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post #41 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 08:25 PM
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RE: Why all the lying about Social Security?

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Botnst - 2/7/2005 10:18 PM

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Zeitgeist - 2/7/2005 9:05 PM

Well, Capitalism's out the window...
The difference is that capitalism creates wealth, taxes and other forms of involuntary seizure consume it.

Take for example, the last 500 years or so as compared to the previous 4.5 billion.
Taxes do lots of things besides "consume" wealth. You write as if the wealth is eaten, and gone. In reality, it is used to build roads, schools, and the like. And also to build (or some would argue, overbuild) the military of which you are so fond.

There was a great little essay I used in a class some years ago called Wealth vs. Money. In it, the author wrote that most people confuse the two. They get paid, take their hard-earned cash to the grocery store, buy their food for the week, and feel sad that their "wealth" is gone. In reality, it's in the shopping cart. When the depression hit, the nation was not out of wealth; just short on money. It was like a carpenter who had ample building supplies at the job site, but refused to build because he was "out of inches."

Joe B.
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post #42 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 08:27 PM
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RE: Why all the lying about Social Security?

Quote:
Botnst - 2/7/2005 8:18 PM

Quote:
Zeitgeist - 2/7/2005 9:05 PM

Well, Capitalism's out the window...
The difference is that capitalism creates wealth, taxes and other forms of involuntary seizure consume it.

Take for example, the last 500 years or so as compared to the previous 4.5 billion.
I'm sorry, but that is purely one-dimensional and simplistic thinking that is so far below your usual thinking. Even you must know what separates the US from many nations is not capitalism but it's highly regarded and incredible level of infrastructure. Little of which even existed prior to taxation of some sort. Involuntary taxation. You can cry all you want about income tax and it's relative newness, but taxes on many other forms existed LONG before that.

There are many nations that would be regarded as Libertarian wet-dreams, but no one seems to eager to move there. They have no (or only corrupt) police, unabated crime, poor standards of living for all but a tiny minority that are very wealthy and little or no infrastructure. And yes, they have capitalistic economies. No socalism anywhere in sight.

What makes the first world the first world? It's not capitalism alone. It's the finely honed balance of capitalism driving a competitive economic system resting on pillars of socialist policy providing stabilization. From it we enjoy wealth, low crime and a relatively smooth business cycle.

I'm really trying to see things from your perspective, but I'm having trouble getting my head up my ass
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post #43 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 08:33 PM
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RE: Why all the lying about Social Security?

[QUOTE]blackmercedes - 2/7/2005 10:15 PM

Quote:
azimuth - 2/7/2005 7:45 PM

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blackmercedes - 2/7/2005 5:28 PM


Here's my problem with most socialist programs....it's always compulsory. If socialist positions were based on voluntary contribution, I'm with it.
Thing is, you already have many socialist style programs, including income tax. If we were to make it voluntary, who would opt in? No one. Without, you'd have a chaotic nation with little infrastructure, no miltary and pretty much no government.

It's called "the price you pay" to live in a prosperous nation.
Isn't that really the Q? you have arrived at the vexing conundrum. Which eclipses the other, Freedom or security? I have to, again, follow priciple. What does the constitution say is the govt.'s perview? Some have read into the constution that "provide for the general welfare" means provide for the specific welfare. Are taxes necesary for the provision of "common defense"? I would say in today's high tech world of arms, Yes. That is compulsory participation, but it is in "the rules".

So, let's have social programs and make them attractive. If I can expect a better return on my investment through a socialized security system than in the private sector, there will be no need for compulsion.

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post #44 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 08:48 PM
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RE: Why all the lying about Social Security?

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azimuth - 2/7/2005 8:33 PM

So, let's have social programs and make them attractive. If I can expect a better return on my investment through a socialized security system than in the private sector, there will be no need for compulsion.
Who is to say that your SS system does not provide a better return, based on a NATIONAL basis? Heck, it might even based on an individual basis given differing risk tolerances. It's kinda like the basic tax system. We're thinking about NATIONAL prosperity as opposed to an individual basis.

