• Maw
    1.6k
    Yeah the Founding Fathers are well known for their love of individual liberty
  • Baden
    8.5k
    me and my parents agree that the rest of the countries are garbage, which is why everyone wants to come over hereShushi

    You and your parents might consider educating yourselves on the wider world. The US certainly has its good points, but on most quality-of-life indicators (crime, education, health, poverty levels, environment, corruption, democracy indices) it's behind the leading OECD nations, the majority of whose inhabitants have no desire to move there.
  • Shushi
    34


    From where my family is from, I can at least attest to the fact that many would love to live in the US. I admit about using the word “garbage” when comparing other countries sounds off putting, but there is a reason for my indignant remark (which isn’t towards the people of those countries mind you, only the governmental structure of those countries, which many of those citizens would agree with that, which I believe to be a fair criticism), and no me and my family don’t believe so uninformed. We as human beings have natural rights, no government can create or grant us the rights to some of them, government when it does its job properly, is suppose to only recognize them, and protect them, that’s it. I can’t say from where my family is from because that information is sensitive because it’s one of many examples of political asylum which even happens in countries like the UK, France, Germany, etc. An important pillar, even before economic freedoms, that is properly basic and logically fundamental to a prosperous country is free speech (which comes right after freedom to life), and I’ll explain how this fundamental right is being abused and misused (which makes the US unique).

    I mean that, I can go and list the innovations of the US, market freedom that benefits consumers and entrepreneurs (where the US is the largest exporter of important goods, like medical, technology, industrial goods that other industrial nations depend on, as well as media and entertainment which in most other countries is pretty bland, and don't forget that the US' economic surpluses allows it to be more involved in humanitarian aid/as well as general economic aid and military aid such as spending on NATO that provides free national security to the rest of the industrial world, which if left up to them their expenses and security would drastically take a hit as well as their standards of living, which because other countries don't spend as the US, this is a big handicap that the US has compared to the rest of the Nations), people having more significant political freedom over the country and over their own rights (which relates more to what I'm about to list), access to cheap and affordable products as well as places to live, private property laws in the US being unrivaled by all other countries (protection and liberty of your property or assets which the government can't take away easily) etc, etc, which are more important than the figures that the OECD(which are at odds with similar studies from the Fraser Institute and the Heritage Foundation, and the OECD better life index doesn't even consider free speech, freedoms, private property laws, or equates ) believes to be more important, which those along with the American values of prioritizing to life, liberty and property depend on the more fundamental right of free speech. Btw, poverty is relative to many factors and in nature, such as in the US, poverty is a choice while in other places (including OECD nations), it really isn't, the poor in the US live significantly better in terms of well being vs those poor or middle class everywhere else, which these, private property rights and other significant economic factors that tie into well being are included in a "absolute level of economic well-being" metric, but let's focus on the most important factors which is free speech.

    It's because (when one does a survey on the laws of other countries) there isn't the same kind of freedom (which is qualitatively better) in other countries as it is in the United States, where those who may have similar ones, they aren’t guaranteed (not enshrined in their constitution, or written in legal documents that aren't authoritative and overridden on a regular basis) and they are lacking. Canada doesn't have absolute free speech, because the government can regulate speech that it deems to be offensive like the ambiguous term “hate speech” (one of many laws include Motion 103), while in America hate speech is still protected speech because the price to live in a free society is accepting the risk of being offended. What about the UK? They passed the Communications Act 2003/Section 127, where anyone could be arrested for sending a message to someone where it may be perceived to be obscene, grossly offensive or menacing in character, with up to 6 months for it, or perceived to be seen as annoying to someone (like if someone is trolling, or someone that sends repeated messages), which is absurd because who get to decide what is deemed to be offensive, grossly offensive, annoying or what is persistent? Certain press reporters like Tommy Robinson are being arrested for completely following the rules (which the kings or rulers of Britain have a notorious track record of doing what they want, violating the laws that should be in theory like United States).

    At least 3,400 people have been arrested in one year for making these types of online comments with this arbitrary law, that’s not freedom, that’s Orwellian. Sure, the US isn’t perfect, it’s not as free as it used to be but relative to the rest of the world US citizens own a lot of guns who can fix that issue if and when they do decide which the far left doesn’t understand. The fact that anyone could walk into a coffee shop and order their latte with an AR-15 slung across their chest is epic. There are two schools of thought in play in these debates. The left says, “I can’t believe that you can do that in this country! (angry)” while the right is like “I can’t believe that you can do that in this country! It’s epic!”. It’s a privilege to live in such society, which many Americans take for granted. I’m focusing on personal freedom, but we’ll also look at economic freedom as well. Freedom is defined as the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hinderance or restraint.

