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Everything posted by gvg

  1. Where does it say the first sentence? I've never heard that before. If you make no income and deal in, say, food, what of that is legally taxable? In fact, they'd pay you for not having money. So, I dunno where you got that from. And the bolded part is also ridiculous. the only gold they claim to own is the stuff in Fort Knox. they do not claim to own the stuff you receive if it's a straight up trade (ie my gun for 2 pounds of gold), nor can they tax you for it, unless your receive US currency. Uh... so you'd rather the state's have their own currencies? Or have multiple legally required currencies? We've tried that before, under the Articles of Confederation. It was chaotic, and very hard to trade beween states because of it. That is why there is ONE currency. As there should be. Multiple ones would cause, and have caused, issues. That's like saying it taxes your stocks before you trade them in for the green paper money. It simply doesn't happen. As for the rest: First off, you forget that such things as lobbyists and large campaign donations have only really become a HUGE deal recently, especially after one of the dumbest of all Supreme Court decisions, Citizens United. What about the days of Teddy Roosevelt, the trust buster? Or Taft, who did the same? Or FDR, in my view the closest thing we've ever had to a socialist in office? Or Truman? Or Eisenhower? MODERN politicians are puppets, but some, like the ones I've mentioned, aren't. And it doesn't have to be this way. Getting rid of political parties for one would do just the things, as those are the two corporate control points (D and R), and even so the Dems got health care reform through which hurts corporations. It doesn't have to be this way, and we don't have to throw out the system to do it. People have voted in such ways before. Do you think Roosevelt had corporations in mind? Or Andrew Jackson? (Though admittedly the only one he really had to deal with was the Central Bank) Or Truman, FDR, or Eisenhower? We just have to get the right guys in, and up our education systems so that we get more LAWYERS or realted things into office, which requires some sort of knowledge in LAW. We need fewer Republican Wall Street cronies and more true liberals like Bernie Sanders or true liberterians like Ron Paul. Fewer religious crackpots and more smart people. How? Maybe an IQ test? Better education related things? I dunno. But just because politicians are puppets now, doesn't mean they have to be. The ones who deregulate, like Bush Jr., are the ones with Corporate interests in mind. You aren't understanding the regulation I mean. I mean enviornmental, safety, health, wage, and anti-trust regulation. You know what else would end corporate control? Outlawing corporations, which admittedly do need government approval =) (Wanna do that?)
  2. Oh, and I do support the military. Just not the current extent to which it is being used, which is why i try to make my voice heard and, when i can finally, will vote for policies that reduce it. Voting. The question asked to start this thread. You know, i have a plan for you to acheive your ideas. First, convice enough people to elect someone like ROn paul who will give the States huge rights they never had before. Then, in your state, get someone elected like the guy in Texas who wants to secede. After doing so (which would be much easier under Paul and is actually allowed with gov. apporval (which Ron would give) and a 3/4 vote of the populace), the easy part is to finally ease your new 'nation' into your anarchic system. Its elaborate, it could take awhile, but then aren't most major changes like that? So you can get what you want through voting despite your thoughts to the contrary.
  3. Did you use government roads at any point, like driving your car to get stuff or using a truck? Did you use a store, which are usually located on government leased land? Did you use vegetables or farm products which are subsidized by the government? Did you use water tested by the EPA to wash off any lingering EPA and FDA approved chemicals (or dirt, whatever). Did you use electricity or oil or gas to cook, which are in some way subsidized by or realted to government practices? See where i'm getting at? Do you have a government approved license to sell stuff? (The lack of which allowed my younger brother and his firend to be kicked out of a town festival when they tried to sell drinks in an area being used by those who had leased the government land with their government license to sell). Does that answer your question?
