Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: Our Essential Goal

Posted 2 years ago on April 20, 2012, 10:57 p.m. EST by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The most fundamental lever of our Democracy is under attack. The right of the people to have effective control of our government has being eroded to the point that it can no longer be called a Democracy.

As we are divided by this relentless struggle of whether to steer to the right or left, we have lost sight of the greater peril. That our grip on the steering wheel of Democracy has been loosened to the point that we cannot steer it in any direction. It has been taken hold by a group that is more concerned with increasing profits for the few at tremendous risk to the economic health of the many, rather than insuring the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that was considered essential at the birth of this country.

That should be our goal. And to achieve it we must take back our rightful place in determining who our representatives will be. Without any influence from anyone but the people themselves.

If we can not come to agreement, our rights will continue to vanish, one step, one bill at a time. As long as we are divided, we will be conquered.

Surely a great majority of the decent people in this country, regardless of their political beliefs, can temporarily set aside their minor differences and agree to support this most essential goal.

44 Comments

44 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 1 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

OWS should make "Sustainability" their main goal. A sustainable society doesn't have ups and downs, and should encompass all of the major focal points of the movement.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I agree and you will see me say it ( text ) all over the place:

Unite in common cause. Fuck politics - deal with issues.

[-] 0 points by field (2) 1 year ago

the essential goal is to get rid of bathouse barry, aka barry soetoro, aka barck hussein obama. get rid of barry and the economy and the gdp will soar.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

For most people, the economy is the #1 priority. Any number of polls on the issue will tell you this.

You can tell yourself that the economy can't be fixed. But if you think this, in fact you're stupid.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Did you post in error? This post is not about the economy. It's about restoring the people's right to choose their representatives instead of having them chosen for us by corporations, special interests, and wealthy individuals.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

You said

we have lost sight of the greater peril. [...] [control of Democracy] should be our goal.

These are both subjective statements. I am just pointing out why, nationally, most people do not agree that this "essential" goal is worth paying much attention to when unemployment is still high. Fix unemployment, the most pressing problem, and people might agree to care about other things.

As pointed out in the linked thread, it's the poor themselves who vote for lower taxes and reduced government spending. I assume you read the article that Warren Buffet had in the New York Times last year asking for the government to raise taxes on the rich.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

The problem with the economy is a symptom of our political system being hijacked by a relatively small group of wealthy individuals. They set the rules to benefit themselves with reckless bets and we pay the price when they lose.

The people feel the ailing economy and attempt to treat it's symptoms, such as unemployment, but that will never will never fix the root cause. The infection, corporate control, must be removed to restore health back to our economy. No amount of economic measures will accomplish that.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

What I see as a particularly important poll: Q59. Which do you think is the best way to promote economic growth in the U.S.? 1.Lower taxes on individuals and businesses, and pay for those tax cuts by spending on some government services and programs, or 2. Spend more on education and the nation’s infrastructure, and raise taxes on wealthy individuals and businesses to pay for that spending.
Lower taxes, cut spending 37%
Spend more raise taxes 56%

And yet... 64% would choose cutting government spending over raising taxes on corporations despite that only 4% think that corporations use savings from tax cuts to hire more workers.

People know that corporations have obscene profits. But they don't want socialism to be the solution.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

You keep diverting the message to the economy. The whole point of the post is to restore all of the people to their rightful place in Democracy, deciding which direction, whether socialism, libertarianism, anarchism, conservatism, or a combination of all. Even if I don't agree with the direction, it should be up to the people to decide and not a small group of affluent individuals.

You would have to admit that when a country is run by the rich, it's laws will favor the rich.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

Do you think people are unaware of the recession?

Yet people still say they'd vote for the standard political candidates when asked in opinion polls.

