Researchers find a 'liberal gene'

Oct 27, 2010

Liberals may owe their political outlook partly to their genetic make-up, according to new research from the University of California, San Diego, and Harvard University. Ideology is affected not just by social factors, but also by a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4. The study's authors say this is the first research to identify a specific gene that predisposes people to certain political views.

Appearing in the latest edition of The Journal of Politics published by Cambridge University Press, the research focused on 2,000 subjects from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. By matching genetic information with maps of the subjects' social networks, the researchers were able to show that people with a specific variant of the DRD4 gene were more likely to be liberal as adults, but only if they had an active social life in adolescence.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter affecting that control movement, , and ability to experience pleasure and pain. Previous research has identified a connection between a variant of this gene and novelty-seeking behavior, and this behavior has previously been associated with related to political liberalism.

Lead researcher James H. Fowler of UC San Diego and his colleagues hypothesized that people with the novelty-seeking would be more interested in learning about their friends' points of view. As a consequence, people with this genetic predisposition who have a greater-than-average number of friends would be exposed to a wider variety of social norms and lifestyles, which might make them more liberal than average. They reported that "it is the crucial interaction of two factors – the and the environmental condition of having many friends in adolescence – that is associated with being more liberal." The research team also showed that this held true independent of ethnicity, culture, sex or age.

Fowler concludes that the social and institutional environment cannot entirely explain a person's political attitudes and beliefs and that the role of must be taken into account. "These findings suggest that political affiliation is not based solely on the kind of social environment people experience," said Fowler, professor of political science and medical genetics at UC San Diego.

"It is our hope that more scholars will begin to explore the potential interaction of biology and environment," he said. "The way forward is to look for replication in different populations and age groups."

Explore further: Mutations from Mars: Researchers explain why genetic fertility problems can persist in a population

Provided by University of California -- San Diego

3.4 /5 (27 votes)

Related Stories

Is political orientation transmitted genetically?

Feb 06, 2008

As reported in this week's issue of New Scientist magazine, research by Rice University professor of political science John Alford indicates that what is on one's mind about politics may be influenced by how people are wired ...

Recommended for you

Gene research targets scarring process

Jul 28, 2014

Scientists have identified three genes that may be the key to preventing scar formation after burn injury, and even healing existing scars.

Researchers find new mechanism for neurodegeneration

Jul 24, 2014

A research team led by Jackson Laboratory Professor and Howard Hughes Investigator Susan Ackerman, Ph.D., have pinpointed a surprising mechanism behind neurodegeneration in mice, one that involves a defect in a key component ...

User comments : 574

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

freethinking
1.5 / 5 (41) Oct 27, 2010
People who party more, stay up later, get drunk more often, take illicit drugs more often, tend to be liberal because of brain damage.
Xyberman
5 / 5 (4) Oct 27, 2010
Guess it's time for me to rethink my position on genetic manipulation of human DNA.
Sean_W
1.7 / 5 (28) Oct 27, 2010
More research is necessary to understand how this gene causes people to want to steal wealth from those who create it and use it to subjegate the poor, to destroy economies, to use violence and fraud in elections and to give endless support to dictators, tyrants, and theocrats arround the world. But at least we are a bit closer to a cure.
bugmenot23
Oct 27, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ArtyNouveau
2.3 / 5 (27) Oct 27, 2010
This is great news! Perhaps now we can start working on a cure.
Ykkan
5 / 5 (19) Oct 27, 2010
More information needed.

First, the article implies a "nurture" factor - to quote, "...but only if they had an active social life in adolescence." The article's title, therefore, is (perhaps unintentionally) misleading.

Secondly, aren't there global variations in the definition of "liberal"? What political context is used here? American? English? German? What is a "liberal," exactly?

Third - to revisit the point above - if we were to assume that the context for "Liberal" here is American politics, does the study account for recent immigrants who happen to adopt that view?

A concluding note: To those who have spent their commenting time on assaulting and insulting the political viewpoints of others, grow up.
Userless_Id
1.4 / 5 (21) Oct 27, 2010
"novelty-seeking gene variant would be more interested in learning about their friends' points of view. As a consequence, people with this genetic predisposition who have a greater-than-average number of friends would be exposed to a wider variety of social norms and lifestyles, which might make them more liberal than average. "

Whole lot of baloney. If anything the alleged 'liberals' are much less open to anyone else's viewpoint but their own. See bumenot23's comment above. A classic in Leftist fascism masquerading as 'liberalism'. There is a straightforward explanation---those who are more 'social' are likely to be pandering to any fashion that comes along---well, Leftism in the guise of 'liberalism' is the fashion that has grabbed us since sixties. Any wonder these light-headed mush masses of the north-east and the west-coast are more prone to it?
PinkElephant
4.4 / 5 (25) Oct 27, 2010
@Userless_Id,

Out of the first 4 comments, 1 is a "liberal" insulting conservatives, while 3 are "conservatives" insulting liberals. From this, you conclude that liberals are less open-minded than conservatives. Nice math, bozo.

@Ykkan,

Given the context of novelty seeking, I think the authors use the classic delineation between Liberalism vs. Conservatism -- one that gave rise to the actual terms. In other words, Conservatives would strive to conserve the status quo, with powerful preference toward precedent and tradition; Liberals would be the reformists, perpetually trying to improve the status quo, push past traditional boundaries, and challenge precedents.
bugmenot23
4 / 5 (8) Oct 27, 2010
Userless_Id, you're a classic case-in-point.

Just listen to yourself bitch.
ecotek2u
4.6 / 5 (8) Oct 27, 2010
Ah, the delights of open(?) forums! In Oztraylia the LIBERAL PARTY is BIG DADDY (rigid conservative), and the LABOR PARTY is BIG MUMMY (over protective). This is very confusing for us kiddies. I just wish they would stop fighting and work as team, for once! Us kiddies don't need this disfunction!

Seriously,(tho I was being serious)It is worth looking at the links revealed between our inner psych and the leadership styles we are drawn towards. Jung provided some tools to understand all this. "We are the sum of our choices" as long as we have choices!

marjon
1.4 / 5 (19) Oct 27, 2010
The socialists will now restart their eugenics program.
tkjtkj
1 / 5 (3) Oct 27, 2010
The 'Journal of Politics'???

I never thought 'Poly-Sci' was anything more than 'applied statistics' .. now i see it's joined physics, chemistry, etc, as bona fide science??
i think not!
Skeptic_Heretic
4.7 / 5 (18) Oct 28, 2010
People who party more, stay up later, get drunk more often, take illicit drugs more often, tend to be liberal because of brain damage.
You mean like Rush, Reagan, or perhaps Bush Jr.?
DozerIAm
4.1 / 5 (7) Oct 28, 2010
People's ideologies tend change as they mature, and that has nothing to do with genetics or adolescent social networks. I suspect these researchers found correlation but not causation.

Why didn't they attempt to factor in family environment? Most families stay with one party intergenerationally (see http://ase.tufts....en.pdf). Sure, the kids may temporarily spin off in high school or college but they usually come back to the fold. I suspect this has a larger impact than genetics and social network size as a youth.

Methinks the researchers couldn't see past their own biases as they were thinking about this.
freethinking
1 / 5 (17) Oct 28, 2010
DozerIAM My parents and my siblings are all liberal. I'm the only conservative. My kids are also conservative including the one that is in university. But then I'm in Engineering, my kid in university is majoring in Chemistry with minors in physics and astronomy, my younger kids want to be an engineer, fire fighter, and astronomer.

My siblings still live at home, studies humanities.

That said, lets have some fun. How can you scare a liberal? Ask them to read (the bill)
GSwift7
3.3 / 5 (11) Oct 28, 2010
People who party more, stay up later, get drunk more often, take illicit drugs more often, tend to be liberal because of brain damage.
You mean like Rush, Reagan, or perhaps Bush Jr.?


Clinton and Obama both publicly admitted to smoking pot, though clinton didn't inhale. I don't think Bush Jr's problem is drinking, partying or drugs. I think he was just born stupid and then was a spoiled rich slacker kid in school.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (14) Oct 28, 2010
I don't think Bush Jr's problem is drinking, partying or drugs.
So the massive amounts of cocaine he's done or the several drinking and driving infractions don't come into play in FT's definition of brain damage?
Thrasymachus
3.1 / 5 (17) Oct 28, 2010
Several eyewitnesses and I believe a few photos attest to the fact that W was a coke fiend in his youth.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (10) Oct 28, 2010
Several eyewitnesses and I believe a few photos attest to the fact that W was a coke fiend in his youth.

But of course FT's next response will be "That was before he got right with Jesus and cleaned up his act. Then the lord cured his liberalism and sent down Karl Rove to save the day."
DavidMerchant
4.6 / 5 (10) Oct 28, 2010
More research is necessary to understand how this gene causes people to want to steal wealth from those who create it and use it to subjegate the poor,
Riiight, because the rich never subjugate the poor, never steal money to become rich (cheating on taxes, cheating employees, cheating customers).
diverdaves
1 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2010
Just more "scientific" speculation and mumbo gumbo!
Racism, Hatred, Liberalism,and most other isms start with the parents, or lack of.
GSwift7
3.5 / 5 (11) Oct 28, 2010
So the massive amounts of cocaine he's done or the several drinking and driving infractions don't come into play in FT's definition of brain damage?


I don't know about FT's opinion. I was just stating MY opinion that in B Jr's case it may not have made any difference. The early life problems you are talking about prove my point. He obviously had poor judgement BEFORE he started making bad decisions with his life, otherwise he wouldn't have made those bad decisions, right? If you take away the drugs and alchohol, you are still left with the same overpriveledged dolt that got himself into the drugs and alchohol in the first place. Keep in mind that what's good for the goose is good for the gander, so liberals who make bad decisions are no better than conservatives who make bad decisions. They equally demonstrate stupidity in that regard.
GSwift7
2.3 / 5 (6) Oct 28, 2010
In light of this ground-breaking research, I wonder if you can find a genetic difference between cat people and dog people? I'll bet you can. That would have been far less controversial than a difference of political leaning though. This study is much more fun.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Oct 28, 2010
I was just stating MY opinion that in B Jr's case it may not have made any difference.
Correct, but if you follow the quotations I was attacking FT's propensity for undue generalization and exposing the utter irony of his chosen moniker.
DozerIAm
4.8 / 5 (6) Oct 28, 2010
amazing, I get a 1 for giving a reasoned, balanced, and NON-political comment. I even included a link to the backing of my hypothesis.

This is yet more proof that the mere discussion of politics (and religion, but I repeat myself), causes madness.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Oct 28, 2010
@DozerIAm,

I'm not the one who gave you a 1, but I didn't think your comment was very relevant, either. The study in question is not concerned with political affiliation, so much as it is concerned with differences in reward signals that manifest in various degrees of preference for novelty. It discusses liberal vs. conservative in the classic sense of reformist/rebel/empathic vs. traditionalist/loyalist/egotistic: not in terms of any particular party designations of any particular country.
ekim
5 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2010
This may explain why only 6% of scientists identify themselves as republican. Lacking the novel gene must make people less inovative. I wonder when this gene first appeared? It could account for a lot of the great achievements of mankind. Fire ,the wheel and farming must have been created by some very novel individuals. Perhaps a study of various DNA from around the globe would offer some clue why some cultures seem to prosper and thrive while others stagnate and die.
marjon
1.3 / 5 (15) Oct 28, 2010
The folks who wrote the US Constitution were considered liberal.
Of course this was the original definition before the 'progressive socialists' had to hide themselves, again.
Skultch
5 / 5 (3) Oct 28, 2010
This is great news! Perhaps now we can start working on a cure.


Hardy har har :D Silly ninny, liberals ARE the cure.
somervillechangeling
4.2 / 5 (6) Oct 29, 2010
I was raised in foster homes and was a registered Republican for many years. Now, I'm independent and prefer the Democrats in every policy except abortion. I find that I don't fit in with conservatives or liberals because I'm generally conservative on family values issues, moderate on foreign policy and liberal where social welfare issues are concerned. I find that I dislike the philosophical stylings of Ayn Rand as much as I do those of Karl Marx. What genes would cause me to have such atypical views in our generally extremist talking heads oriented culture?

Skeptic Heretic, when I became a Christian, I became more liberal on social justice issues because I trust God and want to see modern versions of His commandments not to oppress the widow and orphan, have honest measures, treat the stranger well and to return a poor man his pledge. Not all Christians are Tea Party radicals.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (8) Oct 29, 2010
Not all Christians are Tea Party radicals.
Nor did I say they were. My issue with Christians are not the type that would identify with your views. Nor do I think all pro-life advocates are crazy, or necessarily christian. The majority of Democrats are Christian, technically, the majority of the country is some form of Christian.

I think the literalist christians are absolutely batshit crazy though and the majority, if not all of them are in the TEA party.
VOR
3.4 / 5 (9) Oct 29, 2010
as usual, no shortage of stupidity in these posts. Liberals are more empathic to entire community and more interested in well being of all, not just people like them. This is why conservatives are less tolerant. Conservatives are more individualistic and want everyone to 'mind their own business'. They are intrinsically less compassionate and more 'everyman for himself'. Its actually anti-social. The sad thing is that its readily demostratable and factual that liberalism is better for society as a whole, but we keep discussing it like each view is equally valid. Like keeping women from voting was valid, like an anti-gay agenda is valid, like the old healthcare system is valid-NOT. There is little to nothing valid about the conservative agenda. You can have good and bad leadership regardless of leaning, which often stupidly blamed on leaning. We're talking leaning only here. Too bad collectively we are still ignorant to the realities of the leanings that are holding us back.
VOR
3.9 / 5 (7) Oct 29, 2010
there is one thing that conservatives are better at: making war and being soldiers. It's harder to kill people when you relate to them. So conservatives make better soldiers. This is a sincere compliment. Our soldiers deserve our profound thanks and support for thier huge sacrifices. Sadly, we still need soldiers, though they do get deployed more widely than need be. --and that's because, you guessed it, the paranoid factor in conservative military and civilian leadership. Its is also a scientific fact that conservatives are more paranoid that liberals... look it up.
Javinator
5 / 5 (7) Oct 29, 2010
DozerIAM My parents and my siblings are all liberal. I'm the only conservative. My kids are also conservative including the one that is in university. But then I'm in Engineering, my kid in university is majoring in Chemistry with minors in physics and astronomy, my younger kids want to be an engineer, fire fighter, and astronomer.

My siblings still live at home, studies humanities.

That said, lets have some fun. How can you scare a liberal? Ask them to read (the bill)


You're drawing definitive conclusions based on anecdotal evidence... again...

It's terrifying to think that you're an Engineer.
DozerIAm
not rated yet Oct 29, 2010
There is little to nothing valid about the conservative agenda.

@VOR

Making your political opponents into The Enemy and dehumanizing them lessens you as an individual and as a member of society. As a philosopher once said, "Can't we all just get along?"

Would you please define "liberal" and "conservative" as you see them? Regarding your statements above, from my definition of those terms I'm finding it hard to fit all liberals onto the pedestal you've described, and likewise all conservatives won't seem to shoehorn into the subhuman shell you've designed either.

DozerIAm
1 / 5 (1) Oct 29, 2010
@VOR (continued)

I'll give you my definitions.

Lets start with everyone generally wants to protect our families, our properties, and our livelihoods from threats domestic and foreign.

Liberal - generally favorable to government involvement in most aspects of life, generally favorable to taxation as a form of income redistribution and as a way to fund government involvement in all aspects of life, generally favorable to imperfect systems being fixed from central authority.

Conservative - generally favorable to a literal interpretation of the constitution (specifically, any power not specifically granted to the government belongs to the people), generally favorable to smaller, less involved government, generally favorable to taxing everyone equally, generally favorable to individual charity rather than tax funded charity.
marjon
1.4 / 5 (11) Oct 29, 2010
There is a more fundamental difference. Conservatives believe "these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
Liberals believe in the rights of Man, not men, or can't understand the difference.
marjon
1.4 / 5 (10) Oct 29, 2010
"Previous research has identified a connection between a variant of this gene and novelty-seeking behavior, and this behavior has previously been associated with personality traits related to political liberalism."
(from the article)

"Here are some of the rules for holding a children's birthday party in a public park in San Francisco:

Don't bring Mylar balloons. Don't attach non-Mylar balloons to a park bench or tree. Same with pinatas, streamers and signs (a freestanding pole is required).

Want to grill? Get a permit from the Fire Department.

Want a jumpy house? Give the city a $250 deposit and make sure the company providing the inflatable jumper has $1 million in liability insurance.

Read more: http://www.sfgate...s"
How 'liberal' is SF these days?
I guess birthday parties in the park are not novel enough.
marjon
1.5 / 5 (8) Oct 29, 2010
Another symptom of 'liberalism', inability or unwillingness to progress from the hunter-gatherer mentality:
"Why didn’t President Obama do more to help the economy?” The short answer is that his goal has always been to redistribute the economic pie – not necessarily grow it."
http://www.csmoni...-grow-it
Jude27
4.3 / 5 (7) Oct 30, 2010
That is just more lies, which is all you hear from the cons.I know for a fact that liberals are not the only people who party. Conservatives party just has hard, do just as many drugs, and love to chug down the brewskies. I have to say this holier than thou attitude from the cons.is really unbecoming.
Jude27
4.3 / 5 (6) Oct 30, 2010
The reason the economy has not come back with a bang is because rebublicants mission is to obstruct and say no to every thing that would move this country forward. Any body who votes for a Republicans is in my opinion unpatriotic. I am always amazed at how the reblicants seem to get facts so wrong with so many things. They lie about so many things that they have no idea what reality is any more. When they are depicting liberals with their hateful redirect, they have no idea what they are talking about, period.
Jude27
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 30, 2010
The reason the economy has not come back with a bang is because republicants mission is to obstruct and say no to every thing that would move this country forward. Any body who votes for a republican in my opinion is unpatriotic. I am always amazed at how the republicants seem to get facts so wrong with so many things. They lie about so many things that they have no idea what reality is any more. When they are depicting liberals with their hateful redirect, they have no idea what they are talking about, period.

marjon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 30, 2010
They lie about so many things that they have no idea what reality is any more.

It is the 'liberals' from Carter, Clinton, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd who promoted and encouraged the financing of mortgages to people who could not afford them. Barney Frank acknowledges this. Obama hired many former Freddie and Fannie staff.
The reason the economy is not responding to govt spending is the theory is flawed and as the Soviets, Cuba and California have proven, govt spending does not create wealth.
How long can you survive drinking your own urine instead of water? That is what govt spending is.
How many of these principles are supported by 'liberals'?
http://education....licy.pdf
marjon
1 / 5 (7) Oct 30, 2010
Liberal Barney Frank admits lies:
http://www.boston.../?page=1
Jude27
3 / 5 (2) Oct 30, 2010
Liberals believe in "we the people" they are the ones who truly believe in what the constitution stands for. We are the government, and for things to work for everyone not just a select few, we need to partner private with public. We only want to regulate to protect us from scrupulous people who would do us harm, i.e. financial disasters, cons and lies, terrorists. We want the government to stay out of our personal lives, we truly believe in freedom. Just the opposite of conservatives, they want to be in our personal lives telling us how to live, while the filthy rich in this country gorge them selves and hoard all the cash. I guess they think it will trickle down to them. We tried it their way for the last 30 years and it did not work. Not to smart are they? And now they are being manipulated again. I guess they do not have the evolved liberal gene that makes you think rationally. To bad for our country.
marjon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 30, 2010
Liberals believe in "we the people" they are the ones who truly believe in what the constitution stands for.

What do you think it truly stands for?
Do you understand this: "Free people are not equal, and equal people are not free."
We only want to regulate to protect us from scrupulous people who would do us harm,

Who are 'we'?
We want the government to stay out of our personal lives, we truly believe in freedom.

But not our financial lives. A govt that has the power to control your financial life, to redistribute your wealth has the power to control your 'personal' life.
Jude27
4 / 5 (4) Oct 30, 2010
Yea so he's humane, none of us are perfect, although republicans think they are. My point is this lie about liberals, about gays, Muslims, Mexicans, Europeans, socialists, any one they can make you hate to divide us so they can win. The lie that makes you think they care about your interests to make you vote for them, when there agenda only benefits a few at the top. Bottom line republicans will not invest in this country and democrats will.
marjon
2 / 5 (8) Oct 30, 2010
Jude, why do 'liberals' accuse others of hate so often? Are you projecting?
What 'investments' have democrats made? They have invested in their own power, from coerced union dues, but, politicians of all parties have NO money except what they take from 'we the people' first.
Why do 'liberals' hate people who work hard and want to keep the wealth they create?
Jude27
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 30, 2010
Have you read some of the posts? No I'm not projecting, I'm reacting. Unions might not be perfect, but I can tell you up until the financial collapse my husband was able to work hard and make a decent living with grate benefits to support his family because of a union job. Why do you think liberals hate people who want to make money? That's ridiculous and again a lie that you have chosen to believe. Nobody creates wealth in this country with out the support of this great country and the people in it so give back that's all it's not a free ride. What makes you think liberals don't work hard, or even accumulate wealth them selves? Democrats care about people who do not have health care, they care about the middle class, they saved this country from going over a cliff, thanks to the policies of republicans. Republicans do not want to invest in this country, they want to line the pockets of a few and believe me they do not work as hard as we regular folk do.
Jude27
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 30, 2010
I understand that every thing is not always equal, does that mean we loose our humanity? Or we can't come together to make our lives better in this country, it benefits every one including the rich to have a healthy, educated society. Or maybe it doesn't benefit the rich? I don't want financial control, I want some over sight and regulation from people who would do us harm.I hate to break it to you, but we do have to pay some taxes if we want our country to function."We" are the people of this country. Why is it to much to ask that the wealthiest of us help out more after all they get so much for free?
marjon
1.5 / 5 (8) Oct 30, 2010
after all they get so much for free?

What are they getting for free?
The top 50% pay nearly ALL federal income tax.
they care about the middle class,

What a lie! Why are the democrats destroying the middle class?
they do not work as hard as we regular folk do.

Another liberal lie.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 30, 2010
Is this an example of 'liberal caring'?
"The health plan in Massachusetts led to increased demand, which boosted costs and brought price controls and rationing. The federal health plan will do the same."
http://www.csmoni...-failing

I don't want financial control,

The govt has regulated finance quite heavily for a long time. A bank in MA was chastised by the FDIC for NOT having enough bad mortgage loans.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 30, 2010
", Obama and his party seem incapable of harnessing the growing middle- and working-class unrest.

In fact, according to recent polls, these have been the voters that Democrats and the president have been losing over the past year as the economic stimulus failed to make a major dent in unemployment. "
"Democrats and other center-left parties around the world should refocus their policies on issues — such as taxes, private-sector job creation and small business — that affect such voters."
"even a massive expansion of the welfare state has done little to stop the U.K. from becoming the most unequal among the advanced European democracies."
http://www.politi...ge2.html
Govt's don't create jobs. People who risk their capital in creating a business are the ones who create jobs. Some of those people are rich. Discouraging them from risking their wealth by taxing and vilifying them does nothing to encourage a growing economy.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 30, 2010
Obama's 'regulators'. Foxes in the hen house:
"At least 25 senior Obama administration officials previously held executive or board-of-director posts with some of the globe’s biggest financial houses,

Read more: http://www.portfo...2"
All these rich fat cats are democrats. Bernie Madoff is a democrat. Buffet and Gates are democrats.

"White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, who served on the board of embattled mortgage giant Freddie Mac and earned millions as an investment banker for Wasserstein Perella"

kesmarn
3 / 5 (2) Oct 30, 2010
High five to Darwin! We liberals appear to have evolved right past the conservatives. How tedious, though, to have to wait for them to catch up. And to have to live with the consequences of their voting in the meantime.
Jude27
3 / 5 (2) Oct 30, 2010
Money makes money that's not hard work, also it get's you many things in life for free. People love to give rich people things for free. But they don't want to help the pour go figure, or educate it's citizens, or save peoples lives with health care. They get better brakes in life, better interest on loans, or no interest because they pay with cash. I don't believe every thing I read I would do more research before believing in the MS health care article. The fed. plan needs time to be implemented it's different doing it state v the whole country, and things can get fixed as we need to regarding health care reform. We still needed it passed. So what if they pay more they have more to pay with. How are the dems. destroying the m.c.? And I know how hard my husband and I work, and I'm not a lire.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 30, 2010
How are the dems. destroying the m.c.?

Who creates jobs? What are the liberals doing to support and encourage business creation? Nothing. They are doing everything they can to discourage business with taxes and regulations.

But they don't want to help the pour go figure,

"In Who Really Cares, he demonstrates conclusively that conservatives really are compassionate-far more compassionate than their liberal foes."
http://www.amazon...65008216
Jude27
not rated yet Oct 30, 2010
High five to Darwin! We liberals appear to have evolved right past the conservatives. How tedious, though, to have to wait for them to catch up. And to have to live with the consequences of their voting in the meantime.
I agree!
Ravenrant
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 30, 2010
This is great news! Perhaps now we can start working on a cure.


Yes, for all the sick souls who don't have it. You know, the morons who would rather destroy this country's future with military spending instead.

We spend 100's of billions on the military to protect 100's of billions of profits. seems like a zero sum game to me (aside from all the people that die, just collateral damage). Here's a crazy idea, give up both and stop being a target of terrorism.
Haven't heard of Alqueda attacking neutral countries. The ironic thing is all this stop bullying stuff going on now, other countries must be getting a big laugh about that, what hypocrites we are, the US is the biggest bully on the block.

Husky
1 / 5 (1) Oct 30, 2010
is there a gene for Theabaggers also, or did they become infected with the T-virus in a later stage?
Husky
1 / 5 (1) Oct 30, 2010
Actually I am on the centre-right side of the political spectrum in Holland, but European right is considered still way too liberal by Brush Limbaugh et al
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 30, 2010
The original liberals are nothing like the modern 'liberals'.
"In the 18th and 19th centuries, the term liberalism generally meant a philosophy of public life that affirmed the following principle: societies and all their component parts need no central management and control because societies generally manage themselves through the voluntary interaction of its members to their mutual benefit. Today we cannot call this philosophy liberalism because the term has been appropriated by the democratic totalitarians. In an attempt to recover this philosophy for our own time, we give it a new name, classical liberalism."
http://mises.org/...ical.asp
marjon
1.5 / 5 (8) Oct 30, 2010
Modern 'liberals':
"Rousseau was its prophet. In his view, a democratic government embodied the general will of the people, this will was always right, and therefore government should have absolute, centralized power over a militarized and unified egalitarian nation-state."
"This has been Rousseau's century. And with the help of the statist doctrines of Marx and Keynes, it has also been the bloodiest in human history. Their views of government are the very opposite of the classical liberal. They allege that society cannot run itself; instead the general will, the interests of the proletariat, or the economic plans of the people need to be organized and embodied in the nation and its head."
http://mises.org/...ical.asp
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 30, 2010
Today's 'liberals' don't respect property.
""The program of liberalism," if "condensed into a single word, would have to read: property." By property, Mises meant not only its private ownership at all levels of society, but also its control by those same owners."
"that property and its control be kept in private hands, we can see how the state must necessarily be radically limited. If the government can only work with resources it takes from others, and if all resources are owned and controlled by private parties, the government is restricted."
"Society cannot manages itself unless its members own and control property; or, conversely, if property is in the hands of the state, it will manage society with the catastrophic results we know so well.

If property rights are strictly guarded, the state cannot take advantage of social crisis to seize power, as it has during wars, depressions, and natural disasters. "
http://mises.org/...ical.asp
ekim
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 30, 2010
I talk about turning the other cheek and forgiveness and they call me a bleeding heart liberal. I speak of the meek inheriting the earth and they call me a socialist. I try to feed the people with loaves and fishes and they call it redistribution of wealth.
"The way things are going their gonna crucify me."
-John The Beatle
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (5) Oct 30, 2010
What are they getting for free?
The top 50% pay nearly ALL federal income tax.
Because the bottom 50% are unemployed, retired, or on some form of welfare.
dtxx
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 30, 2010
Freedom is derived from individual property rights, which are a function of profit motive. Our current concept of 'profit motive' goes all the way back to the first bilateral animals and the advent of seretonin as the regulator of an organism's perception of resource availability.

The foundation of our society is obviously something that predates the appearance of modern humans and was first underpinned genetically in the lower species. For example, animal territorialism is the forerunner of the concept of ownership.

So, I guess my point is that this is a much more complicated issue than just DRD4. I would also argue that since humans are communal animals and our society is a fabric of many different individuals' desires, the resulting social structure we have is the only possible one.

marjon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 30, 2010
I talk about turning the other cheek and forgiveness and they call me a bleeding heart liberal. I speak of the meek inheriting the earth and they call me a socialist. I try to feed the people with loaves and fishes and they call it redistribution of wealth.
"The way things are going their gonna crucify me."
-John The Beatle

Only if you put a gun to my head and force me to 'feed the people'.
Jesus never advocated using the power of the state to redistribute wealth.
marjon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 30, 2010
What is most annoying about 'liberals' is they what to force everyone to help the poor, but they don't practice what they preach and give away all their money to the poor.
John Kerry wants to raise taxes, but does not pay MA income taxes at the higher rate. Few in MA do.
Howard Hughes hated taxes. When he was required to give up control of Hughes Aircraft Company, he created the non-profit Howard Hughes Medical Institute and signed over Hughes Aircraft to HHMI.
HHMI has done tremendous work with those profits and provided much more than welfare could.

Those 'liberals' are soooo tolerant!
http://www.facebo...33396177
marjon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 31, 2010
Here is what a 'liberal' Obama administration has done:
"Instead, the Administration wanted to reward its constituencies (unions, environmentalists, public education) and increase the size and scope of government. This tactic is consistent with the
Administration’s policies in general. Across the board, it has taken a big government, redistributionist approach, whether regarding
housing, unions, health, the auto industry, trade, antitrust, or financial regulation. The Administration’s view appears to be that government is better than individuals at deciding how
taxpayers get to spend their money and that government should engineer large transfers from richer to poorer."
http://www.realcl.../519.pdf
splashy
4.4 / 5 (7) Oct 31, 2010
This is just funny:
"conservatives ... generally favorable to smaller, less involved government, generally favorable to taxing everyone equally, "

What a crock! They love to tell people how to live their lives and what they can do with their bodies, getting involved with the most personal parts. They also love to give the wealthy huge tax breaks, and tax the middle class and poor to make up for it.
splashy
5 / 5 (8) Oct 31, 2010

Jesus never advocated using the power of the state to redistribute wealth.

Actually he said "Render unto Ceaser what is Ceasers" regarding money, in other words, pay your taxes, which is about redistributing wealth.

He went even farther by saying "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven." Talk about telling people they shouldn't be wealthy, especially if they do it by taking advantage of those that are not wealthy!
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Oct 31, 2010
What a crock! They love to tell people how to live their lives and what they can do with their bodies, getting involved with the most personal parts. They also love to give the wealthy huge tax breaks, and tax the middle class and poor to make up for it.

Actually, conservatives do prefer smaller government and less regulation.

Marjon, and others who profess marjon-like reasoning, aren't conservatives. They're state capitalists.
marjon
1 / 5 (7) Oct 31, 2010
Actually he said "Render unto Ceaser what is Ceasers" regarding money, in other words, pay your taxes, which is about redistributing wealth.

He said that because Caesar's image was on the coin meant the money belonged to Caesar.
"The denarius was truly the emperor’s property: he used it to pay his soldiers, officials, and suppliers; it bore the imperial seal; it differed from the copper coins issued by the Roman Senate, and it was also the coin with which subjected peoples, in theory, were required to pay the tribute. "
"Jesus skillfully points out that the claims of God and Caesar are mutually exclusive. If one’s faith is in God, then God is owed everything; Caesar’s claims are necessarily illegitimate, and he is therefore owed nothing. If, on the other hand, one’s faith is in Caesar, God’s claims are illegitimate, and Caesar is owed, at the very least, the coin which bears his image.
Jesus’ counter-question simply invites His listeners to choose allegiances."
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 31, 2010
Marjon, and others who profess marjon-like reasoning, aren't conservatives. They're state capitalists.

