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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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:o Dude I'm appalled. What makes you think you (who I'm assuming is fully limbed and health-issue free) have more of a right to live than anyone else? What separates civilization from undeveloped societies is our ability to support the people in our community unable to support themselves. A yearish ago my friend made an excellent analogy - civilization started when mathematicians (people that don't directly contribute to society, unless you're doing applied maths, which is boring :P) were able to sustain a livable life while not actually benefiting society, the way farmers at the time did. ...You sound, if I may, a bit Hitlery. You don't think the handicapped are necessary, and while I'm not saying you're advocating we will them off, you're definitely trying to refuse them medical attention, which is just as bad, if not the exact same thing. Please tell me I've misunderstood you. I'm not saying we need to give them the best possible technology, but at least a few notches above the bare survival minimum. The fact of the matter is that, yes, we can afford it, and yes, they do have the right to equal opportunities regardless of the misfortunes that befell them during birth. To say otherwise is almost inhumane.

I'm saying that the fact that he can't afford health insurance himself and likely never will be able to is reason not to support him.

That's the exact reason to support him. Look, no matter how you argue it, the way jobs in the US are set up, with the upper 1% having 90% of the wealth, you have to realize that situations like this are bound to happen, and as stated above, a civilization unable to support its members is hardly a civilization at all. I don't know what percentage of the US is middle-lower/lower/poverty class, but I somehow doubt they're there because they want to be. I agree, if you blew off school, you deserve it, but that's more of a mentality to apply to someone that started off rich. If you started off poor, it's going to take a few generations before you get anywhere. That's just how it is - and that's what we need to change. We need to change wages, so that people can SURVIVE off of them. Maybe if we change wages so that even on minimum wage, you're able to support at least yourself, govermentalized health care will no longer be necessary. Until then, we have to support the people that can't support themselves due to the uneven distribution of wealth WE created.

Prove your strength. The weak will NEVER die off, they've always been here and they always will be. Civilization will only be held back if we allow them to stay in the deplorable condition they're in. By helping them, we as a civilization advance, and they no longer pull of back. If that makes sense.

For example:

Say, you're rate on a scale of 1-10 based on how rich you are. Alright, you have a few rich guys, so like, 10, 10, 9, 9, 8.. Then you have quite a few middle class people, 5*5, and then you have a lot of lower class people, so like 1*10. Now, the average of those numbers is roughly 4. Now, to drop from a 10 to a 9, giving that money directly to the 1's, the one's will increase to a 4 or 5. So, new numbers, after some redistribution of wealth, 9, 9, 8, 8, 7, 5*15. The new average is 5.5. Our society, overall, is now richer.

I'm not saying take the money from the rich and give it directly to the poor (not all of it anyway, do some through taxation), but make it so the lower class can't even exist by making minimum wage a fair wage.

..I hope that makes sense. It's getting late again. >_>

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Izzy said exactly what I was thinking. If they choose to work at McDonald's, they obviously care enough to get a job and try and advance through life. OK, maybe they shouldn't get the best quality, which wold definitely cost more. How about this: The further you are from minimum wage (farther meaning higher), the more you get. Hmmmmm?????

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I'm not saying we need to give them the best possible technology, but at least a few notches above the bare survival minimum. The fact of the matter is that, yes, we can afford it, and yes, they do have the right to equal opportunities regardless of the misfortunes that befell them during birth. To say otherwise is almost inhumane.

I still very much disagree with the "right to equal opportunities" that you claim people have. There is no such right. However, like you, I would very much like to help out the poor so as to decrease poverty in our society. The problem that I have with giving money to the poor for health care and raising minimum wage so that you make 20 dollars an hour working at McDonald's if that's your full-time job that way you can support yourself, is that that is just being too nice to the poor people. If the value of the work at McDonald's isn't worth $20 an hour then you're just subsidizing these people. You're giving them a ton of money that isn't going to help them increase the quality of their work enough or work enough more time so as to be able to pay society back for the value of the government aid (both in paying for health care and in raising the minimum age). So even ignoring the implications that companies like McDonald's would have if they had to figure out how they could pay all of their workers more money than their jobs deserve (this would probably cause McDonald's to hirer fewer people or move away from the USA or design robots (to do the patty flipping and whatnot) so as to save money), I still am opposed to raising the minimum wage as you recommend because this means that there are even more individuals receiving more government aid then they will be able to pay back with their work. When that happens that's a bad investment.

So, I wouldn't support raising the minimum wage as you suggest and I wouldn't support making health care universal because that would just increase the number of "bad investments" in people. Now, you said that you're not saying that we should give people the best possible medical technology. What about the typical medical technology that I get because I am in a middle-income family? Some of those things are still quite expensive and I wouldn't support using them on poor people working at McDonald's for a living because most of the time that would not improve the McDonald's employee's work enough to pay back society for those medical bills. Now, gvg suggested something that I think I would support:

Izzy said exactly what I was thinking. If they choose to work at McDonald's, they obviously care enough to get a job and try and advance through life. OK, maybe they shouldn't get the best quality, which wold definitely cost more. How about this: The further you are from minimum wage (farther meaning higher), the more you get. Hmmmmm?????

Doing something like this would very likely help out the problem of bad investments. The poor people receive only the cheaper medical care, and those whose work is more valuable will become eligible for receiving more expensive surgeries or other medical things that would allow them to continue their higher quality work. I think this is a good idea and I would most definitely support it in some form. It could allow me to agree with Izzy in that we could afford to give everybody (except the unemployed not looking for employment?) health insurance without there being so many bad investment cases in which society pays for a medical procedure that costs more than the person will be able to pay back to society with the increased (or not decreased) quality of his or her work.

