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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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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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_anarchist_communities

I agree with *everything* dawh says. I think it was stated previously that if we do build corporations in other countries (like the Nike thing that happened), they should still be paid USA wages. Btw, globalization takes care of the Mexio problem and the aforementioned. If we allow Mexico to join the US, we could create businesses there, make everyone have a wage fit to meet middle class standards, etc. Now, I'm no God ( :rolleyes: ) so I can't fix everything ( :rolleyes:), but I really think globalization is the easiest solution. The only problem is getting people to agree.

...We can use Jediism/Phronism!

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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.

I find that this is what most people seem to think when this view of voluntary government is presented. I strongly disagree with you, however. My voluntary government proposal is a proposal for nonviolent government. Currently our United States government is a violent institution that uses violent force (or more commonly the threat of violent force) to take things from individuals (commonly money) against their will. I call this the violent tyrannical government.

You say that there would be a KKK country, NEO-Nazis, etc. Okay, let them be. I guarantee that these countries won't be as successful as mine and eventually in the long term such countries will become less popular and will die out.

You'll have people with absolutely nil consideration for other people, and invasions will start."

Can you really point a gun at everyone in the world and say, abide my law to be respectful and nice to other people or else I will put you in jail and if you refuse, kill you? Do you really want to do that?

Yeah, awesome, they're completely free, but we would fight way too much for it to be practical.

I'm not saying that such a system of voluntary government would create world peace, all I'm saying is that it's wrong to be violent yourself and use force to take money from other people and tell them what to do with it (taxation).

We'd be in the same, if not WAY worse, situation.

I strongly disagree. If you wouldn't mind elaborating on why you think this is so, that would be appreciated. What is it that you think is bad about our current situation and how will voluntary government make that worse?

Personally I think that the problem with our current system is that I, as an individual, do not get to determine what I get to do with my money. I, as an individual, do not get to determine who the President of the country is, or who my representatives in Congress are. I'm forced to live in a society where the great masses of the people tell me what I can and can't do and where the great masses of the people hand over their power to elected representatives who then use that power to create laws to steal my money and regulate me in many unreasonable ways. This is outrageous and yet they get away with it by saying that is in the name of the "general public" or "common good."

(None of this "general public" crap, we should try to make everyone happy. :) )

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I said, "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."

You replied:

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

I think you missed my point. My point was that what you want is not what everyone else in this country wants. Are you creating a list of things that everyone in this country wants or are you creating a list of things you want? I assumed that you were creating a list of things that you want, which is why I made the point that you can't make a universal set of laws that everyone is satisfied with. It just doesn't work like that.

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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.

If you read my post in its entirety surely you wouldn't have missed this paragraph, meant to illustrate what's wrong with the point you just made:

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?

Your saying that you think it's right for the poor to be allowed to steal money from the rich in the form of taxation. Tell me, why!? Is stealing from the rich any better than stealing from the poor? If I go steal a car from Bill Gates does that mean that it's right, just because he can afford to buy a new one? Of course not! But, this is exactly what our government currently does when it taxes the rich so much and redistributes the wealth to the poor!

I see myself as having two options: 1) I could be a hard working adult who tries to make a lot of money or 2) I could be a lazy adult who decides, "What's the point of working when my government can steal food and shelter for free from rich people to give to me?"

I also recommend (again) that you read about money here:

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

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.

ALWAYS! Our government uses the THREAT of violence when it taxes people. I never want to be taxed, yet when I am taxed I pay my taxes because I want to avoid my government from using its iron fist to put me in jail. Those who get too angry at this tyrannical government and choose to not pay taxes are not the sources of the violence. They are simply the smart people who say, "You know what? I'm fed up with you stealing my money so I'm going to refuse to give it to you. If you want to come try and imprison me for not giving up my own money to you then just be warned that I'll use guns to defend myself if necessary." The violence is the government that steals the money from people! NOT the people who refuse to give up their money!

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Use the Force, you have credit as being the most hardcore libertarian I've ever met :lol: I guess my own views are sort of a blend of libertarianism and socialism (which is weird because of their inherently opposite nature). Basically I would call myself a 'minimalist'. Trying to limit the government as much as possible (especially the people working for it - cut as many lawmakers as possible, and go as "direct" a democracy as reason can permit). And of course getting rid of many government programs. I still believe in using taxes and yes I would be ethically okay with stealing a car from Bill Gates haha. That is if it was just some car and replaceable (not if it was some ancient relic he'd been working on every day in one of his garages or something). Not that I would steal a car in the first place but you know what I mean - to a hypothetical someone that makes 10 million dollars a year, money has become just a number. It's not stealing as much as it is reduction of an enormous savings. So yes taxes do "steal from the rich and give to the poor". Robin Hood was the ultimate socialist. But I'm okay with it for many government programs i consider important and/or necessary, such as the education system, the welfare, the infrastructure, the national defense (but again it should be one of the smallest recipients of funds and extremely limited in anything except actual defending the nation).

But many more things can be privatized... for example, the space industry. And some aspects of health care and retirement funding. Partial welfare. Among other things. And other things can be sliced altogether.

So I would describe myself as a 'minimalist'. I have no problem paying taxes when I know it's going toward a certain set of programs that help people that can't help themselves. Of course I think welfare recipients should be more regulated so people can't "leech" off the system as Use the Force has described. I dont know how that's possible though. But at the current way that taxes are bloated and redirected and stolen for personal gain, I think it's terrible. Hence the minimalization

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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:

Perhaps I would guess that the person is more likely to be liberal than conservative too, but only because most people who hold that view are liberals, NOT because having that view makes someone ought to be liberal rationally. I, for example, hold that view, but am a libertarian. I think that the best way to move society as a whole forward and to eliminate poverty 100 years from now is to give every individual the power to determine how they wish to be governed. I think that stealing money from wealthy people and giving it to the poor people who don't make a lot of money only impedes this progress. This can be seen when looking at aid that the United States gives to other countries. The US gives a lot of money to try and help third world countries, but there is no sign that this helps those countries become independently economically stable. Rather, it causes them to become dependent on our aid, thus impeding their growth. I recommend this article to explain this point better:

http://www.lp.org/issues/foreign-policy

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).

Not a problem; let me explain. You essentially say that things like roads and schools need to be mandatory public things that a government needs to force people to support financially. Why? Because you seem to think that if a government didn't require that people pay for such things then nobody would be willing to pay for the construction of a road or pay for a school, if that person sees no obvious personal benefit in paying for such things. You then use a slippery slope logical fallacy to say that "without the Federal government here in the US of A, there would maybe be a road between Chicago and the East Coast." Do you really mean what you say? I highly doubt it. Don't you think that people are intelligent enough to realize that there are many benefits (to themselves personally) to have a system of roads? Don't you think that these people would form together to voluntarily create such a system of roads that they all pay for collectively as a group?

You don't need to give groups in the US Congress arbitrary power and have faith that they will build the roads that you want. You can choose to join a company/organization/voluntary-government that builds roads. You help pay for what they do because you like it and in turn they allow you to drive on the roads that they build. This way, everyone who signs a contract to connect them to these roads and everyone who pays for these roads do so voluntarily. You don't have to faithfully hope that the 300+ million people in the United States elect people who will hopefully choose to build the roads that you want. You don't have to blindly hand over your power like that. You, and everyone else, can have exactly what they want by voluntarily forming and joining your own government organizations that do all of these things (like road building) that an individual would not want to pay for himself.

Also, a problem that I see you might have in understanding my voluntary government proposal is that you seem to imagine something like your next door neighbor deciding not to pay for street repairs for the street right in front of his house. This isn't what I'm advocating. A transition from out current government to a system of voluntary governments like the one I am advocating would look different than that. I'm not asking you to imagine that your neighbor doesn't have to pay for the roads in front of his house. I'm asking you to imagine that there aren't any roads within miles of his house and then he is presented with the option of whether or not he wants to pay for roads. My guess is that most people would voluntarily choose to join organizations/companies/governments that build roads in front of their houses. Why? Because they would see that the amount of money they would have to pay to join such a government is less than the money-value that they would gain by having roads connecting to their drive way. So try not to picture someone getting the benefits of a road in front of his house without paying for the roads. That's not what I'm talking about when I'm advocating voluntary government. If you want a way to transition from our government to a voluntary government, perhaps give individuals to option to be taxed for roads or to not be taxed for roads and say that those who help pay for roads by giving the government some money for them are allowed to drive on them and use them (as we are today), but those who do not help pay for the roads (like your neighbor who I said you imagined happily choosing not to pay for the roads) do not get to use them.

You also mentioned schools. I have thought on the subject of schools and have decided that I think it would be better if schools were privatized also. I see no reason to force people to financially support schools. The reasoning behind this is similar to the reasoning I gave for roads. However, to someone who doesn't want any kids and has already attended school, I admit that there would be little reason to voluntarily finance schools (although I'll note that I'm an exception: even if I didn't want children I would still want to support them). However, why should they be forced to pay for these schools? Just like, why should people be forced to pay for roads? Should people be forced to pay for a hypothetical pointless network of roads in Alaska? Of course not. But, if our government and Alaska's government voted to build such a pointless network of roads there would be many people protesting that it is unfair that they're forced to pay for these pointless roads. I think you'd also find already-educated, children-less people annoyed that they have to pay taxes to support a school as well.

Having been through a very above average public high school and still criticized it as being inefficient in many areas, I can also present the argument that in a voluntary government system I would be allowed to pick and choose which educational institutions I wish to support financially. I would be allowed to say, "Hey I like what this school is doing. I think I'll help support it." In our current society, however, I am forced to pay for whatever my local high school happens to be and have to go through pointless efforts to convince my community and board of education, etc, that there is something wrong with the school that I am being forced to support through taxation in order to make my money well-spent. In a voluntary world, though, I wouldn't have to waste my time doing this. Rather, I could choose what road-organization I like and what schools I like and support those.

