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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 04:46 PM        Michael Badnarik
Preechr, you're always talking about how everyone is at least sort of a Libertarian, they just may not know it (at least I recall you saying something like that). Personally speaking, I will gladly admit that I have that little bit of Cato in me, but I for one just can't get past the economic matters. I DO believe in an activist government, I DO believe in spending on social programs, and even some corporate welfare. I'm not a free market purist, I guess I'm a bit of a Keynesian.

Anyway, Kerry and Bush get a lot of attention here, and Nader gets his fair share, so sell it to us (in 1,000 words or less ). Why should we, or anybody, vote for Badnarik??

P.S.- Any other self-proclaimed Libertarian, such as OAO, should feel free to answer as well.
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 01:12 PM       
Did you catch the debate between Badnarik and David Cobb(green party)? It was a debate on the issues the way it's supposed to be done. and of course i liked Cobb's answers on the issues though Badnarik was right on way better than Bush, maybe because you could tell he actually had some reasoned ideas.

the Libertarian idea that Corporations will solve our problems without regulations is so far out there that i can't come close to taking them seriously.. give me a break libs! how can you expect Corporations to care about the welfare of anyone other than thier stockholders in this market? especially without enforced regulations!
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 02:11 PM       
Hmmm... I'll count my words, then...

Why should you guys vote Libertarian? I'll rephrase the question like that because I don't want you to think I'm upholding Badnarik as the pentultimate Libertarian candidate as he's only this election's candidate, though a good debater and thus quite worthy...

I'd say you should not necessarily run out and vote blindly for the LP candidate as much as you should determine for yourselves objectively how each candidate stacks up to the libertarian ideal. As I have said, you and most other folks are libertarians at heart, though you've simply yet to let me convince you of it. I believe that if you were to rate each candidate on a libertarian scale of one to ten or something, after I convinced you you really were a libertarian yourself, you'd wind up voting for Badnarik.

I seem to be running down the word counter, so I suppose I'd better start explaining why libertarianism is so far superior to Democratism or Republicanism or Greenism, shouldn't I?

Essentially, it all comes down to efficiency, which I define as economy of motion. I'm all into streamlining, so this is a natural path for decision making for me. I'm vain enough to believe most people are much like me in this fundamental sense... believing that efficiency is primarily essential in any societal equation. This is the sharpest edge of libertarian belief, that efficiency is key, and it's what forms the foundation of the capitalistic or aggressive side of libertarian ideology.

To that end, libertarians believe that the person closest to any need that is capable of filling that need is the most qualified and efficient person to do so. This includes both societal and individual needs. The individual with a need is generally the one that should provide whatever necessary to satisfy any personal needs, and the individuals that are closest in life to that individual are the ones that know her best and are thus most qualified to help and interested in helping out out when she isn't up to the task of helping herself.

Keep in mind, when I say need that also includes certain person's need to be guided back onto the right side of the line when they do things that violate societal standards, not just positive needs such as being hungry or dangerously poor or sick...

Economy of motion. If I need a potato, much less effort will be required if I go get one myself or, if that's impossible for some reason, I rely on my family for one rather than petition the federal government for a potato. See, the check we're building here is against those that would work the system: the freeloaders, the bane of the nanny state.

See, if I'm just a lazy guy that would prefer to get a potato without working for it, the indiscriminate nanny state system is perfect for me. By the time I commit whatever fraud is necessary to fake my way into food stamps or whatever, it's pretty safe to say that I've wore out my welcome with my family and friends. They know by now that I'm just a moocher, but the nanny state is enjoined from making that distinction. I get my potato, even though I have to use the inefficient system to do so. What do I care who's time and money get wasted to get me a free potato as long as I get it, right?

The whole concept of the Democratic Republic is inextricably tied into this basic idea. You are the one that's primarily responsible for your own life. The corollary of that assertion is that you own your rights to the furthest extent possible, as rights are always indivisible from the responsiblity to wield them without causing harm to others or otherwise impeding others' right to do as they choose. This all squares quite nicely with the Constitution.

