The fragility of the welfare state

Nov 19, 2012

The social contract that supports the welfare state, where income is redistributed, is fragile. That is one of the main conclusions of an experimental study done at Universidad Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M), which analyzes how the redistribution of income to people through government action originates.

The study, carried out by Professor Antonio Cabrales, of UC3M, in collaboration with Rosemarie Nagel, of Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), and José Vicente Rodríguez Mora, of the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), attempts to determine whether society can achieve something similar to the a Rousseaunian social contract. In order to do this, they carried out an experiment that reproduced in the laboratory some of the important characteristics of the welfare state. The conclusion they reached was that the redistribution of wealth that occurs when the Government collects part of people's income does not come about as the result of a previous consensus to relieve the effects of misfortune on our work (as occurs in a Rousseaunian social contract), but rather "is generally done because those who have lass, do not want to have less, regardless of whether they have less because they work less or because they have had bad luck", points out Antonio Cabrales, tenured professor in UC3M's Economics Department. "Let's say it is a Hobbesian redistribution: the one with the most power, in this case in based on voting, gets more resources".

To arrive at these conclusions, the authors of the study, which has been published in the journal under the title "Es Hobbes, no Rousseau: un experimento sobre el voto y la redistribución" ("It is Hobbes, not Rousseau: an experiment on voting and redistribution") carried out an experiment involving 244 UPF students, who were organized in groups (micro-societies) of nine. To start, each student decided whether to make an effort or not. An individual who didn't make a big effort earned a low income. When a student worked hard, s/he paid an identical cost in terms of effort to all the others who did the same and his/ her chances of earning a high income were two out of three (with a one out of three chance of receiving a low income). Once each individual had seen whether or not his/her efforts were rewarded in terms of income, the entire group voted on whether or not to redistribute the income generated by the whole group. If a majority voted in favor of redistribution, it was carried out and the total amount earned by the group was divided and distributed equally. If redistribution was rejected, each individual saved the result of his/her individual efforts. This process was repeated 50 times in each group.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
A video explaining the fragility of the welfare state. Credit: UC3M

Theoretically, there are several possible results, depending on expectations. If the subjects voted in a strictly selfish manner, they would only vote in favor of redistribution if they were poor. In this case, if others were expected to work hard, the most likely outcome would be that the majority would become rich and vote against redistribution. This would lead to this type of thinking: "I would rather pay the price of working hard, and if I am unlucky, I'll live with it. But if I expect that the majority won't work hard and will then vote in favor of redistribution and I will end up with the same as everyone else and my efforts won't have mattered much, then I might as well not work hard. The first equilibrium, where everyone works, is better than the second, but which one we fall into depends on what each group expects will happen.

"There is another better possibility, which requires a kind of social contract", the researchers explain. We can all work and then later vote in favor of redistribution even if we are rich. That way, when misfortune befalls us, the rest of the group will watch out for us. How can we avoid someone taking advantage of the situation? "Well, by using the fact that there is also a good equilibrium and a bad one; if we all work and then help those who have not been lucky, during the final phase of the game, everybody works hard. And if somebody goes the wrong way, we can all expect the bad equilibrium in which nobody works hard. This final social contract is much more elaborate than previous equilibria and it requires an exceptional level of communication, but it is so good that it is worth seeing if our players manage to get there", says Professor Antonio Cabrales.

Results and applications

The results the researchers have obtained show that redistribution with a high level of effort is unsustainable. The main reason for the absence of redistribution of wealth is that the agents do not act differently based on whether the poor have worked hard or not. The equilibrium in which redistribution can be maintained thanks to the threat of punishing the poor if they do not make an effort was not observed in the experiment. "Therefore," concludes Cabrales "the explanation for the subjects' behavior can be found in Hobbes, not in Rousseau." This study could be applied when certain socioeconomic policies are being planned, because it indicates that, if we create a society in which the majority of the people are not able to be productive, redistribution will be excessive and the overall incentives to produce will diminish.

The researchers sum up their conclusions by saying that the evidence from this study indicates that the social contract upon which the welfare state rests is fragile. "We must make sure that it is used well in order to avoid destroying it, which means getting those who have the most also pay the most, spending what is collected wisely and providing help only to those who are truly making an effort, but who have not been fortunate," indicates Antonio Cabrales. One way to achieve this is through the use of active employment policies, such as those found in Denmark, which ensure that the unemployed receive training and actively seek employment. If they are still unable to find work, it is considered "bad luck". If an unemployed person does not pursue training and does not actively look for work, it is easier to believe that the cause is not found in "luck", but rather in the lack of effort. "This kind of attitude cannot be tolerated, as it risks causing our fragile social contract to collapse," he concludes.

Explore further: How does calling, texting and emailing affect teens socially?

More information: It is Hobbes, not Rousseau: an experiment on voting and redistribution, Antonio Cabrales, Rosemarie Nagel, José V. Rodríguez Mora, Experimental Economics. August 2011. DOI 10.1007/s10683-011-9300-x

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Low incomes make poor more conservative, study finds

Nov 16, 2010

You might think that in a time when more money is concentrated in fewer hands and incomes vary wildly from billions to subsistence, poor people might increase their support for government policies that offer some help.

Telling the tale of the wealth tail

Jul 30, 2012

A mathematical physicist and her colleague, both from the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, are about to publish a study in European Physical Journal B on a family of taxation and wealth redistribution models. The fi ...

Can we really count on family through all?

Jan 07, 2011

The design of social protection policies should take into account the complexity and diversity of family arrangements. Families have different needs and structures as well as various ways of reacting and adapting to changes ...

Recommended for you

Scholar tracks the changing world of gay sexuality

7 hours ago

With same-sex marriage now legalized in 19 states and laws making it impossible to ban homosexuals from serving in the military, gay, lesbian and bisexual people are now enjoying more freedoms and rights than ever before.

User comments : 128

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Ophelia
3.1 / 5 (7) Nov 19, 2012
This sounds like a boat load of pop psychology nonsense based upon one laboratory experiment with no apparent real-world data to back it up.
ryggesogn2
2.6 / 5 (20) Nov 19, 2012
This sounds like a boat load of pop psychology nonsense based upon one laboratory experiment with no apparent real-world data to back it up.

There have been centuries of real world data to support the fact that centrally planned welfare states collapse.
Ophelia
3.8 / 5 (10) Nov 19, 2012
This sounds like a boat load of pop psychology nonsense based upon one laboratory experiment with no apparent real-world data to back it up.

There have been centuries of real world data to support the fact that centrally planned welfare states collapse.

Centuries, huh? Mind filling in the rest of us on what those "planned welfare states" were that existed before 1900? As well as those that collapsed after 1900? (And don't be silly enough to throw in the Soviet Union and its satellite countries.)
jscroft
2.7 / 5 (14) Nov 19, 2012
And don't be silly enough to throw in the Soviet Union and its satellite countries.


Why silly? Because the Soviets were corrupt? Show me a welfare system that isn't. Corruption is a CONSEQUENCE of the welfare state, not the fly in its otherwise utopian ointment.
ryggesogn2
2.9 / 5 (17) Nov 19, 2012
"carried out an experiment involving 244 UPF students,"
One of the most unreliable sample populations to use to extrapolate to the world is students.
Mind filling in the rest of us on what those "planned welfare states"

Ever hear of Plato?
"Plato's ideal republic was founded upon two primary assumptions: (1) that the community must be comprised of only two classes, those who govern and those who are governed (the latter owing implicit obedience to the former), and (2) that human qualities are mainly hereditary and therefore that rulers must beget future rulers. "
"the democratic system makes the state the servant of man; the socialist system makes man the servant of the State."
http://mises.org/daily/3620
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (16) Nov 19, 2012
Or Rome?
""The administration of the city of Rome was a heavy burden
on the Roman state. Besides the necessity of making Rome a
beautiful city, worthy of its position as the capital of the world
... there was the enormous expense of feeding and amusing the
population of Rome. The hundreds of thousands of Roman citizens
who lived in Rome cared little for political rights. They
readily acquiesced in the gradual reduction of the popular assembly
under Augustus to a pure formality, they offered no
protest when Tiberius suppressed even this formality, but they
insisted on their right, acquired during the civil war, to be fed
and amused by the government.
"None of the emperors, not even Caesar or Augustus, dared
to encroach on this sacred right of the Roman proletariate."
"Yet the dole became an integral part of the whole complex of
economic causes that brought the eventual collapse of Roman
civilization. It undermined the old Roman virtue of self-reliance."
The Conquest of Poverty, Hazlitt
Ophelia
4.2 / 5 (9) Nov 19, 2012
And don't be silly enough to throw in the Soviet Union and its satellite countries.


