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Do you genuinely care about the poor?
Yes, and and like Stormy I prove it with charity.
47%
 47%  [ 35 ]
Nah. I just use "the poor" to guilt-trip egoists.
17%
 17%  [ 13 ]
Screw the poor. I got mine!
35%
 35%  [ 26 ]
Total Votes : 74

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Quantumstate
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warren \War"ren\, n. [Of. waresne, warenne, garene, F. garenne, from OF. warer, garer, to beware, to take care; of Teutonic origin; cf. OHG. war?n (in comp.), OS. war?n to take care.
1. (Eng Law)
(a) A place privileged, by prescription or grant the king, for keeping certain animals (as hares, conies, partridges, pheasants, etc.) called beasts and fowls of warren. --Burrill.
:D
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Stormy Eyes
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BaronVonOwn wrote:
But anyway, regarding the specific policy issues you raise, this is what I have to say. Firstly, the Congress has exceeded its authority by establishing Social Security and other federal welfare programs. These should all be cut. These cuts should be accompanied by tax cuts, and with the great mass of programs that should be cut by strictly interpreting the Constitution, that should allow for the federal income tax to be abolished.


This is all reasonable, and I could accept the policies you propose. But the 16th Amendment, which makes income taxes possible, must be repealed. It should never have been ratified to begin with, but like Charlie Rangel's bill to bring back the draft, too many politicians took it too seriously.

Question: if the individual states handle welfare, can each state handle it differently, with some states providing less than others to suit the wishes of the citizens? Example, can California provide heavier welfare benefits (and higher taxes) than New York, thus allowing selfish pricks like me to vote with our feet for New York's social policies? Or would welfare be an unfunded mandate, where the federal government specifies the level of benefits and leaves it up to the states to scrounge up funding?
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opopanax
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[rant]

I agree that the 16th Amendment never should have been ratified, but ratified it was, and, since amendment is the only process by which the Constitution can be changed, amendments cannot be considered unconstitutional... the only recourse is veto before ratification, or repeal after.

The income tax doesn't work properly, unfortunately. The only reason we HAVE an income tax is because a rich group of people figured out that this was the only way we could finance the national security state and the wartime economy we have enjoyed since 1939...thus, putting money in the pockets of corps such as GE, McD-D, Boeing, General Dynamics...just to name a few. There is simply no real justification for the spending that congress (ahem) authorizes (ahem) on such a regular basis.

I don't necessarily condone a balanced budget, either, however, as that would violate the basic Keynesian economic principles that brought us out of the Depression anyhow. There needs to be a little bit of leeway for government to provide BASIC market/economy control functions. However, the budget needs to go back into the hands of the Congress, where it belongs, instead of the black holes of "homeland security" and "intelligence" and military "black" projects...else all the economic models that are generated in order to protect the economy from ruin are simply incorrect. A government cannot regulate an economy on faulty information. We wonder why inflation is out of control? (compared to the 70's, no, but it really is insane) We wonder why it takes a wile e. coyote sooooper-genius demagogue (greenspan) to dictate interest rates? It shouldn't be this difficult, people, it really shouldn't.

I don't condone income tax (in its current form), as it is unfair. I don't condone sales tax, even on a national level, as that would artificially inflate prices, to the ultimate ruin of our fragile economy. I don't condone tariffs, as they impede free trade. Other forms of taxation are equally unfair...to someone. The only way to truly be fair is to not tax. unfortunately, that's not going to happen, as government would fall apart. Unlike stormy and others, I don't believe in anarchy as a form of government (hehe or lack thereof), due to the inherent selfishness of man. The only way to take care of things properly and fairly is to have EVERYONE pay EXACTLY the same % of income tax. This fairly socialist approach ensures that everyone pays what he/she is capable of. Those with the ability to pay (and, by inference, those with the bloody control anyway) should be forced to pick up the tab. The individual like me who makes 27000 a year and pays child support and the like have other responsibilities we need to take care of. And what's with this tax credit bullshit? everyone should pay the same %, period.

and corporations? well... corporations should be abolished. the most complex form of business should be the partnership. Stockholders (limited partners in the new system) should be held jointly and proportionately liable for misdeeds of their companies. And each person should pay the flat tax rate. This would require savvy investors and ensure accountability by management.

The source of the ills in this country is primarily unbridled government taxation and the influence of the corporation on the body politic.

