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* Exhausted Society: We have cell phones that ring all the time. We are on the internet regularly. We are wired with so much information. Who authorized my Bank to put my bank accounts online? Why can I order a credit report from a website? Why are certain licenses and other personal data available so anyone can find out things about me? What right is it for you to know how much my property taxes were last year? It is only a matter of time that drug records and my fingerprints will be available next. We are so wired, and so connected in abstract methods that we are addicted, and burning out.

And it doesn't help that government is taking 72 percent of the economy in taxation. That means you are working 4 times as hard as you otherwise would have to.

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Not quite. If the government didn't take those taxes to provide things like law enforcement and national security each citizen would have to provide that for himself.

I won't go into the debate as to whether the government is making efficient (government, efficient, don't make me laugh) use of that money, but not all of it is wasted.
At the very least it keeps some dangerous megalomaniacs off the street and in meeting rooms (they're called politicians).

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Not quite. If the government didn't take those taxes to provide things like law enforcement and national security each citizen would have to provide that for himself.

I won't go into the debate as to whether the government is making efficient (government, efficient, don't make me laugh) use of that money, but not all of it is wasted.
At the very least it keeps some dangerous megalomaniacs off the street and in meeting rooms (they're called politicians).

They need only 10 percent to do the essentials. The rest is wasted.

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I think the biggest problem is the "riders" on bills. (I think they call them riders). It's like, if this bill is past, there is a bunch of attachments that go with the bill, and believe me, there are some REALLY STUPID ONES. If I remember correctly, a rider attached to this one bill was to fund(multimillion dollar) research to find out the flow rate of ketchup.

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In my country, my biggest concern is the failing infrastructure and safety nets, and a coinciding political climate against raising taxes even a cent (though they do get raised, but different names are used). I would add some items to your poll: 1) the global gap between rich and poor; 2) Oil depletion. Those two worry me more than anything else on your list because they both can result in disruption to society and/or wars. Not only that, both seem to be increasing at a very increasing rate.

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I just read in a magazine called "Scientific American" that future preventions of global warming include pumping Co<sub>2</sub> underground....Will that actually be possible? Even more questionable, how effective will it be?

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SciAm is just as politicised about "global warming" as the IPCC and Tony Blair.

Fact is that we have very little influence on the climate, if any.
All the grandiose schemes to limit CO2 emissions will do is cause massive economic harship in the countries paying for them, causing abject poverty and famine around the world.

Of course the climate is changing, that's what climates do all on their own.
Any efforts to influence that testify only of a massive human superiority complex as well as massive and deliberate misrepresentation of science for political means.

The effect CO2 has on global temperatures is miniscule, the effect human actions have on that CO2 is even smaller.
In fact a single large volcanic eruption (like St Helens in 1980 or Pinatubo) ejects more "greenhouse" gasses into the atmosphere than all human activity combined has over the last 200 years.

Another little reported factoid is that increased CO2 levels lead to increased agricultural productivity (and thus increased CO2 absorption as well as increased food supplies).
CO2 is a requirement for plants to grow, plants feed people.

In the 1960s the scare was that the planet was getting colder and we'd soon have an ice age with associated destruction of agriculture and famine.
20 years later the treehuggers are in control of government bodies deciding on subsidies for research and suddenly the earth is getting warmer instead of colder and it's all caused by Big Bad Industry and the fact that people have cars.

In the Roman era (well before the industrial revolution...) climates in Europe were a LOT warmer than today.
Warm enough in fact that northern England was a thriving wine country, and Roman soldiers could march in short skirts and open sandals through most of Europe in winter without getting cold.

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jwenting, there are lies, damned lies and statistics, as someone once said. You can play games with data and the way it's presented to support just about any stance you wish to.

Simple fact is, we do immense harm to the planet we reside on, and have an urgent need to change the ways we interact with it. There's simply no justification for continuing to use fossil fuels and natural resources at a rate greater than at which they can be replenished.