Why silly? Because the Soviets were corrupt? Show me a welfare system that isn't. Corruption is a CONSEQUENCE of the welfare state, not the fly in its otherwise utopian ointment.
Let me change your very last sentence to read "Corruption is a CONSEQUENCE of HUMAN EXISTENCE." Really, show me a single institution - religious, political, charitable, business, etc. where you CAN'T find CORRUPTION. Corruption is a defining characteristic of human institutions, not the exception.

The Soviet Union wasn't a "planned welfare state" as that term is normally used, such as in regard to countries like Denmark or where everyone fears the US is headed. Read some history and political theory and the difference is glaringly clear.
ryggesogn2
2.2 / 5 (17) Nov 19, 2012
Sounds like most of the world today:

"There were periodic exactions from the rich and frequent
confiscations of property. The better-off inhabitants of the
towns were forced to provide food, lodging, and transport for
the troops. Soldiers were allowed to loot the districts through
which they passed. Production was everywhere discouraged
and in some places brought to a halt.
Ruinous taxation eventually destroyed the sources of revenue.
It could no longer cover the State's huge expenditures, and
a raging inflation set in."
Conquest of Poverty, Hazlitt
Ophelia
4.3 / 5 (10) Nov 19, 2012
@ryggesogn2

So, for your "centuries" of data, you give 2 examples. One is fictional. The other is someone's take on Rome, rather than hard fact.

As if that is all of the problems Rome had.

Still, it survived 400 years. Pretty long time for most governments wouldn't you say.

And, by the way, how long do governments usually last without collapsing, "welfare state or not"?

Hardly supports your "point".
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (15) Nov 19, 2012
And, by the way, how long do governments usually last without collapsing, "welfare state or not"?

Why do govts collapse in the first place?

You don't believe Plato's Republic, Hobbes Leviathan or More's Utopia inspired socialist tyrants around the world?

BTW, is Agenda 21 intended to be fiction:
http://www.un.org...00.shtml
Ophelia
3.7 / 5 (9) Nov 19, 2012
@ryggesogn2

I'm still waiting for those centuries of real world examples.
StarGazer2011
2 / 5 (12) Nov 20, 2012
The democratic welfare state has issues because when making the choice between (A) lots of time off and a full belly but few luxuries and (B) no time off and the possibility of ending up no better than if you had taken choice (A); the rational choice is (A) to put your feet up and vote for free money. There are two political parties perfectly happy to give you the free money in return for power and wealth for themselves and their favored constituents. This works fine until there is nobody left producing more than they consume; then it will fail unless it can find a new source of production to redistribute.
cantdrive85
1.8 / 5 (13) Nov 20, 2012
"Let's say it is a Hobbesian redistribution: the one with the most power, in this case in based on voting, gets more resources".

And then there was OBAMA!. The power of the LCD.
Caliban
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 20, 2012
This sounds like a boat load of pop psychology nonsense based upon one laboratory experiment with no apparent real-world data to back it up.


@Ophelia,

This was my take at first, as well. Then I realized that this was mainly an effect of how poorly-written this article is. Horribly-written is more appropriate.

But they still managed to come to the obvious conclusion: that the success of the social contract depends upon virtually everyone taking it seriously. And that it has worked successfully in a planned social welfare state, of which Denmark is the shining example.

This came as no surprise to me, as it has ALWAYS been my direct experience(this, after years working in the home health field, directly with low-income, SS income, MCARE- and MCAID-recipients) that there are very, very few people that just sit back, do nothing, and expect redistributed wealth to take care of them. The overwhelming majority of people work very hard at the best job they can get.

Contd
Caliban
4.5 / 5 (8) Nov 20, 2012
contd

Corrolary to that observation is that the constant whining from the RepCon/Randite/Libertarians is merely the voicing of their greed, or self-interested selfishness, or the "enlightened self-interest"(!) of Ayn Rand...I usually just characterize it as greed, because that is easier to type, and also because it makes expicit the ugliness of it.

To me, the insistence that, as individuals, we can't --and even more tellingly, SHOULDN"T-- spare a few dollars towards helping that overwhelming majority of hard-working, struggling people, typifies the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of the RepConLibertaRandites.

We see them frequently, here --ryggsuckn' being the purest example of the type to have commented in this thread, so far.

hb_
1 / 5 (4) Nov 20, 2012
The ending note of the authors

- "We must make sure that it is used well in order to avoid destroying it, which means getting those who have the most also pay the most,..."

..is completely unsubstantiated by any of the data that the authors present. Sorry, this is politics dressed up as science!

What I do see is a fair job at establishing the fact that both policies - "wright wing" and "left wing" - are both driven mainly by self interest. Why couldn't they leave it at that? Or would the study not merrit re-funding if it wasn't topped of by some leftist propaganda?
taka
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 20, 2012
No need to do experiments, little math show immediately that state where all work hard and then redistribute is unstable. There is non zero probability that somebody cheat and if somebody chat then only fool will work hard and redistribute. The state with no redistribution is also not stable. Eventually it got into state where majority cheat and than they vote for redistribution. So, the only stable state is where nobody works.
Soviet Union is good illustration actually, it was long time in this only stable state before collapsing. European countries evolve slower, there redistribution is not total. But they are also heading towards this stable state and US is fallowing.
I believe the problem is in voting. It is not correct that all votes are equal. Correct policy would be if everybody had votes proportional to resources it bring. In family it works well and it is also fear - who pay can rule.
hb_
2.7 / 5 (7) Nov 20, 2012
@Caliban

You do not seem to have understood the article, otherwise you would not have atributed "greed" only to the "Libertarians". The study shows that both types of policies are grounded in self interest, i.e. you notion of altruism doesn't really play a part in real peoples motivations.

Both sides are motivated by some sort of "greed", but one is more reasonable than the other...
hb_
1 / 5 (1) Nov 20, 2012
@taka

Well, it may be obvious, but it is always nice to have some experimental data to support the obvious. Otherwise, there will always be a cohort of people that will use this uncertainty to claim the unreasonable...
Caliban
5 / 5 (1) Nov 20, 2012

What I do see is a fair job at establishing the fact that both policies - "wright wing" and "left wing" - are both driven mainly by self interest. Why couldn't they leave it at that? Or would the study not merrit re-funding if it wasn't topped of by some leftist propaganda?


It seems that it has more to do with the really poor job of writing this article. What they were explicitly trying to discover is just how robust is-, or what gives rise to the most robust- welfare state.

So I don't think that Right- or Left- really has any bearing. That would be a factor outside the frame of reference.

And since the study has already been conducted, they probably aren't expecting to have it re-funded. It would be up to another group to try to replicate the results.
Caliban
4 / 5 (4) Nov 20, 2012
"Let's say it is a Hobbesian redistribution: the one with the most power, in this case in based on voting, gets more resources".

And then there was OBAMA!. The power of the LCD.


So, you're saying that women, hispanics, students and blacks are the Lowest Common Denominator? Where do you live --Santa Barbara?
hb_
1 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2012
@Caliban

I stand corrected: re-funded should have referred to the research group, not the project. The fact that the group ended their research paper with a political statement - thinly disguised as a science - reveals a lot about sociology.

I other science fields, you would be penalized for ending an article with pure speculation in a political direction. In sociology, this seems not to be the case.. Why don't the authors speculate in the "right wing" direction? Sorry, this is not a coincidence..it keeps being repeated all the time and it should be called by its true name: leftist propaganda.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (11) Nov 20, 2012
Another example of a fragile welfare state that ran out of OPM:

"Argentines are mad about sky-high inflation. They're mad about rising crime. They're mad about corruption scandals. They're mad about proposals to amend the constitution so that Kirchner can seek a third term. They're mad about government efforts to curb press freedom and weaken opposition media outlets."
http://www.weekly...l?page=1

Running out of other people's money is inevitable in the welfare state.
hb_
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 20, 2012
@Caliban

Regarding "left wing" and "right wing".. If we believe in the results of the authors, it would seem that those advocating less re-distribution ("right wing") and those advocating more re-distribution ("left wing") are both just arguing for their own good. That is, if you believe in the results..