    This definition describes either the power or right to, which are two different things. I have the power to murder somebody, but I don’t have the right to do it. This difference is extremely important because in other countries you may have the power to speak, you may have the power to exercise the freedom of religion, or to petition the government, but that power isn’t absolute because it can be taken away from you by those governments, which isn’t the case with a right. In the US you have a right to these freedoms and if the government tries to fringe upon those rights, the Americans have their kill switch (which is the second amendment). If that right wasn’t cemented in the US constitution, America would be perpetually ignorantly optimistic, crossing its fingers and hoping that nothing ever bad happens (which historically speaking, something bad always happens, corrupt leaders and dictators).

    The US is only 1 of 3 countries in the world that protects the right of its citizens to bear arms in its constitution (which is interesting to note that a truly free society creates the most powerful nation that has the greatest influence In the world, sort of like a natural law, or natural selection mechanism, where a country that recognizes human nature and the necessity to respect their natural rights flourishes and influences the rest of the world as a result). Not that it should, but ought to, not that it would be nice, no, it has to be that way. The US ranks #1 for freedom of speech

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/12/americans-more-tolerant-of-offensive-speech-than-others-in-the-world/ft_16-10-15_freedom-of-expression/

    and also gun ownership,

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/gun-ownership-country-us-legal-firearm-citizens-statistics-a8406941.html

    I don’t believe that this is a coincidence. I believe that there are only 20 countries where one can have free speech, but its not really free speech. Brazil has free speech except for racism or hate-speech, Mexico has free speech except that they are notorious for censorship (which the political system that is entrenched with organized crime will have you killed if you challenge that system), the filipins also has free speech, except you can’t say anything that goes against how the law of that country defines good customs, public order, or morality (like you can’t publish books with pornographic elements). Sort of amazing that those like the far left who decry bigotry and claim how the US is chauvinistic, belittle the US by their own standards while throwing away those standards when it comes to these other countries like defending Sharia Law adherent countries and not condemning when they pass laws like a recent one with Brunei passing a law where homosexuals can be stoned to death.

    The far left and Islam’s unholy alliance, I’m an ally with few muslims like Imam Mohamad Tawhidi, but unfortunately he is seen as heretical by all muslims schools, like if he were an occultists, but this is going to another debate on Islam, Sharia Law, and muslim countries, but it’s an important note to point out. I can keep on going, on how all the other countries don’t have free speech, but its all the same. I may appear to be triggered for silly reasons, like being indignant because other countries don’t want to protect my right to say hateful things.

    You can frame me like that, but when you examine my points consistently and with an honest perspective, I just like freedom, I don’t like it when people say hateful things, or when they watch porn (and I could cite dozens upon dozens on the destructive nature of pornography in society from mental health, stable families, sex trafficking issues, slavery etc.), but the difference between what you can do and what you ought to do, I don’t want the government deciding what I ought to do when it comes to my personal freedom, so as long it doesn’t infringe upon the rights of others (the left is notorious for banning freedoms in order to get “free stuff” and what they call free speech, and the right for behavior they see as detrimental to social cohesion, which isn’t the case all the time as there are some in both camps that do all of these things).

    And when talking about the countries that have free expression, without gun ownership, good luck! The rankings that are similar to the one you posted, they usually publish reports like the US ranking 28thh when it comes to personal freedom, but when you look at their methodology, like when they examine the US having a high murder rate, they knock down its score, or when there are instances of discrimination in the US, they knock down more points, or a media that’s heavily influenced by politics, they knock down more and more, so the data is corrupted with irrelevant factors (or equating or not properly valuing different factors appropriately) which means that these studies should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Baden
    8.5k


    You're kind of all over the place with this. I get it you like your country. It's just maybe not as superior as you think. But I'm not going to waste time arguing that point with you. I only suggest you consider travelling and maybe working abroad and see how that affects your perspective. Good luck.
  • Shushi
    34
    I have traveled around (there's beauty everywhere, but that's besides the point), you're insistent on the point that you think I'm not informed, that my thoughts aren't cogent and that I have to be wrong, that America isn't the greatest (because people like Jeff Daniels say so), which I think I provided a comprehensive answer that I believe responds to common objections and is framed to what I think is most reasonably the most significant/fundamental factors which your analysis and argument lacked (which I want to clarify that the US is not perfect, in areas like education which jon dewey sort of ruined it). All I can say is think about it more, I mean I'm not anal about the point and all, (although I am patriotic, specifically because I have a fair mind, which if America ever ceases to be good then I won't think its good, and if it ever becomes a lost cause then I wont be patriotic and I'll go look for another country if change is unavailable, and if it earns my patriotism then I'll give it) I mean people can have different tastes, but there is a big difference between good old coca cola and road tar, I mean I would rather be poor having made that choice in the US than to be prosperous but complacent in that area for the rest of my life in any other country, since in the US I am free to move up or down any time and even surpass that prosperous level or limits in any other country. Whatever you enjoy is not really an important issue for me, although I do hope for your happiness and prosperity none-the-less (for you to have good health and that nothing bad happens to you)
  • ZhouBoTong
    503
    Sowell, T. (2012). Trickle-down theory and tax cuts for the rich. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution\
    Press, Stanford University, (pp. 13).
    Shushi

