Thanks for the reply, Smith. I saw the initial post without any new content, so I was a bit confused.
Again I need to apologize. Just one mistake after another with me...
I understand from your previous posts, that you believe Government which governs least governs best.
Actually I believe that government which maintains fidelity to the definition of its just powers (derived from the consent (yes, consent) of the governed) and constrains itself in that manner cannot be argued against except on philosophical grounds. This is to say that government that governs by the rules governs best; when it steps outside the rules by which it is not only to be constrained, but defined, we are all in potential danger of tyranny. Witness your claim- in another thread- that a bunch of a$$es are handing it to the head of Toyota rather undeservedly. I’ll take your word for it, I have not followed it. Do you want those same a$$es governing outside the bounds of law, executing that which they deem appropriate, that which keeps them in power even though they break the law? I do not.
So, all things being equal, I prefer less government to more, yes, but FIRST, we need the law (that is the Constitution in the case of these united nation-states) to be followed with great fidelity. Sure mistakes can be made by men/women of good faith and we can, in good faith, identify and fix them. We are to be a nation of laws, not men. A nation of men, by personality and circumstance, sans rules/laws/governing documents is a very potentially dangerous situation. To whom would you be willing to blindly submit as king? Or queen? We seem to have many who would jump from a cliff at the request of President Obama or former President Bush. Without the law, our Constitution, government is effectively monarchical, if a squabbling bunch of spoiled-rotten-brat monarchs who seem mostly to have been over-indulged as children.
One of the biggest problems that I have with government that does not follow the rules they make is that this results in the law only restraining the law-abiding. Only restraining the law-abiding? What do you mean, Smith, you who fail so frequently to make things clear, you might ask. (Again.) You might ask, again, that is if you're still reading...
Law-breakers are not, by definition, restrained by the law. They will do what they will do regardless of the law. If the law is righteous, I have no complaint with the existence of the law. What does annoy me is how unenforced (righteous) law breeds contempt for the law and for the rules by which we govern our actions in society. Example, Smith? Sure, Firefly. One of my pet peeves is laws regarding snow shoveling….let’s not make distinction at this time between statute, regulation, law…if government makes a rule, let’s call it law for this discussion for the sake of simplicity of discussion.
There is in Greendale, a law that requires those who have property adjoining a common sidewalk to shovel that sidewalk. While I, and so many others, would do it out of respect and concern for our neighbors, Greendale government found it necessary to make it a law. So who shovels? Those who have respect for- and have a concern for- their neighbors AND those who respect the law. There may be some in both groups of course. Who does NOT shovel? Those who have not respect and concern for their neighbors and no concern for the law. Walk around a day or two after a snow you'll find lots of sidewalk that hasn't been shoveled. Citations issued? I don't know for certain, but I don't think they are issued often and, in fact, I know of one person who complained of the receipt of citations who (I am told) got them dismissed. In fact, there is a homeowner in my neighborhood who left the sidewalk unshovelled for years. I do not think that this person was ever issued a citation for that infraction.
This continuing disregard for the law without being sanctioned breeds a lack of respect for the law among those who have had at least some passing respect for the law to start. A law unenforced is a law that should get off the books and off our backs. In this case the government that governs least is NOT the one that doesn't enforce the law, the one that governs least is the one which doesn't have the law to begin with. This type of thing is actually a pretty good logic template. Let's consider laws against carrying a concealed gun (concealed, as in a pocket). Did you know that if you put your wallet in your pocket that you are "concealing" it? Sounds nefarious, doesn't it?
Anyway...who's carrying a concealed weapon in our state? Answer: Law enforcement personnel (including some retired) and, by definition, criminals, some with no nefarious intent and some with nefarious intent. The ordinary law-abiding Wisconsinite will not carry a concealed weapon whether legal or not. If it was legal then some people would. Always, though, those with nefarious intent will feel completely at ease to carry a gun if they intend to use it criminally. You see, drug dealers, by definition already criminals, have no compunction about carrying a gun whether legal or not. Ordinary, law-abiding Wisconsinites with no nefarious intent are made criminal just by putting a gun into a pocket. Stupid. Again, government fixing a problem that doesn't exist. We could, if you wish, explore this further but I will return to your post.