I've yet to cross the line into pointing out the inherent hypocracies of either the Republicans or the Democrats advocating the nanny state. Let's just say any political entity has a vested interest in taking responsibility for, and thus assuming the associated rights from, anyone and everyone possible. Politics is the search for power, and individual citizens are the source of any political power. The Constitution was designed to limit government's reach, protecting our rights (and preserving our personal responsibilities) to the furthest extent possible in a civil society.

The Ds and the Rs grow government by exploiting the worst aspects of their constituent bases. The righties sell the idea that, while freedom is nice and all, no reasonable person can expect that allowing everyone, especially the bums, minorities and foreigners, to do whatever they want. The concept of keeping a little bit of God's law in government resonates well with the Republican base, even if that means voting for a guy that's willing to take the most extreme measures to do so regardless of the Constitution or any other measure of decency.

The lefties, on the other hand, play to a different kind of bias found in their base: classism. Just as the average Republican voter is willing to limit their own personal freedoms extensively to insure other, less decent people can't make those dangerous choices, the average Democrat voter isn't as much for big government subsidation of the poor and unfortunate as she is voting to punish the greedy over-achievers our society so lionizes, even if it means punishing herself with higher taxes... or voting for a perfect example of the folks languishing in unearned wealth, the enemy.

The Republican base is generally happy with the idea of punishing evil-doers rather than understanding and helping them, like people such as, y'know, Jesus recommended. The Democrat base is just as hypocritical, as the "blue" states have shown to be much less likely to donate their own money to charities that actually help the poor and disadvantaged they purport to be voting to support than do the "red" states.

By federalizing personal responsibility, the Republicans have effectively created an environment that encourages more of the anti-societal behavior among the "lower classes" they had wished to eliminate with their policies. The Democrats, on the other hand, have created an inefficient yet heavily funded mechanism to "help" the disadvantaged of the world that actually competes against efficient private charity, simply because private charity doesn't have the means to "soak the rich."

It's all deliciously ironic, no? Independently, both forms of government hurt those they say they mean to help. By combining them, we have effectively punished everyone equally. For what?

Voting Libertarian is voting for better, more effective government. The outline for that style of government is beautifully woven, almost perfectly, into the Constitution of this country. Both parties have ignored or "intentionally misunderstood" as much of the original plan as necessary to gobble up the power required to fuel the punishment schemes they believe to be necessary to a decent society. Libertarians would end this cycle of punishment for all, returning much of government's power to the individuals it was meant to belong to.

If you reflexively object to this idea, you'll likely do so by imagining some sort of catastrophic consequences to some form of allowing others to do as they please within the limits of only what is actually harmful to someone else. We can't legalize drugs because, overnight, heart surgeons will become junkies and the world will descend into chaos. We can't lower the social safety net because only the government can be trusted to help those in need, so vast swathes of society will die from neglect in weeks. Neither side could possibly trust freedom to grow on it's own in a poor, dark country like Iraq, so we'll have to stay there and spoonfeed it to them like they are a bunch of parapalegic infants or we'll all die.

God forbid we allow gays to marry or expect rich people to spread their wealth voluntarily. God forbid we look at life objectively and assume most people will treat each other with decency and compassion if allowed the freedom to do so by their own choices. Personally, if I'm to live in an America full of people as shitty as both sides together believe everyone to be, I'll happily move to New Zealand or the moon to get away from you freaks. Personally, I believe the vast majority of people will be decent to and supportive of one another if you just leave them alone for the most part, only putting a gun to someone's (or some other country's) head if they actually do something to harm someone else.

Our complementary methods of punishment for each other are not what made this country great. We have used our great wealth producing abilities to design an economy that can sustain our own oppression indefinitely, however. Think of the fortunes we'd have to spend on helping the world and each other if our government didn't require a per-capita average of 55% of whatever we can produce each year.

