Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 24

Thread: HSBC facing charges from Atlanta communities over predatory lending

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fuckin' Bible belt....
    Posts
    1,361


    Default

    Alright. I shall seriously debate the idea of the USG: United States of Godxilla. This nation would run itself on the Constitution plus the Amendments, and would add but one sentence: Congress shall make no law without first consulting the Constitution and, after debate in Congress, add a provision to each law which states why the Constitution deems it appropriate. Boom. Gone is the safety net for the poor.
    So how do you address the sudden influx of seniors (around 40-ish percent) who are now in poverty because you've eliminated their sole source of income in Social Security? Or do you just let them taper off and die?

    A. Armed rebellion may solve this current issue by creating an atmosphere of clean slates.
    What is an "atmosphere of clean slates?" And how will that solve our complex financial crisis? Be specific.

    HSBC is powerful in the USA, but to the USG, it's just another bank that probably would have helped the US government anyway. Unlike the US, with a history of catering to big banks, the USG would have fresh standards. It would solve the fiscal cliff by creating a nation that has only war debts. The USA can go fuck itself; we've got the cash.
    (1) So you'd absolve all of the debt currently owed by the US? How would you address the ensuing worldwide economic chaos? If you're openly saying you refuse to pay back all of the nation's debts, that money doesn't just magically go back to those to whom it's owed.

    (2) How will you "create a nation that only has war debts?" Who will those debts be owed to, and for what services?

    (3) How will creating said nation "solve the fiscal cliff?"

    B. My previous answer touched on it. They cannot dick around in the USG, because the fortune soldiers, farmers, hunters, and terrorists that make up our army and government have no record of tolerating shit.
    (1) What do you mean by "dick around," specifically? And what will these "fortune soldiers, farmers, etc." actually DO to people who "dick around?" Do you mean to suggest that they will kill members of Congress if they don't agree with their decision?

    (2) If that's the case --- if the final rule is by force and not by democratic election --- then why have Congress in the first place? Why not just let the military run the state?

    C. It would prevent bullshit like this for about 200 years (if we last) by learning from our predecessors. The main cause of the Revolution was the king. 200 years later, the USA has learned and still remains kingless.
    In name only. Some would argue we now have a financial heirarchy similar to the "proles-bourgeoise-nobles" structure of the old era.

    On to rebellion itself. The Constitution does say that. And I agree. But these aren't normal times.
    What are "normal times," exactly?

    Our government is at an all-time high of screwing the people.
    So are you saying there is one particular entity that is "screwing us," and that if we just remove that one element, then everything will be okay, and nobody else will try to "screw us?" Or is the idea of a powerful group of people trying to use the system to "screw us" something that is sort of intrinsic to any system with a clear set of rules?

    Any banker would be horrified by $16 trillion in debt. Furthermore, Jefferson once said two things: "I like a little rebellion now and then" and "Sometimes the Tree of Liberty" must be cleansed and clipped by the blood of the citizens.
    So civilians should be willing to sacrifice themselves so your ideal world can exist? Would you be willing to sacrifice yourself to make your ideal world exist?

    Finally, taxes. I find it funny that liberals bitch about rich people using tax deductions, and then fight to defend tax deductions at every turn.
    Why do you find that funny? Us poor people (read: people making under the national poverty standard) don't currently have a huge tax burden, in part because of deductions. A $2000 deduction is very helpful to someone who only makes $13,000 a year. Someone who makes $16 billion in one fiscal quarter, though, and already pays an effective tax rate that is less than half of the marginal tax rate, doesn't really need any more deductions; there's just no reason for it. Their business is operating very well, they're making good money off of it (and not reinvesting it into their business or expanding it), and so that money is not being reinvested into the economy. This stagnation is part of what causes economic decline; a healthy economy is indicated by activity, so stagnation is the natural opposite of that. Why let that extra tax break make an infinitesimal difference to someone whose yearly income is already thousands of times the amount of that tax break, when that money could instead be used to invigorate the economy and make a *huge* difference to someone who makes less in a year than that person makes in one day?

