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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government (Read 543 times)
Jeff
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #20 - Dec 26th, 2018 at 8:37am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 25th, 2018 at 6:50pm:
I've said in the past that there is a sharp line between a government that taxes and a government that doesn't tax.
Where is this government that doesn't tax?

I of course agree that there is a sharp line between things that exist and things that don't exist (and have never existed).
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #21 - Dec 26th, 2018 at 8:40am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 25th, 2018 at 6:50pm:
The mistake is to turn over responsibility for our safety to strangers.
Isn't that exactly what you do when you hire a private security firm? How can that be prevented from "spiraling into tyranny"?
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #22 - Dec 26th, 2018 at 4:01pm
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Jeff wrote on Dec 26th, 2018 at 8:34am:
You're saying that people will accept exorbitant taxation without complaint as long as none of the revenue raised by the taxing is spent on "redheads" or some other dis-favored minority group?

Do I have that right?


Not at all; that's just about the opposite of what I said.  But I appreciate the effort.

Our tax and buy votes system works precisely because people don't say, "stop robbing me and then spending my money on those redheads!"   They say, "Hey, you should also spend money on us bald guys and on my towhead kids, just like you do for those redheads!  Then I'll vote for you to keep your job as the taxer/spender."


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Have you ever wondered why a simple majority of voters made up of middle class people haven't used the process you imagine to take control of the government and plunder the rich for their own benefit?


Now, that is a good question.  Man, Jeff!  You are really trying hard to learn, and it shows.

First of all, the lower classes are trying hard to do just that.  How many congressmen and senators are elected with the primary promise of soaking the rich for the benefit of the "poor?"

The reason the middle class, which I define as people who are able to support themselves through work, hasn't done this is that enough of them are smart enough to know that if the government takes any more than it already does from the rich, it is they who will suffer and not the rich.   Force McDonald's to offer health insurance to its employees and the CEO's are not going to forego their annual bonuses to pay for it.  They are going to increase fees to their middle class franchisees and start using touch screens instead of cashiers to reduce the number of the now more expensive employees.

The other factor is that the rich have far disproportionate influence over lawmakers because they are both campaign sponsors and donors.  That's why representative republican forms of government always lead to corruption. 
 
  

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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #23 - Dec 26th, 2018 at 4:09pm
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Snarky Sack wrote yesterday at 6:50pm:
The mistake is to turn over responsibility for our safety to strangers.

Jeff wrote on Dec 26th, 2018 at 8:40am:
Isn't that exactly what you do when you hire a private security firm?


Yes, if you tell that security firm, "Do what you gotta do to keep us safe, boys.  It's hard to mine silver with a rifle slung over my back, so I'll leave that to you."

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How can that be prevented from "spiraling into tyranny"?


I fear that it cannot, that's my point.  If security is to be collective, it should be a collective of volunteers who agree to defend each other against an attack.  If that collective feels it needs armed men and women on watch at all times, they can come up with a schedule to do that. 

The minute someone says, "What?  I don't wanna spend three ten hour shifts a week walking the perimeter.  You know how many acres I could be plowing in that time?  Can't I just pay that nephew of yours to take my turns?  He's strong as an ox and almost as smart but it don't take no genius to pull a trigger," he is setting himself up to be tyrannized. 
  

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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #24 - Dec 27th, 2018 at 7:37am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 26th, 2018 at 4:01pm:
Not at all; that's just about the opposite of what I said.  But I appreciate the effort.

Our tax and buy votes system works precisely because people don't say, "stop robbing me and then spending my money on those redheads!"   They say, "Hey, you should also spend money on us bald guys and on my towhead kids, just like you do for those redheads!  Then I'll vote for you to keep your job as the taxer/spender."




Here's what you did say-

"The same villagers/farmers who will sheeplike hand over large chunks of their crops wouldn't revolt if the demanded percent were doubled but they would if they found out that red headed people weren't paying and were still getting the protection.

They'd run to the warlord and say, "You gotta make those redheads pay like everwon else!  What the hell do you have all those swords for?"

If the warrior said, "To protect you from pillagers?"

They'd say, "Well them redheads is robbin' us just as much as them pillagers by not paying their fair share!""

I can't make your first statement mean what your 'clarification' means.
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #25 - Dec 27th, 2018 at 7:53am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 26th, 2018 at 4:01pm:
First of all, the lower classes are trying hard to do just that.  How many congressmen and senators are elected with the primary promise of soaking the rich for the benefit of the "poor?"

The reason the middle class, which I define as people who are able to support themselves through work, hasn't done this is that enough of them are smart enough to know that if the government takes any more than it already does from the rich, it is they who will suffer and not the rich.   Force McDonald's to offer health insurance to its employees and the CEO's are not going to forego their annual bonuses to pay for it.  They are going to increase fees to their middle class franchisees and start using touch screens instead of cashiers to reduce the number of the now more expensive employees.

