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Thread: Is anyone here receiving a govt. pension, social security or support payments from govt?

  1. #121
    Member helmuth_hubener's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Douglas View Post
    The two actions could be considered as credits and debits, with a net loss for some and a net gain for others. So it's more like the state breaks my legs, then adds insult to injury when it steals five pair of crutches from me to give to you, me, and three others who might want a pair.
    While I agree this would be a good analogy, I do not understand what you mean by credits and debits and overall do not understand what you are trying to say.

    From that standpoint there really is no such thing as a "public sector" when you think about it. It's all private when it boils right down to it, with everyone made a private thief, wittingly or unwittingly, by extension. As for "positively good", it depends on how you define that, but it's an oxymoron nonetheless, as those are mutually exclusive terms ("good" is absolutely and strictly normative, not positive).
    And I really don't understand what you mean in this paragraph.
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  3. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    While I agree this would be a good analogy, I do not understand what you mean by credits and debits and overall do not understand what you are trying to say.
    All I meant was that while we can separate two things (what is taken, what is given), there is no separation in the fact that it has a net effect on each individual. But what if you broaden that out to two individuals:

    Just you, me, and the government. The government takes nothing from you. As a Very Efficient Government, it takes everything from me, and gives 90% of that to you.

    The net effect on me? I'm dead broke.
    The net effect on you? You have 90% of what was taken from me.

    The fact that it's "in the private sector" means nothing to me, as that is an abstraction. It's not in MY private sector. In reality it's in YOUR private sector...which is really just the public sector by extension.

    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    And I really don't understand what you mean in this paragraph.
    It's all in how we throw terms around, like "private sector" and "public sector", as if they were two separate economies, with well defined borders. What does that mean anyway? A Welfare Department Procurement Specialist doesn't shop exclusively in some public sector-only shopping mall. If he goes shopping with confiscated tax funds at a Walmart, or buys some stuff directly from you even, is that private sector or public sector?

    I think both terms are useless without qualification. It's all money laundering when it comes right down to it. Does it really make a difference whether a public sector employee spends stolen funds directly into the private economy (buys a bunch of stuff from your store with taxpayer money), or delivers those stolen funds to a private agent (a private recipient) who only happens to allocate it differently? Someone in the private sector benefits either way. And could wealth be created in that process? Yes, but no new wealth, as it's just redistribution. Opportunity costs dictate that it had to be at the expense of a) savings, or b) all other possible transactions that did not occur as a result of the theft.

    It doesn't matter whether an allocation was made by the original person stolen from, the public sector thief, or the recipient of loot from a public sector thief. In all cases it would result in private sector redistribution of some kind, with different allocations made in each and every instance.

  4. #123
    Member helmuth_hubener's Avatar
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    The public sector is the state. It is that sector of human existence which is part of the organization we call the state.

    The private sector is everything and everyone not part of the state, and we generally exclude criminal activity as well. So it covers all voluntary non-state human action.

    Is a state employee part of the state? Yes. Walter Block, for example, is part of the state. Could we just as well say that the handout recipient is part of the state, at least when acting in their capacity as receptacle for funds? Perhaps. And so in that sense angelatc is part of the state. I think that's what you're getting at. You are saying angelatc is part of the public sector, not the private sector. But she will (likely) spend the money into private companies, and after that it's in the private sector.

    In the current state of affairs, there is no absolutely clear line between private sector and public sector, it's true. Some companies are virtual extensions of the state, like Boeing or Lockheed-Martin. Many more do a large amount of business with the state. Very few actively avoid dealing with the state. Outside of Elko, Nevada, how many restaurants refuse to serve federal agents? Precious few. Virtually all businesses are also tax collectors. Tax collection is a state function.

    So I agree that we're all wrapped up in the state somehow, or more accurately that the state has wrapped its tendrils of aggression all over us. Is there any conclusion in particular you were drawing from this?
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  5. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    So I agree that we're all wrapped up in the state somehow, or more accurately that the state has wrapped its tendrils of aggression all over us. Is there any conclusion in particular you were drawing from this?
    I was only questioning Block's assertion that accepting public money is "positively good". I don't have any judgments toward those who do get their kneecaps broken by the state and end up applying for crutches, but I don't necessarily consider it a 'good' thing, and the rationale you gave didn't resonate with me at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    Well, we do have a choice as to whether or not we apply for and accept AFDC, food stamps, veterans benefits, the SS blood money, etc. So should we take that choice and receive the money?