    That's my big beef with the libertarian view of taxation; it's about principle rather than results. Libertarians promise that their "ideal world" will eventually come if we just agree to follow their principles, but it never does, and people suffer in the meantime. In that sense, it's a lot like a religion.

    Mitt Romney pays 15% in taxes.
    14.1 percent, actually.

    Some people pay 39%
    Can you name a corporation in America that paid an effective tax rate of 39% in 2011?

    I understand that this is a long paper on rebellion.
    Not nearly long enough. Your ideas are not fleshed out, and you have no specifics to speak of. You have a lot of ideology, but it hasn't been translated into practical direction or action. In that sense it's a very typical libertarian manifesto.
    "I'm sorry
    For all the things that I never did
    For all the places I never was
    For all the people I never stopped
    But there was nothing I could do...
    "

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Czech Republic
    Posts
    18,056


    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Godxilla View Post
    French people pay 75%.
    Funny. French people pay 75% in taxes. All French people? Which French people? How many French people? Answer: French people who earn more than $1,280,000. That's very few. The vast majority of French people pay between 5% and 30%. Nice massive exaggeration...
    Quote Originally Posted by jsmak84 View Post
    I do not drink alcohol and coffee

    I do not smoke and do not do drugs

    I just do bumpin in my trunk

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Salem, MA
    Posts
    943


    Default

    That was a lot. I'll focus on 3 things: the "influx of seniors", the clean slates, and the fiscal cliff.
    For the seniors: I would like to make it clear that I will not be absolving the USA and redoing it. I am discussing the nation that would hypothetically leave the USA. Let us say that the USG consists of all the "Bible Belt" states. For these seniors, each state would set us its own safety net. The net would match social security payments in the USA, but for all new recipients, the amount would be half. This would promote a culture of saving for retirement. People would have no choice. Eventually, this benefit would cut down to essentially an award for surviving to their age.
    For the clean slates: big banks cannot violate laws, bribe people, or perform unethical behavior for a while, because while the US government was okay with it, the USG may or may not be okay with it. This will create a clean slate for all companies, because the USG does not yet have the laws or customs that businesses follow yet.
    For the debts: if we break away, I think it is pretty obvious that people will not expect us to take on the debts of the USA. After all, both nations still exist. So the USA can pay off its debt and we can pay off ours. For those in our nation, the fiscal cliff is over. The USA is fucked, but seriously, we don't care. All our debts will be war debts because at this early point, we will have been nothing more than a government which has only been a rebellion. It did not pay anything besides the cost of war. It will soon, but not now.
    We will start by debating these three points. If we are clear on them, then we can move on to the next points.
    Quand ils ont dis "Vous vous asseyez," je me suis levé.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fuckin' Bible belt....
    Posts
    1,361


    Default

    For the seniors: I would like to make it clear that I will not be absolving the USA and redoing it. I am discussing the nation that would hypothetically leave the USA. The net would match social security payments in the USA, but for all new recipients, the amount would be half. This would promote a culture of saving for retirement. People would have no choice. Eventually, this benefit would cut down to essentially an award for surviving to their age.
    So you would revoke Social Security as a safety net for the elderly, and instead force them to save for retirement on their own, on basically the threat of death? Okay, so:

    (1) Your model fails to take inflation into account. If a person spends 40+ years (for example) saving money, and during that time the value of the dollar decreases, that person will have less money. So unless they plan for an impossible-to-foresee amount of economic uncertainty, there is a real risk that a person saving for retirement may accidentally undershoot the amount necessary to survive off of.

    (2) Your model assumes the same degree of systemization to personally saving for retirement as is present in Social Security. SS was designed by people who did the math, studied inflation, figured out how to calculate when to raise the benefits of SS to account for inflation (and how to raise the revenue to offset those increases), and so SS runs flawlessly based on those calculations (because they are a way of exploiting simple mathematical trends). By having an agreed-upon retirement age established by departments with access to far vaster resources than the individual, we establish a couple of things: (a) when a person should expect to be able to retire; (b) how much a person needs to be able to save from each paycheck; (c) adjustment for economic changes in the intervening years.

