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The Right to Choose

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posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 06:49 PM
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The United States has become, in my opinion, extremely divided. We are no longer one Union working towards a common goal; in fact, I would argue that we are the exact opposite.

Culturally we are divided. Politically we are divided. Philosophically we are divided. Each of us wants to pull the government in diametrically opposed directions.

For example:

Some people want to abolish all taxes against businesses and individuals, and they want to abolish the government departments those taxes pay for. Doing this leaves the people that want those things feeling like their right to choose has been violated. And it has.

But, those of us that don't want those services, are forced to pay for them through taxation. Whether we are a business or individual. The right to choose has been taken from us.

In either case, when you take away a person's right to choose, you are doing nothing more than breeding discontent and hatred between citizens. It pits us against one another instead of pulling us together. The way things stand right now, we are so divided that I feel we are on the verge of outright civil war against each other. I don't say that to be an alarmist or create fear. I say that because I often feel it myself.

I do not want to be forced to live in the United States that we have now. I want something different. I don't want to be held to the whims of people that think they can make choices for me, or that they have the right to take my responsibilities from me. I should have the right to choose, but I do not.

Before you say "you can just move somewhere else." No, I can't. I do not have the finances to move to another country. Even if I did, I would just be choosing the lesser of two evils. Which is no choice at all. The planet Earth is filling up and there is not one stretch of land anymore that is not owned by someone--whether privately owned or owned by some government. There is nowhere for for people that want out of the system to go to find recourse.

Continuing on.

The government is a business. Like any business that offers services, the government should be forced to compete in the market. But, this highlights the major difference between a private business and government. The government can write laws making the purchase of their products mandatory, whether you like it or not, you will have your right to choose taken away.

A private business can only pander to government to get a law written that forces consumers to buy their product **COUGH car insurance COUGH**. Personally, instead of using government force, I would rather corporations used private security. I would, most likely, get into less trouble defending myself from contractors with guns. It's hard to fight back against government.

Either instance is pure despotism. It doesn't matter who is doing it--government or corporations. In the end, the citizen has their right to choose taken away. For instance. Some people like public education. Some people do not like public education. In this instance though, the people that do not like public education have had their right to choose taken away. I am forced by law to pay taxes. My taxes pay for public education. I could, instead, use that money to send my daughters to a school of my choice. Which is what I am suggesting.

If you do not want to use the government service, you should not be taxed for it. It is, actually, an elegantly simple concept--but it tends to make people very angry.

If you like public education, then pay for it.
If you do not like public education, then don't pay for it, take your money and send your children somewhere else.

This solution does not change anything for the people that like public education. You pay for it now--willingly--and you would pay for it after the fact--willingly--and your kids are still going to the school that you have chosen for them. Plus, you only have to pay for a school service once. People in my current position pay for two separate school systems, the one that I get taxed to pay for, and the one I have voluntarily chosen to send my kids to.

This logic applies to all government services. I should have the right to choose to opt of Social Security. I should have the right to take the money that I pay in and put it into the retirement option of my choice. Social Security should not be abolished, because that would take away the right to choose for the people that want that sense of government security--whether that security is valid or invalid is irrelevant. That's why people like government services.

But, there is also the inherent fallacy that if someone isn't forced to pay into social security they will be too stupid to invest money on their own and become a burden on society. I would argue that, if people had the right to choose, many of us would have better options to help our family members that are retiring. But, the argument is frivolous. Finding alternative investment options is too easy, and the majority of people are not that stupid. This does raise the question, though, as to why we should not be responsible for the decisions we make--as opposed to making the group responsible. If people are too stupid to invest in their retirement, and we're all forced to opt-in to Social Security because of it--then those people have already become burdens on society.

I have a feeling, though, that many people are going to tell me why it is a good thing that many of us have our right to choose taken away. I would like to debate this topic.


edit on 7-12-2014 by LewsTherinThelamon because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-12-2014 by LewsTherinThelamon because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 07:02 PM
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a reply to: LewsTherinThelamon

People make choices all day long. The 'correct' ones are provided for them.

Those choices are getting fewer and the consequences more harsh if we don't comply with the proper choices.


Each of us wants to pull the government in diametrically opposed directions.

The government is trying to pull us apart.

Look how easy it is for them.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: LewsTherinThelamon
My thoughts for a decent middle-ground starting point...take the federal government back to its proper limits (effectively getting it out of all of these day-to-day life topics), and settle these matters at the state level as they should be according to the Constitution and it's proper reading as confirmed by the framers.

It's much easier to affect government at the state level to prompt desired change - and a WHERE LOT easier to move to another state that suits your whims if that doesn't work, as compared to another country.

As to your line of thought here, I've long wanted some sort of checklist for what services/government functions you do/do NOT want your tax dollars to support. According to the Constitution, we should all be taxed equally and fairly - but I'd love some way to choose how to allot your share.

Then the only problem is regulating accordingly to see that's how things end up. Wouldn't it be lovely to see funding for the drug war, for example, disappear, while all other services/actions got their respective increase according to the will of the people, etc.?

