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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not true that virtually all the inventions listed above were made by the government, and it doesn't matter if the private corporations received government grants. The point is that we have a capitalist society, not a socialist one. A capitalist society has more money to spend on things like the military and research grants, as I've been saying. And a capitalist society has an incentive for this kind of innovation, because of the potential profits to be made in the private sector by corporations which brings these inventions to the public. But even if the innovation comes from money being poured into the world's best military, it still makes my point that America spends more on its military than any other country--money it can afford because it is richer than all other countries, a fact brought to us by capitalism, which enables other countries who benefit from an alliance with the world's sole superpower, enabling them to spend their money on things like universal health care instead (which is also made possible by things like MRI machines and drugs mostly invented in America).

peter wrote:
you can't have handed out, what you have already paid for by progressive taxation any more than you are 'handed out' by your medical insurance when you get sick.
If that were actually true, then there is absolutely no benefit to government health care if all you're doing is paying for it yourself, except in a roundabout and less efficient way. Insurance doesn't work like progressive taxation. You don't pay less for insurance by forcing rich people to pay for most of it.

peter wrote:
But why this fixation on the welfare part of a social democratic system?
Because you started a thread which has the sole purpose of proving that people are happier in societies that lean more toward socialism than in societies that are more free market. You're saying that the more government services people have, the better off they are. While it's true that this isn't literally welfare for everyone, in a system of progressive taxation it is more like a handout the farther away from the top income brackets you are. That's the whole point of making it "progressive," rather than equally shared. It's to get other, richer people to pay for things you want. Otherwise, you'd just pay for it yourself. If most people weren't getting more out than they pay in, there would be no majority of people preferring it. In as much as you are getting more out than you pay in, you're getting a hand out. If it weren't for the richer people in the system--the capitalists, in other words--it would collapse.

The more you take from the top in order to spread around to everyone else, the less efficient your economy becomes. Profit is efficiency. Profit doesn't exist without some excess value created. Them more you cut into profits with taxation, the more you remove the very thing that incentivizes this whole process that leads to increasing levels of value. There is one force in the world that leads to increased development of human technology, and taxation is the opposite of that. It is the friction against which that force works.

I think people are better off in the long run by removing that friction, allowing the economy to run full speed, and trying to acquire what they need by adding to the forward momentum themselves with their own efforts, rather than what can be skimmed off of those who are accomplishing much more.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is not one sentence of your post I disagree with Hashi. But removal of the safety net because some people might gull the system is not the answer. After 25 years in a job commensurate with my qualifications (degree plus masters) through no fault of my own I found myself unemployed; within days I took a low grade retail job on the basis that you have no right to claim benefit if you are fit and there is work available - call it a pride thing as well if you like. This may have been a mistake because as I discovered, in the UK if you have retail on your CV, retail is where you stay. But that is by the by, the point is that if people can be educated to understand, to believe, that the system will only work - and that it is their social responsibility to ensure that it does - if the adopt the high ground in its use, then it can work just fine. To return briefly to my own story- had I not found my job so quickly I would, in the knowledge that I had done my utmost to avoid it, have taken my benefit, toward which I had already contributed via my National Insurance payments, without guilt or shame.
It is part of the social contract we have with our state, our society, to be responsible in the use of its resources and to be net contributors where and whenever possible over the course of our lives. That people often fail to live up to this high ideal is rarely down to simple indolence; education, life chances and simple luck will also play their part - but the fact remains that it is a minority that will take the easy option of abandoning a life of aspiration for one of vegetation. The bulk of people by their very nature will play the game - they do already - but if society declines to provide on its side of the bargain, then it has no claim on the loyalty or responsible activity of its individual members and the law of the jungle pertains.
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