When do I support the state?
Given our present socialist state, which SH supports, I support a return to the Constitution's limited govt.
If/when that ever occurs, I will then support further limitations on state coercion supporting mutual contractual agreements instead of coercive force.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Oct 31, 2010
Talk about telling people they shouldn't be wealthy, especially if they do it by taking advantage of those that are not wealthy!

That is not what Jesus meant.
Eric_B
5 / 5 (3) Oct 31, 2010
Wow, propensities towards and advocation of socio-political eugenics...

You are a bunch of right-wing anti-American FASCISTS!

This country was founded on liberalism, BTW.
marjon
1.5 / 5 (8) Oct 31, 2010
This country was founded on liberalism, BTW.

How do you define 'liberalism'?
As referred to above, the liberals who founded the USA respected private property and wrote a constitution to limit the power of the state.
Those who call themselves 'liberal' today, are fascists who support state power to control property. The exact opposite of what the classical liberals advocated.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Oct 31, 2010
Those who call themselves 'liberal' today, are fascists who support state power to control property. The exact opposite of what the classical liberals advocated.
The only property I've seen the "liberals" control is the property that people have purchased from the banks, that the banks are attempting to take from them by market coersion and force.

What's your overall argument again?
That is not what Jesus meant.
Actually, it is. If you look at the Bible, it is very anti-capitalist. You're not supposed to have envy, you're not supposed to be concerned with the wealth and possessions of others...

Well if you weren't what incentive would you have to compete in the market place? If wealth doesn't help you, and being envious of those who have more than you is a sin, then what would the point of capitalism be according to Jesus?
marjon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 31, 2010
The only property I've seen the "liberals" control

'Liberals' like yourself advocate for the control of all private property via govt regulations.
Mortgages are contracts both parties have agreed to.
then what would the point of capitalism be according to Jesus?

The promotion of individual liberty. Jesus wants volunteers, not conscripts.
marjon
1 / 5 (7) Oct 31, 2010
How the govt takes private property via regulations:
"then the federal government came along and told them that they couldn't use the lake anymore because the lake was adjacent to federal land. And according to the federal government it can control adjacent property because there has to be a buffer around federal land, and if it destroys private rights that exist in the use of the lake, it's just too bad."
http://www.cblpi....fm?ID=21
This is just one of thousands of regulations that limit property rights without compensation.
Eric_B
4 / 5 (4) Oct 31, 2010
WTF is the reasoning behind anyone arguing what Jesus wants on here?!?

Will someone please put forth ONE conservative argument that has some integrity?

I don't hear a huge outcry from conservatives against use of eminent domain to kick people out of their houses to build the next bigbox retail store unless it's YOUR house.

Where are the teabaggers and other anti-immigrant loud-mouths clawing at the front gates of the republican-owned industrial farms where they use illegal mexican labor?

Where are the strict constitutionalists defending the right to free assembly when workers want to organize collective bargaining?

Where is the free-enterprise solution to clean the oil up in the gulf or to rebuild the manufacturing base in this county?
Ravenrant
1 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2010
Liberal, conservative, democrat, republican, tea partier, it doesn't matter. This country will get screwed no matter who is in power. If the republicans get power they will continue to mortgage our future with military spending and cut entitlements and social security. If the democrats get power, they will continue military spending and raise taxes. Until we have the sense to stop WASTING our money and future on military spending both parties are taking us down the road to ruin. And while the tea partiers have the right attitude they are COMPLETELY clueless what the right thing to do is.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Oct 31, 2010
Amid the last few dozen posts, I haven't seen a single one that either addressed our real problems, or spoke to any real solutions. You might find these resources enlightening:

http://market-tic...t=170774

http://www.cnn.co...0.31.cnn
Parsec
5 / 5 (2) Oct 31, 2010
This may explain why only 6% of scientists identify themselves as republican. Lacking the novel gene must make people less inovative. I wonder when this gene first appeared? It could account for a lot of the great achievements of mankind. Fire ,the wheel and farming must have been created by some very novel individuals. Perhaps a study of various DNA from around the globe would offer some clue why some cultures seem to prosper and thrive while others stagnate and die.


You have a link to a source backing up your 6% assertion? Or did you just make that number up out of thin air?
PinkElephant
not rated yet Oct 31, 2010
@Parsec,
You have a link to a source backing up your 6% assertion? Or did you just make that number up out of thin air?
It's been one of the dead horses routinely brutalized by "AGW skeptics". For instance:

http://www.overco...ity.html

It's not exactly the "6% assertion", but it's in the same vein...
marjon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 31, 2010
I don't hear a huge outcry from conservatives against use of eminent domain to kick people out of their houses

You are not listening to conservatives.

Where is the govt enforcing immigration laws? http://www.chron....760.html

Why do union workers want to deny their members the right to a secret ballot?

The free enterprise solution is to cut govt regulations and taxes that force businesses to move out of the country.
The recent ban on oil drilling in the Gulf forced those expensive drilling rigs to relocate to places where they were allowed by drill. It takes months to move and set them up so it will be some time before they return. Thanks to Obama.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Oct 31, 2010
Amid the last few dozen posts, I haven't seen a single one that either addressed our real problems, or spoke to any real solutions. You might find these resources enlightening:

http://market-tic...t=170774

But Barney Frank said there were no problems with Freddie and Fannie buying bad mortgages.
The real solution is for the govt to get out of the business of using regulations for social engineering.
marjon
1 / 5 (7) Oct 31, 2010
stop WASTING our money and future on military spending

What military spending is being wasted?
I am just wondering if you think all US military forces should be dissolved and we will depend the good will of Iran, Russia and China to keep you free?
BTW, how much medicare and medicaid spending is wasted?
ekim
5 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2010
I talk about turning the other cheek and forgiveness and they call me a bleeding heart liberal. I speak of the meek inheriting the earth and they call me a socialist. I try to feed the people with loaves and fishes and they call it redistribution of wealth.
"The way things are going their gonna crucify me."
-John The Beatle

Only if you put a gun to my head and force me to 'feed the people'.
Jesus never advocated using the power of the state to redistribute wealth.

So the IRS is carrying guns now?
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Matthew 6:24
"Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don't take it all.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman."
- George the Beatle
ekim
5 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2010
This may explain why only 6% of scientists identify themselves as republican. Lacking the novel gene must make people less inovative. I wonder when this gene first appeared? It could account for a lot of the great achievements of mankind. Fire ,the wheel and farming must have been created by some very novel individuals. Perhaps a study of various DNA from around the globe would offer some clue why some cultures seem to prosper and thrive while others stagnate and die.


You have a link to a source backing up your 6% assertion? Or did you just make that number up out of thin air?


http://www.huffin...382.html
Sorry for not including this in the first place. This is a site dedicated to science and fact after all.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2010
So the IRS is carrying guns now?

Yes, they are.
What happens if you refuse to pay your taxes? The govt takes your money and may put you in jail. If you physically resist, they pull a gun and force you do comply.

You seem to like the Beattles. How well did they live up to their lyrics? Paul and Ringo are multi-millionaires.

You cannot serve both God and Money.

I agree. What happens if while you are serving God you make money?
That is how free markets work. You provide a product or service people need and want in trade for a product or service you need and want. Each trade is a positive transaction enriching both traders.
Adam Smith discussed this quite extensively.
Birthmark
5 / 5 (2) Oct 31, 2010
This may explain why only 6% of scientists identify themselves as republican. Lacking the novel gene must make people less inovative. I wonder when this gene first appeared? It could account for a lot of the great achievements of mankind. Fire ,the wheel and farming must have been created by some very novel individuals. Perhaps a study of various DNA from around the globe would offer some clue why some cultures seem to prosper and thrive while others stagnate and die.


It also shows that liberals are more intelligent, there have been multiple studies on that aspect of liberalism. They also are more likely to be atheists and atheists in turn are more likely to be educated and less violent (and many other positive attributes -- the exception is that they have high suicide rates).
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Oct 31, 2010
What happens if while you are serving God you make money?...You provide a product or service people need and want in trade for a product or service you need and want.
A self-contradiction within a single paragraph. Bravo marjon, you haven't lost your touch.

For the hard of thinking, I'll point out that when "serving God" you should expect nothing in return for your good deeds. IOW, you should be purely altruistic. When your condition of helping others, is that they must pay your cost + extra for your profit, then you are not "serving God": you're only serving your own self-interest while covering your shame with ripped-out pages from your holy book.

On the other hand, if your "faith" is just a dishonest hedge -- ala Pascal's Wager -- and you aren't truly sincere in professing the feelings you're supposed to be experiencing, then of course you can perfectly well reconcile your "Christianity" with all kinds of greed and selfishness. Hypocrisy comes easy to hypocrites.
marjon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 31, 2010
"Academics tend to be highly intelligent people. Given their leftward leanings, one might be tempted to infer from this that more intelligent people tend to favor socialism"
"Hayek argues that exceptionally intelligent people who favor the market tend to find opportunities for professional and financial success outside the Academy (i.e., in the business or professional world). Those who are highly intelligent but ill-disposed toward the market are more likely to choose an academic career."
"academics receive many direct benefits from the welfare state, and that these benefits have increased over time."
http://mises.org/daily/2318
Imagine if scientists had to actually produce a product or service a customer was willing to pay for.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2010
you should be purely altruistic

Ever hear of tough love?
If you have children are you doing them any favors for giving them everything and not teaching them to take care of themselves?
Is Bill Gates more altruistic or was Mother Teresa?
There should be no profit in charity, but in order to be able to provide charity, one must have somehow acquired the wealth.
"Our orders—backed up by the Master, Jesus—are to refuse to have anything to do with those among you who are lazy and refuse to work the way we taught you. Don't permit them to freeload on the rest. "
""If you don't work, you don't eat." And now we're getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep."
http://www.bibleg...sion=MSG
If everyone is working, there is little need of welfare.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Oct 31, 2010
From ekim's link:
Majorities of scientists working in academia (60%), for non-profits (55%) and in government (52%) call themselves Democrats, as do nearly half of those working in private industry (47%).
As for the latter (private industry), only 10% self-identified Republican.

So looks like marjon's "welfare state" ideologues are once again bankrupt on the facts...
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 31, 2010
there have been multiple studies on that aspect of liberalism.

Conducted by liberals?
Reminds me of how people complain about low rankings on this site.
Why do you 'liberals' need to continuously have your egos stroked?
Maybe that is why you can't understand the concept of individualism. Your self-worth is dependent upon what others think of you. Quite pathetic.
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 31, 2010
Is Bill Gates more altruistic or was Mother Teresa?
How much wealth did Mother Teresa amass while "serving God"?
in order to be able to provide charity, one must have somehow acquired the wealth.
Not necessarily. One could start by giving product away at cost: without asking for any markup to generate profit for oneself. One could charge more from wealthy customers, in order to provide product for free to poor people. There are viable models and motives other than self-enrichment: look at non-profits.
If everyone is working, there is little need of welfare.
Depends on what you construe as "welfare". Slaves must still be housed and fed -- even though their wages can't pay for such services.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Oct 31, 2010
You 'liberals' claim to be so much more intelligent than the rest of us, but why do you support an economic system, socialism, that has been proven time and again to fail to produce a prosperous society?

Not necessarily. One could start by giving product away at cost:

How did you acquire the product, theft? You either had to work to acquire the product or you stole it from someone who did work to create it.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Oct 31, 2010
How did you acquire the product, theft?

You make it.

Basically, profit and self-interest are the exclusive domain of the godless. People who actually have genuine Christian faith, shouldn't need any further motivation. They know they're not long for this life, and that their real goal is an eternity of bliss in the afterlife. Therefore, this life is to be spent in "serving God" while asking for nothing material in return. That's the price of admission to heaven.

So, I always find it particularly offensive when political clowns like marjon commingle their religion and their free-market liberalism without batting an eye. And I find it so very offensive not because I'm a person of faith (quite the opposite: I'm an Atheist). Rather, I find hypocrisy in general to be offensive -- and PARTICULARLY so when it doubles up by attempting to cloak itself in righteousness.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Oct 31, 2010
why do you support an economic system, socialism, that has been proven time and again to fail to produce a prosperous society?
No, that's what you say liberals support. In America, at least, most liberals support a hybrid system with a blend of both free (but strongly POLICED) markets and socialist safety nets.

And intelligent people would not support pure Socialism for precisely the same reason they would reject religion. You're quite right that selfishness and greed are the historically proven best motivators for economic development -- not religion.

Unfortunately, while selfishness and greed are good enough to fuel economic engines, they are not sufficient as a foundation of society and civilization. A society built purely on free-market principles, is nothing more than a society of pirates, brigands, thieves, and scam artists, headed by an elite oligarchy of crime lords presiding over a vast pyramid of crime syndicates.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Oct 31, 2010
commingle their religion and their free-market liberalism

You will love this site:
"Material impoverishment undermines the conditions that allow humans to flourish. The best means of reducing poverty is to protect private property rights through the rule of law. This allows people to enter into voluntary exchange circles in which to express their creative nature. Wealth is created when human beings creatively transform matter into resources. Because human beings can create wealth, economic exchange need not be a zero-sum game."
http://www.acton....inciples
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Oct 31, 2010
a blend of both free (but strongly POLICED) markets and socialist safety nets.

That is a contradiction. One can't be free in a police state.
How do you rationalize that?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2010
Material impoverishment undermines the conditions that allow humans to flourish.
But the objective of religion (or at least, of Christianity) is not to promote material well-being. In fact, by focusing on the material, in the Christian context, you are submitting to Satan.

Indeed, it is extreme poverty and privation that drive people to "God"; by corollary, wealth and comfort drives people in the opposite direction (or at the very least, they are huge distractions.) That's why there's been a long tradition of people renouncing all of their worldly possessions and joining monasteries. They understood the true nature of their religion, and they were/are the only adherents who were/are not guilty of rank hypocrisy.
One can't be free in a police state.
How do you rationalize that?
There is no order without law. There is no law without enforcement.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2010
There is no order without law. There is no law without enforcement.

Really? So the ONLY way to keep order is to force people to follow the law?
It is interesting the great Enlightenment thinkers were men of faith: Bacon, Descartes, Newton, Locke, etc.
Atheist Pinkie will make some excuse that everyone was forced to be Christian, but, if faith is so flawed, how did these men change the world?
Why didn't the Enlightenment occur in China or India or some other pagan society?
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2010
socialist safety nets.

Where do you draw the line? CA can't stop rewarding public employees with generous pensions it can't afford.
How do determine the need for welfare and protect privacy?
How do you keep those lawless people, who need the police to force them to follow the law (as you stated above), from exploiting the social safety net?
This is where 'liberalism' fails. 'Liberals' live in a fantasy world of wishful thinking.
France and Greece are trying face reality and their 'liberal' citizens are rioting.
Ronan
not rated yet Oct 31, 2010
Marjon: I'd point out that you've only demonstrated correlation, not causation, with your last post (but one). Sure, one particular religion might have been the cause--but you might just as easily argue that the impressive technological and scientific breakthroughs of Europe were due to it being very northerly with relation to many of the other civilizations, or due to most Europeans being white, or due to the prolonged existence of a collection of powerful, relatively well-matched independent states (which, for what it's worth, is my guess as to what put a lot of the fire behind Europe's drive. The Greek city-states had similar competition--knowledge in general blossomed. The Chinese Warring States had similar competition--again, a flowering of knowledge).
Ronan
5 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2010
If you want to make a good case for your argument, I'd suggest looking to other cultures with religions or philosophies that shared things in common with Christianity (not necessarily in the fine details, but in the psychological effects of those details) and see how you did. You do, at least, get one point on your side; Islam is very similar to Christianity (for obvious reasons), and it has the Islamic Golden Age to its credit. Are there any other examples you can think of?
marjon
1 / 5 (7) Oct 31, 2010
Ronan: Correlation is sufficient for AGWites.

If independent states was the cause, why didn't the Greeks or Chinese waring states, or any other independent waring states achieve the success of Christian Europe?
BTW, how does knowledge flourish among independent warring states?
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Oct 31, 2010
'Liberals' are really smart?
"Yet if one were to read mainstream Democratic analysis, there is almost no acknowledgment that the party has become far too liberal. Indeed, they fault Obama for not being liberal enough, or, in the case of the Paul Krugman school, for not borrowing another trillion dollars for even more stimulus, despite the failure of the earlier borrowing."
http://pajamasmed...age=true
Ronan
5 / 5 (3) Oct 31, 2010
Marjon: Well, not quite. If correlation is all that mattered, no one would ahve bothered to look at the sun's behavior during the 21st century, the pattern of volcanic eruptions, aerosol emissions, etc., to see if it was possible that something else was driving the temperature rise--which is not the case, because all of those factors have been rather carefully looked into. And for that matter, the chief argument behind CO2 driving temperature increase would start and stop at "they're both going up"--and that's not so, either, as there's a very definite mechanism proposed for how CO2 influences temperature now and in the past. You may argue with the specifics of the causation, or argue that there's some mysterious negative feedback that no-one's found yet--but please, don't try to throw up the straw man that it's all based on correlation, and nothing more.
Ronan
not rated yet Oct 31, 2010
As for your other question...well, first of all, the connection to inter-state competition is just what I think may have been responsible; I don't insist on the idea. If asked to defend it, though, I'd note that Europe existed as a set of competing states for far longer than either China or Greece, which both never had a prolonged period of competition between different nation states for more than a few hundred years, at most.

As for WHY such competition would promote a spread of knowledge, well...it'd basically be a form of arms race. Scientia potentia est; there would be an extremely powerful drive, in such times, to out-maneuver, outwit, or out-invent your opponents. For what it's worth, that was even explicitly encouraged during the Chinese warring states period, with wandering...sages, I guess, basically trying to sell their different philosophies and ideas to the various kings of the different states.
Eric_B
5 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2010
Please Marjon...

"'Liberals' are really smart?
"Yet if one were to read mainstream Democratic analysis, there is almost no acknowledgment that the party has become far too liberal. Indeed, they fault Obama for not being liberal enough, or, in the case of the Paul Krugman school, for not borrowing another trillion dollars for even more stimulus, despite the failure of the earlier borrowing."

WHERE DID THE $5 TRILLION SURPLUS GO? IRAQ? THAT'S WHERE THE WMD's WERE, TOO, HUH?

There should be issued dis-honorary PhD's in Prevarication with minors in Discombobulated Confabulation
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2010
It is interesting the great Enlightenment thinkers were men of faith: Bacon, Descartes, Newton, Locke, etc.
Interesting, that Newton spent the latter part of his life chasing down and locking up counterfeiters. He was LITERALLY in law enforcement. Of the other 3, how many were anarchist blowhards like yourself?
So the ONLY way to keep order is to force people to follow the law?
YES.
generous pensions
That's not a safety net. It's a contractually negotiated benefit.
How do determine the need for welfare and protect privacy?
Yet another retarded non-sequitur.
exploiting the social safety net
Total disclosure of all assets and income is mandatory when applying for benefits; lying about those is fraud (a felony) and theft (another felony) and must be prosecuted accordingly.
This is where 'liberalism' fails.
No, this is where YOUR brand of 'liberalism' fails. Law and order form the backbone of a society; without a backbone complete collapse is inevitable.
CSharpner
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2010
Listen to yourselves! ALL OF YOU! The hatred (not to mention the complete intollorance) against your fellow man and half the population in which you live on this thread makes me SICK! I litterally feel sick to my stomach reading this thread. You're also abusing the vote system on this site. It's supposed to be for RELEVANCE. It's NOT to say you agree or disagree (or like or dislike) what the poster wrote. It's bad enough to THINK the things many of you are posting, but to actually feel JUSTIFIED in saying them out loud?!?! WOW!

I vote this entire thread a big fat negative one for relevance... at least up to about 2/3 of the way down where I just had to stop reading.

I can literally look at the votes on a reply before I read it and know whether it stresses a left or right leaning view.

Do you people really have that much hatred in yourselves???? You can't look past your own ideology?
Ravenrant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 01, 2010
Amid the last few dozen posts, I haven't seen a single one that either addressed our real problems, or spoke to any real solutions.


Hows this?
Stop importing non-essential goods and sub-standard crap that only ends up in our landfills so that local manufacturers can once again make a profit and create jobs.
Stop exporting crap to other countries that they don't want solely for profit (example: McDonalds does not belong in any other country but here)
Stop trying to do social engineering in other countries.
Get our Army out of other countries, they don't belong there. We go in and never leave, we still have troops in many countries from WW2.
Stop thinking we are the worlds police. We rail against the UN for doing it while we try to do it our selves, we are the worlds biggest hypocrites.
Cut back our military spending by at least 50%, it is an INCREDIBLE stupid squandering of MANY resources and we WILL pay dearly for this mistake.
Ravenrant
1 / 5 (1) Nov 01, 2010
BUY AMERICAN MADE PRODUCTS
Ravenrant
1 / 5 (1) Nov 01, 2010
We need to stop the causes of terrorism, not spend billions fighting it, it's a no-win scenerio exactly like the failed drug war. The causes are many and like it or not, McDonalds is a cause of terrorism, not GM. When you invade a country with product they don't need or want, it is social engineering (McDonalds, Lays for example who both employ predatory business practices supplanting local foods). When you sell a product that they have already and manufacture it there (cars) not so much. By having to spend billions to protect the profits of companies like McDonalds we might as well just hand them the money directly.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Nov 01, 2010
Total disclosure of all assets and income is mandatory when applying for benefits; lying about those is fraud (a felony) and theft (another felony) and must be prosecuted accordingly.

Of course this requires a huge bureaucracy of state workers to pry into everyone's affairs. As all bureaucracies, they need to grow so their incentive is to find more people to put on welfare and to keep on welfare. Why would they have any interest in prosecuting fraud? Just as ICE as no incentive to prosecute illegal entry into the USA.
The reciptients of welfare have no incentive to obtain gainful employment as the state has incentives to maintain the bureaucracy and the welfare dependents to buy votes for the 'liberals'. All this strengthens the power of the state, weakens individual incentives and sucks the state dry as it did in Cuba.
Some safety net!
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2010
it'd basically be a form of arms race.

Sure. Lot's of science was done in China and Greece to improve weapons design and bring science to the masses.
I can point out how Christian monks preserved language and how the simple philosophy of Jesus was able to permeate cultures at the grass roots level which lead to more questioning of civil and theocratic authorities. Luther was a Catholic priest, you know.
But the history of Western Civilization can't be taught indicating that religion had any positivism influence.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2010
This stuff can't be explained by determinism.

I was as communist as communist could be in High School. No, not even the kinder gentler socialist, I would have been a card carrying communist had I known at 16 where to get the card :-)

Then I slowly drifted to the "right" until I was a conservative republican at 23. Then I slowly drifted away from the conservative part of "Republican" and the Republicans drifted away from fiscal responsibility...so now I have no clue how to label myself. Socially liberal, fiscally conservative would be the best way I guess, but that really doesn't completely fit either.

Like Popeye "I am what I am"...and since I come from a family and an extended family that are dyed in the wool Roosevelt Democrats I'm pretty sure it has very little to do with my genes or my "environment".
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2010
Socially liberal, fiscally conservative would be the best way I guess, but that really doesn't completely fit either.

Sounds like a libertarian or, classical liberal.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2010
Of course this requires a huge bureaucracy of state workers to pry into everyone's affairs.
Or, a less chaotic and more standardized system of tracking everyone's affairs.
As all bureaucracies, they need to grow so their incentive is to find more people to put on welfare and to keep on welfare.
Ditto for private charities.
Why would they have any interest in prosecuting fraud?
Maybe if they received statutory reward for successful prosecutions?
The reciptients of welfare have no incentive to obtain gainful employment
Horseshit, and a statement that can only be made by someone who's never actually tried to live on welfare. You get a lot more money, and a much higher standard of living, by getting even a minimum-wage job; plus, you don't have to constantly deal with all the aggravating bureaucracy.
to buy votes for the 'liberals'
People on welfare tend not to vote.
Some safety net!
Until you need it yourself; then it's great and needed all of a sudden.
RHaston
5 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2010
What interests me is this allele evovled arond 40,000 years ago - when were transitioning from "focus on the family" to "It takes a village" google the book "Origin of Political Species"
marjon
1 / 5 (7) Nov 01, 2010
Or, a less chaotic and more standardized system of tracking everyone's affairs.

I thought liberals were concerned about privacy?
Ditto for private charities.

Charities are mostly operated by volunteers.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Nov 01, 2010
This stuff can't be explained by determinism.
Truncating your individual story, how do you not know that that pattern wasn't already engrained on you? Determinism is easier to establish if you break it down to underlying decisions.

Overall ideologies are a sum of experiences and underlying decisions. It takes millions if not more interactions to formulate an ideology. KNowing all of those individual decisions, and your exact chemistry, would determine a way to recreate the exact same pattern of thought over multiple instances.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2010
@RHaston,
this allele evovled arond 40,000 years ago
Reference?

@marjon,
I thought liberals were concerned about privacy?
Yes, we are.

However, you have no expectation of privacy when it comes to specifically your income and assets, because by law you must report all of this to the IRS. Failing to do so, or lying while doing so, constitutes a felony of fraud. Making it easier to catch (and punish) such frauds is a viable goal of government reform and modernization.
Charities are mostly operated by volunteers.
Who houses, clothes, and feeds the volunteers? And who provides for all of their other consumption, as well as benefits and retirement plans?

Most "charities" are actually just non-profit corporations, who have their own bureaucracies, their own paid staff, and their own selfish interest in "servicing" as many people as possible.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2010
Depends upon the charity. Religious based charities like the Salvation Army and the LDS Church are quite efficient.
How many govt bureaucracies are so efficient?

Yes, we are.

Such a liar.

However, you have no expectation of privacy when it comes to specifically your income and assets

marjon
1 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2010
If 'liberalism' is genetic, conservatives have little to worry about as the 'liberals' will go the way of the Shakers.
"IIt's that progressives are so much less likely to have children.

It's a pattern found throughout the world, and it augers a far more conservative future — one in which patriarchy and other traditional values make a comeback, if only by default. Childlessness and small families are increasingly the norm today among progressive secularists. As a consequence, an increasing share of all children born into the world are descended from a share of the population whose conservative values have led them to raise large families."
http://www.usatod...st_x.htm
UT 92 births per 1000 women, VT 51/1000 women.

PinkElephant
4 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2010
Religious based charities like the Salvation Army and the LDS Church are quite efficient.
Who audits them?

And you seriously think that organizations like (Christian) Salvation Army and (Mormon) LDS Church are not interested in perpetually expanding the number of people who depend upon them for provenance. As I see it, the more sheep in the barn, the more wool there is to shear.
How many govt bureaucracies are so efficient?
By all impartial accounts I've seen (including CBO), government-funded medical insurance (Medicare, Medicaid) is far more efficient than private insurance companies. That's one example. More broadly, a bureaucracy is a bureaucracy, no matter whether it's public or private. Except private bureaucracies add extra markup to drive profit.
Such a liar.
Sure, let's just abolish the IRS altogether. Every mafia boss' and sweatshop owner's wet dream...
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 01, 2010
a far more conservative future — one in which patriarchy and other traditional values make a comeback
I'd say that's quite consistent with America's gradual transformation into yet another banana republic.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Nov 01, 2010
So Pinkie, if the govt runs your health care, they will have every 'right' to know your sexual habits, your dietary habits and your recreational drug habits.
If the govt pays for your health then you should have no expectation of privacy. Especially after they pass a law forcing you do divulge the information to see a doctor.
ekim
5 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2010
So the IRS is carrying guns now?

Yes, they are.
What happens if you refuse to pay your taxes? The govt takes your money and may put you in jail. If you physically resist, they pull a gun and force you do comply.


The taxes we pay go towards services we use. The military, the police, the roads, the bridges and schools don't pay for themselves. If you were to stop using these services by leaving and renouncing your citizenship, nobody would put a gun to your head to stop you.
You seem to like the Beattles. How well did they live up to their lyrics? Paul and Ringo are multi-millionaires.

I never quoted either of those men.
Ever hear of tough love?

And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'"
(Matthew 25.35-40 ESV)
"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."
(Matthew 7.12 ESV)
Tough love from Paul maybe. Not J
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2010
if the govt runs your health care, they will have every 'right' to know your sexual habits, your dietary habits and your recreational drug habits.
Just like your private insurance company.
If the govt pays for your health then you should have no expectation of privacy.
Depends. Doctor-patient confidentiality still applies. As does the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable search.
Especially after they pass a law forcing you do divulge the information to see a doctor.
Again, depends on what "information" you're talking about.

But isn't it interesting that Obama's paradoxically unpopular health care reform actually requires insurers to cover people regardless of pre-existing conditions. Seems like the big bad government actually doesn't care what your sexual habits, dietary habits, recreational drug habits, or chronic illnesses might be: they want you to have health care anyway. I know: the horror!
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2010
. If you were to stop using these services by leaving and renouncing your citizenship, nobody would put a gun to your head to stop you.

But they will take your money:

"Under the new law, any individual who has a net worth of $2 million or an average income-tax liability of $127,000 who renounces his or her citizenship and leaves the country is automatically assumed to have done so for tax avoidance reasons and is subject to some rather unbelievable tax laws."
http://mises.org/daily/3377
"just because you leave the United States and renounce your citizenship, don't assume you can leave U.S. taxes (or U.S. tax forms and complexity) behind, "http://www.forbes...ood.html
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2010
Seems like the big bad government actually doesn't care what your sexual habits, dietary habits,

Then why are cities and states passing laws restricting all sorts of things they say are bad for your health?
Fats, salt, sugar are all subject to bans around the country.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2010
Then why are cities and states passing laws restricting all sorts of things they say are bad for your health?
Not restricting, just making more expensive. And in case of restaurants, forcing disclosure.

None of which impinges on your privacy, and a lot of which actually aids you in making better/more informed decisions.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Nov 02, 2010
But they will take your money:

"Under the new law, any individual who has a net worth of $2 million or an average income-tax liability of $127,000 who renounces his or her citizenship and leaves the country is automatically assumed to have done so for tax avoidance reasons and is subject to some rather unbelievable tax laws."
http://mises.org/daily/3377

So we have an exit tax for 10% of the population so they can't steal the wealth of the nation and send it overseas.

One would think a nationalist like yourself would be all for this tax seeing as part of the reason why you're against immigration is the fact they send money out of the country to their families abroad without paying income taxes.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
The taxes we pay go towards services we use. The military, the police, the roads, the bridges and schools don't pay for themselves. If you were to stop using these services by leaving and renouncing your citizenship, nobody would put a gun to your head to stop you.


While I agree we need to pay taxes for some minimal government services, I don't blindly ignore the gaping whole in that philosophy.

Cont.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 02, 2010
The following is an excerpt from a conversation between David D. Friedman and Mike Hubben and it shows quite clearly that ANY government has a problem with logically and ethically taxing people. Many like to use the "love it or leave it" argument this shows how flawed that argument is;

MH: libertarians make a big deal about needing to actually sign a contract. Take them to a restaurant and see if they think it ethical to walk out without paying because they didn't sign anything.

DF:The act by which one agrees to an implicit contract is an act that the other party has the right to control--in this case, coming into his restaurant and being served dinner. That leaves Mike with two alternatives:

A. It is proper to treat an act that you do not have the right to control as agreement to an implicit contract, without the other party's assent. That implies that you can impose a penalty (the amount you set as due on the contract) on that act, which amounts to controlling it. [/blockquote]
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
Cont. again (this 1000 character limit is idiotic)

DF continues:

B. The government has the same rights with regard to the territory of the U.S. that the restaurant owner has with regard to his food and restaurant. But that is the conclusion he wants to get from his argument, so starting with it makes his argument circular.


Basically the government says it has the right to impose social contracts without consent, because the government gives the government that power. What gave the government that power to begin with?

Is it practical to have everyone sign a social contract? Probably not. Does that make what the government and the IRS is doing moral/legal/ethical/logical? Absolutely not.

Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 02, 2010
So unless you're going to tell me that my being born in the United States is an act I had control over, then STFU with the "love it or leave it" idiocy, or show me where the United States government got my consent (good luck with that one), or admit (like I do) that the United States Government HAS NO LEGITIMATE contract with those it imposes taxes on, but it's a necessary evil.

Sorry those are your only choices.