The problem I am having in understanding which parts of government, specifically, you think should be eliminated?
Name something specific I'll give you my thoughts on it, maybe not a comprehensive explanation because who's got the time for that, but, first the Constitution needs to be followed. After that we can all negotiate the appropriate size and direction of government and that which it does. Keep in mind, though, that I believe that the whole system is rather corrupt(ed) and needs a system fix or a re-boot, a return to the Constitution. Much of what is discussed in political circles these days with regard to spending our money and usurping our rights is dangerous and is, at best, is akin to rearranging the deck furniture on the Titanic.
I asked you which specific taxes you would eliminate, and you made a general reply (all unConstitutional taxes) but that could mean almost anything.
EUREKA, YOU HAVE FOUND IT!
What is your thinking on this, Firefly?
If you believe that "all unConstitutional taxes" equals "that could mean almost anything"
you have gone further in understanding what I am saying than you might know and would likely care to admit. Of course that's not technically correct, BUT "all unConstitutional taxes" does mean "all unConstitutional taxes." It would be simpler, though, to just quit all spending that does comport with the Constitution. As you have identified, with taxes, all unConstitutional spending does also mean almost any of it.
Most FEDGOV spending (in dollars) does not comport with the Constitution.
My questions have been posed because I would understand your position better if you gave specific examples. But so far, you have skillfully avoided that
No skill here, I'll be glad to answer some of those questions, eventually, when you make them specific. However, I have noticed, speaking of skillful avoidance that you have skillfully avoided finishing our conversation about Mr. Willie Horton (under another topic).
I understand you to say that you believe that users of a resource or service should pay the full cost of that resource or service. Then perhaps you would agree that when a developer opens a new subdivision, the cost of the homes in that subdivision should fully include the cost of roads and other municipal services (e.g. police, fire, trash collection, school capacity) that were extended to cover the new residents? That would be a welcome change.
I'm not sure that I said full-cost. It's kind of silly to think that I/you/anybody should pay the full cost of a new road. We share the cost. Doesn't that make sense? (Well we share the cost in the sense that government taxes us and then spends. "Share" has some connotations that are not applicable here; kind of like Clinton calling taxes "contributions." But, anyway, the expense is DIVIDED among all the users in the case of those who pay gasoline tax and fees on automobiles and such.) If, as you suggest each of us paid the full cost that would make no sense. If three people “go in on” (buy) a bushel of apples then each still pays only for what they use, they don't all pay the full cost of the bushel, Firefly. Get it?
And would you also agree that manufacturers and their customers should have to pay the costs of disposal of their products when their useful life is over, and pay for decommissioning of the manufacturing facility when the company moves or goes out of business? No more need for a toxic cleanup by government: That would be great! Just interested in how you might imagine that such a plan could be implemented.
You mean Bic should pay for the disposal of my razor?
I don't agree with that.
As for business cleaning up after itself, sure I think that's not only commendable but immoral to not do so as opposed to leaving a mess behind. How would such a plan be implemented? Can you give me a specific, real-life example? Maybe that would make it a little easier for us to work through it?
Is there any place in the world that has less government but which you find would offer a similar standard of living and quality of life?
I don't know. I like it here, with some reservations and will not easily be driven out. I have no desire to move wherever you might be thinking of, however much you might like me to move there. Ha ha. I, like most, would just like government (and others) to follow the rules, that's all. Is that asking too much? Is that not something that we can ALL agree on? That government follow the rules that it is legally bound to? You shouldn't expect business to follow rules if you don't expect government to follow rules. We can discuss morals later, but, really, if it's not Constitutional, how can anybody support it? If one person supports something because they like it despite it being unConstitutional, how can they argue against somebody else supporting something because it's unConstitutional? Before you know it, we have government by men, not laws? You want that? I don't. Not unless the man is Jesus.
