Old 10-27-2011, 10:39 AM   #46
lostsheep
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Philboid Studge wrote View Post
This is pretty much the current U.S. system, but with different %'s (although the top marginal tax rate was 90% in 1950 [it's 35% today]). And of course there are loopholes ... kind of like your #3...
Well, I was thinking that it would be fairer, in that everyone pays the same for the same amount earned. As it is now, you pay a higher rate on all your earned money in higher tax brackets. This is more important for people who earn middle amounts of money, I think.

But I don't think #3 is a loophole. Corporations are not people, and income tax doesn't make sense for them. If the money is being reinvested in research, or infrastructure, then this helps the economy. If the money is being funneled off to individuals, then it is not generally beneficial to the society as a whole. Therefore, if 1 million is invested in research vs. being given to a CEO as a bonus, it would be not taxed in the first case, but it would be taxed in the 2nd case.

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Old 10-27-2011, 10:41 AM   #47
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  1. Reestablish true democracy in the USA - one person, one vote.
  2. 10 % Maximum Flat Tax on every man, women, child, and organization that makes money - no exemptions, no loop holes. (If a government cannot operate on this amount, then it is probably the wrong kind of government.)
  3. Tax all religious organizations as the sleazy businesses and political organizations that they are.
  4. Outlaw the present criminal for-profit military and prison rackets.
  5. End all vice laws and other legislation of morality.
I like it except for #2. I think multimillionaires can cough up more than 10%.

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Old 10-27-2011, 10:43 AM   #48
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My 5, hmmmm, let me think.

1) An amendment overturning the 1886 ruling declaring corporations person-hood and having equal rights under the 14th amendment.
2) Complete overhaul of campaign finance laws, probably with the elimination of Super PAC's. Laws requiring full transparency of where every dollar of a political campaign comes from. With #1 this would eliminate the notion of money=speech.
3) A new Telecommunications Act that would establish Net Neutrality and reform some sections of the 1996 Telecommunications act, particularly Titles 3 and 5 (laws regarding station ownership and obscenity). The 1996 act has had the opposite effect intended, instead of increasing competition broadcast ownership has been increasingly monopolized decreasing competition and limiting consumer choice.
4) Overhauling of the health care system to be a system closer to that of Canada's. Universal Health Care is something this country really needs.
5) (This is from my GF) Nationalization of Animal Cruelty Laws. Currently animal cruelty is covered by state laws, and some states are lacking in their laws (or have no laws regarding animal cruelty altogether, such as WY).

I'd also reform drug laws (end the war on drugs, legalize many recreational drugs and tax the hell out of them), and end all legal status of marriage. Marriage would become a religious ceremony with no legal standing, civil unions with no discrimination regarding sexuality would be the only thing with legal standing.


Especially #5.

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Old 10-27-2011, 10:49 AM   #49
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I understand that, broadly speaking, you wish for the active prevention of cruelty to animals.

I'm taking "animals" to mean creatures with nervous systems and pain sensors, and "cruelty" to be general unnecessary suffering.

If you are an atheist and do not believe in any spiritual/supernatural realm, why do you take a position that there is any special distinction between tormenting a rock, a bacterial colony, a snail, a bunny or a bear?

I'm not arguing against your position, just seeking your rational basis for it.
If you don't mind, I'd like to defend the animal cruelty prevention idea. We generally try to prevent cruelty to humans, which are animals, so why not extend this protection to other animals?

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Old 10-27-2011, 11:08 AM   #50
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If you don't mind, I'd like to defend the animal cruelty prevention idea. We generally try to prevent cruelty to humans, which are animals, so why not extend this protection to other animals?
Laws usually only apply to humans, and in fact, humans that meet a defacto standard of mental competence. Someone in a vegetative state has, for instance, fewer rights to self-determination than a typical person. Likewise animals, deviating even further from the standards for mental competence, aren't awarded protection under the law - they aren't nominally part of 'society', in so far as such a thing actually exists.

