a pool of mediocrity.

    Take a trip to Berlin, go up this tower;

    Generic Forum Image

    From the top you can see the difference between east and west. East is a testament to the mediocrity I discribe.

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    @evildictaitor: Survival of the fittest, that's why I bust my balls every day to get up that ladder. 

    I really wish people wouldn't invoke 'survival of the fittest' in regard to human society, Social Darwinism is an atrocity that stems from a misunderstanding of Darwin's use of 'fittest'.

    Herbie

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @Dr Herbie: ok, what do you propose as an alternative? I'll edit it out.

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    @Maddus Mattus: How about "appropriate rewards for effort"?

     

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    @Maddus Mattus:I actually visited east berlin before the wall fell, and it was certainly bleak but I fail to see what that has to do with anything.  Do you believe that establishing some kind of baseline below which we won't allow anyone to fall will result in cold war Berlin? 

    And if so, then why not rally against charity, too.  It's goals are similar.

    Or, is it more likely that the economic issues in the USSR had less to do with their handling of social issues, and more to do with the cost of the cold war itself. 

    Two can play at this game, though.  If you want full-on free market with very little government invervention and complete disregard for the citizenry, perhaps you'd like to move to lovely Somalia?  I hear it's quite lovely.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    @evildictaitor: Survival of the fittest Appropriate rewards for effort, that's why I bust my balls every day to get up that ladder. If there was no ladder, there would be no need to bust my balls.

    Reward is not a function of effort - in terms of physical effort (in units of Joules) it can be said a Chinese factory worker certainly works harder than your typical CEO.

    In a capitalist system, reward is a function of opportunity and the initiative of an individual exploiting that opportunity - effort is more like a force-multiplier in this case.

    It's ironic then, because what you're advocating is communism: where an individual's reward is based on their individual productivity according to their quota, so (in theory, at least) a coal miner who mines twice his daily quota of coal would earn the same as a factory manager who oversaw a twofold increase in production efficiency.

    "Busting your balls" under capitalism is no guarantee of success or even self-improvement - it could be detrimental to your health when a similar employee can get by with less work and stress and after 10 years you're both in the same situation because the job market is such that you couldn't get another job or promotion elsewhere.

     

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @ScanIAm: the point I was trying to make, that if you follow the chain of thought of @evildictaitor and create a money merry go round, that a lot of people are going to benefit, only not the socially weak. That's one of the lessons I took home from Berlin.

    I don't give to charity, as I am forced by law to donate to it allready. And I don't think giving solves the long term problem, I believe that enabling solves more. I do think that you should help the weak, just that it shouldnt be institutionalized.

    Two can play at this game, though.  If you want full-on free market with very little government invervention and complete disregard for the citizenry, perhaps you'd like to move to lovely Somalia?  I hear it's quite lovely.

    Point taken.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @W3bbo: actually, working with your mind costs a lot of energy too!

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    I don't give to charity, as I am forced by law to donate to it allready. And I don't think giving solves the long term problem, I believe that enabling solves more. I do think that you should help the weak, just that it shouldnt be institutionalized.

    Taxation isn't charity - the government has a duty of care to its citizens, and under certain schools of thought (i.e. the predominant one in Europe) that extends to ensuring society is largely egalitarian, but what they do is in everyones' interests and taxpayers expect a return on their 'investment' in taxation. For their taxation, Americans get the world's most powerful military force. In Europe, we taxpayers get some of the worlds' lowest poverty levels and highest standards of living (especially a high baseline standard). Less poverty means less crime which is good for everyone. Greater public education funding means a better-educated workforce which helps the economy in the long-term.

    Charity cannot do this.

    Point taken.

    Wrong answer.

    Somalia is not a Libertarian's wet-dream - it is an anarchist's wet dream. It is a failed state without a functioning government with which to provide security and safety, and without the means to protect the rights of its citizens. This is a requirement of Libertarianism.

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