Republicans could scale back US science budgets

Nov 10, 2010 by Jean-Louis Santini
A researcher works on stem cells at the University of Connecticut (UConn) on August 2010. Budgets for scientific research in the United States could be scaled back with the return of a Republican-majority in Congress as conservatives aim to slash spending to reduce the ballooning deficit.

Budgets for scientific research in the United States could be scaled back with the return of a Republican-majority in Congress as conservatives aim to slash spending to reduce the ballooning deficit.

The Republican electoral platform, the "Pledge to America," details the party's ideals of smaller government, lower taxes and robust national defense, and vows to "stop out-of-control spending."

"There is a risk that we may have a significant reduction in the science ," said Patrick Clemins, director of the research and development policy program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Even before Republicans made sweeping gains in the House of Representatives in last week's mid-term elections, Republicans and Democrats agreed to scale back federal spending in order to try and get the deficit, which amounts to almost 14 trillion dollars in national debt, under control.

President has also ordered all federal agencies that are not linked to national security to reduce by five percent their budget requests for 2012 compared to the 2011 budget year beginning October 1, 2010.

But if Republicans hold to their pledge, non-defense related federal research spending could dip more than 12 percent to around 58 billion dollars compared to 66 billion requested by the White House for 2011.

According to an analysis by Clemins which shows what could occur if Republicans are able to make across-the-board cuts, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) could see its budget slashed by 34 percent or 324 million dollars.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) could lose nine percent of its budget or 2.9 billion dollars, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) could see a 19 percent cut, or one billion dollars gone from its coffers.

The US agency NASA's spending could shrink by 15 percent or 1.6 billion dollars.

According to John Logsdon, former director of the Space Policy Institute at the George Washington University, the recent elections have brought "increased uncertainty for the future of US space program."

"The new Republican leaders in the House are talking about overall budget reduction and almost certainly NASA cannot avoid some of that," he told AFP.

In Clemins' view, the situation may not be quite so dire for those who depend on federal funds for research, given that conservatives have made more moderate declarations since the election has passed.

Republicans have "talked more about oversight" and "looking hard" at programs which might need cuts, Clemins said.

And in a press conference on November 3, the day after the election, President Barack Obama said he was opposed to cuts in research and development in a sign that the White House is likely to oppose such actions by Republicans.

"I don't think we should be cutting back on research and development, because if we can develop new technologies in areas like clean energy, that could make all the difference in terms of job creation here at home," Obama said.

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Doug_Huffman
1.5 / 5 (16) Nov 10, 2010
Good. What passes, what passes for science in America should not be privileged to affirmative action. Viz: the Space Scuttle, the Un-American space station (that cost us the SCSC), alternative/homeopathy,[i]ad nauseam[/i].
AkiBola
2.3 / 5 (12) Nov 10, 2010

All areas of the budget must be scaled down, and keep scaling down until there is no deficit. Pass a balanced budget amendment so they can't again spend more than they collect. Scrap the IRS and pass a flat tax which the politicians can't abuse to reward/punish. Dramatically lower business taxes, which are really paid by consumers, and investment will come back home instead of needing our Emperor to make begging trips to India etc.. None of this will happen because there are too many in power who benefit from the current corporate and individual welfare system.
ereneon
4.7 / 5 (14) Nov 10, 2010
Last time I checked defense is by a huge margin the biggest expense, yet it is also the thing they want to increase... hmmm...
brianweymes
4.8 / 5 (19) Nov 10, 2010
Everyone complains about China passing up America, especially Republicans. Well guys, this is one of the ways it happens. R&D is about 2-3% of US GDP, yet yields technologies and medical breakthroughs far exceeding the investment.
ekim
5 / 5 (5) Nov 10, 2010
Scrap the IRS and pass a flat tax which the politicians can't abuse to reward/punish.

Would that mean everyone regardless of job ,income or where they live would pay the same amount?
http://www.statem...r-capita
Good luck selling that to the Texans.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (11) Nov 10, 2010
Good. What passes, what passes for science in America should not be privileged to affirmative action. Viz:alternative/homeopathy


You do realize that the reasons why people think homeopathy works is because people are scientifically illiterate in this country, right?
Doug_Huffman
4.3 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
Americans are illiterate. Read Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt 'The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America', on-line a 700+ page 6.5 MB PDF.
Ravenrant
4.1 / 5 (9) Nov 10, 2010
As I have said before, both parties will screw up this country when they get in power. The republicans will lower taxes and cut everything BUT military spending and the democrats will raise taxes so everything INCLUDING military spending gets funded. 2 paths to the same bad end.

Why is it people aren't smart enough to see we can't afford our military spending? Why don't we ever learn from past mistakes (ours and others)? Military spending destroyed the soviet union (not Reagan) and it will do the same to us before we get smart enough to cut it back to a level we can afford. (which, by the way, is less than 50% of what the US spends now)
marjon
1.3 / 5 (12) Nov 10, 2010
Why is it people aren't smart enough to see we can't afford our military spending?

China certainly can afford theirs.
Will you sleep well knowing the Chinese navy is protecting the Pacific ocean?

The Senate and President are democrats and they must approve any House bills. So responsibility for the passage of any bill must fall to democrats until 2012.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 10, 2010
Here is the plan the democrats plan to promote:
http://documents....d-reform
Question
4.3 / 5 (12) Nov 10, 2010
Why is it people aren't smart enough to see we can't afford our military spending?

China certainly can afford theirs.
Will you sleep well knowing the Chinese navy is protecting the Pacific ocean?

The Senate and President are democrats and they must approve any House bills. So responsibility for the passage of any bill must fall to democrats until 2012.

We are actually paying for most of the Chinese military from the HUGE 25 billion plus per month trade deficit we are running with them.
The US is really paying for nearly all of the military spending for the two larges militaries in the world!
Marjon: the House of Repersentatives actually controls all spending. It will be controlled as of the first of the year by the Republicans.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (11) Nov 10, 2010
the House of Repersentatives actually controls all spending. It will be controlled as of the first of the year by the Republicans.

No, they don't control it.
"All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills."
Cutting funds or reallocation funds can occur in either side of Congress, and given the Senate is controlled by democrats and the president is a democrat, the only 'control' the House will have is a holding action.

Regardless of who paid for the Chinese navy, how would you like them 'protecting' the Pacific?

As for smart people, the 'liberals' have been in charge of education for 50 years.
Question
4.4 / 5 (7) Nov 10, 2010
Marjon: Notice, all money bills (revenue and appropriation) originate in the H. R.

Quote from link below
"According to the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 7, clause 1), all bills relating to revenue, generally tax bills, must originate in the House of Representatives, consistent with the Westminster system requiring all money bills to originate in the lower house which is why the appropriations bills that are enacted begin with "H.R.", indicating a bill that originated in the House. The Constitution also states that the "Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills," so in practice, the Senate and House each drafts and considers its own bill. The Senate then "cuts-and-pastes", substituting the language of its bill of a particular appropriations bill for the language of House bill, then agrees to the bill as amended."

http://en.wikiped...ion_bill
paulthebassguy
4.6 / 5 (7) Nov 10, 2010
This would be ridiculous. Research and development in science and technology increases a country's wealth in the long term.
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
Question, what if the senate and president refuse to pass the initial house bill?
Question
4.4 / 5 (7) Nov 10, 2010
Question, what if the senate and president refuse to pass the initial house bill?

You have a good point there. But when all three are needed to pass a bill you cannot say the Democrats alone are to blame for the next two years. I happen to believe the 5 trillion plus trade deficit we have accumulated over the last few decades is the major reason this country is in such a fix. Both parties are to blame for that.
marjon
1.4 / 5 (11) Nov 10, 2010
Both parties are to blame for that.

'Liberals' in both parties are to blame.
trekgeek1
4.6 / 5 (11) Nov 11, 2010
Will you sleep well knowing the Chinese navy is protecting the Pacific ocean?


I'd sleep fine. Do you want to know why? First, our reduced military budget would most certainly out do the nearest competing country since the money we spend on defense is equivalent to the next highest 16 countries combined(if my memory serves me), so we're not talking about ending defense, just reducing it. Second, nobody is invading us since we still practice M.A.D - Mutually assured destruction is the idea that we will unleash nuclear hell on anyone who tries to take us over, ending them and the world. It's a terrifying prospect having nukes pointed everywhere all the time, and it is actually more concerning than a Chinese navy presence in the Pacific. If anything keeps me awake at night, it's imminent vaporization due to an itchy missile launch finger.
damnfuct
not rated yet Nov 11, 2010
This would be ridiculous. Research and development in science and technology increases a country's wealth in the long term.

(sardonic) But it makes sense in a 5-year window (/sardonic)
ShotmanMaslo
4.7 / 5 (10) Nov 11, 2010
This is crazy. Altough I am against lowering science budget, the deficit has to be lowered somehow, so I would even agree with slashing everything equally, including science. But cutting the science budget and keeping huge military budget the same? Laughable.

Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
China certainly can afford theirs.
Will you sleep well knowing the Chinese navy is protecting the Pacific ocean?


Yes and their defense spending is less than 20% of ours. Who's the world's strongest airforce? The USAF. Who's the second strngest airforce? The US Navy.

That's sad.
marjon
1.5 / 5 (8) Nov 11, 2010
"The one area of near-term concern, the report concludes, is in the Taiwan Strait. Here, China is more likely to use new technologies and asymmetric strategies—not to invade Taiwan outright but to achieve political goals such as forcing the resumption of political dialogue between the two sides on the mainland’s terms. Going forward, the rise of China will continue to be a cause for concern among U.S. policymakers. "
http://www.cfr.or...wer.html
It is not surprising SH would sleep well under a socialist security force.
marjon
1.5 / 5 (8) Nov 11, 2010
Second, nobody is invading us since we still practice M.A.D - Mutually assured destruction is the idea that we will unleash nuclear hell on anyone who tries to take us over,

Invasion is not necessary. China controls the behavior of Japan and Taiwan and other nations with threats of force.
If the US had no defense capability, and Iran threatens to detonate EMP weapon unless the USA withdraws from the middle east allowing Iran to take over Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, ....
What would you do? Bend over and take it? You would have to as all defense spending was cut and the USA has no force to stop Iran. How long would it be before Iran would demand the USA adopt Sharia law or else we will kill all your electronics?
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
oouuuuu doze evwil wrascawy wepubwicans!!!
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (7) Nov 11, 2010
Why is it people aren't smart enough to see we can't afford our military spending? Why don't we ever learn from past mistakes (ours and others)? Military spending destroyed the soviet union (not Reagan) and it will do the same to us before we get smart enough to cut it back to a level we can afford. (which, by the way, is less than 50% of what the US spends now)


Why is it people can't seem to realize we don't spend a lot on our military as a percent of our GDP even WITH two wars going on...