They even say they'll vote for a candidate whom they think, as revealed by other questions, is dishonest.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/04/19/us/politics/20120419_poll_docs.html

Q37. Do you think Mitt Romney says what he believes most of the time, or does he say what he thinks people want to hear?
4/13-17/12* [registered voters only]
What he believes 27
What people want to hear 62

Q27. Do you think Barack Obama says what he believes most of the time, or does he say what he thinks people want to hear?
Says what he believes 46
Says what people want 51

Q19. If the 2012 presidential election were being held today and the candidates were Barack Obama, the Democrat, and Mitt Romney, the Republican, would you vote for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?
Obama 46
Romney 46

If you don't want the rich to rule the country, then reducing inequality comes first, not second. Note: that post doesn't explain inequality, but previous posts in the series do.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Truth!

The people must own their system of governance. Participate fully.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Hear, hear!

The illness is plutocracy, its symptom mass poverty. Right on the money, so to speak.

(Of course, full employment wouldn't hurt while fixing the real problem. Sometimes treating the symptom is the first thing to do in an emergency room. First stop the hemorrhage, then cure the disease that caused it. It's a minor quibble, though. Your point is absolutely correct.)

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Fix unemployment with out fixing the rest and you have failed because the majority will go right back to sleep. Security even if it sucks is desirable to most.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

This is an argument I like. The situation has potential exactly because it gives people a reason to think about the root of the problem when normally they might ignore the risk of future recessions or wars.

I just disagre what the root of the problem is. jrhirsch says that it's "corporate control", while I say that it's too much money flowing through the system because people work too much without having any incentive to organize to capture a greater share of corporate profits.

Asking people to spend effort joining a union, or participating in political movements, so they can earn another extra $10k/year when they already earn $60k per year is pointless, since most people with that income (exceptions are at the tumblr blog) feel they are already well-off especially compared to people in other countries and don't care if they're making the corporation they work for $200k in profit. But if they had the option of working less, they might just possibly decide to do so and by doing so, very slightly reduce the profit of all corporations evenly (not just the one they work for).

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

$60k per year? I keep seeing a figure that 50% of the workforce makes less than $26,000 a year. That's about 75 million people making $13 an hour or less. Minimum wage is $7.25 depending on which state. Only $15,000 a year.

75 million people have a strong incentive to press for higher wages.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Agreed.

50% of the people in the country are currently living at or near the poverty line. There is TREMENDOUS incentive to push for higher wages.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

If we can only get them to stand up.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

That would be wonderful. But so many of them have been bombarded by propaganda and manipulation for so long they actually believe the mythology.

Look at the numbers of trolls on this forum alone. We can be sure they are not 1%ers, and yet they defend the very corruption and inequity that threatens their well being as much as everyone else's. They drank the Cool Aid.

And as much as hey defend the American myth, they resemble nothing if not the Tories who fought against the founding of the country, a country founded expressly to overthrow the ruling oligarchy of their time.

And despite OWS's strides, I am not convinced that the population is yet willing to acknowledge the truth. In this case, I truly hope I'm wrong.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Since people didn't like the "you are stupid" argument, I think I might be getting closer to one that will be effective :P.. education seems to be part of the reason for peoples' apathy; many people are reluctant to complain or vote for better rights unless they feel like they've explored all options available to them, and still only ~40% of the US population has college degrees and unlike most other countries, that proportion has actually dropped slightly.

So using this perspective, as well as explaining that opinions are not homogenous. College students with debt might feel that it's moral to concentrate on debt issues, while ignoring their peers who don't have debt because they had rich parents or didn't go to college or went to a cheaper one. People are trying many strategies without having the evidence needed to conclude that they should try a different one.

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

It is not the level of education, it is the massive amounts of propaganda that goes unchallenged. Most parts of teh country have single point of view news media. (In fact, something like 80% of the radio and broadcast media in the country is owned by by 4 or 5 corporations. One company alone, ClearChannel owns 850 radio stations across the country. Owners of radio and TV stations may also own newspapers and do so in creasing numbers. Rupert Murdoch owns and operates several newspapers as well as the Fox network.