You can go beyond that to assume, from the convincing evidence you've reviewed, that global warming is not a side effect of that process and in fact does not exist. Others will choose, from the equally convincing body of evidence available, that it does in fact occur and is a matter for urgent concern.

You've stated your view clearly in this topic. Why do you need to repeat it on numerous subsequent occasions when others express conflicting outlooks?

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You've stated your view clearly in this topic. Why do you need to repeat it on numerous subsequent occasions when others express conflicting outlooks?

Elementary my dear CatWatson: it is simply what jwentings do here.
Certainly you've followed his history of opinionated rants and studied his behaviour here in general long enough to know that, have you not? ;)

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And as this topic reaches its fateful 100th post, I say...

Wow.

That is all...

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Same reason you seem to repeat your views ad nauseum whenever someone dares to contradict them maybe?

Show one bit of irrefutable evidence that there is "massive global warming" and that that is caused in its entiety (or at least in a very large part) by human activity...
And the hockystick model won't do as it's
1) inherently flawed data
2) doesn't explain the warm period (far warmer than today) before the supposed massive global warming caused by humans.

There is no such data. In fact, the IPCC report itself doesn't even conclude anything LIKE the political document which forms the basis of the global warming hype. The "summary" that does was written by political analysts, supposedly based on the study but more likely based on political agendas as the "summary" bears no resemblence to the report itself.

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He's entitled to his opinion as everyone else...I actually agree with him; global warming is at the VERY bottom of my worry list. I posted that to see what people thought about it and welcomed each and everyones comments.

Anyways, I just don't see how that will even do anything. I mean, eventually the co2 WILL reach the atmosphere won't it? co2 is a bi-product of co2 during the co2 cycle and is also used during it.

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I just read in the newspaper that the trees are compensating for the warming by stepping up oxygen production. An automatic feedback system!

Scientific American was bought out by a liberal group a few years ago, and is no longer unbiased. It now reminds me more of Omni.

I have yet to read any conclusive evidence that we are truly in global warming. All I ever see on the subject are the fears of the liberals about what will happen IF global warming occurs.

I have seen two studies which claimed that global warming is occuring - and both have been refuted:

- The CO2 concentration in air trapped in ice study was flawed because ice in contact with the ocean can remove CO2 from air and transport it to the ocean.

- The long term temperature record study has three flaws. One is that the Fahrenheit degree was redefined in 1901 to be an exact multiple of the Celsius degree. Another is that most of the data after 1930 was taken at airports, where paving has been increasingly used. So that data showing a rise in temperature is local. The last part is that the total temperature rise claimed far exceeds the accuracy of the thermometers made at the beginning of the period.

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- The long term temperature record study has three flaws. One is that the Fahrenheit degree was redefined in 1901 to be an exact multiple of the Celsius degree. Another is that most of the data after 1930 was taken at airports, where paving has been increasingly used. So that data showing a rise in temperature is local. The last part is that the total temperature rise claimed far exceeds the accuracy of the thermometers made at the beginning of the period.

It has several more flaws but those are indeed serious ones.
Another major flaw (which this particular dataset can't really help because there weren't any airports back then) is not taking into account the far higher temperatures in the 1700s (and all the way back to the 1300s) compared to the 19th and 20th century.
Of course during much of the period there were airports sending in readings their number was low and even today the datapoints are not distributed evenly enough to give a true "global" average. With about half the datapoints being in the USA and over 75% being in the northern hemisphere the data is heavily biassed towards northern American climate outside polar regions.

Another flaw is that there is no definition of "global mean temperature". Therefore the data produced by different reporters (and in different eras) cannot be compared as the data is incompatible (some is measured at sealevel, some at 1.5m, etc.).

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Well, this thread is so long that I'll probably duplicate something already said. Still...

I think the current affair that worries me most, of those mentioned, is the economy. My concern isn't so much with present economic conditions, however, as with the growing disparity between those who have lots of money and those who don't.

