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How Will it Take for America to Recover from Catastrophic Republican Mismanagement? - Page 2

post #41 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I'll let you use your imagination or study your own history. But I will say that private roads, turnpikes/tollways and railroads (same idea) are not unprecedented in American history at all and they solved the problems of land acquisition* as well as creation of fee structures and payment schemes.

*Land acquisition would likely be handled very much as it is today for large projects that require acquiring large amounts of land from multiple owners. This happens all the time today. More typically for something like a major housing, retail, manufacturing or office development. I'm not an expert in this, but I know it is usually done quietly and through levels of indirection to avoid speculation driving prices too high. Land is also often acquired using option contracts to secure the right to buy without actually buying everything until all the options are locked up.

Toll roads are not private roads.

The construction of a private road would cost, I would estimate about 20 times what it costs the government. A private company would be unable to acquire real estate without illegal tactics. Oh I forgot in your world law would not be enforced since there would private police owned by these companies, therefore they could simply kill anyone who owns real estate in the way of their road.

Tax is as old as mankind. Tax revolts are the same age and so is real estate ownership.
Feel free to refuse to pay taxes. BTW if you think it's theft you can write it off but only after you report it to the police (a tax payer owned agency).
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post #42 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Toll roads are not private roads.

Says who?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

The construction of a private road would cost, I would estimate about 20 times what it costs the government.

Good for you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

A private company would be unable to acquire real estate without illegal tactics.

Says who?


And then some kind of random, unrelated, incoherent diatribe...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Tax is as old as mankind. Tax revolts are the same age and so is real estate ownership. Feel free to refuse to pay taxes. BTW if you think it's theft you can write it off but only after you report it to the police (a tax payer owned agency).

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #43 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Says who?


MJ1970, can you name a country where toll roads don't belong to the state?
post #44 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumbo Jumbo View Post

MJ1970, can you name a country where toll roads don't belong to the state?

That's irrelevant*.


"Toll road" and "private road" are not the opposites of each other.

"Toll road" and "non-toll road" are opposites.

"public road" and "private road" are opposites.

One term ("toll") refers to the means and mechanism of payment. The other term ("private") refers to the ownership and management nature of the road.

Duh.

Furthermore, the absence of any example is not an argument against its feasibility**.

Duh.


* Dulles Greenway (and that's just the modern era. Private roads (and other private transport services were more common earlier in this country's history.) Unfortunately it is heavily regulated (including its pricing) preventing the owners from pricing more flexibly for its customers. But, you know, private companies are too short-sighted for big long-term projects like this. I mean the company that built the Dulle Greenway only spent $50 million over 7 years before even breaking ground. Despite that this article says:

Quote:
THE first private toll road to be built in Virginia in over 130 years is on budget and ahead of schedule, much to the delight of Northern Virginia land owners who expect the road to bring growth through an empty portion of Loudoun County.

When was the last government project we heard of that was on budget and ahead of schedule?

And then there's this:

Quote:
Since the mid-1990s, under the banner of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), the private sector has been the major builder and operator of new roads in Britain. Unlike publicly funded road projects -- usually over budget and behind schedule -- more than 80 percent of PFI projects (more than 600 to date) have been built on time and on or under budget.

But there's more:

Quote:
California has authorized four toll road to be constructed and operated by private groups, and it is considering more. Construction on a similar 14-mile project in Virginia will begin in 1992. Florida, Texas, and Colorado are considering proposals for private toll roads, and there is talk of a 500-mile private connection between Chicago and Kansas City. Outside the United States, private groups are operating toll roads in France and Italy. Indeed, the idea of private toll roads is making a comeback.

We say "comeback" because many regions of the United States were once laced with private toll roads. In the early 1800s turnpiking was the leading form of transportation improvement. At mid-century an elaborate system of short turnpikes and plank roads served as feeders to the canals and railroads. In Colorado and California private toll roads served the early mining camps. By the year 1900 scores of rustic toll roads continued to traverse rural areas nationwide. During the 19th century at least 2,000 private companies operated toll roads.