The other factor is that the rich have far disproportionate influence over lawmakers because they are both campaign sponsors and donors.  That's why representative republican forms of government always lead to corruption. 
 
If the rich have such influence, how did the welfare state ever get started? (BTW, labor unions are big campaign donors too, and they supposedly represent the people that that struggle to survive while paying a big percentage of their wages in taxes... Why would legislators favor the rich over working people?)

Couldn't a majority in the middle range of incomes (working people) stop the welfare state so they and the rich wouldn't have to pay so much?

Representative republican forms of government don't lead to corruption unless you grant them power over the economy (Or too much power in general). It's the excess of power that leads to corruption, because the excess of power not only requires people to try to buy permission to operate businesses or control their own property, but it leads to government having trillions of dollars of tax revenue that can be 'lost' and redirected, and to subsidies that choose winners while causing others to lose...

Then there's the "regulatory state", where unelected bureaucrats (nothing "representative" there is there Sack?) write regulations that SCOTUS says are laws. Cry

If you want to disparage republican forms of government for their failures, makes sure you are talking about limited representative governments, not the nasty unconstitutional mess that "progressives" have turned our government into.
  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #26 - Dec 27th, 2018 at 8:07am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 26th, 2018 at 4:09pm:
Snarky Sack wrote yesterday at 6:50pm:
The mistake is to turn over responsibility for our safety to strangers.


Yes, if you tell that security firm, "Do what you gotta do to keep us safe, boys.  It's hard to mine silver with a rifle slung over my back, so I'll leave that to you."


I fear that it cannot, that's my point.  If security is to be collective, it should be a collective of volunteers who agree to defend each other against an attack.  If that collective feels it needs armed men and women on watch at all times, they can come up with a schedule to do that. 

The minute someone says, "What?  I don't wanna spend three ten hour shifts a week walking the perimeter.  You know how many acres I could be plowing in that time?  Can't I just pay that nephew of yours to take my turns?  He's strong as an ox and almost as smart but it don't take no genius to pull a trigger," he is setting himself up to be tyrannized. 
Well, people can and did create private security associations and other people hired them to provide security so they could go about their own business in relative safety.

Volunteer militias proved to be of only limited use. Hastily organized posse's were sometimes effective in after-the-fact enforcement, but didn't work well as preventative measures. Not everybody was/is capable of protecting even themselves, much less joining in a collective voluntary effort to protect others...

You object to any form of security that involves paying specialists to provide it, whether the security is tax funded police or paid private security simply because either sort of organization might become tyrants?

The point of Nozick's dissertation is that it's possible to create a minimal government that will protect everyone equally by means that stay within the strict limits of libertarian morality...

Why would you oppose that as a solution, if such a limited government is granted the means to protect everybody equally, is that not a moral good provided by a morally created government?


  
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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #27 - Dec 27th, 2018 at 7:32pm
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Jeff wrote on Dec 27th, 2018 at 8:07am:
Well, people can and did create private security associations and other people hired them to provide security so they could go about their own business in relative safety.

Volunteer militias proved to be of only limited use. Hastily organized posse's were sometimes effective in after-the-fact enforcement, but didn't work well as preventative measures. Not everybody was/is capable of protecting even themselves, much less joining in a collective voluntary effort to protect others...

You object to any form of security that involves paying specialists to provide it, whether the security is tax funded police or paid private security simply because either sort of organization might become tyrants?


It isn't the hiring of the security that leads to the tyranny, necessarily.  It's the almost inevitable mindset that, "It's not my job to protect myself, my family and my neighbors." 

I see some dude breaking in next door and I'm calling 9/11 knowing fully well that my neighbors will be raped, robbed and killed long before the typical police response time but I just shrug and say, "not my problem."  Sadly, most people would do exactly the same if it were themselves getting broken into.  That's how we have been trained to think.  No wonder the government runs over us. 

It could happen that farmers, storekeepers and blacksmiths could hire a sheriff to be on duty at all times and still consider themselves fully able to cancel that contract at any time and fully able to tell the sheriff to crappity smack off if he tries to get bossy.  But, even if the original founders of this government kept the free man mindset, likely their children would be too interested in plying their own trades to think about that.

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The point of Nozick's dissertation is that it's possible to create a minimal government that will protect everyone equally by means that stay within the strict limits of libertarian morality...

Why would you oppose that as a solution, if such a limited government is granted the means to protect everybody equally, is that not a moral good provided by a morally created government?




Because I know of so few examples of government that started that way and stayed that way.  In fact, I know zero examples of that.  But there are countless examples of governments that purported to be minimal government that will protect everyone equally and became authoritarian, most often in less than a generation.