    I am with Walter Block that it is not only "fine" under libertarian theory to accept these, but positively good. It is "a mitzvah" as he puts it. By doing so, you are relieving thieves of some of their wealth and putting it back into the voluntary market. You are a one-man privatization crew, removing stuff from the "public" (yuck) sector and putting it back into the private sector.
    My point was that the public sector doesn't produce anything that didn't originate from the private sector anyway, so the idea that private individuals are somehow doing a service by tapping into public funds to "privatize" them is something I don't see. Again, that would be like someone stealing from me, and handing it to another. I can't see myself saying, "Well at least someone in the private sector got it, and not them."

    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    Is a state employee part of the state? Yes. Walter Block, for example, is part of the state. Could we just as well say that the handout recipient is part of the state, at least when acting in their capacity as receptacle for funds? Perhaps. And so in that sense angelatc is part of the state. I think that's what you're getting at. You are saying angelatc is part of the public sector, not the private sector. But she will (likely) spend the money into private companies, and after that it's in the private sector.

    In the current state of affairs, there is no absolutely clear line between private sector and public sector, it's true.
    The line I see is similar to the line I apply to the thin-air banking system. It's all about First Users. Take out a loan, and you are a direct facilitator of the Fed System, while anyone you trade with, but who did not take out a loan, is not.

    Likewise, if you take funds directly from the state, you are directly part of the state, and a facilitator of the state by extension. Those funds are laundered directly by you. In the case of food stamps, medicare, etc., the beneficiary is directly part of the state, and whoever takes funds from them is the First User (because they actively applied to accept food stamps, medicare, etc.,). In that respect Ron Paul was not a facilitator of the state, because he never accepted medicare, but if he ever took out a loan, he was a facilitator of the Fed Banking system.

    Again, no judgments or condemnation of anyone who feels compelled to imbibe in either, especially when their survival depends on it. I fault the system that fucked everything up at its core, not those who get caught in its tentacles and are forced to play to survive. But that is the distinction for me, and I don't see any 'good' in it.

    Virtually all businesses are also tax collectors. Tax collection is a state function.
    In my view, state tax collection by businesses is no different than people who are conscripted into military service against their [erstwhile] will. Businesses may collect taxes under threat, duress or coercion by the state--and through fear of loss of life, liberty or property if they don't, but that does not make them part of the state in my mind. That's all because they aren't given a choice. If they were given a choice, and chose to do that, they'd be complicit, and very much part of the state.
    Last edited by Steven Douglas; 01-05-2013 at 02:51 AM.

  6. #125
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    Last edited by osan; 01-05-2013 at 10:02 AM.
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  7. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrock View Post
    Wealth is created when capital is concentrated to create something of worth to a society. This worth is judged by the society by if they buy the product. While you have the state concentrating capital and producing something, you do not have society ever actually placing a value on it through the marketplace. A like example that comes to mind is if the government builds a factory that produces widgets but no one wants to buy them. There is no wealth creation by the state because it cannot sense or respond to what the society deems valuable.
    However if they build a product that people do want to buy and buy in quantities beyond the capital investment they have created wealth. Electric power produced in a government built hydroelectric dam is sold on the market place and it is creating wealth.
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  8. #127
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    While I do not recieve govt benefits , I will gladly accept back all they have taken from me in "social security ", lump sum , Monday afternoon works .....

  9. #128

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    I just can't comprehend the position of some here who think that taking from other taxpayers will make the system implode faster and then everything can reset. What do you think it's going to be like when that happens... a better situation? We may move to a Russia type scenario where the govt./military controls everything and you are surfs working for oligarchs. People will be begging the govt to take care of them.

    Alot of people promoting liberty and freedom, less govt. and self-reliance -- but doing just the opposite. Digging your own grave.

  10. #129

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    I've gotten like 5k in grants, but that doesn't nearly makeup all the money paid into taxes. It was more like a tax refund.
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  11. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbc58 View Post
    We may move to a Russia type scenario where the govt./military controls everything and you are surfs working for oligarchs. People will be begging the govt to take care of them.
    We ALREADY live in a "scenario where the govt./military controls everything" and people are "begging the govt to take care of them".

