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Government for the people. How?

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The objective of this thread is to altruistically* design a political structure wherein the needs and interests of EVERY inhabitant of this country are met. (None of this "general public" crap, we should try to make everyone happy. smile.gif ) It's impossible to not be aware of how inconceivable this sounds, but I think by being mindful of what we're trying to accomplish, but.. just might be feasible?**

Now, before we can even begin devising laws, creating our constitution, bill of rights, etc., I think it's best we assemble a list of what people want from their government. Feel free to contribute ANYTHING. (I stole some of these from the world's smallest political quiz and the bill of rights. >_>)

1. Government should not censor speech, press, media, or internet.
2. Military service should be voluntary.
3. There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults, where a consenting adult is anyone of 16 years of age or older.
4. Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs.
5. End government barriers to international free trade.
6. Let people control their own retirement; privatize Social Security.
7. Keep government welfare, but no taxation without representation.
8. Freedom of speech, religion, sexuality, peaceful protests, and petition.
9. Soldiers may not be quartered in a house without the consent of the owner.
10. People may not be unreasonably searched or kept in captivity.
11. The right to a free, public, and speedy trial.
12. Laws are to remain the same from State to State.
13. Eventual globalization is a priority.

*We can get into the semantics of altruism later. I have.. mixed feelings, but this most closely elucidates my intentions. (Lol, I swear, I bounce back and forth from being the apathetic hippy civilian who just wants to live to the extremely fervent humanitarian practically daily. >_>)
** Eh, truthfully, it isn't. Too many people disagree on matters of religion, which define the moral code for a LOT of people (even if they don't strictly adhere to it, haha). We need to agree now to define morals for ourselves and not base them off of religious texts. Like, if someone proposes "Don't kill", that's perfectly acceptable, and I expect it to be fully ratified. If someone else suggests "Love God", this is more open to debate. While you can submit ideas that coincide with religious texts, submit them because they are mandates you want and agree with, not just because your scripture of choice tells you to follow them.

Edited by bonanova
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Posted · Report post

As much as I think the government should be limited, there are things it has to do, things it has to require the people to do, in order to protect the common good. For example, with everyone looking out for themselves, it can be hard to make a huge positive impact on the environment. That's why we should require people to have rain barrels, solar panels, compost piles, and recycling. The little bit that each helps can add up to a lot. A lot of help.

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I'm composing a list of the points that have been made so far. Green means everyone has agreed so far, orange means I'm not sure, red means extreme disagreement. Maybe we should have an open ballot numbered 1-30 where you vote yay or nay on the issues?

1. Government should not censor speech, press, media, or internet.

2. Military service should be voluntary.

3. There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults, where a consenting adult is anyone of 16 years of age or older.

4. Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs, but tax drugs and use them for awareness efforts.

5. End government barriers to international free trade.

6. Let people control their own retirement; privatize Social Security, but have a government default.

7. Keep government welfare, but no taxation without representation.

8. Freedom of speech, religion, sexuality, peaceful protests, and petition.

9. Soldiers may not be quartered in a house without the consent of the owner.

10. People may not be unreasonably searched or kept in captivity. There must be overwhelming evidence to search someone.

11. The right to a free, public, and speedy trial.

12. Laws are to remain the same from State to State.

13. Eventual globalization is a priority.

14. Remove "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

15. No slavery.

16. Any immigrants who are illegal MUST serve in the military until they become legal aliens.

17. No racial profiling.

18. Manatory schooling for students aged 5-13, but highschoolers have optional attendane based on grades.

19. We need to decide whether the rich should be taxed more or if everyone should be taxed equally.

20. Once done with school, after a chill period, everyone should attempt to get a job.

21. There will be no smoking of tobacco in public.

22. Same health care option for everyone, complete coverage, funded by tax payers through the government.

23. No capital punishment.

24. We need a balance between anarchy and communism that ISN'T capitalism.

25. Abortion is legal, but much be carried out before the fetus is viable.

26. Mandatory three years of military for everyone.

27. In school science classes, only things that are scientifically established and well ratified through the scientific community will be taught.