I think what Stern is asking is why animals should be counted as members of 'society' and likewise protected under the law.

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Old 10-27-2011, 12:47 PM   #51
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I think what Stern is asking is why animals should be counted as members of 'society' and likewise protected under the law.
Many people have pets, so animals are already a large part of society. Animal Cruelty laws don't ban hunting or anything, they're the type of laws that keep puppy mills from operating or from crazy old ladies keeping 96 cats in a trailer home (that happened a couple years ago in Fargo, the smell was so awful they had to wear chemical gear to go inside. They ended up torching the trailer it was so contaminated with feces and urine). Most states already have such laws, all I'm (actually this was my GF's suggestion) is to nationalize them.

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:50 PM   #52
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:57 PM   #53
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lostsheep wrote View Post
Well, I was thinking that it would be fairer, in that everyone pays the same for the same amount earned. As it is now, you pay a higher rate on all your earned money in higher tax brackets. This is more important for people who earn middle amounts of money, I think.
lostsheep,
No, that's not how it works.

Even a billionaire pays the same amount of taxes on the first $50,000 of his income as someone who makes $50K. No matter how much you make, the taxes on the lower amounts don't increase.

For example, let's use some arbitrary numbers:
Let's say the tax rate is 10% for the first $20K, and 20% for the next $20K.

A person who makes exactly $20K, will pay $2K in taxes. If he makes $100 more ($20,100), he pays $2,020 ($2000 for the first $20K, which is 10%, and $20 for the next $100, which is 20%).

By the same token, someone who makes $40K will pay $6K in taxes ($2000 for the first $20K at 10%, and $4000 on the next $20K at 20%).

The trick is to not make the tax so high on the higher end of income that a person would lose incentive to increase their earnings. If you tax at a rate of 90%, where another million in income only generates $100K in actual take home pay, there is a much higher chance of that person not bothering, and being content with what they already make.

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Old 10-27-2011, 01:14 PM   #54
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Many people have pets, so animals are already a large part of society.
But they're not legal members of said society. They're not recognized as legal entities in and of themselves. They have no rights - they're property.

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Animal Cruelty laws don't ban hunting or anything, they're the type of laws that keep puppy mills from operating or from crazy old ladies keeping 96 cats in a trailer home
I know what they do, but Stern (and me, to a lesser extent) want you to provide some kind of rational basis for forcing said laws on people.

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Most states already have such laws, all I'm (actually this was my GF's suggestion) is to nationalize them.
If most states already have them, then what would be the benefit of nationalizing them, beyond concern-signaling?

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Old 10-27-2011, 02:05 PM   #55
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But they're not legal members of said society. They're not recognized as legal entities in and of themselves. They have no rights - they're property.
I never said they were members of society. Yet they are still a large part of society (just look at the dollars spent every year in America on pets) and play integral roles in society (as favored property).

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I know what they do, but Stern (and me, to a lesser extent) want you to provide some kind of rational basis for forcing said laws on people.
I don't think it is a very complex argument, not that it needs to be. Causing extreme suffering to animals is considered by and large to be bad (in this society). Puppy mills cause extreme suffering to animals. Therefor there should be laws prohibiting puppy mills. (for example)

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If most states already have them, then what would be the benefit of nationalizing them, beyond concern-signaling?
I think I answered this above except maybe one more step, in that some states lack animal cruelty laws, so a possibly solution is to nationalize the laws to fix this). How about you provide an argument that would allow some states to allow animal torture? (and I'm not talking about medical testing on animals, I don't believe that is torture, I'm talking about the horrid conditions in puppy mills or the conditions created by crazy cat ladies)

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:43 PM   #56
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I never said they were members of society. Yet they are still a large part of society (just look at the dollars spent every year in America on pets) and play integral roles in society (as favored property).
Both of those facts can apply (more so!) to houses, so either you think we need house-protection laws or these points are red herrings - immaterial to why you support said laws.