  4. Just noticed your new post. Note that I am 15. Oftentimes i want to do chartiy type stuff, like donations, that my family simply cannot do because we don't have the money. I do participate in charitable stuff at school, I do sign petitions and email officials and send letters and discuss and make my own petitions. I do what I can, i just can't do much. So i don't feel like a hypocrite. personally, if i ever make more than I need to live, i hope I will do the responsible thing and give at least half of the extra to charity. I've always said: If i somehow beat the odds and win the lotto or become rich, i'm going to, after sharing with my family and friends, be Bill Gatesesque and donate. So for instance, if I win 100 mil. I would hope that i'm not an a** and at least give half of what's left after I give some to relatives and the like to charit. Now, i don't know how much future self will be, but trust me, I do (or try to do) as i say =)
  5. And WHO do you think the lobbyists, etc. are that control what many politicians do, convicing them to do things like give tax breaks to big oil companies while screwing the lower classes in the process? BUSSINESSMEN, or at least their representatives. When the bailouts (which i'm sure you disagree with, as I do) occured, guess who got them to go even after congress voted against them? A collection of executives from Goldman Sachs and friends (bussinessmen) who were a part of the Bush administration's Treasury department (I think it was that) who then used the money.... to bailout Goldman Sachs and its frieands while leaving others to die. Bussinessmen are VERY powerful, and VERY corrupt, and its naive to not think so (this is big bussiness we are talking about here). The Federal Reserve (which to be honest with you has a HELL of a lot of problems, and I know many liberterians and fellow liberals alike who loathe it) was started BY BUSSINESSMEN. Carlin said it best: Bussinessmen control most politicians. I admit. Many people admit it. Some, like Bernie Sanders and, yes, Ron Paul, actually care in their own ways about the American people (even if I don't agree with Ron, he does). Bussinessmen are powerful. They WILL willing violate your sacred NAP. Without care. They already do. Walmart gives their workers the bare minimum wage they can, which isn't even enough for them to live without a second source of income (and many of these people can't go elsewhere for whatever reason). And god forbid you unionize. Two Canadian Walmarts (Quag, I LOVE you guys =)) voted to unionize. And were shutdown. If bussinessmen could have it their way, we'd go back to the gilded age, the days where you were paid pennies with no benefits. Lost your hand? REPLACED. Without any benefits. How do you think the great monopolies developed? By being goody goody? Politicians are puppets. Uh... that's not what Dawh said. The government has done great wrongs in the past. Lack of equality, slavery, three-fifths compromise. It's just that these things are eventually changed in time because it works FOR THE PEOPLE. Not some, the many. People can change governments MUCH EASIER than they can change bussinesses and such. Walmart was sued by a huge group of women for discrimination. The supreme court ruled that, due to that damn citizens united ruling that makes corporations=people (oh yeah, no business influence there), that many people couldn't sue one place. But they are still going to sue in smaller groups, though because Walmart has better lawyers it's obvious that they'll have an easier time winning. And people will still buy from them because they have "Everyday low prices" (or is that K-Mart?). And they will continue their BS. If this happened with governemnt, there'd be impeachments, party changes, complete uproar. Hell, Bill Clintons cheats there's an uproar, a CEO cheats people buy their goods. There is a difference. My SS teacher said it well. I asked him why there was such a similarity between our poor, middle, rich, superrich pyramid and the fuedal pyramid. He said becuase it is the same. We came to the same conclusion: The ONLY thing stopping us from degrading into corporate controlled fuedalism is the government. The set-up is there; the ability is there. It's been skewed that way for a while. Only the government stands in the way. Fuedalism is the WORST system of government possible, in my view, on equal footing with Stalin-style dictatorships. Do you really want it back? Now, for your other stuff. First off, I call everyone's political ideas opinions, so if you are offended, I apologize. Second, I think i've proved to you through historical examples, like the fuedal era and gilded age, that less government (there hasn't really been an example of none, so...) means more for the rich. Serfs are screwed, nobles are fine. I'll