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We Need a Whole New Way of Thinking About Government

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View Poll Results: Which statements more are closest to your point of view? Check all that apply:
The USA requires a bigger more authoritarian government. 1 1.61%
Government should take care of the poor. 5 8.06%
The rich should be required to support the poor. 4 6.45%
The government should provide the general welfare. 11 17.74%
Federal and State Government invite corruption when it dispenses charity. 19 30.65%
Government should not do anything the private sector does better. 31 50.00%
Government is too big, too intrusive, too expensive. 38 61.29%
The Federal Government should secure our rights and then leave us alone. 43 69.35%
None of the above. I'll explain in my post. 5 8.06%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 62. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-06-2011, 01:10 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by saveliberty Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register to forum by clicking here to see images.
The problem is where do you establish the safety net that you refer to.
Over 20,000 single parents who can't work because they can't afford child care
A million illiterate adults who can't quality for a job that pays enough to support themselves or their family
150,000 servilely retarded who will never be able to earn a living
Tens of thousands of kids of an alcoholically and drug addict parents who can't or choose not to work
100,00 kids living in foster care

Then there are 53 million on Medicaid about 1/3 children.

The vast majority of these people will not find jobs if they loose government assistance because those jobs do not exist even for the qualified which these people are not.
Maybe, just maybe, you should consider your child before you bring them into the world without you having a job or stable marriage. Maybe you should have learned to read when it was offered to you free of charge. Maybe, if their were more consequences for these things, people would be more motivated to make sure they were employed and contributing to society.
True. If people were more responsible we would have a lot less social problems. But until we discover how to make that happen we have to deal with the problems. Unfortunately ignoring the problems do not make them go away.
But why? Why do we have to deal with them? Why should we support people who refuse to take responsibility for themselves? Going back to your former question, I'll respond here. People should not be having kids if they cannot afford to house, clothe, feed, vaccinate, and educate them. If they can't afford childcare, then they better have a steady source of income before they bring kids into the world.

Those who insist that it is their right to have children are correct. They should not have the right for other people to support them, however. So the state should take children from irresponsible or incapable parents until the parents are willing and able to take that responsibility themselves. Make that the policy and you will see a LOT fewer kids needing help from anybody other than their parents.

As for that temporary safety net, I can see a local government working with local charities to set up a central help station that can provide temporary help with rent, utilities, food, etc. I helped set up just such a center in our former hometown in Kansas and it was highly effective. The only government monies involved is that the city furnished the building and paid the utilities. All the other funding for the program came from various local charities and churches. And because recipients had to verify their need on a weekly basis, there was virtually zero fraud or corruption built into the system.

It is a different way of looking at government.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:20 PM
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Back years ago I was on our city council. A group came forward and wanted the city to pay for a new baseball and soccer park along with maintaining it. We said no, but would support their fund raising efforts, seek grants or volunteer services and ultimately, maintain it once built. We now have the Fields of Dreams Park.

Seems if people want something bad enough there is a way.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:31 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by saveliberty Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register to forum by clicking here to see images.

Maybe, just maybe, you should consider your child before you bring them into the world without you having a job or stable marriage. Maybe you should have learned to read when it was offered to you free of charge. Maybe, if their were more consequences for these things, people would be more motivated to make sure they were employed and contributing to society.
True. If people were more responsible we would have a lot less social problems. But until we discover how to make that happen we have to deal with the problems. Unfortunately ignoring the problems do not make them go away.
But why? Why do we have to deal with them? Why should we support people who refuse to take responsibility for themselves? Going back to your former question, I'll respond here. People should not be having kids if they cannot afford to house, clothe, feed, vaccinate, and educate them. If they can't afford childcare, then they better have a steady source of income before they bring kids into the world.

Those who insist that it is their right to have children are correct. They should not have the right for other people to support them, however. So the state should take children from irresponsible or incapable parents until the parents are willing and able to take that responsibility themselves. Make that the policy and you will see a LOT fewer kids needing help from anybody other than their parents.

As for that temporary safety net, I can see a local government working with local charities to set up a central help station that can provide temporary help with rent, utilities, food, etc. I helped set up just such a center in our former hometown in Kansas and it was highly effective. The only government monies involved is that the city furnished the building and paid the utilities. All the other funding for the program came from various local charities and churches. And because recipients had to verify their need on a weekly basis, there was virtually zero fraud or corruption built into the system.

It is a different way of looking at government.
Wingnuts are so dumb, they think their "no more welfare" nonsense is "new thinking"
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:47 PM
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Why do you never hear of the impact the military industrial complex has on America? We are spending money for war and its machines, way too much money, and then when debt suddenly raises its ugly head the only thing that is mentioned for the cutting block are the very things that make a society civilized. What a nutty world we live in.