    Given the prevalence of economic uncertainty that creates these investment problems in the first place, it's just plain unfair to expect one individual to be able to predict the future to such an extent that they can accurately plan out a retirement to the extent as planned by SS. I'm sure some people with a firm understanding of economics can do it, but the point is that our system prevents people from falling through the cracks in the event of a miscalculation. It also allows people to pool their resources to ensure that even people with almost zero income have a chance to prepare for the future, where they might otherwise not have that opportunity if left to fend for themselves.

    This is where the libertarian cries, "but that's MAH monneh!" But unless they can introduce an argument to rebut the worth of taxes systematically, it's safe to ignore such complaints.

    For the clean slates: big banks cannot violate laws, bribe people, or perform unethical behavior for a while, because while the US government was okay with it, the USG may or may not be okay with it.
    (A) "May or may not be okay with it?" What does that mean? Are you against banks violating the law, or not? What is an example of a case where you "may be okay with it," and how would that be any different from the US choosing to excuse certain gross violations of the law?

    (B) What counts as a bribe? Is a political contribution a bribe, or is that simply expressing free speech through endorsement of a candidate (like a private citizen could)?

    Our current system acknowledges that bribes are illegal. The problem is that there is much debate over how a bribe is legally defined. If it's defined too broadly and without nuance, then it will also cut into free speech and the political process; if it's defined too narrowly, it's ineffective at combating actual crimes. So what is your definition of a "bribe?"

    For the debts: if we break away, I think it is pretty obvious that people will not expect us to take on the debts of the USA.
    That scenario is not likely. For one, if you broke away from the US, it would be after a war --- secession is illegal, and we would likely have another civil war over it if anyone tried. Assuming you won the war, you could probably do whatever you want with regard to the debt. In your model, for example, taking only the southern bible belt states, you're still taking a portion of the federal revenue of the USA with you (revenue generated from taxes collected from those states). This will affect the US's ability to pay debts back to other nations, which will lead to a higher risk of default, which will damage the US's standing economically, which will in turn damage the standing of any country which holds our debt currently (because it will greatly decrease the likelihood that they will see that money again), which could very well lead to a global economic crisis. You don't pull the rug out from under the table without first making sure everything is properly fastened down, so to speak; what you're describing is similar to, if I and a friend decided to get together and borrow $500 from my neighbor, and we both agree to pay him back, each paying $250, but then my friend decides that he's moving to another neighborhood and he's not going to pay his half of the money back. Either I or my neighbor will lose $250; that lost money doesn't just magically poof back into existence.

    And so unless you propose that this New Union is a perfect, self-sufficient utopia that does zero international trading, no exporting or importing, with its own economy that exists within a vacuum (if that's the case, I'm interested in how you would do that), then there is simply no denying that to shrug off so much debt would have a devastating effect on the New Union, as well as the world economy.

    Although it's worth mentioning as a side note that the southern states are largely the "takers" in America, taking in between 1.5-2 times as much as they put out in federal revenue. So while it would still devastate the economy to sever America in two without first carefully divvying up the debt, it would take a small burden off of the other states with the highest output (such as New York, Michigan and Colorado), at least in the short run.