give more: Whenever there's been a strong central force, such as the Romans, the Han, the Mongols, etc., human society has EXPLODED in ideas, knowledge, wealth, and so on. Whenever there has been a collapse, like what happened after the end of Rome, the Hand, and the Zhou, it was hell on Earth. History is important, as Glenn Beck has said =) But seriously it is. It's a cycle. For example: Roman Republic run by Nobles of sorts, the patricians, rise of a very centralized government (note: I am not vouching for totalitaarianism, it's just that that's all there has usually been until recently) with prosperity, decline, and collapse with pure war and hell. The Han: Similar. The Islamic Empire: Look at the loveliness known as the Middle East now. Is that the proof you wanted? I know that lobbyists occur with governments. but at least the people can vote and say DO NOT LISTEN TO THE a**hole WITH THE LIMO SUPPORTING GOLDMAN SACHS, so there's the possibility of control. Without such a controlling force, there's no such chance. Once again: The rich man in your society can commit murder, say 'screw you' to the DRO (or any such organization), and leave for the mountains to live a life of luxury. The poor man steals some bread that he otherwise can't afford for his family, he's condemned, ostracized, and probably perishes along with those he cares for. See the difference? Obviously, don't murder, don't steal. But for any tough decision, any complex decision, these things can be twisted. For instance, there was a case in England where some guys stuck on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean decided that, since the cabin boy was already weak from drinking seawater against their advice and was near death anyway, they should 'finish him off' and eat him so that they can survive, which they did. The thing went to court, and i haven't read the outcome of the trial yet, but I am fine with such a thing. It goes against my 'Don't murder' and 'Don't hurt' people instincts that are found in most humans, but this was a special, complex case in which these things had to be compromised for the greater good. Now, i don't know what you think, and I would like to know, but anyway, that's that. Oh, here's the video: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/michael_sandel_what_s_the_right_thing_to_do.html Now, I reject the idea that money counts as property in the way you imagine. It is used for 'all debts public and private', but it is made and authorized by the federal reserve and the US govenrment, and thus is not yours. For instance, if I lost my car (somehow) and some guy found it, it isn't his because well, i have my name on it in a way. but if I drop a ten dollar bill, and someone finds it and doesn't give it back, well, tough luck to me, it is no longer mine to use. That's not property in the way i imagine it. And don't say the same can be said for, say, a purse, because actually you have a receipt, you have friends, you have the stuff in the bag to prove that it is yours after all. Not the same with money. In fact, the gov/federal reserve are the owners of the money, and are simply letting people use it under their authorization, and so trying to keep it is actually stealing on your part.
  6. I... never said this. That's rediculous. When have I said this? And when have I said I wanted to actively encourage a redistribution of wealth? If such a thing happens in the process, fine. But I'm not a full on socialist. And I just said utilitarian and consequentialist generally. i don't follow them exclusively. To be honest, I learned about the terms recently and may have used them wrong. I don't mean to imply what you said. Hell, I don't even know what a deontologist is. Forget I said such things. No. I never said this. I'm sure you're taking this out of context. That's a ridiculous statement. Again, I NEVER SAID THE MURDERING PART. Good god. Taxing isn't murder. SHeesh. And my ideas aim to help as many people as possible, helping the poor and middle class at the expense of some money from people who WOULD STILL BE RICH ANYWAY. I want to help more people. Your system allows untold amounts of corporate countral, a huge possibility of decaying into a fuedal system (which is FAR worse), and generally letting the rich get away with stuff. "Economic ostracization? HA! Come on darling, we'll take the private jet to Hawaii and live there." The rich will most certaintly be much better off in such a system. Prove me wrong. I'm waiting. And don't take my stuff out of context, or I'm done arguing. I am interested in what you have to say, since there is no one with your opinions, to my knowledge, in my high school or community. In fact, I think at this point you should just answer Dawh. He thinks as I do and is much better at showing what i mean.