And this. And this (from 1955).

I could go on.

**Where does this argumentative approach come from? My goodness. It is such a completely fallacious and stupid argument. Almost as bad as the argument for health care "reform" in which the proponent says: "But everyone else is doing it!"

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post #45 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

That's irrelevant*.


"Toll road" and "private road" are not the opposites of each other.

"Toll road" and "non-toll road" are opposites.

"public road" and "private road" are opposites.

One term ("toll") refers to the means and mechanism of payment. The other term ("private") refers to the ownership and management nature of the road.

Duh.

Furthermore, the absence of any example is not an argument against its feasibility**.

Duh.


* Dulles Greenway (and that's just the modern era. Private roads (and other private transport services were more common earlier in this country's history.) Unfortunately it is heavily regulated (including its pricing) preventing the owners from pricing more flexibly for its customers. But, you know, private companies are too short-sighted for big long-term projects like this. I mean the company that built the Dulle Greenway only spent $50 million over 7 years before even breaking ground. Despite that this article says:



When was the last government project we heard of that was on budget and ahead of schedule?

And then there's this:



But there's more:



And this. And this (from 1955).

I could go on.

**Where does this argumentative approach come from? My goodness. It is such a completely fallacious and stupid argument. Almost as bad as the argument for health care "reform" in which the proponent says: "But everyone else is doing it!"

Paying to use a road is called toll. Some people may call it a "tax" just not one paid to the government Let's say like in one of your examples you have an under developed area only reachable by toll road, this you must agree is a tax, since everyone who want's to go there is forced to pay.
You are advocating that people should have to pay to use roads, I like it. This would eliminate a lot of traffic and save a lot of CO2 emissions. You are a truly green dude!! Bravo!!

Do you think that this would in any way have an affect on the cost of goods?
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post #46 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Paying to use a road is called toll.

Thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Let's say like in one of your examples you have an under developed area only reachable by toll road, this you must agree is a tax, since everyone who want's to go there is forced to pay.

In that narrow situation, I suppose you could. But I now challenge you to provide an example of some place that is only served by one transportation option which people are forced to go to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

You are advocating that people should have to pay to use roads, I like it.

People already pay to use the roads. It's often just not obvious to them. And, in some cases, people are paying (taxes) for roads they don't use at all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

This would eliminate a lot of traffic and save a lot of CO2 emissions. You are a truly green dude!! Bravo!!

I actually think this would be a side-effect. Not just because of the cost per se, but because privately built roads would likely be built along more direct routes where possible (reducing miles to drive).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Do you think that this would in any way have an affect on the cost of goods?

Unsure to be honest. I suspect at first there would simply be a shift. People and businesses paying less in taxes for public roads but then paying directly for roads. Businesses, directly paying for road costs (rather than being subsidized), would pass their costs onto customers. I suspect the costs would just shift around in the short-term to where the costs would be borne by those who use and value it most. In the longer term overall costs would likely be lower. Competition (don't think of just other roads...think of all other forms of transport not to mention competing with not using the road at all) would force private roads to reduce costs. People would also economize where costs go up or are higher again forcing providers to respond. As with other products and services there could be long-term contract and quantity usage discounts. Thing here of thing like cell phone plans as one example. As you move up the scale in cell phone plans your cost per minute usually goes down. Delivery businesses and other heavy drivers would likely take advantage of such discounts. Those discounts initially might end up as profit for the businesses but, again, competition won't allow that for very long.

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post #47 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

That's irrelevant*.

"Toll road" and "private road" are not the opposites of each other.

"Toll road" and "non-toll road" are opposites.

"public road" and "private road" are opposites.

One term ("toll") refers to the means and mechanism of payment. The other term ("private") refers to the ownership and management nature of the road.

Duh.

Furthermore, the absence of any example is not an argument against its feasibility**.