Yeah, I know there are a lot of lazy deadbeats who'd like nothing more than to leech off of those who work hard for their living (good living or not). However, there are more people who are struggling through little or no direct fault of their own, and who are being rejected and shunned by those who have the means, but not the heart, to help them. It seems that, when sales plummet, prices rise in order to shore up profits, but then this just makes it that much harder for those who aren't well-to-do to afford the comforts many Westerners enjoy.

I live in a city in which crime, violent crime, is really getting ridiculous, many of our children graduate from high school about as dumb as a box of rocks and the streets are so bad that transportation costs skyrocket due to excessive wear on tires, shocks and suspension systems on cars. Federal funding has been witheld because of unchecked air and water pollution (edible fish haven't existed in our river for years), and the city is fairly bleeding decent jobs to places where the local population can actually spell the name of the company they'd like to work for. Yet the foolish local government is trying to scrape up money to build an arena so the local college can play basketball games! I believe recreation to be a vital component of a society, but in the face of these other issues, an arena is just plain stupid!

But the rich folks want it. The only thing they care about the poorer ones is that those broke folks don't invade their gated communities. History has repeatedly beaten us over the head with the fact that this kind of societal polarization will eventually crumble a civilization.

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Your problems seem to be mainly education, not economics.
And it's not the "rich" people who want that stadium, it's the uneducated masses who want cheap entertainment.

Educated people would vote to get those streets repaired and those schools kicked into shape.
Company owners want educated people who can do valuable work and provide them with profits, not zombies with useless non-skills pumped out from your average school today.

Typically education suffers as areas slide into socialist rule. Poorly educated people far more readily fall for socialist propaganda about "equalising income", leading to nationalisation of industry and persecution of educated people (with the end result of killing everyone who wears glasses which happened in Cambodia for the sole reason that glasses are a clear sign that the person is educated and thus a threat for an egalitarian society).

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No, my problem is economics, although education does have a lot to do with it (and I mean academic education, not so-called "common sense", which is what you seem to be talking about).

And I'm not promoting any of what you see as the evil societal changes you fear, such as socialism and the like, neither do I agree with your assertion that socialism leads to poorer education or that poor people are ready targets for any kind of propaganda. Such thinking is propaganda in itself.

I'm talking about decent, hard-working people who have good sense, but who simply don't contribute enough to the local authority's tax base to have a hearable voice. In two of the communities I'm talking about, the people do vote, they turned out nicely when the city and county decided to merge governments, but in spite of that, the city realigned the districting so that those in poorer areas were given fewer city services. Instead of one large area, they broke it down into three, while annexing several suburbs, then implemented a policy under which certain city services are allotted according to the size of the tax base.
The state, 15 years ago (when the state was 49th in the country in education) promised that if the citizens voted for a lottery, the money would be used for education. 15 years later we are still near the bottom in education. Poor people don't just want cheap entertainment (which is an unfair thing to say about those who oppose this arena for sound reasons), but they would like to have traffic lights at dangerous intersections so they could get to that arena without tearing up their only car; they would like to see more police so that maybe their children might, not only be safer, but less likely to continue the cycle of violence they grew up seeing; people have bombarded the city with requests for better roads, but the city keeps saying they need federal funds, which they can't get because of the pollution. I could go on with specifics, but what would be the point?
Look at it kind of like this; if your home has been damaged by fire, would you respond by going out and spending your limited income on a new car, or would you get the house fixed first, then maybe look at the car? It a very similar thing; before we toss money into something that is not needed (that local college already has a very nice place to play basketball), we should look into improving on some things first. If that's socialism, then hey, I'm all for it! The city might also consider putting more thinking (and money, but only of that's really what it takes) to bringing in more and better paying jobs and stop those that are leaving from doing so.

If poor people are targets for socialism and the like, it isn't because they're stupid; it's because they will grasp at anything that seems to hold the promise of doing better than living hand to mouth. I don't know what your economic status is, and I'm not calling you an evil person if your are rich (or even well-to-do), but no one who really knows the pangs of proverty would be so quick to blame poor people for being poor and at the same time offer them no viable solution, not as individuals talking about it like we are, but as human beings supposedly sharing the fruits of being citizens of the world's richest nation.

