Who Owns You?

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posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 12:58 PM
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The constraints of radio reception in the quarry where I spend 12 hours of my day have forced me to listen to a great deal of talk radio recently. Sometimes its informative- sometimes its funny (if only because it's not -intended- as a joke). A few days ago, the Rush Limbaugh program was much more enjoyable than usual because there was a guest host. He raised an interesting point about the "nanny state" which passes laws to protect you from yourself.

Dealing with the subject of seatbelt laws (which a certain statei- Vermont I believe- purchased NIGHT VISION GOGGLES in order to enforce, the speaker pointed out that nobody "owns him" except for him, and therefore it is his privlidge to be ejected through shatter-resistant glass and onto the asphalt of a busy thoroughfare if he so chooses. One by one he shot down every caller who challenged this assertion- it seemed logically irrefutable that he had the right. Some said that he driving is a tax-payer funded privlidge, and he correctly pointed out that beyond acting to protect others from his reckless actions the government has no constitutional authority to make travel a privlidge. Others really had no arguement at all- only an ideological objection. When the logic of seatbelt laws was carried over into other arenas it became clear that the speaker was dead right. For example, the government can't make eating fatty foods a privlidge and reserve it for those who wont kill themselves by doing it

Then I came to a realization. He doesn't own himself. He can't do whatever he wants with his own body. How do you gain ownership of an item? You pay for it. The person who pays for an object is the owner of that object. Who pays for him? Who pays for the army that defends his freedom to travel? Who pays for the emergency services to gather the fragments of his body when he crashes? Who pays for the roads on which he drives? The government. Who pays for the government- not the tax payers- we have a defecit and a debt. When you haven't yet paid off what you owe on an item there is still a lien on it- it is in your possession but is not yet yours. Ultimately, ownership of the American taxpayer lies with the government which has the capacity to print the additional money to settle the debt. It could be said that the government is essentially destined to buy our defunct population in a bankruptcy auction.

This sounds incredibly conspiratorial, so why is it in PTS? Because I obviously do not believe in any plot by the government to excercise true ownership over the people which it pays for. My point is defecit spending on social programs (especially those which are do not function as tax-payer investments as are suggested as necessary by Keynesian Economics, which by generating jobs and thus tax revenue by which the taxpayers effectively pay the mortgage on their freedom) effectively causes the citizen to sell himself to the government. It is no coincidence that progressive spending programs so often go hand in hand with varying degrees of limitation in personal freedom. It is no coincidence that economic leftism tends to be tied to social leftism (ie: the same parties that tend to engage in socialism also tend to pass regulations regarding religious speech) despite the lack of logical correlation between the two positions.

My point is not to state that socialism is inseperable from infringement on personal freedom, only that we must beware of the strings attatched to government programs. We must understand that those who assume the power to act on your behalf in one arena may very well see it as their place to act on your behalf in others as well. (The inverse could be applied to conservatism, to be fair- that someone who leaves you to sink or swim in the areas where it should be that way [personal freedom] may also do it in other ways [economics])

As Shakespear wrote, "Neither a borrower no a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend- and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry."

Comments?




posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 03:26 PM
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I own meself, thankyouverymuch!


Or do I?


To seatbelt or not to seatbelt...

Since I was in the Army (and threatened by ticketing from MP's for not buckling up across base), I have always belted up. I don't even think about it anymore. Before that I never did and I was exceedingly lucky, considering my reckless youth.

I'm big on states rights. I think it is each state's job to make that law if they so choose.

I think its an attempt to make more money off the people b/c of rampant city and state debt.



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 03:44 PM
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I definately agree that much of the vehicle code is in fact intended to serve as a hidden tax. The easiest way for a municipal government especially to raise money without a property tax hike is to up traffic fines within city limits.

What really intrigues me really isn't the seatbelt issue itself though. I was just a little taken aback by the realization that the government does have such rights and why. Would you agree that if the government was not paying for relevant expenses (such as emergency services) that they would be completely beyond their rights to impose laws aimed at protecting the common citizen from his own behavior? I believe that it is almost undeniable that they would be beyond their rights if it were not for the little catch that by accepting the wares of big government that we implicitly subject ourself to the extended legal reach of big government.

