Economic Crisis, What are the causes?

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Economic Crisis, What are the causes?

Here's what I think are the main causes of the Crisis. Curious to know what others think.

1. Government policy of making mortgages available to people who could not afford them. To solve the fact that some people could not afford to live in expensive homes, the government created Freddy and Fanny and manipulated interest rates to make them affordable. In the end all this did was drive up the price of homes making them even more expensive and causing an overbuilding of homes during the housing bubbles.

2. Government allowing uncollateralized insurance contracts. High risk mortgages were sold as low risk investments because they had default insurance through companies through AIG and others. Capitalism or any system can not work unless parties to a contract can prove they can fulfill the terms of the contract. AIG and investment banks did not have collateral to cover their insurance policies, so they should not have been allowed to issue insurance.

3. 401k tax breaks. The government encouraged investment in the stock market through deferred tax breaks. All this did was artificially drive up the price of stocks. Too much money chasing after too few good investments. Too many investors disconnected from the operation of the company with no management oversight.

4. Home Mortgage Interest deduction. People overbought housing and borrowed tons of money as means of reducing the burden from the unfair income tax system.

5. Deferred Employee Compensation. Companies like GM and the California government making long term commitments to employees to cover their pensions and health care for life. Cash should be paid to employees who make their own retirement/health care decisions. The Union system has failed both the workers and companies.

6. Encouragement of lending. The lending industry is simply a way for the rich to get richer without work and the working poor to remain their slave. It should not be 'vital' to our economy, it needs to be discouraged and regulated as much as possible. No more bailouts.

7. Failure fix economic disparity. The fact is there is a wide gap in demand/supply in services among our workers. This problem must be solved and not a redistribution of wealth through socialism and income high taxes.

8. The Fed. The Federal Reserve was continually changing interest rates and money supply. Along with being an illegal tax and being unaccountable to the taxpayers/citizens, it created volatile conditions and bubbles. Strong economies need stability and some predictability, they need to stop continually manipulating the market and give us stability.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:Vastet

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Simple, you don't fix the price, and you get rid of insurance company vampires. You set the price at cost, which will obviously variate year to year. Probably month to month, if not day to day. 

Who decided the cost if not the laws of supply and demand?

No one decides the "cost". There is a large public sector in which pay is set according to credentials and experience. The pay is lower than in private sector, but the job is much more secure and with better benefits. Since we all pay for our medical services, it is handled through taxes. There is no way around this, because people don't have time or expertise to go around shopping for every kind of insurrance and these insurrances are by far the most affordable and secure out there. There is no chance that the government will go bankrupt, unless it's private sector pulls it to it's knees through fraud, deceit and robbery in broad daylight, like in the case of Iceland and soon the whole world.

The governemnt has to get it's economic plan approved at least twice a year and it's a big selling point that they have things under control when it comes to treatment of illness. Of course, it gets a bit hard at times when foreign and domestic industry and banks set standards that are basically just fraud, infiltrate government and delude the principal owners of the society - the citizens.

The citizens create material, cultural, human and all other kind of capital in the society. You can look at what's happening as a hostile takeover by the mob. The people you say have "earned" this or that - you are not kidding anyone, so you might as well stop bullshiting yourself. These guys are deluding the principle owners and creators of wealth by the means of huge Ponzi schemes. If you count this kind of criminal activity as success, we need to talk basics.

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Would love to see the

Would love to see the justification for not letting the private sector supply the military but allowing it to supply health care when fundamentally they are undertaking the same basic role.

ie Protecting the lives of citizens from external threats.

Well actually there is a big difference I know what the health threats are (cancer, Aids, broken bones) etc I'm not quite sure what the military defends us against (at least not what justifies its budget)

 


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EXC wrote:Vastet

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Simple, you don't fix the price, and you get rid of insurance company vampires. You set the price at cost, which will obviously variate year to year. Probably month to month, if not day to day. 

Who decided the cost if not the laws of supply and demand?

Cost isn't decided, it is determined.

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mrjonno wrote:Would love to

mrjonno wrote:

Would love to see the justification for not letting the private sector supply the military but allowing it to supply health care when fundamentally they are undertaking the same basic role.

Oho! Give the man a prize!

That's generally the first thing I like to tell Americans who believe they live in anything but a socialism: it's odd that your biggest employer is the federal government, and the most expensive part of that government is the military.

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HisWillness wrote:mrjonno

HisWillness wrote:

mrjonno wrote:

Would love to see the justification for not letting the private sector supply the military but allowing it to supply health care when fundamentally they are undertaking the same basic role.

Oho! Give the man a prize!

That's generally the first thing I like to tell Americans who believe they live in anything but a socialism: it's odd that your biggest employer is the federal government, and the most expensive part of that government is the military.

Socialism entails actual influence on the spending by the people who are socialising, not just a public (read: private) sector accauntable to no one but the interests of the few who are running it. The latter is just a giant corporation that calls itself "the government". USA is run by a monopolistic private interest employing it's own military, intelligence and secret police - aka fascism.

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The very concept of a nation

The very concept of a nation is in many ways social(ist). There is no real role in a free market economy for the nation state.

Not a big fan of unrestricted capitalism (or the nation state) myself but I really can't understand why some people on the right are obsessed with nationalism (every bit a silly concept as sky daddies)


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mrjonno wrote:The very

mrjonno wrote:

The very concept of a nation is in many ways social(ist). There is no real role in a free market economy for the nation state.

That is ok, since there has never been nor will there ever bee such a thing as free market.

mrjonno wrote:

Not a big fan of unrestricted capitalism (or the nation state) myself but I really can't understand why some people on the right are obsessed with nationalism (every bit a silly concept as sky daddies)

A nation state is a way to restrict capitalism, unless you allow capitalism to take over the nation state. Then you have fascism.

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ZuS wrote:No one decides the

ZuS wrote:

No one decides the "cost". There is a large public sector in which pay is set according to credentials and experience. The pay is lower than in private sector, but the job is much more secure and with better benefits. Since we all pay for our medical services, it is handled through taxes. There is no way around this, because people don't have time or expertise to go around shopping for every kind of insurrance and these insurrances are by far the most affordable and secure out there. There is no chance that the government will go bankrupt, unless it's private sector pulls it to it's knees through fraud, deceit and robbery in broad daylight, like in the case of Iceland and soon the whole world.

Of course someone decides the cost! Some bureaucrat tells the doctors, nurses, pharmaceutical companies how much they make. They still compete with the private sector. So the rich pay more for the best services. If a good doctor can make more treating the rich, he leaves the public sector. You end up with severe shortages if you try and set the prices. You can't get away from the laws of supply and demand.

With the Internet, people can get the information they need to make the best choice in health care. Government subsidising medicine with Medicare/Medicaid has made the costs higher. Individuals making informed choices about what is best for themselves will drive down costs and improve service the best. Government's only role should be regulating insurance contracts to make sure no fraud or malpractise is committed.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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A nation state is a way to

 

A nation state is a way to restrict capitalism, unless you allow capitalism to take over the nation state. Then you have fascism.

 

Fascism is total control by the state not by corporations ( through corporations can be a tool of fascism as there were in WW2).

However if corporations were to take over it would be something different, probably not pleasant but not the same as fascism

 


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ZuS wrote:I am not sure why

ZuS wrote:

I am not sure why we are talking supply and demand, since the whole market system has been put out of business by short term speculation and long term plans for consolidation during crashes. But let's do it for a bit anyway.

I went to the grocery store and the prices all still appeared to be set by the forces of supply, demand and competition.

There is only a crisis in the banking and insurance business because the government interfered in the free market creating a bubble and allowing fraud in the system. Any economic system will fail if too many thieves get their hands in the mix.

 

ZuS wrote:

There are some things that we do not want privatised, simply because you can not expect every single citizen to take responsibility for the prices of the supply and demand model. These are the things we all need that are crucial for our survival. This certainly goes for police, fire department, military and most certainly health industry. Can we let these extremely important functions in our society be subject to fluxuation in supply and demand? I think not.

Why not? Humans lived for millions of years without these services. The Amish seem to live just fine without these services. Why can't I pay for these services only when I need them? Roads and bridges are essential to our modern economy, we largely pay for this in user fees(tolls, gas tax). This system seems to work OK. All government services could be privatized just like a toll road.

Fire protection is a perfect example. Because the users of fire protection don't pay for it's cost based on their own risk, the price is too high, there is no incentive to innovate or reduce labor costs. Suppose we charged everyone at risk of fire to their property a tax based on this risk. What would individuals and businesses do? They would fireproof their property so they would pay very little in protection services.

Instead there is little incentive to fireproof one's property. The firefighters unions act like extortion rackets. They bankrupt our governments with these insane retire at 40 pension plans.

Many people want to enjoy their lives so they don't want to pay 20% or more of my income to the medical industry. I don't want the most expensive medical procedures if it is going to take a substantial portion of my income. Some people want to enjoy life and not have to work all the time to support an expensive medical industry, why can't we have that choice?

ZuS wrote:

All of these are insurrances in one form or another. Insurrance is not always a profitable business, at times when there are a lot of incidents that need coverage, many insurrance companies would be put out of business. Can we allow vital functions in our society to be put out of business by the very events they are supposed to mitigate? I think not.

There has been a problem of the government allowing insurance contracts to be written that were not backed by substantial collateral. These insurance companies are committing fraud. This problem is fixed by regulating insurance contracts so they are always backed by substantial collateral.

But yes, in the event of a natural disaster or war, the government can become the insurer of last resort. I think insurance companies should pay a premium to the government to be their insurance.

ZuS wrote:

Well, maybe we can guarantee the function of these vital institutions by the state, so that if any trouble arises or if people don't have money for the premiums, the state will cover the expenses? That is accidentally the plan Obama came into office with. But why have a private industry that is basically just charging extra for the CEOs and investors and the whole mess, if you are going to have the state cover the whole nation anyway? This is completely pointless, adding 30% to the cost of the insurrance just for the lawish pays these people are used to receive.

Well then don't buy services from these companies if they overpay their CEOs. Why don't people that feel like you start a non-profit to compete with the corporations if it's so easy to make money? If I'm idiot that want to give money to a company with an overpaid CEO, why do you care? Find a company that offers good services at a fair price, just like you do with everything else in life.

The government bureaucrat that pays the expenses for you has no incentive to keep the cost down or service high. You raise taxes on the rich to pay for it. They leave they country, the corporations leave, the jobs leave. You'll be left with a bankrupt government and everyone living in poverty and crime.

ZuS wrote:

Not only that, but since the state is covering even people who don't pay for insurance, the company would never need to compete for anything, and thus would not even need to service it's customers.

Sounds great. Everyone can just stop working or getting an education to make a good income. We'll just reward failure with free medical insurance. Sounds great.

ZuS wrote:

Is there no way we can handle our insurances then? Well, yes there is. How do we handle police? Fire department?

The police and fire unions have helped bankrupt California. Same with the prisions. They all need to be privatized and compete for our business.

ZuS wrote:

Why not health industry? Most doctors, nurses and other medical personnel in the US are for this solution, can it really be that crazy?

Of course they want it, then they don't have to compete for my business. They can give me crappy services or no services and force me to pay for it via the tax man. If they want my money, they should earn it.

ZuS wrote:

But to come back to what I started from - supply and demand? There is a huge demand for power, and I am afraid ordinary people of this world will have to supply a lot of blood to satisfy it. The book on microeconomics is worth about as much as the Bible in the world of reality - just another ideology to obfuscate, delude, abuse and own. Time to wake up, Mr. Rationalist.

The current crisis is an example of socialism in the housing industry. The poor couldn't afford expensive homes, so the government though a myriad of programs and policies made sure they could get a loan. They did nothing to address the issue of why they are poor. All this did was create the bubble and now we see supply/demand in action. You want something similar with healthcare.

The problem with the free market is this: There is a limited supply of earth's natural resources, but there is an endless supply of young untrained workers entering the market. You have an undesupply of good medical professionals and an oversupply of people from dysfunctional backgrounds. Your solutions do not address this situation. They just reward failure and punish success.

There needs to be a rational solution to this problem. Just making the laws of supply and demand illegal is not going to make them go away.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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ZuS wrote:That is ok, since

ZuS wrote:

That is ok, since there has never been nor will there ever bee such a thing as free market.

Don't you think EBay is coming close? With advances in technology, why can't this model be applied to every aspect of the economy and government services? What if a politician pledged to fix problems, actioned his services, then only got paid when the problems where fixed? Wouldn't this lead to better government?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:ZuS wrote:That is

EXC wrote:

ZuS wrote:

That is ok, since there has never been nor will there ever bee such a thing as free market.

Don't you think EBay is coming close? With advances in technology, why can't this model be applied to every aspect of the economy and government services? What if a politician pledged to fix problems, actioned his services, then only got paid when the problems where fixed? Wouldn't this lead to better government?

Technology is a tool, like a hammer. You can use it to build a house or bash someone's head in. It takes a long time to build a house and make profit on it, it's much eazier to smash a head and steal the money from the sale.

The model is applied already, but the major players on the market chose to use the hammer in the most efficient way. They have no intention of applying free market on their business. Private business avoids regulation by bribery, threats, lobbying and general power influence made possible through financial power.

If politicians only got paid when the problem was fixed, all the politicians of today would be trying to make more problems they could "fix" for us, while ideological microeconomic freaks like yourself would still be just as clueless as to how come everything is so fucked and would be coming up with just as outlandish proposals for solutions based on bullshit they overheard on CNN.

 

I will answer the other post as soon as my blood pressure comes down from I-want-to-strangulate-this-guy level.