If these media giants have an agenda, their message will be virtually the lone voice most people receive. The internet is certainly more varied, but it has been shown that people tenf to go to those sources that support, rather than challenge, already formed opinions. So the internet does not effectively provide alternative views to those most people are inundated with every day by the Main Stream media. Even newspapers that profess objectivity inadvertently support those forces that wish to lie to the public. In their efforts to be balanced, they give voice to both sides of every argument, so that the most outrageous lies are lent legitimacy. (Global warming skeptics hired by oil companies come immediately to mind. The effect is to throw science into question and create false controversy where their is none within the scientific community.)

If someone simply travels from New York to South Carolina and turns on the news, one would be shocked at the monolithic, singular perspective, and the outright lies that are aired unchallenged that passing as "news" down there. And it is decidedly, completely right wing pretending to be neutral fact-finding.

Is it any wonder so many people believe so many right wing myths? It is virtually all they hear, repeated every single day for their entire lives. Their entire world view of what the truth is has been deliberately shaped by a small handful of media conglomerates. The level of education is less important than the completeness of indoctrination, of daily informal mis-education via deliberate misinformation.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

(Copying what I said to jrhirsch above so you get a notification)

What I see as a particularly important poll: Q59. Which do you think is the best way to promote economic growth in the U.S.? 1.Lower taxes on individuals and businesses, and pay for those tax cuts by spending on some government services and programs, or 2. Spend more on education and the nation’s infrastructure, and raise taxes on wealthy individuals and businesses to pay for that spending.
Lower taxes, cut spending 37%
Spend more raise taxes 56%

And yet... 64% would choose cutting government spending over raising taxes on corporations despite that only 4% think that corporations use savings from tax cuts to hire more workers.

People know that corporations have obscene profits. But they don't want socialism to be the solution.

[-] 4 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 1 year ago

The poll proves nothing other than how really dumb people can be. People who have been manipulated by the propaganda steadily streamed for years by corporate backed machines will give answers that propaganda was designed to inspire. It is particularly funny that many of the very people who talk most about cutting government spending are the ones who are on food stamps, are getting medicaid, are receiving unemployment benefits. Those that need jobs most need more government stimulus spending to create those jobs. Cutting spending would harm the economy and job prospects and even lead to starvation on a massive scale. There is a complete cognitive disconnect: they have swallowed the Cool Aid.

Higher taxes on the wealthy is not socialism. It is simply taxes. Those that have benefited most from capitalism, from the infrastructure everyone has built together, from the services that only the wealthy have access to (like hedge funds) for making even more wealth for themselves: these people are required to keep the system going more than those who have not. Indeed, if one looks at the bank bailouts and rescue of GM and cash for clunkers, and corporate subsidies and tax breaks, as well as tax breaks on Capital gains, dividends and interest, it looks like if there is socialism afoot, the wealthy are its main beneficiaries.

What's more, Americans are among the most ignorant people on earth in terms of economics and history. Progressive marginal taxes have been the norm, not the exception, at least until recently. (And both Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith, hardly Socialists, both advocated for the wealthy to pay more.) From 1940 to 1980, the period of the greatest economic expansion in world history witnessed top marginal rates of between 90% and 70% of income. As the taxes on the wealthy and corporations have come down since 1980, the middle class has had to make up the difference. They are, in fact, paying MORE of a percentage of their income in taxes than the wealthy are. Corporations get HUGE tax breaks on their profits routinely. (Not to mention taxpayer provided subsidies). Those profits are also taxed at effectively lower rates than the middle class is paying. In 1960 corporate taxes accounted for 4% of GPD. Today they account for 2%. The middle class has had to make up that difference, too. So "socialism" is OK for the wealthy, but wrong for everyone else? Do most Americans know this? Of course not. And among many who do, they cling to the myths and false ideology they have been cynically fed fro decades by the very corporate interests that profit from those myths.

