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Author Topic:   American Budget Cuts
Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 301 of 350 (607032)
03-01-2011 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 300 by Straggler
03-01-2011 1:27 PM


Re: inequality widens, gets worse for the workers
Straggler writes:

So what do you think we are trying to achieve?

With our economic system, I would say that we are trying to achieve a system which pushes people to perform at their best through being rewarded in kind. Everyone should have the freedom to allocate their hard-won resources toward whatever ends they choose, including making the future of their children more secure. It should be conducive to free trade with informed participants, a system which is gainful to all involved.

Straggler writes:

And is the ever increasing concentration of wealth conducive to that aim?

Yes it is. The criticisms being leveled such as "But the rich will inevitably rule the poor," are not economic criticisms, but social and government issues.

I recognize that the goals of government are going to impinge upon such an economic system, as well they should. But those are not criticisms of the economic system itself.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 300 by Straggler, posted 03-01-2011 1:27 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 302 by Straggler, posted 03-01-2011 1:55 PM Phage0070 has responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 9971
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 302 of 350 (607035)
03-01-2011 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 301 by Phage0070
03-01-2011 1:36 PM


Re: inequality widens, gets worse for the workers
You say that the criticisms being aimed your way are social/political rather than economic. But surely our reasons for preferring one economic system over another are always social and political aren't they? Surely we choose the economic system that we think will best achieve our social aims (whatever they may be)?

Phage writes:

Everyone should have the freedom to allocate their hard-won resources toward whatever ends they choose, including making the future of their children more secure.

OK. But surely this is perfectly achievable without accepting the runaway concentration of "unearned" wealth that the system you have described in this thread seems to inevitably result in if restraints are not put in place to counter this innate tendency.

Phage writes:

Straggler writes:

It's all about what we are trying to achieve with the economic system we put in place isn't it?

I suppose that is correct.

I am still struggling to see what exactly your problem is with the relatively small degree of redistribution that is being proposed in this thread. Nobody is suggesting a proletariat revolution. Or advocating that Warren Buffet be fed to the hounds.

AbE - Except maybe Xongsmith

The sort of changes being proposed here as far as I am aware consist of little more than the stratospherically wealthy contributing a bit more to the system that made them that wealthy in the first place.

Edited by Straggler, : Xongsmith's militant tendencies


This message is a reply to:
 Message 301 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 1:36 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 303 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 2:55 PM Straggler has responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 303 of 350 (607040)
03-01-2011 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 302 by Straggler
03-01-2011 1:55 PM


Re: inequality widens, gets worse for the workers
Straggler writes:

But surely our reasons for preferring one economic system over another are always social and political aren't they? Surely we choose the economic system that we think will best achieve our social aims (whatever they may be)?

No, they should be economic. We should choose the society we prefer to achieve our social aims, and the political system to achieve our political goals.

There is a certain elegance about the approach that grows on you.

Straggler writes:

But surely this is perfectly achievable without accepting the runaway concentration of "unearned" wealth that...

Why do you say its "unearned"? If a ditch digger earns his wages does the person who rents him the use of a shovel not earn his rental fee?

You are still throwing around terms like "theft", or "stolen", or "unearned" wealth without ever saying what the fuck you are talking about. What transaction is unearned, or undeserved? Spit it out or shut up!

Straggler writes:

I am still struggling to see what exactly your problem is with the relatively small degree of redistribution that is being proposed in this thread.

I'm going to rob you. Its just a small degree of redistribution in the grand scheme of things.

You haven't even tried to say how wealthy people are gaining illegitimately. You haven't even tried to explain why poor people deserve to have the legitimately earned wealth of the rich. All you have said is that the rich have a bunch of money, the poor don't have as much, and that "surely" this must be some ill-defined "bad thing".

Well I'm against the concept of taking from the "haves" and giving to the "have not's" purely based upon that difference.

Straggler writes:

The sort of changes being proposed here as far as I am aware consist of little more than the stratospherically wealthy contributing a bit more to the system that made them that wealthy in the first place.

