Social Question

ETpro's avatar

Do you agree with House Republicans that any disaster relief for tornado victims should be offset by spending cuts?

Asked by ETpro (34232 points ) May 26th, 2011

I understand the desire to control the nation’s climbing debt. But it seems to me there is considerable debate required about how best to achieve that, and the need in the nation’s heartland isn’t going to wait for months for a contentious national debate to play out.

The two parties can’t even agree on what should be on the table yet. Republicans say that increasing revenues and cutting defense spending can’t even be discussed. Democrats say cutting spending on education and the social safety net should be off the table. Resolving a gulf that wide will likely take longer than the people of the Midwest can wait. Should disaster response move ahead unfettered, or wait till the two parties resolve their differences about revenue and spending priorities?

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46 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

Just as long as the spending cuts come from their salaries.

syz's avatar

It’s amazing to me that the spending cuts that Republicans want are to those most vulnerable – education, social services, etc. I’m not against offsetting the cost of disaster relief; how about rolling back tax cuts for the wealthy, subsidies for oil companies, loopholes for corporate taxes.

lawkes's avatar

There shouldn’t be a disaster relief period. The people affected by natural disasters should have taken the necessary precaution of purchasing insurance, especially when in a potentially hazardous zone. The country shouldn’t be forced to pay for someone else’s irresponsibility.

mattbrowne's avatar

Sounds a bit cynical after the spending spree and tax breaks for the rich and deregulation of the financial markets from 2000–2008.

Gabby101's avatar

That’s ridiculous – are we going to let US cities that have experienced natural disasters go to waste while we invest money in other countries like Pakistan, China and India? There is plenty of waste that can be cut from the budget and not healthcare, education or social security. We are spending too much money on defense and making the rich happy.

cazzie's avatar

@mattbrowne I know you’re being a bit ironic, because you do know that the US government and public can’t think that far back or collate the issues they have now to the decisions that were made then…. (oh… I am a cynical bitch sometimes)

I think the government should be leaning on the insurance companies in a BIG way. They’ve been feeding off the prepared for far to long. The truth is that, for example, after Katrina, those people HAD insurance, but the insurance companies completely screwed over as many people as they could because they were shitting themselves at the amount of devastation. Houses that were written off by the FEMA people were receiving checks that only covered 15% of the costs of repairs. So, @lawkes… don’t give me that crap.

lawkes's avatar

Actually most people didn’t have insurance.

”Pre-Hurricane Katrina building codes for flood protection were virtually non-existent in New Orleans. Protection against hurricanes was never a priority for New Orleans residents. While there are no statistics for how many residents individually furnished their homes, we can assume most homes were not wind and flood protected since most of the residents have an “It will not happen to me” attitude (Kunreuther, 2006. 2). Hurricane protection was not a priority segment of the government responsible for New Orleans either. The state ofLouisiana did not create any building codes nor did it require local governments to enforce or develop local building plans. The city itself has also never created any building codes to minimize flood damage (Burby, 2006. 8).“

”According to estimates made soon after Katrina, the costs of uninsured losses have reached the $100 Billion mark, while costs of reimbursing people with insurance reached $34 Billion. (Baade, 2005)”S

As for those that did have insurance, the insurance company didn’t screw over the consumer. Those that had insurance should’ve read the fine details on the contract before purchasing. They were not covered for certain events. The court forced the insurance companies to be responsible for events that are external to the contract details.

Also, even if an insurance company screws over a consumer, how does it make sense that the country should use its tax dollars to support the consumer that got screwed over by his insurance company? Which basically means the working class pays for someone else’s problems. If one buys a car and it falls apart, should he/she ask the government for monetary relief? Or does he/she sue the company? If the consumer has a complaint then he/she should go sue the insurance company for violating the contract. The working class citizens should not pay for a consumer’s personal problem.

People seem to have this sense of entitlement that when one gets screwed over, someone innocent should have to pay for it.

tedd's avatar

@lawkes So they should’ve taken the necessary precautions to get themselves insured…. and then read the fine print to see that insurance companies don’t cover the damage?