28. The music blasting from one's car shall not be audible from the outside of the vehicle.

29. We need to step away from oil, and embrace power sources such as solar, wind, and nuclear.

30. People should be required to have rain barrels, solar panels, compost piles, and recycle

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Posted · Report post

agree with all except:

16 (wtf? If they're illegal then they haven't been caught haha. Thus can't be forced into the military)

19 (I agree a sliding scale. 1% or less for very poor people moving up to like 10-15% at the most)

20 (don't tell me what i should do to get money haha. We shouldn't *require* anything, just encourage)

21 (maybe we should just ban cigarettes and only sell tobacco as in the PLANT)

26 (what?)

28 (again, what?)

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Posted (edited) · Report post

All the one's in green I agree with, although #28 will take some getting used to =)And for number three, can we increase the age of a consenting adult to 18? And for 4, I want a tax of at least 25%.

2. Aye

5. Aye to a point. The government has to make the use of slave labor in other countries by U.S. companies illegal, and all workers outside of the U.S. must be paid at least minimum wage. There's something else I wanted that I can't think of right now, but I'll let you know.

12. Aye

13. Still not sure about this one.

16. Aye

19. Rich more. 1% for poor, 5-10% for middle, 20% + for rich. And those who are eligible for Medicaid (130% of poverty line) pay nothing.

20. Aye. And no one can receive welfare without attempting to get a job.

21. Aye. It's disgusting.

23. Nay for some crimes, Aye for others.

25. Aye

26. Nay

You beat me to it, btw. I was going to do this =)

Edited by gvg
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Posted · Report post

I think 16 means that if you WANT to be part of our country, you can, but you have to join the military first (like with what the Greeks and Romans did). ..Though, we'd eventually globalize, so no one would be illegal..

And for 28.. dude, it's annoying. I don't want to hear your gansta rap telling me you want a55 and b!tches at the stop light.

For me, I agree with all aside from:

19: Everyone should be taxed the same percentage, but those in extreme poverty shouldn't be taxed at all. As I've stated before, we'll still get more money from the rich people.

20: If I want to dumpster dive and live on the street, that's my right yo. But I do agree if you don't try (as I think Framm said) you shouldn't get welfare. So, reword 20 to

20. Upon completing school, after a two or so year chill period, if one does not attempt to get a job, one may not receive government welfare benefits.

26. Noooooo. I will leave.

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31. There will be no laws making it illegal to buy or sell anything on a certain day of the week.

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Posted · Report post

Right... I remember that stuff about it not being allowed to sell stuff on Sunday...

Yeah, I agree.

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Posted · Report post

And for number three, can we increase the age of a consenting adult to 18?

Hmm. How about for drinking/drugs, but 16 for sex, like how the UK currently does it?

..Lmao. I'm totally going to turn 18, and change my mind on that, but that isn't the point.

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Posted · Report post

Fine. I agree with that.

Also, campaign contributions by people should be illegal. It's not fair that one party will have more money to do stuff with because they have a rich guy on their side. The only money political parties can use is money raised by the party through fundraisers. The maximum amount a person can contribute at such a fundraiser is, say, 5-10k.

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Posted · Report post

I disagree. I don't want people telling me what I should do with MY money.

Also, if we do this right, we won't need parties. We'll have all the laws needed and everyone can just live freely/peacefully.

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Posted · Report post

Fine. I agree with that.

Also, campaign contributions by people should be illegal. It's not fair that one party will have more money to do stuff with because they have a rich guy on their side. The only money political parties can use is money raised by the party through fundraisers. The maximum amount a person can contribute at such a fundraiser is, say, 5-10k.

who says we'll have parties in the first place? The two party system is corrupt and accomplishes nothing, both pushed toward intermediancy by catering to as large a base population.

Instead we can have a direct democracy via the internet. Or at least independent candidates without the party megapowers

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Why do we need a leader?

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We need a leader, voted for the general population and independent of any parties. People would vote for him/her based on his/her position on the issues, not because they are Democrat or Republican. It's nearly impossible to vote on every single thing, so we could vote for people who would carry out those things as the masses would want in the first place. And to make sure it was what the masses wanted, we could either make it illegal not to vote for the president or whatever it would be called, or give people rewards and incentives for doing so.

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Posted · Report post

Why are most of the red ones things that I have commented on???

And as for the mandatory Military, once again, I think that there should be at least some military training as a precautionary measure, and again it is used in other Countries, like Switzerland.