Then why don't you take a stab at explaining why exactly that would be better for everyone?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 302 by Straggler, posted 03-01-2011 1:55 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 305 by Straggler, posted 03-01-2011 4:50 PM Phage0070 has responded

Taq
Member
Posts: 5267
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 304 of 350 (607046)
03-01-2011 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 289 by RAZD
02-28-2011 7:27 PM


Re: TOPIC REDIRECT
To sum up my thoughts on the off-topic bits, my view on capitalism is similar to the way Churchill viewed democracy:

"Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried."--Winston Churchill

So, on to the OP:

And we are way off topic for reducing the budget by cutting military - specifically unnecessary military - spending.

The real question that we americans need to ask ourselves is if it is still in our best interest, and the interest of the rest of the world, to be the Global Police. Do we really need to have military bases in Germany, Japan, Korea, etc.? What is our role in the global politics in a post-Cold War era where Europe has solved most of their political problems?

Any presidential candidate that even suggests moving towards a more isolationist position is going to be heavily criticized by opposing candidates, and it will work. You can not appear "weak" as a presidential candidate which means you have to be somewhat hawkish. I think there needs to be a real philosophical shift within the populace before we can really talk about large cuts in the defense budget.

One positive that we can take from the defense budget is the opportunity that kids have for receiving a vocational education and even attend university through the GI Bill. I think it would be a real positive if these programs were available without requiring service in the military. Perhaps we could move it more towards a Peace Corp type of service.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 289 by RAZD, posted 02-28-2011 7:27 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 311 by RAZD, posted 03-01-2011 10:27 PM Taq has responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 9971
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 305 of 350 (607059)
03-01-2011 4:50 PM
Reply to: Message 303 by Phage0070
03-01-2011 2:55 PM


Re: inequality widens, gets worse for the workers
Straggler writes:

But surely our reasons for preferring one economic system over another are always social and political aren't they? Surely we choose the economic system that we think will best achieve our social aims (whatever they may be)?

Phage writes:

We should choose the society we prefer to achieve our social aims, and the political system to achieve our political goals.

It would be impossible to successfully implement either of those without an economic policy that is compatible wouldn't it? The economic system underpins practically everything else to the point of being fundamentally and instrinsically entwined.

Phage writes:

Why do you say its "unearned"?

What is classified as "earned" or "unearned" is essentially defined by the terms of economic system in place.

Phage writes:

Why do you say its "unearned"? If a ditch digger earns his wages does the person who rents him the use of a shovel not earn his rental fee?

I have no problem with that in principle at all. But as your own example demonstrates you too can see a fundamental difference between the two roles as they relate to the concept of "earning".

Phage writes:

You are still throwing around terms like "theft", or "stolen", or "unearned" wealth without ever saying what the fuck you are talking about.

I haven't used the terms "theft" or "stolen" at all. In fact I actually objected to the use of terms "dishonest" and "illegitimate" earlier in this thread. The wealth we are talking about here is simply a consequence of those who are stratospherically wealthy having successfully played the system we have in place. Whether by luck or judgement. It is all perfectly legitimate by the terms of that economic system. But that system, as you have described it, all but inevitably results in a runaway concentration of wealth if no counter-balances are introduced.

Phage writes:

Well I'm against the concept of taking from the "haves" and giving to the "have not's" purely based upon that difference.

But I am not basing anything purely upon that difference.

Phage writes:

Straggler writes:

The sort of changes being proposed here as far as I am aware consist of little more than the stratospherically wealthy contributing a bit more to the system that made them that wealthy in the first place.

Then why don't you take a stab at explaining why exactly that would be better for everyone?

In this country we are facing deep and extensive cuts to just about everything from police numbers to provision for the mentally handicapped via libraries, sports facilities, education, refuse disposal etc. etc. etc. I think alleviating some of that would serve society better both now and in the longer term than further increasing the concentration of wealth in the top percentage which is what the system you have described would do if left unchecked.

