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  1. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Capitalism won my friend.

    You better make peace with the market economy because it isn't going away any time soon.
    Yes, Capitalism "won" in the same sense that Christianity "won" and democracy "won", if we are at the "end of history" it would appear that the further from reality any idea is the more revered, honoured and valued it is, the more is attributed to it and the less it is actually applied.

    I'm sure there's a dozen libertarians on this forum alone, I remember discussing it with them, who'd claim that what has "won" out in the world isnt capitalism, at least not their dreamt of capitalism, the problem arises when their proposals only serve to strengthen the supposedly un-capitalist status quo instead of conjuring up their paradise.

    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.
    And do you think the US will adjust by introducing a mixed economy with government ownership of utilities, health services, social services and a progressive taxation?

    If you want to draw that analogy the UK became positively "socialist" following its paradigm shift from empire, in fact most of the UK socialists didnt think that their reforms were singularly socialist at all but would prevent spending upon the military and militarism of the kind which had historically determined all national economic and social policy.

    Accepting your analysis for just a moment, which I do think is flawed BTW, why did the US decline after WW2? How could it possibly have been artificially stimulated in the ninties and noughts? I presume you're talking about the Democrat periods of office and I also presume that you believe they make the promises to constituencies and the republicans dont.

    The reality is that both the UK and US have been dominated by domestic "old money", its unproductive money, globalisation has been debated back and forth but the political consensus is that it has empowered all money, including "old money", unproductive money, to resist taxation so the state cant even circulate money in the economy productively. The crisis created by shady "new money", the golden geckos, attempts to create and keep shares of wealth and places at the table now threatens "old money" but the narrative that everyone should take a hit and it was all unaffordable anyway is holding for the time being.

    Whether people believe it or not and whether "old money" can be protected for a little longer or not the reality is that unproductive money and legacies are not going to create any shared prosperity, I'm not sure that they can even guarantee their own prosperity relative to everyone else indefinitely, those fortunes will eventually dwindle, especially if expectations just carry on as they always have and even escalate with each passing generation.

  2. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    And do you think the US will adjust by introducing a mixed economy with government ownership of utilities, health services, social services and a progressive taxation?

    If you want to draw that analogy the UK became positively "socialist" following its paradigm shift from empire, in fact most of the UK socialists didnt think that their reforms were singularly socialist at all but would prevent spending upon the military and militarism of the kind which had historically determined all national economic and social policy.
    No I dont think that's the path we will take.

    More to the point I don't think that's the only path available to us.

    We as a people are much less amenable to Socialist policies than are the denizens of Europe.

  3. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    No I dont think that's the path we will take.

    More to the point I don't think that's the only path available to us.

    We as a people are much less amenable to Socialist policies than are the denizens of Europe.
    That's the story you tell yourselves and given how you define socialism its not right.

  4. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    That's the story you tell yourselves and given how you define socialism its not right.

  5. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post

  6. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    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).

    ...

    We can no longer afford to promise the moon and the stars to every constituency under the sun.
    Completely agreed with the first part.

    What I don't understand is how you define food as being the moon and the stars. No one is asking for 4 star chefs, gourmet meals.. Just organic, non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, reliable food sources. Considering what a bunch of hoopla everyone makes over health costing Americans so much money, you'd think that something that every dietitian, physician, pediatrician, and health care expert agrees prevents disease, illness, and death (i.e. eating) is a WAY cheaper, more conservative approach to epidemic spending problems and concerns that exceed just food itself (i.e. crime because people are resorting to it to feed themselves or others, and emergency room trips because we're obligated to treat anyone who walks in regardless of funding).

    American grocery stores throw away more than enough food to feed the hungry. With proper preparation on the day of suggested sale, they could serve or conserve a majority of that food to feed the homeless and hungry without costing the government a cent extra. It wouldn't be awesome stellar food, but it'd be good food. Instead of the government making it mandatory that they not throw away food (just an example, I'm not saying this should happen), the way it is now people dig through dumpsters to grab it for free (there's a whole documentary on that lifestyle) to do this for themselves, and/or expose the hungry to all sorts of pathogens and, of course, there's the obvious and clear neglect of the entire fact that there's food available, and hungry people, and nothing being done about it.