Consider this review of California versus Arizona, the solutions are not the simple formulas conservatives preach.

"Both states have the same obvious imbalance — they spend more money than they take in — but for different reasons. While California spends too much money, Arizona doesn’t raise enough taxes. The paper is a reminder that when it comes to budget deficits, opposite politics often produce the same result." Real Time Economics blog (WSJ): Why California?s Budget Gap Isn?t as Bad as Low-Tax Arizona?s Rising in Phoenix


"Structurally Unbalanced: Cyclical and Structural Deficits in California and the Intermountain West" Cyclical and Structural State Budget Deficits in California and the Intermountain West - Brookings Institution


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We need to see government as George Washington did.
Really?

"The unity of Government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion, that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts." Quote DB :: Speeches :: George Washington :: George Washington's Farewell Address Speech
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:58 PM
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So Midcans, the Constitution requires the federal government to provide the common defense. I agree 100% that this requirement has become too expensive and probably too far reaching. No doubt billions are wasted in incompetence, fraud, graft, corruption, sweetheart deals all perpetuated by elected officials who increase their personal fame, fortune, influence, power etc. by allocating defense funds.

This problem has been identified and bantered about on message boards for decades now though.

What is a new way to think about government and the military complex?

(I've already said that the key is to make it impossible for elected leaders to increase their power, prestige, influence, personal fortunes etc. through allocation of the people's money. Would that not also work in defense spending?)
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:20 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by saveliberty Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register to forum by clicking here to see images.
In my opinon, allowing people to minimize the consequences of their actions is basic approval of their activities.
I can agree with that. But if the consequences are the result of actions for which the individual had no control then is the individual to be held responsible for those consequences? Are children to be held responsible because of poor choices of their parents? Are the mentally ill, the retarded, and the physically disabled to be held responsible for acts of God? If a child has been taught by its parents that he is dumb and can never succeed in school is he to be held responsible for his illiteracy? Is a single mother with three young children who was deserted by her husband to be held responsibility?
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:35 PM
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What is a new way to think about government and the military complex?

(I've already said that the key is to make it impossible for elected leaders to increase their power, prestige, influence, personal fortunes etc. through allocation of the people's money. Would that not also work in defense spending?)
I have a better idea. I think we should make it impossible for bad people to get elected and hold office. This would not only work in defense spending (no bad people allowed in the military), it also has the advantage of being as fuzzy and non-detailed as your proposal to "make it impossible for elected leaders to increase their power, prestige, influence, personal fortunes, etcc...."
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:49 PM
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The 112th Congress was sworn in this morning amidst hope that a new crop of visionary conservatives can make a difference along with dismay that a new crop of visionary conservatives occupies many new seats in the House and Senate.

The die has been cast. Those new Conservative members will be able to turn the country in a new fiscally responsible direction with more personal accountability; or they will cave in to the status quo of more and bigger and more powerful, intrusive government.

How do you want it to go? Please include at least some basic reason for your choice that is more than an insult toward another person or group.

The basic crisis seems to be summarized in this article in Forbes today:

(emphasis mine)

Quote:
[SIZE="2"]California Suggests Suicide; Texas Asks: Can I Lend You a Knife?
By JOEL KOTKIN

In the future, historians may likely mark the 2010 midterm elections as the end of the California era and the beginning of the Texas one. In one stunning stroke, amid a national conservative tide, California voters essentially ratified a political and regulatory regime that has left much of the state unemployed and many others looking for the exits.

California has drifted far away from the place that John Gunther described in 1946 as “the most spectacular and most diversified American state … so ripe, golden.” Instead of a role model, California has become a cautionary tale of mismanagement of what by all rights should be the country’s most prosperous big state. Its poverty rate is at least two points above the national average; its unemployment rate nearly three points above the national average. On Friday Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was forced yet again to call an emergency session in order to deal with the state’s enormous budget problems.

This state of crisis is likely to become the norm for the Golden State. In contrast to other hard-hit states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Nevada, which all opted for pro-business, fiscally responsible candidates, California voters decisively handed virtually total power to a motley coalition of Democratic-machine politicians, public employee unions, green activists and rent-seeking special interests.

In the new year, the once and again Gov. Jerry Brown, who has some conservative fiscal instincts, will be hard-pressed to convince Democratic legislators who get much of their funding from public-sector unions to trim spending. Perhaps more troubling, Brown’s own extremism on climate change policy–backed by rent-seeking Silicon Valley investors with big bets on renewable fuels–virtually assures a further tightening of a regulatory regime that will slow an economic recovery in every industry from manufacturing and agriculture to home-building.