    As for being "serfs working for oligarchs" - Russians pay a flat 13% income tax. We American serfs wish we had it so good!

    Russia is no longer a whipping boy that can be trotted out whenever we need a bogeyman with which to favorably contrast America.
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  12. #131

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    so Occam's Banana,

    Would it be true that you do not believe in trickle down economics? In response to the broken leg post. (don't feel like quoting a long response)

  13. #132

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    cbc58, I commend you for bringing up a very politically incorrect topic. However, when you get right down to it, it's very difficult to find anybody in our economy that doesn't depend on government pushing money around to places it wouldn't naturally go.

    There are of course people who supply other people with goods that they would naturally purchase for a price that is close to its natural value.

    Certainly not anything like a government teacher, cops, firefighters, government bureaucrats, or any modern day soldier or military personnel. These occupations have a natural monetary exchange value of close to zero. Not that they aren't fundamentally valuable, but they tend to be things that people will volunteer for when necessary. Since natural markets aren't determining their value, we massively over pay for them and get them in a form that nobody really wants, save for a small minority of powerful government union members.

    I recently had to spend a few hours listening to a firefighter tell me about how she has sacrificed her entire life only to be handed a paltry 80k per year pension at age 55. I didn't even bother questioning her on her enormous scope of delusions. She was driving me somewhere where I needed to go and didn't want to get kicked out of her car.

  14. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbauer View Post
    so Occam's Banana,

    Would it be true that you do not believe in trickle down economics? In response to the broken leg post. (don't feel like quoting a long response)
    That depends on what you mean by "believe in" - and on how you define "trickle-down economics".
    tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito · fiat justitia, ruat caelum · sic semper tyrannis
    The Bastiat Collection - FREE PDF

    Frédéric Bastiat
    • "When law and morality are in contradiction to each other, the citizen finds himself in the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense, or of losing his respect for the law."
      - The Law (p. 54)
    • "Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
      - Government (p. 99)
    • "[W]ar is always begun in the interest of the few, and at the expense of the many."
      - Economic Sophisms - Second Series (p. 312)
    • "There are two principles that can never be reconciled - Liberty and Constraint."
      - Harmonies of Political Economy - Book One (p. 447)

  15. #134

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    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Banana View Post
    That depends on what you mean by "believe in" - and on how you define "trickle-down economics".
    In the way Ronald Regan says it works. Take money pump it into a system (legitimately or illegitimately) and watch the economy grow. I can't stress it enough that I don't want more government action for those who haven't kept up with the 14 pages. One would have to think that the government putting artificial capital into a system like we've been doing since 2008 has caused better economic conditions then we would have seen over the past 4 years?....of course we'll pay for that someday.

  16. #135

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    we are looking at a triple-whammy if they ever do get around to downsizing govt.

    reduce the numbers of govt. employees and you cut expenses but you also cut tax revenue they are supposedly paying in - plus they will go on govt. programs like unemployment, possibly food food stamps, and you just know the clueless legislators are going to offer early retirement bonuses. this will be even more of a burden on working Americans and they will pass the cost along in direct and indirect taxes and cost increases.

    the entire economy is fake and one big shell game meant to give the illusion that there is prosperity and productivity. it's just the opposite.

  17. #136

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbc58 View Post
    the entire economy is fake and one big shell game meant to give the illusion that there is prosperity and productivity. it's just the opposite.
    I know lots of folks aren't going to agree with me on this but if you're not building or growing stuff you're living off others labor...

  18. #137
    Member helmuth_hubener's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    I know lots of folks aren't going to agree with me on this but if you're not building or growing stuff you're living off others labor...
    Well, it depends what you mean, exactly. Was Steve Jobs "building stuff" or "living off others' labor"?
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  19. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbc58 View Post
    reduce the numbers of govt. employees and you cut expenses but you also cut tax revenue they are supposedly paying in
    This does not qualify as a "whammy" as you put it - not even for the government side of things. Reducing government employment would actually increase the amount of money government has available- not reduce it.

    Federal employees are paid with federal revenues. State employees are paid with state revenues. Hence, on net they do not pay income taxes with respect to their employer. They get more out than they pay in.