Say, you're rate on a scale of 1-10 based on how rich you are. Alright, you have a few rich guys, so like, 10, 10, 9, 9, 8.. Then you have quite a few middle class people, 5*5, and then you have a lot of lower class people, so like 1*10. Now, the average of those numbers is roughly 4. Now, to drop from a 10 to a 9, giving that money directly to the 1's, the one's will increase to a 4 or 5. So, new numbers, after some redistribution of wealth, 9, 9, 8, 8, 7, 5*15. The new average is 5.5. Our society, overall, is now richer.

I'm not saying take the money from the rich and give it directly to the poor (not all of it anyway, do some through taxation), but make it so the lower class can't even exist by making minimum wage a fair wage.

Is this a logarithmic scale? How can one person going from a 10 to a 9 cause multiple people go from a 1 to a 4 or 5? Whatever your reasoning, your math is wrong. Math is my strong point, not this language stuff. But, it doesn't take someone who is that great at math to see that you can't increase the average value of the richness in the people in our society just by redistributing the wealth. The average stays constant when you do that. The only way it would increase the wealth would be if the money from the rich people given to the poor people was a good investment. In other words, if the $1000 that the rich person spends on the poor person's medical bills causes the poor person to be able to make $2000 more dollars working as a result of the medical treatment, then that's a good investment for society that could increase the overall wealth of the country. What I'm saying, though, is that often a poor person will receive the $1000 operation in order to be able to continue working at McDonald's consistently and that will only cause the person working at McDonald's to not lose $500 worth of work (the actual value of the work, not the artificial value that minimum wage declares by law), thus making the $1000 operation a bad investment.

So what I'm saying is, universal health care is by no means the best way to increase the amount of good investments and decrease the amount of bad investments in the most optimized fashion. If the universal health care is for inexpensive health care only, then I would support it (especially as an alternative to whatever Obama just did) because it would be much closer to the optimal plan that has many good investments and very few bad investments. But, looking at the value of most of our medical doctor's work, etc, just the doctor's time examining a patient can be worth over a hundred dollars just for meeting on a single date for an examination. Thus, if the poor person working at McDonald's really can't afford to pay any decent portion of his or her health care costs, then I'm not sure how to have a universal health care system very optimal. Not allowing expensive procedures for those who can't afford them would certainly help, but I'm still not sure if that would be close to the most optimal way.

On the matter of children, how many children does this person working at McDonald's have? Not only can he or she likely not support himself very well, but now he has children that he won't be able to give proper health coverage too either. Should the government pay for his kids health care? Well I would advocate paying for the kids before the parents except that then if the parents get sick and can't work, the kids are completely helpless. How would you devise an efficient (in terms of the "investment" idea I've been talking about) system of government health care aid that would be able to support kids and their parents working at McDonald's? Another problem with universal health that I have is, if the government is going to support kids who have poor parents, then what's to stop a poor person from having 5 kids? That's just increasing the burden on society. Why should the poor adults be allowed to force taxpayers to pay for their future kids' medical bills when they can't even afford to pay for their own medical bills? If you really want a universal health care system I think you would have to impose laws so that parents who have X amount of kids (and who make Y income) are able to receive f(X,Y) money and g(X,Y) types of medical procedures from the government. Have this law go into effect some years down the line so that parents are able to know ahead of time that the government isn't going to continue to take care of them and their kids nearly as much if they unload so many babies into society. Do you consider this a violation of peoples' "right to life"? Are you pro-choice or pro-life? I'm pro-choice as I'm sure you could guess, and I'm even an advocate of poor parents having fewer children. If they can't take care of them and give them raise them properly, why should they be allowed to have them and still have the government pay for them? Thus, I would create laws so that poor people who decide to have a lot of kids get less medical coverage. I'd make exceptions for things like twins and triplets that most certainly wouldn't be the parents' fault, but perhaps design the aid system so that poor parents who have fewer kids receive better care for themselves and their few kids. After all, the government and rich people are being nice for giving these people aid. It's not a right to a healthy life--It's a privilege. If you make it a right then you are allowing poor people to dump tons of kids into society making for many bad investments, etc. There's a strong association between a person's wealth and their parents' wealth, but inheritance of wealth only plays a small role in that. Inheritance of quality education and upbringing or a lack thereof plays a large role. So when I say that people do not have a right to life (as inhumane as you think it may be), I say so realizing that such a view supports poor people having many kids that they will not be able to nurture well or support well which would make for more bad investments, thus lowering the quality of society overall. My view as health care as a privilege and not a right causes me to support systems that make society better, not systems that give poor people a bunch of aid for the sake of making things more even--such systems don't help society overall nearly as much. I don't know what the most optimal way of doing the government aid thing is, but it most certainly isn't full universal health care for everyone. I don't think it's no government aid either though. The only reason why I would support such an extreme libertarian view would be because I wouldn't have enough faith in people and in the people that comprise our government to devise such a system that would be near optimal. For health care though, I think it's clear that it's not that hard to make an aid system that is more optimal than no aid at all. I also think it's not hard at all to make an aid system that is more optimal than complete universal health care. One such way would be to do what gvg suggested and provide less coverage for those who make less and more coverage for those who make more. Another way would be to do something with the idea that I presented for children of poor parents: provide incentives to poor people to have fewer children. Again, health care is a privilege, not a right. Viewing it as a right will cause you to support lowering the quality of society overall, or at least raising the quality less than you would be able to raise it with a more optimal system that does not view health care as a right, but views it as a privilege instead.

