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The political, social networking site that integrates politics with popular culture.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@keeperisme, You said, “Socialists are for the destruction of the free market, or at the very least, a large section of the economy controlled by the government. That completely congrats with democratic economic policy.”

Socialism is not only the destruction of the free market, it is also the destruction of freedom and liberty. With the introduction of the socialistic obamacare, we can no longer sing the words “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. Maybe we can return “home of the brave” when we return to being “the land of the free”.

I have tried to inform as many people as could about what socialism will do to our country, but they will not see the millions of pieces of evidence that exists on the subject. With a head in the sand attitude that is prevalent in this country I am afraid we may never return to our free status.

Great Topic. Thank you for trying to educate.

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Jack @jack

@jlriggs57aol-com
Thank you.

“The destruction of freedom and liberty” is merely a consequence (albeit a very large consequence) The overall goal of socialism is to increase the freedom of the populous, by removing poverty as a barrier to freedom. That doesn’t happen when socialism is practiced, because it cannot be performed correctly by humans. We are all greedy to a point, and that greed is what destroys the socialist theory. It’s the same way with communism.

While socialism works in theory, it is only in theory. Humans could breathe under the sea if not for that pesky water. So it is useless to humanity.

About the ACA- I don’t believe that is socialism, as it requires a service that is distributed by only private companies, for the most part (Medicare and Medicaid are the exceptions, but they only apply to a relatively small section of the populous). The ACA is merely a new set of regulations that expand our current healthcare system, an increase in funding for medicaid, an attempt to streamline the process of buying insurance, and rules that reduce the waste of insurance companies (80/20 rule) and eliminate insurance companies’ ability to terminate insurance if you become sick, or bar you from buying insurance if you have a pre-existing condition.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@keeperisme, quite honestly you and I will never agree on obamacare. You see it as a thorn and I see it as a nuclear missile. Oh, well.

Also, you see the loss of freedom and liberty as “merely a consequence”. To me it is the removal of what America is, and what it was founded on. To me it is something that I have held as dear to me as my own life. It is something that I want my children’s children to know and their children’s children. I want them to see Our Constitution as the one, great, unique, document that has kept a country free for generations and will continue to keep its people free for as long as this world stands. With Our Constitution and Our Bill of Rights we have something that no other country has, those things that I for one, hold dear, as I said before, freedom and liberty.

Yes, maybe my thinking is outdated to some. If so, there is little I can do about it. When I think of America I think of a country that is unique and unlike any in the world. Are there things that need to be fixed? Absolutely. Are there ways we could improve certain aspects of the way do things? No question about it. But do we really have to rend null and void the two documents that make us the greatest country in the world? I would say, no. There are those who would say we are not the greatest country in the world. To them I would say, if you know of another country that is better, then live there, don’t try to wreck this one, to pattern it after some European country. Let them go to this better country. May they live long and happy lives, But leave America alone.

I do want you to know that I was having a really bad day and was down in the dumps. When I read your comment about the “pesky water” it made me laugh. Thank you.

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Jack @jack

@jlriggs57aol-com

I suppose we won’t agree on obamacare.

The beauty of the Constitution is in the fact that it can be amended and interpreted to remain relevant. The fact that our society has changed from agricultural to industrial to technology based, and the Constitution is still relevant is a testament to its adaptability. So America was never meant to stay the same. Staying the same leads to the destruction of societies. History demonstrates this many, many times, from Sparta to the Byzantine Empire, to name just two.

While said change doesn’t have to compromise our morals or throw out the Constitution, it does have to happen if America is to remain relevant as a world power.

About your final comment: Thank you.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@keeperisme, could not agree more with the changes this country has already been through and the fact that the constitution is flexible to fit the situation at hand.

Anything that does not change, stagnates. This goes for plants, animals, people, and countries. If the stimulus is positive then the change will be positive.

Give a plant sunshine and water and it will be healthy and grow, deprive it of light and water, it will still change but it will change to the negative, it will die. This is also true for a country and its people. If the government doesn’t over spend and allows businesses to flourish it will be healthy and grow. If the government over spends and stymies business it will die.

This isn’t rocket science, this is basic economics.

Good comments. Good discussion.

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Jack @jack

@jlriggs57aol-com

Thank you.