    Wait, so in 2012, just as the Obama administration is pulling the country out of one of our biggest recessions ever...Sowell is going to point to increased tax revenue generated by tax cuts in the early 2000s? Great it worked for 3 years, then what happened in 2007?

    I think economics is far more complicated than this and operates in long cycles with many questionable factors being significant, but if Sowell wants to over-simplify, I can make him LOOK dumb. Unquestionably, Thomas Sowell is not dumb. But I stopped reading his work years ago...once he proved to me he was smart enough that he had to be cherry-picking his examples while ignoring obvious counters...just so he could reach people who were not smart enough (or interested enough more likely) to look it up.
  • Shushi
    34
    You can call me dumb, but I don't see his arguments in this paper to be referring to the data or trends from only 2012 specifically as far as it was published in that date, but he's referring to how there is a pattern of tax cuts and greater returns, although that isn't is main argument, as much to dispel the argument that those who label supply side as "trickle down" economics make, and look at several periods that follow this trend of a two fold growth in the economy, that includes more wealth generated back to the government, as well as more wealth to the citizens or those who are part of the demand side, essentially supply side is a two fold wealth generator, which even since the recession in 2007 was fixed partly because of the effectiveness of supply side, which isn't the only factor, but it has a successful and self evident track record which doesn't seem unreasonable from his end. But yeah his arguments go more than just 2012, all the way back throughout its history.

    Just to make sure we're in the same page, let me define some terms properly. Essentially supply side economics is the idea that if producers are given back their money, they're going to produce new and better products (improve quality and drive down prices through competition, and new technology and innovation [like Iphones and small computer become affordable and which is why this is an essential factor in order for Moore's Law to keep the same trend]), and that supply will generate its own demand, thus the economy will keep rolling and the cash will be flowing, unlike the strawmans that its going to trickle down slowly into the entire economy where the economy and innovation are stagnating. This is different from a demand side economics which tries to focus the wealth to non producers who don't create new technology or innovation, meaning that funds stagnate because there isn't anything inherently innovative or incentive for funds and value to grow, I mean you can distribute the wealth to everyone but not everyone will multiply those funds, whereas entrepreneurs and producers will do more with those funds. This doesn't impoverish people as those investments to produces drives down prices of older products as more demand increases for new technology, products, and innovation as people are welling more to spend for those things thus the poor can afford these cheaper products as well, as well as efficiency goes up with the introduction of new technology and innovation, and many other factors which you agree that economics has a myriad of factors, but of course not all factors are as significant in impact which I feel you're not considering.

    Supply side as Sowell points out generated success after the JFK tax cuts, after the Reagan tax cuts in 81, or the Bush tax cuts in 2001, there was sustained economic growth (which is often forgotten because of the crash that happened in 2007-2008 which the causation correlation fallacy was discussed in refernce to supposed bubbles and supply side economics). Even Obama maintained low rates in 2010 and 2013. Supply side even works in europe which is why Denmark has been cutting its taxes too, and other european countries that realize that taxes aren't benefitial and that the government is ineffecient with funds and is not a successful wealth generator.
  • ZhouBoTong
    503
    You can call me dumbShushi

    I can, but I don't know why I would. You seem pretty bright. Most libertarians are smart people, they just seem trapped in partially justified dogma.

    but he's referring to how there is a pattern of tax cuts and greater returns, although that isn't is main argument, as much to dispel the argument that those who label supply side as "trickle down" economics make, and look at several periods that follow this trend of a two fold growth in the economy, that includes more wealth generated back to the government, as well as more wealth to the citizens or those who are part of the demand side, essentially supply side is a two fold wealth generator, which even since the recession in 2007 was fixed partly because of the effectiveness of supply side, which isn't the only factor, but it has a successful and self evident track record which doesn't seem unreasonable from his end. But yeah his arguments go more than just 2012, all the way back throughout its history.Shushi

    If there was clear data supporting a position then economics would be easy...and we wouldn't need opinions. So when someone presents economic data as ENTIRELY supporting a certain view, I question their academic integrity (or their intelligence, but notice Sowell is unquestionably intelligent, so he must be championing incomplete data on purpose).