Singer James Brown wrote a song years ago called "I don't want nobody to give me nothing, just open up the door and I'll get it myself". A long and grammatically incorrect title, I agree, but the message of that song can hardly be faulted. Realistically, in many ways, that door may not be closed, but it just isn't opened wide enough for many poor people to have a realistic chance to improve their situation.

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Socialism doesn't provide ANYTHING to the people it targets. The ONLY people who benefit from socialism are the ones in charge, the party leadership and their close friends.
That's the same everywhere and all the time.

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That started off being stupid right from where it was contended that 'Socialism' is somehow an entity which purposely acts on people to target' them.

Socialism is simply a system of socio-economic organisation, which PEOPLE choose to implement. Damn shame we don't have a fair bit more of its elements here in Australia. We did once, and enjoyed one of the best infrastructures in the developed world, back before short-sighted dickheads in office sold off pretty much all of it to private enterprise!

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I don't see anything wrong with the current/future education system...Compared to the past it's quit an advancement. Speaking from an experienced standpoint(as I'm in the school system your speaking of right now) I see that IT IS THE PARENTS who are at fault for these losers in schools that do absolutely nothing and turn out to make our burgers at the local fast food joint. The school system is NOT at fault. School these days are a lot more stressfull, intense, and productive than it use to be.

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My concern isn't so much with present economic conditions, however, as with the growing disparity between those who have lots of money and those who don't.

The income tax is the cause of much of the disparity. The tax rules make it extremely difficult and costly to own a business and to hire workers.

Yeah, I know there are a lot of lazy deadbeats who'd like nothing more than to leech off of those who work hard for their living (good living or not). However, there are more people who are struggling through little or no direct fault of their own,...

The real problem is that government is taking a total of 72 percent of the economy in taxes - and lying about it by counting the same money multiple times in figuring production and income levels. They count the factory sale, the wholesale sale, and the retail sale of a single product as though three separate products were sold.

... and who are being rejected and shunned by those who have the means, but not the heart, to help them.

Heart has very little to do with it. Government took most of the money in an attempt to have that "heart", but taking the money caused the economy to not be able to support such programs.

If government ever passes some kind of national health insurance, the economy will go into a decline and never recover.

It seems that, when sales plummet, prices rise in order to shore up profits,...

That is impossible. Income = price times quantity sold. But raising the price lowers the quantity sold, especially if other companies are competing to sell the same product. Suppose a product costs $4 and 4 are sold per day. The income is $16 per day. Now raise the price to $5. Because it costs more, only 3 are sold per day. The income DROPS to $15 per day.

One of the BIGGEST FALLACIES being spread about the internet is that the business has control of the market. It does not. It has to take the going price. If it charges too much, it sells too few items. If it charges too little, it sells more than it can make, but doesn't make money on the sales.

The truth is that nobody controls the market. Unless a monopoly or a monopsony exists, nobody CAN control a market - not even government.

The price rises we are encountering now are due to the increase in the costs of producing products. Oil prices are at record levels, mostly because China has suddenly started buying a lot of oil. And don't forget how state and local governments thought of only their spending programs, not the people, when 9-11 caused the economy to slow down. All but one state government raised taxes to "replace the lost revenue". The problem is that raising taxes in a recession causes more businesses to fail, reducing the tax base even more.

And remember that all business taxes appear in the prices of the products the businesses sell. There is no other source of money to pay the tax. So you pay it when you buy the product.;

... but then this just makes it that much harder for those who aren't well-to-do to afford the comforts many Westerners enjoy.

Again, markets are not influenced by individual whims, but by the sum total of all market forces. Neither the business nor the comsumer has any individual control over a market.

I live in a city in which crime, violent crime, is really getting ridiculous, many of our children graduate from high school about as dumb as a box of rocks and the streets are so bad that transportation costs skyrocket due to excessive wear on tires, shocks and suspension systems on cars.

