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Old 10-31-2007, 09:35 AM   #41
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Well said Wcv56. Some will see the logic and truth to what I have said, and some will refuse to see. All of my thoughts I have backed up with reason, and logical thinking. It has been combated with feelings, and talk of such things as "moral obligations" and "social contracts", neither of which I can argue against, or feel personally bound to at all. After all, I can never tell someone what they "feel" is wrong. Feelings are opinions, and not facts. In my mind the very notion of "forced charity" is against the very concept of which this country was founded on. Life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness does not equate into the govt giving me anything. Just that it protects my right to go out and try to achieve as much for myself as I personally can. There is no gaurantee to succeed in America nor should there be.
Lot's of people talk about the rights of those who are "unfortunate". That they need things... and if they cannot or will not achieve these things for themselves, then others MUST provide for them. What about my rights? Why does having more than someone else nullify my right to keep what I have earned? In such a system of beliefs the less you have, the more "deserving" that you are. This is a system I do not buy into at all. I thank everyone for their time and interest in the discussion. And I really did learn a lot about how others think.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:04 AM   #42
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When the reward for working is the same for not working at all,
what do you think you will end up with.
But they aren't and never have been.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:18 AM   #43
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Well said Wcv56. Some will see the logic and truth to what I have said, and some will refuse to see. All of my thoughts I have backed up with reason, and logical thinking. It has been combated with feelings, and talk of such things as "moral obligations" and "social contracts", neither of which I can argue against, or feel personally bound to at all. After all, I can never tell someone what they "feel" is wrong. Feelings are opinions, and not facts. In my mind the very notion of "forced charity" is against the very concept of which this country was founded on. Life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness does not equate into the govt giving me anything. Just that it protects my right to go out and try to achieve as much for myself as I personally can. There is no gaurantee to succeed in America nor should there be.
Lot's of people talk about the rights of those who are "unfortunate". That they need things... and if they cannot or will not achieve these things for themselves, then others MUST provide for them. What about my rights? Why does having more than someone else nullify my right to keep what I have earned? In such a system of beliefs the less you have, the more "deserving" that you are. This is a system I do not buy into at all. I thank everyone for their time and interest in the discussion. And I really did learn a lot about how others think.
I appreciate that you have kept the discussion polite. These types of discussions can easily degenerate into name calling.

Our country was founded on a number of ideals. The preamble to our Constitution reads: WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution also refers to the general welfare: The Congress shall have the Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. . .


This provides the foundation for safety net systems such as social security, medicare, and SSI.

In this country our safety nets are not based simply on having less than someone else. There must be a justifiable reason you have less. So, if you are able bodied and have no children you will not get any form of cash assistance welfare nor are you eligible for Medicaid. Being poor is not enough in itself.

These are facts.

I also have opinions and values and our country is a collection of what people value. As a whole our country values at least something of a safety net.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:19 AM   #44
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Armour99:

I believe that you are confused. Are you under the impression that what you earn is yours ? Per the governor of Michigan (Jennifer Granholm) and others that think like her, your money is for the public good, and not for you.

- Get with the program !
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:23 AM   #45
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Martha:

If you want to give all (or most) of your money away to those that have less, then go for it. Just don't expect others to share your values.

There is a tyranny amoungst liberals that is not so pretty.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:28 AM   #46
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Armour99:

I believe that you are confused. Are you under the impression that what you earn is yours ? Per the governor of Michigan (Jennifer Granholm) and others that think like her, your money is for the public good, and not for you.

- Get with the program !
You are right masterblaster, how foolish of me. I mean why would I WANT to earn more than my neighbor? Because if I did, it would just mean I am morally obligated to give him what I just earned. After all, as long as some have more than others, the system is not fair. But I think if everyone made exactly the same amount of money, then that would be great! Think about it, no rich, no poor, everyone having medical insurance, then we could ALL be the middle class, it would be great. Hmm.. but you know there might be just a few selfish, greedy people that would want to make a little more than their neighbors. But I am sure that the government can fix that. I mean that is what the troops and police are for right? (yes... this is parody.... but parody with a point...)
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:30 AM   #47
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I recommend all posters on this thread take a voluntary cooling off period. Thanks.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:33 AM   #48
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Masterblaster, why is this tyranny? Our country clearly values some sort of safety net. If not, we wouldn't have one. What is the ugliness in what I am saying?
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:34 AM   #49
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Oops Wahoo! I posted before I saw your post.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:40 AM   #50
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I agree with Martha. There is a big difference between distributing all wealth equally (failed communist model) and giving someone a helping hand that is truly helpless - children, aged, severely disabled, mentally ill, etc. To me, that is the basis of a civilized society.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:44 AM   #51
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Martha:

