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Everything posted by Starfighter08

  1. quote:Originally posted by $iLk: What is your favorite color! Blue. Aaaaaaaaaah. I'm color blind. I just like British humo(u)r. Btw Blackadder rules too.
  2. quote:Originally posted by Cmdr. WeeGee: Here's a good ad to expand its roles. Martyrism. Come and get your nifty, one of a kind, inflatable church! Complete with inflatable priest! Ever wanted to be a martyr like Thomas A'Becket? But are toooo lazy to walk 10 miles to the nearest church? Well fear no more people, cause all you have to do is inflate this nifty church and wait for the muderers to arrive! Call now and the muderers, priced at $99.95 are free, yes thats right free! So call 555-555-5555 now and get your inflatable church today! When you hear "somebody free me from this priest" you know that your order is being processed.
  3. quote:Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr: Well there goes the neighborhood! Anyone remember the days when you could buy a vinyl album and make a cassette tape to play in your car, steroe etc without fear of the death penalty? Those were the days. But we got that nice "intellectual property" thingy which means that you are no longer allowed to listen to/watch a record where you want. Property yes, intellectual no way. Especially if talking about the music industry. The fun part is that the license agreement is on the dvd itself. You only get to see it if you buy that damned thing. Very funny guys...
  4. Saw it just yesterday on tv. I agree the movie is good but I had a hard time finding out what were the added scenes since the last time I saw the original was quite some time ago.
  5. quote:Originally posted by Dragon Lady: Now, it may be the case that aliens really are peaceful tree-hugging, flower-smelling, hick-probing pansies, but it seams like something of a stretch to assume that with the overwhelming lack of information.We would be the stone-age native Americans to an Alien's Columbus. And last time I checked the natives didn't fare too well against the Europeans. What do you think, could the National Missile Defense shoot down UFOs?
  6. quote:Originally posted by Dragon Lady: Ok, the article was clearly leftist propaganda, but it also had a very good point. The practice of strong arming schools (and can you come up with a better term for it?) into giving out lists of student names is just plain low. This article uses the term brainwash way too many times, but students shouldn't have unrestricted exposure to military propaganda like that. Don't take this wrong, I have nothing wrong with recruiters or people joining the military, but they should do so with there eyes open, not clouded by spiffy looking brochures are promises of college money.Agree. I've read some other articles on that site. They have points but their unreasoned leftwing position makes them unbelievable. I took it as an exercise of finding the needle in a Heuhaufen (don't know the word in English and can't find the dictionary at the moment).
  7. Thanks for the links Draconis Rex. The Schulz speech is quite an eyeopener, the guy really has some points. The last one will certainly incite the ire of some right wingers. What do you think about following bet? I bet that within the day a guy we know well (no matter what, I share some opinions with him) will offer you a tin foil beanie. Seriously now. The editor thinks that the parents didn't use the "opt-out" form because they were drunk or watching sitcoms. I think that might describe the average person but I also think that some parents didn't choose to opt-out because of their fear that the child might become the victim of obstructionism by the school. "You want to opt out? Well, I'll make sure that you will be out. Out of this school that is."
  8. quote:Originally posted by DraconisRex: I've read part of them, but not the whole set. Be that as it may, my whole point of this thread is this: Anytime the Federal Government is involved in any money-related situtaion, they somehow manage to spend at least twice as much as the old program cost when the States ran it, and create at least six-times the red tape. And we want them to continue the trend???Not at all. Switzerland's fiscal quota has reached around 45% and public debt 50% of GDP. IMO it's high time we do something about it. And to be fair the gov't is reducing expenses to get a balanced budget but that's not enough. The debts need to be payed too. quote: You match the extreme majority of US Citizens in your lack of knowledge of the Federalist Papers, except for this: You've heard of them before, if only in this forum. While I realize you're not from here, you still beat most of our citizens in this respect. That just goes to prove my point about the value of Public Education in America.Actually I've heard about them in another forum and even read a bit of the Federalist Papers some time ago. I remember there was a quiz about what the constitution, bill of rights and the federalist papers are about and some questions about the war of independence on the hp of netscape on July 4th and I even did well in them. What can I say, the American revolution was part of our history curriculum. quote: If you'd like, I can find you the links to the Fed. Papers, etc., but if you keep my rule about the Feds and Red Tape in mind, then it remains an economic thread, for the most part. I may rant about other things, but venting is the one MAJOR thing I like about posting on these forums....I'd like it very much if you could find some links with good overviews (I lost mine when I did a purge of all the dead links in my list of bookmarks a few months ago). I had the impression that this thread had turned into a discussion about the conformity of welfare programs with the constitution. Well, over here there are articles in the constitution about education, ecology and social security respectively. Ranting about things we can hardly change all by ourselfs is a major reason to rant on an internet forum. You might even learn something new or at least get to know another world view.
  9. quote:Originally posted by DraconisRex: Where did everybody go? Is education reform not important? We're talking future generations, even if they did manage to screw up most of us in terms of facing reality....Yes education is essential for the future of any country. I'm still following the discussion but since it has turned away from economics to constitution/federalist papers (where my knowledge is sorely lacking), I no longer participate.