  7. But that was my point: NO ONE knew about those things I pointed out without the government investigators finding out. What I forgot to ask was how do you think such things will be discovered without such organizations? (Right now, as I'm sure you've realized, I'm just trying to get you to accept some sort of liberterian gov. so that we can work from there). Private investigator companies are very easy to pay off, and I personally wouldn't trust them. Now, I'm sure you would. But let's assume you don't. How would it work then? I'm curious. And the regulations prevent cartels and monopolies from developing (since consumers would not care to stop it) so that competition, in my view the biggest piece of capitalism along with supply and demand stuff, can exist. So yes, you need these to exist to have consumer 'regulations,' because without them consumers have too little information to 'regulate.' (Think of this: Important pieces of information, such as food labels and the internet, were created either by laws upheld by the government or by government investment (which was a HUGE part of the creation of a free (as in uncensored) internet. There may have been private companies, but I'm pretty sure it was mostly government investment.) Just because consumers don't care doesn't mean I shouldn't. Should the abolitionists have cared since nobody else did? I want to make sure consumers do care about what companies they buy from. But now, we come to what I see as the biggest difference in viewpoint between you and me: This is where subjective morality kicks in. I disagree. I find it moral as long as it serves to help as many people as it can. I'm quite the utilitarian, and I'm a big believer (generally with a few exceptions) in consequentialist morality. As Dawh said, I aim to be as utilitarian as I should be without being as utilitarian as I could be. This government, as of now, does not aim to serve the few (though you better believe the oligarchists/plutocrats of the Republican party aim for this), but the majority, the essence of democracy (or in our case our republic). We the People. Our founding principle. Obviously, if we cannot agree on such an issue of 'morality,' we will never be able to agree. Prove to me that unregulated, unmolested, untaxed, anarcho-capitalism doesn't hurt the many while serving the few rich and powerful, doesn't lead to monopolies that will abuse the populace, doesn't lead to any such similar thing, and I will be with you. To this point, in my view, you have not. Do it, and you have my support. And I screwed up the Somalia stuff. I'm removing myself from that debate =) Edit: Just noticed your other comments. I may get to them later. Only thing I'll say is that for the public school thing, it is because without everyone, it couldn't be funded, putting at risk the poor and needy who wouldn't be able to afford private schools.
  8. Quag: TO add to our earlier debate, I found that the 400 richest Americqans (avg. 270 mil. dollars a year in income) paid 18.2% taxes. Yeah. Don't you think that's too low? http://www.cnn.com/video/flashLive/live.html?stream=stream1?hpt=hp_c2 By the time you look at this it might be down, it's live footage right now (3:31 pm EST)
  9. I believe what Quag is trying to point out is this: You currently live in an area in which, I assume, you receive some gov. benefits, state, local, or otherwise, like your roads, Schools (though you are in college now, I assume you went to public school). Therefore, you should pay for them. it is wrong to receive these benefits and not pay. If you don't want to pay, you have to move to an area where you receive no benefits. If this is wrong Quag please correct, but I think this is the jist (gist?) of it.
  10. First off, I do have to say that Dawh is probably the most reasonable one here =) So, yeah, keep going. Much better than us yelling at each other like we've been doing. Now, UtF: I only have time to answer this part: Now, I'm pretty sure the answer to this question is that in actuality, the gov. own laws say you own yourself; after all, slavery is illegal, and to me, someone claiming they own you is kind of a form of slavery (note: This has nothing to do with whether taxes are slavery/violence/whatever or not, so leave me out of that one ) So in actuality,since the gov. is very much at the mercy of its own laws, you are safe in this regard. So, yeah. Just thought I'd add that, although I'm sure that was just an example. Also, I highly disagree (as you'd expect) with the idea that I will use a historical example: During the age of Rockefeller, there was no regulation. look what happened. There wasn't a regulation of companies (mostly because at the time you could really only purchase certain things, like oil, from the monopoly (ie Standard oil)) by consumers. Even now, look at this: http://stlbeacon.org/voices/blogs/political-blogs/dc-backroom/111122-ftc-probing-possible-oil-market-gasoline-price-manipulation