If I gave you a 55% raise in pay, not only would your life be less of a struggle but you'd likely be more willing to help others in need. I believe nearly all of us would do the same. Some central government is obviously necessary, but I don't have the space allowance to cut and paste the Constitution in this post. A good start to that end is located here, and you can backtrack up that link to find full explanations of how each article of that document was meant to work by following this link.

So, vote for the society in which you truly wish to live. When I see a thread devoted to how we are living through the downfall of our society and every post seems to agree as if it weren't even a question, I think a lot of you are already to agree that voting for the status quo is really the only way you could be throwing your vote away.
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 02:49 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranxer
Did you catch the debate between Badnarik and David Cobb(green party)? It was a debate on the issues the way it's supposed to be done. and of course i liked Cobb's answers on the issues though Badnarik was right on way better than Bush, maybe because you could tell he actually had some reasoned ideas.

the Libertarian idea that Corporations will solve our problems without regulations is so far out there that i can't come close to taking them seriously.. give me a break libs! how can you expect Corporations to care about the welfare of anyone other than thier stockholders in this market? especially without enforced regulations!
A good example of the "if we allow freedom, the moon will crash into the Earth" argument. In this case, ranxer is proposing that, in the absence of governmental regulation, corporations will have liberty to kill us all. Notice the suspicious lack of logic here: what would a business gain by harming it's customers? Did the government stop Nestle from distributing flawed and potentially deadly baby formula in starving countries? No, concerned individuals were the ones working against that. Is the government regulation of industry actually creating a safer, cleaner world? With all the loopholes available for those companies that would cheat, the only businesses that are truly punished by regulation are those that aren't cheating.

True transparency in Commerce is not possible as long as it's actions can be shrouded in governmental regulation. The power of concerned groups of citizens is weakened when a bad company can hide behind the claim that it's actions are technically legal. When crappy companies can buy the influence of government to do whatever they wish, of course anything could be made technically not illegal. "Evil Corporations" use the power of government to gain advantages over each other and us that they would not normally have available to them if their advantages were only gained by excelling at the conduct of their business.

Problem is, most businesses aren't "Evil Corporations." Small businesses make up half our commercial economy, and they are the ones that are least likely to cheat the system while lacking the political pull to get away with it even if they wanted to. Again, the problems you are so concerned about that you are so willing to empower government to solve are actually problems that are only aggravated by government involvement and that could be more efficiently handled by concerned individuals empowered to limit the excesses of Commerce directly.

A good example here is the Tobacco Industry. Penalizing them with higher taxes in order to dissuade the public from smoking by raising the prices only ever strengthened their profits. Regulation exascerbated the threat to society. The recent declines in smoking came about due to increased education of the public that got us working against each other to limit the power of the Tobacco Lobby. We the People hit them in the wallet and affected a positive change to society. I know that much government money went into the public education push (Truth.org and whatnot,) but that's generally the last tactic government is likely to use as is evidenced by the legal shroud over the rest of Commerce.

The Tobacco Lobby had simply become too powerful a rival for government to bear, and it was taken down a notch or two by finally telling the people what it was up to. Up until this recent and sudden change in official policy, the Cancer Lobby enjoyed the privleges of aggressive federal protection for it's income.

When it comes right down to it, polluting the environment, fucking over your employees and your customers and producing dangerous or ineffective products are generally BAD BUSINESS IDEAS. Lack of transparency only fosters the perfect environment for these bad decisions. Government subsidization of faltering industries only ever rewards the bad decisions that were the true threats to their profitablity.

We blame Walmart for refusing to offer benefits because government assistance is so readily available. We blame them for taking advantage of the governmental eminent domain concept and getting landowners kicked out of their homes unfairly, but we consider the government to be blameless in these matters rather than complicit. As you said, we can hardly expect corporations to refuse to take advantage of the system for profit. The problem lies with the system of regulation.

Firing one federal regulator produces ten jobs in the private economy. Do you really believe that firing them all would leave us with no protection at all? I guess that means you consider yourself to be the only one concerned about corporate excess, huh? Without the assistance of Uncle Sam, we'd be powerless to defend ourselves from those that we buy stuff from, right? Uh huh.

