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Author Topic: Presidentail Elections  (Read 115 times)
DAZ
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Presidentail Elections
« on: October 04, 2007, 11:44:39 AM »

I am the last person to want to talk about politics, I think Juno can vouch for that, but this next election has managed to raise my interest enough to come out of my cynicism and pay attention. The democrat and republican parties for the last decade have been more or less the same. Both groups want control over what you can and can't do. Both want to take all that money you've worked so hard for to spend on various pointless ventures in foreign wars and attempts to prop up a failing welfare state. The only noticeable difference is the areas in which they want to control you and which programs they try to prop up.

I've been watching both sides and regardless of who gets elected amongst the "top tier" on either side, we'll get more of the same. The only people saying anything different are Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. Kucinich is a nice guy, but his views on welfare confound me. The taxation that would be required to maintain them would be astronomical. That leaves Ron Paul. I disagree with him on some fundamental issues, but he's an interesting candidate. He wants to reduce government spending, reduce taxation, end all foreign entanglements (wars, troop deployments, UN, NATO, GAT, etc.) decrease the size of the federal bureaucracy and return much of the legislative power back to the states which was lost. He's running as a republican though, not a libertarian. He's worth reading up on and may, from what I know so far actually be worth voting for, and I haven't done that in a long time.
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Silverain
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Re: Presidentail Elections
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2007, 04:06:48 PM »

Kucinich is a weird radical, he's been after the presidency for years and years, but no important party will touch him.

I don't think we have a 'failing welfare state', I think we could do great if we spent money more efficiently and slimmed down that massive defense budget a little.  Oh, and Social Security needs a serious overhaul, because it's out of date and it was never designed to take the strain it's under now.  I'm already resigned to paying for the care of the baby boomers, but I would rather like the next generation to pay for their own damn retirement.
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DAZ
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Re: Presidentail Elections
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2007, 11:33:51 AM »

We're currently functioning, poorly  but functioning, under several systems that were created for temporary relief at various times but were never phased out like they were intended. Social Security, welfare as a whole, and the "Voluntary Federal Income Tax" were all intended to cover temporary needs. The first two were to assist people who were impacted by the great depression and even then they were both "opt in" systems. The income tax was originally actually voluntary and meant to prop up the production of weapons and such for WWII. We functioned for quite a long time before that without any of those systems and were prospering. Those who have committed so fully to those systems that they can't survive without them need to be taken care of sure, but they should all be phased out completely. If you end the first two and pull our troops home, you don't need the FICA. The taxes from other areas are sufficient and even if they weren't all it takes is putting in a Luxury Tax and that covers the difference.

Its not and should not be the government's job to take care of us. Its job is to protect our freedoms and our lives. If you ask any doctor what they think would be the best thing for the medicine and improving patient care and all that, unless they're just in it for the money, they'll say to have the government out of it. The extra levels of bureaucracy and regulation provide an ounce of protections in exchange for a gallon of complications. No matter how well managed a welfare program may be, the open, unregulated market trends down in prices and combined with the extra on hand money you have without FICA, your more than capable of taking care of yourself. We've got statistical data proving that the Department of Homeland Security has actually decreased the effectiveness of our intelligence gathering and safety thanks to their huge size and varied, sometimes conflicting, areas of responsibility.

Ultimately I don't think it matters how much money you pump into it, the federal government will never produce results even close to on par as the free market at a comparative cost.
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Nephtys
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Re: Presidentail Elections
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2007, 01:43:44 PM »

Just one question:

Quote from: DAZ
Its not and should not be the government's job to take care of us. Its job is to protect our freedoms and our lives.

Aren't you contradicting yourself there? Imagine a poor family who have barely the money to survive as it is. Suddenly their child gets ill, some complicated disease. Said disease is curable, but the cure will be expensive.

The family can't pay that cure, that much is for sure. So what's to become of the child? If it's the government's job to protect our lives, shouldn't the government help that child?
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Re: Presidentail Elections
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2007, 02:16:57 PM »

There are a few things to consider in that situation. 1) A revocation of the FICA severely decreases poverty and thrusts more people into the middle class and places them in a better situation to take care of themselves. 2) These kinds of humanitarian causes are things that should definitely be taken care of. That child and family need help from an outside source. That source should not be the federal government. That source should be coming from friends and neighbors and community groups. Barring any kind of community support, which in and of itself would be a horrible state, the city or state government should handle it. Never the federal.
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Re: Presidentail Elections
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2007, 06:31:23 PM »

I disagree with your view that the capitalist market is inherently fair and will work for the betterment of the people.  The open, unregulated capitalist market works for the bottom line, and eventually, as we're seeing now, the strong take over the weak and we end up with massive corporations with little to no real competition.  EX:  Oil companies are not completing, they're simply working different areas.  And health care corporations are little better than mafia protection rackets.  You pay them hundred upon thousands of dollars only for them to turn around say: "well, it was a preexisting condition" or "oh that's not covered."  An unregulated market does not work for the benefit of consumer.