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mrjonno wrote: A nation

mrjonno wrote:

 

A nation state is a way to restrict capitalism, unless you allow capitalism to take over the nation state. Then you have fascism.

 

Fascism is total control by the state not by corporations ( through corporations can be a tool of fascism as there were in WW2).

However if corporations were to take over it would be something different, probably not pleasant but not the same as fascism

 

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.

A quick and interesting read: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7260.htm

I would add to his comments that military, media and jails are good business, while nationalism, free-market ideology and other butt-head ideas are just propagating the system.

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ZuS wrote:Technology is a

ZuS wrote:

Technology is a tool, like a hammer. You can use it to build a house or bash someone's head in. It takes a long time to build a house and make profit on it, it's much eazier to smash a head and steal the money from the sale.

There is always an ongoing battle with thieves in any society. Socialism is not going to make people stop stealing. So your answer to thievery is kill the goose that lays the golden egg(free markets) instead of keep the thieves out and lock em up. So I guess we'll get rid of thieves then by everyone  being so poor and not having anything to steal.

 

ZuS wrote:

The model is applied already, but the major players on the market chose to use the hammer in the most efficient way. They have no intention of applying free market on their business. Private business avoids regulation by bribery, threats, lobbying and general power influence made possible through financial power.

So it's a problem of oversight. If you owned a business and your employees were into stealing and illegal activity, isn't it up to you to find the corruption and fire bad employees. Why is not the same model applied to politicians?

ZuS wrote:

If politicians only got paid when the problem was fixed, all the politicians of today would be trying to make more problems they could "fix" for us, while ideological microeconomic freaks like yourself would still be just as clueless as to how come everything is so fucked and would be coming up with just as outlandish proposals for solutions based on bullshit they overheard on CNN. 

The same could be true for hiring a plumber. The plumber you hire to fix a problem could break more stuff and charge you to fix those additional problems. How do you avoid that problem? Why is not the same model applied to politicians? In fact get rid of term politician and only hire public managers with an employment contract same as I have?

It's not outlandish. Everyone must plays by the same rules. Currently, there is one set of rules for those in the productive sector of society. We have to compete for business, we have to build our reputation through honest hard work, we get fired when we fuck up. You want to have a different set of rules for politicians, judges, government workers, the medical industry and union members. Why not the same rules for everyone?

ZuS wrote:

I will answer the other post as soon as my blood pressure comes down from I-want-to-strangulate-this-guy level.

You become what you hate. The workers hate the corruption of the corporations, so instead of fixing the problem and getting rid of the crooks, they form unions that are just as corrupt, greedy and criminal as any corporation. Same goes for communists and socialists, they see Capitalism as thievery so they steal to get even. Fighting the thieves and thugs by becoming just like them is not the answer.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:ZuS wrote:The

EXC wrote:

ZuS wrote:

The model is applied already, but the major players on the market chose to use the hammer in the most efficient way. They have no intention of applying free market on their business. Private business avoids regulation by bribery, threats, lobbying and general power influence made possible through financial power.

So it's a problem of oversight. If you owned a business and your employees were into stealing and illegal activity, isn't it up to you to find the corruption and fire bad employees. Why is not the same model applied to politicians?

The problem is not oversight, the problem is consolidated financial power. There is no kind of oversight that will stand up to overwhelming financial influence. Oversight is extremely simple, but useless if it works for the people it's suposed to oversee.

EXC wrote:

ZuS wrote:

If politicians only got paid when the problem was fixed, all the politicians of today would be trying to make more problems they could "fix" for us, while ideological microeconomic freaks like yourself would still be just as clueless as to how come everything is so fucked and would be coming up with just as outlandish proposals for solutions based on bullshit they overheard on CNN. 

The same could be true for hiring a plumber. The plumber you hire to fix a problem could break more stuff and charge you to fix those additional problems. How do you avoid that problem? Why is not the same model applied to politicians? In fact get rid of term politician and only hire public managers with an employment contract same as I have?

Agree completely. However, to get there you will have to completely rework the current system. Politicians are not hired by you and I, but by the corporate lobby. They have overwhelming incentives to work for the corporate sector, since even after they are done with public life, they still have to work for the corporate system. As it stands today, both their public service, their post-public work and their pension is completely dependant on the corporate goodwill.

EXC wrote:

It's not outlandish. Everyone must plays by the same rules. Currently, there is one set of rules for those in the productive sector of society. We have to compete for business, we have to build our reputation through honest hard work, we get fired when we fuck up. You want to have a different set of rules for politicians, judges, government workers, the medical industry and union members. Why not the same rules for everyone?

Because some things in the society are best done collectively. There is no ideology that will change the fact that we want insurances handled in a stable and unambiguous way, and we DO NOT want to have to call a third party to authorize medical treatment or police intervention in violent crime based on someone's private insurance. It will be a trade-off, but it will be far more acceptable than the attrocity we have in the US at this moment.

And I DO want the fire dept. to save my neighbor's house, even though only I paid the subscription. This is MOST importantly because my neighbor is human. Then comes the fact that my property value is affected by the state of his property, fact that the global economy is affected by the lack of insurance efficiency, fact that public insurance is cheaper than private, fact that private insurance can go bakrupt much eazier than the state, fact that lack of insurance can affect who has access to education and leading posts, fact that insurance business is a deficit business which makes it able to exist only as a non-profit or a scam.

Of course, you can avoid some of these dillemas by placing uninsured people together and separate from insured people, and then run the insurance business as a scam, which is what we have today. The rest is taken care of by cynical pragmaticism and bullshit propaganda, in the lines of "free market" ideology and the like.

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ZuS wrote:Because some

ZuS wrote:

Because some things in the society are best done collectively.

 

May have been true in the past. But with technology, we can move to being a pay as you go system which will be way more efficient and encourage business and job growth.

ZuS wrote:

There is no ideology that will change the fact that we want insurances handled in a stable and unambiguous way, and we DO NOT want to have to call a third party to authorize medical treatment or police intervention in violent crime based on someone's private insurance. It will be a trade-off, but it will be far more acceptable than the attrocity we have in the US at this moment.

 

But I fail to see why a government bureaucrat would not give you the same problems as a private or non-profit company? The socialist government is still under pressure to not pay out more than it takes in. So the bearcract will often deny service and you have to appeal to a third party in the government.

The difference is with private insurance is that people can look at a companies customer service ratings before selecting a company. With government, your stuck with a bad system until you can get the politicians running it out of office which may be never.

ZuS wrote:

And I DO want the fire dept. to save my neighbor's house, even though only I paid the subscription. This is MOST importantly because my neighbor is human. Then comes the fact that my property value is affected by the state of his property, fact that the global economy is affected by the lack of insurance efficiency, fact that public insurance is cheaper than private, fact that private insurance can go bakrupt much eazier than the state, fact that lack of insurance can affect who has access to education and leading posts, fact that insurance business is a deficit business which makes it able to exist only as a non-profit or a scam.

 

Well I think in the case of fire and police, if your property poses a risk to the public, then you must buy mandatory insurance.

But under the current system, your neighbor could be a wealthy foreign investor or 'greedy' corporation that buys property in a fire prone area. He doesn't do anything to fireproof his property because there is no incentive. The fire department is paid for through income and sales taxes, not by the risk one's property poses. So the investor could live in another country while you subside the fire department for him. Pay as you go and pay for your risk is the way to go.

ZuS wrote:

Of course, you can avoid some of these dillemas by placing uninsured people together and separate from insured people, and then run the insurance business as a scam, which is what we have today. The rest is taken care of by cynical pragmaticism and bullshit propaganda, in the lines of "free market" ideology and the like.

Or you could believe like the Canadians do that their medical services are 'free'. Even thought they are stripping the country of it's natural resources and deforesting their country to pay for it. Just go through life with your head in the sand and leave behind a country in far worse ecological state for future generations because they are so compassionate about giving away medical services. And then tell the rest of the world how cruel and non-compassionate they are for not having socialized medicine.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:ZuS wrote:Because

EXC wrote:

ZuS wrote:

Because some things in the society are best done collectively.

 

May have been true in the past. But with technology, we can move to being a pay as you go system which will be way more efficient and encourage business and job growth.

Just like we have the technology that allowes us to avoid financial breakdowns? Technology has nothing to do with it.

EXC wrote:

ZuS wrote:

There is no ideology that will change the fact that we want insurances handled in a stable and unambiguous way, and we DO NOT want to have to call a third party to authorize medical treatment or police intervention in violent crime based on someone's private insurance. It will be a trade-off, but it will be far more acceptable than the attrocity we have in the US at this moment.

But I fail to see why a government bureaucrat would not give you the same problems as a private or non-profit company? The socialist government is still under pressure to not pay out more than it takes in. So the bearcract will often deny service and you have to appeal to a third party in the government.

NO!

I can give you Danish health services as an example - you never have to wait for any approvals since everyone is guarantied health services, the whole industry is monitored by professionals and a well developed system of complaint, it cooperates with a small and controled private industry that handles any problematic and weird cases, and all this for A THIRD of the per capita price in the US.

EXC wrote:

The difference is with private insurance is that people can look at a companies customer service ratings before selecting a company. With government, your stuck with a bad system until you can get the politicians running it out of office which may be never.

NO!

I can give you Danish, Sweedish, Norwegian and English health system as an example again. Just because the whole health system has a very well defined purpose, namely keeping people healthy, there is no profit in running it. This immediately means that there is no other pressure on government, than the limitation of resources and public demands. These are basically THE ONLY two major variables legislators are forced to look at in a country with public health service. In the US there is a third: IMMENSE financial power of the private health industry.

EXC wrote:

Well I think in the case of fire and police, if your property poses a risk to the public, then you must buy mandatory insurance.

I have already argumented that, if everyone has to buy it, it can, should and HAS TO be managed collectively. You know exactly how big the market is (everyone), you know exactly what is needed (insurance for everyone), why on earth would you not eliminate the middle man and run health, police and fire dept. in the way I described above - non-profit and available for everyone? It is a mandatory service, not a business opportunity. It would cut the price for health services in the US by AT LEAST 30% of the cost for the government today, and it would cover everyone with that little investment. It would make for a healthier and less afraid population ready to face an economic crysis and their employers, if need be. I have gone through operations that would cripple me financially earlier in life and if I was in US, but since that didn't happen I am a productive member of the society, paying close to 60% taxes and even providing jobs for people. I am an enterpreneur and I don't see the high income tax as a problem at all - I just use the company money when starting new ventures and I cannot treat company money as my own.

EXC wrote:

But under the current system, your neighbor could be a wealthy foreign investor or 'greedy' corporation that buys property in a fire prone area. He doesn't do anything to fireproof his property because there is no incentive. The fire department is paid for through income and sales taxes, not by the risk one's property poses. So the investor could live in another country while you subside the fire department for him. Pay as you go and pay for your risk is the way to go.

This is why there is such a thing as property tax.

EXC wrote:

Or you could believe like the Canadians do that their medical services are 'free'. Even thought they are stripping the country of it's natural resources and deforesting their country to pay for it. Just go through life with your head in the sand and leave behind a country in far worse ecological state for future generations because they are so compassionate about giving away medical services. And then tell the rest of the world how cruel and non-compassionate they are for not having socialized medicine.

Canada is turning into little US - stripping the country of it's natural resources, working ordinary people half to death with little reward and leaving an increasingly bleak future for the generations to come. I suppose it's hard to be a neighbor to a fascist state. Well, at least they have a good health system, like the countries I mentioned, that are handling the health services just fine. People do not have to worry about not being able to pay for their health if they get fired, so they can preassure their employers and government a bit harder to do the right thing and can withstand a crysis in a better and healthier state than the US.

You must understand that health services CANNOT be health industry without being a scam, simply because to cover adequatly, you have to run a deficit. It is a service we all need and we will cover the price collectively. We do not have the luxury of turning it into a gold mine for the few, while leaving the many to ruin.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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EXC wrote:I went to the

EXC wrote:

I went to the grocery store and the prices all still appeared to be set by the forces of supply, demand and competition.

Agreed. Though one wonders about other products such as oil and gasoline.

EXC wrote:

There is only a crisis in the banking and insurance business because the government interfered in the free market creating a bubble and allowing fraud in the system. Any economic system will fail if too many thieves get their hands in the mix.

I thought you advocated non-government involvement in the market system? How did government create this bubble in your opinion?

 

EXC wrote:

Why not? Humans lived for millions of years without these services. The Amish seem to live just fine without these services. Why can't I pay for these services only when I need them? Roads and bridges are essential to our modern economy, we largely pay for this in user fees(tolls, gas tax). This system seems to work OK. All government services could be privatized just like a toll road.

Fire protection is a perfect example. Because the users of fire protection don't pay for it's cost based on their own risk, the price is too high, there is no incentive to innovate or reduce labor costs. Suppose we charged everyone at risk of fire to their property a tax based on this risk. What would individuals and businesses do? They would fireproof their property so they would pay very little in protection services.

Roads and large projects have involved governments since the Sumerians. The Romans built roads and aqueducts as public projects.

Fire protection has generally always been a community enterprise. We have progressed from volunteer bucket brigades so some of us can be engineers and scientists or other jobs of specialization to increase our overall GNP.

Winter Park, Florida in their great wisdom charges a fee to non-residents for rescue in car accidents when they are involved in an accident in their city. If a resident of the city caused the accident no fee is assessed. Other cities considered doing so but only to Winter Park residents but it was determined it would be unconstitutional.

EXC wrote:

Instead there is little incentive to fireproof one's property. The firefighters unions act like extortion rackets. They bankrupt our governments with these insane retire at 40 pension plans.