Insurance companies will try everything they can to not pay you your money, to pay you less money, or to make someone else pay you your money (car, health, disaster, renters, ALL of them). How is someone who just had their house obliterated supposed to deal with legal challenges by a multibillion dollar corporation?

Besides, its not like they’re going to be paying to rebuild peoples houses with this money. They will be rebuilding infrastructure, and providing emergency services (cheap warm food, laundry, temporary shelter, etc). Why don’t you ask the victims of Katrina who still don’t have a new house how much that government money helped them rebuild their home. This isn’t government provided insurance money to help people replace things, its emergency disaster relief meant to give them temporary assistance so they’re not sleeping under a tree in the immediate post-disaster situation.

And if you don’t want to help people who have been faced with a natural disaster by providing them emergency medical assistance, food and water, and basic shelter… then frankly @lawkes I’m ashamed to call you a fellow American.

There’s no sense of entitlement there at all, that’s just plain helping your fellow man. We should be so lucky to live in a country that actually gives to craps about you when some act of god destroys everything you know.

lawkes's avatar

Yes, they should’ve. The individual is responsible. A person deals with a multibillion dollar corporation through the court system. If the contract has truly been violated, then there won’t be a problem of winning the case and getting reimbursed for the damages along with the time wasted, etc.

If my internet goes down, and I lost money because of this event, can I blame you for my problems? Should I force you to pay for my problems? Should I sue the company that I signed up to knowing that the disclaimer states “we do not guarantee 100% uptime”? Absolutely not. You’re on your own to do your own research and understand the risk involved along with taking the necessary steps to protect yourself from those risks. Nobody owes you anything.

If one is unable to take responsibility, then he/she can go beg a charity organization to help them, or pan handle for change on the street.

Why don’t you ask the millions of the working Americans if they want their money stolen by the government to support someone who’s irresponsible? To support someone’s home, someone’s education, someone’s insurance, etc… while the victim sits and moans that he/she is the victim, instead of handling the situation on his/her own.

If you insist on supporting a socialistic system that destroys the fundamental structure of the constitution which calls for a limited government (restricted to court, military, protection), and that allows individuals to enjoy the liberty to pursue their own interests and preferences, then I’m ashamed to call you an American.

Forcing an innocent person to pay for someone’s shortcomings is not a sense of entitlement? Hah.

This sums it up & This too

tedd's avatar

@lawkes There are no words to describe, how despicable you are. You are beyond arguing.

I hope to god some natural disaster never hits you and your family or your neighborhood. But the day it does, I’ll be waiting to see you telling the government you don’t want the bottled water, blankets, hotel vouchers, and microwave meals they offer you.

And I fully expect you’ll pay out of your own pocket to replace the destroyed roads, schools, police cars, city halls, stop lights, etc.

lawkes's avatar

Why am I despicable ? Because I deny socialism?

See, that’s the thing, unlike the irresponsible ones, I’ve taken the necessary precautions to protect my family from natural disasters. My home was built to withstand earthquakes, tornadoes, twisters, floods, you name it, and in case it can’t, I spend more then $100,000 a year on health-dental-Car-Home-Life-Liability insurance for a family of 4.

Also, even if I had an unprotected home, or no insurance, I would go to a charity organization or I would beg for money from others.

It’s one thing to ask for donations, it’s another to steal and donate, which is what the government does. Robin hood tactics.

cazzie's avatar

You can’t get insurance for things no insurance company will insure for. Come’on!

lawkes's avatar

Sure they will, check out statefarm. They even insure you from volcanic disasters.

Just make sure it’s on the contract.

cazzie's avatar

And they would never offer volcano insurance in Iceland or New Zealand, just somewhere in Wisconsin….

No, they DROP coverage… LOOK…

http://www.nola.com/business/index.ssf/2011/01/state_farm_prepares_to_raise_r.html

lawkes's avatar

They would, you would just pay more, but that’s a given since you’re in a disaster zone.