Again, the poll reveals nothing so much as the fact that spending hundreds of millions of dollars on propaganda for many years has been a very good investment by the 1%.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

This is an example of people's attitudes toward government spending: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiHoD28SAIg

106 likes, 13 dislikes. Accuses government of 'wasting' money building signs instead of directing that money toward jobs, because people do not think of building signs as a justified way to employ people to work.

That attitude is not the result of any "propaganda", even if the posting of the video might be termed that.

I think you have a good argument, but that people are unlikely to listen. Also, when people talk about the amount of wealth held by the bottom 50%, sometimes I suspect their statistics include debt which can make it seem like a typical family has less than $10,000 or even a negative amount of money. If people have debt, it's because they bought something they wanted or felt they needed. Even in the bottom quintile of income, 80% of households have at least one vehicle.

[-] 0 points by jgriff (6) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

No one paid anywhere close to those rates. Go ask some rich old people.

And that growth had very little to do with tax rates or our brain power.

Much more to do with our NUKING two cities and then forcing everyone to sign Brenton Woods.

[-] 3 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 1 year ago

They paid far more than they do now. That's why they keep lowering the rates for themselves via their paid representatives. If there was no difference, we would still have the same top marginal rates we did before Reagan, 70%. Reagan lowered those rates for a reason (while he raised taxes on the middle class and poor to make up the difference.)

If it made no difference, why not go back to that 70% rate? Go ask some rich old people.

The growth that happened after WWII lasted nearly 35 years. It had nothing to do with dropping nukes. It had to do with what is referred to as the Great Contraction, the shortening of the ladder between the richest and poorest. It had to do with high tax rates on the wealthy, the establishment of the social safety net, raising tens of millions out of poverty, the expansion and vitality of unions that created the middle class, the creation of banking regulations that fostered confidence from investors, and more.

[-] -1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

It is particularly funny that many of the very people who talk most about cutting government spending are the ones who are on food stamps, are getting medicaid, are receiving unemployment benefits.

Yes that's why I said they're stupid. But instead of trying to fight against the dislike of socalism, I think it's more productive to support work conservation; the only problem is phrasing it in a way that people will agree with.

There are some nice studies that show that "red states" (Republican in the US) have actually been receiving the most federal aid.

Higher taxes on the wealthy is not socialism. It is simply taxes.

But translating those taxes into support for the unemployed is socialism. You can hire back the 300k teachers that have been lost, and other government workers, but that would be at most 1m workers... leaving another 10m+ who need jobs or a basic income (as proposed in recent OWS/global movement documents).

Keep in mind, the top 5% account for ~37% of consumer spending. While the rich don't spend as much as they earn, it's not really from a lack of trying. The middle class is as much to blame for unemployment.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 1 year ago

"There are some nice studies that show that "red states" (Republican in the US) have actually been receiving the most federal aid."

Yes, that's what I was referring to myself.

I'm not talking about simply expanding the social safety net, or even hiring back hundreds of thousands of teacher (though that would help) but direct job creation by the government in the same vein as the WPA during the Great Depression. When people are working and being paid by the government, they tend to drop their objections to temporary socialism.

Progressive taxation is not socialism. Socialism is workers controlling the means of production. Redistribution of wealth is a legitimate part of capitalism. Without it, wealth is automatically redistributed anyway, but only from the bottom to the top. (Yet somehow no one ever calls that bottom up redistribution socialist). Those at the top keep getting more, and at a faster velocity, because of specific breaks they get by virtue of their wealth. That increased wealth, created specifically BY wealth, can be subject to increased taxation, as has been done throughout most of the last century. Truman and Eisenhower could hardly be described as Socialists, after all.

"The farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of this country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1881 (Speaking about progressive taxes in the form of tariffs).