If the money spent on governmental regulation were spent instead on educating the public effectively on what those "Evil Corporations" are really doing, we'd be better able to discourage Evilness with our purchasing decisions, wouldn't we? The reason we don't have access to that information is because that would be empowering us to fix something at the expense of government. After all, it would just be unfair to take all that bribe and extortion money away from Uncle Sam, wouldn't it. He NEEDS it, even if it costs us in the long run, right?
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 03:27 PM       
I have a lot to say in response, but can't now, but for starters, there seems to be a theme in regards to the environment and government. I read something similar on the Badnarik website, like, "stop the EPA from allowing pollution."

I do undestand that we have federally alloted pollution, and I likewise understand that so many loopholes often exist, that the agency often becomes counter-productive. BUT, this can't simply be judged as a case of bureacracy fucking things up. It's a far more complicated matter than than, one involving business, government, private lobby groups, etc. etc.

Take the Clean Water Act, for example. Among other things, this legislation set a deadline for industries that polluted to clean up their acts. To my recollection, that deadline passed somewhere in the 1980s. We still have water ways that are polluted and unhealthy. So what's the problem, and what's the solution? Is the solution then to eliminate the EPA and just have "good faith" that private citizens, or better yet the polluters themselves, will be encouraged by the market to change their ways....? Sorry, not likely. We had that already, a time when we trusted business and government to come together to solve the nation's mutual problems, and it didn't always work out.

This administration, in particular, has done everything it can to slash environmental policy and set us back decades. Is that the answer? Will that protect the environment from the evil EPA, or would it perhaps be prudent rather to make the EPA more independent from the reigning administration, better financed, and more autonomous....?

This, in one case, is my problem with Libertarianism. It seems like a wonderful theory....in theory. I understand "following the Constitution..." and all that jazz, but the binding nature of that document often seems like a crutch for Libertarians. You mentioned some wonderful things about the Constitution, yet neglected to mention that one thing that makes it so wonderful is the fact that it's a living, breathing document. Madison wrote something not for his time, but for future times. Not everything is necessarily applicable to our times, but they don't have to be. It's an ammendable document, one that can be changed by the people after thoughtful debate and scrutiny.

I feel like the typical Libertarian answer to tough questions is "well, I'll have to defer to the Constitution." That's fine, bt it's not necessarily the answer. I hold great admiration for most of the men who formulated and founded this country. However, we're here now, and we have, and will CONTINUE, to encounter things they could never have even dreamed of.

I'm trying really hard to not turn this into a debate over the New Deal, but let's be honest, that's what we're talking about here. We're sort of tap dancing around it, although you'd date all of our problems prior to that, somewhere around the passage of the income tax.....

We're talking about different perspectives on the role of government. Is it here to serve us, guide us, or control us. I feel that is the wrong frame for the debate. I am an ardent believer, to paraphrase FDR, that the government IS US. We need to find that private/public balance that allows us to use government wisely, and reign over it properly, so that it remains a reflection of us and not a master over us.

So, forgiving my tangent, I guess this is my issue with Libertarianism. I feel like the typical Libertarian can SEE the problem, perhaps better than most. But then it's almost as if they're bound by doctrine to blame government....right, the EPA is the reason water is polluted, the DOE is the reason our schools suck, the IRS is the reason people don't give to charity more, and on and on......

I think this creates excuses for the self-interested human being. See, I have a very conservative outlook on people......I don't trust us. I think we are remarkable beings, but we are flawed, and often selfish. I personally think it becomes necessary at times for the whole (ie. the government) to protect ourselves from the "ambitions" of the individual.
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 08:18 PM       
Tell you what, I'll address each and every one of your points as you make them as best I can until you get tired of it, if you'll do me one favor: visit http://debatebadnarik.blogspot.com/ and pitch in a bit of support for a more open debate structure. Even if I can't convince you 100% that libertarianism is the right way to go, I believe you at least respect the message and can get behind allowing it at least a little influence on the Coke vs. Pepsi... I mean Bush vs. Kerry circus.