Now a possible solution here is to start letting citizens opt out of certain programs like social security, medicare, medicaid, workers comp, Obama care, etc. and then denying them those services. That's at least more legitimate than pretending a gun to your head is a contract.

Just ask a socialist if he'd agree to those terms and see what he says :-)

Bet you hear the phrase "for your own good", or "we're all in this together" a few times. To quote Tonto, "What's this we stuff paleface?".
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 02, 2010
As communication barriers fall, the trend will be for those with talent to move to places that want them.
Switzerland may still have a policy that for a flat rate of $50k/year, you can become a 'member' of that country (get a passport). No additional income taxes. Countries that follow this plan will attract wealth. Countries that try to suck the wealth from their victims will repel wealth.
The more subtle distinction is the death of the nation-state. If nation-states compete for 'customers' who is really sovereign? The individual then becomes sovereign as he can choose the best jurisdiction (home owners association) that meets his needs.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Nov 02, 2010
For you Pinkie. This was 'welfare'?
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneger says welfare recipients can no longer use state-issued debit cards at medical marijuana shops, psychics and other businesses whose services have been deemed "inconsistent with the intent" of the program."
http://news.yahoo...it_cards
frajo
5 / 5 (4) Nov 02, 2010
So unless you're going to tell me that my being born in the United States is an act I had control over, then STFU with the "love it or leave it" idiocy, or show me where the United States government got my consent (good luck with that one), or admit (like I do) that the United States Government HAS NO LEGITIMATE contract with those it imposes taxes on, but it's a necessary evil.
Did you ask your parents who created you without your consent whether they had any legitimate contract to do so?
Do you have children?
Sorry those are your only choices.
Certainly not. Millions of people leave their native country every year.
frajo
5 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
The individual then becomes sovereign as he can choose the best jurisdiction (home owners association) that meets his needs.
I'd love to see you and your ilk perform the experiment of setting up a state on their own. Why didn't you manage to do this in the last 1000 years?
Javinator
5 / 5 (5) Nov 02, 2010
So Pinkie, if the govt runs your health care, they will have every 'right' to know your sexual habits, your dietary habits and your recreational drug habits.
If the govt pays for your health then you should have no expectation of privacy. Especially after they pass a law forcing you do divulge the information to see a doctor.


In Canada there is essentially free health care via taxes (ie. the government). Privacy is still protected. I don't know where you're getting your information.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
So unless you're going to tell me that my being born in the United States is an act I had control over, then STFU with the "love it or leave it" idiocy, or show me where the United States government got my consent (good luck with that one), or admit (like I do) that the United States Government HAS NO LEGITIMATE contract with those it imposes taxes on, but it's a necessary evil.

Sorry those are your only choices.
Do you have a social security card? Are you registered to vote? Have you renounced your citizenship? Those are relevant questions. You are welcome to tear up your SS card, renounce your citizenship, and stop voting, you'll also lose the priviledges of having a job, being able to get loans, etc. Those are the choices and the priviledges that go along with those choices.

You always have a choice, you simply choose not to exercise it.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
Do you have a social security card? Are you registered to vote? Have you renounced your citizenship? Those are relevant questions. You are welcome to tear up your SS card, renounce your citizenship, and stop voting, you'll also lose the priviledges of having a job, being able to get loans, etc. Those are the choices and the priviledges that go along with those choices.

You always have a choice, you simply choose not to exercise it.


Will I get back all the money the government took from me for those programs if I choose not to participate? Will I get my taxes reduced if I do? Then there is no legitimate choice. I'm going to get that money taken regardless, I'd be a fool not to use the services in question.

Again you're asserting that one party can unilaterally make a contract with another when one party has no control over entering the arrangement. The mere fact of the geographical location of my birth is insufficient cause to say I have a "choice" to leave. (cont)
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
We treat the government differently than we treat any other agency we contract with in this manner. We don't ask where it got this power, partially because to do so is admit there is no legitimate source for this concept.

The government gives the government the power to impose a contract on people in its borders leaving them the "choice" (if they're lucky) to leave as an "option". The real question is why should one have to leave if one has not assented to said contract? There is no legitimate reason in the classical sense of the word legitimate.

I think this is the way it has to be, but I'm not going to whitewash it...it's ugly pragmatism, not some wonderful social compact.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
So, barakn, Ethelred, can you show me where the government gets the power to impose unilateral contracts without using circular logic?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
The government gives the government the power to impose a contract on people in its borders leaving them the "choice" (if they're lucky) to leave as an "option". The real question is why should one have to leave if one has not assented to said contract? There is no legitimate reason in the classical sense of the word legitimate.
Are you trying to build a case against sovereignty or trying to build a case for sovereign anarchy?

The government governs at the behest of the people. If at any time a people no longer desire their form of government, the government is overthrown, which leads us to another point, are you attempting to state that revolution never occurs?

In my analysis of your statements it appears that you believe the majority of people do not want to have a government, and I'd say you're very very incorrect.
can you show me where the government gets the power to impose unilateral contracts without using circular logic?
From the rule of law, of course.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Nov 02, 2010
Basically you've created a false argument MM.

The government gets the power to govern from the people. When the people refuse to grant the right to govern, the government ceases to be.

Let's say everyone in the US disagreed with the governance of the US government. They can move out of the US. If enough people move out of the US, the US government ceases to be as there is no one to govern. I think this is why you're having difficulty. If you stay in the US, it is akin to being served in the restaurant. If you don't want to pay the restaurant owner for a meal, don't order off the menu.
PinkElephant
4.3 / 5 (4) Nov 02, 2010
@Modernmystic,

Your parents entered you into that contract. Consider the case when your parents leave you an estate deep in debt. You are liable for everything you've inherited.

Same thing with citizenship. Your parents gave you the legacy of being a citizen of a given country. That's the contract they imposed on you, by virtue of giving birth to you and raising you in a given country.

Like previously said, once you grow up and if you don't like the country, you can always go elsewhere.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 02, 2010
Where to start?

My parent's never signed a contract with the government either, go fish. If they had no legitimate contract then they can't make a legitimate contract for me.

SH, I'm not "making a case" for anything. I'm just saying if you look at the situation objectively governments do not derive their power in any more legitimate a way than mobsters do, it's a whitewashed protection racket. To be sure some rackets are FAR better than others, and some are downright good deals...but they're still rackets.

The government does not get the power to govern from the people, again I'll restate "what's the we stuff paleface". "The people" doesn't exist, it's a non-entity. Individuals are the only moral agents in any society, they are the base unit of every single society that's ever existed. I don't believe in the concept of "the people" any more than you believe in a God. That concept is a propaganda tool that governments use to produce a sense of legitimacy and consent.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (5) Nov 02, 2010
Like previously said, once you grow up and if you don't like the country, you can always go elsewhere.


Why should I have to go elsewhere? Where did the government get the power to make me go elsewhere, other than stamping it's feet and insisting it does have the power whether or not I ever consented to it having that kind of power?

It doesn't legitimately exist. It exists in practice to be sure, but it's not a legitimate contract.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
If you stay in the US, it is akin to being served in the restaurant. If you don't want to pay the restaurant owner for a meal, don't order off the menu.


This is why I specifically used the Friedman/Hubben example. THIS is the false argument. This assumes I walked into the restaurant under my free will, sat down, and ordered. I didn't. It's apples and oranges.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
can you show me where the government gets the power to impose unilateral contracts without using circular logic?
From the rule of law, of course


The law the government made? Again use the proposition to be proved as one of your premises.
frajo
5 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
If you stay in the US, it is akin to being served in the restaurant. If you don't want to pay the restaurant owner for a meal, don't order off the menu.
This is why I specifically used the Friedman/Hubben example. THIS is the false argument. This assumes I walked into the restaurant under my free will, sat down, and ordered. I didn't. It's apples and oranges.
Seems you shy back from addressing your parents. (Maybe because you have kids yourself.) But it's them who are/were responsible for you being put in that "restaurant". You can't blame the restaurant owner (the people) for your having been placed without your (and his) consent into his restaurant.
And if you stay there although nobody forces you then this is your free decision, not the decision of the restaurant owner.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 02, 2010
Seems you shy back from addressing your parents. (Maybe because you have kids yourself.) But it's them who are/were responsible for you being put in that "restaurant". You can't blame the restaurant owner (the people) for your having been placed without your (and his) consent into his restaurant.
And if you stay there although nobody forces you then this is your free decision, not the decision of the restaurant owner.


I did address my parents, they never walked in, sat down, and ordered from the menu via an explicit contract either. If they didn't have one then I don't.

Moreover, when I'm 18 all OTHER contracts in this country made for me by my parents expires. Why is this one different?
Thrasymachus
2.3 / 5 (12) Nov 02, 2010
There is no contract, and the relationship between the State and the individual is not contractual in nature. This is the mistake people make when they view government and society as some nefarious "Other" set against themselves and against everybody as individuals. No individual can survive without the society in which they are born and in which they are found. Government is merely the set of institutions a society has formalized to promote the stability and internal coherence of that society. Seeking to undermine government by denying it the means it requires to perform its socially determined ends is the same as seeking to undermine the very society that supports and sustains you as an individual. It is an inherently self-destructive and irrational act, and because of this, anarchy, and all forms of conservatism that tend toward anarchy, are fundamentally immoral.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
FTR: I'm not stating governments are baaaaad. I'm not saying we shouldn't have them. I'm not making a case for any specific political agenda. I'm simply recognizing the fact that governmental power rests on a power we give to no other agency in society, the power to impose unilateral contracts.

I AM saying if we could find a PRACTICAL way to get away from this we should look at doing that. As it stands, I haven't a clue how to...
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
The law the government made? Again use the proposition to be proved as one of your premises.
The government is equally subject to the law. We're not dealing with an autocracy here.

Again it is the restaurant analogy. If you don't like the food in a restaurant, don't go to that restaurant. Go to a different restaurant and the one you don't like will eventually go out of business. However, if you don't like a restaurant, but many other people do, that restaurant will continue to produce the food you don't like.

The US government doesn't force you to stay in the US. You choose to stay in the US. There is no unilateral contract enforcement if there is an escape clause.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
There is no contract, and the relationship between the State and the individual is not contractual in nature.


Well that just makes me all warm and tingly inside...

Fell good propaganda, you should be a minister.

No individual can survive without the society in which they are born and in which they are found.


Men rescued on desert islands died spontaneously without the machinery of state? Can you cite me a source?

Seeking to undermine government by denying it the means it requires to perform its socially determined ends is the same as seeking to undermine the very society that supports and sustains you as an individual.


How is stating the truth about something undermining it? I don't want the government to go away, I'm just not going to BS anyone about it.

...and because of this, anarchy, and all forms of conservatism that tend toward anarchy, are fundamentally immoral.


I think it's immoral to whitewash institutions, even if we do need them.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
The government is equally subject to the law. We're not dealing with an autocracy here.


We're talking about government, which can be anything from autocracy to democracy. Moreover if the government were equally subject to the law I'd have a civil suit filed against the United States by the end of the day to get back my tax money used for those programs I don't agree with and would opt out of...but I can't because of sovereign immunity (amongst a host of other reasons).

And I'll restate, you can't use the proposition you're trying to prove as one of your premises. It doesn't matter if the government is subject to it's own rules it's still the one giving itself the power to impose unilateral contracts. In fact that's the definition of a unilateral contract.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
No individual can survive without the society in which they are born and in which they are found.
Men rescued on desert islands died spontaneously without the machinery of state? Can you cite me a source?
How about the Donner Party? Hint: If you're rescued, you didn't survive without society, society rescued you.
Moreover if the government were equally subject to the law I'd have a civil suit filed against the United States by the end of the day to get back my tax money used for those programs I don't agree with and would opt out of...but I can't because of sovereign immunity (amongst a host of other reasons).
The DoTres doesn't have sovereign immunity, nor do you have the right to decide directly how your taxes are spent. ie: the Rule of Law.
And I'll restate, you can't use the proposition you're trying to use as one of your premises.
Unfortunately for you, you don't make the rules of debate. If a point can be made and supported, you must address it.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
How about the Donner Party? Hint: If you're rescued, you didn't survive without society, society rescued you.


1. They didn't spontaneously die the second they were cut off from the government. They still had a society though.

2. They weren't individuals on a desert island.

3. A man in a boat can rescue you on an island 50 miles off shore. It doesn't require the US marines, moreover this attempt at a side track evades the point. Even if he were never rescued he could still survive.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
So the government says that the government has the right to decide how my taxes are spent? You can't make the rules of debate either. That's circular reasoning. Where did the power come from?

If the government hadn't imposed a unilateral contract on me to begin with then they would have never had the right to tax me to begin with, much less decide how said money is spent.

You're assuming the government has the power to impose a unilateral contract in your argument that I don't have the right to say how my taxes are spent....think about that.
Javinator
5 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
Moreover, when I'm 18 all OTHER contracts in this country made for me by my parents expires. Why is this one different?


As the US government essentially owns the US, they're the ones who set the rules for living there. You keep referring to a contract you didn't sign. Your citizenship is your contract. You can revoke your citizenship if you want. You won't be allowed to live in the US, but then you don't have to follow their rules and pay their taxes either.

You don't seem to like the people telling you "if you don't like it you can leave", but that's unfortunately the truth of the matter.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
Moreover, when I'm 18 all OTHER contracts in this country made for me by my parents expires. Why is this one different?


As the US government essentially owns the US, they're the ones who set the rules for living there. You keep referring to a contract you didn't sign. Your citizenship is your contract. You can revoke your citizenship if you want. You won't be allowed to live in the US, but then you don't have to follow their rules and pay their taxes either.

You don't seem to like the people telling you "if you don't like it you can leave", but that's unfortunately the truth of the matter.


Of course it's the truth of the matter. Just as if you refuse to pay a mafioso he'll break your legs. I just don't recognize the legitimacy of either claim. The US government ASSERTS it owns the geographical area known as the United States. How did it get that right?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2010
@Modernmystic,
My parent's never signed a contract with the government either, go fish.
Oh yes they did. Everyone in America (with exception of Native Americans) came here as an immigrant at some point. At the point they were coming into the country, they effectively signed the contract. From that point, any offspring they had here, came under the same contract. Same goes for the offspring of the offspring, and so on and so forth until we get to you.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
The US government ASSERTS it owns the geographical area known as the United States. How did it get that right?

By force of arms.
Jefferson wanted all land to be privately owned.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 02, 2010
The individual stranded in the wilderness or on a desert isle brings his society with him. It is the training and knowledge of survival that he gained from his society prior to being lost that enables him to survive. Human beings cannot be raised without social enculturation. The Nazis' tried it with Jewish infants, and they all failed to thrive. Speaking the truth about something is not undermining it. But applying critiques of autocracies and tyrannies to democracies and republics is not honest.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
Oh yes they did. Everyone in America (with exception of Native Americans) came here as an immigrant at some point.


And never signed a contract when they did so. What you assert is patently false. Oh, and uh the Native Americans immigrated from modern day Russia...

At the point they were coming into the country, they effectively signed the contract.


Mmmmm no, sorry, you don't get out of it that easy. There is no "effectively sign" to a contract. Try to have an "effectively signed" contract stand up in a court and see how quick you're laughed out of it.

From that point, any offspring they had here, came under the same contract.


Which, even though there is no contract would end when they're eighteen years of age under the rules of the state we're talking about. Don't they have to play by their own rules?

Same goes for the offspring of the offspring, and so on and so forth until we get to you.


Sounds Biblical...
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
Native Americans immigrated from modern day Russia...
There was no United States at the time, to immigrate into.
Try to have an "effectively signed" contract stand up in a court and see how quick you're laughed out of it.
Try to enter the country as an immigrant, while promising not to pay taxes and not to obey the country's laws. See how swiftly you're shown the door. The agreement to comply with the country's legal and tax code is implicit within the act of immigration.
would end when they're eighteen years of age
That's right. Like I said before, once you're fully grown, you're free to rescind the contract and go your own way. Just don't expect to stay here and mooch off the contributions of everyone else, without paying your share.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
The individual stranded in the wilderness or on a desert isle brings his society with him. It is the training and knowledge of survival that he gained from his society prior to being lost that enables him to survive.


Knowledge does not equal government.

And no, he won't die.

Human beings cannot be raised without social enculturation. The Nazis' tried it with Jewish infants, and they all failed to thrive.


Social does not equal government.

Speaking the truth about something is not undermining it. But applying critiques of autocracies and tyrannies to democracies and republics is not honest.


I have compared the three on this thread, and I alluded we have a pretty damn good deal going here. Stating that all three are based on illegitimate unilateral contracts is not an attempt to equivocate all three governments. It's a recognition that all States are founded on naked force. Nothing more or less.
Javinator
5 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
Of course it's the truth of the matter. Just as if you refuse to pay a mafioso he'll break your legs. I just don't recognize the legitimacy of either claim. The US government ASSERTS it owns the geographical area known as the United States. How did it get that right?


I'm not going to get into the whole rights vs. privileges debate because that's pretty philosophical and derails plenty of threads.

The US has the same "right" to their geographical section of land as any other country has to theirs. The goverment "got that right" when the pilgrims came over and took the land from the Native Americans. Then there were some wars with the British and themselves and there was other land that was bought from other countries and POW you have the United States.

There really is no "right" to land. A border is just an agreement between governments. The land governments have a "right" to is determined by discovery and war.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
The US has the same "right" to their geographical section of land as any other country has to theirs. The goverment "got that right" when the pilgrims came over and took the land from the Native Americans. Then there were some wars with the British and themselves and there was other land that was bought from other countries and POW you have the United States.

There really is no "right" to land. A border is just an agreement between governments. The land governments have a "right" to is determined by discovery and war.


Now I think you're getting it. Wouldn't it be nice if we could find a way to make it all a little less coercive and more truly voluntary? That's all I'm really saying here.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
There was no United States at the time, to immigrate into.


But according to your argument that's irrelevant.

Try to enter the country as an immigrant, while promising not to pay taxes and not to obey the country's laws. See how swiftly you're shown the door. The agreement to comply with the country's legal and tax code is implicit within the act of immigration.


EXACTLY, now I think you're getting it. You're just not applying it universally.

That's right. Like I said before, once you're fully grown, you're free to rescind the contract


Which contract? The one no one ever signed? Is that even a contract?

Just don't expect to stay here and mooch off the contributions of everyone else, without paying your share.


Who's talking about mooching. I'd gladly refuse my SSI, etc, etc, etc, as long as you don't expect me to pay taxes for it.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2010
Which contract? The one no one ever signed? Is that even a contract?
"The agreement to comply with the country's legal and tax code is implicit within the act of immigration."
I'd gladly refuse my SSI, etc, etc, etc, as long as you don't expect me to pay taxes for it.
Except when you do find yourself in dire need, the society will have no choice but to support you (the alternative is morally unthinkable.)
Javinator
5 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
When you run a democracy (or what is called a democracy) like the US with 320 million people in one of the most diverse populations on the planet it's impossible to give everyone everything they want.

Given human nature, most people would "opt out" of many taxes that don't apply directly to them. Unfortunately, the only way a lot of things get done is by taxes that people don't want to pay.

I look at my Alma Mater. I paid out of my tuition every year for a brand new gym facility, University Centre, and a library. They were all completed after I graduated. A lot of people in my graduating class complain and moan about this, but the fact of the matter is many of the facilities I was able to use during my education were paid for by those before me who may not have gotten to use them.

Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 02, 2010
Knowledge comes from society. Societies cannot persist for long without government. And no, most of the people who are stranded on desert isles or lost in the wilderness in fact die. Those that survive do so because they got lucky and were able to apply their socially derived knowledge to their benefit. And you cannot even substantiate your belief that government relies on illegitimate contracts. Your arguments for their illegitimacy only prove that there are no contracts. Everyone has deep obligations to their society for survival and their individual character. Recognition of these obligations motivates voluntary compliance with governance. Institutionalizing these obligations is inevitable and necessary. Critiquing the institutions with an aim for improving them is good. Critiquing the institutions with the aim of undermining the social obligations they serve is evil.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
So the government says that the government has the right to decide how my taxes are spent? You can't make the rules of debate either. That's circular reasoning. Where did the power come from?
Stop ignoring what is said to you. The right to govern is granted by the governed. You grant the US the right to govern you by staying within the US. If you leave, the US no longer governs you.
If the government hadn't imposed a unilateral contract on me to begin with then they would have never had the right to tax me to begin with, much less decide how said money is spent.
You have the right to sue if you are being taxed outside the boundaries of the law, which you are not. You also have the right to leave and renounce your citizenship, at which point in time the laws of the US no longer hold any sway over you.
I don't have the right to say how my taxes are spent.
No, you don't have the right to budget on behalf of the government.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (6) Nov 02, 2010
Thras if you feel obligated in some way to some thing then that's fine, but don't presume to speak for me, thank you.

My arguments for the illegitimacy of governments relies on the fact that they derive their power from unilateral contracts. If you don't believe in contracts then try to run a society without them and let me know how that works out for you. There are legitimate contracts, but those would be the ones that rely on mutual consent of both parties.

I love how socialists and atheists use the word evil and when. It's very instructive as to what their gods are.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
MM, You're really hung up on this idea of a physical contract for citizenship and you seem to be repulsed that there isn't one.

There is the precedent of divine right, which doesn't hold over the US as the government is secular, however, when the divine right to rule was abolished in our forebearer country, the UK, we established the Right to rule through legitimacy. If you think the US government is no longer the legitimate ruler of the country, you can express this. This will also remove all rights and representations within said government and remove the right of that government to tax your income.

This is a dual edged weapon as this also removes the rights you are entitled to as a citizen and subject.

So again, the choice is still yours. Live it or leave it, modified because you don't have to love anything to exist within the system.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (5) Nov 02, 2010
@Modernmystic,

You can't pick and choose which laws you will comply with. This is true, for instance, of laws barring theft, fraud, murder, slavery, pollution, etc. Tax laws are just ordinary laws, within an overall body constituting the law of the land.

Either you agree to be subject to ALL laws, or you are out of here. And this is neither illegitimate nor somehow unjust.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Nov 02, 2010
You can't pick and choose which laws you will comply with.

Why not? The govt does it all the time.
Illegal aliens are allowed to pick and choose what laws to obey.
As Howie Carr says, I don't want special treatment, just treat me like an illegal alien.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
SH stop ignoring the question that's asked of you, or using circular reasoning to answer it then.

You can't start off assuming the government has the right to impose a unilateral contract because I was born at a certain longitude and latitude on this planet. I think my consent is required. Since I never gave it you don't have your contract, and the government doesn't have the right to ask me to leave or pay taxes or do anything at all.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
Repulsed? FFS, let's take a breath here SH. I'm saying that ANY unilateral contract is illegitimate. I'm saying that's how ALL States do business. I'm saying it's a necessary evil. I'm not advocating anarchy...

I'm saying I'd like to make the system as voluntary as possible. I guess that makes me evil...

So be it ;-)
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2010
The govt does it all the time.
It is the explicit constitutional obligation of the Executive Branch to implement and enforce the law. It is true that the Executive is frequently in breach of its constitutional mandate. I'm no happier about that, than you are. (For that matter, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars remain illegitimate, because there was never an explicit declaration of war by Congress...)
PinkElephant
not rated yet Nov 02, 2010
I'm saying I'd like to make the system as voluntary as possible.
Then go ahead and campaign for a change in the law.

However, until the law is changed, you are obliged to obey it.
gwargh
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010

Who's talking about mooching. I'd gladly refuse my SSI, etc, etc, etc, as long as you don't expect me to pay taxes for it.

Okay, and don't use public roads, schools, libraries. Don't expect any help from the police if robbed, or anyone to put out your fire for you (unless you pay them yourself). Limiting government taxation to only mean welfare and healthcare is not going to work I'm afraid.
Thrasymachus
2.1 / 5 (11) Nov 02, 2010
You said you want to make government voluntary, that's what makes it voluntary. Nobody here is assuming implicit contracts except for you. Denying the legitimacy of a democratic government because it uses force to enforce obedience is akin to denying the legitimacy of the use of force in self-defense. I don't need to have a contract with the burglar to hit him over the head with a bat when he breaks through my window. When you refuse to pay your taxes, you are robbing from all the rest of us. Willfully shutting your eyes to that fact is what is evil, just as it is evil to willfully ignore the suffering you cause someone else when you steal from them directly.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (5) Nov 02, 2010
Repulsed? FFS, let's take a breath here SH. I'm saying that ANY unilateral contract is illegitimate.
But it isn't a unilateral contract. If it were, basic morality is in essence a unilateral contract, regardless of whether you quantify it as inherent or god given. (just to cover both particular viewpoints, let's skip the religion road this go around.)
I'm saying that's how ALL States do business. I'm saying it's a necessary evil. I'm not advocating anarchy...

I'm saying I'd like to make the system as voluntary as possible. I guess that makes me evil...
Yes but until you can make birth voluntary, existence voluntary, and a whole host of other established concepts volutary, you're unable to change the terms under which governance is derived.

Those who are governed volunteer to be governed. Those who do not, revolt. Such are all social contracts. You do have a choice. You simply do not want to address the rammifications of choosing something other than being governed.
Javinator
5 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
The government is made from and voted on by the citizens of the US. The government spends taxes on what it believes will get votes to re-elect it. Where do the votes come from? The people. Problem is spending tax money requires collecting tax money. And where do taxes come from? The people. Circular logic often pops up in governmental talks because the government IS the people.

Government spending and taxation supports what the majority of the people want. When it doesn't, the government changes with an election.

Of course the system's not perfect but that's how the system works. Don't like it? Well you have to blame the majority of the citizens residing in your country I'm afraid, because they're the ones who make the votes that put the officials in that determine these taxes are mandatory for all.
Javinator
5 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
...cont

This kind of thinking is often labelled as naive, but I don't believe so. It's gets a little 1984ish, but the fact remains that the government is made up of elected officials who are elected by the majority.

It seems sometimes that the government may try to tell you what you need so you think you need it (that's where the 1984 bit comes in), but it's the responsibility of the individual to inform themselves and decide what they want and what they don't want when placing their votes. If you don't like how the votes go then blame your fellow citizens, not the government. Not as long as the ability to inform yourself is still available (unlike in 1984 where it has been taken away).
Javinator
5 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
You can't pick and choose which laws you will comply with.

Why not? The govt does it all the time.
Illegal aliens are allowed to pick and choose what laws to obey.
As Howie Carr says, I don't want special treatment, just treat me like an illegal alien.


There's no way you would want to live as an illegal alien.

Illegal aliens can't vote, can't get legitimate job (that guarantee minimum wage), can't enroll in schooling of any kind, can't legally travel to another country (no passport), can't legally own a home, can't legally drive a vehicle...

Compare this to the comfy way you live your life right now.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2010
As Howie Carr says, I don't want special treatment, just treat me like an illegal alien.
Howie Carr is a moron. That is all.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010

Okay, and don't use public roads, schools, libraries. Don't expect any help from the police if robbed, or anyone to put out your fire for you (unless you pay them yourself). Limiting government taxation to only mean welfare and healthcare is not going to work I'm afraid.


Libraries, schools, not a problem. I never said police were unnecessary or the Army or a lot of other things. That would be you putting words in my mouth.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
You said you want to make government voluntary, that's what makes it voluntary. Nobody here is assuming implicit contracts except for you. Denying the legitimacy of a democratic government because it uses force to enforce obedience is akin to denying the legitimacy of the use of force in self-defense.


That's not why I said it was illegitimate. You're not paying attention.
When you refuse to pay your taxes, you are robbing from all the rest of us.


I'm doing no such thing, I'm saying that the principle used to tax would be considered illegitimate were it any other organization than a government doing it. I'm also saying that I'd be willing to pay for whatever services I'd like and not for others. I know I'm not getting it, but why does it bother you so bad that I'm expressing what I'd LIKE? Is self expression evil too? Or is it only evil when someone else expresses ideas you disagree with?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
Jav, how is changing the system to an allocation system so different from voting? I'm saying what I'd like and what I wouldn't like. I think it's a more fair and legitimate system than having to pay for something just because at least 51% of the population wants it...
otto1932
not rated yet Nov 02, 2010
Then why are cities and states passing laws restricting all sorts of things they say are bad for your health?
Not restricting, just making more expensive. And in case of restaurants, forcing disclosure.

None of which impinges on your privacy, and a lot of which actually aids you in making better/more informed decisions.
"Jan 4, 2010 ... California has become the first state to ban the use of trans fat-containing cooking oils, as a law signed by Governor Schwarzenegger..." -Also nyc, others. Also DDT, thalidomide, illicit drugs, ammonium nitrate, smallpox virus, etc
Javinator
5 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
Because you're thinking as an individual and you're thinking small picture. And if people were given the oppourtunity to select which taxes they wanted to pay they would likely think small picture too.

If people could choose which taxes they paid and which they didn't, the whole money pot that is the treasury would lose tons and tons of money initially (since it's very unlikely anyone would choose to pay MORE taxes).

The entire budget would need to be redone. The gap between the rich and the poor would become huge since the poor don't really have the money needed to support the social programs that are supporting them (hence the need for the social programs in the first place).

Basically it would mean the votes of the rich mean more than the votes of the poor (since they're the ones who will get to decide where the tax money is spent) which is definitely not a fair and legitimate system based on the needs of the population as a whole.
otto1932
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2010
anarchy, and all forms of conservatism that tend toward anarchy, are fundamentally immoral.
But leftest anarchy is ok?

"Anarchism does not mean bloodshed; it does not mean robbery, arson, etc. These monstrosities are, on the contrary, the characteristic features of capitalism. Anarchism means peace and tranquility to all." --August Spies, Haymarket anarchist

"Everything is beautiful in its own Time."
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
Jav, you hit the nail on the head.

In order for socialism to work it requires everyone to pay, and that's my basic problem with it.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
which is definitely not a fair and legitimate system based on the needs of the population as a whole.

The flaw is in your redistribution policies. What is wrong with a gap between rich and poor?
How poor is poor and how rich is rich? The poor of today are better off than the rich of 100 years ago.
Your policy is one of envy and entitlement.
The function of the govt is not create equal outcomes but equal opportunities by protecting private property from theft and fraud. No one has the right to force someone else to feed them or cloth them or pay for their cell phone.
In order for socialism to work it requires everyone to pay,

Not everyone is FORCED to pay. Only the rich are forced. But your general premise is correct, socialism cannot exist without FORCE.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 02, 2010
Actually, in order for socialism, as you put it, to work, it requires everybody to pay for the things that benefit them to the degree in which they are benefited. Name me a social welfare program in the last 80 years, and I can show you statistical proof that the wealthy benefit just as much, if not more, from the existence and operation of that program, even if that benefit is indirect, than those who directly receive the benefit. SSI helps retailers and the medical industry make more money. Same with medicare. The people who benefit the least from a social welfare system are those wealthy enough to not need it, but not wealthy enough to capitalize on its existence, in other words, the middle class. Ironically, perhaps, but not unsurprisingly, this group pays the highest taxes as a ratio to their income and/or wealth.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2010
"Everything is beautiful in its own Time."
You don't need to stress your inclinations. We know by now that violence, suffering, and injustice are fascinating you.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2010
In order for socialism to work it requires everyone to pay, and that's my basic problem with it.
Not only yours - everyone has a basic problem with this requirement.
You want a society where nobody has to pay? Buy yourself one of the 3000 uninhabited Greek islands and invite your friends to live there.
Skultch
5 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
What is wrong with a gap between rich and poor?


Nothing.

How poor is poor and how rich is rich?

Exactly the question we should be discussing, instead of all of this misdirection_>

The poor of today are better off than the rich of 100 years ago.


And the poor of today are poorer than the poor of 20-30 years ago. And the obscenely rich of today are richer than the same rich of 5 years ago. Do you like that trend?

In summary, it's not the existence of a gap that offends me, its the ridiculous width and speed of expansion of that gap. The richest of the rich are hording with no intention of any "trickle."
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
What is wrong with a gap between rich and poor?
It neglects the wishes of the majority by favoring the wishes of a minority.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
What is wrong with a gap between rich and poor?
It neglects the wishes of the majority by favoring the wishes of a minority.