The tyranny comes when others believe that what you have is theirs to give away to those they deem to be more worthy. So by force of law you take what is not yours.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:52 AM   #52
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Believe it or not travelover I agree with you 100%. Let me clarify my position....

Charity = Good
Forced Charity = Bad

If people want to contribute to help these problems through various religious or other groups. I think that is great. There will always be a segment of our society that needs help, and there will always be those, including myself, that will be willing to help out.
But when the govt FORCES you to do things of that nature, I believe it to be bad, and destructive.
When I go to the local McDonalds, I order a Big Mac because I choose to. It would be a very different matter if I was forced by the govt to order a Big Mac at a McDonald's because they claim it helps "society" or that the workers their NEED to be paid, therefore I am obligated to eat there. This is really the only problem that I have with it, the issue of forced vs. voluntary contribution.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:55 AM   #53
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It isn't tyranny because our constitution allows it.

Redistribution occurs all the time, everywhere. It is the nature of society. Labor gets exchanged for dollars and if the laborer has little bargaining power the laborer may feel his labor is stolen. The land my home sits on was taken from the native population. Soldiers die and their mothers feel their lives were stolen. I have no children yet pay for schools. Crops are subsidized. The dollar you make may be "stolen" from someone else. The disabled baby gets cared for in the public hospital. And the world goes around.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:06 AM   #54
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It isn't tyranny because our constitution allows it.

Redistribution occurs all the time, everywhere. It is the nature of society. Labor gets exchanged for dollars and if the laborer has little bargaining power the laborer may feel his labor is stolen. The land my home sits on was taken from the native population. Soldiers die and their mothers feel their lives were stolen. I have no children yet pay for schools. Crops are subsidized. The dollar you make may be "stolen" from someone else. The disabled baby gets cared for in the public hospital. And the world goes around.
A very interesting point of view Martha. But how exactly can a laborer's work be stolen from him? A worker and a company are free to set up any sort of deal they want. If the worker feels he is not going to be paid enough, he is free to seek employment somewhere else. If that line of work does not pay enough for his needs, he is free to attempt to educate himself so he can get a better job. If he is not smart enough to educate himself to make more money, then does he not deserve to be right where he is? Do people who are naturally more intelligent "owe" something to those that are less so? I will never have the looks of Brad Pitt, who obviously makes the salary that he does because of it. Does he "owe" money to uglier people because they did not get the same opportunities as him? Certainly not. People are born into this world with a unique blend of talents and abilities. Some are better equipt than others. But we all have the right to try for better. And no one has a right to more than what they are able to achieve for themselves.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:07 AM   #55
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I see a huge range between "All people must have the same money, enforced by the government" and "No government redistribution of wealth". It's not an either/or.

While I tend towards libertarianism, I do think that some kind of basic safety network is a good idea. Whether it should take a tax 15.3% of earned income is another matter...

I'll also argue that such a social net does benefit everyone - less crime, unrest, and so forth. It doesn't benefit everyone equally, of course, but then again, taxes for roads/firemen/police don't benefit equally, either.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:08 AM   #56
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Believe it or not travelover I agree with you 100%. Let me clarify my position....