I know that the US has a stronger history of individual needs coming before the needs of the collective, but I think some of that history is overblown in the minds of the citizens, especially as of late with Cheney, et al. In truth, the US has a significant history of collective thinking and it's that aspect of your history that has created the world's remaining super-power, both economically and militarily.

The US looked to Eastern-Bloc nations not as collective thinkers in their socialism, but as totalitarian dictatorships using socialism to oppress it's people through "collective backwardness." The US chose to utilize collective thinking to build a powerful nation, but provide opportunity on an individual basis as well. Collective thinking, on a national basis, requires participation.

Being poor in the US or Canada, or most of Europe is a far cry from being poor in most of Africa or many parts of Central America or Asia. We made a conscious decision to elevate even our poorest to a standard of living envied by many in the world. This is one of the things that truly separates "us" from "them." It wold not have worked had it been "optional."

I'm really trying to see things from your perspective, but I'm having trouble getting my head up my ass
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post #45 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 08:48 PM
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RE: Why all the lying about Social Security?

Quote:
blackmercedes - 2/7/2005 10:27 PM

Quote:
Botnst - 2/7/2005 8:18 PM

Quote:
Zeitgeist - 2/7/2005 9:05 PM

Well, Capitalism's out the window...
The difference is that capitalism creates wealth, taxes and other forms of involuntary seizure consume it.

Take for example, the last 500 years or so as compared to the previous 4.5 billion.
I'm sorry, but that is purely one-dimensional and simplistic thinking that is so far below your usual thinking. Even you must know what separates the US from many nations is not capitalism but it's highly regarded and incredible level of infrastructure. Little of which even existed prior to taxation of some sort. Involuntary taxation. You can cry all you want about income tax and it's relative newness, but taxes on many other forms existed LONG before that.

There are many nations that would be regarded as Libertarian wet-dreams, but no one seems to eager to move there. They have no (or only corrupt) police, unabated crime, poor standards of living for all but a tiny minority that are very wealthy and little or no infrastructure. And yes, they have capitalistic economies. No socalism anywhere in sight.

What makes the first world the first world? It's not capitalism alone. It's the finely honed balance of capitalism driving a competitive economic system resting on pillars of socialist policy providing stabilization. From it we enjoy wealth, low crime and a relatively smooth business cycle.
Exceedingly well put. You have dilineated the difference between first world and developing countries very nicely. The libertarians on this forum--or the quasi ones--anyway, would do well to live in one of these libertarian paradises, as you describe them, and see how they like it. I suspect that many--probably most--of them received an education through the public funding of their schools and universities. They paid tuition and fees, but their education was subsidized by taxes, without which many of our generation who have enjoyed the fruits of upward mobility would never have been able to afford. Somehow, unless they are able to keep every cent they earn (or think they earn), they feel cheated.

Joe B.
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post #46 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 08:54 PM
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RE: Why all the lying about Social Security?

Quote:
blackmercedes - 2/7/2005 10:27 PM

Quote:
Botnst - 2/7/2005 8:18 PM

Quote:
Zeitgeist - 2/7/2005 9:05 PM

Well, Capitalism's out the window...
The difference is that capitalism creates wealth, taxes and other forms of involuntary seizure consume it.

Take for example, the last 500 years or so as compared to the previous 4.5 billion.
I'm sorry, but that is purely one-dimensional and simplistic thinking that is so far below your usual thinking. Even you must know what separates the US from many nations is not capitalism but it's highly regarded and incredible level of infrastructure. Little of which even existed prior to taxation of some sort. Involuntary taxation. You can cry all you want about income tax and it's relative newness, but taxes on many other forms existed LONG before that.