There does need to be some government spending, to protect consumers. While a completely “hands off” approach can increase economic performance in some situations, that approach can lead to some nasty side effects on the populous. For example, during the industrial revolution, the economy was a powerhouse, but people were forced by lack of alternative to eat infected meat, which was allowed to be infected by a lack of inspection. The “invisible hand” of the free market did not protect those who ate that infected meat. So lassez-faire economics, while best for industry, is not in the best interests of the general populous. Government spending (or tax breaks for certain industries) that encourages industries to be created that are beneficial for society (such as green energy, and private space travel) is ultimately good for society, and attainable without breaking the federal bank (Not talking about the federal reserve, just using a metaphor). How to pay for it without massively increasing the national debt? Remove the tax breaks and subsidies for well established industries such as the petroleum industry.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@keeperisme, agreed. There is need for some government guidelines and intervention where it is necessary, as long as some common sense is used.

To take government completely out of the picture would not be a benefit to anyone, as in the food industry, as you mentioned above.

Having said that, we most assuredly do not need a government that is at the gigantic size that it is now. At the current size it is now, it reaches too far into the everyday living of the individual, that is where I would say most people have issues. If we had in place a government just big enough to handle the business that affects the overall populous but doesn’t interfere with small issues that could be handled by each given state then we could find a good balance of government.

With the downsizing of the federal government, millions, if not billions of taxpayer dollars could be saved and used on maintaining our military, interstates, airports, and other issues on the federal level.

The removal of tax breaks and subsidies to companies who are established is another no-brainer that should have a set time limit, such as 5 or 10 years tops. These probably are still in place for back scratching reasons. I’ll continue the tax breaks and you can do this or that for me. Also, another good reason for term limits for all of congress.

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Jack @jack

@jlriggs57aol-com

Term limits for congressman and senators is probably for the best. People tend to oppose change, and the ability to vote for the same person for public office until they die doesn’t help with progress in this country. The person you vote for should not be a habitual decision.

About certain things being handled at the state level-
At what point do you draw the line? In theory, all of the things you mentioned could be handled by the states, except for the military.That doesn’t mean that they should be handled by the states.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@keeperisme

As was discussed on another topic, if individual states were to be in charge of maintaining the interstate system, each to what is inside their borders, you may have parts of the interstate that is well maintained and other sections that are busted up and falling apart, depending on the amount of taxes each state takes in.

A good way to start another civil war is to tell the northern states that they have to maintain their sections of interstate, which will need repairs every 5 years or so as compared to the south which has little freezing and thawing issues nor do they use the level of salt that is used in the north, both things that will help bust up a road, while southern states would be fixing roads every 15 years.

These are not verifiable statistics, this is personal observation from having lived in both climates.

Also international airports that were built and maintained by the federal government because there was a need for a large terminal to take in overseas travelers coming into the U.S. would be a huge tax burden on some states.

In my humble opinion there are things that just need to be handled on a federal level.

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Jack @jack

@jlriggs57aol-com

I recognize that fact and agree with you that those things should be maintained by the federal government. But that emphasizes my question- Where do you draw the line of what should be done by the federal government and what should be done by the states.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@jack

That’s a very good question. Wish I had an answer. I think this would have to be one of those trial and error type of conclusions.

Personally I feel that things like the EPA would have to be federal, because if Nebraska dumps toxic junk in to the Missouri river then it runs downstream and does damage to the water source all through the south. As I have said before any government agency would have to be held to some kind of common sense guidelines. Here is an example from my home state of a federal agency refusing to use common sense.

http://www.agweb.com/article/west_virginia_poultry_farmer_wins_epa_suit_over_runoff_NAA_Associated_Press/

Haven’t given a lot of thought into everything that needs to be run by the federal government, but there is definitely a couple of things they could stay out of, our school systems and our health care. This is the short list.

I think if you have a bi-partisan committee who are willing to work for a smaller government it could be worked out to everyone’s satisfaction, then it becomes a state to state issue on what kind of interference they want from the government. I would assume that there would be some states who would want the government involved in every aspect of their lives so they could get all the “free” stuff from the government and I would imagine there would be a lot that would say, okay that’s enough, now leave us alone. There will always be the two sides, the gimmies and the self-reliant.

Not sure if this was what you were looking for as far as my opinion goes, but I think it is.

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Jack @jack

@jlriggs57aol-com

The thing about there being “gimmies and the self reliant” is that it never is so black and white. Under what you might classify to be “gimmies” there are many different groups of people you could make arguments for. There’s the tiny sliver of welfare frauds, those who rely on welfare/foodstamps because their job pays nearly nothing, those who are disabled, homeless veterans, the majority of the children in america, the entire middle class, many corporations and poor families who might fall under any of the previous categories. All of those have benefited or continue to benefit from government aid.