You still might be thinking that many people would not pay for these schools anyways simply because they see no personal benefit. You then might be thinking that this is a problem because you don't want the world to be filled with masses of uneducated people. Well I can say again that I think using the threat of guns and violent force (the threat behind taxation) to force people to pay for these schools you want is not the moral thing to do.

Anyways, I'll sum up what I've said so far by saying that I think that by taking the libertarian perspective rather than the socialist perspective (perhaps extreme of what you are, but we're essentially arguing which we we ought to go on the spectrum), it would help reduce poverty and uneducated people in the long run, something that I value. I value what happens to the world as a whole, not just myself personally. However, this does not lead me to holding liberal views rationally. It leads me to being a charitable libertarian (see next paragraph for "charitable".

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"?

First I will state the point again that I do not think that it is right to force wealthy people to support poor people. If they want to do so, then they may voluntarily choose to support a welfare charity organization that they feel will help out poor people in the way that they want them to be helped out.

Second I will say that I personally wouldn't support a welfare organization that supports just any poor person. No. I don't see the long term benefit (society as a whole benefit) in giving my money to help out poor mentally retarded people with no potential in life or 80-year-old disabled people who no longer serve a purpose to society. Perhaps some other people may want to support these people for emotional reasons or because these people are their family members, but from my perspective, I don't value people just for being people. I couldn't care less about the worthless 80-year-old or mentally retarded person. In other words, I wouldn't give my money to help them out because I don't see how supporting them would help out society as a whole (which is what I value... society as a whole, not every poor person).

On the other hand, there are many poor people who I would financially support. I happen to think that intelligent, bright people have a lot of potential to help out society as a whole, so it is quite likely that my first choices for people to help out would be the intelligent poor children who I meet in life. If I ever encountered a genius child whose parents couldn't afford to educate them decently as a child (surely there are universities that would give them full scholarships) then I would gladly pay for an education that I thought would help make them smarter before they were ready to go to college. I would pay for his/her food and home if I was capable and there was a need (due to parents unable or unwilling to support their child). Why? Not because I care about poor people not being poor. But, because I see that there are poor people who I'm capable of helping out so as to help them meet their potential to help out society. I would be charitable towards them even if I didn't know them personally. All I would have to know is that my money given to them is well-spent towards the greater success of society as a whole. If I was sure of that then I would gladly help out poor people, like this poor genius child I imagined.

I'll respond to the rest of your post momentarily. I'm going to post what I have written so far now and then will continue responding to what you said in a separate post.

EDIT: Scratch that. The rest of your post wasn't directed at me. "Common law?" No I haven't.

Edited by Use the Force
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Use the Force, you have credit as being the most hardcore libertarian I've ever met :lol: I guess my own views are sort of a blend of libertarianism and socialism (which is weird because of their inherently opposite nature).

Wow! That's actually really awesome that you said that. Not the first part, but the second. I'll get to the wow in a second. So as you might have read, I really only started looking at politics in the last year. Because of that, I also really have only discussed politics with a few people--very few in fact. I have discussed politics with one libertarian (more libertarian than myself), one socialist, a little bit with on mildly conservative libertarian, and a very little bit with a few other people. This is my first time engaging in a discussion/debate with people online before. I've done this same thing on the subjects of religion and philosophy before, but never politics.

So what the "wow" is is that when I first determined what my political views were, I decided that I was a libertarian with a socialist mind set. When I described myself like that to the few people who I have ever discussed politics with I was essentially said, "Are you kidding? They're exact opposites!" But, just like you, no I was not kidding. I was a libertarian, but unlike my hardcore libertarian friend, I seemed to value what happened to society as a whole. I'm not a stereotypical (?) conservative who only cares about himself and his own personal experiences in life. Rather, I find that the fundamental things that I value (society as a whole) match up with my socialist friend more so than with my very libertarian friend. Now, how does that work? If I'm not mistaking, you might be in the same position as I am. I've never heard anybody other than myself describe themselves as part libertarian, part socialist, but that's what I am.

I first determined what my own political views were after President Obama's State of the Union Address. I found myself angry and annoyed at both the Democrats and the Republicans and the whole way in which they went about acting politically. That night, after watching the address I went to the Libertarian Party's website because I was curious what a libertarian was (I had no idea, but my libertarian friend had said he was a libertarian when he was debating with my socialist friend in my AP Government class the week before). I quickly realized that I was a libertarian. That same night I told my semi-libertarian-republican friend across an instant messenger that I thought I was a libertarian. I agreed with essentially everything I was reading on their website and it was immediately appealing to me. My friend, who I had considered a "Republican" before that point, said that he too was a libertarian in most respects. He then gave schools as something that he wants to keep public though. So that night after Obama's State of the Union Address we had a debate over instant messenger in which I considered schools for the first time and decided that they ought to be privatized as well. Thus began my interest in politics.

Basically I would call myself a 'minimalist'. Trying to limit the government as much as possible (especially the people working for it - cut as many lawmakers as possible, and go as "direct" a democracy as reason can permit). And of course getting rid of many government programs. I still believe in using taxes and yes I would be ethically okay with stealing a car from Bill Gates haha. That is if it was just some car and replaceable (not if it was some ancient relic he'd been working on every day in one of his garages or something). Not that I would steal a car in the first place but you know what I mean - to a hypothetical someone that makes 10 million dollars a year, money has become just a number. It's not stealing as much as it is reduction of an enormous savings. So yes taxes do "steal from the rich and give to the poor". Robin Hood was the ultimate socialist. But I'm okay with it for many government programs i consider important and/or necessary, such as the education system, the welfare, the infrastructure, the national defense (but again it should be one of the smallest recipients of funds and extremely limited in anything except actual defending the nation).

I'm a libertarian, but, in a libertarian fragmented society composed of many many small governments and countries that people voluntarily choose to join, I personally might choose to join country with a "moderate" (on the conservative-liberal spectrum) or "liberal" sized government. This is what I mean by part socialist. You see, I would have absolutely nothing wrong with living in a socialist and communist country if everybody in it shared my values and were very intelligent. Well, perhaps it wouldn't actually be a socialist or communist government because it would be a government that I would voluntarily choose to join (along with everyone else in that government/country) and would be free to leave (within the boundaries of my agreement to be a part of it, of course. I might have to wait a couple years to leave after deciding to leave due to previous agreements I had made). However, this country that I would choose to live in would have quite a large sized government. I would give away a significant portion of my income away in taxes to support many of the various things that our current government has programs for. I don't want to have to deal with every issue that I'm concerned about personally. There are many times where I would just like to give someone else my money and have them use it to solve the problems for me. This is the liberal side of me. I think I likely share a lot of my values with you and with a lot of liberal people. The difference between me and liberal people though is that I think that the best way to achieve those values is not by using force to force the rich to give to the poor, but by giving every individual the ability to secede from a government that takes away their money and gives it to people or causes that the individual does not like. I would probably be liberal if I liked what our government was doing right now and throughout my life. But, because I don't like a lot of things about our government that caused me to investigate libertarianism and I have come to realize that the world would be a better place if people didn't force people to be a part of their government.

Here's a thought experiment for you and whoever wants to try it:

Let the conservatives in the United States secede and for their own nations and let the liberals form together to form their own liberal country (or countries if they so desire). For the sake of the thought experiment separate them into their own separate geographic areas where each country can ignore the other countries. At first you might see a lot of of rich conservatives leave the United States and thus the liberals might complain and not want this separation to occur in real life because then they can't get these rich peoples' money, but that's why I propose this as a thought experiment first. So now you have a lot of like-minded liberals in their own country or countries and you have a lot of like-minded conservatives in their own small countries (or perhaps some conservatives like me would form a rather large country with a moderate sized government). What will happen over the years as these countries go about their separate affairs?

The point of this thought experiment is to see whether a conservative nation in modern times can fare better than a liberal nation in modern times or vice versa. I don't think that it would be useful to look back at history to answer this question because our modern technologies change the circumstances drastically (e.g. machine guns so individuals can defend themselves thus making the stereotypical monarchies and dictatorships of the past essentially impossible to form).

I would bet that if the United States government became smaller and allowed people to secede (e.g. me), then I would be capable of creating a far greater country than the United States. I would form together with like-minded people in my own corner of the world and would show the world, by example, how to make a great society. "That’s all you can ask for in a world where you cannot control others’ minds and change their principles and you cannot control their bodies with your guns… but it’s still an awful lot." -My friend the libertarian (I agree with him.)

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Perhaps I would guess that the person is more likely to be liberal than conservative too, but only because most people who hold that view are liberals, NOT because having that view makes someone ought to be liberal rationally. I, for example, hold that view, but am a libertarian. I think that the best way to move society as a whole forward and to eliminate poverty 100 years from now is to give every individual the power to determine how they wish to be governed. I think that stealing money from wealthy people and giving it to the poor people who don't make a lot of money only impedes this progress. This can be seen when looking at aid that the United States gives to other countries. The US gives a lot of money to try and help third world countries, but there is no sign that this helps those countries become independently economically stable. Rather, it causes them to become dependent on our aid, thus impeding their growth. I recommend this article to explain this point better:

http://www.lp.org/issues/foreign-policy

Just because we give countries money and they don't advance doesn't mean that they didn't advance because we gave them money. There are all sorts of reasons that Third-World countries continue to be Third-World countries and many of the reasons are a lot older than the USA. Old prejudices and hatreds and different cultural mores can often prevent advancement as well. Haiti has been a dirt-poor nation throughout its existence in part because its former colonizer, France, forced them to pay reparations for the freeing of the slaves. Of course, the "slaves" were freed by winning a war of independence from France, but that didn't stop the prejudices of European nations and the US from forcing the newly self-determined Hatians from risking further military might or pay for their own freedom. Having to pay France back for the war of independence they won prevented them from building infrastructure necessary to grow their economy. Which left them vulnerable to any disaster that might occur in the region. Dependence on US charity is rarely the limiting reagent for why a country can't pull itself up "by its own bootstraps." And of course, the same argument can be made for individuals (which I'll address later).