    All our debts will be war debts because at this early point, we will have been nothing more than a government which has only been a rebellion. It did not pay anything besides the cost of war. It will soon, but not now.
    "It will soon." Exactly. So how will you generate revenue? You'll have to tax someone. Who will you tax? How much will you tax them, and how will you decide these things? How will this system be fundamentally different from the current US system, and what failsafes will be in place to ascertain that the same mistakes are not repeated?
    "I'm sorry
    For all the things that I never did
    For all the places I never was
    For all the people I never stopped
    But there was nothing I could do...
    "

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Salem, MA
    Posts
    943


    Default

    Okay. Even that was a lot. Good thing I didn't tackle all the issues. Why don't I narrow it down even further. We'll talk money and finances in the New Union.
    You say that I didn't take financial care in accounting for inflation. You are right. I didn't. I may cone from a family of accountants, but I am not. This would really be sorted out by financial pros in our new nation, not me. But the rules would be simple: we are to make money or break even, and we are to save money each year. How they do it would be up to them, and if charities need to help certain poor people, then so be it, I will visit them for photo ops myself. But this is how it would go in essence: the gov would give a small amount that people are happy about, and southern hospitality would "cover" the rest.
    What I mean by our government being maybe okay with bank fraud is simple: I don't like it, our fighters don't like it, our people don't like it, but our leaders might find it politically expedient. So they may or may not like it at certain points. A bribe would likely be defined as a specific amount of cash in exchange for a specific vote. Example: "Vote for this bill and I'll give you quite a few (dollar) bills." That would be illegal.
    And all of this argument must assume that we won the war and we are a separate nation. Just as the US refused to pay Britain's debts after the Revolution, we would never pay the USA's debts either. And sure, it would create a financial calamity, but that's the cost of doing business.
    Quand ils ont dis "Vous vous asseyez," je me suis levé.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fuckin' Bible belt....
    Posts
    1,361


    Default

    Okay. Even that was a lot. Good thing I didn't tackle all the issues.
    I'd say that's a bad thing. If you can't even solve a problem as simple as the allocation of existing debt, then you have no business starting a country.

    You say that I didn't take financial care in accounting for inflation. You are right. I didn't. I may cone from a family of accountants, but I am not.
    Then you're not the one who needs to be coming up with ideas for a New Union. I'd rather leave the economic decisions up to people who have studied economics and have a firm understanding of it.

    This would really be sorted out by financial pros in our new nation, not me.
    I wouldn't be willing to scrap a system that works well enough, and has survived the test of time thus far, for a system with that much uncertainty. "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be overturned for light and transient causes." We need specifics, ideas we can actually use --- not vague principles and assertions, or demands that we "trust" things will "work themselves out" or "be figured out by someone else." If you're proposing a New Union, then you're supposed to be that someone else.

    I could easily make the same assumptions about our existing union; "we can solve all these problems without secession. Just trust that someone else will figure out how."

    But the rules would be simple: we are to make money or break even, and we are to save money each year.
    How will you do that? We have people in Congress right now who claim that this is their aim. Paying lip service to the idea of balancing the budget is easy; actually doing it requires specific direction and action.

    and if charities need to help certain poor people, then so be it, I will visit them for photo ops myself. But this is how it would go in essence: the gov would give a small amount that people are happy about, and southern hospitality would "cover" the rest.
    What if your "southern hospitality" doesn't cover the rest? You must have a failsafe in the event that this should occur, since your model is inherently based on the risk of an economic trend in charitable donations. It's not enough to simply assert that it will always be enough; economic models are not so flawless that you can reliably make that claim. So what is your failsafe in the event that your economic model falters? When there is an economic downturn (as there has been in every nation forever, throughout history), and charitable donations taper off somewhat, and it's no longer enough to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves, what will you do? Are you advocating that we would simply let the poorest and sickest die for lack of care, and write them off as "collateral damage" to sustain your ideal system?

    If that's the case, then your system is not based on helping people at all, but on prolonging itself, regardless of the cost. If your Union is to be based on the US Constitution in any way, then this principle can be rejected out of hand --- the government does have a need to prolong itself, but if it ceases to serve the people, then its purpose is meaningless. Governments exist for their people; that's the primary fallacy of libertarian thinking, that governments should deliberately serve their people as little as possible, while subsisting for no other reason than to subsist.

