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On The Expansion of Government

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posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 03:35 AM
There's alot of talk lately about taxes and government spending, so I decided it was a good time to write a thread I've been wanting to write for quite some time. As many of you know I am not at all a Trump fan, but I'm also not a fan of high tax rates, exorbitant government spending, or excessive socialist policies. The reason for such beliefs is that all of those things are signs that the nation is morphing into a nanny state which undermines individual liberty.

Over the last few years socialist ideals have become very popular amongst the younger generations. They look around and see a huge gap between the rich and the poor, so it's not surprising they would seek out philosophies which seem to reduce inequality and appeal to their humanity. I should make it clear I don't necessarily disagree with any type of socialist policy, there are many public services which are paid for using tax payer money and they are socialist systems.

I also believe that socialized health care can work well because I live in a nation where it actually works very well and people don't have to worry about losing their life savings if they get sick or hurt. The problem, I believe, arises when society at large decides that socialist policies work so well we should totally abandon free market philosophies and give the government a huge amount of power over the way we live our lives, power over business, finance, etc.

That is indeed the way many nations are headed. These ideals are promoted using arguments which appeal to our empathy and humanity in order to make people think extreme socialist policies are the most righteous and ethical policies, despite the fact that they don't encourage innovation and they cause taxes to grow ever higher, producing stagnant economies at the end of the day. The road to hell is truly paved with good intentions, and this is a perfect example of that.

Once the government gets a taste of the power that socialist policies bring, they never stop wanting more, and that is the key point I want to make in this thread. In todays age, the governments of many nations are up to their eyeballs in debt because they just love spending money so much, and the only way they can pay off much of that debt is to take more and more money from individuals and businesses. They are always looking for new ways to siphon money from every possible source.

There's no doubt in my mind, that in 50 years, when I'm an old man, I will still be listening to debates about debt and taxes when I turn on the news. The pundits will still be arguing between themselves about what sort of new tax is required in order to keep the government afloat. In Australia we already have the highest cigarette prices in the world because of taxes. The empathetic part of your brain may be thinking "that's great, lives will be saved", but it's a very slippery slope.

The government is now seriously considering putting a tax on sugary drinks in order to reduce obesity. A similar tax has also been proposed by some U.S. politicians and the UK recently introduced a tax on sugary drinks (not surprising). Once a tax on sugary drinks becomes a normal thing, then they will move onto fatty foods. Before you know it, any type of food considered to be unhealthy in any way will be taxed, and it wont just be food, all aspects of unhealthy living will be taxed.

Of course they wont tax those things to make society better, they just know that if they tax those types of things people will be much less likely to challenge those taxes because they are implemented under the guise of morality. Who wouldn't want to decrease obesity right? If you're against that then you must be some delusional fool and therefore nobody should listen to you. This is exactly the same type of logic used to justify ever increasing cigarette taxes.

If the Australian government actually cared about the health of their population, why not just make cigarettes illegal? Of course they're not going to do that, they absolutely love the tax money generated by smokers and that far outweighs any moral contradictions. The U.S. was founded by people who had a great deal of respect for personal liberty and so these sorts of things are much less likely to occur in the U.S. because those ideals are still very prevalent today.
edit on 15/4/2016 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 03:35 AM
That is why the U.S. is actually one of the most progressive nations on Earth when it comes to legalization of marijuana for recreational use. There is hardly a nation on Earth where it's actually legal to buy and smoke marijuana for recreational use, let alone medicinal use. It's not even legal for medicinal use in Australia yet, they claim that "more research is needed" even though marijuana and it's medical benefits is actually one of the most studied subjects in pharmacology.

Weed and cigarettes might seem like weak arguing points, but I actually think they are perfect examples to focus on because they highlight the difference between a government which respects our individual freedom to make our own choices and a government which thinks it knows what's better for us than we do and thinks it should have power over our lives to protect us from ourselves. When a government starts to do that, you know they are attempting to establish a nanny state.

I would urge you guys in the U.S. not to take for granted the ideals your nation was founded on. Don't become a bunch of cry babies who give into extreme socialist policies because I assure you no good will come out of such a moral crusade. Your government will become even more bloated than it already is and you will be encumbered by never ending taxes which the government will require to pay for all of the social programs which will be implemented in order to support the nanny state.

The U.S. government is already starting to carry out highly socialist agendas, such as massive bailouts of failing corporations using tax payer dollars. Instead of allowing those businesses to be exposed to free market forces, they are protected and obtain a status of "too big to fail". As a result, trillions of tax payer dollars have been handed out to private corporations, including banks and even private individuals. How can small businesses ever have a chance if large ones never fail?

The government can decide who it wants to help and who it wont help. It gives an unfair advantage to certain businesses while others are hung out to dry. Again this is a very slippery slope because the government wont stop there. The Australian government now dictates many different aspects of our business climate and economy. The government has a large amount of control over oil prices, energy prices, education costs, and pharmaceutical drug prices, in some cases outright dictating the price.

Once again it all comes back to power and control. That is what any government really desires and socialist policies are the quickest way to achieve that without making their true intentions obvious. The government is always getting larger, more employees, higher wages, a larger military, etc, etc. Therefore they will always require more money, there is no balancing the budget with these people, only an ever increasing debt ceiling and ever increasing taxes on all aspects of life.

As the government expands, it requires more and more money to pay for their operations, but at the same time it becomes less and less efficient at managing and spending money because a highly bloated government is a very complex system and it's very hard to operate in an efficient manner. At some point the government becomes so large it forms a complex economic system in its self, and to keep it running they will drain profits generated by private interests until nothing is left.