The problem is that legislators would rather spend the money on cash giveaways (to buy the votes of the poor) than on essentials like law enforcement, prisons, roads, and education. What we need is a constitutional amendment which restricts government to spending money on absolutely essential programs, and not on such things as sports, arts, beautification, entertainment, and recreation.

Before the US was founded, every democracy which existed failed. Each time, they failed when people found ways they could vote themselves money from the government treasury. And the process is repeating here.

Yet the foolish local government is trying to scrape up money to build an arena so the local college can play basketball games! I believe recreation to be a vital component of a society, but in the face of these other issues, an arena is just plain stupid!

Active recreation may be necessary for good health, but that doesn't mean government must provide it. There are plenty of private exercise joints for that purpose.

As for entertainment, people somehow think they have a right to it. Entertainment, including watching professional sports, is a luxury to be indulged in only after the work is done, and only up to the level the individual can afford. So government should be banned from providing it.

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I don't see anything wrong with the current/future education system...Compared to the past it's quit an advancement. Speaking from an experienced standpoint(as I'm in the school system your speaking of right now) I see that IT IS THE PARENTS who are at fault for these losers in schools that do absolutely nothing and turn out to make our burgers at the local fast food joint. The school system is NOT at fault. School these days are a lot more stressfull, intense, and productive than it use to be.

The schools may not be at fault, but the teacher unions are.

When I was a kid, teachers put education first. Then the unionization drive started, and now employee rights and the union are more important than the children.

The two most effective classroom methods have been banned by teachers unions because they require more work and more training for teachers. Using these methods would greatly increase literacy. But the unions threaten to strike if school boards require these methods.

Look at the difference between the schools in the 1950s and the schools of today. My first grade class was typical for the 1950s. At the end of the first semester, only one child in the class could not read. He showed up the beginning of the next semester with eyeglasses, which cured the problem. Contrast that with the schools today, and you see many kids entering the second grade unable to read.

Put the blame squarely where it belongs: The methods the teachers union endorses are easier for the teachers, but only the brightest pupils can learn from them.

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I'm in school right now, and can back up stuff that I say; can you?
I learned how to read in early kidnergarten, not second grade. Actually, my parents taught me a little before I got into school.

And you say the methods are easier for teachers? What a joke. NEW(not old) mandates are requiring teachers to be FULLY qualified to teach their subject and are not allowed to teach in any other subject unless they are certified in it...Furthering the success teachers have on students.

Another problem, teachers can't pull a book out and shove it into the childs brain(which is what most parents seem to expect). These parents with kids that are failing introductory math probably spend no time with them and do not force them to study, but will buy them any video game they want.

I speak from an experienced standpoint when I say NEW, YOUNG teachers are better than OLD teachers WITH years of experience. It's PROVEN in my school that these younger teachers right out of college have students with better results than these old teachers with many years of experience in teaching the subject...Contridicting to what you said, eh?

Put the blame where it belongs, not with the people who can only do so much. If parents don't want to let their child know that they should be studying instead of playing games, then that's their fault NOT the teachers nor the teachers methods.

Unless your in school right now, you CAN'T say that it's the teachers or the teachers methods because you simply do not know.

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Actually, my parents taught me a little before I got into school.

Meaning that you had the ability before you got INTO the schools.

And you say the methods are easier for teachers? What a joke. NEW(not old) mandates are requiring teachers to be FULLY qualified to teach their subject....

Yes, but the unions had control in determining what is required for certification. Another problem is that colleges have not required instruction in the methods which work best because the unions won't allow their use. They are available as electives in the School of Education at the university here.

Another problem, teachers can't pull a book out and shove it into the childs brain (which is what most parents seem to expect).

No they can't. First the child must fully learn to read. The instruction on how to do that must precede actual reading assignments, and must be done by the teacher. Trusting the parent to know the correct way to teach it is asking for trouble. And after the child knows how to read (if taught the correct way, not the union way), he needs no further help other than learning how to use a dictionary.

I speak from an experienced standpoint when I say NEW, YOUNG teachers are better than OLD teachers WITH years of experience. It's PROVEN in my school that these younger teachers right out of college have students with better results than these old teachers with many years of experience in teaching the subject...Contridicting to what you said, eh?