Wishes...WISHES? Fraj....what the HELL are you talking about? If I wished for a million bucks would I get it?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
In order for socialism to work it requires everyone to pay, and that's my basic problem with it.
Not only yours - everyone has a basic problem with this requirement. You want a society where nobody has to pay?


Did I say that? Are you stupid or being intentionally dishonest? And no that isn't a rhetorical question, I'm seriously curious.

I want a society where I don't have to pay for what YOU want me to...for your sick f****** pet social projects. That's what I want. Clear?

PinkElephant
3 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
I want a society where I don't have to pay for what YOU want me to...for your sick f****** pet social projects.
But then you'd have to somehow pay for all the (including indirect -- e.g. as Thrasymachus mentioned) benefits you derive from those projects. In addition to what Thrasymachus mentioned, consider scenarios where for instance if a member of your family is benefiting (whereas otherwise they'd rely on your support), then you'd have to pay because you're deriving an implicit benefit.
I want a society where I don't have to pay for what YOU want me to
Let's substitute a little:

"I want a society where I don't have to obey the laws YOU want me to"

Sound reasonable?
gwargh
3 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
Libraries, schools, not a problem. I never said police were unnecessary or the Army or a lot of other things. That would be you putting words in my mouth.

And since they are, in your mind, necessary, you are entering an implicit contract of paying for them. Through taxes. It is a voluntary contract as well, since if you felt that these things were not necessary, you would be welcome to move to Somalia, where police is non-existant, and so are taxes.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
"I want a society where I don't have to obey the laws YOU want me to"

Sound reasonable?

You have that already in CA. How do you like it?
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
What is wrong with a gap between rich and poor?
It neglects the wishes of the majority by favoring the wishes of a minority.

The Constitution was specifically designed to protect the rights of the minority.
That's what all the 'liberals' keep ranting about regarding minority rights. Or are some minorities more equal that others?
The Constitution is designed to protect the ultimate minority, each and every citizen, from from the mob.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
And the poor of today are poorer than the poor of 20-30 years ago. And the obscenely rich of today are richer than the same rich of 5 years ago. Do you like that trend?

Maybe you should ask why. The power of the state, the money all levels of govt extract from citizens has continuously grown during that time. But all the 'solutions' the 'liberals' have proscribed require MORE govt power to regulate and control.
If the govt did its essential, limited functions of protecting individual rights, including property rights, individual innovation and ingenuity will all to achieve the prosperity they desire. There would be more economic entrepreneurs compared to political entrepreneurs.
Emergent systems don't respond well to deterministic controls.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Nov 02, 2010
You have that already in CA. How do you like it?
Such as?
The Constitution was specifically designed to protect the rights of the minority.
While expressing the will of the majority. In lamenting the poor and oppressed ultra-rich, thou doth protest too much.
The Constitution is designed to protect the ultimate minority, each and every citizen, from from the mob.
But not from the rule of law.
The power of the state, the money all levels of govt extract from citizens has continuously grown during that time. But all the 'solutions' the 'liberals' have proscribed require MORE govt power to regulate and control.
Didn't this growth escalate even more when the liberals were in the minority? (BTW, the word is "prEscribe".)
including property rights
Which of your property rights has the government failed to protect? Do you even own any property?
Emergent systems don't respond well to deterministic controls.
Emergent systems can't emerge from chaos.
Thrasymachus
1.5 / 5 (11) Nov 02, 2010
If government is stealing everybody's money, how is it they're so far in debt? Oh that's right, the very wealthy have an interest in government running a deficit, because then they can loan it the money it needs to run, and make a profit off both the government programs those loans make possible, and the profit the interest generates. At the same time, that money is not available to loan to the private sector, or invest in private enterprises. The very wealthy are the enemies of a free market and democracy. They tolerate them to the extent they can exploit them for more profit, they suppress them when they threaten their fortunes.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Nov 02, 2010
, and make a profit off both the government programs those loans make possible, and the profit the interest generates.

So, again, the solution is for the govt to have MORE power?
The rich are not enemies to free markets unless they are enabled by govt power. If they must compete like everyone else, others will have the opportunity become rich, too.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
@Thrasymachus,
If government is stealing everybody's money, how is it they're so far in debt?
Actually, government debt is indeed a form of theft. In this case, it's stealing directly the future generations (who will have to pay back the debt, with interest.) And by concomitantly devaluing the currency, it's stealing indirectly from the past generations (by destroying their savings.) Only the current generation "benefits" (by "receiving" more than it pays in.) But even that "benefit" is a mirage, because all the extra money in the system causes asset appreciation -- so the current generation can't afford to buy homes that have become horribly overpriced...
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
You have that already in CA. How do you like it?

Such as?

Numerous cities refuse to enforce immigration laws. All law enforcement officers swear to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the USA as well as local laws. So do elected officials. It the 'price' that must be paid to be a part of the USA.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2010
Numerous cities refuse to enforce immigration laws.
Once again, the solution is simple: indictment under Federal statutes, prosecution, and firing of any officials or officers found guilty of breaking or failing to uphold the law.

Naturally, that would take more balls than any federal government has had since Teddy Rosevelt. But all it proves is that America has lost its spine, and its respect for the law.

Although it should be noted that the outcry such enforcement would cause, probably would lead to a rapid change in the relevant federal law. So perhaps, to some extent, it's a strategy of self-preservation through "benign neglect".
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2010
Not to mention, the actual employers hiring the illegals don't want an effective ICE. And since they're major contributors to all political campaigns, then having bought the government, they can ensure lax enforcement of any law that impacts their bottom line.

The solution would be to remove money from politics (recognizing all "political contributions" and electoral "advocacy campaigns" as felonies -- as the BRIBES and BLACKMAIL that they are.) Then, once the money is no longer a factor, perhaps the government would once again be interested in actually doing its job (i.e. legislating for the COMMON good, and DILIGENTLY implementing the law.)
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 02, 2010
@Thrasymachus,
If government is stealing everybody's money, how is it they're so far in debt?
Actually, government debt is indeed a form of theft....
I know that Pink. That was what is called a rhetorical question. The reason the rich grab hold of the reins of government power is because they know that a government that nurtures free markets undermines their power. They, like you, marjon, would rather there be no government, which is why government ceases to function or enforces its laws selectively when they gain power. It's why government passes ridiculous tax cuts that really only shift the tax burden to those least able to pay. The solution is not to do away with government, however, but to root out the corruption and influence of the wealthy.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
Then, once the money is no longer a factor, perhaps the government would once again be interested in actually doing its job

The only way this will happen is with govt that has defined, limited power.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
The only way this will happen is with govt that has defined, limited power.
Exercise of any power, no matter how well defined or limited, can always be subverted by an adequate application of "contributions". Corruption knows no bounds.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 02, 2010
Once governmental power is corrupted, there is no way to limit it. Even a people bred to freedom, and without the social burden of great disparities in individual wealth and power require government. The use of coercive force to enforce behavior is a necessity no society can do without. It is only when you bring in the corrupting influence of individual and private disparities of wealth and power that governmental force becomes a threat to freedom and universal prosperity. The concentration of wealth and political power in a minority of the population is the greatest danger to freedom and democracy.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
The concentration of wealth and political power in a minority of the population is the greatest danger to freedom and democracy.

And your 'solution' is more power, more corruption, more govt power.
We are seeing a start down a solution path. A citizenry of moral individuals who respect the rights, including property rights, of every citizen and vote for leaders who will follow and apply the law to and for all, equally.
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams.
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 02, 2010
My solution is the power to root out corruption and eliminate it. Your solution is to give those who corrupt our government unlimited power by eliminating all obstacles to their control. They corrupt government because uncorrupted, it stands in their way. When water corrupts the integrity of a wall, when rot corrupts the integrity of a beam, the answer is not to tear down the wall or the beam, but to reinforce them, and eliminate the source of their corruption.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
We are seeing a start down a solution path.
Holy crap, are you naive. Were you alive (and/or awake) over the last 15 years? Better yet, over the last 30 years? SSDD is what "we are seeing".
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams.
Post the rest of the quote Marjon. You know, where he decries the religious overtones of the document and states that legally we've become undone in including statements of theism while excluding statements of justice.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
Marjon, let's look at a bit more of the statement, the precursor.
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made for only a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
Adams is saying "we didn't do a good enough job writing this document". He is not saying "America is Christian, LOL".

Perhaps you should read something other than Thinkexist.com
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
Don't expect any help from the police if robbed, or anyone to put out your fire for you (unless you pay them yourself).

'Liberals' went ape s**t when a fire department let a house burn down because the owner didn't pay his subscription.
Adams is saying "we didn't do a good enough job writing this document". He is not saying "America is Christian, LOL".

No. What Adams meant was NO Constitution that preserved individual liberty could be written for a people who did not have the moral character to be responsible with such liberty.
The people of Dorchester refuse to cooperate with police and the murders continue. Giuliani understood the broken window philosophy of keeping law and order. Cops can't be everywhere, can't arrest everyone. The citizen must also be responsible. Govt can enable and it can disable such responsibility.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
My solution is the power to root out corruption and eliminate it.

That power exists, in spades. Why is no one doing it?
gwargh
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
'Liberals' went ape s**t when a fire department let a house burn down because the owner didn't pay his subscription.

And? The point is that if MM doesn't believe he is in a contract he agrees with, he should complain not simply about the services he doesn't like, but about all services, including those he thinks are necessary. To him the danger of a fire seems very real, while that of needing welfare isn't. However, that's why it's a SAFETY net: it applies to everyone equally. Not everyone pays equally, nor does everyone profit equally, but it is a system to protect EVERYONE, regardless of input to the system. Somewhat unfair? Perhaps, but the alternative is immoral.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
...indirect -- e.g. as Thrasymachus mentioned) benefits you derive from those projects.


No I wouldn't I shouldn't be allowed to "sign up" for them. As to the indirects, I file those under "not my problem". If YOU want to pay for it and have it benefit me indirectly bully for you. That it does indirectly benefit me puts absolutley ZERO obligation on me, it's incidental not asked for. Otherwise you could make me pay for anything you wanted claiming indirect benefit.

...then you'd have to pay because you're deriving an implicit benefit.


Again, filed under not my problem. You can't set up a program, claim indirect benefit and expect to get paid, that's a unilateral contract. If the indirect benefits bother you, scrap the program.

"I want a society where I don't have to obey the laws YOU want me to"


Not at all, like I said. If you can't make a distinction between the latest idiotic socialist program and "the law" I can't help you figure it out.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2010
And since they are, in your mind, necessary, you are entering an implicit contract of paying for them. Through taxes. It is a voluntary contract as well, since if you felt that these things were not necessary, you would be welcome to move to Somalia


First you have to show that I voluntarily agreed to pay for all the stuff I don't want to and where the government gets the right to make me move to Somalia when I never agreed to a contract saying I'd have to move there if I didn't like paying for moronic outdated and immoral social engineering projects.

If you say the government gives the government the right to do it fine (because actually that's the way it works), but don't pretend I ever agreed to something I didn't and whitewash it to make yourself feel better somehow. I don't disagree that the government needs to set up unilateral contracts to secure its power, I'm just not going to pretend they don't and that it's all OK.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
No. What Adams meant was NO Constitution that preserved individual liberty could be written for a people who did not have the moral character to be responsible with such liberty.
Entirely false. Read the letters in full, not just excerpts.
The people of Dorchester refuse to cooperate with police and the murders continue.
What murders? Give us some specifics.
Giuliani understood the broken window philosophy of keeping law and order. Cops can't be everywhere, can't arrest everyone. The citizen must also be responsible. Govt can enable and it can disable such responsibility.

No government cannot disable or enable the responsibility of the citizen, only the citizen can do so.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
So, SH while I disagree that the majority of people in a country need to be religious for "self governance" to work I do have to agree with marjon that the majority of the country needs to be MORAL for any government to work.

You disagree?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
No government cannot disable or enable the responsibility of the citizen, only the citizen can do so.


Example: The government passes a law that states you're no longer ever responsible for your mortgage payments and will not be held financially or legally responsible for such.

I'm pretty sure that disables responsibility, if such a law were enacted and then repealed that would then restore responsibility.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Nov 03, 2010
So, SH while I disagree that the majority of people in a country need to be religious for "self governance" to work I do have to agree with marjon that the majority of the country needs to be MORAL for any government to work.

You disagree?
No, you don't need to be moral to follow a set of moral laws. The Constitution doesn't speak of morality at all. Hence why Adams' stance was that of "this is incomplete work".
Example: The government passes a law that states you're no longer ever responsible for your mortgage payments and will not be held financially or legally responsible for such.

I'm pretty sure that disables responsibility, if such a law were enacted and then repealed that would then restore responsibility.
I'm pretty sure the banks would stop giving mortgages to those who default, making the citizen responsible without legal requirement. Isn't that the point of a "free market"?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
@Modernmystic,
That it does indirectly benefit me puts absolutley ZERO obligation on me
So, did you not say this:

"Who's talking about mooching."

Well now, it appears YOU ARE.
Otherwise you could make me pay for anything you wanted claiming indirect benefit.
I can't stretch and warp my thinking severely enough to follow this kind of logic. Sorry.
If you can't make a distinction between the latest idiotic socialist program and "the law" I can't help you figure it out.
Do you even understand what "the law" means? And who are you to judge what's idiotic or not: the Supreme Leader?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2010
I'm pretty sure that disables responsibility
I find it endlessly fascinating that all the "anti-socialist" types always focus on the mortgage deadbeats. They appear to have no beef with pervasive frauds and breaches of fiduciary responsibility by the lending institutions, the securitizers, the MBS trusts, the Federal Reserve, the accounting industry, the securities rating industry, the foreclosure mills, and basically the whole totality of Wall Street.

You want to talk about moral decay? Look to the ultra-rich... The rot starts at the apex. Power corrupts: absolute power corrupts absolutely. Ditto for wealth.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
hat's why it's a SAFETY net: it applies to everyone equally. Not everyone pays equally, nor does everyone profit equally,

Then it is not EQUAL.
Defense, police, etc. should make no distinction regarding their functions. All receive equal protection.
Welfare is violates the rights by taking from those who have and giving to those who don't.
Real unemployment insurance, or real social insurance (not the Ponzi FICA), are not redistribution plans. Participants pay into the system and obtain a benefit if needed.
No, you don't need to be moral to follow a set of moral laws.

Why follow the moral law when there is little risk the police will stop you? That's what illegal immigrants and their employers are doing.
If a citizen can defend himself from immoral people who what to commit violence, the immoral person may follow the law as it may cost him his life.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
@marjon,
Cops can't be everywhere, can't arrest everyone.
Very true.

However, the cops must be SOMEWHERE, and they ought to be arresting SOMEONE. As long as there is a steady background of prosecution and punishment, there would continue to exist a deterrent to crime.

But when nobody is held accountable -- particularly the most egregious transgressors at the top of the financial pyramid -- then there is a general climate of "Laissez Faire" and "every man for himself". Then your "moral society" rapidly transforms into a Disney caricature of a pirate haven.

But if you think you can count on people to self-police and self-regulate due to their own inherent morality and integrity, then you are a true Communist at heart.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
Power corrupts: absolute power corrupts absolutely. Ditto for wealth.

Look what it did for the Kennedys.
But those who are rich and conservative, don't seek power, but promote opportunity for others to achieve.
John Paul DeJoria was a great example speaking to Cavuto last night.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
If a citizen can defend himself from immoral people who what to commit violence, the immoral person may follow the law as it may cost him his life.
Or more likely, the immoral person will gang up with a dozen other immoral people, wait for the citizen to be asleep in his bed, break into his house in the dead of night, slit his throat, rape his family, pillage his wealth, and vanish into the darkness.
those who are rich and conservative, don't seek power, but promote opportunity for others to achieve.
ROFLMAO

The clown strikes again...

Thanks for making my day, marjon.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
self-police and self-regulate due to their own inherent morality and integrity,

Free markets operate on self interest.
The govt regulates the financial industry you rail on about. Madoff was regulated and certified by the SEC who failed to act on complaints by competitors.
The govt created a false trust which the political entrepreneurs could exploit.
Food safety is a great example. FDA 'certifies' products as safe. People buy them and get sick. In third world markets, buyers don't trust the vendors, inspect products thoroughly, wash the meat, etc. One reason Chinese sell live fish and serve fish with the head is to satisfy the customer the product is fresh.
Govts fail basic functions because they have usurped too much authority.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
Or more likely, the immoral person will gang up with a dozen other immoral people, wait for the citizen to be asleep in his bed, break into his house in the dead of night, slit his throat, rape his family, pillage his wealth, and vanish into the darkness.

Sounds like a typical CA neighborhood. That doesn't happen often, even in remote locations where people can shoot back.
Usually such immoral people are cowards and don't want to risk dying.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
Free markets operate on self interest.
Free markets can't exist when they are freely manipulated by the major brokers. Free markets can't exist without complete and accurate information as a basis for price discovery. Free markets have no inherent defense against fraud and organized crime.
The govt regulates the financial industry you rail on about.
No, the government fails to regulate. And the more Republicans there are in government, the more frequent and egregious the failures (not that Democrats are blameless either.) It's a well-established historical pattern.
One reason Chinese sell live fish and serve fish with the head is to satisfy the customer the product is fresh
Do they guarantee the product isn't laced with cadmium, or mercury?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
self-police and self-regulate due to their own inherent morality and integrity,

Free markets operate on self interest.
The govt regulates the financial industry you rail on about. Madoff was regulated and certified by the SEC who failed to act on complaints by competitors.
No he wasn't. He was declared hands off by the underfunded SEC by Bush Jr.

The govt created a false trust which the political entrepreneurs could exploit.
No it didn't. The removal of government regulation allowed for a flase trust.
Food safety is a great example. FDA 'certifies' products as safe. People buy them and get sick. In third world markets, buyers don't trust the vendors, inspect products thoroughly, wash the meat, etc.
How about you do a comparison of the number of outbreaks of trichinosis or flatworms to any non-regulated country in terms of food safety.
Govts fail basic functions because they have usurped too much authority.
No, because you refuse to tax the rich.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
Sounds like a typical CA neighborhood.
Or Iraq and Afghanistan, for instance (or Mexico, for that matter.) Or the "good old" Wild West. Where everybody is armed, and everybody can shoot back. Big whoop.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2010
Well now, it appears YOU ARE.

So if I wrote a "contract" with you and said you'd pay 500 dollars to improve the local scenery in a park we both frequent you'd still pay me the 500 bucks even if you never signed the contract? If not you're a mooch too.
I can't stretch and warp my thinking severely enough to follow this kind of logic. Sorry.

Most socialists can't think past their own agenda as to how it REALLY effects the world and other people. They can only think about how it OUGHT to work. Reality a distant second to their pet projects.

However the above example isn't hard to follow and should clear up the "indirect benefit" issue you seem to be having a problem with.

Do you even understand what "the law" means?

Yes I do. You don't. There's a difference between law, regulation, tax, and bureaucracy.
And who are you to judge what's idiotic or not: the Supreme Leader?

Who are you to judge what isn't? Or are you capable of making a judgment yourself
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
One reason Chinese sell live fish and serve fish with the head is to satisfy the customer the product is fresh

Do they guarantee the product isn't laced with cadmium, or mercury?

Actually, if they find that you're selling tainted products, they execute you in public.

How's that for regulation Marjon?
Most socialists can't think past their own agenda as to how it REALLY effects the world and other people.
You mean opposed to capitalists who just don't give a shit?
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
Or the "good old" Wild West.

It was not as wild as you presume.
Ever hear of Great Northfield, MN raid?
How about the MT vigilantes?
Sod busters like the Ingells moved from KS to MN/SD and had no wild gangs invading their house.
You mean opposed to capitalists who just don't give a shit?

Why would a capitalist want to lose a customer? Political entrepreneurs don't care as they depend upon the state.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
No, because you refuse to tax the rich.

Top 1% $380,354 38.02

Top 5% $159,619 58.72

Top 10% $113,799 69.94

http://www.ntu.or...xes.html
The rich are already taxed. The top 10% pay 70% of the income taxes.
SH, you can certainly donate more if you feel under taxed.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
Top 1% $380,354 38.02

Top 5% $159,619 58.72

Top 10% $113,799 69.94
I'm inclined to believe that you think these are figures that should be added together as opposed to them being a running sum.
The rich are already taxed. The top 10% pay 70% of the income taxes.
http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

Top tax rate for that 10% is 18% of AGI. 18% Marjon.... That is a joke.
SH, you can certainly donate more if you feel under taxed.
You can migrate to Monaco if you feel overtaxed.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
So if I wrote a "contract" with you and said you'd pay 500 dollars to improve the local scenery in a park we both frequent you'd still pay me the 500 bucks even if you never signed the contract? If not you're a mooch too.
And if our community of 100 individuals gets together to establish that park, and assess each member of community a maintenance fee for it of $5/year. And a few years later, some grown-up kid decides he doesn't want to pay the $5/year, but insists he wants to still live in the community?
Most socialists can't think past their own agenda as to how it REALLY effects the world and other people.
You did say you could get me to pay you for ANYTHING. Let's see how you'll get me to pay you for a night's rent on a hooker.
There's a difference between law, regulation, tax, and bureaucracy.
With exception of bureaucracy, the other 3 are identical. They are, each and every one, collectively referred to as "legislation".
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
Who are you to judge what isn't? Or are you capable of making a judgment yourself
I'm just an individual, and no I'm not capable nor should I be. I can have my opinion, of course. But I have neither the capability, nor the right, nor the hubris to presume to make that judgment on behalf of everyone else. That's why I support democratic processes over autocratic tyrannies.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
And a few years later, some grown-up kid decides he doesn't want to pay the $5/year, but insists he wants to still live in the community?

It called a property lien. Home owners associations do this all the time.
Top tax rate for that 10% is 18% of AGI. 18% Marjon.... That is a joke.

Do you volunteer more?
Then support the flat tax.
What is insidious about the progressive tax is that it creates no incentives to earn more. If the next dollar of income is taxed at 75%, why bother to earn the dollar?
Lets tax ALL income over $250,000 at 100%. That should raise lots of money, the first year. After that, NO one would earn more than $250k.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
@clown,
Sod busters like the Ingells moved from KS to MN/SD and had no wild gangs invading their house.
Might have something to do with low population densities, where everybody knew each other, and each others' activities, for miles around. But you favor eternal and exponential population growth anyway. Plus, just on a purely pragmatic basis, there's no chance for a mass return to the wide-open steppes of yore.
It called a property lien. Home owners associations do this all the time.
Exactly. But it's sheer tyranny! Just ask Modernmystic.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
Pink, I noticed you didn't answer my question about the park directly, but simply compared apples to oranges. Can you give a direct answer?

If it's all legislation, why do we have different words for all of them? Hint: because they're different concepts :-)

So you're "just" an individual huh? Incapable of making a decision or a judgment without the rest of the sheep to bleat their approval? Besides I'm not talking about making YOU pay for anything I want, YOU want to make me pay for what YOU want. Who's the Tyrannical autocrat again?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
imply compared apples to oranges
That's because your question was about apples (private charity) whereas we are discussing oranges (public institutions.) So by answering the way I did, I aimed to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, while still fitting within the character limit. Oh well, I tried anyway...
why do we have different words for all of them?
Not familiar with the concept of synonyms, are you? Or perhaps you've never run across such exotic phrases as "tax law", or "regulatory code". Or maybe you're unaware of where and how all of these things originate, where and how they derive their authority, and how they're supposed to be enforced according to our Constitution...
Besides I'm not talking about making YOU pay for anything I want, YOU want to make me pay for what YOU want.
Not for what I want, but for what the majority of the voters wants. There are lots of things (e.g. federal debt) I'd like not to pay for either, but I live in the USA.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
SF is continuing down the communist path:
"San Francisco has become the first major U.S. city to pass a law that cracks down on the popular practice of giving away free toys with unhealthy restaurant meals for children."
http://news.yahoo...lds_toys

Besides I'm not talking about making YOU pay for anything I want, YOU want to make me pay for what YOU want.
Ooooh! You are sooo hateful!

but for what the majority of the voters wants.

So 51% want to take all your money? You're OK with majority rules?
The USA is a Constitutional Republic, not mob rule.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
Fifteen percent of American children are overweight or obese -- which puts them at risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In some states, the childhood obesity rate is over 30 percent.
marjon's version of Capitalism at work...
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
So 51% want to take all your money? You're OK with majority rules?
If that were the case, I'd see no good reason to stay here. But I'd have no problem paying 25% of my income, like almost everyone else does, instead of some 18% or lower. I don't think I'm special enough to deserve special treatment. (Of course, this is provisional on the fact that I actually have the disposable income to pay with...)
The USA is a Constitutional Republic, not mob rule.
Quite right.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
That's because your question was about apples (private charity) whereas we are discussing oranges (public institutions.)


And somehow it's escaped you this whole time that was my point? That governments get to make unilateral contracts and it's considered legitimate, whereas it's blatantly obvious that if a private party did the same it would be not only illegitimate, but in most cases illegal?

Besides, I've shown you how illegitimate it is to make a unilateral contract with someone and expect them to pay for whatever the service in question is REGARDLESS of their indirect benefit with respect to the contract.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
Fifteen percent of American children are overweight or obese -- which puts them at risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In some states, the childhood obesity rate is over 30 percent.
marjon's version of Capitalism at work...

Didn't some 'liberal' say the govt won't force people to eat certain foods or behave in certain ways so to save them from themselves?
Of course the opposite will occur when those deemed not worthy to be saved by society will be killed to save money. We keep getting closer to "Logan's Run".
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
Didn't some 'liberal' say the govt won't force people to eat certain foods or behave in certain ways so to save them from themselves?
So you're equating the removal of happy meal toys, with forcing you to eat certain foods?

I have a better idea for you: let's re-legalize marketing of tobacco and alcohol to children. Let them make their own decisions as to what's good for them.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
@Modernmystic,
governments get to make unilateral contracts and it's considered legitimate
If by "governments" you mean "elected representatives" (all laws must originate in the House), then "unilateral" should be replaced with "consensual".

Should popular consensus be withdrawn, then the law can be easily changed by those elected representatives. Until it is changed, the law remains the law.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 03, 2010
You keep harping on about a contract, mystic, but it's not a contract. It's an obligation. In fact, it's almost a Natural Law. You have to pay for the things that you benefit from, whether you asked for them or not, and whether you would agree with them or not. Otherwise, you're putting the cost of what is benefiting you off on someone else, any they have to bear a cost out of proportion to what they benefit. Causing someone else to suffer out of proportion with the result of your benefit out of proportion to your payment is immoral, whether you intend the benefit or not. If you think the program that benefits you is immoral, you can work to undo it legally, but until you do, that doesn't give you the right to shirk your obligation.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 03, 2010
And I will agree with one thing. The Democrat's biggest problem is that the benefits they deliver are almost always indirect. One thing Bush did politically right, when his tax cuts went into effect, he put a check in people's hands. Obama's payroll tax cuts were more significant for more people, but they were virtually invisible. If they had come in the form of checks instead instead of different numbers on a paystub nobody looks at anyway, the Democrats probably wouldn't have lost yesterday.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
You have to pay for the things that you benefit from, whether you asked for them or not, and whether you would agree with them or not.

How do those who pay no taxes pay for their benefits?
Causing someone else to suffer out of proportion with the result of your benefit out of proportion to your payment is immoral, whether you intend the benefit or not. If you think the program that benefits you is immoral,

That is not what 'liberals' believe.
otto1932
not rated yet Nov 03, 2010
"Everything is beautiful in its own Time."
You don't need to stress your inclinations. We know by now that violence, suffering, and injustice are fascinating you.
Only in an intellectual sense, like watching fireflies mate. You can only understand the CAUSE of things if you are not afraid to study them. I am interested in the true Causes of conflict and disparity and I know that the pap you've fallen for is obviously not it. Just more Propaganda, but it FEELS so right doesn't it? What good is the Truth if it doesn't SEEM right?

Bad guys must be vicious lying thieving killers and good guys must be kind, altruistic, peaceful... Meek. 'The meek shall inherit the earth.' -is a Promise and a Goal. For the thoroughly domesticated are meek. Except for attack dogs but who will need those in the future when the Garden is restored?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
...then "unilateral" should be replaced with "consensual".


I've never given explicit or implicit consent for the United States government to govern me, either by representation, autocracy, or in ANY other form.

Again for the hundredth time, what gives the US government the power to assume a unilateral contract with it's citizens other than itself? If you don't have their consent to begin with then representation is irrelevant.

Thras at least appears to understand this "problem" with government and is instead trying (futilely) to convince me this is not a contract it's an obligation. I don't recognize any obligation,neither do I recognize indirect benefit as a legitimate claim against me if I didn't consent to it.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
@clown,
How do those who pay no taxes pay for their benefits?
By working for a pittance, and thus providing hugely discounted services and income streams for those who do pay taxes.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
@Modernmystic,
I've never given explicit or implicit consent for the United States government to govern me, either by representation, autocracy, or in ANY other form.
Are you saying you are not a U.S. citizen? Are you in the country illegally?
what gives the US government the power to assume a unilateral contract with it's citizens other than itself?
The very term "citizen" means you are formally and officially a member of a well-organized society, and subject to that society's form of government.
I don't recognize any obligation
Then stop recognizing yourself as a citizen, and stop claiming you have any legal rights or entitlements under this government and/or within this society. Oh, and bon voyage.
ekim
not rated yet Nov 03, 2010
I'm back. Doesn't look like I missed much though. All this talk about power ,consent ,contracts and government. The way I see it is I have power and you have power. I choose to give my power to somebody else(consent). They now have twice the power they once had. Since might makes right ,you should listen to what they tell you to do. You and a friend give your power to another and I have to listen to them(consent). Now we could be civilized and agree to this or fight about it. Being civilized is called government where fighting about it is called war.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 03, 2010
Of course you don't recognize your obligation. That's why governance appears to you to be non-consensual. But obligations exist whether you recognize them or not. By continuing to frame the issue as one of contracts and payments, you are working with a set of conceptual tools that are inherently unable to justify any sort of governance. But since governance is a practical as well as moral necessity, it is the conceptual tools that you are trying to use that are at fault, not the justice and justification of governance in general. Governments are not justified by reference to some sort of abstract contract theory that barely works for real physical contracts. It is justified by reference to the mutual obligations we all have to each other, with respect to the fact that we live in the same geographical area and are dependent on social institutions that preexist us as individuals.
gwargh
1 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
If you say the government gives the government the right to do it fine (because actually that's the way it works), but don't pretend I ever agreed to something I didn't

If you were not talking about a democracy, I might be inclined to agree with you more, but unfortunately you are. YOU give the government that right. So does every other person who does not stand up for their own political beliefs. If the government is truly forcing you into a unilateral contract, you can attempt to fight it. If you are too timid to fight, then you can leave it, because the government gets its power, not just from you, but from others like you. If enough of them agree that this is the way the country should be run, well, tough luck for you: Somalia seems to be the only option.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
If enough of them agree that this is the way the country should be run,

51% percent force the remaining 49% to subsidize their life. That's the way a country should be run?
Or 95%, the majority, can force 5% into slavery or put them in gas chambers?
At least in Somalia, the minority might have an chance.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
"The people who earn $250 or 500,000 or a million are in fact the people who are investing in this country and the private sector hiring other people, producing products and services that allow for the country's economy to grow and for people to have jobs and to earn higher wages. The federal government, the state government cannot and does not create wealth. All it can do is destroy it. All it can do is confiscate it. And what we're doing is discussing the proper level of servitude. What is your price? What are you going to have to pay for the irresponsibility and for the misnamed, the maligned, the stupid, and the incorrect policies of liberals like Barack Obama? "
http://www.rushli...est.html
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
51% percent force the remaining 49% to subsidize their life.
I tawt I hoyd the clown say the wealthy pay most of the taxes. Now the clown says the wealthy are 49% of the population? Wow, the clown must live in some Chamber of Commerce wholly owned parallel universe...
Or 95%, the majority, can force 5% into slavery or put them in gas chambers?
They could, if there weren't a Bill of Rights. But naturally, clowns from outer space can't be expected to be versed in such issues.
At least in Somalia, the minority might have an chance.
The clown is welcome to personally test that hypothesis.
the misnamed, the maligned, the stupid, and the incorrect policies of liberals like Barack Obama
Ah, the immortal words of Rush Limbaugh: the head clown in charge.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
Ah, the immortal words of Rush Limbaugh: the head clown in charge.
Answer his question. Justify your socialism.
Ah, the immortal words of Rush Limbaugh: the head clown in charge.