"The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion." -- Adam Smith ; The Wealth of Nations, 1776

Finally, when the 400 people at the top own as much wealth as the bottom 150,000,000, the fact that they spend more is no surprise. But Keynes has shown that it is the bottom 50% who actually drive the economy. Any help they receive, whatever the label one applies to that help, benefits everyone. The rising tide lifts all boats.

[-] 2 points by junglemonkeez (208) 1 year ago

You know that if this was voted on by the people, it would fall out just as your poll suggests. Cutting spending cuts jobs. raising taxes raises inflation. Neither work. But I would get behind Spending more and raising taxes. But I would have prefered doing more to keep my children from being slaves to this debt cycle.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

Raising taxes doesn't raise inflation in any standard economic argument.

It does slightly reduce private consumption and employment, but the socialist redistributive spending would make up for it. The government has even calculated the magnitude of these effects: Congressional Budget Office chart for short-term effects

The debt cycle is only because people don't raise taxes, and even support things like the Bush tax cuts because... they don't like taxes is basically why. As the work conservation post mentions,

30% of the income of the top 1% goes to federal taxes after including corporate income tax, compared to a national average of 20% of income. . . . 67% of the population think the government should do more to help the middle class but only 2% think they pay less than their fair share of federal income taxes.

A high tax rate with redistribution is socialist, and as pointed out in that thread many demographic groups are still opposed to socialism. Work conservation is the path to full employment without socialism.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

The people as a majority do not understand the concept.

There is nothing that says socialism can not be democratic and have a well regulated capitalism.

It is a hangover of McCarthy ism and misinformation.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

Yes, it happens in other countries.

That doesn't mean it's likely to happen in the US... the only developed country without universal health care. In my opinion, work conservation is a much better solution than more socialism, because while in a socialist country you can find an excuse to avoid work and still get by, with work conservation you can choose to do less work and have a decent income without depending on welfare supported by taxpayers.

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 1 year ago

97% of welfare payments go to the sick, the disabled and the old. Without robust social welfare programs, it is the people who CAN'T work who would be in trouble. Work conservation is not a solution to that.

As to having having opportunity to be more lazy in "socialist" countries, I don't know what you're talking about, since I don't know of any socialist countries on the planet. But if you're talking about countries in which there are very well funded and robust social safety net programs, countries like Sweden, Denmark and Germany, they have an almost identical employment record as the USA, and their productivity rates are comparable as well. Iceland is actually doing better than The States in terms of employment, and their social safety net is far more generous.

What's more, companies would not want work conservation, since wages are only part of the per employee costs. It is less expensive to have one worker for 40 hours than two for 20 hours each if health insurance is not a factor.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

97% of welfare payments go to the sick, the disabled and the old. Without robust social welfare programs, it is the people who CAN'T work who would be in trouble. Work conservation is not a solution to that.

Does anyone complain about welfare going to those groups?

No, they complain about unemployment benefits and food stamps because they expect that people are to blame for not finding work (i.e. that unemployment is 'structural').

Much of other parts of government spending are also indirectly 'subsidizing' jobs with little useful purpose. That bloat is why a majority would choose cutting government spending over raising corporate taxes and why people are willing to choose actions that appear to be harmful, because in their view the amount of waste in government is already just as harmful as the recession is.

Work conservation would allow funds to go where they are needed, instead of government bloat.

But if you're talking about countries in which there are very well funded and robust social safety net programs . . . they have an almost identical employment record as the USA

The US had a welfare program. It was dismantled in the 1990's.

There would probably be less poverty right now if it hadn't been dismantled, but that's only because of the severe shortage of jobs overall. If people wanted the US to be socialist, that program would still be around. OWS is unlikely to be able to win that battle (the suggestion for a "universal income guarantee" in the recent statement).

What's more, companies would not want work conservation, since wages are only part of the per employee costs. It is less expensive to have one worker for 40 hours than two for 20 hours each if health insurance is not a factor.

