How to Fix a Sinking Political Party (or how to save the Democrat Party)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by TripleB, Nov 4, 2004.

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  1. poor yorick Ex-Mod

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    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Is looking out for the interests of the poor a "moral value?" Is not poisoning the air and water in the name of short-term economic gain a "moral value," especially since our children breathe and drink said air and water? Is watching out for the rights of minorities a "moral value?"

    If not, then America has become a truly scary place. The U.S. without those values would look a lot like the business-worshipping, "use the working class up and move overseas" wasteland Michael Moore potrays in "Roger and Me."

    Personally, I wasn't madly in love with Kerry as a candidate because I think he styled himself as too much of a Bush wanna-be. He was going to keep most of Bush's tax cuts and continue spending big on defense and homeland security, while at the same time saving Social Security, nationalizing health care, and balancing the budget. That plan is 15 degrees off of Bush's--which is also nutty. His plan for Iraq essentially boiled down to, "I'd do most of the things he did, only not stupidly." A nice thought, unless you think that most of the things Bush did were intrinsically stupid, in which case all bets are off.

    Apparently, the Democrats were trying to do the Bill Clinton thing again--"All the benefits of electing a Republican, but without the too-pro-business, too-conservative aftertaste!" Unfortunately, I think they managed to get the worst of both worlds: the only areas Kerry really managed to distinguish himself in were the extremely divisive ones of abortion and gay rights. To many Americans, this must've looked like: "Either a six pack of Coke, or a six pack of Pepsi with FREE abortion and gay rights!!!" Perhaps the problem was that Kerry, while an intelligent and able man, I believe, is not Bill Clinton. Clinton's charismatic enough that he's not going to be mistaken for anyone else, no matter what he says.

    I also think that running the Kerry campaign as the "not-Bush campaign" was a bad idea. It must've looked like a good idea back in the spring and early summer, when Bush's approval ratings were lousy and it looked like almost any Democrat could win on *Bush's* record, never mind his own. It's possible that a more Clintonesque Democrat could even have succeeded. (51%/48% is not exactly a landslide, guys.) Unfortunately, Kerry never really managed to make a powerful personal impression in the minds of the people, and that's a fatal mistake in America. We're media-addicted enough that we feel like we actually *live* with our president--he's right there in our living rooms every week, if not every night. With relatively little to choose between the two, it seems that America thought Bush would make a better roommate.

    If you still think the race was entirely a referendum on Democrat vs. Republican "moral values" (or lack thereof), why didn't Bob Dole win in 1996? He ran almost solely on the concept of "character." For months, we heard nothing but "I am moral, and Bill Clinton is not." Why didn't America buy the message then, if Republican values are the keystone to the country's heart? Based on personal conduct alone, Dole *was* more moral than Bill Clinton. Why were so many states that are "moral" and red in 2004 "immoral" and blue in 1996?

    I believe there are 2 reasons: 1) America didn't think Bob Dole would be a good roommate. He seemed stiff and wooden, and had a weird habit of referring to himself in the 3rd person. 2) He ran an "I'm not the other guy" campaign. Telling us that you're not the other guy doesn't tell us who *you* are. I mean, I'm not Bill Clinton either; should people vote for me? My cat's not Bill Clinton. Saddam Hussein's not Bill Clinton. To succeed with a campaign like that, you need an incumbent candidate so unpopular that people would vote for the doorknob rather than see him in office again. (Personally, I happen to disklike Bush enough that I might, in fact, have voted for the doorknob. I freely admit that this is not a majority opinion--*although,* [link=http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/MI/P/00/epolls.0.html]
  2. Undomiel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    Ophelia,

    Those are all noble goals, no one is denying that. The problem is, we've been doing exactly that for nearly a generation now, and the statistics have been coming in. While our politicians outsource our jobs to enter the global market (??!!!), the democrats want to tax us into oblivion. When my husband joined the air force in 1984, we made 600 dollars a month. We still had to pay taxes cause we were whites and he had a job. We qualified for food stamps, we were so poor (but I didn't go get them). We also qualified for the WIKK program, we were so poor (but I didn't go get on it). When my teeth needed dental work, we borrowed money from the air force aid program and had to pay back every red cent. I knew people on the welfare program that were living better than we were AND we both worked.