If nothing else, it'd be fun to watch the two Skull-n-Boners squirm under a litle unexpected pressure. Badnarik will rip them both apart. I'd like to see Cole and Nader up there as well.

I'll be back in a bit. I just got back in from mowing my yard and I need a shower and some dinner. We've had so much rain thanks to what seems to be constant hurricanes coming through, and I've missed what few opportunities I've had to mow for the past couple of weeks. I didn't want people to start thinking the Badnarik/Campagna sign in my yard was some sort of protest against proper lawn maintenance, plus my dogs liked spending the day running around getting into trouble.
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 01:22 AM       
Ok.... so first off, I don't really get my talking points from Badnarik's website, so if I contradict his points of view well, I guess I'm sorry for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
So what's the problem, and what's the solution? Is the solution then to eliminate the EPA and just have "good faith" that private citizens, or better yet the polluters themselves, will be encouraged by the market to change their ways....? Sorry, not likely. We had that already, a time when we trusted business and government to come together to solve the nation's mutual problems, and it didn't always work out.
Really? We did? I didn't realize that we had the kind of modern multi-national corporations we have now back in the 20's, but if you say so...

I mean, it's obvious that technology and our accumulated knowledge has somewhat changed America's commercial landscape, but I can go with the idea that business was essentially the same 80 years ago as it is now if you want. If it weren't for government support and defense of worker unions most of us would be living in shanty towns on the grounds of the places we worked like serfs back in Dark Ages England. If it weren't for Abe Lincoln's forcible strangulation of the South's economy, the cotton gin wouldn't have been invented, making the whole idea of slave labor in the cotton industry a forgone conclusion anyway.

Yep, if we take away government regulation, the moon will surely crash into New York City within hours because no obstacle is ever surmountable without permanent government regulation, just as I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason we still pay a tax on our phone bills that was originally imposed to help fund the Spanish-American War. I'm also sure that our current healthcare crisis that government is just about to solve for us has nothing to do with government meddling in private industry or that the healthcare industry comprises 1/10th of our GDP, which is about a Trillion Dollars that government wouldn't be able to get it's greedy little fingers into without fabricating some sort of crisis and then...

Wait a minute... I went off on a tangent there.. Sorry.

I tend to get excited when I agree with people.

Let's just move on...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
This administration, in particular, has done everything it can to slash environmental policy and set us back decades. Is that the answer? Will that protect the environment from the evil EPA, or would it perhaps be prudent rather to make the EPA more independent from the reigning administration, better financed, and more autonomous....?
Ok. I'll go with that. The function of the EPA should be less influenced by government. Sounds good. That would solve the problem you've pointed out with this, or really any, administration: they have the ability to control what's considered to be healthy for us. See, I'd like to think something like that would be independent of any political agenda, just like you. I don't like the idea of some guy threatening me with a screwed up environment if I don't vote for him.

I suppose it would be ideal if we had a system for protecting our environment that was completely separated from the political mechanisms of government. I guess it's just too bad that people in general don't give enough of a shit about our environment to protect it ourselves. I guess without the generous federal government serving as nature's benefactor and protector we'd soon be living in a sewer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
This, in one case, is my problem with Libertarianism. It seems like a wonderful theory....in theory. I understand "following the Constitution..." and all that jazz, but the binding nature of that document often seems like a crutch for Libertarians. You mentioned some wonderful things about the Constitution, yet neglected to mention that one thing that makes it so wonderful is the fact that it's a living, breathing document. Madison wrote something not for his time, but for future times. Not everything is necessarily applicable to our times, but they don't have to be. It's an ammendable document, one that can be changed by the people after thoughtful debate and scrutiny.
Sure it can! I don't have any problem at all with amending the Constitution when necessary. I do have somewhat of a problem with folks ignoring the Constitution without actually going to the bother of amending it, however. Whenever we get around to actually ratifying the amendment that made the income tax suddenly Ok on Constitutional terms... as the whole idea was originally, strangely and specifically banned in the Constitution and warned against extensively in the Federalist Papers... I'll accept it as one of those happy little growths the Constitution was meant to have.

