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In the last election I voted for the conservatives for various reasons. However in the next election I would consider labour because of the cuts. However a conservative voter would respond that the cuts are necessary because of the debt the country is in. How would a labour voter respond to this?

 

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4 hours ago, Gunnersauraus said:

In the last election I voted for the conservatives for various reasons. However in the next election I would consider labour because of the cuts. However a conservative voter would respond that the cuts are necessary because of the debt the country is in. How would a labour voter respond to this?

 

The economic theory behind public spending is that pumping money into the economy (or reducing tax) gives companies more money to expand their operation and create jobs. In turn, more people are getting paid for these jobs which leads to more people having disposable income and spending more money on products, which means companies make more profit, can afford to expand even more, creating more jobs, and the cycle continues.

This is what Labour aim to achieve. I find it very difficult to put into words the practical effects of this, because it is complicated enough in the first place before you consider the massive uncertainty that has preceded, and will follow Brexit. Even when circumstances are stable it is hard to predict how people and the economy behave given more or less money in certain people's pockets, but that's at least the general idea.

Fewer cuts mean that schools, hospitals, police etc. should be better equipped. This should lead to a better educated, healthier and safer population, which should in turn lead to a flourishing country and economy. However if all of our best educated people leave the country due to Brexit or other things, or the money simply doesn't get managed or invested wisely by those sectors, the country will never flourish and the government will be in debt having spent all that money and not seen the benefit.

It's a difficult one. If I still lived in England I'd always vote Labour as a teacher, but from a neutral, objective point of view, it's very difficult to say which is the best approach these days. Even though cuts or no cuts is an important issue, the majority of voters that swing from Conservative to Labour in the next election will be due to May and her party's perceived failure in negotiating Brexit rather than equally important issues like public spending, because that's what politics is.

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22 minutes ago, RandoEFC said:

The economic theory behind public spending is that pumping money into the economy (or reducing tax) gives companies more money to expand their operation and create jobs. In turn, more people are getting paid for these jobs which leads to more people having disposable income and spending more money on products, which means companies make more profit, can afford to expand even more, creating more jobs, and the cycle continues.

This is what Labour aim to achieve. I find it very difficult to put into words the practical effects of this, because it is complicated enough in the first place before you consider the massive uncertainty that has preceded, and will follow Brexit. Even when circumstances are stable it is hard to predict how people and the economy behave given more or less money in certain people's pockets, but that's at least the general idea.

Fewer cuts mean that schools, hospitals, police etc. should be better equipped. This should lead to a better educated, healthier and safer population, which should in turn lead to a flourishing country and economy. However if all of our best educated people leave the country due to Brexit or other things, or the money simply doesn't get managed or invested wisely by those sectors, the country will never flourish and the government will be in debt having spent all that money and not seen the benefit.

It's a difficult one. If I still lived in England I'd always vote Labour as a teacher, but from a neutral, objective point of view, it's very difficult to say which is the best approach these days. Even though cuts or no cuts is an important issue, the majority of voters that swing from Conservative to Labour in the next election will be due to May and her party's perceived failure in negotiating Brexit rather than equally important issues like public spending, because that's what politics is.

So is this perhaps why a labour government wasn't ideal during the recession? Because in a recession you need to not spend as much?

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23 minutes ago, Gunnersauraus said:

So is this perhaps why a labour government wasn't ideal during the recession? Because in a recession you need to not spend as much?

While there was a global recession and recession is a cyclical thing so somewhat unavoidable in a sense, the previous Labour government also contributed to it by spending loads of money on stuff which didn't stimulate the economy. E.g. subsidising university fees so that almost anyone could get a degree was a good idea in theory as it leads to a more skilled workforce, however, for every £20,000 the government spent making university affordable for a doctor or entrepreneur who would otherwise have been unable to afford their degree, they spent £200,000 helping ten other students get onto a hairdressing or events management degree course, so they could spend their time getting pissed for three years and not actually gain any skills that would improve the British economy. One of many examples of doing something that is a great idea in theory but in practice there are too many other factors at play to know whether it'll work out or not.