I guess you think that makes me some sort of bolshevik nutjob?

Edited by Straggler, : Spelling


This message is a reply to:
 Message 303 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 2:55 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 306 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 6:04 PM Straggler has responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 306 of 350 (607068)
03-01-2011 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 305 by Straggler
03-01-2011 4:50 PM


Re: inequality widens, gets worse for the workers
Straggler writes:

It would be impossible to successfully implement either of those without an economic policy that is compatible wouldn't it? The economic system underpins practically everything else to the point if being fundamentally and instrinsically entwined.

Perhaps, but surely that is an argument in favor of holding compatible economic, social, and political views. Make sure your views are compatible, don't just pick one aspect and model everything around that.

Straggler writes:

What is classified as "earned" or "unearned" is essentially defined by the terms of economic system in place.

If that were the sense in which you used it, then your original statement is not intelligible. It would be impossible for an economic system to generate "unearned" income as it would only result by violating the rules of the system, such as by simple theft.

Either you meant something else such as using a different standard, or I'm just going to consider that whole bit retracted.

Straggler writes:

I have no problem with that in principle at all. But as your own example demonstrates you too can see a fundamental difference between the two roles as they relate to the concept of "earning".

I recognize the difference procedurally, yes, but not in terms of "earning". Both yields are equally earned. The difference lies in that while individual physical effort and material investment are interchangeable in value through a medium of exchange, they are not interchangeable in a given process.

(A shovel might make a digger 4 times more productive, but you can't replace 3 diggers using their hands with a single, unmanned shovel.)

Straggler writes:

I haven't used the terms "theft" or "stolen" at all. In fact I actually objected to the use of terms "dishonest" and "illegitimate" earlier in this thread.

Ok, true thats my bad. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

Straggler writes:

But that system, as you have described it, all but inevitably results in a runaway concentration of wealth if no counter-balances are introduced.

Ok? Civilization, as a unit, results in a runaway collection of wealth. Its sort of the whole point. Look at human history; technological advancement isn't steady, it build upon itself in a multiplicative manner.

Its not a bad thing.

Straggler writes:

I think alleviating some of that would serve society better both now and in the longer term than further increasing the concentration of wealth...

Again, you haven't explained why an increase in the concentration of wealth is a bad thing. I could argue that you buying me a better graphics card is superior to further increasing the balance of your bank account. Or if you donated your next paycheck to a charity that it would benefit society as a whole more than putting it in your account.

Whats clear is that we are not really comparing the value of "concentration of wealth" with those other options, we are comparing the value of those other options vs. what those people would otherwise do with their money. Maybe that rich person's money that you want to take to pay for a sports facility or refuse disposal was going to be invested into a cure for children with bone cancer.

And its not just the question of what benefits society more, because there the additional issue of personal control over one's resources and their allocation. There is a reason we don't just throw everyone's money into a pot and pay for the best things for society overall. Its important to take that into account when you are proposing to take people's money by force for "the common good".

Straggler writes:

I guess you think that makes me some sort of bolshevik nutjob?

I don't think you have thought this through, if thats what you mean.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 305 by Straggler, posted 03-01-2011 4:50 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 307 by Straggler, posted 03-01-2011 7:44 PM Phage0070 has responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 9971
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 307 of 350 (607069)
03-01-2011 7:44 PM
Reply to: Message 306 by Phage0070
03-01-2011 6:04 PM


Re: inequality widens, gets worse for the workers
Phage writes:

Perhaps, but surely that is an argument in favor of holding compatible economic, social, and political views.

I am. I see the chosen economic system as underpinning the society and it's structure. On that basis I have been agreeing with you that there can be many benefits to society derived from a capitalist system. But where you seem to see it as an all or nothing freemarket thing I think that a capitalist society needs additional checks and balances to ensure that the economic side of things doesn't run away with itself to the detriment of society. Because it's underpining of an effective social structure is the very reason for choosing an economic system in the first place.

Phage writes:

Everyone should have the freedom to allocate their hard-won resources toward whatever ends they choose, including making the future of their children more secure.