I take this personally because I designed smoke alarms in the mid to late 1970s. Buy new batteries for your alarm and actually test them. 

Most fire departments exert more expenditures on accidents then they do or fires, take a look yourself at the statistics.

EXC wrote:

There has been a problem of the government allowing insurance contracts to be written that were not backed by substantial collateral. These insurance companies are committing fraud. This problem is fixed by regulating insurance contracts so they are always backed by substantial collateral.

Again, I thought you were against government interference in the private sector? Regulation is interference. Prosecution for fraud by selling a contract that they can't fulfill is another story. In such cases the laws exist to punish both the individual and the company.

EXC wrote:

But yes, in the event of a natural disaster or war, the government can become the insurer of last resort. I think insurance companies should pay a premium to the government to be their insurance.

For example the Florida insurance fund which enables rich people to live on the beach in homes that will inevitably be destroyed or damaged by forcing others to pay who live in relatively safe areas. Great plan so the rich people can have a beach front view.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

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ZuS wrote:Canada is turning

ZuS wrote:

Canada is turning into little US - stripping the country of it's natural resources, working ordinary people half to death with little reward and leaving an increasingly bleak future for the generations to come. I suppose it's hard to be a neighbor to a fascist state. (emphasis mine)

Goodbye ZuS's credibility. Do you honestly believe that? Every now and then I fail to recognize sarcasm in print form. So perhaps I am taking you literally when I shouldn't. Or perhaps you just revealed that you are an idiot. It is pretty much one or the other at this point.

 

ZuS wrote:

You must understand that health services CANNOT be health industry without being a scam, simply because to cover adequatly, you have to run a deficit.

If you ran a deficit on your health system indefinitely, wouldn't that bankrupt your government? Private industry isn't the only thing that needs to spend no more than it takes in. Canada's government can't indefinitely run a deficit on health care. That system would have to collapse eventually. Though are they really running a deficit on their health care? I feel really bad for the Canadians on this site if that is the truth.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
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He didn't lose any

He didn't lose any credibility with me. A political scientist named Laurence Britt wrote an article where he details 14 characteristics shared by all fascist and proto-fascist states and they're all prevalent in the US. So from my perspective the United States could certainly stand to be less fascist.

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Gauche wrote:He didn't lose

Gauche wrote:

He didn't lose any credibility with me. A political scientist named Laurence Britt wrote an article where he details 14 characteristics shared by all fascist and proto-fascist states and they're all prevalent in the US. So from my perspective the United States could certainly stand to be less fascist.

So you read Britt's steaming pile of turds that is "Fascism Anyone?" That article was plagiarism. It wasn't even good plagiarism. It stole Umberto Eco's analysis of fascism (Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt) and re-wrote it to make it seem like the US is fast approaching a fascist state. Britt did not perform an honest analysis of fascism. He grossly distorted some Eco's analysis of fascism in an attempt to slur the Bush administration. The Bush administration was pretty bad (to put it lightly), but it doesn't match Eco's analysis of the traits of fascist governments. Britt's dishonest plagiarism doesn't count for much to me.

Also Zus simply declared that the US is fascist. He didn't say that it has some fascist tendancies as determined by some political scientists. He just said that it is a fascist state. Goodbye ZuS's credibility in my opinion.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Is it your opinion that it's

Is it your opinion that it's plagiarism, and that it's dishonest and libelous or are you going to support that with anything?

Also you seem to be acknowledging that the US is in some aspects fascistic. Are you acknowledging that? And if you are then why does someone lose credibility by saying that a state with fascistic qualities is fascist?

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Jormungander wrote:Gauche

Jormungander wrote:

Gauche wrote:

He didn't lose any credibility with me. A political scientist named Laurence Britt wrote an article where he details 14 characteristics shared by all fascist and proto-fascist states and they're all prevalent in the US. So from my perspective the United States could certainly stand to be less fascist.

So you read Britt's steaming pile of turds that is "Fascism Anyone?" That article was plagiarism. It wasn't even good plagiarism. It stole Umberto Eco's analysis of fascism (Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt) and re-wrote it to make it seem like the US is fast approaching a fascist state. Britt did not perform an honest analysis of fascism. He grossly distorted some Eco's analysis of fascism in an attempt to slur the Bush administration. The Bush administration was pretty bad (to put it lightly), but it doesn't match Eco's analysis of the traits of fascist governments. Britt's dishonest plagiarism doesn't count for much to me.

Also Zus simply declared that the US is fascist. He didn't say that it has some fascist tendancies as determined by some political scientists. He just said that it is a fascist state. Goodbye ZuS's credibility in my opinion.

Thanks for the reference, I will look at Umberto's writing.

I was really going with Noam Chomsky's Failed States where he describes the US policies as an par with those of fascist states. Chomsky never goes further than pronouncing the US to have all the trademarks of a failed state, so my position takes two further assumptions:

a) US has had a one party leadership with no meaningful alternative since at least the second world war.

b) If a state exhibits all the trademarks of a fascist state and there is no meaningful democratic process in it's present form that would change those, the state has fascist leadership.

I assert a), Chomsky provides b) and in between those two, the government of the US is fascist.

So why is this important? Because there is a big difference in how you understand and address the problems you are facing, depending on which definition you use. You quickly go from the language of "mistakes were made" to "we need these people fired, investigated immediately, and possibly charged with crimes against humanity". You also go from "will he fullfil the promises made" to "we need to change the system fundamentally, so that we can enforce democratic restraint on an acting administration during it's time in office".

This is a big difference. I am not dishing accusations around for fun.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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Well, I read both essays and

Well, I read both essays and I don't understand why the person is saying that it's plagiarism. So for the sake of anyone reading this who doesn't feel like looking it up for themselves these are the 14 points of fascism from both essays.

Lawrence Britt wrote:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2.Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3.Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4.Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5.Rampant Sexism
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
6.Controlled Mass Media
Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
7.Obsession with National Security
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
8.Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
9.Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10.Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .
11.Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
12.Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
13.Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
14.Fraudulent Elections
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

 

Umbert Eco wrote:
1.The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition.
Traditionalism is of course much older than fascism. Not only was it typical of counterrevolutionary Catholic thought after the French revolution, but is was born in the late Hellenistic era, as a reaction to classical Greek rationalism. In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions (most of the faiths indulgently accepted by the Roman pantheon) started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history. This revelation, according to the traditionalist mystique, had remained for a long time concealed under the veil of forgotten languages -- in Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the Celtic runes, in the scrolls of the little-known religions of Asia.
This new culture had to be syncretistic. Syncretism is not only, as the dictionary says, "the combination of different forms of belief or practice;" such a combination must tolerate contradictions. Each of the original messages contains a sliver of wisdom, and although they seem to say different or incompatible things, they all are nevertheless alluding, allegorically, to the same primeval truth.
As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth already has been spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message.

2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism.
Both Fascists and Nazis worshipped technology, while traditionalist thinkers usually reject it as a negation of traditional spiritual values. However, even though Nazism was proud of its industrial achievements, its praise of modernism was only the surface of an ideology based upon blood and earth (Blut und Boden). The rejection of the modern world was disguised as a rebuttal of the capitalistic way of life. The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.

3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action's sake.
Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering's fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play ("When I hear the word 'culture' I reach for my gun&quotEye-wink to the frequent use of such expressions as "degenerate intellectuals," "eggheads," "effete snobs," and "universities are nests of reds." The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.

4. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism.
In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity.
Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.

6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration.
That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old "proletarians" are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.

7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country.
This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside: Jews are usually the best target because they have the advantage of being at the same time inside and outside. In the United States, a prominent instance of the plot obsession is to be found in Pat Robertson's The New World Order, but, as we have recently seen, there are many others.

8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies.
When I was a boy I was taught to think of Englishmen as the five-meal people. They ate more frequently than the poor but sober Italians. Jews are rich and help each other through a secret web of mutual assistance. However, the followers of Ur-Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.

9. For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.
Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world. But such "final solutions" implies a further era of peace, a Golden Age, which contradicts the principle of permanent war. No fascist leader has ever succeeded in solving this predicament.


10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak.
Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism. Every citizen belongs to the best people in the world, the members or the party are the best among the citizens, every citizen can (or ought to) become a member of the party. But there cannot be patricians without plebeians. In fact, the Leader, knowing that his power was not delegated to him democratically but was conquered by force, also knows that his force is based upon the weakness of the masses; they are so weak as to need and deserve a ruler.

11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero.
In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Spanish Falangists was Viva la Muerte ("Long Live Death!" ). In nonfascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.

12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters.
This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons -- doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.

13. Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say.
In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view -- one follows the decisions of the majority. For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter. Having lost their power of delegation, citizens do not act; they are only called on to play the role of the People. Thus the People is only a theatrical fiction. There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.
Because of its qualitative populism, Ur-Fascism must be against "rotten" parliamentary governments. Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell Ur-Fascism.

14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak.
Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, as the official language of what he called Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of Ur-Fascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show.

 

The two are completely different. The accusation of libel is also unwarranted in my opinion because Britt doesn't even say that all 14 are happening in the United States. I'm the one who said that.

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Gauche wrote:The two are

Gauche wrote:

The two are completely different. The accusation of libel is also unwarranted in my opinion because Britt doesn't even say that all 14 are happening in the United States. I'm the one who said that.

Britt made that list to slur the Bush administration. He is the one who is implicating the US as being a fascist state. Specifically he is implying that the Bush administration is a fascist administration. It is not as though he wrote a basic analysis on fascism and then you saw the connection to the US and pointed it out. He custom tailored that list to make sure it would describe the US government.

I'm not even defending the government here. I just don't like Britt's dishonestly in all this.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Jormungander wrote:Gauche

Jormungander wrote:

Gauche wrote:

The two are completely different. The accusation of libel is also unwarranted in my opinion because Britt doesn't even say that all 14 are happening in the United States. I'm the one who said that.

Britt made that list to slur the Bush administration. He is the one who is implicating the US as being a fascist state. Specifically he is implying that the Bush administration is a fascist administration. It is not as though he wrote a basic analysis on fascism and then you saw the connection to the US and pointed it out. He custom tailored that list to make sure it would describe the US government.

I'm not even defending the government here. I just don't like Britt's dishonestly in all this.

I've read Umberto's definitions and quite frankly, it has nothing to do with Britt's definition, except maybe that they both fit US government.

Read my post above. Also give me a definition of fascism that doesn't fit US government.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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Jormungander wrote:Gauche

Jormungander wrote:

Gauche wrote:

The two are completely different. The accusation of libel is also unwarranted in my opinion because Britt doesn't even say that all 14 are happening in the United States. I'm the one who said that.

Britt made that list to slur the Bush administration. He is the one who is implicating the US as being a fascist state. Specifically he is implying that the Bush administration is a fascist administration. It is not as though he wrote a basic analysis on fascism and then you saw the connection to the US and pointed it out. He custom tailored that list to make sure it would describe the US government.

I'm not even defending the government here. I just don't like Britt's dishonestly in all this.

If it's an intentional slur against the government then why would he say in a later interview that not all 14 of those things are happening in the US? Wouldn't he say that they are happening if it's a dishonest, intentional attempt to slur the US? If you don't believe me here's a link to the article:

altweeklies.com/gyrobase/AltWeeklies/Story

 

EDIT: Once again for people who don't want to click on off-site link here's an excerpt from the article:

Quote:

Britt: Just one point: All of these are descriptions of characteristics of fascism in the seven regimes that I talk about. I didn't say, per-se, this is what's happening in the US.

City: But you wink at the end and question whether it's going on here. That is your implication, isn't it?

Britt: Of course. But I'm not saying all 14 are happening in America.

City: But I want to see which you think are. The argument is we're seeing new forms of killing that weren't there before.

Of course it's out of context and you need to read the entire interview. Is the person saying that the US is adopting fascistic tendencis? Obviously, but nobody in this thread is saying less than that. The accusation (I think) is that the writer instead of choosing 14 traits that are common to fascist and proto-facist states, chose 14 traits that the US has so that they could accuse the Bush administration of being fascist. But if that's the case then why not just make the accusation? How does it help you slur someone to turn around and expressly say that your not making the accusation? 

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote: I

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

I thought you advocated non-government involvement in the market system? How did government create this bubble in your opinion?

 

The government has no business encouraging or discouraging any type of business activity. There only intervention should be to prevent fraud and theft. They don't intervene enough in that area.

Here how the mistakenly intervened in the market.

1. The home mortgage interest deduction. Basically amounted to welfare for banks.

2. Fannie and Freddy. Government getting involved in buying up mortgages so bad loans were made.

3. The Fed manipulating interest rates and printing money to make it easy for banks to lend.

4. Laws making it mandatory for banks to loan in low income neighborhoods.

I'm not actually a free market person. The free market breaks down because the earth has finite resources, while humans can breed and overpopulate the planet with billions of unskilled workers. That's why the government has to get involved to manage the chronic undersupply of natural resources and the oversupply of people looking for work.

Other than that, they market needs to be left alone to work things out.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Most fire departments exert more expenditures on accidents then they do or fires, take a look yourself at the statistics.

I know but they always send out the heavy engines. The whole system is too inefficient because there is no incentive to save money.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Again, I thought you were against government interference in the private sector? Regulation is interference. Prosecution for fraud by selling a contract that they can't fulfill is another story. In such cases the laws exist to punish both the individual and the company.

No it's preventing fraud. A free market or any market can only exist if people get what they pay for. What AIG did was outright fraud. They wrote insurance contracts promising to pay when they did not have enough resources to pay should the mortgage default rate increase.