Quote
1) A revocation of the FICA severely decreases poverty and thrusts more people into the middle class and places them in a better situation to take care of themselves.
a "decrease" in poverty does not eliminate it.  We can't say we've solved the problem when all we've done is make the problem smaller.  Or heck, even make the problem look smaller by cooking the numbers to make the middle class start from a lower common point and end at a higher point.

Quote
community groups.
community groups are bunk.  The libertarian concept that all of humanity should essentially be reduced into minimalist groups that act much like the Russian "Soviets"  did before they were merged into the USSR is such an unrealistic goal it's not even funny.  It strips people of the feeling of being connected, instead concentrating effort into what is essentially a selfish drive as it focuses people to think and act on local levels while ignoring the rest of the world.  We are moving into an age of interconnectedness, separating people is bad(not to mention impossible).

Ron Paul's isolationist views are silly in the modern age.  We cannot in any sense separate ourselves from the world.  Pull out of global trade groups, well, maybe we should make stuff ourselves first.  The biggest problem with isolationism is that if we somehow manage to separate ourselves from the world for any amount of time, the world will either collapse into total chaos with the removal of the massive American market, or it will heal over us and then when we try and reenter, there will be no place for us.

Not to mention that isolationist countries in the past have notoriously fallen behind in almost all kinds of development.  It is our interaction with outside forces and contests with them to see who becomes the best first that strengthens us.  It is no surprise that many technological advances are wrought from conflict.  The social interaction and self preservation that empowers us during those times would completely vanish in an isolated society where there are no outside factors to compete with.

And what happens in these "community groups" when there is nobody to provide a certain service?  They go to another group, and then those groups work together, and then we repeat the actions of primitive nation-states thousands of years ago.  small groups get scared of big group, little groups merge with other groups, tension build, conflict gets worse.  Now instead of a semi-functional system, we've got a myriad of small groups trying to kill each other.  I don't see the point in going back in time a thousand year or so and reenacting history.

---

The federal government should provide a base for all basic necessities that people need.  Power, gas, water, communication, transportation, employment, education, protection and health.  Then the states can decide if they want to provide more of those things, but can never provide less, or outsource them to private sectors.  Then counties can repeat this process, followed by cities and towns.  Each of course would require increased tax.  But that way the basics would be covered.
People would have utilities covered by taxes, to a point, people would have access to the news(communication), to a point, people would have roads, sidewalks and buses, but would need their own cars if they wanted one.  People would have a place they could go to help find a job, they would have schools for education, police, fire, and medical at the very least at a basic federal level.

Businesses would no longer have to fight with unions over benefits, as the government would provide them.  Students would no longer have to bury themselves in debt to get a decent education beyond k-12.

No, these libertarian policies of laize faire government are destructive and our history has shown that, people do not have the capabilities to provide all necessary services in community groups, that is where the government steps in and does things.

On the subject of presidential candidates, I want Edwards to win.
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heyIMmike
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Re: Presidentail Elections
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2007, 12:21:05 AM »

Ok, now I have to fist admit that I'm not a US government history expert, espeically where things like taxes and the like come from.

I would like to call your following statement into question:
Quote from: DAZ on October 05, 2007, 11:33:51 AM
If you end the first two and pull our troops home, you don't need the FICA. The taxes from other areas are sufficient and even if they weren't all it takes is putting in a Luxury Tax and that covers the difference.

I can not disagree with you more.  I somehow doubt you truely understand the costs involved, from the government, to keep you in your happy little world as you currently know it.  I work for the USDOT, and so I'll speak from that perspective.  The interstate system, which does everything from transporting you to your groceries, is paid for out of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).  The HTF is in turn funded by the federal taxes that you pay every time you fill up your car with gas.  As it stands now, the HTF is running out of money.  We are spending more than is going in.  This is fact.  Another fact is that our transportation system is aging, and without more funds it will become increasingly harder to maintain what we have.  The potential for more incidents like what happened in Minnesota is very real.  So to say that taxes from other areas are sufficient is laughable at best.