Yes, recall the 5th amendment: "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
Or the 10th: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
All apply or none apply.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
Answer his question.
What question? All I saw was a couple of gallons of bile-laced vomit, regurgitated in rapid succession (typical of wingnuts, and iconic of Limbaugh.)
recall the 5th amendment: "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
Note the "just compensation" part.
Or the 10th: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
Note "the people" part. Congress expresses the will of "the people".
All apply or none apply.
Ah, finally the one true and honest utterance. I'll give it to you: you're more "fair and balanced" than Limbaugh. Which is what differentiates ordinary clowns, from the head clown in charge.
ekim
not rated yet Nov 03, 2010
"The people who earn $250 or 500,000 or a million are in fact the people who are investing in this country and the private sector hiring other people, producing products and services that allow for the country's economy to grow and for people to have jobs and to earn higher wages.

So the people who make the most - http://www.statem...r-capita
And pay the most in taxes- http://www.statem...r-capita
Are supporting the unemployed - http://www.statem...ent-rate
And poor - http://www.statem...ty-level
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
Note the "just compensation" part.

When the govt regulates (takes) your property without compensation, how is that just?
Why do you expect Rush to be 'fair and balanced'? He has a political philosophy and an objective to keep and hold an audience. Fortunately for him, he has a significant audience that likes what he has to say. 'Liberal' competitors fail in the free market primarily because they preach envy and jealousy.
Congress expresses the will of "the people".

No. Congress has defined limits and is representatives of 'the people'. They are NOT the people.
otto1932
not rated yet Nov 03, 2010
"Liberals may owe their political outlook partly to their genetic makeup..."

Hmmm. So much for free will.
ekim
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
When the govt regulates (takes) your property without compensation, how is that just?

Are the services you use not compensation? What is "just" about not paying the military or police? Besides I give my taxes to the government rather than wait for them to take them. That reduces the need to pay another person to track down the tax cheats who try to get something for nothing.
No. Congress has defined limits and is representatives of 'the people'. They are NOT the people.

What would your solution be? A referendum on every proposal?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
When the govt regulates (takes) your property without compensation, how is that just?
Sorry, but I fail to see how regulation equates to taking of property. If you mean that the government prevents you from damaging someone else's property, someone else's health, someone else's rights, or the commons, then all of that would indeed be just: even if it has a material impact on you and prevents you from growing your wealth at the cost of others.
Congress has defined limits and is representatives of 'the people'.
And to interpret those limits, we have the Judicial branch. As long as the courts say that Congress has the right to do what it does, then no constitutional objection can be mounted.

Or perhaps you imagine that you know better than the totality of jurisprudence professionals. Wouldn't surprise me at all if you do hold such a lofty opinion of yourself. After all, you apply the same set of weightings to your expertise in climate science, evolution, etc...
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2010
Didn't some 'liberal' say the govt won't force people to eat certain foods or behave in certain ways so to save them from themselves?
Of course the opposite will occur when those deemed not worthy to be saved by society will be killed to save money. We keep getting closer to "Logan's Run".
You are a ridiculous and silly person.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
Of course you don't recognize your obligation. That's why governance appears to you to be non-consensual. But obligations exist whether you recognize them or not.


No they simply do not, no matter how many times you insist they do.

By continuing to frame the issue as one of contracts and payments, you are working with a set of conceptual tools that are inherently unable to justify any sort of governance.


IOW I need to be a "good boy" and concede the argument by accepting your concepts and terms? I've never heard of anything more ridiculous than this "consent by obligation" idiocy you're spewing and it's you that are making up concepts out of the terminus of your GI tract.

The only time I see this kind of blatantly false rationalization is usually with creationists trying to defend their silly notion the Earth was created in 7 days.

Bottom line is, if the United States government never got my consent to be governed by their laws then they have no claim on me at all.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
(cont)

That means pink they can't even legitimately ask me to leave, force me to pay taxes, insist that I recognize obligations, force me to pay for incidental benefits, nothing absolutely nothing. Without consent the government has no legitimate right to force me to move because I never agreed to those rules.

All you have to do is admit that they imposed this right unilaterally and illegitimately by any other standard which is the absolute truth. I've already said I know no other way to make any society function in any sane manner. I'm just never going to admit to the falsehood that representation equals consent. Where did the consent to be represented come from? Is it a good deal? Well it's sure as HELL a lot better deal than most people in the world get, but I think it could be better by making the representation less "herd-like" and more individual.

(cont)
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
In fact I see it as akin to going from no representation at all to having at least that bone from government. If we all agree that representation is good, then why wouldn't "cutting out the middle man" so to speak be even better? I'm fully capable of representing myself and deciding where I'd like my money to go in government. If I weren't then I'm sure as hell not qualified to presume to send someone else there to represent millions of other people along with myself.

You all are just afraid of people not putting up the cash to pay for all your pet projects when they see the real costs vs benefits...and you're probably right.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.7 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
No they simply do not, no matter how many times you insist they do.
Why do you think that you have no obligation to your country of birth? The life you currently lead is partially provided for by that country.
IOW I need to be a "good boy" and concede the argument by accepting your concepts and terms?
Well I'm not so certain of a consent by obligation when it comes to governance, however, I think there is a consent to governance by action. Since you maintain residence and accept the benefits of governance, least of which is taxation.
Bottom line is, if the United States government never got my consent to be governed by their laws then they have no claim on me at all.
Except for the fact that you live in their territory.

Think about it this way. If I was born in your house, and lived there, who's rules do I have to follow?
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 04, 2010
You all are just afraid of people not putting up the cash to pay for all your pet projects

I think the issue is much deeper. There are way too many people who have a need to control others. If they can't control people they get a pet to control.
And/or the standard response from statists regarding no formal govt, aka anarchy, is bands of roaming marauders will ravage the land. Why do they think that unless they have such a propensity themselves? Do these people beleive they need the state to control them because they can't control themselves?
Anacho-capitalists people can exercise self-restraint and can govern themselves. But if they cannot, then every individual can defend themselves and can join with others for a common defense.
The 'liberals' like Hobbs and use Hobbs to satisfy their lust for power and control.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
but I fail to see how regulation equates to taking of property.

Of course you do.
Read Chapt 2 of Mises "Socialism".
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 04, 2010
Try to look at it this way SH with respect to residence/geography.

Say you enter someone's house with your pregnant wife. She happens to go into quick labor and has the baby before she can leave the house. The owners of the house claim the baby belongs to them by virtue of where it was born. You never made such an agreement with them, but they have 50 armed men that are willing to back up their assertions. Just because the baby was born in their house, and since they own the house they have a claim on the child as well. They happily tell you that you man leave the house at any time, but the baby stays (love it or leave it)...

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that the mere place of my birth and current residence is not an "action" on my part, nor does it imply consent. The fact that I can leave "if I don't like it" is irrelevant, I shouldn't have to if I never agreed to the rules in the first place. It's not practical to do it any other way, but there it is.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
marjon,

I understand where you're coming from, but while I recognize the basic illegitimacy of all government, I just don't think the human race is ready for the level of freedom you're talking about.

I'd like to try minimalist government first, let's see how that works, then we can talk about getting rid of it entirely. The biggest problems I see with removing government entirely is "national" defense, and the apparent need for a common legal code. I've read anarcho-capitalist literature extensively. I understand it better than most I'd say, and with that I think we're just not ready as a species for a non-coercive society.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
I almost hate to give "ammunition" to the other side, but here is a razor sharp critique of libertarianism by a staunch libertarian. I agree with almost every line in this chapter, and it's also the reason I'm willing to live with government, no matter how illegitimate, because the practical alternative is much worse. I highly recommend a look...

http://www.davidd..._41.html
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
Didn't some 'liberal' say the govt won't force people to eat certain foods or behave in certain ways so to save them from themselves?
Of course the opposite will occur when those deemed not worthy to be saved by society will be killed to save money. We keep getting closer to "Logan's Run".
You are a ridiculous and silly person.

" New Yorkers on food stamps would not be allowed to spend them on sugar-sweetened drinks under an obesity-fighting proposal being floated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson."
Just posted today on physorg.com

I'd like to try minimalist government first

I am all for returning to the limited govt described in the US Constitution. It did pretty well for ~100 years.
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
The owners of the house claim the baby belongs to them by virtue of where it was born.
A completely false equivalence. In your analogy, the owners of the house claim that the baby can have the run of the house because it was born there -- a PRIVILEGE that is NOT automatically available to any babies born outside the house. The mother can take the baby out any time she wishes. The baby can leave on its own (even despite its mother's wishes) when it grows up.
the mere place of my birth and current residence is not an "action" on my part, nor does it imply consent.
Your birth was not an action on your part. Your current residence IS an action on your part. And it DOES imply consent.

If you want simplification, let's go back to the days when there were no governments, only roaming family-tribes. You were born into a tribe, and thus automatically a member of it. You could leave of course, but as long as you stayed, you HAD TO do what's demanded of you by the tribe.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
Looks like others are concerned about the govt knowing too much about citizen's health records:

"Several privacy groups have raised alarms over plans by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to build a database that would contain information about the healthcare claims of millions of Americans.

The concerns have surfaced because the OPM has provided few details about the new database and because the data collected will be shared with law enforcement, third-party researchers and others."
http://www.comput...myId=152
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
Pink I know you don't know this but you really aren't even in the discussion anymore. SH, and Thras are the only two people here even capable of grasping the point I'm making unfortunately.

How about you go back to the corner with the other kids who can't color inside the lines and try to refrain from eating your boogers...mmmkay.

I've tried to explain it to you at least a dozen times, but it's like talking to a f****** rock...

I shall try ONE last time. I never gave the US government the consent to govern me. Therefore my residence in this country has nothing to do with that entity in any legitimate sense. You have to prove explicit consent BEFORE you can claim ANY kind of compulsion.

IOW

FIRST the US government has to show I explicitly agreed to live under their rules.

THEN they can ask me to leave if I don't like them ASSUMING I've consented to said rules.

If you can't show prior consent, you can't LEGITIMATELY enforce compulsion.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
you HAD TO do what's demanded of you by the tribe.

Once again, the majority can rule absolutely over a minority. A constant 'liberal' theme.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
""These [liberal]ideas," Boudreaux says, "are almost exclusively about how other people should live their lives. These are ideas about how one group of people (the politically successful) should engineer everyone else's contracts, social relations, diets, habits, and even moral sentiments." Liberalism's ideas are "about replacing an unimaginably large multitude of diverse and competing ideas . . . with a relatively paltry set of 'Big Ideas' that are politically selected, centrally imposed, and enforced by government, not by the natural give, take and compromise of the everyday interactions of millions of people." "
http://www.washin...844.html
Of course the 'liberal' response is to declare the voters stupid. Keep thinking like that, please.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (10) Nov 04, 2010
I'm not asking you to concede any terms of any debate. My argument is very simple. You have yourself admitted in the past that governments are necessary. You further assert that the "right" or justification of governments to rule over the individual is based on some form of contract. But since this "contract" has nothing in common with contracts we recognize as just, then the contract for governance over the individual is unjust. You now have a paradox. Governments are necessary and unjust. My argument is that this paradox can be avoided by grounding the justification of governance on mutual obligation rather than some concept of contract. As long as you view basic morality as some form of contractual relationship, you will never be able to avoid this paradox. If you view morality as based on mutual obligations, your paradox never arises.
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
@Modernmystic,
SH, and Thras are the only two people here even capable of grasping the point I'm making
An ... umm... interesting take...

http://www.physor...activity

They've both been giving me 5's so far, meaning they both seem to strongly agree with what I'm saying. Seems to me you just don't like seeing your own weak arguments and metaphors taken apart.
I never gave the US government the consent to govern me. Therefore my residence in this country has nothing to do with that entity in any legitimate sense
You call yourself a US citizen. That is an explicit expression of consent. Even beyond that, you recognize the existence of a country (a construct that by definition subsumes a territory of land within itself), and furthermore you recognize your residence within that country's territory. Yet you claim no obligation.

That is like squatting in someone's house, and stipulating that the owners of the house have no cause to complain.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
I understand and appreciate what you're saying Thras. The fact is that while I don't like them, I'm comfortable with paradoxes. They challenge me. It may very well be there IS no paradox and I've just not heard the right argument, read the right book, or done the right thinking on the subject myself.

I wish it were as easy as accepting your mutual obligation argument, but that would create a bigger paradox for me as I reject that notion as immoral and unjust as well.

FTR: I don't view basic morality as some form of contract. I think the basis of morality is "live and let live", or "if it breaks no one's leg or picks no one's pocket it's none of my or anyone's business.

I view the proper basis of monetary transactions as contractual in nature, this includes taxes. Why wouldn't it? I guess I'm just not willing to give the government a complete pass on the issue (even if I admit it's necessary) like most people are.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
@clown,
Read Chapt 2 of Mises "Socialism".
Read some Lenin.

I think you'll appreciate his central argument that people whose minds are not corrupted by evil stray philosophies and traditions, can govern themselves and get along in total absence of any formal government.

In case you weren't aware, this is the ultimate Communist utopian vision and ideal. It's your vision.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 04, 2010
But monetary transactions are not different than other sorts of transactions, including immaterial transactions, e.g. exchange of information. Your basic statement of morality is consistent with Rights theory, which claims that individuals have a right insofar as it is consistent with everyone else having that same right. In this case, you are asserting a right to not pay taxes that pay for things you disagree with. But this sort of right cannot be universal because the source of disagreement may not be universal principles. Criminals would refuse to pay taxes to support police. Urbanites would refuse to pay taxes to support wilderness preservation or farm subsidies. It would mean an end to taxes and thus an end to government. Insofar as you agree that government is necessary, we cannot have a right to refuse to pay taxes we disagree with, though we certainly have a right to lobby and work to get the laws that impose those taxes and spend them on projects you dislike changed.
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 04, 2010
Paradoxes in general can be acceptable when they are not able to be rationally avoided and when they are benign. That is, when they don't result in conflicting motivations. Since your paradox is both that government is necessary, and that government is unjust, this results in conflicting motivations, on the one hand, to support the government, and on the other, to seek to undermine it. This paradox is not benign. Neither is it unavoidable, as a simple shift of the conceptual terms of the issue away from contracts and towards mutual obligations avoids the paradox completely.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
@Thrasymachus,
It would mean an end to taxes and thus an end to government.
I don't think that's his argument. He doesn't mean that because he opposes some use of tax money, he would refuse to pay all taxes altogether. He wants to be able to designate how his tax money is spent.

First problem is, it creates an illusion of control when there is still none. The government allocates money to various slices of the budgetary pie anyway, so if you say your money only goes to that particular slice, fine: the government will simply use someone else's tax money to replace yours. Government programs are set by majority consent of the elected representatives: so if those representatives even approximate the wishes of their constituents, then the majority of the latter will still opt to fund those very programs. You get pretty much EXACTLY the same government and set of programs, except you also get a TREMENDOUS new bureaucracy to manage all the individual spending preferences.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2010
ctd.

Second problem is with this sentiment:
why wouldn't "cutting out the middle man" so to speak be even better? I'm fully capable of representing myself and deciding where I'd like my money to go in government.
In other words, a call for direct (rather than representative) democracy. A demonstrably dysfunctional model.

marjon likes to bash California; well, California is a demonstration of how well direct democracy functions. The state has been governed by ballot initiative for the last several decades. As a result, its budget is completely out of control, and the legislature is basically hamstrung by literally hundreds of amendments which have been written into the state's Constitution by popular vote, micro-managing pretty much every single significant budgetary line item.

This is a case where it's simply better to let professionals do their jobs. Of course, that's only provided the professionals aren't bought and paid for (which brings me back to campaign finance...)
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2010
ctd.

To expound a bit more on direct democracy, when I said "You get pretty much EXACTLY the same government and set of programs" I was actually painting in rather broad strokes. In actuality, what would happen is that government funds would be allocated in closer correspondence to population density. So for instance, it would mean fewer federal tax dollars funneled to the agricultural states, and more federal tax dollars going to high-density metropolitan areas.

This would actually be somewhat ironic, given that most of the "libertarian" advocates hail from agrarian/low-density states and backgrounds. (Though as an urbanite myself, I personally wouldn't complain :-)) But never mind; in the large scheme of things it's a small detail. More important is that direct democracy does not work well in any collective that is larger than the size of a small village. And the larger the social structure, the worse direct democracy will perform...
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 04, 2010
I don't think that's his argument. He doesn't mean that because he opposes some use of tax money, he would refuse to pay all taxes altogether. He wants to be able to designate how his tax money is spent.


But the problem becomes if everybody gets to designate how their tax dollars get spent, you either have to raise taxes to cover those who don't want to pay for what you want to pay for, or you're left with insufficient funds to pay for anything. The latter is far more likely, because there's no guarantee that enough people will agree to pay for the same things that they'll actually get paid for. Being able to refuse to pay for things one disagrees with is functionally equivalent with being able to refuse to pay at all, and this would mean an end to government.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Nov 04, 2010
you either have to raise taxes to cover those who don't want to pay for what you want to pay for, or you're left with insufficient funds to pay for anything
Well, I assume everyone still pays the same marginal rate, but simply decides what percentage of that payment goes to which program (a bit like allocating your 401K contributions across a set of available mutual funds.)
Being able to refuse to pay for things one disagrees with is functionally equivalent with being able to refuse to pay at all
Again, not really. Just like with 401K contributions, if you don't allocate to any mutual funds at all, your money defaults to just sitting in a money market fund. Similarly with federal tax money: if you refuse to contribute to any program, you've basically given the government plain cash. With this cash, government can purchase some interest-bearing instruments, and then use that interest money to fund whatever it wishes...
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (4) Nov 04, 2010
First of all allocation of taxes by the individual isn't direct democracy, it's direct representation. Secondly as Thras points out there must be some minimum limit set on how much one pays, otherwise one could simply refuse to pay. Thirdly there must be some services that fall under a "necessary to good order" clause or some such. For instance police, military, courts, and some infrastructure (good luck on getting everyone to agree on what THOSE should be). With these caveats I disagree this would mean an "end to government".

Perhaps the role of the congress in this case would be to set the "necessary" services allocations, the overall tax rate (preferably flat), and introduce new programs in which citizens may choose to participate in.

I understand your "concerns" with the nature of my paradox Thras, however I assure you, as someone who recognizes the necessity of government I have no intention of undermining it. (cont)
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
I will say I have no problem with using my graciously permitted 1st amendment rights to undermine the creeping socialism infecting the machinery of government, but that's not the same as advocating anarchy...which I do not.

I would also encourage all of you to look at the weak points in your own arguments as many libertarians do. That link I posted opened my eyes to the limitations of my own principles and beliefs on what government should be...or what it in fact IS.

Or is it that I'm the only one here who freely admits I haven't got it all figured out about the nature of what civil authority is or ought to be?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2010
is it that I'm the only one here who freely admits I haven't got it all figured out about the nature of what civil authority is or ought to be?
Well, that's one of the persistent problems you and other "conservative"/"libertarian"/"whatever" people seem to have when talking to so-called "liberals" like me. You assume I hold certain positions, and you assume I do or don't know certain things, based purely on extrapolation from a couple of points. Somehow, it never occurs to you that I might have already thought through much of what is to you a revelation or dogma. Nor does it occur to you that I might strongly differ in significant policy points from your mental stereotype (or should I say Limbaugh/Murdoch-inspired caricature) of a "liberal". It's a fundamental problem with all stereotypes: can be pretty good for approximating aggregate behavior; usually piss-poor when making individual assessments.

In my case, issues of government are frequently just a balancing of evils.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 04, 2010
Quite the contrary. The nature of civil authority has been one of the more pernicious issues throughout human history. The advent of secular representative democracy, or republicanism, has mitigated this problem somewhat, as there is some connection to the consent of the governed. The largest disagreement seems to be about the extent to which governments may contribute to the prosperity of the people they serve. Extreme conservatives anarchists, like marjon, would argue that they cannot do anything at all to promote prosperity. Moderate conservatives would argue that only those institutions necessary to ensure some minimum level of stability are allowed. Moderate liberals like those institutions that demonstrably contribute to prosperity but that the main goal is stability, and extreme liberals argue that the growth of prosperity is government's only task, stability be damned. Each position has elements worthy of consideration.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
@Thrasymachus,

Prosperity is merely just one dimension of analysis.

For instance, some conservatives are not so much concerned with prosperity, as with the injustice of perceived free-loaders and parasites. Along similar lines, some liberals are more concerned with equal opportunity and level playing field (especially for children) regardless of wealth.

Other than issues of social justice, you could analyze along traditionalist/reformist spectrum, e.g. who tends to be more religiously orthodox vs. metropolitan. Of you could look at who tends to be more culturally ensconced vs. ambivalent. Or, who places more emphasis on individual good vs. common good. Geopolitical interventionist vs. isolationist. Fiscally conservative vs. growth-oriented. Punishment vs. rehabilitation. Etc.

Many (I think most) people will fall in the stereotypically "conservative" camp on some of these spectra, yet in stereotypically "liberal" camp on others, and yet right in the middle on the rest.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
It may seem obvious to many here, but it's worth saying that most of these debates in general are about means, not ends.

I daresay I'd like everyone to have a good job, affordable health-care, an affordable mortgage on a decent house, etc etc. We all basically just disagree on how we get from here to there. Though in this discussion there has been more of an undercurrent of what is even legitimate or permissible, which separates it from the majority of these discussions on at least some level.

As I've said in another thread I used to think the solutions to these problems where political. Now I'm thinking they're more technological. Mature nano-technology will solve our problems of poverty, environment, health and a host of others I don't care to list almost literally overnight. It will change society more than the industrial revolution and the invention of agriculture combined. It will make this discussion largely academic.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 04, 2010
My own position is that governments operate as insurance. Insofar as an individual takes risks in performing his various activities, and insofar as those risks involve risks to others as well, insurance against those risks or consent from those others risked is a moral mandate. Since our activities risk others who are not in a position to consent for various reasons, insurance is the only practical moral option. Moreover, insurance is not like other goods. Competition between insurance providers raises the cost of the insurance. It is irrational to split the insurance pool, and private insurers have a motivation to resist following through on their obligations that can be countered if the insurance is public.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 04, 2010
Of course, you're right on there being multiple dimensions of political alignment, Pink.

The real bitch about this argument, Mystic, is that we have the technology already to do all the things you say, but the distributions of the technology and its effects are hindered, in large part thanks to the ideological disagreements about who owns what and who has a right to what. Automation, for example, has done more to divide humanity and it's access to the fruits of that technology than almost any other innovation, while at the same time increasing absolute prosperity for all. It's a classic conundrum related to Utilitarianism, that we can increase the good, while at the same time decrease fairness.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
ideological disagreements about who owns what and who has a right to what.

It is not ideological, it is practical. If you want more good ideas, more innovation, more advancement, more prosperity, you must provide incentives to the INDIVIDUALS who engage in that activity.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 04, 2010
No, marjon, it's ideological. The only practical method of sorting out property rights is through force. If you want non-violent agreement on what can be owned and by whom, you have to articulate an agreeable principle of ownership. You have yet to articulate any such principle, agreeable or not, though you have been challenged to do so many times.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2010
The only practical method of sorting out property rights is through force.

Of course statists say that.
Without the state force, people still have the choice whether to play or not. If others steal their property, they won't play in the economic game.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
@marjon,
you must provide incentives to the INDIVIDUALS who engage in that activity
And you think somebody here would disagree with this?

However, I frequently see statements (even from you) that any increase in taxes automatically removes incentive. Which is just not true on its face: being able to grow your wealth by 5% a year while giving away 3% of that gain in taxes, still has the result of growing your wealth by 2% a year net on net -- which is an attractive prospect compared to 0% growth (i.e. not investing or participating in any business activity, at all.) Of course, 2% of 10 $million is not quite the same as 2% of 10 $thousand -- so the smaller percentages are only attractive to the wealthiest people. Which only supports the argument for a graduated (progressive) tax rate schedule, as opposed to a flat tax: we want to encourage aspirations toward wealth across the ENTIRE economic spectrum, not just at the top of the pyramid.
frajo
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
It may seem obvious to many here, but it's worth saying that most of these debates in general are about means, not ends.
An end which is identical with its means is expressed by the postulate to minimize objective human suffering. Globally.

Reducing a person's standard of living to a level well above the statistical mean of his country does not cause objective suffering.
Well-informed self-inflicted pain is not objective suffering.
Anybody who contributes to minimizing suffering shall be rewarded. This way there will be incentives for progress and productivity.
The greatest advantage of this approach to practical politics will be a social stability never seen before in human history.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 04, 2010

Of course statists say that.
Without the state force, people still have the choice whether to play or not. If others steal their property, they won't play in the economic game.

Once again, rather than address the question put to you, you evade it with an insult. Is it any wonder no one takes you seriously, marjon?
otto1932
not rated yet Nov 04, 2010
An end which is identical with its means is expressed by the postulate to minimize objective human suffering. Globally.
In order to do that you will have to regulate reproduction, globally. How do you propose to do that? And dont say education because western educators are not welcome in islamic countries where the problem is most severe.

Also consider that some make others suffer due to their very existance;
http://www.persec...targets/

-eh?
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
Some here don't, won't or don't like the principle of private property.
The first piece of 'property' every individual owns is themselves. Some may not like this as they don't want to accept responsibility for themselves.
The fundamental principle property ownership is negative entropy. All living things inherently exhibit negative entropy.
When people use their time, talent and skills to decrease entropy, the products of that exercise are their property.
PinkElephant
1 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
@otto,

But I do say education, and rising standards of living generally. At least that's the long-term solution.

The mid-term solution is for the West to stop aggravating them and bolstering their radicals, by simply butting out of their lands and politics (which also means the faster and more completely we get off oil, the better for everybody -- other than the oil lobby...)

The short-term "solution" is probably (and quite unfortunately) that they'll have to slaughter each other for a while (and/or die of starvation and/or plagues.) That's what Europe did back during its own Dark Ages... We will soon be too broke and ruined ourselves, to continue intervening into mid-East civil and internecine wars with massive open-ended peace-keeping/nation-building missions for years and decades on end.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
Pinkie:
"Why higher taxes reduce the incentive to work more"
"Here’s the bottom line: Without any taxes, accepting that editor’s assignment would have yielded my children an extra $10,000. With taxes, it yields only $1,000. In effect, once the entire tax system is taken into account, my family’s marginal tax rate is about 90 percent. Is it any wonder that I turn down most of the money-making opportunities I am offered?" http://www.taxpay...ore.html
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2010
@marjon,

Most *normal* people out there would give their left testicle to earn even $500 (after tax) for a mere editorial (a couple hours' work: $hundreds/hour in after-tax earnings!) So I don't believe this guy's sincerity for an instant.

Secondly, anyone who engages in entrepreneurship does so by forming an LLC or an S Corp or something equivalent. That way any money they want to reinvest in the business, is sheltered from personal income and entitlement taxes (and is taxed at the typical corporate rates, somewhere around 20% total -- BEFORE business cost deductions and application of loss reserves.) You only get hit with heavy tax when you're taking money out of your business, and transferring it to yourself as salary. So in fact, this kind of tax system encourages business growth and reinvestment of capital.

Anyone who claims to be an entrepreneur and yet pretends not to take advantage of corporate tax structures, is an obvious demagogue and a liar.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
@marjon,

Most *normal* people out there would give their left testicle to earn even $500 (after tax) for a mere editorial (a couple hours' work: $hundreds/hour in after-tax earnings!) So I don't believe this guy's sincerity for an instant.

Secondly, anyone who engages in entrepreneurship does so by forming an LLC or an S Corp or something equivalent. That way any money they want to reinvest in the business, is sheltered from personal income and entitlement taxes (and is taxed at the typical corporate rates, somewhere around 20% total.) You only get hit with heavy tax when you're taking money out of your business, and transferring it to yourself as salary. So in fact, this kind of tax system encourages business growth and reinvestment of capital.

Anyone who claims to be an entrepreneur and yet pretends not to take advantage of corporate tax structures, is an obvious demagogue and a liar.

Fine, don't believe it. Let's see how fast CA's economy recovers with its high taxes.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2010
Let's see how fast CA's economy recovers with its high taxes.
My prediction: at about the same pace as rest of the country, with the exception of other states heavily hit by the housing bubble (Nevada, Arizona, Florida come to mind.) CA's built-in disadvantage: the gigantic hole blown by the real estate bubble. CA's advantage: high-tech leadership (including, increasingly, green-tech.) On net, I estimate a wash in terms of recovery pace.

BTW, CA has recently increased (and ratified by initiative in this election) corporate loss reserve allowance from 10 years to 20 (and also lowered corporate tax rates.) So (hilariously) for the next ~15 years or so, it's actually still "profitable" for most businesses to lose money -- assuming we won't have Weimar-style inflation in the greenback (which we very well might: of course if so then not just CA, but the entire nation is toast...)
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 04, 2010
First of all, self ownership is not a principle of ownership. It tells you only one thing you may own, and it doesn't tell us anything at all about the extent of control the owner has over the disposal of that property. Second of all, entropy cannot be decreased except in an open system. So if you decrease entropy in your own local system, you necessarily increase it everywhere else. And you think you shouldn't have to pay for that increase in entropy? At any rate, basic principles of physics are descriptive, not normative. We're looking for a normative principle here, marjon, one that tells us how things ought to be and what ought to be done. Not one that tells us how completely unrelated phenomenon actually occur.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Nov 04, 2010
We're looking for a normative principle here
Which in itself may be a mistake.

Some systems are just inherently complex, and simplified models give only limited insight. For instance, marjon loves to flog global circulation models for not being sufficiently detailed. We could argue about how closely they reproduce all the significant features of climate, but it can hardly be argued that they become considerably less informative when we omit major features (such as convection, for instance.)

I think the complexity of human social structures and interactions is AT LEAST comparable to global climate. Attempting to abstract neat and sweet little axiomatically-derived social theorems from such complexity may well be an exercise in futility. It may be better to simply approach social structures as evolving organisms. We can experiment, by trial-and-error, keep what works, discard what doesn't -- and so hope to gradually advance over time.

But designer societies? I say beware.
frajo
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
An end which is identical with its means is expressed by the postulate to minimize objective human suffering. Globally.
In order to do that you will have to regulate reproduction, globally. How do you propose to do that?
Whoever decides to give birth to and/or raise children is assumed to be well-informed. Reproduction must not be regulated by society except by using incentives.
Also consider that some make others suffer due to their very existance
Eliminating people for whatever reason is non-consensual and thus raising suffering. No claim of suffering by the very existence of others is objective. You may eliminate your own body but not that of another human being. Again, consensuality reigns.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2010
I think the complexity of human social structures and interactions is AT LEAST comparable to global climate.

But you socialists all know how to fix both?
I submit both systems follow a few simple laws.
"In emergent systems, a small number of rules or laws, applied at a local level and among many objects or agents, are capable of generating surprising complexity in aggregate form. These patterns manifest themselves in such a way that the actions of the parts do not simply sum to the activity of the whole. Essentially, this means that there is more going on in the dynamics of the system than simply aggregating little pieces into larger units"
"the activity of individual market participants, trading without centralized control, often leads to aggregate outcomes that are relatively efficient, "
http://www.geosim...xity.htm
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
Try to look at it this way SH with respect to residence/geography.

Say you enter someone's house with your pregnant wife. She happens to go into quick labor and has the baby before she can leave the house. The owners of the house claim the baby belongs to them by virtue of where it was born. You never made such an agreement with them, but they have 50 armed men that are willing to back up their assertions. Just because the baby was born in their house, and since they own the house they have a claim on the child as well. They happily tell you that you man leave the house at any time, but the baby stays (love it or leave it)...

MM, you've entirely changed the hypothetical. You're removing the right of the child to leave. You do not have a restricted right to leave. This is not North Korea.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
You do not have a restricted right to leave.