So, it would be silly to claim that only libertarians are selfish, when the answer is that the leftist are every bit as selfish, albeit with somebody elses money..
cantdrive85
2.3 / 5 (9) Nov 20, 2012
"Let's say it is a Hobbesian redistribution: the one with the most power, in this case in based on voting, gets more resources".

And then there was OBAMA!. The power of the LCD.


So, you're saying that women, hispanics, students and blacks are the Lowest Common Denominator? Where do you live --Santa Barbara?

I'm saying, that if you voted for OBAMA!, you aren't much brighter than a few dozen fireflies.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (15) Nov 20, 2012
leftist are every bit as selfish, albeit with somebody elses money..

'Progressives' are also very selfish with power.
Most people want the state to leave them alone, but it is the 'progressives' seem to have this thirst for power. They claim they want us to be prosperous but it never seems to happen when their policies are enacted. 'Progressives' prosper with power and, maybe, money, but their real goal is power.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
CS Lewis
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (14) Nov 20, 2012
"If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. . . . In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They 'cash in.' It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. . . . Let us not be deceived by phrases about 'Man taking charge of his own destiny.' All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of others. . . . The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be.
. . . ."
CS Lewis, God in the Dock
Noumenon
2 / 5 (12) Nov 20, 2012
Corrolary to that observation is that the constant whining from the RepCon/Randite/Libertarians is merely the voicing of their greed, or self-interested selfishness, or the "enlightened self-interest"(!) of Ayn Rand...I usually just characterize it as greed, because that is easier to type, and also because it makes expicit the ugliness of it.


You characterize conservatives as greedy only because you are profoundly ignorant of the principals which drive them. You construct a false strawman to make it easier for you to be a liberal.

It has been found that Conservatives generally give more of Their income to charity, while Liberals generally give more of Other people income to charity. This is the true and factual measure of greed.

What is ugly, is the welfare state that makes people dependent upon the government. It is a weakening effect, while self accountability is strength.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (15) Nov 20, 2012
"You say: "There are persons who have no money," and you
turn to the law. But the law is not a breast that fills itself with
milk. Nor are the lacteal veins of the law supplied with milk from
a source outside the society. Nothing can enter the public treasury
for the benefit of one citizen or one class unless other citizens
and other classes have been forced to send it in. If every
person draws from the treasury the amount that he has put in it,
it is true that the law then plunders nobody. But this procedure
does nothing for the persons who have no money. It does not
promote equality of income. The law can be an instrument of
equalization only as it takes from some persons and gives to
other persons. When the law does this, it is an instrument of
plunder."
The Law, Bastiat
Noumenon
2.2 / 5 (13) Nov 20, 2012
there are very, very few people that just sit back, do nothing, and expect redistributed wealth to take care of them - Taliban


http://www.aei-id...un-amok/ patently false. The welfare state has increased to crisis levels, and is directly related to the entitlement culture promoted by democrats.

Today around 50% of households receive some government assistance, while thirty years ago it was only around 30%. This shows that the 'entitlement culture', which is a mentality, has increased.

Entitlement, victimization, and dependency, is an easier mentality to feed off of, than one of self reliance and personal accountability. The liberal democrats have a much easier time seeking office, when the culture is weak and stupid.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (14) Nov 20, 2012
"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses
the distinction between government and society. As a
result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government,
the socialists conclude that we object to its being done
at all."
"Socialists look upon people as raw material to be formed
into social combinations. This is so true that, if by chance, the
socialists have any doubts about the success of these combinations,
they will demand that a small portion of mankind be set
aside to experiment upon."
"The strange phenomenon of our times—one which will
probably astound our descendants—is the doctrine based on
this triple hypothesis: the total inertness of mankind, the
omnipotence of the law, and the infallibility of the legislator.
These three ideas form the sacred symbol of those who proclaim
themselves totally democratic."
The Law, Bastiat, 1848
Czcibor
3.2 / 5 (5) Nov 20, 2012
For a while - let's ignore involved students and see it purely as game theory task. There is a common pool for less successful. There is (like in many other game theory task) a strong incentive towards cheating.

So the question is - how to make abusing the system a strategy that would be unprofitable for an individual. Any ideas?

ryggesogn2:
"Hobbes Leviathan [...] inspired socialist tyrants around the world"

Leviathan as inspiration for left wing??? I thought, to be honest, that his idea are much more tempting to right wing... you know, all that law and order stuff... not assuming, like Rousseau that people are good, but that people are evil and only a powerful authority able to levy punishments keeps them well behaved...
(which might be an oversimplification, though I personally agree that Hobbes had a valid point)
Czcibor
3.2 / 5 (5) Nov 20, 2012
ryggesogn2:
You also mentioned Plato's Republic as source of such inspiration. But you know, for Plato's ranking out of 5 systems, actually a democracy in on "respectable" 4th position. As preferred is rule of philosopher kings (nowadays - technocracy? meritocracy???), but just below is Timocracy (which would be a military rule) or next is oligarchy (simple rule of the rich, which according to Plato have at least this advantage over general population, at least should have the virtue of temperance need to be able to accumulate wealth)

Rather not specially tempting source of inspiration for the left wing, especially idea with military rule or oligarchy. A bit tempting can be for EVERY group (regardless of ideology) be claiming being those top experts that should rule.
Noumenon
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 20, 2012
@ Czcibor

,.. not that people are inherently evil per say, which is a subjective characterization, but rather that it is intrinsic to human nature to seek their own interests. It is a self preservation mechanism.

Liberal progressives aim to domesticate that intrinsic egoistic mechanism by making people dependent upon a expanded government. It is natural that people will take the path of least resistance. The government should not be in the business of plowing paths.

Conservatives aim to limit government, and encourage liberty to allow that intrinsic mechanism to play out naturally in an social arena of freedom and competition, which is capitalism.

So the question is - how to make abusing the system a strategy that would be unprofitable for an individual. Any ideas?


By limiting it, ...... NOT by expanding it as the progressive liberals wish to do. That's the only way.

Society is strong when it is self-reliant, and weak when it is dependent.
Czcibor
3.9 / 5 (7) Nov 20, 2012
Liberal progressives aim to domesticate that intrinsic egoistic mechanism by making people dependent upon a expanded government.
Be more serious, when you analyse your adversaries. Try again What is the aim?

Conservatives aim to limit government, and encourage liberty to allow that intrinsic mechanism to play out naturally in an social arena of freedom and competition, which is capitalism.
You are aware that according to the aims that you listed here George W. Bush should be considered as liberal progressive? And Deng Xiaoping or Gerhard Schroder as conservative?

By limiting it, ...... NOT by expanding it as the progressive liberals wish to do. That's the only way.
And more creative ways? (No, really, you just choose the simplest path)
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 20, 2012
Bastiat state the reason for the fragility of the welfare state quite succinctly in The Law.
Everyone plunders everyone, no one plunders anyone or the many plunder the few.
Why do 'progressives' have this need to plunder?
Noumenon
1.9 / 5 (9) Nov 20, 2012
So the question is - how to make abusing the system a strategy that would be unprofitable for an individual. Any ideas?

By limiting it, ...... NOT by expanding it as the progressive liberals wish to do. That's the only way.
And more creative ways? (No, really, you just choose the simplest path)


The government has proven itself incompetent with respect to efficiency, and fiscal responsibility, thus there is NO other way, but to limit it, and NOT deliberately expand the welfare state as a matter of policy.
Noumenon
1.9 / 5 (9) Nov 20, 2012
Conservatives aim to limit government, and encourage liberty to allow that intrinsic mechanism to play out naturally in an social arena of freedom and competition, which is capitalism.
You are aware that according to the aims that you listed here George W. Bush should be considered as liberal progressive? And Deng Xiaoping or Gerhard Schroder as conservative?


