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Fiscally responsible is bad for socialism


Mr.Canada

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I'd like to know why the left wing hates being fiscally responsible?

In your personal household budget you must only spend what you bring in and not any more or you will quickly go bankrupt, lose your house, car etc.

Why do you not think the gov't should not follow these same rules? This is what I don't understand about the left wing. They wish to drive our debt higher and higher to pay for all manner of social program in an effort to make everyone happy and give everything to everybody.

There's only so high taxes can be raised before the normal working public simply won't be able to afford to live. It's insanity.

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I'd like to know why the left wing hates being fiscally responsible?

In your personal household budget you must only spend what you bring in and not any more or you will quickly go bankrupt, lose your house, car etc.

Why do you not think the gov't should not follow these same rules? This is what I don't understand about the left wing. They wish to drive our debt higher and higher to pay for all manner of social program in an effort to make everyone happy and give everything to everybody.

There's only so high taxes can be raised before the normal working public simply won't be able to afford to live. It's insanity.

Sorry but the suggestion that liberal governments are less fiscally responsible than conservatives is a piece of folklore. Go dig up some stats on which parties have been in charge in Canada and the US while big government debt has been racked up. If you can read a simple graph youll see how silly what youre claiming is.

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Sorry but the suggestion that liberal governments are less fiscally responsible than conservatives is a piece of folklore. Go dig up some stats on which parties have been in charge in Canada and the US while big government debt has been racked up. If you can read a simple graph youll see how silly what youre claiming is.

That's just it. An honest debate would admit that conservatives and liberals are both big spenders...and the debate would centre on which one (if either) was spending big in a better, more responsible way. The fact of the big spending is not up for debate.

The idea that conservative governments aren't big spenders like liberal ones is sheer fantasy. In fact, it's so obvious that usually the argument is forced into other fantastic realms, like that conservative governments spend too much because the liberals force them to, or what have you.

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That's just it. An honest debate would admit that conservatives and liberals are both big spenders...and the debate would centre on which one (if either) was spending big in a better, more responsible way. The fact of the big spending is not up for debate.

The idea that conservative governments aren't big spenders like liberal ones is sheer fantasy. In fact, it's so obvious that usually the argument is forced into other fantastic realms, like that conservative governments spend too much because the liberals force them to, or what have you.

That part of the Tories spending too much because the liberals and the other opposition parties force them to, is totally wrong. I was watching QP when Michael said, Get the money out faster with the stilmus package. They didn't say spend more money, the Tories had their budget, the opposition parties were saying you're late with the money, get it out there. I believe to keep a country happy, you have to balance spending with social programs and yet keep the spending down. some how. One Harper has done is expand govt which cost and he only has a minority, why?

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Sorry but the suggestion that liberal governments are less fiscally responsible than conservatives is a piece of folklore. Go dig up some stats on which parties have been in charge in Canada and the US while big government debt has been racked up. If you can read a simple graph youll see how silly what youre claiming is.

Yuppers.

Conservatives like to cut taxes, yet like to spend as much as anyone. Tax and spend vs cut taxes and spend.

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Yep, just like the notion that only conservatives can be trusted to keep the government off people's backs. :rolleyes:

Yes, obviously. I've long lost count of the number of self-described "conservative libertarians" who complain about "Big Government"--meaning, specifically, "taxes"--but who support the death penalty, domestic spying, indefinite detentions without charges, Executive Privelege for starting "pre-emptive" and never-ending wars, stricter censorship laws, and numerous such Big Government initiatives.

So their claims cannot be taken seriously. They love the idea of a "nanny state," so long as the dreaded "socialism" isn't uttered.

Edited by bloodyminded
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Again people are scared to answer simple questions. This isn't directed at any one gov't really. I'm dissatisfied with the Tories on this as well.

Everyone has to budget, I don't care how much money you have you need to follow some sort of budget or else you'll run out of money and possibly be out on the street. Why doesn't the gov't need to follow the same strict budget? They make crazy debt riddled budgets then just raise taxes to pay for it. This is unrealistic and unsustainable because sooner or later their will come a point when we cannot be taxed any longer.

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I'd like to know why the left wing hates being fiscally responsible?

Margaret Thatcher had the best reponse:

" ...Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."
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Thommy Douglas was a big fan of balanced budgets and hated government debt.
Whether the money is borrowed or raised through taxes, it's still other people's money.