http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/07/airline-price-fixing-fine_n_832133.html (I know, huffington post, I'll find something else if you want) It took gov. investigators to discover this type of stuff. People don't care. Yesterday I went shopping for stuff for my Dad's birthday. We came across a GAP. My Mom wanted to buy clothes, and when I didn't want to (because as I explained, GAP is one of those slave-labor companies), she only didn't do it because I kept badgering her about it. Most people aren't badgered by me (and boy can I badger =)) and many don't care. Michael Vick was recently sponsored by Nike. This caused people to not want to buy Nike anymore (perfectly reasonable due to some people's love of dogs). But what I find ironic: the same people who no longer wnated to buy stuff WERE buying Nike's before even though they also use slave labor (note: I'm guilty of buying Nike's because I forgot the last couple of times. Next time I'm not buying the shoes with the check mark =)). NOBODY CARES. Its horrible, but that's the truth. the free markt works best with an educated consumer base. Americans are NOT educated consumers (most of us anyway). You have to admit that. These types of regulations ALLOW for an educated consumer. The 'regulations' you talk about cannot happen without the regulations provided by the fedral government. Such things are aimed at making sure big businesses cannot get around 'regulation' by educating consumers on their actions and such through regulations. So anyway, in conclusion, in order to get 'regulations' you need regulations. I also want to add to the Somalia debate: http://somalidiasporanews.com/index.php/2011/04/somalis-in-no-win-state/ There is apparently some sort of provincial gov. http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/76/4_May_2011_Daily_Media_Roundup?PHPSESSID=f98e742c31ee378ef9bc121164cdef4f They even have a president ("Somali president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed...") That implies a government. http://www.mpumalanga.gov.za/media/statements/safety/18042011_.htm So unless I'm completely misreading this stuff, there is a gov. of sorts in Somalia that the Somalis accept and want as a help. And Dawh, please do explain the social contract b/c I am also slightly confused.
  11. gvg

    Oh, and what bad assumptions? I am genuinely curious.
  12. gvg

    so, continuing: Socialism doesn't seek to end things like profit, etc. it seeks to rid the ills of capitalism while keeping the basic structure (things like this: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph Not necessarily fully the fault of capitalism, but one could argue that it played a part) Also, socialism isn't the only alternative. Some natons use Socio capitalism: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-social-capitalism.htm (I disagree with their definition of socialism in this article, they described communism)
  13. gvg

    I understand that Michael Morre is very extreme. i don't necessarily agree with everything he says. i think something better to have included would be these: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-difference-between-socialism-and-communism.htm http://www.marxmail.org/faq/socialism_and_communism.htm I'll continue my reply later, I don't have time right now.
  14. Quag: I dunno if this graph has been shown yet (I've lost track honestly), but: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/24/the-tax-burden-around-the-developed-world/ The US is too low. Now, i dunno if its important that this graph shows it as a % of GDP.
  15. UtF: Well, Quag seems to be trying to show that you can, in a way, choose how much or if you pay taxes. I'll let him explain, because he obviously knows what he's saying better than i do =) So to answer you question, I'm pretty sure it's what Quag is trying to say, that it is in a way voluntary. it's either that (which I am pretty sure it is, because as I stated before, many Americans who aren't in poverty don't pay taxes) or if he's wrong (i don't think so though) it's 2. I don't think you are a hypocrite.
  16. Quag: Oh i understand, i just picked out that random bit quickly. That thing needs time to be studied. I'm surprised, though, that nobody has summarized it. Whatever. And I knew that about Bill Maher, it's just that the other stuff he's said (as in facts, obviously his opinions are just that) I've been able to find as true. In fact, the only real videos i see against him are his opinons or those crazy zionist/truther things. His facts aren't disputed. This isn't Fox News after all =) Oh, and I love Colbert's show =) And the Daily show, that's another good one.
  17. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/08coccr.pdf A complete list. For instance, it showed that the total income tax for the real estate business was about 2 mil of the 49 mil they made. That's about 4%. I didn't look through all of them, but it gives similar information. (Note: The last available data was 2008).