    Food stamps are not the only way to feed people, but food stamps are not costing the government the money everyone thinks it is. The program is there for a damn good reason. People pick on the easy, small things, because the bigger things require work. Look how easy it was to cut the food stamp budget versus the military spending that EVERYONE knows is out of control? It's a convenience thing, it has nothing to do with actual statistics or numbers.
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  7. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Food stamps are not the only way to feed people, but food stamps are not costing the government the money everyone thinks it is. The program is there for a damn good reason. People pick on the easy, small things, because the bigger things require work. Look how easy it was to cut the food stamp budget versus the military spending that EVERYONE knows is out of control? It's a convenience thing, it has nothing to do with actual statistics or numbers.
    It's actually much more difficult to cut entitlement spending than it is to cut military spending.

    The sequester pretty clearly demonstrates this.

    I'm not against some sort of food recycling program like you mentioned.

    My problem is that entitlement and poverty programs have grown explosively while we have cut literally every other sector of government spending.

    The benefits, and I'm including things like double dipping under VA programs, need to be completely rethought so that the system at no point disincentivizes work.

    We should require all those physically and mentally capable of work without extenuating circumstances to at least to be looking for a job or doing community service (etc..) to qualify for benefits.

    Extenuating circumstances could be things like caring for an autistic child (etc..)

    The qualifications for many of the programs have been loosened in such a way as to make abuse of the system a much more pressing problem than it was before the qualifications were loosened.

    The programs need to be made much more efficient, and a serious effort needs to be put forth in combating fraud.

    From your personal circumstances, it sounds like your family is entirely deserving of the received benefits, and as such fall completely outside of the argument I've been making.

    The reforms to our entitlement system are just as necessary as those to Healthcare.

  8. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    It's actually much more difficult to cut entitlement spending than it is to cut military spending.

    The sequester pretty clearly demonstrates this.
    It is extremely difficult to cut PROPER military spending. It is cut in all the wrong ways. This is what I am saying. The parts we could truly live without and still function are the parts people don't want us to touch.

    The benefits, and I'm including things like double dipping under VA programs, need to be completely rethought so that the system at no point disincentivizes work.
    I've long talked about allocating resources versus straight up money. If there were actual resources, it would cost the government so much less than giving people the money straight out. But it is difficult to do that because of social factors--like bigots that red line and zone off areas that are known to be poor. It is difficult to do something like set up a community of housing that's legit and safe for people because people will KNOW those guys are poor. That knowledge in and of itself is dangerous.

    Food stamps allocate resources only. Not money. I don't know how the WHOLE program works, but I do know that the way we have ours set up you can only buy food with it. Not even cooking supplies are included like foil. It's straight up food. It's 'money', but it isn't translating into anything else but the food people are eating. And it's meager. We feed 3-6 people a month on $200. That is no easy task, and it requires time and effort to make that work. We're not the only family in that situation. How much lower can they cut it? We're not talking about all incentives in this thread, that's an entirely different subject. This is talking about food. It's absolutely essential, and that's why its shit to try cutting it. Reform it so that it's easier for people to get the benefits they need without people taking advantage, sure, but that is impossible as well. It just creates more red tape for people that need it normally.

    We should require all those physically and mentally capable of work without extenuating circumstances to at least to be looking for a job or doing community service (etc..) to qualify for benefits.
    But how do you determine this? My father's been waiting for VA benefits from his diseases pawned off by navy doctors for over 2 years.. should he be forced to work despite his ailments until he is official? What about my mother, originally denied simply because she was too embarrassed to write that she could not dress herself in the mornings, and it took hiring a lawyer and two years to correct the error? Saying mentally and physically capable in and of itself is a difficult position. I'm not saying it isn't possible. But it is difficult. And more costly to evaluate all of this than to just give more people the benefits themselves. The analysis is not worth the waste of expense.

    Time and time again people push for testing and analysis.. "Lets test those poor people getting welfare for drugs!" Only to find out they spent MASSIVE amounts of money and hardly found anything they suspected. It's a complete waste of time and that's not even talking about potential privacy invasion of things like medical conditions.

    The qualifications for many of the programs have been loosened in such a way as to make abuse of the system a much more pressing problem than it was before the qualifications were loosened.
    I'm not a fan of quoting statistics.. People say welfare use is down overall, people say it's up if you count x factors, it's really unreliable. What is reliable is this: Go try to sign up for a program like that. And tell me how long it really takes. Someone who is REALLY starving and has NO resources would die long before food stamps came to help. Tightening the system also means making it harder for people who really need it. I'd rather have weak points than damning good, hard working people suffering just because some asshole decided he wanted to spend money on an X-box versus food.

    The programs need to be made much more efficient, and a serious effort needs to be put forth in combating fraud.
    Not at all arguing that. I just have yet to see a system working like that that also makes it easier for the people in need.

    From your personal circumstances, it sounds like your family is entirely deserving of the received benefits, and as such fall completely outside of the argument I've been making.

    The reforms to our entitlement system are just as necessary as those to Healthcare.
    Entitlements yes. I have no idea how, that is not my expertise, but yes. However. I don't include food stamps in that. I don't include money that is already being directly translated into actual resources in that. Double dipping, etc. That stuff yes. I don't agree with it, and it happens all the time. But. Food is food is food. It is not, to me, an entitlement although it unfortunately falls under that name. It is an essential part of living. Cut down food budgets and I guarantee you you'll see falls in work ethics and environment, able workers, and a rise in disease and applications for other entitlements. Food is essential to everything, and we protect it under every American slogan we've ever said ever.
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  9. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    The reforms to our entitlement system are just as necessary as those to Healthcare.
    That's clearly financially not the case.
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  10. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    It is extremely difficult to cut PROPER military spending. It is cut in all the wrong ways. This is what I am saying. The parts we could truly live without and still function are the parts people don't want us to touch.



    I've long talked about allocating resources versus straight up money. If there were actual resources, it would cost the government so much less than giving people the money straight out. But it is difficult to do that because of social factors--like bigots that red line and zone off areas that are known to be poor. It is difficult to do something like set up a community of housing that's legit and safe for people because people will KNOW those guys are poor. That knowledge in and of itself is dangerous.

    Food stamps allocate resources only. Not money. I don't know how the WHOLE program works, but I do know that the way we have ours set up you can only buy food with it. Not even cooking supplies are included like foil. It's straight up food. It's 'money', but it isn't translating into anything else but the food people are eating. And it's meager. We feed 3-6 people a month on $200. That is no easy task, and it requires time and effort to make that work. We're not the only family in that situation. How much lower can they cut it? We're not talking about all incentives in this thread, that's an entirely different subject. This is talking about food. It's absolutely essential, and that's why its shit to try cutting it. Reform it so that it's easier for people to get the benefits they need without people taking advantage, sure, but that is impossible as well. It just creates more red tape for people that need it normally.



    But how do you determine this? My father's been waiting for VA benefits from his diseases pawned off by navy doctors for over 2 years.. should he be forced to work despite his ailments until he is official? What about my mother, originally denied simply because she was too embarrassed to write that she could not dress herself in the mornings, and it took hiring a lawyer and two years to correct the error? Saying mentally and physically capable in and of itself is a difficult position. I'm not saying it isn't possible. But it is difficult. And more costly to evaluate all of this than to just give more people the benefits themselves. The analysis is not worth the waste of expense.

    Time and time again people push for testing and analysis.. "Lets test those poor people getting welfare for drugs!" Only to find out they spent MASSIVE amounts of money and hardly found anything they suspected. It's a complete waste of time and that's not even talking about potential privacy invasion of things like medical conditions.



    I'm not a fan of quoting statistics.. People say welfare use is down overall, people say it's up if you count x factors, it's really unreliable. What is reliable is this: Go try to sign up for a program like that. And tell me how long it really takes. Someone who is REALLY starving and has NO resources would die long before food stamps came to help. Tightening the system also means making it harder for people who really need it. I'd rather have weak points than damning good, hard working people suffering just because some asshole decided he wanted to spend money on an X-box versus food.



    Not at all arguing that. I just have yet to see a system working like that that also makes it easier for the people in need.



    Entitlements yes. I have no idea how, that is not my expertise, but yes. However. I don't include food stamps in that. I don't include money that is already being directly translated into actual resources in that. Double dipping, etc. That stuff yes. I don't agree with it, and it happens all the time. But. Food is food is food. It is not, to me, an entitlement although it unfortunately falls under that name. It is an essential part of living. Cut down food budgets and I guarantee you you'll see falls in work ethics and environment, able workers, and a rise in disease and applications for other entitlements. Food is essential to everything, and we protect it under every American slogan we've ever said ever.
    I'm talking about tailoring the qualification requirements for the benefits in such a way that benefits go to those that actually need them, which currently not everyone in the systems does.

    If we made the programs more efficient, we could actually spend more per qualified enrollee and still save money overall.

    Certainly we can increase the access to benefits for the truly needy, while curtailing enrollment in the program at higher ends of the scale. Under the current system I believe a couple making $43k a year would still qualify for benefits.

    That's nuts.

    In your personal case both your parents are unable to work and qualify for disability and in your fathers case VA benefits.

    The time its taken him to receive benefits is exactly the kind of inefficiency I want to combat.

    What I take issue with is the expansion of the program requirements that has allowed many in the middle class to receive benefits. This should anger any who want a more efficient system that channels resources to those that truly need it.

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