This gets really interesting when you take it into more controversial issues than seatbelts. A person is something like 4 times more likely to live in poverty if they have children out of wedlock. Should the government be able to force adoption upon these people for their own protection, and if so, why?
If the government is giving financial assisstance to the children of the poor- then there you have it. They paid for your kid, they own your kid, and there is an arguement to be made that they can then take your kid from you.

I think it really illustrates the dangerous nature of placing rights and responsibilities in the hands of a centralized authority in any situation where it would be practical to rely on the time-honored system of personal rights and responsibilities.

Let me plug this into a real issue for you just to get your opinion. I'm not trying to corner you into anything, I'm just drawing a scenario that you may or may not be happy with in hopes of getting your insight into the part of this relationship that intrigues me most.
Perhaps you've seen Ferentheit 9/11, particularly he scene where USMC recruiters are happily harrassing and lying high school kids? (just to clarify i have no beef with the Marines but I feel it is both immoral and counter-productive to decieve a bunch of stupid 17 and 18 year olds into volunteering for a job that some 7-15% of them end up backing down from before reaching the fleet- percentages based on anecdotal evidence only)
Anyway, do you think that the government has a right to see school records in order to more effectively and aggressively pursue young people? If not, would it strike you as scarry that this might be seen as the government's right in return for funding public education?



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 06:59 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
Would you agree that if the government was not paying for relevant expenses (such as emergency services) that they would be completely beyond their rights to impose laws aimed at protecting the common citizen from his own behavior?


I think the government, be it state or federal, doesn't have any business telling me how to live my life. Having said that, I believe that it is in my best interest to obey the laws (to the best of my ability
) and to see that my behavior does not affect anyone adversely. That should be the bargain.

I signed my life away for the years I served in the Army. One of the reasons I got out was that I did not like the fact that I had no control over where I could go & when I could go.

I think we're basically owned by the amount of debt we incur. At the risk of sounding shallow, I think in this day and age, true freedom depends on how much disposable income you have. (And I know some people are perfectly happy even w/out money.)


I believe that it is almost undeniable that they would be beyond their rights if it were not for the little catch that by accepting the wares of big government that we implicitly subject ourself to the extended legal reach of big government.


Nothing is free. My pet peeve with states taking grants from the federal government is that they have big strings attached. The government has no place in the affairs of individual states.

You take welfare, you belong to the state, in a sense. YOu have to meet their requirements. That's reasonable. If people don't like that, they shouldn't take the money.


A person is something like 4 times more likely to live in poverty if they have children out of wedlock. Should the government be able to force adoption upon these people for their own protection, and if so, why?


Again, I don't think the government has any business meddling in peoples' private affairs, unless they break laws. I don't like seeing people have kids out of wedlock; but those same people might not like something I do.. I say live and let live. God will judge each of us accordingly. I finally came up with a decision over abortion. I avoided that one for a long time. I am a Christian and am opposed to most abortions. I think it is selfish and abhorrent. But you know what? Women are going to have abortions whether its legal or not. Many of those women will suffer horrendously. Some will die. And all those rich hypocrits who want to ban it will get theirs through their private doctors behind closed doors. I say keep it legal, rare (hopefully) and safe. As for minors, I do support laws that enforce parent notification. If someone took my little girl to have an abortion behind my back, I would straight go off on someone's a double s.


I think it really illustrates the dangerous nature of placing rights and responsibilities in the hands of a centralized authority in any situation where it would be practical to rely on the time-honored system of personal rights and responsibilities.


The Federal government is WAY TOO bloated. Too many BS programs by far. All the pork. The useless beauracracies...
And they need to get back to their primary role. Leaving the states to legislate themselves. It's funny. As much as I admire Abraham Lincoln, it can be effectively argued that he was the most tyrannical of our presidents. I believe South Carolina and the states that followed in seceding from the Union had the right (in the Constitution) to secede if they so wished. But Lincoln's main mission was holding the union together. I am glad he did. We became the nation we are because of his leadership. (And I must state, he returned those war powers back to their magic chest once his goal was achieved. He was no despot.)