[/rant]
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Quantumstate
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Olympia... I'm relocating to Seattle soon. Can't go to Sweden, so moving there to take the right-wing edge off.

Personally, I believe our seniors have earned their retirement, and should have no less than a basic living.

And that the income tax system should not be a flat percentage, but be regressive so the rich pay much more in proportion to their income, because so many are far above reasonable wealth, at everyone's else's expense.

Watching the news... looks like the first American mutiny in Iraq! At last, common sense.
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opopanax
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't say anything about social security: i propose this: those currently receiving benefits or eligible for retirement benefits within five years will continue to be given lifetime entitlements. Others will be refunded the premiums, plus the standard 12% per annum on bad debts, that they have paid in to the system. Then, enforced investment in IRA's or other long-term retirement vehicles at the current FICA withholding rate, except with a written waiver, under legal advisement, that the individual is financially secure and has no need for financial planning. If people for some reason do not either self-withhold or waive, it will be tacked on to the income tax at the end of the year, and placed into an interest bearing account until such time as they come into compliance.

See, I have all the answers! hehe...I know practically that this may never work...I know I won't see it in my lifetime. Social Security is fundamentally flawed, as it is accounted for by the Gov't as revenue, and used to pay for things other than entitlements. It needs to go away.
How do we pay for it? How do we pay for anything else? Bonds baby! why should rich people pay a higher percentage of income tax? That negates some of the motivation for getting rich in the first place, and encourages creation of tax-shelters and other modes of tax-cheating.

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest! You'll love it. Stay away from the volcanoes.

(opopanax_gentoo sneeks up behind javatype and puts volcanic ash in his underoos)
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting rich is a motivation for working harder/better/more efficient, but this stops at the point where you get sufficiently rich. Rich people are not motivated anymore by the prospect of prosperity, because they already achieved it. Look at our favourite (corporate) example - MS. Not much innovation/progress there. Why? They already have the market and the money in their pocket. No motivation anymore.

The reason i want to get filthy rich is to sit on my lazy bum all day. So the day i get rich will mean society lost a prodictive member ( i am not saying that's a good enough reason to keep me from getting filthy rich, but it is a walid concern that needs to be adressed).
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BaronVonOwn
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stormy Eyes wrote:
Yes, I do think it's something of a scare tactic. In every system where there was a revolution, there wasn't anything resembling laissez-faire in place. France was a monarchy, and so was Russia. China was ruled by a decadent emperor. Vietnam was a protectorate of France.

That's all very nice, but the relevant demographic is the gap between rich and poor.

Thalion wrote:
Not really. It will establish itself if you don't intervene, since it is a norm.

A norm is something people do. Evolution is more like an emergent property.

utabintarbo wrote:
I find it interesting that you didn't bother to say anything about the content of the article, yet you denigrate where it is hosted.

Everything I've read there in the past is crap, so I'm not going to waste anymore time reading anything there. Note that you did the same thing with regard to Noam Chomsky.

Quote:

On this, you and I will generally agree, with the exception of your bone thrown to the welfare types. Why should other's bad planning be visited upon me? Is this opt-out-able ( ) also? If so, I'm in!

No, that's really not the most important point. The important part of my idea is federalism, the idea that each locality can make its own decisions according to its own needs. Some may be opt-out, some may not, some may not exist whatsoever. It all depends on how each state handles it.

Quote:
This is all reasonable, and I could accept the policies you propose.

Well, both Stormy and utabintarbo have agreed with me. Only one thing is missing, now: img-macro
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Thalion
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

den_RDC wrote:
Getting rich is a motivation for working harder/better/more efficient, but this stops at the point where you get sufficiently rich. Rich people are not motivated anymore by the prospect of prosperity, because they already achieved it. Look at our favourite (corporate) example - MS. Not much innovation/progress there. Why? They already have the market and the money in their pocket. No motivation anymore.


First of all, corporation is really not a good example. But you can of course name a few people - including some from the aforementioned corporation - which are also insanely rich. Personal development is not just earning money, though.

Quote:
The reason i want to get filthy rich is to sit on my lazy bum all day. So the day i get rich will mean society lost a prodictive member ( i am not saying that's a good enough reason to keep me from getting filthy rich, but it is a walid concern that needs to be adressed).


