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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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Great, thanks - some ideas

by drowningnotwaving In reply to The government is not her ...

First off, in certain circumstances, the government is here to solve at least some of my problems. AGREED as a referee, not a participant. But I will accept that your point is aimed at my personal wealth, health and pursiut of happiness.

Saying "Stop Waste" is great, gets nods of heads, makes it difficult to argue against.
Problem is that it just doesn't actually propose any practical steps.

-> Where exactly would you tackle waste, in what priority?

For example, is your quality of life entirely beholden upon there tiers of government (fed, state and local) and all the inherent, pure, utter waste that this structure entails?

{And that's not just a US problem by the way - the same problem affects lots of places}.

-> And on waste: Can we agree on this? "I think we could immediately slash X% off our expenditure for all government departments and demand the same output from them, just due to laziness, inertia and public sector mentality".

We may argue the X to and fro but of the actual issue we are in complete agreement.

Out of interest would you include the defence department in that?

Because that would fund the changes, retraining / rebuilding of the teacher workforce and the overall re-emphasis required in the entire school system to focus on self-worth and self-responsibility.

I am sure no-one thinks we could re-aim the entire education network at no cost.

And with that change under way we can actually agree to positively address the issue you raise by a long term change in attitude, education and outlook:

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.

Excellent. Between us we've cut expenditure (including defence) and funded the changes to improve the overall education system and re-aim it at something worthwhile.

Get a fair tax system that does not punish people for being prosperous.

Fair point, good objective. Agreed. Now, how do you actually do it?

I agree 100% with Max. An indirect taxing system that truly taxes all transactions where goods or services change hands.

We could easily, with a small indirect tax on every purchase, cut income tax to shreds if not eliminate it entirely.

Problem is that it's politically impossible to sell to the voters. Every single country, with the possible exception of New Zealand, has struggled and in making compromises has not achieved the cuts in personal tax that were promised (go figure).

And in agreement with one of your fundamental premises, in trying to stop or cease the black market, indirect taxes actually encourage it.

Here's a couple of other major hurdles but not necessarily insurmountable under any circumstances:

-> How would you propose you "deal" with the fundamentally aging population that will occur for at least the next 40 years? {Soylent Green is a cool idea but probably not practical}.

-> Since your proposal is founded upon making the populous accountable and less reliant, let's go forward on a notion that you are basically successful.

Out of curiosity, what is it that they actually do? Have you thought that far ahead or is this just a Nirvana that will take care of itself?

If you take Max's example of the late 1700's through mid 1900's as the "ideal time" when conditions were best to support this concept, how do you fundamentally stop the same cycle from happening again in a hundred years?

In short - if it was 'ideal' then but 'now' is the result (that you seem to despise), how do you propose to break the cycle?

{"Ideal" of course for anyone except women, african-, asian-, native indian- or south-american folk of course. But we'll let that slide}.

I appreciate your answers thus far.

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Waste

by TonytheTiger In reply to Great, thanks - some idea ...

Ohio, for example, has over 300 "departments". Over 90% of these have functions that overlap functions of other departments.

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Structural issue

by JamesRL In reply to Waste

Ohios number of departments (which is truly bizarre BTW) is less an argument against more or less government programs per se than against badly structured government

For example, our new conservative government in Canada just transfered a half billion dollar a year training program down to the provinces, who had similar programs. There are no guarentees that the province will run it efficiently, but eliminating the duplication is worth something.

In Canada, its less a question of the number of departments than the overlap between the feds and the provinces.

James

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"eliminating the duplication"

by TonytheTiger In reply to Waste

Perhaps we need another department for that :)

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Actually we do

by JamesRL In reply to Waste

In Canada (and in the provinces) we have a position called auditor general, and they have a department which conducts research into government spending and program effectiveness. Every year we look forward to the report which outlines their findings.

The auditor generals report has had major impacts on the course of the country - leading to cabinet resignations and the cancellations of major programs.