And invariably, socialist projects will run out of it.

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Margaret Thatcher had the best reponse:Link

Whether the money is borrowed or raised through taxes, it's still other people's money.

And invariably, socialist projects will run out of it.

Thatcher's remark captures the stereotype but is it the truth? My suspicion is that corporate 'welfare' far exceeds personal welfare in Canada as a drain on our tax dollars.

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Whether the money is borrowed or raised through taxes, it's still other people's money.

And invariably, socialist projects will run out of it.

Speaking of quotes, I will allow the father of capitalism to defend the modern welfare state:

"No society can surely be flourishing and happy of which by far the greater part of the numbers are poor and miserable. "

— Adam Smith

"Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many. The affluence of the rich excites the indignation of the poor, who are often both driven by want, and prompted by envy, to invade his possessions."

— Adam Smith

"The subject of every State ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the State."

— Adam Smith

"It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

— Adam Smith

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Speaking of quotes, I will allow the father of capitalism to defend the modern welfare state:

"No society can surely be flourishing and happy of which by far the greater part of the numbers are poor and miserable. "

— Adam Smith

Correct. And the best way to make sure less people are poor and miserable are through economic growth. That's why most people today in Western countries are so well off, centuries of economic growth.

"Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many. The affluence of the rich excites the indignation of the poor, who are often both driven by want, and prompted by envy, to invade his possessions."

— Adam Smith

The poor can certainly envy the rich, that is true.

As for the existence of a rich man implying there must be many poor... to some extent that is a logical necessity. For something like richness to exist, someone else has to be less rich, or else you couldn't call the first person rich. But that is just like anything else that can only be judged comparatively. One can only be considered tall if there are other people to compare with who are shorter, etc.

But, besides this tautological meaning, I'd say Smith was wrong on this point. Being rich does not make others poor. Who did Bill Gates make poor? Maybe a couple employees at some of his competitor's companies, at most. And yet he enriched hundreds of millions of people, not just himself.

"The subject of every State ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the State."

— Adam Smith

"From everyone according to their ability", eh? The other half of that sentence is "to each according to their need". Guess who that's a quote from? Hint: it's not any capitalist.

"It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

— Adam Smith

That's already true, by nature of progressive income taxes.

The founder of a field is not always right about everything in that field. One need only look at Freudian psychology to see proof of that much.

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Correct. And the best way to make sure less people are poor and miserable are through economic growth. That's why most people today in Western countries are so well off, centuries of economic growth.

Centuries of economic growth, combined with mechanisms for ensuring that wealth does not simply accumulate in the hands of a few. It is no coincidence that this growth in prosperity was accompanied by strengthened workers rights (unions, labour laws), progressive taxation, and government programs (health care, pensions, welfare, etc.)

But, besides this tautological meaning, I'd say Smith was wrong on this point. Being rich does not make others poor. Who did Bill Gates make poor? Maybe a couple employees at some of his competitor's companies, at most. And yet he enriched hundreds of millions of people, not just himself.

In a world of scarce resources, concentration of these resources in a few by definition withholds them from the masses. Can some concentration "make the pie larger" and thereby "float all boats"? Sure, but it doesn't necessarily follow that more concentration will make the pie enormous. You could, for example, pay a CEO $10,000,000, or could pay them $1,00,000 and hire 180 employees at $50,000 each. Which is a better use of that money?

"From everyone according to their ability", eh? The other half of that sentence is "to each according to their need". Guess who that's a quote from? Hint: it's not any capitalist.

An admirable sentiment, but not what the quote was illustrating. We all benefit from the society that we live under; we prosper (or not) in relation to the Peace, Order, and Good Government provided by the State. As such, we should contribute to maintaining the State, in proportion to how well we have flourished under it. You may consider it "your money', but how much of it you would have accumulated without the services of the State (education, infrastructure, laws and law enforcement, defense, etc, etc)

Edited by TTM
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The Conservatives are hardly good for the debt either, having run the biggest debts in Canadian history the last few years, those jet plane costs are out of control too.

There's only one cure for fiscally irresponsible spending and unsustainable greed...that's bankruptcy.

California, Greece, the UK, Ontario all saw the train wreck coming but couldn't do anything about it because the majority of people support unsustainable spending all over the world. It will happen in Canada eventually, it will just take longer because we are a resource rich country, the oil sands will prolong it a number of years, but it's unavoidable.