Society... who cares about society? It's just people, like you and me and that guy who'd got a million. Even so, I'd say that someone who actually earned a million had given more than enough to society in the process. He should be left in peace to enjoy the fruits of his labour. Everyone with enough ambition can try to get the same, after all.
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Quantumstate
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thalion wrote:
Even so, I'd say that someone who actually earned a million had given more than enough to society in the process. He should be left in peace to enjoy the fruits of his labour. Everyone with enough ambition can try to get the same, after all.


How about the guy who's gotten a hundred$million? Or a $billion? I say that when you've earned more money than can be possibly be spent on life (over a hundred$million), it's time to be forced to share (at the very least). Trump says, "It's just a scorecard." No it's not. It's denying countless others their chance at securing that money. There is only a finite pool of money, you know. (Trump's just a Showboat and a fraud, BTW)

Three points here:
a. The vast majority of people with this kind of money, inherited it, and no amount of tax breaks in the world will incentivize them do shite, because they're usually much lower quality people than the actual money-generator. Nature tends to the mean average;
b. A large proportion of those who actually 'earned' astronomical wealth truly stole it to a large degree. (securities monkeyshines, abusive tax credits, predatory competitive tactics). I can't believe Martha Stewart is putting up with this... why isn't she talking about what she knows?;
c. Obviously none of the fabulously wealthy have plowed that money back into the actual functioning economy lately, by investing in the stock market, creating new businesses, funding research, charity, etc, violating the social contract we have. They massively benefitted, without sustaining the cash cow. This is called taking, and not giving. Takers and cheaters piss me off.

The least they could have done is hire a hit-man to go down and shoot these drug kingpins, and keep doing it until no one else volunteers, but they haven't even bothered to do that!
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Twoform
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thalion wrote:
Even so, I'd say that someone who actually earned a million had given more than enough to society in the process. He should be left in peace to enjoy the fruits of his labour. Everyone with enough ambition can try to get the same, after all.


Of course, but there remains the question what can be called "earned". For example, what is the difference between some over payed executive of some oil company playing with some spreadsheet and the little guy covered in oil ramming those drillheads into the ground. The fact remains that both the executive and oil driller contribute to the overall product of the company that reaches its customers.

Now, what is it that says a spreadsheet pusher is worth a 1.000.000 dollar per annum whereas the drill operator is worth a 25.000 per annum. Both souls are crucial in the process of getting the oil to the customers. But most importantly, how is it that both persons "work hard" yet one of them still has problems making ends meet?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Twoform wrote:
Thalion wrote:
Even so, I'd say that someone who actually earned a million had given more than enough to society in the process. He should be left in peace to enjoy the fruits of his labour. Everyone with enough ambition can try to get the same, after all.


Of course, but there remains the question what can be called "earned". For example, what is the difference between some over payed executive of some oil company playing with some spreadsheet and the little guy covered in oil ramming those drillheads into the ground. The fact remains that both the executive and oil driller contribute to the overall product of the company that reaches its customers.

Now, what is it that says a spreadsheet pusher is worth a 1.000.000 dollar per annum whereas the drill operator is worth a 25.000 per annum. Both souls are crucial in the process of getting the oil to the customers. But most importantly, how is it that both persons "work hard" yet one of them still has problems making ends meet?


most drillers earn significantly more than $25,000 a year... if they do internation work or something specialised like directional drilling they will be closer to the $500,000 mark...

and the executive... well a director will be in the tens of millions per annum for a international co. not millions.. however the guy who actually does the exectutives spreadsheets for him is likely to be on 25k or thereabouts...
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh- and I forgot - stormyeyes - your not meant to _make_ yourself care.. thats like making yourself cry watching lassie! you either do or you don't...
If you are too busy feeling sorry for yourself for paying tax then you probably don't have the time..

seriously..why don't you move.. Alaska has no income tax... whereas NY has the highest!

Oh wait, NY is a buzzing dynamic city with opportunity and fun...
I wonder if those tax $ do make a difference?
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opopanax
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

....and New York also has the highest cost of living in the entire country. Tax dollars at work?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sketelsen wrote:
....and New York also has the highest cost of living in the entire country. Tax dollars at work?


Check Hawaii....... and our taxes are obscene
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opopanax
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as far as statewide, yeah, hawaii is the highest, but i believe NYC is still higher than honolulu...but I could be talking out of my ass. happens from time to time.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sketelsen wrote:
as far as statewide, yeah, hawaii is the highest, but i believe NYC is still higher than honolulu...but I could be talking out of my ass. happens from time to time.


In the city itself.... NYNY has more disgusting taxes. They tax your blood ... literally
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