The vast majority of government's power was assumed by blatantly and intentially (though somehow "legally") "misunderstanding" just two short clauses of the original document. This is not growth. This is highjacking.

See, I didn't want to get into a big Constitutional argument. These things can get messy. Let's just stick with the ideological stuff...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
I feel like the typical Libertarian answer to tough questions is "well, I'll have to defer to the Constitution." That's fine, bt it's not necessarily the answer. I hold great admiration for most of the men who formulated and founded this country. However, we're here now, and we have, and will CONTINUE, to encounter things they could never have even dreamed of.
There you go again, crapping on the Constitution... I thout we just agreed we weren't gonna do that! *sigh*

OK FINE! What exactly is it that the original Constitution didn't account for that's such a pressing and modern concern that we should ignore it altogether? I mean, it's a great sounding argument that you've got there, but I'd like to hear what this big new thing is that we've got to protect ourselves from. So far, I'm hearing a lot about "EVIL CORPORATIONS," but I thought I'd already addressed that pretty effectively before.

The essential disagreement we seem to be having here concerns the difference between management and oversight. I'm pretty comfortable with the idea of government watching what those "EVIL CORPORATIONS" are doing and tattling to us whenever lines get crossed. That would be filling an oversight position. They report, we decide sorta...

You seem to be advocating more of a management role for government, which is a lot like what we've already got. That's all fine and good, but I'd like to see what sort of qualifications randomly selected Congresspeople and Senators should be expected to have. Wait... didn't we just agree it would be more efficient to disassociate important things like the EPA from government, which would in effect privatize them? Yeah, I think we did. Why are we still fighting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
I'm trying really hard to not turn this into a debate over the New Deal, but let's be honest, that's what we're talking about here. We're sort of tap dancing around it, although you'd date all of our problems prior to that, somewhere around the passage of the income tax.....
I figured you'd look that up.

If you want to debate the relative pros and cons of New Deal era reforms, we can do that. You already know what I'm going to say, however. I've seen them defended a bunch of different ways, and I always seem to leave those discussions with a feeling that, no matter how effective the arguments supporting it, the New Deal was just another example of government gaining power by fixing a problem it caused.

Don't get me wrong... I admire the effectiveness with which the Fed system has learned to manipulate the economy. It is truly an amazing thing to watch when it's working well, as it is at the moment. I also do not dispute the benefit We the People gained from stuff like the TVA, the Interstate Highway System or subsidized universal electrical routing. I'd likely appreciate it if the Federal Government forced broadband to be available to me at my home, which is a proposal much in the same spirit of those earlier projects.

In general, government has a rich history of providing the things that we need yet are not necessarily profitable to produce. Is that bad? I dunno. Should "making jobs" be included in that? Well, that makes me a little edgy. There's a line in there somewhere I think. A good, modern example is, as I went off on before, healthcare.

We are all concerned that some people are "unfairly" dissallowed access to private health insurance because of pre-existing conditions and/or expense. For the matter of the latter, many of our nation's often referenced uninsured are teenagers that can't reconcile the expense of insurance with their actual health, which is generally quite good. While there are some of us that actually need insurance that truly cannot afford it, most of those folks are the ones that are subject to pre-existing conditions exclusions or up-rates. They've had medical problems before and insurance companies shy away from covering a likely loss.

These people are the ones that our hearts bleed for when we anguish over the inequities of the system we have. Fortunately, the Federal Government, in it's infinite wisdom, long ago planned for this problem. They empowered the individual states to fund "pools" for the otherwise uninsurable, which generally function much like another generally-less-than-profitable enterprise: Worker's Comp.

Essentially, those that are not considered to be insurable for a profit, or those that truly cannot afford the high price of their private insurance, should be allowed access to set rate insurance through a state run pool. If an insurance company wishes to make money selling profitable insurance in a certain state, it also has to take on it's share of those purchasing insurance through the pool at pre-determined (read less-than-profitable) premiums. There are private charity funds that are available to those that still could not afford the lowered rates, and access to those charities could easily be integrated into the function of the state.