And yes, No Government aid should go to those who don't try to earn a living legally.

I get what you are saying, but why should those who work hard for the money that they have earned pay more taxes then those who sit in front of their TVs getting by with government aid. (I know that this is a gross overgeneralization, but still.)

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Because they're the most controversial. :P

I don't care about other countries. I flat out refuse to ever be an active member of a unit that kills people. We can have a military, awesome. Do not make it mandatory, it goes against people's personal beliefs and morals.

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Framm: Those who can give more to help should. That's it.

To all: Think about this one:

A child is born into the family of one of the richest men in the US. He or she will NEVER have to work a day in his or her life. Meanwhile, there are people who work there heart out and never get anywhere.

There should be a law that states that all those born in rich families, once they turn 18, cannot use or inherit family money until they try to work and show that they deserve it. Or something else along those lines; luck shouldn't play a major role in life past being born able to and willing to work. Those not able to work are what welfare is for, and those who are able to but don't for no other reason but laziness or "not wanting to" deserve to get what's coming to them: a life of misery and unhappiness.

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Disagree. It's their money and we can't tell them what to do with it. We can up the inheritance tax, but we can't stop it.

It means we need to create more jobs, not force people that don't need jobs to take them on.

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Hello everybody! I hope you don't mind that I'm joining this discussion when there appear to be so many lose ends that are still being discussed, but I'm joining it anyways. Why? Because I think I have a good chance of learning something from this discussion and hopefully I can help you all learn something too. Note that I enjoy learning so I am also doing this for fun.

To say a little bit about myself, I'm also a young dude (I just graduated from high school) who hopefully will be a lot more educated on these things in the years to come. It was only in my senior year of high school that I decided to take an "AP US Government and Politics" course because I realized that I hardly knew a thing about government or politics. I barely knew the difference between a Democrat and a Republican or a liberal and a conservative.

I went into the class unsure about my political views, but thinking that I was slightly liberal. My family is mostly liberal and up to that point I thought that I agreed with them. So up to about a year ago, I essentially thought that conservatives/Republicans were selfish people who cared about themselves and didn't want the government to tax them to help out the poor and I thought that liberal/Democrats were the nice people who cared about getting rid of poverty and thus were okay with being taxed a lot and having the government redistribute their wealth for the benefit of the nation as a whole.

Presently, after taking the government course and getting into some political debates with a very conservative intelligent friend, I realize how ignorant I was. My views have changed drastically and I now consider myself quite conservative, perhaps a libertarian. There is one thing that I think I share with a lot of liberals, however, and that is that I value my community as a whole and the world as a whole. In other words, I don't just care that I am successful and wealthy, but I care that all of society does well, despite the fact that it may not affect me personally if I ignore poor people and choose not to be concerned about them.

So if you had described this view of mine (the view that I value what happens to society as a whole rather than just valuing my personal success and experiences in life) to me a year ago, I would have guessed that such a person who holding that view was liberal. Today I would say that a person with that view could quite possibly be liberal or conservative.

So anyways, I've introduced myself enough. Now I'll get onto the discussion about what I want out of a government. I'll start by addressing the very first statement of the thread:

The objective of this thread is to altruistically* design a political structure wherein the needs and interests of EVERY inhabitant of this country are met.

I think that it is unreasonable to think that such a political structure exists that would meet the interests of every inhabitant of the United States. If you create a universal law across the country, you will be bound to find someone who is against it. That's what happens when you create laws with jurisdiction over 300+ million people.

Can you think of a solution to this dilemma? I can, and it's a solution to your stated objective as well due to the fact that "EVERY inhabitant of this country" need not be governed by a single government. I propose to this discussion a solution to the objective of this thread: A political structure in which individuals are allowed to secede from. In other words, aim to make our United States government a voluntary government that people are allowed to leave. Rather than give a "representative" group of people power to decide how to spend peoples' money (taxation), allow every individual to voluntarily choose what to do with his or her money. If an individual does not want to pay for a military or a public school or a road as our government currently demands every tax-paying American citizen do, so be it. I see no need to force an individual to pay for such things by violently demanding money from such an individual (taxation) in the name of the common good.