    Sure, they may fill out forms and "send in a check" to the federal or state government they work for. But they get much, much more than that in the salaries (and benefits) they receive from the federal or state government for which they work.

    The difference between what they pay in and what they get out is always a net positive (for them). That difference must be paid for by everyone else who isn't a government employee.

    In fact, "government employment" is about as perfect an example as you could come up with for what I was talking about earlier in this thread. It necessarily destroys more than it "creates" and is therefore not a good or beneficial thing.
    Last edited by Occam's Banana; 01-11-2013 at 02:34 PM.
    tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito · fiat justitia, ruat caelum · sic semper tyrannis
    The Bastiat Collection - FREE PDF

    Frédéric Bastiat
    • "When law and morality are in contradiction to each other, the citizen finds himself in the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense, or of losing his respect for the law."
      - The Law (p. 54)
    • "Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
      - Government (p. 99)
    • "[W]ar is always begun in the interest of the few, and at the expense of the many."
      - Economic Sophisms - Second Series (p. 312)
    • "There are two principles that can never be reconciled - Liberty and Constraint."
      - Harmonies of Political Economy - Book One (p. 447)

  20. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbauer View Post
    In the way Ronald Regan says it works. Take money pump it into a system (legitimately or illegitimately) and watch the economy grow. I can't stress it enough that I don't want more government action for those who haven't kept up with the 14 pages. One would have to think that the government putting artificial capital into a system like we've been doing since 2008 has caused better economic conditions then we would have seen over the past 4 years?....of course we'll pay for that someday.
    Given that definition of "trickle-down" economics (TDE), then no, I do not "believe" in it.

    My own understanding of what TDE is (or is supposed to be) is pretty much limited to the Lafferian notion that by reducing or eliminating things like capital gains taxes or income taxes on the upper brackets, more tax revenues would be gained than lost. Reducing such taxes is supposed to free up money in the private sector which then (1) generates more-than-offsetting tax revenues for the State, and (2) generates economic activity that will "trickle down" to the middle and lower classes in the form of jobs, entrepeneurial funding, etc.. (Whether my understanding of TDE is accurate here, I am not certain. I've seen TDE used & invoked in a variety of ways, often very vague, which is why I asked what you meant by it.)

    Given that taxation is economically destructive, and given the above description of TDE, then yes, I do "believe" in it - quite regardless of whether points (1) and/or (2) mentioned above are true or not. But by the same token, I could be said to "believe" in any policy that reduces or eliminates taxes (on any group at any level and to any degree) - just so long as there is no "offsetting" expropriation of private goods, services or money by the State.
    tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito · fiat justitia, ruat caelum · sic semper tyrannis
    The Bastiat Collection - FREE PDF

    Frédéric Bastiat
    • "When law and morality are in contradiction to each other, the citizen finds himself in the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense, or of losing his respect for the law."
      - The Law (p. 54)
    • "Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
      - Government (p. 99)
    • "[W]ar is always begun in the interest of the few, and at the expense of the many."
      - Economic Sophisms - Second Series (p. 312)
    • "There are two principles that can never be reconciled - Liberty and Constraint."
      - Harmonies of Political Economy - Book One (p. 447)

  21. #140

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    This does not qualify as a "whammy" as you put it - not even for the government side of things. Reducing government employment would actually increase the amount of money government has available- not reduce it.
    It's a whammy. Reducing govt. employment (federal) is going to highlight the glaringly obvious fact that the govt. has been booking tax revenue that they themselves are paying out. Big circle jerk and accounting shell game. So while they will be reducing expenses, the other accounting column of income tax revenue goes down, plus we'll get on the hook for retirement payouts, unemployment, etc., etc. And since we are flat-busted-broke and running trillion dollar deficits, there will not be more money available -- only less expense to pay.

  22. #141

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    Nothing wrong with working for the government and getting payed on pension. They are an employer and you are getting money for your work.

  23. #142

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpreadOfLiberty View Post
    Nothing wrong with working for the government and getting payed on pension. They are an employer and you are getting money for your work.
    When a government must borrow to fund its own operation it no longer represents the people, if you choose to take part in just such a government as an "employee" then you are making a conscious effort to financially harm the very populace you are a part of.

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