Perhaps you've seen Ferentheit 9/11, particularly he scene where USMC recruiters are happily harrassing and lying high school kids? (just to clarify i have no beef with the Marines but I feel it is both immoral and counter-productive to decieve a bunch of stupid 17 and 18 year olds into volunteering for a job that some 7-15% of them end up backing down from before reaching the fleet- percentages based on anecdotal evidence only)
Anyway, do you think that the government has a right to see school records in order to more effectively and aggressively pursue young people? If not, would it strike you as scarry that this might be seen as the government's right in return for funding public education?


Let's be honest. The Marines and Army are having a hell of a time trying to make their recruitment quotas. They're desperate, to be more succinct. And since when havn't recruiters LIED to kids? That's age-old. I don't know how many people I've heard say they wished they could go kick their recruiters you know what.

Do I think they should have access to kids' school records? No I don't. And I'm very happy to see that so many parents out there are as aware as they are and fighting it. I don't think I'd take kindly to that - some recruiter pulling my kid's name off a list from school, filling their head with a bunch of romantic BS. Let them do their jobs the old fashioned way. I know its hard, but so is fighting on the front lines.
If the government can't find the numbers of troops they need, then they need to pull their heads out of their a$$es and re-evaluate their policies.



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 07:17 PM
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Excellent post, The Vagabond.
I don't even know what to say right now, but it's given me a lot to think about, especially with all the social programs we have here in Canada.


You have voted The Vagabond for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month.





posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 07:20 PM
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Originally posted by parrhesia
Excellent post, The Vagabond.
I don't even know what to say right now, but it's given me a lot to think about, especially with all the social programs we have here in Canada.


You have voted The Vagabond for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month.




No one likes EastCoastKid..



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 07:27 PM
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Originally posted by EastCoastKid
No one likes EastCoastKid..




Fishing for compliments, huh?

What the heck, I'll take the bait.


You rock too, ECK, you're a great poster



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 07:31 PM
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Originally posted by parrhesia

Originally posted by EastCoastKid
No one likes EastCoastKid..




Fishing for compliments, huh?

What the heck, I'll take the bait.


You rock too, ECK, you're a great poster


Awe thx, man..
But wait.. that doesn't count does it.



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 07:34 PM
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Originally posted by EastCoastKid

Awe thx, man..
But wait.. that doesn't count does it.


Nope, it doesn't count. At least not officially.

You'll have to wait until next month, and keep up the excellent posts



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 07:37 PM
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I will be here....

Love that avatar, btw.



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 02:24 PM
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Nobody but God owns me and that suits me just fine. Does that mean I am still stuck between laws and policies, some I like, some I don't.....sure it does. But that has nothing to do with "ownership". As long as you can speak your mind and not be shot dead for it, you will do just fine, not all countries can say that. Good luck.



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 02:27 PM
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Thanks, The Vagabond, you have illustrated a logical process that could concievably be used as a rationilization/justification for social ownership....one that I appreciate given my areas of unofficial studies...but the arguement is inherently included in the definition of society....


Source: Merriam Webster
3 a : an enduring and cooperating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another b : a community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests


Based in your arguement, the right of a governing institution to take specific concern in the actions of an individual is the process of insuring that the common interests of the whole are achieved. The specialized educations of our country help establish the role and thusly the amount of control one has over oneself.

Also, the distinction of ownership is almost immaterial in all concerns save for personal confidence, as the connotation points to a potential Master/Slave relationship(loosely, which is sometimes all it takes in psycholgy) and encountering a logical and legal arguement that could categorize oneself as being more likely a Slave than Master could have an affect on the motivations of the individual...........all other aspects are irrelevant because the individual is going to cooperate and participate in day to day life as before......

That's how I see it and I may be missing a crucial point.......