Texas’ trajectory, however, looks quite the opposite. California was recently ranked by Chief Executive magazine as having the worst business climate in the nation, while Texas’ was considered the best. Both Democrats and Republicans in the Lone State State generally embrace the gospel of economic growth and limited public sector expenditure. . . . .
MORE HERE:
California Suggests Suicide; Texas Asks: Can I Lend You a Knife? - Joel Kotkin - New Geographer - Forbes
In re: We Need a Whole New Way of Thinking About Government

I humbly suggest you peruse the following link:

Age of Enlightenment - New World Encyclopedia
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:56 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by saveliberty Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register to forum by clicking here to see images.
Why do we have to deal with them? Why should we support people who refuse to take responsibility for themselves? Going back to your former question, I'll respond here. People should not be having kids if they cannot afford to house, clothe, feed, vaccinate, and educate them. If they can't afford childcare, then they better have a steady source of income before they bring kids into the world.

Those who insist that it is their right to have children are correct. They should not have the right for other people to support them, however. So the state should take children from irresponsible or incapable parents until the parents are willing and able to take that responsibility themselves. Make that the policy and you will see a LOT fewer kids needing help from anybody other than their parents.
You are right. We should not have to deal these problems. But until we can make parents more responsible we do. Taking kids away from poor families who don't have the money to support them is not a good idea. The cost to the state of assuming responsibility for raising these kids is high and the results are not good.
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:56 PM
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I chose none of the above because tweaking won't work. None of the above does anything about the money in politics nor the corporate control of our government.

Without addressing those critical issues you're just pissing in the wind.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:19 PM
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In order to do something about government we need to change the Constitution. We need to change how political campaigns are waged and financed. We need to make it more difficult for the government to operate without a balanced budget. We need clarifications so the Supreme Court is not making our laws.

The founders intended the Constitution to be a living document that changes to meet the needs of the people. That's why they gave us the amendment process. In the last 40 years we have had only one important amendment, 26 which change the voting age to 18. Prior to that we had 10 amendments in the 20th century.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:26 PM
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There is much to say on this subject and I think most conservatives agree to those principles of a smaller and less intrusive central government. To those that would argue for a government with more involvement and regulation of people's lives, us conservatives would suggest that they might more rightfully find that in their State Government. These State governments should be properly viewed as Madisonian 'Laboratories of Democracy' where more experimentation, which is invariably 'Progressive', may be allowed to come to fruition but simultaneously meets the firewall of a state border that contains any damage from specific faulty programs. The outcome of all programs then may be safely viewed by the rest of the states and successful ones, perhaps, emulated. All this would be subject to the approval of citizens of the individual states.

The main problem that Progressives present to America presently is that their solution to the upcoming crises in CA, Illinois, and NY would endanger the taxpayers of all states. As goes the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) in the EU, the present progressive Federal model dictates, so goes California in the U.S. (See Victor Davis Hanson's piece: Works and Days Raging Against “Them” ). In short, it is not at all clear that all other states (or Congress specifically) would welcome a Federal bailout for such financially troubled profligate states.

So how does this all relate to Foxfyre's rightful search for a way forward RE our present Federal (central) government? Well Foxfyre and others have already elucidated the cure for our present central governmental ills. All of this is clearly a voice for the return of the government that the founders, not only proposed, but explained, via the Federalist, and received permission from the people to put into force. But what happened to that America and its strong but limited central government? Well, Progressivism in a word. So if we long for a powerful central government and are seriously determined to check its powers we must fight the forces that would (and have) destroyed the government of the founders via Progressivism. This is a fight worth having regarding the type of conservative limited central government that us conservatives long for. Whatever the issue from lobbyists to local bridges joining islands, the Constitution has the plain language that provides the answers regarding the central government's legitimate involvment.

I will probably have more to say on this but I want to point out that progressivism is inherently illiberal and therefore an enemy of America. This fight will be a long one and its length is measured in generations. Presently we have two generations that have been indoctrinated with the religion of progressivism. The most recent two being that of the 60's anti-Vietnam war movement and the their children (and that of others) who were steeped in the anti-American liberalism presently found in the academe. But if progressivism is the enemy of individual liberty shouldn't we "know thine enemy"? Sure, that's why I am going to re-read Peter Berkowitz's Obama and the State of Progressivism from the Hoover Institution. ( Obama and the State of Progressivism, 2011 | Hoover Institution )

If we are to correct present central government excess to form "a more perfect union" we must recognize efforts, past and present, that stand as road blocks to those efforts. This article notes the ideology behind the progressive movement and some of their arguments. It also notes Progressivism's inherent contradictions and incompatibility with individual liberty, both personal and economic. The supposed goal of fairness and equality of progressivism is questioned. The article is not short (about 20 pages) but is broken up into sections easily read in a few minutes.