« Last Edit: Dec 27th, 2018 at 8:41pm by Snarky Sack »  

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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #28 - Dec 27th, 2018 at 8:33pm
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Jeff wrote on Dec 27th, 2018 at 7:53am:
If the rich have such influence, how did the welfare state ever get started? (BTW, labor unions are big campaign donors too, and they supposedly represent the people that that struggle to survive while paying a big percentage of their wages in taxes... Why would legislators favor the rich over working people?)


That's right.  Each of these groups benefits from government "generosity" in some way.  They may well realize that they pay more than they get (except for those who live off government exclusively), but they go along with it because they don't view eliminating taxes as an option but they see that it is relatively easy to convince government to give your group more from the trough. 

Labor unions, in particular, have both large amounts of money to donate and large numbers of voters to deliver.   Of course they're going to get what they want.  Those of age for Social Security know that no government is ever going to reduce their payments, because old people vote.  You can see it in line at the polls, that they are over represented.



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Couldn't a majority in the middle range of incomes (working people) stop the welfare state so they and the rich wouldn't have to pay so much?
They could, in theory.  In practice, they don't.  That's a fact.  Why don't they?  Several reasons.  Many buy into the idea that  poor people "should get help,"* and the have grown up with government as the primary "helper."  Many buy into the idea that violent gangs will roam the streets if we don't provide them welfare, even though it is obvious even to a near genius that the welfare system, by taking the male out of his natural position as provider, breeds those gang members.  Plus the poor are well organized for the purpose of voting so again, it is easier for politicians to promise benefits to the middle class to get their votes rather than cut benefits to the poor to get the votes of those middle class taxpayers.

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Representative republican forms of government don't lead to corruption unless you grant them power over the economy (Or too much power in general). It's the excess of power that leads to corruption, because the excess of power not only requires people to try to buy permission to operate businesses or control their own property, but it leads to government having trillions of dollars of tax revenue that can be 'lost' and redirected, and to subsidies that choose winners while causing others to lose...


What if we don't grant them that power, but they take it anyway?  You often argue that is exactly what has happened in the U.S.

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Then there's the "regulatory state", where unelected bureaucrats (nothing "representative" there is there Sack?) write regulations that SCOTUS says are laws. Cry


A horrible system, but that is the natural consequence of granting government any power that we ourselves do not possess as individual rights.  When we tell our elected representative, "Well, of course I can't hold up my neighbor at gunpoint to make him kick in to fund a school for my kids.  But you can do that," we grant them just such an illegitimate power. 

We give government a license to steal and act surprised that it backfires on us.


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If you want to disparage republican forms of government for their failures, makes sure you are talking about limited representative governments,


Examples?

*This use of the passive voice (meaning that the person who does the action that the verb indicates is not stated.  Such as "this room was cleaned this morning," or "my complaint should not be ignored"), is actually responsible for much of the acceptance of taxing and spending.  That's because this sentence construction allows the speaker to talk about an obvious good (poor people getting help), without mentioning the obvious bad (working people having their wealth taken for use by others)  Statists know this which is why they use it.  It not only helps convince people that taxing and spending "should be done," it also helps them to convince themselves, by avoiding naming what they advocate. 

Try it, Jeff.  Next time you want to say something like, "poor children should be given the same opportunity to go to school as children whose parents word," instead say what you really mean, which is "people who work should pay for the children of the non-working to go to school." You do that consistently and your outlook will change. 

  

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Re: In the Sprit of the Holidays, Praise for Government
Reply #29 - Dec 27th, 2018 at 9:20pm
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Jeff wrote on Dec 27th, 2018 at 7:53am:
If the rich have such influence, how did the welfare state ever get started?


Oh boy. Wake up.

In the forties, you could feed a family of four on a plumber's salary.

The rich want the welfare state because it subsidises the overpopulation that drives down wages.

Instead of feeding the plumber, and his wife, and his two kids, the rich guy feeds the plumber at sustenance and two welfare queens at sustenance. This way the two welfare queens outvote the plumber and the plumber can never save any money to rise to form his own business and compete with the massive plumbing business the rich guy owns.

And because of a few generations of welfare, the plumber can't negotiate up his wage, ever. The young adults coming into the workforce from the welfare pool represent constant, guaranteed overcompetition for jobs.

What happens without welfare? People at sustenance can't have kids. You keep your whole workforce at sustenance (without children) and your workforce shrinks. Boom - one generation - the price of labour just skyrocketed.

Even doctors are being turned into wage slaves, forced to sell their practices and go to work for the big hospitals, for many reasons, among them that they can't afford to deal with the insurance companies' red tape.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
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