There were a lot of other factors behind Labour losing power and the recession as well though. The Conservative government came in and "fixed" a lot of Labour's mistakes, and limited the damage done to the country by the recession. Labour may have gone on to spend and spend to try and pull the country out of recession and that could have ended in disaster with the country already heavily in debt when David Cameron replaced Gordon Brown as prime minister.

Before deciding on how to vote in the next election, it's hard to say if you're one of the many people in the middle who could go either way. When you actually vote you'll know how Brexit went, who is leading each party and what's on their manifestos, all of those are more important in your decision than any of the current information you have I'd say.

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11 hours ago, RandoEFC said:

While there was a global recession and recession is a cyclical thing so somewhat unavoidable in a sense, the previous Labour government also contributed to it by spending loads of money on stuff which didn't stimulate the economy. E.g. subsidising university fees so that almost anyone could get a degree was a good idea in theory as it leads to a more skilled workforce, however, for every £20,000 the government spent making university affordable for a doctor or entrepreneur who would otherwise have been unable to afford their degree, they spent £200,000 helping ten other students get onto a hairdressing or events management degree course, so they could spend their time getting pissed for three years and not actually gain any skills that would improve the British economy. One of many examples of doing something that is a great idea in theory but in practice there are too many other factors at play to know whether it'll work out or not.

Student loans are not paid for by taxpayers. The government issues bonds offset by future incomes. It's impact on the budget would be if the interest payment was more than the income of that year.

Mass university education is also the economic heartbeat of both the UK's post industrial and its cathedral cities. It masks what would otherwise be dead and run down city centres.

12 hours ago, Gunnersauraus said:

So is this perhaps why a labour government wasn't ideal during the recession? Because in a recession you need to not spend as much?

Depends on your economic school of thought. Curtailing public spending, at any time, reduces economic activity. To cut public spending at the same time as the private sector cuts back then you will shrink the economy at worst or cause stagnation at best. In the case of Greece, spending cuts caused a recession to turn into a depression. 

 

17 hours ago, Gunnersauraus said:

In the last election I voted for the conservatives for various reasons. However in the next election I would consider labour because of the cuts. However a conservative voter would respond that the cuts are necessary because of the debt the country is in. How would a labour voter respond to this?

 

The debt the country is in will not be paid off by budget cuts. 

The budget deficit is still £40bn a year and the government have now abandoned the idea of lowering that through cuts. Debt has consistently been going up to what is now £1.7trn. The debt to GDP ratio which is one of the favourite measures by creditors rose by 20% under Osborne to around 85% and has roughly stayed there. This is all in spite of the austerity years. Austerity has ended, what you've got now is the size of the state the tory's are willing to let you have. They won't go lower and unless there is strong economic growth it won't go higher either.

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11 hours ago, Harvsky said:

Student loans are not paid for by taxpayers. The government issues bonds offset by future incomes. It's impact on the budget would be if the interest payment was more than the income of that year.

Mass university education is also the economic heartbeat of both the UK's post industrial and its cathedral cities. It masks what would otherwise be dead and run down city centres.

Depends on your economic school of thought. Curtailing public spending, at any time, reduces economic activity. To cut public spending at the same time as the private sector cuts back then you will shrink the economy at worst or cause stagnation at best. In the case of Greece, spending cuts caused a recession to turn into a depression. 

 

The debt the country is in will not be paid off by budget cuts. 

The budget deficit is still £40bn a year and the government have now abandoned the idea of lowering that through cuts. Debt has consistently been going up to what is now £1.7trn. The debt to GDP ratio which is one of the favourite measures by creditors rose by 20% under Osborne to around 85% and has roughly stayed there. This is all in spite of the austerity years. Austerity has ended, what you've got now is the size of the state the tory's are willing to let you have. They won't go lower and unless there is strong economic growth it won't go higher either.

