: : Ahhhh, but who recieves the "booty" is the definition of whether its "good" or "bad."
: No it isnt, if its stolen then it doesn make the staeling ok bcause its used for something you personally support!
Hey, its not stealing when the government does it and you get something back in return: civil society. Crooks and criminals do not provide anything of value, they contribute nothing to society and hence are considered reprehensible. The redisitribution of wealth is not tehft, its social justice.
: The economy shouldnt be 'fixed' by elites or quasi 'egalitarian' interest groups.
Shouldn't, couldn't, wouldn't...there will be fixing, however one define the term, regardless of what system is in power. The very creation of laws and regulations create newe social mores, understandings, relationships, etc. that favor one group over another. The question is matter of how these groups are favored (means) and what groups are favored (ends).
: : Besides "booty" is a legal definition; it would not take too much fiddling with laws to determine who gets the wealth and how much in ANY system: lassie faire capitalist, mixed economies, socialist, etc.
: I wouldnt really disagree that corrupting the law with subjective relativism would produce bad outcomes (for all except the lawmakers)
Ahem, ALL measurement is relative, relative to man. Man IS the measure of all things, unless you desire to measure everything against teh interest of orangutangs but that would be just wacky....
: : When you get right down to it evryone's on welfare, everyone derives some benefit from the government the only question is who gets more.
: The only benefit one would derive equally is the protection against force.
Now this staement is a load of libertarian-Randian crap. Not only are there a lot more functions of government that have been recognized philosophically, socially, constitutionally, and histoprically but the very statement itself is untrue. There is not equal protection under the law now nor will there ever be in any libertarian paradice. Reason: the law and judicial system is biased in favor of the rich and slated against teh poor and minorities. The poor and minority groups recive different treatment from the police and the law corts. The poor can not hire lawyers as well as the rich. The rich have money and can corrupt the leagal system or in otrher ways pull political strings, call upon favors, or manipulate the media., Teh poor man, by definition, has no such resources.
In a libertarian-Randian paradice it is reasonable to assume, as past history ahs shown, that nake capitalism (or whatever approximation one gets of it) results in more and more disparities of wealth. It is impossible to concieve of a government that does not disenfranchise one part of its citizenry due to these very disparities.
Besides there are other benefits. You produce something, I produce something, I need something, you need something, but neither of us can provide it. This is where government comes in; it take what we can produce (in the form of taxes) and provides us all with services that we can use but can't trade for at all, or get enough of (education, vaccination, basic scientific research, infrastructure, health regualtion, environmental regulation, civil rights, human rights, healthcare, etc.).
:Throwing ones arms up and sayign "we all get a bit" doesnt alleviate the fact that in order for welfare to be given it must first be taken, and that for welfare to exist there must be some who lose out.
What is there to alleviate? Suffering, poverty, need? These seem like perfectly acceptable things to alleviate and seem a lot more important than the fact that some poor little rich guy has to pay his taxes. There is no excuse for poverty in a developed nation, certainly not in a country like America.
Besides, I think a lot of how one judges a country, system, society is how one deals with the most incompetent, nonproductive, defective elements of it. What do we do with those that can not ever function in a market system or can not function sufficiently in a system.
: You cannot take whats is not there. the only other way is to, for instance, take 10% from everyone and then give it back claiming with political grin that you are 'helping'
First off, taking 10% from everyone is a regressive tax system that is also procyclical i.e. reinforces businesses cycles. Flat taxes are stupid for everyone except the rich and a system like that is unfair. Besides taxes are given back in the form of services and goods that could NEVER be provided in a lassie faire system.
McSpotlight: Ooops, sorry about the previous post getting through.