published Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Have you noticed ...?

Have you noticed how many people seem to want “the government” to do more and bigger things “for us” — things like more welfare, more medical care, more unemployment benefits, more subsidies for crops, more bailouts for businesses, and more handouts of many kinds for almost everything else?

Yes, it might seem “nice” in some respects if government would just relieve us all from a lot of the stresses of life. Why, we sometimes ask, doesn’t government just “do more”?

And yet, have you noticed that most of the people who urge government to do more for them do not want government to tax them more, personally, to pay for it? There is not much eagerness to pay higher taxes to fund more benefits.

But where, after all, does the government get the money to do anything?

Two places. One is — yes, that bad word: taxes! Or the government borrows it — which means putting taxes, interest costs and associated burdens on our children.

There are certain things the federal government should do for us, of course. Read the Constitution and you can get a pretty clear idea of what those things are.

But there are many things government is not supposed to do for us, and even is prohibited from doing. The Constitution spells out the limits on federal power, too.

We don’t want anyone in America to be in pain or distress. We don’t want anyone to have to do without anything that is a basic necessity, and there are many government and non-government programs to try to alleviate some of our problems.

But we all have heard that “you can’t get blood out of turnip.” So, after high taxation and wonderful charitable giving, what next? Do we impose still higher taxes, and kill the economic growth that creates jobs and expands the tax base?

Many of our economic problems — in government and personally — arise from demands that exceed our ability or willingness to work and produce. We often want more than we want to pay for — even with too-high taxes, debt and mortgages on our children’s future.

Really, the only way we can meet our individual and community needs is through productivity and responsible financial practices. That’s hard for some, so we have many programs in government to help, and many fine people who are charitably inclined to help others.

We can squeeze taxes out of people, of course. But we can do that only to a certain point before we start to experience diminishing returns.

It usually is not very comfortable to try to balance our desires and our abilities, our taxes and whatever it is that we want government to do for us.

Unwillingness to confront that difficulty is why we have a national debt of $14.3 trillion, an annual budget deficit of about $1.5 trillion, and excessive taxes.

The result is that many of us are dissatisfied, or worse, about our taxes, and our government benefits, and our jobs, and what’s left in our pocketbooks and wallets — if anything.

There’s nothing easy about any of this, and yet we have countless politicians promising to “solve” our problems easily, don’t we?

Do you believe they can do that?

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librul said...

Of course, throwing billions to the wind on wasteful, unnecessary wars, "aid" to Israel and all the manifestations of corporate welfare get no mention -- typical.

May 22, 2011 at 9:55 a.m.
fairmon said...

Librul

It appears this article is about what not why. The why has to be dealt with to address the what. Failure to address the why that creates the what which neither party appears willing to do will eventually "blow up". The constitution has been ignored by both parties too long. A bloated, inefficient federal government full of corrupt politicians promising to do every thing for everybody will not solve the problem.

May 22, 2011 at 10:11 a.m.
carlB said...

Producing more manufactured goods with fewer people is true and there is not any questioning how the technology has changed the assembly line. I would say that technology has gone global for manufacturing the imported goods, name brands of the joint venture and the multinational companies.

It is impossible to over look what these companies have done after investing in plants located within the lower monetary value countries after the trade agreements were agreed to by our Congress in the disguise of "free trade agreements" designed for them to have a trade deficit, knowing that the people in these countries could not afford "Made in the USA" goods, but they could afford to buy the goods manufactured in these countries for the global corporate monopolies while their surplus goods were exported to the US.

Are we supposed to continue being naive in discussing why we now have a trade deficit of $550 billion dollars per year with these companies who are using the labor/technology in these low monetary value countries instead of staying in the USA, manufacturing the same goods that they now import?

Yes, we know it is just the way "Capitalist" operate to make a profit regardless of what is occurring to this Republic.

May 22, 2011 at 12:09 p.m.
carlB said...

How many of the people on this board have an idea of how far the decrease in the "standard of living" could go and what the conditions would be when the bottom has possible been reached? I personally was born and grew up in some of the lowest standard of living conditions possible before WWII.
The article below speaks of the details that you are discussing. When the people do not have money to pay for their higher standards or even their necessary conveniences then they are forced to go back to the basic methods of staying alive, putting food in their stomachs and having a roof over their heads. I believe we have already talked about the policies that the private capitalist have taken or have not taken along with the leadership of our politicians that have caused or allowed this Republic to go through our latest changes, setting up the conditions we are now having to deal with.