Its really complicated to be honest. Would this perhaps be a way if looking at it? As someone who has suffered from mental health problems I would have benefited from a support worker. If I had one I could get back to work quicker and be contributing to the system quicker. So I may benefit under a labour government?

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1 hour ago, Gunnersauraus said:

Its really complicated to be honest. Would this perhaps be a way if looking at it? As someone who has suffered from mental health problems I would have benefited from a support worker. If I had one I could get back to work quicker and be contributing to the system quicker. So I may benefit under a labour government?

Mental health provisions will be better under any government that isn't right wing. Whether it will ever be good enough is something else.

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1 hour ago, Harvsky said:

Mental health provisions will be better under any government that isn't right wing. Whether it will ever be good enough is something else.

Are conservatives right wing though?

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On ‎24‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 17:19, Gunnersauraus said:

Are conservatives right wing though?

Yes

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3 hours ago, Gunnersauraus said:

In what way? 

They’re not like far right like BNP or anything, but they’re a centre-right party. Biggest reason is their economic policies - an anti-regulatory stance in the belief that the market largely regulates itself.

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3 hours ago, Gunnersauraus said:

In what way? 

Refusing socialism and government involvement. 

Edited by Cicero

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I've just found an article which explains capitalism and socialism in a clearwr way. I would imagine both parties take ideas from both.

Somebody told me socialism is the government owning everything. Is that socialism in its most extreme form?

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1 hour ago, Gunnersauraus said:

I've just found an article which explains capitalism and socialism in a clearwr way. I would imagine both parties take ideas from both.

Somebody told me socialism is the government owning everything. Is that socialism in its most extreme form?

Yeah that's socialism in it's most extreme form.

And a lot of parties do take ideas from both. Pure capitalism with limited/no regulations generally leads to the very wealthy -who hold all the power - exploiting ordinary people, being very corrupt, and a very unhappy populous - Charles Dickens wrote about the unhappy people a lot. Pure socialism leads to the people who are at the top of government - who hold all the power - exploiting ordinary people, being very corrupt and a very unhappy populous.

To be honest, I'm not sure we've ever seen a purely capitalistic society with completely unregulated markets. It's an Objectivists wet dream, but I think it's an absolute fantasy that would descend into chaos. But those are people who take it to the extreme and believe that things like public education shouldn't be a thing... so their views are meant to be taken with a pinch (or handful) of salt. But the idea that the government shouldn't be involved in running certain services is why right wing politicians generally push for austerity and privitisation of government services, whereas you don't see those sorts of policies being pushed by the left.

I think to a lot of people, because of the Cold War, the word "socialism" or "socialist" is often used to demonise government social programs. But the reality is most western society has some form of social programs that generally benefit... society (hence the name) and getting rid of these would likely cause major problems for a lot of people.

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7 hours ago, Gunnersauraus said:

In what way? 

Conservative Party economic policy stresses the importance of private enterprise and the free market in ordering society. They reject state-oriented or collective solutions to societal problems.

This means that, for example, cuts and increasing private-sector involvement are seen as the best solution to the NHS crisis.

This means that rather than improving the power and welfare of low-income workers in order to attract more people into employment, their solution is to reform the benefits system in such as a way as to force them in to increasingly insecure and unrewarding employment, or risk complete destitution. 

This means that it is expected that the property market will resolve itself, and that measures such as state construction of low-cost housing and the increased availability of public housing are not seen as a solution.

Theoretically, this is because the Conservative worldview sees personal responsibility as the key component in the world. These  choices have a certain moral basis in their eyes, because people should be self-reliant and the state should avoid over-reaching itself.

Practically, one could also say that adequately funding public services requires more taxation, which would be contrary to the interests of the Conservative membership, and also of their donors. Furthermore, the Conservatives are considered the party of business, and welfare reform which forces more and more people into the jobs market, as well as cutting costs for the state, strengthens the hand of employers.

Allowing a housing shortage to exist strengthens the hand of property owners by keeping housing prices and rents high.

Allowing the NHS to degrade to the point of collapse leaves huge opportunities for profit by private-sector companies.