No, taxes are not fun, but they are what have enabled this nation to become what it is.  Take taxes away, and this nation will come to a halt.
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Re: Presidentail Elections
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2007, 01:55:03 AM »

Quote from: DAZ on October 05, 2007, 11:33:51 AM
Luxury Tax and that covers the difference.
I didn't see this before so:
our government will burn in a hellfire of civil unrest if they EVER tried to put in a luxury tax.
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DAZ
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Re: Presidentail Elections
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2007, 11:30:04 AM »

Sorry for a delayed response, been busy with a few things.

Destroyer: In response to your first comments: You are confusing what we have now with a Free Market. The United States hasn't operated under a free market since very early in its life, and even then teh government regulated trade to a degree. The massive monopolistic corporations we have today are a direct product of government intervention and corporate subsidy/welfare. These are companies who, by all rights, should have gone bankrupt and been replaced by newer more agile companies over a decade ago but were propped up by the government and have therefore become the monolithic entities we have today.
In direct response to your two examples. Oil companies without government subsidies will all of a sudden find themselves forced to either charge $7+ a gallon for gas to break even or finally divest from oil and stop blocking new energy technologies which have been viable for over ten years. Government intervention leads to more government intervention. By subsidizing oil, the US government created a situation where the oil companies could become artificially profitable while also creating the ability for the oil companies to raise prices anyway and abuse the subsidies to generate even more profits.
In regards to health care. The rise of medical insurance companies directly falls in line with government regulation in medicine. As more and more regulation is put in place, the cost of medical care rises due to additional steps that have to be taken for compliance. On top of this, the abuse of tort lawsuits and subsequent damages paid further increases the liability doctors find themselves under and they then are forced to seek insurance against such lawsuits and this further drives prices up. These two factors raise the cost of health care so high that insurance companies have a viable business as they have a service that is needed not just helpful as insurance should be. This in turn requires the government to put in further regulation to avoid abuses and offer their own health care supplements to compensate for the rising costs they themselves created.

It is impossible to eliminate poverty. End of statement, the best you can do is make sure that as few people are in poverty as possible and make sure that people have the means to help others should they find themselves charitable to do so. An Income tax directly impacts the ability of the populous to support itself and places people who would not be and should not be into a subsistence income level. At a subsistence level of income there is little room for personal charity. Removing the FICA is not, "cooking the numbers" its letting people keep and spend the money they earn.  In response to the comment on the luxury tax, I will point out that its infinitely more fair than a FICA, seeing as the luxury tax can be avoided and does not directly impact your ability to feed/cloth/shelter yourself whereas the FICA does. I don't believe people are as adverse to the idea of a Luxury Tax as you think.

Isolationism vs Non-interventionism: I feel you are confusing Dr Paul's ideas of non-intervention with isolation. Under his policies, were they enacted, US citizens would be encouraged to be more involved with the world stage both economically and diplomatically. The only thing he's talking about pulling out of is military entanglements and economic obligations. Free Trade Agreements and economic friendships only need to exist when there is government interference in trade in the first place. By pulling our military off foreign soil we dramatically improve our image around the world with that simple act. Ron Paul, also, isn't saying never go to war, he's saying, never be the aggressor, and don't involve ourselves in wars without end. If there is a clear goal and the people want it, declare war, go in, get it done, get out. If no clear goal and terms of "victory" can be defined then we shouldn't commit our military or our nations resources to it.

You are also misunderstanding the very concept of a community group. They exist already in the forms of clubs, church groups, and local volunteer organizations. To say community groups should help take care of the people around them is the very opposite of separating people. We're saying that as a culture, our interconnected society shouldn't just be interconnected at an intellectual level, but at a social and charitable level as well. These concepts cannot be enforced or instigated by a government, however, as there will always be dissenters who do not want to participate in such groups. It is their right to do abstain should they chose and not the government's right to force anything on anyone beyond enforcing the basic concept of not infringing on someone else's rights. Community groups, in the past, did exactly what I'm talking about, its only in the last two or three decades that this has changed and it still happens in smaller towns even today. Also, on the notion that they "can't take care of everything". Of course they can't, but if someone is sick in their group who can't afford to see a doctor, and none of them are doctors doesn't mean the person isn't taken care of. It means the community group works together and collects donations from its members and other parties willing to help to pay a doctor.

On the idea that the government should supply all services: This socialist concept is one i cannot agree with at a very basic level especially in education. Government run/funded schooling receives government approved/provided education which perpetuates the state and stagnates the intellectual development of a nation as different view points die out.

On the statement: "libertarian policies of laize faire government are destructive and our history has shown that"
I would like you to cite some examples here because without any there is no direct items to refute the statement as no basis has been provided for it.