I suppose one could say that the buyer of insurance should make sure the company is solid and not a bunch of crooks. Perhaps there should be a regulated and unregulated insurance and investment market. One where the government is always looking out for you, the other where it's buyer beware. As long as people know who is who.

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

For example the Florida insurance fund which enables rich people to live on the beach in homes that will inevitably be destroyed or damaged by forcing others to pay who live in relatively safe areas. Great plan so the rich people can have a beach front view. 

No, I'm in favor of having everyone pay for what they use and their risk. That way the rich are forced to pay to enjoy their wealth. Income and sales taxes hurt business and job growth so they must be kept low.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:The government has

EXC wrote:

The government has no business encouraging or discouraging any type of business activity. There only intervention should be to prevent fraud and theft. They don't intervene enough in that area.

To say the least.

EXC wrote:

Here how the mistakenly intervened in the market.

1. The home mortgage interest deduction. Basically amounted to welfare for banks.

Originally the first income tax allowed all interest to be deducted in 1894 however the Supreme Court found the income tax was not constitutional. After the 16th Amendment the new income tax in 1913 allowed all interest to be deducted once more. In the 30s banks were allowed to sell their mortgages under FHA., which is the real cause of welfare for banks not the puny effect home mortgage interest has on taxes. Still the home interest deduction was meaningless to over 99% of Americans as the first $3000 for single and $4000 for married persons were not taxed. Few people made this much money until the late 50s hence no effect.

EXC wrote:

2. Fannie and Freddy. Government getting involved in buying up mortgages so bad loans were made.

A new era of irresponsible bankers in fact.

EXC wrote:

3. The Fed manipulating interest rates and printing money to make it easy for banks to lend.

As the economy expands, money circulating must increase therefore the FED has to print it. Banks don't need real cash anyway as they can multiply your $100 deposit at least 9 fold.

See here for short history of the US money supply:

http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/MoneySupply.html

EXC wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Again, I thought you were against government interference in the private sector? Regulation is interference. Prosecution for fraud by selling a contract that they can't fulfill is another story. In such cases the laws exist to punish both the individual and the company.

No it's preventing fraud. A free market or any market can only exist if people get what they pay for. What AIG did was outright fraud. They wrote insurance contracts promising to pay when they did not have enough resources to pay should the mortgage default rate increase.

I suppose one could say that the buyer of insurance should make sure the company is solid and not a bunch of crooks. Perhaps there should be a regulated and unregulated insurance and investment market. One where the government is always looking out for you, the other where it's buyer beware. As long as people know who is who.

AIG operated fraudulently and their board, CEO, and all involved should be held liable for damages as well as criminally negligent.

 

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EXC wrote:ZuS wrote:No one

EXC wrote:

ZuS wrote:

No one decides the "cost". There is a large public sector in which pay is set according to credentials and experience. The pay is lower than in private sector, but the job is much more secure and with better benefits. Since we all pay for our medical services, it is handled through taxes. There is no way around this, because people don't have time or expertise to go around shopping for every kind of insurrance and these insurrances are by far the most affordable and secure out there. There is no chance that the government will go bankrupt, unless it's private sector pulls it to it's knees through fraud, deceit and robbery in broad daylight, like in the case of Iceland and soon the whole world.

Of course someone decides the cost! Some bureaucrat tells the doctors, nurses, pharmaceutical companies how much they make. They still compete with the private sector.

Stop you right there. There is no private sector. Unless you're talking about instituting a socialist healthcare system within a capitalist framework, which is simply a recipe for disaster.

EXC wrote:
So the rich pay more for the best services. If a good doctor can make more treating the rich, he leaves the public sector. You end up with severe shortages if you try and set the prices. You can't get away from the laws of supply and demand.

That's exactly why a socialist system cannot function within a capitalist framework. It is not an argument against socialism in and of itself. And a capitalist system within a socialist framework would die even faster.

EXC wrote:
With the Internet, people can get the information they need to make the best choice in health care.

And with the internet, and capitalism, deception and lies regarding conditions and treatments are self propogating. Thereby reducing the effectiveness beyond the added benefit. I don't have to look at my email to be able to tell you there's at least 50 messages claiming to make my penis bigger, but none of them would work.

EXC wrote:
Government subsidising medicine with Medicare/Medicaid has made the costs higher. Individuals making informed choices about what is best for themselves will drive down costs and improve service the best. Government's only role should be regulating insurance contracts to make sure no fraud or malpractise is committed.

Pharmacuetical companies paying doctors benefits to hand out medication that has little or no confirmed benefits has had a much bigger negative impact on the industry than any subsidies. And that is permitted only because of the free market. Socialism would have never allowed it in the first place.

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EXC wrote:Why not? Humans

EXC wrote:

Why not? Humans lived for millions of years without these services.

Not even remotely accurate. The very moment that people started living in communities: an education system, a police system, a fire system, and a medical system were created.

EXC wrote:
The Amish seem to live just fine without these services.

No, they don't. They have them too. They are just primitive in comparison.

EXC wrote:
Why can't I pay for these services only when I need them? Roads and bridges are essential to our modern economy, we largely pay for this in user fees(tolls, gas tax). This system seems to work OK. All government services could be privatized just like a toll road.

How many times would you have been robbed or killed or raped had the police not been doing their jobs and putting criminals in prison? How many plagues would you have contracted if we didn't have hospitals and health care? How many times over would you have burned to death if not for a fire department that doesn't just put fires out, but is the leading source of education and research on how to prevent them in the first place? You need these services constantly, from the moment you are born. That is why they are called essential services. No city on Earth with a population above say 10000 can exist without these services. They are foundational requirements for a society.

EXC wrote:

Fire protection is a perfect example. Because the users of fire protection don't pay for it's cost based on their own risk, the price is too high, there is no incentive to innovate or reduce labor costs. Suppose we charged everyone at risk of fire to their property a tax based on this risk. What would individuals and businesses do? They would fireproof their property so they would pay very little in protection services.

Fire proofing is not fire proofing. It is fire retarding. No human structure on Earth is fire proof, and no structure can be without losing out on all the conveniences of modern society.

EXC wrote:
Instead there is little incentive to fireproof one's property. The firefighters unions act like extortion rackets. They bankrupt our governments with these insane retire at 40 pension plans.

Considering that they have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, that is selflessly centred around saving people and their property, I'd say they have every right to receive good pay for it. There's nothing insane about their wages, except perhaps that they are often too low. Most of the firefighters I've known or known of over the years were volunteers.

EXC wrote:

Many people want to enjoy their lives so they don't want to pay 20% or more of my income to the medical industry. I don't want the most expensive medical procedures if it is going to take a substantial portion of my income. Some people want to enjoy life and not have to work all the time to support an expensive medical industry, why can't we have that choice?

The American example has well proven that this is merely a recipe for family bankruptcy and homelessness en masse. Procedures cost far too much for most people to afford them. And most procedures are not optional. You get it or you die; or you can't work, which is the same thing as far as the economy is concerned.

EXC wrote:
ZuS wrote:

All of these are insurrances in one form or another. Insurrance is not always a profitable business, at times when there are a lot of incidents that need coverage, many insurrance companies would be put out of business. Can we allow vital functions in our society to be put out of business by the very events they are supposed to mitigate? I think not.

There has been a problem of the government allowing insurance contracts to be written that were not backed by substantial collateral. These insurance companies are committing fraud. This problem is fixed by regulating insurance contracts so they are always backed by substantial collateral.

Getting rid of them altogether would be a far superior idea. Insurance companies have been making a killing off of a widely accepted deception. Every time they have to pay out, they claim that their costs have risen, and they have to charge more. Which is pure bullshit in 99% of all of their payouts. Their costs haven't risen to a point that they need to charge more, they're charging more because the money people loaned them free of interest are now wanting their money back. Despite the fact that this is the whole point of the business in the first place. It's a ridiculous catch 22 that these companies have been profitting off of for at least decades. Possibly centuries.

EXC wrote:

But yes, in the event of a natural disaster or war, the government can become the insurer of last resort. I think insurance companies should pay a premium to the government to be their insurance.

The government should be the insurance.

EXC wrote:

Well then don't buy services from these companies if they overpay their CEOs.

Great idea. I'll stop using MS Windows right now.

Oh...wait. I can't. The programs I use run on Windows.

Well I can stop using the hospital....

Oh wait. I need it for health care...whenever I happen to go anyway....

Oh well, it was a nice idea. Too bad it's not even remotely practical or realistic.

EXC wrote:
 Why don't people that feel like you start a non-profit to compete with the corporations if it's so easy to make money? If I'm idiot that want to give money to a company with an overpaid CEO, why do you care? Find a company that offers good services at a fair price, just like you do with everything else in life.

And when there isn't a comany that offers good services, let alone at a fair price? Then what? You'll probably say go without. Well that's not an option. I have to have insurance, it's the law. I have to have food, I'll die without. Your argument is coming from a dreamworld of responsible executives that has never existed and there is no evidence at all to suggest it ever could exist.

EXC wrote:

The government bureaucrat that pays the expenses for you has no incentive to keep the cost down or service high. You raise taxes on the rich to pay for it. They leave they country, the corporations leave, the jobs leave. You'll be left with a bankrupt government and everyone living in poverty and crime.

The bureaucrat has every incentive. His or her pay, his or her reputation, his or her employability, his or her respectability...the list goes on.

EXC wrote:

Sounds great. Everyone can just stop working or getting an education to make a good income. We'll just reward failure with free medical insurance. Sounds great.

I've dealt with this particular complaint at least a dozen times, and my response has never been refuted. I'll not repeat myself anymore.

EXC wrote:

The police and fire unions have helped bankrupt California. Same with the prisions. They all need to be privatized and compete for our business.

Lack of water has bankrupted California. Not a union.

EXC wrote:
Of course they want it, then they don't have to compete for my business. They can give me crappy services or no services and force me to pay for it via the tax man. If they want my money, they should earn it.

I've dealt with this particular complaint at least a dozen times, and my response has never been refuted. I'll not repeat myself anymore.

EXC wrote:
The current crisis is an example of socialism in the housing industry.

No, it isn't.

EXC wrote:
The poor couldn't afford expensive homes, so the government though a myriad of programs and policies made sure they could get a loan. They did nothing to address the issue of why they are poor. All this did was create the bubble and now we see supply/demand in action. You want something similar with healthcare.

They made an error. That doesn't mean it is the fault of socialism. In fact, it cannot be, because you are not a socialist state. You are a capitalist state. If the fault belongs to a system, it belongs to capitalism and capitalism alone.

EXC wrote:

Don't you think EBay is coming close? With advances in technology, why can't this model be applied to every aspect of the economy and government services? What if a politician pledged to fix problems, actioned his services, then only got paid when the problems where fixed? Wouldn't this lead to better government?

How's a politician going to fix anything when he isn't going to get paid until he fixes it? Catch 22. Only the rich can be in power. History has proven time and again that the rich being in power does not lead to a better government for all. It merely leads to a better government for the rich.

EXC wrote:

There is always an ongoing battle with thieves in any society. Socialism is not going to make people stop stealing. So your answer to thievery is kill the goose that lays the golden egg(free markets) instead of keep the thieves out and lock em up. So I guess we'll get rid of thieves then by everyone  being so poor and not having anything to steal.

I don't feel like looking up numbers right now, but I feel confident that about 80% of theft is done by those in need. Most people don't steal unless they have to to survive. The very few that people steal despite not needing to are usually clinically diagnosable.

So yes, a socialist state would greatly reduce theft. On an order of perhaps 80% or more.

EXC wrote:

So it's a problem of oversight. If you owned a business and your employees were into stealing and illegal activity, isn't it up to you to find the corruption and fire bad employees. Why is not the same model applied to politicians?

This is a problem with the free market. Not socialism.

EXC wrote:
The same could be true for hiring a plumber. The plumber you hire to fix a problem could break more stuff and charge you to fix those additional problems. How do you avoid that problem? Why is not the same model applied to politicians? In fact get rid of term politician and only hire public managers with an employment contract same as I have?

Sounds like a socialist solution to me.

EXC wrote:
You become what you hate. The workers hate the corruption of the corporations, so instead of fixing the problem and getting rid of the crooks, they form unions that are just as corrupt, greedy and criminal as any corporation.

Unions were never intended to become as despicable and useless as they are. And they tried to fix the problem and get rid of the crooks. They were all thrown in jail or killed. Unions were the only viable option to counter capitalist greed at the management level in a capitalist society.

EXC wrote:

Same goes for communists and socialists, they see Capitalism as thievery so they steal to get even. Fighting the thieves and thugs by becoming just like them is not the answer.

Not even remotely accurate. Capitalism IS thievery. Constant and unending thievery. Whomever has the power has the right. Returning the favour would be a one time deal that never needed to be repeated. And then under socialism you aren't being robbed every day.

Edited for error

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Vastet wrote:Lack of water

Vastet wrote:


Lack of water has bankrupted California. Not a union.

As a Californian, let me jump in here. Lack of water is a problem, but it isn't bankrupting us. Senselessly high spending on un-needed projects is what is bankrupting us. We have the highest tax burden of any state in the Union and we are voting on some initiatives soon to increase our taxes more, yet the state is still in severe financial problems because of its senseless spending. I have heard that the State legislators and our Governor want to build a bullet train to Nevada. They have slashed funding to needed services such as higher education thanks to the budget problems, but they still want to throw money at un-needed projects like that bullet train. They also like to fund projects by selling bonds. That makes projects cost about twice as much. I remember when I voted against most of the previous propositions they stated that the proposition would cost some amount of money that would be covered by selling bonds, and they also stated that to pay back the bonds later would cost a far greater amount of money. Out of control spending is the only reason why California has a budget problem.