I addressed this in a separate argument: http://jobcreationplan.blogspot.com/2012/05/controlling-health-care-costs-in-united.html

Short summary is that people need to be able to choose what quality of health care before they get sick or visit a hospital, because doctors are aware that many patients receive too much care. This would allow them to purchase cheaper insurance if health providers have a "cost rating" based on the so-called bundled payment concept. Obamacare is supposed to give everyone employer-sponsored health insurance but has already issued many exceptions such as to McDonald's for "mini-med" plans for its employees and this would be another way to keep costs down.

Then (with some changes to tax law) employers could just treat health insurance as, for example, a $2/hour increase to wage costs, so if someone works less they get less contribution to their health insurance premiums and can choose to have the rest deducted from their pre-tax wages.

This is mostly lower-income employees, although with the way people use health care larger companies might want to use it as well. I think I read something about company/ies with health costs expected to exceed $12k/year per employee.... o_O

So the problem is very solvable. Health insurance would just be a fixed cost decided by the employee like any other cost, and they could choose to work more or less if they thought that they could use more income.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 1 year ago

I think you are conflating a whole lot of issues. And although I believe your heart is in the right place, there is too much emphasis on poll numbers for one route, compared with ZERO polling data for your alternative. Until you come up with comparable polls, you have no leg to stand on in terms of the viability of your plan. It's not that I object to your goals, but I feel that the are, at best, partial solutions, completely unsupported by data in terms of popularity, and have no chance of gaining traction: in other words, unrealistic.

In terms of insurance and employers, I wasn't only talking about health insurance. There are other forms of insurance an employer must pay for each employee, like liability insurance. There are also assorted fees. That has nothing to do with any benefit to the employee, but it is an expense each of them represent to the employer. BUt in terms of health insurance itself, the employer can't simply divide his insurance costs by the number of employees he has. Each new employee, who gets insurance creates the same cost to the employer wether that employee works 20 hours per week or a hundred. In terms of health insurance costs, two 20 hour per week employees costs the employer twice that of one 40 hour per week employee.

In terms of choosing a health care plan, one can never do that with any assurance. The whole point of insurance is to protect against what is NOT expected, not against what IS expected. No one can know if he will get cancer, or be hit by a truck, or develop crippling arthritis, or any one of thousands of medical issues. Unless you have a completely reliable crystal ball, all coverage needs to come up to the same minimum requirements. If not, the entire system breaks down since many people will still need health care they can't pay for.

As to Welfare being dismantled, it sure was, shamefully. But that's not what I was addressing. You had said that "socialism" (a completely misapplied word in this case) inspires laziness. The fact that the countries I mentioned are far more "socialist" that we are, and don't exhibit the problem of laziness is what I was addressing.

Finally, people on the right (especially Libertarians, but also plain old republicans) do indeed object to Welfare going to the disabled, the old and the infirm. The leadership has objected to it from its inception. Reagan's famous speech about "I remember freedom" was a rant against Medicaid, the meagre health care afforded only to the very poorest people in the country. That leadership has been spinning distortions about who receives welfare in this country since the 1940s, and the population doesn't know who actually receives the benefits or how dire one's circumstances have to be in order to qualify for the tiniest amount of help. And they have bought the fact-free myth of government dependency as well. (There is none, statistically). Libertarians and right wingers of all stripes even object to the actual recipients of aid: they feel that those people should be helped by voluntary charity alone, and that it is not the government's responsibility to help anyone in any circumstance. There have been many expressions right here on these fora of that common viewpoint.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

Meh, fine. I'll say that people's objection to more welfare is their opposition to higher tax rates or inflation. From Wikipedia,

Overall tax burden are among the world's highest; 51.1% of GDP in Sweden, and 43.3% in Finland, compared to 34.7% in Germany, 33.5% in Canada, and 30.5% in Ireland.

The US is listed as having 24~27% of GDP in tax revenues (all levels of government), compared to 40~49% for the Nordic countries.