Not a problem; let me explain. You essentially say that things like roads and schools need to be mandatory public things that a government needs to force people to support financially. Why? Because you seem to think that if a government didn't require that people pay for such things then nobody would be willing to pay for the construction of a road or pay for a school, if that person sees no obvious personal benefit in paying for such things. You then use a slippery slope logical fallacy to say that "without the Federal government here in the US of A, there would maybe be a road between Chicago and the East Coast." Do you really mean what you say? I highly doubt it. Don't you think that people are intelligent enough to realize that there are many benefits (to themselves personally) to have a system of roads? Don't you think that these people would form together to voluntarily create such a system of roads that they all pay for collectively as a group?

You don't need to give groups in the US Congress arbitrary power and have faith that they will build the roads that you want. You can choose to join a company/organization/voluntary-government that builds roads. You help pay for what they do because you like it and in turn they allow you to drive on the roads that they build. This way, everyone who signs a contract to connect them to these roads and everyone who pays for these roads do so voluntarily. You don't have to faithfully hope that the 300+ million people in the United States elect people who will hopefully choose to build the roads that you want. You don't have to blindly hand over your power like that. You, and everyone else, can have exactly what they want by voluntarily forming and joining your own government organizations that do all of these things (like road building) that an individual would not want to pay for himself.

Also, a problem that I see you might have in understanding my voluntary government proposal is that you seem to imagine something like your next door neighbor deciding not to pay for street repairs for the street right in front of his house. This isn't what I'm advocating. A transition from out current government to a system of voluntary governments like the one I am advocating would look different than that. I'm not asking you to imagine that your neighbor doesn't have to pay for the roads in front of his house. I'm asking you to imagine that there aren't any roads within miles of his house and then he is presented with the option of whether or not he wants to pay for roads. My guess is that most people would voluntarily choose to join organizations/companies/governments that build roads in front of their houses. Why? Because they would see that the amount of money they would have to pay to join such a government is less than the money-value that they would gain by having roads connecting to their drive way. So try not to picture someone getting the benefits of a road in front of his house without paying for the roads. That's not what I'm talking about when I'm advocating voluntary government. If you want a way to transition from our government to a voluntary government, perhaps give individuals to option to be taxed for roads or to not be taxed for roads and say that those who help pay for roads by giving the government some money for them are allowed to drive on them and use them (as we are today), but those who do not help pay for the roads (like your neighbor who I said you imagined happily choosing not to pay for the roads) do not get to use them.

I was talking about extending the road, not supporting the road that already exists. If someone wants to build a house in an empty lot that isn't connected to any road, who, besides the person who owns that lot, is going to want to pay money to build a road to that lot? For a less theoretical example, say you are a farmer who lives out of town and the only connection you have to the rest of town is a little two-rut track. Who would be willing to pay for you to get a paved (or at least graded) road to your house to get your produce to market, when there are undoubtedly other farmers who are already on a length of road somewhere else? The people in town can survive even if your road is never built, so there is no reason for people already living in a community to support connecting someone living outside that community with a road. The farmer may work hard, but without anyone willing to advocate on his behalf, how's he going to get a better road to help him move his harvest to market? :huh:

You also mentioned schools. I have thought on the subject of schools and have decided that I think it would be better if schools were privatized also. I see no reason to force people to financially support schools. The reasoning behind this is similar to the reasoning I gave for roads. However, to someone who doesn't want any kids and has already attended school, I admit that there would be little reason to voluntarily finance schools (although I'll note that I'm an exception: even if I didn't want children I would still want to support them). However, why should they be forced to pay for these schools? Just like, why should people be forced to pay for roads? Should people be forced to pay for a hypothetical pointless network of roads in Alaska? Of course not. But, if our government and Alaska's government voted to build such a pointless network of roads there would be many people protesting that it is unfair that they're forced to pay for these pointless roads. I think you'd also find already-educated, children-less people annoyed that they have to pay taxes to support a school as well.

Having been through a very above average public high school and still criticized it as being inefficient in many areas, I can also present the argument that in a voluntary government system I would be allowed to pick and choose which educational institutions I wish to support financially. I would be allowed to say, "Hey I like what this school is doing. I think I'll help support it." In our current society, however, I am forced to pay for whatever my local high school happens to be and have to go through pointless efforts to convince my community and board of education, etc, that there is something wrong with the school that I am being forced to support through taxation in order to make my money well-spent. In a voluntary world, though, I wouldn't have to waste my time doing this. Rather, I could choose what road-organization I like and what schools I like and support those.

You still might be thinking that many people would not pay for these schools anyways simply because they see no personal benefit. You then might be thinking that this is a problem because you don't want the world to be filled with masses of uneducated people. Well I can say again that I think using the threat of guns and violent force (the threat behind taxation) to force people to pay for these schools you want is not the moral thing to do.

Regarding education, I agree that public schooling has its problems, but I don't see a better solution. I don't see how your way can do anything other than a) permit only the already rich to get an education or b) leave the curriculum to the mercy of rich "donors."

Examining a) above, how would a janitor making $10/hour be able to support his family and enter into an agreement to pay for a school for his children? The community either has to do their own cleaning, or they have to have a janitor, but how would a person making a minimal wage be able to support paying for elective services when he can barely pay for services mandatory for survival. If we assume 40 hours a week, that's $20,800 a year. Given average living expenses today, that's hardly enough to live on, let alone pay for private schooling.

Let's look at b). Who would set the curriculum in your theoretical communities? What if we implemented your dream and the likes of Pat Robinson and Jerry Falwell's estate started using their untold millions to fund private Bible colleges in communities that couldn't afford to build their own? They completely fund the education of the community, but they get total say in what gets taught at their college. They already have their own colleges now, but public institutions exist as an alternative. In a poor community, they may not have the choice (especially if Robinson starts building high schools there as well). In this case, you leave education not in the hands of the people, but in the hands of their "benefactors." As much as you might hope that people with more respect for the scientific method would build and support their own communities, there will undoubtedly be Robinsonville's in your world. :blink: Is that better than the current system, where at least in theory, people are getting taught a mostly standardized curriculum in public schools (though Texas is heck-bent on changing that).

We've been building up society for centuries and you're basically advocating that we tear it all down. :huh: If you live in a community built in Arizona and you want wheat from Nebraska (wheat doesn't really grow well in arid climes like AZ's), with whom do you negotiate to get the wheat there? How is it delivered? Trucking would be cheapest, but who would build and maintain the road between Nebraska (or even Oklahoma) and Arizona? Who would benefit from that road (probably passing through other "government's" jurisdictions) other than the communities in Nebraska or Arizona? Without the Federal government, I stand by my statements in other threads that we would be nothing more than an agrarian backwater if we hadn't pushed for better roads and the national highway system. No other country on Earth has a road-system more sophisticated and interconnected than we do. We owe that to the Federal government. I may not agree with everything the government agrees to, but we would be nothing that we know today without it.

I'm not advocating that we worship the Federal government and defer to it in every respect, but we would have none of the power and influence (and wealth) that we have today if the Federal government had never existed. Going back to our theoretical societies in Arizona and Nebraska, how would they contract the exchange of goods? What could Arizona offer Nebraska that it might want? The only thing that really comes to mind is money, but if everyone gets to build their own government, that means that everyone gets to build their own currency. What's to say that the Nebraska community is going to be interested in being paid for their wheat using the Arizona Dollar? They probably have their own Nebraska Dollar and since Nebraska is more easily settled and supportable from local crop production, the Nebraska Dollar probably has more pull than the Arizona Dollar. The exchange rate is probably pretty bad. So even if Nebraska has excess wheat, they probably have more reliable markets elsewhere with a stronger currency.

Which brings me to another point. As brilliant as Bill Gates and people like him are, without a strong currency, he probably wouldn't have been able to make it very far. Very few people in the history of the US would have been able to prosper without a strong US dollar. If the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age had been building railroad lines across areas with different currencies (as was basically codified by the Articles of Confederation), then how would they have been able to build their economic empires (not that I support the existence of their empires :rolleyes: )? If building a railroad from New York to Chicago required contracting with five different "governments" using five different currencies, who would spend the time or effort to do it? We would have these hodgepodge little network of rail lines connecting local groups with a few built to connect more distant groups, but there would be no one ensuring that everyone built the rail line with the same grade. That was already a problem in the 1850s and 1860s. The Union railroads were a different width from the Confederate railroads, so neither could move freight using their own trains in the opponent's territory. It was the Federal government that stepped in provide a common rail width to use after the war.

Anyways, I'll sum up what I've said so far by saying that I think that by taking the libertarian perspective rather than the socialist perspective (perhaps extreme of what you are, but we're essentially arguing which we we ought to go on the spectrum), it would help reduce poverty and uneducated people in the long run, something that I value. I value what happens to the world as a whole, not just myself personally. However, this does not lead me to holding liberal views rationally. It leads me to being a charitable libertarian (see next paragraph for "charitable".