  18. Quag: http://reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_welfare/real_tax_rates_plummet.php This says 17.2% for 2002-2003, which is still hardly near what they're supposed to. http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/12/news/economy/corporate_taxes/ This says 2/3 don't pay, but the majority of that is small businesses who switch it to personal income instead of corporate Here's more about it: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/03/business/economy/03rates.html I got that percentage from Bill Maher on his show. This seems to slightly support him: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/164103-report-corporations-pay-low-effective-tax-rates To be fair, this:http://www.bestoftheblogs.com/Home/40806 and this:http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/morning_call/2011/04/big-corporations-pay-an-average-27.html say otherwise, so i dunno. Let's say 20%. I'm pretty sure it just depends on what groups you do, how many, etc. because certain companies with lower income pay more. But they are not the majority aparantly, considering the 2/3 thing.
  19. Quag: Yeah I noticed that. I just thought he got it wrong off the top of his head. By the way, he wants 90%, but that is way too much in my view. I just want like 60-70%. So, I understand that 90% is too much. I agree. I just think the US's rate is too low. We are not at the constantly talked about 'perfect rate.' It's too low. Even with cuts, i don't think our current taxes bring in enough to do anything. 90%? Obviously too much. But our current 35% is too low. Much too low. And I don't think the video implied what you say it did, although I see why you may interpret it that way. But I don''t think that's what he meant by it. http://mondaymorningeconomist.com/wordpress/?p=18 This is another interesting article to read. Now, from what I understood, the author argues that cutting government spending that leaves the country (like in war, etc.) and raising taxes is what we need to do. Now, i don't agree with everything this guy says (he says at one point that we need to tax our way out of it, which implies no cuts. Obviously, this is ridiculous, as we need to cut things like unnecessary military spending, like the wars, and any waste that can be found), but I think it is overall what i mean. (Note: I may be picking horrible articles. I don't know, since unfortunately, we don't learn about economic til 12th grade =)) By the way, I think there are other possibilities for revenue. For instance, legalizing drugs (which would save money on any police funds being put into it, and would allow us to tax it), or giving 'illegal' immigrants work passes (which 1. Saves the money we spend deporting people 2. Puts them under minimum wage laws so that businesses aren't able to higher them for pennies an hour 3. Allows us to tax their income), and especially fixing the tax code (as I've said before, US corporations only pay 14% tax, and some pay none and get rebates. I am willing to lower the rate to 30% (Australia's number) as opposed to 35 if people would start agreeing to fix up the tax code to prevent the current loopholes). As each of these things is implemented, we don't need to raise the income tax as much (for instance, maybe only up to 50%), but until then, i feel it does. Now, UtF: 1. Uh, saying you would build a fence and what not doesn't really make it seem like you're so charitable. I'm sure you are, but what you said wasn't. 2. Walmart isn't forcing you, your current economic state is forcing you. If you make millions a year, you really can buy from anywhere, but if you only make a few thousands, you really have very few options as to where you can shop. So it's not stores forcing you, it's your economic state. 3. I would hate doing it myself obviously. No one likes the tax collector. (And remember the collector doesn't point the guns, but let's assume I would have to). But knowing that I would be helping people by doing, yes, I would do it.