Unfortunately, many states, such as my own, have not set up these systems and many more do not fund them sufficiently. I suppose they are taking an "all or nothing" stance on the matter, and I don't blame them. Complete control of healthcare is one of a growing government's big brass rings, and in America's case we're talking about a Trillion Dollars just begging for government control.

Most of the rest of the problems with our healthcare system are directly attributable to state and federal mandates on health insurance, which cause increased premiums. This isa great example of the problem I have with government management versus oversight. Accomplishing something by using government is always the least efficient means to do anything, and thus it should only be considered as a last resort, when all other means fail and the need for whatever it is is proven to be vital to society's proper function.

All too often, government makes up a crisis in order to offer whatever solution suits it best. Yes, I tend to think of government on adversarial terms, but we'll get to that in a minute...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
We're talking about different perspectives on the role of government. Is it here to serve us, guide us, or control us. I feel that is the wrong frame for the debate. I am an ardent believer, to paraphrase FDR, that the government IS US. We need to find that private/public balance that allows us to use government wisely, and reign over it properly, so that it remains a reflection of us and not a master over us.

So, forgiving my tangent, I guess this is my issue with Libertarianism. I feel like the typical Libertarian can SEE the problem, perhaps better than most. But then it's almost as if they're bound by doctrine to blame government....right, the EPA is the reason water is polluted, the DOE is the reason our schools suck, the IRS is the reason people don't give to charity more, and on and on......
See? We've arrived there already!

Libertarians generally see government action as a means of force. I'm sure you've heard one of us describe taxation as something akin to armed-robbery before. The simple fact is that we have and maintain a government for only the means to force unwilling others to do what's considered to be right for society. Government is the only entity that can legally hold a gun to your head to make you do something you don't want to do. That's a power that, by my admittedly libertarian estimation, should only ever be used when absolutely necessary.

See, I'm Ok with the idea of having my life or freedom threatened if I'm trying to harm someone. Should I be Ok with being shot because I sought to alleviate the pain of terminal cancer with marijuana? There's a line in there somewhere that none of us feel should be crossed. The only difference between you and a libertarian is the location of that line. Well, to put a finer point on it, you deny you are a libertarian thinker probably because you've yet to plumb the depths of your feelings on where that line should really be.

Maybe you know something about the efficacy of government that I don't, or maybe I'm just too jaded to see the truth of the matter. I judge government on an objective, realistic basis, and it seems you have a more idealistic view of what government is capable of. Sorry... I just don't see how that's justified. Our Constitution was the very first governmental charter to agree with my point of view, and we could spend all day counting up how many states throughout history have failed and how many people have died due to the notion that a government can be trusted. Power corrupts, and politics is nothing more than the art of attaining power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
I think this creates excuses for the self-interested human being. See, I have a very conservative outlook on people......I don't trust us. I think we are remarkable beings, but we are flawed, and often selfish. I personally think it becomes necessary at times for the whole (ie. the government) to protect ourselves from the "ambitions" of the individual.
See? It all comes down to trust. You, like Republicans, don't trust some of us to live right on our own. There's something in your psyche that attributes unjustified power to those that live to screw others over, just as conservative Christians live in perpetual fear of those that are screwing their own lives up. It's just irrational, in either case. Neither way is a good way to live life, man. Let go! Be positive!

You are not the only one in the country that knows right from wrong. Most of us do, in fact, the vast majority of us do. If you find someone that's screwing someone over, you'd likely be surprised at how many join you in disparaging that guy. Your problem is your fear that mean people could possibly get away with being assholes if they hide what they do.

Those people hide what they do within the shroud of law, man. That's how they get away with it. I'm not saying government is inherently evil per se, but it is pretty complicated, and the devil's in the details. I prefer to keep things simple and transparent. If you can find a way to do that while allowing government to grow unfettered, I'd be happy to listen to you explain it to me.
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 06:25 PM       
I'm not sure on Badnarik's stance, but I firmly believe that allocating emission rights would help to solve such issues as water and air pollution.