First I will state the point again that I do not think that it is right to force wealthy people to support poor people. If they want to do so, then they may voluntarily choose to support a welfare charity organization that they feel will help out poor people in the way that they want them to be helped out.

Second I will say that I personally wouldn't support a welfare organization that supports just any poor person. No. I don't see the long term benefit (society as a whole benefit) in giving my money to help out poor mentally retarded people with no potential in life or 80-year-old disabled people who no longer serve a purpose to society. Perhaps some other people may want to support these people for emotional reasons or because these people are their family members, but from my perspective, I don't value people just for being people. I couldn't care less about the worthless 80-year-old or mentally retarded person. In other words, I wouldn't give my money to help them out because I don't see how supporting them would help out society as a whole (which is what I value... society as a whole, not every poor person).

On the other hand, there are many poor people who I would financially support. I happen to think that intelligent, bright people have a lot of potential to help out society as a whole, so it is quite likely that my first choices for people to help out would be the intelligent poor children who I meet in life. If I ever encountered a genius child whose parents couldn't afford to educate them decently as a child (surely there are universities that would give them full scholarships) then I would gladly pay for an education that I thought would help make them smarter before they were ready to go to college. I would pay for his/her food and home if I was capable and there was a need (due to parents unable or unwilling to support their child). Why? Not because I care about poor people not being poor. But, because I see that there are poor people who I'm capable of helping out so as to help them meet their potential to help out society. I would be charitable towards them even if I didn't know them personally. All I would have to know is that my money given to them is well-spent towards the greater success of society as a whole. If I was sure of that then I would gladly help out poor people, like this poor genius child I imagined.

I'll respond to the rest of your post momentarily. I'm going to post what I have written so far now and then will continue responding to what you said in a separate post.

Other than being extremely cold ( :blink: ), there are all sorts of reasons to support those who cannot support themselves. First of all, you avoided the question of what you would do with the mentally retarded and the invalid elderly. If they have no one to care for them, what happens? :huh: Do the imaginary "Death Panels" of Tea Party fantasy become a reality in your world? :( I certainly wouldn't want to live in such a place. If there isn't an overarching government that holds people in check, you give people with money even more power than they already have. If a community forms and they create their own police system and one of the members invents something and becomes incredibly wealthy, who can stop him if he uses that wealth to "fund" the police force and then starts fleecing the rest of the community to increase his own holdings? With no central body of law, what's to stop someone of buying off all the police and creating their own little fiefdom?

For all of the problems with modern society, it's the fairest and most egalitarian we've ever had in the history of mankind. You're advocating for total regression to an earlier age (whether you realize it or not). As much as some people like to talk about "American Exceptionalism," it couldn't have been possible without the backing of a strong central government. Who would have presided over the Louisiana Purchase if we hadn't had Jefferson step in and demand it? Without it, the former English colonies would never have been able to spread much beyond the East Coast and much of the rest of the land that we call the US of A would be speaking Spanish, or heaven forbid, French. :rolleyes:

EDIT: Scratch that. The rest of your post wasn't directed at me. "Common law?" No I haven't.

Actually, Common Law is only indirectly related as it is the basis for the English and American judicial system using precedent and judgment on the rights of the 'average' citizen. We can't expect that the system will serve the needs of every person, but we can try to advocate for the needs of the average. It was more poking fun in a linguistic sense at your denigration of the "body politic" and the "general welfare," than it was regarding a salient point of the discussion.

My only comment to your last post: How will your machine guns protect you from the Government's sniper rifles? :duh:

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UtF: I must admit that you're posts got me thinking. Maybe my ideals had been wrong; yours seemed to work. And then I remembered why I believe they are wrong: I do not have as optimistic a perspective on human nature as you do. Your posts give me the feeling that you believe people to be inherently good; if this is true, then God bless you. I however, cannot agree with this. Although I am not a religious man, I believe that people are, in the majority, inherently evil. My first piece of evidence: children must be taught the concept of sharing. They aren't born charitable; they become that way through parental guidance as children. People, and organisms as a whole, are born with one thing naturally in their mind: Help yourself to survive and reproduce. I truly believe that, if we went and did an experiment, we would find that a person not taught such things as sharing would worry about their needs and nothing else. Why, for example, should they give that person a piece of meat that they got through whatever means to the other person? It's theres after all. You yourself said it: why should the rich help the poor? People don't want to give up what they have and benefit society: a governing body is needed to guide them make sure it gets done. Example: The depression. Partly caused by people irresponsibly putting money that they didn't have on hand immediately into the stock market, heightened by a sense of panic that caused people to remove THEIR money. Hoover attempts to allow things to fix themselves; people would be charitable. It fails, nothing happens, and people, even now, hate Hoover. In comes FDR and the New Deal. He creates jobs, public works, and help for those who needed it but couldn't get it. Through taxes. The depression ends, and many people, like me, regard him as the hero of the depression.

So while your ideas look great on paper (And they do, believe me) they, like communism, cannot work in real life. Humans are too greedy. Now, no form of government is perfect, of course. I am really for reform, and will continue to be until there is nothing else to reform. Thus, I will never be done, because there will always be something wrong. With welfare: as you said, some people mooch. It's true. Which is why I want welfare to be only for those who prove that they have tried to do something. Is it fair that someone will never have to work because they just happened to be born into a rich family, while someone else who works 'til they drop makes less than is needed to live? Is it really that child's money? No, it's daddy's or mommy's money that they are so lucky to have. These are who welfare is for. Those who can work but don't, well, sucks for them. Those who cannot need to be helped as well, especially if you want whats good for society as a whole. The disabled: It's not their fault. I know many disabled individuals who try to fight against their illness. Some are successful, some aren't. One of the smartest men in the world is mentally disabled: he can't get his clothes on without help, but is, to put it bluntly, a genius. If you didn't know that, and only his struggles to do basic activities, according to you, you wouldn't help him because he was disabled. How many great men and women would be lost because of such a thing? The elderly: They've completed their work, and deserve to have some time to relax and enjoy themselves with the knowledge that they will have a steady income to support them. The unemployed who have tried repeatedly to get a job: do I have to say it? They are part of society too, and have their own place.

On taxes: Do you enjoy having hospitals to help you if you're injured? Do you enjoy the feeling of protection from an ORGANIZED arms forces that isn't just an angry mob? Now think: People enjoy these things, at least I do. But what if there were no taxes to pay for them? If many people do not think that hospitals are worth paying for, because they believe they will always be healthy, why should they pay? Why should they waste their money because their neighbors need it? Same with an armed forces: Why pay for that when all they'll need to do is get their own weapon to defend their home, 'their money,' etc. Why should they help to defend their neighbors? Your idea will not help to progress and help society, which is your goal, because as I said, people are greedy. Also, the national highway system, which literally created the suburban life style, was built by the government through TAXES. Dawh wrote what everything that needs to be said.

Privatizing schools: If this happens, and we do as you say and not give any welfare, you would only allow the rich or middle class to go to school. The poor person who dreams of being a doctor? Nope, you can't pay. Plus, schools would all teach wildly different things: Catholic and other religious schools would say that nothing but their sacred scriptures are right, extremely scientific schools would say only science was fact. And no one would question: they payed for it, so it must be true. And why risk angering the school? Public schools, at least the ones I have gone too, tell students to be very open minded. My science teacher, for example, always told us that although she was teaching evolution, it didn't mean that the bible or other religious scripts weren't right. Under privatization of schools, we would most likely lose separation of church and state, which to me is bad.

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UtF, I don't think you are libertarian+socialist. I think are you pure libertarian who has a generous heart/outlook. There's a huge difference. Socialists basically believe in taxing the people to fund the necessity of the government to do things that we individually would not do but collectively need. To me the previous sentence makes sense. To you it doesn't. That's okay but it means you're not a socialist. If you think everything should be privatized and we put our money where we want it (which ideally is _AWESOME_ but as dawh and gvg have pointed out, not entirely feasible given human nature), then at core you're a libertarian who is just giving - not a libertarian who also believes in socialist government programs.

There's a difference between forcing people to be a certain religion (extreme of socialism) and giving them the freedom to choose their religion or lack thereof (libertarianism, what you and I prefer). Say you want the right to choose and then choose to be a Catholic. That doesn't make you a libertarian-socialist, it just makes you a libertarian who exercised his right to choose.

The same concept applies to giving money to, say, charities. Socialists will have the government take your money and then distribute it (hopefully to something charitable or collectively useful). Libertarians would give you the choice of donating. Now say you want the right of choice, and do so decide to donate. In fact you give _90%_ of your income away to soup kitchen organizations. Good for you! But, you're still not a libertarian+socialist, you're a libertarian who exercised his right of choice.

It's really just a technicality of linguistics, I only pointed it out because you called yourself part socialist but I didn't see any socialistic tendencies in anything you said; we can go back to the actual discussion now, sorry :lol:

Anyway I am torn between two extremes here. Use the Force, on one side, emblemizes the kind of freedom I really want the individuals of a great nation to have. GVG, on the other hand, displays the reality of the situation that makes it necessary for a governing body to uphold certain collective desires that individually we might not think about or are not passionate enough aviyt or don't feel we have enough impact (or whatever) to support (financially).

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I was talking about extending the road, not supporting the road that already exists. If someone wants to build a house in an empty lot that isn't connected to any road, who, besides the person who owns that lot, is going to want to pay money to build a road to that lot? For a less theoretical example, say you are a farmer who lives out of town and the only connection you have to the rest of town is a little two-rut track. Who would be willing to pay for you to get a paved (or at least graded) road to your house to get your produce to market, when there are undoubtedly other farmers who are already on a length of road somewhere else? The people in town can survive even if your road is never built, so there is no reason for people already living in a community to support connecting someone living outside that community with a road. The farmer may work hard, but without anyone willing to advocate on his behalf, how's he going to get a better road to help him move his harvest to market? :huh:

Maybe this farmer should tell the people in his farm that if the people in his town don't build a road to his house then he is going to lock them up in his basement, and if they resist being locked up then I'll shoot them all.

