Comments
Comment #140971

Jack, I’m guessing you really like the AEI.

I agree with the welfare state thing in theory, the devil is in the details.

A major problem with so many of these ideas is that they don’t take into account the swindle factor.

Ignoring for a moment the swindles that occur in congress every day, money is a subtle and complex thing for the average Joe.

There still needs to be, in a modern state, a safety net, a secure and simple plan that doesn’t swindle spinster widows out of their money. Socialization of these type plans is the only way that makes sense to me. Take government out of it. Privatize it, but insure security with the threat of oversight and felony time for failure to follow the rules.
Pool health Insurance, Pool retirement. Pool employment and disability insurance. Allow moderate profit. Allow those with incomes above these basics to do what they want with it. You don’t need a lot of fancy products to do this. You don’t need massive beaurocracy to do it. You need prosecuters with teeth and investigators.

Getting back to Washington…I personally think they should be held to the same standards, throw their ass in jail when they spend our money they way they have. You wouldn’t even need that large of a prison.

Posted by: Jack Mohammedoff at April 16, 2006 12:48 AM
Comment #140976

re: A plan to replace the welfare state.

Whoa. That’s absolutely genius- if it works that is. Literally paving the streets with gold. Teenage free rider subculture aside, imagine the immigration problems we would have then :)

Posted by: Amani at April 16, 2006 1:07 AM
Comment #140978

thanks for all the great info!!! I’m a big supporter of the Fair Tax Plan, and The Plan outlined as a replacement for the welfare state also sounds like something I’d be interested in finding out more about.

At least with these sites, I can follow more informative discussions, and not get all bogged down in hateful rhetoric from either side.

Thanks again, jack

Posted by: Maggie Rose at April 16, 2006 1:16 AM
Comment #140979

Amani — the thing is that if governments stop keeping the money, spending it on bureaucracy and other bad ideas, more nations, including those to our south would have more stable economies, and then would be less liable to look for gold up north. i loved the idea in the article that at one time someone wanted to divide all the Iraqi oil money up and give it to the people. Personally i think there are more good people out there than not, and while some may use the extra funds for bad, i think most would use it to improve their communities, schools, etc. Most people just want a decent life for their families, no matter where they live. I guess i should start signing my posts as PollyAnna, but I have extraordinary faith in the ability of the people to care for themselves and to usually do the right thing — much more faith than i do in anyone in government right now.

Posted by: Maggie Rose at April 16, 2006 1:21 AM
Comment #140983

the article that compares healthcare approaches of Mass vs Md in another good one. The Mass plan is in the same vein, that is, it requires all individuals to have health care, but subsidizes the poor (instead of spending the same $ helping to pay for indigent care at hospitals). Thus moving more choice out of the hands of govt and into the hands of the individual. The comparison to the Swiss healthcare system is a good one, also. Lots can be done with less $$ than we spend today.

Posted by: Maggie Rose at April 16, 2006 1:42 AM
Comment #140987

Maggie,

Well that was meant as a joke in some sense. Some of my own ancestors came here under the “streets paved with gold” impression. I really do think the immigration issues would be solvable, although there would have to be reform. I believe that the increased legal immigration would end up being enormously beneficial to the economy and the culture. Overall such a system would probably be a great boon to society. The real question is whether anyone has the political gall to try it, and whether, as Jack M. suggests, there would be any safeguards against swindling. As I read it, the money would be given as a grant, only good for the specified uses.

Posted by: Amani at April 16, 2006 1:56 AM
Comment #141049

The plan to replace the welfare state is interesting and I like the implication of a massive wealth redistribution that will insure our country does not go bankrupt or have to undergo another revolution to free up the massive accumulation of wealth in so few hands. It has merit!

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 16, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #141130

The Bible states wealth should be redistributed every 50 years. Funny that those on the religious right selectively exclude that dictate from their political/religious prostylizing.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 16, 2006 11:23 PM
Comment #141153

David R. Remer

Jack’s not a raving lunatic religious type. He’s more the “Let’s bring back the days of the robber barons” type. He’d like to see “everyone make it on their own.” Because we could all be tycoons if we just tried hard enough. He fought his way up from nothing, took nothing from the government, used roads he built himself to get to a school he built himself and read books he wrote himself that he printed on a printing press he made out of sticks and leaves. He embodies the American dream and if we would all just follow this example, there would be no poor, infirm, elderly, or mentally disturbed people. All problems would magically melt away and no one would ask for any of the money he printed himself to help out these sluggards that had the audacity to become disadvantaged. Actually, then the govenment wouldn’t ask for his money, but the generosity of folks like him and all the other wealthy people would take care of all the problems, except for the ones they consider undeserving. Because Jesus said, what you do to the least of my brothers you do to me, except if they did something that you selectively took from the Bible and focused on as a sin, while ignoring all the other crap that the “deserving” do to feather their own nests.

