Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Liberalism and Its Promise to the People (part III )

If, as the left proclaims, people are equal therefore should be treated as equals by each other and that the federal government exists to protect the rights of the people, that leaves me in a very skeptical mood. That would mean that each of us has the same needs. and when one man works therefore catering to his own needs while another may be without then the man without has had his rights abused. The reason being that a state of inequality would exist under those circumstances.

On the other hand we could be a nation where a third party doles out the needs of the people. Since the U.S. Government is the protector of the rights of individuals then it will be that government that doles out in accordance to each person's needs. The criteria it uses will be the laws of equality. Now, in the above scenario, both persons are being treated as equals but neither man has his needs fulfilled. There is but one way that both man would have his rights protected and both men would have his needs fulfilled.

That being if that third party, namely the government, had the authority and power to make a decision in regards to the needs of each man. And if that man was an elected official then, by the ideology of the left, that official was acting in accordance to the will of the people. Neither man would have any legal or moral grounds to protest the distribution of the wealth because each man has, by legal definition, had his needs met as his needs has been determined for him.

Of course the above scenario would be no problem if the elected official had unlimited resources to fulfill the needs of each person. But we must remember that this official is limited by the budget he is given and that budget relies on taxes to finance it. So, how does this elected official protect the rights of the individual by satisfying his needs on a limited budget?

If taxes are imposed to meet the needs of some we threaten the needs of the others who must pay that tax. If we lower taxes so that the some who pay the taxes may fulfill their needs then we threaten the needs of others who is dependent upon that government dole. Besides, I know of no man who has the capacity to redistribute the wealth in such a way that can be declared as just for all.

We must consider another thing also. We live on a planet of many nations. And each of those nations has an economic system. It is this system that the people use to provide for their needs. And it is from the people that make up this system that provides the taxes that the government imposes. Both, the needs of the people and the taxes that is paid is limited by how profitable that business is.

If those people who head up the business sector believe that they are being taxed too heavily then they'll take their business elsewhere. When that happens men lose the means to provide for their own needs and governments lose a source of taxes which was to be used to provide the needs of those dependent upon the government. We again have a situation of inequality which, according to the ideology of the left, the U.S. Government was not suppose to allow.

As for those who think that the rich can afford to pay more taxes they must remember one thing. They are not the ones who will decide whether or not to pay those taxes that would be imposed upon the rich. That rich man decides that. And that rich man can live anywhere he decides to and will leave if he feels that his taxes are too high. And this is happening now. The rich are emigrating while the poor are immigrating.

This was just some thoughts and I blame these thoughts on those who kindly inspired them. I hope they be thoughts that can be judged as worthy of further thought from those that might read them.


BB-Idaho said...

Kind of interesting, the very rich wanting to leave the US to avoid taxes. Many seem to get as far as
and the emmigration to avoid taxes includes some
downsides (like renouncing US citizenship), otherwise
even in Katmandu, the IRS finds ya) as well as the
decision of where to become a brand new very wealthy citizen. Europe,
for example has high taxes, while third world
countries have banditry.
IMO, the very wealthy should stay here, hire
clever lawyers and continue to pay less taxes than you or I, Griper..:)
..on the other hand, hmmm
a nice grass shack on the beach in Tahiti....

The Griper said...

remember BB, it isn't the assets of a rich man that is being taxed, it is his income.

another thing, what of this complaint of business outsourcing jobs? that is just businesses moving out of the country to avoid the taxes and regulations imposed upon them in this nation. and who owns these businesses? the poor sure don't.

businesses have always moved to a better environment when they are taxed too high. at one time it was just from state to state but now it is from this nation to another nation.

tax relief has always been the incentive of states to get new industry to move into their states.

taxes and regulation is the reason so many businesses has moved out of California and other high tax states.

BB-Idaho said...

"tax relief has always been the incentive of states to get new industry to move into their states."
True. Basically, we the people pay for that, of course..SOMEONE has to pay for the educated workers, the infrastructure and the benefits provided that 'attracted' industry.
Up this way, a locale provided a huge building and no taxes. Place stayed 4 years and left for Mexico. I guess when
we get our wages down to
50 cents a day we can compete with Bangladesh.
Perhaps now that SCOTUS
has turned over the right
for large corporations to
dump huge amounts into politics, the large corporations will provide us with information of what it is they want?
BigBizz has undergone
some significant changes since they led us out of the collosal debt of WWII..
the good old Eisenhower years. I know, I was part of it.....