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We're always going to need people doing menial labor jobs like working at McDonald's. And being menial labor, they don't pay well. Who in your middle/upper-class-only society would do these jobs? :huh: What lower-class person would want to live in your society if you insisted that they were (at best) second-class citizens because of their socio-economic condition? You chase them out and then what? Those jobs still need doing. Who would do them? :unsure:

Like Izzy and gvg said, we as a society are better than the animals because we can support those who can't normally support themselves. I agree that subjective, you-get-support/you-don't positions are bad since everything's potential until it's actualized. Which is the problem with your system of only supporting people who will benefit society. Who can make that determination? You can only guess at whether a person will end up as a contributing member. What if you support a prodigy who turns out to be a capricious egotist, who decides to build a doomsday device? That's a really bad investment, but you couldn't know that when he/she was a child. So you advocate that no one get a leg up (no Stephen Hawking :( ), while we think that everyone ought to have a chance to shine.

You can't look at anyone in isolation. One person making a career at McD's may seem like a wasted use of society's money, but he/she may have a family. By subsidizing him/her, you are also supporting the whole family and if that lets one or more of the children break out of poverty, even if the parent never does, is that a good investment? :unsure: That seems worthwhile to me. But as we can't tell beforehand how any of this will fall out, we decide that everyone should have a fair shot, rather than guaranteeing only the rich survive. :rolleyes:

I have to go, so I didn't get to reading all of your last paragraph, but basically, you condemn poor people to remain poor in your system unless they are geniuses. That means that they basically have no prospect for cultural advancement, even if they could do it, given the opportunity. That infringes on their right for the "pursuit of happiness." That's what we're saying. If you know that there is nothing you can do to improve your/your family's standing in the world, that's an extremely depressing thought. And who gets to make that determination among your privileged classes? Who would want to preside over the invariable "Death Panels" that would basically need to exist to say, "You get treatment because we believe that you can contribute to society...You won't get treatment because we think you're a bum." Who would want to be in a position to make that decision. That's the reason that people have to be treated in an emergency room now. No one wants to sit there watching a person suffer, unable to help them in their time of need, just because they won't be able to afford the procedure.

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One more thing:

:o Dude I'm appalled. What makes you think you (who I'm assuming is fully limbed and health-issue free) have more of a right to live than anyone else? What separates civilization from undeveloped societies is our ability to support the people in our community unable to support themselves.

Most certainly not. Our ability to support the people in our community who are unable to support themselves is a side effect of what separates us from undeveloped societies. What separates us is our increased wealth and technology and educated minds that are capable of innovation and creativity that can spark an economy to grow. If we didn't help out the poor people in our society as much we would still very much be a civilization. Perhaps if we mass numbers of people starve on our streets that would be less civilized, but not providing full universal health care is in no way uncivilized.

What makes me think I have more of a right to live than anyone else? Nothing. I don't think that I have a right to live more than anyone else. It's a privilege that I have parents who can support me so well, not a right. Perhaps you meant to ask, what makes me think I deserve such a privilege more than a child or poor parents? Well perhaps I don't. I'm sure that there are many children like me who are quite bright and who have great potentials, but have poor parents. I would love to support such children. An optimal system would support such people. But, the problem is that there are other people who I think I do deserve the privilege of good-quality health care more than them. These are the people who were indeed unfortunate enough to be born into poor hands and raised to be uneducated. It's very unfortunate for them, but their misfortune doesn't make them deserving of the privilege of quality health care. What makes somebody deserving of the privilege of good-quality health care, etc, is a person's potential. In general I would say that most children at birth have very similar potentials. If you ignore birth defects and children of unhealthy mothers who may cause their children to be malnourished or something, then it's essentially random (or out of the parents' control) how much potential their baby has. Then, however, depending on how well parents nourish their children, some children will become hopeless and uneducated while others will become intelligent and educated children with great potentials (like yourself), and will thus be more deserving of health care. If your family were to suddenly die and you were to become a poor, lonely orphan, I would confidently say that you are much more deserving of government health aid than other people your age who are unfortunate enough to come from poor families who can't support them. Both you and those other poor people would be in the same unfortunate position, and yet I would say that you are much more deserving because of your greater potential as the result of your proper upbringing and intelligence. The person who is more deserving of health care is the person who is more likely to be able to benefit society as a result of that health care. If you and the randomly selected poor child your age who is likely not as smart as you and likely doesn't have nearly as much potential as you, then I would support giving you the health care. The other person is not deserving of equal coverage in the eyes of society because the other person will not use the medical care to pay back society in future years. So to sum up my answer to the question again, what makes me think I deserve such a privilege more than a child or poor parents? I think that there are some poor children who are more deserving of good-quality health care than I am and I think there are some who are less deserving than I am. I would bet that there are many more poor children who are less deserving than I am, simply because children of poor parents tend to be less educated and less intelligent on average than myself and thus also likely have less potential than myself. Supporting the average person who works at McDonald's for a living or supporting his children could help them be more successful and could actually be worth the investment. But, that's not always the case. And you must realize that because it is not always the case and because some investments in supporting people with small potentials are indeed bad investments for society, then we should not make such investments in such people. That does not mean we shouldn't support them at all. I support the less expensive coverage that would make them good investments instead of bad investments. But, you must realize that health care is a privilege, not a right. Nobody has the right to receive a $1000 dollar medical procedure, let alone procedures that could cost multiple thousand dollars. If you think they do, then you will be supporting forcing taxpayers to make bad investments in many poor people which will hurt society overall.