[edit on 16-6-2005 by MemoryShock]



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 03:17 PM
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In the United States of America, you are as free as your bank account is big.



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 04:17 PM
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Originally posted by EastCoastKid

Originally posted by The Vagabond
I believe that it is almost undeniable that they would be beyond their rights if it were not for the little catch that by accepting the wares of big government that we implicitly subject ourself to the extended legal reach of big government.


Nothing is free. My pet peeve with states taking grants from the federal government is that they have big strings attached. The government has no place in the affairs of individual states.


Second quote from ECK


You take welfare, you belong to the state, in a sense. YOu have to meet their requirements. That's reasonable. If people don't like that, they shouldn't take the money.


This is exactly my point. Not only do you effectively sell yourself to the government when you accept benefits from the government (not just welfare either- but all the things that we have no control over but fail to vote out. Medicare, Social Security, federally subsidized pension-plan insurance, environmental protection, emergency services, the best military defense in the world, etc. The more you take, the more you give up. Or more appropriately, the more congress forces upon you, the more congress can justify taking away from you. In theory are virtually no logical limits to the "requirements" they can attatch to these things. There are only limits imposed by the indignation of the citizen who is having these requirements thrust upon him, but his indignation is illogical sense it is the consequence of his acceptance of the benefits provided by the government which he chooses to live under.


A person is something like 4 times more likely to live in poverty if they have children out of wedlock. Should the government be able to force adoption upon these people for their own protection, and if so, why?



Again, I don't think the government has any business meddling in peoples' private affairs, unless they break laws. I don't like seeing people have kids out of wedlock; but those same people might not like something I do..


So what if it was against the law to have kids out of wedlock, not as a matter of legislating morality but as a new facet of the "parent state" which already has many illogical laws designed to protect us from our own freedom of choice. This is the whole crux of the issue for me. The more responsibility for your own personal security that you allow the government to assume, the more authority the government implicitly derives to regulate you in the name of your own personal security.

Try viewing the PATRIOT Act through this lense as another example. If you want to make the government responsible for providing a 100% barrier against terrorism (as opposed to a smaller barrier which infringes less on our rights, such as tighter borders and aggressive military action against terrorists abroad) then you end up giving the government immense powers to violate the privacy and civil rights of whomever they deem to be a terrorist. I'm not explicitly claiming that it IS happening in any specific case, I am only saying that we have accepted that potential in exchange for security. This is a good example of the kind of trades you make when you allow the parent state into your life.



Perhaps you've seen Ferentheit 9/11, particularly he scene where USMC recruiters are happily harrassing and lying high school kids?
(SNIP)
Anyway, do you think that the government has a right to see school records in order to more effectively and aggressively pursue young people? If not, would it strike you as scarry that this might be seen as the government's right in return for funding public education?


Let's be honest. The Marines and Army are having a hell of a time trying to make their recruitment quotas. They're desperate, to be more succinct. And since when havn't recruiters LIED to kids? That's age-old. I don't know how many people I've heard say they wished they could go kick their recruiters you know what.

Do I think they should have access to kids' school records? No I don't. And I'm very happy to see that so many parents out there are as aware as they are and fighting it. I don't think I'd take kindly to that - some recruiter pulling my kid's name off a list from school, filling their head with a bunch of romantic BS. Let them do their jobs the old fashioned way. I know its hard, but so is fighting on the front lines.
If the government can't find the numbers of troops they need, then they need to pull their heads out of their a$$es and re-evaluate their policies.


Correct- as Heinlen said of the Federation in Star Ship Troopers (when confronted with the accusation that he painted the picture of a militaristic, fascist government) "If a country can't get its own citizens to defend it, let it die". However that's slightly beside my main point.
Considering that the government is educating these children, couldn't the logically argue (regardless of your personal disagreement) that they have effectively bought the rights to the information gained by the education sytem?