Edited by Inverted
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3 hours ago, Gunnersauraus said:

I've just found an article which explains capitalism and socialism in a clearwr way. I would imagine both parties take ideas from both.

Somebody told me socialism is the government owning everything. Is that socialism in its most extreme form?

Socialism can mean very different things depending on who you are talking to.

Some very very early socialists, who often had a strong religious element, believed that socialism meant a society in which all men should exist without any differences in status or wealth.

Early industrial socialists, such as Robert Owen who owned mills in Victorian Britain, felt that socialism simply meant that employers should pay their workers a good wage, and that education, housing, and all the means of living should be available at affordable rates. Socialism in this sense meant that employers should be free to make a profit, but that they could and should give their workers a dignified and secure life at the same time. 

Later on, socialism took on a more radical slant. From the mid-1800s a theory of socialism developed which basically held that the entire notion of employment, and of owning things such as factories or mines or large housing units was inherently invalid. People should receive the full value of the work that they do, and shouldn't need to rely on their boss being a generous guy. They should also be able to access housing, food, education, water, etc as a matter of right. This is the course that countries such as the Soviet Union tried and largely failed to follow.

In the West, socialist-oriented parties such as the Labour party took a more moderate version of this. After WW2, Labour established a free health service, and brought many key services such as post, rail, and power under public control, and built hundreds of thousands of homes to make these things affordable for the common person. This was combined with the right to still privately own companies and make profits, because strong unions meant workers weren't subjected to the absolute power of factory owners and other employers.

The very last system is sometimes called the "Post-War Consensus". Because workers and vulnerable people had a lot of power and protection in the form of unions and the state, it was fine for companies to make profits. It seemed at the time that people could have security and dignity and corporations could have huge profits at the same time. 

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21 minutes ago, Inverted said:

Practically, one could also say that adequately funding public services requires more taxation, which would be contrary to the interests of the Conservative membership, and also of their donors. 

Taxation towards public goods isn't contrary at all. 

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Just now, Cicero said:

Taxation towards public goods isn't contrary at all. 

Objectively maybe, but people on higher incomes may perceive it as contrary to their interests. Particularly if they can afford private healthcare.

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11 minutes ago, Inverted said:

Objectively maybe, but people on higher incomes may perceive it as contrary to their interests. Particularly if they can afford private healthcare.

It's only contrary when the wealth is re-distributed to commodities instead of public goods. Conservatives find it fundamentally immoral when the government declares certain commodities as 'rights', regardless who's in power. 

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1 minute ago, Cicero said:

It's only contrary when the wealth is distributed to commodities instead of public goods. Conservatives find it fundamentally immoral when the government declares certain commodities as 'rights', regardless who's in power. 

Of course but the entire issue is where to draw the line between commodities and public goods? 

Healthcare used to be nothing more than a private commodity - the paid service of a doctor and the provision of a commodity - medicine. It was a choice to make it a public good. 

Water is a commodity and yet it is absolutely essential to human life. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Inverted said:

Of course but the entire issue is where to draw the line between commodities and public goods? 

Healthcare used to be nothing more than a private commodity - the paid service of a doctor and the provision of a commodity - medicine. It was a choice to make it a public good. 

Water is a commodity and yet it is absolutely essential to human life. 

 

 

Public goods are generally non exclusive and non rival risk. Wealth being distributed to fund the police, military, roads, public education, etc isn't socialist. That was my counter argument to the part I quoted you on. Socialised healthcare has it's moral implications on both sides, which is why I personally opt for free market healthcare. 

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14 hours ago, Inverted said:

Conservative Party economic policy stresses the importance of private enterprise and the free market in ordering society. They reject state-oriented or collective solutions to societal problems.

This means that, for example, cuts and increasing private-sector involvement are seen as the best solution to the NHS crisis.

This means that rather than improving the power and welfare of low-income workers in order to attract more people into employment, their solution is to reform the benefits system in such as a way as to force them in to increasingly insecure and unrewarding employment, or risk complete destitution. 