Just saw your edit, see just as I said, they raise the rates because you’re in a disaster zone. Now, if statefarm refuses to insure something, then just go to its next door competitors that will insure it. Pretty simple.

lawkes's avatar

I pay an insane amount for car insurance here in New York because we’re known for having the worst drivers in the country.

If you go out of state, it’s less then half of what I pay.

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cazzie's avatar

@tedd…... what should or could we possibly say to @lawkes to let them know how impossibly miss informed they are. hopeless..

lawkes's avatar

Oh really? Misinformed? Are you sure it’s not the reverse?

What exactly am I misinformed about? What have I written that wasn’t factual?

I see that my post was removed for flame-bait, in that case I’ll rephrase.

@tedd, just curious, did you donate or expect the government to provide a disaster relief to the religious members who lost all their money because they thought the world was going to end?

cazzie's avatar

You say that the founding fathers had no thought of socialism in their planning but you couldn’t be more wrong. Ben Franklin was the ideas man behind the fire brigade and the socialist idea of insurance…not the profit scaremongering that goes on today. That would make him blush with rage, I think. Have a read….
http://preesi.lefora.com/2010/04/14/our-socialist-founding-fathers/
They knew…. ‘United we Stand, Divided we Fall.’......

cazzie's avatar

You also deny that socialism doesn’t work, but it does. You only need to look at the top rated countries for living in the world. I am lucky enough to live in one of them. Poor you… you have a long road ahead to get to any sort of equity and proper standard of living and justice in your country. I do have the faith, though, in the human spirit, and in the hearts of Americans, that they will find their way back to a just and democratic way where voices are heard and corporations and government learn, again, to know their place. America, get your whip, crack it hard and show them who’s boss.

tedd's avatar

@cazzie Nothing you could say would fix his insanity.

@lawkes You seem to be under the impression that disaster relief by the Federal Government will pay to replace people’s homes and belongings, as well as pay for their long term medical care.

None of that is true. Federal Disaster Relief will provide emergency medical care related to the disaster, with no long term care. It will provide emergency shelter, which is either a hotel voucher, a tent, or in very rare cases, a temporary trailer (that you have to give back after X months). It will provide emergency food, clothing, and water for you as well, since you may not have a grocery store anymore, or access to your own money, or whatever. Lastly, it provides local and state governments a portion (and not a terribly large one) of the money they will need to replace their own things (roads, buildings, police cruisers, etc).

And furthermore you’ll have to excuse the 99% of Americans who can’t afford to have a home that was built to withstand earthquakes, tornadoes, twisters, floods, you name it (what about the ones that can’t afford a home period…. let me guess, they should have got better jobs?) Don’t even get me started on 100,000 dollars a year on health-dental-Car-Home-Life-Liability insurance for a family of 4. (which honestly if you’re paying that much, you’re a complete moron.

ETpro's avatar

@SavoirFaire Ha! Good chance. Fat chance of that! Here’s the attitude.

@syz I think in this session, plus in the states where Republicans have taken over governance, we are seeing who thay want to take care of (corporate jet setters and the wealthy) and who thay want to take from in order to do it. This is called shared sacrifice. You sacrifice so I can have your share.

@lawkes So the janitor who’s been keeping your city clean, and his family don’t deserve any help when a disaster strikes because he was bornb with an IQ of 80. Never mind he’s an honest, hard working man. He can just rit in hell because he was unlucky in the brith lottery. And shame on his kids for being so careless as to be born to him instead of David Koch or Rupert Murdoch. Thanks for showing true Republican colors.

@mattbrowne One has to woinder if their newfound austerity would carry over to when they govern. I doubt it. I think it would just be another round of massive tax cuts for the rich and corporations, coupled with far more defense spending and corporate welfare.

@gabby94805 Thanks and welcome to Fluther. I am glad you see the illogic in that. We have always helped our neighbors when they were in need.

@cazzie I’m pretty sure the American People are going to come down overwhelmingly on your side of this issue. Republicans are really damaging their brand with stuff like killing Medicare and making any disaster relief contingent on spending cuts.