This all comes back to my point about the dangers of big government, and in my opinion, illustrates the subtle moral reasons (in addition to the staggeringly obvious economic ones) why we need to slowly and responsibly phase out programs such as welfare and social security so that the next generation will be less dependent on them and the generation after that will be completely free of them. Of course even though Democrats are traditionally seen as the party of big government, this is not a monolithic issue. While the left-leaning Americans who value their liberty would be wise to consider weening the next generation off of welfare and social security etc., right-leaning Americans should consider the value of their own "parent state" initiatives which typically take the form of unnecessary laws as opposed to government funded programs.



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by MemoryShock
Thanks, The Vagabond, you have illustrated a logical process that could concievably be used as a rationilization/justification for social ownership....one that I appreciate given my areas of unofficial studies...but the arguement is inherently included in the definition of society....


Source: Merriam Webster
3 a : an enduring and cooperating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another b : a community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests


Based in your arguement, the right of a governing institution to take specific concern in the actions of an individual is the process of insuring that the common interests of the whole are achieved. The specialized educations of our country help establish the role and thusly the amount of control one has over oneself.

Also, the distinction of ownership is almost immaterial in all concerns save for personal confidence, as the connotation points to a potential Master/Slave relationship(loosely, which is sometimes all it takes in psycholgy) and encountering a logical and legal arguement that could categorize oneself as being more likely a Slave than Master could have an affect on the motivations of the individual...........all other aspects are irrelevant because the individual is going to cooperate and participate in day to day life as before......

That's how I see it and I may be missing a crucial point.......

[edit on 16-6-2005 by MemoryShock]


Good post MS (It really is a shame we can't edit our names- I still think you ought to be MemoryShock And Awe).

Although anyone who remembers even the slightest bit about John Locke from their highschool government class (which is exactly my level of education on the subject) is aware that the government derives authority over us through the social contract, I am arguing against unwarranted expansion of the social contract. The greater the demands of the citizens upon society, the greater the required sacrifices to society on behalf of the citizens.

The selection of the word "ownership" is ominous (which is why I used it) and only applies in the truest since to dictatorial systems, especially communism. Interest may be a better word, since government is essentially a collective investment by society in themselves as individuals. The more that our collective society invests in each individual (through big government) the greater society's share of interest in the individual becomes. Think of it in terms of the stockholders of a corporation. If it goes too far, might society gain a controlling stake in you, not unlike a majority share-holder? This in and of itself isn't too terrifying, since as a member of society you are a part of that collective which has so much interest in you. But what happens when the government which carries out the wishes of society on its investments becomes divorced from society- sort of like if a CEO started running amok on his company and for some reason could not be removed? All of a sudden, you have lost your voice over that portion of you which society invested in, and if it is a majority share (because you are too dependent on the government) you (more importantly- every individual member of society and therefore society itself) are in grave danger of a hostile takeover, at which point you truly would be a serf if not a slave.

I know I've been REALLY complex about this- I hope it's readable.


Also, so as no to seem like an ingrate, I'd like to thank Parrhesia for the kind words and the WATS vote. I just recently figured all of this out myself, so I too have a lot to think about.



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 07:05 PM
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First let me say, Vagabond, ups on the layin it out.
I like your ideas. You state them well.


Originally posted by The Vagabond
Considering that the government is educating these children, couldn't the logically argue (regardless of your personal disagreement) that they have effectively bought the rights to the information gained by the education sytem?


Yes. That would be the logical progression. But if it was MY kid I wouldn't roll over for that. I don't agree with alot concerning me paying taxes for public eudcation, not having any kids of my own.If I had kids I wouldn't want them going to public school. I hate to sound elitist, but pub ed could be SO much better. If only the money that's dumped on them was used wisely, instead of profanely. It might be different. I might actually be willing to pay those taxes being childless. If there was some kind of real progress.


This all comes back to my point about the dangers of big government, and in my opinion, illustrates the subtle moral reasons (in addition to the staggeringly obvious economic ones) why we need to slowly and responsibly phase out programs such as welfare and social security so that the next generation will be less dependent on them and the generation after that will be completely free of them.