Duh.

* Dulles Greenway (and that's just the modern era. Private roads (and other private transport services were more common earlier in this country's history.) Unfortunately it is heavily regulated (including its pricing) preventing the owners from pricing more flexibly for its customers. But, you know, private companies are too short-sighted for big long-term projects like this. I mean the company that built the Dulle Greenway only spent $50 million over 7 years before even breaking ground. Despite that this article says:

When was the last government project we heard of that was on budget and ahead of schedule?

And then there's this:

But there's more:

And this. And this (from 1955).

I could go on.

**Where does this argumentative approach come from? My goodness. It is such a completely fallacious and stupid argument. Almost as bad as the argument for health care "reform" in which the proponent says: "But everyone else is doing it!"

MJ1970.

I made a post of one sentence, which was the question Can you name a country where toll roads are not the property of the state?

I dont think this simple question merited that level of sarcasm and hostility.
post #48 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumbo Jumbo View Post

MJ1970.

I made a post of one sentence, which was the question “Can you name a country where toll roads are not the property of the state?”

I don’t think this simple question merited that level of sarcasm and hostility.

Well, as I stated, the question is really irrelevant. And it is one which comes up quite often as if it is a valid argument. Sorry if my "sarcasm" (it was actually annoyance that you were sensing) came across too strongly. Furthermore, I've tried to have reasoned discussions with you and been confronted with your caricatures of what you think I am, believe, and think. So you'll forgive me if I got a bit snarky in my response.

I'll note here though that even when I've actually answered your question and given you examples, you turn to the tone, still avoiding the content of the post.

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post #49 of 67
I wonder what the implications are for our liberties-

"The Guardian reporter Paul Lewis, who fell foul of anti-terror legislation last week, is the latest in a long line of alleged miscreants stopped and questioned after straying on to private land. Lewis was stopped and searched by police under section 44 of the Terrorism Act for taking photographs of the Gherkin, one of London's landmark buildings.

This monitoring and surveillance of innocent activities, which does not necessarily require anti-terror laws, is taking place all around Britain as a result of the growing private ownership and private control of cities. Liverpool One, which spans 34 streets in the heart of Liverpool, is effectively owned by the Duke of Westminster's property company, Grosvenor, which leased the entire site, including streets and public places, from the council for 250 years. Cabot Circus in Bristol, Highcross in Leicester and what promises to be the biggest of all, Stratford City in London, are all owned and run by property companies.

Yet few people are aware of the changes literally underfoot. The assumption is that because the streets have always been public, they will continue to be so. In fact, during the early 19th century, before the advent of local government and local democracy, cities like London were owned by a small group of private landlords, mainly dukes and earls. Their old estates include some of the finest Georgian and early Victorian squares, but what we don't see today are the private security forces that were employed by the estates to keep out those who did not belong there – and the many gates, bars and posts.

In their defence, politicians and developers point out that people like these places and flock to shop in them. But they also raise a challenge to the kind of public life, culture and democracy that has been taken for granted in British cities for the last 150 years. A host of seemingly innocuous activities – skateboarding, rollerblading, even eating in some places – are routinely banned, along with filming and, of course, taking photographs. So is begging, homelessness, selling the Big Issue, handing out political leaflets, and holding political demonstrations. It's a very different and far less democratic idea of the city and citizenship. In place of the diversity of high streets we are creating sterile, high-security enclaves, policed by private security and CCTV. And rather than making us feel safer, the emphasis on security is a reminder of ever-present danger, fuelling fear of crime."
~ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...erty-companies
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post #50 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

I wonder what the implications are for our liberties-

"The Guardian reporter Paul Lewis, who fell foul of anti-terror legislation last week, is the latest in a long line of alleged miscreants stopped and questioned after straying on to private land. Lewis was stopped and searched by police under section 44 of the Terrorism Act for taking photographs of the Gherkin, one of London's landmark buildings.