We spend more than the average country does, but it's about a percent or two more...chill.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.4 / 5 (7) Nov 11, 2010
Why is it people can't seem to realize we don't spend a lot on our military as a percent of our GDP even WITH two wars going on...
It's 4.5 % to be precise, but the various war efforts haven't come from that budget. 663.8 billion of 14.59 trillion for 2010, then add the two wars on t

We spend more than the average country does, but it's about a percent or two more...chill.

This is patently false. The US spends more on defense than the next 27 countries combined, 26 of which are our allies.

It is not surprising SH would sleep well under a socialist security force.
Marjon, wtf are you talking about?
If the US had no defense capability, and Iran threatens to detonate EMP weapon unless the USA withdraws from the middle east allowing Iran to take over Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan,
Oh, fantasy land stuff, as usual. Tell me why we're still building F-14's Marjon. They're obsolete as a fighter, and unusable as a bomber. What's the reason?
Skeptic_Heretic
4.8 / 5 (8) Nov 11, 2010
It's 4.5 % to be precise, but the various war efforts haven't come from that budget. 663.8 billion of 14.59 trillion for 2010, then add the two wars on t
Just to make my quoted statement more clear, US Defense spending is consistently more than 30% of the total collected tax revenue.

You want lower taxes, cut defense spending.
Modernmystic
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 11, 2010
Patently true..

http://en.wikiped...nditures

We spend about a percentage point or two more than the average country does, as a percent of our GDP. We can't help it if our GDP is immense, but since we're talking percentage points our military budget is also going to LOOK immense...
Modernmystic
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
You want lower taxes, cut defense spending.


I agree. Also cut welfare programs, scrap socialized medicine, sell off the post offices, privatize social security, phase out medicare, etc etc....

Basically we have to start cutting spending, I don't care where we start as long as we start ACTUALLY doing it.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
Tell me why we're still building F-14's Marjon.

Who is building F-14s?
"The group sees Pentagon R&D accounts slipping to $51 billion in 2016, down from $77 billion in 2011. R&D would fall to $46 billion by 2021, according to TechAmerica. "
"TechAmerica projects that if Gates' plan is enacted, that 1 percent annual real growth would give DoD a topline of $581 billion in 2016 and $611 billion by 2021, according to the report."
http://www.defens...=4934646
Defense spending is 23% of the total budget.
http://en.wikiped...2007.png

If you want lower taxes, cut taxes and regulations to stimulate growth.

"The single most important contributor to a nation’s economic growth is the number of startups that grow to a billion dollars in revenue within 20 years."

http://www.washin...974.html
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (9) Nov 11, 2010
SH does have a point marjon.

We could take on China, Europe, and Russia combined excluding the use of nukes without breaking a sweat if we committed to WW II type organization. If ANYONE in the rest of the world gets into a war with us they might as well be fighting Aliens...we're that far ahead in terms of tech, toys, and training.

I say a smaller budget and more focused on dealing with asymmetric warfare.

One nuke detonated 300 miles over Kansas and we're instantly back in the 1800s. Thank you Obama for scrapping missile defense....idiot....
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 11, 2010
One nuke detonated 300 miles over Kansas and we're instantly back in the 1800s. Thank you Obama for scrapping missile defense....idiot....
Well, recent studies have shown that isn't really a possibility. The EMP generation from a single nuke wouldn't be sufficient enough to cause major grid problems.

What's more interesting is that they've discovered a very simple way to address solar EMP blasts in our current grid system. It's basically the old lightning rod to ground idea we used when we first built up oour grid systems.

The single most important contributor to a nation's economic growth is the number of startups that grow to a billion dollars in revenue within 20 years.
That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. The primary creator of economic growth in a country is trade surplus. Multimillion/billion dollar companies are typically removed from their nation of founding due to global economics. We're not trading chickens anymore Marjon.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 11, 2010
That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.

So says SH. Must be true.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
RE: The EMP thing, I guess it just depends on which study you want to lend credulity to. I admit it's not cut and dried, but honestly if there's a 20% chance it could be that bad, I just as soon have the system and not need it. It's less than the cost of one stealth bomber...
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
I am still waiting for the defense expert SH to tell me who is still building F-14s.
We could take on China, Europe, and Russia combined excluding the use of nukes without breaking a sweat if we committed to WW II type organization. If ANYONE in the rest of the world gets into a war with us they might as well be fighting Aliens...we're that far ahead in terms of tech, toys, and training.

A weak USA invited German and Japaneses attacks in the 30s.
A weak USA invited USSR invasion of Afghanistan. How many had to die for that weakness? Of course that led to empowering bin Ladin.
With today's technology waiting 2 years to rebuild a military as the USA had to do in WWII will lead to millions dead or surrender.
Even the 'progressive' TR said to carry a big stick. Trouble is, too many do not believe that individual liberty is worth defending. They don't believe in USA exceptionalism because they support socialism, not the individual.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
"The EMP observed at the Apia Observatory at Samoa was four times more powerful than any created by solar storms, while in July 1962 the Starfish Prime test damaged electronics in Honolulu and New Zealand (approximately 1,300 kilometers away), fused 300 street lights on Oahu (Hawaii), set off about 100 burglar alarms, and caused the failure of a microwave repeating station on Kauai, which cut off the sturdy telephone system from the other Hawaiian islands"
http://en.wikiped...xplosion
http://en.wikiped...reas.JPG
Sure, no worries.
dtxx
3.2 / 5 (9) Nov 11, 2010
This is nauseating to me because I feel like ultimately the conservative agenda is using the military to beat the third world into a state where we can waltz in and get everyone on board with christianity. Religious zeal is what ultimately drives the republican obsession with military spending, in my opinion.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
RE: The EMP thing, I guess it just depends on which study you want to lend credulity to. I admit it's not cut and dried, but honestly if there's a 20% chance it could be that bad, I just as soon have the system and not need it. It's less than the cost of one stealth bomber...
Completely agreed.
I am still waiting for the defense expert SH to tell me who is still building F-14s.
Northrup Grumman filled a US naval order for 25 F-14D "Super Tomcats" to be used in 2006 (4 years after being retired from Naval Service) for use in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Stop being dense and use your internets.
They don't believe in USA exceptionalism because they support socialism, not the individual.
So nationalism supports individuality?

Your entire commentary there is wholly laughable regardless of what stance someone takes politically. This is Sarah Palin type ridiculousness.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 11, 2010
"The 1,000 km long Aqmola-Almaty power line was a lead-shielded cable protected against mechanical damage by spiral-wound steel tape, and buried at a depth of 90 cm in ground of conductivity 10-3 S/m. It survived for 10 seconds, because the ground attenuated the high frequency field, However, it succumbed completely to the low frequency EMP at 10-90 seconds after the test, since the low frequencies penetrated through 90 cm of earth, inducing an almost direct current in the cable, that overheated and set the power supply on fire at Karaganda, destroying it"
http://www.emp.us...ace.html
What me worry?

dtxx, your opinions are flawed. What drives the socialists desire to oppose defending liberty?
Modernmystic
3.3 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
This is nauseating to me because I feel like ultimately the conservative agenda is using the military to beat the third world into a state where we can waltz in and get everyone on board with christianity. Religious zeal is what ultimately drives the republican obsession with military spending, in my opinion.


Or the motive could be people mired in 14th century ethics with far greater "religious zeal" ramming planes into buildings and blowing sh** up....
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 11, 2010
So nationalism supports individuality?

Depends on the nation.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
So we are still buying F-14s...Good God...
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
"The EMP observed at the Apia Observatory at Samoa was four times more powerful than any created by solar storms, while in July 1962 the Starfish Prime test damaged electronics in Honolulu and New Zealand (approximately 1,300 kilometers away), fused 300 street lights on Oahu (Hawaii), set off about 100 burglar alarms, and caused the failure of a microwave repeating station on Kauai, which cut off the sturdy telephone system from the other Hawaiian islands"
Hey dummy, http://www.tnr.co...t-bomb-0

read something.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
So we are still buying F-14s...Good God...

Not according to this: http://www.uswarp...cat.html

How many of you anti-defense socialist support international free trade?
People don't typically go to war with trading partners.

"The F-14 has been completely retired from US Naval service. At one point, it was slated to remain in service through at least 2008, but all F-14A and F-14B airframes had already been retired, and the last two squadrons, the VF-31 Tomcatters and the VF-213 Black Lions, both flying the D-models, arrived for their last fly-in at Naval Air Station Oceana on 10 March 2006.[41]"
http://en.wikiped...4_Tomcat
marjon
1.5 / 5 (8) Nov 11, 2010
"Twice in the last eight years, in the Caspian Sea, the Iranians have tested their ability to launch ballistic missiles in a way to set off an EMP."
http://www.missil...tail.asp
Don't worry, it may never happen.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 11, 2010
Marjon,

your reading skills are very poor. It's no wonder we hear of people complaining of ambiguous ballots every election, and since I know you're from MA, it's no longer curious to me as to how Kennedy kept getting elected.
"Twice in the last eight years, in the Caspian Sea, the Iranians have tested their ability to launch ballistic missiles in a way to set off an EMP."
Do you know what the range on Iranian ballistic missles is? Less than 100km. Where are they going to launch from to get that bad boy over the midwest US? Secondly, when did the Iranians perfect Hydrogen bombs? It took the US and the Soviet Union a long long time to develop them, and as so far, every one built has been catalogued and is available for inspection.

Hiroshima type devices, like the majority of the rest of the nuclear countries have, won't do this sort of damage.
Modernmystic
2.8 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
http://en.wikiped...hadr-110

That launched from a disguised ship in the Gulf of Mexico would do it.

Moreover the way I understand it it doesn't have to be a hydrogen bomb, or even a high yield atomic bomb. It's more like setting off a "fuse" to get some serious Compton scattering to rain down on us.