 

Vastet wrote:

The bureaucrat has every incentive. His or her pay, his or her reputation, his or her employability, his or her respectability...the list goes on.

This just isn't true. Bureaucrats don't have accountability and they don't rely on their reputations to get jobs. Bureaucrats are the despised scum of the earth in California, but they don't care. They can't get employed in industry, so they get a government job that they won't be fired from for incompetance. Their pay is also independent from their performance. They have no reason to be good at their jobs and they have not reputation to uphold. We hate them and we can do nothing about it. Ask people about their feelings about bureaucrats. Their answers should be on par with their feelings about pedophiles. Bureaucrats are lazy, they don't care about their jobs, they are unemployable for virtually any other job, they can't get fired unless they are caught breaking the law on the job, they already have a horrible reputation that they uphold with their sloth and stupidity, the list goes on.....

Maybe Canadian bureaucrats are different than the ones I'm used to, but everything you wrote in that quote just doesn't apply to bureaucrats in California.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
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Jormungander wrote:Vastet

Jormungander wrote:

Vastet wrote:


 

Lack of water has bankrupted California. Not a union.

As a Californian, let me jump in here. Lack of water is a problem, but it isn't bankrupting us. Senselessly high spending on un-needed projects is what is bankrupting us. We have the highest tax burden of any state in the Union and we are voting on some initiatives soon to increase our taxes more, yet the state is still in severe financial problems because of its senseless spending. I have heard that the State legislators and our Governor want to build a bullet train to Nevada. They have slashed funding to needed services such as higher education thanks to the budget problems, but they still want to throw money at un-needed projects like that bullet train. They also like to fund projects by selling bonds. That makes projects cost about twice as much. I remember when I voted against most of the previous propositions they stated that the proposition would cost some amount of money that would be covered by selling bonds, and they also stated that to pay back the bonds later would cost a far greater amount of money. Out of control spending is the only reason why California has a budget problem.

Well I'll take your word for it, but I still know water is the one of the largest if not the single biggest spending factor for the whole state.

Jormungander wrote:

Vastet wrote:

The bureaucrat has every incentive. His or her pay, his or her reputation, his or her employability, his or her respectability...the list goes on.

This just isn't true. Bureaucrats don't have accountability and they don't rely on their reputations to get jobs.

Not in the society we currently inhabit, but they certainly would in a socialist society.

Jormungander wrote:
Bureaucrats are the despised scum of the earth in California, but they don't care. They can't get employed in industry, so they get a government job that they won't be fired from for incompetance.

Incompetence would be more than sufficient to fire someone in a socialist state.

Jormungander wrote:
 Their pay is also independent from their performance.

That would no longer be the case.

Jormungander wrote:
They have no reason to be good at their jobs and they have not reputation to uphold.

Same as above.

Jormungander wrote:
 We hate them and we can do nothing about it. Ask people about their feelings about bureaucrats. Their answers should be on par with their feelings about pedophiles. Bureaucrats are lazy, they don't care about their jobs, they are unemployable for virtually any other job, they can't get fired unless they are caught breaking the law on the job, they already have a horrible reputation that they uphold with their sloth and stupidity, the list goes on.....

Maybe Canadian bureaucrats are different than the ones I'm used to, but everything you wrote in that quote just doesn't apply to bureaucrats in California.

No bureaucrats are as I defined them, to my knowledge. We hate our version of the DMV as much as you do (well, maybe not quite as much, you guys have a whole culture on it). I was referring to a bureaucrat in my vision of a socialist economy. Government jobs would no longer be available to slothful and stupid people.

Well, that's not entirely accurate, since every job would be a government job. Let's revise that to mean no position in management or authority.

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EXC wrote:Or you could

EXC wrote:
Or you could believe like the Canadians do that their medical services are 'free'.

Find me a Canadian who thinks that. Just one will do. Over 16 years old.

EXC wrote:
Even thought they are stripping the country of it's natural resources and deforesting their country to pay for it. Just go through life with your head in the sand and leave behind a country in far worse ecological state for future generations because they are so compassionate about giving away medical services. And then tell the rest of the world how cruel and non-compassionate they are for not having socialized medicine.

But countries that have socialized medicine don't have the United States' severe and disturbing issues of HMOs and the insane gap between rich and poor. There are so many countries with socialized medicine where you get a reasonable standard of service, that I have a hard time understanding why anyone would defend the US "system" of laissez faire with regards to its own citizens.

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Vastet wrote:Not even

Vastet wrote:

Not even remotely accurate. The very moment that people started living in communities: an education system, a police system, a fire system, and a medical system were created.

They were never paid for services. They were handled within the family and small tribe. No reason to move away from that unless the government provides a better value. The price of services is too high, so we should handle it ourselves.

Vastet wrote:

EXC wrote:
The Amish seem to live just fine without these services.

No, they don't. They have them too. They are just primitive in comparison.

They handle it without the help of the government and they get along just fine. This proves the propaganda that we need the government to provide these services is false. We have other options. We should balk if the cost is too high.

Vastet wrote:

How many times would you have been robbed or killed or raped had the police not been doing their jobs and putting criminals in prison? How many plagues would you have contracted if we didn't have hospitals and health care? How many times over would you have burned to death if not for a fire department that doesn't just put fires out, but is the leading source of education and research on how to prevent them in the first place? You need these services constantly, from the moment you are born. That is why they are called essential services. No city on Earth with a population above say 10000 can exist without these services. They are foundational requirements for a society.

How long would you starve to death if farmers didn't grow food for you? How soon would you freeze to death if people didn't make clothes or build homes for you? Yet these are pay as go privatized services subject to market forces. You seem to survive just fine. Please explain why some essential services are privatized and others not? Why do government employees get to force people to pay for their services while the farmer has to earn his living?

I'm not talking about if we need these services, I'm just saying why they can't be pay as you go?

Vastet wrote:

Fire proofing is not fire proofing. It is fire retarding. No human structure on Earth is fire proof, and no structure can be without losing out on all the conveniences of modern society.

The risk can be made near zero. So these people should pay near zero for fire protection. If you have good fire protection subsidize by everyone, you have a company move in with a high fire risk.

Vastet wrote:

Considering that they have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, that is selflessly centred around saving people and their property, I'd say they have every right to receive good pay for it. There's nothing insane about their wages, except perhaps that they are often too low. Most of the firefighters I've known or known of over the years were volunteers.

It should be largely volunteer, police too. Paying people based on sentiment is inefficient. If China pays it's firefighters based on actual value they will be more competitive.

Vastet wrote:

Can we allow vital functions in our society to be put out of business by the very events they are supposed to mitigate? I think not.

That's why one role of government is to be the insurer of insurance companies. For example earthquake insurance, if we have the big one the private insures will go broke. That's why the government has to insure insurance companies for catastrophic events. But I don't think the rest of country should subsidize my decision to live in an earthquake zone.

Vastet wrote:

Getting rid of them altogether would be a far superior idea. Insurance companies have been making a killing off of a widely accepted deception. Every time they have to pay out, they claim that their costs have risen, and they have to charge more. Which is pure bullshit in 99% of all of their payouts.

The decision to payout on insurance must be left to a neutral third party, an arbiter. The decision needs to made quickly. This is a legitimate function of government to be the referee.

Great idea. I'll stop using MS Windows right now.

Vastet wrote:

Oh...wait. I can't. The programs I use run on Windows.

Well I can stop using the hospital....

Oh wait. I need it for health care...whenever I happen to go anyway....

Oh well, it was a nice idea. Too bad it's not even remotely practical or realistic.

Use Linux. Go to another country for medical services. Become atheist with an Amish lifestyle.

Vastet wrote:

And when there isn't a comany that offers good services, let alone at a fair price? Then what?

Well why don't you start one? If you can't beat 'em join 'em. If your theory is right, that's so easy to make a killing as a capitalist. Just start a medical insurance company, then use the billions of easy money profits to insure the poor. Just write a letter to a venture capitalist to get in on all the easy money. If you're theory is right, he should give you the money to start this business.

Vastet wrote:

You'll probably say go without. Well that's not an option.

Life is a risk. You could stay home and not drive your car because you could be killed. One's goal in life should not be to avoid all risk. Some things are not worth price. The fact is, the medical industry could take 50% or more of the GDP if they are not restrained. Expensive technology and drugs could be developed. But somethings are not worth the prices. Expensive medical technology is one of those. Unfortunately, some unlucky people will suffer and die because of this. But some people will suffer and die if we allow people to drive cars as well.

Vastet wrote:

Lack of water has bankrupted California.

The California water policy is fine example of basing policy on sentiment rather than pay as you go. The farmers are accustomed to getting water deliver at a fraction of it's real cost and what residential and other industries pay. So they grow rice and waste water in a semi-arid climate often subject to drought. They've had no incentive to conserve.

Vastet wrote:

They made an error. That doesn't mean it is the fault of socialism. In fact, it cannot be, because you are not a socialist state. You are a capitalist state. If the fault belongs to a system, it belongs to capitalism and capitalism alone.

The profit motive worked TOO well. Housing was overbuilt during the bubble. Socialism failed in that it was wealth redistribution. They made sure the poor could buy homes but they did nothing to address the issues of why they were poor in the first place.

Vastet wrote:

How's a politician going to fix anything when he isn't going to get paid until he fixes it? Catch 22. Only the rich can be in power. History has proven time and again that the rich being in power does not lead to a better government for all. It merely leads to a better government for the rich.

Vastet wrote:

This is a problem with the free market. Not socialism.

It's a problem with oversight. You have to keep an eye on the plumber and politician.

Vastet wrote:

Not even remotely accurate. Capitalism IS thievery. Constant and unending thievery. Whomever has the power has the right. Returning the favour would be a one time deal that never needed to be repeated. And then under socialism you aren't being robbed every day.

Why do bank robbers rob banks? Cause that's where the money is?

In the Soviet Union, the government ran everything and controlled all the wealth, so the thieves were all in the government. It became a criminal state. In the USA, we have about half the money in the government, half in private enterprise. So we have about a 50/50 mix of thieves in both.

You are living in a dreamworld if you don't think you won't have thieves under socialism. You take away the means to get rich by legal means. So nearly everyone becomes a crook to make money or else they just become lazy because they still get paid.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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HisWillness wrote:EXC

HisWillness wrote:

EXC wrote:
Or you could believe like the Canadians do that their medical services are 'free'.

Find me a Canadian who thinks that. Just one will do. Over 16 years old.

OK. you. Of course you know that the government pays the checks. But individuals look at the bottom line for themselves, so it's effectively free. You make your budget and live your life as if it's free.

HisWillness wrote:

But countries that have socialized medicine don't have the United States' severe and disturbing issues of HMOs and the insane gap between rich and poor. There are so many countries with socialized medicine where you get a reasonable standard of service, that I have a hard time understanding why anyone would defend the US "system" of laissez faire with regards to its own citizens.

The problem is cause by people wanting a free lunch and too much government involvement. Medicaid/medicare has driven up the cost of medical services. We need less involvement in medicine more in effective education, so people can afford their own insurance.

We have severe shortage of nurses. A nurse makes a decent salary and has good medical coverage. So why the shortage? Basically people don't want a difficult job. This just shows the problem is people's attitude and not a failure of the free market.

The poor in the USA must not have it as bad as other places since we have such a problem with illegal immigration. When the poor in America and Mexico are running to Canada and when Canada no longer over-mines it's non-renewable resources, I'll agree that you have a good system.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:Vastet wrote:Not

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Not even remotely accurate. The very moment that people started living in communities: an education system, a police system, a fire system, and a medical system were created.

They were never paid for services. They were handled within the family and small tribe. No reason to move away from that unless the government provides a better value. The price of services is too high, so we should handle it ourselves.

Yes, they were paid for. They just didn't use the dollar, since dollars didn't exist. All services have always been paid for in some manner or another.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

EXC wrote:
The Amish seem to live just fine without these services.

No, they don't. They have them too. They are just primitive in comparison.

They handle it without the help of the government and they get along just fine.

No, they don't. They have their own government. That they do not rely on the US government is irrelevant.

EXC wrote:
 This proves the propaganda that we need the government to provide these services is false. We have other options. We should balk if the cost is too high.

This proves you haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about suggesting that we don't need a government to provide these services.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

How many times would you have been robbed or killed or raped had the police not been doing their jobs and putting criminals in prison? How many plagues would you have contracted if we didn't have hospitals and health care? How many times over would you have burned to death if not for a fire department that doesn't just put fires out, but is the leading source of education and research on how to prevent them in the first place? You need these services constantly, from the moment you are born. That is why they are called essential services. No city on Earth with a population above say 10000 can exist without these services. They are foundational requirements for a society.

How long would you starve to death if farmers didn't grow food for you? How soon would you freeze to death if people didn't make clothes or build homes for you? Yet these are pay as go privatized services subject to market forces.

No, they aren't. Farmers are heavily subsidised, and have been on the verge of mass bankruptcy for more than 10 years. Pay as you go is a recipe for inefficiency and stupidity. Having worked in a bunch of seasonal jobs, I can say this with absolute authority. The less dependable your income, the greater your services suffer. In the case of policing, health care, and fire, this leads to an unacceptable risk of death.

EXC wrote:
 You seem to survive just fine. Please explain why some essential services are privatized and others not? Why do government employees get to force people to pay for their services while the farmer has to earn his living?

I'm not talking about if we need these services, I'm just saying why they can't be pay as you go?

So you'd rather pay $200 for the cops to show up because an asshole with a gun is shooting up your house? What if you don't get paid until tomorrow? Oh well, say the cops. Better luck in the next life.