To make another comparison to nature, think about a mother buffalo or giraffe or something similar. Such mothers spend a great deal of their time and energy trying to support their children for the first couple years of their lives. Look at this as an investment. There are the strong animal children with a lot of potential who the mother ought to take care of and then there are the occasional weaker animal that the mother could help survive for a few years, but would most likely die out before it could reproduce. It's not uncommon for mothers to let their babies go in nature. I was watching a PBS video some time last month in fact in which a lemur baby was filmed falling off of its mother's back. It was very much still alive, but it wasn't as strong as most other lemur babies. The rest of their herd, or whatever it's called, was walking on. The mother looked at the child and then decided to move on. The child was quite alive and probably could have survived for months longer at least, but the mother knew that the child wouldn't be strong enough to raise her own children one day. In other words, the mother saw that it wouldn't be a good investment of her energy to keep her child alive. I'm sure it seems terrible to just leave the living child behind to starve to death, but the animals have evolved to be an efficient species by doing the "survival of the fitness" thing. It's the same for humans. Sure there are many poor human children that it's worth the investment to support, but then there are also many poor humans who it isn't worth paying for an expensive medical procedure for. It isn't worth it in the sense that society won't benefit by doing so because the procedure won't help such a person work that much more in his or her life relative to how much he or she would work without the medical procedure. Think of the issue like this rather than thinking of health care as a right and you will see that what's best for society is most certainly not providing the good quality health-care that my parents are able to give to me to everybody. Doing that would make for many bad investments. The care is too expensive to use on many helpless poor people. It's simply not worth it to society. Health care is a privilege, not a right. Regardless of whatever moral problems you may have with that view, it's the view you should adopt if you care about the prosperity of society as a whole more than you care about the health of every individual born into this world. Should we pay the million dollar operation for the baby born with serious birth defects? This happened to wealthy parents who had insurance through Microsoft. Over a million dollars was spent trying to keep the baby alive and it died a few months later. Sure it's hard to let your baby die as lemurs and many other animals in nature often do, but.... I'm not even asking you to do that. I'm just asking you to tell poor parents that if they have a lot of children then the government isn't going to pay for their children health insurance or for the parent's health insurance. This is equivalent to using a condom to kill your baby. It's prevention for the sake of society.

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Explaining my scale:

10 = hundreds of billions

9 = billions

8 = hundreds of millions

7 = millions

6 = hundreds of thousands

5 = tens of thousands (like 90k+ a year, still fairly middle class)

4 = Like 70k+

3 = 30k+

2 = 10k+

1 = 5k+

I think that sums up our societal classes fairly well, no? The 10, with hundreds of billions, will still have hundreds of billions, even if forced to help the 1's, working off of minimum wage. If helped, they can move up to at least the 3's or 4's (It's sort of logarithmic, I don't actually have an equation), and the societal average increases. The society has the same amount of money, but the quality of the society has now improved. Do you get what I'm saying?

And no, we're not helping people based on how much we "value" them. We're helping them based on the fact that they are PEOPLE, and we, as a civilized society, can overcome arbitrary chances of birth, and help PEOPLE. I'm sorry, but to suggest otherwise in this time and age is insane. Health care shouldn't be a privilege, which is what we're trying to change. By helping the weak, we separate the gap between rich and poor, and we improve altogether. You are making the gap wider. I understand it must be hard to see, but think about it. Think back to slavery. They used the same justification "Freedom is a privilege." No it lamping isn't, it's a right. "The good desks and chairs are a privilege!" No, it's a lamping right. I think you're arguing for the only form of legal prejudice left, and frankly, it's disgusting. Look at Germany. The poor are given welfare so they're off the streets and are healthy. Who looks better? America, with our crazy amount of bums, or the cleaned up Deutschland? The bums, in Germany, now not having to worry about hunger or shelter, can contribute. That system is way better.

Oh your prodigy thing. Wtf. You're making dynasties of the rich. "Oh, well they can afford their baby, only they can have children!" I honestly wouldn't be surprised if you promoted the neutering of the poor to "lift the burden" off of society. :rolleyes: Money doesn't make someone better. Their net worth doesn't give them more value as a person. Personally, I benefit more from that patty flipper at Wendy's than I do from <insert name of random rich guy>. I'd love it if my patty flippers didn't get sick because then my patty won't get coughed on. :P

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It's been awhile since I've riffled through this thread and honestly I couldn't be more confused. If we're going to offer a service such as health-care and give it out in trial sizes to the poor, what's the point in giving it away at all? Most operations, even common ones, are costly. i.e. A tonsil removal surgery costs anywhere from $4000 - $6000. Who defines what "poor" is? Who sets the cap at the amount of insurance the "poor" will get? If it isn't even going to be enough to pay for an operation like a tonsil surgery, maybe we shouldn't and just let them die off slowly? I mean taxpayers would save money, right? Now I understand that you believe those with potential deserve Health care more than those without potential. So out of the 39.1 million (roughly) people living in poverty how do you propose we go about shifting out the potential from the waste? Do we decide from birth like the Spartans? Those with birth defects get tossed away in the trash? That certainly would narrow the field a bit. Or maybe we should castrate and spade the men and women of the poor class so they'll never get the chance to produce more of their kind, their kind being those without potential of course. Imagine the amount of taxpayers dollars we'd save from all those unnecessary births? This is complete blasphemy. I disagree entirely with your proposition. Why do we keep bringing up nature? We're PEOPLE not ANIMALS. We're above leaving the weak behind because we have a moral conscious. We're able to look past what will immediately benefit us and find ways so that in the future we can. The legless child for example. In the wild, amongst the diverse wildlife, yes, it will die. Now in a civilization, where us PEOPLE live, there are such things as prosthetic limbs. You're not even giving them a chance. And who are you to say what 'potential' is? Potential in what exactly? If we're only going with people that will benefit us monetarily we lose countless members of the art community and others. We basically diminish what makes our culture. We turn into lifeless civilization. We need 'color' in our life. There's no possible way of knowing what will be 'potential' to us or you for that matter.