    The welfare program is messed up. It doesn't work properly. It punishes the people who have a job, any job, and makes the lives of those who don't have a job, at least bareable (although I do think the welfare qualification system is dehumanizing). But how does that encourage them to get a job, any job? I understand some are not capable of working - that's entirely different. I think welfare should be handled locally, by charitable contributions from the members of that community. (of course, I also think they should move people out of the inner cities, destroy the buildings, and rebuild the cities as commercial and industrial only. Humans shouldn't have to live in those conditions.)
  3. liberalmaverick Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 3
    Hades2021:
    I'm only 17.

    I'll make the decision when I need to.


    It's never too early. Though, I'm glad you appear to be weighing the options rather than rushing in to any one party.

    ophelia: Great post.

    Undomiel: If you qualified for all those social welfare programs, why didn't you take advantage of them?

    Also, how certain are you about your perspective of the welfare system, and do you have any evidence to back your claims other than your personal anecdotes?

    Finally, while it is true that Democrats want to raise taxes on the rich, remember that Senator Kerry and Governor Clinton both ran on a platform to lower taxes for the middle- and lower-income classes, and that it was the Republican Party that sponsored the huge tax hike of 1982.
  4. Undomiel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    LiberalMaverick,

    Initially, we didn't qualify because we were both white. Then after Reagan got in office we qualified. We didn't go on it because we both believed we would eventually rise above the need for it and we were doing a little better than when he first started. After 12 years, we started making some progress. Then when Bush Jr. was elected, we actually got a few raises that gave him comparable pay to what most civilians make in the civilian sector for comparable work, with that much seniority. He'd been in the Gulf War, came home and gave me Gulf War Syndrome which put me in a full blown coma. And he still wasn't making a living wage. I was no longer able to work, and we had so many medical bills, even with insurance, that were perpetually broke for years. It was pretty pitiful. But Bush Jr., (and my sister) rescued us from the sewer of nearly an entire lifetime of poverty and sickness (even while working and going to war to protect the kuwaitis).

    Are you asking me to look up all those statistics so my actual experience can be verified? That's the history of the last 20 years of my life! You must be joking?
  5. liberalmaverick Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 3
    Undomiel: No, I'm just saying that your personal experience, while compelling, may not be enough to provide a comprehensive picture of how the welfare system actually works. Neither can the experience of myself or any other single person. It takes the collective experiences of everyone to get a clear picture.

    I don't have a very good understanding of how welfare works, having never used it myself, but I have a feeling it isn't quite like you tell it.

    As for your personal story, I deeply sympathize with what sounds like a difficult life. But...how exactly did Bush "rescue you from the sewer"?
  6. Undomiel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    LiberalMaverick,

    At the end of Clinton's first administration, it had finally come out that most of the military families were living in abject poverty. There was a big spiel about it on TV, filming military families living in broken down mobile homes, sometimes without functioning utilities. But Clinton wasn't big on the military and in fact, had cut military resources dramatically. Several bases were shutdown. Funds for repairing the housing units were cut off. Entire job classifications were done away, putting more burden on fewer people. Everyone in the military had to tighten their belts even further. During this time was when we were still trying to rise above the medical bills that the coma (5 days in Neuro-Critical Care is outrageously expensive) had left us with. His credit was a shambles. It took quite some time to repair it all.

    Then when Bush Jr. was elected and after a few months, gave us 2 really nice raises in a row. We were actually starting to live like human beings again. The house we could afford before that, didn't have working central air or heat, and we live in Florida, which gets cold enough in the winter to need heat, and hot enough in the summer, to need air. The plumbing was broken and leaking this foul smelling water out into the middle of the kitchen, but the landlord refused to repair it and we were too broke to hire a plumber. Several times a day, I would have to sop up the smelly water, which oozed out from under the wall and disinfect the area. It was also infested with palmetto bugs (florida's huge flying cock roaches).

    However, after Bush's raises, we were able to buy our first house, with working appliances, and utilities, without cock roaches or oozing sewer water or whatever that was.
  7. liberalmaverick Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 3
    Undomiel: That's funny, wasn't there a net decrease in the number of people living in poverty during Clinton's two terms? And didn't Bush and the Republicans cut veterans' benefits?
  8. Undomiel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    Might have, but it certainly has improved the quality of our lives since Bush Jr. has been in office. 20+ years in the air force. Perhaps the statistics you read, and the actual experiences of people, vary, as statistics can be massaged.

    EDIT: Ah, I see where the dividing line is active duty vs. retirees. (et.al, veterans) You know, the medical care issue is interesting. They closed down the emergency rooms in most of the military base hospitals as it was nearly impossible to keep them regularly staffed with qualified doctors. There's an upside to the closing of military hospitals and military emergency rooms, just for the record. You still qualify for medical care at a civilian facility. The care in the military hospitals was frequently substandard to civilian hospitals. If I had a choice between going to a military hospital and a civilian hospital, I'd probably go civilian. In fact, the only reason I go to the military medical facilities at all is to confirm my current health status. All other work is done in a civilian hospital. I had a masectomy recently. The cancer was discovered by the military hospital in a regular doctor's office visit, and the treatment was given by civilian doctors and surgeons.

    I think what the repubs are trying to do is encourage people to use civilian medical facilities as much as possible, even though it was historically easier to get into military hospitals (you could get all your work done in the same building, x-rays, ultrasounds, catscans, and your meds, too).
  9. liberalmaverick Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 3
    True. But - with all due respect - I would take comprehensive analysis and statistics over a single person's experience any day.

    That said, you of course know your experience the best and I'm glad you are better off now, regardless of who was responsible for it.
  10. Undomiel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    LiberalMaverick,

    What do you make of this?

    FactCheck.org
    http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docid=144
  11. poor yorick Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    I have a lot of experience with social services, since I've worked with them in one capacity or another since I graduated college the first time (went back for teaching cert, FWIW). Also, one my sisters has lived "the drama of the working poor" since she graduated high school.

    The state of social services did indeed go straight to hell not long after W. took office, but, even as someone who would rather have voted for a doorknob, I don't really blame this on him personally. States and municipalities did stupid things with their money during the hot economy of the mid/late 90's, and when the stock market crashed, they had nothing left.

    However, just in terms of the costs of having social services versus not having them, I do have something to add.

    Where we don't pay: Nationalized health care.

    Where we do: The costs of ER and hospital inpatient treatment for people who have no insurance gets passed on to everyone who buys insurance, pays doctor visit co-pays, or buys prescription drugs. Many poor people use the ER as their "primary care" clinic, because they put off treating a problem until it's a crisis. (After all, they can't afford the doctor bill or the time off from their $6-an-hour-job.) So the people who are least able to pay have the most complicated medical problems, and run up the highest bills. Non-profit hospital "chains" tend to jack hospital fees in more affluent areas way up as a way to partially subsidize the hospitals in poorer areas. Some low-income areas have seen their hospitals go bankrupt and close.

    So where we *could* have paid more taxes toward a $70 doctor's visit and a $30 bottle of antibiotics, we pay several thousand dollars for the hospital stay of a poor pneumonia patient.

    Who suffers most: The working poor, who don't have jobs with insurance, but don't qualify for Medicaid either.
    Who pays: Pretty much every one else in the country.

    Where we don't pay: Nationalized child care

    Where we do: Even with more sensible "workfare" programs that don't force people to lose Medicaid and take a cut in income when they leave public assistance, child care remains a huge problem. Let's say a woman with one school-age child and one younger child (at least one version that I found of the "typical welfare recipients") gets a $6 an hour job, and doesn't lose Medicaid. Great.

    Where are her kids going to be during the day? One needs care before and/or after school, the other needs care all day long. Absolute bargain-basement licensed child care is $6 an hour. If she's lucky enough to live in a state that offers limited child care benefits (my state offers around $2 an hour), how much money does she make by going to work? For the baby it's $6 per hour x 40 hours + 5 more (assuming a 1/2 hour commute to and from a non-poor area where there are actually jobs) + 10 more hours for the school-aged child, -$2 an hour x 40 hours + 5 hours for the child care credit = $240 a week spent on child care. At her job, she makes $6 an hour x 40 hours, - the 30% in taxes the government takes off the top = $168 a week. So, in an enlightened workfare state with a modest child care subsidy, she makes negative 72 dollars per week by working full time. If she's really lucky and she gets a $2 an hour subsidy *per child,* she's only out $68 a week. That means she only loses $3,536 a year by working 40 hours a week, never taking a vacation, and never taking sick or personal days. Oh, and she's got to pay transportation costs, too, whether she rides the bus or somehow manages to afford a car. And for all this wonderful cash and prizes, she gets to miss her kids growing up while a stranger raises them.

    For some strange reason, these lazy, deadbeat welfare mothers have a tendency to go back on welfare after having their cases closed as "successfully employed." What's wrong with some people?!

    Who suffers most: The kids of mothers who leave them in daycare all day so they can make negative money.
    Who pays: Everyone who foots the bill for people who return to welfare.

    Those are j
  12. Undomiel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    Ophelia,

    What do you make of this?

    Corporate Welfare and Taxes

    http://www.factcheck.org/article225.html

    That's a great site. It's called FactCheck.org. Non-partisan. Reveals what both sides said about each other during their campaigns that was false, exaggerated or true. Good stuff. A real spin-stopper.

    Here's an article from the site, from the section called THE WHOPPERS OF 2004.

    The Kerry campaign has consistently implied -- and sometimes stated outright -- that Bush is responsible for subsidizing companies that send jobs overseas. This is at best a serious exaggeration and at its worst an outright falsehood, as in a recent Democratic National Committee TV ad running in Michigan. Of Bush and Republicans in Congress it states: "Their plan for our economy? Tax breaks for sending jobs overseas."

    Actually, the US tax code has given such tax breaks for decades, under both Republican and Democratic presidents. It is most certainly not Bush's doing. Bush does oppose Kerry's proposal to address the tax incentive, on grounds that it would hurt some US exporters (and their workers.) But even Kerry concedes that his plan wouldn't put an end to jobs going overseas, and economists say such "outsourcing" accounts for a tiny fraction of total job loss in any case.

    For more, see "Kerry Blames Corporate Tax Code for Shipping Jobs Overseas " from July 28.

  13. Cyprusg Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2002
    star 4
    Undomiel, I would like to applaud you for getting your information from an objective source. =D= That's one conservative that's seen the light! J-Rod, Bubba, Qui-Rune, you see that?

    The welfare program is messed up. It doesn't work properly. It punishes the people who have a job, any job, and makes the lives of those who don't have a job, at least bareable (although I do think the welfare qualification system is dehumanizing)

    As a tax payer I'm more than happy to give a good chunk of my money to the welfare program. The way I look at is for every person that's being lazy and taking advantage of the system, you have another person that NEEDS it and has been put into a situation that they never intended. You can't punish those people because of the people that abuse the system, you just have to work harder to tie up the loose ends.
  14. Undomiel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    Cyprus,

    I'd rather they made welfare local and have it be a community project. You wouldn't believe how fast we americans run through things: clothes, shoes, canned goods we never use, books, dishes, curtains, and on and on. And stores! My gosh the waste from stores is incredible. We found a perfectly functional mini-fridge with freezer for a vehicle or hotel room behind a shop that sold auto accessories. When we asked why they threw it away, they said it was because it was scratched and dented (in one tiny spot, no less). This goes on constantly. I had suggested this before, and I'll fly through again. Seems to me once a week or bi-weekly, they could have a community festival, where all the stores and restaurants that wanted to participate, could offer goods and services to welfare receipents paid for by voucher they received, locally. Sorta of a medieval times meets modern times solution to an age old problem. The stores would collect the vouchers, ring them up like a bill, and be able to deduct a percentage from their taxes with each voucher they collected.

    It adds to community spirit, helps the poorer members of the community, provides alot more options, helps businesses with tax breaks, provides incentives, and so on. It also would allow employers, when present, to scope out prospective employees. A grocery store needs a cashier. A clothing store needs a night manager. And so on.

    Instead of forcing people to be generous, you make it a postive solution all around. Welfare receipents would become a part of the solution (relief from taxes), rather than a part of the problem (too many taxes)

    Eh, I'm always thinking of stuff like this.
  15. poor yorick Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Undomiel: I wasn't Bush-bashing at all in that post. I don't care how the corporate welfare situation got the way it is--Kerry had a sensible-sounding plan to mitigate it. And the economy is not going to be turned back to 1955--it just isn't, and we know that. But why not try to stem the damage?

    On welfare:

    I've got no problem with community efforts to help people. It's a very good idea, and many local organizations aready do it.

    However, I think it's a mistake to assume that local community groups alone are going to be able to deal with poverty as well as government programs. For one thing, the neighbors of people who don't have anything also tend not to have anything. The other reason is that poverty is a national problem, and efforts to deal with it are best organized at the national level. Imagine if we tried to maintain our interstate highways with a combination of church groups and local volunteer organizations. All participation would be voluntary, and no one would have to pay more than he or she wanted to.

    People could get up early in the morning, paint some oil drums orange, attach strobe lights to them, and go out to block off the lane in need of repair. Others could come by with wheelbarrows and shovels, and maybe local businesses would donate asphalt or concrete. Really fundamental structural problems, like cracked pillars beneath an on-ramp, might not get addressed, since how many volunteers have that much time to spend away from work or their families? But the potholes, man--those would be fixed fast.

    Except if no local person felt like paying for the shovels and wheelbarrows. Or it was in an area where you couldn't get a grassroots organization going. Or if nobody had the money to buy an asphalt spreader, and no businesses felt like donating one. Or if it started to rain, and it got to be dinner time, and people's kids started calling them on their cell phones, and everyone went home.

    There's nothing wrong with voluntary, community-based efforts, but they tend not to be the best way to handle complex, time-consuming, expensive, and widespread problems. That's why we have a professional army instead of an unpaid militia, and a U.S. Department of Transportation instead of small, private cells of pothole-fillers. It's also why we have federal antipoverty programs.

    After all, if we don't get the choice of whether or not to pay taxes to fix the roads, why should people be able to opt out of helping the nation's poor? Aren't people more important than highways?
  16. Undomiel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    Ophelia,

    The voucher program for WIKK seemed to work fairly well. I'm of the opinion that, if people weren't forced to pay for welfare, they'd be more than willing to donate to charities that did the same job at the community level, especially if they received special tax incentives to do so (the richer they are, the more they can donate). If the problem is the community itself isn't rich, they could perhaps combine communities (3 neighborhoods instead of 1, for example) and do it that way (power in numbers). You'd be surprised how much money exchanges hands in the cities - some legitimately, some not so legitimately. For the not so legitimate crowd, they could still donate anonymously by any number of methods. Perhaps a philanthropist program could be incorporated to adopt a neighborhood. Things like that. There's gotta be a way to work this out so people are not being forced to do this, because it really is unconstitutional and dehumanizing for the welfare receipents the way it is now.
  17. poor yorick Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    What you're describing sounds like the old parish system that used to exist in England. Widows, orphans, and people who were unable to work were put "on the parish," which was expected to support them on donations. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't . . . affluent parishes often took quite good care of "respectable" widows--the equivalent of "nice" middle class women--and who really were basically helpless unless their husbands had left them property or a business of some kind. Elderly people who had contributed a lot to the parish in the past often got fairly good treatment too. Smelly, scary, deranged people were not popular at all, and sometimes parish members would "kidnap" these individuals and dump them in some other parish--thus making them somebody else's problem.

    St. Giles parish was an infamously miserable place to be . . . they called its buildings "rookeries" because they looked (and presumably smelled) like the dense clumps of guano-covered nests that rooks live in. The problem with St. Giles was that *nobody* had any money, so being "on the parish" didn't do you a lot of good.

    There were people who began philanthropic projects in that area, although they tended to get discouraged and give up. I'm not sure what happened to St. Giles in the end . . . my guess is that it got swallowed up by Greater London and now has Starbucks and cell phone stores on every corner. ::shrugs::

    For some people, I think the old parish system did work better than modern nationwide programs do. For some people, it worked less well. It's an interesting thought as to whether that system would work in America today.
  18. darth_paul Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    DM:
    Democrats don't have a platform on 'moral values'.
    I beg to diiffer. You are being narrow-minded in your view and definition of moral values, to the point of excluding other people's views. And, your assessment is very inconsistent in that you start off arguing that the Democratic Party and then proceed to brand each of its positions "immoral." Since your morality isn't everyone's morality, what this actually implies is that their moral platform is simply different from yours. Which doesn't make it amoral.

    They have a platform on liberal populism, not on any sense of traditional moral values.
    Leaving alone your derisiveness, I would like to point out that what you call "traditional" moral values are not the only moral values in the world. Just because various Democratic positions are in your view immoral, does not make them amoral. When you speak of homosexual marriage and abortion as contrary to morality -- they are contrary to your morality, not to morality in general.

    The Democratic Party does have a moral platform. It's tolerance. It's compassion towards others. It's equal treatment. These are all moral values, whatever you may think of them. Me? If I vote Republican, it's most likely because I don't believe in the Welfare State, which is, from a certain point of view, a moral question (as it pertains to theft). But the general sense of Democratic morality is much more appealing to me than the Republican alternative.

    Edit: And Hades, there's really no reason you have to affiliate yourself with a particular political party or movement. There's no reason you shouldn't just register Independent, or register for whichever party you can influence most in the primaries, and then cote by the candidate on each and every issue. If you don't find yourself in full agreement with any of the major parties, there's no reason you should try to fit yourself into the mold, or feel the need to identify yourself in the binary Democrat/Republican mold.

    -Paul
  19. Undomiel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    Ophelia,

    The difference between the old parish system and the community project idea would be that it isn't grounded in a religious belief specificially, would encourage store and restaurant owners, churches, philanthropists, and other businesses in the community to participate, as well as the general populace.

    People who are self-employed (et.al, business owners), have to pay as much as 40% (and more in some cases) of their income out in taxes. That's 4 times as much as even God expects from us. Charitable tax shelters are constantly being sought after, as it seems more logical to help people and save yourself money in taxes, in the long run. Also, consider that many minority groups and women take advantage of government programs that help them start a business so they can rise above their poverty, only to be nickled and pennied to death by the high cost in taxes of being self-employed (not to mention the countless other fees, license costs, and on and on).

    Rather than having such a project be entirely dependent on the generosity of others at the community level, in every community, it could be subsidized by the government in those areas where the people are too poor or the businesses too few, to fill all the requests in that area. But as word got out, and successful community projects thrived, more attention could be brought to those areas that need more donations. There'd most likely have to be a program in place to help switch from one style to the other.

    Also, not sure if you're aware of this or not, but the Mormon Church has an interesting welfare program as well. It doesn't work in every circumstance, but it is indeed something to think about. (i'm not mormon btw, I just lived in mormon utah for 10 years). They have farms and stores similar to the salvation army (they call them deseret industries), where people who need financial help can work to earn themselves groceries, clothing items, and so on. Not the ultimate solution, but certainly a nice project for those who it does work for.

    Another thing that would make such a project interesting is have one big central office for the whole nation that did nothing but distribute subsidies, coordinate community level projects, AND (I like this idea) encourage scientists to submit solutions for energy usage (alternate energy sources so poor folk aren't dependent on the energy companies) and inventions that haven't become mainstream but which have been approved for distribution (also with tax incentives in mind). There are alot of great inventions and breakthroughs out there that are being held back from mass distribution to society at large, due to politics, but which might be particularly useful at this level - helping the impoverished be more independent of the huge expense incurred every month in energy usage. (My water bill alone is nearly 100 dollars a month. 10 years ago, it was only 8 dollars a month and included garbage collection).
  20. Bubba_the_Genius Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2002
    star 4
    At the moment I'm typing this, I see the following two topics on the Floor, one after the other:

    - How to Fix a Sinking Political Party (or how to save the Democrat Party)

    - "Assisted Suicide?"

    Coincidence?
  21. Cyprusg Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2002
    star 4
    Rather than having such a project be entirely dependent on the generosity of others at the community level, in every community, it could be subsidized by the government in those areas where the people are too poor or the businesses too few, to fill all the requests in that area. But as word got out, and successful community projects thrived, more attention could be brought to those areas that need more donations.

    But that's just not a realistic scenario. In a very small community, it'd probably work. But any city with 50,000+ inhabitants and has a high poverty rate you're not going to be able to support those that are in need the way our current welfare system can.

    I know you're not going to budge, but I'll just say this, IT WOULD NOT WORK. I can say that with 100000% certainty, it's a good idea but one with so many potential problems that it's just not viable. The welfare system is for the greater good, you should be proud that you're a part of it.
  22. darth_paul Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    I cannot be proud of any system in which some people are robbed and national law not only supports but orders it. We were talking about morality earlier; I find state-run mandatory wealth redistribution to be the single most immoral thing supported by the Democratic Party, and, while there are plenty of issues on which I disagree with the Left, that will be the biggest one standing between me and any Democratic candidate. Not thatt the Republicans are too much better....

    But at any rate, I don't care a whit for the greater good when matters of principle are at stake. And government-administered theft is sometehing I'll never be able to get behind, regardless of the potential or perceived benefits.

    -Paul
  23. Undomiel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    Cyprus,

    There's enough money on Wall Street and Fifth Avenue, alone, to do some mighty fine philanthropy. And Rodeo Drive. And some parts of Texas. And lotsa money in Florida. If the Mormon Church can make a close proximation of a food for work program, surely communities could do it. Besides, I'm talking about government subsidizing those areas that don't have enough, until such time as they do. It would get the easiest areas with the smallest welfare rate off the system, first of all, and gain momentum as more money was freed up.

    And if the amount of donations fell below the amount required, subsidies would kick back in, acting as a safety net. Also, remember what I mentioned earlier, the programs for giving minorities and women a chance at making a small successful business are plagued with problems, compounded by the fact they immediately fall under the umbrella of the self-employed tax bracket. The more money they make, the more they gotta pay, but that's not reasonable in a market like ours today where massive corporations like Walmart can sell anything and everything many times cheaper and self-employment taxes are so high.

    It needs to be self-perpetuating and at the moment, it's just self-defeating.
  24. Cyprusg Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2002
    star 4
    But at any rate, I don't care a whit for the greater good when matters of principle are at stake. And government-administered theft is sometehing I'll never be able to get behind, regardless of the potential or perceived benefits.

    How about some specifics, what don't you like about it, why don't you like it, etc.. Government administered theft? How so?
  25. Cyprusg Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2002
    star 4
    There's enough money on Wall Street and Fifth Avenue, alone, to do some mighty fine philanthropy.

    And how many people do you think would give just on a voluteer basis? Why do you think we have a welfare system? Because you can't count on volunteer charity to support those in need, you just can't, that's why, regrettably, it has to be mandatory.
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