James

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Pretty long, but I gave it a shot

by jdclyde In reply to Great, thanks - some idea ...

Saying "Stop Waste" is great, gets nods of heads, makes it difficult to argue against.
Problem is that it just doesn't actually propose any practical steps.
-> Where exactly would you tackle waste, in what priority?


First, hold politicians accountable for what they say and do. There are a lot of issues that come before the senate that don't have a chance in **** to pass, but they put them up so they can say the other party "XYZ" (yes, all parties do this and it is dishonest of all parties)

Funding should then go in the opposite direction. Pay for the necesties first (fire/police/military) and THEN start funding other expenditures with what is left over NOT letting the government spend more than it brings in. THIS would force them to start making the real hard choices.

All the money WASTED on crap like "dung jesus" should be cut first. You want to express yourself? Knock yourself out! Do it with your own money.
Cut some of the red tape that causes waste because of redundancy. Run government like a business (just not seeking a profit). You don't just cut the bottom people to save money when one administrator makes more than ten front line grunts. Cut the Administrators job, or at least pay.

Get Government out of the business of trying to take care of people. They do a poor job every time, no matter which political party is banging their chests at the time. The funding of charities (yes, including our fairly new "faith based inititives") that have a more direct effect on the people that need the help instead of most of the money being eaten up by the machine on the way to the people. Give funding to soup kitchens and worker programs, and you have your "safety net". Give tax breaks to companies that make donations to charities and put back into their communities (more than they are getting now). Sure, less tax dollars comes into the government, but you also have more going directly to the people that need it, so there is less NEED for the government to have the money.


For example, is your quality of life entirely beholden upon there tiers of government (fed, state and local) and all the inherent, pure, utter waste that this structure entails?

my quality of life is determined by how hard I am willing to work. I do not receive any kind of aid or assistance from the government. Just give me a good road to drive on and keep taxes reasonably low so I get to keep enough of what I earned so I can continue to work to improve MY quality of life.

{And that's not just a US problem by the way - the same problem affects lots of places}.
being a "dumb American", I can only comment on what I am directly familiar with, but much can be applied to anywhere honest, hard working people live.

-> And on waste: Can we agree on this? "I think we could immediately slash X% off our expenditure for all government departments and demand the same output from them, just due to laziness, inertia and public sector mentality".

I do NOT agree someone can artificially pick a number to slash by. It really has to be a case by case issue. Look at the expenditures and be forced to justify them at every step. What is the ROI? The general idea that a lot can be cut for the reasons you gave I agree with. government employees tend not to be as "urgent" because in many cases it is not as dog-eat-dog as it is in the "real world".

A realistic look at what is being paid and offered as far as benefits to government workers should be addressed as well. Also our represenatives should not be ALLOWED to have a separate benefits package than the rest of the real world. Same retirement package as anyone else would get. If they were forced to be in the same system, you can bet your a$$ they would fix it.


Out of interest would you include the defence department in that?

Defense should still have to justify their expenses. Give them what they need, as long as they don't "need" a $2000 hammer.

Because that would fund the changes, retraining / rebuilding of the teacher workforce and the overall re-emphasis required in the entire school system to focus on self-worth and self-responsibility.

The feel-gooders have ruined our educational system, to make a peasent class. There are people that get their political power by catering to people that won't do for themselves. By keeping their education poor, they will spend their time watching "American Idol" instead of following local politics. The Corrupt Teachers Union has opposed EVERY attempt to hold them accountable for doing their job. In the real world, we get evaluated based on our job performance. If we do well, we get a raise. If we do poorly, we get replaced. Teachers for some reason think they should be above this, and not be judged by the job they do. The only solution for them is to throw more money at the problems. As we have seen, private schools turn out students with a better education for quite a bit less cost per student. This shows that more money is not the solution. Oh yeah, top administrators making 300k is a crime, or at least it should be.

