Gman wrote: Vorkosigan wrote:
And, what do many 'progressives' propose? Give him a raise and a bigger gun.
Actually, no. What we propose is that the "policeman" as you put it, to become an actual policeman instead of a mafioso stealing from the locals and sending it to the 1% who own the town.
Really? So you don't propose more taxes (giving him a raise) and instituting more policies, regulations and other wealth distribution shcemes? (a bigger gun, more powers)
Gman, the current tax code IS a wealth distribution scheme -- it redistributes wealth from the lower classes to the 1% who now own something like 50% of the nation's wealth and 40% of its income.
Whoa, whose income is it? A tax cut is not a cost to the government (yes it's a reduction in revenue) but it's not the governments money that they are so kindly allowing the citizens to keep. Just as I feel little need for gratitude towards the burglers who broke into my house an stole numerous objects but left my computer. So your characterisation of the tax system as being a system of enriching the top 1% is complete nonsense. While I've heard all the outcry about GE not paying any income taxes, this year. I know of no cases where someone with an income of $250,000 for example was actually sent a check by the government that resulted in their net taxes being negative. As I said, simplify the code. Allow no deductions what so ever.
One of the most asinine aspects of the tax "debate" is the constant claim that it is only "redistribution" if the code works in the direction of equalization of income and the distribution of wealth. How long do you think the US can remain a functional and productive [b]democratic[/b] society if the economic structure constantly redistributes wealth upward while engaging in massive debt spending for criminal and criminally stupid wars?
Well, a democracy is really just legitimized mob rule isn't it? With out a very clear limit and restriction on what the government can and can't do, all the political class has to do is play folks like you on the left against your counterparts on the right and let you distract each other while the country is stolen out from under your asses. It's not the economic struture it's the political and regulatory structure that is redistributing the wealth upwards. America had it's chance. You have a constitution that defined very clearly what the government can and can't do and you had a bill of rights to go with it. They've both been allowed to erode. When the politicians on the left told Boobus Americans that in exchange for some of their financial liberties and, if they would allow the government to confiscate the wealth of their nieghbor the government could protect them from financial risk, they eagerly signed on the dotted line. And when the politicians on the right told Boobus Americans that in exchange for a reduction in some of their personal freedoms the government would protect them from ghosts and boogy men they eagerly surrendered those fredooms. And now tragically the American people are going to reap the consquences. Also, as someone else alluded to on this forum already. When you have a democracy where more people are net benficiaries of the system than pay into it there is little thought given to spending the treasury wisely after all, it's other peoples money.
Your analogy fails because the government is not a policeman and it is not a "neutral" arbiter in society -- it can't be, because social and economic structures are not neutral between classes of people, so if the government is "neutral" in the sense that right-wingers typically mean (restricted to enforcing contracts) it merely reifies the existing social order (is that what you want? A government that doesn't want to get rid of slavery, prefers women barefoot and in the kitchen, and does not want immigrants to become educated and productive members of society, doesn't regulate businesses, etc etc etc). Policemen don't engage in research funding, social programs, war, national parks, education, energy, etc. Government does. Vorkosigan
No, right-winger typically means the government needs enforces a set of values on society most espeically the neo conservatives. They want to influence sexuality, rights to perform abortions and other aspects of morality. They also advocate meddling in the affair of other nations.
I think you're confused with the Libertarians who advocate a government with limited functions. Only one of which you've sighted there are actually 3 or 4 depending on how you want to look at it.
1. Defend the nation from foreign invasion.
2. Defend the citizens from each other (ie defend the rights of the individaul) That takes care of Slavery, Women's rights ect.
4. Enforce contracts also enforce the rules of the game. (ie maintain free markets)
3. Provide and maintain infrastructure
Incidently, while I typically dislike the right more than the left some of the things you attribute to them are gross misreresentations. The idea that repulicans want to keep women barefoot and in the kitchen or what slavery is pure bullshit.
Now as for some other things you attribute to government;
1. Research funding. This doesn't need to be done by the government. Neither the development automobile nor the steam engine or the vast majority of human advances came from government. They came from private interests. Government funded research is hit and miss. Most of the so called research done in the social sciences is merely done in an attempt to justify some sort of social policy or government interferance in society.
2. Social programs. Again this is not a good thing for the government to be involved in. While intentions may be good you have to jude a program on it's results not it's intentions. Also govenment has proven itself inefficient at dealing with these issue as in the vast majority of cases political considerations trump real need when it comes to allocating resources. Invoulentary wealth distribution is immoral. And like anything else the fact that it is done by the government doesn't somehow make it moral. Governments are not morally superior to individauls. Private charities have proven effecitive in dealing with local issues when not hampered by government.
3. War isn't something government should do. National Parks can fit under infrastructure so I have no problem leaving that to government.
4. Education, well the governments done a great job of that haven't they?
5. Energy, I'm going to assume you mean energy policy. Sorry but energy is something best left to the free markets. Involve the government and you get NIMY. It reminds me of all the outcry last year when a couple hundred ducks died when they landed on the toxic tailing ponds in the Canadian tar sands. While the outcry is justified to an extent, people need perspective. Wind farms kill more birds in a week than died in the tar sands. Where's the outcry? Solar as it stands now is not economic and having the government throw money at it in the form of subsities will not tilt the economics
You've gotten caught up in this phoney Repulicrat vs. Democratican debate. As long as you guys think the solution is give government more money and power rather than demanding accountability you are doomed.