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Old 2011-07-23, 10:11   Link #15061
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
So yeah justinstrife is right. As long as a government spends money every time it has anything in its wallet, it's always going to create a deficit.
This will always be true. The government could not spend a dime starting tomorrow, pay off the national debt (although that is mathematically impossible, because there isn't enough money to service the debt even if you forced every person and company in the country to give the government all of their money), and then resume services....and it would immediately go into debt. Why?

Because every dollar the government spends is loaned to it by the Federal Reserve. This means that every dollar printed has interest attached to it. Fractional reserve banking. It's a beautiful scheme.

Of course what most people don't realize is that the country has always been in debt even without central banks. We're still paying off the debt from the Revolutionary War. The other thing most people don't realize is that deficit spending is what has enabled nations to progress as fast as they have. Spending beyond your means to pay is as old as the idea of currency. You can thank deficit spending for every expansion of national growth. Conversely you can damn it for every retraction too. Capitalism's boom/bust cycle at work.

Either way, no matter how you slice it, every government on the planet is in debt. It's how the system works. We can debate the ethics/morality of the system, but it's just how it is.

The real question is not about US debt, but how serious it is about stimulating the economy and improving the social state of its people. This is where the ideological debate has stalled the government, and why people are wary of the direction of nation. Some believe that tax cuts and deregulation are the primary solutions. Others believe stimulus spending and tax increases are the primary solutions. Still others are a mix, and there's even some who have completely different ideas.

Ignoring corruption charges, lobby influence, or political power scheming, the reality is that you have at least two radically different philosophies in government and getting hundreds of people to agree on any single piece of legislation, especially considering the interests at work, is an incredibly difficult undertaking.

What I can say is this. Social Security has not contributed one dime to the deficit. But it has created a great wedge issue for politicians. By rephrasing the debate by calling social safety programs like Social Security "Entitlement Programs", they have constructed a narrative that implies that people who benefit from these programs are sucking from the government tit and don't really need help. In short, if only they went out and got "real jobs" from the private sector, such programs could be cut and tax payers wouldn't be "forced" to spend their money on something they don't "need" or "want".

This same notion is extended to things like Medicare and Medicaid. If these people would just go buy insurance, we wouldn't need these programs. Never mind the reason social safety net programs exist, they cost tax payer money and when people are hurting, it is easier to convince them that anything that puts more money in their pocket now is a good thing, regardless of the costs down the road.

This extends to governments too. When your state is hurting for cash, and a company comes along offering jobs if you'll just look the other way on a few things, it's awfully tempting to make a deal to boost the short term even though the long term damage will haunt you. Just ask any country you might consider "third world".

Anyway, much of the grandstanding on the debt is simply Starving the Beast at work.
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Old 2011-07-23, 10:11   Link #15062
ganbaru
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
This is pretty unfortunate.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14262276

Express Train derails in China.
It's too soon to make any guess but... I just hope than nobody did try to cut cost for keepingg the saved money for themself.
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Old 2011-07-23, 10:26   Link #15063
bladeofdarkness
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
This is pretty unfortunate.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14262276

Express Train derails in China.


considering that two cars reportedly fell off the bridge, and that each car can contain as many as 100 people, this could potentially end up with an even higher death toll then what happened in Norway.

a good candidate for "worst weekend ever".
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Old 2011-07-23, 10:50   Link #15064
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I generally agree that government should be fairly minimalist, however I wouldn't ever completely do away with government programs like healthcare, welfare and public infrastructure. You americans might complain that all that money spent on public transport is wasted, but that's because you guys don't spend enough to do a decent job. In Europe we have fantastic public transport, that doesn't break the bank. It's a pleasure to travel on. Comparitively, in the US I rode on greyhound buses and it definitely left something to be desired... America doesn't even have a decent train network.
I don't know if a "decent train network" would make all that much sense in America. Their population density's 32 people/kmē. Ireland's double of that. France's double of Ireland's. Fact is, any train line between to cities people want to go to or from, would have to cross great expenses of nothing where no one wants to stop.
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Old 2011-07-23, 11:08   Link #15065
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Originally Posted by Echoes View Post
Edit: Against the death penalty in general, but yes, exceptions are tempting when dealing with monsters who indiscriminately slaughter over 80 young people.
I'm not a supporter of the death penalty, either, especially after the number of wrongful convictions being overturned over the past decade here in the US.