This means that it is expected that the property market will resolve itself, and that measures such as state construction of low-cost housing and the increased availability of public housing are not seen as a solution.

Theoretically, this is because the Conservative worldview sees personal responsibility as the key component in the world. These  choices have a certain moral basis in their eyes, because people should be self-reliant and the state should avoid over-reaching itself.

Practically, one could also say that adequately funding public services requires more taxation, which would be contrary to the interests of the Conservative membership, and also of their donors. Furthermore, the Conservatives are considered the party of business, and welfare reform which forces more and more people into the jobs market, as well as cutting costs for the state, strengthens the hand of employers.

Allowing a housing shortage to exist strengthens the hand of property owners by keeping housing prices and rents high.

Allowing the NHS to degrade to the point of collapse leaves huge opportunities for profit by private-sector companies.

The Conservative party aren't actually particularly conservative (likewise the Republican party), they are ideologically wedded to the free market ideas of Friedman, Van Hayek which are actually very radical. Proper conservatives actually tend to favour a mixed economy, and are often supportive of limited national healthcare, public ownership of the railways  etc. Socially they tend to have views which much of the modern generation would find unpalatable but they're very rarely coming from a place of pure bigotry, it's just a belief in how society should operate for the better. It's usually very misguided in my opinion but looking at how western society currently operates, you can't help but feel that something is very seriously wrong.

The true Burkeian origins of conservatism are actually very respectable and something I have time for. It's the monster of pure ideological greed and selfishness, which unfettered capitalism unleashed favoured by Reagan, Thatcher, Blair etc, which has done so much harm to our society, to point of almost total collapse now.

Edited by The Artful Dodger

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23 minutes ago, The Artful Dodger said:

The Conservative party aren't actually particularly conservative (likewise the Republican party), they are ideologically wedded to the free market ideas of Friedman, Van Hayek which are actually very radical. Proper conservatives actually tend to favour a mixed economy, and are often supportive of limited national healthcare, private ownership of the railways  etc. Socially they tend to have views which much of the modern generation would find unpalatable but they're very rarely coming from a place of pure bigotry, it's just a belief in how society should operate for the better. It's usually very misguided in my opinion but looking at how western society currently operates, you can't help but feel that something is very seriously wrong.

The true Burkeian origins of conservatism are actually very respectable and something I have time for. It's the monster of pure ideological greed and selfishness, which unfettered capitalism unleashed favoured by Reagan, Thatcher, Blair etc, which has done so much harm to our society, to point of almost total collapse now.

That is true, and people often overlook how radical and even unnatural so many things we take for granted are nowadays - the limited liability company, enormous private landownership, extremely protective intellectual property law, tariff-free trade, and so on. 

These things are not the natural way of things, they've been brought about by active choice, and have transformed society in ways that no current "progressive" policy could ever dream to. Certainly, these things were beyond the reckoning of many typical conservative heroes such as Adam Smith, or Ricardo, or whoever you like from that time. People who self-identify as conservatives often cite these kinds of thinkers because they feel it gives their views some tradition and weight, when often right-wing thought stems from thinkers such as Hayek as you say. It makes it easier to argue that one is arguing for the natural way of things if your heroes come from 300 years ago, as opposed to just decades ago. 

Thats why I took care (at least at the start) to say Conservative Party. Ofc there's a difference between "Conservative" in the sense of the party, and I guess what people mean when they say "small-c conservative". 

Then of course you have American "conservatives" which is probably the most amazing use of the term.

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On ‎27‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 12:46, Cicero said:

Public goods are generally non exclusive and non rival risk. Wealth being distributed to fund the police, military, roads, public education, etc isn't socialist. That was my counter argument to the part I quoted you on. Socialised healthcare has it's moral implications on both sides, which is why I personally opt for free market healthcare. 

I don't understand the moral objection to healthcare if you're not morally objected to public education... why is it morally objectionable to make sure that even poor people can go to the doctor so they can get treatment to... live healthy lives (or live generally) - but it's not morally objectionable to make sure that poor kids learn how to read and can do maths?