This monitoring and surveillance of innocent activities, which does not necessarily require anti-terror laws, is taking place all around Britain as a result of the growing private ownership and private control of cities. Liverpool One, which spans 34 streets in the heart of Liverpool, is effectively owned by the Duke of Westminster's property company, Grosvenor, which leased the entire site, including streets and public places, from the council for 250 years. Cabot Circus in Bristol, Highcross in Leicester and what promises to be the biggest of all, Stratford City in London, are all owned and run by property companies.

Yet few people are aware of the changes literally underfoot. The assumption is that because the streets have always been public, they will continue to be so. In fact, during the early 19th century, before the advent of local government and local democracy, cities like London were owned by a small group of private landlords, mainly dukes and earls. Their old estates include some of the finest Georgian and early Victorian squares, but what we don't see today are the private security forces that were employed by the estates to keep out those who did not belong there and the many gates, bars and posts.

In their defence, politicians and developers point out that people like these places and flock to shop in them. But they also raise a challenge to the kind of public life, culture and democracy that has been taken for granted in British cities for the last 150 years. A host of seemingly innocuous activities skateboarding, rollerblading, even eating in some places are routinely banned, along with filming and, of course, taking photographs. So is begging, homelessness, selling the Big Issue, handing out political leaflets, and holding political demonstrations. It's a very different and far less democratic idea of the city and citizenship. In place of the diversity of high streets we are creating sterile, high-security enclaves, policed by private security and CCTV. And rather than making us feel safer, the emphasis on security is a reminder of ever-present danger, fuelling fear of crime."
~ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...erty-companies

It is sort of interesting the double-standard being pushed here Hands. You are aware the the folks you are applauding and noting the arrest of were charged with conspiracy. In the U.S. owning a gun or belonging to a militia isn't a crime. I'm not saying those folks never did anything wrong, I'm simply noting that conspiracy is the same type of thought crime you complain about here. How do you justify it in one instance and curse it in another?

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #51 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

It is sort of interesting the double-standard being pushed here Hands. You are aware the the folks you are applauding and noting the arrest of were charged with conspiracy. In the U.S. owning a gun or belonging to a militia isn't a crime. I'm not saying those folks never did anything wrong, I'm simply noting that conspiracy is the same type of thought crime you complain about here. How do you justify it in one instance and curse it in another?

No double standard here trumpt. I think there are quite noticeable diffrences between killing a cop so that lots of cops go to that persons funeral so that they can all be killed in one spot with bombs and probably machine guns too in the hope of starting a civil war.

Edit- I also don't think it's ok to stop people from photographing buildings. I spent four years photographing up to about a year ago, buildings and monuments in Washington D.C. I was asked what I was doing one time by police, but it wasn't a problem. I've said before and recently in the "tea party terrorism thread", that I think we do need to be weary of government when it comes to our liberties.
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post #52 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

That's irrelevant*.


"Toll road" and "private road" are not the opposites of each other.

"Toll road" and "non-toll road" are opposites.

"public road" and "private road" are opposites.

One term ("toll") refers to the means and mechanism of payment. The other term ("private") refers to the ownership and management nature of the road.

Duh.

Furthermore, the absence of any example is not an argument against its feasibility**.

Duh.


* Dulles Greenway (and that's just the modern era. Private roads (and other private transport services were more common earlier in this country's history.) Unfortunately it is heavily regulated (including its pricing) preventing the owners from pricing more flexibly for its customers. But, you know, private companies are too short-sighted for big long-term projects like this. I mean the company that built the Dulle Greenway only spent $50 million over 7 years before even breaking ground. Despite that this article says:



When was the last government project we heard of that was on budget and ahead of schedule?

And then there's this:



But there's more:



And this. And this (from 1955).

I could go on.

**Where does this argumentative approach come from? My goodness. It is such a completely fallacious and stupid argument. Almost as bad as the argument for health care "reform" in which the proponent says: "But everyone else is doing it!"