On a serious note, this statement jumped out at me: "The people in town can survive even if your road is never built, so there is no reason for people already living in a community to support connecting someone living outside that community with a road." Then why in the world would the people in that town vote to pay for this guy's road? Because there is reason for those people to want a road to be constructed from his farm to the market. The reason is so that they can buy his goods! If this farmer doesn't have the money to invest in a road himself (which is odd because you implied that he was investing in a new farm away from town... why would he do that if he didn't have a plan for a road to market?) then perhaps he could borrow the money from a bank or someone rich in town or to many people in his town collectively. If it's beneficial for everyone in town to have a road built from his farm to the market then they ought to be able to voluntarily make the choice to invest in such a road with the understanding that the farmer will pay them back a little extra for the investment. After all, this is exactly what they would all be doing if they decided to force every wealthy member of their town to pay for the road (taxation) except that this time individuals who feel that it is not a good investment to make can choose not to invest in the road. In your liberal method, an individual who doesn't think that it would be a good investment would be forced to invest in it anyways because he is being taxed without being asked if he is okay with being taxed. What if this farmer lived 100 miles from town? Should these farmers invest in building a 100 mile road to town? Probably not and the farmer would have trouble persuading anyone to invest in such a road. But, when there are laws in a government that say that roads should be built from peoples' farms to markets then many of the people in the town will be forced to give their money towards building this road even though they think it's a bad investment. You might say that the laws would have various regulations to make sure that unreasonable investments in roads won't be made, but I'm sure that some people will still disagree with some of the roads that their tax money is going towards. So why not just give every individual control over their money? The farmer can still have a road built towards his home. All he has to do is show how it would be wise economically for the individuals in his town to support him. If you don't like the idea of the farmer signing contracts with various individual townsfolk who wish to invest in the road, then perhaps the people of the town (like you) who think that it would be beneficial to them personally if a road was built from the farm to the market should all come together and devise a plan to collectively pay for the road, along with the farmer. Perhaps there are multiple farmers who need roads built and all of these farmers can join together and agree on a plan to pay for the roads that is in the interests of every member. In other words, the people of the town form together to create an organization that acts as a government that only deals with roads. They all sign contracts after reaching an agreement on how to pay for the road and then they build the road. It's identical (I'm becoming quite redundant) to a government that forces people to pay for the roads except that in this government individuals do not have to pay for the roads if they don't want to.

Is that better than the current system, where at least in theory, people are getting taught a mostly standardized curriculum in public schools (though Texas is heck-bent on changing that).

Of course. Did you read the Money Speech that I gave a link to? If you understand what money is then I find it difficult to believe that you think it's a good idea to set up a government that takes workers' money and gives it to people who don't work. This inevitably happens in the US and in any system that has a system of taxation like the US and I would say that any system that does that (especially if it does it because the people who don't work don't have a lot of money) is greatly flawed. Do you want to govern animals too? Go into nature and take the food away from the strong animals that hunt and give it to the lazy ones that are unable to catch any pray. After all, how can you allow an animal to get so much food so easily while there are other animals that can can't even get enough food to survive?

We've been building up society for centuries and you're basically advocating that we tear it all down. :huh:

You can't seriously think I'm advocating tearing it down? And do you really think that what I'm advocating would tear it down? Of course not? What is the society that has been built up over centuries? Is it the poor people who can't even support themselves? They're not society. They're not what keeps society going. The people who make a lot of money are the people who keep society going and build society up. You seem to think that the society that "we've been building up... for centuries" is the society in which poor Americans have been voting to take much of the money that the rich make and give it to themselves. In other words, you say that the "building up" of society is the liberalization of society that results in poor people massing together to have their government take a large portion of the money that rich people make and give it to the poor. I wouldn't call that "building up" society. I would call that tearing down society.

If you live in a community built in Arizona and you want wheat from Nebraska (wheat doesn't really grow well in arid climes like AZ's), with whom do you negotiate to get the wheat there? How is it delivered? Trucking would be cheapest, but who would build and maintain the road between Nebraska (or even Oklahoma) and Arizona? Who would benefit from that road (probably passing through other "government's" jurisdictions) other than the communities in Nebraska or Arizona? Without the Federal government, I stand by my statements in other threads that we would be nothing more than an agrarian backwater if we hadn't pushed for better roads and the national highway system. No other country on Earth has a road-system more sophisticated and interconnected than we do. We owe that to the Federal government. I may not agree with everything the government agrees to, but we would be nothing that we know today without it.

We don't owe anything to the federal government for our extensive network of roads. We owe that to the rich people whose tax money payed for those roads. The government doesn't give anybody anything. The government forces others to give people things. That's it.

As for the road from Nebraska to Arizona, you seem to be at a loss for who would want roads. This doesn't make a lot of sense to me because you then put our network of roads in the limelight and praise them. I think a lot of people would want such a road to be built (if such a road wasn't already in place or if there wasn't a similar road nearby that serves similar purposes) and thus all of those people could come together and pay for such a road to be built. If later on other people who did not know about the agreement to build the road wanted to use the road, then the initial road buildings could have these others pay to use their road. It's a really basic concept really. I'm not sure what you don't understand about it. Roads are a thing that a lot of people want and thus it would be very easy to have them without forcing rich people to pay for them.

What could Arizona offer Nebraska that it might want? The only thing that really comes to mind is money, but if everyone gets to build their own government, that means that everyone gets to build their own currency. What's to say that the Nebraska community is going to be interested in being paid for their wheat using the Arizona Dollar? They probably have their own Nebraska Dollar and since Nebraska is more easily settled and supportable from local crop production, the Nebraska Dollar probably has more pull than the Arizona Dollar. The exchange rate is probably pretty bad. So even if Nebraska has excess wheat, they probably have more reliable markets elsewhere with a stronger currency.

Which brings me to another point. As brilliant as Bill Gates and people like him are, without a strong currency, he probably wouldn't have been able to make it very far. Very few people in the history of the US would have been able to prosper without a strong US dollar. If the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age had been building railroad lines across areas with different currencies (as was basically codified by the Articles of Confederation), then how would they have been able to build their economic empires (not that I support the existence of their empires :rolleyes: )? If building a railroad from New York to Chicago required contracting with five different "governments" using five different currencies, who would spend the time or effort to do it? We would have these hodgepodge little network of rail lines connecting local groups with a few built to connect more distant groups, but there would be no one ensuring that everyone built the rail line with the same grade. That was already a problem in the 1850s and 1860s. The Union railroads were a different width from the Confederate railroads, so neither could move freight using their own trains in the opponent's territory. It was the Federal government that stepped in provide a common rail width to use after the war.

Why so many assumptions that there are so many problems!? Perhaps it would be beneficial to both countries if they adopted the same currency. Have you ever heard of the Euro? And of course everyone gets to build their own currency. We can even do that in our liberal USA. It's perfectly legal for me to create my own currency (as long as it doesn't imitate US currency); it's just likely that nobody will want it. When people are so tied to the United States there is practically no room for people in the US to create their own economies on their own currency. So, anyways, these independent nations might want to create their own currency or they might not want to. But, not forcing people in the locations of Arizona and Nebraska to be ruled by the same government does not create a currency problem.

Other than being extremely cold ( :blink: ), there are all sorts of reasons to support those who cannot support themselves. First of all, you avoided the question of what you would do with the mentally retarded and the invalid elderly. If they have no one to care for them, what happens? :huh: Do the imaginary "Death Panels" of Tea Party fantasy become a reality in your world? :( I certainly wouldn't want to live in such a place.

I like how you didn't give any examples of the "all sorts of reasons to support those who cannot support themselves."

What would I do with them? Likely nothing unless they're dying on my front lawn while begging in which case I might construct a fence. I'm serious though. Keeping these people alive with stolen money from rich people doesn't move society forward at all. Why would it? How would it? What do you think it does to make society better?

And no, I wouldn't have "death panels." I'm not a tea party activist. I'm an atheist from New Hampshire.

If you didn't like my country I would be more than willing to have you leave. However, I doubt that the society in my country would be plagued by such poor people.

If there isn't an overarching government that holds people in check, you give people with money even more power than they already have. If a community forms and they create their own police system and one of the members invents something and becomes incredibly wealthy, who can stop him if he uses that wealth to "fund" the police force and then starts fleecing the rest of the community to increase his own holdings? With no central body of law, what's to stop someone of buying off all the police and creating their own little fiefdom?

Well I don't plan to form a country with people stupid enough to form a dictatorship and then wage a war to seize my property from me, but if I did mistakenly form a country with such people I'm sure I would recognize such tyranny brewing and would eliminate it before it became a real threat. Anyways, this is getting slightly annoying. I'm not advocating fiefdoms (closer to the US than what I'm advocating). In fact, I'm not even advocating smaller government. All I'm advocating is VOLUNTARY government. If you and a 100 million liberals in the United States want to stay together in your own country then be my guest, but please allow me to secede to form my own society in my own corner of the world where I wish to be free from masses of poor people voting to steal the money that I earn. It's very immoral of you to keep me in your fiefdom.

