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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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What do people want?

by AV . In reply to Why is it?

It depends on whether you're a giver or a taker. Those that take, or depend on the government to supplement their lives, want more, always. They either can't or won't take responsibility for themselves and never will.

Those that give, want to give less of their tax dollars and will vote hoping that "their guy" will stem the tide of entitlement programs they have to pay for. I'm talking about regular, working people, not the Bill Gates' type.

Government is different than a doctor or accountant. You have a choice of which doctor or accountant to use. You don't have a choice of whether you want to pay taxes. Sure, Democrat, Republican, Independent; its all the same. You're still paying, unless you're a taker.

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Giver or taker? No, not even close. Try this:

by maxwell edison In reply to What do people want?

A taker or a takee. A taker is the one who takes; the takee is the one from whom it's taken.

Giving or give or giver has nothing to do with "take".

"Give" assume free will. Take assumes it's against someone's will.

If you want to "give", go ahead and give all you want. But whan you presume to "give" that which is not your's, it's taking -- regardless of how you try to justify it.

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Indeed. When I'm given something, I receive or accept it.

by Absolutely In reply to Giver or taker? No, not e ...

I don't take, and I have never trusted anybody who says that "give and take" is a valid relationship among people.

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Even the "givers" are takers

by maxwell edison In reply to What do people want?

Why can't you see the obvious? When you give something that is not yours, you take ..... and take ..... and take ..... and take .....

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Maybe I was being too simplistic

by AV . In reply to Even the "givers" are tak ...

I wasn't talking about giving anything that wasn't mine. I was talking about being a US taxpayer who pays their taxes because they have to. Its out of my pocket. Of course, the less I have to pay the better. But I still have to pay.

The government takes from us taxpayers to give to those that know how to work the system.

I don't agree with all the entitlement programs that our tax dollars go to whether we like it or not either. Its just a big, mismanaged black hole for money that isn't fair to honest, hard-working people. Most of the "needy" people taking advantage of those programs aren't needy at all, they're lazy.

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"Entitlement" Programs

by maxwell edison In reply to Maybe I was being too sim ...

Whenever you support an "entitlement" program, whether that be welfare, Social Security, national health care, Medicare, Medicaid, or whatever, by definition, it's a program that takes money from a wage earner, and gives it to a wage taker -- wages another person labors to earn. That's the bottom-line, AV. It doesn't matter how a person might spin it; it's TAKING from one person and giving to another. It's either right or wrong, with no in-between.

I stand firm on the principle that it's wrong. Others will stand firm advocating a collectivist system. All too many people are caught in the middle, being torn between their principle and their sense of compassion. I suspect you're caught in the middle -- Clowns on the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you. (Due credit to Gerry Rafferity)

Take a stance, AV. It's either right or wrong. It's either good for the future, or it's bad. I submit to you, it's both wrong and bad.

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OK - I'm absolutely against entitlement programs

by AV . In reply to "Entitlement" Programs

I used to be more compassionate, but now that I'm older and wiser and definitely more jaded, I don't agree with entitlement programs, I'm sick of them. I'm in the 50+ boat just like you. I've paid tons of property taxes in NJ over my lifetime for the education system here (and never had a child in the system) aside from what I pay in federal taxes for other entitlement programs.

Do you think I like that? You must be joking. I just don't know what to do about it. I don't see a way out of it. I'd like to take my social security that I've paid for over the past 40 years and invest it myself for me. I worked for it. Can I do it? No.

If I want to support a charity, thats my choice and I do that. I don't like having the government skimming off the top of what I make and giving it to people that are just scamming the system.

So there you have it. You and I agree.

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11 posts, 28 complaints, 1 suggestion

by drowningnotwaving In reply to Why is it?

Not a bad effort so far.

Positively leftist in outlook, if one was to adopt the stance pushed by many writers in this thread that lefties don't make suggestions.

A good suggestion on national sales tax from Max. A bit thin on detail given the enormity of the task but it's a start. Interesting question on the disproportionate increased burden on small business owners, and how their right to see their kids for a few hours a night is infringed upon.

But as a concept it works and it also has a proportional aspect in that the rich pay more than the poor.

Or is it the poor who pay more, as it is unlikely that someone earning $100k per month spends as high a proportion of their income on stuff as someone earning $2k?

Oh god who knows? That one's worthy of a thread all on its own.

SO COME ON you genii !! Start the year with a real change! Stop just complaining!

Make some suggestions on practical methods of changing your circumstance.

Are you part of the problem or are you part of the solution?