You have a heart attack and are unconscious. Oh well say the doctors, we'd have helped him if he only had $2000.

Your house is burning down and you're trapped downstairs. You call for help. Send us some money, say the firefighters. $5000. Ooops, your wallet is upstairs in a melted pile of goo. Oh well.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Fire proofing is not fire proofing. It is fire retarding. No human structure on Earth is fire proof, and no structure can be without losing out on all the conveniences of modern society.

The risk can be made near zero.

No it can't.

EXC wrote:
 So these people should pay near zero for fire protection.

So they have no fire department when the inevitable ocurrs, and they all die horribly. What few survive lose everything they own. Sounds like fun.

EXC wrote:
It should be largely volunteer, police too. Paying people based on sentiment is inefficient. If China pays it's firefighters based on actual value they will be more competitive.

Actually, I'm in favour of establishing military authority over emergency services, and making participation mandatory, except under circumstances where it is impractical. However, I'm also in favour of paying people for their time and effort. Voluneers have no resources or education compared to professionals. I'd much rather see a fire truck with a bunch of properly outfitted firefighters show up at a fire than I would a couple people with buckets and a garden hose on their pickup truck.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Can we allow vital functions in our society to be put out of business by the very events they are supposed to mitigate? I think not.

That's why one role of government is to be the insurer of insurance companies. For example earthquake insurance, if we have the big one the private insures will go broke. That's why the government has to insure insurance companies for catastrophic events. But I don't think the rest of country should subsidize my decision to live in an earthquake zone.

Well, for this, I don't think I said that. I think it was someone else, but I'm too lazy to look atm.

But if the government has to be involved anyway, and they make all people participate by law, then they might as well be running the whole thing instead of creating a middle man that does nothing but introduce inefficiency and increased costs.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

Getting rid of them altogether would be a far superior idea. Insurance companies have been making a killing off of a widely accepted deception. Every time they have to pay out, they claim that their costs have risen, and they have to charge more. Which is pure bullshit in 99% of all of their payouts.

The decision to payout on insurance must be left to a neutral third party, an arbiter. The decision needs to made quickly. This is a legitimate function of government to be the referee.

Some decisions can't be made quickly. Some after effects don't show up for years. This is insufficient. Once the case is closed, the case is closed. A government run system could reopen it for modifications.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:
Great idea. I'll stop using MS Windows right now.

Oh...wait. I can't. The programs I use run on Windows.

Well I can stop using the hospital....

Oh wait. I need it for health care...whenever I happen to go anyway....

Oh well, it was a nice idea. Too bad it's not even remotely practical or realistic.

Use Linux. Go to another country for medical services. Become atheist with an Amish lifestyle.

How am I going to go to another country? You going to give me the money? I don't have enough to move. You also going to take my citizenship test for me? Find me a house?

Linux isn't an option. Doesn't run programs I need.

Becoming an atheist with an ahmish lifestyle sounds like I'm being forced to be poor by rich assholes. Some freedom that is. Not.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

And when there isn't a comany that offers good services, let alone at a fair price? Then what?

Well why don't you start one?

I don't have any money to start one.

EXC wrote:
 If you can't beat 'em join 'em. If your theory is right, that's so easy to make a killing as a capitalist. Just start a medical insurance company, then use the billions of easy money profits to insure the poor. Just write a letter to a venture capitalist to get in on all the easy money. If you're theory is right, he should give you the money to start this business.

Criminal acts of greed are what I'm fighting, I'm not trying to emulate them.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

You'll probably say go without. Well that's not an option.

Life is a risk. You could stay home and not drive your car because you could be killed.

Unnacceptable response. I could die in my house. Via more methods than travelling in a car.

EXC wrote:
 One's goal in life should not be to avoid all risk. Some things are not worth price.

Agreed. So how does this allow you to enslave me and everyone else because you have money and we don't?

EXC wrote:
 The fact is, the medical industry could take 50% or more of the GDP if they are not restrained.

Or they could take a fraction of it.

EXC wrote:
 Expensive technology and drugs could be developed. But somethings are not worth the prices. Expensive medical technology is one of those. Unfortunately, some unlucky people will suffer and die because of this. But some people will suffer and die if we allow people to drive cars as well.

You'll have to provide a demonstration of expensive medical technology that is useless. I wish you luck.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Lack of water has bankrupted California.

The California water policy is fine example of basing policy on sentiment rather than pay as you go. The farmers are accustomed to getting water deliver at a fraction of it's real cost and what residential and other industries pay. So they grow rice and waste water in a semi-arid climate often subject to drought. They've had no incentive to conserve.

And they are running on the capitalist system while they do this. Noone in capitalism has incentive to conserve unless resources are demonstrably and inarguably rare. Such is not the case.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

They made an error. That doesn't mean it is the fault of socialism. In fact, it cannot be, because you are not a socialist state. You are a capitalist state. If the fault belongs to a system, it belongs to capitalism and capitalism alone.

The profit motive worked TOO well. Housing was overbuilt during the bubble. Socialism failed in that it was wealth redistribution. They made sure the poor could buy homes but they did nothing to address the issues of why they were poor in the first place.

Again, socialism is incapable of failing as it was never in practice. This is a failure of capitalism.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

How's a politician going to fix anything when he isn't going to get paid until he fixes it? Catch 22. Only the rich can be in power. History has proven time and again that the rich being in power does not lead to a better government for all. It merely leads to a better government for the rich.

Vastet wrote:

This is a problem with the free market. Not socialism.

It's a problem with oversight. You have to keep an eye on the plumber and politician.

And that's going to make the politicians job even harder. Not only does he not have any funding, he has someone standing over his shoulder 24/7. Someone who also needs to be paid. And also needs to be watched, by someone who needs to be paid, ad absurdum. Great idea.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Not even remotely accurate. Capitalism IS thievery. Constant and unending thievery. Whomever has the power has the right. Returning the favour would be a one time deal that never needed to be repeated. And then under socialism you aren't being robbed every day.

Why do bank robbers rob banks? Cause that's where the money is?

In the Soviet Union, the government ran everything and controlled all the wealth, so the thieves were all in the government. It became a criminal state. In the USA, we have about half the money in the government, half in private enterprise. So we have about a 50/50 mix of thieves in both.

You are living in a dreamworld if you don't think you won't have thieves under socialism. You take away the means to get rich by legal means. So nearly everyone becomes a crook to make money or else they just become lazy because they still get paid.

You are living in a dream world if you think thievery can even function under socialism. Your reference to the Soviet Union proves this further, as they were never socialist. They were a dictatorship using a guise of socialism in a capitalist framework. They were not a socialist state. Neither is China.

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Vastet wrote:Yes, they were

Vastet wrote:

Yes, they were paid for. They just didn't use the dollar, since dollars didn't exist. All services have always been paid for in some manner or another.

They did it themselves or as part of a communal social contract or they did without. Nothing wrong with that model if the dollars government or business charge are too much.

Vastet wrote:

No, they don't. They have their own government. That they do not rely on the US government is irrelevant.

It is relevant. It shows that people can come up with their own alternative if they think the government is too costly and inefficient.

Vastet wrote:

This proves you haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about suggesting that we don't need a government to provide these services.

The government only needs to be the arbiter and insurer of contractors that provide these services. This works fine for private companies that deliver your food and build your home. You still have not given me a rational reason why fire, police and medical is different. People that need extra security hire contractors all the time, this system works fine.

Vastet wrote:

No, they aren't. Farmers are heavily subsidised, and have been on the verge of mass bankruptcy for more than 10 years. Pay as you go is a recipe for inefficiency and stupidity. Having worked in a bunch of seasonal jobs, I can say this with absolute authority.

OK. So now we see that the real problem is that you did not have a reliable income. If you did you could pay as you go for police, fire and medical services. And why not? Was it a failure of the socialized school system? Why didn't you study to become a nurse, since you would then have a reliable income with medical insurance. So we see the real problem is not the free market but socialized unaccountable education system and the choices that people make.

Vastet wrote:

I'm just saying why they can't be pay as you go?

Still have not seen a reason why. Is it because some people can't afford or would have a hard time paying. Then fix that problem and not destroy the free market.

Vastet wrote:

So you'd rather pay $200 for the cops to show up because an asshole with a gun is shooting up your house? What if you don't get paid until tomorrow? Oh well, say the cops. Better luck in the next life.

You have a heart attack and are unconscious. Oh well say the doctors, we'd have helped him if he only had $2000.

Your house is burning down and you're trapped downstairs. You call for help. Send us some money, say the firefighters. $5000. Ooops, your wallet is upstairs in a melted pile of goo. Oh well.

Again the problem is not the free market. It's that some people either don't have a marketable skill or they don't want to work so they can't pay for the insurance and services to handle these situations. For the former category, I'm all in favor of funding programs proven to fix this problem. Whereas you want to subsidize failed education system and laziness.

Vastet wrote:

Fire proofing is not fire proofing. It is fire retarding. No human structure on Earth is fire proof, and no structure can be without losing out on all the conveniences of modern society.

I've seen houses that were fireproofed survive California firestorms virtually unscathed. I think only a nuclear weapon or meteor strike would destroy these home. In this case the fire department would not do them any good anyways. Under your system, there is no incentive to develop or install this type of technology. Just run an inefficient fire department cause someone else if paying for it.

Vastet wrote:

Some decisions can't be made quickly. Some after effects don't show up for years. This is insufficient. Once the case is closed, the case is closed. A government run system could reopen it for modifications.

Why not? I can get an oil change in 15 minutes when the system is pay as you go. Judges are the most unaccountable section in our society. This must change, no primadonna judges. Under socialism you still have to have a judge or bureaucrat deciding things.

Vastet wrote:

How am I going to go to another country? You going to give me the money? I don't have enough to move. You also going to take my citizenship test for me? Find me a house?

Again this is a problem with an ineffective education system or bad choices you made, not the free market. If anyone in society should live in a military style disciplined environment, it should be you so you can train to be a nurse.

Vastet wrote:

Becoming an atheist with an ahmish lifestyle sounds like I'm being forced to be poor by rich assholes. Some freedom that is. Not.

So you'd rather be a slave to the medical industry and pay whatever tax rate is necessary to ensure whatever expensive treatment they come up with is available? No one enjoys life we just all work our asses off to make sure we have 50% or more of the GDP to pay for any possible cure to every sickness.

Vastet wrote:

Criminal acts of greed are what I'm fighting, I'm not trying to emulate them.

Yes, but you and all the other bleeding-heart socialists could use the easy money/obscene profits to pay for medical insurance for the poor. Start a non-profit coop to provide medical services to whoever signs up. Then it wouldn't be greed. You don't need much capital, just start with a small group to insure, then use the obscene profits to grow the business.

You won't and other socialist won't because you don't even really believe your own propaganda. You can write a letter to a venture capitalist to get the money or write to a socialist like George Soros.

This is why socialism is like a religion, the people espousing it don't even believe their own propaganda, it just make them feel holy and morally superior to others. It's just like the Christians that claim prayer can heal people. Well if that's true, let's go to a cancer clinic and get scientific proof from double blind studies. But then through their actions they demonstrate that they don't believe that God heals the sick.

So I don't know what the point of arguing with you when you don't even believe your own talking points about the free market leading to obscene profits for capitalist at the expense of the poor. If you really believed this you could enter the free market yourself offer much lower priced products to the poor.

It really boils down to socialists putting a gun to people's heads via the tax man and forcing people to give up their honestly earned money for something they don't want or need and to subsidize people that can't pay. This may make you compassionate in your own mind. To me this make you a thief.

 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:They did it

EXC wrote:

They did it themselves or as part of a communal social contract or they did without. Nothing wrong with that model if the dollars government or business charge are too much.

And we do it ourselves by electing a government to provide these services. Which is exactly the same. There's just a lot more of us now, and a lot more of us living together.

EXC wrote:

It is relevant. It shows that people can come up with their own alternative if they think the government is too costly and inefficient.

But the alternative is a government, so it's not relevant. Government still exists, and still has authority, and still provides these services.

EXC wrote:

The government only needs to be the arbiter and insurer of contractors that provide these services. This works fine for private companies that deliver your food and build your home. You still have not given me a rational reason why fire, police and medical is different. People that need extra security hire contractors all the time, this system works fine.

It doesn't address any of the scenarios that I laid out, that happen on a daily basis in society.

EXC wrote:

OK. So now we see that the real problem is that you did not have a reliable income.

You went in the wrong direction. I wasn't speaking of my personal finances, I was speaking of the finances of the businesses that were seasonal. They don't have sufficient income to have a proper computer network, or to defend it against intrusion. They don't have proper supplies. They don't have a proper residence for the business. They don't have dependable employees, because they can't afford to pay during the off season. That also means they don't have qualified employees. The list continues.

EXC wrote:

 If you did you could pay as you go for police, fire and medical services. And why not? Was it a failure of the socialized school system? Why didn't you study to become a nurse, since you would then have a reliable income with medical insurance. So we see the real problem is not the free market but socialized unaccountable education system and the choices that people make.

While you went in the wrong direction here, and this doesn't really apply to me, I can still address this quite easily.

The capitalized school system caused the socialized system to fail me, because it withdrew all of the best instructors and resources and put them in schools for the rich. Then I couldn't get into secondary schooling, because it cost too much in the capitalist system we live in, and the capitalist system raped the socialist one so severely that my instruction wasn't sufficient to gain a scholarship. I can't get a loan because I don't have a credit history. I can't change my credit history because I can't get a credit card or a loan. So I'm stuck on welfare, because of capitalism.

EXC wrote:

Still have not seen a reason why. Is it because some people can't afford or would have a hard time paying. Then fix that problem and not destroy the free market.

