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  1. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    It's as if you think I'm arguing for the abolition of the social safety net.
    I'm not attacking you personally but I do believe that your opinions are the thin end of that particular wedge.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Before long that's going to have an impact on business confidence, who wants to invest in a country which cant afford to cover its costs? Costs it could handle rightly until relatively recently.
    We haven't even discussed what costs a state that has to fund a global military might reasonably be expected to pay.

    And if you haven't noticed, we aren't exactly growing at the 3 to 4% a year we were accustomed to after WWII.

    We are having to adjust to a world where we are no longer uniquely competitive in global markets.

    Hence the necessary belt tightening. As we withdraw militarily from Europe, it will be up to you guys to spend more on your militaries, or not do so and keep your welfare states.

    It's easy to afford a welfare state when you have no real security concerns. It's a lot harder when your contractually obligated to protect/police the world.

  3. #93
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    It's as if you think I'm arguing for the abolition of the social safety net.
    Yeah, what could be uncompassionate about establishing a job requirement with over three job seekers per job opening currently in the US (not including those who have given it up as a lost cause, of course).

    Meanwhile, in the real world, there are job shortages with people facing realities of being caretakers of children, sick spouses or elderly parents combined with low wages. Some people can't afford to pay others for the kind of care they give themselves. I'm not sure what you expect those people to do in the meantime.

    Plus, a significant percentage of the people on foodstamps are already working, but still live at or near the poverty level. A lot of the people covered by food stamps are children, do you want to punish them for the sins of their parents (assuming there are some)?

    I'm fine with there being some money to make sure the benefits are going to those that need them. Sometimes such efforts pay for themselves and help make sure the system isn't abused. I'm all for that.

    But sometimes it seems like you don't actually know any poor people. I know a number of people who work hard, spend modestly, live paycheck to paycheck (without benefits), and are one illness/car-repair/sick-relative away from being homeless or starving. Having foodstamps there for such people seems only fair, especially in a system that is giving huge payouts to rentiers and people with the power to have the system tilted in their favor. Seems insane that with growing income inequality, you want to take away from those that have the least.

    Seems like you are have decided it's the rich and powerful that need protecting as the true innocents. Sorry if that's hard to swallow. I've worked hard to get where I am, but I know I've been fortunate and there is luck involved. Lots of just as hard working folks haven't been so lucky. I'd rather live in a society where such people don't have to starve.

  4. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    We haven't even discussed what costs a state that has to fund a global military might reasonably be expected to pay.

    And if you haven't noticed, we aren't exactly growing at the 3 to 4% a year we were accustomed to after WWII.

    We are having to adjust to a world where we are no longer uniquely competitive in global markets.

    Hence the necessary belt tightening. As we withdraw militarily from Europe, it will be up to you guys to spend more on your militaries, or not do so and keep your welfare states.

    It's easy to afford a welfare state when you have no real security concerns. It's a lot harder when your contractually obligated to protect/police the world.
    The point you're missing is that economies need money to circulate, whether its in the shape of one sort of spending or another, its not a deal of having to man up and dispense with frivolous and generous wealth redistribution and start spending on military adventures like grown ups, although I'm sure you guys would like to spin that way, flattering and all as that may be to your own particular worldview.

    Any and all of these things were affordable, with monumental spending besides on other things, such as full employment and the use of the state as employer of last resort, the ability of governments to tax wealthy people with shrinking fortunes whose wealth is non-productive has been waning since the war and feelings of entitlement cuppled to that wealth have risen and risen year on year, particularly with the "winning" of the cold war. There's real problems with that. Problems capitalists are not remotely ready, willing or able to get a grip on.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The point you're missing is that economies need money to circulate, whether its in the shape of one sort of spending or another, its not a deal of having to man up and dispense with frivolous and generous wealth redistribution and start spending on military adventures like grown ups, although I'm sure you guys would like to spin that way, flattering and all as that may be to your own particular worldview.

    Any and all of these things were affordable, with monumental spending besides on other things, such as full employment and the use of the state as employer of last resort, the ability of governments to tax wealthy people with shrinking fortunes whose wealth is non-productive has been waning since the war and feelings of entitlement cuppled to that wealth have risen and risen year on year, particularly with the "winning" of the cold war. There's real problems with that. Problems capitalists are not remotely ready, willing or able to get a grip on.
    Capitalism won my friend.

    You better make peace with the market economy because it isn't going away any time soon.

    I think our military is horribly inefficient when it comes to spending and that we need a meaningful reduction in military spending, while at the same time not compromising our global force projection (which is entirely possible).

    The only reason we could pay for everything as long as we did is that we were growing at an unusually high rate after WWII, eventually we got used to that level of growth, and when it started to slow we artificially stimulated it in the 80's and again in the 00's.

    We can no longer afford to promise the moon and the stars to every constituency under the sun.

    We have to adjust to the new normal just like Britain had to adjust to a world where they were no longer uniquely dominant.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    Yeah, what could be uncompassionate about establishing a job requirement with over three job seekers per job opening currently in the US (not including those who have given it up as a lost cause, of course).
    Work requirement meaning that you must be looking for a job, not that you must have one smart guy.

  7. #97
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Work requirement meaning that you must be looking for a job, not that you must have one smart guy.
    And what about those who are taking care of children, ailing parents, relative, etc? Should they look for a job, even if getting one would be a net income loss? That only addresses a small part of the problem. Average cost of childcare in a childcare center in the US is $972 a month, with a low end of $300 in some areas. At the low end of $22, that about $13.63 (or 1.88 hours at minimum wage, ignoring transportation time, cost and any additional expenses). In the average range, that's over 6 hours at minimum wage. And all that is, of course, per kid. Elderly care tends to be more expensive.

    Plus, if there's any time for stimulative spending, it's while the economy and employment market haven't recovered. Cutting food stamps seems not only cruel, but self-destructive economically. If the job market and economy recover and SNP continues to grow, then that would be cause for concern.

  8. #98
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    The lower classes haven't recovered from the recession at the same rate or to the same degree as wealthy folks have. Most of us are still in the recession.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    And what about those who are taking care of children, ailing parents, relative, etc? Should they look for a job, even if getting one would be a net income loss? That only addresses a small part of the problem.
    There are already benefits for those with children, and disability protection and elderly benefits for the others.

    But for the person taking care of them, they have time to look for a job at least.

    There are already solid benefits covering the folks you describe. Disability for the ill or injured, and elderly benefits for the old. Not to mention the slew of benefits one gets per child. They are already covered.

    For the able bodied, able to work, they need to be looking for a job to receive personal benefits.

    We send the wrong message doing for others what they can do themselves. Our welfare system also locks folks into a permanent under class.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    The lower classes haven't recovered from the recession at the same rate or to the same degree as wealthy folks have. Most of us are still in the recession.
    If by wealthy folks you mean Hedge fund managers in NY then I agree.

    But if you mean, dentists and small business owners, pediatricians and architects then I heartily disagree.

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