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2 hours ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

I don't understand the moral objection to healthcare if you're not morally objected to public education... why is it morally objectionable to make sure that even poor people can go to the doctor so they can get treatment to... live healthy lives (or live generally) - but it's not morally objectionable to make sure that poor kids learn how to read and can do maths?

Public (primary and secondary) education is a fundamental human right. It's a public good. It promotes your individual freedom and is essential for the exercise of all human rights. We also recognise the economic value of an educated population. 

Health does the same thing. Higher/post secondary education as well. The only difference is that healthcare is treated as a commodity and post secondary education as a private good.  So when taxpayers are being forced to involuntarily pay for someone else's consumption, it creates a moral implication  Specifically to our negative rights, which states that no one can leverage power over ourindividual rights.

It's also morally objectionable when you refuse to treat a patient who needs care, which is why I stated each argument is inevitably a double edged sword. 

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On 29/12/2018 at 02:24, Cicero said:

Public (primary and secondary) education is a fundamental human right. It's a public good. It promotes your individual freedom and is essential for the exercise of all human rights. We also recognise the economic value of an educated population. 

Health does the same thing. Higher/post secondary education as well. The only difference is that healthcare is treated as a commodity and post secondary education as a private good.  So when taxpayers are being forced to involuntarily pay for someone else's consumption, it creates a moral implication  Specifically to our negative rights, which states that no one can leverage power over ourindividual rights.

It's also morally objectionable when you refuse to treat a patient who needs care, which is why I stated each argument is inevitably a double edged sword. 

All of these things you claim are rights or are commodities are entirely subjective judgements made differently in different societies.

In Scotland we think it's a right for everyone to access all levels of education and make it free, same with healthcare. In some countries there's public healthcare but higher education costs. In some countries neither is free. 

Basically nobody thought of either as a right up until the 18th-19th centuries. 

Whether to make education or healthcare a right or a public good or a commodity, is in practise entirely a public policy decision. As it turns out, it serves overall society for people to be able to easily access healthcare and education.

As for negative rights, there is no negative right against taxation, in any system of thought, except the most extreme libertarian viewpoints. If you can tax people to establish a police force, or build a road, you can tax them to establish other institutions to the public benefit. It's a clear logical step. 

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On 28/12/2018 at 18:24, Cicero said:

Public (primary and secondary) education is a fundamental human right. It's a public good. It promotes your individual freedom and is essential for the exercise of all human rights. We also recognise the economic value of an educated population. 

Health does the same thing. Higher/post secondary education as well. The only difference is that healthcare is treated as a commodity and post secondary education as a private good.  So when taxpayers are being forced to involuntarily pay for someone else's consumption, it creates a moral implication  Specifically to our negative rights, which states that no one can leverage power over ourindividual rights.

It's also morally objectionable when you refuse to treat a patient who needs care, which is why I stated each argument is inevitably a double edged sword. 

I’m not sure I follow this argument. I think people have more of a natural right to get health treatment when they need it than they have a natural right to be educated (personally I think people have a natural right to both). Ultimately an argument can be made that they’re both forcing taxpayers to pay for other peoples’ services for the greater good of society. But if there’s a moral objection to seeing someone else have their doctors bill paid for by the taxpayer, I don’t see why you wouldn’t have a similar moral objection to educating other people’s kids. One semi-prevents idiots, but not fully prevents them, and the other keeps more people alive. Maybe it’s because teachers are horrifically underpaid to deal with the little shits we call children, so it’s less offensive to ask taxpayers to foot that bill?

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2 hours ago, Gunnersauraus said:

@Dr. Gonzo  @Harvsky sorry to bombard you with questions. Going back to the debt. I thought all countries borrowed and were always in debt and are always borrowing. Is this right? 

 

 

I don’t know if all countries are always in debt - but for the most part a lot of countries are in debt and always borrowing. 

 

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