We can't do that. Poverty will always exist. We can do everything in our own individual power, everyday of our lives, working towards ending it. It's like Kudzu. It will never go away. Call it a condition of humanity. That's why we always have to keep working on it. We have to ensure that the lowest among us are in some way taken care of. If I grew up believing the USA was one thing it was that we are a generous and well-meaning nation. We can't leave the most vulnerable among us behind - no matter how thoroughly worhtless some of them might be. And also, something I personally learned in my 36 years, fortunes change. And no one is immune to that.



[edit on 6/16/05 by EastCoastKid]



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
Although anyone who remembers even the slightest bit about John Locke from their highschool government class


Who? I think I slept in that class.......


Originally posted by The Vagabond
But what happens when the government which carries out the wishes of society on its investments becomes divorced from society- sort of like if a CEO started running amok on his company and for some reason could not be removed?



I get what you're saying....the government can reasonably expect it's conditions for comfortable living to be met based on the provisions in place for said comforts. And that's what people really want, isn't it? Comfort...the ability to be apart of something(very broad definition) and the ability to safely express biological and sociological concerns. One of the key terms, as all the others are practically a given, is "safely." And that's where government derives many of it's ad nauseum, over the top 'conditions.'

Hhhhmmmmmm.........the analysis lies in the amount the government can get away with, not in the 'CEO' run amok, because we still have enough rednecks in this country and we've spent enough time appealing to the base instincts of the population through the various medias as to make any blatant attempt at dictatorship to be implausible for any amount of time....

...so I believe the direction you were taking this analysis would be more in the amount of implicit control the government has and can have.......

.....and that is quite a bit. The government, in tandem with the corporate free market, provides for the entertainment of the population as well as the purveyance of social outlets. The public, in return, agrees to play in the parameters set forth of the government........having a job, adhering to the educational system(the percentage of self educators out there is probably fairly low) and favoring capitalistic as well as partisan propagandas. It's interesting to go over the Patriot Act, something that many people including myself have cited as a blatant over stepping of bounds by government, because most of the conditions addendumed to the current system don't explicitly impinge upon the day to day functioning of the average American. That's not an excuse, but a reason.

And why should it? Most people spend a significant amount of their time running numbers through actuarial formulas, or further reinforcing and debating social dogmas and morality. Noone goes out of there way to do the legwork of actually knowing the crux of any issue or topic because of the implicit trust developed by the segmenting of our society into specializations - back to that 'individual part of the whole' concept - everyone accepts that the doctor is the doctor, and that the mechanic is the mechanic........only a small portion of the population has any real interest in being the information sponge that our brains evolved to be. The result is that people are going to more and more need to believe the very propagandas that are set forth for them.......because they didn't buckle down and listen to their concerns........it's also why conspiracy theories consistently are trivialized - who wants to focus on the negative aspects when they can have everything they want by staying the course.


Originally posted by The Vagabond
........aware that the government derives authority over us through the social contract, I am arguing against unwarranted expansion of the social contract.


Arguoing against the 'unwarranted expansion of the social contract'..........for the record I agree with you, but for the sake of discussion, let's say that I don't see a line in the sand with regards to the social contract.......as long as current standards are in place, who's to say that the government shouldn't have the right to expect whatever is decided as relevant by those who are in power? The population is woefully undereducated to deal with the big picture and has this encouraged by the very entertainment outlets they have chosen - morals, and ethics and social dilemmas. The average American, if the popularity of social dramas on T.V. can be any kind of gauge, is well versed in what one should or shouldn't do(interesting thought, that one is.....) and not so chorused in the details of what makes their lives functional.......everything from phsyiological interplays with their medicines to their apparent confusion with fad diets..........Their is a difference in the attenuations of those who make the rules and those who live by them.


Originally posted by The Vagabond
(It really is a shame we can't edit our names- I still think you ought to be MemoryShock And Awe).


Lol......that thought still crosses my mind every once in awhile......


[edit on 16-6-2005 by MemoryShock]



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 03:48 PM
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Originally posted by EastCoastKid

Originally posted by The Vagabond
Considering that the government is educating these children, couldn't the logically argue (regardless of your personal disagreement) that they have effectively bought the rights to the information gained by the education sytem?