Straggler writes:

OK. But surely this is perfectly achievable without accepting the runaway concentration of "unearned" wealth that the system you have described in this thread seems to inevitably result in if restraints are not put in place to counter this innate tendency.

Why do you say its "unearned"?

Straggler writes:

What is classified as "earned" or "unearned" is essentially defined by the terms of economic system in place.

If that were the sense in which you used it, then your original statement is not intelligible.

There was a reason I put the word unearned inside "these". I think you are being somewhat pedantic here.

Phage writes:

Both yields are equally earned.

Whether they are defined as "earned" or not depends on economic system in place . It certainly isn't the case that your assertion is true by some sort of divine, immutable and unquestionable moral decree in the way that you seem to be suggesting.

Phage writes:

There is a reason we don't just throw everyone's money into a pot and pay for the best things for society overall.

Of course. There is a balance to be had. But that balance needs counter-measures to be implemented if it is to to be achieved. Unfettered capitalism will not always provide the benefits to society that were the reasons for choosing that economic system in the first place.

Phage writes:

Straggler writes:

But that system, as you have described it, all but inevitably results in a runaway concentration of wealth if no counter-balances are introduced.

Ok?

Is there any concentration of wealth that you think would be socially divisive or economically unsustainable enough to warrant intervention? 1% of the population owns 90% of the wealth? 95%? 99%?

Do you think that in order to function capitalism requires the unfettered concentration of wealth? Is it desirable and necessary as far as you are concerned that the top 1% are in possession of 40% (and increasing) of the wealth? Is it not possible to devise a successful capitalist system which doesn't also result in such an intense and increasing concentration of resource?

Do you consider the ever-increasing concentration of wealth that arises in the system you have described to be a desirable outcome? Or is it just a "necessary" by-product as far as you are concerned?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 306 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 6:04 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 308 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 7:58 PM Straggler has responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 308 of 350 (607070)
03-01-2011 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 307 by Straggler
03-01-2011 7:44 PM


Re: inequality widens, gets worse for the workers
Straggler writes:

Is there any concentration of wealth that you think would be socially divisive or economically unsustainable enough to warrant intervention? 1% of the population owns 90% of the wealth? 95%? 99%?

I'm finding it difficult to draw a line due to not having any idea of what danger you are trying to prevent. I don't see how doubling Bill Gates's net worth is going to be any more divisive to the average worker than it is already, and I don't think its plausible that it would be economically unsustainable.

Again the "bad stuff" is just a bit too vague.

Straggler writes:

Do you think that in order to function capitalism requires the unfettered concentration of wealth?

No, but I understand that wealth aids in creating more wealth. This means that the creation of wealth is an accelerating process and the only way to avoid those sorts of concentration is to simply take it from those who own it, who made it, and give them nothing in return.

I'm having a hard time seeing why we would want to do that, or why the alternative is intolerable.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 307 by Straggler, posted 03-01-2011 7:44 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 309 by Taz, posted 03-01-2011 9:48 PM Phage0070 has responded
 Message 325 by Straggler, posted 03-02-2011 10:37 AM Phage0070 has responded

Taz
Member
Posts: 5050
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


(1)
Message 309 of 350 (607079)
03-01-2011 9:48 PM
Reply to: Message 308 by Phage0070
03-01-2011 7:58 PM


Re: inequality widens, gets worse for the workers
Phage0070 writes:

No, but I understand that wealth aids in creating more wealth. This means that the creation of wealth is an accelerating process and the only way to avoid those sorts of concentration is to simply take it from those who own it, who made it, and give them nothing in return.


Put a limit on how much wealth they could accumulate. Before you cry bloody murder, hear me out. I'm not suggesting we put the limit so low that everybody would be poor. That said, a person will never ever need $60 billion. On the same token, a person can't live on a dollar a week.

Capitalism is a great system for generating wealth. I'd have to give it that. But it does a terrible job at raising the standard of living. The middle class as we know it today exists solely because of government regulations. It has nothing to do with the kindness of the money barons.