  10. Guess I'm part of that club too. Aside from BC I also play Europa Universalis 2, a history nerd game that doesn't appeal to the masses.
  11. quote:Originally posted by J.Smith: all countries are welcomeok. Silvano Gehri Airforce Observer (Soldier) Swiss Army Recruit school (15 weeks) in 1997, 10 years left till discharge (conscription )
  12. quote:Originally posted by DraconisRex: Depends on how the schools deal with it. Without incentive, and reward, few students will try any harder than they did in the public schools. What's the reward for doing well in a public school? Honorary titles like Geek, Nerd, Teacher's Pet, etc. But if everyone is shooting for that new Jam-Box with the Ultra-Boom, then some students who aren't considered smart will tend to shine... You may consider this "bribing the students." I agree wholeheartedly. But, as they teach in some martial arts, "If it works, use it."Actually, I was talking about gifted people leaving public schools for private ones. quote: At the same time, the Federal Government has no right to tell anyone that they can't go to a religious school. Freedom of religion -- if a given school is accepting vouchers, then the student can go there. But again, I doubt the Catholics or the Luterans will go for it...I didn't say the feds should prevent anybody from going to a religious school. I just mixed up the issue of religious schools with my personal feelings about them, sorry. Btw, why would catholics and lutherans not accept vouchers? quote: No, it wasn't exagerated. It happened, to me and my wife 2-years ago. I had lost my job (passed out at work for no apparent reason), and we needed temporary food stamp assistance for one-month. However, since she had $200 that was due 27-days later (new job), they wouldn't help us at all. $200 for an effective 2-months -- glad I had the rent prepaid. However, as I looked over the "needy" in the waiting room, we saw kids with $90 tennis shoes, ladies with $100 hairdoes, long nails that cost about $200 a month to maintain, and a lot of these people getting out of late-model (1998 and up) cars. As you can imagine, I had a serious problem with this. Our problem may not have been "drastic," but compared to most of the clients, we were more in need than they were. We just wanted food, even if it was only the excess the FDA maintains. In Texas, a woman with 5-kids can clear $1,000 in benefits. But if they have 9-kids (they don't have to have them -- just be responsible for them), they can clear $1,800. That's more than I grossed as a Restaurant Manager. Do you see a problem with this?Talk about incentives to work... quote: I live in Baltimore. Everything is so politically correct, that I'm tounge-tied and feel like an idiot trying to hold a casual conversation.At least you guys don't have hate speech laws. Not that I'd want to publicly call for beating/killing foreigners but I still think that such laws are a severe infringement on free speech and extremely hypocritical for a democracy to pass. PS: I've seen several people who advocate that welfare should be left to the states. I see a problem where a poor state has many poor people. How is such a state supposed to help the people? Or are poor people supposed to move to richer states?
  13. quote:Originally posted by Dragon Lady: I'm not sure how this is a problem? People who can't be economically successful get exactly what the deserve. Misery. If there is really a job for them that someone who hasn't flushed there life down the gutter can take, then if they work hard they can get it. Besides, I've seen plenty of beggars, and very few of them seem to be in a situation where they can't work, just where they don't want to.Not wanting to spend money on social programs doesn't make it cheaper for society. You will just have to build more prisons to take in all these people who are basicly forced into crime. I have a rather utilitarian approach to the issue and not based on moral (like in: you deserve misery). Minimizing overall costs means you'll have to support the really poor ones IMO. quote: Bah! That isn't social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is the belief that we are stunting our evolution by enacting social programs that are fundamentally a waste of time anyway. It's an interesting theory and I, for one, am rather fond of some of the policies it advocates, but the nonsense about how we are evolving towards something is rubbish. Genetic science will take over far before evolution gets us anywhere.I wasn't speaking about the "evolving into something better" part, that's indeed rubbish. But rather about the unrestricted employment of "survival of the fittest" in human society. quote: An anti-intellectual stance eh? Talk about asking for it.Hu? You mean by spending on public schools? quote: You're not a xenophobe darling, and I think that is very interesting that successful countries tend to have homogenous populations. It is also my opinion that we don't need any more people here and immigration should be brought down to a trickle.Glad to meet somebody who thinks alike. Over here that sort of ideas can get you the stigma of a xenophobe or racist. quote: Well, ok, so let's assume that private schools wouldn't be able to do any better then public schools as far as test scores go. That's not too bad though, because at least they will do the same bad job while costing less money.Good point indeed. quote: No, I disagree. If someone can keep a job then they don't need public assistance (beyond the aforementioned training program). I see no need to support someone who works simply because they arenÔÇÖt making enough money at there job.No pity with working poors? quote: So what kind of family are we talking about? A gaggle of kids is the only excuse for someone not to be able to manage (other family members can work just like anyone else) I see no reason to support people who have a lot of children. It's there choice, and if they can't manage to avoid getting pregnant (not a hard task for anyone even moderately competent) then they deserve what they get.The parents yes, but what about the children born from such parents?