Assuming conservatively the yield of the weapon will be 10-20 kilotons I think it's something to be concerned about. If they can get the yields up to 100 KT I think we should be very worried. Moreover I wouldn't call 7 years a long time to go from fission to fusion weapons.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
The probability of Iranian military agents getting a missle into the gulf of mexico for launch is rather slim. With a suitable nuclear warhead slimmer still.

I do agree that higher kiloton yields are something to be concerned about, however, in order to make a significant impact on our power grid you'd have to launch multiple missles and hope we didn't shoot them down. A gulf launch could be intercepted in minutes, maybe less, but you're right, there is cause for some concern.

But, topically, we're talking the defense budget, which is primarily used for agreesion, not defense. If we were talking about national defense, then we wouldn't be sending our troops out of the country.
Thrasymachus
1.9 / 5 (13) Nov 11, 2010
I find it heartwarming to find conservatives so vociferously defending what is indisputably the largest socialist program in the entire US budget.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
SH I agree with everything in your last post but this...

The probability of Iranian military agents getting a missle into the gulf of mexico for launch is rather slim. With a suitable nuclear warhead slimmer still.


Cuban missile crisis...

We didn't see the missiles on the ships, we caught them setting up the land based launchers.

It's really easy to cover things on a ship, especially one designed for a purpose. We pretty much don't pay attention to anyone between 70-100 miles offshore...too much traffic.
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
I find it heartwarming to find conservatives so vociferously defending what is indisputably the largest socialist program in the entire US budget.


Uh no, sorry Thras. Not going to let you get away with that one...

http://dictionary...ocialism

The means of production, IOW the government getting in the business of business. The military, police, courts have never been businesses in the classical sense of the word.

Sorry, doesn't qualify as socialism. You're entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
I find it heartwarming to find conservatives so vociferously defending what is indisputably the largest socialist program in the entire US budget.
No kidding. Difference is, we don't reap many benefits from it.

Many other countries, mostly Europe and some Eurasian countries yield the most benefit from it, not to mention the defense contractors who do nothing but soak up our cash and export it. Then they turn around and tell us we're awful people and feed into the Galloway-wahabi thought mythos of American Imperialism.

And they call me a socialist.
Cuban missile crisis...

We didn't see the missiles on the ships, we caught them setting up the land based launchers.
Yes, but we didn't have satellites watching every inch of the world back then.
Sorry, doesn't qualify as socialism. You're entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts.
So propping up the defense of 75% of the world isn't socialism?
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Yes, but we didn't have satellites watching every inch of the world back then.


How are you going to see a hidden missile inside a ship even with a satellite? The technology does have limits.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
So propping up the defense of 75% of the world isn't socialism?


No.

Exporting food to 75% of the world would be for instance...

Again read the definition. "The means of production" doesn't include the courts, police, military etc...
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Again read the definition. "The means of production" doesn't include the courts, police, military etc...
Then what are the means of production of safety?
How are you going to see a hidden missile inside a ship even with a satellite? The technology does have limits.
You would be thoroughly surprised what they can do from a satellite. Thoroughly surprised.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Well you can re-define the word socialism until it's meaningless. Where everyone who believes in ANY government spending is a socialist, but I'm pretty sure you're just trying to stretch the point or jerk some chains ;-)

I don't think you really believe that do you?
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Well you can re-define the word socialism until it's meaningless. Where everyone who believes in ANY government spending is a socialist, but I'm pretty sure you're just trying to stretch the point or jerk some chains ;-)

I don't think you really believe that do you?
Using the most prevalent definition, socialism would be provision of the basic requirements for life from a government entity, ie: food, shelter, security, etc.

Sending our military into other countries to defend them is a socialist manuver. The opposite would be to have them provide for their own defense, which would be explicitly non-socialist.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2010
So, I'll do some reflective listening here.

Military budgets qua military budgets are not socialist.

Military budgets become socialist if they're used to defend other countries.

So anyone who believes in making defense alliances and having a military is a socialist?
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
So, I'll do some reflective listening here.

Military budgets qua military budgets are not socialist.

Military budgets become socialist if they're used to defend other countries.

So anyone who believes in making defense alliances and having a military is a socialist?
That's a strawman. Let's try it another way using your input the way I've read it.

Providing government services is socialist in nature with the exception of constitutionally provided programs

Foreign aid is socialist

Foreign defense aid is therefore socialist as it is not provided for in the Constitution and it is foreign aid.

Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Making alliances is provided for in the constitution, therefore your example isn't valid.

And I noticed you didn't answer my question, but rather shot another one at me.

Is anyone who believes in both having a military budget and making alliances a socialist?
Skeptic_Heretic
3.5 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Making alliances is provided for in the constitution, therefore your example isn't valid.
Making alliances doesn't include posting active military guard in situ in times of peace.
And I noticed you didn't answer my question, but rather shot another one at me.
Because your question isn't an accurate depiction of my stance. So rather than play ring around the rosie I made my hypothetical, based on your statements, a little bit more clear.
Is anyone who believes in both having a military budget and making alliances a socialist?
No. So here's a question for you.

What is socialist about increasing the top marginal tax rate by 3%?
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Making alliances doesn't include posting active military guard in situ in times of peace.


Sure it does...even if you and I don't agree with it.

So here's a question for you.

What is socialist about increasing the top marginal tax rate by 3%?


Not a thing.

Provided it isn't spent on socialist programs ;)
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2010
Not a thing.

Provided it isn't spent on socialist programs ;)
Good, then we'll use it to close the trade deficit.

Ok, can you do me a favor and define explicitly what a socialist program is?
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Do you know what the range on Iranian ballistic missles is? Less than 100km.

"Shahab-3, is credited with 930 miles (1,496 kilometers) range while the Shahab-4 is credited with 1,240 miles (1,995km) whose prototype appearance is believed to be 2-3 years (1999-2000) away."
http://www.fas.or...ab-4.htm
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2010
Just a quick FYI: the agreed upon definition of socialist program in economics is actually a program where the motivation of the program is use as opposed to profit.

Unless you think the government should be in it for the profits, you're believing in socialist programs.

Perhaps you'd prefer we rent out our military, like mercenaries.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 11, 2010
Again, SH doesn't understand socialism.
Socialism is govt control, overt and covert via regulations, of private property.
The military are paid professionals who support their defense mission.
And there are times when our 'liberal' leaders will treat our military like mercenaries.
Govt should be most interested in free market profits as that is the source of the wealth they confiscate.
ekim
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
Socialism is an investment in the nations most valuable renewable resource. It sometimes can be a risky investment but the payouts can be huge.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 11, 2010
Socialism is an investment in the nations most valuable renewable resource. It sometimes can be a risky investment but the payouts can be huge.

How have Cuba and Venezuela invented in their renewable resource?
The UK is now trying to limit the welfare and get people off the dole. This is truly an 'investment' in people, fostering individual independence from the state.
Thrasymachus
2.2 / 5 (13) Nov 11, 2010
"Socialism is an economic and political theory advocating public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources." -http://en.wikiped...ocialism

The US armed forces are under the control of the civilian government, who make the decisions about the allocation of resources, including pay scales and other compensation for soldiers of all ranks. The organization is entirely hierarchical in terms of the authority and freedom of its individuals. And the valuable good being produced is the massive subsidization of private arms contractors, and thus foreign militaries, as well as world-wide trade security for American goods. The US armed forces is the most socialist program in the history of socialism.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.4 / 5 (7) Nov 12, 2010
Again, SH doesn't understand socialism.
Socialism is govt control, overt and covert via regulations, of private property.
No, that's totalitarianism.
The military are paid professionals who support their defense mission.
Which is done without profit incentive, ie: as needed, for society, which makes it socialist.
And there are times when our 'liberal' leaders will treat our military like mercenaries.
Capitalism.
Govt should be most interested in free market profits as that is the source of the wealth they confiscate.
Which would be mercantilism.

Hilarious, not only can you not develop a self consiustant stance, but you cast aspersion upon my vocabulary and understanding of economics.

Why don't you go ahead and tell me how we're going to fulfill the republican agenda of tax cuts, closing the debt and having a more robust military presence...

Go ahead Mr. Economist. Tell me where your magic funny money will come from.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 12, 2010

Again, SH doesn't understand socialism.
Socialism is govt control, overt and covert via regulations, of private property.

No, that's totalitarianism.

That is what SH supports, totalitarianism as he supports the regulatory state as described above.

The only magic funny money comes from the fed. Wealth is created when the the tax burden is lowered to incentivize entrepreneurs.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
How have Cuba
One of the safest places to live in the world
and Venezuela
Home of the largest GDP increase from 1970 to present
invented in their renewable resource?
Well I'd say the fact that both countries are able to economically provide for their people and garner one of the largest populations of expatriated Americans and Europeans due to job prospects doesn't hurt.
The UK
Mercantilist capitalism, like the US
is now trying to limit the welfare and get people off the dole. This is truly an 'investment' in people, fostering individual independence from the state.
So in your opinion, the best way to invest in the people is to take away any safety net they may have and tell them to strap on a helmet and hope for the best.

Yeah, you've gone full retard again.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 12, 2010
That is what SH supports, totalitarianism as he supports the regulatory state as described above.
No actually, I don't. You insist that I do, but your opinion has already been shown to be about as far away from reality as it can be. I'm a populist and a centrist, but you'd paint me in the role of Genghis Khan. Too bad you probably don't know who he is either.
The only magic funny money comes from the fed.
No, it comes from unregulated corporations, including the Fed, cooking the books.
Wealth is created when the the tax burden is lowered to incentivize entrepreneurs.
So when we raise the tax burden on the old guard(top few tax brackets) and liberate the lower and middle classes, the lower and middle classes create new businesses and markets, but you're not arguing for that.

