They have to do this because
... California can't raise taxes enough, thanks to Proposition 13.
And I suppose the person with 50k in credit card debt and a house in foreclosure is also in that situation because they can't raise enough income?
I'm sure it has nothing to do with the million dollar house and their insatiable desire for new goods. A good rule of thumb for people (and states for this matter) in debt is to first create a budget that reduces spending below ones income. Not to figure out a way to make more money. This is not rocket science.
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If you want to keep using Somalia as the small-government-advocate's dream, fine, it is asinine, but that's your choice.
Why don't we take a look at America and its laws, its constitution, and its history. Where do you find this freedom to create massive social programs riddled with debt, to restrict what schools one may attend, to make someone's race or genitalia the criteria for a job over their qualifications, to take over a private corporation or dictate what one may be paid, the list is endless, who crowned you king to make these decisions? Is this freedom?
These are simple questions, yet you are unable to answer them, you simply feel that because you are able to elect like-minded people into office that suddenly all restrictions and checks can be thrown out the window, that you become free to take over the lives of those you mean to serve. Your elected officials are not tyrants, they must still abide by our laws and our set precedent and must exercise prudence in making decisions rather than pushing with full force their radical agendas. And this is apparently not clear.
If you think "America is not necessarily the best at anything" then name for me a country where more freedoms are actually guaranteed by law than this country. Many people take their freedom for granted, as many willingly give up their freedoms for perceived security. It is fine to have the debates as to what level of social programs are necessary, or how much control the government should be able to hold over a private corporation, or what speech is not considered protected, debate is what led to this country being founded as it was, I'm sure you understand this. Even the people who wrote our constitution fiercely debated each issue, and those on both sides raised many concerns with the constitution that they ultimately ratified.
I'm sure that when people who hold views differing from yours have been in office you have appreciated the checks and balances that exist in our form of government, yet why when someone is on your side do you feel that all that may simply be tossed aside?
This (America) is the best choice the world has to offer in terms of a limited government and a federalist system whereby we the people may actually govern themselves at the lowest level possible for the particular matter. Towns can't deal with foreign affairs or interstate commerce but they can create their own hiring practices and policies, for example. And the beauty in that is if the people in this Montana town want to hire only those who will give up every piece of personal information then by all means, but I won't be living there. And likely those who do live there will make changes to their elected officials or leave the town. That my friend is referred to as freedom, having the government make all my decisions for me and compelling my participation is not. This "better choice" that we deserve is here, and we are hanging on to it by threads trying to keep it that way. I counter that if you feel you deserve a "better choice" i.e. a socialist utopia, may I suggest many of the fine countries Europe has to offer? You may still even access slashdot, of course that is if the government acting in your best interest deems it appropriate.
And FYI, the problem with operating a "socialist collective" in a free market system is that in order to do that you must first demolish the free market.