  14. quote:Originally posted by DraconisRex: Gangs? Simple. There's on-campus, then there's off-campus. If a student lets a non-student (other than a parent or guardian) onto campus, then that student joins the ranks of the off-campus crowd. Someone comes onto campus who doesn't belong, arrest them with jail time. Tickets don't work. You got drugs or guns on campus, or anything else illegal? Busted, and gone. Period. No if's, and's, or but's. Enforcement of rules is a must. The rule of law must be enforced, or we're wasting our time, money, and resources. And I thought our educational system was in trouble. quote: Religious schools (Catholic, Lutheran, etc.) will not take kindly to having the government enforce regulations on them. In fact, they'll close the schools before they let that happen. They won't take the vouchers, period. (I could be wrong about that, if they can maintain their basic free-hand without a lot of new rules, they might go for it. But government likes to control....)Not accepting vouchers means that only parents who can afford to pay the tuition fee twice can send their children there. Besides I think education shouldn't be infested with religion. quote: As for costs, I don't have a problem with the current education costs ÔÇô my earlier example (in my original post that showed in-pocket savings) was an example of what would happen if we made no improvements to the private schools. If they received the same monies to do the same job, teacher salaries would be dramatically improved, and extra money would be available for field trips, equipment, etc. However, they would have to raise test scores by something like 30%. They do that, then our money is well-spent. However, I still want the State to administer the tests of every school, to make sure there's no underhanded nonsense going on. (Watch the watchers.) Failure to do this means lower income to the school (use profit motive as a tool, but control its use.)What would you say to my "adverse selection theory" I stated in my previous post? Does it have some merit? quote: The State would have to audit records, etc., on a regular basis, to make sure all the students and classes were taken care of. This does not eliminate the Dept. of Education; it simply changes and down-sizes much of its excess. But Test Scores must be based on a Federally mandated, flat-score, universal program, or we're wasting our time (again.)Agree. Quality must be comparable. quote: What about the workers that run the cafeteria, janitorial work, etc.? Actually, most of them would go to work for the school, usually with a pay-hike. The ones who weren't selected by the school would qualify to go into other jobs with the city or county. (Don't want to create too much tension over the changes by the local workers. These people already work for local government, and there's almost always other jobs they can do.)I don't think that it's the gov't first task to create jobs but if they need workers anyway, they might as well work there. quote: Most parents don't have the time or energy to watch their kids, and many don't even see their kids until after 6:00 in the evening (if then.) To keep gangs from being a problem, curfews are effective. Apply them to anyone under the 10th grade ÔÇô you must go to a parent, guardian, or other approved location after school, even if it's only to Study Hall. What about 10th through 12th? Work, home, approved location, library, or anyplace you need to go. You will need a properly signed pass, though (parent, teacher, principal, peace officer, judge, or employer can sign these.)I think the problem that parents don't have time or energy is closely related with the discipline issue. If I had to guess, I'd say that this is because both have to work to support the family. quote: While we're on the subject of public assistance, if you can work, there are jobs. Might not be what you want to do, but if you like eating, and living in something other than a cardboard box, then working is your only real option (unless you find someone who takes care of you anyway.) The ones that are on welfare, food stamps, etc.... Get them into high school diploma programs. Help them get a 2-year degree in selected technical or skilled labor fields. Give them the option, but this restriction must exist: By help, we mean you must partially take care of yourself, which means maintain a part-time job (even if it's McDonalds.) Helping someone and doing it for them are two different things. Helping people to help themselfs looks like a promising concept to me. quote: There is a vast difference between the Needy, which would include people lacking employable job skills, and the Lazy, which do nothing but spend my tax money. Do you see the difference? Do you understand? It's simple: If you're going to spend my tax money, the least you can do is be productive with it. Having 9 kids and lounging around at the house all day on welfare with your $200/week nails, $90 tennis shoes, and late-model car, at State's expense, is not productive. It's long-term genocide.That sounds somewhat exagerated IMO. Concerning the 9 kids, I've heard that sex-ed isn't exactly popular with the religious right.
  15. quote:Originally posted by J.Smith: all right here we go again. I have another progect to do over population that has served, are serving, or want to serve in the military. so as the topic says sound off!!!! Jesse M Smith Seaman(active) United States NavyOnly Americans or foreign countries too?
