General discussion


Why is it?

By maxwell edison ·
Why is it that so many people complain about government at all levels; seemingly distrust all politicians; abhor the political system; recognize rampant waste, fraud, and abuse; see government corruption and undue influence-peddling under every departmental rock; and so on, but they want more of it (more government), not less, and they expect these people to provide the only answer for all their problems?

Isn't that like recognizing your accountant as a liar and an embezzler, believing that ALL accountants are liars and embezzlers, but you continue to let him (and them) manage your books anyway, all the while getting angry, wondering where all your money goes? Isn't that like recognizing your doctor as an incompetent imposter, believing that ALL doctors are incompetent imposters, but you still send your kids to him (and them) for their care, even though some of your kids have been maimed or killed by the quack(s)?

Why do people wish for MORE of the very thing they continually complain about and despise? Do they really believe that "their guy" will make it all better? Do they actually believe some magical occurrence will cause things to change? Are they really MORE afraid of taking-on the responsibility themselves, not realizing it isn't that difficult to balance a checkbook or put on your own band-aid? Why do they seemingly want more of the very thing they despise? What is it they really want?

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People like to complain

by JamesRL In reply to Why is it?

Its easy to find examples of corrupt politicians (never mind business leaders, police officers, lawyers, relgious officials etc), and its lazy thinking to throw the stereotype up and complain that they are all the same.

That goes for politicians, Republicans, Democrats, union leaders, Muslims, Americans, Canadians, Christians - every group. Every group is made up of people, and people are flawed(some more than others of course).

And it is easier to blame someone else - and concede (rightly or wrongly) that since "politicians" are all crooks, then there is nothing they can do about it.

Sorting through the individuals that make up a group means intellectual effort, and some people are just too lazy.

As for your larger question - of course many people don't recognize the contradiction. Many people want more government services, but they want to pay less taxes. They think they are underpaid, and automatically all politicians are overpaid. They think all CEOS are overpaid because they aren't one.

You and I may disagree about just how much government we should have, but we agree that it should be less than what we have.


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"...recognize the contradiction..."

by maxwell edison In reply to People like to complain

I agree, James: lazy thinking, or perhaps, emotional thinking.

I do find it amazing that many of the problems these people want solved by government are, in and of themselves, caused by their proposed solutions. A popular term we've both heard is "throwing more money at a problem", which, of course, will only result in more of the same problem (at least in my opinion). Even Ronald Reagan espoused less government, and in his first inaugural address he said, "Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem". I find it both sad and ironic that the growth of government and government spending on social programs during his administration is arguably unmatched by any other, with the possible exception of Franklin Roosevelt's and Lyndon Johnson's. Sure, there are those who will "blame" those runaway deficits on increased military spending, but that paled in comparison to the faster runaway spending on social programs. And today is no different. The growth in current defense spending is nothing compared to the growth in social spending; so unfortunately, President GW Bush isn't doing any better. These so-called "fiscal conservatives" are killing our economy AND eating away at personal liberty. Gee, let's vote for the "other guy", people will say. Well, look at the bribes ..... I mean programs being espoused by the "other guy", however, and we'll see that it's only more of the same, but just under a different name.

Another term we've both heard is, "there's no such thing as a free lunch". That's actually the title of a Milton Freidman book -- one that should be required reading in all public high schools! (Unfortunately, many of these public schools would rather require something like, "Heather Has Two Mommies"!) Of course, people have been brainwashed into actually voting themselves that preverbal "free lunch". However, as any rational thinking person realizes, someone is paying for the lunch somewhere along the way. People should not be able to vote themselves a lunch that's paid for with another's credit card.

Anyway, contrary to what some people around here claim about me, I've never advocated "no government". In fact, I've never even advocated a government that has no place in our economy. As a student (not directly, of course) of both Milton Freidman and Ayn Rand, I believe a balance should be found between a government's role in a nation's economy and its infringement on personal liberties. I agree with Freidman when he said that government should be a referee, not an active player. These people with "good intentions" voting themselves active participation by government are killing individual freedom in the process. There is no more balance between government's role and infringement on personal liberties. The scales are tipped way too far in one direction, and I fear we can't bring it back into balance. And as long as we have people voting themselves their version of that "free lunch", it's only getting worse.

People complain for the want of "affordable health care". Unfortunately, "affordable" to them means to get someone else to pay for it. But there's no free lunch, remember? Someone is paying for it somewhere along the way. And in their quest to get "more affordable health care" (by the means described), they actually get more expensive health care, but paid for with someone else's credit card!

More contradictions: People complain about rampant consumerism. Well how about this train of thought? If something is taxed, we get less of it (productivity, earnings, investing, and savings, for example). If something is subsidized, you get more of it (more "need" for health care, housing, "free school lunches", and so on). If you want to find a bunch of "hungry" people, all you have to do is open a free food pantry in any neighborhood, and they'll flock to your doors! (But somebody paid for that "free food".) Anyway, about that complaint I mentioned about rampant consumerism, very few people realize that if consumer goods were taxed instead of income, we'd get less rampant consumerism and more income, investing, and saving. But try to do away with an income tax in favor of a well-structured national sales tax, and people go bonkers. Again, this is a case in which people are complaining about the very thing they, themselves, facilitate.

I just don't get it. And I also don't get (and won't tolerate) people who refuse to engage in reasonable dialogue. (Of course, that's not talking about you, James. We've always had reasonable dialogue.)

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... and this thread is a fine example of the complaint phenomenon

by drowningnotwaving In reply to Why is it?