Come up with a way to fix that and we'll talk. I don't see one.

EXC wrote:

Again the problem is not the free market. It's that some people either don't have a marketable skill or they don't want to work so they can't pay for the insurance and services to handle these situations.

Or that the free market kept them from attaining a marketable skill, as per above. The socialist system will provide multiple marketable skills. Clearly superior.

EXC wrote:
 For the former category, I'm all in favor of funding programs proven to fix this problem. Whereas you want to subsidize failed education system and laziness.

There aren't any funding programs proven to fix these problems. Whereas I do not want to subsidize anything. I want amalgamation of the entire education system, as well as a reworking of it from the ground up.

EXC wrote:
I've seen houses that were fireproofed survive California firestorms virtually unscathed. I think only a nuclear weapon or meteor strike would destroy these home. In this case the fire department would not do them any good anyways. Under your system, there is no incentive to develop or install this type of technology. Just run an inefficient fire department cause someone else if paying for it.

And I've seen houses that were fireproofed reduced to ashes in B.C.'s annual firestorms. There are too many components that cannot be fireproofed. And fireproofing is exceptionally expensive. Especially if you are dealing with a premade structure. So who's going to pay for all of this? The people can't, they don't have the money to.

EXC wrote:

Why not? I can get an oil change in 15 minutes when the system is pay as you go.

An oil change isn't something we need available on a 24/7 basis. You can get an oil change whenever you want. You can even wait a week if you want to. Doctors, police, and fire are something we constantly need. And time is a exceptionally significant factor in emergency services. One minute can make a massive difference. One minute isn't going to make any difference to your car.

EXC wrote:
 Judges are the most unaccountable section in our society. This must change, no primadonna judges. Under socialism you still have to have a judge or bureaucrat deciding things.

But they can be elected, for once, instead of appointed.

EXC wrote:

Again this is a problem with an ineffective education system or bad choices you made, not the free market.

No, it's a problem with the capitalist system that forces me to be slave labour for the rich, as per above.

EXC wrote:
 If anyone in society should live in a military style disciplined environment, it should be you so you can train to be a nurse.

I didn't say military discipline would be spread through the nation, though I admit I was vague enough for you to get that impression. To avoid further errors in this argument: I'm also in favour of a massive restructuring of the military.

EXC wrote:
So you'd rather be a slave to the medical industry and pay whatever tax rate is necessary to ensure whatever expensive treatment they come up with is available?

I'm not a slave when my education is given to me for free in exchange for my application of it within the society.

EXC wrote:
 No one enjoys life we just all work our asses off to make sure we have 50% or more of the GDP to pay for any possible cure to every sickness.

That's another thing that would have to be reworked. The medical industry is focusing far too much attention on things that will simply turn around and bite us in the ass, like providing flu vaccinations that increases risk of death as well as increasing the risk of mutation within the virus itself. Capitalism doesn't have the power to change that, because people are free to keep providing meaningless services(note, I did not say technology). Socialism does.

EXC wrote:

Yes, but you and all the other bleeding-heart socialists could use the easy money/obscene profits to pay for medical insurance for the poor.

There is no poor. That's the whole point of socialism. Or at least, a significant portion of it.

EXC wrote:
Start a non-profit coop to provide medical services to whoever signs up.

I need a license to provide medical services. To get a license, I need an education (or access to someone who has one, but she or he'd be doing this on his own, why would he bother helping me when it's going to mean lesser profits for him?). To get an education, I need money. To get money, I need a job. To get a job, I need an education. Catch 22 in the flesh.

EXC wrote:
 Then it wouldn't be greed. You don't need much capital, just start with a small group to insure, then use the obscene profits to grow the business.

But I need capital, and I need a license, and I need qualified attendants, and I need a support staff, and I need a place of business, and I need to advertise, and the list continues. And as shown above, I have access to none of these.

EXC wrote:

You won't and other socialist won't because you don't even really believe your own propaganda.

Entirely incorrect. I won't because I can't. Because this isn't a socialist system, it's a capitalist one.

EXC wrote:
You can write a letter to a venture capitalist to get the money or write to a socialist like George Soros.

I'm not talking about starting a social net in a capitalist framework. For the last time, I'm talking about starting a socialist framework, and using capitalism to make it more malleable.

EXC wrote:

This is why socialism is like a religion, the people espousing it don't even believe their own propaganda,

Baseless assertion.

EXC wrote:
 it just make them feel holy and morally superior to others.

Ridiculous.

EXC wrote:
It's just like the Christians that claim prayer can heal people. Well if that's true, let's go to a cancer clinic and get scientific proof from double blind studies. But then through their actions they demonstrate that they don't believe that God heals the sick.

I'm going to start comparing you to a scientologist if you keep going down this path. It will be pathetically easy.

EXC wrote:

So I don't know what the point of arguing with you when you don't even believe your own talking points about the free market leading to obscene profits for capitalist at the expense of the poor. If you really believed this you could enter the free market yourself offer much lower priced products to the poor.

Another ridiculous and baseless assertion.

EXC wrote:

It really boils down to socialists putting a gun to people's heads via the tax man and forcing people to give up their honestly earned money for something they don't want or need and to subsidize people that can't pay. This may make you compassionate in your own mind. To me this make you a thief.

 

Par for the course, apparently. 4 ridiculous and unsupported assertions in a row. I now declare victory.

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Jormungander wrote:Vastet

Jormungander wrote:

Vastet wrote:


 

Lack of water has bankrupted California. Not a union.

As a Californian, let me jump in here. Lack of water is a problem, but it isn't bankrupting us. Senselessly high spending on un-needed projects is what is bankrupting us. We have the highest tax burden of any state in the Union and we are voting on some initiatives soon to increase our taxes more, yet the state is still in severe financial problems because of its senseless spending. I have heard that the State legislators and our Governor want to build a bullet train to Nevada. They have slashed funding to needed services such as higher education thanks to the budget problems, but they still want to throw money at un-needed projects like that bullet train. They also like to fund projects by selling bonds. That makes projects cost about twice as much. I remember when I voted against most of the previous propositions they stated that the proposition would cost some amount of money that would be covered by selling bonds, and they also stated that to pay back the bonds later would cost a far greater amount of money. Out of control spending is the only reason why California has a budget problem.

Spending on in-state infrastructure is not a problem, since the money, jobs and the infrastructure basically stay in the state. The problem is lack of funding (read: your taxes are too low and you let private money flow to off-shore accounts) and just the general pressure of the corrupt financial system California is a part of.

I don't understand why you people call it "tax burden"? Tax is the best way of making sure money at least once more gets to be spent by someone in California AND in a transparent manner, namely the government. Otherwise, it's in an account in Cyprus or Cayman Islands somewhere, out of sight and reach of anyone and anything in California.

Jormungander wrote:

They can't get employed in industry, so they get a government job that they won't be fired...

Because industry has a very high standard for competence. Just look at the bank sector - awesome stuff. How do people like you get dressed in the morning?

Jormungander wrote:

Their pay is also independent from their performance. They have no reason to be good at their jobs and they have not reputation to uphold.

In a system that works just barely, unlike anything in the US, there are budgets to be complied with and service level to uphold. Only when you introduce an option to PROFIT from the business, do you get speculation with the price and service level, since you want to charge as much as possible and service as little as possible. The most direct way to this self-buttfuck is the US system of state supported private ownership of everything.

This is the real existing relation in the US, not some school bench supply/demand bullshit. The way you earn real money in the US charging obscene cash for essential health service and servicing next to nothing. This is a much more direct model for the health and more generally the whole financial system in the US today.

Jormungander wrote:

We hate them and we can do nothing about it. Ask people about their feelings about bureaucrats. Their answers should be on par with their feelings about pedophiles. Bureaucrats are lazy, they don't care about their jobs, they are unemployable for virtually any other job, they can't get fired unless they are caught breaking the law on the job, they already have a horrible reputation that they uphold with their sloth and stupidity, the list goes on.....

I for one want lazy, unambitious and stupid people handling these things. Quite frankly, I am getting pretty fed up with the diligent, highly ambitious and smart people on the Wall Street.

Whatever else you want to say about social workers, at least they are not robbing you blind for billions of dollars worth of cash and property, while providing no service at all. Only privateers do that. Trust me, I know - I'm a privateer Eye-wink

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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Vastet wrote:And we do it

Vastet wrote:

And we do it ourselves by electing a government to provide these services. Which is exactly the same. There's just a lot more of us now, and a lot more of us living together.

Until modern times, these services were part of the social contracts. Today you have people that don't want or need services subsidizing people that never pay for these services. This system is unsustainable that is why all governments will go broke.

Vastet wrote:

EXC wrote:

You won't and other socialist won't because you don't even really believe your own propaganda.

Entirely incorrect. I won't because I can't. Because this isn't a socialist system, it's a capitalist one.

But there is nothing stopping socialists from starting their own non-profit and having whatever rules you want. What socialist rule can't you have in a non-profit you may start? Surely their is enough socialists that you could all volunteer your time to start whatever co-op you want to provide services.

Vastet wrote:
I'm not talking about starting a social net in a capitalist framework. For the last time, I'm talking about starting a socialist framework, and using capitalism to make it more malleable.

There is no one stopping socialist from doing this. All I'm saying is leave me the fuck alone. Start your little socialists utopia. Just don't take money from me and I won't ask for any crappy socialized medicine or other services. Let me do with my own money what I want. Can you let me do that or does there need to be a war with people that want to decide how to live their own lives and spend their own money?

All I am saying is leave me the fuck alone. Let my house burn down or let me killed if I don't want crappy socialist services. Is that too much to ask?

Vastet wrote:
Another ridiculous and baseless assertion.

No it is not. You can start any voluntary system you want. The question all boils down to do socialists have the right to force people to pay for services they don't want or need or have them continually subsidize the poor that can never pay.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:Until modern

EXC wrote:

Until modern times, these services were part of the social contracts.

Key word being - social.

EXC wrote:

Today you have people that don't want or need services subsidizing people that never pay for these services. This system is unsustainable that is why all governments will go broke.

You have ALWAYS had stupid idiots who think that they owe nothing to the community, even though everything they have is a direct result of well supplied and functioning community.

EXC wrote:

This system is unsustainable that is why all governments will go broke.

By that logic, having children would make us go broke. They contribute nothing to the work force, yet they eat, spend and generally are crazy consumers, and not all of them grow up to repay the debt to the society. Are we supposed to stop having children?

Effective and free health system more than pays itself in the form of fewer sick days, longer presence in the job market and generally greater stability of people benefiting from free and effective health care. Just like some ex-children create, so that all can benefit.

EXC wrote:

There is no one stopping socialist from doing this. All I'm saying is leave me the fuck alone. Start your little socialists utopia. Just don't take money from me and I won't ask for any crappy socialized medicine or other services. Let me do with my own money what I want. Can you let me do that or does there need to be a war with people that want to decide how to live their own lives and spend their own money?

It's not your money. The community prints it because of convenience and necessity. The more money you have, the more you are indebted to the community.

EXC wrote:

All I am saying is leave me the fuck alone. Let my house burn down or let me killed if I don't want crappy socialist services. Is that too much to ask?

Yes, it is too much to ask. You getting killed because of lack of insurrance will affect everyone. I can't let you sway in the wind, just like a house owner can't let his neighbor's house burn down - both their the values are linked.

Besides, not everyone choses not to get services out of principle, some are forced by lack of funds.

EXC wrote:

You can start any voluntary system you want. The question all boils down to do socialists have the right to force people to pay for services they don't want or need or have them continually subsidize the poor that can never pay.

No, it comes down to whether we want our basic health needs covered, so that we can focus on develpment, decision process and thee like

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EXC wrote:There is no one

EXC wrote:

There is no one stopping socialist from doing this. All I'm saying is leave me the fuck alone. Start your little socialists utopia. Just don't take money from me and I won't ask for any crappy socialized medicine or other services. Let me do with my own money what I want. Can you let me do that or does there need to be a war with people that want to decide how to live their own lives and spend their own money?

All I am saying is leave me the fuck alone. Let my house burn down or let me killed if I don't want crappy socialist services. Is that too much to ask?

This is my stance on the health care issue. If they really want it, then they should be allowed to form a government-funded health system. Just leave me out. Don't take a single penny from me to fund your sub-standard health care system. But please, spend your own taxes on it. So long as there is an opt-out option, I won't care that much about such proposed systems.

But realistically I know that they will drag others into the system. They aren't going to give us a choice on the matter. I'm pretty sure that Vastet's 'socialist framework' does not allow for much personal decision making. The last thing that they would want in such a framework is private competition. And they could so easily outlaw private competition and force EXC and me to pay into a health care system that we don't even want.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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ZuS wrote:EXC wrote:Until

ZuS wrote:

EXC wrote:

Until modern times, these services were part of the social contracts.

Key word being - social.

Key word being - contract.

You want to set up a system that is not a contract. A contract is a voluntary agreement where each part gives and receives. Your plan is for one party to receive and never have to contribute anything.

All non-belligerent relationships are based on a form of contract. Otherwise you have war, you want set up a system of class warfare. I want to put contrats in place.

ZuS wrote:
You have ALWAYS had stupid idiots who think that they owe nothing to the community, even though everything they have is a direct result of well supplied and functioning community.

I'd say they're pretty smart, they can survive because people like you will allow them operate this way.

ZuS wrote:
By that logic, having children would make us go broke. They contribute nothing to the work force, yet they eat, spend and generally are crazy consumers, and not all of them grow up to repay the debt to the society. Are we supposed to stop having children?