  16. quote:Originally posted by Lotharr: Good schools cost. I don't know how it is in your country but we have left millions of Americans impoverished and destitute in the quest for profit.Our country allocates around 5.5% of GDP for education but still only ranges around average in international comparisons of 14-15 year olds. IMO one reason is a distinct problem with discipline of children compared to earlier times and the anti-intellectual stance among younger people. Another one might be the foreigners who amount to 20% of total population and have only a poor command of the german/french/italian language. I think integration of these people only works if they are a small minority, but them more their numbers increase, the more it is difficult. There are school districts where children of first generation immigrants make up more than 1/3 of the pupils in a class. If we compare ourselfs with other classical immigration destinations like Germany and the US we are only slightly better. Call me a xenophobe if you want but I think that it is quite revealing that the most successful countries in that regard like Japan, South Korea and Singapore are very homogeneous societies. quote: It is no longer fashionable to discuss these issues in mainstream outlets since this rush towards deregulation is actually exacerbating these problems. The corporate owners who buy officials, edit the media, and dictate priorities are loath to examine these failing in any meaningful way. I do want to explore this idea....but not at the expense causal factors.IMO the fallacy of comparing public and privat school performance in the US is that private schools can screen for rich people (fees) who are reasonably giftet (entry tests), while the public schools take the rest. It looks like a problem of adverse selection to me. The lower the average performance of public schools, the more good pupils are sent to private schools by their parents. That makes the average drop further etc. If I'm completely wrong with my assessment, I'd be glad if someone who knows reasonably well about that situation could correct me. In Switzerland private schools are considered to be for dim wits who have rich parents. Everybody who is reasonably intelligent can do well in public schools which aren't that bad (yet). quote: In America the underlying situation is that only the haves can afford proper funding in a system that rewards success by maintaining impoverishment. The notion of buying into the success of citizens has been left behind in favor of the free market ideology....only we seem to be building more prisons and weapons than citizens who are prepared to add to society in a meaningful way.Rewarding success by maintaining poverty? Well, if out of 10 people one is more successful and thus richer, then by definition the other 9 are *relatively* worse off but I wouldn't call that maintaining poverty. I do agree however that access to education shouldn't be based on the wealth of parents but on the intellectual abilities of the pupil in question. How can you be more meritocratic than that? I shudder when I think of how many people in the world don't even have access to basic education. Under other circumstances one of these people could be the guy who finds a cure against cancer or somesuch. All that wasted potential... quote: Well at least you don't think the sky to fall. I think it is a good idea. Trading can't stop so they can deal with it like the millions of Americans who have to deal with paying for more exotic weapons systems that aren't furthering our goals in the current asymmetrical warfare environment and will never overcome motivated thinkers that are reacting to oppression and abusive foreign policy.The sky doesn't fall. But I think that inefficiencies on several markets have cumulative effects and can lead a country into trouble, cough Germany cough. Here in Switzerland a tax on capital gains was cosidered a few years ago, but then the idea was dropped since the estimated tax revenues weren't significantly higher than the administrative costs to collect them. The US on the other hand has a larger market and thus it could be worth the effort. In the interest of efficient allocation of capital, which is a major prerequisite for a wealthy society, I still think it is a bad idea. quote: It seems that if the theory of the freemarket were sound we wouldn't be suffering these situations.That depends on what you mean with "sound". The theory has some hard to implement prerequisites but in general getting close to theory is the only feaisble thing, no matter what theory you try to implement. A working free market doesn't abolish poverty but it gives everybody a chance to use their abilities to attain success. Wealth is a function of productivity which in turn is a function of education, rule of law, stability and other similar political factors. IMO if the gov't helps poor but promising children to get an education, promotes law and order and generally acts in a responsible way, then it goes a long way to promote wealth and high living standards of it's people. The problem is, that this is a self reinforcing trend (also known as vicious cicle). Wealthy, stable and free societies can increase productivity and thus wealth etc. etc. While poor, civil war ridden countries not only destroy what little they have now, but they also don't get out of that cicle too. Throwing money at the problem for 50 years hasn't done much to alleviate the situation but I also don't think that recolonization is an acceptable strategy. quote: We are dismantling tort law, industrial regulation, and corporate accountability at unprecedented rates (thatÔÇÖs for the jobs we donÔÇÖt send to some totalitarian country where labor can be used as virtual slaves). All we are getting however is more poor people, less jobs, and further disintegration of community....so if the suits canÔÇÖt make the right decisions we need to force them to give back.Dismantling regulation can improve the situation if you already have a thight network of regulations like it is the case with many european countries. While there are regulations who can be reduced easily, I say dismantle corporate accountability on your own peril. If people can't trust the numbers provided by the companies, they won't invest unless they get high risk premiums, which does reduce overall investment and creation of jobs. Wall Street wasn't exactly happy about Bush's plans regarding corporate accountability and the indices fell after both of his speeches. Transparency shouldn't be something you mess with if you really are in favor of free markets. quote: I donÔÇÖt want to live in a nation of accountants who base their morality on current market ethos.I'll take a dull accountant over a charismatic leader any day of the week. The latter ones usually mean more trouble than it is worth it. And then there are those who base their morality on religion, which is the very definition of fundamentalism. Shudder....