It’s a laughable philosophy, but it’s his.

Posted by: mental wimp at April 17, 2006 1:21 AM
Comment #141166

Mental

I have written dozens of times that the free market consists of market mechanisms, rule of law and democracy. Government has legitimate interest in building infrastructure and reasonable regulation. But government has the power of coercion. You just need to be very careful with coercion.

Redistribution of income will happen through normal operation of government. The poor will not pay the full cost of their needs. But programs to create equality are doomed not only to fail, but also to create an opressive system.

Posted by: Jack at April 17, 2006 7:10 AM
Comment #141207

Mental, I hear he had to walk 20 miles in the snow, barefoot to school, too. Uphill both ways.

Jack, did ending slavery create an oppressive system?

Posted by: Jack Mohammedoff at April 17, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #141216

Jack M
The Republican President who forced those recalcitrant Democratic slave owners to end their evil practice certainly did the right thing. They were practicing coercion. We stopped it.

The key to our economic system is choice. People choose the products they want to buy. They choose the lifestyle they will lead. They choose the type of education they will get etc. Each choice brings consequences.

The government should build infrastructure, which includes decent public schools (school choice would help with this, BTW), and provide public goods that individuals cannot reasonably provide for themselves, such a security, protecting commerce etc. I have never argued for no government. On the contrary, I want an efficient government close to the people.

We all are dependent on society. Government, however, is only one part of that society. The government helps create the conditions for the rest of society to be prosperous. It does not manage that prosperity, or it shouldn’t, for particular individuals or groups.

Government, individuals, NGOs, firms etc, all do their parts. I would not want business managing the government and I don’t want the government managing business.

AND yes, it was colder when I was growing up. The earth experienced a cooling trend from about 1945-1975 and that is the time I was walking to school in the snow. I had shoes, but they often had holes. It was up hill only one way, but the wind was usually against you coming down. And of course the sleet and snow made it even more difficult.

Posted by: Jack at April 17, 2006 1:48 PM
Comment #141274

Well, when I was a young girl coming up through school, we had to walk 300 miles through burning lava to get to classes! And I don’t even want to talk about the Pteranodons!

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 17, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #141375

It’s funny, we’ve deregulated energy here in Texas and Energy prices have skyrocketed. There are several companies to buy from, but they all have jumped dramatically since deregulation. Of course, the companies we buy from are just sellers of electricity, they read the meter and bill you.

Something I have tried to find out about is the consortium that has bought virtually all energy production here in the Houston area, but to date, I cannot find information about it. I know it exists and believe it to be an unregulated monopoly that is screwing us royal, but can find anything about it.
Texas has a website to help you choose providers, and, suspiciously, the Democratic Mayor here spent several hundred thousand duplicating the website here in Houston to show us what a great guy he is.

Of course, we all know the story of Enron and FERC colluding to defraud California. I’m all for deregulation and free markets, but I guess I don’t like it when they piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. There isn’t a free energy market that I’m aware of here, just the appearance of one, while we get screwed, both by the monopolies and those wonderful guys in Austin and D.C. who were bought and paid for by them.

Oh guess what? We had rolling blackouts here Monday. Sound familiar?

Posted by: Jack Mohammedoff at April 18, 2006 2:52 AM
Comment #141401

Thirty to thirtyfive years ago I was working as a manager of a Convenient food store. I was working sixty hours a week { 10 hours a day, 6 days a week }

At the Church were I attended, there was a young couple who were living on welfare. I found out that they were getting the equilvent of 2/3rds of what I was making, working sixty hours a week, plus a government discount on the place where they were living, plus food stamps… all this without having to pay any TAX’S.

Now I am retired, just makeing it from week to week. Sometime’s I wonder if they are still getting welfare, or if there are still people getting what that young couple was geting… while I am just makeing it from week to week!

Posted by: Roger C. Marksberry at April 18, 2006 9:20 AM
Comment #142124

Redistribution of wealth[massive]says Remer sounds a lot like Hillery Clinton.French wine anyone?

Posted by: saying at April 21, 2006 12:42 PM
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