There are many nations that would be regarded as Libertarian wet-dreams, but no one seems to eager to move there. They have no (or only corrupt) police, unabated crime, poor standards of living for all but a tiny minority that are very wealthy and little or no infrastructure. And yes, they have capitalistic economies. No socalism anywhere in sight.

What makes the first world the first world? It's not capitalism alone. It's the finely honed balance of capitalism driving a competitive economic system resting on pillars of socialist policy providing stabilization. From it we enjoy wealth, low crime and a relatively smooth business cycle.
Where did it come from.

Call me simplistic, perhaps that is a decription worthy of embracing, but I don't think that stuff was on this continent until a bunch of vcolonial mercantilists risked capital in establishing colonies in order to make money. Now where I come ffrom when you risk money on a venture to make money, why I call that capitalism. It wasn't private enterprise in most cases, but it was in some. Some made money right away and otehrs never made money.

Over time, the infrastructure got built. Where did the money come from? Taxes? Who paid the taxes, welfare recipients?

B
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post #47 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 09:04 PM
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RE: Why all the lying about Social Security?

Quote:
Botnst - 2/7/2005 10:54 PM

Quote:
blackmercedes - 2/7/2005 10:27 PM

Quote:
Botnst - 2/7/2005 8:18 PM

Quote:
Zeitgeist - 2/7/2005 9:05 PM

Well, Capitalism's out the window...
The difference is that capitalism creates wealth, taxes and other forms of involuntary seizure consume it.

Take for example, the last 500 years or so as compared to the previous 4.5 billion.
I'm sorry, but that is purely one-dimensional and simplistic thinking that is so far below your usual thinking. Even you must know what separates the US from many nations is not capitalism but it's highly regarded and incredible level of infrastructure. Little of which even existed prior to taxation of some sort. Involuntary taxation. You can cry all you want about income tax and it's relative newness, but taxes on many other forms existed LONG before that.

There are many nations that would be regarded as Libertarian wet-dreams, but no one seems to eager to move there. They have no (or only corrupt) police, unabated crime, poor standards of living for all but a tiny minority that are very wealthy and little or no infrastructure. And yes, they have capitalistic economies. No socalism anywhere in sight.

What makes the first world the first world? It's not capitalism alone. It's the finely honed balance of capitalism driving a competitive economic system resting on pillars of socialist policy providing stabilization. From it we enjoy wealth, low crime and a relatively smooth business cycle.
Where did it come from.

Call me simplistic, perhaps that is a decription worthy of embracing, but I don't think that stuff was on this continent until a bunch of vcolonial mercantilists risked capital in establishing colonies in order to make money. Now where I come ffrom when you risk money on a venture to make money, why I call that capitalism. It wasn't private enterprise in most cases, but it was in some. Some made money right away and otehrs never made money.

Over time, the infrastructure got built. Where did the money come from? Taxes? Who paid the taxes, welfare recipients?

B
You're avoiding the issue. You said that taxes "consume" wealth; you refuse to recognize that taxes contribute many positive things, thus the idea that wealth is taken and "consumed," never to be seen again, is absurd. Taxes go to many things that improve your life daily. The share of taxes going to welfare, by the way, is relatively small, especially after that great liberal Clinton pushed through his welfare reform legislation, which the Repos lapped up.

The simplistic stuff comes from the idea that good guys work hard, earn money, and then taxes take that money away from them and distribute it to welfare cheats and other forms of riff raff. In fact, the lion's share of taxes go for things like schools and Bradley vehicles and humvees and the salaries of college professors.

All you hard working libertarians ought to try building an interstate highway from your town to the next big town you'd like to visit out of your own money, and pay armed guards to make sure that the low-life crowd doesn't dare to use it.

Joe B.
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post #48 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 09:05 PM
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RE: Why all the lying about Social Security?