@tedd Thanks for mentioning the obvious facts. Unfortunately, facts NEVER trump right wing ideology.

lawkes's avatar

@tedd,

I’m a complete moron for insuring my families well being? You’ve proven your stupidity yet again.

@cazzie,

I’ve read your link, and it seems you’re the one who’s completely misinformed.

The point that the writer glossed over was that the post office, post roads, army, and navy were all essential elements of inter-state relationship and transaction between the states so as to ensure common defense and communication to create and sustain the states and the country.

These services were not being offered to the masses. These services were being offered at a national level to the states.

The Constitution defined the power relationship between the federal government and the states.

The author really needs to define ‘socialist’ as he labels everything the federal government does as socialist. The real truth is that most federal tasks such as implementing a national road system or waterway systems were done to foster competition and enhance individuals’ abilities to compete across state boundaries. The author seems to be letting his personal ideology get in the way of historical facts.

The founders were not defining the relationship between the federal government and the masses.

The Constitution left it to the states to determine issues such as health care.

The founding fathers (i.e. Madison, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Washington, et al) did not “set up” our tax system at all beyond excise taxes and tariffs. In fact, for the first 100 years of our republic’s existence, we did not have any federal income tax.

The 16th Amendment—not the original Constitution or the original first ten Amendments written by the Founders—was ratified in 1913, which for the first time granted the federal government authority to levy an individual federal income tax on citizens.

Section 8, which explicitly says that those taxes, duties, imposts and excises must be uniform throughout the United States. This section does not refer to the federal income tax.

Our current federal income tax code doesn’t derive it’s authority from Section 8; it’s based on the 16th Amendment, because our progressive tax code isn’t uniform throughout the United States (which would be a violation of Section 8).

If Section 8 covers it, then why did they go to all that trouble back in 1913 to pass a Constitutional Amendment in order to institute the income tax?

The founding fathers wanted a republican form of government. That is absolutely required of the federal and all state governments. That is the limit of the ‘type’ of government they required.

The founders wanted limited government. They accepted that the federal government would have to do certain things. They enumerated exactly what those were in the constitution. The bill of rights was not even supposed to be necessary. The argument was that unless a power is specifically enumerated, the government does NOT have the authority to act, but many were afraid of the government and insisted on the bill of rights. Anything not specifically enumerated is left to the states.

If you read the constitution you will notice certain things like:

“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;”

”...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The founders obviously had a capitalist leaning and respect for private property and private production.

While things like military, immigration, post office, judiciary system, prisons, and certain specific other institutions are listed for the federal government, those listed are supposed to be the ONLY things the federal government does. The states are supposed to do everything else unless there is a constitutional amendment giving the federal government the authority, and those things listed are largely not socialist. A fire station run by the government is not an example of socialism. That is a misnomer. Socialism is when the government controls something that is marketable and can exist in the market without the government control. If the government takes over the oil industry that is clearly socialist. If the government creates the military that is just government because a standing military has no way to exist in the free market, so it’s not socialist.

Further evidence can be seen from the discussion from the founding fathers. They already thought the constitution created a limited government. Conservative is not a meaningful adjective, it’s not useful. Limited is the key component.

Many of the founders did not, for example, think the 2nd amendment was necessary. The 2nd amendment acknowledges our pre-existing right to keep and bear arms and tells the government in specific terms not to mess with those rights. This amendment was thought unnecessary because the founders thought that since the constitution did not specifically say arms could be regulated, that meant the federal government could not regulate them at all. Knowing the history now, you can see how the government has disregarded the fact that unless the constitution specifically gives the government a power, it doesn’t have that power. And you are reading the constitution the same (incorrect) way when you ask me to find where it prohibits something. If the government wants power it must ask for it through a constitutional convention.

It is government control of the means of production. An endeavor that cannot be supported in the private market is by definition non-productive. Therefore having the government do it is not socialism. Just because you pay for something with tax dollars does not make it socialist. If that were the case then the existence of any tax for any service would be socialist, even just paying the president for being the president would be socialist. That is simply not the case. That is popular misrepresentation of socialism and it is incorrect.

