• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Should gov't maximize opportunity for the smart, or protection for the vulnerable?

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,383
1,013
126
When the options can't be reconciled, which should government's role be - to pursue policies that maximize opportunity for the best and brightest, or seek to serve as the protector of the weak, poor, and disadvantaged? This isn't a theoretical discussion - Social Security is a good example. For those who are financially savvy, creating "personal accounts" and allowing them to manage their own money would be an unqualified boon. But for those who aren't money-smart, giving them control over their social security dollars would be an unmitigated disaster. Likewise with many other policies and programs, where those with smarts and maturity could do far better if given the same level of federal benefits, with far more control over how to use them, and others would probably waste their benefit money and be in the payday loan store the next day.

While I figure many opinions may break down by party lines, as a person who leans libertarian this is a difficult question for me. How do you come down on this question?
 

JS80

Lifer
Oct 24, 2005
26,260
4
81
Government should treat everyone equally by not getting involved in mostly anything.
 
Dec 30, 2004
12,554
2
76
Government should treat everyone equally by not getting involved in mostly anything.
/thread

it should not protect the vulnerable, it should only remove all barriers in the vulnerable's way.
Example: bible said not to pick up any wheat you dropped while picking the field. This was to be left for the poor, who could come by and pick up the leftover wheat, and have food.
This is because you were supposed to work for it. God did not give the command "go back a second time and pick it up and if there are people who won't work but still need food then give it to them".

/thread2
 
Last edited:

MJinZ

Diamond Member
Nov 4, 2009
8,192
0
0
A government is an entity representing the will of the people.

Should or shouldn't is relative. Should we do these things? Should China do these things? Should Ancient Greece do these things?

If your people believes in helping others, then that's fine. If your people believes only helping the deserved, the strong, or the self, that's fine too.

The question is what you believe, and that's all that matters. If your cause is worthy, then people will listen. People might change. If it is not, then nothing is lost.
 

SamurAchzar

Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2006
2,422
1
76
Government should treat everyone equally by not getting involved in mostly anything.
This is probably the essence of "maximizing opportunity", because where there is no government, there's room for personal ventures.
Obviously when you treat everyone equally, the strong will prosper.

Anyway, MJinZ has it dead on, that depends on where you're coming from. One thing that I would like to see is US granting more power to decisions on the state level, so people would have more options for living in a society that's more in tune with their values and beliefs (e.g. gay marriage, drugs, and of course economic issues).

Ultimately, though, without the strong there will be no money to pay to keep the weak afloat, so the inherent balance is clear (at least economically).
 

JS80

Lifer
Oct 24, 2005
26,260
4
81
A government is an entity representing the will of the people.

Should or shouldn't is relative. Should we do these things? Should China do these things? Should Ancient Greece do these things?

If your people believes in helping others, then that's fine. If your people believes only helping the deserved, the strong, or the self, that's fine too.

The question is what you believe, and that's all that matters. If your cause is worthy, then people will listen. People might change. If it is not, then nothing is lost.
Government is not an entity that represents the will of the people. Government is a small group of people wielding power given by the MINORITY of the population to wack each other off in a circle jerk.
 

exdeath

Lifer
Jan 29, 2004
13,679
10
81
When the options can't be reconciled, which should government's role be
To accept that things can't be reconciled because people are different, allow people the individual right to be different, and protect everyones equal right to do their own thing without fear of loss of life, liberty, or property caused by others without just cause (eg: the defense of life, liberty, and property from someone else who initiated an unwelcome infrindgement)

That is the basis of liberty, and the role of government is simply to protect liberty. Nothing more.

There is nothing wrong with not finding middle ground because it's ok to have differing views. Governments role is to be neutral and keep the peace so that each is free to embody his/her own view, not to take a side and butcher both views with a comprimise and try to force everyone to be the same.

eg: if you don't like gays, hate guns, and are concerned about the environment, then you have a right to not be forced to be gay, a right to not buy a gun, and a right to drive a Prius without anyone being able to stop you. However, COMPRIMISE comes in the form that you likewise have no right to prohibit, via by law or other means, someone else from being gay, owning a gun, or driving a Hummer. You don't have to agree with it, you just have to sit there and accept it.

Government is intended to keep the peace and allow everyone to be different, the upholding of individual liberty, not what it has become, a vehicle for 51% of the people to use anonymous force to enact their views and take away the rights of the other 49%.
 
Last edited:

Argo

Lifer
Apr 8, 2000
10,045
0
0
A government is an entity representing the will of the people.

Should or shouldn't is relative. Should we do these things? Should China do these things? Should Ancient Greece do these things?

If your people believes in helping others, then that's fine. If your people believes only helping the deserved, the strong, or the self, that's fine too.

The question is what you believe, and that's all that matters. If your cause is worthy, then people will listen. People might change. If it is not, then nothing is lost.
That's not very practical because people will never believe in the same thing. The best you could do is follow the rule of majority, but even then you have a problem as majority tends to change over time. So you end up in a position we are now, where we change our direction every couple of years.
 