    What I mean by our government being maybe okay with bank fraud is simple: I don't like it, our fighters don't like it, our people don't like it, but our leaders might find it politically expedient. So they may or may not like it at certain points.
    So it would literally be no different than our current system, then, and you're giving the OK not just to ignore the current flaws in our system, but to accept and condone them as "politically expedient." And so my original criticism stands: a new Union is redundant and pointless if it does not address the problems with the current system that lead people to want to create a new one.

    And all of this argument must assume that we won the war and we are a separate nation. Just as the US refused to pay Britain's debts after the Revolution, we would never pay the USA's debts either. And sure, it would create a financial calamity, but that's the cost of doing business.
    So you're willing to write off the potentially worldwide economic damage as collateral damage as well, and you have no failsafe or backup plan in that event.

    To simply ignore the consequences of destabilizing the world economy to the extent that a blind rebellion would, is simply irresponsible. It wouldn't be impossible to recover from, but it would make it very, very difficult for anyone to do business with either the US or the New Union for a long time --- a rebellion in that sense would amount to publicly stealing a massive amount of the US's wealth; when you take away spending power without reimbursing those from whom you took it (and to whom it was originally borrowed from), you hurt the economy. There's literally nothing to be gained economically from such theft, except that you give yourself a slight advantage on the national market for a short time. But if the way you conduct business is as flawed as the way you propose conducting business in this hypothetical union, your advantage will be quickly squandered. This goes back to my original point, that it's not a matter of just doing or not doing one thing here or there; it is a systemic flaw in the way we conduct business in the US that must be addressed if we were to prevent it from corrupting future systems --- whether we're talking about the future of the US or some imagined New Union. If you don't address the core concerns, you're doomed to repeat the same mistakes because you give yourself no way to prevent them.

    And to compare it to Britain would be more accurate if you were talking about major cities/regions in Britain suddenly deciding to leave Britain and branch off into their own country. The colonies were important to the economy of Britain, but they were not the economic heart of Britain; losing the colonies to the colonists would be more equatable to a single large failed economic venture, rather than a total breakdown of the central government.
    "I'm sorry
    For all the things that I never did
    For all the places I never was
    For all the people I never stopped
    But there was nothing I could do...
    "

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Salem, MA
    Posts
    943


    Default

    Oh, I agree with the "that's a bad thing" thing that you said. It's just that I absolutely refuse to write a whole friggin book for each post, especially when one considers that I am using a mobile device. You keep typing, my friend, but in all honesty, I absolutely positively will not keep writing posts this long. It pains me to read them over. I'm sure you don't appreciate reading viciously long posts that cover a viewpoint that you don't necessarily agree with. But what the fuck, let's get back to talking about la revolucion.

    Liberals say it all the time: things (Social security, etc.) need to be reformed. But as for ideas, I have yet to see many. Or any, for that matter. And I don't like the Republican attitude of "well, just kill SS altogether." Old people's dead bodies would line the streets. And considering the thought that we just got out of a rebellion (presumably victorious), the streets will already be ugly enough. What needs to happen is either grandfather out SS or grandfather in something else.
    This is where my experts came in. If George Washington had been a blinding genius with absolute knowlege on all the economic issues of the day, then he would have been an absolute god. But no. He appointed a cabinet instead. This cabinet was made of people with varying skill sets. Henry Knox was a military guy. Hamilton was a banker. Jefferson was a historian. And it goes on and on. Washington's job was to make the country, these other guys would handle the busywork of policies. Washington would of course want to approve each agreement, and because he did, the cabinet remained a cabinet, and not a Politburo. So when I say that I would pass the hardcore finance to hardcore finance experts, that is what I am basing my thoughts off. Don't tell me that in order to make a new nation, we would need to all be knowlege-eating machines of mind-boggling skills in all fields of life, because you'd be wrong.

    About that paying lip service to fiscal solvency thing: both parties are full of shit. Both babble about being smart with money, but neither care. This union is to be founded on such principles. Being smart with money is a responsibility, not a priviledge.
    Now, this rebellion is based on freeing people from financial and rhetorical tyrrany. So the new nation's new leaders would be pissed at all forms of fraud. But in the far future (10 presidents later or so), it would be more accepted, I have a hunch. What can I do? Ban banks? Bullshit.