The author should read more about the founding fathers debates, the federalist papers, and some of the personal writings of the founders. Some other points:

1. The preamble is not a directive to the government. It does not carry the legal standing of the body of the constitution. It merely states the context or purpose of the document. This is well established legal president.

2. Public and higher education are not enumerated powers and are not supported by “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;” This section of the constitution creates copyrights and trademarks to empower capitalism and free market. You have totally misread what this says.

3. Public roads, public libraries, and fire departments are not enumerated powers. The federal government does not have this authority. The states do.

4. If the right to life were held as you infer, then every time someone dies that would be unconstitutional. That “life” part is in the preamble and is not legally enforceable, it is context for the constitution.

5. The government has NO constitutional rights. It has delegated powers as explicitly listed in the constitution.

6. The defense of the country you allude to is specified as “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”. That hardly allows the government to take over energy companies. Those companies are privately owned and cannot be declared enemies and taken over because you don’t like the prices. Market driven prices are not an insurrection or invasion. The government has limited authority to regulate commerce. That is all.

Founding fathers quotes:

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” — Thomas Jefferson

“A wise and frugal government… shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.” — Thomas Jefferson

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” — Thomas Jefferson

“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” — James Madison

“[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” — James Madison

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.” —James Madison

“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” — James Madison

“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.” — Benjamin Franklin

“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” — Benjamin Franklin

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” — John Adams

I found no indication that the founders were supportive of socialist ideas. In fact almost all discussion is to the point of limiting the federal government powers and empowering private citizens.

The government defined in the constitution is a republican form of government (Not republican party, republican governance).

_“Section 4 – Republican government
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.“_

The government is limited by the constitution and is not legally empowered to do anything not specifically enumerated in it. The fact that people like you exist is exactly what the founders feared the most and it’s why the bill of rights was added. The bill of rights is all we have left now and that too will be eroded over time. It is the natural progression of society as we move more toward a pure democracy and eventually vote ourselves into ruin.

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” — John Adams

You are supposed to read it with the perspective of “what does this say I am allowed to do.” You do not read it with the perspective of “what does this say I cannot do.”

There are some socialist programs, but they were not enacted by the founders, and just because something is enacted does not mean it is constitutional. It is the natural course of a government to continually centralize power within itself. Even the founders knew the average citizen was essentially powerless, that’s why the bill of rights is in there.

lawkes's avatar

@ETpro,

I’m not a republican. I’m libertarian. To my extreme, I may be an anarchist.

ETpro's avatar

@lawkes Thanks for setting me traight. Libertarian objectivists I would guess. I have strong libertarian leanings on social issues and on foreign policy; but definitely not the Randian theory that only the supermen of industry are worthy of their keep, and the rest are just useless baggage sucking at the teats of the state.

I am sure we will disagree vehemently on amany an issue, but welcome to Fluther.

lawkes's avatar

Yep, individual rights & laissez-faire capitalism.

Maybe you should re-read randian theory because it doesn’t promote the idea that only the supermen are worthy of their keep.

It promotes rational self-interest (liberty and personal responsibility).

Socialism promotes tyranny (steal from me, give to the irresponsible)

SavoirFaire's avatar

Funny how certain people only want to post half of that graphic.

ETpro's avatar

@lawkes I’m well aware of Ayn Rand’s philosophy and what her followers have turned it toward doing. Regarding your graphics, if the first one is supposed to apply to the USA it is an absurdly false picture. The top 1% of Americans have gone from owning 25% of the nation’s wealth at the end of WWII to owning over 40% of it today. We really do not need welfare for our billionaires. No matter what they have told you through their control of the nation’s network of right-wing Think Tanks and PR firms, they are actually not just making it, they are slowly consuming the American middle class. @SavoirFaire has pointed out the missing element in the second link. You do know, do you not, that the monopolistic power of the British East India Company and its abuses of that power was a major factor provoking the American Colonies split with England. What leads you to believe that the mega-corporations of today, if turned lose to do whatever boosts profits, would be more egalitarian than the British East India Company was in 1775?