Yes there are restrictions on leaving the USA if you want to take your wealth with you.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2010
Yes there are restrictions on leaving the USA if you want to take your wealth with you.
No, there is an exit tax on liquid assets and only liquid assets. So if you're trying to take a suitcase or bank account full of cash with you, you will pay some of it out.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
"The exit tax was modified significantly in 2008 and now presents a serious problem for potential expatriates whose net worth exceeds $2 million (or whose annual tax liability exceeds prescribed thresholds) as the tax liability is triggered by a mark to market artificial tax event. "
http://www.expatt...hip.html
The USA forces people to pay a tax to leave.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2010
From your source:
Exit tax legislation (Sec. 877 and now Sec. 877A) first passed in 1966, targeted the very wealthy whose expatriation was clearly tax motivated in a subjective sense.


Yep, it's a law that goes after people like Charles Rangel who attempt to hide their taxable assets abroad. Thanks for playing Marjon. The 2008 addendums do thusly
You are deemed to have sold all your property, yes even personal property, and liquidated in full all retirement plans all on the day before the legal expatriating event.
Which if you read the terms of your retirement packages, they are considered liquidated at that time.

Understanding financial law is important if you're going to attempt to make statements about financial law.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
From your source:
Exit tax legislation (Sec. 877 and now Sec. 877A) first passed in 1966, targeted the very wealthy whose expatriation was clearly tax motivated in a subjective sense.

The point is still, if anyone wants to leave and take their money with them, money they already paid taxes on, they will have to pay MORE to vote with their feet.
Yep, it's a law that goes after people like Charles Rangel who attempt to hide their taxable assets abroad. Thanks for playing Marjon. The 2008 addendums do thusly
You are deemed to have sold all your property, yes even personal property, and liquidated in full all retirement plans all on the day before the legal expatriating event.
Which if you read the terms of your retirement packages, they are considered liquidated at that time.

Understanding financial law is important if you're going to attempt to make statements about financial law.

marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
From your source:
Exit tax legislation (Sec. 877 and now Sec. 877A) first passed in 1966, targeted the very wealthy whose expatriation was clearly tax motivated in a subjective sense.


Yep, it's a law that goes after people like Charles Rangel who attempt to hide their taxable assets abroad. Thanks for playing Marjon. The 2008 addendums do thusly
You are deemed to have sold all your property, yes even personal property, and liquidated in full all retirement plans all on the day before the legal expatriating event.
Which if you read the terms of your retirement packages, they are considered liquidated at that time.

Understanding financial law is important if you're going to attempt to make statements about financial law.

The point is still, if anyone wants to leave and take their money with them, money they already paid taxes on, they will have to pay MORE to vote with their feet.
Thrasymachus
2.1 / 5 (11) Nov 05, 2010
Poor filthy rich people. My heart bleeds for them. It must be so terrible being able to have options most other people can only dream of but having to pay a pittance for them. I truly sympathize with their desire to have all the money and all the goods in the world so that everybody works for them. I sympathize with them in the same way I sympathize with a tick, right before I burn it off.
otto1932
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2010
Whoever decides to give birth to and/or raise children is assumed to be well-informed.
Informed. You mean like these people?http://www.terror...-darfur/
-And by 'informed' you mean they understand that a child is a most precious gift to allah, and the infidel would deny him that gift?
Eliminating people for whatever reason is non-consensual and thus raising suffering.
(see above link) -So how do you propose to stop such genocidal transgressors? 'Inform' them perhaps? Or attack them and lay waste their armies and destroy their ability to wage war against the people? Which option might work and which one would most obviously be 'futile'?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2010
The point is still, if anyone wants to leave and take their money with them, money they already paid taxes on, they will have to pay MORE to vote with their feet.
So they'll have to pay 10% of what they would be paying 40% on if they stay....

Yeah, your point is wholly invalid.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
Yeah, your point is wholly invalid.

The point that one can vote with their feet without cost is not valid.
So in the 'liberal' US pay taxes and if you don't like it and try to leave, we will take MORE.
The incentive to stay is weakening.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 05, 2010
Then get the hell out, marjon, and take your greedy, filthy stinking rich parasites with you.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
The point that one can vote with their feet without cost is not valid.
So in the 'liberal' US pay taxes and if you don't like it and try to leave, we will take MORE.
The incentive to stay is weakening.
The incentive to leave is that if you make more than 2 mil a year, you only lose 10% instead of 40%.

That's 30% of 2 mil. Large incentive, there must be a reason why they're staying...

Oh yeah, they can't make that sort of money anywhere else, they can't live in the style they're accustomed to in most other countries, and most other countries MAKE THEM PAY A REASONABLE TAX, which would be far higher than the 18% they're actually taxed in the US.

How about you vote with your feet, or do you make more than 2 mil a year?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
@Thrasymachus,

I don't think marjon is himself very rich. Nobody gets rich by spending so much time web-surfing (trust me, I know from personal experience ;-))

What we have here is an ideological demagogue, who speaks from indoctrination rather than experience or wisdom.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
"New York billionaire Tom Golisano isn't stupid, either. With $3,000 and one employee, he started a business that processes paychecks for companies. He created 13,000 jobs.
Then New York state hiked the income tax on millionaires.
"It was the straw that broke the camel's back," he says. "Not that I like to throw the number around, but my personal income tax last year would've been $13,800 a day. Would you like to write a check for $13,800 a day to a state government, as opposed to moving to another state where there's no state income tax or very low state income tax?"
He established residence in Florida, which has no personal income tax.
Now New York Gov. David Paterson may have even seen the light.
"We projected that we would get $4 billion, and we actually got well short of it," he says.
Art Laffer, the economist who has a curve illustrating this point named after him, isn't surprised.
"It's just economics," he says. "People don't work to pay taxes. People work to get what the
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
x*6.85=13,800*365
13,800/6.85=x/365
x=his personal adjusted gross income per year.
his personal adjusted gross income per day was 201459.85

This means his yearly adjusted gross income would be over 73.5 Million.

Yeah, he can pay, seeing as his income is more than 2372 average citizens make. How about he takes a pay cut and creates 2000 more jobs. That still leaves him making more money per year than you or I could spend if we heated our houses with singles in Canada.

You want me to have sympathy for his tax burden? Try again.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2010
Just a side note Marjon,

When you link a reference like that, esepcially when your argument is supposed to be speaking to the middle class, you might want to do the algebra so someone using simple 4th grade math doesn't tear your argument apart.
otto1932
not rated yet Nov 05, 2010
@Thrasymachus,

I don't think marjon is himself very rich. Nobody gets rich by spending so much time web-surfing (trust me, I know from personal experience ;-))

What we have here is an ideological demagogue, who speaks from indoctrination rather than experience or wisdom.
-Or it could be genetic you know, per the article. We really do have very little 'free will' when you get right down to it-
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
MM, you've entirely changed the hypothetical. You're removing the right of the child to leave. You do not have a restricted right to leave. This is not North Korea.


You're also removing my right to stay, which amounts to the same thing.

Think about it this way. You start off assuming that the area I live in is the "house" of the United States government for ALL those who are here. To "borrow a phrase" I simply believe in one less assumption than you do.
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
You start off assuming that the area I live in is the "house" of the United States government for ALL those who are here.
There's a fundamental fallacy embedded in that interpretation. And the part you're missing is that the government is of, by, and for the people. The government embodies and expresses the collective will of the people of the land, and it is the people who constitute the nation.

It is not the government who wants you to contribute or leave. It is the people telling you this, via the government. It is the "tribe" of United States Citizens, in other words, whose rules and mores you propose to snub and reject on their own territory without suffering any consequences.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
"Art Laffer, the economist who has a curve illustrating this point named after him, isn't surprised.
"It's just economics," he says. "People don't work to pay taxes. People work to get what they can after tax. They'll change where they earn their income. They'll change how they earn their income. They'll change how much they earn, when they receive the income. They'll change all of those things to minimize taxes."
We can see it in the statistics. In 1960, federal revenues were 18.6 percent of total output. Over the next 50 years, that percentage has rarely exceeded 20 percent or fallen below 17 percent. As Laffer says, people adjust their activities to the tax burden.
Donald Trump, who knows something about making money, says of course the rich will leave when hit with higher taxes.
"I know these people," he told me. "They're international people. Whether they live here or live in a place like Switzerland doesn't really matter to them."
http://www.wnd.co...&pag
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
People don't work to pay taxes. People work to get what they can after tax.
...
of course the rich will leave when hit with higher taxes.
Sure, they can leave. Then they can TRY to find work at their new place of residence, that pays at least as much before taxes as they earn *after taxes* over here. Bonne chance and bon voyage.

At any rate, the country benefits far more from energetic and entrepreneurial rich-wannabes, than from lethargic old money upper crust and all their attendant corruption.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
Yeah, he can pay,

That is the point. With that statement you lay claim to his property, just like all socialists.
This then leads those that 'can pay' to demand, and get more 'equal' treatment. Something the socialists here complain bitterly about.
You want your cake and to eat it to.
Use the power of the state to force the rich to pay for the poor and the rich will demand more govt privilege.
If you really want real egalitarian society, all are treated equally by the state under the law, including tax law. Then you must support a flat tax rate for all.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
With that statement you lay claim to his property
And what about the society that enabled him to prosper in the first place? The government wasn't so evil, until prosperity was achieved; then suddenly government is evil.
the rich will demand more govt privilege.
Oh, that's very true. Always. No matter what political philosophy or social structure prevails. The rich will always demand more govt privilege. And unless there's something to counterbalance this, the rich will end up BEING the government. Then you're back to Feudalism.
If you really want real egalitarian society...Then you must support a flat tax rate for all.
Except a flat tax rate is not egalitarian.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
And what about the society that enabled him to prosper in the first place?

What?
Except a flat tax rate is not egalitarian.

It means equal. Everyone pays the same rate. Why is that not equal?
The rich are more equal than the poor? Sounds like animal farm.
The state was not intended to guarantee equal outcomes, but equal OPPORTUNITY. Individuals must supply the motivation.
the rich will end up BEING the government.

How many newly elected tea party candidates are rich?
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
"the United Nations published its 2010 Human Development Report, which shows that developing countries have become much wealthier and healthier in the last 40 years, which not coincidentally is more or less when many of these countries have opened themselves up to the benefits of free markets, both domestically and internationally. "
"while poorer countries have adopted free markets in order to improve the living conditions of their people, it is the developed world that has forgotten the lessons of wealth creation and free enterprise."
http://blog.acton...gal.html
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
This describes many of my critics here:
"the intellectual class possessed a waning ability to articulate a meaningful defense of the ideas and value of the free society. "

"A supposedly free but rampant secular and materialistic society still leads to the same ending as Marxism, outside of God, and unable to explain its reason and purpose for life."
http://blog.acton...nt-13124
ekim
not rated yet Nov 05, 2010
The first piece of 'property' every individual owns is themselves.

This is the flaw in your logic marjon. You don't own your body. It is a loan that will be paid back to God ,for the believers, or to the universe ,for the nonbelievers like Pink. Nothing is truly ours except our time.
"I never wanted anything from you except everything you had and what was left after that too." - Florence and the Machine
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2010
"A supposedly free but rampant secular and materialistic society still leads to the same ending as Marxism, outside of God, and unable to explain its reason and purpose for life."
Then tell us Marjon, what is the meaning and purpose of life as according to your belief system...

(don't worry, I'm expecting you to not reply, as you typically do when confronted with a question that wants a direct statement of your reality perception.)
ekim
not rated yet Nov 05, 2010
(don't worry, I'm expecting you to not reply, as you typically do when confronted with a question that wants a direct statement of your reality perception.)

Marjon may just need time to comprehend that the best selling book of all time was a direct result of the actions of an unemployed carpenter. By the way ,how is Glen Beck's book doing?
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
Then tell us Marjon, what is the meaning and purpose of life as according to your belief system...

God knows.

It is interesting how a former communist spy said "If God exists then Communism cannot,..." and so many here are atheists and socialists.
ekim
not rated yet Nov 05, 2010

It is interesting how a former communist spy said "If God exists then Communism cannot,..." and so many here are atheists and socialists.

I have only counted one confirmed atheist(Pink).As far as socialists ,it depends on how one wants to define socialist. I could be considered a socialist by some ,but I prefer to think of myself as a Christian.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Nov 06, 2010
If God exists then Communism cannot,...
Aside from being a complete nonsequitur, one can't help but note that the classical Christian conception of Heaven is Communism on steroids.
what is the meaning and purpose of life
I'm pretty sure there's a movie about that...
What?
Wealth is not created in a vacuum. Those who amass it within the confines of a given society, owe their success as much to that society as to themselves. You can't raise your palace without a foundation to build on.
Everyone pays the same rate. Why is that not equal?
Because when you lose 10% off $1, you can no longer afford to buy the $1 burger. So under your tax regime, the poor starve while the wealthy get exponentially wealthier through compound growth. But total wealth is not limitless, so wealth permanently concentrates at the very top. End-result: Feudalism.
How many newly elected tea party candidates are rich?
How many Congresscritters are poor? How many SERVE the rich?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2010
developing countries have become much wealthier and healthier in the last 40 years
While developed countries have gone completely bankrupt. And I'm not quite sure about the "healthier" part. To wit:

http://www.google...gs_rfai=
which not coincidentally is more or less when many of these countries have opened themselves up to the benefits of free markets
Also things like vaccination, antibiotics, and foreign aid.
the developed world that has forgotten the lessons of wealth creation and free enterprise
True. These days, it only knows how to eviscerate its own wealth and free enterprise, by "competing" against virtual slave labor. USA once fought a nasty civil war on such grounds. We could wind up fighting another one for similar reasons. Just wait 'til the public gets a wee bit MORE pissed at the banking cartels, the Manhattan crime factories, and their enablers.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2010
It is interesting how a former communist spy said "If God exists then Communism cannot,..." and so many here are atheists and socialists.
Seeing as communism and socialism aren't really even close to the same thing one wonders what preverse 1950's era dictionary you have on your shelf.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 06, 2010
Seeing as communism and socialism aren't really even close to the same thing

You would like to believe that.
Skultch
5 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2010
Seeing as communism and socialism aren't really even close to the same thing

You would like to believe that.


.....aaaannndd Now I pity you.

At first I was surprised, but it actually makes sense. I've listened to enough national conservative radio (the regional guy near me is actually smart and logical, 95% of the time) to know how they use the two terms interchangeably. It's just flavor to them and shows their intent of fear mongering towards their base of old whites that grew up during the "big red scare."

I now await a response in the form of a quote because you can't argue from your own mind. You're pathetic, Mongo.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2010
Both socialism and communism oppose private property rights and promote the power of state over the individual.
Both require coercion to exist. Both systems decrease property and individual liberty.
If you don't agree socialism and communism and fascism are the essentially the same, then you must be a socialist, a communist or a fascist or any other -ist that opposes individual liberty and personal property rights.
If you want a thorough comparison, read Mises 'Socialism'. It is free to read on-line.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2010
"The main characteristic of socialism (and of communism) is public ownership of the means of production, and, therefore, the abolition of private property. The right to property is the right of use and disposal. Under fascism, men retain the semblance or pretense of private property, but the government holds total power over its use and disposal "
"Under fascism, citizens retain the responsibilities of owning property, without freedom to act and without any of the advantages of ownership."
http://aynrandlex...ism.html
By Rand's description above, most here are fascists believing the govt should regulate all property.
ekim
5 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2010
http://en.wikiped...national
Here is list of countries with some form of socialist government. Some in power ,some in opposition and the some as part of a coalition cabinet. The US is the only country in this list where socialists are not considered an electoral party. I would hardly consider socialism a failed system of government. It would be intresting to see how many votes socialist parties get ,in fair and democratic countries, compared to other systems of government.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2010
. I would hardly consider socialism a failed system of government.

I note you don't challenge the definition of socialism: state control of private property.
Where do you draw the line at such state coercion?
Sort the countries by property rights and compare:
http://www.herita...ore.aspx
It would be intresting to see how many votes socialist parties get

What ever the majority wants it should get? 51% can steal the property of the remaining 49%?
PinkElephant
4.5 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2010
Sort the countries by property rights and compare:
Funny... New Zealand and Sweden come out on top.
the definition of socialism: state control of private property.
The question is, to what extent. Too much salt kills you; not enough salt kills you; just enough salt keeps you healthy. Same thing with socialism.
Where do you draw the line at such state coercion?
Reality is too complex to draw just one line. I draw lines at harm to the commons, impingement on the rights of others, subversion of law, support for the infirm, equal opportunity for the young, community planning, large-scale infrastructure, and inter-regional standardization, among others.

You can't impose oversimplification on real-world complexity, and expect any outcome other than disaster. That is the fundamental error of ideologues like Rand and Mises (and the Communists, and the Fascists, and all the other -ists.)

The world just isn't as neat and simple as your mind, marjon.
ekim
5 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2010
http://www.heritage.org/index/Explore.aspx
What ever the majority wants it should get? 51% can steal the property of the remaining 49%?

I believe that falls under the freedom from corruption section of the chart.
This also fails to prove your point considering Australia has higher scores than the US in property rights ,freedom from corruption and overall score. Australia currently has a socialist government in power. Many of the countries with higher total scores than the US have some form of socialist government (Canada ,Ireland ,New Zealand and Switzerland). Their scores in property rights and corruption are also higher than the US.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2010
I draw lines at harm to the commons,

I don't think so. If you seriously were concerned about commons you would support private property rights.
There is a reason it is called 'tragedy of the commons'.
You can't impose oversimplification on real-world complexity,[q/]
Yes you can. That best way to understand the real world. When socialists try to impose their complexity, they fail. Just look at all those 'smart' people who think they understand the economy.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2010
"He utterly demolishes the social-contract view of the state ..."
"he sees the state as composed of a victorious group of bandits who rule over the defeated group with the purpose of domination and exploitation."
http://mises.org/...ogically
It's funny how the liberals here agree with Franz Oppenheimer. Yet these same liberals somehow believe they can somehow subdue the bandits with govt created by the bandits.
ekim
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 07, 2010
In essence, he said, there are only two ways for men to acquire wealth. The first method is by producing a good or a service and voluntarily exchanging that good for the product of somebody else.

It seems that government exchanges services ,such as protection and infrastructure ,to the citizens in exchange for taxes.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 07, 2010
If you seriously were concerned about commons you would support private property rights.
Nobody can own the air. Nobody can own a river. Nobody can own an ecosystem. Nobody owns near-earth orbital space. Nobody owns biodiversity. Nobody owns regional groundwater. Nobody owns all the fish in the ocean. And so on, and on, and on, and on.
That best way to understand the real world.
You can try to understand a facet or an aspect. But you can't try to reshape the totality to fit your narrow ideology. It can't work, it has never worked, and never will.
Just look at all those 'smart' people who think they understand the economy.
Exactly. They think they understand, because they assume it's simple. It isn't.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
. I would hardly consider socialism a failed system of government.

I note you don't challenge the definition of socialism: state control of private property.
Where do you draw the line at such state coercion?
Sort the countries by property rights and compare:
http://www.herita...ore.aspx
Funny how many socialist democracies are topping that list for economic freedom and economic stability.
ie: France, Germany, the UK, Singapore, etc.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
They think they understand, because they assume it's simple. It isn't.

Then why have they created complicated models? They don't believe it is simple.
http://www.americ...-science

The economy is simple. People act in their self interest.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
It seems that government exchanges services ,such as protection and infrastructure ,to the citizens in exchange for taxes.

No, govt TAKES wealth and citizens HOPE they spend some on defense and infrastructure.
But that does not create wealth.
If you socialists are so fond of contracts, then you should wholeheartedly support arnacho-capitalism in which all 'services' 'provided' by the govt are supplied by independent contractors via a real contract for services that everyone can choose for themselves.
But socialists can't tolerate individual choice. Too messy, too "disorderly" for their 'tastes'.
If govt must fund education, then provide 'education stamps' students can spend at public or private schools of their choice. Just as Sweden does.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
. I would hardly consider socialism a failed system of government.

I note you don't challenge the definition of socialism: state control of private property.
Where do you draw the line at such state coercion?
Sort the countries by property rights and compare:
http://www.herita...ore.aspx
Funny how many socialist democracies are topping that list for economic freedom and economic stability.
ie: France, Germany, the UK, Singapore, etc.

Topping?
France: #64 (64.2%), +.9
Germany: #23 (71.1%), +.6
UK: #11 (76.5%) -2,5
Singapore: #2 (86.1) -1.0
Hong Kong: #1 (89.7%) -.3
USA: #8 (78.0) -2.7

The devil is in the details.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
"The dominant economies of Europe, too, are going through quite momentous re-examinations of the post-war philosophy which accepted the state as an unquestionable source of benevolence and all-pervasive social justice."
"(they plan to)....rethink the whole enterprise so that government never again finds itself so extravagantly overextended. "
"So a generation after the collapse of totalitarian socialism, its democratic form is finally crumbling as well."
"If ordinary citizens are to be expected to take back more control and moral responsibility, then some pretty basic things will have to be on the table. First, they must be allowed to keep significantly more of what they earn. "
http://www.telegr...ext.html
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Those crazy tea partiers!
"The government Americans seek is simpler, more efficient and more accountable; "
"Their top complaint about government is that it lacks "accountability." Their top complaint about Washington is that "government has grown too big, too inefficient, and too out of control to do even the bare minimum things it is supposed to do." "
"I've found that each of these policies has at least 60 percent public support, so if you agree with most of them, it means you're in the American mainstream. It also means that - wait for it - you agree with the tea party. "
"When conservatives are divided or dispirited, Democrats win. But united, conservatives control the political landscape. "
http://www.washin...10505496
ekim
5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
No, govt TAKES wealth and citizens HOPE they spend some on defense and infrastructure.

The same thing happens at McDonalds when somebody takes my money and I hope they bring me a burger.
It also means that - wait for it - you agree with the tea party.

Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010

The same thing happens at McDonalds when somebody takes my money and I hope they bring me a burger

You GIVE your money in exchange for a product agreed to in advance. It is a mutual exchange.
The govt TAKES your money with no up front agreement. You are FORCED to pay for 'services' the govt decides you need.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
'"Deposed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was frighteningly worse. It's not that voters rejected the progressives' socialism; it was that voters rejected the slow pace of socialism's implementation. And, don't you know, it was that voters, stupid lot that they are, were overtly influenced by all that money that those obscene outside conservative groups spent to influence the election. Never mind that liberals spent more."
http://www.pittsb...920.html
There are two reasons I cut and paste, with sources. The fist is I usually agree and they say it better than I.
Second, is to show others do agree with me.
ekim
5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
You GIVE your money in exchange for a product agreed to in advance. It is a mutual exchange.
The govt TAKES your money with no up front agreement. You are FORCED to pay for 'services' the govt decides you need.

I vote for a certain politician based on the promises made during the election. This is an agreement made between me and said politician should they win. I give my taxes to the government rather than have them taken. The services I pay for are part of the promises made by said politician. Should I vote for a politician who doesn't get elected than it is no different than losing a bet. I am still expected to pay taxes. Politics is a gamble where sometimes you win and sometimes you don't.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
I give my taxes to the government rather than have them taken.

If you want to lie to yourself, feel free.
You ARE forced to pay taxes. Just try to NOT pay.
I vote for a certain politician based on the promises made during the election.

What promises? He will take more money from the rich and give to you?
ekim
5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Just try to NOT pay.

Should I offer a service to somebody ,example helping them move ,and in return they give me goods ,a home cooked meal. I would not be obliged to give the government any of the food off my plate. However should I go to a restaurant for the same meal I am obliged to pay with legal tender money. The restaurant is obliged to pay taxes on that legal tender money.
What promises? He will take more money from the rich and give to you?

Is Robin Hood up for re-election?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Nov 07, 2010
The economy is simple.
Except it's not.
People act in their self interest.
Except, frequently they don't act at all. And frequently, they act against their own self interest. And when they do act in their self interest, there are usually multiple ways it could be done, and you can neither foresee all the ways, nor foretell which will actually be chosen either by a particular individual or collectively by most individuals.
But that does not create wealth.
Common infrastructure and common law are the foundations of wealth creation. Consumers secure in their lifestyle, health, and financial future, create steady demand which aids wealth creation (whereas fearful hoarding does the opposite.)
all 'services' 'provided' by the govt are supplied by independent contractors
Worked real well in Iraq... but don't let reality interfere with your ideology.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Nov 07, 2010
socialists can't tolerate individual choice. Too messy
Too complex, and often deliberately so. Most people don't have the expertise, discipline, or patience, for instance, to keep track of their medical plan coverage details and rates, never mind being able to make an optimal choice between a variety of plans. Only a small percentage of the general population is sufficiently knowledgeable to make good selections in such cases; the rest just end up being manipulated by marketing and exploited by hidden fees and small print in over-complicated contracts.
provide 'education stamps' students can spend at public or private schools of their choice
Only the wealthy can afford private schools. As for the rest, they already have the "choice" to move to communities with better schools. But somehow they don't... oh wait, they can't afford it! If only school funding wasn't so vitally dependent on local tax revenues, then we might have more equitable standards and performance.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Should I offer a service to somebody ,example helping them move ,and in return they give me goods ,a home cooked meal. I would not be obliged to give the government any of the food off my plate.

Yes, you are. Tom Daschle revived the services of a limo and did not pay taxes for that service. He lost a cabinet job for failing to pay taxes.
Common infrastructure and common law are the foundations of wealth creation.
You agree, it does not create wealth.
Why should anyone risk their wealth on capricious govt regulations and taxes?
An economy is simple: "For we have seen that man can only live and prosper by his own production and exchange of products. The aggressor, on the other hand, is not a producer at all but a predator; he lives parasitically off the labor and product of others."
http://mises.org/...ight.asp
Why does individual liberty frighten 'liberals' so?
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Only the wealthy can afford private schools.

Most private schools are cheaper per student than public.
Charter schools are 'private' receiving the same per student funding as public schools.
Voucher programs are working quite well in Sweden.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Worked real well in Iraq... but don't let reality interfere with your ideology.

It did work well in Iraq. The USG could not provide private security for its staff nor could did they have translators. Contractors met the need, promptly.
Private contractors provide fire and EMS to millions across the USA.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 07, 2010
it does not create wealth.
It creates the conditions for wealth. We just disagree on what the right conditions are.
capricious govt regulations and taxes
I've seen plenty of regulations that are entirely reasonable. Perhaps some are "capricious", and if so you have the option of working to change them. But that's too much nuance for you; you'd rather paint with broad brushes and oversimplify, as usual.
he aggressor, on the other hand, is not a producer at all but a predator; he lives parasitically off the labor and product of others.
Well, that pretty much describes the ENTIRE financial industry in this nation. The industry epitomized by Wall Street, the industry that has completely infiltrated and corrupted our government, and the industry that most strongly champions your "anarcho-capitalist" bullshit -- so that it may be left to its own devices to better pillage and rape the little people.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
the industry that has completely infiltrated and corrupted our government,

How can this happen? Govt personnel are white night heroes.
BTW, the State Dept must beleive contractors are effective in Iraq:
"State Department contractors in Iraq could be driving armored vehicles, flying aircraft, operating surveillance systems, even retrieving casualties if there are violent incidents and disposing of unexploded ordnance."
"Iraq remains a battle zone, and the American diplomats and other civilian government employees will need security. The U.S. military will be gone. Iraq’s army and police, despite billions of dollars and years of American training, aren’t yet capable of doing the job.

The State Department, better known for negotiating treaties and delivering diplomatic notes, will have to fend for itself in what remains an active danger zone."
http://www.stripe...1.111839
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Most private schools are cheaper per student than public.
Uh, nope.
Charter schools are 'private' receiving the same per student funding as public schools.
Tend to perform well because they get to selectively pick the cream of the crop from an oversubscribed applicant pool -- while at the same time leaving behind a talent-depleted pool of students that depresses relative academic performance of other schools.
Voucher programs are working quite well in Sweden.
There isn't nearly as much disparity between rich and poor in Sweden.
It did work well in Iraq.
You're delusional.
Private contractors provide fire and EMS to millions across the USA.
My community's fire department is public, and I have yet to find a community whose fire protection is outsourced to private contractors. As for EMS, the private version only costs an arm and a leg. Otherwise, sure...
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Pinkie, wrong, again.
"The most recent figures available from the U.S. Department of Education show that in 2000 the average tuition for private elementary schools nationwide was $3,267. Government figures also indicate that 41 percent of all private elementary and secondary schools -- more than 27,000 nationwide -- charged less than $2,500 for tuition. Less than 21 percent of all private schools charged more than $5,000 per year in tuition. According to these figures, elite and very expensive private schools tend to be the exception in their communities, not the rule."
http://www.cato.o..._id=3231
"n the 2001-2002 school year, the median private school tuition paid by ISF recipients was $3,852—about one-third less than the $6,045 per pupil expenditure at California’s government schools for the 1998-99 school year."
http://www.indepe...ewsID=10
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 07, 2010
How can this happen?
It happens when corporations gain personhood, influence peddling is construed as democracy, and money is equated to speech. Give thanks to the "conservatives" on the Supreme Court.
the State Dept must beleive contractors are effective in Iraq
Uh, nope. They don't have much choice (our military is over-stretched), but that's a different matter.
Pinkie, wrong, again.
Oh sure, let's compare elementary school per-student expenses, with those of high schools. Real insightful. Nice to see the clown is still alive and well...
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Pinkie, wrong, again:
"Rural/Metro Corporation is a leading provider of emergency and non-emergency medical transportation services, fire protection and other safety-related services to municipal, residential, commercial and industrial customers in approximately 400 communities throughout the United States."
http://www.ruralmetro.com/
"Privatization Could Rescue Detroit Fire Service"
http://www.mackinac.org/3361
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Pinkie, wrong, again:
Well, it's true. I don't spend a lot of time in rural areas.
"Privatization Could Rescue Detroit Fire Service"
In other news, Spiderman could beat Batman.
ekim
5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Daschle has been a paid consultant and advisor to Hindery's InterMedia Partners since 2005, during which time he received from Hindery access to a limousine and chauffeur. Daschle reportedly did not declare this service on his annual tax forms as required by law.

Being a paid consultant means he received legal tender money. Also limos and chauffeurs are usually paid for in legal tender money. Taxes are owed.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
when corporations gain personhood,

Yes, let's end this charade and allow individuals to create voluntary associations for mutual economic benefit without govt interference.
limos and chauffeurs are usually paid for in legal tender money

Daschle didn't pay for the service with HIS money. It was part of his compensation.
US contractors living in housing provided by the company pay income tax on the 'service'.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
As I said, the economy is quite simple:
"Apparently, the president is unaware that after some 2,500 years of both experience with and abstract thought about Western national economies, we know that a free, private sector increases the general wealth of a nation, while a statist redistributive state results in a general impoverishment of the population. At the root of that truth is simple human nature — that people wish to further their own interest more fervently than the more abstract public good (e.g., why the renter does not wash the rental car, or why the public restroom is treated differently from its counterpart at home), and can be encouraged to invent, create, and discover which in turn helps the less fortunate, lucky, healthy, or talented."
http://pajamasmed...worried/
So simple even BHO should understand. Unless, like other statists, he values power over prosperity.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Pinkie:
"And Dairy Management, which has made cheese its cause, is not a private business consultant. It is a marketing creation of the United States Department of Agriculture — the same agency at the center of a federal anti-obesity drive that discourages over-consumption of some of the very foods Dairy Management is vigorously promoting. "
http://www.nytime...3&hp
Shut down the DoA, the DoEd, HUD, etc. and end the conflict.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Well, it's true. I don't spend a lot of time in rural areas.

Been to Scottsdale, AZ?
Note the name, Rural METRO?
"CALIFORNIA
Del Mar
Encinitas
Rancho Santa Fe
San Diego
San Diego County
Solana Beach "
Indianapolis,IN; Denver, CO;.....
http://www.ruralm...d.asp#CA
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Uhhuh. And how many "services" can a total of 8,000 employees provide over THAT many alleged service areas? Something tells me self-promoting web sites aren't too accurate of an information source.

Take San Diego, for instance. That "city" is HUGE, possibly larger by area than New York or LA. Of course, the actual city itself is just a small fraction of the incorporated area. I suspect this company provides some minimal service in a couple of isolated communities within the San Diego metropolitan boundaries, but on the web site it's much more impressive to print "San Diego" and leave it at that.