How much more free time do you think entrepreneurs will have to innovate when they aren't running around trying to get basic healthcare, or a steady job to afford their side businesses?
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
I'm a populist and a centrist

What is that?
What are the principles behind 'populism' except the mob rules? (Then you must be supporting the tea parties as they are now a populist movement.)
If the popular opinion changes will yours?
In the center of what? How much evil is acceptable to a centrist?

running around trying to get basic healthcare

I drive by clinics and hospitals on my way to work every day.
I know MA has a problem with too few doctors. How long do those MA entrepreneurs have to wait to see a doctor in MA under MA state run plans? One doctor has group sessions at Harvard Vanguard.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
I'm a populist and a centrist
What is that?
LOL again.
What are the principles behind 'populism' except the mob rules?
Mob rules is not, nor has it been an aspect of populism. Populism is the ideology that government should respond and act as a service to its people.
(Then you must be supporting the tea parties as they are now a populist movement.)
No, they're a corporatist movement. Repealing the healthcare bill, cutting medicare, and cutting social security
would be entirely anti-populist.
If the popular opinion changes will yours?
Why would a change in the popular opinion change my stance that government should serve to address the needs of the people?
In the center of what? How much evil is acceptable to a centrist?
Again, don't talk about politics if you don't understand any of the terminology.

To be continued.
In the center of what? How much evil is acceptable to a centrist?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
I drive by clinics and hospitals on my way to work every day.
I doubt you have a job, but in case you do, you live in Chelmsford, there are 14 clinics and 3 major hospitals ringing your city. There's no way you couldn't pass one.
I know MA has a problem with too few doctors.
Not really. MA has a problem with too few physicians, specialists abound in MA.
How long do those MA entrepreneurs have to wait to see a doctor in MA under MA state run plans?
They don't. They can go to a clinic anytime they so choose, public or private practice included.
One doctor has group sessions at Harvard Vanguard.
Unless he's in mental health or physical rehab, you're lying. Name him. Name the city and the location. You cannot have group sessions when it comes to most medical treatments. This is an outright fabrication or distortion of fact. It's called Patient Privacy. You won't be getting group physicals outside of the military in MA.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (17) Nov 12, 2010
Hey marjon and SH
I've been thinking about this whole taxes vs work conundrum. Machines are doing more and more work while people are doing less. Machines are stealing work from people. More people are not able to generate taxes because machines are taking their jobs away. And yet work is being done and the infrastructure still needs to be maintained to support it, even though taxes to do this are diminishing.

So why can't we begin to tax machines instead of people? Of course you would have to pay them wages in proportion to the value of the work that they do, but this equation should be far simpler than what we use for human labor.

I'm proposing a totally separate machine economy which would pay it's own way.
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
So why can't we begin to tax machines instead of people?


But machine work is already taxed, every work that generates income is taxed under income tax.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
"Switzerland topped this year's competitive rankings due to its powerful capacity for innovation and sophisticated business culture. Strong collaboration between the academic and business sectors, as well as high research and development spending, drive the creation of marketable products, while Switzerland's government and regulatory structures remain transparent and supportive of business endeavors."
"The U.S., which fell to second place in 2009, dropped to fourth place this year. ...growing distrust of its public and private institutions, as well as concerns about the government's role in supporting the private sector, have contributed to the recent decline in competitiveness."
http://news.thoma...comments

government should respond and act as a service to its people.

What 'service'? Run car companies? Provide food, housing?
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
What 'service'? Run car companies? Provide food, housing?


What do you want your government to do. Marjon, give us a breakdown of exactly what your ideal nation looks like. And don't skip the actual details. Saying "I want the constitution" isn't good enough. Let's hear your foreign and domestic policy, education, military, etc. Give us budget percentages.

You spend a lot of time trying to piss on other people, then making up silly shit, your turn. Let's hear exactly what you would want done.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
You cannot have group sessions when it comes to most medical treatments.

"Harvard Vanguard's innovative shared medical appointment program offers patients another option for receiving healthcare.
A shared medical appointment offers a 90-minute medical visit with your doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, and a full multidisciplinary care team, in the company of other patients. You participate as part of a small group of 8-15 patients who are scheduled for follow-up care or even an annual physical. During an appointment, you still have the opportunity to be examined or address personal issues privately with your doctor when needed. "

http://www.harvar...ndex.asp
""By having a group patient visit you could probably get to see a doctor if not the same day or next day, then definitely that week." "
http://www1.whdh....O143599/
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
Let's hear exactly what you would want done.

Protect private property rights.
It is an easy answer when one has principles.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
Why would a change in the popular opinion change my stance that government should serve to address the needs of the people?

If the majority vote to take all the wealth from the minority to serve the majority, that is a populist stance?
The UK is cutting back its welfare 'service' to people who have been on the dole for years. Is that populist?
Modernmystic
1.5 / 5 (6) Nov 12, 2010
"Socialism is an economic and political theory advocating public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources." -http://en.wikiped...ocialism

The US armed forces are under the control of the civilian government, who make the decisions about the allocation of resources, including pay scales and other compensation for soldiers of all ranks. The organization is entirely hierarchical in terms of the authority and freedom of its individuals. And the valuable good being produced is the massive subsidization of private arms contractors, and thus foreign militaries, as well as world-wide trade security for American goods. The US armed forces is the most socialist program in the history of socialism.


What unqualified bull****

There's no point in even using the word socialism if this is your HONEST definition. I'll file that away for future conversations with you.

Thras: 99% of the population=socialist.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
Let's hear exactly what you would want done.

Protect private property rights.
It is an easy answer when one has principles.

Ok, tell us how you intend to do that.
""By having a group patient visit you could probably get to see a doctor if not the same day or next day, then definitely that week." "
Ha, like I said, outright distortion. You're not entering an exam room with 10 people and getting group physicals. This is outpatient. Your reading skills are horrendous. This is a group consultation, just as I stated it would be.

Anyone questioning the interpretation I've put forth is welcome to call them directly. 1-800-898-7980.
Modernmystic
3.5 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
Should government server the needs or the wants of the people? What is a need and what is a want? Who decides?

This kind of thing is a recipe for civil unrest, social warfare, political polarization, and even civil war.

It's one of the many reasons I think government needs to stick to the KISS principle.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
If the majority vote to take all the wealth from the minority to serve the majority, that is a populist stance?
Is it in the interests of the people to take from a minority? No. Is it in the interests of the people to have a functional system of taxation for public services? Yes. You seem really caught up on this whole "stealing from the rich" mentality. Who's stealing anything?

The UK is cutting back its welfare 'service' to people who have been on the dole for years. Is that populist?
Nope. Reform of their infrastructure is in the interests of the people. If this cut is part of a greater reform, which it is, it would depend on the remained of the reform which is undiscussed by you as so far.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
Us it in the interests of the people to take from a minority? No.

Says who?
Who defines the 'interests' of 'the people'?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
Should government server the needs or the wants of the people? What is a need and what is a want? Who decides?
Well I think that depends on the outlook of society. I would say a need is something that you require to live within the society. So in the case of Americans: access to affordable food, access to affordable housing, access to affordable healthcare, access to affordable education, in times of dire financial outlook, money and jobs. Those are needs. Everything else would fall under wants as you don't need new clothing to survive, you don't need games or vacations to survive.
This kind of thing is a recipe for civil unrest, social warfare, political polarization, and even civil war.
Well I'd say the current media system we have is the chef in that case. Two polar opposite echo chambers with no moderation in the middle is the true recipie for disaster.

It's one of the many reasons I think government needs to stick to the KISS principle.
I agree.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
Says who?
Who defines the 'interests' of 'the people'?
Reality, circumstance, and the people.

You seem to have great difficulty with these concepts, yet you bang on about the Constitution, the founders, and objectivist philosophy. Every argument you take as your stance clearly defines these tenets for you. Are you going to argue from those points or do you already recognize that "me first" Randian objectivism wouldn't serve your interests?

Still waiting on your structural breakdown of Marjon-government. What are the power structures, who's in charge, what departments exist, what does regulation look like, foreign policy, domestic policy....

C'mon tough guy, make your stance known. Don't go all Taliban on us. You're asking to assume power, tell us what you'd do with it, don't shrug off and beat your wife.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Nov 12, 2010
Reality, circumstance, and the people.

No ethics except situational. Ends justify means.
otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 12, 2010
So why can't we begin to tax machines instead of people?


But machine work is already taxed, every work that generates income is taxed under income tax.
The owners, operators, and manufacturers of machines are taxed, but the machines themselves are not taxed.

A CADD program can now do the work of many drafters. A backhoe can do the work of many ditchdiggers. In the past it was impossible to track the amount of work machines actually do. But with software on the cloud, and robotic backhoes, the real amount of work that is done can be tallied directly.

Why tax people for this work and not the generators of it? This transition is INEVITABLE- as machines become more autonomous in terms of determining themselves what work needs to be done and when, the division will become less and less clear.
cont-
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
No ethics except situational. Ends justify means.
Find a universal code of ethics.

My ethics and your lack of ethics don't match up.

MM's ethics and mine aren't too dissimilar yet we have some disagreement.

But beyond that, stop sidetracking. Explain your government Marjon, or have you gone politically flaccid on us? Is it really that easy to shut you up?

Looks like it really is. You like to complain and point fingers at other people, but when asked for solutions you have nothing. Perfect radical neocon you are. You don't have simple principles, you're just simple.
panorama
5 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
No ethics except situational. Ends justify means.


That sounds like a horrible idea for a government...
otto1932
1 / 5 (16) Nov 12, 2010
It seems to me that this can be an enormous generator of revenue. Humans will never again be able to pay the amount of taxes they used to simply because machines are assuming ever greater amounts of the work. They wear out our streets, consume our resources, and produce the wastes that pollute and cause AGW; not us.

Governments will continue to go bankrupt and will never be able to supply the services they once did. Even marjon will admit that some govt services are absolutely necessary, such as defense and scientific research, but even these things are now on the table.

We could, for instance, tax nuclear subs for the amount of work they do in defending the country. They could in effect pay their own way.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
when asked for solutions you have nothing.

I have. You either don't like it or don't understand it.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
Typical of a govt program:
"As Ed Morrissey reported last May, Massachusetts medical device companies have already begun to plan layoffs to cope with the new tax. According to the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council, "(A)bout 90 percent of the 100 medical-device firms said they would reduce costs due to the new tax tucked into the recently passed health-care reform bill.""

http://www.realcl...930.html

We could, for instance, tax nuclear subs for the amount of work they do in defending the country. They could in effect pay their own way.

They were paid for with taxes.
Let's tax the govt.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
when asked for solutions you have nothing.