Socialism is not social welfare programs. It is an economic system where the government owns the means of production and distribution of the wealth. Look it up. In the US, 6% of the population works for government, including federal, state, and local. We are at zero risk of becoming a socialist state.

I am NOT in favor of socialism. Social welfare programs are a completely different matter. The Northern European countries with strong social welfare programs rate highest in citizen happiness of any nations on Earth, they have excellent education and virtually 100% literacy, and strong economies. The right-wing ideologue talking points on European Socialism simply aren’t borne out by the facts.

What you yearn for in laissez-faire capitalism ends up in monopoles and trust gaining absolute power, as they have in banana republics. They buy up the government and use it as an enforcement arm to ensure their profits are never interrupted.

I own a small business, and I am doing all I can to build it up and profit handsomely from it. So the typical right-wing reaction of “Walk in lockstep with me or your a socialist/communist.” is bunk. Society works most smoothly when everyone’s basic needs are met, but entrepreneurship and/or initiative can get you much more than just your basic needs.

cazzie's avatar

Living abroad in different countries for at least a year should be absolutely mandatory for all US citizens. I wish they’d invent time travel too, so that people who don’t listen to History or deny History can be sent back to learn it first hand.

ETpro's avatar

@cazzie Excellent point, but all too many of the ideologues are information proof. Their confirmation bias tends to be so great that even a mountain of incontrovertible evidence against any of their cherished beliefs is tossed aside as meaningless, while any rumor or distorted spin that supports their beliefs is seen as adding to the proof they are right. That is why Fox News can get caught in lies and distortions again and again, even continuing to push a story after it is proved to be a lie; and still be considered by right-wing ideologues as the only credible TV news agency; while the major media outlets, who go to great lengths to get the story right aan routinely run retractions when they accidentally get something wrong, are rejected as biased and untrustworthy. Fox is saying what the right-wing ideologues’ confirmation bias requires, and the real news is just telling inconvenient truths.

Here are a couple of links to where Randian Libertarianism leads: A cute cartoon and a video on the activities of the Koch Brothers.

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lawkes's avatar

@ETpro,

That’s right. You’re going to continue seeing tax cuts, loopholes, etc. because the current system violates one’s individual rights to choose his/her own self-interests with his/her own money. It’s worth it for me to pay more for a group of accountants and lawyers because I pay very little taxes.

Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, 109 Stat. 691, 2 U.S.C.A. § 1601 et seq., leaves a loophole that gives the ability of lobbyists to make large contributions to the campaign committees of members of Congress.

You claim that laissez faire capitalism leads to monopolies. Then how come the number economy in the world is Hong Kong that has laissez faire capitalism with no monopolies? What monopolies do you see in this laissez faire capitalism?

Now, since you say we don’t have socialism here, but rather social welfare programs, then how is this not redistribution of wealth?

Here is an example of how redistribution of wealth is alive and well in America: The poor person doesn’t pay taxes, so since I make a huge salary, I get to be taxed more and then the government deducts money from my income and gives it to the social welfare program and then the poor person collects my money. This intern punishes my monetary success. I lose incentive to produce better goods and services because my reward is going to the social welfare program into the poor person’s hand. This promotes laziness because the poor person gets everything for free and does not need to go make his/her own ends meet. In fact, I can drop everything I’m doing, and join these programs while your salary gets deducted into these social welfare programs and then I’ll collect your money.

Furthermore, ⅔ of our $15 trillion debt comes from social welfare programs. This makes it a very large invasive government. This makes it a very large welfare system.

Another example. Take the subprime mortgage crisis. The consumer made a poor decision by taking out a loan that he/she could not pay back and signed papers without reading the fine details of the contract, and then forecloses the home. The consumer who now has no job, no money, no home, goes to this social welfare program to collect money that was funded through the governments deductions of my income. The person received my money as a reward for his poor decision making ability. He/she no longer needs to go work, because the deduction from my income is taking care of him/her.

lawkes's avatar

@ETpro, @cazzie,

A history lesson for both of you.