The Griper said...

we both was a part of it, BB. but that was also the times when both parties were basically middle of the road too, not at the extremes as they are today.

i guess my point is that i can't see a nation of equality unless that equality is at the bottom with the poor and maybe a part of the middle class. the rich won't stay if they are taxed too highly. at least i wouldn't if rich.

too many places a man can hide his assets and tahiti is a nice place to lounge about. even in those places where there are banditos, a rich man can hire body guards for a dime a dozen.

and when they leave so does business as we know it. politicians will be running any businesses left here.

BB-Idaho said...

The history of the top marginal income tax rate
(see Wiki US income tax, for example) is intriguing.
A bit baffling in that the
current top tax is low in perspective. For example,
when it began in 1973 it was 7%, but rapidly increased to as high as 77%
in World War II. Prior to the Great Depression, it
was back down to 28%
(I shan't surmise that low taxation caused the depression...but on the other hand, much ready
cash does create troublesome 'bubbles')
Then 1932-36 the top rate was back up to 63%..and rose to a confiscatory
94% during the peak of
World War II, remaining in the 70% range until the
tax cuts of 1988-90, when it went way down to 28%
(and middle income taxes
rose!). From 1993-2000,
the top rate was 40%.
Since 2003 it has been
35%. So, IMO, it is fair to say that taxes on income of the very wealthy
are not historically high, and as we know, our periods of 'real' growth
took place during times
of high marginal rates.
If we view taxation as a form of punishment, any
rate is vexing, even as
a revenue source, high income earners historically pay a higher
share of the burden. We
need consider (tongue in cheek) that rather than
bundle up the gold and
remove to Kazakhstan or
Tasmania, us hugely rich folk try working retail,
struggle to make ends meet, and enjoy a lower tax rate. :) The perception that wealth
creates jobs left when those jobs went to Asia.
From that viewpoint, it is the consumer who drives the market; when the middle class is gone,
the consumption drops and we will be left with
stagflation and gray skies.
IMO, from what we have observed, neither business nor government has an answer for the problem of
good jobs and a good standard of living.
Depressions are depressing, Griper!

The Griper said...

"IMO, from what we have observed, neither business nor government has an answer for the problem of
good jobs and a good standard of living."

supply and demand is the driver of the economy, BB. that is true regardless of which form of rconomic a nation adheres to.
the only difference between socialism and free enterprise is where the focus lies.

free enterprise focuses on the welfare of employer and socialism focuses on the welfare of the employee.

another difference is that socialism is not self-sustaining. it is dependent upon free enterprise in order to exist.

both are subject to the ups and downs of the economy. that is the nature of any economic system.

Marx did not create the socialistic form of economics. it has been tried for at least a couple of thousand years now and each time it has failed.

BB-Idaho said...

I'm not real familiar with
2000 year old socialism examples..I suppose the old cave clans shared food to perpetuate their clan
(thinking if the biggest and strongest ate everything the kids and
women would die off and the clan would become history) Often the arguments over laissez faire free market and straight socialism are of necessity theoretical, for
such societies are rare (I can think of none, off hand), or are muddled by
monarcy, totalitariansim, egalitarianism etc. What we have seen typically is the pragmatic 'mixed economy' swinging a bit this way and that. One of the highest standards of living and strong economy is little Norway
which seems to rank higher that us in any number of
economic categories. We can assume their system is
'mixed', perhaps leaning more socialist.
The ONE piece of data that continues to confound me is healthcare. Healthwise, many countries
rank higher. Costwise, they pay about half what we do. If private healthcare is so efficient,
how come it costs twice as much as socialized heathcare? All I can ponder up is profit taking all along the line from
check in, nursing, doctor,
hospital, drugs, insurance,
diagnostic equipment..the additive effect...compounded no doubt by shareholders in the system. All the arguments I have seen in favor of the US system
(pre-Obama) have argued how superior it is-counter to the nitty gritty data.
I guess the one item we
Americans have is ease of getting into the doctor.
(I waited a month to see my regular Dr. and three months for a specialist, so I don't quite buy that)
Another argument we hear often is the creativity of
the free market. Yes..in advertising. As far as basic scientific/medical
research; public universities. The fly in the Ayn Rand/free market ointment is the dependence on riches to motivate. Sometimes, as in bank cheating, or false advertising...but the creative person is often
not interested in money, just the thrill of of the chase, the satisfaction of contributing, so to speak. And those people will (I think we discussed awhile back, deja vu) thrive in any economic system. So, in that respect, we might conclude
strengths and weaknesses
of each system, and since you rightly note that economies sometimes rise or fall from other factors, that some sort of mixed economy, if mixed right, synergized, may be
the way to go.