Standard of Living http://www.answers.com/topic/standard-of-living

There does not seem to have been any major change until after the 1920s, when the degree of inequality diminished somewhat, the rich losing and the poor gaining, in relative terms. By the 1950s, the richest 5 percent had about five times the income per family of the remaining 95 percent. From then to the mid-1970s, the distribution was rather stable, those in the middle-income groups gaining slightly at the expense of both rich and poor. After the 1970s, the distribution began to widen, with working families facing an increasingly declining standard of living. Beginning with the adminstration of President Ronald Reagan (19801988), and due in substantial part to his policies, the income disparity between the richest and poorest Americans has widened significantly. Weakened labor laws and the exploitation of unprotected immigrants have fueled this disparity and pushed a greater share of the nation's wealth upward to the top five percent, while the bottom third or more have experienced a decline in its standard of living.

May 22, 2011 at 12:34 p.m.
carlB said...

I believe there has been a delayed effect of the "global economy" as it developed and reached it "peak effect" on the loss of jobs and the available money which people had to spend and for going into debt for the goods imported by the global corporate monopolies. Even now many of the retired and the people who still have jobs are having to take pay cuts, which in my opinion are directly related from the fraud occurring in the financial systems and the global economy.

The $12.0 trillion dollar National Debt did not cause the 2007 deep recession

May 22, 2011 at 12:51 p.m.
carlB said...

Where are the food stamps coming from when the people who want to weaken and take the "Governments" out of being able to do anything for the people who have been "forced" into sliding to the bottom and let the private enterprise systems take care of what happens in creating the needed production jobs here.

There is not a doubt, in my opinion that most people want to work for their money, making a honest living for maintaining their status level of a satisfying lifestyle, "standard of living."

How many people in this day and time with the population here in the US of over 300 million people, want to recede back to the "standard of living" conditions of the "slop jar"?

Even Walmart understands that without jobs people cannot buy what they are selling. I'm sure that the other high volume stores selling imported goods of the global corporate monopolies are wanting to go back to selling more goods "Made in the USA"

May 22, 2011 at 12:58 p.m.
Rational1 said...

History defines a response to Have you noticed...? For over 200 years, America has steadily grown and prospered. And yet we continuously endure cycles of growth and stagnation, of prosperity and recessions and depressions, which have repeatedly been the results of different opposing economic policies by different administrations. Those Progressive Democratice administrations that have enacted social programs and wage increases for working Americans have produced the periods of the greatest improvements in the standard of living for our nation. Those Conservtive Republican administrations that have opposed social programs and wage increases which benefit the general public have produced the periods of economic stagnation, recessions, depressions, rising unemployment and frustration. History does not lie.

May 22, 2011 at 1:48 p.m.
brokentoe said...

Then when a natural disaster strikes all those conservatives who scream loudest about government funded programs are the first to ask WHERE'S THE CHECK?! Or, WHY YOU GUYS, the federal government, DIDN'T RESPONSE SOON ENOUGH? SEND US MONEY AND SEND IT NOW!

May 22, 2011 at 3:55 p.m.
joepulitzer said...

carlB: Who are you classifying as being in the lowest standard of living conditions? Those at Walmart with $300 tattoos, cellphones, Ipods, cartons of cigarettes, beer and foodstamps and Comcast at home with all the movie channels? Rational1, you're a Socialist are't you? And you voted for Obama, didn't you?

May 22, 2011 at 5 p.m.
Julian1 said...

joepulitzer: I hope you realize just how many Americans there are who work full-time at Walmart and other service sector jobs and still must rely on foodstamps to get by. This is yet another corporate welfare scheme: taxpayers subsidize those in low-wage jobs, allowing companies to continue to pay low wages to their employees and grant obscene salaries and bonuses to their executives.

May 22, 2011 at 6:49 p.m.
Rational1 said...

Joepulitzer wrote: Rational1, you're a Socialist are't you? And you voted for Obama, didn't you?

Socialism is a state of mind. By some people's definition, I would probably be classified as a socialist. I am a 21 year retired veteran and the product of the most socialist organization in the US. The US military. By the way, I voted for Ronald Reagan, and I voted for Bill Clinton. One was a major mistake, the other a breath of fresh air.

May 22, 2011 at 7:34 p.m.
carlB said...

joepulitzer said... carlB: Who are you classifying as being in the lowest standard of living conditions? Those at Walmart with $300 tattoos, cellphones, Ipods, cartons of cigarettes, beer and foodstamps and Comcast at home with all the movie channels? Rational1, you're a Socialist are't you? And you voted for Obama, didn't you? May 22, 2011 at 5 p.m.

Reply to joepulitzer:

We live in a Republic here in the United States of America and there has to be a proper balance between the extremes to maintain a Republic.

No, I am not a Socialist and by voting for President Obama does not make me a Socialist. If you are serious in keeping this Republic, then you need to get enlightened on who is trying to save it and who is trying to destroy it. To do that, you have to stop denying the conditions of this Republic before Obama was elected to the Presidency.

What would you call this Republic if it was in another "Great Depression"?

Do not believe I classified anyone "as being in the lowest standard of living conditions" You appear to be the person who wants to be the "judge and juror" with critical opinions of wanting people to live by certain standards?