In response to heyIMmike: http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul405.html This link is an article by Ron Paul and a better response to that exact issue than I could formulate myself.
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Re: Presidentail Elections
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2007, 11:48:34 AM »

well i con't give an expert opinion for the simple reason that i don't live in the US and also i haven't study the political enviroment of this country but one think that i can say for certain is that you must thimk in who's your country going and if you really support the national plan that George W. Bush is taking place on the US and also if you support the Irak invasion (for the 99% of the world is an invasion my self included) also you must think that rates of unemployment that is takin place in your country but one thing that, and also i completely refuse that fact that the goverment has take a excuse of the 9/11 for breakin some of the basic freedoms of the people of north america and some othr things that could be wrong for some persons for others not that going to depend but you must think in what pryect for you country want and select one of the options of the candidates and see if some of them share it or it close to it
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Re: Presidentail Elections
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2007, 02:42:10 PM »

Quote from: DAZ on October 09, 2007, 11:30:04 AM
Destroyer: In response to your first comments: You are confusing what we have now with a Free Market. The United States hasn't operated under a free market since very early in its life, and even then teh government regulated trade to a degree. The massive monopolistic corporations we have today are a direct product of government intervention and corporate subsidy/welfare. These are companies who, by all rights, should have gone bankrupt and been replaced by newer more agile companies over a decade ago but were propped up by the government and have therefore become the monolithic entities we have today.
I am aware that we are not in a "true" free market, and I do not advocate us being in one.  And some of these companies you reference are our farmers, something I think we can agree that we need.  And them going out of business, is bad.

Quote
In direct response to your two examples. Oil companies without government subsidies will all of a sudden find themselves forced to either charge $7+ a gallon for gas to break even or finally divest from oil and stop blocking new energy technologies which have been viable for over ten years.
I doube they would need to charge so much, especially with their current reported profits sans government subsidies. 

Quote
In regards to health care. The rise of medical insurance companies directly falls in line with government regulation in medicine. As more and more regulation is put in place, the cost of medical care rises due to additional steps that have to be taken for compliance. On top of this, the abuse of tort lawsuits and subsequent damages paid further increases the liability doctors find themselves under and they then are forced to seek insurance against such lawsuits and this further drives prices up. These two factors raise the cost of health care so high that insurance companies have a viable business as they have a service that is needed not just helpful as insurance should be. This in turn requires the government to put in further regulation to avoid abuses and offer their own health care supplements to compensate for the rising costs they themselves created.
The abuse of lawsuits is a social problem not a government one for starters.  Those won't end regardless of government action or giant corporations until we change mindsets of people.  As more situations arisa, more regulations will be necessary, that's not that I don't agree that there are probly a lot of over protective regulations, but this also goes back to why the guys who write manuals for RV owners had to put in "you can not leave the driver seat to make yourself a sandwich while driving", because some dimwit did it.  Government regulation of medicine is necessary, we can't simply go around letting people try Brand X, Y, and Z and have it kill them until people realize that only Brand's A+Z work.

Quote
It is impossible to eliminate poverty. End of statement, the best you can do is make sure that as few people are in poverty as possible and make sure that people have the means to help others should they find themselves charitable to do so. An Income tax directly impacts the ability of the populous to support itself and places people who would not be and should not be into a subsistence income level.
of course it does, but we like our government services, and the government can't be run on good intentions.

Quote
At a subsistence level of income there is little room for personal charity. Removing the FICA is not, "cooking the numbers" its letting people keep and spend the money they earn.  In response to the comment on the luxury tax, I will point out that its infinitely more fair than a FICA, seeing as the luxury tax can be avoided and does not directly impact your ability to feed/cloth/shelter yourself whereas the FICA does. I don't believe people are as adverse to the idea of a Luxury Tax as you think.
Food and shelter are not my only concerns, if people were happy with simply having food and shelter, well I don't really know what the world would be like, prolby a lot simpler.  But the point is, when my new monitor, which is a luxury, runs a 25% tax on $250, well, surprise, I'm not as willing to buy it.  Maybe it WAS a necessity for me as my old monitor broke, do I have to fill out paperwork to the government to prove this?  No, I shouldn't have to.  We need a luxury tax like we need a bullet to the brain.

To be honest I don't think most people know what a luxury tax is, or know as many europeans as I do that constantly bitch about having pay some 20% more for everything from shampoo to cars.

