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Thread: Politics

  1. #10871
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    I feel like the one key difference between the parties is whether or not you accept that there will be people who want/need free stuff. In my mind, there will always be people who or are either unable or unwilling to work. The question becomes whether you allow that and spend taxpayer money to support those people or you demand personal responsibility and feel that it's unfair that you have to pay so someone else can do nothing. Also, while I think we would all agree that there's a big difference between people who cannot work and people who will not work, that difference always seems to melt away when it comes to actually funding support for those people. Mental health budgets, the VA, addiction treatment - and with that one, you also get the judgment call over whether it's an illness or a personal failing, so even there people don't agree whether it's a "cannot" or "will not".

    My personal view is that while there's a sense that it's unfair of some people to essentially get things for free, especially for the "will nots", it's better overall to spend some now and support them rather than to deal with what happens when we don't. Those cuts I mentioned above I believe are a big part of why the homeless situation is out of control in a lot of cities. I know part of it too is exploding housing costs, but part of it is just giving up on people. Now we have things like hepatitis outbreaks, and to me it sounds like fixing the problems now, or even just treating the symptoms of the problem without actually trying to fix it, will cost more than it would have to just try to prevent it in the first place. In the meantime, I think the "will nots" will remain about the same whether we offer support to that group. I don't think a lot of people will just choose not to work in exchange for a basic level of subsistence, like food stamps and a small but safe place to live. I'd be curious to see if there are stats on that from places like Norway that will provide you with housing if you can't afford it on your own, and as far as i know there's no work requirement for that.

    It's also why I have never been a fan of the idea that we need to run the country like a business. In a business, you can fire your lowest performers. You can cut costs by laying off staff. You can't do that as a country. It's not like these people can just go immigrate to another country, and they have to end up somewhere. So we end up with a lot of people in prison, where we don't try to rehabilitate them and therefore have high recidivism rates (and spend a small fortune per prisoner per year to house them), and we end up with a lot of homeless people.

    So, yeah. I think it's unfair, but I also think it's better to swallow one's pride on that and just do what needs to be done to get the best possible outcome, and part of that is paying taxes and handling these situations upfront.

    Aside, I can think of three people I've known that rely very heavily on government assistance. One is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, the other two are Trump supporters.

  2. #10872
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    It's not just about fairness..., but I just don't think we should enable able body folks to continue on that way. Taxpayer help ought to just be helping somebody get back on their feet..., not to sustain and prolong their lying on the ground refusing to get up.

    Just like now I refuse to give out cash to homeless folks. I only ask them if they want food, if yes, I'm perfectly happy to help them get food. However, if they want money, sorry, no cash. I've also seen some assholes 'homeless' who throw away the food that people bought for them...

    I'm at lost why some conservative 'Christians' would be against universal healthcare. Did Jesus charge for healing people? Anyway, I do believe we should have universal healthcare for all. However, although universal basic income is a good idea in theory, I do fear that it will enable more and more folks to just live their lives lying down. Yeah, it's better for us that they don't cause diseases or become trouble makers, but it's not really better for them!

    I certainly don't want to see my daughter continue to live at my house as a grown adult and never finding something to do with her life. I also don't need the government subsidizing that kind of lifestyle for her. Of course if I have a disabled or mentally challenged kid or something, then naturally that kind of help is appreciated. A lot of folks might fall in between the cannot and the willnot..., we can just give the benefit of the doubt and assume they're cannots, but we shouldn't assume they're all are cannots. Money given without any incentives such as universal basic income will only harm these folks in the long run because they'll never learn to live life to the fullest.

  3. #10873
    Dead Brand Ambassador dodint's Avatar
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    I'm really warming up to Universal Basic Income as a solution; but only if it comes as a replacement for all current entitlements and it is truly universal. We can cut all the program administration to help fund UBI, but we can't pick and choose entitlements persist. Establish what the acceptable quality of life baseline is and pay the benefit out at that level.

    I picture it working a lot like the Military Housing Allowance. Base the QoL amount on zip code so people in SF are not expected to live on a national average amount and people in Des Moines are not overpaid because they choose to live like a dirt farmer.

    It also has to be paid to everyone; no limited benefit if you make over a certain threshold. If I want to blow my benefit on Delorean parts I should get to because I've been paying into this mess for decades and under this new plan people won't have to work a day in their life if they're content with the baseline.

  4. #10874
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    You guys (including Jason, earlier) seem to have missed one word. Let me put it in bold for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by George
    ...in the "gimme-gimme" real world where everyone, rich and poor alike, wants "free" money from the government...
    Quote Originally Posted by 21Kid
    And yet, huge tax cuts to corporations already making record profits isn't seen as a giveaway.
    That's exactly what I see it as. Hence, the "rich" in my previous statement.