The conditions I wanted to point out are the changes that have occurred and are occurring within the private sector financial systems' fraud and under the effects of the "free trade agreements," Global Economy.

You must spend a lot of time at WalMart greeting and talking to the people coming in and passing judgments on their character, what are your objectives for finding out this information? Your description of what the above people do with their money is not out of the normal for people who have the money to pay the bills.

When you added "food stamps" to your list this puts the people in a certain category by the laws of the states and the US Government. Yes, there are many families eligible for food stamps under the increase in poverty, the loss of jobs, and the higher cost of living. Is there a certain percent of fraud in people getting food stamps? Yes, and people are getting caught every day for abusing the system.

( "I personally was born and grew up in some of the lowest standard of living conditions possible before WWII.")

Where will the "food stamps" and other help come from if the people succeed in weakening, taking the "Governments" out of being able to do anything for the people who have been "forced" into "sliding to the bottom" by the policies of the private enterprise systems and Yes, some of the politicians working together to depress the people and hindering the creating of the needed production jobs here in the USA?.

May 22, 2011 at 8:01 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Many socialist in this country apparently do not even realize that they are socialists. One of the apparent goals of public education.

May 22, 2011 at 8:25 p.m.
rolando said...

Touche, BigRidge.

May 22, 2011 at 9:19 p.m.
carlB said...

Rational1 said... Socialism is a state of mind. By some people's definition, I would probably be classified as a socialist. I am a 21 year retired veteran and the product of the most socialist organization in the US. The US military. By the way, I voted for Ronald Reagan, and I voted for Bill Clinton. One was a major mistake, the other a breath of fresh air. May 22, 2011 at 7:34 p.m


Reply to Rational1: I like your "rational" opinions. It is only right that our opinions change from when we were younger to after we have gone through life's experences.
There have been many changes and happenings in the US since the 1929 great depression and I for one do not want another great depression to occur.

Standard of Living http://www.answers.com/topic/standard-of-living

There does not seem to have been any major change until after the 1920s, when the degree of inequality diminished somewhat, the rich losing and the poor gaining, in relative terms. By the 1950s, the richest 5 percent had about five times the income per family of the remaining 95 percent. From then to the mid-1970s, the distribution was rather stable, those in the middle-income groups gaining slightly at the expense of both rich and poor. After the 1970s, the distribution began to widen, with working families facing an increasingly declining standard of living. Beginning with the adminstration of President Ronald Reagan (1980–1988), and due in substantial part to his policies, the income disparity between the richest and poorest Americans has widened significantly. Weakened labor laws and the exploitation of unprotected immigrants have fueled this disparity and pushed a greater share of the nation's wealth upward to the top five percent, while the bottom third or more have experienced a decline in its standard of living.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/standard-of-living#ixzz1MwpdjIFp

inequality

Lack of equality, as of opportunity, treatment, or status. Social or economic disparity: the growing inequality between rich and poor. Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/inequality#ixzz1MwnocRX3

Level of material comfort that an individual or group aspires to or may achieve. This includes not only privately purchased goods and services but collectively consumed goods and services such as those provided by public utilities and governments. A standard of living determined for a group such as a country must be examined critically in terms of its constituent values. If the mean value increases over time, but at the same time the rich become richer and the poor poorer, the group may not be collectively better off. Various quantitative indicators can be used as measuring rods, including life expectancy, access to nutritious food and a safe water supply, and availability of medical care.

May 22, 2011 at 9:31 p.m.
carlB said...

BigRidgePatriot said... Many socialist in this country apparently do not even realize that they are socialists. One of the apparent goals of public education. May 22, 2011 at 8:25 p.m


Reply to BigRidgePatriot: Public schools have been here for many years and through many changes of political agendas and ideologies.
Now that this Republic has been put in the conditions of "class warfare" and on the verge of another "great depression" by the "controling capitalist and the lobbied congress," every policy done to prevent the conditions of another great depression, brings out the favorite words of the "guilty." Those words, Socialism/Socialist have become prevalent again, by the people in favor of the forced "class warfare." We have to look back to the 1929 great depression and the four years of lack of action by the Republican administration for stabilizing the effects the depression was having on our Republic. There were not any plans by them for correcting or ending the depression. Their opinions were that it is not "governments'" job to help the people nor to interfere with the private enterprise systems regardless of what they do to destroy the financial stability of this country. Apparently these opinions still exist, let the free enterprise systems upset the apple cart and then do nothing but wait for them to fix what they destroyed with this Republic being "torn apart." Four years later when FDR started the "New Deal" polices to help the people, the opponents of FDR started using their favorite words, Socialism and Solicalist. We have to be aware of how far will the private sectors and the "class warfare" creators are willing to go in obtaining their objectives of ruling this country.

May 23, 2011 at 9:58 a.m.
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