Quote:
blackmercedes - 2/7/2005 10:48 PM

Quote:
azimuth - 2/7/2005 8:33 PM

So, let's have social programs and make them attractive. If I can expect a better return on my investment through a socialized security system than in the private sector, there will be no need for compulsion.
Who is to say that your SS system does not provide a better return, based on a NATIONAL basis? Heck, it might even based on an individual basis given differing risk tolerances. It's kinda like the basic tax system. We're thinking about NATIONAL prosperity as opposed to an individual basis.

I know that the US has a stronger history of individual needs coming before the needs of the collective, but I think some of that history is overblown in the minds of the citizens, especially as of late with Cheney, et al. In truth, the US has a significant history of collective thinking and it's that aspect of your history that has created the world's remaining super-power, both economically and militarily.

The US looked to Eastern-Bloc nations not as collective thinkers in their socialism, but as totalitarian dictatorships using socialism to oppress it's people through "collective backwardness." The US chose to utilize collective thinking to build a powerful nation, but provide opportunity on an individual basis as well. Collective thinking, on a national basis, requires participation.

Being poor in the US or Canada, or most of Europe is a far cry from being poor in most of Africa or many parts of Central America or Asia. We made a conscious decision to elevate even our poorest to a standard of living envied by many in the world. This is one of the things that truly separates "us" from "them." It wold not have worked had it been "optional."
I know that when I say this you'll prolly bang your head against the wall. I can't help myself. How does anyone know that it won't work through voluntary participation? If the case is adequately made and the benefit is truely believed, then the motivation will be there. A stated before Mrs Az and I voluntarily participate in a private social collective program. And what if the people really don't want it? Is that so bad to let people have the life they want for themselves? after all it is thier life.

Does it, in the end, become a lack of trust in the nature of humanity that causes one man to compel another to do as he sees fit?

*sadly and with alarm, watches BlackMercedes bang his head against the wall*

gotta say, I just saw the new avatar. It's the best one yet. Does your dog bite? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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post #49 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 09:05 PM
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RE: Why all the lying about Social Security?

Quote:
Botnst - 2/7/2005 8:54 PM

Over time, the infrastructure got built. Where did the money come from? Taxes? Who paid the taxes, welfare recipients?

B
Nowhere did I say that we should lose capitalism. It's great. But, your point was that taxation was "robbery" that was counterproductive to the advacement of capitalism, the only true saviour of society. Your latest point is a reiteration of mine. We used both capitalism and "socialist" policies like taxation together. We created the economic base through capitalism and then used the economic prosperity to fund socialist policy to create economic stability, allowing capitalism to work even better.

Why do the neo-cons assume that 90% of the population is on welfare? Is it? With 5% unemployment, I don't see how. Isn't the assumption that if you offer it, everyone willquit their jobs on go on it? Funny they haven't. Odd that people would rather work, even many for minimum wage at Wal-Mart. The vast majority view welfare and other social programs as nothing more that a safety net.

I'm really trying to see things from your perspective, but I'm having trouble getting my head up my ass
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post #50 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 09:15 PM
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RE: Why all the lying about Social Security?

Is that so bad to let people have the life they want for themselves? after all it is thier life.

No. But, you miss the point of balancing the needs and freedoms of the individuals against the needs and freedoms of the collective. There are nations that exist in the state you describe, but they have little in common with us. You can have the exact life you describe. It exists in many Central American nations. You are "completely" free in terms of making your own money, not having to pay taxes and not worrying about "supporting" those not pulling their weight.

For some odd reason, there is no huge portion of the US population moving. I'm not sure why. Great climate, no taxes and complete personal freedom combined with a complete and unfettered capitalistic economic system. Well, there is no middle class to speak of, huge crime and thanks to little taxation income the government structure is also terribly corrupt. You might not be taxed, but I imagine there are many people that have to be "paid" along the way. But, you're FREE not to pay. It's completely optional. And if you have enough guns, you can keep "all" your hard earned money.

I'm really trying to see things from your perspective, but I'm having trouble getting my head up my ass
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