Yes. That would be the logical progression. But if it was MY kid I wouldn't roll over for that.


But as I mentioned previously, that's an illogical reaction born of indignation. The only answer that would stand up to logical scrutiny, say in a court for example, would be that you shouldn't have accepted the benefits if you couldn't handle the riders, and of course in a government rife with non-optional social programs, that means leave the country. I'm obviously not suggesting that we leave the country though. I am suggesting that for every bit of power which we are unwilling to ceede the the government we have an obligation to vote away the corresponding government benefits and seek private sollutions which we can either provide on our own or obtain through commerce where the only tradeoff is dollars. Hence if somebody is absolutely non-negotiably opposed to giving student records to the military, they have an obligation to favor privatizing the education system.




This all comes back to my point about the dangers of big government, and in my opinion, illustrates the subtle moral reasons (in addition to the staggeringly obvious economic ones) why we need to slowly and responsibly phase out programs such as welfare and social security so that the next generation will be less dependent on them and the generation after that will be completely free of them.


We can't do that. Poverty will always exist. We can do everything in our own individual power, everyday of our lives, working towards ending it. It's like Kudzu. It will never go away. Call it a condition of humanity. That's why we always have to keep working on it. We have to ensure that the lowest among us are in some way taken care of.


That is a choice that it is within our power to make. I'm not saying that there is absolutely no other way than to get rid of these programs- I'm saying that the alternative is to keep the programs and accept the fact that the government can pass laws to attatch any kind of strings it likes to those programs. What if the government passed a law enabling them to relocate welfare families to communities where there is a labor shortange and assign them jobs in whatever industry the government saw fit? Would that be OK with you? Because if you're not comfortable with the possibility of that being done to "the lowest among us" then it would be wise to look at ways of minimizing the poverty rate and picking up the slack through private charity.
At what cost to their liberty and ours shoudl we be willing to care for them? It might be OK now because it isn't being abused (thats when you set safeguards- whenits not too late yet), but as a general principle is it really the best way, or would a way that prevents the attatchment of strings be better?
I hope that you can see my statements in the context of encouraging societal and personal independence from government authority, and not just as a cold-hearted expression of a desire to pay less in taxes. The fact of the matter is that if the government affected a 10% tax cut but eliminating those programs, I'd take that 10% and start tithing it to the church I used to attend (which is in a rough neighborhood and does an excellent job of offering clothes, shoes, food, etc to those in need, with absolutely no strings attatched).
My concern isn't the money so much as the personal freedom, both for me and the recipient. From my perspective, suppose that I am essentially impovrished, but I'm 1,000 dollars above the line because I took the initiative to get a second job. Should the government then mandate a fixed percentage of my income which I have to give to my unemployed neighbor? So there's the aspect of my personal freedom (setting aside the tangent points about it creating an incentive NOT to make extra money if you are near the poverty line, etc)
Then there is the recipient's personal freedom. Since the draft has been a topic of considerable discussion and concern since 9/11, and although it has been vehemently denied it is becoming readily apparent that if there are to be additional theaters opened in the WoT (such as Iran and Syria) that a draft will be needed, we need to consider the possibility that our attempt to be charitable to the lowest among us through our lamentably large and powerful government will result in them being drafted- copied and pasted straight from the dole sheets to the draft notices.

I think it's very important to remember that America was born of small unintrusive government which left social programs in the hands of society. America ascended to prominence under a system where you took stock of you options and pursued the one you liked, which is exactly what you get with the private options. When the government did need to intervene it was optional- take the TVA. They started public projects so that if you wanted honest work you could come and get it no strings attatched. Then of course there is WWII, from which America emerged as a superpower. The wartime economy did that for us- plenty of honest jobs open for the taking because the government had something good to spend its money on and the trickle-down of wages and recirculation to the top in the form of consumption worked for our economy.
All of a sudden though, we start moving more and more into these socialized programs and it didn't do us any favors at all, because the consumers who weren't earning all of their money in the form of wages weren't seeing an increase in their finances as a result of the work generated by production, and therefore they couldn't consume more and there was a section of the population which was not contributing to growth because production did not generate more disposable income for consumers.
So again, I think we need to go the private route for helping the least fortunate, and if the problem is so severe that we need the powerful influence of government we need to use the government to create jobs through endeavors such as the space program, increased spending on infrastructure, increased spending on new educational materials, buying American (instead of wasting our military budget on buying French hats from the Chinese so that everyone in the army can look like a Ranger), because those expenditures create production which creates jobs which is far more effective than putting people on the dole, and it doesn't carry near the threat to liberty with it.