No, because the teachers who taught when I was learning reading and math are all retired or dead by now. None of them could possibly be under 70 years old. And most teachers who taught after 1965 used the new methods in my state. That was two years after they allowed unionized schools. And the older teachers who are still teaching use the new method.

I have a personal example too, in a famous basketball player. The schools obviously had not done the job, because he was in 7th grade and could not multiply or divide. I was working as a tutor at the time, and taught him using a modern variation on the old method. Four weeks later, he could multiply and divide. He then grew up to be a well known basketball player.

These parents with kids that are failing introductory math probably spend no time with them and do not force them to study, but will buy them any video game they want.

Interesting, because that's what I used to help that kid. He didn't play video games, he was always outside shooting hoops. I wrote a video game you could win only by memorizing the multiplication table. So my trick was that you could make the basket only if you could multiply or divide the two numbers correctly. Varients on the game included shooting space aliens and picking flowers (the only difference between the variants was in the graphics).

Put the blame where it belongs, not with the people who can only do so much. If parents don't want to let their child know that they should be studying instead of playing games, then that's their fault NOT the teachers nor the teachers methods.

Unless your in school right now, you CAN'T say that it's the teachers or the teachers methods because you simply do not know.

I'm not in the elementary schools (I work for a university). But my fiancee is a non-union teacher who uses the old methods. The union teachers keep trying to get the principal to stop her from using the old methods (and to require her to join the union), because her pupils keep outperforming the pupils in the other classes. All of the other teachers would have to pay to go back to college to learn how to teach the old methods. Instead of wanting the best for the children, they are spouting egalitarian rhetoric and union politics.

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Socialism doesn't provide ANYTHING to the people it targets. The ONLY people who benefit from socialism are the ones in charge, the party leadership and their close friends.
That's the same everywhere and all the time.

Obviously that's an oversimplification, but even if that statement were true, that doesn't mean desperate people can't be deceived by the promise of something "better", even if what they wind up with is actually worse.
Anyway, my overall point is that all of us who can truly afford to do so should be more willing than we are to help those who are truly needy, regardless of how we want to label our justifications for not doing so.

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That is impossible. Income = price times quantity sold. But raising the price lowers the quantity sold, especially if other companies are competing to sell the same product. Suppose a product costs $4 and 4 are sold per day. The income is $16 per day. Now raise the price to $5. Because it costs more, only 3 are sold per day. The income DROPS to $15 per day.

It's not "impossible", it only seems that way when you use math and logic. I happen to have worked in the car business for a number of years, and that is exactly what has happened there. Only nicely well-off people can really comfortably afford a new car today. When cars started to become more durable (to last longer), new car sales naturally dropped. The industry then embarked on a concerted effort to raise prices (by offering higher-margined accessories in many cases) in order to keep profits at or near previous levels with fewer actual units sold. Perhaps this concept isn't true accross the board, but in this case I have seen it.

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Anyway, my overall point is that all of us who can truly afford to do so should be more willing than we are to help those who are truly needy, regardless of how we want to label our justifications for not doing so.

Under socialist rule you're not willing to help anyone, you're forced to as the government "redistributes" your posessions to those it considers as having more use for them (which means usually itself).

No charity came out of the Soviet block for as long as it existed, every single truckload of aid (usually in the form of weapons to oppress the opposition) that was handed out to needy countries was in exchange for loss of sovereignty and more Soviet control of the natural resources and economies of those countries.
The same internally, instead of helping needy people to prosper they were shoved into locked railway cars and dumped in Siberia to die of exposure and hard labour as enemies of the people.
That's socialism at work.

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Damn shame we don't have a fair bit more of its elements here in Australia. We did once, and enjoyed one of the best infrastructures in the developed world, back before short-sighted dickheads in office sold off pretty much all of it to private enterprise!

If you don't mind me asking, what exactly do you like about socialism? I don't know too much about it, so please explain.

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