: : Of course, this will not get us anywhere. What concerns me the most is not the growth rate of an economy or how prosperous it is. What concerns me the most is how well their citizenry's rights are protected. Now, when I mention rights, I do not mean the self-contradicting rights of the U.N. No. What I mean are these rights:
: : 1. Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good.
: And how is a monetary divide where 250 people own as much as 47% of the rest of the world populace?; where 40,000 children under 5 die of poverty every day?; how can you say that this is in the name of 'the general good'?
Read it again. People are and remain free equal in rights. A man with 50 million dollars has the same rights as a man with $5 dollars. Or at least he should.
: : 3. The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. No body nor individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation.
: - in other words, corporations should have no power over any citizen. Were that so, McSpotlight would not be here.
This one is open to interpretation. I take "authority" as meaning coercion, that is, having the authority to punish wrongdoers and protect people's rights. Basically, that no person or corporation can coerce you with force or the threat of force.
: : 13. A common contribution is essential for the maintenance of the public forces and for the cost of administration. This should be equitably distributed among all the citizens in proportion to their means.
: - In other words, a social infrastructure is essential and everyone shall contribute it according to their ability to pay.
That is why I support a flat tax. Each person pay 10% of their income or 10% of their net worth (10% id just an arbitrary number mind you.)
I do however support taxing the rich more than the poor for the following reason: If your taxes go towards items like the judicial system, police force, and military than a rich person who is not has a higher need for these (a wealthier person will undoubtadly make more contracts requiring the courts to protect and uphold, has more wealth and property at stake [which is where the military comes in] and has more money at stake [paying the police service to protect]).
: Does the phrase 'to each according to their need, from each according to their ability to pay' seem similar here?
It does, however, when it is put into its appropriate context it has no application in this area.
: : 14. All the citizens have a right to decide, either personally or by their representatives, as to the necessity of the public contribution; to grant this freely; to know to what uses it is put; and to fix the proportion, the mode of assessment and of collection and the duration of the taxes.
: Exactly how many people have a say in the Pentagon's budget...?
Just for the record I do not support the Pentagon and it's "budget" ($500 per toilet seat!).
My proposition for this would be having a checklist that allocates where you want your taxes spent. Obviously there would be some default ones like police force and judical system, but a person should be able to choose whether they want their taxes being spent on the road system or the park servies or education.
: : These were taken from the Declaration of the Rights of Man penned by the French National Association.
: And, as artificial constructs go, they're pretty good ones; an attempt to produce a socialized state.
: This is an unusual step for you, David; you've said effectively that you think that everyone is fundamentally equal and that all should pay towards the socialised state according to their need...
Basically I believe that everyone should have the same rights. They should be considered equal in the eyes of the law. This is not to say that everyone is equal in every way. There will always be superficial differences. Some people might be more apt at a certain task than others and some people might be inclined towards other pursuits.
I wouldn't consider the above to be a socialized state, however, I am not too concerned with ideology. All I care about is people have the same rights, having them protected, and being free to pursue whatever they wish so long as they do not infringe on other people's rights.