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  1. #31
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    the cost of medicine definitley needs to be controlled- and we certainly couldn't have taken care of her needs. I know that her financial problems were her fault, but they were a surprize to the rest of the family when we learned about them, and I don't think it's quite fair to expect for people to pay for somebody's long term, advanced medical care just because they have the misfortune of being related to one another.

    I pay taxes that go towards other people's kids getting educated and such, so I really see that as kind of a trade off- we all get services and we all pay. This may just be because I come from a very working class background and from other life experiences, but a lot of people would be totally lost without a social service net there to catch them occasionally!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  2. #32
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    I pay taxes that go towards other people's kids getting educated and such, so I really see that as kind of a trade off- we all get services and we all pay.
    That's not quite true... some never need services... but I understand and accept where you're coming from. It's part and parcel of the social contract, standard theory.

    I submit to you that, while in principle we all pay and we all receive services, we pay too high a price for the services we receive. The difference between what we pay and what the services actually cost is the overhead, which goes to sustain a burgeoning bureaucracy. If we continue to proliferate it we'll end up like poor substitute, being asked to bow and scrape for every parking space and driver's exam that comes down the pike.

    I'll have none of it, thanks. I don't believe it's ultimately in our best interests.

    Feel free to argue if you like, but if you don't I won't think the worse of you. More to the point, I won't be persuaded either. I just wanted to let you know that up front.

  3. #33
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    I pay taxes that go towards other people's kids getting educated and such, so I really see that as kind of a trade off- we all get services and we all pay. This may just be because I come from a very working class background and from other life experiences, but a lot of people would be totally lost without a social service net there to catch them occasionally!
    It's just another form of insurance (medical) and minimum standards (schooling). They are both good examples of why social services are good - generally they are both more efficient and prevent a severe social collapse in the case of market failure.

    I am absolutely not a libertarian - I went through that phase, but I've managed to 'think' my way out of it (to turn the old analogy around). However, I would vote for Ron Paul simply because the rest of the political groups have been so bought that they are now actively working against the people.

    Between a choice of a bought man who will work against my interests and a principled man who will make inefficient decisions, I'll pick the principled man.

  4. #34
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Between a choice of a bought man who will work against my interests and a principled man who will make inefficient decisions, I'll pick the principled man.
    Reminds me of the saying about Louisiana politics that we discussed in my senior seminar a few years ago "you can either have the corrupt man who will get things done or the honest man who won't"- seems to apply to politics everywhere (see Chicago for example! )

    And I'm not going to argue with you Oberon- you have your reasons for thinking the way that you do, and I have my reasons to think the way that I do- it would be pointless since neither of us would budge in opinion! My interest in getting a government job definitley plays into my opinion as well!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  5. #35
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    My interest in getting a government job definitley plays into my opinion as well!
    Well, certainly... I wouldn't dream of getting between you and the state trough.

  6. #36
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    hey- I'm just interested in having a nice pension when I retire and good health insurance and such! And with my college majors the choices are slim!

    (thought I'd point out that I have evil motives for supporting the state! )
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Between a choice of a bought man who will work against my interests and a principled man who will make inefficient decisions, I'll pick the principled man.
    That is his main appeal for me too.

    The free-market stuff is nice also. But I know there are limits.

    I am quite aware that some problems are sytemic in nature and require a systemic solution at the federal level. As appealing as getting rid of the IRS sounds, I know that is impractical, and getting rid of the Fed seem way too extreme. But I don't think anyone would let a lebertarian take those types of measures, so I am not bothered by them holding those ideals. I know the free market has its limits, but I prefer someone who is "hands-off".

    Coprorate governance is a different matter. This happens outside the markets. As the saying goes, "the visible hands of corporate officers"affect our economy just as much as the invisible hand of the market." I think the main cadidates are basically bought by corporations. Not wanting a lot of regulations is not the same thing as allowing corruption.

    It's still a long way till election time. My vote isn't locked in.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
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  8. #38
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    I submit to you that, while in principle we all pay and we all receive services, we pay too high a price for the services we receive. The difference between what we pay and what the services actually cost is the overhead, which goes to sustain a burgeoning bureaucracy.
    Another way to look at that is a "government job" is a "job". That is one more person who is employed and paying taxes. Bureaucracy can suck but without it we wouldn't have public schools, hospitals, military, etc. Not to mention that untethered capitalism has proven to be a terrible bitch. But I agree that our government has grown considerably. However, most of the growth has been in security, not social services, So we can probably associate a lot of the growing cost to military operations and Homeland security. It'll be hilarious if it is the Iraq War and own paranoia that leads to our economic demise.
    Last edited by Kiddo; 12-18-2007 at 03:30 AM.

  9. #39
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Bureaucracy can suck but without it we wouldn't have public schools, hospitals, military, etc.
    Of the three things you've listed--public schools, hospitals, and military--two of the three are done demonstrably better by the private sector. The military is properly the province of government; the other two, not so much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    However, most of the growth has been in security, not social services, So we can probably associate a lot of the growing cost to military operations and Homeland security. It'll be hilarious if it is the Iraq War and own paranoia that leads to our economic demise.
    I don't think any path to economic demise would be hilarious. I'm mortally offended by the growth of the federal budget, and I am gravely concerned that the size of government has grown beyond recall. It's possible that the juggernaut has grown too big too fast to ever shrink again.

    Oh, don't be concerned about the ratio of social services spending to military spending. Future administrations will correct that balance for you. Given the mood of the bulk of the country, it's inevitable.

  10. #40
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Not to mention that untethered capitalism has proven to be a terrible bitch.
    Yes... so it has. But we haven't seen it since the days of the robber barons of the railroads. Teddy Roosevelt belled that cat.

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