For all of the problems with modern society, it's the fairest and most egalitarian we've ever had in the history of mankind. You're advocating for total regression to an earlier age (whether you realize it or not). As much as some people like to talk about "American Exceptionalism," it couldn't have been possible without the backing of a strong central government. Who would have presided over the Louisiana Purchase if we hadn't had Jefferson step in and demand it? Without it, the former English colonies would never have been able to spread much beyond the East Coast and much of the rest of the land that we call the US of A would be speaking Spanish, or heaven forbid, French. :rolleyes:

And what is wrong with that? Why must you expand your large government to cover the land in the Louisiana Purchase as well? What makes it morally right for the US government to dictate over that land? The Louisiana Purchase helped genocide the Native Americans and yet you use it as an example of something GOOD that our strong tyrannical central government did!

And now when you say "You're advocating for total regression to an earlier age (whether you realize it or not)" I am becoming increasingly annoyed. Aren't you capable of realizing what I am advocating for? An earlier age? What is the difference between today and an earlier age? Civil rights? Slavery? Am I advocating that we get rid of civil rights and bring back slavery? Of course not! I'm advocating that you allow people to do what they want with their money rather than claiming that it is right for you and the other liberals in this country to decide what to do with their money! How is that an earlier age?

My only comment to your last post: How will your machine guns protect you from the Government's sniper rifles? :duh:

What government? The United States government? They won't. People have given the United States government so much power that if I choose to revolt against the US government by refusing to give them taxes then I would not be able get away with it. The US government has become so strong that it would send an army to kill me in my home after I killed the first few police officers who attempted to arrest me even after I warned them that I would defend myself if they tried to arrest me. Of course I would never actually do this. I hope to reach people through discussion to show them how the country that they've gotten used to calling "free" isn't really free at all.

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Well, I prefer to be on the side of reality, so.... =)

There's a difference between forcing people to be a certain religion (extreme of socialism) and giving them the freedom to choose their religion or lack thereof (libertarianism, what you and I prefer).

The part about socialism isn't really true. Socialism is only economics. What you said about being forced onto a religion seems more monarchy like, or maybe communist (but I'm not sure).

Now, could be wrong. It might be a certain extreme, but from what I learned, socialism is strictly economics.

If you think everything should be privatized and we put our money where we want it (which ideally is _AWESOME_ but as dawh and gvg have pointed out, not entirely feasible given human nature)

That's the sad thing, isn't it? That something that looks good can't work because of what it's meant to serve. It really irks me.

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So while your ideas look great on paper (And they do, believe me) they, like communism, cannot work in real life.

You do realize that what I am advocating is the opposite of communism, right?

Is it fair that someone will never have to work because they just happened to be born into a rich family, while someone else who works 'til they drop makes less than is needed to live? Is it really that child's money? No, it's daddy's or mommy's money that they are so lucky to have.

If the parents wanted to spend their money on their children then so be it. I don't advocate leaving large sums of money for your children when you die, but I do advocate not using force to seize these peoples' money if their parents did indeed choose to give their children a lot of money. Thus, if someone inherits a lot of money then you'll just have to live with it.

One of the smartest men in the world is mentally disabled: he can't get his clothes on without help, but is, to put it bluntly, a genius. If you didn't know that, and only his struggles to do basic activities, according to you, you wouldn't help him because he was disabled.

That's a gross generalization about any statement I might have made about not helping disabled people. When I say I don't want to give my money to poor disabled people I mean poor disabled people without jobs who can serve no purpose to society. If there's a poor disabled person who also happens to be a genius then by all means I would support them if they had the potential to do something productive (more productive than the cost of supporting them) for me or society.

How many great men and women would be lost because of such a thing? The elderly: They've completed their work, and deserve to have some time to relax and enjoy themselves with the knowledge that they will have a steady income to support them.

You think people should be forced to give these elderly people steady amounts of money? I don't. If you think they deserve it, be my guest and give them your money. My view on the subject is that if someone wants to be able to retire and still have money then they should save money for their retirement.

The unemployed who have tried repeatedly to get a job: do I have to say it? They are part of society too, and have their own place.

What place do they have? The place where they mooch off of the people who actually managed to to do something productive?

On taxes: Do you enjoy having hospitals to help you if you're injured? Do you enjoy the feeling of protection from an ORGANIZED arms forces that isn't just an angry mob? Now think: People enjoy these things, at least I do. But what if there were no taxes to pay for them?

Of course I do. That's great that you do too. Maybe you and I can go find a lot of other like minded people and form an insurance organization in which we devise a plan to pay for each other should we get sick.

If many people do not think that hospitals are worth paying for, because they believe they will always be healthy, why should they pay? Why should they waste their money because their neighbors need it?

Perhaps they shouldn't. But, in the off chance that they do get sick and can't afford to pay their medical expenses then they won't have any way to recover. If people want to take that risk then let them. I personally think that it might be beneficial to me personally to invest a small amount of money in some sort of insurance for myself in case I do get sick and have expensive medical bills.

Same with an armed forces: Why pay for that when all they'll need to do is get their own weapon to defend their home, 'their money,' etc. Why should they help to defend their neighbors?

Are you saying that they don't have a reason to have an armed forces? If so, then why are you advocating that they support a liberal government that has a strong armed forces?

I personally can see many circumstances in which I would pay for an army to protect me and enforce the laws in my country.

Your idea will not help to progress and help society, which is your goal, because as I said, people are greedy. Also, the national highway system, which literally created the suburban life style, was built by the government through TAXES. Dawh wrote what everything that needs to be said.

On the greedy note, animals in nature are greedy too. How do they fare so well? By having the well-off fishes give their food to the weak fishes? Of course not, they prosper as species by having every individual act in their own interests. Now, I on the subject of altruism, altruism in non-human species almost always shows that there's selfish reasons for an animal being altruistic. I think the same is true in humans. I'm willing to help out others in my society even if my favor will never be returned to me in my lifetime, but that's because I value what happens to society as a whole. I don't just want to be successful in my life personally, but rather I want the society I live in the be successful so that the generations after me with my genes, etc, do well too.

Privatizing schools: If this happens, and we do as you say and not give any welfare, you would only allow the rich or middle class to go to school. The poor person who dreams of being a doctor? Nope, you can't pay. Plus, schools would all teach wildly different things: Catholic and other religious schools would say that nothing but their sacred scriptures are right, extremely scientific schools would say only science was fact. And no one would question: they payed for it, so it must be true. And why risk angering the school? Public schools, at least the ones I have gone too, tell students to be very open minded. My science teacher, for example, always told us that although she was teaching evolution, it didn't mean that the bible or other religious scripts weren't right. Under privatization of schools, we would most likely lose separation of church and state, which to me is bad.

:duh: You're really struggling to understand what my proposal was, aren't you?

I'm a libertarian, but I'm not advocating small governments. I'm advocating voluntary governments. This means that if you want to live in a country like the United States, then be my guest and do so, but don't force others (like me) to continue to live in your country and pay taxes for things that I do not wish to support. Allow me to secede peacefully and do what I want in my own corner of the world.

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Under privatization of schools, we would most likely lose separation of church and state, which to me is bad.

I forget to comment on this. I don't like religious indoctrination either and am an advocate of the separation of church and state, but I don't think that this is a reason to not want to privatize schools.

If the people on the others side of the country from you are all religious and want to teach intelligent design in their communities then so be it. I don't advocate stopping them with universal nation-wide laws. I think if you just do what is right in your own corner of the world then eventually your society will become more successful than theirs and they will say, "Hey! How is your atheist country so much wealthier than our religious nation?" and then hopefully they will learn.

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UtF: Before any shootouts would happen, you would go through one of the main things that keeps this country free, in good condition: The courts. After all, a fair, speedy trial is a right. And if they find you guilty, you'll be forced to pay your taxes. Big whoop! If we do get a progressive tax, as I want, then you will either not pay a lot or have enough to part with some with the good of SOCIETY.

I've already said it: Human nature doesn't allow for voluntary governments without abuses. One would decide to spread it's power because it doesn't like the government of it's neighbors. If the attacker is strong enough, he will succeed. Who will help his neighbors? No one, unless another government has some sympathy. Because of this, eventually, one would reign supreme, and it would be the same as now or worse.

And that's the thing: Your ideas are wonderful. Believe me. But people's greed, human nature, cannot allow something like that to continue. That's what led to communism's downfall. Humans cannot live with being equal; we naturally defend and worry about ourselves first. Again I point to the fact that a toddler has to learn the concept of sharing; they do not come out of the womb generous. Wars wouldn't happen if people weren't greedy; one example is the Gulf War. It was for NOTHING else but oil (which, by the way, is why I want the spread of green technology, but that's another discussion).

And about the welfare: For the millionth time, we have basically agreed (someone tell me if I'm wrong) to fix that. We know. It needs to weed out the moochers. But those who try, who work hard, deserve some help.

The road: What if there are other farmers closer to the area, or even right next to the town? This would mean that it wouldn't be worth it to build the 100 mile road to the other farmer. Is that fair? The other farmer has to suffer because he was unlucky enough to be far away?

And the way you want to treat the poor: You say it's a plague. I don't. I see a group of people that were unlucky in life. Maybe they got laid off because of the recession caused by Bush (A conservative mind you; the US isn't liberal just because the president is. Don't mark liberalism like that), maybe another issue caused by the evils of a free market, like big businesses that cause mom and pop stores to go out of business, whatever (yes, the free market isn't that great; see the depression example I posted earlier). It doesn't mean that they are a bane on society; they aren't vermin. You need to give them a chance. The moochers will separate themselves from those that can add to society if given a bit of luck and a chance.

Think about which is fairer: what Bush did (Cutting taxes on the rich and increasing those on the middle class) or what I'm proposing (Increasing taxes on those that can pay, the rich, and decreasing it on those who can't).

Yes, the US government is in no way perfect. In fact, one of the main reasons I'm here is because I severely disagree with it.

Just wondering: what do you feel about the new health care bill? Do you wish to see millions die because of lack of health insurance or would you rather help those in need?

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Eugggggh. SO MANY POSTS. Gonna do this one at a time, sorry, I don't know what's already been replied to. Here's the first one, then gonna take a break, and be back in a bit.

I find that this is what most people seem to think when this view of voluntary government is presented. I strongly disagree with you, however. My voluntary government proposal is a proposal for nonviolent government. Currently our United States government is a violent institution that uses violent force (or more commonly the threat of violent force) to take things from individuals (commonly money) against their will. I call this the violent tyrannical government.

You say that there would be a KKK country, NEO-Nazis, etc. Okay, let them be. I guarantee that these countries won't be as successful as mine and eventually in the long term such countries will become less popular and will die out.

You are proposing exactly what we are trying to prevent. You are regressing from our current political system to that of 200 years ago. If a country allows slavery, are we going to let it? People were fine with it 200 years ago, and gawd knows the world is full of people that would prefer free labor increasing their gross profit thousandfold. This countries won't "die out". They'll grow in number. I think we're actually trying to accomplish the same thing, a peaceful situation, you're solution just slows us down. If people don't like the rules we create, they can leave, but I assure you it's safer than an entirely unorganized political system with nothing to prevent war and stuff. Idk if you've noticed, but through-out history, strong centralized governments have been the only successful ones. When your "weaker" countries "die out" we're in the exact same situation we're currently in, and have accomplished nothing. :lol:

Can you really point a gun at everyone in the world and say, abide my law to be respectful and nice to other people or else I will put you in jail and if you refuse, kill you? Do you really want to do that?

That's not what we're doing whatsoever. Follow the golden rule. If you harm other people in a any way or form, their freedom to peace is being violated, and in turn, you need to be dealt with accordingly. If I don't like my neighbor, decide to shoot him, and the secede creating my own country where this is legal, there's absolutely nothing anyone can do about it. Do you REALLY want that? Because that's exactly what you're proposing.

I'm not saying that such a system of voluntary government would create world peace, all I'm saying is that it's wrong to be violent yourself and use force to take money from other people and tell them what to do with it (taxation).

If you're not trying to create world peace, we have different goals. :lol: Your system is incredibly selfish, whereas the one most people in this thread are proposing is peaceful and we're putting people aside from ourselves before us. If you want to be hedonistic and only care about yourself, cool, go have fun, but don't expect government welfare. I think taxation is necessary, because we use it to fund things everyone NEEDS, like roads, schools, hospitals, firehouses, police stations, etc. Without this, only the rich will get an education and the poor will die because they can't afford to go to the hospital. Does this sound like a good system to you!?

Personally I think that the problem with our current system is that I, as an individual, do not get to determine what I get to do with my money. I, as an individual, do not get to determine who the President of the country is, or who my representatives in Congress are. I'm forced to live in a society where the great masses of the people tell me what I can and can't do and where the great masses of the people hand over their power to elected representatives who then use that power to create laws to steal my money and regulate me in many unreasonable ways. This is outrageous and yet they get away with it by saying that is in the name of the "general public" or "common good."

This is why we need to switch to a direct democracy (made possible by the internet). In another thread, dawh pointed out some flaws with this, but this way EVERY voice is heard. I think one of the things we need to focus on is eliminating (or seriously limiting) Congress/Presidency, and just have laws and an amendment process.

I said, "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 you missed my point. My point was that what you want is not what everyone else in this country wants. Are you creating a list of things that everyone in this country wants or are you creating a list of things you want? I assumed that you were creating a list of things that you want, which is why I made the point that you can't make a universal set of laws that everyone is satisfied with. It just doesn't work like that.

Yeah, there's no way everyone is going to agree. Even if you allow everyone to secede and form their own countries, they're STILL going to disagree, so I don't see your point. Example. Say California is the only country with legalized marijuana but also legalized marriage. The people that don't like either of those are going to secede and form their own country. Then the people that don't like gay marriage are going to secede and form their own. Because of two laws, you've already create four countries.

1. Legal gay marriage and weed.

2. Legal weed, illegal gay marriage.

3. Legal gay marriage, illegal weed.

4. Illegal weed and gay marriage.

TWO people will never unanimously agree on every law. We have 300 million people in this country. Are we seriously going to allow them to create 300 million NEW countries? Who will pay for the schools and educate the children? What happens if someone gets sick. I'm sorry, but your solution causes more bad than good, even if everyone is "free". If the price of freedom is unhappiness and chaos.. it isn't worth it. It's easier to just break the laws you disagree with and still have a fully structured system. :P

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UtF: What I meant about the armies: I'm just using what you were saying, that people would pay for what they wanted. What if they didn't want to pay for an army to protect everyone, since it would cost them more than to protect themselves? That's what I'm saying. I do want a big army so I know there is something there to protect me.

And yes, maybe I wasn't 100% with you. You can do a Sealand thing (Smallest country in the world :lol: ). There are quite a few islands for the taking. So you can have that right, but there needs to be some way to regulate it so that there isn't a sudden mass exodus of people. We need to make sure it's orderly. Just remember what happened during the last secession: war. And it was the fault of the seceders (Is that a word?), as they (I'm talking about the south here) attacked Fort Sumter. Of course, if you are peaceful, then fine. Although Izzy's point is more like what I agree with. It is a selfish system, and 300 million countries is total chaos.

And the example with communism: I just wanted to show another idea that failed because of the selfishness of humans.

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UtF: What I meant about the armies: I'm just using what you were saying, that people would pay for what they wanted. What if they didn't want to pay for an army to protect everyone, since it would cost them more than to protect themselves? That's what I'm saying. I do want a big army so I know there is something there to protect me.

And yes, maybe I wasn't 100% with you. You can do a Sealand thing (Smallest country in the world :lol: ). There are quite a few islands for the taking. So you can have that right, but there needs to be some way to regulate it so that there isn't a sudden mass exodus of people. We need to make sure it's orderly. Just remember what happened during the last secession: war. And it was the fault of the seceders (Is that a word?), as they (I'm talking about the south here) attacked Fort Sumter. Of course, if you are peaceful, then fine. Although Izzy's point is more like what I agree with. It is a selfish system, and 300 million countries is total chaos.

And the example with communism: I just wanted to show another idea that failed because of the selfishness of humans.

I just realized that once again, the magic of your ideas got to me. They're too good to be true. Izzy is right. Even me, a Liberal, would not agree with every liberal. Under your system each liberal would have a different country, to the point where each person would be their own country. It would be chaos.

And looking at it, UtF does seem a little anarchist. His ideas would lead to the end of all CIVILIZED government. So yes. Anarchist.

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UtF, I don't think you are libertarian+socialist. I think are you pure libertarian who has a generous heart/outlook. There's a huge difference.

Okay, I agree. I once described myself as a libertarian with a socialist attitude but apparently you and I do not share the same views.

Socialists basically believe in taxing the people to fund the necessity of the government to do things that we individually would not do but collectively need.

And I personally would like to do that same thing, but in a voluntary fashion. If somebody doesn't want to sign their name and pay their part to do whatever the "necessity" is that only shows ambiguous long term benefits then that's fine, but I'll make sure that they don't benefit from whatever this group project is. If it's a network of roads then I would pay careful attention to where they live and if it's a school then I would make sure that it was recorded and public information that they didn't support the school.

To me the previous sentence makes sense. To you it doesn't. That's okay but it means you're not a socialist.

It makes sense perfectly in that I understand exactly what you're saying and why a liberal person might want to do such things. What I'm saying is that I don't trust the masses enough to elect representatives that will spend my tax money for all of the right "necessities" that I want my money to go towards. So you're right, I'm not a socialist at all in that I don't want socialist government programs (mandatory socialist government programs that I'm never given a choice whether I want to pay for them or not). I maintain, however, that there is something socialist about me in that I would be willing personally to give away a large portion (over half, for example) of my money in taxes (voluntary taxes) to my government. So essentially what I am saying when I'm advocating "voluntary government" and privatizing schools and roads and everything else is that I don't want to be FORCED to pay for these things by my government. This doesn't mean I am advocating small governments. In an ideal world of voluntary governments I might voluntarily choose to join a country/government that has many government programs available that I can choose individually which ones I want to support. I would be willing to support government programs to build schools, roads, and give food and shelter to less wealthy people. But, I would first want to make sure that my money would be well spent with these programs. I wouldn't want my money going towards a bad school with a bad education plan or towards poor people who don't have any potential. That's why I would like to have the ability to not pay for programs.

I haven't really thought about how to go from out current system to a system that is voluntary. All I've really thought about is the fact that I don't think it is right to use the threat of force to seize peoples' money against their will (as is often the case with taxation in the US). That and I don't have enough faith in the masses to choose a small handful of people (Congress?) to be given the power to decide what to do with my money. I'd rather be able to decide myself. I'd be fine with giving it to many of the same purposes that Congress decides it should go too. But, there are times that I disagree with our government programs and I would like the ability to withdraw my funding. So this gives me an idea for how to transition from our current system to a system of voluntary taxation. Perhaps for a start to make our federal government more accountable taxpayers should be allowed to choose whether or not they wish to support certain programs. The incentive to support the programs could be that you can't receive the benefits from them unless you support them. The problem with this is that in our current country a very large portion of citizens don't pay taxes anyways. Hmmm... well I would love to live in a government in which I had the ability to pick and choose which programs I wish to support (and thus also receive benefits from). But, I don't think that that would solve our problems in a country where almost half the people don't pay taxes.

There's a difference between forcing people to be a certain religion (extreme of socialism) and giving them the freedom to choose their religion or lack thereof (libertarianism, what you and I prefer). Say you want the right to choose and then choose to be a Catholic. That doesn't make you a libertarian-socialist, it just makes you a libertarian who exercised his right to choose.

Oh dang, I just took all of that time to explain myself and then it turns out you understand my position just fine. Sorry about that. :(

The same concept applies to giving money to, say, charities. Socialists will have the government take your money and then distribute it (hopefully to something charitable or collectively useful). Libertarians would give you the choice of donating. Now say you want the right of choice, and do so decide to donate. In fact you give _90%_ of your income away to soup kitchen organizations. Good for you! But, you're still not a libertarian+socialist, you're a libertarian who exercised his right of choice.

Yes. But, what if I'm a libertarian (I want a choice!) who voluntarily chooses to join a socialist country (I choose to give up my choices!)? Does that make me part socialist at all? Because that's essentially what I was trying to say, but not as extreme. I wouldn't voluntarily choose to join a socialist country, but I would voluntarily choose to join a moderate to liberal country so long as I had the option to leave again. My friend the extreme libertarian would never dream up leaving things like his retirement savings up to a government program and wouldn't want government health insurance either, but I would be willing to join a country with such things and thus I'm different than him in some way. Perhaps I'm not a socialist at all, but I think you understand why I may not be a typical libertarian. Then again, I don't know what a typical libertarian is. I only know a couple.

It's really just a technicality of linguistics, I only pointed it out because you called yourself part socialist but I didn't see any socialistic tendencies in anything you said; we can go back to the actual discussion now, sorry :lol:

I definitely should have read your entire post before replying.

Anyway I am torn between two extremes here. Use the Force, on one side, emblemizes the kind of freedom I really want the individuals of a great nation to have. GVG, on the other hand, displays the reality of the situation that makes it necessary for a governing body to uphold certain collective desires that individually we might not think about or are not passionate enough aviyt or don't feel we have enough impact (or whatever) to support (financially).

The problem with my views is that I always think about them in a world other than our own. I imagine it and it works out fantastically, but the problem is that I don't know how to reach it from our current situation.

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After writing much more than I would have liked I am going to write a little bit more.

So yes taxes do "steal from the rich and give to the poor". Robin Hood was the ultimate socialist. But I'm okay with it for many government programs i consider important and/or necessary, such as the education system, the welfare, the infrastructure, the national defense (but again it should be one of the smallest recipients of funds and extremely limited in anything except actual defending the nation).

I happen to agree with a lot of government programs too. But, do I agree with a system that requires that I faithfully hand over my power to a group of people elected by the masses to create these programs and force me to pay for whatever they want me to pay for? No, of course not. That's why I'm a libertarian. I might like as many government programs as a liberal likes, but because I don't like all of them that prompted me to realize that there's a better way to determine how my money is to be spent and that is by making the choices myself. Many liberals are afraid that if you give everyone the choice to choose what they want to pay for then there will be many government programs (e.g. the national defense) that will suffer financially greatly. Thus, the liberal decides that he likes what the group of people elected by the masses has people pay for more than what he would like people pay for if everyone was given the choice of what to pay for. He may not agree with everything, but he's glad to give up his own choice in order to take away the choices of everyone else as well. That's the problem.

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So much discussion. UtF: Your ideas are definitely interesting. But it reminds me of Communism. It sounds wonderful, looks wonderful on paper, hell it looks damn wonderful on an engraved letter :D but in reality it doesn't work. It could work, but it wouldn't. Like we mentioned earlier.. 300+ million countries. Imagine the chaos that would ensue. How would trading work in this fantasy? What about borders? What if I want a country for unicorn fanatics? What if half of the American population seceded into an "I <3 Unicorns" nation. Can you imagine the numerous resources and services we'd lose? We're trying to stay as the United States of America. Keyword, United

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Still reading through posts, but discussing this on AIM. UtF, this is why your ideas should never be implemented.

Izzy

but brb

Eli

kkk

Izzy

back my neo-nazi kkk homie

Nick

lol

Izzy

lol eli

Eli

there's a country for that

Izzy

and there's a country that bombs it

Izzy

i want a country where everyone dresses like viking pirates and we raid cities and burn them down. but first you have to find the flag. IT'S LIKE AN ENORMOUS GAME OF CAPTURE THE FLAG AND WE EXECUTE THE LOSERS. Can I get a "woo modern Rome?"

Eli

a country for the west boro church

Eli

imagine the picket signs they'd come up with

Eli

imagine school?

Izzy

hahaha

Eli

prostiution marketnig 101

Izzy

all schools have to have classes that teach us how to survive the zombie invasion

Eli

lawls

Izzy

it's like gym class, but practical

Eli

i would find it highly important

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UtF (using Izzy's shorthand), you're misunderstanding gvg and my criticism. We completely understand your ideas and we're playing devil's advocate (with a hint of sardonism). You're saying that if everything worked out perfectly like you imagine, the world would be a better place. We're saying, what are your backup routines in case things don't work out as planned? :unsure:

As much as I would like complete self-determinism I don't see my lot as particularly challenging or unfair just because I have to pay for things I will never want or need. I don't see that as an extreme problem at this point (though of course, there may come a time when that changes... :( ). I would like it if those "huddled masses" that you seem to fear would make smart decisions, but they don't and there is no silver bullet to turn the masses into a group of informed people. My theoretical farmer is just that, a farmer. He knows how to grow things and that's about it. He's not a businessman, he doesn't know how to advocate for himself. That's the norm for people. Most aren't political junkies like the participants on this thread. Most (conservatives and liberals and everything in between) are like you were a year ago. "I'm a <enter label here>, but I don't really know why. :shrugs: "

I'm using the names Arizona and Nebraska in my examples, but I'm also going back and sort of wiping the slate clean. I'm looking at a society built up from nothing but a group of people who want to come to make an agreement. Taking it from a world where there are no roads, no cities, just open fields and forests. You haven't defined the terms, so I assumed there was nothing, that everything was starting from scratch. Hence the reason that there was no road between Nebraska and Arizona in my hypothetical situation. It's not realistic perhaps, but I was using these theoretical bases (which I perhaps should have mentioned :rolleyes: ) to discuss your theoretical idea.

It seems to me that your society is based entirely in the moment. If people want a road, they'll pay for it and build it, but not until they want one. You want to put all those hard-working urban planners out of business. Then, they'll join the ranks of the unworking poor and you'll hope that they die on your neighbor's doorstep (apparently) and that they won't make too much noise while they do it. :blink: Why do you hate urban planners? :P

That was my point about the railroads. Without a strong, central driving force, you get all sorts of fractured mishmash of stuff. Roads in your world would work out the same way as a consequence. Sure, you might start with a plan, but if circumstances change, then you'll need to amend the plan and as people find new things that they need (assuming of course that they all agree to work together in the first place in your world) you'll keep adding to the plan in a piecemeal fashion. Governments get to overrule individuals when it helps the whole. They try to plan how to build a city and the transportation system ahead of time to plan out where they will go. If you want to build a monorail system in your community, you've got to figure out where it would go and who might use it. How much would it cost and who would be inconvenienced by its construction? Should it go from Point A to Point B through Point C or Point D? Or maybe Point E? These are all decisions that people have to make to build a community and they are also a decision that most of the inhabitants don't want to have to make. The city planners design the route and method of construction, the construction people build and then the community uses it. You can make it work on a small scale, but trying to integrate with other autonomous sections of the population can lead to problems.

What if your community builds a monorail system using a 1m rail as the base? Your neighboring government hears about the amazing success of your monorail system and decides to build one of their own using a 1 yard width for the rail. What if suddenly, your two communities decide that they would like to join the monorail systems? Now you have a problem. :duh: Either one community has to rebuild their entire system to accommodate the other's design or they have to have a half-way point where everyone makes a transfer. One method would be terribly inconvenient (and probably never be supported) for one community while being no skin of the other community's nose, while the second solution greatly inconveniences the end users since you can't even join two adjacent communities without a halfway station because you lack some standardization of travel.

I'm becoming incoherent due to the time, so I'll wrap this up...oh yes, now I remember. :o I was being sardonic about the "American Exceptionalism" thing. That's a generally idiotic way of looking at things. I wasn't celebrating Manifest Destiny, I was merely pointing out that the situation that you find yourself in now (where you get to own (I assume) your own computer to talk with other people on the Internet about what you think is wrong with your government) is entirely dependent on that Federal government that you seem to despise. You suggested that maybe the original 13 colonies/states would have been better leaving the Louisiana Purchase alone and just remaining in those states along the coast. In which case, you would either be a day laborer working in the fields now, or you would be the landowner's son living it large while the day laborers worked in the fields. Maybe you'd work in the ports or something. But chances are you wouldn't be preparing to go to college somewhere to learn to do some white collar job somewhere. Maybe, you would be interested in emigrating to Mexico along the western border of Pennsylvania, the land of opportunity that spans from the edge of Pennsylvania all the way to the Pacific Ocean and all the way south to the Yucatan Peninsula. They have great colleges of learning, though you'll have to pick up on your Spanish since that's the universal language of commerce today. As much as you want to knock the Federal government, you owe your circumstance to the fact that that government has worked for 200 some odd years with only relatively minor hiccups. And now you want to tear that "great" edifice down. That's what I mean by regression.

I'm reminded of Mr. Olivander. "He [Voldemort] did great things. Terrible yes, but great." For all the good things we've done in this country, we've done a lot of stupid things, but I do think that in the end we're probably doing better than we are doing worse, so I don't have much to complain about. And I've rambled on far too long, so I'm not proofreading these last two paragraphs. If there are typos, I'll have to life with them.

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