So I think this solution fulfills your objective as good as anything can. Aim to make all government voluntary. Allow people to secede from the United States government and form their own governments that they wish to be a part of. Every inhabitant of the land currently considered to be property of the United States may have a government of their choosing that meets their own interests.

Lastly (for now) I will note that if the "interests" of a poor person currently living in the United States is to receive food and shelter and other things from the government without paying for any of it at all, then I'm sorry, the system of voluntary contractual governments will not work. However, I ask you all to realize that the food and shelter that these people are getting for free do not appear out of nowhere. These things are taken from other people living in the United States in the form of taxation. Is it right to steal from the rich against their will and give to the poor? Are these poor peoples' "interests" of getting goods and services forcefully and violently taken from others and handed to the poor people really interests that we want to support when considering what to do with our government politically?

I would hazard a guess that this is a helpful, educational, read that fits in with the context of this thread and this post:

http://www.working-minds.com/money.htm

I would highly recommend it.

Edited by Use the Force
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There is one more thing I wish to say for the time being:

Now, before we can even begin devising laws, creating our constitution, bill of rights, etc., I think it's best we assemble a list of what people want from their government.

I think it's important to note that you said, "what people want from their government," instead of "what you want from your government." You all seemed to make your lists of laws that you want. I think the many disagreements that are evident from the many unique lists you all posted illustrate quite clearly that the 300+ million people in the United States would never unanimously agree on any law, let alone a complete set of laws. Even the handful of you all discussing this thread cannot agree on many laws. This just goes to show that the only way to allow every individual to be content with their government is to allow every individual to choose what government he or she wishes to be a part of. This way, you always get what you want from your government and people always get what they want from their government. Aim to make all government voluntary.

I imagine a society in which various groups of like-minded people come together together to form their own desired governments. They draw up their own laws to create their own government and sign contracts binding themselves to these laws and systems of government voluntarily.

Edited by Use the Force
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As much as I like your idea in theory, it would never work in practice. It would end in chaotic warfare. We at least need some sort of common law in which people respect others. If we start allowing people to create their own self-run mini-nations within this country, you're going to have your KKK country, your Neo-Nazis, your riot starts, etc. You'll have people with absolutely nil consideration for other people, and invasions will start. Children will be born into these societies and influenced by them, and when they grow up, they won't secede, they'll stay with your family. In essence, all you're doing is creating more and smaller countries very close to each other with nothing mandating they respect or be civil to own another. Laws will be much stricter within these nations, and you'll have millions of self-governed people. Yeah, awesome, they're completely free, but we would fight way too much for it to be practical. Eventually, there won't be any room to secede any more because everyone will disagree way too much, and they'll be forced to get along, because we can only build so many schools and neighborhoods. We'd be in the same, if not WAY worse, situation.

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I think it's important to note that you said, "what people want from their government," instead of "what you want from your government." You all seemed to make your lists of laws that you want.

That's why this is being discussed in a public forum and a collaborative list has been comprised. :P

I used to be all "Woo, anarchy!", but if you take a peak at the countries where it's actually implemented, it's total madness.

On that note, I must sleep.

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Izzy i like the way you think, however i must ask where has anarchy been implemented? only country i can think of was parts of spain, sorta, during the civil war. and i mean sorta as the country was very fractured at the time (duh civil war) but i mean the side the anarchists were on was also the side with the communists (about as far from anarchy as you can get) and several other groups opposed to franco

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Use The Force: If you want all of society to be happy, that includes the poor. Thus, because help cannot come from nowhere, what are we left with? Taxes and such on those who have money. They are already happy in their own way, and can afford to give money to help their fellow man, their "society." We can't ignore the poor, so we have to take from those that have to give to those that don't. And when has violence been used during taxation??? Usually the violence is from those who don't want to be taxed, not those that tax people.

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Sorry I haven't been around to participate from the beginning...things came up. :mellow:

So if you had described this view of mine (the view that I value what happens to society as a whole rather than just valuing my personal success and experiences in life) to me a year ago, I would have guessed that such a person who holding that view was liberal. Today I would say that a person with that view could quite possibly be liberal or conservative.