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I suppose you think basic survival necessities like food and water are privileges too (they're just as important as health care, after all)? Does that mean we should stop offering free and reduced lunches to underprivileged kids in schools? To quote some song lyrics, "We are the angry and the quiet, the hungry and the cold. We are the ones who kept quiet, and always did what we were told. But we've been sweating while you slept so calm in the safety of your home. We've been pulling out the nails that hold up everything you've known." (Prayer of the Refugee - Rise Against, YouTube it, though I'm fairly sure you've heard it before.) What this suggests, is that while you allow the poor to perish out of view, they will start an uprising and demand the rights they are entitled to if you refuse to give it to them. And you know what? It won't only be the poor, it will be the rich and the generous that support them. Prevent another war. Equality.

And like Eli (and I think dawh?) said, you have no way of judging potential. IQ test at birth? That proves nothing, because all your measuring is potential/speed of learning, not what they'll actually learn. That's why you'll see, all too often, the gifted kids get failing grades because they don't feel like applying themselves, while the average kids will thrive based off of.. whatever they feel their incentive is. I suppose you could start genetically engineering people, but that's incredibly expensive, and there will always be a hierarchy of intelligence, regardless of where the bottom begins. By getting rid of the lower class, the lower middle class will just become the new lower class, so nothing is accomplished. They're here to stay, and we can at least prove the wealth and capabilities of our society by providing for them. It isn't a waste of resources. Not only does it make us look good, but it makes people happy.

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There was a child in Peru, born without arms or legs, that was thrown in the TRASH by his parents. He was found and taken to a shelter.

Today, through the use of prosthetic limbs, he is able to walk, play, write, etc. He has made friends and is a bright boy in school. But of course, under your idea, he would have died. Great.

What I meant by my idea is that we should give them enough to have at least the minimum amount needed for the operation they need. I was trying to make a compromise. We still have to give them enough to survive their illness.

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I understand. Trust me, I don't like it either. But since this is a new constitution, we have to remember that compromises are part of the process. The founding fathers had to compromise on some tough things (although one, congress, failed it seems =))

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iTunes was on shuffle, and again, it manages to exemplify my feelings faultlessly. Important bits have been bolded. :)

Have you been to the desert?

Have you walked with the dead?

There's a hundred thousand children being killed for their bread

And the figures don't lie, they speak of human disease

But we do what we want and we think what we please

Have you lived the experience?

Have you witnessed the plague?

People making babies sometimes just to escape

In this land of competition the compassion is gone

Yet we ignore the needy and we keep pushing on

We keep pushing on

This is just a punk rock song

Written for the people who can see something's wrong

Like ants in a colony we do our share

But there's so many other f***in' insects out there

And this is just a punk, rock, song!

Have you visited the graveyard?

Have you swam in the s***?

The party conventions and the real politic

The faces always different, the rhetoric the same

But we swallow it all, and we see nothing change

Nothing has changed...

This is just a punk rock song

Written for the people who can see something's wrong

Like workers in a factory we do our share

But there's so many other f***in' robots out there

And this is just a punk, rock, song!

10 million dollars on a losing campaign

20 million starving and writhing in pain

Big strong people unwilling to give

Small in vision and perspective

One in five kids below the poverty line

One population runnin' out of time, running out of time!

This is just a punk rock song

Written for the people who can see something's wrong

Like ants in a colony we do our share

But there's so many other f***in' insects out there

And this is just a punk, rock, song!

The figures don't lie, they speak of human disease

But we do what we want and we think what we please

One in five kids below the poverty line

One population runnin' out of time!

This is just a punk rock song,

This is just a punk rock song,

This is just a punk, rock, song!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuAaPKF1eAU

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Umm. Everyone 21+ after taking an extensive safety class can own a gun? Minors caught with guns off of private property will be arrested. No guns in public. ..Yeah? Idk. BB, paintball, and airsoft guns don't count as guns, but they can still only be used on private property/in shooting ranges.

Anyone with a criminal history can't own a gun. You can't take guns to work and stuff. Anyone found hunting without a hunting license will be arrested. ..Yeah...

*doesn't like guns but knows if we make guns illegal, stuff will just get worse*

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I don't mean to bring back what we were arguing about before, but...

If anybody hasn't watched the movies seven pounds, I think they should. For UtF: Unless someone is willing to go to the lengths that the main character did in that movie, he/she should have no problem with a few taxes.

Guns: Really, this isn't a big issue for me. I'm not a gun nut, but they shouldn't be illegal. I like what Izzy said, but I want to add BB and airsoft guns should fall under the same, maybe a tad less, scrutiny as normal guns. They can cause close to the same damage and are almost as dangerous, especially airsoft.

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I've been to a few gunshows (few = 3) and I'm not sure if you're aware, but any rifle or assault weapon they sell can be bought and taken the very same day w/o any background checks. Why? It's for 'hunting.' A small handgun though (which in most cases, is the popular choice of self-protection, not a sniper rifle) requires up to a week or so of background checks and paperwork. I think we should make background checks mandatory for any weapon being purchased.