Argo

Lifer
Apr 8, 2000
10,045
0
0
To accept that things can't be reconciled because people are different, allow people the individual right to be different, and protect everyones equal right to do their own thing without fear of loss of life, liberty, or property caused by others without just cause (eg: the defense of life, liberty, and property from someone else who initiated an unwelcome infrindgement)

That is the basis of liberty, and the role of government is simply to protect liberty. Nothing more.

There is nothing wrong with not finding middle ground because it's ok to have differing views. Governments role is to be neutral and keep the peace so that each is free to embody his/her own view, not to take a side and butcher both views with a comprimise and try to force everyone to be the same.

eg: if you don't like gays, hate guns, and are concerned about the environment, then you have a right to not be forced to be gay, a right to not buy a gun, and a right to drive a Prius without anyone being able to stop you. However, COMPRIMISE comes in the form that you likewise have no right to prohibit, via by law or other means, someone else from being gay, owning a gun, or driving a Hummer. You don't have to agree with it, you just have to sit there and accept it.

Government is intended to keep the peace and allow everyone to be different, the upholding of individual liberty, not what it has become, a vehicle for 51% of the people to use anonymous force to enact their views and take away the rights of the other 49%.
Amen brother. Unfortunately, neither right nor left realize that.
 

Throckmorton

Lifer
Aug 23, 2007
16,830
1
0
I sure as hell don't want weak old people dying in the street. That negatively impacts me, not only because I have a conscience, but because I'd have to add some more skid plates to my Jeep to keep the corpses from causing damage.
 

JS80

Lifer
Oct 24, 2005
26,260
4
81
I sure as hell don't want weak old people dying in the street. That negatively impacts me, not only because I have a conscience, but because I'd have to add some more skid plates to my Jeep to keep the corpses from causing damage.
Yea, because in the days prior to Medicare, old people were dying in the streets.
 

First

Lifer
Jun 3, 2002
10,518
271
136
There seem to be an inordinate amount of conservatives here with logical consistency problems; one moment they don't want the feds intruding on citizen's rights and the next they want the feds to maximize only the strong and unassailable among us. While simultaneously telling us the federal gov't can't get anything right including providing healthcare for 30M people (which they're not of course, they're merely handing the reins over to private insurers and acting as a middleman subsidizer, which yes the federal gov't can do quite effectively and easily).

Personally, anything the federal gov't can do (ideally small) to equalize the free market over-exuberance that creates inefficient market outcomes (and only in those cases, for the most part), they should jump at.
 

Argo

Lifer
Apr 8, 2000
10,045
0
0
Personally, anything the federal gov't can do (ideally small) to equalize the free market over-exuberance that creates inefficient market outcomes (and only in those cases, for the most part), they should jump at.
Can you give an example?
 

First

Lifer
Jun 3, 2002
10,518
271
136
How about if the feds had taken preventative steps to keep Wells Fargo, BOA, WaMu, JP Morgan Chase, AIG, Citi, Lehman, Goldman, etc. from taking varying degrees of extraordinary risk that benefitted a clear minority of bankers and wealthy Americans and in turn not instead a clear majority of middle class Americans that could have benefited from not having their 401K's used as gambling chips.
 

Sclamoz

Guest
Sep 9, 2009
975
0
0
When the options can't be reconciled, which should government's role be - to pursue policies that maximize opportunity for the best and brightest, or seek to serve as the protector of the weak, poor, and disadvantaged? This isn't a theoretical discussion - Social Security is a good example. For those who are financially savvy, creating "personal accounts" and allowing them to manage their own money would be an unqualified boon. But for those who aren't money-smart, giving them control over their social security dollars would be an unmitigated disaster. Likewise with many other policies and programs, where those with smarts and maturity could do far better if given the same level of federal benefits, with far more control over how to use them, and others would probably waste their benefit money and be in the payday loan store the next day.

While I figure many opinions may break down by party lines, as a person who leans libertarian this is a difficult question for me. How do you come down on this question?
What if we ask the same question about the recent mine disaster that happened in West Virginia. If we have enforced safety regulations that are enforced it would theoretically lower the profit for the owner of the mine but protect the workers. Without them more workers die but profits go up.

To me it seems obvious simply by looking at real life examples that we need regulations and protections.
 

Hacp

Lifer
Jun 8, 2005
13,923
1
81
What if we ask the same question about the recent mine disaster that happened in West Virginia. If we have enforced safety regulations that are enforced it would theoretically lower the profit for the owner of the mine but protect the workers. Without them more workers die but profits go up.

To me it seems obvious simply by looking at real life examples that we need regulations and protections.
The workers know that there is a risk to the job. Workers are free to find another job if they so choose. Or they can choose to stick to mining.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY