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Economics and free market


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#171 Pyrotex

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 03:46 PM

Concerning the "lazy, shiftless poor" who get our tax dollars for nothing:

Working-class advocate Michael Moore says of the welfare stereotype: "Aside from the fact that it's racist, it's just not true. According to the U.S. government, the majority of welfare recipients are white, live in the suburbs, have two kids, want to work, and stay on welfare an average of only two years."

While conservatives talk about welfare recipients being a burden on the public, many don't realize how little we spend on public assistance. The attack on social spending is based on myth. In 1996, all spending on "welfare" programs, including food stamps, free school lunches, unemployment checks, housing assistance, legal defense and the rest came to somewhere around $130 billion. Only counting direct assistance programs like AFDC, however, it was about $50 billion -- approximately 4% of the $1.23 trillion budget.

Waste and fraud in military spending cost an estimated of $172 billion, while a host of business subsidies -- no-strings federal gifts to profitable corporations -- cost another estimated $170 billion in taxes. Then there are capital gains and other tax loopholes benefiting the wealthy that cost over $130 billion a year.

The most ridiculous idea is that welfare recipients simply refuse to work for a living: they are lazy bums taking us all for a ride. Mike Males says: "Of course [welfare] recipients don't 'work.' Two-thirds of its beneficiaries are children... Two-thirds of the parents... are disabled. Thus at most, one-fifth of AFDC beneficiaries are 'able-bodied' non-workers."

The above budget figures were effective before the 1995 - 1996 legislative frenzy that ripped AFDC and other public assistance to shreds. The individual states are now taking over, kicking people off welfare by the hundreds of thousands.

The above information originally appeared at Brat Online. The author, Nathan Tobin can be reached at [email protected].
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#172 Michaelangelica

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 04:02 AM

Three quarters of a Trillion PA on Weapons and Defence.

Let that sentence sink into your consciousness before you talk about waste in health and welfare.

#173 nutronjon

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 08:32 AM

Presidential candidates are now talking about either increasing jobs, or doing something so people can have better jobs. I think when a town is supported by an industry that goes over seas, that town should get at least as much assistance as say car manufacture gets when its bad decisions almost close the plants.

But than what kinds of jobs do we want people to have? There are a whole lot of jobs that are unethical. For example market research that is all about determining how to design commericals that you can not forget. Or hooking people into loans that result in them loosing everything a few years later. This supply side of economics is less then ethical, isn't it? How about telephone solicitors? Would we rather have people doing this work than living on welfare? Why? Wouldn't it be better if these people were home parenting their children and volunteering at the schools? Exactly what are our values, and where are we going? I say we no have institutionalize corruption and should do an immediate turn around.

#174 nutronjon

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 08:44 AM

Is this free market economics? What in blazes is going on here?
:doh: :eek: :cup:

AlterNet: Weapons Industry Dumps Republicans, Backs Hillary

The U.S. arms industry is backing Hillary Clinton for President and has all but abandoned its traditional allies in the Republican party. Mrs Clinton has also emerged as Wall Street's favourite. Investment bankers have opened their wallets in unprecedented numbers for the New York senator over the past three months and, in the process, dumped their earlier favourite, Barack Obama.

Mrs. Clinton's wooing of the defence industry is all the more remarkable given the frosty relations between Bill Clinton and the military during his presidency. An analysis of campaign contributions shows senior defence industry employees are pouring money into her war chest in the belief that their generosity will be repaid many times over with future defence contracts.



#175 Pyrotex

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 12:38 PM

Is this free market economics? What in blazes is going on here?
:doh: :eek: :cup:

Well, it looks to me like free market politics. In a democracy and a free market, everyone gets to fight for their own best interest. Or at least, what they percieve as their best interest.

However, this is also a flaw in free market economics. If any entity gets RICH ENOUGH, they can simply buy elections and leaders. This is a big reason why "PURE" free markets do not exist; cannot be allowed to exist. They become a tyranny of the rich.

#176 LaurieAG

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 05:17 PM

However, this is also a flaw in free market economics. If any entity gets RICH ENOUGH, they can simply buy elections and leaders. This is a big reason why "PURE" free markets do not exist; cannot be allowed to exist. They become a tyranny of the rich.


Hi Pyro,

And democracy was supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people.

But that's the real problem with buying elections because the people are cut out of the loop by the political parties and the public benefits go to those who pay the politicians re-election fees.

It's actually a lot closer to crony capitalism than anything so far.

#177 nutronjon

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 08:32 AM

Well, it looks to me like free market politics. In a democracy and a free market, everyone gets to fight for their own best interest. Or at least, what they percieve as their best interest.

However, this is also a flaw in free market economics. If any entity gets RICH ENOUGH, they can simply buy elections and leaders. This is a big reason why "PURE" free markets do not exist; cannot be allowed to exist. They become a tyranny of the rich.


That sounds like a good argument to me. Can I add to that, the National Defense Education Act that prepares our young to service the Military-Industrial Complex, has dramatically changed our national values and character.

I have old text books that say being rich is not such a good thing, compared to having friends. Telling us we all pay taxes for places like national parks that we all share. That if we do have more money than we need, we should share it with others. I forget the philosopher's name, but this noblesse oblige is not good for capitalism, so we stopped transmitting it as a cultural value, and prepared our young for consumerism. The capitalist have worked through public education to make us slaves as workers and consumers, and as part of this, we get capitalist who are very corrupt such as Enron.

#178 Mike C

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 10:57 AM

I find it nearly impossible to believe that you are serious. Either that, or there is a fundemental cultural difference between what YOU mean by "brain" and what I {a middle class, white-haired, well educated American} and several other posters here mean by "brain".

What WE mean by "brain" is NOT the physical organ that resides in the skull of all mammals. We are NOT stating that the physical brain in our skulls is a source of human wealth.

When we use the word "brain", we mean the:

"educated human mind".

In this sense, other animals do NOT have {thinking, self-aware, language-enabled, educated} "brains". Not in the sense that I and most other posters of this thread use the word.

Some human wealth was indeed created by "hands" alone, especially in the past, before (say) the 15th Century.

But the wealth that has been created by the human MIND {thinking, self-aware, language-enabled, educated} dwarfs the amount of wealth still being produced manually today. Dwarfs it by a huge factor.

This is an Information Age. Information equates to power and wealth. This information is created, sorted, analyzed, interpreted, utilized by the Human Mind.


Pyro
I am not saying that the human mind does not create anything.

I acknoweledge that most ideas come from Nature that led to the inventions of the aeroplanes, automobiles, and etc.

So the inventors (not all) are enriched with their patent rights.
Likewise, the copyright laws enrich the writers.
These are government granted monopolies that allows these people to enrich themselves.

But most of the top level CEO's take over an industry to create and maximize profit by any means like corruption, job cuts, tax evasions and many other such tactics that are unethical or downright illegal.
And when they fail, they are released with severence packages that amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.

So are we supposed to just shrug that off as nothing to fret about?

Eliminating this political corruption and promoting a more equitable distribution of the wealth is the best solution for our democracy, not promoting a free market economy that lacks controls to eliminate these evils.

Mike C

#179 LaurieAG

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 05:56 PM

Eliminating this political corruption and promoting a more equitable distribution of the wealth is the best solution for our democracy, not promoting a free market economy that lacks controls to eliminate these evils.

Mike C


Good point Mike,

If the USA wants to be the global force in other than belligerent military actions it should lift its game. Somehow I think that may possibly happen in the next year. Unfortunately the vested interests will be greedy enough to kill off that possibility ASAP, one way or the other (just like JFK if they cannot buy the outcome they want).

#180 Mike C

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 10:21 AM

Good point Mike,

If the USA wants to be the global force in other than belligerent military actions it should lift its game. Somehow I think that may possibly happen in the next year. Unfortunately the vested interests will be greedy enough to kill off that possibility ASAP, one way or the other (just like JFK if they cannot buy the outcome they want).


Yes, Laurie. Thank you.
Our republican party here in the US has opposed these political reforms as have some of the democrats. But most party lines are divided with the democrats supporting reforms while the republicans still oppose reforms.

Mike C