    About financial hell: what did the Declaration of Independence signees pledge? Lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. They were willing to sacrifice their money, their lives, and their dignity for essential freeedom. Some people are willing to do this, others aren't. Which one are you?
    Quand ils ont dis "Vous vous asseyez," je me suis levé.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fuckin' Bible belt....
    Posts
    1,361


    Default

    It's just that I absolutely refuse to write a whole friggin book for each post, especially when one considers that I am using a mobile device. You keep typing, my friend, but in all honesty, I absolutely positively will not keep writing posts this long. It pains me to read them over. I'm sure you don't appreciate reading viciously long posts that cover a viewpoint that you don't necessarily agree with.
    I actually don't mind; I probably read fifty or a hundred times this amount on a daily basis anyway. And as for reading what people write, I'm always happy just to get past the point where they say, "you're just brainwashed by the Illuminati into thinking that I'm wrong." Which is what most libertarians and anti-government types tell me.

    Liberals say it all the time: things (Social security, etc.) need to be reformed.
    What they mean is, we need to do something about the fact that the money that was in the SS trust fund is no longer there (because it was taken out to pay for unsustainable revenue cuts). Because the money is owed to the trust fund now, and yet Congress is trying to get away with not paying it back. If that ends up being the case --- or if, for example, we just scrap or radically change/reduce SS without reimbursing those who've paid into it for the last 40+ years --- then a large number of law-abiding, tax-paying, hard-working Americans get screwed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own income, which they earned by working and paying into the trust.

    Don't tell me that in order to make a new nation, we would need to all be knowlege-eating machines of mind-boggling skills in all fields of life, because you'd be wrong.
    That's no excuse to just NOT have any ideas. If you don't have ideas, then you need to have someone who does, and you need to at least understand them. It's your responsibility as a leader (hypothetically). George Washington may not have come up with all of the ideas in his administration (that's why most presidents have advisors), but I guarantee he would've been able to understand whatever they did. With great power comes great responsibility, and with the power to run a country comes the responsibility to understand how it is being run under an administration that bears your name. Otherwise, you're doing the exact same thing that partisan hacks in this system are doing --- "just elect us, and trust that we'll figure it out!"

    About that paying lip service to fiscal solvency thing: both parties are full of shit. Both babble about being smart with money, but neither care. This union is to be founded on such principles. Being smart with money is a responsibility, not a priviledge.
    I agree that they're full of shit. You fail to recognize that, unless you provide actual, real solutions to problems, then all you have is words. If you admit that you have no such solutions, then fine, but any talk of a rebellion or new union goes out the window without a firm idea of (A) what the problem is with the current system, and (B) how to fix it. Otherwise all you're doing is trading a worn-out pair of boots for another pair of boots that will eventually wear out for the same reasons; a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

    I'm just sick of this "let's splinter off and create our own new America" meme being promulgated by people who have the least understanding of how a government works.

    Now, this rebellion is based on freeing people from financial and rhetorical tyrrany. So the new nation's new leaders would be pissed at all forms of fraud. But in the far future (10 presidents later or so), it would be more accepted, I have a hunch. What can I do? Ban banks? Bullshit.
    Exactly. Without radical, fundamental change, the system will fall into the same potholes and fall victim to the same corruption, and in the end, we will be right back where we started. We can't just break America in half every 250 years; if we did that, we'd eventually run out of land to break up.

    They were willing to sacrifice their money, their lives, and their dignity for essential freeedom. Some people are willing to do this, others aren't.
    If I had a clear goal and a cause that I believed was worth fighting for, I would have no problem signing up to fight for it (it was actually all this talk of people rebelling against the government that had me thinking of joining the military for the first time in a long time, just so I could get a piece of them).