I am wondering if you also know what kind of regulations are imposed on these companies by the UK government?
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post #53 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

I am wondering if you also know what kind of regulations are imposed on these companies by the UK government?

I don't. I have read that the Dulles Greenway is heavily regulated at least from a pricing perspective, which sounds like it seriously constrains the company.

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post #54 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I don't. I have read that the Dulles Greenway is heavily regulated at least from a pricing perspective, which sounds like it seriously constrains the company.

Do you believe it would be better for the country of UK and the users of this road if there were no regulations?

You mentioned that you believe all tax is theft, these regulations are enforced with tax money stolen from you by the government.
How do you propose to remedy this situation?
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post #55 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Do you believe it would be better for the country of UK and the users of this road if there were no regulations?

I think they should be minimized as much as possible. In order to avoid a categorical denunciation I'd want to look at the individual "regulations." Some so-called "regulations" are merely sensible laws that are required even in a free society. Others are not though. Price controls are an example of the latter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

You mentioned that you believe all tax is theft, these regulations are enforced with tax money stolen from you by the government.
How do you propose to remedy this situation?

My first goal would be to minimize first. Sadly we're going the exact opposite direction these days. So I would stop the movement in the wrong direction (as I see it) and move it in reverse. Second I would seek to find the minimum practical level based on a foundation of a solid understanding of rights and liberty combine with practical compromises. Third, I would continue looking for longer term solutions that could reduce whatever level I arrived at even further.

Specifics are hard because there is so much and it is conditional on where, when, how, etc. For example I would prefer to eliminate taxation of income completely. This, of course, would need to be accompanied by corresponding cuts in spending. Given that the vast majority of government spending does even go to the basic things like roads, police, courts, etc. but is, instead, simply redistribution from one group to another, we would need to end that redistribution.

There is obviously a lot to this whole subject. More than can be covered adequately in this forum. But that's the broad strokes.

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post #56 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I think they should be minimized as much as possible. In order to avoid a categorical denunciation I'd want to look at the individual "regulations." Some so-called "regulations" are merely sensible laws that are required even in a free society. Others are not though. Price controls are an example of the latter.




My first goal would be to minimize first. Sadly we're going the exact opposite direction these days. So I would stop the movement in the wrong direction (as I see it) and move it in reverse. Second I would seek to find the minimum practical level based on a foundation of a solid understanding of rights and liberty combine with practical compromises. Third, I would continue looking for longer term solutions that could reduce whatever level I arrived at even further.

Specifics are hard because there is so much and it is conditional on where, when, how, etc. For example I would prefer to eliminate taxation of income completely. This, of course, would need to be accompanied by corresponding cuts in spending. Given that the vast majority of government spending does even go to the basic things like roads, police, courts, etc. but is, instead, simply redistribution from one group to another, we would need to end that redistribution.

There is obviously a lot to this whole subject. More than can be covered adequately in this forum. But that's the broad strokes.

Let's say the company who owns a road goes bankrupt, how would this situation affect the users of this road, especially if any other way to get to the same destination adds many miles and would really harm the economy of the area?

Would you have the government step in to save people's livelihoods or just tell them to go f. themselves?
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post #57 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Let's say the company who owns a road goes bankrupt, how would this situation affect the users of this road, especially if any other way to get to the same destination adds many miles and would really harm the economy of the area?

Would you have the government step in to save people's livelihoods or just tell them to go f. themselves?

Well most developed countries have existing bankruptcy laws that would govern this bankruptcy like any other. Not sure what the issue would be here. If you're asking whether I support government bailouts of inefficient and/or incompetent businesses, then no, I don't.

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post #58 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

No double standard here trumpt. I think there are quite noticeable diffrences between killing a cop so that lots of cops go to that persons funeral so that they can all be killed in one spot with bombs and probably machine guns too in the hope of starting a civil war.