  20. Dawh: you got it =) I just have two things to say, UtF. First, don't be ridiculous, you know I meant parents and what not, I used us as an example, and even then I'm not too sure, because i remember you saying in the last thread that Izzy made that if the poor began begging at your feet, you'd build a fence to keep them away. i don't know if you still think in this fashion, I will admit, but you did say that ('ll even look for the exact quote if you want me to). And I never said Walmart forced you. it is the fact that you are poor that forces you to have to buy from Walmart, since you cannot afford to go anywhere else. Thus, you are forced to use Walmart, or the 99 cents store, whatever. If you are rich, you can do A LOT more. And I can find it moral because to me, what helps the most people is, in the end, the best choice. 1 life for 100 is the best choice, even 100 for 110 (though less so) because you save more. So the koch brothers have all this extra money laying around. i don't find money to be more imporant than reducing someone's suffering. It's not like i'm saying "Koch, I'm giving your money to Bill Gates." We are using it to help the citizens of this nation, the middle class and poor, those who need help. If Koch complains because he now has 699 million instead of 700 million, I don't care, because a million dollars for the well being of people (whatever number) is an extremely easy choice. I'm not a communist; I'm not taking it all. I find it selfish the way you put your right to do whatever you want (yes, based in part on what money you have (the rich have more options tha the poor)) over the safety, well-being, etc. of the public. But anyway, Dawh summed most of it up nicely. And i have to read that book now =)
  21. "In a stateless society you can live a life with absolute no money at all and still have "power" and ability to get goods and services that they want so I wouldn't say that people would be limited in their freedom on the basis of how much money they have" BS. Absolute BS. They would have no choice in what they buy or do. THEY HAVE NO MONEY. Unlike the millionaire, who can go to Disney Land every weekend, one with no money has to use cheap places like Walmart to survive, even if they disagree with Walmart's crappy international doings. They have no choice. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. "When you say that I want to "leave everyone to fend for themselves in the State of Nature" you again sound like you don't think anyone is charitable. The "State of Nature" isn't a bad place at all; it's just a place where less-productive people can't threaten more-productive people with violence if the more-productive people don't give them health care and other goods and services. This doesn't mean that the more-productive people can't be charitable by voluntarily giving the less-productive people health care." But they won't. They never have. You think the Koch brothers care about you? Think the head of Goldman Sachs gives about your chronic disease? No. For every Bill Gates, there are dozens or more that don't care. And Bill Gates can't help everyone nor does he know everyone. And if you are too poor to buy a car or use the private road or the private busing, you can't go to them. In that case, you are f*****. And that's it. Nature is a cruel master. The deer born with no legs never has a chance, and instead suffers and dies. No one cares, no one helps. And humans are animals, plain and simple. No one helped the peasants in the fuedal systems of mideival Europe. Weak links were killed or left to die before the first civilizations developed (through infanticide, etc.). No, nature sucks. That's why no one wants to go back to those days. And that is what you are advocating. No one will help anyone they don't have to. There are the select few who would, like me, you, Dawh, QUag, etc. But none of us are millionaires; we couldn't do anything expensive. And those who could won't. Realize that. "I very much care about the poor and would love for everyone to be able to get decent quality health care as well (is this equivalent to wanting to "remove people from the vagaries of Nature"?), I just think that pointing guns at people to force them to give up some of their wealth to help the poor get health care is the wrong way to do it." Just wondering, due you value money over human life? That's what this implies. Seriously, enough. After all, many American's (I think it was either 7 mil or 47%, either way a lot) don't pay income tax. And they may live in a state with no property tax or sales tax. So guess what? They don't pay taxes. So obviously there doesn't seem to be as much gun pointing as you think. "As for your banking fear, if you think there's a decent chance that your bank is going to go bankrupt then I would strongly advise you not to invest your life savings into that one bank. I think it would be wise to make sure that you always have a way to transfer your savings from bank to bank in case one of your banks begins to fail. If you didn't feel secure with any bank you certainly still have more options such as relying on your friends and family to support you in your old age or perhaps by investing your money in physical goods that you know will be valuable still years down the road so that you can then sell those goods once you're old and retired and need some more money to buy food and everything else." What if you're poor and this is all you can afford? What if your family and friends are dead or too poor to help? (In the past, the poor were considered a liability and often disposed of). What if your physical good becomes valueless? (Not everyone is an economist; you could be wrong). What if it doesn't give you enough for your heart surgery, or enough to live by? In your system, the poor suffer, and the wealthy thrive. Plain and simple. Stop deluding yourself into thinking mankind is charitable. At the end of the day, we are all animals, and we also can't afford everything. You know why Reoublicans want to cut public schools, taxes, etc.? TO ADD TO WHAT THEY HAVE. They don't care about the poor. And I know that's just one group, but you get the point. In your system, the rich have the power. It will decay into fuedalism; this is inevitable because people want protection, and that's a way to get it. Why do you think people decided to leave that system when they could? IT SUCKED. (And yes they'll need protection, since it is our military that keeps us safe. It has been misused recently, but it is still the reason no one wants to mess with us. Japan did. Look what happened to them.)