That said, I was surprised to hear this morning that Norwegian law will treat the killing of these 80+ people as a single crime, punishable at most by 21 years in prison (the "harshest" available penalty according to the interviewee), with parole possible after 14-16 years. Here in the US, prosecutors would bring 80+ separate counts of murder against the suspect, and probably ask for consecutive life terms for each count. If convicted, the murderer would likely never see life outside a prison ever again.
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Old 2011-07-23, 11:15   Link #15066
ganbaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
That said, I was surprised to hear this morning that Norwegian law will treat the killing of these 80+ people as a single crime, punishable at most by 21 years in prison (the "harshest" available penalty according to the interviewee), with parole possible after 14-16 years. Here in the US, prosecutors would bring 80+ separate counts of murder against the suspect, and probably ask for consecutive life terms for each count. If convicted, the murderer would likely never see life outside a prison ever again.
I belive than we have the same system here in Canada, but given the crime I hardly belive than he could get ''parole'' .
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Old 2011-07-23, 11:28   Link #15067
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I'm not a supporter of the death penalty, either, especially after the number of wrongful convictions being overturned over the past decade here in the US.

That said, I was surprised to hear this morning that Norwegian law will treat the killing of these 80+ people as a single crime, punishable at most by 21 years in prison (the "harshest" available penalty according to the interviewee), with parole possible after 14-16 years. Here in the US, prosecutors would bring 80+ separate counts of murder against the suspect, and probably ask for consecutive life terms for each count. If convicted, the murderer would likely never see life outside a prison ever again.
they don't even have life terms?
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Old 2011-07-23, 11:48   Link #15068
Kaze
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
they don't even have life terms?
That IS life term

They have the same bullshit in most European countries.

Life = 20-30 years in jail with parole in 15 years.


It's because we have seen too many wars on this continent.
Most countries abolished the death penalty in 1918.
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Old 2011-07-23, 12:02   Link #15069
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The Economist is reporting the Norwegian camp targeted by the killer is a political youth camp, has anti-racism workshops, and is run by the ruling Labour party.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsb...rrorism-norway

P.S.
In many American states a life sentence is only like 25 years.
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Old 2011-07-23, 12:06   Link #15070
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn Demon View Post
The Economist is reporting the Norwegian camp targeted by the killer is a political youth camp, has anti-racism workshops, and is run by the ruling Labour party.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsb...rrorism-norway

P.S.
In many American states a life sentence is only like 25 years.
in the US, it is 25 to life. 25 means you can prole after 25 yrs. Not the max is 25. Life means life in the US, unless you actually do qualify for prole. Which is extremely rare in the last decade in the US.
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Old 2011-07-23, 12:14   Link #15071
Vexx
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At least in the information the Norwegian killer has provided himself according to police spokesmen, he self-identifies as an extreme right wing, Christian fundamentalist deeply opposed to multi-cultural society and any mixing of the races.