There is a social contract with children. There is also a genetic contract parents have with their offspring. They carry their genes, and since we have 'selfish genes', it's in the parents genetic interest to provide for them. Parents provide for their children and get their genes passed on in return.

EXC wrote:

Effective and free health system more than pays itself in the form of fewer sick days, longer presence in the job market and generally greater stability of people benefiting from free and effective health care. Just like some ex-children create, so that all can benefit.

No one is arguing that. But you want to set up a system that is doomed to go bankrupt because their is no rational plan to pay for it.

You an Vasset keep inventing a straw-man that I don't think services like medical, police and fire are important. I'm saying they are not absolutely vital like food and water. Therefore if they are too expensive and will eventually bankrupt society, we need to be free to say no to overpriced services and choose our own.

Also there is no reason to think the government can provide these services better than the free market. You keep saying that the government will ensure these services are provide. Look at Katrina, the N.O. police abandoned their post when they were needed most. There was no federal government in place to back them up. If the police were privatized, the companies could have sent police from other states. Instead the politicians like Bush didn't get fired, the victims of crime don't get to sue for their losses when the police stopped working. Same thing happened during the L.A. riots.

McDonald's and WalMart functioned better during the disaster than the police, hospitals and fire. They had an economic interest in getting back in business ASAP.

ZuS wrote:

It's not your money. The community prints it because of convenience and necessity. The more money you have, the more you are indebted to the community.

Well then I'll just stop working since I can't earn my own money. The more I work the more my debts go up, so it's insane to work.

Then why not privatize money? Have a barter system or something to compete with the Fed.

ZuS wrote:

Yes, it is too much to ask. You getting killed because of lack of insurance will affect everyone. I can't let you sway in the wind, just like a house owner can't let his neighbor's house burn down - both their the values are linked.

If I'm not taking any services from anyone without paying for them, how could that be a loss? My death would help the overpopulation problem. Does this mean I should not be allowed to skydive or participate in any extreme sport? I'm just a slave to the state?

If your neighbor's house burns down and yours doesn't the value may go up. You have open space next door and you reduce the supply of homes. Now if my home presents a danger to the neighborhood then one should force to buy protection against my home catching on fire causing damage to others. Same could be true of catching communicable diseases like tuberculosis, one should be force to pay for the costs of not being a danger to others.

 

ZuS wrote:

Besides, not everyone choses not to get services out of principle, some are forced by lack of funds.

So fix their personal problem of 'lack of funds' and don't reward failure. All you do is cause more people to have a 'lack of funds' by rewarding people for having a 'lack of funds'.

ZuS wrote:

No, it comes down to whether we want our basic health needs covered, so that we can focus on develpment, decision process and thee like

Because the definition of what is basic will always increase to whatever expensive technology is available. The only thing that will cause the medical services industry to reduce cost is when people say no to overly expensive treatment. Which means some people may suffer and die.

There won't be any money in the society for development of anything else, all the wealth goes to overpriced crappy medical service because you will eliminate competition and choice.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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No one is born with any

No one is born with any natural rights whatsoever

You aren't born with any rights to breathe, you arent born with any rights to live in a country, you arent born with any rights to own property, to work etc etc

These rights that you are given by a functioning society that is paid for and if it isnt paid for you lose those rights.

 

Do you own a TV merely because you you worked for it and paid for it, absolutely NOT

You own it because you have a functioning legal system that frames work, trade and legal contracts (no such thing as private property without a functioning government/state)

 


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EXC wrote:If I'm not taking

EXC wrote:

If I'm not taking any services from anyone without paying for them, how could that be a loss?

Your death would instill fear. Fear is not a good thing to base decisions on. If you killed yourself - that is another thing, but you didn't. You died because you could not afford social security - that is grounds for fear.

EXC wrote:

Because the definition of what is basic will always increase to whatever expensive technology is available.

The whole concept of basic need is really grounded in perceived difference of levels of satisfaction. We have people who own billions (you call them smart and successful somewhere in that last post) and we have people who can not afford the next meal for themselves and their children, even though they work 3 full time jobs and are veterans of wars started by the rich (these people you call failures).

Reducing this difference would deminish percieved difference of levels of satisfaction and effectively put the discussion about social security in it's rightful place - more managerial, less political.

EXC wrote:

The only thing that will cause the medical services industry to reduce cost is when people say no to overly expensive treatment. Which means some people may suffer and die.

Oh, no you are wrong. Look at the health industry in Denmark - doctors here are just as wealthy and respected, we just have no insurance-CEOs with hundreds of billions stashed away in off-shore accounts, or the lobbying firms that go with that. Our health industry is doing ok, sick people get treated no matter what and they can choose any hospital in the country - free of charge. Naturally, it's not a free-for-all and you have to go through proper channels, but you get the treatment needed. Effectively the only discussion about the health system is optimizing cost for the regions and the state, while keeping level of service in mind.

I pay taxes that make this system run and I still end up with 10 times the salary of an average worker in the US. The overall financial system is fucked, but not as fucked as basically any of our full-blown capitalist neighbors or the USA, since we do not allow the amount of gambling you guys do. We owe money to no one and have just finished paying off our debt a couple of years back. In fact, I would call Denmark more of a social/reasonable capitalist state more geared towards the needs rather than wants, while I would call the US a full blown socialist state - for the rich and corporations only, naturally.

Of course, we are still a fascist society when it comes to foreign policy, just like the US, so we need some serious work on that.

EXC wrote:

There won't be any money in the society for development of anything else, all the wealth goes to overpriced crappy medical service because you will eliminate competition and choice.

Nope. Medical services are cheap for the state and for the consumers in Denmark. Money stays in the state instead of the tax-havens. The choice is optimal - you can go anywhere in the country and get treatment for free. There are even some private practitioners paid by the state, if you should choose to go with those. Those are significantly more expensive for the state, so they get a lot of work only if lines in the public health service are unacceptable. They are still quite wealthy by normal standards.

As for competition - you are right, there isn't much. But to assume that private businesses would promote competition, you have to be fucking kidding me. Look at the US market and tell me how competition-friendly the giant insurance companies are. They want to do what they want, when they want, how they want and charge what they want for it. They don't want any competition introducing silly things like reasonable conditions for customers. And they have whole teams of lobbyists just for the purpose.

Legislators know what's up, that's why Cheney sticks to the federal social plan with all the heart conditions he needs taken care of. If he was on some private insurance, his ass might have been dead by now. Socialist state - rich and corporations only need apply.

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EXC wrote: Until modern

EXC wrote:

 

Until modern times, these services were part of the social contracts.

They still are.

EXC wrote:
Today you have people that don't want or need services subsidizing people that never pay for these services. This system is unsustainable that is why all governments will go broke.

Feel free to point at some people who don't need emergency services, so I can show you how they do.

EXC wrote:

But there is nothing stopping socialists from starting their own non-profit and having whatever rules you want.

Yes there is: A society based in capitalism.

EXC wrote:
 What socialist rule can't you have in a non-profit you may start? Surely their is enough socialists that you could all volunteer your time to start whatever co-op you want to provide services.

And due to capitalism, it is only a matter of time before there is no resources left to work with, because a capitalist will have found a way to make money off of the strategy.

Not to mention that all of us socialists wouldn't have the time, since we'd all have to be working harder than ever to provide the funding to make your suggestion work in the first place(while remaining in a home with food available), meaning we'd have no time for the project. You seem to have no idea whatsoever that what you are suggesting is literally impossible in a capitalist society.

EXC wrote:

There is no one stopping socialist from doing this.

Everyone is stopping a socialist from doing this.

EXC wrote:
 All I'm saying is leave me the fuck alone.

I won't, because you won't leave me alone.

EXC wrote:
 Start your little socialists utopia.

Impossible. People like you won't let it happen without a fight. I'm not willing to war over this. It would be counter to the very principals of the idea in the first place.

EXC wrote:
 Just don't take money from me and I won't ask for any crappy socialized medicine or other services. Let me do with my own money what I want. Can you let me do that or does there need to be a war with people that want to decide how to live their own lives and spend their own money?

All I am saying is leave me the fuck alone. Let my house burn down or let me killed if I don't want crappy socialist services. Is that too much to ask?

Fine. But don't bitch and whine when the inevitable happens and you lose everything because you weren't willing to support a system so it would be there when you needed it.

EXC wrote:
 
Vastet wrote:
Another ridiculous and baseless assertion.

No it is not. You can start any voluntary system you want. The question all boils down to do socialists have the right to force people to pay for services they don't want or need or have them continually subsidize the poor that can never pay.

Strawman. Everyone needs access to emergency services at some time or another. Therefore they are paying for services that they DO need. And one more time: there is no poor.

Your entire argument in every aspect against socialism is a strawman in every sense of the word, so your assertion that I'm the one making a strawman is just completely laughable.

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ZuS wrote:Money stays in the

ZuS wrote:

Money stays in the state instead of the tax-havens.

You keep using this as a reason to increase taxes. Is a significant portion of US currency taken out of circulation and placed in tax havens? I have never heard someone making a big deal over this. I thought that tax havens held such an insignificant amount of our currency that it just doesn't matter. It certainly is not a reason to increase taxes.

Or are you talking about corporate tax havens that let companies pay low taxes? Places like Hong Kong and Ireland do manipulate their tax rates to entice companies. That does lead to them getting businesses to start head quarters in those countries rather than the US. But increasing taxes will only make more companies flee. The whole point of what they are doing is undercutting us on taxes. Increasing our taxes lets them undercut us even more.

 

ZuS wrote:

we just have no insurance-CEOs with hundreds of billions stashed away in off-shore accounts

What? I want to get some sources on this. This sounds suspiciously like you are making it up.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Vastet wrote:They still

Vastet wrote:

They still are.

No the socialist have largely made health and other services rights. This means you get them no matter what you do or don't do. A contract requires both parties to give something.

Vastet wrote:
Feel free to point at some people who don't need emergency services, so I can show you how they do.

OK, myself and at least half the population can afford to pay private insurance for security, fire and ambulance services. Again why must they be government run services? The only answer is that some people can afford to pay for them. Fix that problem.

Feel free to point at some people who don't need food, clothing and shelter. Yet these industries are largely privatized and run more efficiently than government services.

Vastet wrote:
Yes there is: A society based in capitalism.

Explain how a free market prevents you from starting a non-profit health insurance company?

EXC wrote:
 What socialist rule can't you have in a non-profit you may start? Surely their is enough socialists that you could all volunteer your time to start whatever co-op you want to provide services.

Vastet wrote:
 Not to mention that all of us socialists wouldn't have the time, since we'd all have to be working harder than ever to provide the funding to make your suggestion work in the first place(while remaining in a home with food available), meaning we'd have no time for the project. You seem to have no idea whatsoever that what you are suggesting is literally impossible in a capitalist society.

But the capitalists have time to start new companies all the time. Does this mean you are admitting socialist are lazier than capitalists? And your basic concept is to prevent non-lazy people from making more money and getting better things like health services.

Vastet wrote:
 Everyone is stopping a socialist from doing this.

You never mention one specific thing that is stopping you.

Vastet wrote:
I won't, because you won't leave me alone.

What???? What is anyone doing to you socialists to stop you from starting your non-profit co-ops?

You on the other hand are trying to tax people to death and take away all their hard-earned property.

EXC wrote:
 Start your little socialists utopia.

Vastet wrote:
Impossible. People like you won't let it happen without a fight.

What the fuck am I doing to you???? Do whatever the fuck you want just tell the tax man to leave me alone!

Vastet wrote:
Fine. But don't bitch and whine when the inevitable happens and you lose everything because you weren't willing to support a system so it would be there when you needed it.

Fine. There is the solution. Just let people like me sign a waiver that we don't want crappy government services and we don't pay.

You can live in a fantasy world that government services will always be there when you need them(as in Katrina). That social security and medicare will pay out. And that Canada won't go broke paying for free unlimited medical services after they deforest and over-mine the entire country to pay for it.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Jormungander wrote:ZuS

Jormungander wrote:

ZuS wrote:

Money stays in the state instead of the tax-havens.

You keep using this as a reason to increase taxes. Is a significant portion of US currency taken out of circulation and placed in tax havens? I have never heard someone making a big deal over this. I thought that tax havens held such an insignificant amount of our currency that it just doesn't matter. It certainly is not a reason to increase taxes.

Or are you talking about corporate tax havens that let companies pay low taxes? Places like Hong Kong and Ireland do manipulate their tax rates to entice companies. That does lead to them getting businesses to start head quarters in those countries rather than the US. But increasing taxes will only make more companies flee. The whole point of what they are doing is undercutting us on taxes. Increasing our taxes lets them undercut us even more.

People stashing public money out of the system, using foreign holding, bogus suppliers, bogus religious and humanitarian organisations operating with financial impunity and avoiding paying taxes in all kinds of creative ways is not an insignificant issue. People entrusted with running the economy have evidently no interest in the general public, which is a grave problem for any community.

Your argument about China undercutting us - are we supposed to sink to their level of public service, so that Lockheed Martin can get another 0 on their profit margin this year? This is lunacy, of course. Our political as well as our economic effort should be directed towards lifting China up, not cutting our own countries down.

Jormungander wrote:

ZuS wrote:

we just have no insurance-CEOs with hundreds of billions stashed away in off-shore accounts

What? I want to get some sources on this. This sounds suspiciously like you are making it up.

I don't think you understand the size of the problem here. Here's a pretty cool guy going through a few of the numbers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1KvVJ53ba8

And here's his source: http://www.uspirg.org/news-releases/product-safety2/product-safety-news2/washington-d.c.-new-study-highlights-100-billion-a-year-hidden-in-off-shore-tax-havens

Check the report in pdf.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.