We've already tried uncontrolled capitalism in the past. What resulted were some of the worst human rights violations in history. Again, nobody is ever going to need $60 billion. On the other hand, a person can't live on a dollar a week.

It is in capitalism's nature to encourage the very few to gather up most of the wealth of a nation by exploiting the rest of the population.

I go with what my grandfather used to say. Too much of anything is bad. You wouldn't want capitalism to be the only law governing our society anymore than eating pizza for the rest of your life.

This is why conservatives piss me off. To them, deregulated capitalism is the answer to everything, nevermind that we've already tried it once and it led to the great depression.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 308 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 7:58 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 310 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 10:27 PM Taz has not yet responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 310 of 350 (607083)
03-01-2011 10:27 PM
Reply to: Message 309 by Taz
03-01-2011 9:48 PM


Re: inequality widens, gets worse for the workers
Taz writes:

Put a limit on how much wealth they could accumulate. ... That said, a person will never ever need $60 billion.

But how do you *do* that? Lets say I am a rich guy and I am pretty much at the $60 billion mark. I can easily go over that by investing my money but... I just can't. I'm not allowed. I assume I can't just start giving massive amounts to family or friends. Never mind what would happen to the proceeds if I invested it anyway (government seizure of course), WTF do I do with my money?

I can't buy stuff that can be resold because that would be a loophole around the entire limitation of wealth; I could just buy gold and still accumulate wealth. That goes for cars, or houses, or pretty much any good.

I would be limited to perishable goods such as food that spoils quickly, or services that don't create transferable value. I couldn't for instance hire a ton of gardeners because they would be improving my property, thus increasing its value and my wealth. I could hire masseuses, but I only have so much body. I could hire artists for personal performances, but they couldn't make any recordings or permanent fixtures; if it was a painter or sculptor they would need to destroy their work after I had witnessed it.

Now I *could* invest my money provided I am able to blow the proceeds from $60 billion on these transient, completely consumed novelties. More likely I would leave myself a small cushion and invest only as much as I needed to cover my personal costs.

The rest of the wealth will just sit there. Why should I give out interest-free loans for people to use it, and possibly lose it, if I can't possibly profit from it? (In fact I wouldn't be allowed to, as this would be a loophole allowing me to effectively gift money to my family.) The vast majority of the rich's wealth is invested, and that dramatically shifts to uninvested money sitting in a bank somewhere.

How does this help society as a whole? Now workers have a much harder time getting a loan to increase their productivity, and the rich go from being massive purveyors of investment capital to pure consumers that stimulate nothing but the market for transient goods and services.

I can't say that there isn't any rule that would work, but thats certainly not it. Such a rule would be enormously damaging to the productivity and progress of society as a whole.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 309 by Taz, posted 03-01-2011 9:48 PM Taz has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 312 by RAZD, posted 03-01-2011 10:36 PM Phage0070 has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15947
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


(1)
Message 311 of 350 (607084)
03-01-2011 10:27 PM
Reply to: Message 304 by Taq
03-01-2011 3:14 PM


Re: TOPIC REDIRECT: reduce the military budget first if budget cuts necessary
Hi Taq, thanks for getting back to the topic.

but first

To sum up my thoughts on the off-topic bits, my view on capitalism is similar to the way Churchill viewed democracy:

"Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried."--Winston Churchill

Indeed, and unregulated capitalism has time and again been proven to be disastrous, whenever it is tried. From the recent deregulation of banks, to previous deregulation of the health industry.

[rant] The purpose of government is to serve the needs of the people and not just some portion of them, like the wealthy. Government needs to encourage people behave for the social good, rather than their personal good. The provision of services like roads, hospitals, schools, fire departments etc clearly serves everybody. That social services like healthcare, social security and welfare also serve everybody is not as clear but just as true: the expense of such care is less than the social cost to not have it. This can be shown by reference to other countries.