It is my opinion, and that of others I have read on this forum, that these "inappropriate" government functions, such as providing parks and schools, actually serve to improve the quality of life for all the people in the community, whether or not they actually go and sit in the park and use the picnic tables, and whether or not they have any children of school age.
Well, ok, that's your opinion
. Let's examine it. Consider the logic continuum of how much use makes it “worthwhile.” Start at the absurd notion of NOBODY using the parks (like the busses that used to run by my house; thanks for putting an end to that Mr. Walker). What if NOBODY used the parks instead of just a few? Would the parks still, somehow, improve the quality of life? Or would they just be greenish
Have you thought through the idea that if parks were privately owned the money NOT spend on government-funded parks might improve some other quality of life?
Get outta the box, Firefly. Think, "what if." Maybe that money could be used to do something really worthwhile and the parks would still be there, used by however many, benefitting us all (in your opinion).
Remember the uproar over the church's proposed parking lot?
I remember that.
And that's just over a vacant lot! Also, communities with green space and other public amenities afford higher property values to the home owners therein. In this way, I contend, these home owners DO receive something back for their support of these public amenities.
While I do not consider that to be necessarily a cause and effect relationship I'll let it stand. What do some homeowners get back for their (you say) support (Clinton said "contributions" I say TAXES)? It costs more to live in their homes. Did you ever consider that the major expense in the life of some of Greendale retirees is the property tax that they pay? How compassionate is that? People on a fixed income continuously (it seems) paying more and more just to live in their home? JUST to live in their homes.
I just try to picture what Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon would look like if the federal government had not set out to preserve these gems in an unspoiled state. Maybe I don't go to the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone more than once in my lifetime, but without someone acting for the greater common good to preserve these marvels, I would not even have that chance.
Yes, I know, surely somebody would have paved Yellowstone flat, by now, and filled in the Grand Canyon.
I think people have different pictures of what constitutes "enough" w.r.t. wealth/power/ownership/etc. In my experience, those with the biggest cut of the pie already are the ones most actively trying to get even more, at the expense of the small fish like me .
What about you taking from the even smaller fish? (That would be me. And others.)
I do not know how those you describe as taking from you are empowered, but you are using force, as George Washington so eloquently identified government for us:
“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”
You are using force to take from me and mine, from my family, that which you want. You cannot point fingers at them, if you use force to take from others. That would be hypocrisy and I KNOW that you do NOT want to be hypocritical. I can sense a caring for the truth in you. I can. (I don't get that sense about everybody who posts here.)
That's not something I can stand up to alone.
Describe it. If it makes logical sense I'll go to battle with you, you won't have to go alone.
The way I see it, I band together with my neighbor small fish and form governing bodies to intervene and speak power to power.
You aint speaking power to power when you and (y)our neighbors take money from me and my family. You're power speaking to one man, one family.
What other options are there?
Well you could quit taking my money by force...
Oh, wait, I guess I could just expire, and let my postage-stamp-sized domain be gobbled up by the big fish.
Let's do battle with them. Who are they? How are they operating? Do they have support in government to do what they are doing?
Then Everyone would be happy! Right?
If you expired? No, that would not make me happy. Do you know where you'll go when you die? If you're going to meet the Lord as saviour (instead of Judge) you should be happy at that time (after the fact, I mean, not now, in anticipation).
Sorry I ran on so about the unenforced law breeding contempt for the law, but it is a pet-peeve of mine as I tend to be law-abiding. I pay for my permits to build on my land, pay the taxes I am forced to pay, generally follow the law regarding traffic. So when I see people disregarding the law (like leaving sidewalks unshovelled) while others comply with the law and the law-breakers unpunished I am more than annoyed, I feel for those who play by the rules and just get screwed.
Now, who are those big fish or those with the biggest cut of the pie?