  5. #10875
    Bad Taste novicius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dodint View Post
    It also has to be paid to everyone; no limited benefit if you make over a certain threshold. If I want to blow my benefit on Delorean parts I should get to because I've been paying into this mess for decades and under this new plan people won't have to work a day in their life if they're content with the baseline.
    Inasmuch as I'm pro progressive tax, I'm actually in complete agreement on this.

    Get UBI and spend it, don't hoard it.

  6. #10876
    Member Member 21Kid's Avatar
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    Sorry George, I did see that. I guess I was just talking more in general because the "R" talking points always mention that about the left.

    I agree with the Dead Brand Ambassador and the one with Bad Taste as far as the Universal base income goes. I think Universal basic health care has to be part of it too though.

  7. #10877
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21Kid
    And yet, huge tax cuts to corporations already making record profits isn't seen as a giveaway.
    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    That's exactly what I see it as. Hence, the "rich" in my previous statement.
    It seems to me that 21Kid's point falls under that "it's unfair for us to have to pay for people who don't want to work for themselves.", and that very few people, including a lot of poorer people, see that as a giveaway vs. no longer taking away.

    I mean, I agree with the statement wholeheartedly, but I'd be willing to bet there are a lot of Trump supporters who would see that as no longer taking money from successful individuals to pay for freeloading drug addicts and immigrants rather than a giveaway to the rich. I'd say it also follows along the lines of people who got mad at Obama's "you didn't build that" thing. His point being that there's a ton of things (specifically roads and bridges) that other people built that we all paid for together that one relies on to be able to build their business. I know Trump supporters today who literally tell me they've never accepted a cent of tax supported anything in their lives, and can't understand that every time they drive on a road they're doing exactly that.
    Last edited by Tom Servo; February 6th, 2018 at 11:39 AM.

  8. #10878
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed_Insanity View Post
    Spoiler:
    It's not just about fairness..., but I just don't think we should enable able body folks to continue on that way. Taxpayer help ought to just be helping somebody get back on their feet..., not to sustain and prolong their lying on the ground refusing to get up.
    That is essentially the definition of fairness, but I digress. My question is - what do you do with the person who does just refuse to get up? Is it better to let them live on the streets until they die? Is it better to support them enough that they might not be comfortable, but they'll be safe and alive? What are the consequences on other people of each one? If they live on the streets they may end up resorting to crime to stay alive. If they don't have to work, they might just mooch off your tax dollars and do nothing but play games on their Obamaphone.

  9. #10879
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    Yes, it is unfair to the taxpayers. That's the fairness from the perspective of payers... From the receiving end, it's no longer about fairness, but they're getting spoiled. That's more undesirable IMHO.

    The only universal income I can agree with is to give them daily their meal allowance, basic clothing, healthcare and housing. Actual money should not be sent to them directly because these type of folks obviously cannot be trusted with managing their own money. They shouldn't be allowed to use the money to buy anything other than basic needs. When these basic needs are met, they really need to be thinking about what they're going to do with their lives.

    There's no guarantee UBI will forever solve the crime problem. Spending this tax money on the socially irresponsible for sure won't buy problems away. They only become more irresponsible. UBI should at least come with the condition that you're holding some sort of job. Your McDonald's min wage job along with some sort of UBI supplement ensuring you're making basic living. Need to try to end poverty that way perhaps..., but once you decided to quit and choose to be poor when you're not sick or handicapped, society should respect such choice and not shove money down their throats. If they insist on crime, then I have no problems using tax money to jail such person rather than just handing them the money. Prison is probably more expensive, but it'll be worth it in the long run for both the taxpayer and the freeloader.
    Last edited by Crazed_Insanity; February 6th, 2018 at 12:20 PM.

  10. #10880
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed_Insanity View Post
    Spoiler:
    UBI should at least come with the condition that you're holding some sort of job.
    Again. What do you do if the person just won't work? Assume you have a person who has Universal Basic Income, a safe place to live, enough food to survive, and hasn't committed a crime, but without that government safety net, would likely be on the street and maybe desperate enough to commit a crime to stay alive? Is that better? What if they don't commit a crime, but just panhandle enough to stay alive? Is that better?

    That's the crux here. You're saying that you should have a condition that they have a job. What do you do if they don't? In the meantime, having a Universal Basic Income that requires keeping a job is called "Minimum Wage", we already have that.
    Last edited by Tom Servo; February 6th, 2018 at 12:29 PM.

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