Business needs to be regulated, and the bigger the business the more the regulation, they cannot be above the law. They also need to bear the costs of the regulations and for cleaning up the messes they leave behind.[/rant]

The excessive profit taking at the top of the money chain also needs to be regulated: they should pay more taxes than lesser incomes for the simple reason that they benefit more from the system. You benefit you pay. Simple equation.


The real question that we americans need to ask ourselves is if it is still in our best interest, and the interest of the rest of the world, to be the Global Police. Do we really need to have military bases in Germany, Japan, Korea, etc.? What is our role in the global politics in a post-Cold War era where Europe has solved most of their political problems?

Personally, imho, the pretense of America serving as a Global Police has done more harm to the values of America than any other program. Certainly the pretense of going into Iraq to save the world from terrorist attack has resulted in more terrorists around the world and more terrorists targeting the US: it has made the nation less safe than before (the political irony of unintended consequences).

We also see in Iraq, Egypt and Libya, and other nations around the world, that having supported undesirable leaders rather than the ideals of freedom, justice and equality, that it results in loss of face, loss of credibility, in the world when they either turn against the US or finally come tumbling down.

We had a chance when we went into Afghanistan to leave behind schools, hospitals, roads, and other systems that would allow a democratic cross-cultural society to bloom, but squandered it when Bush invaded Iraq on pretenses.

... and the interest of the rest of the world, to be the Global Police. ...

Personally, imho, I don't think any single nation can do this, for then who polices the police?

This should be the task of the UN (peacekeepers), and if they can't do it, then some other multinational association. Perhaps an expanded (to include all democratic nations) NATO could do this.

The point is that no nation should be above international law, and no leader of a nation should be above prosecution for acts in violation of international law: they should have their day in court.

The failure of the US to investigate possible criminal acts by the Bush administration only means that we - again - lose face, lose credibility, in the world.

See the real reason Bush canceled Swiss trip:

quote:
Bush was to be the keynote speaker at Keren Hayesod's annual dinner on February 12 in Geneva. But pressure has been building on the Swiss government to arrest him and open a criminal investigation if he enters the Alpine country.

Criminal complaints against Bush alleging torture have been lodged in Geneva, court officials say, and several human rights groups signaled that they were poised to take further legal action this week


Torture is against international law, laws that the US signed. If people in the US cannot be charged and have their day in court to answer the charges of the prosecution, then they cannot be the worlds police.

Any presidential candidate that even suggests moving towards a more isolationist position is going to be heavily criticized by opposing candidates, and it will work. You can not appear "weak" as a presidential candidate which means you have to be somewhat hawkish. I think there needs to be a real philosophical shift within the populace before we can really talk about large cuts in the defense budget.

I disagree. I think a strong case can be made for reducing redundant spending in the military: we don't need more atomic bombs for instance, nor do we need to do more testing.

We don't need to spend 1/3rd of the world military budget when we don't represent 1/3rd of the world nor have any enemies that are even spending half of our military budget.

In addition, I think a strong case can be made for an international approach to Global Police and that many Americans would be relieved to have less of a national exposure to the world violence, especially when it has no apparent benefit to the US. Ask the average person why we are in Iraq.

Finally, the purpose of the National Guard is simply put to Guard the Nation from within, they are the "state militia" described in the Constitution.

quote:
Section 8 - Powers of Congress
...
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
...


Note that these are separate and distinct from the powers to raise support provide and maintain army and navy to fight wars.

I believe many people would welcome having the National Guard returned state-side.

In the days when Bush finagled his way into the National Guard it was common knowledge that people in the National Guard would not be sent to Viet Nam. Let us return to that policy.

Personally, I would give the National Guard a second task, that each unit select a specialty for providing an additional service in case of national emergencies or disasters. Whether the national emergency\disaster is flooding, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, medical epidemic, terrorist bomb attack, etc. there should be National Guard units at ready to offer near immediate assistance in providing:

  • Food for refuges\victims
  • Shelter for refuges\victims
  • Hospital care services
  • Police services
  • Firefighting services
  • House\business reconstruction
  • Search and Rescue services
  • etc etc etc

This would provide so much more than military defense should this nation be attacked, as it would help defend the nation against both natural and unnatural disasters.