I have. You either don't like it or don't understand it.
No, my analysis of your offerings is above. As I said, politically flaccid.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
"the blue-state financial misery continues and deepens the ideological crisis of American liberalism. Few politicians in traditionally liberal states now speak about the expanding promise of progressive government and the welfare state. "
http://www.realcl...933.html
Some are starting to understand.
Javinator
5 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
What are the principles behind 'populism' except the mob rules?


Actually I'd say that's the main principle behind democracy.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
Some are starting to understand.
Still waiting for your ideal Government design Marjon. We're not going away until you do.
otto1932
1 / 5 (16) Nov 12, 2010
C'mon shotman, I'm proposing a paradigm shift in accounting and taxation which has the potential to generate enormous revenue and unprecedented prosperity, by shifting the burden of wealth generation off of the diminishing output of human workers and onto the expanding output of machines themselves.

Think of it; unprecedented amounts of work are being done, but humans face the prospect of widespread poverty and no future because machines are doing this work and they are not. This increased capacity to do work, consume resources, and expend the infrastructure is NOT BEING TAXED. If humans were doing this work instead of machines, it would be taxed.

There has to be some equitable way of extracting revenue from this which benefits everybody, pays for wear and tear on the infrastructure and damage to the environment at least.

There is no reason why some machines could not be paid for the work they do, and be taxed on those wages.
Thrasymachus
1.9 / 5 (10) Nov 12, 2010
Mystic, would you say the USPS is a socialist government program?
Javinator
5 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
Paying machines for their work and taxing it makes no sense. The reason people get paid is due to our wants and needs. We want money so we can fulfill our basic needs and then spend the rest of the money on our wants. The taxes SHOULD cut into our wants, not our needs (unless you didn't budget your money properly).

A machine's needs are taken care of by the work force of millwirghts/maintainers/programmers/etc (the workforce is paid and taxed btw). Machines don't have wants because... well they're machines (please don't get all philosophical/consiracy theory on me now...). As such, there is no need to "pay" them. Anything thye're paid could be taxed and, since machines have no need for wealth, they might as well be taxed 100%. This would just make the machines unecessary middlemen.
ekim
5 / 5 (1) Nov 12, 2010
"the blue-state financial misery continues and deepens the ideological crisis of American liberalism. Few politicians in traditionally liberal states now speak about the expanding promise of progressive government and the welfare state. "
http://www.realcl...933.html
Some are starting to understand.

Could you remind me which states are blue on this list and which are red?
http://www.statem...ty-level
New Hampshire and Connecticut are red right?
Mississippi and Louisiana are blue?
otto1932
1 / 5 (16) Nov 12, 2010
Paying machines for their work and taxing it makes no sense... We want money so we can fulfill our basic needs and then spend the rest of the money on our wants. The taxes SHOULD cut into our wants, not our needs (unless you didn't budget your money properly).
Barcode readers are installed in a supermarket, and those jobs are lost permanently along with the tax revenue. And the total number of manufacturing and service jobs created does not make up for this loss. The work is still being done but it is no longer being taxed. This is inequitable.

Machines are going to gain increasing autonomy. They will begin to be directed by other machines who will decide when and how much they need to work. As it stands, none of this work will be taxed and yet the potential is there for the machines to generate revenue.

The economic transition will have to accompany the technology. I say we can change the def of worker and wage.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
What are the principles behind 'populism' except the mob rules?


Actually I'd say that's the main principle behind democracy.


Yep.

Mystic, would you say the USPS is a socialist government program?

Along with Amtrak, it is a fine example of a service the govt should divest.
USPS is a monopoly and is a socialist program as are all monopolies.
otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 12, 2010
The reason people get paid is due to our wants and needs.
Actually, the reason people get paid is because of the work they do, isnt it? And part of the wages they earn go to pay for collective infrastructure projects; roads, dams, airports, armies, etc.

If machines themselves could earn wages they could be billed directly for their own maintenance, storage, transportation, and disposal. Just like human workers are now. They could pay for their own insurance. And they could be taxed to support the infrastructure- the roads, waterways, airports, etc.- which they cause wear and tear to.

Humans at some point (now?) will be the middleman. At some point we will be the parasites extracting subsistance from the machines. The economic shift is also inevitable, as work will continue to be done and an accounting will have to be made of it in the machine world. Why not begin now? Begin extracting revenue from machine work not currently taxed, to support displaced humans.
otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 12, 2010
Ask marjon who benefits from automation. The fatcat corporate profiteers, right mj? The work is being done, and they profit from it, but they are not paying their fair share to support the infrastructure needed to make the system work. Because they dont have to, as there is no way to account for the revenue lost through automation.

Paying machines directly for their work, and having them pay for their own upkeep and infrastructure, would shortcircuit this potential for abuse. Machines would never cheat on their taxes or write bad checks. An exact accounting could be made of earnings and payments (by machine) and right away we would save $Billions in lost revenue due to fraud and human error.

The world debt crisis would evaporate.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
New Headlilne: Democrats Support Wall Street Fat Cats

"Why are taxpayers giving money to a $156 billion corporate fat cat? To save the planet, of course. GE makes “smart grid technology” where the company — along with utilities — stands to gain from Obama’s market-socialist plans that advance the electrification of the automobile. One piece of that electrification model is the Chevy Volt, a key reason the feds bailed out Government Motors with $50 billion in 2009. Subsidized infrastructure, subsidized cars, and now . . . subsidized alliances."http://www.nation...ry-payne

What's a 'liberal' AGWite to do?
otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 12, 2010
New Headlilne: Democrats Support Wall Street Fat Cats
Ha. Don't you know, both sides have a concerted interest in maintaining the image that govt works the way we think it does. They work together in this effort, which means much healthy squabbling as that is their apparent job.

But there are Real Jobs to do, and both sides will work together to make sure they get done, because there are far more important Priorities than assuaging public needs and wants. And in this respect there is in reality only One Side.

Technology has always put people out of business and workers out of jobs. Technology made both capitalism and socialism inevitable. As technology will produce intelligent and autonomous machines, it will also, by doing so, create the need for entirely new economic and political models.
otto1932
1 / 5 (16) Nov 12, 2010
This replacement of humans by machines is occurring faster than ever before. Income is being lost and tax revenues are evaporating as a result, because the machine owners are not being made to compensate for the disparity.

Is it not obvious that at least some of the current economic crisis is due to this fact? Marjon would say 'oh oh! Don't tax them any more because they won't expand their businesses!' But in truth if they expand it will be by buying more machines and fewer humans. And revenues will shrink as more people will inevitably be put out of work.

So I propose a new revolution. Free the machines! Give them the ability to earn an income for the work they do, and the responsibility to support themselves (and us) for doing it better than we can. They are here for our benefit; let them show it.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Nov 12, 2010
Technology has always put people out of business and workers out of jobs.

Adapt or die. Humans have successfully survived for thousands of years.
Except now we have created a welfare society that rewards those who refuse to adapt. How is that helping the people?
Thrasymachus
2.1 / 5 (11) Nov 12, 2010
Wow, otto, you really are crazy. The problem with increasing automation and the replacement of human workers with machines is not the loss of governmental revenue, but the loss of income for the human beings. That answer, I would have thought, is simply to give displaced workers another source of income. And while this answer is simple enough to articulate, it is difficult to find a way to put it into practice. My preference would be to require all publicly traded companies to set aside 10% of their stocks to be placed in an account that pays dividends to each citizen equally, on a monthly basis.
otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 12, 2010
And while this answer is simple enough to articulate, it is difficult to find a way to put it into practice.
You bet. And like GM in the 60s, it usually means workers sitting around consuming without producing anything.

We already have workers at GM who can be paid for their work and pay their own way in turn. It sounds bizarre I know but in reality it may be just bookkeeping, and telemetry.
http://www.thirdw...-motors/
otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 12, 2010
The problem with increasing automation and the replacement of human workers with machines is not the loss of governmental revenue, but the loss of income for the human beings.
Well, despite what marjon says, there is simply nothing for a whole lot of people to do, and it will just get worse because technological development is increasing geometrically. Marjons resourceful entrepreneurs despise competition which is only natural, and have enough protectionist laws in place to minimize it. Because that's what resourceful entrepreneurs do.

So the govt can print money and hand it out, which severely weakens the whole illusion of money as something real, or it can find another substantial source of revenue, and hand that out.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
Because that's what resourceful entrepreneurs do.

Aided and abetted by the state and those who support it.

A state with the power to do FOR you can also do TO you.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 13, 2010
Because that's what resourceful entrepreneurs do.

Aided and abetted by the state and those who support it.

A state with the power to do FOR you can also do TO you.

Still waiting Marjon, explain your ideal government structures.

I'm willing to bet it looks more like the Soviet Union or another Oligarchic theocracy.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2010
A great place to start:
http://www.cato.o..._en.html
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 13, 2010
A great place to start:
http://www.cato.o..._en.html

Remember that part where I said, "The Constitution isn't good enough?"

Here's why, in your ideal country, you don't want women to vote, do you? We'll have to levy an income tax as provided for in the Constitution, yep, it's in there. Seeing as we're in two wars, that'd mean about 50% of income across the board. Man, you'd hate to see what the lack of corporate protect will bring.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 13, 2010
Remember that part where I said, "The Constitution isn't good enough?"

Maybe not for you.
It works for me and worked quite well for decades.
What's the bs about women voting? The Constitution has an amendment process which changed the Constitution acknoledgin women's right to vote.
As for taxes, cut regulations and cabinets not authorized by the Constitution and taxes won't need to be so high.
Congress would then have more time to perform its Constitutional functions like declaring war, or not.
I would repeal the income tax amendment and substitute the FAIR tax. Populists should like this as it would practically end the need for lobbyists and disincentive consumerism.
The USA can sell all the land it owns in the western states to reduce the debt. The govt owns most of AZ, NM, NV, AK and large sections of many other states. The govt owns very little of TX and TX is quite prosperous.
ekim
5 / 5 (1) Nov 13, 2010
Adapt or die. Humans have successfully survived for thousands of years.
Except now we have created a welfare society that rewards those who refuse to adapt. How is that helping the people?

You seem to forget that for thousands of years humans have had priests and monks. These people live off the charity and donations of others. Others provide for their welfare. How is this not socialist in nature?
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 13, 2010
These people live off the charity and donations of others. Others provide for their welfare. How is this not socialist in nature?