We are discussing political philosophy. If you want to talk politics, then yes, G.W. Bush is not an ideal representative of conservatism to be sure. Bloomberg was a republican for a time, but is clearly a social liberal progressive.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (11) Nov 20, 2012
Hayek dedicated The Road to Serfdom to socialists of ALL parties.
Noumenon
1.9 / 5 (9) Nov 20, 2012
Liberal progressives aim to domesticate that intrinsic egoistic mechanism by making people dependent upon a expanded government.
Be more serious, when you analyse your adversaries. Try again What is the aim?


That is the effect of inventing a need for 'social justice' where it is not applicable in a free society.
Noumenon
2 / 5 (8) Nov 20, 2012
,.. you may believe that progressive liberalism is a noble cause, and indeed it may be in theory to the naive who buys into it, but as I have said above, it will inevitably lead to social engineering of human behavior and therefore loss of liberty. The reason is that government enforced 'social justice', is counter to human nature, freedom, and capitalism.
ryggesogn2
2.2 / 5 (10) Nov 20, 2012
,.. you may believe that progressive liberalism is a noble cause, and indeed it may be in theory to the naive who buys into it, but as I have said above, it will inevitably lead to social engineering of human behavior and therefore loss of liberty. The reason is that government enforced 'social justice', is counter to human nature, freedom, and capitalism.

Have the 'progressive' define 'noble cause'.
As Batiat notes, the state must plunder (take by force) wealth created by one individual and distribute to others. Why is that noble?
Who is more noble, Romney who DONATED a significant amount of his wealth in time and treasure or Biden who donated little time or treasure, but advocates the use of force to plunder more from Romney?
Noumenon
2 / 5 (8) Nov 20, 2012
Yes, as I said it is only noble to the naive.
Caliban
5 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2012
Yes, as I said it is only noble to the naive.


Yes, and this is why we so sharply disagree.

It is equally naive to believe in the Utopian dream of unfettered, free market capitalism.

ANY socio-political-economic-religious system is subject to corruption, at all levels and by any agents.

And this is precisely what I see INVARIABLY getting ignored in these discussions. A Social Welfare State is just as corruptible as a Free Market Meritocracy, and for precisely the same reasons. Some Agents will INEVTABLY seek to expand their influence and control --this is the natural end result of competition, is it not?

Do I need to point out that this is plainly not the best outcome for everyone involved, regardless of their Poli/eco/socio/religio persuasion?

Agreed, it's just dandy if you are at the top of the heap, but we obviously aren't speaking of the Lex Talonis, either, and if your wagon did make it across the river, then it's tough titty for you.

Contd.
Caliban
5 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2012
contd.

So, what about that? It is entirely possible to work until you collapse and die in the ditch without advancing a single step toward the top of the heap, and if you find yourself in that position, would you, personally, be ok with it?

Think seriously about that, because NO ONE is immune to a reversal of fortune.

And that is precisely why we have developed the Hybrid Democracies that we have over the last century or so --through the realisation that government is supposed to act as a mitigating force between the worst abuses of both sides.

The reason why it doesn't work any better than it does is because money has a much more corrosive effect than popular movements upon the excercise of that power, because, as we all know, the more money you have, the more work you can make it do for you, and the more you can extend your influence.

The key is to acknowledge and EXPECT this corruption and make that knowledge and expectation the CORE of the law, to proactively head off
Cont
Caliban
5 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2012
cont

...as much wrongdoing as possible, and apply the law EQUALLY by stripping out "technical defenses" and relying upon strict rules of evidence.

Then we could balance and place reasonable constraints upon the competing forces of Welfare/Capitalism to prevent plunging toward a failed welfare state or a plutocracy.

It is no more to everyone's best advantage to lay around than it is for a tiny fraction to have it all.

We don't live in a strictly darwinistic society, although I realize that there are plenty of people who hope for such.

And they will continue to hope for it just so long as until they get it.

When you get Darwinized, all of the sudden it doesn't seem like such a neat, necessary trick.

And that --seriously-- is the central fact that I think so many
of the Conservative side just don't take into account.

Caliban
5 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2012
@Caliban
[...] I other science fields, you would be penalized for ending an article with pure speculation in a political direction. In sociology, this seems not to be the case.. Why don't the authors speculate in the "right wing" direction? Sorry, this is not a coincidence..it keeps being repeated all the time and it should be called by its true name: leftist propaganda.


That's part of the point I was trying to make. They didn't speculate in that direction because the study was pointed in the other direction --they wanted to find out what system would create the optimum "welfare state"-- which most people would automatically define as "left wing". In effect, Left- and Right-wing -as I said- are not in the frame of reference because they weren't looking for the "right-wing" version.

So, in conclusion, they chose Denmark as a real-world example of a Nation that comes closest to the optimum system that their experiment modeled, precisely because it is a Socialist/Left state.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (11) Nov 21, 2012
Utopian dream of unfettered, free market capitalism.

The Utopian dream is a socialist one, not a capitalist one.
There is no such thing as unfettered free market capitalism. Competition and customers are what regulate free market capitalism.
There is unfettered crapitalism, aka fascism, in which the govt chooses who can and who cannot be in business.

ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (9) Nov 21, 2012
A Social Welfare State is just as corruptible

It is corrupt by definition as the state MUST use its force to PLUNDER wealth.
Maybe Cali believes theft is a moral virtue?
Prior to the 'progressive' welfare state in the US, mutual aid societies provide charity to its members.
One such society was forced out of 'business' by the American Medical Association cartel, which was protected by the US 'progressive' state.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (9) Nov 22, 2012
"It's wrong to say that American was founded by capitalists. In fact, America was founded by socialists who had the humility to learn from their initial mistakes and embrace freedom. One of the earliest and arguably most historically significant North American colonies was Plymouth Colony, founded in 1620 in what is now known as Plymouth, "
"the original colony had written into its charter a system of communal property and labor. As William Bradford recorded in his Of Plymouth Plantation, a people who had formerly been known for their virtue and hard work became lazy and unproductive. Resources were squandered, vegetables were allowed to rot on the ground and mass starvation was the result."
http://www.forbes...sgiving/
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) Nov 22, 2012
"New Platonists demand control of other people's property. New True Levelers legally occupy the prestige pulpits of our nation, secular and sacred. And now, as then, the productive class of our now gigantic, colony-turned-superpower, learn and teach again, the painful lessons of history. Collectivism violates the iron laws of human nature. It has always failed. It is always failing, and it will always fail. I thank God that it is failing now. Providence is teaching us once again."
http://www.forbes...sgiving/
Czcibor
3 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2012
We are discussing political philosophy. If you want to talk politics, then yes, G.W. Bush is not an ideal representative of conservatism to be sure. Bloomberg was a republican for a time, but is clearly a social liberal progressive.

To be honest I have here problem to get what is being compared. I mean I can understand:
idealized right wing vs. idealized left wing
applied right wing vs. applied left wing
right wing in eyes of its opponents vs. left wing in eyes of its opponents

So far Ryggesogn2 tried to compared idealized right wing vs. left wing in eyes of its opponents (or at best against applied left wing) so unsurprisingly reached a conclusion that idealized right wing looks better.

So the point here is to take some purely ideological stance? Without bothering too much about how this ideology is applied in real life?
Czcibor
3 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2012
The government has proven itself incompetent with respect to efficiency, and fiscal responsibility, thus there is NO other way, but to limit it, and NOT http://lonelycons...hart.png as a matter of policy.

We're comparing here real life or pure ideology?