God I said a mouthful. I hope I'm not hammering the point to hard or going on tangents too much. I'm just trying to illustrate how compelled I am by this developing understanding of how authoritarian systems derive their "rights" over the citizenry. I think that considering the concerns that exist at this time (in the light of the patriot act and such) that we would want to find the least infringing ways possible of providing for our society.



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 07:40 PM
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First of all, they supposedly work for us. They only have as much power as we the people give them. Far too many of us don't get involved, don't vote and don't speak up. That's a big problem.

On your first point, if I had kids I would hope I could educate them outside of public education.

Second point, I am more than all for tithing and private charities. Unfortunately, far too few people do that and are involved in that. So, the government steps in. That's on us.

I hope the people see past all that smoke being blown at us about Iraq and the WOT and collectively say NO to any possible draft. That would throw a real wrench in the war planners plans.



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 04:06 PM
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Originally posted by EastCoastKid
First of all, they supposedly work for us. They only have as much power as we the people give them. Far too many of us don't get involved, don't vote and don't speak up. That's a big problem.


Unfortunately that is simply untrue. A perfect example is the Supreme Court's recent reaffirmation of their ability to regulate intrastate commerce and even non-commercial private activities under the interstate commerce clause, which they intially seized in order to unconstitutionally enforce the New Deal on the states. If we would sieze the purse strings for ourself though by going outside the government, they couldn't pull those strings to force us into going along for such things in the future. Maybe then we'd actually get something done about medical marijuana and stem cells etc.


Second point, I am more than all for tithing and private charities. Unfortunately, far too few people do that and are involved in that. So, the government steps in. That's on us.


But that probably has a lot to do with the fact that the average person loses between 25 and 35 percent of their income to the government off the top for government handout programs, which tend to be inefficient and mishandled anyways.
The other thing to remember is that this is a democracy- period. If the majority decides that the poor have made their own bed and they can sleep in it, then as long as no basic rights or laws are being violated to keep them poor, there is no justification for the social programs. If nobody wants to donate, but they have to be tricked and forced into it by wealthy elitists in Washington who just want to rack up votes by being good for the poor, then there is no excuse for the existence of government charity in our democracy. As morally unacceptible as you might find that, I don't see how we can be intellectually honest and still deny that from the democratic (little "d") point of view these programs ought not exist if they couldn't survive on a private volunteer basis.


I hope the people see past all that smoke being blown at us about Iraq and the WOT and collectively say NO to any possible draft. That would throw a real wrench in the war planners plans.


We don't have the ability to say no. Congress will do whatever they want- I think we've seen that. What do you think would have happened to the airline bailouts after 9/11 if there had been a referendum for example? Then even if congress goes along for the ride, what might the administration and the military do next to get around congress? They've already got the back-door draft going afterall, and past administrations have shown that they will just go covert for funding if the congress won't back them. Reminds me of two great quotes from the 42nd and 43rd presidents, respectively. "I will rule this country by executive order if congress won't adopt my agenda" and "it would be a lot easier if this was a dictatorship, as long as I'm the dictator."

They can't put us all in jail- so civil disobedience could be our ace in the hole for a preemption of such a selling-out of the people. But wait- they may not be able to jail us all, but they can stop paying your faimily's welfare, take away your medicare, and essentially strip the poor of every ability to financially survive apart from compliance with the government, and there goes the base of your civil disobedience campaign.





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