You said it yourself, DONATIONS.
Charity if voluntary. Socialism is coercion.
It is the same with Jesus. He would not force faith. He wanted volunteers and he asked his followers to give of themselves, not give what they first TAKE from others.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (15) Nov 13, 2010
Because that's what resourceful entrepreneurs do.

Aided and abetted by the state and those who support it.
A state with the power to do FOR you can also do TO you.
State or no, they would still OWN you. And without the state they would suck you dry.
Donations
The tithe is not voluntary. It is a tax.

otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 13, 2010
It is the same with Jesus. He would not force faith. He wanted volunteers and he asked his followers to give of themselves, not give what they first TAKE from others.
Marjonism. It has been pointed out to you MANY TIMES that religions exist by coercing people, and still you persist. Either they suffer in this life or the next if they dont conform, which you know.

Marjonism is a form of deception which is a sin. You now have a sin named after you. Proud of yourself?
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 13, 2010
Money isn't something real. Or rather, its reality is merely printed paper or pixels stored in some computer's memory banks. The "need" to finance human activities with money is a useful illusion we've devised to constrain the activities of some and enable the activities of others, so that prosperity may be created, distributed fairly and maintained. The problem is that this illusion no longer works as well as it should. Too many are constrained unjustly, and too many others are enabled without merit. By failing to have reasonable regulations about how money can be treated, it has become largely disconnected from the values of human prosperity.
Ravenrant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 13, 2010
Here is another thing that should make the blood boil of every person in the US. I can't verify the actual numbers but it is what I have heard. If we had no national debt, ALL OUR TAXES WOULD GO DOWN 50%.

I have repeatedly tried to get newspapers and talk shows to answer this question, yet to date, no one has. The other day someone on TV mentioned that half our taxes go towards interest on the national debt.

The politicians responsible for this if it's true should all be locked up, tried as traitors and then publicly executed.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 13, 2010
so that prosperity may be created, distributed fairly and maintained

What is 'fair'? Who decides? No one should have to work to earn their 'fair share'?
reasonable regulations about how money can be treated

What does that mean?

What are the 'values of human prosperity'?

Individuals are the only ones who can decide value. Govt regulations distort value. Even the USSR understood this.

As for the national debt, that interest goes to China and other T-bill holders, including social security.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (8) Nov 13, 2010
A large plurality of our national debt is money the federal government owes to the social security trust fund, in other words, money the government owes itself. Of the ~15 trillion in federal debt, we owe China less than 1 trillion of that.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2010
money the government owes itself

It's money the govt owes those who paid FICA taxes.
ekim
5 / 5 (7) Nov 13, 2010
You said it yourself, DONATIONS.
Charity if voluntary. Socialism is coercion.
It is the same with Jesus. He would not force faith. He wanted volunteers and he asked his followers to give of themselves, not give what they first TAKE from others.

And the threat of burning in hell isn't Coercion?
freethinking
1 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2010
How to cut the deficit. 1. Eliminate all unions working for the Government (hey if common folk have to trust the government, why can't the government workers trust the Government) 2. bring government pensions and salaries in line with the private sector. 3. Reduce all government departments across the board 20%.

The reason this will never be done is that the democrats will fight this tooth and nail. If Unions are removed from the government, funding that the democrats get from the union (who get it from taxpayers) is eliminated. Without taxpayer assistance, the democrats wouldn't survive.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (15) Nov 13, 2010
Hey marjon_n
Here is a link to a story about a resourceful young entrepreneur of the sort who can (and quite probably did) own you. Thank your god for the FBI.
http://www.nytime...r-t.html
If we had no national debt, ALL OUR TAXES WOULD GO DOWN 50%.
And if we taxed the work itself instead of just the humans who do it, I bet they would go down too.
How to cut the deficit.
Tax all religious institutions into oblivion.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (16) Nov 13, 2010
How to cut the deficit
Acknowledge that all religions share the responsibility for the wars the US is now involved in, and bill them for expenses.
otto1932
1.5 / 5 (16) Nov 13, 2010
How to cut the deficit
Bring suit against all religions for defrauding the American public by peddling worthless goods, and many other charges.
freethinking
1 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2010
crazy otto, yea tax religion out of existance so that the government can do all the charity work which the churches are doing at no cost to you. Then we can hire more government union workers, so that the work is done poorly and very expensively, and as a bonus your tax money is indirectly given to the democrats, so that they can hire more union people and around and around it goes.
freethinking
1 / 5 (2) Nov 13, 2010
Otto if you want to destroy the Christain church persecuting it wont work it only makes it stronger. The might of Rome, USSR, China, couldn't weaken it. If you want to weaken it, you need to feed it money, incorporate it into the world, make them become worldly, similar to what has happened in Germany and even in the US. As you see in Germany and even here in the US when the Christian church cares more for its buildings than the work of God, it becomes weak. Getting rid of the buildings makes the church stronger.

However for some reason even when the Christian church becomes fat and lazy, caring more for the buildings than God there always comes renewal to light the original fire.

http://www.youtub...=related

I'm not sure, but I think the renewal is already starting. So if you start persecuting the church, you will only make the process start sooner.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 13, 2010
And the threat of burning in hell isn't Coercion?

What does Jesus ask for? He does not ask for good works or for you to tithe the church. He asks for your faith.
Luther tried to describe the concept in Christian Liberty.
It is difficult for people to accept forgivness in their own relationships so I am not surprised most here can't, or won't, understand.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 13, 2010
money the government owes itself

It's money the govt owes those who paid FICA taxes.

The money the govt owes to those who paid FICA taxes is laid out in the benefits schedules they send everybody every year, as prescribed by law. That part of the federal debt that comes from the SS surplus is owed to the Social Security Trust Fund. In other words, one government agency owes another one, and that's where the largest part of our federal debt comes from.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2010
In other words, one government agency owes another one, and that's where the largest part of our federal debt comes from.

Why don't they just print up a fresh batch of money?
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (16) Nov 13, 2010
And the threat of burning in hell isn't Coercion?

What does Jesus ask for? He does not ask for good works or for you to tithe the church. He asks for your faith.
Luther tried to describe the concept in Christian Liberty.
It is difficult for people to accept forgivness in their own relationships so I am not surprised most here can't, or won't, understand.
Jesus doesn't exist but the church does. It uses the godman myth as it's authority to demand the peoples money. All denominations do this. 'Oh, we can't afford windex for crystal cathedral! Send money! Oh Benny hinn needs another bentley to do gods work! Send money!' Etc.

Luthers Protestants needed money to fund the 30 yrs war- to kill the satanic popischer Catholics- to save the world. For Jesus. If they didn't get it they dragged the people out of their houses and gave them the Schwedentrunk. For Jesus.
Eric_B
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 13, 2010
I am sick of hearing about the SOCIALIST BOOGIEMAN being constantly dangled about by educated fools.

If we do not have a system of socialist capitalism, which we do, then what we have under unbridled capitalism is corporate fascism.
otto1932
1.5 / 5 (17) Nov 13, 2010
Otto if you want to destroy the Christain church persecuting it wont work it only makes it stronger. The might of Rome, USSR, China, couldn't weaken it.
The power of reason and truth are weakening it and have been. It's lies are being exposed. It's little more than a hobby in most of Europe- they got tired of suffering it's abuses and greed and deception. You are losing the young in droves. Religion cannot stand the light of day.

'Send money! The Creation Museum is in arrears! We can't afford to clean the dust off the plastic dinosaurs!'
Mesafina
not rated yet Nov 13, 2010
I don't agree specifically with the idea that machines should be "paid" as I feel that is trying to adapt machines to our political and economics systems when it would be more logical to adapt our politics and economics to consider machines.

I do think Otto though brings up what is going to be the defining economic issue of the next century: labor automation. The fact is that within the next century we will see most of the manual labor jobs in the world disappear as machines fill their role much more efficiently in the future. As most jobs will disappear, and as the earth has limited resources and our population is ever growing, we will only have a handful of options: murder the unnecessary people, create a massive welfare state, or create a new frontier (probably in space). It's impossible to say it this point which way we will go but I am hoping for the 3rd one.
Mesafina
not rated yet Nov 13, 2010
At the end of the day though, labor automation should be one of the most beneficial things to ever happen to humans, so long as it isn't dominated by a small group to the exclusion of everyone else. People can be liberated from demeaning physical labor and freed to pursue intellectual interests such as engineering, medicine, sciences of all forms, arts, and entertainment. It could be a renaissance that would be unique and incredibly transformational, resulting in a society where everyone has access to all basic survival and security needs just by default, and then can go from there in essentially a completely free market where people only need to be employed if they have something to offer, and can be rewarded with near limitless profit without it condemning the rest of the world to abject poverty.
Mesafina
not rated yet Nov 13, 2010
These changes don't require government intervention. This is the path the free market will choose on it's own. All companies, in the pursuit of profit and cost-reduction, will replace human labor with machines where it makes economic sense. Inevitably as technology advances this will lead to mass unemployment. The angry hungry masses must be placated or killed. The powers that be in government and industry must then make one of those two choices, and I can pretty much guarantee that the first choice is alot less risky for them and therefor the one they will choose. This will inevitably lead to a form of welfare state.
Mesafina
not rated yet Nov 14, 2010
I contend that in the context of near infinite production potential (as brought about by access to materials in space as well as machine labor), this will be one of the most beneficial things that has ever happened to the average person. It would be extremely important though to preserve a free market and not become communist despite the temptation only because the free market serves to expedite research and product development via profit incentive.

Inevitably we will aggregate most of our natural resources from off-world sources. This will happen naturally without government intervention just as a result of the drive for profits and the free market, barring massive over-regulation of private space endeavors by the government. The government will and probably should play a role in defining some of the conditions under which this expansion will take place, but the expansion is inevitable with or without government.
Mesafina
not rated yet Nov 14, 2010
There is no need for liberals or conservatives to enforce their political and idealogical practices on one another. It would be far more logical and beneficial to allow people the freedom to enact on a local level all basic political legislation aside from human rights and international security concerns. The government should protect all people's life, liberty, and property against threats foreign and domestic. But it should allow people to form the kinds of governments they want on any scale, so long as they abide by basic human rights. This means communists can commune, capitalists can create, the religious can be suckers, and everyone can be happy without stepping on each others toes. There's no reason we have to all be the same or live the same way. It's ok to try different things, this is called experimentation and is part of the scientific methodology. Our politics are direly lacking in rigorous scientific field studies for obvious reasons but it need not be like this.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2010
crazy otto, yea tax religion out of existance so that the government can do all the charity work which the churches are doing at no cost to you.
The social cost is very high, secondly, the largest charitable organizations in the world are secular. They do a far better job than the various faiths as well.