    Just to make sure we're in the same page, let me define some terms properly.Shushi

    Good idea :smile:

    Essentially supply side economics is the idea that if producers are given back their money, they're going to produce new and better products (improve quality and drive down prices through competition, and new technology and innovation [like Iphones and small computer become affordable and which is why this is an essential factor in order for Moore's Law to keep the same trend]), and that supply will generate its own demand, thus the economy will keep rolling and the cash will be flowing, unlike the strawmans that its going to trickle down slowly into the entire economy where the economy and innovation are stagnating.Shushi

    Your description of supply side econ fits my general idea...but this whole section seems to be trying to point at the 'fact' of supply side economics. It is a theory about what MIGHT be good for the economy, right?

    This is different from a demand side economics which tries to focus the wealth to non producers who don't create new technology or innovation, meaning that funds stagnate because there isn't anything inherently innovative or incentive for funds and value to grow, I mean you can distribute the wealth to everyone but not everyone will multiply those funds, whereas entrepreneurs and producers will do more with those funds.Shushi

    Wouldn't demand-side proponents call this a strawman? All those drones that don't create stuff SPEND money. That is the point of demand side, I thought? While the innovators have just spent the last decade hording. They are not reinvesting into R & D. Just manipulating stock markets for personal gain.

    And demand-side vs supply-side is the dogmatic stuff I am talking about. Surely there are infinite options other than just supply-side and demand-side (just by saying it could be some combination of the two creates infinite possibilities - let alone if we start looking at economic models beyond capitalism). Is anything in economics that simple?

    If lowering taxes for the rich, directly and consistently worked in the way you have described, there would be no argument. Unfortunately, if we look at the history of economics, NOTHING works consistently. Economists are finally coming around to the realization that THEY CAN'T PREDICT SHIT, because they don't have all the necessary information. And the 'necessary information' includes the emotional whims of every human...so it seems like we are not that close to making predictive economics more science than philosophy.

    I mean you can distribute the wealth to everyone but not everyone will multiply those funds, whereas entrepreneurs and producers will do more with those funds.Shushi

    I am happy to concede that we have not learned a better way to maximize GDP than laissez-faire capitalism. But we have reached a point where the GDP of industrialized nations is enough that every citizen could live well (not in poverty)...and yet they don't. So, we no longer need to worry about raising the GDP, but finding a way for that higher GDP to actually benefit the majority. So if we take measures that cause GDP growth to slow to 2% instead of 4% (a HUGE difference, especially when compounded over a few decades), it is worth it, if more people benefit from that 2% growth.

    Surely, it can be acknowledged by now that charity will never be significant on a large scale. So if libertarians want to argue that the dumb and unmotivated should just be allowed to die in the streets, then that is fair and consistent. But if they act like unregulated capitalism actually benefits a majority of poor people, it is naive or disingenuous.

    after the Reagan tax cuts in 81Shushi

    Remember that Reagan then raised taxes in 1986, suggesting it did not work quite as hoped.

    Supply side even works in europe which is why Denmark has been cutting its taxes too,Shushi

    This is the dogmatic thinking..."all tax cuts are good". How can we compare Denmark lowering its tax rate to 55% to the US? When they drop to 30% and their economy soars and their citizens are happy, then it matters relative to the US. As of now, I would just agree and say, "yeah! we should have the same taxes as denmark."

    Oh, and @Virgo Avalytikh has a fairly busy thread where they have been defending libertarian ideas. People in that thread (Anarchy, State, and Market Failure) seem to know more than me, but more importantly, are willing to dive into the details; whereas I struggle to get past what I consider to be a few major flaws. Just thought you should check that one out, if you haven't already.
  • KevinMcCabe
    5

    The issue of the federal government's size has become a hot topic in recent years. Conservatives, buoyed by the Tea Party movement, argue that government has become too intrusive and gargantuan for its own good, advocating tax cuts and other cutbacks in its size. Liberals argue that the government is necessary to meet the needs and demands of America's growing population. My take is that the American people seem to want it both ways: they want the expansive social safety net that government provides, yet they chafe at the level of taxation necessary to maintain it. In order for America to develop a sane, sensible domestic policy, these two conflicting beliefs must be reconciled.
  • KevinMcCabe
    5
    I would argue that the existing federal bureaucracy has more or less kept pace with the government's increasing demands; the main problem is that conservatives want to retard its growth as part of their small government program. Yet even the constituents of the GOP have come to rely on social services; when polled repeatedly, Tea Party supporters express their desire to have Social Security and Medicare unchanged. The mentality of small government proponents is that it is other peoples' “entitlements” that are the problem, never their own. While many Americans might say that they would accept reduced government services in exchange for lower taxes, few would be able to handle the reality of such a world, as shown by how people reacted to the government shutdown that occurred last year.
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