Quote
Isolationism vs Non-interventionism: I feel you are confusing Dr Paul's ideas of non-intervention with isolation. Under his policies, were they enacted, US citizens would be encouraged to be more involved with the world stage both economically and diplomatically. The only thing he's talking about pulling out of is military entanglements and economic obligations. Free Trade Agreements and economic friendships only need to exist when there is government interference in trade in the first place. By pulling our military off foreign soil we dramatically improve our image around the world with that simple act. Ron Paul, also, isn't saying never go to war, he's saying, never be the aggressor, and don't involve ourselves in wars without end. If there is a clear goal and the people want it, declare war, go in, get it done, get out. If no clear goal and terms of "victory" can be defined then we shouldn't commit our military or our nations resources to it.
I agree with his stances on wars, but I don't agree on the UN point as simply, the UN, while not the most functional thing developed, is a necessary thing to at least TRY to bring the world together.  As for most of our economic "entanglements", those I would have to pick and choose from.  Some are bad, some aren't, but even if we pull out, simply being a part of the Earth means we'll get involved in more.

Quote
You are also misunderstanding the very concept of a community group. They exist already in the forms of clubs, church groups, and local volunteer organizations.
then I misunderstood.
Quote
To say community groups should help take care of the people around them is the very opposite of separating people. We're saying that as a culture, our interconnected society shouldn't just be interconnected at an intellectual level, but at a social and charitable level as well.
again, this goes to my misunderstanding.  I have been afronted by the concept that all human society should break down into groups of about a thousand.
Quote
These concepts cannot be enforced or instigated by a government, however, as there will always be dissenters who do not want to participate in such groups. It is their right to do abstain should they chose and not the government's right to force anything on anyone beyond enforcing the basic concept of not infringing on someone else's rights.
generally I feel the only way to achieve social change is with a little propaganda, which I'm not entirely opposed to.
Quote
Community groups, in the past, did exactly what I'm talking about, its only in the last two or three decades that this has changed and it still happens in smaller towns even today. Also, on the notion that they "can't take care of everything". Of course they can't, but if someone is sick in their group who can't afford to see a doctor, and none of them are doctors doesn't mean the person isn't taken care of. It means the community group works together and collects donations from its members and other parties willing to help to pay a doctor.
Since how I interpreted it was wrong, I'll address this, it's very communistic, which means it's very idealistic and therefore very prone to corruption and falling apart.  I think the change you mention has much to do with people being afraid of each other, for sometimes very real, or very imagined reasons.  Again, if we got the media to focus on good things, ran a little propaganda about how awesome it is to do good things, we could change that.

Quote
On the idea that the government should supply all services: This socialist concept is one i cannot agree with at a very basic level especially in education. Government run/funded schooling receives government approved/provided education which perpetuates the state and stagnates the intellectual development of a nation as different view points die out.
I think the problem is that it's being approached from the wrong angle.  I also don't believe that all parents are capable of educating their kids, nor are private schools capable of providing any better an education than public schools.  And I don't think the government should handle all services, just the basic ones.

Quote
On the statement: "libertarian policies of laize faire government are destructive and our history has shown that"
I would like you to cite some examples here because without any there is no direct items to refute the statement as no basis has been provided for it.
I refer you to early industiral america before the formation of unions.  This was a time when the government felt it should not interfere in business affairs.  What it lead to was horrible working conditions, terrible pay, and people tearing at each others throats for scraps while millionaire businessmen laughed in their faces.  Here is how lazie faire government policies are destructive, and those past events are the reason we're in the situation we're in now, with overzealous unions who think they should run everything and people should get rich for doing squat while the company higher up's suck it.
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Re: Presidentail Elections
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2007, 05:16:41 PM »

Quote
I am aware that we are not in a "true" free market, and I do not advocate us being in one.  And some of these companies you reference are our farmers, something I think we can agree that we need.  And them going out of business, is bad.

Government regulation is the very reason farmers are in such a bad situation today. Heavy regulations dictate what a farmer can and can't grow and when he can grow it. These limitations make it very difficult for the farmers to make a living.

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I doube they would need to charge so much, especially with their current reported profits sans government subsidies.

The US spends more than twenty billion dollars annually on oil subsidies, from tax breaks, investment costs, research costs, and environmental cleanup costs. Though crude oil as of today is only 1.22 a gallon, after processing and refining, costs, of course rise to the levels on average to about what we're paying today. However, if the government didn't provide all those tax breaks and other cost coverages, the companies would be forced to pay those costs out of pocket, which would push the cost of fuel up dramatically in order for them to break even.

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The abuse of lawsuits is a social problem not a government one for starters.

