Bottomfeeder Sports

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  1. This reply just told you that you were mixing micro and macro issues. The "micro" decisions that individuals make are what they are. Government is concern with the results of all of these millions of decisions. Sure we would like to incentivize good decisions at the government level, but we still need to understand that no one makes perfect decisions. Even those in their own self interest. Government's role in this discussion (the purpose of this thread) is to keep society as a whole from being harmed by these individual decisions. Or more specifically keep an economy at the national level that maximizes the ability of those that have the right mix of talents, determination, personality, etc. to thrive for the benefit of everyone (read the Constitutional purpose for the necessary evil of patents) while at the same time allow those that are lacking in one way or another to survive. This covers all of the bases of "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves" on the way to forming "a more perfect Union". So in the example being discussed here the question is how do we have individuals provide for their families when there are various reasons why this doesn't happen. How do we best do this without thwarting those that might want to work? How do we encourage those with good ideas but not necessarily the correct "risk taking attitude" to take a chance on their idea? How do we best handle "care takers"? Or those that want to perform tasks society needs but doesn't pay well? And it needs to be a concern with how do we spread the wealth created to society as a whole while minimizing the "class warfare" resentment? These are the concerns of government and a good answer to one question may be a bad answer to another. So ultimately the role of government is to struggle with the competing interest that exist in society to try to balance those interest in distributing the limited resources of society. Governments are formed because the "brutish" competition for these limited resources means that few to none can actually have freedom. We give up our rights to take everything we can via strength or smarts or etc. in exchange for the protection of government for our "life, liberty, and property". As liberals we believe that we all can thrive if we work collectively towards these goals even if it is almost always a messy process. Even it it has to be a messy process.
  2. My unofficial test is to the degree that people seem to notice skin color at all. I was born at a time and place where I could not escape being trained to notice. I just do and it makes it a challenge to avoid prejudice. There are sadly many places where being trained to notice still apart of childhood, but there are also younger generations that have appear to have escaped this burden completely. And while maybe I'm just seeing what I want, but I think as we older folks die off we are being replaced by far fewer people that even notice. And if you don't even notice then there is nothing to overcome to avoid the rest.
  3. I think the "bubbling to the surface" we see in the past few years is a large result of the overall decline. It is a "last stand" of those feeling that something is being lost.
  4. First sentence is a right wing myth. One of those things repeated over and over so it becomes "true" for believers. It is not true on many levels. Especially the one that matters, being enough. The second paragraph is fine. The fact that charities are unable to fill this need is not an indictment on the charities or the work they do or those that give to them. It is a simple statement of fact that they don't have the resources and the reach to fill the need
  5. I'd love to live in the world where private charity would take on and handle the social welfare needs of the nation. We just know already that the best intentions are just not enough.
  6. It seems an awful lot like that no strings attached free time share rental. You don't have to listen to the presentation.
  7. FairTax as usually presented is rather conservative, rather regressive, and promoted with a bunch of such as we will be collecting taxes on the underground economies [that we aren't collecting now]. But ultimately an income tax is just a consumption tax anyway in the sense that the income tax you pay is past on to our employers in the price they pay for our labor. That is eventually passed on in the price of the final good or service is consumed. What the income tax does is make the consumption tax higher on [US] labor intensive items as opposed to items that utilize less labor. That is a big part of the "Fair" in its name (with being a fat tax the other part - the part you and I find unfair at least in a vacuum). So in one way a consumption tax acts the same way as a tariff for foreign made goods assuming it removes income tax advantages. And on the flip side there are no taxes on stuff made here and then sold abroad. While free trade concerns are there, the main concern for us liberals is the regressive nature of a sales tax, of a flat tax. This is replacing more than just the progressive income tax. It also replaces the payroll tax which is rather regressive itself. The FairTax people approach this in a similar way that the Forbe's Flat Tax addressed it. Make the first $X of consumption tax free. To accomplish this they create a monthly check to each family (I'd prefer individual) which pays the equivalent of the tax for poverty level purchases. The fair tax people go nuts when you suggest it, but they fix in their minds the regressive nature with a tiny basic income guarantee. BIG is a conservative idea also, at least until recently. I don't think the FairTax BIG is big enough, but that is what some of the back and forth has been about.
  8. Yes, good bye to social welfare on the spending side. And while there would be debates as to what is social welfare I'd hope a rather expansive list would prevail. However, with the FairTax we already replaced close to a trillion with the elimination of tax expenditures (home mortgage deduction, ESI deduction, etc.)..
  9. I'm willing to listen when those aren't on the table. But when we shift 1.6 trillion from private spending on healthcare (plus whatever the states pay, plus whatever should be paid by those that skip it minus the efficiencies that are gained) to the federal government I'd want to pay for it rather than putting the burden on future generations. So I don't care that the national sales tax is 50% or so to make this work, but it is also a tough sell for the masses who won't understand that this is still "revenue neutral" at the macro level.
  10. Revenue neutral means it collects the same as today's various taxes (income, payroll, tariffs (which from some perspectives the FairTax would be), etc.). That is problematic when we are scheduled to be running almost a trillion dollar annual deficit.