  17. quote:Originally posted by Jaguar: And I wonder what caused this major economic and educational failure?Don't know what you mean by economic failure. That slowdown we're currently in? Educational failure IMO also stems from living in a wealthy society. Children take all the things they get from the parents for granted and thus don't see why they should work hard at school. I'd say in certain circles there is even an active anti-intellectual stance. quote: Hmm, let's see, cities raise taxes to pay for the socalled social programs to get these poor people "out of poverty", what happens instead is that the business's that create jobs and produce that tax revenue are no longer profitable with the huge taxes they pay to get"rid of poverty". So what do they do? THEY LEAVE, and relocate where the taxes are not so oppressive and therefore they can manage to somehow make a profit. Higher taxes, less business's for jobs, less jobs more poverty, then of course they raise taxes again to "get rid of poverty" and so the cycle begins again. You end up with no tax base, the community turns into a ghetto, the educational system falls apart, and it eats itself. ALL that because the government wanted to help by taxing the very business that employed those that were employed in that community. The government in essence created MORE of what it was trying to fight. It happens EVERY time, EVERY single time. Your view is that we need to tax the business' more then they already are, in order to pay for the social programs, which of course DOES NOT work, because you end up chasing the business out of the very communities you are trying to help.Basicly I agree. This is especially true for businesses which employ low skilled labor. Where high skilled labor is concerned the businesses are usually ready to cope with higher taxes and higher expectations of potential employees because their productivity is also higher. quote: A business is NOT a charity, it is FOR PROFIT organization, for without profit, an entrepreneur will not even bother, why should he start a business? When he starts it, he loses money to begin with, and as soon as it starts showing a profit, it is taxed away from him?I don't think Lotharr is promoting a 100% tax on company profits thus there is still profit left for the company. Althuogh I too think that even a 50% like in Germany is too high. People should still feel that taking risks does pay off. That of course doesn't mean that you can't tax business at all. quote: Tax stocks and bonds, what? are you really that naive, do you want to destroy the economy totally?That's somewhat exagerated. Although it would certainly hurt efficiency of the capital market (more so the higher the tax is), it wouldn't completely destroy it. quote: In all honesty if you want to help the poor, there are 3 steps. 1: get rid of ALL government run social programs, they do not work and they create more problems. 2: help nonprofit PRIVATE organizations get going, through tax breaks, government susidized food such as cheese, etc given to those nonprofit private organizations for free. AND the most important, 3: LOWER or get rid of ALL taxes on business's, go to a straight sales or consumption tax on goods sold. the income tax should be gotten rid of totally, it is NONE of the governments business how much money ANYONE makes.1. Too generous social programs have indeed the side effect of reducing incentives to work but completely abolishing them would condemn many people to misery. Since it is much easier to find a job if you're not homeless, I think a social program should avert the worst consequences of poverty but not try to fight poverty itself. That's what education and growing economy is for. 2. What's the difference between a gov't funded private non-profit organization and a gov't program? What you describe has pretty much the same effect as food stamps. I'm not yet convinced that a private non-profit organization would be much more effective and efficient than the gov't. 3. That would deprive the gov't of a source of income without creating the fantastic growth effects you expect since taxation is not the only variable a potential business considers. As long as taxes are kept low enough, businesses will still expand and provide the gov't with some income. A tax on consumption has that nasty effect of hurting especially the poor you want to help by abolishing the income tax, unless of course you want to exempt basic needs from taxation. But doing that usually opens a new can of worms. quote: If those steps are TRULY taken, you will see the economy gop through the roof, tax revenue go way up, and poverty drop through the floor. It works EVERY time it is tried, problem is that most politicians and liberals, are more interested in power then actually taking care of the problem, because they need MORE poverty in order to gain more power, that is why they do it the way they do. THe 3 steps above are the TRUE solution, and it WILL and DOES work. Too bad that you are too naive or closeminded in your hate of business/corporate greed, to see it.Amen. Sorry but I always say amen when I heard a prayer (and that isn't too often). The way you made your point above really does resemble a promise of paradise if you do that and not the other. IIRC it was Harry Trueman who wanted "one-handed economists" because he was irritated that they would always say: on the one hand...on the other hand. Well, economics is not about nice and simple solutions. Every measure has some advantages and some disadvantages and those making the decision should know that and weight the effects against each other according to their preferences of outcomes. Even more important is, they should know that their choices/preferences are based on their world view (in other words: opinion) concerning equality, reward for success etc. What we have here is a discussion about the merits of the different world views and not exclusively about the effects of different policies. quote: Oh well, not all of us understand the true free market economy and a republican form of government, but those of us that do, need to try to teach those of you who don't, why and how it works, even if it means having you kick and scream about how unfair it is.I think many people do understand the effects of markets as they are now (notice how I didn't say free, since they aren't), but even more people don't know what a really free market is in theory, what the prerequisites are and what the advantages for the consumer would be. If you look at all the tariff and subsidies debates that are constantly going on in politics, you see that even fewer people actually want free markets. Above all those who claim to be in favor of them. Real life example: Here in Switzerland the Federal Council (executive branch) just recently decided to let the ban on parallel imports of pharmaceuticals in place, since the companies need the money resulting from higher prices for their research. What a piece of crap. What about foreign companies who don't have such protected markets, do they fare worse than ours? Not at all. This is just a good example how the self appointed fighters for free markets (they even have the guts to call themselfs "classical liberals") blatantly disregard their supposed convictions when it suits them. Of course that doesn't mean that free markets are a bad idea. It's just a bad idea to trust those people who profit the most when markets are not free to make laws suitable to keep markets free. I could continue to rant about the same people when they discuss trust laws and how they try to save their monopolies (Swiss economy is one of the most colluded economies on earth) but that wouldn't add anything new. quote: Because it is not at all unfair, it is based on true human nature, Human potential, and humn profit motive, IE PERSONAL GREED. When you can change human nature, then we will discuss your liberal and socialistic dreams, but men are NOT insects, and NEVER will be, that is why those systems NEVER work. The only people they work for, are the ones in charge.Are you a proponent of social darvinism? I ask this because while I agree that greed is human nature, but I also think that human instincts shouldn't rule supreme and unchallenged or otherwise there will be anarchy and everybody is worse off.