Personally, I would say that they are more likely to be a liberal than a conservative though...isn't that idea basically antithetical to libertarianism? :wacko:

There is one more thing I wish to say for the time being:

I think it's important to note that you said, "what people want from their government," instead of "what you want from your government." You all seemed to make your lists of laws that you want. I think the many disagreements that are evident from the many unique lists you all posted illustrate quite clearly that the 300+ million people in the United States would never unanimously agree on any law, let alone a complete set of laws. Even the handful of you all discussing this thread cannot agree on many laws. This just goes to show that the only way to allow every individual to be content with their government is to allow every individual to choose what government he or she wishes to be a part of. This way, you always get what you want from your government and people always get what they want from their government. Aim to make all government voluntary.

I imagine a society in which various groups of like-minded people come together together to form their own desired governments. They draw up their own laws to create their own government and sign contracts binding themselves to these laws and systems of government voluntarily.

I agree with Izzy. This just seems like institutionalized anarchy (talk about a contradiction in terms :blink: ). What if I want to start a country with no Montagues? :P

On a more serious note, who's responsibility is it to pay for public utilities? If you live on a dead end road that goes to an empty field and a developer wants to build a subdivision there, under your rules, the inhabitants of the road can refuse to pay for the necessary extension of electrical lines and sewer system, even though they are already benefiting from them. How can community resources ever be properly funded in your system? Without the Federal government here in the US of A, there would maybe be a road between Chicago and the East Coast. Maybe a dilapidated one to Detroit. :rolleyes: Everything else would be barely above tracks because how likely is it that you would want to spend your money on a road that you will never personally use between Canton, MI and Milan, MI (for example)? You have no kids (and for the sake of argument let's say that you want none), do you have to pay for schools? If everyone who didn't have a kid in a school system refused to fund that school system, then pretty much all of public schooling would collapse and all that would be left would be private schools for the rich. The purpose of taxes is to provide for the common needs of the people that can't be handled by any one person (or any one group of people).

Some conservatives advocate using charities to replace government welfare. I see no way that that would work in practice. It depends entirely on the altruism of the people with money. That means that there are no guarantees for the people who have nothing. As imperfect as the welfare system is in this country, it's supposed to be a fallback for those who can't make it on their own and they need to be able to know they can depend on the check being in the mail (so to speak) for the next month's pay. Ever heard of "Common Law"?

I'm going to change tracks here:

I'm composing a list of the points that have been made so far. Green means everyone has agreed so far, orange means I'm not sure, red means extreme disagreement. Maybe we should have an open ballot numbered 1-30 where you vote yay or nay on the issues?

1. Government should not censor speech, press, media, or internet.

2. Military service should be voluntary.

3. There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults, where a consenting adult is anyone of 16 years of age or older.

4. Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs, but tax drugs and use them for awareness efforts.

5. End government barriers to international free trade.

6. Let people control their own retirement; privatize Social Security, but have a government default.

7. Keep government welfare, but no taxation without representation.

8. Freedom of speech, religion, sexuality, peaceful protests, and petition.

9. Soldiers may not be quartered in a house without the consent of the owner.

10. People may not be unreasonably searched or kept in captivity. There must be overwhelming evidence to search someone.

11. The right to a free, public, and speedy trial.

12. Laws are to remain the same from State to State.

13. Eventual globalization is a priority.

14. Remove "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

15. No slavery.

16. Any immigrants who are illegal MUST serve in the military until they become legal aliens.

17. No racial profiling.

18. Manatory schooling for students aged 5-13, but highschoolers have optional attendane based on grades.

19. We need to decide whether the rich should be taxed more or if everyone should be taxed equally.

20. Once done with school, after a chill period, everyone should attempt to get a job.

21. There will be no smoking of tobacco in public.

22. Same health care option for everyone, complete coverage, funded by tax payers through the government.

23. No capital punishment.

24. We need a balance between anarchy and communism that ISN'T capitalism.

25. Abortion is legal, but much be carried out before the fetus is viable.

26. Mandatory three years of military for everyone.

27. In school science classes, only things that are scientifically established and well ratified through the scientific community will be taught.