If religion is to be boiled down to charity work, then it is utterly unnecessary.
apex01
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 14, 2010
Capitalism will always prevail against stagnant redistribution systems. Just look socialist Europe and our over bloated government. The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other peoples money. It also creates moral hazards because people get paid to fail. With socialism there are no incentives. Without the incentives of capitalism, people are not properly motivated to produce and achieve in life.
ForFreeMinds
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2010
I also am against government funding of science. Private industry does it better, and scientists would serve us better if their research were privately funded. I find such funding to be playing favorites (favoring some at the expense of others) and is something government shouldn't do. What it should do is protect our liberties, including protection from those who say government money should go to them for everyone's benefit.
ekim
3.8 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2010
While I am a believer in the separation of church and state ,I don't believe in the the separation of faith and state. Most failed ideologies try to eliminate the role of belief in the masses. Communism ,facisim and even capitalism attempt to replace peoples faith with their own brands.
China is experimenting with capitalism without a strong moral center. The results are melamine in pet and baby foods to increase profit. American capitalism ,while built on a stronger sense of morality ,seems to be eroding this base for the almighty dollar.
I'm not promoting any one religion ,or lack of one ,in saying that belief in right and wrong and what is moral must be the base of our system of government. Without these core beliefs the entire system is doomed for failure.
Nearly every person ,religious or not ,can agree that we should treat others with the love and respect we ourselves desire. That simple rule ,and not profits alone ,should be our highest rule ,and the base of our civilization.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2010
,I don't believe in the the separation of faith and state.

Neither does the US Constitution. It explicitly protects the rights of the people to freely exercise their religion.
Nearly every person ,religious or not ,can agree that we should treat others with the love and respect we ourselves desire.

The populists and socialists here don't agree. They believe they can start a mob and take the wealth others have earned and redistribute that wealth among themselves.
ekim
3 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010

The populists and socialists here don't agree. They believe they can start a mob and take the wealth others have earned and redistribute that wealth among themselves.

So much for love and respect. What person would wish this upon themselves much less someone else?

marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2010

The populists and socialists here don't agree. They believe they can start a mob and take the wealth others have earned and redistribute that wealth among themselves.

So much for love and respect. What person would wish this upon themselves much less someone else?


A short sighted, greedy and envious person.
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010

The populists and socialists here don't agree. They believe they can start a mob and take the wealth others have earned and redistribute that wealth among themselves.


"Socialists" as you incorrectly call them believe that you cannot legally refuse to provide urgent help to someone whose life is threatened, while being able to easily provide it. Just as hospitals cannot refuse to treat urgent or severe diseases even if you are uninsured. Thats all.
freethinking
1 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
Otto, the fastest growing churches are the fundamentalist churches. The mainline churches that care more for buildings are the ones that are dying. State churches of Germany are dying, the free churches are thriving. Here in the USA Congregationalists, United, etc are dying. Evangenlical churches are growing, this is the same world wide
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2010
believe that you cannot legally refuse to provide urgent help to someone whose life is threatened,

No you don't. If you did, you would all be strong advocates for the right to keep and bear arms. The right for 'the people' to protect themselves from criminals and the from the state.
What you want is to force others to take care of you.
You want to force doctors and nurses and hospital staff to work for free? That is called slavery.
Who decides 'being able to easily provide'? Individuals don't have the right to decide for themselves how they will allocate their time and talents?
Mesafina
5 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
Marjon you always twist peoples words and distort what they are saying. No matter what someone says, you instead say "no this is what you actually meant to say or think". Are you a psychic or are you just intellectually dishonest?
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2010
Marjon you always twist peoples words and distort what they are saying. No matter what someone says, you instead say "no this is what you actually meant to say or think". Are you a psychic or are you just intellectually dishonest?

Why is the analogy incorrect? SH who claims to be a 'populist' does not support the right of the people to defend themselves.
'legally refuse urgent help to someone whose life is threatened' what does that mean?
Actually the SCOTUS said the police can refuse such help. Look it up. A women was murdered because the police did not enforce an restraining order.

Maybe people need to choose their words carefully and understand the implications of what they say if they don't want to be misunderstood.
ekim
5 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
Actually the SCOTUS said the police can refuse such help. Look it up. A women was murdered because the police did not enforce an restraining order.

Am I the only one who finds this morally reprehensible. Of course according to some ,my morals will never pay the bills. A human life is too precious not to make an investment in its preservation. Since when did an investment in preserving life become too much?
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
I dont know what does the right to bear arms have in common with outlawing refusing of urgent help if you can easily do it. Where is the analogy?

"What you want is to force others to take care of you."

Yes, thats exactly what I want, I want to force people who have the means to easily save lives of other people in danger to do it, if it does not endanger their life. And I see nothing wrong with that.
ShotmanMaslo
4.7 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
Not providing urgent help while being able to do it easily IS and SHOULD BE a crime. Does not matter if you are a doctor and you refuse to treat life-threatening case (emergency healthcare), or you are a rich person and you refuse to share with someone whose life is in danger due to lack of resources (welfare), the principle is the same. If you have the means to easily help people in danger and you fail to do so, you should be forced to do so. Thats NOT socialism, thats simple common sense and basic compassion. I am not a socialist, some people seems to label everything except extreme right-wing anarcho-capitalism or extreme libertarianism as socialism. At least read the definition.
Mesafina
5 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2010
Yes the word socialism is a strawman. People who support any government services at all including the military and police support varying levels of socialism. The only question is how much socialism vs how much capitalism is the best balance for preserving life and freedom. Some people would have us return to the dark ages where the end justifies the means and life has no value. Ironically many of these people are often also conservatives who claim to be pro-life. But some of those same people would let a poor man starve to death under the assumption that he should have "worked harder" and "created more opportunity for himself". Rarely do they actually look at the circumstances of the situation.
Mesafina
5 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
The only point of government is to provide security. That is WHY people created governments. Even in a tyranny, the tyranny "sells" itself to the people usually using security as it's justification. It's true of every single government ever, period. Some governments work for the security of one group of people at the expense of another, be it through war and conquest, subjugation, neglect, etc.

If a government does not provide security for it's people, then it has no purpose and is not needed. Security includes:

Policing, health security, military security, economic security, etc. Basically ANYTHING THAT CAN KILL YOU is a security issue. And almost anything can kill you: starvation, guns, people, etc. If your security is threatened because you can't afford food or you are being assaulted by other people, then the government steps in on your behalf and protects you. That is the point of government. If it does not, it serves no purpose at all.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 14, 2010
The answer, Mesafina, is that marjon is intellectually dishonest. In fact, he's not even just intellectually dishonest, but dishonest in every other sense as well, on top of being hateful.
Mesafina
5 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2010
'legally refuse urgent help to someone whose life is threatened' what does that mean?
Actually the SCOTUS said the police can refuse such help. Look it up. A women was murdered because the police did not enforce an restraining order.


I believe in freedom to bear arms Marjon. I also believe the police should have enforced a restraining order and should serve to protect people and the community. If you agree with this as well, you are socialist, as you believe in taking money from the people to fund a public police force. If you disagree, you are an anarchist, and believe that people should not be protected from one another at all. We all know where that leads...
Mesafina
5 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2010
Freedom to bear arms and policing go hand in hand as without police, people can use arms against their fellow citizens freely, which is not in societies interest. Warlords provide security (usually against other warlords) for their subjects but are not accountable to them.

What is great about America and other progressive modern governments is that they DO answer to the people mostly, which means the people can help direct the government in how best it can serve them (by providing security). If you have some bad luck and get fired and a week later find out you have cancer and no insurance, you should not be left to die if the means is available to aid you. It's the same logic behind why we have firefighters. Some places are now making firefighting a "premium" service you have to pay for, and they will let your house burn and you die if you didn't pay up. That is supposed to be the point of taxes. That is a form of socialism if it is funded through taxes (as it should be).
otto1932
1.6 / 5 (17) Nov 14, 2010
China is experimenting with capitalism without a strong moral center. The results are melamine in pet and baby foods to increase profit. American capitalism ,while built on a stronger sense of morality
Just like the meat packing industry in the US 100 yrs ago or so, back when it was a lot more religionist- the Jungle by Sinclair? Certainly not an isolated example of inevitable abuse caused by competition in the absence of regulation and oversight.

Another religionist lie- they own morality. In reality they stole the concept from secular govt so they could hide behind it while doing their evil deeds. Tribal law existed long before religion did, as did concepts such as murder, theft, abuse, etc being detrimental to tribal cohesion. The appropriation of morality by religion is an extremely amoral act.
Evangenlical churches are growing, this is the same world wide
No it's not. That's just the kind of propaganda guys like you fall for. And spread with no conscience.
otto1932
1.7 / 5 (17) Nov 14, 2010
I'm not promoting any one religion ,or lack of one ,in saying that belief in right and wrong and what is moral must be the base of our system of government.
But all religions will do just that, insisting that their own detailed interpretation (sharia?) of gods will become the law of everybody. And the first and most important and indispensable of those laws invariably is 'No other gods before me'.

Again, we have 'morality' in the form of mutually agreed-to laws which are much more detailed, fair, and functional than any religionist doctrine. And the penalties for breaking them are usually more humane and less medieval. And the people will tend to abide by them just as much or little as proclamations by god and clerics.
Parsec
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2010

All areas of the budget must be scaled down, and keep scaling down until there is no deficit. Pass a balanced budget amendment so they can't again spend more than they collect. Scrap the IRS and pass a flat tax which the politicians can't abuse to reward/punish. Dramatically lower business taxes, which are really paid by consumers, and investment will come back home instead of needing our Emperor to make begging trips to India etc.. None of this will happen because there are too many in power who benefit from the current corporate and individual welfare system.

Talk about corporate welfare. A flat tax would be a HUGE transfer of the tax burden from the wealthy onto the middle class and the poor. Just do the math. The more regressive a tax is, the greater percentage of a poor person's income is spent paying it.
NotParker
1 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2010
Good. AGW is as "scientific' as phrenology. The big con must be stopped and if it hurts those who kept quiet about it, so much the better.
Jimee
5 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
Republican lies, lies, and more lies.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
poor person's income is spent paying it.