    However, rebelling and putting a large number of people's lives at risk just because I'm angry with the current system won't solve anything. In fact, it will only make things worse, because it will aggravate an already fragile system without offering up any stable alternative; if you take away people's established security and offer them nothing but vague ideals in return, it's only a matter of time before things go to shit.
    "I'm sorry
    For all the things that I never did
    For all the places I never was
    For all the people I never stopped
    But there was nothing I could do...
    "

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Salem, MA
    Posts
    943


    Default

    I read a lot too. And I write a lot, being a high school student. So, you just type away, amigo, and I'll read. But it takes me quite a while to get my responses together, because I am forced to type with one finger. Moving on,

    The Illuminati don't exist. Moving on,

    Well, that's why we don't scrap SS. We grandfather it out. Or grandfather in a new, merit-based system. If you want ideas, then I will provide one roght here: take the average SS payment. Poor people get 100% of it (by poor, I mean under the poverty line). From poverty to $100,000, they get about 60% of the average payment now. From $100k to $400k, they get 40% or so. $400k to $1 million earners get 20% of it. Anything more? Not a penny. Sorry, Charlie.

    I do have ideas, mon ami, but I am not a faucet of them. If you want ideas, look above this line. There's one. You just name an issue, pal, and I'll send my specific plan your way. Okay?

    I like the boots analogy. Good one. It's pretty much the plan, too. But I do know what the issue is. And the solution. A). The bigfest issue with the nation is our overspending and the atmoshere it creates. People take handouts like kids take candy. At a certain point, there's no saying "no" to them. B.) The solution is to follow the Constitution's promise. Where does the Constitution say that we, the New Union/USA, need to provide for the general welfare. Oh, so close! It just says "promote" the general welfare. And by this, I don't mean promoting the welfare of David Petraeus. I mean giving all an equal CHANCE, not an equal SLICE. May the best men and women use their chance wisely.

    Final thoughts: perhaps you are correct. We need not a rebellion to bring sanity. Perhaps it can occur from within. We can use the USA's laws to promote sanity on all levels. We can give all a CHANCE without causing hell. But that's only if people are ready. Are politicians ready? No. Are big banks ready? No. Are lobbyists for trees ready? No. They like the spoils system. But democracy has changed before. It may change again. When it does, I hope that my ghost will be there on Capitol Hill to witness the revolution (of either guns or minds). Otherwise, we'll just have to buy up a chunk of Greenland and do it all there instead.
    Quand ils ont dis "Vous vous asseyez," je me suis levé.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fuckin' Bible belt....
    Posts
    1,361


    Default

    Well, that's why we don't scrap SS. We grandfather it out. Or grandfather in a new, merit-based system. If you want ideas, then I will provide one roght here: take the average SS payment. Poor people get 100% of it (by poor, I mean under the poverty line). From poverty to $100,000, they get about 60% of the average payment now. From $100k to $400k, they get 40% or so. $400k to $1 million earners get 20% of it. Anything more? Not a penny. Sorry, Charlie.
    Honestly, that's really not much different from the current system, just with slightly different tier numbers:

    Retirement: When you retire, Social Security provides a monthly benefit that replaces a significant portion of pre-retirement earnings – roughly 55% for a low-income person earning about $19,000; 41% for a medium-income person earning about $43,000; 34% for a high-income person earning about $69,000; and 28% for a very high-income person earning about $107,000. Social Security also provides monthly benefits to spouses and divorced spouses (if married at least 10 years).
    In fact, you're offering people MORE than the current system provides (something I'd be alright with, but then you'd have to raise the revenue somehow, most easily by upping the payroll tax --- but even then, you'd have to up it by more than a decent amount to offset these particular benefit increases).

