morriswalters wrote:You can object to anything you wish, as long as you play by the rules, while those rules exist. But the ability to hold your point of view is, part and parcel, a result of the society you live in, whatever it's faults. Whatever purpose public education serves, it exists because most people want it to. Everything that exists, from social security, to medicare to the defense establishment, has happened because people wanted it or saw it as addressing a problem. The modern welfare state as you know it, has only come into being in the last hundred years. As long as we were an agrarian society some of the things you want worked. But they worked because there was room to move. We are long past that point.
There are more types of society than agrarian and post-agrarian. The industrial age was remarkably different from the modern information age. Just because it addressed a problem years ago, and was popular at the time doesn't mean it's effective.
Hell, some things that are currently popular are not effective. Currently popular ideas include such elements as obstructing gay marriage. I fail to see how that's a public good that the government should concern itself with.
I am perfectly willing to have the modern medical establishment go off the public tit. Do you have any idea off what that would entail? That would mean no public funding anywhere for anything related to medicine. No support to schools. No funding for any type. No subsidized loans for doctor wannabees. No public Hospitals. Hospitals have become so numerous because the sugar daddy you call the welfare state gives them money. Without those funds a significant number would fail outright. Rural hospitals are struggling now as the Government cuts back. It would be interesting to see how the economy would fare if you could pull it off.
I'm also willing to shut down public funding for education. But only if you mean all of it. No state Universities, zero funding for schools period. I'm quite certain that if we only did those two things that we could eliminate the deficit at both state and local levels . Property taxes could be done away with. What would you keep and what would you get rid of?
First off, all changes will have to be gradual. Can't go from 100% funding of student loans to 0% in a year...the market doesn't respond instantly, so you'll need a draw-down period to minimize transition costs. Really, this should be a concern in basically any societal change of note, but hey...world ain't perfect.
I'd start with a phased legalization approach to drugs. Legalize one(starting with fairly low-impact ones like pot), and study the effects. It's likely that some will never be able to be legalized reasonably(PCP, etc), but we can probably reduce the ban list, and decrease prison costs.
Do a bit of defense cutting. I like defense, of course, but there are diminishing returns, and I'd like to reduce foreign involvement somewhat. It needs to exist, but a few dollars can definitely be saved. Dept of Homeland security would be axed entirely, for instance. I won't miss the TSA at all.
In med, I'd phase out medicare. This would have to be among the slower phase-outs, since the timeframe of a life is longer than say, that of attending college. People plan for retirement for much longer than they do for college, so you need a correspondingly slower shift away from it. Social security is going to be extremely similar for the same reasons. I would reduce the "must serve all comers" aspect of hospitals. They would eventually be allowed to refuse emergency services to people who have repeatedly not paid bills over a lengthy period of time. Burden of proof for non-payment falls on hospital for obvious reasons. This will absolutely result in a few additional deaths, regardless of the transition speed, as some people make a practice out of this and won't change until it entirely ceases to be an option. This is an acceptable loss, as long term, it leads to emergency room services being focused on people actually in need of emergency care. Some hospitals, like the great many that are religiously funded in the US, will probably continue to use charity instead of doing this. That's fine, free country.
College subsidies draw down, and go away(loans first, then grants). Public education likewise(I would also be ok with an entirely standardized federal-only primary education system, oddly enough. It's not popular among libertarians, but it would still be a vast improvement over the status quo).
Roads would be among the least changed things. We need roads sufficient for remaining government services to get their things done(especially defense), and if the road network's here anyway...you might as well utilize it as best as you can. There may be optimization possible in this regard, but that's a matter for engineers specializing in this field, not me.
Unemployment would be cut to a loan system. You can borrow a bit to get back on your feet, but there are limits, and non-payment would mean you'll eventually be denied benefits until you repay.
Currency would be mostly unchanged. I'd probably just make the fed an actual government institution, since it basically acts as one. However, I'd focus on limiting inflation as a matter of fiscal policy.
I'd also sell off rather a lot of public land. This would reduce maint costs for the government, and also increase the property tax base for whatever remaining property tax there is. Taxes would likely still not be zero under this system, but they would be significantly lower. I'd go to a pure flat tax, ideally. In some cases, this is actually an improvement for the lower classes, as many current taxes are surprisingly regressive. Deductions would no longer be a thing. As a happy side effect, the tax preparation industry would become unnecessary.
There would be a general striving to remove old, outdated laws from the books. Clean up and reduce IP law. Ditch as many of those ancient sin taxes or other religiously motivated laws as possible.
Protectionist policies for things like corn farming and the like would be phased out fairly rapidly.
Vince_Right wrote:Correct, agree. What fundamental right is violated thought by not providing education? Where does that right come from?
The point is socialist ideas lead to "I want something"; "I convince the government to support this"; "The government makes someone else pay". That is not a right, on the contrary.
The right to education. It's probably one of the most widely accepted rights in the world, given that it's in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Why is that list of things "rights"? What philosophical concept do they derive from, or does this merely happen to be a list of desirable things?