If pure ideology - both ideologies can be fiscally responsible, it just can be a choice:
-low taxes & low spending
-high taxes & high spending

If I'm to compare real life cases, to show that you use serious oversimplification (at best) my card of choice would be clearly Sweden. According to Eurostat they ended 2011 (latest data) with general government SURPLUS of 0,4% GDP. (the last two decades roughly looked there such)

May I compare it with some guys in the US who try to have low taxes and high gov spending? And start to cry about deficit only when they've lost power?
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 22, 2012
both ideologies can be fiscally responsible,

How are high taxes, much plunder, and high spending of that plunder responsible?
Govt does not create wealth, it can only plunder wealth. How is plunder of any kind responsible?
kochevnik
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 22, 2012
both ideologies can be fiscally responsible,
How are high taxes, much plunder, and high spending of that plunder responsible?
The taxes are to support all the wars you started and your bankster buddies, ryggie. You know, the zionists who got a ten $trillion gift from you that you love so much?
Govt does not create wealth, it can only plunder wealth. How is plunder of any kind responsible?
So you agree that corporations, which are created and licensed and could not exist without the state, only plunder wealth? That's a good point ryggie! When do we start liquidating them?
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 22, 2012
Koch, how many wars did Greece start? Or Sweden? They eliminated their wealth tax not long ago.

Corporation do NOT need a state to exist.

A corporation is facilitated by a legal framework that protects the property rights of those who incorporate and all who participate in voluntary trade.
That is the only legitimate function of any govt, protection of everyone's property rights.
Czcibor
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 23, 2012
both ideologies can be fiscally responsible,

How are high taxes, much plunder, and high spending of that plunder responsible?
Govt does not create wealth, it can only plunder wealth. How is plunder of any kind responsible?


I'd try to answer using your terminology, maybe that would be easier to understand. If you spend roughly as much as much as plundered - that's fiscally responsible. The problem start when you systematically spend a lot and don't plunder enough.

With gov and wealth creation its a bit trickier than you would like it to be. I mean actually gov can invest collected money in public goods (not only infrastructure but also partially education) and consequently actually increase wealth creation. It can also by applying countercyclical monetary and fiscal policy to avoid situation of serious underutilization of factors of production in the worse years.
Czcibor
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 23, 2012
We can also discuss impact of legal framework on institutions functioning within economy, and how strong beneficial influence gov can have here...

Other thing, that you can reasonably point out that left wing on general is not preoccupied so much with public goods, and more with redistribution.
Czcibor
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 23, 2012
If you dislike term "responsible", what about calling that "sustainable"? It looks like a strategy that could be repeated for decades while competitiveness of economy is maintained. (By occasion Sweden CIT rate is 26,3%; that's EU, so the tax system uses high VAT which distorts economy less)
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 23, 2012
If you spend roughly as much as much as plundered - that's fiscally responsible. T

Spend the stolen wealth on what?
Wealth plundered by the state is not available to those who create wealth to create MORE wealth, to innovate, to increase the prosperity of more individuals.
Please send me your address so I can plunder your wealth. I know much better how to spend it then you do.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 23, 2012
"It would be impossible, therefore, to introduce into
society a greater change and a greater evil than this—the
conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder."
"What would be the consequences of such a perversion?"
"it would efface from everybody's
conscience the distinction between justice and injustice."
"Another effect of this deplorable perversion of the law
is that it gives to human passions and to political struggles,
and, in general, to politics, properly so called, an
exaggerated importance." {And some wonder why $billions are spent on elections?}
"as long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true mission, that it may violate property instead of securing it, everybody will be wanting to manufacture law, either to
defend himself against plunder, or to organize it for his
own profit."
The Law, Bastiat
Czcibor
3 / 5 (4) Nov 23, 2012
If you spend roughly as much as much as plundered - that's fiscally responsible. T

Spend the stolen wealth on what?
Wealth plundered by the state is not available to those who create wealth to create MORE wealth, to innovate, to increase the prosperity of more individuals.
Please send me your address so I can plunder your wealth. I know much better how to spend it then you do.

So technical question - how can you justify anything short of utopian anarcho-capitalism? (you know, any security maintaining organization like police or army tend to be financed in a compulsory way)
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 23, 2012
(you know, any security maintaining organization like police or army tend to be financed in a compulsory way)


" What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

Each of us has a natural right — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. "
http://bastiat.or...ION_G005
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 23, 2012
"Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups. "
"The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all."
http://bastiat.or...ION_G005
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 23, 2012
"Under such an administration {the organization of the natural right of lawful defense} , everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as all the responsibilities of his existence. No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack. When successful, we would not have to thank the state for our success. And, conversely, when unsuccessful, we would no more think of blaming the state for our misfortune than would the farmers blame the state because of hail or frost. The state would be felt only by the invaluable blessings of safety provided by this concept of government. "
http://bastiat.or...ION_G005
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 23, 2012
" Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.

But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.

Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain — and since labor is pain in itself — it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor. "
http://bastiat.or...ION_G005
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 23, 2012
"Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter — by peaceful or revolutionary means — into the making of laws. "

This is why the socialists want to control the law. They want to be in charge of the plundering for their profit.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 23, 2012
"if we create a society in which the majority of the people are not able to be productive, redistribution will be excessive and the overall incentives to produce will diminish.

Read more at: http://[url=http://phys.org/news/2012-11-fragility-welfare-state.html#jCp

This why Scandinavian socialism has not collapsed. Their homogenous society won't tolerate an entitlement attitude. But new Scandinavian immigrants, who have been entitled by their govts, don' have the same work ethic. Why should they?
hb_
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 23, 2012
@Caliban

You are wrong: the result pointed neither in the "right-wing" direction, nor in the "left-wing" direction. The authors explicitely said that "the rich have to give more". Now, where is that substantiated in the study? As the work is described above: nowhere.
.
The authors could just as well have ended with "..since redistribution is inherently unstable against members that missuse the system.. it should not be performed". They could even have claimed that "..we have shown that the moral imperative of the political left is false: it is just about getting the spoils of somebody elses labour".
.
Do you find it coincidental that (1) they end the article with pure political speculation and that (2) this speculation is severely leftist? I don't. Sociology is garbage science, and the so called scientists are really just political activists who use their platform to peddle ideology.
Czcibor
3 / 5 (4) Nov 23, 2012
ryggesogn2:
Excuse me, but you haven't answered my question in way that I can understand. (blame it on the fact that I'm not a native speaker) So how to finance any kind of police/military if taxes infringe on personal freedom and you consider them as equivalent of theft?

EDIT: The text that you linked was showing more that if each person has the right to defend himself, then he can also team up. Not specially controversial, but does not answer the question concerning financing it.
Czcibor
3 / 5 (4) Nov 23, 2012
This why Scandinavian socialism has not collapsed. Their homogenous society won't tolerate an entitlement attitude. But new Scandinavian immigrants, who have been entitled by their govts, don' have the same work ethic. Why should they?


So semi-socialistic system can work in long run as long as among others it has serious amount of nationalism to protect it against foreign free riders? (Funny, I've already seen this conclusion with respect to Scandinavian countries, and agree that there is a point in it) In practice with respect to immigrants as long as they can integrate them and teach local vales the system would presumably be able to continue.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.6 / 5 (14) Nov 23, 2012
Corruption is a defining characteristic of human institution
Correct. This is why any overt system of govt can only be temporary, and that for overall Stability and Progress to endure, the True Govt must be invisible and above scrutiny. Plato exactly described such a Govt in Republic.

There will always be those who seek to circumvent laws to gain advantage. Greed will destroy any economic or political system unless it can be channeled surreptitiously, and applied in constructive Ways.

Laws are routinely passed and agencies configured to entice lawbreakers to pursue certain avenues. Toxic debt was ENCOURAGED by the system and then shipped worldwide to facilitate exactly the Constructive collapse of obsolete economies we have seen in the last few years. The Phoenix again rises from the ashes.

Nothing is forever but Empire. Soviet communism (was) collapsed. Western capitalism is unsustainable without new markets. Its Purpose has been served. The world can no longer afford it.
kochevnik
2 / 5 (4) Nov 23, 2012
Corporation do NOT need a state to exist.
You are WRONG ryggie. Stop posting your nonsense lies. You're just spamming garbage on this site. Spamming is illegal where you are located in the US.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (13) Nov 23, 2012
Ryggy thinks that free markets are self-regulating and take place only in static environments.

But populations always grow, resources become tight as a result, competition forces competitors to collude, a labor surplus always causes unrest and rebellion, and the economic cycle fast approaches collapse. Again.

Growth - decay - collapse - rebirth. Economic cycles are UNAVOIDABLE. The only civilization which can survive them is the one which can anticipate them, Plan for them, and make sure they happen Constructively rather than destructively.