You can keep arguing that taxes should go up in the US to pay for more welfare, but people don't really seem to be listening. Tho some people did seem surprised at the NYT articles talking about Apple's profits and the working conditions of its suppliers.

In terms of health insurance costs, two 20 hour per week employees costs the employer twice that of one 40 hour per week employee.

Currently, a reduction in hours often means losing health insurance. (And all employees get the same level of coverage, no matter what their effect on the risk pool and overall cost of insurance for the employer.)

How it could be treated though is health insurance is just, for example, "An extra $5/hour on wages." Then people could choose how much coverage they want, and the employer pays for their selected plan at a tax advantage.

Unless you have a completely reliable crystal ball, all coverage needs to come up to the same minimum requirements. If not, the entire system breaks down since many people will still need health care they can't pay for.

A so-called "mini-med" plan doesn't cover the things you mentioned. But a 'limited coverage' plan based off of national data for expected costs would, up to a limit that varies with the type of incident. So you might go into debt, but if you select the right level of coverage you should be able to avoid doing so, even if it means you have to leave the hospital a few days earlier than you might otherwise do.

The comparison of costs between countries listed other countries at about $600 per day in the hospital, while in the US it was over $3000/per day. Hospitals can only charge that much because 1) some people can afford it 2) people have already paid for it with expensive health insurance, either a private plan or from their employer. Market pressure only happens people actually change their spending decisions based on prices.

So health insurance does not need to be a barrier to work conservation.

Your other points are valid though, about lack of evidence of support for this alternative.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

the ruling oligarchy of their time.

were unable to make law without the king's consent across the Atlantic

the king had been ignoring requests

so they declared independence

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Exactly. Fixing the 76,000 page tax code is something WE ALL WANT

Not allow the FEd to print us into oblivion- something we all want.

The list goes on and on...

[-] -1 points by Zombiefighter (-16) from Ione, CA 2 years ago

The first step is requiring voters to prove they are eligible to vote and are who they say they are. I recently read about a person that went to the polling place that Erich Holder is registered to vote in. The person went in, told the person running the place that he was Holder. They gave him a ballot. He even atold them he left his ID in his car and wanted to retrieve it to prove his being Erich Holder. The polling person told him not to bother.the question is why do you liberals not want voters to prove they are who they say they are in something as important voting for the direction of this nation. Not to mention what type of nation our future generations will inherit.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

You seem to miss part of the message of this post. It is not about vote counts, but making our votes count. We are usually swayed to vote for whoever spends the most money in a congressional campaign. The biggest spender has an 80-90% chance of winning. Our votes are directed by money, not by principle.

If we pretend that the illusion of Democracy exists, we only fool ourselves, and become like puppets played by the wealthy, moving our limbs in whatever direction they desire in a play that ends in our servitude, both economically and politically.

We need to open our eyes and see the strings being pulled and realize our motions are directed by their will, not our own. Cut the strings, grab hold of the puppeteers, and send them far away, never to manipulate anyone ever again.

Our lives belong to us. Our government belongs to us. They cannot belong to another unless we allow it.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

That's a ridiculous first step considering voter fraud for the reason you mention is miniscule. The first step should be getting rid of crooked politicians and courts, who want to rig the system their way through disenfranchisement of the masses.

[-] -2 points by Zombiefighter (-16) from Ione, CA 2 years ago

And what does " minuscule " voter fraud have to do with anything? You commie assholes dismiss it so quickly. What exactly is it you are so afraid of?

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Hahahaha! You're a real joker. Maybe you should audition for America's Got Talent.

[-] 0 points by Zombiefighter (-16) from Ione, CA 2 years ago

See my above post.

[-] 0 points by jgriff (6) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Anyone can fill out the ballot and vote. When it processed is when it comes back as decent or not. Its happened to me when I moved.

Voter turnout is pathetic. Voter fraud is so low its really a non issue.