Its just appalling how many people he killed in a slow and methodical way. The emotional trauma for the victims is hard to grasp.
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Old 2011-07-23, 12:25   Link #15072
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http://www.imdb.com/news/ni13188615/

Amy Winehouse was found dead of a suspected drug overdose.
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Old 2011-07-23, 12:32   Link #15073
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetra Vaal View Post
http://www.imdb.com/news/ni13188615/

Amy Winehouse was found dead of a suspected drug overdose.
real surprise here.

what was the over/under in vegas?
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Old 2011-07-23, 12:34   Link #15074
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I don't know if a "decent train network" would make all that much sense in America. Their population density's 32 people/kmē. Ireland's double of that. France's double of Ireland's. Fact is, any train line between to cities people want to go to or from, would have to cross great expenses of nothing where no one wants to stop.
As a whole the US has a density of 32 people/km^2, but many parts of the USA have densities equivalent to France. For instance New York state has 157/km^2, Virginia 78/km^2, Massachussetts 312/km^2 or California at 90/km^2. Obviously having railways stretching out over the plains of Idaho would be impractical, but in many parts (east coast, west coast) the distances would not be so small.

Furthermore, many parts of the US that do have rail going through them aren't on Amtrak. Take Roanoke, city of 300,000 (metro), has rail lines passing through it for freight, is it on Amtrak? No. And Amtrak itself leaves something to be desired...

Another area are Metro services, now obviously we have cities like New York, which has a world class metro, but alas NYC is the exception. The vast majority of American cities have little more then an aging bus network.

A decent metro system makes a HUGE difference to Quality of life in a city, as cars are just not practical. It's one thing I'll give credit to my government for, as the train, bus and light rail services in dublin have steadily improved over the last few years, and they introduced more innovative things like a Bike sharing scheme.

And I can certainly say that all the Public transport in Dublin (even if it still needs expanded) sees big usage. It gives you a bit of independence, as you don't need to worry about parking or anything. When you have a car you're chained to it.
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Old 2011-07-23, 12:35   Link #15075
flying ^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetra Vaal View Post
http://www.imdb.com/news/ni13188615/

Amy Winehouse was found dead of a suspected drug overdose.
here's (the one and only) fitting tribute...

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Old 2011-07-23, 12:39   Link #15076
Sides
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I reckon the is the latest musician to died at a young age of 27.
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Old 2011-07-23, 14:38   Link #15077
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
In fact, the wealthy owe the existence of their wealth and status to the state. If the United States collapsed tomorrow, and everything lost it's value (a Somalia scenario, if you will), everyone would lose everything, but the vast majority of working and middle class people would lose relatively little. They could probably maintain control of their property (EG, their house), and could probably seize other's property by force if they wanted to. Meanwhile all the stocks, bonds and land deeds owned by the wealthy would be just that, scraps of paper.The wealthy are dependent on the existence of the state, they should pay for it.
+infinity

THIS.

THIS THIS THIS SO MUCH.

I am appalled at how many righty-tighties don't understand this very simple concept, and still want to hand out tax cuts to people who spend more money on a suit than I spend in a whole year on everything.
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Old 2011-07-23, 15:01   Link #15078
RandySyler
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
+infinity

THIS.

THIS THIS THIS SO MUCH.

I am appalled at how many righty-tighties don't understand this very simple concept, and still want to hand out tax cuts to people who spend more money on a suit than I spend in a whole year on everything.
This is where I most certainly agree with you. However, I do NOT agree with giving MORE taxes to the more wealthy. Tax everyone equally.
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Old 2011-07-23, 15:16   Link #15079
cors8
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Originally Posted by RandySyler View Post
This is where I most certainly agree with you. However, I do NOT agree with giving MORE taxes to the more wealthy. Tax everyone equally.
I'd have to disagree with the "Fair Tax" system. Taking a certain % from someone with millions does not affect their standard of living compared to taking the same % from a much poorer person.

What I do believe is that EVERYONE should pay taxes but at a progressive rate where the rich pay more.
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Old 2011-07-23, 15:16   Link #15080
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandySyler View Post
This is where I most certainly agree with you. However, I do NOT agree with giving MORE taxes to the more wealthy. Tax everyone equally.
As long as you're talking about percentages, I'm going to completely agree with you. If you're talking about flat tax, you're bonkers.

Tax everyone at the same percentage, and don't offer any loopholes for the big boys to wiggle through.
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