There isn’t a single person who is completely self reliant in America. Everyone benefits from the American system and infrastructure, be it through the roads workers and consumers drive on to get to your company, enforcement of contracts, safe food to eat, an educated populous, or the military and police that makes it possible to do business in America without fear of an attack. There is a reason we have government in America. At it’s very core, government a solution, not a problem.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@jack

To clarify, a gimmie is a person who, can work, is able to work, but chooses not to so that they can get the government freebies. I like your optimism when you say a “sliver” of welfare frauds, that is the sign of a true optimist. I do not share your optimism. I wish I had reason to.

As far as the things you spoke of that I am using, therefore I am not self-reliant. I will use your wording. You said, “Everyone benefits from the American system and infrastructure, be it through the roads workers and consumers drive on to get to your company, enforcement of contracts, safe food to eat, an educated populous, or the military and police that makes it possible to do business in America without fear of an attack.”

I will stick to my statement about being self-reliant because they do not furnish these things to me, they pay for ALL of this with my tax dollars. I am not indebted to them, they are indebted to me. They are the gimmies when it comes to finances.

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Jack @jack

@jlriggs57aol-com

It is true that all government programs are paid for in part by your tax dollars,but only in part. Your taxes go to pay for everything I mentioned above. Without that system, no one could make any money, nor spend any money. While the tax payer is not directly in debt to the government, they are in debt to it in an indirect way, through all the services that are provided that allow them to make money.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@jack

It took me a bit to see where you were going with this. Then it came to me. You were echoing what obama said.

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/obamas-you-didnt-build-that-problem/2012/07/18/gJQAJxyotW_blog.html

I didn’t believe it then and I don’t believe it now. Every bit of everything that the federal government does, is done with taxpayer money. If the national debt is paid off, it will be done with tax dollars. The government does nothing to make money. It can print money but it does nothing to add income to the country.

If they built roads and bridges to move food and materials across this country, if they built the roads that lead to where a person has built his business, if they paid the salaries of the teachers that taught us how to start and build our business, then they did nothing except coordinate the process because they paid for all of it with taxpayer money and to top all of that off we pay them a salary to do the coordinating. They work for us.

I can be convinced of many things but you will never convince me that if you gave me money to build you a house, then once I’ve built it, that I can take credit for you living in a house, because I never would have built it if you hadn’t given me the money to build it with.

To summarize, the government does nothing to create income for the country, of their own, nothing. Everything is paid for by taxpayer dollars. To coordinate the building of something using someone else’s money does not give ownership to the coordinator, in the federal governments case, what they build belongs to “We the people” who paid for it to begin with.

And finally you said without the system, no one could make any money or spend any money. Maybe, but how did the system get here? It got here by way of our founding fathers who wrote and established Our Constitution. These hapless politicians, and I mean all politicians, had nothing to do with creating this system, they don’t have the forethought or the guts to write something like that.

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Jack @jack

@jlriggs57aol-com

I acknowledge that everything the federal government does is funded by tax payer dollars. But what makes the President’s statement correct is the fact that one person’s tax dollars didn’t pay for the system. It was all of us (and continues to be all of us) that have paid to have this great system. Thus we are all interdependent, in a way.

You misunderstand what I am trying to say about the role of government in our economy. I’m not saying the government directly generates revenue for our economy. What I am saying is that the government has set up a system that allows for a vibrant economy, and that system is what allows us to make money.

I see your point that the coordinator doesn’t get ownership of the creation they coordinated, but they do get partial credit for it’s creation. So we do owe partial credit for our excellent economy to our federal, state and local governments for setting up the system that allows us such success. To refer back to your example, you would get partial credit for building the house, albeit with someone else’s money.

I agree with you that our current politicians couldn’t write and ratify a Constitution. If they were left with the task, the British would immediately take over again. Luckily, they are merely responsible for performing the functions outlined in the constitution, and not creating the processes.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@jack

I will agree that no one person’s tax dollars built anything. However, to say that any person who starts a business owes anything more than a small token of gratitude to the government for it’s ability to coordinate just isn’t realistic. I would think the majority of the gratitude would be to the other Americans who put in the money to have the work done.

I’ll just say to each his own on that part.

I will concede the point that our government officials are continuing to implement the ideals our fore fathers put in place. From the way things are going I have to wonder how long they will follow those ideals and make this country another fish on the bank, flopping around gasping for air, but that’s a discussion for another day.

I agree whole-heartedly with your statement about if our politicians of today were left with the task of writing a constitution the British would immediately take over again.

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Jack @jack

@jlriggs57aol-com

I’m not saying that the government is owed huge amounts of gratitude, but some credit is due to them for American success.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@jack

Yes, absolutely. Give credit where credit is due.

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