'God' warned Joseph and Pharoah about 7 years of famine to follow 7 years of feast. Of course egyptians kept very good records of grain distribution and were fully capable of seeing the results of pop growth for THEMSELVES.

Joseph and pharoah cornered the grain market and ended up owning all of egypt. Empire conquered the world in exactly the same Way. By accepting the Inevitable and using it to their advantage.
Czcibor
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 23, 2012
Corporation do NOT need a state to exist.
You are WRONG ryggie. Stop posting your nonsense lies. You're just spamming garbage on this site. Spamming is illegal where you are located in the US.

Assuming that' not matter of ideological war, but a question that can be answered by purely empirical data:

What about East India Company? It was incorporated under law of Great Britain, however when it operated in Asia it effectively acted as government for itself and it did not matter much for local rulers that it was able to overthrow that in some far away country there was a fancy looking document called charter.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 23, 2012
how to finance any kind of police/military if taxes infringe on personal freedom and you consider them as equivalent of theft?


Taxes become plunder when the objective and use exceeds govt protection of property.
Prior to the 16th amendment authorizing a federal income tax, which was sold as tax ONLY on the very rich, the federal govt was funded by excise taxes.
I support the FAIR tax as it is a sales tax (not a VAT) but a flat sales tax if and only if the federal income tax is repealed.
I would think many 'progressive' enviros would support the FAIR tax. The US is accused of over consuming so why not tax consumption? But the intent of taxes for the socialist is to punish those who create and earn more wealth then they. And that is exactly what is happening.
But then the 'progressive' needs to buy more votes. They need to make more dependent upon them and that's where the redistribution part creeps in.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 23, 2012
What is a state? What is a corporation?
What is sovereignty?
As Bastiat points out, individuals agree to cooperate for mutual self-defense. Some may call that a govt. If the govt can protect and defend a territory, it may be called a state and if other states do the same and recognize each other, they may be called sovereign.
I agree with the authors of The Sovereign Individual that as the title suggests, individuals are sovereign.
We are beginning to see this happening in Europe. Spain and other countries are granting residency status to anyone who buys a minimum value house. Some countries grant citizenship for a flat rate tax.
While still in legal flux, a company is trying to build their own cities in Honduras.
And of course there are the seasteaders who can build their own cities on the ocean.
Did the Mayflower Compact create a govt or a corporation or both?
obama_socks
1 / 5 (6) Nov 23, 2012
UNITED NATIONS - AGENDA 21
The United Nations' "Agenda 21" is the aggressive push for Globalization. As Barack Obama fundamentally changes the socio-economic and class-cultural climate in the United States through higher taxes for the working middle class and exorbitant taxation on the wealthy and on businesses, the U.N. will negotiate also with Obama and his appointed regime to implement Agenda 21 nationally and locally. Agenda 21 means the redistribution of wealth from rich and successful nations to backward and/or unsuccessful and poor nations no matter what the circumstances and reasons for their poverty.
This redistribution of wealth on an international scale as well as national and local is to be the basis for the gradual implementation of the United Nations as the command center that will remove any barrier to cooperation from any nation and locality. (contd)
obama_socks
1 / 5 (6) Nov 23, 2012
(contd)
The higher taxations of any nation will be necessary according to its ability to contribute its dues, while such dues will be collected by principal U.N. collectors, and ultimately redistributed to poor nations.
Additionally, the U.N. will oversee the land use and management of each country's government-owned lands and certain privately-owned lands as is regarded as necessary and practical.

http://www.un.org...19-2.htm

The part of the report entitled "ERADICATING POVERTY" is pure "pie in the sky" while wearing rose-colored glasses. It doesn't seem to consider variability and diversity in humans and their individual and collective frailties and vices. The sloth-producing characteristics of the welfare system is not considered either.

http://www.democr...a21.com/

This agenda resembles Kyoto Protocol in some aspects, but is detrimental to rights of the individual and property rights, as well as other human and civil rights.
kochevnik
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 23, 2012
What about East India Company? It was incorporated under law of Great Britain...
My point stands. The real Tea Party (not these traitorous teabaggers) instigated the American Revolution against England, of which the East India Company was a major tentacle.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 23, 2012
What about East India Company? It was incorporated under law of Great Britain...
My point stands. The real Tea Party (not these traitorous teabaggers) instigated the American Revolution against England, of which the East India Company was a major tentacle.

What is England? By what authority did it have to create any company or even call itself England?
American colonists' revolutionary spirit was passed down by the English, Scots, Welsh and Celts who did their share of rebellions against the Romans, Danes, Normans, ...
obama_socks
1 / 5 (5) Nov 23, 2012
Here's another link: http://www.thenew...fect-you

and just to be fair, here is the Socialist "Media Matters", an organ of George Soros' on Agenda 21, obviously for it.
http://mediamatte...l/180690

It is surprising how many people have never even heard of Agenda 21.

Sorry guys for interrupting, but this is also important.
obama_socks
1.5 / 5 (8) Nov 23, 2012
What about East India Company? It was incorporated under law of Great Britain...
My point stands. The real Tea Party (not these traitorous teabaggers) instigated the American Revolution against England, of which the East India Company was a major tentacle.
-k

Traitorous teabaggers" Really? Traitorous in which ways, koch?
In the year 2012, we no longer have "taxation without representation", something for which the original Boston Tea Party event was held in Boston Harbor to protest the taxation without proper representatives representing the colonists. The British monarchy treated the colonists as pariahs, and some as undesirables, possibly due to the fact that many of the British colonists had been sent to America as either prisoners or indentured servants. Others sailed to America to escape religious persecution in England. Another group were the landed gentry, and it is they who actually declared independence from England. (contd)
obama_socks
1 / 5 (5) Nov 23, 2012
The Boston Tea Party did not instigate the American Revolution. It was a "statement" for a grievance held against the British crown and its unfair taxation of tea. That is the reason the colonists dressed like Indians and dumped the tea overboard.
It took several "well-off" English gentlemen and plantation owners as Thomas Jefferson to write the documents giving notice to the Crown that they no longer were British subjects.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2012
You have got to be joking. Your worldview needs serious reconsideration.

No need to do experiments,
I believe the problem is in voting. It is not correct that all votes are equal. Correct policy would be if everybody had votes proportional to resources it bring. In family it works well and it is also fear - who pay can rule.
kochevnik
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 23, 2012
What about East India Company? It was incorporated under law of Great Britain...
My point stands. The real Tea Party (not these traitorous teabaggers) instigated the American Revolution against England, of which the East India Company was a major tentacle.
-k

Traitorous teabaggers" Really? Traitorous in which ways, koch?
In the year 2012, we no longer have "taxation without representation"
Really? The USA is a corporatist animal which serves artificial persons it created called corporations. For the flesh and blood they are asked to have their savings and pensions and jobs and health and economic future sacrificed for the corporations. This is inevitable in every dying empire. The original Tea protesters were liberal nationalists who sought to free their country from the yoke of corporfascism, symbolized by the East India Company. Whereas the teabaggers want the people sacrificed for the good of corporations and fascism, the conservative way
mcb
1 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2012
Someone PLEASE forward this study to Obama and his minions!
kochevnik
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 24, 2012
Someone PLEASE forward this study to Obama and his minions!
Yes he is stealing from the far larger corporate welfare fund and the $trillion eaten by the US military that hasn't fought or won a real war in 70 years.
Shootist
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 24, 2012
This sounds like a boat load of pop psychology nonsense based upon one laboratory experiment with no apparent real-world data to back it up.

There have been centuries of real world data to support the fact that centrally planned welfare states collapse.

Centuries, huh? Mind filling in the rest of us on what those "planned welfare states" were that existed before 1900? As well as those that collapsed after 1900? (And don't be silly enough to throw in the Soviet Union and its satellite countries.)


planned welfare states before 1900?

The Roman Empire. Idiot.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (15) Nov 24, 2012
Taxes become plunder when the objective and use exceeds govt protection of property.
Taxes are the equivalent of tithes. Interestingly religions were the first to tax: http://en.wikiped...#History

-This was of course an expedient for supporting families which had grown beyond their ability to support themselves, thereby assisting in the uniquely religionist process of forcing overgrowth in order to overrun their enemies. This is why for instance the zakat is one of the 5 pillars of islam.

