IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » USA Politics
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags Colorado incidents , Colorado politics , Estelle Carson , politics scandals

Reply
Old 28th October 2012, 08:15 PM   #81
thaiboxerken
Penultimate Amazing
 
thaiboxerken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 31,790
Besides, isn't calling a Conservative, a liar, rather redundant?
__________________
1. He'd never do that. 2. Okay but he's not currently doing it. 3. Okay but he's not currently technically doing it. 4. Okay but everyone does it. 5. He's doing it, we can't stop him, no point in complaining about it. 6. We all knew he was going to do it which... makes it okay somehow. 7. It's perfectly fine that's he's doing it.
thaiboxerken is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th October 2012, 08:54 PM   #82
Corsair 115
Penultimate Amazing
 
Corsair 115's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14,519
Originally Posted by stevea View Post
Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan ... what's wrong - google broken for you ? Those nations take roughly half as much GDP by taxation as the US and have slammin' growth &HDI.

So your measure of whether a government is big or small is what percentage of GDP it takes in as revenue? Seems a somewhat curious metric to me. All that tells us is how much money is being collected. It says nothing about what that money is being spent on. Which, it seems to me, is a little more on point insofar as large or small government is concerned.

I'm going to cite OECD data. Its statistics don't include the three places you mentioned, but the data covers many other nations.

According to OECD figures, in 2010 the nation which had the most total tax collected as a share of GDP was Denmark, at 47.6%. Germany was thirteenth on the list at 36.1%. The OECD average placed eighteenth (33.8%). The United States held the thirty-third position (24.8%). The only nations on the OECD table scoring lower than the U.S. were Chile (19.6%) and Mexico (18.6%).

The next OECD data for consideration is government social spending, that is, total public social expenditure as a share of GDP. The most recent year for which there is data is 2007. In this metric France holds top spot at 28.4%. The OECD average comes in at nineteenth position at 19.2%. The United States held the twenty-sixth spot at 16.2%. There were nine countries ranked below the U.S. These included Australia (16.0%), Chile (13.0%), Korea (7.6%), and Mexico (7.2%).

The last bit of OECD data for consideration is total government social spending per head, at constant 2000 prices and constant 2000 PPPs, in U.S. dollars. Again, the most recent year for which there are figures is 2007. Under this metric, Luxembourg was in first place at $13,447. The U.S. was in thirteenth position at $6,186. Countries of note ranking below the U.S. included Canada (5,337), Japan (5,335), Australia (5,187), and Korea (1,741).

The OECD web site has a wealth of statistics and data for perusal. I'd encourage those interested to visit the site and view the information for themselves.
__________________
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve
to organize and measure the best of our abilities and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and
one which we intend to win."

Last edited by Corsair 115; 28th October 2012 at 08:58 PM.
Corsair 115 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th October 2012, 09:34 PM   #83
stevea
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,061
Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
So your measure of whether a government is big or small is what percentage of GDP it takes in as revenue? Seems a somewhat curious metric to me. All that tells us is how much money is being collected. It says nothing about what that money is being spent on. Which, it seems to me, is a little more on point insofar as large or small government is concerned.
I don't agree. SIZE is about the amount spent. We can normalize to the population in a per capita manner or we can compare the figure to GDP, but the government is just as big and onerous if it spends money on battleships vs dams vs hospitals.

If you have a better practical metric let's hear it.


Quote:
I'm going to cite OECD data. Its statistics don't include the three places you mentioned, but the data covers many other nations.
....
Is there a point here - or are we just reciting stats ?

To be fair I *think* that citing the dollar per capita figures is probably a more reasonable measure than per GDP for size of government and size of social programs. If two nations have different per capita GDPs it does not mean the citizens require different precapita social expenditures not differner taxation to pay for this.
stevea is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th October 2012, 09:44 PM   #84
Corsair 115
Penultimate Amazing
 
Corsair 115's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14,519
Originally Posted by stevea View Post
I don't agree. SIZE is about the amount spent.

Well, I suppose that's one way of defining it. The thing is, there are many other ways of defining government size. Simply stating it's about the amount of money spent without regard to what it is being spent on means that, for example, the U.S. could immediately become a smaller government country by eliminating the one-fifth of its expenditures that is on the Department of Defense. I expect there'd be many Americans who'd object to that sort of smaller government. In which case that takes right back to what the money is spent on as being a major factor in government size.


Originally Posted by stevea View Post
Is there a point here - or are we just reciting stats ?

It shows that, within just the context of social spending by government, the specific metric one chooses can affect how nations are ranked. Or, in other words, government is a complicated matter and to try and reduce it to a one-note, simplistic measure is not doing the subject justice.
__________________
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve
to organize and measure the best of our abilities and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and
one which we intend to win."
Corsair 115 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th October 2012, 10:28 PM   #85
stevea
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,061
Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
LOL no. I don't "complain". I point out that the BS propaganda about disability is wrong. And your own examples demonstrate my point (see below).
I don't understand your point. The US government has stupid bureaucratic methods. That's hardly news.


Quote:
Of course you ignore that not everyone can afford private LT disability insurance.
I never suggested my wife's disability as an example of affordabilty - non sequiteur.

But since you bring up the point - why do you imagine that something individuals cannot (more likely wont) afford is becomes magically affordable via government ? It makes no economic sense. It does reflect the current view that we can always afford more social services so long as someone else pays. Why don't we just all vote ourselves Porches and beachfront property in Hawaii ? What is the counter-balancng force to prevent it ?

Again - if you want to pass an amendment to the Constitution to create a social service that benefits a select class, then by all means try. Currently that can be done by states, but not legitimately by the Fed. What you are seeking is wealth transfer.



Quote:
And oddly enough your own examples for economic freedom offer UHC. So which is it?
I would personally prefer to choose my own HC. I consider it a violation of my rights to be forced into a HC system not of my own choosing. I'm perfectly willing to pay something toward the HC of the indigent and disabled.

That fact that most advanced governments provide UHC does not make it a great idea for the US as I've explaind.


Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Bizarre claim. I don't know what "obvious" means but given the entire list of nations in the HDI mix, social services is a clear correlation.
You missed the point US pays more per capita just for medicare and medicaid that covers a minority of the population than Singapore or Taiwan pay for UHC. So we pay as much and don't get comparable services.

[quote]I don't see that you've made your point. Please to explain? Denmark and Norway are high in HDI, GDP etc....

You claimed that Denmark and Norway have comparable economic freedom despite high taxes and I've pointed to evidence that it's very hard to start a new biz there. In part this is due to investment regulation, taxes, capital formation rules ... . So no - they are not evidence that these highly regulated high social program cost states allow adequate entrepreneurial growth.

You have some bugaboo with more equal income distribution. It was true just a few years ago, perhaps not today, that the lowest income quintile in the US had a comparable standard of living as the median EU citizen. The EU/EC had a slightly larger GDP then the US, but it was spread over 500M ppl instead of 310M. NO! I do not want a "more equal" incomes, if it means lower average incomes. I do not want to be more like France or Sweden, nor do I think it's possible given the US polycultural schema.

Many EU nations have heavy regulations on the closing of businesses and layoff of employees no longer needed, whereas in the US this 'redeployment' of labor has been less regulated and less costly. Partly as a result the US has enjoyed a ~1+% point higher annual GDP generally than the EU generally for many decades. That's not the only cause, but the inability to respond rapidly and efficiently to market changes is a real cost. It doesn't matter who pays the tax, trying to employ/prop-up Beta-max/chevy-volt makers costs everyone and prevents improvement.

The other point - there is no optimal size of government for maximal benefit. What 99% of the population feels is a benefit will hamper 1%, what 51% feel is beneficial is anethma to 49%. The question is how many rights and dreams will you crush in achieving your goal. Do you have a legitimate or moral right to do this ?
stevea is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th October 2012, 10:43 PM   #86
RandFan
Mormon Atheist
 
RandFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 60,134
Originally Posted by stevea View Post
I never suggested my wife's disability as an example of affordabilty - non sequiteur.
I didn't say you did. Because everyone cannot afford it is why we need govt disability.

Quote:
But since you bring up the point - why do you imagine that something individuals cannot (more likely wont) afford is becomes magically affordable via government ?
It doesn't become magically affordable. It's mandatory so people cannot opt out which makes it affordable. The "magical" is your straw man.

Quote:
It makes no economic sense. It does reflect the current view that we can always afford more social services so long as someone else pays. Why don't we just all vote ourselves Porches and beachfront property in Hawaii ? What is the counter-balancng force to prevent it ?
Straw man argument. Clearly there are limits to what govt can provide in way of social services. Clearly we need incentives for people to better themselves. Not even Denmark provides luxuries as a part of their social services.

Quote:
I would personally prefer to choose my own HC. I consider it a violation of my rights to be forced into a HC system not of my own choosing. I'm perfectly willing to pay something toward the HC of the indigent and disabled.
No one is stopping you.

Quote:
That fact that most advanced governments provide UHC does not make it a great idea for the US as I've explaind.
It's demonstrative that it works. And works very well. There's no reason for so many of our citizens to be without healthcare and it's is good for society to have health citizens.

Quote:
You missed the point US pays more per capita just for medicare and medicaid that covers a minority of the population than Singapore or Taiwan pay for UHC. So we pay as much and don't get comparable services.
The same is true for private health insurance.

U.S. scores dead last again in healthcare study

Quote:
You claimed that Denmark and Norway have comparable economic freedom despite high taxes and I've pointed to evidence that it's very hard to start a new biz there. In part this is due to investment regulation, taxes, capital formation rules ... . So no - they are not evidence that these highly regulated high social program cost states allow adequate entrepreneurial growth.
Are you really just going to ignore my points? Look at your link. It supports my claim.

Quote:
You have some bugaboo with more equal income distribution. It was true just a few years ago, perhaps not today, that the lowest income quintile in the US had a comparable standard of living as the median EU citizen. The EU/EC had a slightly larger GDP then the US, but it was spread over 500M ppl instead of 310M. NO! I do not want a "more equal" incomes, if it means lower average incomes. I do not want to be more like France or Sweden, nor do I think it's possible given the US polycultural schema.

Many EU nations have heavy regulations on the closing of businesses and layoff of employees no longer needed, whereas in the US this 'redeployment' of labor has been less regulated and less costly. Partly as a result the US has enjoyed a ~1+% point higher annual GDP generally than the EU generally for many decades. That's not the only cause, but the inability to respond rapidly and efficiently to market changes is a real cost. It doesn't matter who pays the tax, trying to employ/prop-up Beta-max/chevy-volt makers costs everyone and prevents improvement.

The other point - there is no optimal size of government for maximal benefit. What 99% of the population feels is a benefit will hamper 1%, what 51% feel is beneficial is anethma to 49%. The question is how many rights and dreams will you crush in achieving your goal. Do you have a legitimate or moral right to do this ?
No one claimed an optimal size. Scandinavia has low incarceration rates. Low crime. High levels of contentment. There are trade offs but the people in Europe are very happy. By just about any index we are not much better but by many we are worse.

In America, people born rich are likely to be rich their entire lives. People born poor are likely to be poor. We can't have perfect outcomes but we can do a lot to improve the lives of the poor and help with a hand up.
__________________
Ego, ain't it a bitch?

Last edited by RandFan; 28th October 2012 at 10:47 PM.
RandFan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th October 2012, 11:00 PM   #87
stevea
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,061
Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Well, I suppose that's one way of defining it.
What is another I ask again ? How do you define size of government in a rankable/quantifiable way ?


[/quote] The thing is, there are many other ways of defining government size. Simply stating it's about the amount of money spent without regard to what it is being spent on means that, for example, the U.S. could immediately become a smaller government country by eliminating the one-fifth of its expenditures that is on the Department of Defense.[/quote]

I argue the US would (and should) be a smaller government by reducing it's military expenditures, roughly in half IMO. To me that does describe a smaller government. We might consider government spending rather than government taxing as a better metric for size of government.


Quote:
I expect there'd be many Americans who'd object to that sort of smaller government. In which case that takes right back to what the money is spent on as being a major factor in government size.
Yes many would object, but I don't see your point. If the Military cut takes place then I say the government is smaller. Why wouldn't the decrease represent a smaller government, if implemented ?

Quote:
It shows that, within just the context of social spending by government, the specific metric one chooses can affect how nations are ranked. Or, in other words, government is a complicated matter and to try and reduce it to a one-note, simplistic measure is not doing the subject justice.
Well we could certainly create multiple measures of governments based on what specifically they spend money on, but I don't see how that is germane to the size of government. Some governments spend money inefficiently with lots of waste and fraud. Others are frugal and efficient. Yes the citizens of one nation vs another may get a lot more/less value for their tax money but the size of government is still a burden that can be measured by something like the tax load, or spending tho the return on that tax may vary.

Sorry - I don't understand your point still. You say size is related to HOW the government spends, but you give no example. If the US transfers $100B/yr from Military spending to education does this represent a smaller or larger government to you ? To me the size looks the same, tho' I'd prefer one to the other.

Does excessive military spending vs alternative spending on education make a difference in size ?
stevea is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th October 2012, 11:12 PM   #88
RandFan
Mormon Atheist
 
RandFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 60,134
One more thing:

Originally Posted by stevea View Post
You missed the point US pays more per capita just for medicare and medicaid that covers a minority of the population than Singapore or Taiwan pay for UHC. So we pay as much and don't get comparable services.
It's rather ironic that almost all countries with UHC cover more people for less.

U.S. scores dead last again in healthcare study
__________________
Ego, ain't it a bitch?
RandFan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th October 2012, 03:46 AM   #89
ponderingturtle
Orthogonal Vector
 
ponderingturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 51,417
Originally Posted by rustypouch View Post
Well, reducing taxes by 20% across the board, while increasing military spending is a surefire way to get the deficit down.

Nevermind that the only time there's been a surplus during the last forty years has been under a democratic president...
Its simple, you just cut 1.5 trillion from public broadcasting.
__________________
Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody
"There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
ponderingturtle is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th October 2012, 12:07 PM   #90
Corsair 115
Penultimate Amazing
 
Corsair 115's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14,519
Originally Posted by stevea View Post
What is another I ask again ?

Number of government employees. Number of government department/agencies. Degree to which government has direct control or authority over society in the form of regulations and legislation. Number of elected representatives as compared to the population. These are ones that come immediately to mind. I expect others can probably come up with a few more metrics.


Originally Posted by stevea View Post
I argue the US would (and should) be a smaller government by reducing it's military expenditures, roughly in half IMO. To me that does describe a smaller government.

And that's the point. It may be smaller to you, but your narrow definition is not the only valid one. You have not demonstrated any reason why your definition should be given preference over others.
__________________
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve
to organize and measure the best of our abilities and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and
one which we intend to win."
Corsair 115 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th October 2012, 01:33 PM   #91
KatieG
Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry
 
KatieG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: at the end of the Oregon Trail
Posts: 3,855
Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
It's very difficult to get disability. It's not like getting food stamps. It took two years. I was denied twice and it was abundantly clear to anyone who took one look at me that I could not work. In the end it took a review from an administrative judge to grant me disability.
You were lucky! Took me 4 years and the administrative judge was a jerk. I don't know how many times I answered the same questions.

I just love it when people dig up obscure crime stories and bring them out as a major crime ring. Would this crime be as newsworthy if the defendant was a republican?
__________________
What a time to be alive! It's like the collapse of Rome but with WiFi

Basically, if the GOP doesn't want to be called the white supremacy party, they should stop acting like they are.
-Mumbles
KatieG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th October 2012, 01:53 PM   #92
sir drinks-a-lot
Illuminator
 
sir drinks-a-lot's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Cole Valley, CA
Posts: 4,813
Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/10/2...-felony-theft/

"The woman named “Democrat of The Year” this year by the Jefferson County Democratic Party has been convicted of felony theft by a Jefferson County jury...
Which part happened first?
__________________
I don't like that man. I must get to know him better. --Abraham Lincoln
sir drinks-a-lot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th October 2012, 04:49 PM   #93
Kestrel
Philosopher
 
Kestrel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Colorado
Posts: 6,150
Originally Posted by sir drinks-a-lot View Post
Which part happened first?
Estelle Carson was chosen for the award before anyone in the party was aware of any accusations against her. She was given the award before any charges had been filed. After her conviction the party revoked the award.
Kestrel is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th October 2012, 06:22 PM   #94
thaiboxerken
Penultimate Amazing
 
thaiboxerken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 31,790
Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
Estelle Carson was chosen for the award before anyone in the party was aware of any accusations against her. She was given the award before any charges had been filed. After her conviction the party revoked the award.
That's horrible! What they should do is what the GOP does when one of their own is found guilty of a crime. Give that person a standing ovation!
__________________
1. He'd never do that. 2. Okay but he's not currently doing it. 3. Okay but he's not currently technically doing it. 4. Okay but everyone does it. 5. He's doing it, we can't stop him, no point in complaining about it. 6. We all knew he was going to do it which... makes it okay somehow. 7. It's perfectly fine that's he's doing it.
thaiboxerken is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th October 2012, 03:55 PM   #95
The_Animus
Illuminator
 
The_Animus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,259
Originally Posted by JeanFromBNA View Post
How do you know that I haven't? And from your statement, I take it that you're not voting this year, either?
Not going to respond to the quote from that article? I imagine it's difficult to justify.

I won't be voting Obama because I think he is the best candidate. I'll be voting for him because I think Romney is the worst candidate by far. I keep trying to make a deal with any Republicans I know. The deal being that I will not vote Obama, and will instead vote 3rd party, if they won't vote Romney and will instead vote 3rd party. This only applies if I am otherwise certain to vote Obama, and the other person is otherwise certain to vote Romney.

No takers yet. How about you?
The_Animus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th October 2012, 05:58 PM   #96
applecorped
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20,145
Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
Not going to respond to the quote from that article? I imagine it's difficult to justify.

I won't be voting Obama because I think he is the best candidate. I'll be voting for him because I think Romney is the worst candidate by far. I keep trying to make a deal with any Republicans I know. The deal being that I will not vote Obama, and will instead vote 3rd party, if they won't vote Romney and will instead vote 3rd party. This only applies if I am otherwise certain to vote Obama, and the other person is otherwise certain to vote Romney.

No takers yet. How about you?

3rd party fanboy? I'm voting 4th party.
applecorped is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » USA Politics

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:46 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.