This is true, however, I counter that the government is the one being come to for adjudication in the case of tort lawsuits and it is well within the governments powers to reconsider and reform the rules/laws that revolve around tort cases.

Quote
Government regulation of medicine is necessary, we can't simply go around letting people try Brand X, Y, and Z and have it kill them until people realize that only Brand's A+Z work.

I would first ask, "Why not?" but from a practical side i understand your viewpoint. The FDA is the only group really being talked about here, but lets look at them. Every year we have new scares about drugs doing horrible things to people even after they've already received FDA approval. A business could very easily take the place of the FDA and likely produce better results. Currently, if Company A produces a drug and the FDA approves it and then it causes problems, who gets sued? Company A. Is the FDA sued or found culpable at all? No, because no one wants to fight the government. Example: Company A makes drugs. Company B has set themselves up as a certification and testing company for drugs. Company A pays company B for testing and assuming all tests pass certification. The consumer knows Company B exists and sees the certification and trusts company As product because of it. Company C skips going through Company B or any of Company Bs competitors and just goes straight to market. Company C can likely sell for less but will also likely sell less volume as Company A thanks to Company Bs testing that C did not receive. In the event that Company B screws up and Company As product is bad for you, they're all just companies and both Company A and B are liable not just Company A. This splits the burden of liability and actually makes The market friendlier to both businesses and at the same time still protects the consumer. If company C's drug is bad, then Company C is 100% liable so they have incentive to use a company like Company B as well.

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of course it does, but we like our government services, and the government can't be run on good intentions.

Its not run off the FICA either. The FICA makes up so little of the federal budget that the interest on government debts isn't even covered by it each year. Our military spending is paid for, or at least till recent events has been paid for, by Corporate Income Tax. Various other areas of spending, from education to the FDA, to mammoth byzantine structures like the DHS are paid for by either printed money from taxes on goods/services or by printed money from the fed which lowers the value of the currency and impacts the buying/saving power of the citizens at the end of that chain, IE us. Also, most of these government sponsored services cost much more than services on the open market would because you pay for yourself and random person #32 who can't afford to pay. Its difficult to compare with real world examples though because existing companies have no incentive to charge less than the government because they can frequently offer better service with ease and therefore charge more.

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Food and shelter are not my only concerns, if people were happy with simply having food and shelter, well I don't really know what the world would be like, prolby a lot simpler.  But the point is, when my new monitor, which is a luxury, runs a 25% tax on $250, well, surprise, I'm not as willing to buy it.  Maybe it WAS a necessity for me as my old monitor broke, do I have to fill out paperwork to the government to prove this?  No, I shouldn't have to.  We need a luxury tax like we need a bullet to the brain.

To be honest I don't think most people know what a luxury tax is, or know as many europeans as I do that constantly bitch about having pay some 20% more for everything from shampoo to cars.

When it comes to that basic idea of fighting poverty by giving the people the power to help themselves. However, lets ask this, which costs you more 25% of your secondary purchases, or 20%-30% of your entire income?

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I don't agree on the UN point as simply, the UN, while not the most functional thing developed, is a necessary thing to at least TRY to bring the world together.

The UN as a diplomatic entity is fine, as a place to go and discuss politics and express ideas and try for mutual understanding. The other end of the spectrum, however, is the idea that member nations are agreeing that, should the UN come to vote in a resolution, member nations will abide by these resolutions. This can very easily and very quickly turn into imposing rules and laws on other nations and other violations of a nations sovereignty. The reason being a permanent, veto-holding member of the security council was a condition for the US joining the UN in the first place is that it was the only way we could be sure we'd be safe from being forced into situations that co-opted out national sovereignty.

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As for most of our economic "entanglements", those I would have to pick and choose from.  Some are bad, some aren't, but even if we pull out, simply being a part of the Earth means we'll get involved in more.

I believe the point, though is that if the country is allowed a true Free Market and true Free Trade, the government shouldn't be involved in trade alliances because they have no power to do anything of the sort. If a country wants grain, they need to get in touch with a grain exporting company in the US. Not the US government.

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generally I feel the only way to achieve social change is with a little propaganda, which I'm not entirely opposed to.

Though most effective I'll agree, I personally prefer the method of education and enlightenment, but I've always been a bit of a dreamer.

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Since how I interpreted it was wrong, I'll address this, it's very communistic, which means it's very idealistic and therefore very prone to corruption and falling apart.  I think the change you mention has much to do with people being afraid of each other, for sometimes very real, or very imagined reasons.  Again, if we got the media to focus on good things, ran a little propaganda about how awesome it is to do good things, we could change that.