Define poor.
Why is income proportionality so important?
Why wouldn't the rich pay more taxes? Al Gore's utility bill is ~$8k per month. The rich buy more expensive food, travel, housing cars, airplanes.....
Many rich now pay little or no tax as their investment income can be tax free from various govt approved shelters and bonds.
I recall that Perot had most of his investments in T-bills.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2010
people can use arms against their fellow citizens freely,

Not likely unless you have a death wish.
Security includes:

Policing, health security, military security, economic security,

Then you must sacrifice liberty. You sound like a child who does not want to leave his mother's basement.
I want to force people who have the means to easily save lives of other people in danger to do it,

Sure you do. Tell me where you live so I can force you to take care of me.
"“Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security”"
GaryB
5 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2010
As I have said before, both parties will screw up this country when they get in power. The republicans will lower taxes and cut everything BUT military spending and the democrats will raise taxes so everything INCLUDING military spending gets funded. 2 paths to the same bad end.


I think what really hurts empires are: (a) Getting behind militarily, (b) Unfunded entitlements, (c) decaying meritocracy.

We're into (b) [mainly medical payments] and (c) [think Palin or Tea party].

On the other hand, if Libertarians really understood that almost all our best technology came as a by-product of government funding, that would become a core part of a government's function and I could finally become a Libertarian.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
(c) decaying meritocracy.

Palin was elected mayor, beat an incumbent governor in a primary and then won the election for governor. She has raised several children and can shoot and gut a moose. That is quite meritorious in the USA today. How many other people in the USA can do that? Except for the politics, there really are quite a few men and women in the USA who can hunt, fish and clean game and live independently from the govt.
Our best technology today is from the free market. Especially from the game industry in the way of video processors, GPUs. Most other technologies are being driven by the commercial market, not the govt.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
If your security is threatened because you can't afford food or you are being assaulted by other people, then the government steps in on your behalf and protects you.

This is what happens when Uncle Sugar stops the sugar:
"Judges who hear Social Security disability cases are facing a growing number of violent threats from claimants angry over being denied benefits or frustrated at lengthy delays in processing claims."
http://apnews.myw...P81.html
It reminds me of grizzly bears in Yellowstone that have become used to mooching from humans or the French and Greeks that are loosing their govt 'security'.
In Yellowstone, bears that won't fend for themselves are at risk of being shot.
What security to people have when they become dependent upon the govt to take care of them?
Mesafina
5 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
people can use arms against their fellow citizens freely,

Not likely unless you have a death wish.


Are you really trying to argue that people will self police and not be enslaved by the most well armed and thug like amongst them? Do you know any history at all? If you murder everyone around you how are they going to kill you back and fulfill your so called "death-wish"?

Security includes:
Policing, health security, military security, economic security,

Then you must sacrifice liberty. You sound like a child who does not want to leave his mother's basement.


Do you not believe in the police and military then because I know for a fact from things you have said in the past that you do. Yes police impede on your liberty, your freedom to harm other people for instance. Do you think we should have the freedom to kill and torture and steal?
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2010
Are you really trying to argue that people will self police and not be enslaved by the most well armed and thug like amongst them? Do you know any history at all?

Ever hear of the MT Vigilantes or the Great Northfield Minnesota Raid?
How about those 'thugs' in TX that defeated the Mexican Army to win TX.
The first step any potential thugs take are to disarm the citizens.
If you murder everyone around you

How could anyone do that if everyone else around you are armed? All across the USA people use their personal weapons to stop others from murder.

The Branch Davidians held off Clinton's govt thugs for quite some time before the govt burned them out.

BTW, rank and file police support the second amendment.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
Do you think we should have the freedom to kill and torture and steal?

Do you think the govt should?
Mesafina
not rated yet Nov 14, 2010
Do you think we should have the freedom to kill and torture and steal?

Do you think the govt should?


No
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2010
"Palin was elected mayor, beat an incumbent governor in a primary and then won the election for governor. She has raised several children and can shoot and gut a moose."

:D Yeah, because shooting and gutting a mouse is what a politician needs to successfully guide a country in 21.st century. :D

If you think Palin is that competent and intelligent (or even sane) read some of her famous quotes:
http://politicalh...p-10.htm
http://politicalh...isms.htm
http://africanpre...quently/
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2010
"Then you must sacrifice liberty. You sound like a child who does not want to leave his mother's basement."

Why exactly must I sacrifice liberty for that? Elaborate. I think we can easily have government providing alternatives to basic services without interfering with the liberty of its citizens (just like it provides roads or military protection).
Its actually republicans which want to indulge on citizens liberty (liberty to have an abortion, liberty to use soft drugs, liberty to build a mosque wherever they want etc.)
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
,I don't believe in the the separation of faith and state.

Neither does the US Constitution. It explicitly protects the rights of the people to freely exercise their religion.
Wrong. The Constitution provides for freedom of practice of religion as it simultaneously provides for freedom from religion.

When the Baptists of Danbury Connecticut wrote to Jefferson for protection, who did they need protection from? The Congregationalists of Danbury Connecticut. Remember your history.
Nearly every person ,religious or not ,can agree that we should treat others with the love and respect we ourselves desire.

The populists and socialists here don't agree.
Because not all of you do. Ask Matthew Sheppard or the soldiers whose families have to deal with Mr. Phelps and his inbred kin.
They believe they can start a mob and take the wealth others have earned and redistribute that wealth among themselves.

No, most of us just think you should pay your taxes
Javinator
5 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2010
If machines themselves could earn wages they could be billed directly for their own maintenance, storage, transportation, and disposal. Just like human workers are now. They could pay for their own insurance. And they could be taxed to support the infrastructure- the roads, waterways, airports, etc.- which they cause wear and tear to.


The owners of the machines pay for the machines needs. Who would be paying the machine? Well it would have to be the owner ("employer") of the machine. So instead of the owner paying for the insurance, he is to pay the robot who is to then pay its own insurance? That makes no sense.

Again, machines only have needs, not wants. The needs are essentially just maintenance which is paid for by the owner of the machine. Paying the machine so it can pay for its own maintenace adds an extra unecessary step.

You're just suggesting a roundabout way of taxing the owners of machines that perform automated tasks more than they already are.
Yellowdart
3.3 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2010
Talk about corporate welfare. A flat tax would be a HUGE transfer of the tax burden from the wealthy onto the middle class and the poor. Just do the math. The more regressive a tax is, the greater percentage of a poor person's income is spent paying it.


? Percentage is percentage. If you lower the middle classes tax percentage down to 20% instead of 35%, they save money. You have not increased their burden.

I would gladly accept a compromise that includes a flat tax with a poor exclusion.

Making the tax system simple and you would save tons of money in IRS, laywer, admin, and accounting costs as well. Billions. With a simple system at a reasonable tax, you would also have less avoidance and evasion.

A convoluted tax system only hampers the individual.
Yellowdart
not rated yet Nov 15, 2010
If you think Palin is that competent and intelligent (or even sane) read some of her famous quotes:


So your saying she wouldnt be anyworse at VP than Biden? :)
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2010
A convoluted tax system only hampers the individual.

And empowers politicians and those who want a strong govt.
Its actually republicans which want to indulge on citizens liberty

How about the liberty to keep the wealth that I earn?
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
And this from a Harvard economist. Amazing!
"If Gotham wants to attract entrepreneurs, changing its stifling regulatory climate—particularly rules that make it difficult to open new businesses—would be a good place to start."
"Great American cities were never built by their governments; the true heart of a city is the entrepreneurial energy that it contains. "
http://www.city-j...hip.html
ShotmanMaslo
not rated yet Nov 15, 2010
My favourite tax system is negative income tax, advocated by Nobel prize winner Milton Friedman. It is a simple flat tax progressive continuous system, similar to fairtax, but without the regressiveness.

http://en.wikiped...come_tax
Yellowdart
5 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2010
Marjon,

Do remember that sometimes a wall is necessary to protect it's citizens' freedom. What we must balance it against is ever using that wall as a means to enslave.

In other words, some gun restrictions are beneficial, such as some regulations in banking are beneficial to protecting freedom. I dont need an AA12 for instance in my gun collection, as much as I may want one.

However, it seems silly for military not to be able to carry their sidearms while on base for instance.
Yellowdart
not rated yet Nov 15, 2010
Shotman,

That's interesting. I think you still create the fraud problem though.

What might work is instead a relocation credit? 20k a year doesnt go far in NY, but in Mississippi it is quite easy to live off of. Good once every 6 - 10 years or so.

Skeptic_Heretic
2.3 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2010
However, it seems silly for military not to be able to carry their sidearms while on base for instance.
That rule came about for reasons that the ladies and gents at Fort Hood can speak to.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
I dont need an AA12 for instance in my gun collection, as much as I may want one.

Then you don't need a Mini-30 or an AR-15 or an AK-47 or a 12 gauge automatic or a .50 Barret or a .44 magnum or...
Like any other automatic weapon you need a special license.
The best gun control is hitting what you are aiming at. An expert marksman with an M1 or a bolt action rifle or a single action revolver can be quite effective.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Nov 15, 2010
"There is no reason to wonder why those who lust for power are drawn to the left; or why the left has been consistently "chic" among the intellectuals, continuously for much more than a century. Socialism may impoverish and enslave, but it is the means by which the intellectual can hope to become the enslaver: through the creation of bureaucracies to advance and perpetuate fashionable progressive agendas."
{This is certainly proven true here.}
"Moreover, under present conditions in the Nanny State, big business and big government are mutually enabling. "
http://www.realcl...952.html
Javinator
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 17, 2010
There is no reason to wonder why those who lust for power are drawn to the left; or why the left has been consistently "chic" among the intellectuals, continuously for much more than a century. Socialism may impoverish and enslave, but it is the means by which the intellectual can hope to become the enslaver


Why don't I just say conservatives are all a bunch of rich white God loving homophobic racists who live in the south? Oh yeah, because it's not true. Even though I could probably google an article that says the lie I just typed and quote it here it wouldn't make what I'm saying true. You seem to have trouble with this simple concept.

{This is certainly proven true here.}


You need to learn the difference between proving something and just stating opinions.