The Griper said...

healthcare isn't cheaper under socialized medicine, BB. it just appears that way based on how the cost is calculated and how the cost is perceived to be dispersed. as they say there is no such thing as a free lunch.

i don't know how your healthcare was paid for while you were working or if you are on medicare plan now but i'll bet you that if you ever figured out how much you paid into healthcare system you'd be very surprised at how much it has cost you personally.

one reason private healthcare plans cost more than government plans is because they are charged a higher cost by the health carers in order to cover the lower rate that the government pays them.

as for norway, yes they have a high standard of living but it can't be compared to the U.S. for many reasons. one reason being is that it only has a population of 5 million people compared to our 300 million. it also doesn't have the diversity of people that we do. there are many other reasons for it but i won't get into that here.

BB-Idaho said...

Well dang, lucky you! My long comment ran into a
blogging system roadblock!
Regarding European style
healthcare, most figures
catagorize costs either as
%GDP per captita or normalized US dollars. I suspect their efficiency gains are that although taxed-based, EVERYONE pays and EVERYONE is covered.
Our system is costly in part because many uncovered
raise the premiums for the
covered. (sort of like that
danged uninsured driver type thing) So, essentially we pay for ourselves and those that
choose not or cannot pay.
We can continue that, costly, unpopular) or we
can make everyone have insurance (unpopular) or we can turn them away from the Dr. and hospital (hasn't been tried..probably unpopular as well..some studies show about 45,000 uninsured die each year already) ..
You are right, I have paid a lot into health insurance, social security and medicare..listed on each paycheck! It seems reasonable to receive some back when we are old and may need it. (That is the theory, anyway)
Economics-wise, we observe that US mfg has fallen to 13% of GDP, while healthcare has risen to 16.2%; not a good trend, IMO!

The Griper said...

most of the disparity of healthcare costs can be seen in the difference between government controlled costs vs market controlled costs. it is called an artificial cost because it is artificially kept low.

another factor is charity work. there is no charity work in a socialized system.

if charity work was a calculated factor in a market system the cost would be lower also on a per person basis.

remember, BB, it is the free enterprise system that sustains or pays for a socialized system. socialism cannot sustain itself. thus socialism is an added cost to a free enterprise system.

even in norway that can be seen. it is their petroleum industry that is a big part of the reason for their way of life.

it is profit that allows for economic growth. it is profit that allows a company to add extra people to be employed.

it is the savings from past profits that allows a company to weather bad economic times just like an individual who must dip into his savings to sustain him during bad economic times on a personal level.

socialism works on the foundational basis of absolutes. free enterprise works on the foundational basis of probabilities vs possibilities.

you are a scientist. did you work on the basis of absolutes or the basis of probability?

remember in a world of absolutes there can be no losers while in a world of probability there has to be some losers.

in a world of absolutes when there is one loser all become losers.

in a world of probability only some are losers and some are winners.

from an emotional viewpoint no one wants anyone to be a loser in life.
but, from a logical viewpoint it is inevitable that there be losers in life as well as winners.

human beings are just as subject to the laws of probability as any other part of this environment we exist in.

that is proven by the sciences of sociology and psychology. and one reason they are called "soft" sciences is because they can never come to a absolute conclusion as can be done in the "hard" sciences.

so, strictly from a scientific viewopoint, socialism is an inevitable failure on any level.

BB-Idaho said...

Scientists probably have their own favorite system...

The Griper said...

like i've said i'm not here to convince anyone to my way of thinking, BB. i can only hope to get someone to think a little more about their own ideas.

i'm not against socialism because i do not want the same thing as those are for socialism. both the right and the left want what is best for everybody.

Since socialism is a theory of absolutes i can't see any evidence that socialism is a workable theory. in fact all of the evidence i have reviewed on its application in societies reveals it to be a flawed theory destined to failure.

and in a mixed economy socialistic programs only make free market programs more expensive because they must not only sustain itself but also sustain the socialistic programs also.

i also recognize that my viewpoint makes me appear as if i have a cold hearted viewpoint on life and to a certain class of people. but until i see some evidence to the contrary i have no choice in the matter. and i cannot accept anomolies as evidence to the contrary.