Marketing works best on simple minds...
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
Marjon, you need a better argument than "this stuff is simple, why are you screwing it up" and then following it with incredibly convoluted and frighteningly complex social charts as references. You are not some sort of social genius, and the evidence above shows to the opposite. If you were, you'd be more persuasive.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
Marjon, you need a better argument than "this stuff is simple, why are you screwing it up" and then following it with incredibly convoluted and frighteningly complex social charts as references. You are not some sort of social genius, and the evidence above shows to the opposite. If you were, you'd be more persuasive.

If one has principles, the economy is quite simple: "a free, private sector increases the general wealth of a nation".
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
If one has principles, the economy is quite simple: "a free, private sector increases the general wealth of a nation".
"I have a gun and will shoot anyone on my property" is not a principle, it's a mental disorder.

Secondly, in every instance in which the private sector has been entirely free of interference there has been poverty, increases in crime, increases in social maladies like alcoholism, suicide, and drug use, as well as underage pregnancy. For instance, your favorite free market example: Somalia

Saying stupid shit is your forte, proving that it's accurate is not. Try evidence.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (5) Nov 08, 2010
There's a fundamental fallacy embedded in that interpretation. And the part you're missing is that the government is of, by, and for the people.


There is no "the people". That's a fiction you're inventing to justify your position. The proof there is no "the people" is the fact we're having this conversation in the first place.

Besides "the people" even if it were a true entity or moral agent is insufficient justification for assuming sovereignty over any individual. Consent is given individually, not collectively. THAT is what you can't seem to wrap your head around.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
"I have a gun and will shoot anyone on my property" is not a principle, it's a mental disorder.
Not if 'anyone' is threatening your life.
every instance in which the private sector has been entirely free of interference

How has the private sector been free of interference in Somalia?
It can be said the private sector HAS found ways to meet the needs of Somalis using technology.
The govts of DPRK, Cuba, Zimbabwe are doing a wonderful job of creating prosperity.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
"The operations were conducted without warrants, under the authority of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation inspectors, who can enter salons at will. "
http://www.orland...82.story
Another reason why statists like regulations, and another example of how fascism weakens property rights.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Nov 08, 2010
Consent is given individually, not collectively. THAT is what you can't seem to wrap your head around.
Silence is consent, that is what you're not wrapping your head around. You can leave, making your voice heard, and your future prospects free of whatever country's influence that you are leaving.

If you guys don't like paying taxes, no one is making you do it. No one is forcing you to stay in the country. If you don't want to pay taxes to the US government, leave the US government system. If you want to live where there are no public roads, parks, environmental controls, regulations against employee abuse, GO FOR IT! No one here is stopping you, the government isn't stopping you. You are stopping you. So don't take it out on the rest of us.
How has the private sector been free of interference in Somalia?

That is your reference Marjon, I'm not going to keep track of your drivel.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 08, 2010
Silence is consent,


Wow the LENGTHS you people go to in order to legitimize your BS is astounding. You are STILL assuming the government starts off the the right to govern with or without consent. It doesn't, it FIRST requires consent, THEN and ONLY THEN one can assume silence is consent.
Thrasymachus
2.1 / 5 (11) Nov 08, 2010
How the hell can you justify your assertion that government requires consent? I'm sure all the folks in prison right now consented to the laws and the police forces that put them there. If you require consent from individuals before they can be governed, then the individuals most in need of being restrained never will be, because they will never consent to that restraint. Consent of the governed is propaganda.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
Consent of the governed is propaganda.


Exactly!!! Yay someone finally tells the truth.

That's all I wanted to hear. I couldn't agree with you more Thras.

It was never really my assertion that government requires consent, only that it's the only institution we treat differently in this regard. Also MANY people bull**** themselves that this government derrives it's legitimacy from "the consent of the governed", it doesn't.

It's something ALL governments have in common. Now does that mean all governments are equal? No. Does it mean that all governments are unnecessary? Absolutely NOT. It just means we're taking all the BS out of the equation and demystifying the concept a bit.

Government, is not God...
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 08, 2010
There's a big difference between how governments arise and function and what they are for. Consider the historical and social development of morality. People want to "do the right thing" because it makes them look good in the eyes of their peers. That's the origin of a moral code, to hide who you really are from your peers and give them the impression of yourself you want them to have. But the emergent function of morality is to promote social stability and the thriving of the individuals in that society. In much the same way, the origin of government was the use of force to gain control of society's productive capacity for the enrichment of those few who control it. But its emergent function is to promote fairness in production and consumption, and to rationally direct social growth in ways that promote the thriving of the individual.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 08, 2010
Going back to morality, according to my preferred system of morality, Kantian deontology, deception is arguably the most immoral thing on can do. However, deception is the original goal of following a moral code, to make others think better of you than they otherwise would. Likewise, control of production and consumption for the gain of a select few is the very definition of a corrupt government. But that was its very purpose in being originally formed. The proper role of both morality and government is not one that can be seen or understood from an individual, static perspective. It requires a global, emergent perspective to grasp its emerging purposes.
frajo
3 / 5 (4) Nov 08, 2010
It was never really my assertion that government requires consent, only that it's the only institution we treat differently in this regard.
1) Are parents an institution?
2) Why do you force your children into existence (inevitably implying death) without their consent?
3) Why do you decry non-consensual actions of a government while you are performing non-consensual actions of the highest severity yourself?
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Nov 08, 2010
Wow the LENGTHS you people go to in order to legitimize your BS is astounding. You are STILL assuming the government starts off the the right to govern with or without consent. It doesn't, it FIRST requires consent, THEN and ONLY THEN one can assume silence is consent.
Then leave or pay your share. Either one, your choice.
Government, is not God...
No, it certainly isn't. It isn't all powerful, all knowing, or willing to damn me to hell for not following its rules. I can actually talk to government and get a response. I can watch government do things, good or bad. If I send my money to the government, I get a receipt. If I ask government for something, it might actually happen.

Yet you seem to think the fact that if you're born, you are in debt to god; But being born in the US, makes you beholden to no one.

The US has done a lot more for you than your God ever has.
frajo
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 08, 2010
People want to "do the right thing" because it makes them look good in the eyes of their peers. That's the origin of a moral code, to hide who you really are from your peers and give them the impression of yourself you want them to have.
This approach fails to explain the motivation of the unknown benefactor.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 08, 2010
This approach fails to explain the motivation of the unknown benefactor.

Not at all. The unknown benefactor acts with an awareness of the emergent function of morality. S/he has transcended the original individual motivation for following a moral code and has accepted the universal obligations implied in the very concept of morality. That's why the unknown benefactor is regarded so highly in most moral systems.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
Then leave or pay your share. Either one, your choice.


And if I chose neither, where did the power to deny me that choice come from?

But being born in the US, makes you beholden to no one.


According to you it makes me beholden to your God, the United States Government.

The US has done a lot more for you than your God ever has.


My God, if you INSIST on making this personal (which you atheists always manage to do...why is that I wonder), has done more for me than YOU can ever know. I'd rather live in Somalia with "my God" than be President of THIS country without him.
marjon
not rated yet Nov 08, 2010
what they are for.

What governments are for? Force.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
1) Are parents an institution?


No, therefore irrelevant to the conversation...

2) Why do you force your children into existence (inevitably implying death) without their consent?


They didn't exist to get consent from. I do. Apples and oranges if I EVER heard it.

3) Why do you decry non-consensual actions of a government while you are performing non-consensual actions of the highest severity yourself?


Non-sequitur none of your arguments were relevant or applicable to the argument. Again talking about s..t..r..e..t..c..h..i..n..g a point. Damn...

Moreover, for the sake of argument, let's say your right. Is it your position that two wrongs make a right??
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
@Thrasymachus,

I take issue with your conceptualization of morality. There is plenty of biological evidence that morality is strongly governed and derived from a congenital emotional apparatus. This emotional apparatus exists not only in humans, but can be anatomically traced to basically all mammals. It is particularly manifest in social or herding animals.

You cannot say that in a community of meerkats the mutual relationships between individuals are motivated by some kind of a conscious scheme full of ulterior motives. Look at any social animal: wolves, horses, dolphins, monkeys, apes, humans. Morality is something that is inborn, and consists of strong emotional and behavioral biases.

Sure, there are sociopaths whose inbuilt biases are absent or malfunctioning. As well, it's possible to consciously override your "gut", and proceed to carry out atrocities "in cold blood". But morality is not some conscious artifact of a rational being. It is evolved and biological.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
@Modernmystic,

Perhaps you could explain where an individual derives the rights to own land (i.e. private property.) Did the land agree to it?

If you can explain how an individual can own land, then I'll be able to explain how a tribe or a nation can claim to collectively own its land, and impose its collective will within the boundaries of that land.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
Perhaps you could explain where an individual derives the rights to own land (i.e. private property.) Did the land agree to it?


Can the land agree to it?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
And if I chose neither, where did the power to deny me that choice come from?
From the society that constructed the government.
According to you it makes me beholden to your God, the United States Government.
Can you vote to change the dogma of your particular faith? Nope. Can you vote to change your government. Yes, yes you can.
My God, if you INSIST on making this personal
Which you have.
has done more for me than YOU can ever know.
Then prove it.
I'd rather live in Somalia with "my God" than be President of THIS country without him.
Then you prefer theocracy to taxes. Which results in a fit society? I think that answer is plain to see.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 08, 2010
I'm not speaking of the biological/instinctual empathy we have for our fellow creatures. That's not the basis of ethical behavior. A sociopath without those urges can understand ethics, and act ethically, indeed, many do. Meerkats, wolves, and other such social animals don't conceptualize their worlds in terms of "ought" or "ought not," they simply feel inclined to act a certain way, and then do it. The unknown benefactor may feel good at his/her act of generosity, but it's not the right thing to do unless it's understood to be the right thing, not just felt.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2010
@Modernmystic,
Can the land agree to it?
Can a fetus? Can a child? You don't have a choice of what nation you're born into, but into it you're born nevertheless: every bit as much as you're born into your family.

But let's ignore the issue of birth for the time being. Suppose you're an immigrant, coming into this country. Do you agree that by your act of entering the country, you agree without reservation to obey the country's laws and pay its taxes?

I assume you'll agree to the above. Now let's say you're bringing your children with you. Does your agreement apply to them? I say it does -- for as long as they remain your wards and your responsibility.

Now let's say you're pregnant with a child at the time of your entry into the country. Does your covenant also apply to that unborn child? How can it not, if it applies to your other children?

And what about your future children? I say ditto.

(to be continued...)
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2010
Now, what happens when your child grows up and becomes a self-sufficient adult? At that point, he or she is leaving your household and becomes responsible for him/herself.

And at that point, he or she must decide whether to ratify the covenant you've made with your adopted country, on his or her behalf.

After all, he or she got to ride your coattails into the country, on the assumption that he or she will eventually be a good citizen and a law-abiding member of society. If he or she rescinds this implicit assumption, then the country has the right to revoke his or her residency, and send him or her back to where his or her parents came from.

Now, what holds true for one generation, must hold true for all subsequent generations. There is no fundamental difference between a fetus incubated by your grandparent vs. a fetus incubated by your parent.

At each point when adulthood is reached, the covenant must continue being ratified. The alternative is expulsion from society.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2010
@Thrasymachus,
That's not the basis of ethical behavior.
It is the basis of sustained and realistically sustainable ethical behavior.

In absence of the underlying emotional drive and reward systems, ethics is reduced to just an abstract set of rules that must be obeyed only to the extent that they are enforced: that personal gain from breaking them is outweighed by the risk of price paid when you're caught. Then "ethical behavior" is not an indication of an individual's intrinsic integrity or character, but merely an indication of the degree to which this individual fears punishment for straying outside the rules.

Now granted, for the sociopaths among us -- who are a nontrivial component of our society -- rules and enforcement is all there is.

But for the neurologically normal majority, ethics derive directly from and intertwine intimately with our emotional drives and biases. Witness, for instance, the above article...
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 08, 2010
From the society that constructed the government.


Nice try. If I didn't agree then it's still a unilateral contract and hence in any other forum illegitimate. It's still not derived from the "consent of the governed". The governed are a collection of individuals, not a moral agent or entity.

Can you vote to change your government. Yes, yes you can.


You still haven't answered the question as to why I should HAVE to vote to change my government. I never consented to any form of government, therefore I've demonstrated the government doesn't derive power from the "consent of the governed".

Then prove it.


Got a Vulcan handy I can mind meld with?

Then you prefer theocracy to taxes. Which results in a fit society? I think that answer is plain to see.


Did I say that? No I didn't. I simply prefer to have my God than all the power in this country.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
Pink,

If an unborn, the land, or a child can't give consent you can't have an honest discussion about contracts.

Just like you can't ask the Sun for mercy in a desert.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 08, 2010
I fail to see what you're arguing about anymore, mystic, unless you're trying to make the claim that since legitimate government doesn't need the consent of the governed to be legitimate, that it's somehow immoral because it lacks consent, which it doesn't need. There's lots of things that are justified that do not require consent for their justification. logic, math and ethics are among those things.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 08, 2010
The argument that those feelings are required to motivate humans to behave ethically are neither here nor there. First of all, I disagree, as sufficiently intelligent sociopaths can come to understand ethics, and motivate themselves to act ethically, even without enforcement structures. Second of all, the presence or lack of certain feelings does not justify any ethical principle. They might make it easier or harder to follow that principle, but the right thing to do is the right thing to do, regardless of how anybody feels about it.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
I fail to see what you're arguing about anymore, mystic, unless you're trying to make the claim that since legitimate government doesn't need the consent of the governed to be legitimate, that it's somehow immoral because it lacks consent, which it doesn't need. There's lots of things that are justified that do not require consent for their justification. logic, math and ethics are among those things.


I honestly fail to see it to Thras. I guess what I'm trying to do is to get a few others here to see that point. I'm trying to make them see that even a democracy, a republic, or other representative form of government still doesn't govern by consent...and that's just the way it is. It doesn't require consent, no more than that it CAN'T govern by consent and still be a "government" in the classical sense of the concept.

Unless SH and pink agree and I'm just not seeing it and we're talking past each other. In which case I apologize for belaboring the point.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
@Modernmystic,
If an unborn, the land, or a child can't give consent you can't have an honest discussion about contracts.
That is why the point of consent is coincident with your entry into adulthood. Prior to that, your parents consent on your behalf.

Also, the CONCEPT of "Social Contract" (as articulated by Rousseau) is not idempotent with the definition of contract under common contract law. The Social Contract is neither formalized on paper, nor assigned, nor notarized. It is implicit. In the old parlance, it is the equivalent of "giving your word" -- back in the days when a man's word really mattered. The choice to remain a resident and member of a community (or nation) is an act of accepting the community's (or nation's) rules and mores.

I don't know how to state it in any simpler terms. It puzzles me that you can't seem to comprehend something so very basic.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2010
@Thrasymachus,
They might make it easier or harder to follow that principle, but the right thing to do is the right thing to do, regardless of how anybody feels about it.
But there is no objective definition of "the right thing". You might say common good, or universal justice. But a sociopath might counter that chaos and strife ultimately provide more benefit due to stronger adaptive motivation, that evolution and advancement in general is only possible when the weak and unfit die off (i.e. Social Darwinism), that nature is red in tooth and claw and we're not above natural law, that everyone dies but not everyone really lives (visions of Mel...), etc.

Our established notions of good vs. evil (and indeed, the world's myriad religions surviving and extinct) flow from the fundamental emotional instincts that we possess as social/tribal/herding animals. Yes, there's a contrived intellectual veneer over all that, but intellect is not the true wellspring of morality or ethics.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2010
"There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one's own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others."
"the following discussion to call one's own labor and the equivalent exchange of one's own labor for the labor of others, the "economic means" for the satisfaction of needs, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the "political means."
http://www.franz-...ate1.htm
'Liberals' are parasites that support political means.

"No state, therefore, can come into being until the economic means has created a definite number of objects for the satisfaction of needs, which objects may be taken away or appropriated by warlike robbery. "
As I stated earlier, there can be no regulation until there is something for the state to steal.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2010
Note to marjon:

Franz Oppenheimer was a socialist by your standards. Nice job selectively quoting him to make him appear the opposite of what he really was... Or must I redirect my compliments to your usual idiocy promoters, such as mises.org and the Cato Institute?

These are work and robbery, one's own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others.


And the questions du jour would include:

(1) at what point do you draw the line between slavery and forcible appropriation of labor

(2) at what point do you draw the line between slavery and labor exploitation

(3) at what point do you draw the line between "one's own labor" and that of one's employees
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
"Even more troubling for Democrats who aspire to pull out of their party’s tailspin, the “Damn the voters, full speed ahead!” mentality may also dominate the White House’s thinking. If so, the tsunami of 2012 will make 2010’s results look like a ripple."
http://www.commen...n/380562
Shhh!
Let the 'liberals' keep digging.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 08, 2010
I disagree that there are no objective principles of ethics. The normative principles that governs the correctness and incorrectness of arithmetical equations operate on all other human acts as well.

Social Contract theory is flawed because it is an argument from analogy, between the justification of a private contract and the justification of state authority, when there is no independent reason for thinking that the analogy is apt. Consent does not justify the existence of government, it is simply a means for ensuring it is not used inappropriately.
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2010
The unknown benefactor may feel good at his/her act of generosity,
The unknown benefactor might be an aesthete who loves to see things beautified.
but it's not the right thing to do unless it's understood to be the right thing, not just felt.
The old woman in my village who doesn't know to write, read, or reason but never hesitates to lend a helping hand doesn't do the right thing?
Where's the border line between feeling and understanding?

frajo
5 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2010
If an unborn, the land, or a child can't give consent you can't have an honest discussion about contracts.
You can. But the results of that discussion are somewhat unpleasant.
As biological parent, you are responsible for all the inevitable foreseen and unforeseen suffering (including death) of your creation. Your good intentions - if there are any - are no excuse.

You attack the government because it forces you to pay taxes or to leave although you admit that there's no way to avoid this type of social interaction.
This is IMHO inconsistent with not attacking one's biological parents and inconsistent with enforcing exactly the same type of social interaction unto one's biological children.
frajo
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010
the right thing to do is the right thing to do, regardless of how anybody feels about it.
This statement is dangerous as it is prone to misuse as history shows.
frajo
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010
I'm trying to make them see that even a democracy, a republic, or other representative form of government still doesn't govern by consent...and that's just the way it is. It doesn't require consent, no more than that it CAN'T govern by consent and still be a "government" in the classical sense of the concept.

Unless SH and pink agree and I'm just not seeing it and we're talking past each other.
Perhaps the topic of the discussion should be changed to "The Meaning of Consent".
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
That is why the point of consent is coincident with your entry into adulthood. Prior to that, your parents consent on your behalf.


That's no excuse when one becomes an adult.

Also, the CONCEPT of "Social Contract" (as articulated by Rousseau) is not idempotent with the definition of contract under common contract law.


I honestly don't give a flying F what Rousseau said or didn't say about social contracts insofar as he's trying to mystify or justify them. There simply is no justification for any unilateral forced agreement. That we simply have to accept them from the government in order to have an ordered civil society is a fact of life. But don't try to sell me some kind of mystical bullshit that I consented to something that I didn't.

Why do you need me to agree with you on this point? NO government governs by consent, not one. My question to you is...so what? Why is it important for you to THINK they do?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
Perhaps the topic of the discussion should be changed to "The Meaning of Consent".


Or how about the millions of ways people try to manufacture consent to upon their fellow man to salve their conscience.

Not only is consent not necessary with respect to government...it's not possible in any practical sense. I believe the more a government allows for differing ends and the more it includes citizens in decisions made the BETTER it is, but this says absolutely nothing about where it acquires it's authority to govern. The two simply have nothing to do with one another.

PinkElephant
3 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
I honestly don't give a flying F what Rousseau said or didn't say about social contracts insofar as he's trying to mystify or justify them.
Well, if you're going to expound on that concept (never mind deriding it), then it would behoove you to treat it properly within its intended semantics, rather than (deliberately?) confusing it with unrelated legal theory.
NO government governs by consent, not one.
Nobody said they do. All existing democratic governments govern by representation. They derive their *authority to govern* by consent.
Why is it important for you to THINK they do?
Why is it important for you to THINK they don't?

You seem to keep trying to ignore the immigrant/visitor angle.

DO YOU AGREE that when you enter any country (e.g. as a tourist), you implicitly CONSENT to its laws and tax codes?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2010
Nice try. If I didn't agree then it's still a unilateral contract and hence in any other forum illegitimate. It's still not derived from the "consent of the governed". The governed are a collection of individuals, not a moral agent or entity... You still haven't answered the question as to why I should HAVE to vote to change my government. I never consented to any form of government, therefore I've demonstrated the government doesn't derive power from the "consent of the governed"... Did I say that? No I didn't. I simply prefer to have my God than all the power in this country.

So why don't you tell us what your actual preferences are, or do you not know.

As so far you appear to be a fan of anarchy with universal morality, both of which are impossible constructs.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
Well, if you're going to expound on that concept (never mind deriding it), then it would behoove you to treat it properly within its intended semantics, rather than (deliberately?) confusing it with unrelated legal theory.


Would you argue with someone over what they thought God was? Would you care what some theologian said he was if the other party cited it in the argument?

They derive their *authority to govern* by consent.


No they don't. You still haven't demonstrated how they get consent to govern. They get their authority to govern by sheer coercion and force via unilateral contracts.

Why is it important for you to THINK they don't?


Well I KNOW they don't, and it's important for the same reason any truth is important.

DO YOU AGREE that when you enter any country (e.g. as a tourist), you implicitly CONSENT to its laws and tax codes?


No I don't. I think they're looking for a better deal. Do I think they consent to EVERY law of the country? Uh no.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
No government ever has the consent of all the "governed". Therefore they can't say that's where they derive their authority from. The governed are a collection of individuals, not a single mystical hive mind that gives it's consent to governance.

There is no such thing as collective consciousness, it's an individual proposition and as long as one individual disagrees then you can't use the concept of "governed", or "the people", or "we" anymore. Find another, or admit you're wrong.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
So why don't you tell us what your actual preferences are, or do you not know.


Preferences for what exactly?

As so far you appear to be a fan of anarchy with universal morality, both of which are impossible constructs.


Anarchy doesn't exist, it can't exist. I'd be all for it if it could be made to work, but as someone who's given it no small amount of thought...it can't.

As far as universal morality, well actually that's the ONLY kind that is consistent. Relative morality is really a contradiction in terms.

Is it moral to beat women? In some parts of the world it is perfectly moral. Universal, or Relative take your pick.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 09, 2010
Actually, governments justify their authority for governing from the necessity for governing, not from consent. Consent, in the form of democratic representation, when it occurs in governments at all, only serves to ensure that the use of authority is not corrupt.

Essentially, all you're doing, mystic, is undermining Social Contract theory for the justification of government. I'm fine with that, as SCT is flawed in its assumptions about the essential relationships between individual humans, i.e. it assumes that there are none.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010
No government ever has the consent of all the "governed". Therefore they can't say that's where they derive their authority from. The governed are a collection of individuals, not a single mystical hive mind that gives it's consent to governance.

There is no such thing as collective consciousness, it's an individual proposition and as long as one individual disagrees then you can't use the concept of "governed", or "the people", or "we" anymore. Find another, or admit you're wrong.
Your form of rampant individuality is nonsense if you intend exactly what you're stating. What do you think societies or cultures are made of?

Do the cells of your hand consent to pick up that pen, or are you forcing them to through a unilateral contract?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2010
Would you argue with someone over what they thought God was?
In other words, you will define Social Contract the way you want, and then debunk your own conception of it, rather than discussing the real concept that everyone else has in mind. You're engaging in strawman arguments.
No I don't. I think they're looking for a better deal. Do I think they consent to EVERY law of the country? Uh no.
Well then, I'll just color you a crank and leave it at that.

Personally, when I enter any country as a foreigner, I fully understand that I'm subjecting myself to all of that country's laws -- whether I'm aware of them or not.

If you think you own the world just on your say-so, well then I wish you luck with your delusions. I just hope you don't run up against too abrupt and unpleasant a cure...
PinkElephant
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010
The following oath must be taken by all immigrants who want to attain U.S. Citizenship:

I hereby declare, on oath,

* that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;

* that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;

* that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;

* that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law;

* that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law;

* that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law;

* and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010
Any adult, natural-born U.S. resident who arrogates to himself or herself the title of United States Citizen, has implicitly taken the above oath by that very declaration.
Skultch
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010
A govt does not need consent just as parents don't need consent from their children to keep them from running away from home. The founders of any govt establish power because they think the governed will simply accept it because they know it's in their best interest. That's the motivation for making the most effective govt. We are all, individuals and govts, utilitarian. That and a little knowledge of indirect effects are all that is necessary for this society thing to work. Evolution has given us language and built in empathy to help see and teach long term effects of selfish decisions.

MM, the reason you still pay your taxes, and Marjon doesn't actually revolt, is because it is in your best interest's. It's as simple as that. And you know what? THAT'S A MUTUAL CONTRACT, aka an understanding between two parties. Every time you don't violate that understanding (by leaving or not paying taxes) you uphold the contract. It's unilateral until you leave for the border.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 09, 2010
The point mystic is making (I think) is that accepting the fact that you can be punished or rewarded according to a law passed by a government you recognize as legitimate is not the same thing as agreeing with/consenting to that law. To that I say, "Big Deal!" So long as you recognize that law is necessary and that the institution imposing that law has the sorts of internal structures like representation that prevent or mitigate corruption, that's all the consent you need. But ultimately, the people governed have to consent with the body of law, or the governing body will be overthrown/reformed. But that sort of consent doesn't justify the laws passed, the need for those laws justify them.
Skultch
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010
It's unilateral until you leave for the border.


Edit:

It's only unilateral while you are leaving for the border.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
The founders of any govt establish power because they think the governed will simply accept it

The founders of the US govt did not think that.
They had to persuade and one form of that persuasion were letters to the editor that became known as the Federalist Papers.
THAT'S A MUTUAL CONTRACT,

No, it is not.
Now if citizenship had to be earned, as Heinlein supported, that would be a mutual contract. That was the way the original Constitution was framed. Only property owners could vote because they had the most vested interest in controlling the state. We now have a majority of parasites that vote to take more.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 09, 2010
The founders knew that we were gonna get a government, whether we liked it or not, so it might as well be a government we could like, as opposed to what would happen if we didn't try for some kind of representative democracy. The people can choose the form their government takes, and do so largely by majority rule. You don't get to choose whether you have a government at all, nor can you constrain its authority.

I think it's quite telling that people like marjon hate the government of the founder's in the 21st century. I doubt they would like it much in the 18th century either.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
SH, the cells in my hand aren't conscious. EXTREMELY poor example. To answer your question societies are collections of INDIVIDUALS working for their own ends, sometimes they coincide with other individuals, sometimes they don't, and sometimes they're in opposition.

Pink,

You think every immigrant comes here legally? You live on the same planet I do? Third one from the sun, mostly blue, in English called Earth?

Anyone who becomes a citizen and actually takes that oath...well then yes you have an EXPLICIT contract with. The other 99% of us you don't. Keep trying though.

Thras pretty much has the point I'm making. I recognize that we need government, that even though this government most certainly does NOT have the consent of the governed (though it claims to) is still legitimate. That it gets it's power from itself to govern and not the populace, that this is necessary and in fact how ALL governments operate. (cont.)
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2010
and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

So atheists don't have to follow the oath?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
That all social contracts are by definition and necessity (with VERY few exceptions) unilateral. That most people buy into the BS that they're voluntary, or consensual to...what...somehow make it "feel" better. Whatever, you keep your little illusions about government if they help you out. As for me I don't need that crutch.

Don't tell me I consent to government and I won't try to convert you to Christianity...deal?
Skultch
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010
The founders of the US govt did not think that.
They had to persuade...


They did not have to persuade their right to form a congress. That is what were talking about here. The right for any govt to even begin to form itself. You are changing the subject to the later details.

No, it is not.
Now if citizenship had to be earned, ...


I never said it HAD to be earned. IF it's earned, people stay, IF not, they leave or revolt. It just so happened that the govt formed was good enough for more people to agree than to revolt.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
I recognize that we need government,

I recall a story I heard about medics deployed to Vietnam. They would ingest tape worm eggs. Tapeworms aggressively protect their host from more viscous parasites.
But their can be no mistake, govt IS a parasite.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 09, 2010
I get your point, mystic, but I just don't see why you feel compelled to make it. You're not arguing that people shouldn't pay their taxes, you're not arguing that they shouldn't follow laws, you're not even arguing that government is inherently immoral or unfair. You're just saying that the existence of government is not explained or justified by consent. Yeah, so?
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
Don't tell me I consent to government and I won't try to convert you to Christianity...deal?

Govt is the statist's religion.
Skultch
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010
There are no unilateral contracts. THAT is a contradiction and THAT is why you keep us going around in circles.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 09, 2010
Government is a parasite on its individuals in the same way the leader of a pack of wolves is a parasite on the rest of a pack (it's not). Governments allow us to reach pinnacles of human achievement that are not otherwise possible, by stabilizing and making predictable individual interaction thereby making cooperation more expansive and fruitful
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
I get your point, mystic, but I just don't see why you feel compelled to make it. You're not arguing that people shouldn't pay their taxes, you're not arguing that they shouldn't follow laws, you're not even arguing that government is inherently immoral or unfair. You're just saying that the existence of government is not explained or justified by consent. Yeah, so?


I guess because other people say it is.

Let me ask you this. As an atheist you're not arguing people should be denied their religion, forced to burn their bibles, not pray, etc etc. You're just saying you don't believe in God. Yeah, so?

:-) It's not the same, but similar...
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
Governments allow us to reach pinnacles of human achievement that are not otherwise possible, by stabilizing and making predictable individual interaction thereby making cooperation more expansive and fruitful

See? It IS a religion to them.
That is why Lenin stated all communists must be atheists.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 09, 2010
I am not an atheist, but an agnostic. I, like everyone else, lack knowledge as to whether a supernatural entity exists or not. I am an empirical atheist, however, because "supernatural" and "empirical" are contradictions. I know there is no perceivable, measurable supernatural entity, because a supernatural entity by definition evades perception and measurement. And there is another way to view consent of the governed. Insofar as the populace is not in open revolt of their government, they consent to its governing. Consent does not explain the existence of government in general, but it does explain the existence of any particular government.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 09, 2010
And rather than argue against that claim, marjon, you smear it as an article of faith. Name one significant human achievement that has not either been done directly by government, or was accomplished without government direction/subsidy.
marjon
1.3 / 5 (3) Nov 09, 2010
one significant human achievement

Flying. But there are many more.
I think Thrasymachus is suffering from a form of Stockholm syndrome.
Pets do seem to love their masters.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 09, 2010
Oh, yes. Flying would have been a really significant human achievement without governments paying for better engines and larger capacities for use in war. And I'm sure private air carriers would have done just fine without government subsidy of fuel prices and the regulation of the FAA. [/sarcasm] Try again, dumbass.
frajo
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010
The following oath must be taken by all immigrants who want to attain U.S. Citizenship:
I hereby declare, on oath,
...
* that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law;
...
* and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
That's quite inacceptable for a conscientious objector or for a person who is serious about his non-belief.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 09, 2010
The "so help me God" part of the oath is not required. And to put things in perspective for you marjon, the Chinese were flying men in giant kites for centuries before the Wright Bros. Balloons and hang gliders were well known when they slapped a little engine with a propeller on their giant kite. And after they did so, powered flight was considered a trivial novelty until governments started developing the idea into a tactical weapon and means for transportation.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2010
@frajo,

In the old days, the oath of citizenship had to be taken with one hand on the Bible. Nowadays, you just raise your right hand. As for the "so help me God", I agree. Every bit as anachronistic as the "under God" clause in the Pledge of Allegiance.

However, a declaration by oath is by any reasonable interpretation the highest order of promise. It is a solemn and formal affirmation, which if broken, forever marks you as a person without honor, and a person who cannot be trusted. Not to mention that you forfeit any privileges or benefits of your status as a citizen... Even if one finds the last 4 words meaningless, the rest of the oath still applies.