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The society has the same amount of money, but the quality of the society has now improved. Do you get what I'm saying?

I've already explained why I don't support that redistribution of wealth on a moral level and now I'm having trouble understanding why you think it would help on a society level. Giving the rich's money to the poor does not improve the quality of society. Perhaps there are some instances where it would (as I said, the "good" investments), but your idea of taking the entire lower class and making them more of a lower-middle class is a complete failure. Seriously, you're the one who has been saying that there will always poor people (right?). So what do you expect to happen if you give the rich peoples' money to the poor? They will continue to spend it without increasing the value of their work substantially and will remain poor and will continue to chew up the money that you're giving to them. That won't increase the quality of society.

And no, we're not helping people based on how much we "value" them. We're helping them based on the fact that they are PEOPLE, and we, as a civilized society, can overcome arbitrary chances of birth, and help PEOPLE. I'm sorry, but to suggest otherwise in this time and age is insane.

If we (as society's representatives) are not helping people based on how much we value them and are instead just helping them because they are humans then we are not helping to improve society nearly as much as we could be.

May I ask if you have ever had a traumatic experience of a sort that has caused you to desire that every single human, even those born without legs, get helped to live a fair-length life even if helping such people would hurt society overall?

I'm not just suggesting otherwise; I'm saying that I quite confidently think that it is much better for society to view things like health care as a privilege than a right. Nobody has a right to receive health care. No animal has a right to receive health care. No human 1000 years ago had a right to receive health care. You seem to be saying that because some people are smart enough to be able to produce a lot of goods that a lot of people want and are thus able to become very wealthy, then such people should give away their efforts to those who aren't capable of supporting themselves because they were born without legs. Do you think we should do this on a moral level or because it helps society as a whole? Because I strongly believe that having society pay a million dollars to help a baby who was born without legs live a few years will not help society as a whole. And by suggesting that health care is a human right and by saying that we are not helping people because of the potential benefits to society if we do help certain people with certain things, but rather just because they're people, you are indeed asserting that you think we ought to pay for a million dollar operation to save the life of a dud baby as long as the rich person whose money you take for the operation is still able to survive just fine. Do you really think we should do that? Is it possible that someone as smart as you can think that that would help out society as a whole to become more prosperous into the future? You're not religious either, which makes this very surprising to me. There are many intelligent, educated, religious people who have strange values regarding people and their lives, but I don't usually find such fundamental values in nonreligious people. Why do you hold such a belief? I'm really very curious. I want people to have proper health care and whatnot too, just like you. But, when I think about it, I think it's quite clear that giving the rich's money to the poor in order to achieve universal health care and everything else for the poor will not help eliminate poverty in the future. I think that's a short term solution that would hurt the chances of a better long term solution to the problem.

By helping the weak, we separate the gap between rich and poor, and we improve altogether. You are making the gap wider. I understand it must be hard to see, but think about it. Think back to slavery. They used the same justification "Freedom is a privilege." No it lamping isn't, it's a right. "The good desks and chairs are a privilege!" No, it's a lamping right. I think you're arguing for the only form of legal prejudice left, and frankly, it's disgusting. Look at Germany. The poor are given welfare so they're off the streets and are healthy. Who looks better? America, with our crazy amount of bums, or the cleaned up Deutschland? The bums, in Germany, now not having to worry about hunger or shelter, can contribute. That system is way better.

Disgusting? Let me point out a few things which I see as flaws in your logic. The first flaw is by comparing what I'm advocating (not giving the riches' money to all of the lower class) to slavery. To be honest, I wouldn't call slavery or health care a privilege or a right. They are just things that occur. Now, if you want to agree on common values that you wish to achieve (such as a successful prosperous society in the years to come) then I would say that it would be best if the society ended human slavery. But, this isn't an aspect of morality that exists on some fundamental level. No, it is just the fact that humans are a lot more intelligent and desiring of freedom than chickens, so if you enslave other humans as you do chickens then you're asking for a violent life in which you have to be constantly vigilant for rebellion. There's really no fear that the chickens on your farm will rebel so it's fine for you to enslave them. And anyways, what you and I value is human prosperity across the globe, so we don't mind enslaving chickens because we see that such a practice is generally nonviolent and beneficial to human growth. By enslaving other humans, though, you are declaring yourself better than them just because you have guns and they don't or because you're rich and powerful and they aren't. The fact that you're likely not much better than them, if better them at all, makes for a life of friction and conflict in which violence might break out at any moment. That's the only reason why slavery is bad. That, and that because I see us humans all as pretty similar and so if I say that slavery is okay, then I'm essentially giving others permission to enslave me, which is obviously something that I don't want. Thus, I'm opposed to slavery. But, it's not something on a moral level or anything like that. It's just that a society where some humans enslave other humans is an inherently violent society that very likely won't do as well as a society where all humans give respect all other humans as equal to themselves on a "rights" level. So while I might think I'm better than Bob Smith, Bob Smith might not like that and might violently rebel against me if I try to enslave him, thus I treat Bob Smith as an equal even if he is an idiot. So you said that slavery is a right and that health care is a right. That's a contradiction in the way you're proposing we fulfill the health care rights of people. Again, you're declaring these poor people as better than me and thus you are enslaving part of my income to give to these poor people so that they can have health care.