BB-Idaho said...

Where do socialist ideas arise? Louis XVI was faced with a revolution shortly after America won independence. We are familiar with the retort
to the ragged and starving.."Let them eat cake". ..and the resulting
beheading of Louis. So, from a conservative standpoint, there is merit
in (holding the nose..and)
taking steps which appear to be socialistic with the idea of preserving conservatism from the danger of anarchy and rebellion. It is instructive that a conservative like Winston
Churchill reacted thus
shortly after WWI:
"..Crusades & Soup Kitchens. In Britain, the Liberal Party was the first channel of those who sought State help against the rigors of capitalism. Sidney and Beatrice Webb and their Fabians went further than the Liberals: they worked for gradual change toward the socialist state. (The grade turned out to be steeper than they thought.)
Churchill, as president of the Board of Trade (1908-10) and Home Secretary (1910-11), was in the front ranks of the early Liberal drive for social security." [British National Insurance Act, 1911] As I understand, 'social Darwinism' necessarily
redistributes wealth upwards, the asymptotic
results of which result in
a few extremely wealthy and a plethora of very poor. Whether this is
'cold hearted' depends on POV, but from a pragmatic
standpoint, such conditions cannot persist.
Lincoln, for example:
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the Country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war". As a fine historian wrote-
"..the concentration of wealth is natural and invevitable, and is periodically alleviated by violent or peaceable partial redistribution. In this view all economic history is the slow heartbeat of the social organism, a vast sytole and diastole of concentrating wealth and compulsive recirculation"
So, basically, Griper, my
view is not necessarily
being 'warm-hearted' nor
'bleeding heart' (although I am) but practical and logical regarding the merits of 'mixed economy'
Of course you knew that! :)

The Griper said...

"but practical and logical regarding the merits of 'mixed economy'
Of course you knew that! :)"

yes i knew that but i have but one question of you in regards to the idea of a mixed economy.

where is the balance of it? in other words at what point does it no longer become a mixed economy but one too far left or too far right?

while i may be to the right in terms of this issue my primary issue with it is the fact of its implimentation on a national level rather than on a State level.

my way would allow each of us to choose if we wanted to pay the additional taxes necessary to pay for these programs. if you wanted to then you could live in a State with these programs.

if i did not want to i then could live in a State that did not have these programs thus could use that tax savings on other things or use it to find a different way of obtaining the same service.

and this goes back to the 5th post of my previous series of posts when i spoke of choices.

The Griper said...

and believe it or not, BB, the apostles attempted to create a socialistic society. the reasons were different but the principles of its implimentation was the same. it can be found in the book of Acts.

BB-Idaho said...

I follow your logic, Griper. I guess my take is that we do not live in a
theoretical world. So the
ongoing blend of right and left is society's way of keeping itself a bit more balanced. By that I mean
not extreme right, nor extreme left. We have had
unique success by doing this at the ballot box rather than in the streets.
IMO states do vary in their
domestic policies to a limited extent. So as we have discussed, business
and individuals are motivated to leave one for another. In projecting
results for moving rights from the nation to the states, we can perceive
both good and evil, if not in theory, then certainly in reality.

BB-Idaho said...

"where is the balance of it? in other words at what point does it no longer become a mixed economy but one too far left or too far right?" Fair question.
There will always be some, have always been some, who
feel it is too far this or too far that. Some will think the balance just right. Our system depends
on all to opine by voting;
hence the swings this way and that through the years.
IMO, the recent urgency in that regard is due to instant communication and media..opinions are made and unmade in minutes, when over the last two hundred years it took months to get information
and things were subject
to discussion on the cracker box in the frontier store. A number of books have been written about why socialism, facism, laissez faire cannot happen in this country. You put the finger on it earlier...
diversity...like anything
else it has its bad and its good, but it is the
gyroscope, the mass of
maneuver and the inertia
of how our society deals with itself.

The Griper said...

he grins,
then i guess that only leaves a couple of ol' codgers like us nothing more than to sit out on the porch, sip our drinks, and watch humorously while the young'un fight it out. :)
and maybe make a friendly wager about how the fight will end huh? :)


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