Give people this option versus being the Global Police and I bet most Americans would take it.

One positive that we can take from the defense budget is the opportunity that kids have for receiving a vocational education and even attend university through the GI Bill. I think it would be a real positive if these programs were available without requiring service in the military. Perhaps we could move it more towards a Peace Corp type of service.

Indeed. Sadly, many Americans do not even have a high school education sufficient to qualify for higher education, so there could also be some remedial (science?) education built in - along with the lessons gained from service in other parts of the country.

This of course would also be like a return to the WPA jobs from the Great Depression (due, of course, to another failure of unregulated capitalism), and it could also provide much more than education.

This could also be a route for new immigrants to take into the country: work for the New WPA for two years, during which you learn the english language and the laws of the land, the provisions of the constitution, etc, so that at the end you are equipped to pass the tests for citizenship.

These types of jobs would pump service back into the country, and benefit the nation more than redundant military spending.

Certainly, to my mind, this would be a better economic incentive plan than to pour more dollars down the laps of the Bernie Madoffs in the banks and corporations.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 304 by Taq, posted 03-01-2011 3:14 PM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 326 by Taq, posted 03-02-2011 12:13 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15947
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 312 of 350 (607087)
03-01-2011 10:36 PM
Reply to: Message 310 by Phage0070
03-01-2011 10:27 PM


simple
Hi Phagee0070

WTF do I do with my money?

Retire, give to charity, fund hospitals, create scholarships to schools for disadvantaged kids that can make use of a good education, etc etc etc. I could fill a page.

Nobody says you need to keep making money, instead you can ...

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 310 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 10:27 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 313 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 10:50 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 317 by xongsmith, posted 03-02-2011 12:18 AM RAZD has responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 313 of 350 (607089)
03-01-2011 10:50 PM
Reply to: Message 312 by RAZD
03-01-2011 10:36 PM


Re: simple
RAZD writes:

Retire, give to charity, fund hospitals, create scholarships to schools for disadvantaged kids that can make use of a good education, etc etc etc. I could fill a page.

So you are relying upon these people who already tend to give massively to charity to become much more altruistic based on being able to retire from being so filthy rich they didn't need to work anyway.

But again, gifting money would have to be off limits to avoid concentrating wealth. Suppose Grandpa Hilton only funds the hospitals owned by Father Hilton, Mother Hilton, Son Hilton, etc... Not quite what you were after was it?

Its always a treat when you stop by and pitch in RAZD.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 312 by RAZD, posted 03-01-2011 10:36 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 314 by Coyote, posted 03-01-2011 10:52 PM Phage0070 has responded
 Message 319 by RAZD, posted 03-02-2011 12:38 AM Phage0070 has responded
 Message 321 by Taz, posted 03-02-2011 8:03 AM Phage0070 has responded

Coyote
Member
Posts: 4751
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 314 of 350 (607090)
03-01-2011 10:52 PM
Reply to: Message 313 by Phage0070
03-01-2011 10:50 PM


Re: simple
So you are relying upon these people who already tend to give massively to charity to become much more altruistic based on being able to retire from being so filthy rich they didn't need to work anyway.

I got into archaeology so I could be filthy rich.

I'm half way there...

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Off-topic banner.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 313 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 10:50 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 315 by Phage0070, posted 03-01-2011 10:54 PM Coyote has responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 315 of 350 (607091)
03-01-2011 10:54 PM
Reply to: Message 314 by Coyote
03-01-2011 10:52 PM


Re: simple
Coyote writes:

I got into archaeology so I could be filthy rich.

I'm half way there...

LOL, best stop now, no reason to be greedy.

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Off-topic banner.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 314 by Coyote, posted 03-01-2011 10:52 PM Coyote has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 316 by Coyote, posted 03-01-2011 11:30 PM Phage0070 has not yet responded

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