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Rhino wrote
I don't think it is a very complex argument, not that it needs to be. Causing extreme suffering to animals is considered by and large to be bad (in this society). Puppy mills cause extreme suffering to animals. Therefor there should be laws prohibiting puppy mills. (for example)
And we're (I'm trying not to speak for Stern here, but I think I know what he's getting at) saying that "I don't like it!" constitutes neither a rational argument nor a particularly compelling reason to interfere in peoples; lives against their will.

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Rhino wrote
I think I answered this above except maybe one more step, in that some states lack animal cruelty laws, so a possibly solution is to nationalize the laws to fix this). How about you provide an argument that would allow some states to allow animal torture?
1) Specific to the US, the Constitution probably wouldn't allow the government to infringe upon states' rights by enacting nationalized animal welfare laws. It would end up in the Supreme Court, and there's a decent chance it would lose, although its not guaranteed.

2) More broadly, the concept of federalism should apply. There's no obvious reason why this decision needs to be made at the national level - it isn't something that inherently affects people across state lines (e.g., Texas not having animal protection laws doesn't have any obvious impact on Illinois, for instance) or which states are incapable of legislating on their own (because most of them already have).

3) The absence of any kind of supporting, rational argument is sufficient in and of itself to reject legislation that forcibly interferes in peoples' lives against their will, especially at the federal level, where it's basically inescapable without leaving the country.

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Old 10-27-2011, 04:14 PM   #57
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Both of those facts can apply (more so!) to houses, so either you think we need house-protection laws or these points are red herrings - immaterial to why you support said laws.
Houses feel pain? I never knew! Where can I find the central nervous system in my house?

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And we're (I'm trying not to speak for Stern here, but I think I know what he's getting at) saying that "I don't like it!" constitutes neither a rational argument nor a particularly compelling reason to interfere in peoples; lives against their will.
One could make the same argument for pedophilia.

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1) Specific to the US, the Constitution probably wouldn't allow the government to infringe upon states' rights by enacting nationalized animal welfare laws. It would end up in the Supreme Court, and there's a decent chance it would lose, although its not guaranteed.

2) More broadly, the concept of federalism should apply. There's no obvious reason why this decision needs to be made at the national level - it isn't something that inherently affects people across state lines (e.g., Texas not having animal protection laws doesn't have any obvious impact on Illinois, for instance) or which states are incapable of legislating on their own (because most of them already have).

3) The absence of any kind of supporting, rational argument is sufficient in and of itself to reject legislation that forcibly interferes in peoples' lives against their will, especially at the federal level, where it's basically inescapable without leaving the country.
I could start talking about how this could fall under federal jurisdiction from the possibility of inter-state commerce, but I don't really care. I put down the anti-cruelty law as a suggestion from my girlfriend. That you are pro puppy torture doesn't really surprise me.

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:41 PM   #58
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:00 PM   #59
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The question is, why stop having dominion over animals, and not viruses & bacteria. Certain diseases are now almost extinct. Rats and squirrels are seen as pests by some for the dammage they cause, maybe we should write them strong letters to ask them to behave more socially? I don't believe in any unnecessary suffering or killing a population to exticntion without good reason. People must accept some people enjoy meat and also like beauty products, as well as cures for serious diseases. Those who do not are the minority.
The question also is why not express dominion over animals to the extent of causing arbitrarily brutal suffering. On what basis do you think there is a level or limit to be set?

In the wild, the Cheeta does not care nor is held responsible for catching and slowly eating alive the very last antelope of its species. When 99.9% of all species that ever existed have gone extinct, by natural rules, why should humans care if they cause members of an animal species to suffer grave torment?

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Old 10-27-2011, 05:02 PM   #60
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"Good reason"
'Majority rulez'

Majority says popcorn is an unnatural abomination so you can't have any. Screw the majority.

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