Can anyone site an example of a country proactively avoiding debt crisis? Do you really think the majority of Canadian voters are smarter than the people of California and the UK? With the size of our public sector increased spending is the only option, no one can oppose it and the majority of voters.

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In a world of scarce resources, concentration of these resources in a few by definition withholds them from the masses. Can some concentration "make the pie larger" and thereby "float all boats"? Sure, but it doesn't necessarily follow that more concentration will make the pie enormous. You could, for example, pay a CEO $10,000,000, or could pay them $1,00,000 and hire 180 employees at $50,000 each. Which is a better use of that money?

The wealth that exists in this world is not fixed. It is not a zero sum game. The wealth that exists today is many orders of magnitude greater than the wealth that existed 100 years ago. And that includes resources. Many classes of resources are in use now that we didn't even know existed. And that trend will continue. There remain sources of energy available on Earth that are virtually or completely untapped and represent billions or trillions of times more energy than the sources we use today. It's not concentration that grows the pie, it's innovation.

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I'd like to know why the left wing hates being fiscally responsible?

In your personal household budget you must only spend what you bring in and not any more or you will quickly go bankrupt, lose your house, car etc.

Why do you not think the gov't should not follow these same rules? This is what I don't understand about the left wing. They wish to drive our debt higher and higher to pay for all manner of social program in an effort to make everyone happy and give everything to everybody.

There's only so high taxes can be raised before the normal working public simply won't be able to afford to live. It's insanity.

First off, we should be able to enforce smoothing and keeping services running when we run deficit for a period assuming that our situation will come back.

The reality is that the hard right does increase taxes or costs to citizens. They either hide it by taking out debt, or cut funding increasing the costs to everything as it is privatized.

As soon as you privatize something, immediately add 20% cost the the service because they'll be trying to make money instead of serving the public.

A centrist approach is what is needed, or at least a flipping back and forth between ideologies. Some things make sense to be provided (public education). Some things do not (convenience stores). Ff you keep giving money services get fat and bloated. Then we need to strip them of some funding to create efficiencies. The cycle works fairly well...

Edited by MiddleClassCentrist
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The reality is that the hard right does increase taxes or costs to citizens. They either hide it by taking out debt, or cut funding increasing the costs to everything as it is privatized.
When things are privatized the people who use the service pay. In many cases, this is more fair than making everyone pay for a service used by a few.
As soon as you privatize something, immediately add 20% cost the the service because they'll be trying to make money instead of serving the public.
Nonsense. Public monopolies encourage waste and demanding unions. Private ownership and competition (most important) keeps those things under control. Edited by TimG
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She spoke before witnessing the 90's Clinton/Chretien era.
The Chretien cuts were forced on the country by the bond market. Chretien/Martin deserve credit for taking it seriously but the Canadian people deserve the most credit because they understood the writing on the wall (unlike the Greeks) and did not turf the Libs for a free spending alternative.

Clinton has a republican congress to work with.

Edited by TimG
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I'd like to know why the left wing hates being fiscally responsible?

In your personal household budget you must only spend what you bring in and not any more or you will quickly go bankrupt, lose your house, car etc.

Why do you not think the gov't should not follow these same rules? This is what I don't understand about the left wing. They wish to drive our debt higher and higher to pay for all manner of social program in an effort to make everyone happy and give everything to everybody.

There's only so high taxes can be raised before the normal working public simply won't be able to afford to live. It's insanity.

Just as the right is not a homogenous whole, neither is the left. Some on the right are fiscally responsible, some aren't. Some on the left are fiscally responsible, some aren't. So you'll need to be more specific as to which left you're referring to.

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Yuppers.

Conservatives like to cut taxes, yet like to spend as much as anyone. Tax and spend vs cut taxes and spend.

Tax and spend is more responsible than borrow and spend without a doubt. Though in a debt situation, tax and axe is even better than tax and spend, with borrow and spend being the worst option.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's not concentration that grows the pie, it's innovation.

Sounds like an argument for communism!

Concentration fuels innovation. While it is not necessarily true that innovation cannot occur without concentration of resources, be they in the form of wealth, education, opportunity, etc (resources are not limited to the stuff you dig out of the ground), it certainly makes the process much more efficient. In a world of scarce resources, some concentration can "make the pie bigger" and therefore "raise all boats" at a much faster rate than some theoretical egalitarian baseline may be more true, but doesn't have quite the same ring, does it?

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