Edit- I also don't think it's ok to stop people from photographing buildings. I spent four years photographing up to about a year ago, buildings and monuments in Washington D.C. I was asked what I was doing one time by police, but it wasn't a problem. I've said before and recently in the "tea party terrorism thread", that I think we do need to be weary of government when it comes to our liberties.

The point though HS, which you plainly miss is that no cop was killed. The crime was conspiracy to kill aka the thought of killing. Now the folks were arrested and we have more information coming out about what they did and did not do but no actual illegal actions were engaged in, just planning.

Your point is that you might be engaging in legal actions but because of concerns about background or where those actions might lead in terms of possible planning, the government gets to harass you (aka what are you going to do with those pictures.) This sounds very similar.

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post #59 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

The point though HS, which you plainly miss is that no cop was killed. The crime was conspiracy to kill aka the thought of killing. Now the folks were arrested and we have more information coming out about what they did and did not do but no actual illegal actions were engaged in, just planning.

Your point is that you might be engaging in legal actions but because of concerns about background or where those actions might lead in terms of possible planning, the government gets to harass you (aka what are you going to do with those pictures.) This sounds very similar.

Like I say I'm against harmless actions being made illegal and am weary of government laws that could make criminals out of people who have done nothing wrong. However, I think it is against the law to plan killing people (hardly harmless) and I think it should be.
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post #60 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Well most developed countries have existing bankruptcy laws that would govern this bankruptcy like any other. Not sure what the issue would be here. If you're asking whether I support government bailouts of inefficient and/or incompetent businesses, then no, I don't.

Since you believe all tax is theft, who will enforce the bankruptcy laws?

You keep mentioning laws, no taxes, no laws.
The people who we pay to make laws with our taxes would not exist.
How do you propose to create laws and enforce them without taxes?
Private law makers and private police?
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post #61 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Since you believe all tax is theft, who will enforce the bankruptcy laws?

I'm trying to be reasonable here. I see where you're going. At the end of the day I'm willing to be practical. The level, scope, size, invasiveness of government that we have now is neither practical nor reasonable. On a purely philosophical level I do believe that taxation is theft. On a practical level if the level of government that existed was such that it protected the basic rights of life, liberty and property and the level of taxation commensurate with that level of government was small (and it would be quite small compared to what we have now) then I'd chose to fight other battles.

This is the problem with pro-government/anti-freedom people. It's like an all-or-nothing proposition. If I say the amount of government we have is too much and start pointing out its numerous and grand failures as well as the ways its interventions lead to negative side-effects, then someone comes along and starts saying, "Well then you don't want police and courts and stuff like that. Don't go driving on those roads. Fucking unrealistic, idealistic hypocrite!" Look, at this point half the government we have now (which wouldn't even take us back to the Carter administration by the way) would be a move in the right direction.

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post #62 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Private law makers and private police?

Those are theoretical options, yes. But see my other post. above this one.

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post #63 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

You keep mentioning laws, no taxes, no laws.
The people who we pay to make laws with our taxes would not exist.

I see the error in your thinking, but I don't really have the time or patience to explain it to you. I'll just give you a hint that could get you started on educating yourself: law and legislation are different things and can be thought of as different and separate things. It's a subtle philosophical point, but one worth reading about.

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post #64 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I see the error in your thinking, but I don't really have the time or patience to explain it to you. I'll just give you a hint that could get you started on educating yourself: law and legislation are different things and can be thought of as different and separate things. It's a subtle philosophical point, but one worth reading about.

in the words of Steven Colbert: It's hard to shoot yourself in the foot while it's in your mouth.

You claim that you have all the knowledge and experience to determine the right size of government.
Oh, superman.
You make god jealous.
yes I want oil genocide.
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yes I want oil genocide.
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post #65 of 67
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Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

You claim that you have all the knowledge and experience to determine the right size of government..

You're more than welcome to point to exactly where I've made that claim.