Well I think I better wrap this thread up now because this has turned out to be a much longer rant than I was expecting. Once again I just want to reiterate the point that I'm not totally adverse to socialist ideas, I believe strongly in a healthy balance between socialism and capitalism. The problem as I see it, is when we let the socialist aspects get out of hand and give up our personal liberty in the process. We must strive to maintain our individuality and not become cogs in a machine.
edit on 15/4/2016 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 04:43 AM
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

I agree with what you're saying pretty much 100%.

But I think you're mistaking the reasons that Marijuana is becoming legal in the US. Many States have already legalized it and it won't be long before it's legalized at the Federal level. But I don't believe for a second that it was done out of respect for personal liberties. It was done to increase tax revenue.

Colorado and the other legalized States are making cash hand over fist from the taxes on it. Which I think actually goes towards the main point of your argument in that Govts. are always happy for more ways of taking our money.
edit on 15-4-2016 by watchitburn because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 05:17 AM

originally posted by: watchitburn
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

But I think you're mistaking the reasons that Marijuana is becoming legal in the US. Many States have already legalized it and it won't be long before it's legalized at the Federal level. But I don't believe for a second that it was done out of respect for personal liberties. It was done to increase tax revenue.

Yeah I was probably giving the U.S. government a bit too much credit on that one, tax revenue certainly would have played a large role in state decisions to legalize it. But it's also very true that it's much less likely to be legalized in other nations because of the reasons I stated.

posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 01:14 PM
Is government an extension of ourselves and hence a means of our own self sufficiency? That we can organize ourselves in such a manner as to provide for the best possible outcome for the largest number of ourselves or do we see government as an adversary, a tool of the powerful who have no qualms about using that power to further their own personal gains while short changing the common man when ever necessary.

I would suggest that for the liberal, the first is more true and held to as our hope while for the conservative the second is more true and it is held as our oppressor. The truth I suspect is somewhere in the middle.

You speak of extreme socialist policies. I see next to no extreme "socialist" policies here in the US. I see extreme "social" policies. To me there is a difference. To me, an extreme socialist policy is to a true socialist not extreme at all, it is the bedrock of a socialist platform. Are the means of production owned by the workers or not. If a society is based on this premise then it can be considered a socialist society. If the means of production are owned by the government or by the capitalist class then it in no way can be considered socialist. I think that what you call socialist is not socialist at all. What you see is a capitalist system that to one degree or another allows for certain 'social' expenditures in order to placate the less successful members of that society. This is where the nanny state comes from.

The less viable the capitalist system in any nation the less opportunity those on the bottom rungs have of meeting their needs. When the system rolls over these opportunities the people become agitated and threaten the stability of the system, these 'social expenditures are used to calm them down. This then is seen by those who are not on the bottom rungs, those who may be only one or two steps up in the pecking order to cry out that their fair share is being taken from them to give it to the less advantaged. This social program is what people are so pissed off about. This is not a socialist program but rather a capitalist program of providing a monetary drug to keep people from tearing the whole thing down.

To me the idea of taxing cigs and stuff like sugar are ill-considered programs. But this is what a capitalist system has done to us. We arrange our thinking in terms of monetary value. Everything is seen as being an out come of commerce. Hence the very idea of 'voting with your pocket book." Tobacco companies want people to by cigs, yet cigs are beyond unhealty, they are down right poison pills that addict people to a life of supporting the capitalists who own the means of production. A life of addiction that supports the wealthy.

So the taxes that raise the price of a pack is a way to help those who are addicted by raising the price so that the addiction is not so cheap and that maybe it will help some to shake the addiction. Granted it is an oppressive move but it has been somewhat successful in helping many to break the habit. But even this is using the capitalist paradigm of social control. Make it more expensive to adjust peoples willingness to play just as making things less expensive (nanny give aways) adjust peoples willingness to play.

I live in one of the states that has legalized MJ. People have wanted to legalize it now for decades but it has not happened until now. Why? Because MJ is free. It grows as a weed and can be cultivated by almost anyone who wishes to do so and use it for free. For years and years this was illegal and forced, once again, it into a 'market' product. The black market. This black market thrived as a secondary market for a fair portion of the people who were not successful in the main stream capitalist market place.

But now, as the social giveaways are diminishing do to the huge deficit, the mainstream market is now in some cases allowing the merging of the markets. But market it remains. Yes, it's taxes. Even though it is now becoming legalized, it is still being legalized along strict market values with rules and regulations designed to make sure it thrives within that capitalist market paradigm. And the government gets its cut to help pay for state projects.

A few of the states to legalize so far have made allowences for personal cultivation but even then the amount is held in check so as not to infringe on the 'market' value of the product and the taxes that stem from it. Some states have no clause for personal cultivation so production as well as sales remain in the hands of the government.

In my state under the new legalization, I am allowed to grow only a few plants at one time and to have only a regulated amount and allowed only to use in a personal domicile, my own or others who allow it. If I wanted to grow more to give away for free to my friends I am not allowed except in small quantities. If I wanted to grow more to sell it I would not be allowed to do so except under the regulations established to keep it within the capitalist system. I could only grow and sell to the capitalist industry which is regulated by the government to assure the high tax rate.

So my point here is that if it is something that can be used by the capitalist system it is allowed, if not, it is illegal. There are no socialist societies. Even the highly touted socialist countries in Europe are not socialist but rather capitalist with a high degree of social programs to keep the people happy. Just as the legalization of MJ here in some states is an allowance made by the capitalist system to keep the people calm. Or high, as the case may be.

posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 01:41 PM
a reply to: ChaoticOrder
"This vice brings in 100 million francs in taxes every year. I will certainly forbid it at once—as soon as you can name a virtue that brings in as much revenue." - Napoleon III on tobacco.
edit on 15-4-2016 by VP740 because: (no reason given)

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