{Sorry after all the chat about the "there's no free lunch" I simply couldn't resist inserting a gratuitous phrase. Apologies.}

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Dare I try?

by maxwell edison In reply to 11 posts, 28 complaints, ...

Solutions? Most of the time, people can't agree that there's even a problem. Step one in arriving at ANY solution is admitting there's a problem. I can't even get people to agree that the myriad social programs are a problem -- they want more of the same. How is that a "solution"?

Nonetheless, I have proposed solutions, but people simply don't attempt to understand them, or, like I said, admit there's a problem.

Solution One (Social Security):

Solution Two (Taxation):

(Disclaimer on number two. If you're not prepared to spend at least one hour and READ ALL THE INFORMATION, you can't possibly understand its intent.)

Solution Three (Schools):

Continue funding public schools with tax dollars, but the funding stays with the kids, not the schools. The parents will then have freedom to choose the right school for their kids, and true competition will improve quality and reduce costs. Kids from low income families don't have a chance to break the cycle of poverty if they're forced to attend lousy schools. Give the poor kids the same opportunity as kids from families that are better-off by giving them the same school choices. Sure, some schools would fail -- the BAD ones -- and good ones would take their place.

Solution Four (Health Care):

Change the national dialogue so that people aren't brainwashed into thinking they're "entitled" to health care at another's expense. Where'd that silly notion come from anyway? Break the medical monopolies, and open up the industry to true competition. Eliminate the ridiculous medical lawsuits that are only paid for, in the long run, by the medical consumer. Separate the medical and insurance industries; they're currently joined at the hip. The person is the consumer of health care, not some insurance company. For the most part, insurance companies could be eliminated if people were willing to just pay as you go. If you visit the doctor or break an arm, pay the damn bill and stop expecting another person or an insurance company to pay. By reducing the non-medical overhead, the cost of delivering health care would plummet. If insurance was used for ONLY major medical issues, the cost of everything would drop substantially. Any system in which "other people pay for it" will cost more.

Enough for now.

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Social Security

by drowningnotwaving In reply to Dare I try?

We disagree on this: I feel that, exactly like the tax situation, there is a proportion of the populous who need support and assistance. But I think it is small, and their needs are not significantly a burden. But the purpose of this note isn't THAT gem of a discussion. IN any case those things are more domestic policy than the theory or objective.

I happily agree on quite a lot:

That 'percentage' or the interpretation has and is (and perhaps will always be) being continually abused.

The dependance factor is getting bigger. Many left-leaning politicians agree whole-heartedly with this and are putting in measures to have it reduced or stopped.

If you really want to read about something far away (which I doubt) look up an Aboriginal leader called Noel Pearson and see just what he thinks is ruining his people, and (more importantly and uniquely) the things he has put in place in his community to reduce and hopefully stop dependence.

"Social Security as a form of enforced savings"? Have I understood the thrust of that correctly?

In this part of the world there is a process of enforced savings. We call it superannuation. It is a process of a minimum contribution by the employer (essentially a business tax but a very focussed one) plus voluntary contributions by employees.

It is now completely commercial and competitive. As of last year, "I" have no restrictions on who I can nominate as my investor / fund manager. The amount of funds in this pool in Australia now exceeds $100 billion so you can imagine there are extremely competitive and client-focussed services, reduced fees etc. Nearly every signle major world and domestic bank, finance or insurance company runs multiple schemes from which I have total freedom to choose.

As a result it's reasonably easy to acheive in excess of 20% investment returns per annum. In any language, getting 20% consistently on your money over 20, 30 or 40 years will work.

What's even better is that the government has indeed made real steps in reducing the double- and triple-taxing of the contributions (that is, taxed when earned, taxed when the investment grows and taxed when drawn down). It still exists, but it is possible to have something like the first $100,000 of drawdown per annum tax free. I think I could party on that much when I am 75.

The "quid pro quo" is that traditional access to things like the old age pension is becoming (and will increasingly be) severely restricted.

It is no longer a distant dream/fear, it is now reality that you are being expected to use your own equity to support your lifestyle.

For example - you own a house? Fantastic. You own a house worth $2 million? Great. (I don't know what the exact limit is but it exists). Use some of that equity to support yourself.

So I agree entirely - any government managed scheme to achieve this is a useless waste of time. Anyone in the public sector who thinks they can do this? - f'ck off to a bank and triple your salary. Otherwise don't delude yourself - you can't.

It doesn't really matter whether you agree or not with a government-enforced savings scheme. It works over here and is well supported. Not universally, but by a supreme majority on both sides of the political spectrum.

But certainly a government-managed scheme is a joke. No doubt about that.

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