I think this may just be further misunderstanding. I'm not talking about any enforcement of community groups. Simply voluntary groups of like-minded individuals helping each other.

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I think the problem is that it's being approached from the wrong angle.  I also don't believe that all parents are capable of educating their kids, nor are private schools capable of providing any better an education than public schools.  And I don't think the government should handle all services, just the basic ones.

The education issue is a sticky one. Prior to government involvement, our education system worked fine and was one of the better ones in the world. Public education was handled by the individual states and funded by state school taxes. Government subsidies led states to decrease or remove school taxes or replace them with taxes that sent funds elsewhere. This generated a dependency on the federal  money which then led the federal government to tell schools what they can and can't teach, how they can teach and who can and can't be allowed to go to which schools. Though these subsidies are voluntary based on compliance, the schools desperately need them so they jump through the hoops to comply, but in doing so further reduce the funds the school has and further increasing their need for subsidy. This trend has a tendency to show up in most government run or funded establishments. I will state this. I've no opposition to a state having all the welfare it wants. If you want your state to take care of all your basic needs, get together people in your state to vote these sorts of programs and associated taxes into effect. The programs are available to you and provide the same benefit, but people who have not interest in that sort of state welfare can move from or not move to your state.

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I refer you to early industiral america before the formation of unions.  This was a time when the government felt it should not interfere in business affairs.  What it lead to was horrible working conditions, terrible pay, and people tearing at each others throats for scraps while millionaire businessmen laughed in their faces.  Here is how lazie faire government policies are destructive, and those past events are the reason we're in the situation we're in now, with overzealous unions who think they should run everything and people should get rich for doing squat while the company higher up's suck it.

You reference the "robber barons" of the 19th Century here as well as the modern union so I will address both. The industrialists of the 19th century were a varied group, most of them were legitimate businessmen who profited from the openness of the market and their employees and communities benefited from their humanitarian donations such as museums and schools. The primary issue that arose in that time was that there were a select few, (Rockefeller, JP Morgan, etc.) who wanted to persuade the US government to create a central bank like those that existed in Europe, particularly a central bank they controlled. These international bankers intentionally created conditions that would destabilize the market through the use of subordinate banks they loaned to which led to the wage problems of the time. This led the people to call for the government to step in. These bankers, avoiding any such issues themselves because they knew what was coming, persuaded government regulation that put many of their legitimate competitors out of business and allowing them to claim larger control over the countries money supply and economy. Ultimately these "robber barons" succeeded in their goal with the establishment of the private corporation known as the Federal Reserve Bank. The abuses we've seen are through people manipulating the government into regulating the way they want things to be rather than an inerrant problem with the market. Had the government refrained from intervening, the market would have stabilized itself, either by the competition pushing in on these bankers till they couldn't sustain the turmoil they were creating or wages and prices would have adjusted till equilibrium was reached.

Unions are something of a necessary evil. Under the current system, businesses aren't as profitable as they should be due to overextension or poor investment and so they have to reduce wage or reduce staff. Many of these poor investments come from a misreading of our volatile market thanks to the interest and money supply manipulation by the Federal Reserve. I disagree with union practices and policies, but see precious little alternative in the current economic client. This has been true since the unions formed in the first place. In a truly free market the need for unions dissolves over time as employers are able to pay wages fairly. This ties loosely, actually, to minimum wage which is just as guilty as inducing poverty as many other regulations.
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Re: Presidentail Elections
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2007, 12:01:32 AM »

Quote from: DAZ on October 09, 2007, 05:16:41 PM
Government regulation is the very reason farmers are in such a bad situation today. Heavy regulations dictate what a farmer can and can't grow and when he can grow it. These limitations make it very difficult for the farmers to make a living.
But that is done so that ALL farmers don't decide to grow the same thing.  If everybody great wheat and apples, they'd be worthless.  So the government regulates that certain people must grow certain things in order to diversiy the market and prevent all the crops from being the same ones.  Additionally, the bigger danger of growing similar or the same crops is their destruction from parasites or diseases.

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The US spends more than twenty billion dollars annually on oil subsidies, from tax breaks, investment costs, research costs, and environmental cleanup costs. Though crude oil as of today is only 1.22 a gallon, after processing and refining, costs, of course rise to the levels on average to about what we're paying today. However, if the government didn't provide all those tax breaks and other cost coverages, the companies would be forced to pay those costs out of pocket, which would push the cost of fuel up dramatically in order for them to break even.
I feel some CEOs could live without making 200 million a year and we'd get lower prices.  Personally, I'd like to see price caps like we have on milk.  But ones based on income and availability of product.

