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Ha! That's perfect.
I agree that it's not just the knowledge that makes you money that has value. I do think though that as the cost of education rises more and more people will forgo a liberal education in favor of one with a high return (money wise).
I think you could also make a case that a lack of a well rounded education will make people less interested in the political / economic forces that led them (me) to a vocational education in the first place. Less interest, less involvement, less control.
I'm sure those dissidents had it coming.
Re: your second point - Homer is referring to working as an employee. From that standpoint he is dead on. I think the national mythos you refer to focuses mainly on the idea of entrepreneurship. In this regard the meritocracy idea is viable. You either succeed or fail. Trust me, there's not much coasting.
Try, Libertarianism: Individual responsibility, minimal government, states rights, sound money, fiscal conservatism.
At every turn, government removes parent choice from education.
If you ever get a chance check out what happened to the DC Voucher program.
From the article:
"The groundbreaking federal voucher program that enables nearly 2,000 D.C. children to attend private schools is facing an uncertain future in the Democrat-controlled Congress and may well be heading into its final year of operation, according to officials and supporters of the program.
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said this week that she is working on a plan to phase out the controversial D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, the first in the country to provide federal money for vouchers. Norton said she wants to proceed in a way that will not harm recipients. But she added that she regarded the program, narrowly approved in 2004 for five years by the then-Republican majority, as on its last legs.
"We have to protect the children, who are the truly innocent victims here," said Norton, who like many Democrats opposes vouchers as a threat to public school systems. "But I can tell you that the Democratic Congress is not about to extend this program." "
Then check out the statistics on how those in the program performed vs those in public schools.
Gatto is completely correct. Those kids performed better than their public school counterparts and the $7500 voucher credit cost the taxpayers less than if the kids had gone to public schools.
Colony on the moon? Definitely.
Humans on Mars? Sure.
The USA unable to resupply it's own space station?
Armstrong will be dead before we get back to the moon.
Of course you are right, it could burn up. But having people there waiting might actually increase the likelihood of a supply ship successfully landing. The colonists could set up a homing beacon that the supply ship might lock on to, eliminating many navigation problems over the long journey.
I think it's funny that this is a serious for a Mars mission but the "Mars Direct" guy was labeled as an extreme kook. Mars direct planned to launch a return vehicle and fuel processing station (unmanned) to refine fuel from the Hydrogen in the Mars atmosphere. This way, the first astronauts would not even leave Earth until the return ship were safely there and fully fueled.
Combining the two ideas, the ready fueled return vehicle could itself be the homing beacon that the manned ship locks onto.
I suggest that the elimination of the personal income tax would set the scope of my government back a mere 5 years and you paint me as an anarchist? Seriously.
Think of the cost benefit analysis. 99% of the people in the USA would not even notice the change in scope but would gain over 20% of their income back. What would stimulate the economy more, bailouts and car purchase programs or $1.1 Trillion invested back into the economy at the local level?
And yes, I realize that tax is influenced by many factors. The effective spending point is debatable. Look up "the broken window fallacy of economics." Government is great at breaking your leg, giving you a crutch and saying "see, if it wasn't for government, you wouldn't be able to walk."
What I am saying is that taxes will go no where but up over the long term. More data means more programs can be refined, improved & expanded. More expansion means more taxes, which leads to the need for more data.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
As far as taxes go.
Last year the federal government received $1.1 trillion in revenue from personal income tax.
The budget submitted by President Obama for 2010 is $3.6 trillion.
If you eliminated the personal income tax the federal budget would have to shrink to $2.5 trillion.
What year, you ask, was the federal budget last at $2.5 trillion?
Why that was way back in 2004. ($2.4 trillion actually but what's $100 Billion between friends?)
Does anyone seriously think that the size and scope of the federal government was too small back in 2004? No more personal income tax means less reason to track people personally. Not no reason of course, there is always a reason for governments to track their citizens, I am just saying the less the better.
As far as your thought that government is not motivated by money... I think that's naive. They are both equally motivated by money. At least with industry, you can vote it away with your money quicker than you can an administration. Most new businesses fail within the first year. They have to actually bring value to make it longer than that. Not so with governments.
And I would not want to pay taxes in my country either but I bet they are still lower than yours.
Strange, I assume that you think your government will be more efficient with the national ID card and mine less efficient without it. Do you think as government becomes more efficient your taxes will go down? USA mean personal income tax <30%, UK personal income tax - mid 30's, Sweden approaches 50%.
I prefer slower progress & inefficient government to outrageously high taxes.
"How is a government supposed to do everything it needs to do if it cannot accurately keep track of its citizens?"
Once that statement is accepted, everything you say follows logically. But recheck your initial assumption. What exactly does government "need" to do? I am not asking what is your government currently doing. I ask what does it absolutely need to do. Detecting tax & benefit fraud for instance. If people relied on government for less benefits they would probably pay less taxes. There, I just reduced what your government needs to do by two things.
I don't live in the UK or Sweden so I don't know everything your government is currently handling. I would be willing to bet that there are many things that your government is doing that could easily be handled better by private industry.
Of course the government needs a way to quickly and easily identify people... It's doing so much for so many. Having the national ID will allow it do do even more, leading to ever increasing levels of information to be collected about you along with new and interesting ways for it to be used.
Despite the current economic conditions, times are relatively good now. Goods and services are readily available and the national ID is needed to better dole them out. How will the national id be used when / if times are worse?
I am from the US and we have our own national id legislation. What you have now, we will have soon.
Privacy and anonymity don't scare me, efficient governments do.
The bill is HR 1207 - The Federal Reserve Transparency Act.
Like you said, the bill has over 280 co sponsors in the house. It has been on deck for about 6+ months and has not been brought to the floor for a vote. Barney Frank is the chairman of the House committee on financial services in which it now resides.
By contrast the "Cap & Trade" bill had 2 co sponsors and was introduced, reviewed by committee, brought to the floor and passed in less than a month.
In my opinion, HR 1207 this is the most important piece of legislation out there right now. Whether your left or right, many, if not all, of the issues people are complaining about (war, imperialism, government takeover of health care, printing money and dumping it into the economy etc...) would simply not be possible if the Fed were under control.
Auditing them is the first step.
Write your congressman & senator. It really does work.
I think I've got it... (your point i mean)
1 - Cap & Trade makes it so difficult for businesses to operate in the EU that they need to relocate to countries with no restrictions...
2 - This helps the EU generate far less CO2...
3 - Businesses are then forced to shut down and lay off EU workers...
4 - EU workers are then able to take loads more "vacation"...
5 - Therefore, as a direct result of cap & trade, EU citizens are living 6 months longer, albeit unemployed...
6 - PROFIT! oh wait. that part probably doesn't enter into it at all...
Cheap shot, I know, but if you are going to lob them over the plate people are going to swing!
Life expectancy USA = 78.11 years
Average days vacation = 13
Life expectancy EU = 78.67 years
Average days vacation = 23
I am not sure where you are going with this but from what I can see, still not a good argument for the cap & trade policy that the EU has implemented (phase 1 being from 2005 to 2007) and that the USA has just passed after less than a months debate in congress.
I don't think you can make an argument that within 4 years of implementation, the EU's cap & trade program has caused any effect on the life expectancy of its citizens.