Men's Clothing Forums banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
An excerpt from this week's column by Thomas Friedman:

"It is a moment for radical departures from business as usual in so many areas. We can't thrive as a country any longer by coasting on our reputation, by postponing solutions to every big problem that might involve some pain and by telling ourselves that dramatic new initiatives - like a gasoline tax, national health care or banking reform - are too hard or "off the table." So my most fervent hope about President Obama is that he will be as radical as this moment - that he will put everything on the table. "

Once everything is nationalized, there will be no going back. Capitalism and free markets made this country what it is today. Stock Market crash; '29, '87, 2008? Take your pick. It will come back. Speculative markets always correct. There is a buyer for every huckster selling something. We always manage to catch the frauds, and a few rubes will loose their fortunes along the way; but, the free market works.

Please Mr. President, don't kill our Golden Goose. When everyone is a ward of the state, no one will have an incentive to produce or be entrepeneural.

As for me, I'm going to hoard toilet paper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gasoline tax is not socialism; it's a Market-grounded approach to fight energy problems.
Here's how it works. You are a state and a federal tax is part of the cost of every gallon. Those taxes collected are sent by the states Treasury to Washington DC. These taxes are supposed to pay for maintenance and improvement of your states highways and interstates, and all of this money goes into a pool of funds held by the federal government.

Now, let's say you are a wealthy state and your neighboring states are poorer. Those states need money to maintain and improve their roads, too; however, they do not return as much money to DC. Well when the highway appropriations are made, the federal government decides that one of the poorer states should be given more money than they put in and your state does not need all of the money it has put in.

Sound fare? I think not, and that is the beginning of Socialism. We already have it to some degree. How can you say we need more of this?

I suggest you read more about economics and taxation, so you will gain more understanding that confiscatory policies don't encourage growth or entrepeneurship. Who do you think created that job you go to everyday?

My apologies in advance if you work for the government. In that case, you can thank me and everyone else who pays more than payroll taxes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
996 Posts
Balderdash!

Once everything is nationalized, there will be no going back.
What if we change the country's name? Like The entirely nationalized Soviet Union did when they became Russia again? There was another nation that had a period of National Socialism, and that didn't last too long.

If you oppose redistribution of taxes between states, surely you support the right of a state to secede from the United States. That I can agree on, but awful Lincoln destroyed that failsafe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,132 Posts
To be blown so far by a single column speaks more to a lack of anchoring thoughts than any force of the words quoted, as well as an unfortunate tendency to believe things in print are about to leap up and do mischief far beyond their capacity. As Mark Twain wrote:

"I am personally acquainted with hundreds of journalists, and the opinion of the majority of them would not be worth tuppence in private, but when they speak in print it is the newspaper that is talking (the pygmy scribe is not visible) and then their utterances shake the community like the thunders of prophecy." -- From a speech in February, 1873.

Having plenty of toilet paper on hand is, though, always a good idea. :icon_smile:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
361 Posts
Here's how it works. You are a state and a federal tax is part of the cost of every gallon. Those taxes collected are sent by the states Treasury to Washington DC. These taxes are supposed to pay for maintenance and improvement of your states highways and interstates, and all of this money goes into a pool of funds held by the federal government.

Now, let's say you are a wealthy state and your neighboring states are poorer. Those states need money to maintain and improve their roads, too; however, they do not return as much money to DC. Well when the highway appropriations are made, the federal government decides that one of the poorer states should be given more money than they put in and your state does not need all of the money it has put in.

Sound fare? I think not, and that is the beginning of Socialism. We already have it to some degree. How can you say we need more of this?

I suggest you read more about economics and taxation, so you will gain more understanding that confiscatory policies don't encourage growth or entrepeneurship. Who do you think created that job you go to everyday?

My apologies in advance if you work for the government. In that case, you can thank me and everyone else who pays more than payroll taxes.
I would say you are being too simplistic. In reality, no state is actually alone and independent of other states. The country is a whole made up of a number of states and our good is interwoven. One state can't survive alone so if our tax money helps the roads in another state, it allows goods we need to be transported to us (this is a very simplistic view I know but I don't want to type for ever). If we help improve the economy in another state, it will ultimately improve our own economy.

Using your argument, I could make the argument that my taxes should not pay for education as my only responsibility is to pay for my family's education and for no one else. In reality, I am dependent on there being educated doctors, engineers, scientists, police, accountants and even lawyers for my lifestyle in society to survive.

None of us are living in a vacuum. Taxation isn't socialism. (Although I still say the facts show that Sweden has a higher standard of living than the US).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,297 Posts
I've never understood Friedman. He makes some of the most moronic statements yet people hang on his every word.

A few points:

1) All taxes are a form of socialism. Those who have are taxed to give to those that have less. My property is taken from me and distributed to others to whom I have no responsibility for.

2) Sweden's standard of living is NOT higher. This has been refuted and it has to do with the way Sweden determines its unemployment rate and standard of living.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,258 Posts
Other than the rare newspaper column, I pretty much stopped reading/listening to Friedman's tripe after The World is Flat. He did/does make a good point from time to time, but his I-told-you-so preachiness gets really tiresome for me.

Is the U.S. spiraling toward Socialism? No. Is Thomas Friedman a capitalist? You bet. Liberals loves the profits they make just as much as conservatives.