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This is true, however, I counter that the government is the one being come to for adjudication in the case of tort lawsuits and it is well within the governments powers to reconsider and reform the rules/laws that revolve around tort cases.
you know what's weird?  We just switched sides.  I was supporting the system while you wern't, not you're supporting the system and I'm not.  Generally, I think the solution here is not more legislation, but simply judges who hear what's being sued over and say something along the lines of: "you are an idiot, go away."

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I would first ask, "Why not?" but from a practical side i understand your viewpoint. The FDA is the only group really being talked about here, but lets look at them. Every year we have new scares about drugs doing horrible things to people even after they've already received FDA approval. A business could very easily take the place of the FDA and likely produce better results. Currently, if Company A produces a drug and the FDA approves it and then it causes problems, who gets sued? Company A. Is the FDA sued or found culpable at all?
Actually, having an aunt who's a psychologist, yes, the FDA gets in trouble alot.  However, they're given mroe slack because "Drug A" is one out of 500 drugs they approved, where as "Drug A" is one out of 3 drugs "Company A" produced.

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No, because no one wants to fight the government. Example: Company A makes drugs. Company B has set themselves up as a certification and testing company for drugs. Company A pays company B for testing and assuming all tests pass certification. The consumer knows Company B exists and sees the certification and trusts company As product because of it. Company C skips going through Company B or any of Company Bs competitors and just goes straight to market. Company C can likely sell for less but will also likely sell less volume as Company A thanks to Company Bs testing that C did not receive. In the event that Company B screws up and Company As product is bad for you, they're all just companies and both Company A and B are liable not just Company A. This splits the burden of liability and actually makes The market friendlier to both businesses and at the same time still protects the consumer. If company C's drug is bad, then Company C is 100% liable so they have incentive to use a company like Company B as well.
the problem with this setup is priorities, you're going back to just assuming companies are working for our better interest, and not the bottom line.  If Company A and Company B are in bed with each other, what comes out of Company B's testing is only going to be a little better than whatever Company A made.  The incentive to pass good medicine is regulated by the dollar, if Company B is too strict, Company A goes to Company F.  If Company C makes stuff that's too good, and Company B died because Company A no longer paid it, then Company F, who's more lax in standards but is paid better by Company A allows crappier drugs to get through while Company C suffers.


I'll get around to rest later, I'm too busy to finish but don't want to lose this much.
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DAZ
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Re: Presidentail Elections
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2007, 01:10:55 AM »

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But that is done so that ALL farmers don't decide to grow the same thing.

The primary regulation, as far as I've seen it, when it comes to farmers seems to be telling them not to grow anything. There's a little cash crop called hemp, industrial grade hemp. It has no medicinal purpouse and can't be used as a drug. It CAN be used for paper, rope, fabric, and other purpouses. It grows back every year without the need for soil rotation and the US imports milions of pounds of it every year from countries where its legal to grow it.

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I feel some CEOs could live without making 200 million a year and we'd get lower prices.

I agree, the CEOs make far too much money for what they do, but the chances are that the current companies are unlikely to make any changes in the near future without some dramatic shifts in the market forcing a change.

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We just switched sides.

No, we didn't switch sides. I'm ok with the government being involved in situations that it should be. If a dispute reaches federal courts because its interstate commerce and therefore not the jurisdiction of the states, then the federal government are the ones supposed to deal with it. Under the current system, tort lawsuits have no restrictions whatsoever and judges "teach lessons" far too often rather than doing the just thing. For clarification, my guideline for when the federal government should be involved and when it shouldn't is the US Constitution.

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the problem with this setup is priorities, you're going back to just assuming companies are working for our better interest, and not the bottom line.  If Company A and Company B are in bed with each other, what comes out of Company B's testing is only going to be a little better than whatever Company A made.  The incentive to pass good medicine is regulated by the dollar, if Company B is too strict, Company A goes to Company F.  If Company C makes stuff that's too good, and Company B died because Company A no longer paid it, then Company F, who's more lax in standards but is paid better by Company A allows crappier drugs to get through while Company C suffers.

The problem is that as events like this transpire, consumers hold no confidence with Company F because of lawsuits and other problems with products they certify. By removing the illusion that these certificaiton boards are anything but a third party making a profit, consumers are inherrantly more wary and therfore more aware of what they are actually purchasing since they can no longer assume that a certification or approval guaruntees safety. Also, if company C skips the certification as in this scenario, and people are willing to take the risk, which some always will be, word will spread that their product is better.
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