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Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

in the words of Steven Colbert: It's hard to shoot yourself in the foot while it's in your mouth.

Back at ya.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #66 of 67
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Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Thanks for pointing out my error. I've corrected the mistake.

As this isn't a formal paper or a writing exercise ( it's an internet forum and everyone makes mistakes ) it really didn't alter the content of what you were saying so I understood perfectly. However you're welcome.
Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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post #67 of 67
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Originally Posted by Mumbo Jumbo View Post

Well, I grant you that's a very good point. And I also have to add that Denmark's really, really boring.To be honest, I don't really understand economics. I can just find links.

I would like to suggest that high taxes aren't as punitive to business as you think. Denmark is astonishingly prosperous.

EVERYONE complains about the taxes.And then they drive home and watch stuff on their plasma TV, stopping off at the state-funded swimming pool which has a luxury spa in the basement.

More on Denmark? I take it you're just trolling now.

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Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Any liberal who would argue that taxes have no impact on the economy would be a moron. But rather than morons, they're not only thinking further than what you give them credit for, they're thinking further about it than you are. They're thinking in terms of externalities, while you're thinking only in terms of the isolated transaction of collecting taxes.

Two points:

1. Taxes hurt the economy, but the spending can help the economy as well, depending on what it's spent on. For example, investing in transportation benefits the economy by providing an infrastructure that everyone uses to conduct commerce. If the country and its economy are threatened by foreign enemies, the economy is helped by fighting them. Same with police stopping crime, and many other things. Of course, the government can waste money too, but not all spending is wasteful by definition.

I agree, in theory. The reality is that much government spending has become wasteful. Government is supposed to spend money on things that benefit the public, like roads, schools, defense, police and fire protection, parks, etc. These are the reasons government exist. Of course, government has branched out into "managing the economy," redistribution of wealth, and social justice. That's the problem.

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I think most conservatives probably agree with that. But I don't think conservatives do understand the next point:

2. With respect to social services and the safety net, like education, health, retirement, etc., liberals often frame this as a simple moral question, and to me, that's a good enough argument. We should guarantee basic human dignity.

Most conservatives absolutely agree. I know I do. The problem is when we go well beyond basic human dignity. And we have. Retirement is not a right, for example. It is not required for human dignity. Historically, it's a relatively new concept. Of course now, Americans are entitled to retire.

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But there's an economic argument too. When the lower and middle classes understand that there is a basic safety net like Obamacare provides, they can take economic risks like starting a business without fearing that if it fails they'll never be able to bounce back. Public education means that even the poor can move up. These public services loosen up the economy so that more people are able to participate fully.

Eh...I disagree. Here again, it sounds good in theory. In reality we know that people don't take risks in terms of starting businesses, investing, etc...unless they get to keep more of their own money. Education is another animal. If you're talking about reform/more funding in the public schools, that's one thing. If you're talking about guaranteed college, that's a whole other level.

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This, to me, is the basic difference between conservatives and liberals, with respect to economic policy: Conservatives believe a strong social safety net in a free market economy encourages laziness, and liberals believe it encourages economic activity.

Conservatives have been proven right on this time and time again. Also, safety net a bit of a weasel word/term. Safety net...like short term unemployment insurance and care for those that can't care for themselves? Great. But it doesn't encourage economic activity.

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On taxes and budget deficits, SDW and I have been back and forth on this for probably 10 years now, devoting a good portion of our combined 20,000 posts to this topic. I'll just say that I agree with the article that SDW cites, that taxes may not pull in their full revenue potential, and tax cuts may reduce revenues less than they seem, but disagree with the theory that cutting taxes raises more revenue than it loses (except perhaps in very narrow situations).

I still say that with some exception, history begs to differ. It doesn't happen right away. But the 1980s and early 2000s show the effects. To be fair, I think it's more of an indirect effect and that it has to be timed right. Tax cuts coupled with the upswing in the natural cycle can, in fact lead to as much or more revenue than was being collected before.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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