“In the United States, some of the founding fathers and several subsequent leaders expressed opposition to redistribution of wealth. Samuel Adams stated: “The utopian schemes of leveling [redistribution of wealth], and a community of goods, are as visionary and impracticable as those that vest all property in the Crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional.”

James Madison, author of the Constitution, wrote, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”

United States President Grover Cleveland vetoed an expenditure that would have provided $10,000 of federal aid to drought-stricken Texas farmers. When explaining to Congress why such an appropriation of taxpayer money was inappropriate, he stated:

“I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution; and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadily resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people. ... The friendliness and charity of our fellow countrymen can always be relied on to relieve their fellow citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.”

ETpro's avatar

@lawkes I doubt that. I think you guys have awakened the sleeping giant. The middle class and poor now know they are being robbed so the rich can be made richer. But even if I am right about that, it does not limit your freedom. Somalia is a state with no evil government and no taxes whatsoever. You can hop the next plane there and start living out your dream of being free to enrich yourself any way you can find. Good luck.

I will have to study up on Hong Kong. I don’t know enough about its system and the impact thereof to discuss it. My concern with monopolies comes from the USA’s own experiment with laissez-faire capitalism in the 1800s and early 1900s. That is what we got.

cazzie's avatar

@lawkes I think it’s a much better system if the poor are left to their own devices like in places like Nigeria and the rich live behind barbed wire top fences. Perhaps you should move to a country with no taxes on the rich and no safety net for the poor… try it on for size.

lawkes's avatar

@ETpro,

Let me get this straight, when the government deducts money from me and gives it to the social welfare program, and then the poor person collects my money from the program, you’re saying this poor person is being robbed by me so I can get richer? Please explain.

Why don’t you go to Somalia? I would think you have more of an incentive to go to Somalia since you probably pay more taxes then me and you can go there and live free from corporations and all those rich folks that keep you and the rest of the middle class-poor down. Good luck.

You claim that laissez-fair capitalism was bad in the 18 century, well then please compare this system to the rest of the world during this time period. In other words, please show how this system was worse than the systems around the world during this time period.
After you’re done studying up on Hong Kong, check out Singapore as well (number #2 in the economy rankings around the world, with a laissez-faire capitalism system, and has no monopolies), explain your claims that the system leads to monopolies and how Hong Kong, Singapore laissez-faire capitalism works well, and why this system as you claim, didn’t work in the 1800’s and whether it was better then the rest of the world’s system during the 1800’s.

@cazzie,

Perhaps you should move to a country with no rich people to keep you down?

cazzie's avatar

@lawkes have you ever been to Singapore? Hardly a bastion of personal freedoms and last time, I was positive we paid sales tax and the businesses there DO pay taxes.

http://www.business.gov.sg/

lawkes's avatar

#2 Free market Economy in the World – Singapore

What data do you have to say otherwise?

cazzie's avatar

@lawkes I never said rich people ‘keep me down’. Where did that come from?

lawkes's avatar

“Singapore – The top income tax rate is 20 percent, and the top corporate tax rate has been reduced to 17 percent from 18 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT) and a property tax. In the most recent year, overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 14.2 percent.” That’s why it’s #2 in the world.

“Government spending is relatively low. In the most recent year, total government expenditures, including consumption and transfer payments, increased to 17 percent of GDP.”

Hong kong tax is “Hong Kong’s effective tax rates are among the lowest in the world. Individuals are taxed either progressively, between 2 percent and 17 percent on income adjusted by deductions and allowances, or at a flat 15 percent of gross income, depending on which liability is lower. The top corporate income tax rate is 16.5 percent. Unincorporated businesses enjoy a lower rate of 15 percent. Excise duties on beer and wine were removed in 2008. In the most recent year, overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 13 percent.”

Makes it #1

Less tax, less government = better life.

cazzie's avatar

Yes, and they can afford healthcare for their citizens. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_in_Singapore

lawkes's avatar

It still needs work, give it time. The healthcare welfare will be gone soon too. Market will take over.

The point is the data is showing that the less social welfare programs the better the country. If they remove the healthcare welfare they will be even better off then they’re now.

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