  18. I know the questions in this post are directed towards Dragon Lady and Draconis Rex but I have that stupid habit of answering questions not directed to me just for fun. quote:Originally posted by Lotharr: Where did you get those figures from? I'd like to review the source and the data.Forgot to add the sources, sorry. Department of the Treasury/Bureau of the Public Debt (Public Debt): http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opd.htm#history Department of Commerce/Bureau of Economic Analysis (GDP): http://www.bea.gov/bea/dn/nipaweb/TableViewFixed.asp#Mid Department of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics (CPI): http://data.bls.gov/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet quote: From your post you want to put money back in your pocket. If that is the case I think it would be more fruitful to look else ware. Social programs are always going to cost money so who should pay the bill?That's the point. I think he wants to abolish some programs to save money. quote: How about we place a small tax on every stock transaction? Money would flow back into the country that made these businesses successful (Nader idea.Capital markets are supposed to constantly allocate capital where it is supposed to be most productive. A tax on transactions will reduce the number of transactions because people need a higher margin of profit to make it worthwile. All that time capital is stuck in a suboptimal allocation. That's why I think that taxing transactions or capital gains is a bad idea. quote: Do you share Dragon Lady's assessment that the majority of American citizens are filth to be exploited whenever there is profit to be made?Nope. That's why taxation has to be kept in check too. [ 12-01-2002, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: Starfighter08 ]
  19. I'm no leftwinger (at least the political compass in the other thread says so) but I'll answer anyway. quote:Originally posted by DraconisRex: On October 29th, 1929, which is called "Black Friday" in the history books, the Stock Market crashed, and burned. At the time, "The New Deal" was a good way of dealing with the situation, since the nation would not survive without splitting the resources of what few of the wealthy that remained, to include the US Treasury. We entered World War II on December 7th, 1941. Although we weren't actually in the war until that point, we had been selling many weapons and unofficial "assistance" items to Great Britain and others in an effort to bolster our economy. In 1945, we won the war against both Germany and Japan, and the Social Programs we had started should have ended, since our economy and the society at-large was on a major upswing, right? Wrong! The IRS was founded originally to pay war debts and get us back-on-track in the world-scene. A great idea -- no problem. And when it has completed that, it would be disbanded, right? Wrong!It has been the same all over the 1st worldafter WWII. Here in Switzerland we still pay the defense tax inroduced because of WWII. It's just that it was renamed to income tax after WWII. Once the gov't gets an additional share of GDP it is very reluctant to give it back. quote: Our Federal Debt actually started when a certain group of morons decided that it would be a great idea to be able to print all the money they wanted. They did this by taking us off the ÔÇ£Gold Standard,ÔÇØ which was where every dollar in the treasury was backed-up by the same amount of gold, and could be exchanged for gold at any Federal Bank. Without the Gold Standard, the term ÔÇ£inflationÔÇØ would have little meaning, since you didn't lose any value just because prices fluctuated.The printing of money and public debt didn't just start after the gold standard was abolished. It happened all the time in history, starting with the war of independence in the US. Problem with the gold standard was, that economic output and the amount of gold available have nothing to do with each other. An expanding economy needs the amount of money to expand at the same rate. If too low gold reserves prevent the amount of money from expanding, goods' values increas vis-├á-vis money which means the price level starts dropping. This effect is also known as deflation. The inability to increase money supply in such a case results in a strangled economy. When the UK returned to the gold standard after WWI (against the advice of Keynes) a sharp depression followed. quote: At the moment, the only reason that American money has any value is because we believe it does ÔÇô it isn't worth the paper it's printed on! The last time I checked (which has been awhile,) US Dollars were worth 27 cents.People believe in the value of the Dollar because there is a successful economy on the other side of the equation and the Federal reserve board usually tries to maintain price level stability. Actually the fact that the material worth is lower than the face value of a currency is a good thing. Because of that it can better fulfill it's role as legal tender. Since people don't want to hoard money, it's usually spent or invested (in other words it's always in circulation). quote: Prior to Black Friday, the US Government was ÔÇ£in the black,ÔÇØ meaning that there was no debt owed to anyone; in fact, there was a surplus. This all changed when the Stock Market plunged to an all-time low.Not true. Have a look at this data provided by your gov't: http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opd.htm#history It reached a first peak after WWI, then decreased until the Great Depression and from then it's all the way up. quote: The US Treasury has a table, shown below, that tells us the history of the US Debt, from 1940 to the Estimated Value in 2005.I'll add GDP (in bln. $) to have a meaningful comparison and calculate the debt in % of GDP approx. 1940 $ 50,696 million 1946 $ 270,991 million $ 210.6 bln 128.7% 1950 $ 256,853 million $ 275.7 bln 93.1% 1960 $ 290,525 million $ 527.9 bln 55.0% 1970 $ 380,921 million $ 1018.2 bln 37.4% 1980 $ 909,050 million $ 2732.9 bln 33.3% 1990 $3,206,564 million $ 5720.8 bln 56.1% 2000 $5,629 bln $ 9752.7 bln 57.7% I'd say US economic growth made WWII, Korea and Vietnam bearable but then Reagan did some deficit spending and Clinton didn't exactly improve the situation. quote: On the assumption that the value shown in 1941 was the effect of the Great Depression, we spent $57.531 million dollars to support our local citizens. Not too bad, considering the devistating impact of Black Friday.The $ 57 bln weren't only because of the Great Depression. See above link. quote: By 1950, the debt should have been taken care of, the IRS abolished, etc. That didn't happen, because Congress saw great use for that extra money they had no right to have. Having to do nothing and collect great sums of money, thanks to the 1930's and early 1940's, had become the American Dream! Who would have thought that the American people could be so helpful!The debt taken care of by 1950? You're way to optimistic. It wouldn't have worked because it would have taken the economic output of one entire year to pay all the debt. quote: Let's see what ÔÇ£social reformÔÇØ has done for this great land, shall we? Assume that the value shown for 1941 has a ÔÇ£base valueÔÇØ of one, or ÔÇ£1ÔÇØ for the uninitiated. Let's check that value to see what's happened in the past 61-years.... 1940 to 1950 ÔÇô Increase from 1 to 4.46 ÔÇô Acceptable, since the first half of the 1940's was still in the Depression. 1950 to 1959 ÔÇô Increase from 4.46 to 4.997 ÔÇô Okay, so we didn't pay our bills. Korean ÔÇ£police action.ÔÇØ 1960 to 1969 ÔÇô Increase from 4.997 to 6.36 ÔÇô Viet Nam Conflict ÔÇô still not paying our bills. 1970 to 1979 ÔÇô Increase from 6.36 to 14.42 ÔÇô Wait a minute, wrong direction!!! 1980 to 1989 ÔÇô Increase from 14.42 to 49.852 ÔÇô Damn, people, what y'all thinking?!?!? 1990 to 1999 ÔÇô Increase from 49.852 to 97.444 ÔÇô Somebody, put on the breaks!!! 2000 to 2002 ÔÇô Increase from 97.444 to 101.771 (Estimated) ÔÇô Almost acceptable. 2003 to 2005 ÔÇô Increase from 101.771 to 106.349 (Estimated) ÔÇô Slowed down, at least. Still too high.You forgot something, Inflation. What you show is the increase of nominal debt which isn't exactly informative since the purchasing power of $ 1 was much higher in 1940 than in 2000. I'll now compile a list of debt in 1984 dollars. 1940 $ 50,696 million $ 364,719 million 1950 $ 256,853 million $ 1,092,991 million + 200% 1960 $ 290,525 million $ 991,552 million - 10% 1970 $ 380,921 million $ 1,007,727 million + 1% 1980 $ 909,050 million $ 1,168,444 million + 16% 1990 $3,206,564 million $ 2,516,926 million + 115% 2000 $5,629,000 million $ 3,334,715 million + 32% It still doesn't look good, but now at least you no longer compare apples with oranges. quote: What this tells me is that we still haven't paid for the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Viet Nam War, or even Dessert Storm. Excuse me, but wasn't that the point of having the IRS in the first place? To help raise money to pay for our expenses? That was the excuse they used to start it, but....In a way the gov't did pay. By inflating. That way it pays back the same amount of money but it's now worth less then when it was borrowed from the public. Thus that sort of inflation is also called a hidden tax. You complained about that earlier and I agree, but for the reasons stated above returning to the gold standard would create more problems than it would solve. To prevent such things get some "hard nosed" monetarists into the Fed who commit themself to price level stability. Also the less the Fed has to bow to gov't wishes (which already applies for the US, Switzerland, Germany just to name the most inedpendent ones) the lower inflation generally is. quote: Now, I hear people trying to convince me that we need more social programs, and to continue to let government run Education. Based on their past track-record, that would not be a sound business decision ÔÇô how would you react if someone with a history similar to what Congress has asked to run your business, or even do your taxes? My answer would be a resounding No way in hell!!! How about you? [ 11-28-2002, 02:46 PM: Message edited by: Starfighter08 ]
  20. quote:Originally posted by Cmdr Nova: Hehe: i am extremely intelligent and very wise. i think logically and rhetorically in order to get problems solved. if i'm not mad now, i'm getting very close.Me too. Well, statistically speaking if intelligence is distributed like a bell curve, then being far above average (or below for that matter) makes you not normal. In other words mad.