JM

P.S: Passing more Laws against lobbyists or to promote “more” or “a more fair” freedom of speech are unnecessary. Any group or individual has the constitutional right to “lobby” members of Congress and why not allow (already constitutionally mandated) free speech no matter the entity?

P.P.S: No individual vote for an American citizen just because he is down on his luck and receives government subsidies? No, that would definitely be unconstitutional. What would be constitutional would be a flat tax for all Americans (all taxes applied equally to all involved in the subject of that tax, in this case an individual's income). Those receiving such income (from the government in this case) would be taxed equally but taxed, none the less, giving them the same responsibility of every other citizen. This would give them skin in the game and if they were smart they would recognize that they now might hold their elected Reps responsible for the gainful education of their children too, but that is another thread…or is it?
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:35 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by saveliberty Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register to forum by clicking here to see images.
In my opinon, allowing people to minimize the consequences of their actions is basic approval of their activities.
I can agree with that. But if the consequences are the result of actions for which the individual had no control then is the individual to be held responsible for those consequences? Are children to be held responsible because of poor choices of their parents? Are the mentally ill, the retarded, and the physically disabled to be held responsible for acts of God? If a child has been taught by its parents that he is dumb and can never succeed in school is he to be held responsible for his illiteracy? Is a single mother with three young children who was deserted by her husband to be held responsibility?
So again what is a new way to think about government to address these things? Of course a moral society takes care of the truly helpless. But does that require us to subsidize irresponsible parents so that the kids won't suffer? You can't see a better solution than that?

Isn't there another way to look at government's responsibility or how it can best promote the general welfare?
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:46 PM
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To JamesMorrison. . . .

I'll get through the article you linked when I have more time.

Let's look at your postscripts:

Quote:
P.S: Passing more Laws against lobbyists or to promote “more” or “a more fair” freedom of speech are unnecessary. Any group or individual has the constitutional right to “lobby” members of Congress and why not allow (already constitutionally mandated) free speech no matter the entity?

P.P.S: No individual vote for an American citizen just because he is down on his luck and receives government subsidies? No, that would definitely be unconstitutional. What would be constitutional would be a flat tax for all Americans (all taxes applied equally to all involved in the subject of that tax, in this case an individual's income). Those receiving such income (from the government in this case) would be taxed equally but taxed, none the less, giving them the same responsibility of every other citizen. This would give them skin in the game and if they were smart they would recognize that they now might hold their elected Reps responsible for the gainful education of their children too, but that is another thread…or is it?
We seem to be in agreement that muzzling lobbyist takes away an unalienable right of people to petititon their government. And to eliminate people buying favors from government, eliminating lobbyists would be like putting a bandaid on a punctured artery. I have proposed that we eliminate the ability of government to hand out favors or pay offs.

So far that proposa--which definitely would be another way of looking at government--has been pretty much ignored. Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register to forum by clicking here to see images.

So James comes up with a flat tax. That in itself is a good idea but of course is one of many tax structures proposed.

How about a different way of looking at government being:

Every citizen with income pay an equal percentage of that income to support the government. That way every citizen will have a stake in tax policy and there will be no way that government can favor one citizen with tax relief and shift the burden to another. Tax policy can no longer be used to 'buy' votes as all, rich and poor alike, share equally in the effects of tax policy. That would be a new way of looking at government.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:56 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by loosecannon Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register to forum by clicking here to see images.
OK.

A new way of thinking about government is to think about a government in which political parties are illegal and prosecuted with RICO statutes.

And political contributions are considered bribes. Not one thin dime.

That much would change everything.
So you see politicval parties and campaign contributions as the problem? That has been suggested as the problem for decades. And neither are the problem.

In my opinion, there is always a better way to deal with any problem and there is room for both liberals and conservatives in the world. We need liberals to point out to conservatives how the conservative plan will hurt people. .
The liberal/conservative dichotomy is a 100% false paradigm.

We not only don't need us against them polarity in our politics it is extremely counterproductive to be such.

Besides the duopoly has a monopoly on political power and has thus removed all of the people's power as a result.

The two parties may not be technically unconstitutional, but they certainly destroy the balance of power and representative system the framers intended.
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