"In a handful of Muslim countries – including Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan – the zakat is obligatory, and is collected in a centralized manner by the state."

-This is one of the many reasons that organized religion is considered a form of socialism. This is the basis for the Baathist party. http://en.wikiped...ocialism

-I bet ryggy did not know these things.
ryggesogn2
2.5 / 5 (8) Nov 24, 2012
Taxes are the equivalent of tithes.

Tithe means one tenth.
I bet most would gladly suffer to pay the state ONLY 1/10 of their income in tax.
There is no way any church in the US can force anyone to pay anything to a church. A tithe is a voluntary commitment to the chruch. A tax is forced payment to the state. Don't pay, the state will put you in jail and/or take your stuff.
Muslims are required to 'give' to charity, if they can afford to do so. And they are supposed to do so discreetly.
Many European state churches are directly supported by taxes, just as they have been for hundreds of years.
Auto equates social pressure to state force. I don't.
socean
4 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2012
Why not try the random redistribution of wealth? Even if corruption occurs, as long as its not huge, it won't make a predictable difference to the health of the society.

The economy, like everything else, is governed by the laws of chaos. Spreading wealth randomly is like adding heat randomly to a non-linear system like the weather. The system itself will find ways of maintaining equilibrium, even if the overall temperature ( wealth )increases.

This would also undermine the notion that wealth is a sign of virtue, which will have a dampening effect on corruption and greed.

ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) Nov 24, 2012
undermine the notion that wealth is a sign of virtue

Why would you want to undermine innovation and more efficient use of resources? That's how Rockefeller earned his wealth. He created a more efficient way of producing kerosene enabling millions to afford to buy kerosene for their home lamps.
BTW, who decided wealth is a sign of virtue? Especially when so many today earn their wealth with the aid of corrupt govts?
Wealth, honestly acquired, is a reward for virtue. Those who sacrifice, work hard, defer 'pleasure', may acquire wealth and if the state doesn't take it all, can choose how to disburse that wealth.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 24, 2012
Why not try the random redistribution of wealth? Even if corruption occurs, as long as its not huge, it won't make a predictable difference to the health of the society.

The economy, like everything else, is governed by the laws of chaos. Spreading wealth randomly is like adding heat randomly to a non-linear system like the weather. The system itself will find ways of maintaining equilibrium, even if the overall temperature ( wealth )increases.

This would also undermine the notion that wealth is a sign of virtue, which will have a dampening effect on corruption and greed.



Are you implying there is no point to doing any about climate change? After all, it is all governed by chaos.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 24, 2012
Why not try the random redistribution of wealth? Even if corruption occurs, as long as its not huge, it won't make a predictable difference to the health of the society.

The economy, like everything else, is governed by the laws of chaos. Spreading wealth randomly is like adding heat randomly to a non-linear system like the weather. The system itself will find ways of maintaining equilibrium, even if the overall temperature ( wealth )increases.

This would also undermine the notion that wealth is a sign of virtue, which will have a dampening effect on corruption and greed.



Are you implying there is no point to doing any about climate change? After all, it is all governed by chaos.
ryggesogn2
2.5 / 5 (8) Nov 24, 2012
Why not try the random redistribution of wealth?

Then why bother to try very hard at any job or endeavor?
The virtuous Pilgrims tried this type of socialism and nearly starved to death.

Why not randomly distribute grades at schools and university?
jonnyboy
2.7 / 5 (7) Nov 24, 2012
@ryggesogn2

I'm still waiting for those centuries of real world examples.


i am thinking you have lots of time on your hands so stop waiting and try educating yourself.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 24, 2012
If by chaos in economics you mean small changes can have large effects which were not predictable at the time of the change then I would agree.
The financial collapse was cause by small changes by Congress in the early 90s to promote home ownership.
The Federal Reserve made changes to the economy that precipitated the Great Depression in the 30s and our current world depression.
Economic systems, like climate systems are emergent, but govts seem to think they have perfect knowledge and can fix economies and climate.
The US Declaration of Indepence was written "We hold these truths to be self-evident, ...that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...". Pursuit of happiness means every individual has the inherent right, to be protected by the state, to pursue what he considers to be his happiness.
How can science or govt predict what makes any individual happy, let alone billions of individuals?
All the state should do is protect that right.

Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2012
@Caliban

You are wrong: the result pointed neither in the "right-wing" direction, nor in the "left-wing" direction. The authors explicitely said that "the rich have to give more". Now, where is that substantiated in the study? As the work is described above: nowhere.
.
[...]called scientists are really just political activists who use their platform to peddle ideology.


Yes, hb, I am indeed wrong.

I misunderstood your first comment to be an actual question, rather than a rhetorical one.

Since the answer to each of your questions --were they not asked in purely rhetorical fashion-- are available in the article itself, I am forced to conclude that you disagree with the content of the article as a matter of ideology.

Next time, just say so, and don't waste my --or any of the other readers'-- time by trying to help you understand the article.

Caliban
1 / 5 (2) Nov 25, 2012
UNITED NATIONS - AGENDA 21
The United Nations' "Agenda 21" is the aggressive push for Globalization. [...] Agenda 21 means the redistribution of wealth from rich and successful nations to backward and/or unsuccessful and poor nations no matter what the circumstances and reasons for their poverty.
This redistribution of wealth on an international scale as well as national and local is to be the basis for the gradual implementation of the United Nations as the command center that will remove any barrier to cooperation from any nation and locality. (contd)


Hey odd sock, you need to pull your head out of Glenn Beck's wind tunnel, dear boy.

It must be monumentally difficult to think straight in there, what with the smell & hypoxia, and all...and your comments over the last week or so are indication enough of that.

Probably explains the paranoia, too!

kochevnik
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 25, 2012
AGENDA21 - They're coming to take his twinkies! And seize the mudrooms growing in his bathroom. It's communism!
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 25, 2012
"to predict with confidence that consumers will behave in 2013 as they have in 2012 is to ignore the warning by the distinguished Danish physicist Niels Bohr, who famously said, "Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future." "

http://www.weekly...l?page=2
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 25, 2012
Why don't the socialist here mind following a govt, the UN or EU, they did not elect?
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 25, 2012
"The Miracles of Socialism:
There is no unemployment, but no one works.
No one works, but everyone gets paid.
Everyone gets paid, but there is nothing to buy with the money.
No one can buy anything, but everyone owns everything.
Everyone owns everything, but no one is satisfied.
No one is satisfied, but 99 percent of the people vote for the system."
Bastiat Institute
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (15) Nov 25, 2012
There is no way any church in the US can force anyone to pay anything to a church.
I dont think you fully appreciate the power of peer pressure and ostracism by the community. Jobs, relationships, and property rights are often determined by social factors which can supercede the laws of mammon and caesar.
A tithe is a voluntary commitment to the chruch. A tax is forced payment to the state. Don't pay, the state will put you in jail and/or take your stuff.
-As opposed to condemning you and your family to eternal torment? Which is worse in the mind of a true belieber? To them the tithe is MANDATORY.
Why not try the random redistribution of wealth? Even if corruption occurs, as long as its not huge, it won't make a predictable difference to the health of the society.
You mean like powerball lottery? Someone will become a half-billionaire soon.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 25, 2012
I dont think you fully appreciate the power of peer pressure and ostracism by the community.

And why is this a bad thing?
BTW, this works very well in Somalia's Xeer.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 25, 2012
"It's a situation no one anticipated when the Affordable Care Act was written. "
http://thehill.co...xchanges

What a surprise! The govt didn't know what it was doing.
kochevnik
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 25, 2012
BTW, this works very well in Somalia's Xeer.
Too bad for you that you're a racist.
Alphonso
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 25, 2012
The article ignores the true beneficiary of re-distribution....the bureaucracy that is ever-empowered and expanded in its name.
kochevnik
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 25, 2012
The article ignores the true beneficiary of re-distribution....the bureaucracy that is ever-empowered and expanded in its name.
Russia has a huge bureaucracy but the redistribution was to the zionists plutocrats and thieves behind the scene, not the people.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 25, 2012
What happens in the socialist state, people give up.