EDIT:
Side note - LOVE The Wheel of Time, currently reading through Winter's Heart again

edit on 12/7/2014 by Praetorius because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 09:06 PM
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a reply to: Praetorius


Then the only problem is regulating accordingly to see that's how things end up. Wouldn't it be lovely to see funding for the drug war, for example, disappear, while all other services/actions got their respective increase according to the will of the people, etc.?


Yes. Exactly. We need ways to, not only be able to meet in the middle with one another, but to actually hold government accountable. It's too easy for government official by corporations and drown you and I out--and for officials to make deals between branches of government and various departments.


Side note - LOVE The Wheel of Time, currently reading through Winter's Heart again


I LOVE The Wheel of Time. I have to admit, though, while I do love Rand, Lews Therin was my favorite. Mostly because he was crazy and it made him interesting.

After reading through the series, though, I've come to realize that Mat Cauthon is my absolute favorite.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 09:10 PM
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a reply to: intrptr


The government is trying to pull us apart.

Look how easy it is for them.


I would say that the decisive rhetoric comes more from the media.

Tension sells well.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 09:39 PM
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a reply to: LewsTherinThelamon


I would say that the decisive rhetoric comes more from the media.

Imo, the media spouts what its supposed to.



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: LewsTherinThelamon


If you do not want to use the government service, you should not be taxed for it. It is, actually, an elegantly simple concept--but it tends to make people very angry.


This may work in theory, but when it comes to specifics, I think the message gets lost...

We all use roads... Should they all be toll roads? What about military? How could they only protect the people of the country who paid taxes to fund them? What about the fire dept? Will there be a charge for people whose houses catch on fire? And it would have to be a HUGE fee to keep the entire fire dept running year round. Should the police ask for proof of police taxes paid before they help you? What about the railroads and waterways that move just about everything you use in your home? We all use them. How would we be taxed for what we DO use and not taxed for what we don't use? If a hurricane demolishes your town, are the townspeople supposed to be billed for the damage to be repaired? After they've lost everything? And the poor and needy. Should they be taxed to help themselves?



This logic applies to all government services.


Yeah, I don't think so...
edit on 12/8/2014 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 11:58 AM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic



We all use roads... Should they all be toll roads?


Roads are one of the few things that the federal government is actually responsible for providing. Take away all of the tax money spent on everything else, and the cost of roads is cheap in comparison.

It would be all too easy for congress to raise money for roads through trade tariffs on foreign goods. This would have a rippling effect on the global economy in a positive way. All of those cheap products produced overseas would skyrocket in price. No one would buy them. To avoid the tariff, American manufacturing companies would come back to the US. After the companies return, that would leave foreign countries the opportunity to begin manufacturing their own brands. More competition around the world. More US companies bringing jobs back to the US. Congress can still pay for roads.



What about military? How could they only protect the people of the country who paid taxes to fund them?


The United States should not have a standing military. There should be no distinction between soldier and citizen. Our current military should be disbanded, and the regulation and maintenance of militias should be handled by the states--as it is supposed to be.

The only power that congress should have in regards to a military, is the power to pull from the various militias the necessary fighting force for that period of war. During which, a temporary tax is levied to help with the cost. Once the war is over, those soldiers should be disbanded and sent back to their militia, and the tax levied should be abolished.

It is not my responsibility to defend you. It is not my neighbor's son or daughter's responsibility to defend me. It is our equal responsibility to defend the Union.



What about the fire dept? Will there be a charge for people whose houses catch on fire?


If you don't pay for the service, then your burning house is your responsibility.


And it would have to be a HUGE fee to keep the entire fire dept running year round.


If you want to use that service, you will pay whatever it costs as long as you find value in said service.


Should the police ask for proof of police taxes paid before they help you?


Help me what? American law enforcement was not created to be our protectors. I don't want their protection. I am fully capable of defending my family, my home, and myself without their service. After getting rid of a large chunk of our useless laws, we wouldn't need that many officers, anyway. It would be much less expensive to fund law enforcement.

Also, these decisions should be left to the towns and cities that they affect. I don't care how some town in New York decides to fund their firefighters and Police. My only concern would be the town that I live in.


What about the railroads and waterways that move just about everything you use in your home? We all use them. How would we be taxed for what we DO use and not taxed for what we don't use?


Are you talking about utilities or the shipping of goods?


If a hurricane demolishes your town, are the townspeople supposed to be billed for the damage to be repaired?


Not if they are the ones doing the repairs.


After they've lost everything?


Isn't that what insurance is for?


And the poor and needy. Should they be taxed to help themselves


What do you mean?



posted on Dec, 10 2014 @ 09:45 AM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic

You really don't have a rational reason to not be supporting the individual's right to choose, other than your own selfishness.

Now, I am not saying that to be a jerk, but it is true. If you support the use of government force to coerce people into paying for services that they don't want, but you do want--then that logic is no different than the following scenario:

I break into your home and, forcing you at gunpoint, I take you to the restaurant of my choosing. You don't like the food, so you refuse to eat, but I force you to split the bill with me anyway--simply because, I want the service, and I don't think I should have to pay for it all by myself.

Now. Just replace restaurant with any government service you covet, and replace me with the IRS.




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