I'm not entirely sure where you're going with this. As far as I can tell, you're complaining that the US's pseudo-universal healthcare system is pseudo-universal; it offers service to (more-or-less) anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. I specifically stated that universal healthcare has been done better and cheaper elsewhere (Israel, the UK) which is not affected in the slightest by what you've said here. The only relevant point is that of medical research, however I doubt this accounts for the several thousand dollar per capita difference between the UK and US systems.
Israel and the UK are not the US. We're vastly demographically different, and demand very different things from our government. For one thing, we're fat as hell because we eat terribly, and this is obviously a severe issue medically. Type 2 diabetes, for instance, is a severe issue. This sort of thing goes deeper than public vs privatized. In the end, we need to stop subsidizing terrible food and encourage personal responsibility to be healthy.
Why do you believe that a loss of all public services will magically leave the poor in any fit state and why do you believe that society will equally magically continue on without them?
It won't. Many poor people(let's say, bottom quadrant) will probably be worse off initially, even with the lower taxes. Some of them will plan ahead/be motivated by upcoming changes, and work hard to avoid them. Most, however, will not. However, as society as a whole is growing more efficient, average wealth will rise faster, and technology will see increased advancement. This will be disproportionately allocated to the not-poor, of course, but they will see some improvement. Therefore, over time, even the lowest classes will eventually be better off that if we continued in our current system.
How will society continue on without them? It already does. The unemployed/minimum wage workers are not a scarce commodity.
I have already shown that 25% of the population cannot afford something as trivial as sending their (singular, able-bodied) child to school under a privatised education system; in what dreamland does this lead to a lower class that can interact with other classes as anything other than cheap, unskilled labour? How will the rest of society be better off when the vast numbers highly productive professionals that originate in the lower and lower-middle classes disappear? You claim that "costs will be reduced" and "the middle class will be better off" without in any way substantiating these claims. You've handwaved your way out of addressing this point several times now, and I see no point in continuing this discussion if you are going to refuse to answer even the most basic questions about how your system plans to deal with the issues that it causes.
Primary education, they can afford. They will not attend the average priced schools, but the cheaper schools. The 10k+/year private schools? Rich people will be the only folks attending those, just like now. No change there, really.
And hey, even with current public schooling, poor areas trend significantly to poorer public school systems. Our current system is already nothing like a fair shot. Beating that is...not hard.
College prices have vastly outstripped...basically everything for ages now. Increased subsidies leads to increased costs in a never-ending feedback loop. College has become basically all about the money, and we need to go back to a system in which poorly performing colleges actually do go bankrupt and are removed from the system, and tuition doesn't put you in debt for most of your life. If the lower classes wish to attend these colleges, they can do so, but will likely work as they do. Decreasing overall cost of tuition is perhaps a net boon for the lower classes, as right now, they are most adversely affected by the vast amounts of debt, and especially if they fail to graduate, are saddled with a crippling amount of debt that can't even be shed via bankruptcy.
The very fact that the poor are (comparatively) highly supported by society is the primary reason that the modern lower classes are so much better off than those of the past; appealing to this difference as though it's independent of the level of support provided by society makes no sense in this context.
Nope. Diminishing costs to produce necessities is the #1 reason why the poor are better off. In the thirties, food alone occupied about 25% of the average budget. Now, it's about 9.5%, the cheapest in history. Starvation is inherently going to be more rare when food is cheap and plentiful.
And? How does this address anything I said? You have totally failed to show that self-education is in any way an adequate replacement for the modern education system, and until you do so, I shall continue to reject your unfounded assertions.
I've never asserted that self-education is a complete replacement for public education. Merely that self-education is easier and more effective now than it has been throughout history. Private education will likely continue to be the primary method of education, but self-education is an entirely valid option for those who are motivated and seeking to better themselves.
Alumni are an adequate solution for only a tiny minority of schools; a poor inner-city school could never hope to draw the kind of wealthy support base necessary to significantly decrease costs. Charity is clearly insufficient; the US's charitable giving
would have to increase by a factor of two
in order to support the US education system.
And again, the sizable cost differential between private and public schools is critical. We're not funding the public system through donation, we'd be funding the private one. Donations alone won't cover the entire cost, true, but they will defray the expense.
Religious donations is the only one of your alternatives that seem to be a plausible support structure, and indeed we observe a factor of ~3 difference between the amount charged by religious and non-religious private schools; the non-religious schools charge essentially the same amount as public education costs the state. Of course, allowing religious dominion over education is a completely ethically repulsive "solution"; if a lower class parent wishes their child to have any kind of opportunity in life, they must take them to a religious institution to be educated. It's like the middle ages all over again.
I'm not particularly fond of religion myself, being an atheist, but I can't deny that religious institutions do donate a great deal of money to education and other worthy causes. That, in itself, is not a bad thing. Instead of limiting their ability to offer free or inexpensive education, I would suggest that those who take issue with the system can also volunteer time or money for whatever schools or causes they consider important.
In addition, we can probably expect charitable giving to climb a little as taxes decrease. The sort of person who tithes or whatever is going to give proportionately more when he has more take home pay. This isn't going to double charity revenues or anything, but it is a reasonably predictable beneficial outcome of lower taxation, and it all helps. I anticipate that religious schools will, like religious hospitals, continue to be a major part of our society for some time. They'd almost have to be, religious people are a major part of our society. If you dislike a religion, convince the people to change, don't get the government to make them change.