Get it into your head, Max.

No one that I have read in these threads advocates MORE government than we have now.

To take James's excellent sentence:

You and I may disagree about just how much government we should have, but we agree that it should be less than what we have.

Invariably your interpretation of some of us, saying we need 'some' government, is that we are advocating MORE than we have now.

That is the filtered interpretation YOU choose to adopt and thus manipulate.

Or Max, do you hold to a fundamental premise that, unless we agree with your singular model, we cannot enter into discussions?

Take James' sentence literally - we disagree to the extent but we agree on the need to reduce.

We disagree on the services that a government should offer but even you agree that they are needed to some extent.

So, to fixes.

Your suggested change to the focus and drive of the education system was excellent.

I completely agree with that. I've been involved for many years with "Young Achievers" on a volunteer basis a) becuase it is totally positive and b) it's a truckload of fun.

I've given a (quite possibly an incredibly naive) idea on how to increase the opportunities and empower people whilst at the same time reducing the tax burden.

So, get specific again. How are you practically going to reduce your government and tax burden?

And your arrogance is a thing to behold, but I know even you are not so arrogant or blind to think this a US-centric phenomenon.

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The call for "free" health care

by jdclyde In reply to ... and this thread is a ...

is a call to increase the size of government by incredible amounts.

The call for the US Government to "rebuild New Orleans" is increasing the size of government. Especially if they are dumb enough to want to rebuild under sea level again.

Most recently, anyone with half a clue knows that the US Social Security system is in deep trouble and is going to collapse under it's own weight, yet dishonest people want to GIVE this benefit to ILLEGAL ALIENS that have been here for 18 months. A US Citizen has to work for 10 years to get benefits. We clearly need some chlorine added to the liberals gene pool.

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Your post just made me ill

by AV . In reply to The call for "free" healt ...

Its bad enough that billions of our tax dollars were mishandled with Katrina, but it p*sses me off big time that Illegal Aliens that have worked here illegally for 18 months using phony social security numbers could be entitled to Social Security if Bush signs it into law. What a kick in the as* to the legal taxpayers in this country.

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Hands airsick bag to AV

by jdclyde In reply to Your post just made me il ...

I was pissed when I heard about it, and nothing has changed since.

For years I have heard how SS will not be there when I retire, and now we are going to give what little benefits are left to criminals instead of people that deserve it. Illegals only deserve a quick ride to the boarder and a boot over the fence with only the clothes on their back.

Their families miss them? They can always go down to Mexico to visit.

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It's good to disagree, but what have you done about it?

by Zen37 In reply to Hands airsick bag to AV

Did you contact your federal representative (i apologize, being from Canada, i don't know if that is your senator or governor) and tell him or her of your disagreement?

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I just heard about it today

by jdclyde In reply to It's good to disagree, bu ...

And will be writing several letters tomorrow. Spent most of today in meetings.

No way should we bust the already hurting system for criminals that are not deserving of a penny, nor do they legally have any claim to any benefits.

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Come on now - down off the soap box, give us a solution

by drowningnotwaving In reply to The call for "free" healt ...

How about this?

Why don't we accept as a truth that:

*** You can give a zillion instances of rape and pillage of the government coffers in the guise of social security.

*** I can give a zillion instances of death and maiming by overzealous and greedy individuals and companies, nto to mention infringing upon my individual rights.

Here's your opportunity to put practical ideas on the table about how to SOLVE your perceived problem.

I know solving isn't as much fun as complaining.

But why don't you just give it a go?

PS: I can promise you I have never asked for a free health system in the USA.

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The government is not here to solve YOUR problems

by jdclyde In reply to Come on now - down off th ...

It is there to keep the borders safe and secure.

The more we increase taxes to support a gift society, the harder it is for people to make ends meet on their own.

We have law enforcement to prevent the "death and maiming". I suppose you have an example what it is that is suppose to mean, because I have no idea.

We stop the WASTE in government. The first thing politicians do whenever they are TOLD to cut costs is to cut the programs people FEEL the absence of so they will stop asking for cuts. And the stupid among us fall for it everytime.

Stop anything more than bare minimum of a safety net. If you don't have a job, no, you don't "deserve" luxuries in life. You EARN them and are owed nothing in life.

Social Security. Stop the raiding of the funds that has been going on for generations.

We have a free educational system. If people choose not to make the most of it, too bad.

Companies infringing on your individual rights? Not likely. Are they forcing you to buy their product?

It is government that artificially inflates prices by putting "sin taxes" on products. Half of the price of a pack of smokes is taxes. The government gets more "profit" for every gallon of gas sold than the "big oil companies" the dishonest idiots always cry about. Ask the brits what it is like to have government jack up the price of "petrol" via taxes.

Get a fair tax system that does not punish people for being prosperous. This taking a higher percentage RATE of a higher amount is dishonest and punishes people for working hard. The more this happens, the more people look for ways to "shelter" THEIR money so liberals don't steal it. When there are tax breaks offered, it isn't worth the effort to hide it, and a higher amount of taxes actually ends up getting collected. It has been proven every time.

Here in the US we hear about the deficit all the time. The problem is NOT a shortage of funds. The problem is an over spending. Having liberals in charge of money is always a bad idea, and GWB is way too liberal.

Personal responsibility. People have the means to be a success if they apply themselves. If they choose not to, then let them live at the standard of living they have earned.

The main thing is, you can not help the poor poor by trying to drag the "rich" down to their level.

And I never said that YOU had asked for anything in the US.

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