Charity = Good
Forced Charity = Bad

If people want to contribute to help these problems through various religious or other groups. I think that is great. There will always be a segment of our society that needs help, and there will always be those, including myself, that will be willing to help out.
But when the govt FORCES you to do things of that nature, I believe it to be bad, and destructive.
When I go to the local McDonalds, I order a Big Mac because I choose to. It would be a very different matter if I was forced by the govt to order a Big Mac at a McDonald's because they claim it helps "society" or that the workers their NEED to be paid, therefore I am obligated to eat there. This is really the only problem that I have with it, the issue of forced vs. voluntary contribution.
I see your point. I hate that my tax dollars are supporting an ill conceived war and killing our finest, for what I consider a lost cause. But for me, that is part of the cost of living in a society. I get to vote, but I don't always get my way. I'm OK with that.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:10 AM   #57
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Well, taken to its logical extreme, the Government has no right to mandate conscription for our military needs or require any form of public service -- it has to be all volunteer, right? As Martha suggested, if I disagree with the policy in Iraq -- my conscientious objection to that War should trump the needs of my Government. The idea that you can draw the line and say there are some essential services, like police and military protection, that we all must contribute because we all must benefit, and not others, such as education and health, that all of us directly or indirectly benefit as well, is baffling to me. What's the standard or metric for this distinction? It can't be the idea that Armor posits that the basis for the distinction is when the service directly benefits him?

Our idea of a social contract underscores the legitimacy of government and its right to make "calls" of its citizen's property and liberty to support its goals. You cannot deny that unless you want anarchy, which is not a preferred option for most of us.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:21 AM   #58
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When the reward for working is the same for not working at all,
what do you think you will end up with.
i agree w/ martha, having recently been around the bureaucracy block trying to ensure my FIL is receiving adequate health care (he has a sore on his foot, which coupled w/ diabetes, is in a bad state, so he's had a lot of complications) has been quite an ordeal.

he and his wife make about $2000 total with their social security and a tiny pension (about $300 of that) and they DO NOT qualify for full medi-cal. they are expected to pay $1300 MONTHLY in medical expenses before medi-cal kicks in. after their $1100 mortgage, they will be expected to eat cat food if they want him to continue to receive care. so even though couples that have $1500 income qualify for full medi-cal and have no share of cost, my FIL will have to shell over more than half his income, and be left w/ negative funds if his costs are not covered by medicare...he and his wife dutifully worked for over 30 years as a janitor and garment worker - what low lifes huh?

my other friend was a single mother and benefited greatly from the safety net. she received subsidized child care and free medical coverage for her pregnancy and birth. Now- she is a full time nurse, fully contributing to society. She recently got a "surprise" from the system and had a portion of her tax return "recaptured" by the government for the benefits she received earlier. so even if people think they are getting something for nothin, the gubment will come back and getcha when they can.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:25 AM   #59
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I agree with TickTock, we can't ignore the economic benefit we gain from some sort of safety net. Markets abhore uncertainty, and programs like social security and medicare allow for more fluid labor markets, for one, to allow for optimal use of one of our most valuable resources. You can argue about the degree to which a nation should provide a safety net, but I no safety net would have the opposite effect of what was intended by those who oppose it. My libertarian friends will always support a strong national defense budget, and part of their argument for it (other than saying it's the only thing the Constitution allows the Feds to do - which I don't agree) is how a strong defense allows our citizens to grow/innovate/profit without fear of interference, increasing the productivity and wealth of the nation. I don't understand the mental firewall that doesn't allow them to see how interference can come from a desperate man robbing your store to feed his family just as well as a foriegn army. Society gains much more than it spends by ensuring it's children are well educated, and I have yet to see the footage of the libertarian telling the fire department to stay away that he'd put his house fire out himself.

Sometimes it seems to me the libertarian argument smacks more of anti-communism or anti-socialism rather than pro-libertarian. The only thing that seems to really get them upset is wealth redistribution, and only direct redistribution at that. As with everything, it's a matter of degrees, thinking in black and white is folly when dealing with human endeavors. The spector that is raised often is the idea that no one will work because they don't have an incentive to, since the government will pay everyone the same. This extreme example is not justified in the current climate, IMHO. True, those coop farms in Russia were a disaster, but I think most people here agree there are European countries far to the left of us that are doing just fine.

So I think everyone agrees they like some government services, they just might not have thought of them during this debate. Since you will never eliminate the abuse of any system completely, one has to weigh that cost and others with the benefits that system or service provides. I'm always open to tweaking the safety net, continuous improvement is a good thing. Just don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:38 AM   #60
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The more I read these kinds of thread the more I buy into theories of evolutionary psychology. Protect the tribe against outside threats at any cost. Throw out anyone who might be a freeloader, the risks of keeping him are too high. We needed to be selfish to survive.

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