get a fair tax system that does not punish people for being prosperous.
Fair point, good objective. Agreed. Now, how do you actually do it?
I agree 100% with Max. An indirect taxing system that truly taxes all transactions where goods or services change hands.
We could easily, with a small indirect tax on every purchase, cut income tax to shreds if not eliminate it entirely.


charging for goods and services is "fair". The more you make, the higher ticket items you purchase. Of course you have to watch for the class envy that is running wild where entire industries are taxed or regulated out of existance. Luxury taxes are one of the most unethical things I can think of, when it comes to taxing people. If people are buying that fancy luxury item, other people have a JOB MAKING that luxury item. Tax the **** out of it and people don't buy it. People don't buy it, Thank you Democrats for putting people out of work because of the dwindled market.

And in agreement with one of your fundamental premises, in trying to stop or cease the black market, indirect taxes actually encourage it.

This is where REASONABLE taxes are needed. When some money leaching politician decides they want to take more of your money for other goods, it raises the price. If the price is not raised excessivley, there isn't as much of a savings, and thus not worth the risk.

Here's a couple of other major hurdles but not necessarily insurmountable under any circumstances:

-> How would you propose you "deal" with the fundamentally aging population that will occur for at least the next 40 years? {Soylent Green is a cool idea but probably not practical}.


What did people do with the old 1000 years ago? Government did not support these people then, and it is not the job of government to do so now. Set guidelines that help to control costs of health care. AFFORDABLE health care, not "free healthcare". No one has a right to ANYTHING for "free". Give tax breaks to families that take in their parents, so they can keep more of THEIR money so spend on the care of their family. The idea of just shipping mom/grandma off to a home somewhere is a fairly new idea. If they can afford it, let them go to their retirement home. If they did not, well, they won't have all the nice things that people that DID plan for retirement will have, now will they?

-> Since your proposal is founded upon making the populous accountable and less reliant, let's go forward on a notion that you are basically successful.

Out of curiosity, what is it that they actually do? Have you thought that far ahead or is this just a Nirvana that will take care of itself?

If you take Max's example of the late 1700's through mid 1900's as the "ideal time" when conditions were best to support this concept, how do you fundamentally stop the same cycle from happening again in a hundred years?

Sorry Max, but didn't read your example yet, so can't comment about it.

{"Ideal" of course for anyone except women, african-, asian-, native indian- or south-american folk of course. But we'll let that slide}.

I assume you mean during that time frame because rights were not quite so equal back then? If you look back, this was not a new thing invented by that era. There have been slaves and war since the begining of recorded time. Something we often overlook when people talk about slaves in the US, is it was the black Kings in Africa that were selling off the conqured tribes, which proved the product the world. If you see something for sale, you buy it. It was all rationalized away of course, just as it has been for centuries before that. Times changed.

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"You want to express yourself?...Do it with your own money." Agreed.

by Absolutely In reply to Pretty long, but I gave i ...

You don't have to appreciate religion to see that it is an abomination against logic and integrity to have a single entity on the one hand offering tax benefits to religious organizations and direct handouts to 'faith-based initiatives', while on the other hand funding 'art' that gratuitously parodies the same religion. The government is not god, and is not excused if the 'left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing'.

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Sorry JD Quick I have been slow

by drowningnotwaving In reply to Pretty long, but I gave i ...

but will respond since you took the time to answer. Apologies and thanx for your patience.

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Please open a new account as jd-quick

by Absolutely In reply to Pretty long, but I gave i ...

If you need an extra email address, you can still get a free one somewhere, I'm sure. I changed my own TR sign-in instead of taking the advice I'm giving you now, and it distracted even me. Those of us who already know and abhor you will recognize your writing style. Newbies shouldn't have to figure out why you're being called "Clyde" in old posts while they're trying to learn how to delete the entire registry.

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Grand advice AB

by jdclyde In reply to Pretty long, but I gave i ...

but it won't be staying. just playing along with a joke for a day or two. ;\

Will be back, as good as new, soon enough.

As for the noobs, they deserve whatever they get!

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