  11. Can you also throw in a BIG that is more than 23% poverty level that is the prebate (assuming that number is still the same). And the language that was in most (all?) of the bills that were proposed automatically reset the 30% tax rate when the FairTax failed to be revenue neutral needs to be there except it needs to say "fully pay for government" and not lock in and/or create more structural deficits. Now if Congress want to react to a sticker shock when the rate is much higher by doing the hard work of cutting spending (no sequester style automated cuts allowed as we have plenty of experience that they don't get proper attention) then the rate can reset lower also in subsequent years. Deal? Oh and I mostly like your style of conservatism in the other thread. Too bad that it seems so foreign now a days.
  12. While I posted at the time and still am generally OK with it, Trump gave North Korea the one concession they have long wanted most - the prestige of a one on one with the US.
  13. What is more important making abortion illegal reducing the number of abortions ? Sure these don't need to be contradictory goals and I'm sure your answer is "both", but these tend to be conflicting "in practice" which is why I believe this is a legitimate question.
  14. I posted most of my thoughts in the liberal side of this question. I don't think anyone thinks of me as a conservative too often, but the one place I think I may line up with conservatives better than liberals is the purpose of taxation. Now as a liberal I am for taxing at higher levels than conservatives so this isn't about fighting over that. In the liberal thread I already mentioned flatting out taxes (after doing a bunch of liberal stuff which would counter the regressive nature first) and possibly going to a consumption tax. I believe that these are more conservative ideas, but not what I am really going for. When it comes to taxation I think that taxes should be for the sole purpose of paying for the government spending we create. Deficits matter as borrowing also taxes the economy. I don't think we should use taxes to pursue other agenda items. We shouldn't hide spending as tax breaks. We shouldn't pretend tax cuts lead to spending cuts (usually the opposite happens). We should not use tax breaks to promote morality. Maybe we target "sin taxes" to pay for whatever extra government spending happens as a result of usage of alcohol or whatever, but not as a means to promote good behavior. Sometimes I waiver a bit on such things and am not as consistent of this as a true conservative might be. And I am kind of calling "tax expenditures" spending. So maybe my liberal side slips out a bit from time to time, but I still think this is more "conservative" than "liberal". If not, forgive me.
  15. Basically what I want is “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. Where "the people" is all the people. A government that promotes the general welfare of all the people rather than a few elites will largely take care of domestic tranquility. So the big three here are the establishment of a BIG for now and maybe more than "basic" in the future if our automation job loss fears are realized. This replaces almost all non health care related social welfare programs. Social Security would be a "senior premium" added to the BIG. The amount would be the same for all citizens and other legal residents, but most of that amount for dependent children would be deferred as a college (or trade school) fund. For those where further education is not a good option it would become available at some age. Single payer - We can let the private insurance companies prove they can offer more quality and still make profits for the same amount as the government option as long as that isn't from cherry picking populations if we must, but move all premiums into taxation. Education was addressed in the BIG discussion To pay for it all we should flatten taxes. I'm also pretty certain that taxing income becomes problematic if the automation job loss happens so maybe seriously consider taxing consumption, but we would need to be more honest than the "pie in sky" FairTax claims. Or maybe there is a good way to tax automation itself? But I think all of the ideas I can think of would act to thwart progress. Lets not be in the business of propping up lost causes. Which brings us to "provide for the common defense". While most don't see it this way the greatest threat to our nation is ignoring climate change. We need to address producing an ever increasing amount of energy without adding more greenhouse gases (and other pollutants) to our environment. Government should have driven this process thirty yeas ago. It must at the very least get out of the way now. We also need to rebuild, or more accurately re-imagine our infrastructure. By re-imagine I mean such things as roads that recharge batteries and are designed for driverless cars only. Modern power grids. Cities and towns designed with walking around in mind. etc. "Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity" means that we embrace the "On Liberty" passage that more or less states that we are free to do things, even immoral things that harm ourselves as long as we don't harm others. This means the elimination of "victim less crime" prohibitions. Sure there are reasons to fear that society as a whole might have issues to face, but that harm can be dealt with more easily than the harms of prohibition. Ultimately this extends to not prohibiting stuff for reasons of morality. Something with a victim is abortion. We should do what we can to minimize the number of abortions performed. Prohibition, based on various studies won't do that. By building a strong social safety net with the BIG and single payer we addressed one means to lower the abortion rate. We also need to "get honest" about sex. Especially teen sex. "Just say no" is not a honest approach. In fact it is counterproductive. And of course we need contraception to be universally available with people knowledgeable on how to use it. Lets have some of the lowest rather than one of highest abortion rates in the world. We do that by rejecting the social conservative baggage that usually comes along with the Pro Life movement. What have I forgotten? Diplomacy over military out sized might? Power being shared rather than a hierarchy. Treating everyone with dignity and respect and not carving out the blessing of liberty for the few that look like me. I'm sure I'll be kicking myself later for forgetting something important, but this is already too long.