The Amazing Transformation of a Guy Who Didn't Give Up!

http://www.youtub...aIPeiMtE
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.6 / 5 (14) Nov 26, 2012
I dont think you fully appreciate the power of peer pressure and ostracism by the community.

And why is this a bad thing?
BTW, this works very well in Somalia's Xeer.
Because some people don't WANT to believe in idiot gods and godmen. Some women don't WANT to make babies until it kills them. Some women WANT careers. Many people RESENT having to conform because they will be ostracized if they don't.

This is one reason why we have at least 2 political parties in this country did you know it?
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (4) Nov 26, 2012
I dont think you fully appreciate the power of peer pressure and ostracism by the community.

And why is this a bad thing?
BTW, this works very well in Somalia's Xeer.
Because some people don't WANT to believe in idiot gods and godmen. Some women don't WANT to make babies until it kills them. Some women WANT careers. Many people RESENT having to conform because they will be ostracized if they don't.

This is one reason why we have at least 2 political parties in this country did you know it?

What's wrong with peer pressure vs govt force?
Peer pressure motivated Gloucester HS girls to get pregnant at the same time. No religious motivation.
What would Auto do? Use govt to force these girls to have abortions?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (15) Nov 26, 2012
What's wrong with peer pressure vs govt force?
Peer pressure motivated Gloucester HS girls to get pregnant at the same time. No religious motivation.
What would Auto do? Use govt to force these girls to have abortions?
Ah. Ryggy implies that if these girls had been godfearing, they wouldn't have gotten themselves pregnant. In a religion-dominated culture they would have been coerced into marriage and would all have been pregnant by that age anyway. 'Children of our youth' is how your book glorifies it.

Adolescence is biologically the period of highest fertility in all animals. Humans are no different except that they have developed institutions which can maximize this potential for their own selfish expansionist ends. Only govt can enforce laws meant to delay pregnancy, outlaw polygamy, and reduce pop growth, despite what your books say your god wants.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (4) Nov 26, 2012
implies that if these girls had been godfearing,

I imply nothing.
If you read a bit of the story, the peer pressure was motivated by the poor economy of the town which is heavily impacted by govt regulations.
Why is govt forced plunder better than peer pressure?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.6 / 5 (14) Nov 26, 2012
implies that if these girls had been godfearing,
I imply nothing.
If you read a bit of the story, the peer pressure was motivated by the poor economy of the town which is heavily impacted by govt regulations.
Why is govt forced plunder better than peer pressure?
No, according to the news the girls said they wanted someone to love them. Poor economies are usually a natural result of inevitable economic cycles. Only govt has the power to mitigate this. Are you saying prosperity generates love? Thats a stretch.
Why is govt forced plunder better than peer pressure?
Why is plunder of any sort acceptable? Pirates are not govt. Pirates are the absense of govt.

Without govt, economic downturns inevitably create decreased demand, increased competition, and the resulting plunder of the worker by the businessman, or of the dumber by the smarter, or of the less-motivated by the more-motivated. Is this right?

Without govt, plunder is inevitable. Inevitable. Inevitable.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 26, 2012
Pirates can be dealt with quite effectively with superior firepower.
Today, Somali pirates, and other prates, benefit from govt regulations that prohibit armed merchant vessels in their ports, and govt navies do little to stop the pirates.
kochevnik
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 26, 2012
I love how ryggie purports that Russian mafiosi and Somali pirates are the product of government regulation. Everyone knows they're capitalism in it's most essential form. Russian mafia were called entrepreneurs until the CCCP collapsed. Then as they presented competition to US interests they suddenly became mafia because they operated outside the sphere of regulation.
Noumenon
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 26, 2012
Capitalism is not founded on theft, but contracts where both parties agree to the terms. Government is necessary to protect private property from uncapitalistic and illegal behavior.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (4) Nov 26, 2012
became mafia because they operated outside the sphere of regulation.


Why did the state permit this?
Any mafia is like a govt in that they use force to control and/or eliminate competition.
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 26, 2012
Capitalism is not founded on theft, but contracts where both parties agree to the terms. Government is necessary to protect private property from uncapitalistic and illegal behavior.


That depends merely upon how broadly you define "theft", of course.

And, Capitalism founded upon "... contracts where both parties agree to the terms." is no more than an idealized definition, which differentiates the ideal of Smith's "Capitalism" from the real version, which doesn't always indulge in such niceties of form.

Caliban
1 / 5 (2) Nov 26, 2012
riggsuckn',

"Hamas showed it's true, terrorist colors today when it executed at least 6 people on a public street in front of children. Masked gunmen claiming their capti"http://www.glennb...-street/ When you can deliver this headline from a REPUTABLE news source, then maybe it can be taken seriously. And something this gruesome will be in ALL the papers. I want a link from Reuters, AP, Agence France-Presse, NYT, London Times, W.Post, Der Spiegel...from any one of those, Swenson.That's an easy assignment for a troll with its claws clamped to the very pulse of World Events.

Where's that link, Swenson?


Well, Swenson, WHERE IS IT?

ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 26, 2012
riggsuckn',

"Hamas showed it's true, terrorist colors today when it executed at least 6 people on a public street in front of children. Masked gunmen claiming their capti"http://www.glennb...-street/ When you can deliver this headline from a REPUTABLE news source, then maybe it can be taken seriously. And something this gruesome will be in ALL the papers. I want a link from Reuters, AP, Agence France-Presse, NYT, London Times, W.Post, Der Spiegel...from any one of those, Swenson.That's an easy assignment for a troll with its claws clamped to the very pulse of World Events.

Where's that link, Swenson?


Well, Swenson, WHERE IS IT?


You don't know how to search the web?
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 26, 2012
riggsuckn',

"Hamas showed it's true, terrorist colors today when it executed at least 6 people on a public street in front of children. Masked gunmen claiming their capti"http://www.glennb...-street/ When you can deliver this headline from a REPUTABLE news source, then maybe it can be taken seriously. And something this gruesome will be in ALL the papers. I want a link from Reuters, AP, Agence France-Presse, NYT, London Times, W.Post, Der Spiegel...from any one of those, Swenson.That's an easy assignment for a troll with its claws clamped to the very pulse of World Events.

Where's that link, Swenson?


Well, Swenson, WHERE IS IT?


Searching the internet is not that hard:

http://www.huffin...236.html
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 26, 2012
koch, the truth is out there:

"Impress your Zionist friends, colleagues, co-conspirators, and family members with this proof of being an Intergalactic Zionist Conspiracy Charter Member. "
http://thepeoples...088.html
Caliban
1 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2012


Well, Swenson, WHERE IS IT?



Searching the internet is not that hard:

http://www.huffin...236.html


Don't I know it.

I just wanted to make you provide a link from a reputable news source --among which the HuffPo isn't a "go-to". But, in this case I'll accept it, since even the HuffPo is lightyears beyond the journalistic credibility of your usual sources.

I find it amusing that you decry as "terrorism" the execution of traitors when you have advocated as much for some of our own fellow citizens, and even foreign nationals.

Smacks of hypocrisy just the tiniest bit, don't you agree?

ryggesogn2
2.7 / 5 (7) Nov 27, 2012
Cali, if you could read you would have seen the story was from the Associated Press. A very liberal, left wing source.
Fox News posted that same story, does that now make the AP story illegitimate?
At least Fox has its own reporters. How many reporters does H.P. have?
execution of traitors

Hamas are your guys. Now I see why. Murder is just another political tool for the socialist.
Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2012
Cali, if you could read you would have seen the story was from the Associated Press. A very liberal, left wing source.
Fox News posted that same story, does that now make the AP story illegitimate?
At least Fox has its own reporters. How many reporters does H.P. have?
execution of traitors

Hamas are your guys. Now I see why. Murder is just another political tool for the socialist.


I understand your confusion.

I also understand what motivates you to leap to conclusions, evade the obvious, misrepresent, and lie.

These are all signs of an advanced stage of mental disease.

But don't look to me for any sympathy, as I am also aware that your execrable condition is entirely and willfully self-inflicted.

Perhaps Obamacare can do something for you?