P.S. Yes Virginia, we do need more nuclear power.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,258 Posts
Sweden's standard of living is NOT higher. This has been refuted and it has to do with the way Sweden determines its unemployment rate and standard of living.
Sweden's economy has been in the tank for years. Most sources I've read cite its massive social welfare programs as the cause.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,114 Posts
"If Sweden left the EU and joined the U.S. we would be the poorest state of America."

Dead last. Fudge the numbers a little, and you may get to Sweden ranking somewhere in the bottom quintile of American states.

But still, this Sweden myth hangs on like a foot fungus. Like how FDR and/or WWII "got us out of the Great Depression." Heard that one 80 or 90 times this week alone. Here's the truth: All WWII did was create war productivity, which, by the way, literally evaporated like so much gunpowder. Hitler used the same accounting methods to make it look like he ended Germany's intense depression. In terms of civilian (i.e., real) productivity, the Great Depression ended when WWII ended, when (and because) the US national government's expenditures DROPPED by 60% or so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,759 Posts
Relatively, yes. I mean hiking up the taxes to the extent that consumers are forced to use substitution goods/services.

Also, if public transport was as good here as it is in most of the developed world, there'd be far less incentive to drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,066 Posts
Relatively, yes. I mean hiking up the taxes to the extent that consumers are forced to use substitution goods/services.

Also, if public transport was as good here as it is in most of the developed world, there'd be far less incentive to drive.
Sorry, Jibran, but that's a fail.

With relatively inelastic demand you would have to raise taxes so high that no government could survive. So perhaps in theory your idea works, but in reality no politician would commit suicide that way.

Quality of public transportation is a demand shift not elasticity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
527 Posts
oh its the end of the world ! ! ! !
we should all just lay down and die cause the liberals have taken over
screw the constitution and screw the free market.....

oh wait that was already done by the last guy W whats his name
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
725 Posts
An excerpt from this week's column by Thomas Friedman:

"It is a moment for radical departures from business as usual in so many areas. We can't thrive as a country any longer by coasting on our reputation, by postponing solutions to every big problem that might involve some pain and by telling ourselves that dramatic new initiatives - like a gasoline tax, national health care or banking reform - are too hard or "off the table." So my most fervent hope about President Obama is that he will be as radical as this moment - that he will put everything on the table. "

Once everything is nationalized, there will be no going back. Capitalism and free markets made this country what it is today. Stock Market crash; '29, '87, 2008? Take your pick. It will come back. Speculative markets always correct. There is a buyer for every huckster selling something. We always manage to catch the frauds, and a few rubes will loose their fortunes along the way; but, the free market works.

Please Mr. President, don't kill our Golden Goose. When everyone is a ward of the state, no one will have an incentive to produce or be entrepeneural.

As for me, I'm going to hoard toilet paper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
I had a friend once remark, "If this is Leninism, then I am a Trotskyite".

The issue is not socialism versus capitalism. I've got an undergrad degree in political science and have sat through hundreds of hours of debates and seminars. The issue is that redistribution of wealth, when not done in a manner equally responsible to the person giving and to the person taking is detrimental on a society as a whole. If I earn a thousand dollars this month, and my brother makes 999, I may give him a half dollar to equalize, and we'd both be better off. But if the stranger down the street gives him a half dollar, without any incentive beyond public duty (a concept recently invented) then he would be in a socialistic worldview as you would see it.

How do you defeat the problems of socialism? Simple. You take care of widows and orphans. Personally. You don't decide the good of your widowed friend is a state requirement, so that if they are destitute, it is up to those who wish to care, instead of receiving a welfare check every month taken from the pockets of those who don't know her. Another precept of capitalism is that you do not perform actions which would be to the detriment of other improvements in capital gains, unless those actions would deliberately, or not, create a legitimate difficulty for somebody. Your right to run a gambling parlor with loud music ends when noise ordinance tells you to turn out the lights and shut off the Victrola.

Mr. Obama has a unique problem, in that his state's income is rarely granted by the goodwill of free citizens, but rather that he holds, enforced by statist police who are acting as agents of the police, the ability to remove capital from entrepreneurs and misers alike. Capitalism is based around free markets and freedom to do as one pleases, until it causes damage to others, or potentially prevents the creation of success on others.

If Obama were to raise gas taxes, you would have to pay. But he can't say, "I'm going to raise the price of cigarettes to finance overseas aid to X". That's an illegitimate use of power and privilege. If people were told that their gas taxes were to be used to pay for AK-47s for the Iraqi police, there would be a new market in bootleg gas and people would subvert the system. But democracies are furnished with the ideal that all persons are equal and if I lived in Saskatchewan or the Northwest Territories, I would still be entitled to have a way to reach my home (ie a road). If I wanted to be a hermit, I might be told to build my own road, but as far as public good is concerned (a recent conception) everybody is "entitled" to a positive output from the system they input to the degree which they input being responsibly and fairly output.

I hope I haven't contradicted myself too many times. I could go on and on, but if you understand what I'm saying, essentially, gas taxes, enforced by the government are acceptable to the majority, provided they pay for roads and aren't collected for pure moneymaking capacity. In Canada they raise the price of smokes, frequently. They always say it's so that children won't be able to afford smokes. The two concepts are mutually exclusive and rather bizarre.

Thomas
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top