28. The music blasting from one's car shall not be audible from the outside of the vehicle.

29. We need to step away from oil, and embrace power sources such as solar, wind, and nuclear.

30. People should be required to have rain barrels, solar panels, compost piles, and recycle

The problem with removing the barriers to free trade(5) is that then you would have a rush to move everything to the place that it could be done cheapest (where the workers would be willing to be paid the least), something that someone has already noted above (gvg I think). That's why the Republican idea of allowing people to buy insurance across state lines was a bad idea. Then all of the insurance companies would move to Mississippi (or wherever restrictions were least) and everyone would be forced to work with MS's laws governing the insurance industry, even those who lived in New York or California. So if we had a unified government like Izzy says in (12), then that wouldn't be a problem and I agree that globalization (13) would alleviate such problems, but until you reach that point, unrestricted international free trade can create perverse incentives.

In truth, the USA is already a compromise between Izzy's suggestions and Use the Force. That's why we have state laws and counties and municipalities and so forth. We recognize the diversity and allow people to pass different laws in different areas depending on different circumstances. One unified, codified set of laws governing all people would seem to be the simplest, most fair solution, but it would be very hard to find that set of laws to which everyone could agree.

Regarding Social Security(6), that is the government default. Most people who worked in any major industry in the past half century have some sort of retirement plan through that company. SS is for those who don't or to complement what retirement savings they have. If we had privatized the system back in 2005 like Pres. Bush wanted, where would everyone's SS savings be in 2008? (That of course ignores the issue that the privatization process would have been even more expensive than just leaving it the way it is. :rolleyes: ) SS Privatization is a false flag event. There are a myriad of ways to keep SS solvent that don't involve private investment that are a lot safer. The whole point of privatization is not to make the recipients more secure, but to make the brokers more secure. If the SS accounts had been on the private market when the economy tanked in 2007/2008, then the investors would have been bailed out by the government for those SS benefits since they would still be guaranteed by the government. SS Privatization socializes the risk, while privatizing the profit.

The problem with forcing military service on illegal immigrants (16) is that you can't do that in all cases. What about the 60 year-olds, or the 13 year-olds? What about single mothers? People attack the immigrants as the source of the problem, but they are really the consequence of other issues. First, things are so bad in their country of origin that they feel that defying US law (and the border patrol) gives them a chance for a better life. Second, there are companies here that happily employ such workers, not out of the goodness of their(hearts? :huh: ), but because they can pay whatever they like since they know that the immigrant can't go to the police. So rather than target the immigrants, a better solution would be to focus efforts on the companies that hire illegal immigrants (something that isn't emphasized in the AZ law :rolleyes: ) and to help shore up the economy of the countries (like Mexico) that are the source of these immigrants. (That's something that would never happen in UtF's dream State. :lol: Who would want to spend money to help people in a foreign nation, when that money would have little to no obvious impact on any one person living over here?)

Yes, the taxes issue (19) :rolleyes: (hmm, I'm going to run out of smilies in a second here; apparently 10 is the limit and I did go over ;rolleyes; ). A flat tax (where everyone pays the same percent) is by definition a regressive tax since it puts a heavier burden on the poorer classes. Like gvg said, the $100 to the person that makes $1000 per year means a heck of a lot more to him than the $1,000,000 does to the multimillionaire. They're both 10%, but based on the proportional size of the pay checks, they make a huge difference on how well someone can cope with parting with it. The problem is that you're taxing income, not profit. The person with a $1000 income (totally infeasible to live on in America) probably spends almost all of what he earns to live from day-to-day, while the guy making $10,000,000 probably keeps the vast majority of that wealth. If there were a flat tax on net income (something very hard to keep track of), then a flat tax would make sense, but if we're only looking at gross income, then we need progressive taxation (where people at the top pay a higher percent than those at the bottom).

To provide the context that is currently lacking in this thread, earned income (from wages and the like) is currently taxed at around 35%. In some bizarre twisted logic, capital gains (ie. from the stock market and similar) is taxed at 15%. So if you make $1,000,000 by buying stocks, you only pay $150,000 in taxes, while if you earn a $1,000,000 in income, you pay $350,000. I don't see any reason for that discrepancy other than the moneyed classes like to keep their money and most reinvest what they earn in the stock market since they can survive if they lose out. Income is income, no matter what the source is.

I think that that's enough to start.

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You're right. The immigrant army was my idea, and I now see the problems with my idea. So I agree, we should do something about the companies, and possibly help Mexico too.

I didn't know that about the taxes. It makes no sense. So I say we make a progressive INCOME tax that affects every source of income.

And yes, that was a good start :D

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