  21. I saw it a few years ago on TV. I liked the movie pretty much since it has everything a good spy movie needs.
  22. quote:Originally posted by DraconisRex: quote:Originally posted by Starfighter08: IIRC that's the old fight about the 2nd amendment allowing individuals to own guns vs. allowing state militias.Thomas Jefferson addressed this issue in several of his writings (I will get references on request.) The Constitution only allowed the existance of an Army and a Navy to be governed by the Federal Government. The State Militias were Minutemen, private individuals who guarded and protected our shores from invaders, such as what we saw during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. They were front-line military men that were highly trained in the art of protecting these shores, and they did a fantastic job, imo. If you want to get technical, the National Guards are not required or authorized by the Constitution, although they exist in the basic form that the Second Amendment permitted. The Right to Bear Arms was granted to us to ensure that the Government would never again be our nemesis to freedom. This right ensured that, should Congress be so stupid as to try to take away our rights, we would have the ability to beat the ever-loving crap out of them, just as we did to King George. With some help, courtesy of the French king. quote: I don't think there is anything to dispute -- it's American freedom in its purest form, and anyone wanting to argue with my rights had best be prepared to meet me (and 80 million other gun-owners) on the battlefield. With 1/3rd of the population marching on DC, I think it would be a short war indeed.An armed population is indeed harder to suppress than an unarmed one. But I fear that only a blunt coup d'etat by the feds would trigger that reaction you describe. What about the tactics of taking away civil liberties one by one? Where do you draw the line? Or don't you have any second thoughts concerning homelandsecurity or similar agencies?
  23. quote:Originally posted by DraconisRex: So long as they still make iron pipes and firecrackers, I can assure you, I will still have access to a gun. One that is just as deadly as the ones they are trying to "control." As soon as they get the criminals to register their weapons, legal or otherwise, they'll have something to control. They tell me that a handgun is a defensive weapon. I disagree with that, because its use is quite offensive to whatever it hits... Knowing how to use, clean, and oil a gun I consider to be very important -- at the same time, I'm not as afraid of a Peace Officer as I am a 24-year old who shakes when they hold the weapon... A Peace Officer will wing me, whereas the novice will simply shoot the weapon, and I have no idea where its going to hit. Neither does the criminal, which makes the situation more interesting. It's simple, really -- if you pull a gun, be prepared to use it.Couldn't agree more. quote: quote:"A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." -- From the Second Amendment, US Constitution It doesn't say that the States have the right to change this, nor does it give the Courts the power to impose any laws that defeat its purpose. Any law passed that does so is illegal. Period. It seems the Courts have forgotten terms like "Democracy" and "Freedom." So have many of the State Legislatures. Or what "derogatory power of federal laws" means. quote: Now I'm confused -- there's a 50% probability that any male you assault in your country will shoot you, yet you're arguing against the right of a free people to defend themselves?!?!?BUSTED. I was playing advocatus diaboli just for the sake of discussing the issue (since I have some reservations about easy access to guns). I hope you guys don't mind. quote: I will concede that training on both usage and proper maintenance of any gun you own should be required -- but then again, how much training do most people get before they sit down in front of a computer for the first time? Owning a gun is a responsibilty first, and defense second.My point precisely. People who want to own guns should show their sincerity by submitting to training and testing. quote: In closing -- It makes no difference whether or not laws should exist or not; the only impact is results. Crime rates in both Great Britain and Australia have soared to astronomical levels in the past ten-years, as they make tighter and stricter gun-control laws. Taking the abilty to defend oneself away only increases the probability of a crime.It's hardly a ceteris paribus comparison, since the implementation of gun control laws wasn't the only thing that happened in that decade. There's recession, a general tendency/readiness for violence etc. Thus you can't exactly know if gun control laws can be blamed intierely for the raise in crime. quote: What do you think of this idea? Instead of convicting our local criminals through the courts, how about simply revoking their citizenship, and sending them away to Great Britain or Australia? At least they should feel right at home.....I guess the Brits and Aussies would mind, but you could still send the criminals to a moon or mars penal colony....
  24. quote:Originally posted by Jaguar: Since you are from Switzerland, I will forgive this obvious lack of knowledge. Congress CANNOT amend the constitution, they can send an amendment to the states to be voted on and if a majority of the states agree with it, then it can be added.Shame on me, I should have known it since it works pretty much the same way over here (not only majority of states but also majority of popular votes). quote: Fact is, that an amendment to get rid of the 2nd amendment would crash and burn so hard that it is insane, and EVERY congressman that voted for it would be in danger of getting voted out the next election. All Gun owners and groups would aim their sites and money at getting those congressman defeated, and removed from office. Besides the fact that it would cause a revolution against the federal government like they have never seen. 80 million gun owners is nothing to sneeze at, and 250 million guns is nothing to sneeze at either. The government will not try to get rid of the 2nd amendment, it would be political suicide. That is why they are trying to judiciate, legislate, and sue gun manufacturers and gun owners rights out of existence without directly going after the amendment itself. We have 20,000 gun laws inthis country, and the cities with the HIGHEST crimerates are those with the tightest gun restrictions. When the SCOTUS(Supreme Court of the United States) finally gets a 2nd amendment case, expect most if not ALL gun laws to be kicked out. This will throw the liberals and socialists into a tizzy, and hopefully they will flee the country. Maybe they'll flee to Switzerland, or Europe. You can have them. Actually, I didn't propose to get rid of the 2nd amendment, just to amend it. To allow for some sort of screening. Commies? We don't need no stinkin' commies. We have more than enough of them. See Germany and public deficit.
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