As for, "I think you're arguing for the only form of legal prejudice left, and frankly, it's disgusting." I disagree; there is another form of "legal prejudice" left. Some people think that it's a privilege to own TempurPedic mattresses. You know, such mattresses can improve peoples' lifespans by preventing them from having back problems. Can you believe that some people think it's a privilege to own such a thing? Can you believe that some people can look at poor people who can't afford such mattresses and say, "Well society is just going to have to live with that. Giving everybody TempurPedic mattresses will cost too much and won't help them become better workers in society so as to improve the quality of society overall. Sure, it might mean some people with physically demanding jobs will be able to perform better at work, but it simply isn't worth the money to get everybody such a mattress. It would be a bad investment for society to do that. Thus, if there are people who can't afford such a mattress then we can only look on and say, 'I know that your life and the quality of your work would improve with a TempurPedic mattress and I wish you could afford one, but it won't help society as a whole for us rich people to buy them for you to ease your back pain and so I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to let you suffer.'"

TempurPedic mattresses are exactly the same as health care except that the mattresses are considered to be slightly more of a luxury item. If you want to persuade me that it's reasonable to have universal health care for everyone, though, then you shouldn't compare health care to slavery or declare it to be a "right." That's not rational, that's an appeal to emotions. Rather, use the same type of argument as the mattress argument above except applied to health care. Tell me how having taxpayers give every single human my good-quality health care would improve the quality of our society on an economic level. I don't see a society where everyone is given health care as a successful one, on a fundamental level. My vision of a successful society is where everyone is capable of affording their own health care because of their own work, not because of their own vote to take rich peoples' money. You briefly mentioned Germany as a country where "the poor are given welfare so they're off the streets and are healthy." I don't know much about Germany, and the fact that they have welfare and the poor can contribute because of it does not persuade me. Do they all contribute more than they are being given in welfare? If not, then that's a bad investment economically that would only be successful in comparison to having everybody beg their way to money. It still would be a bad investment, just not as bad as having beggars roaming the street not doing any work at all. "Who looks better? America, with our crazy amount of bums, or the cleaned up Deutschland? The bums, in Germany, now not having to worry about hunger or shelter, can contribute. That system is way better." Perhaps it's better than giving money to bums who do no work at all, but it's still no where near as good as a system where people aren't given things simply because they want them. If you give people food because that will allow them to work enough to pay society back the cost of the food given to them, then I support it. Same goes for health care and TempurPedic mattresses and flat screen TVs. I use the same line of reasoning to justify all of it because I value society's success, not the success of individual lives. Valuing individuals as you do causes you to help individuals at the expense of society. If it hurts society, then I don't support it, even if it helps individuals. And I think that giving good-quality health care to everyone in the United States would hurt society, at least in comparison to the obvious alternatives of not giving health care to everyone. So in other words, giving health care to everyone might improve society, but it wouldn't improve it as much as finding the optimal set of people to give the optimal amount of health care coverage to. Because I am very confident that the optimum way is not to give my good-quality health care to everyone in the United States, I would not support doing so on the basis of valuing society as a whole alone.

Oh your prodigy thing. Wtf. You're making dynasties of the rich. "Oh, well they can afford their baby, only they can have children!" I honestly wouldn't be surprised if you promoted the neutering of the poor to "lift the burden" off of society. :rolleyes:

Of course I don't support neutering the poor. There are many very poor people who are perfectly capable of raising fine children. Being poor doesn't make one unable to raise children. Rather, poor parents' children will often be members of the lower class of the next generation and I see no reason to support wasting society's money on such children. If a poor parent is able to take care of a child on his own, then go ahead and have the child and do so. But if poor parents need rich peoples' aid to raise kids, then I recommend not having them so as to help out society. So to clear up your misunderstandings, the only problem I have with poor people having children is that our government is going to steal peoples' money to make bad investments in the children. If you stop the government from making such poor investments then that would solve the problem. The poor people won't have the home or the food or the money to even think about having any children because they will be so busy trying to survive themselves. Giving poor people houses and food and health care is only an incentive for such people to have children, many of which will only be a burden to society like their parents were.

Money doesn't make someone better. Their net worth doesn't give them more value as a person. Personally, I benefit more from that patty flipper at Wendy's than I do from <insert name of random rich guy>. I'd love it if my patty flippers didn't get sick because then my patty won't get coughed on.

Yes it does, if they made the money. If they inherited it or stole it or made it by fooling gullible people into scams then it doesn't make them better. But, if they made it through honest work then it most certainly made them better.

No you don't. The patty flippers are only there because intelligent people (who are now rich) invented the fast food restaurant for you to benefit from. The patty flippers could be replaced by any unintelligent human. Their work is close to the lowest quality work around. Without the rich minds who invented the fast food restaurants, the patty flippers wouldn't be there to give you patties. And you don't benefit as much from the Best Buy employee as you do from the rich man named Bill Gates who founded Microsoft and became rich because of the value of his products and services to people like me and likely to you (are you using Windows?). Society isn't not driven forward by the McDonald's worker. It's driven forward by the bright intelligent minds that use their innovation to invent new products that people like you and I could use and become rich off such inventions. These rich intelligent people act selfishly to make a lot of money. But, they make a lot of money by offering products and services that people in society want. Thus, they're helping out society by providing society with computers and whatnot. They're the ones who help society and the people in it. They make society more prosperous; the people who think, not the people who work at Wendy's for a living.

You might also want to note that the selfish actions of Bill Gates (who wanted money) caused him to help society out. I've been telling you that peoples' selfishness means that we should support a more libertarian system rather than a socialist system. Selfishness doesn't mean that Bill Gates takes peoples' money. It means that Bill Gates is going to invent all he can to help out people knowing that if he makes great products then people will buy them from him voluntarily. It's a mutual benefit thing that helps out society overall.