    A). The bigfest issue with the nation is our overspending and the atmoshere it creates.
    The problem with such a simple generalization is that it overlooks the fact that an economy is a fluid model; the deficit is important, and so is the debt, but there are other things to consider as well --- for example, in times of economic crises, government spending helps the economy recover, but it can drive up the deficit if it is not properly financed. And yet, financing everything such that the budget is perfectly balanced can take years of proposing, debating and refining bills. Given the relatively brief span over which the economy can undergo rapid change, it's not always practical to wait until everything is in line before we take action --- that is why we borrow money. The problem is, we're supposed to pay it back, something we almost never do (we've even "borrowed" all the money from SS and apparently have no intent to return it). Borrowing money isn't universally bad, so long as the means why which the debt will be repaid is taken into consideration.

    That said; in times of economic crises, the libertarian asserts that private business should take control and revive the economy, not the government. But the problem is that this is not an established model with guaranteed results; there is actually a sort of negative feedback loop that happens when the private sector is struggling, wherein they are less likely to make risky investments, and thus investment rates go down, money doesn't flow as freely, and the economy (whose health is indicated in part by the continuous movement of money) slows even more, causing them to be even more careful. It's not that the private sector can't heal the economy, per se, but rather that the government's duty to its people is to have a failsafe in the event that things become very dire and the private sector begins to fail. That's why true laissez-faire economies will always eventually fail --- all it takes is one really bad dip to send everyone into a panic. Which is rare, but it's basically a death sentence without the right backup plan.

    People take handouts like kids take candy.
    Which people? Some "handouts" are necessary to the stability of a society. Let's be clear right now that I don't consider retirement, SSI, Medicare, or other such benefits to be "handouts." You could make the case that welfare is a "handout" (though I would disagree), but even unemployment is paid into by workers, and you must work in order to qualify it (and unemployment benefits do run out after a set amount, unlike certain other benefits).

    If you mean subsidies, then I largely agree. For example, the budget deal recently agreed upon by Congress includes subsidies to racetracks, i.e. "motorsports entertainment complexes," and instead of raising taxes to compensate for the $67.9 billion combined cost of this and other ventures, the deal includes a provision to allow US corporations to defer taxes on a portion of the income they earn from overseas subsidiaries (effectively a tax cut, which, by itself --- on top of more spending --- would mean an increase in the deficit).

    All this, on top of the industries we already subsidize (oil and defense companies, both of which are making record profits even without considering the government endorsements); for example, in 2006, corporate subsidies nearly doubled the amount paid out compared to traditional "social welfare" programs like SNAP and assisted housing. You want to talk about saving billions and cutting the deficit, start with corporate subsidies and work your way down.

    The solution is to follow the Constitution's promise. Where does the Constitution say that we, the New Union/USA, need to provide for the general welfare. Oh, so close! It just says "promote" the general welfare.
    You "promote" the general welfare by taking action to promote it. This involves government action, and government spending. And you need at least a marginally powerful central government to oversee that kind of venture, if you want any sort of order to the system.

    The government's job isn't to go around and guarantee that everyone will have what they need, agreed --- the government should not be the primary solution to social problems, but it should act as a failsafe when all other approaches fail.

    That is where I disagree with libertarians --- the libertarian principle is generally that either you carve out your own means, or you suffer and/or die off (unless you happen to qualify for help, according to a very strict and intrusive set of guidelines). I believe that if you can, you should, but also that the government can only ascertain your ability to do so to a certain degree, and that some of the expectations libertarians have about government intervention in order to justify services like unemployment and SSI are a bit draconian: for example, wanting to mandate that the government run drug tests on people collecting benefits without having specific reason to do so. I don't believe that is in the constitution, either. So I would say that it's reasonable for the government to regulate who gets benefits and how much, but I also think they shouldn't be monitoring citizens 1984-style just to save a few hundred dollars here and there. As you say, there is a price to freedom, and that price means that the government (and corporate entities) should not be able to micro-manage programs if it means overreaching into the personal lives of the citizenry in a way that is not constitutional.
    "I'm sorry
    For all the things that I never did
    For all the places I never was
    For all the people I never stopped
    But there was nothing I could do...
    "

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •