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View Poll Results: Should the US government promote the general welfare?
Yes, and I'm a US Citizen 80 73.39%
No, and I'm a US Citizen 5 4.59%
Yes, and I'm not a US Citizen 23 21.10%
No, and I'm not a US Citizen 1 0.92%
Voters: 109. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 21st November 2017, 09:45 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by Tony99 View Post
Or until such time that other neighbors band together to enact swift justice on the polluter and teach them a stern lesson in 'actions and consequences.'

And maybe coordinating their actions, perhaps getting together in groups and deciding on representatives, possibly through some sort of ballot, then maybe electing a spokesperson or leader, let's call them "The President", in order to bring to bear the power of the community in the face of antisocial behavior on the part of the individual.


Maybe that's a bit radical...
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Old 21st November 2017, 10:11 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
This is similar to moral relativism.You are holding the position that under certain circumstances, nations can define what is legitimate for them. My position is absolutist. Regardless of what any one nation thinks, I will test their system against an absolutist position.
Moral relativism is different than ďnot moral absolutismĒ, and no itís not similar to moral relativism. Nation, government and role of government are concepts defined by and for people. These definitions are nether relative nor ďfirst principlesĒ that someone believes without any rational reason for said belief.
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Old 21st November 2017, 10:26 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
It is an essential element of mathematics.
No. Mathematics is based on a system of definitions and axioms. Axioms themselves are at most can only be considered true within a specific context. They are not similar to the absolute first principles you are trying to appeal to.
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Old 21st November 2017, 10:40 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I think there are a whole lot of things that are beyond the scope of what the founders intended. They certainly never imagined the role of corporations. There is no way the founders could come close to imagining our world today.

The words 'general welfare do not mean 'individual welfare'. Nevertheless, it can easily be argued that the various social programs that help the poor and even the middle class do in fact promote the 'general welfare. The only question in my mind are the social programs a benefit to the nation. If you conclude that they are then they are constitutional.
This is the point I am wondering about. Social Security, for instance, is a social program, but at the end of the day disburses a check to an individual, for their individual use. The general welfare should be oriented more to the collective, as in raising an army to fend off those who would menace the people as a collective.

In terms of the OP, as others noted, anything that gov't does is at least in theory geared to promoting the general welfare, in one form or another. But how direct should that welfare be promoted? Cutting checks to individuals (essentially providing iPods, as sir drinks-a-lot said), or more generalized, as in keeping the dogs at bay and leaving the individual's welfare free and unmolested? Maybe the OP question just boils down to 'are you a small gov't conservative or a big gov't progressive'.
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Old 21st November 2017, 11:25 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Moral relativism is different than “not moral absolutism”, and no it’s not similar to moral relativism. Nation, government and role of government are concepts defined by and for people. These definitions are nether relative nor “first principles” that someone believes without any rational reason for said belief.
Accepting the legitimate role of government as defined by the people rather than against a standard is a choice. Why you should choose one strategy or the other is the question.
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Old 21st November 2017, 11:31 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
This is the point I am wondering about. Social Security, for instance, is a social program, but at the end of the day disburses a check to an individual, for their individual use. The general welfare should be oriented more to the collective, as in raising an army to fend off those who would menace the people as a collective.

In terms of the OP, as others noted, anything that gov't does is at least in theory geared to promoting the general welfare, in one form or another. But how direct should that welfare be promoted? Cutting checks to individuals (essentially providing iPods, as sir drinks-a-lot said), or more generalized, as in keeping the dogs at bay and leaving the individual's welfare free and unmolested? Maybe the OP question just boils down to 'are you a small gov't conservative or a big gov't progressive'.
But it's not simply the defense of the nation they were concerned about. Otherwise, they would have left it at 'defending the nation. They didn't. It's clear to me that the government has a role in promoting the well being of us all.

Is it good for the nation that so few have so much and so many have so little? Are we really promoting the 'general welfare' when this is the result? I don't know where you live, but having traveled all over this country for the last 40 years, the numbers of people living in the streets and panhandling have skyrocketed and it doesn't seem to matter if it is a small town or a big city.

Is it good for the nation government ensure that the water we drink is clean and our medicines are not fake? Is it good that we steward the land and our nation's resources?

Or should government get out of the way and allow 'the haves' to make all the decisions? And out of curiosity, do you think that will make decisions for the general welfare or their own anth theirs personal welfare?
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Last edited by acbytesla; 21st November 2017 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 21st November 2017, 12:00 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Accepting the legitimate role of government as defined by the people rather than against a standard is a choice. Why you should choose one strategy or the other is the question.
This is nonsensical. Humans existed for hundreds of thousands of years with no concept of government or nation, whatsoever. Nations and governments only exist because people created them and created the concepts. How can something that exist only as a creation of people have an assigned have a role that is absolute and independent of what people wish to create. As a creation of people, government can have whatever role those people wish it to have.


Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Why you should choose one strategy or the other is the question.
The mistake you are making is that you think it's your choice.
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Old 21st November 2017, 12:56 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
The words 'general welfare do not mean 'individual welfare'. Nevertheless, it can easily be argued that the various social programs that help the poor and even the middle class do in fact promote the 'general welfare. The only question in my mind are the social programs a benefit to the nation. If you conclude that they are then they are constitutional.
'General welfare' and 'individual welfare' are not mutually exclusive and I would be hard pressed to come up with an example that accomplishes one without doing the other to some extent.

However, the reverse undoubtedly does not follow. Something that helps an individual specifically needs more of an argument to say it promotes the general welfare. This is Politics so, for example, Trump channelling government money/resources into his private businesses definitely promotes his individual welfare without but does nothing for the general welfare.
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Old 21st November 2017, 01:46 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
This is nonsensical. Humans existed for hundreds of thousands of years with no concept of government or nation, whatsoever. Nations and governments only exist because people created them and created the concepts. How can something that exist only as a creation of people have an assigned have a role that is absolute and independent of what people wish to create. As a creation of people, government can have whatever role those people wish it to have.




The mistake you are making is that you think it's your choice.
I never said it can't have a role. I said the role was illegitimate.

It is absolutely my choice. I can adopt and analyze using any framework.
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Old 21st November 2017, 01:53 PM   #130
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It is very American to even ask the question. Everywhere else the answer is yes, in the same way the answer to the question do schools have a role in improving pupil welfare is yes. It is blindingly obvious to the rest of us the answer is yes.

From defending the nation, to enforcing laws, to providing sewage systems, governments improve welfare.
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Old 21st November 2017, 01:56 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
It is very American to even ask the question. Everywhere else the answer is yes, in the same way the answer to the question do schools have a role in improving pupil welfare is yes. It is blindingly obvious to the rest of us the answer is yes.

From defending the nation, to enforcing laws, to providing sewage systems, governments improve welfare.
Do schools have a legitimate role in improving pupil welfare?
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Old 21st November 2017, 02:06 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I never said it can't have a role. I said the role was illegitimate.
You donít get to decide that.
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
It is absolutely my choice. I can adopt and analyze using any framework.

No, you canít. You need to evaluate things based on what they are, not what you think they should be.

At most you can disagree with the decisions made at that time but since youíve given us no reason to care about your pet theories on how nations should operate we dismiss them out of hand in spite of your claims they are somehow fundamental or absolute.
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Old 21st November 2017, 02:47 PM   #133
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I'll own one of the "no's". I did the right thing and didn't read the spoiler prior to voting. I got hung up on the word, "Improve". Then I wanted to compare the definitions of "improve" vs. "promote".

My view is that it's on me to improve my lot in life, and the government doesn't owe me a better life than what my choices allow.

I goofed. I concede that the government does have a role in promoting the general welfare.
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Old 21st November 2017, 03:27 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Do schools have a legitimate role in improving pupil welfare?
To you? I'm guessing not. That need not detain the schools from performing that role.
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Old 21st November 2017, 04:27 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
This is the point I am wondering about. Social Security, for instance, is a social program, but at the end of the day disburses a check to an individual, for their individual use. The general welfare should be oriented more to the collective, as in raising an army to fend off those who would menace the people as a collective.

In terms of the OP, as others noted, anything that gov't does is at least in theory geared to promoting the general welfare, in one form or another. But how direct should that welfare be promoted? Cutting checks to individuals (essentially providing iPods, as sir drinks-a-lot said), or more generalized, as in keeping the dogs at bay and leaving the individual's welfare free and unmolested? Maybe the OP question just boils down to 'are you a small gov't conservative or a big gov't progressive'.
You're playing around with using different words for different programs.

Social Security is a program in the sense that it holds a portion of the labor value an individual generates, invests it in a stable instrument on their behalf, and then returns the gains to them. The program does not gift anything to individuals, they already earned it (the very definition of entitlement, despite it seeming to be a dirty word these days).

At the end of the day, raising an army involves sending individual checks to individual soldiers and weapons contractors for their individual use.

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Old 21st November 2017, 04:49 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
You donít get to decide that.



No, you canít. You need to evaluate things based on what they are, not what you think they should be.

At most you can disagree with the decisions made at that time but since youíve given us no reason to care about your pet theories on how nations should operate we dismiss them out of hand in spite of your claims they are somehow fundamental or absolute.
And I have no interest in convincing you of my pet theories. My complaint is that remarks you made previously made it sound like pet theories are not possible.
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Old 21st November 2017, 05:09 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
And I have no interest in convincing you of my pet theories. My complaint is that remarks you made previously made it sound like pet theories are not possible.
Your pet theories are not possible. Did you look at the video of your last convention? The sanest person there came off looking like a nutcase and he was your nominee. If there ever was an election where Libertarians could have made progress it was the last one and you all completely ********** the neighbor's dog. You all couldn't even break 5 percent when the major party candidates were BOTH the least popular in modern history. Your vision is not America's vision.
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Old 21st November 2017, 05:37 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
Your pet theories are not possible. Did you look at the video of your last convention? The sanest person there came off looking like a nutcase and he was your nominee. If there ever was an election where Libertarians could have made progress it was the last one and you all completely ********** the neighbor's dog. You all couldn't even break 5 percent when the major party candidates were BOTH the least popular in modern history. Your vision is not America's vision.
What does that have to do with a theory being not possible to exist? How does that render the words I write non existent?
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Old 21st November 2017, 05:40 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
What does that have to do with a theory being not possible to exist? How does that render the words I write non existent?
Your words exist. They just lack impact or importance.
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Old 21st November 2017, 05:44 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
Your words exist. They just lack impact or importance.
That is all the acknowledgement I ask for. That I can have a (bad) theory of government legitimacy.
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Old 21st November 2017, 05:50 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
Your pet theories are not possible. Did you look at the video of your last convention? The sanest person there came off looking like a nutcase and he was your nominee.
Every one a better human being then the other party candidates.
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Old 21st November 2017, 06:41 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Do schools have a legitimate role in improving pupil welfare?
Fixed that for you. You don't appear to believe education has any legitimate role at all.

Originally Posted by Spock Jenkins View Post
I'll own one of the "no's". I did the right thing and didn't read the spoiler prior to voting. I got hung up on the word, "Improve". Then I wanted to compare the definitions of "improve" vs. "promote".

My view is that it's on me to improve my lot in life, and the government doesn't owe me a better life than what my choices allow.

I goofed. I concede that the government does have a role in promoting the general welfare.
Sorry for the bad wording in the OP.
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Old 21st November 2017, 06:47 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Fixed that for you. You don't appear to believe education has any legitimate role at all.



Sorry for the bad wording in the OP.
What makes you think I don't think education has a legitimate role?
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Old 21st November 2017, 07:54 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I never said it can't have a role. I said the role was illegitimate.

It is absolutely my choice. I can adopt and analyze using any framework.
Assumes facts contradicted by evidence
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Old 21st November 2017, 08:03 PM   #145
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To answer the OP.

- Spend the an eternity deciding if it's the government's place to promote general welfare.
- Once that's settled spend another eternity arguing over what defines the general welfare.
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Old 21st November 2017, 09:39 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
But it's not simply the defense of the nation they were concerned about. Otherwise, they would have left it at 'defending the nation. They didn't. It's clear to me that the government has a role in promoting the well being of us all.
Yes, I used the military as an example, not as a limit.

Quote:
Is it good for the nation that so few have so much and so many have so little? Are we really promoting the 'general welfare' when this is the result?
Tricky questions. Opportunity and reward for work are good things, to be sure. Should there be a cap imposed on those upper few? Would that stifle productivity and innovation if there were? Are you suggesting that a heavy dose of socialism is needed for the general welfare? Would it follow then that the founders were wrong in their advocacy of personal liberty? I don't disagree with you, but I am not convinced that the medicine is better than the sickness.

Quote:
I don't know where you live, but having traveled all over this country for the last 40 years, the numbers of people living in the streets and panhandling have skyrocketed and it doesn't seem to matter if it is a small town or a big city.

Is it good for the nation government ensure that the water we drink is clean and our medicines are not fake? Is it good that we steward the land and our nation's resources?
I consider agencies like the EPA and FDA to be on a par with the military, protecting the populace at large from threats.

Quote:
Or should government get out of the way and allow 'the haves' to make all the decisions? And out of curiosity, do you think that will make decisions for the general welfare or their own anth theirs personal welfare?
I absolutely would not relegate anything to the 'one percent'. In Thermal's happy world, the poorest would receive needed care funded by progressive taxation on the wealthy. Public school funding would be distributed evenly, not collected from local property taxes leaving poor communities to have their educational systems wither.

But I would consider the military, EPA and the rest protecting the general welfare, not promoting it. I think what is meant by 'promoting', as the OP asks, is more like encouraging what they think is good for us (more or less). On that front I would prefer to have less nanny-state promotion. It could also be convincingly argued that the 'haves' already have the lion's share of influence in public policy, and they do not have our best interests at heart.

So where does gov't promoting stop? Do they see to our every need and defend against every threat? Monitor your cholesterol? Supervise your sex life? I would prefer the minimum of promotion, while providing a safety net at the low end.
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Old 21st November 2017, 09:55 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
You're playing around with using different words for different programs.