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It's been awhile since I've riffled through this thread and honestly I couldn't be more confused. If we're going to offer a service such as health-care and give it out in trial sizes to the poor, what's the point in giving it away at all? Most operations, even common ones, are costly. i.e. A tonsil removal surgery costs anywhere from $4000 - $6000. Who defines what "poor" is? Who sets the cap at the amount of insurance the "poor" will get? If it isn't even going to be enough to pay for an operation like a tonsil surgery, maybe we shouldn't and just let them die off slowly? I mean taxpayers would save money, right? Now I understand that you believe those with potential deserve Health care more than those without potential. So out of the 39.1 million (roughly) people living in poverty how do you propose we go about shifting out the potential from the waste? Do we decide from birth like the Spartans? Those with birth defects get tossed away in the trash? That certainly would narrow the field a bit. Or maybe we should castrate and spade the men and women of the poor class so they'll never get the chance to produce more of their kind, their kind being those without potential of course. Imagine the amount of taxpayers dollars we'd save from all those unnecessary births? This is complete blasphemy. I disagree entirely with your proposition. Why do we keep bringing up nature? We're PEOPLE not ANIMALS. We're above leaving the weak behind because we have a moral conscious. We're able to look past what will immediately benefit us and find ways so that in the future we can. The legless child for example. In the wild, amongst the diverse wildlife, yes, it will die. Now in a civilization, where us PEOPLE live, there are such things as prosthetic limbs. You're not even giving them a chance. And who are you to say what 'potential' is? Potential in what exactly? If we're only going with people that will benefit us monetarily we lose countless members of the art community and others. We basically diminish what makes our culture. We turn into lifeless civilization. We need 'color' in our life. There's no possible way of knowing what will be 'potential' to us or you for that matter.

And that's why I'm a libertarian. I don't trust people to be smart enough to solve such difficult problems as finding the optimum amount of health care coverage for the right specific individuals who can't afford it. That would be an extremely difficult and impractical task for a government to carry out. So instead I advocate allowing people to decide what to do with their own money. If people like you and Izzy want to pay for the health care of poor people, then go ahead, but don't force people who think it's a bad investment for society as a whole to pay for a $5000 tonsil removal procedures for a person who works at McDonald's for a living. Would you force them to pay for TempurPedic mattresses for everyone too (note: I used that as an example in a response to Izzy)?

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Nothing happened to me. I was born normal and healthy, to a pretty well off family, with no serious injuries throughout my life other than the occaisonal broken bones. I've finally found the difference between us tearing us apart. You're trying to make the most prosperous society you can while I value human happiness (probably attributed to my nihilism gained through my irreligious-ness, see, everything correlates :P) above all else. If you want the best society you can possibly have, you might as well go at it Spartan style, because otherwise you're going to constantly be held back by people you find inferior. The irony? If your idea ever takes off, people smarter than you are going to think about you the same way you regard "the dumb", and what you're just going to end up with is a f**ked up hierarchy, with a supergenius dictator on top. Yeah, maybe you have a well functioning society, but in the process democracy collapses and individualism and egos are destroyed. Classic dystopian novel, I don't see why you can't see it. Read Anthem, 1984, or Brave New World. We're really not trying to create a dystopia (or in your eyes, utopia) here, we're trying to figure out a way to get people to survive with each other, happy with the government, and happy with their lives. If you don't agree, I really don't care anymore, move.

You missed my point entirely. I was saying people had the right NOT to be slaves, not that people had the right to enslave other people. NOT BEING ENSLAVED IS A RIGHT. We have a right to freedom, and among these should be freedom to health. I value human prosperity, but not as much as happiness. If masses of people are unhappy, then the system needs to be fixed, hence the objective of this thread.

The fact that you're likely not much better than them, if better them at all, makes for a life of friction and conflict in which violence might break out at any moment. That's the only reason why slavery is bad. That, and that because I see us humans all as pretty similar and so if I say that slavery is okay, then I'm essentially giving others permission to enslave me, which is obviously something that I don't want.

By misunderstanding me, you just disproved your own argument. :P You just said all humans are pretty much similar. And I know you agree that while there are differences in intellect, unless we start cloning, that difference isn't very significant and will always retain that general bell curve shape. Stop and think for a second. EVERYTHING you own is because you were born into your family. I somehow doubt you had a job through high school, meaning your parents provided everything. Think about how your parents got where they got. Because of their parents. It goes down the line so many generations. That's why you see so many poor black people. Slavery didn't end in the US until 1865. Assuming a generation is like 25 years, that's only 5 generations. People are where they are because of their ancestors. You really need to realize this, I don't know how to put it any clearer. I'm sure you worked hard through school, and the battlefield between whites and blacks is pretty even now, but certain families have had more time to build up money than other families which is why they are able to afford the things they are.

Eugh, getting bored of typing.

Sure, give everyone a mattress. That can be next on the list. After Health Care, because that's a wee bit more important.

I'm on a Mac, btw. :P

Eugh, I'm sick of arguing with you. You're unmovable and selfish.

For an all-inclusive health care

1. Izzy

2.

3.

Against

1. Use the Force

2.

3.

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For an all-inclusive health care

1. Izzy

2. Zerep

3.

Against

1. Use the Force

2.

3.

(..I've been actually in few a situations.. 3rd degree burns to my hand and fingers when I was one, cracked my skull open when I was like 7, I've been hospitalized quite a few times from sickness (bronchitis and such) and recently I had a surgery for a benign cyst, which wasn't the scary part. The 'scary' part was that I have an allergy to morphine and almost went into shock)

Edited by Zerep
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