As for the "bear arms" part of the oath, notice that there are other paragraphs that mention non-combat and civil service. Also note the "as required by law" clause. It just so happens that current US legal code provides room for conscientious objectors to choose one of those other two alternatives, in lieu of combat duties.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
That's quite inacceptable for a conscientious objector or for a person who is serious about his non-belief.


Hold the phone. I was pretty well done with this thread till I saw this. Now I can at least understand the separation of church and state argument here. But serious about non-belief? One might as well add "So help me Barney the purple dinosaur" to that oath were I a non-believer. It simply would make no difference as far as I can see.

Help me out here.

I also happen to agree wholeheartedly with the conscious objector statement FTR.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
SH, the cells in my hand aren't conscious. EXTREMELY poor example. To answer your question societies are collections of INDIVIDUALS working for their own ends, sometimes they coincide with other individuals, sometimes they don't, and sometimes they're in opposition.
Ok, then let's talk about the cells in your head.

Without those individual, non-concious cells, there is no concious Modernmystic. So by your example, you shouldn't exist without a multicellular contract.

Governments can't govern without a population. If you want to insist a government needs a contract to exist, then you require a contract to be concious.

Or you can recognize that you're taking an extreme stance and ignoring the basic groupthink and collective mechanisms that allow survival within human beings.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (4) Nov 09, 2010
@Modernmystic,
Anyone who becomes a citizen and actually takes that oath...well then yes you have an EXPLICIT contract with. The other 99% of us you don't. Keep trying though.
Eh? Are you saying 99% of us aren't citizens?

Heh, maybe you flunked your civics class in High School, but ignorance is no excuse. The word "citizen" carries a very specific meaning, as outlined in that Oath I quoted. Non-citizens are either in the country temporarily, or illegally (to be deported when discovered.)
You think every immigrant comes here legally?
Are you saying you travel internationally while openly declaring at customs checkpoints of the countries you're about to enter, that you plan to violate any of that country's laws you happen to disagree with?
You think every immigrant comes here legally?
Ah, so one instance of law-breaking justifies other instances? Besides, you might have noticed our society is gradually becoming less tolerant toward such violations of its norms...
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 09, 2010
Actually, if one were serious in their belief in the non-existence of a deity, requiring someone to end their oath with "so help me God" pretty much invalidates the whole oath, since that phrase has the effect of holding God as the guarantor of the promise. It's also important if one takes the provision in the Constitution forbidding religious tests for holding office seriously, since citizenship can be regarded as an official position within the government.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010
@Thrasymachus,
requiring someone to end their oath with "so help me God" pretty much invalidates the whole oath, since that phrase has the effect of holding God as the guarantor of the promise
Well... not really. Notice that the oath begins with the words "*I* hereby *declare*, *on oath*, ..." and concludes with "*I* take this obligation freely *without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion*".

You are your own guarantor in this case. The "God" part is for those who hold such a low opinion of themselves, that they think they can't faithfully carry out their oath without supernatural help. However, you don't necessarily have to believe that; you could instead take the position that you're giving your solemn word upon your own honor, and the buck stops with you. In which case, you need no help from "God", and so the last 4 words of the oath amount to nothing but meaningless ritual flourish.
Skultch
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 09, 2010
I was pretty well done with this thread ...


Quitter. That's 2 threads now that I've been involved in where you lose the debate by forfeit.

Your claim that so many are deluded about the govt's unilateral contract is as wrong as your claim that the DoE should have no say in their students' nutrition.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 09, 2010
DoE should have no say in their students' nutrition.

The dept of ed has students? Since when?
Children are not the property of the state.
But children are leverage for the fed to worm its way into schools. If schools take fed money they have to follow fed rules and spend even more money to comply.
It is a solemn and formal affirmation, which if broken, forever marks you as a person without honor,

But I bet Pinkie voted for Boxer who has certainly violated her oath to support and defend the US Constitution.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 09, 2010
powered flight was considered a trivial novelty

Sure.
Is that why the Army was Wright's first customer?
Is that why so many others were trying so hard to be the first in controlled flight?
How much did Edison get from the govt to create his light bulb?
Skultch
5 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
DoE should have no say in their students' nutrition.

The dept of ed has students? Since when?
Children are not the property of the state....


Don't.....feed.......the.......troll........

Do you also deliberately misconstrue statements from your friends and family, just to start arguments? Did your wife/husband divorce you for this?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 09, 2010
But I bet Pinkie voted for Boxer
You'd bet wrong. She supported the financial bailouts; I wrote her office at the time and said I'll never vote for her (or any Democrat) again until they start prosecuting white-collar crime and letting financial idiots eat their own cooking, instead of rewarding misfeasance and malfeasance on the back of law-abiding citizenry.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 09, 2010
Do you also deliberately misconstrue statements

What did I misconstrue?
Skultch:
"Your claim that so many are deluded about the govt's unilateral contract is as wrong as your claim that the DoE should have no say in their students' nutrition. "
Skultch, you thing the DoE SHOULD have a say in THEIR student's nutrition?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 09, 2010
LMAO @ marjon...

"Your claim that ***SO MANY ARE*** deluded about the govt's unilateral contract is as wrong as your claim that the DoE should have no say in ***THEIR*** students' nutrition."

Are the dots sufficiently connected now?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
Are the dots sufficiently connected now?
Don't connect the dots on him. How else is he supposed to read, seeing as he must be blind and require braile to have the stances he does.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
Wow, honesty from a socialist. Now how many 'liberals' will be honest with themselves?
Socialists need useful idiots (moderates, blue dogs, rinos) to advance their agenda.
"Glenn, unlike you, I am not a progressive. I am not a liberal who is so afraid of the word that I had to change my name to progressive. Liberals amuse me. I am a socialist. I live to the extreme left, the extreme left of you mere liberals, okay? However, I know this about my country. Liberals are 20 percent of the electorate. Conservatives are 41 percent of the electorate, okay?...You can sit there and pretend that liberals should run more liberal in conservative districts. You love the loss of the Blue Dogs. The only way, the only way you have a chairman Barney Frank, there's only one way, that's by electing Blue Dogs. It's the only way. That's the only way you have a Speaker Pelosi."
Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
Quitter.


The next time a two year old stamps his feet at you and insists the sky isn't blue remember that you "quit" the debate...

On edit: No, better yet. Next time you get into a debate with a creationist about the age of the Earth and they keep quoting you the Bible as proof, remember you "quit" the debate...

I personally have better things to do than beat my head against irrationalists (Thras excluded) who simply can't come face to face with the "ugly truth" about governmental power DESPITE what Mrs. X told you in civics class...
Skultch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
What did I misconstrue?

Skultch, you thing the DoE SHOULD have a say in THEIR student's nutrition?


Even if I did refer to the DoE's students being "theirs," only you would think I thought the DoE somehow owned them. The students are their responsibility; the DoE works "for" them. "Their" students, like "my" customers, or "your" psychosis. Get it now?

The crazy thing is, I still think you might be acting deliberately thick for some kind of ham-handed ad hominem attack. Either that, or everyone here is right; you are a sociopath, physically incapable of empathy. You are missing the mirror neurons that allow normal people to instantly, and without effort, TRY to see the other's perspective.
Skultch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
MM,

Was my statement describing the relationship between the govt and the governed being merely utilitarian, redundant or did you just miss it? You started this whole thing because of a fallacious theory that the majority of Americans think there is an implicit contract, where you say there never was one. You ignore the fact that there doesn't need to be a contract.

Or, I could just respond to your latest post with, "No....You," and stick out my tongue, which is essentially what your post is.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
You ignore the fact that there doesn't need to be a contract.


Oh, there doesn't? What pray tell me then sets up the RULES by which we live? I suppose you're right, that a ruler doesn't need to be constrained by any documents he and his agents can just do whatever the hell they want. That WOULD technically be a form of government...I suppose.

The fact of the matter is that there IS a contract, that you HAVE to accept it (no consent required or even ASKED for). Moreover that there is no such thing as the "consent of the governed" any more than there is such a thing as the "consent of the flying spaghetti monster".
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
Actually, if one were serious in their belief in the non-existence of a deity, requiring someone to end their oath with "so help me God" pretty much invalidates the whole oath, since that phrase has the effect of holding God as the guarantor of the promise.


Hmmm. This makes no sense on several levels to me. That doesn't mean it isn't valid, just that it makes no sense to ME. How does it matter to a non-believer whether or not God is the guarantor of the promise anyway? He doesn't exist, so what? Your word is no good without some kind of guarantor?

I get the church and state argument, it's this other BS that baffles me. Either God exists for a person and matters, or he doesn't and literally CAN'T matter at any level.
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 10, 2010
No mystic, there is no contract, that was the whole point of the past discussion. There's no reasonable way you can fit the relationship a person has to his/her government into the mold of a contractual one. It's not even a non-consensual, undocumented kind of contract, because that's a contradiction in terms. The very definition of a contract is a set of mutual obligations that exist because of the consent and documentation of the parties who oblige themselves. A contract is a kind of promise, which is basically the same thing, but without the documentation. Both of these are kinds of obligations, which, as I told you before, is the concept that rationally justifies the relationship of the government to the individual, not the artificially and arbitrarily narrowed concept of contracts.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
The students are their responsibility;

No, students are NOT the responsibility of DoEd.
That you do not understand that, and/or promote that is why US education is failing.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
No mystic, there is no contract...


I understand the contradiction of "unilateral contracts", but what you're not getting, or I'm not "seeing" you get is that there IS a framework (ie the constitution/code of laws) that makes the relationship clear. I call it a contract because that's the word that makes sense to me, even if it isn't one in the classical sense of the word.

It's the codified set of rules you haven't agreed to live by but which you're bound to. What would you call it?
Skultch
5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
No, students are NOT the responsibility of DoEd.


Wow. Just because you don't want them to be, does not make it so. Pray tell then, what is the stated mission of the DoE? Then answer, how is there no responsible relationship between the Dept and the students?
Skultch
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
Contracts..... how many circles has it been now?
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
It's the codified set of rules you haven't agreed to live by but which you're bound to. What would you call it?

Natural law.

Skultch, how does the responsibility of the student, the parent, the teacher and the school board compare to DoEd and where is DoEd Constitutional authority?
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 10, 2010
It's the codified set of rules you haven't agreed to live by but which you're bound to. What would you call it?

It's called the law. That's what you call the set of rules codified by the authority of your society, which you may or may not agree with, but which you are nonetheless obligated to follow.

Contrary to marjon's erroneous proclamation, it's not the Natural Law, because the relationship between the individual and Natural Law is necessity, not obligation. You can choose to violate society's laws, risking punishment if you are caught. You cannot choose to violate Natural Law.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
You cannot choose to violate Natural Law.

Of course you can, but it is nature that will punish the offender.
which you are nonetheless obligated to follow.

Why?
The obligation only exists when proper incentives are applied. Few are obligated to follow tax or immigration laws these days.
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 10, 2010
To give an example of a natural law: "Given any object with positive mass in inertial reference frame A, in order to accelerate that object to a different inertial reference frame B, a force must be applied."

There is no punishment for violating this natural law because violations of it simply do not occur. That's what it means to be a natural law. Natural laws may be more or less well known, but our lack of knowledge about them makes them no less necessary. It is difficult to imagine what a "natural punishment" would even be. Punishments can be avoided. Nature is always there.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
This is natural law: "Locke used the claim that men are naturally free and equal as part of the justification for understanding legitimate political government as the result of a social contract where people in the state of nature conditionally transfer some of their rights to the government in order to better insure the stable, comfortable enjoyment of their lives, liberty, and property. "
http://plato.stan...litical/
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 10, 2010
WTF? That's not even close to a natural law. It doesn't even use the words "natural law" together. At best it says that men are "naturally free," which in this context could mean any number of things. At any rate, Locke is wrong. Nature is perceivable and measurable, in other words, empirical. Its laws are discovered through empirical methods. No empirical method can ever discover whether any object or not is free in any degree or entirely predetermined. Social laws and moral laws are not Natural Laws.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2010
It's the codified set of rules you haven't agreed to live by but which you're bound to. What would you call it?
The law.
This is natural law: "Locke used the claim that men are naturally free...
Marjon, I'm simply wondering how is it that you've survived for so long while being so incredibly stupid.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Locke is wrong?
Statists must believe this or else their socialist state must collapse.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Locke is wrong?
Statists must believe this or else their socialist state must collapse.
Locke often self contradicts. If you had ever actually read Locke, which you've made rather clear that you haven't, you'd know this.

Locke is a rationalist bordering on logical positivist. For every Locke quote that supports a stance you can find a Locke quote that detracts from it.
Locke describes the 'state of nature' as a state of insecurity, in that each individual is exposed to possible infringement of his or her natural rights by other individuals. Thus, the purpose of establishing a civil government is to protect the freedom and well-being of all members of society.
Try not to get too involved in philosophy of society or government if you don't intend to actually read the material.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
SH often self contradicts. He claims to support limited govt but is a statist.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2010
SH often self contradicts. He claims to support limited govt but is a statist.

Yeah, don't try to find any evidence for that ad hom, just toss it out there.

If true, perhaps morons like you will start quoting me to support their stances, but to do so you'd have to swing wildly to the left, so you'd end up in the center rather than that lynch 'em all ideology you hold.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
"It is not because men have made laws, that personality,
liberty, and property exist. On the contrary, it is
because personality, liberty, and property exist beforehand, that men make laws."
"Nature, or rather God, has bestowed upon every one
of us the right to defend his person, his liberty, and his property, since these are the three constituent or preserving elements of life;"
"The law has been perverted through the influence of
two very different causes—naked greed and misconceived
philanthropy."
"Yes, as long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true mission, that it may violate property instead of securing it, everybody will be wanting to manufacture law, either to defend himself against plunder, or to organize it for his own profit." Bastiat, The Law.
This it the inevitable result of the regulatory state.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
"They divide mankind into two parts. Men in general,
except one, form the first; the politician himself forms the second, which is by far the most important.
In fact, they begin by supposing that men are devoid
of any principle of action, and of any means of discernment in themselves; that they have no initiative; that they are inert matter, passive particles, atoms without impulse; at best a vegetation indifferent to its own mode of existence,
susceptible of assuming, from an exterior will and
hand an infinite number of forms, more or less symmetrical, artistic, and perfected.
Moreover, every one of these politicians does not hesitate to assume that he himself is, under the names of organizer, discoverer, legislator, institutor or founder, this will and hand, this universal initiative, this creative power, whose sublime mission it is to gather together these scattered materials, that is, men, into society." The Law.

This is what SH, Thras. and many other here promote.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Fine then call it the law instead of a contract if you like. I prefer to continue to call it a contract because many of the documents set forth by the government (especially the constitution) follow that form more than they do a list of can and can nots, even if it isn't (as has been pointed out here a thousand times) a traditional contract.

Oh and Thras, I'm still not OBLIGED to follow the law. I do so because it's in my best rational interests in some cases, in others because it's simply the right thing to do, and in others because I fear the consequences of breaking it...like probably 99% of folks.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
This is what SH, Thras. and many other here promote.
Actually that'd be about the exact opposite of what we promote. We're all quite against the idea of rampant credulity and Randian objectivism.

Time for you to run along now. It appears you're becomming confused and projecting your thought processes upon us. Bastiat and Locke stand at odds when it comes to "natural" rights of property. The fact you don't know that shows you've read neither.
Oh and Thras, I'm still not OBLIGED to follow the law. I do so because it's in my best rational interests in some cases, in others because it's simply the right thing to do, and in others because I fear the consequences of breaking it...like probably 99% of folks.
And that goes the same for contracts. Contracts are simply extensions of law and agreements on practice. Since they are typically beyond the perview of the law in their restriction they require agreement. The law does not require agreement.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Actually that'd be about the exact opposite of what we promote.

I guess you don't read well.
You beleive this:
"they begin by supposing that men are devoid
of any principle of action, and of any means of discernment in themselves; "{ Hence the need for a powerful state.)
"every one of these politicians {including SH} does not hesitate to assume that he himself is, under the names of organizer, discoverer, legislator, institutor or founder, this will and hand, this universal initiative, this creative power, whose sublime mission it is to gather together these scattered materials, that is, men, into society."

Why do statists like SH and T believe man needs to be controlled and they should be on the side of the controllers?
If the Law redistributes wealth or restricts behavior for some social good beyond protection of individual rights, then the law weakens society. That has been and is being demonstrated every day.
That is not strain credulity.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
While I'm no advocate of anarchy, I do agree that societies which don't REQUIRE people to work towards ends they don't agree with, but allow for people to work for their own ends are more attractive and seem to work better.

Recognize that people aren't ants and allow for differences (cultural, social, AND ECONOMIC) and you have a more just society IMO.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
I guess you don't read well.
You should probably stop guessing, it isn't helping your understanding of reality.

You beleive this:
"they begin by supposing that men are devoid
of any principle of action,
Nope.
and of any means of discernment in themselves;
Nope.
every one of these politicians {including SH} does not hesitate to assume that he himself is this will and hand, this universal initiative, this creative power, whose sublime mission it is to gather together these scattered materials, that is, men, into society.
certainly not. It isn't my perogative to keep you in my society. If you don't like the society, of which I am a mere member, get out. Your agreement with my values isn't necessary, nor do I have any vested interest in forcing someone to change theirs.
social good beyond protection of individual rights
You have no rights if you're stupid, unfed, and dying due to marjonish greed. All of this over a 3% tax increase, you're a schmuck.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
nor do I have any vested interest in forcing someone to change theirs.

Your support of regulations to redistribute wealth says otherwise.
You have no rights if you're stupid

So SH must force others to take care of the stupid? The 'stupid' can't vote?
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 11, 2010
Quite unintentionally, I'm sure, marjon is actually pointing out a real dispute in legal theory between Legal Positivism and Natural Law Theory. He does this, however, to muddy the distinction between natural laws, which no one can choose to violate, and social laws, which we can obviously choose to violate. The dispute in these legal theories is about the source of the authority of the law. Positivism asserts that the law has authority because the law says so. Natural Law theory asserts that the authority of law is grounded in the natural and rational obligations individuals have to each other. It does not assert that men's laws are natural laws. Guess which position I've been arguing for here?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Your support of regulations to redistribute wealth says otherwise.
I've only supported the taxation of the wealthy to pay for the infrastructure that the wealthy benefit from. At no point in time have I posted support for handouts, like you have.
So SH must force others to take care of the stupid?
Would you like to tell me how I'm forcing people to take care of you?
The 'stupid' can't vote?
The "stupid" can't make informed decisions. Once they're informed, they cease to be "stupid" as they're now equipped to further educate and decide for themselves. Perhaps if you actually read things rather than quote mining them you'd become informed enough to create an opinion of your own rather than firing off ridiculous arguments that have been disavowed by even their own creators.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
the infrastructure that the wealthy benefit from.

Do you benefit from that infrastructure?
If all benefit, all should pay.
Guess which position I've been arguing for here?

{answer}
Positivism asserts that the law has authority because the law says so


rational obligations individuals have to each other.


What are these?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2010
Do you benefit from that infrastructure?
Yep, and I willingly pay taxes for it.
If all benefit, all should pay.
And they do. No one is ever exempt from taxation. They may have no tax liability due to their income, however a business, like FedEx reaps a far higher reward from the interstate highway system than a retiree who doesn't own a car, don't you think?
rational obligations individuals have to each other.
What are these?
LOL.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
FedEx reaps a far higher reward from the interstate highway system than a retiree who doesn't own a car,

Highway users pay a use tax on fuel. FedEx or any business must pass on any taxes to their customers or they will go out of business.
The retiree without a car pays for the highway in the cost of the products he buys.

What obligation to I have to anyone else? I have obligations to my family. The only obligation I have to anyone else is to respect their inherent right to life and property. Is that the obligation you mean?
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
"What is opposed is parasitism, where one individual or group is forcefully coerced to sacrfice to the benefit of another individual or group. This is the exact opposite of social cooperation: it is the method of theft and phony philanthropy. The rational egoist clearly sees that the best way to benefit people is for them to work together voluntarily in their self-interest so that all parties gain. True philanthropy results from cooperation. If the methods to one's well-intended ends are not cooperative, if they are coercive, then this is not true charity, but rather a destructive act that disintegrates the social order."
"Herbert Spencer also understood this when he stated that people respect the rights of others in direct proportion to their respect for their own rights. If one wishes no harm to be done to themselves, as a prerequisite, they must not harm others. "
https://mises.org...ism.aspx
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 11, 2010
The obligations which ground the authority of the law are those which are rationally justified. There are many theories which attempt to rationally ground obligations. The English tradition favors Utilitarianism, which I believe, but won't get into here, to be fatally logically flawed. I prefer the approach of deontology, which argues for various reasons that the most fundamental, rational obligation every individual has to is always respect the humanity of others and yourself. Humanity, here, has the technical definition being the ability to choose, together with those things that make that ability possible.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
rational obligation every individual has to is always respect the humanity of others and yourself.

The flaw here is 'humanity'. If you said respect every individual, you would be on the right track.
The difference between the concept of 'rights of men' and 'rights of man' are profound and have led to millions dead.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
Marjon,

I'd strongly recommend you stop visiting these sites that worship at the feet of Ayn Rand. She's considered to be an essayist who wanted to be a philosopher with arguments so poorly constructed that they've all been summarily dismissed within each field they've been applied to. It's very telling that you structure your weak arguments on shifting sands. They don't stand the test of time, nor mere simple scrutiny.

Secondly, the site you use so often, Mises.org, disagrees with you almost every time.
In short, the libertarian who makes such assumptions is at least partially buying into the way in which the political spectrum is typically framed in contemporary public discourse, with "the right" standing for less and less government control and "the left" standing for more and more government control, with "the left" standing for collectivism and communism and "the right" standing for individualism and capitalism. One would think that the libertarian should know better
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
It's very telling that you structure your weak arguments on shifting sands.

And I am the one that argues from principles like inherent individual rights.
And principles like limited govt and free markets.
The only 'principles' I see from SH all support state power over the individual.
It is all about power. I support power to individuals. SH is afraid of individuals having that power. I see the principles quite clearly.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
And I am the one that argues from principles like inherent individual rights.
And principles like limited govt and free markets.
No actually you don't. If anything you're a neoconservative corporatist.
The only 'principles' I see from SH all support state power over the individual.
You say this alot but you never prove it. Point out my "statist" philosophies.
It is all about power. I support power to individuals.
No, you support corporate power. Corporations are not individuals.
SH is afraid of individuals having that power.
Having what power? The power to go broke and die? Yeah, I'd rather individuals actually get power through liberation from oppressive social cartels, like the banking and insurance industries, the energy magnates, and other ridiculous slavery style institutions.
I see the principles quite clearly.
No, but you certainly attempt to prop up Corporate Oligarchy. Just a big mishmash of falsehoods today, aren't you?
Modernmystic
1.4 / 5 (5) Nov 12, 2010
Marjon,

I'm sure you've read "The Machinery of Freedom". Read this part again....

http://www.davidd..._41.html

I used to think you could deduce proper politics and ethics from a single set of simple principles too. I don't anymore.

SH, corporations aren't the only institutions that abuse the power they have over people...stop acting like they are...
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
SH, corporations aren't the only institutions that abuse the power they have over people...stop acting like they are...
At what point in time did I say they were? When did I start acting like they were? Unions do the same crap, so do trade cartels, some governments, many commisions appointed by non-voters, some PACs, etc.

Not all corporations are bad, that doesn't mean we should give them the keys to the kingdom.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
I used to think you could deduce proper politics and ethics from a single set of simple principles too. I don't anymore

You have it backwards.
Simple principles create the emergent system. Deduction is not the correct process.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 12, 2010
You have it backwards.
Simple principles create the emergent system. Deduction is not the correct process.
In politics, simple principles create unilateral totalitarianism or theocracy.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
You have it backwards.
Simple principles create the emergent system. Deduction is not the correct process.
In politics, simple principles create unilateral totalitarianism or theocracy.

Depends upon the principle. If the 'principle' is 'the government should serve the people', then it will.
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 12, 2010
Apparently, marjon, you have the fascinating ability to read more into what is written than is actually there. I told you explicitly that "humanity" has the technical definition of being the ability to choose, known in the literature as "autonomy" together with those things that make such a feature possible in humans. Humanity is a property of individual humans. The obligation to respect that humanity in oneself and others does not favor groups or even mankind in general over individuals. A way you might prefer it to be phrased is that we must respect individual freedom, both our own freedom and the freedom of others. Modern corporations are guilty of violating this obligation in an institutionalized and structural way. They treat their shareholders, managers, employees and customers as mere tools to their ends of increasing profits and share prices.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
Modern corporations are guilty of violating this obligation in an institutionalized and structural way. They treat their shareholders, managers, employees and customers as mere tools to their ends of increasing profits and share prices.

That is what the shareholders want, profits. In order to obtain those profits the corporation must satisfy the needs and wants of their customers by persuading them to buy their products. Corporations pay managers and employees salaries and shares of stock to provide those products.
Are you saying everyone must donate their time and talents for humanity?
Thrasymachus
2.1 / 5 (11) Nov 12, 2010
I am saying that when your only concern when developing and making use of your talents is the extent of your own compensation, and nothing else, you are failing to meet your most fundamental moral obligation. Self-regard is the basest form of human motivation. Of course one should seek compensation for the use of one's talents and resources, but one should always seek to use one's talents and resources for the benefit of humanity, and not create situations and institutions where others are forced to compensate them because they are left with no other option.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
one's talents and resources, but one should always seek to use one's talents and resources for the benefit of humanity, and not create situations and institutions where others are forced to compensate them because they are left with no other option.

That can only happen when a govt creates monopolies.
This cannot happen in a free market.
I may like to farm and I like to grow brussel sprouts. But few people want to buy my product so I either grow what people want, or I go out of business. That is the way of all business that is not protected from competition by force (govt).
The most fundamental moral obligation is self-interest. In free markets it is in my self interest to meet the needs and wants of others, for compensation.
On airplanes, you are directed to put on your O2 mask before helping others. If you pass out, how CAN you help anyone else? If you don't have any interest in yourself, how can you help anyone else?
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 12, 2010
Humanity does not mean merely others, unless you exlude yourself from it, which I do not doubt you wish to do, marjon. You deserve just as much self-respect as you give to others, but no more. The most fundamental moral obligation is respect for humanity as the most fundamental moral end, and that includes self-respect, as well as respect for others.

A free-market system is absolutely the best system for a universe of perfectly moral beings, acting in accordance with the principle above, and who all began in an equal position regarding posessions. But we do not live in that world. Not one of us are either perfectly good nor do we begin with equal resources. Inheritance, past injustice, and differences in physical and mental abilities begin us in a very unequal place, and the logic of capitalism dictates that inequalities will always grow.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
A free-market system is absolutely the best system for a universe of perfectly moral beings, acting in accordance with the principle above,

It is the best system in a world of imperfect people because to stay in business you MUST keep your customers happy and returning to your business or your competitors will.
logic of capitalism dictates that inequalities will always grow.

So?
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Nov 13, 2010
So, barakn, Ethelred, can you show me


Why you say you don't read my posts. Except apparently to rate them ones. Which is a bad idea as I return the favor. Only harder.

However the standard Libertarian reply to a person with a bad employer is say you should quit. So quit. Leave the country.

Of course MY reply is that the US has LAWS not a contract. Contracts aren't all there is except except to Randites. And Ann Rand was a nutcase using fantasy to support her ideas. Only she thought it was real. Somehow she seemed to think that people magically become evil in government and absobleepinglutely perfect in uncontrolled anarcho-capitalism. Which is definitely magical thinking.

Ethelred
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2010
The end result of populism:
"His near-constant criticism of Prince George's police department helped make him popular in the county's poor and working-class neighborhoods. "

"Since taking office in 2002, Johnson has been criticized for doling out government contracts to friends and allies who were not qualified for the work and for running up excessive charges on his county-issued credit card. In 2008, "
"Johnson ordered his wife to find and destroy a $100,000 check from a real estate developer that was hidden in a box of liquor. "

"http://www.washin...11204006
I recall two Boston city council members caught taking bribes, we have at least two 'liberal' congressmen, Rangle and Waters, in trouble.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
Would you like to take a look at the Reagan Bush administration? More than 35 convictions. Clinton administration one.

Lack of respect for government does not seem to produce honest politicians.

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
Marjon,

"liberal" and "populist" are not the same.

Scott Brown, MA Republican is a populist.
Joe Liberman, CT Independent is a populist.
Bill Maher, Ultra Lib talk show host is a populist.
Christopher Hitchens is a populist.
Populism is advocation for the people as opposed to the structures of business, politics, or academics. It is the struggle of common people against elite establishments. The TEA Party may have been populist at the outset, but no longer. Arguing to have the top marginal tax rate reduced, or maintained at a reduced rate is anti-populist.

It is a position that doesn't adhere to party line ideology. It is actual independence.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
Populism is advocation for the people

If it is 'people' as a collective, it is called socialism.
Just as the 'Rights of Man' is socialistic.
If you said advocation for individual people, then you may be on the right track. Advocation for individual people is quite different. In all your posts you never have advocated for the rights of every individual to their liberty and property.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2010
SH referes to Lieberman as a 'populist'.
A colleague worked in in office for a year. She reported on her time their and Lieberman told her the first job of politician is to be re-elected. How selfish!
How does a 'populist' reconcile his self interest with 'working for the people'?
That is what Adam Smith said about free markets. People who work in their self interest create an economy that benefits all.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
Still believe Hitchens to be a 'populist'?
"Along the way, he says, "I learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness. Amazing. My conservative friends look at me and say, 'Welcome to the club. What took you so long?' Well that's what it took and I think it's worth recording.""
"And yet people's main interest seemed to be in ignoring it or denying it, or if they were politicians or soldiers, running away from it: abandoning Somalia, leaving Afghanistan to rot, trying to subsume Islamism into multiculturalism. I thought: until yesterday, they knew they were at war, and we didn't. "

http://www.guardi...nterview
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2010
Still believe Hitchens to be a 'populist'?
Yep, certainly do. Just as I said, populism doesn't follow party lines, nor does my vote.
A colleague worked in in office for a year. She reported on her time their and Lieberman told her the first job of politician is to be re-elected. How selfish!
Sounds about right. Everyone's first priority at work is keeping their job. What's the best way to keep your job? Be good at it.
If it is 'people' as a collective, it is called socialism...If you said advocation for individual people, then you may be on the right track. Advocation for individual people is quite different. In all your posts you never have advocated for the rights of every individual to their liberty and property.
Do you realize that you're saying advocating for the people isn't the same as advocating for the people?

It took you three posts to say exactly nothing. Try again.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 16, 2010
marjon advocates for the inherent right of tyrants to oppress and usurp. But he would never advocate for the inherent right of the prospective oppressed, in self-defense, to put constraints on the would-be tyrants.

Anarcho-capitalism is nothing but a synonym for Feudalism. It is nostalgia for antebellum-style plantation economy and social structure: a few wealthy magnates own everything, and everyone else is their servant for a pittance. One does not need government force to achieve such ends; left to their own devices, mafia bosses easily finance their own private forces, and set up their own codes of law and enforcement. That's the end-game of marjon's vision: screw Enlightenment, and it's back to the Dark Ages.

marjon sees nothing wrong with perpetual escalation of wealth inequality. That means he either still believes in the discredited "trickle down" farce, or he believes that the ultimate and inevitable outcome of such a regime is somehow not a bloody revolution...
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 17, 2010
marjon advocates for the inherent right of tyrants to oppress and usurp.

When?
constraints on the would-be tyrants.

I support constraints called free markets and the second amendment.

perpetual escalation of wealth inequality.

It is interesting the most of the wealthy are liberals and support the state. Why? So they can continue to control govt power, Pinkie and others want the govt to have MORE power for people like Soros to control. Why do you support the uber rich Pinkie?
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Nov 17, 2010
It is interesting the most of the wealthy are liberals and support the state.
It would be, if it were true, but it isn't. If you disagree, provide some sources for your assertions.
So they can continue to control govt power, Pinkie and others want the govt to have MORE power for people like Soros to control.
If Soros had any form of control I doubt he'd be spending money on said control.
Why do you support the uber rich Pinkie?
You're the one who wants to give them a tax break.