  22. Quag: Just eaxplain what this quote means. I don't get what the marginal rate is: "Some critics point out that tax revenues almost always rise every year and during Reagan's two terms increases in tax revenue were more shallow than increases in tax revenue during presidencies where taxes top marginal tax rates were higher.[15] Critics also point out that since the Reagan tax cuts, income has not significantly increased for the rest of the population." And from that, I got that nobody knows what the proper rates is. Some say high, some say low. We are currently in the lowest tax in a LONG time. And with the wars that need to be paid for, maybe its time to try the higher one once again. I dunno. I'm not an economist =) And Sweden lowered its rates in 2002 to the rates in the first graph, but yes, I see where it says it lowered. But that's the mean rate. This (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden#Politics Under economy) says that the typical worker receives 40% of his paycheck, although that is probably not just from income taxes. And Sweden may have a lower rate, but I bet their corporations pay more than the 14% (about) that US corporations actually pay due to the many loopholes that need fixing. http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/real-economist-michael-hudson-explains-why-higher-taxes-not-lower-ones-create-jobs This guy, an economist, claims that higher taxes create more jobs. Listen to him, and i wanna know what you think. I am not that great with economics, so...
  23. Quag: On Reagan: http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-06-09/business/17430568_1_deficits-billion-defense-spending http://zfacts.com/p/318.html http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-national/ronald-reagan-began-us-government-deficit-spending-addiction Though I will admit I see a lot of stuff saying it was a large part spending too. But you cannot dismiss the role taxes played. Look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recessions_in_the_United_States It is a list of recessions. I do notice that they do all come after your tax cutting presidents. Seriously, the roaring 20's was really a time of large credit use, etc. and when it blew up, it BLEW UP. (I am not an economist, so I may be interpreting this wrong). Also, the last sentence of your first article: "In addition, politicians have a stake in keeping the tax code complex because it allows them to extract campaign donations and favors from people and corporations who derive huge benefits from special tax laws and exemptions in return." This is very true. I mean, American corporations only pay 14 or so percent tax on average (GE got a rebate and paid nothing), even though we have a 35% corporate tax. Definitely, the tax code needs to be cleaned up. http://www.pbnv.com/a/im-with-my-conservative-friends-bring-back-the-1950s-as-seen-on-tv/ (He's being sarcastic at times, and claims that increasing taxes will be the only thing needed to fix things. Ignore those.) The fifties seem to go majorly against your argument, no? 90% tax on the rich and yet the economy boomed (which I doubt you can deny: http://elcoushistory.tripod.com/economics1950.html) A combination of high taxes and 'fiscal responsibility.' It worked then. Wouldn't it work now? 90% rich tax is extreme, obviously, I wouldn't go that high. Also, i feel this is something we should include in this discussion: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph Thoughts Quag? Oh, and your last link (tax revenue as GDP hovers under 10%) seems to contradict the second/third one (18-20%), unless i am interpreting that wrong. And on the Germany thing: Yeah, guess I was wrong. i think i was thinking of something else, because this shows that scandinavia is doing a hell of a job http://seekingalpha.com/article/158722-list-of-european-surplus-and-deficit-countries. What's intriguing is that they have similar labor forces to the US http://healthcare-economist.com/2007/02/15/why-does-scandinavia-have-high-taxes-but-also-high-labor-force-participation/ with much higher taxes. The reason offered is, of course, that the US psends its money on crap, while Scandinavia generally spends it on things that help the labor force. Interesting to read. And UtF: I will get to your video later, i don't have time at the moment.
  24. gvg

    http://movies.netflix.com/WiPlayer?movieid=70122701&trkid=2361637 I dunno if it'll work without a netflix account, but i'm sure it can be found if you look on google. I think this just about summarizes the issues. Comments? (Note: It's 2 hours long, you'll need some time)
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