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I forgot about Gore. Good point.
What frustrates me are those scientists who publish peer-reviewed articles claiming climate change is real and primarily caused by man. What do they know, anyway. Those darn scientists. They seem to be everywhere, and it is frustrating. It seems that for every good non-peer-reviewed study that pokes holes in the theory, there are a hundred peer-reviewed studies that support it. This is a conspiracy of the scientific journals.
And then there are the dubious organizations whose motives are all about money and politics. The American Meteorological Association, Association for the
Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Meteorological Society, American Society of Agronomy, American Society of Plant Biologists, American Statistical Association, Association of Ecosystem Research Centers, Botanical Society of America. Crop Science Society of America, Ecological Society of America, Natural Science Collections Alliance, Organization of Biological Field Stations, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Society of Systematic Biologists, Soil Science Society of America, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and on and on and on.
All of these have put out statements in support of climate change science and its man-made causes, but what do these organizations know about science? Nothing! Plus there are the universities, which are mostly a brew of steaming socialism anyway. We know what their agenda is.
They are all in on it, I tell you! This all started with Obama.
I'm waiting...this is exciting...what are we waiting for? Whatever it is, I'll wait with you.
Yes it is pathetic. That's what happens when you have a Congress that refuses to compromise and work with the President. We could be in much better shape now if the House Republicans were more like the Senate Republicans, which, as I write this, isn't saying much.
That's fine. I really wasn't following you on the violence thing.
On your most recent post, though, I will say that our education system takes on more challenges than most countries in an attempt to educate "all" kids, as opposed to selected kids, like they do in much of Europe and Asia. Even with that added challenge, most communities rate their schools as good-to-excellent, but believe education is crumbling "elsewhere."
Society has changed though, and I don't think we're sending as many focused kids to school with support at home as we used to. That does have an impact, no doubt.
Regardless of our differences, I appreciate your civility and wish you well.
Continued from above: PearlY, while I must stipulate that companies like G.E. pay no taxes and Mitt Romney paid a lower percentage of his taxes (14%?) than many of us middle class folks, I do acknowledge that most wealthy people pay more in taxes than poorer people. Our progressive tax code is designed to make that happen. (Even a flat tax should make that happen.)
Do poorer people get most of the benefit from the wealthy people's money? That's complicated, but I'm going to say no. In your example, Bill Gates doesn't receive a direct benefit from his education tax dollars if he sends his kids to private school, but indirectly he does benefit enormously if we have a thriving public education system. So, how much of his $40 billion dollars net worth can be attributed to our public education system versus the $10 million ? (I don't know the number) Gates has personally spent on Washington state public schools. I'm guessing it's a huge net gain for him to have an educated work force AND an educated customer base.
Take the Koch brothers for another example. Of the $10 million (?) they spend each year in taxes, how much goes to the military that protects their wealth? Compare someone with a net worth of $5,000 to someone with a net worth of $5 billion. If everything were privatized, how much more would the $5 billionaire have to spend on fire protection, police protection, and military protection to protect his assets than the poor person with a net worth of $5,000? Answer: a lot more.
Does Sam Walton's family benefit from our highway system more than I do? Yes. A LOT more.
That said, do the Walton's need a welfare safety net as much as I might? Nope. I need that more.
Also worth noting here that the 8%+ payroll taxes "everyone" pays are really only taxed up to the first $100,000 or so. Thus, someone making $60,000 per year pays 8% in payroll taxes, whereas someone making $1 million pays less than 1%. If you make $20 million, like Mitt Romney, (and assuming these were "wages" which they mostly were not) you pay less than .05% for payroll taxes, compared to the 8% I pay. This fact often gets left out of the discussion.
All in all, the wealthy have benefited - and continue to benefit tremendously from our nation's infrastructure of roads and services. There fore, I do not believe it is fair to say that taxes are simply a way of the rich being forced to give to the poor. That is a happy narrative for any wealthy folks who would delude themselves that they got where they are purely on their own efforts and initiative - and with no luck or help from anyone else.
Surely many wealthy people - especially the self-made wealthy - deserve a great deal of credit, but not all of it. Their tax dollars have also created a system of education, roads, communication, health, and protection - all of which enabled them to thrive.
PearlY, in one of the embedded replies above you asked the following (I'll reply to each in all-caps, but please know that I'm not shouting):
YOU WROTE: Do you agree that:
a) our current system of taxation taxes some individuals much more than others, (YES) and the inequality bears no relation to the use of services by those individuals? (NOT NECESSARILY) Examples: Bill Gates probably has paid far more in taxes to support public schools than you have, even though his three children will probably receive a private education and all five of yours may have received public educations. You and I may have paid taxes for food stamps, public housing, Medicaid, etc., even though we've never used and do not qualify for such services.
b) it is therefore fair to say that this system of taxation takes from some people to give to others? (SURE, BUT IT ISN'T AS SIMPLE AS "RICH TO POOR")
c) payment of taxes is compulsory, not voluntary, and the failure to pay taxes as imposed can result in the deprivation of liberty and property, (YES) and in extreme cases, such as resistance to these deprivations, the deprivation of life? (LIKE PRISON? LIKE DEATH? YOU DON'T GET THE DEATH PENALTY FOR FAILURE TO PAY TAXES...ASK WILLIE NELSON.)
d) it is therefore fair to say that this system of taxation is forcible, i.e., under threat of force or violence? (IT'S FORCIBLE UNDER THREAT OF PROSECUTION)
I'LL EXPLAIN MORE IN NEXT POST...
I use "violence" to describe a sort of physical altercation or assault, but if you mean "enforced by law," then yes, I believe our laws should be enforced by law. I support that notion. If you drink and drive, you should be arrested and your car impounded. If I refuse to pay my taxes, then there should be consequences for that as well.
Do I acknowledge that we almost always have a majority instead of a unanimous consensus for the laws that are passed? Yes. Those who lose are obligated to follow those laws, even if they didn't support them. I'm not sure how else it could work.
You have many blessings, some of which you have clearly earned with hard work and smart decisions, and some of which have certainly come to you through fortuitous events and circumstances.
What you describe, however, has not been available to 85% of Americans. Yes, 15% of the population has been without insurance, but a larger group has been on the verge of vulnerability through job loss, pre-existing conditions, and forms of poverty that are often beyond their control.
"There but for the grace of God go I," is a phrase that keeps me centered. Someday it could be me, and as much as you think you have your ducks in a row, none of us are completely safe from misfortune.
Apology accepted, though I wasn't offended. I believe the policies I advocate for should not be forced on others unless - through our democratic process - those policies are enacted into laws. I should not "get what I want" unless "what I want" gets turned into laws through a process validated by our Constitution. The same goes for laws I don't like.
My judgment on most of what I advocate for is that we get back more than we invest in the first place. Fixing Wa-Hi is a good example of this. Yes, there is an upfront cost, but I believe there is also better return when we invest intelligently in education.
As for "threatening" folks, I may choose to not to pay my taxes or follow certain laws, but there are consequences for that choice that I should be willing to accept. Thoreau did this, as did Gandhi and MLK, Jr.. I don't like every place where my taxes go, but then it is incumbent on me to fight to elect representation that will make change. (I'm not sure I follow your use of the word "violence.")
Sadly, there are parts of the system that feel broken...or nearly so. Big money interests have a far greater voice than you or I. Much of the media, which is supposed to keep the government honest by keeping us informed, is deeply flawed by its corporate interests, its blatant biases, and its shallow reporting.
I'm not sure if I've answered your question or not.
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