Social Security is a program in the sense that it holds a portion of the labor value an individual generates, invests it in a stable instrument on their behalf, and then returns the gains to them. The program does not gift anything to individuals, they already earned it (the very definition of entitlement, despite it seeming to be a dirty word these days).
No, there is no Delphic Oracle account in Social Security. Applicants in some circumstances can absolutely collect more than they paid in, and the current contributors are footing the bill. That is partially why the shortfall is predicted.

Quote:
At the end of the day, raising an army involves sending individual checks to individual soldiers and weapons contractors for their individual use.
Of course. In any system save pure communism, there is payment to workers. But the purpose of a military is not to provide a check for soldiers and support contractors, it is to protect the general populace and the country's interests.
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Old 21st November 2017, 10:00 PM   #148
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NVM
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Old 21st November 2017, 10:33 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
To answer the OP.

- Spend the an eternity deciding if it's the government's place to promote general welfare.
- Once that's settled spend another eternity arguing over what defines the general welfare.
I would like to do that.
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Old 21st November 2017, 11:19 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
What makes you think I don't think education has a legitimate role?
OK, public education then.

Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
To answer the OP.

- Spend the an eternity deciding if it's the government's place to promote general welfare.
- Once that's settled spend another eternity arguing over what defines the general welfare.
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I would like to do that.
I'm sure you would.
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Old 22nd November 2017, 07:58 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
And I have no interest in convincing you of my pet theories. My complaint is that remarks you made previously made it sound like pet theories are not possible.
Itís possible you believe thatís how it should be, but thatís as far as it goes. People believe a lot of stupid stuff; this is just another example. There is no reasonable argument for bringing them into any practice discussion.
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Old 22nd November 2017, 08:07 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Itís possible you believe thatís how it should be, but thatís as far as it goes. People believe a lot of stupid stuff; this is just another example. There is no reasonable argument for bringing them into any practice discussion.
Because a person feels like it and doesn't violate the rules seems to be the only requirement to bring something up here.
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Old 22nd November 2017, 05:34 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
To answer the OP.

- Spend the an eternity deciding if it's the government's place to promote general welfare.
- Once that's settled spend another eternity arguing over what defines the general welfare.
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I would like to do that.
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I AGREE
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Old 22nd November 2017, 06:22 PM   #154
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by Toontown View Post
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I AGREE
Correct.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 09:51 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
No, there is no Delphic Oracle account in Social Security. Applicants in some circumstances can absolutely collect more than they paid in, and the current contributors are footing the bill. That is partially why the shortfall is predicted.
Some people can collect more than they paid in, and others can pay in their entire lives and die before collecting a cent. That is not why there is a shortfall coming, that is purely because Congress dips into the savings account and doesn't repay the loans.
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Old 24th November 2017, 07:58 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by Silly Green Monkey View Post
Some people can collect more than they paid in, and others can pay in their entire lives and die before collecting a cent. That is not why there is a shortfall coming, that is purely because Congress dips into the savings account and doesn't repay the loans.
SSI is insurance. It only pays out if there is a valid claim. If one never requires a settlement, one is not forthcoming regardless of the premiums paid.
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Old 24th November 2017, 08:35 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Fixed that for you. You don't appear to believe education has any legitimate role at all.
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
What makes you think I don't think education has a legitimate role?
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
OK, public education then.
Bump
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Old 24th November 2017, 04:41 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Bump
Some arguments are not worth winning.
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Old 24th November 2017, 09:53 PM   #159
Thermal
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Originally Posted by Silly Green Monkey View Post
Some people can collect more than they paid in, and others can pay in their entire lives and die before collecting a cent.
Yes, but survivors of the deceased collect the money, even if the contributor didn't. Still a net loss against those who pull in more than they put out.

Quote:
That is not why there is a shortfall coming, that is purely because Congress dips into the savings account and doesn't repay the loans.
Yes, IIRC, President Clinton was accused of looting the SS funds to accomplish his famed balanced budgets?
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Old 24th November 2017, 11:52 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
'General welfare' and 'individual welfare' are not mutually exclusive and I would be hard pressed to come up with an example that accomplishes one without doing the other to some extent.

However, the reverse undoubtedly does not follow. Something that helps an individual specifically needs more of an argument to say it promotes the general welfare. This is Politics so, for example, Trump channelling government money/resources into his private businesses definitely promotes his individual welfare without but does nothing for the general welfare.
I'm on your side and totally believe improving society improves the lives of individuals.

But I can think of examples where the individual suffers in order to benefit the society. Without even going into the eminent domain issues, I provide goods and services in my business and if public health decides to offer some of those same services they can undercut me and I lose business.

I am a firm believer we all benefit with certain services being public like education, police, fire, utilities, and medical. While capitalism provides a better outcome for many other things. But if you were in the business of selling security or medical services, for example, it's hard to compete with the government.

I still think overall we benefit from a mix of public and private services.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 24th November 2017 at 11:54 PM.
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