Here's a good paper on the topic.
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 09:37 PM       
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 12:10 AM       
Thats retarded. Is is also immoral to tax Irish people and send that to the English?

I swear to god if one more Italian is taxed to send AIDS releif to an Ethopian I'll go crazy! :/
Doesn't that just create more hatred?
Its immoral to tax a white person to send relief to Africans. Its immoral to tax African Americans to relief send to Europe.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 12:16 AM       
I think I'm in agreemet with Ant for the first time ever.....
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 12:21 AM       
STONER!!!

*pointpoint*
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 12:24 AM       
Seriously though, why can't Badnarik just be honest and admit that he dislikes giving aid to other countries because he doesn't believe in the taxes required to send such money...?

Why does he have to cook up some silly argument about Israelis and Arabs....? Please.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 12:39 AM       
He's trying to make it "real" to people.

Most folks can't sit through even the beginnings of a conceptual or philosophical argument.

It's pretty funny to admit that what was once America is now just philosophy.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 05:21 PM       
The point isn't to be devisive, but to say that taking money from someone and using it in a way that fails to benefit that person is wrong. I'm not saying I necessarily agree with that philosophy, but at the very least I can understand its meaning.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 08:46 PM       
It's lame. I don't currently have a car, yet I gladly put my tax dollars into road and highway restoration. I happen to use the bus a lot, and luckily many folks who drive cars everyday have tax dollars that go towards public transit.

We pay into the system for things all of the time that may not meet our immediate, selfish needs. The fact that he even used it as a way to play on the heart strings of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is again, LAME.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 09:02 PM       
I think it's somewhat inspired, from a libertarian standpoint. It's pretty much the same thing as saying something like, "I don't want to work hard to pay taxes to support someone who simply isn't willing to work," but it's using Israelis and Palestinians, who might as well be Martians to most Americans... but Martians of which we know a little something (they hate each other, at least...) to avoid the intended audience being offended, if they or someone they love are the freeloaders the concept is speaking against.

Libertarians, like any sort of conservative, typically face the political obstacle of finding a way to convince the majority they need to do without whatever they're getting out of the pockets of someone else via big government. Unlike Republicans, who have pretty much become big government Democrats, Libertarians are still looking for creative ways to sell their ideology to those it would generally inconvenience.
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 11:49 PM       
Americans With No Abilities Act Passes Congress



May 23, 2005 WASHINGTON, DC (AP) Congress approved sweeping legislation which provides new benefits for many Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Act (AWNAA), signed into law by President John Kerry shortly after its passage, is being hailed as a major victory by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.



"Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society," said Kerry, a longtime AWNA supporter.



"This is why many of them voted for me. We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they do a better job, or have some idea of what they are doing," said Kerry.



President Kerry pointed to the success of the US Postal Service which has a long standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance. Approximately 80 percent of postal employees lack job skills, making this agency the single largest US employer of Persons of Inability.



Private sector industries with good records of nondiscrimination against the Inept include retail sales (72%), the airline industry (68%), and home improvement "warehouse" stores (65%).



President Kerry has also set an example, personally selecting hundreds of Nonabled people for top government positions, including many cabinet level jobs.



Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million "middle man" Positions will be created, with important sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.



Mandatory non-performance based raises and promotions will be given, to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations which maintain a significant level of Persons of Inability in top positions and gives a tax credit to small and medium businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.



Finally, the AWNAA contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the Nonabled, banning discriminatory interview questions such as "Do you have any goals for the future?" or "Do you have any skills or experience which relate to this job?" and "Are you awake?"



"As a Nonabled person, I can't be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them," said Mary Lou Farquardt, who lost her position as a lug nut twister at the GM plant in Flint, MI due to her lack of notable job skills. "This new law should really help people like me." With the passage of this bill, Farquardt and millions of other untalented citizens can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.



Said Kerry, "It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her adequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation."
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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