The Philosophy of Government Spending

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Post Number:#16  Postby whitetrshsoldier » September 22nd, 2009, 3:55 pm

seanwilsonorg wrote:... couple of points on spending.

As a percentage of GNP, the federal government spent much more during World War II. The debt taken on by the children of that generation -- the 60s generation -- was the largest ever seen in the country's history. Yet, look what happened. We built the strongest economy on the planet.

Remember also that England became a world power because it invented the institutions of finanace capitalism which allowed the government to borrow from its future.

It all depends upon what you spend the money on. If you spend large sums of borrowed capital for things that increase the wealth of the economy and create growth -- the value added will more than pay for the debt. It's the same idea with student loans. Think about how much private debt you have. I bet you that you have more debt as a poor college student than the government has as a percentage of overall wealth. The extra money you will make from the college degree pays for the debt and increases your standard of living at the same time. In economics its called a pareto trade.

So if they spend it wisely, it's an investment, not "spending."


The reason "we" recovered after WWII is because we "invested" in the recovery and redevelopment of Europe in the form of the "Marshall Plan". Loans of $12,000,000,000 were granted to various Nations, which we demanded payment on, with interest, throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

Not a bad idea, that foreign investment. We did it in WWI as well, and made a fortune then as well.

However, who's money is being invested? With who's consent? And on what?

Look at China. They've "loaned" us a ton of money [in the form of purchasing bonds]. Now their investment is worthless, and they can only hope we recover. They laugh at our Treasury Secretary [Tim Geithner for those who don't know] when he explains our economic theory, and have no respect for our plans on future spending.

I'm glad we're not them.
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Post Number:#17  Postby Scott » October 11th, 2009, 11:37 am

I read a very interesting and informative article today that confirmed that what I argued would inherently happen as a result of government spending does happen, which is waste. Brian M. Riedl of The Heritage Foundation wrote the article, entitled 50 Examples of Government Waste. Here are the examples that stuck out most to me:

Washington spends $92 billion on corporate welfare.

Washington will spend $2.6 million training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job.

The Securities and Exchange Commission spent $3.9 million rearranging desks and offices at its Washington, D.C., headquarters.

Over half of all farm subsidies go to commercial farms, which report average household incomes of $200,000.

Health care fraud is estimated to cost taxpayers more than $60 billion annually.

The refusal of many federal employees to fly coach costs taxpayers $146 million annually in flight upgrades.

More than $13 billion in Iraq aid has been classified as wasted or stolen. Another $7.8 billion cannot be accounted for.

The Defense Department wasted $100 million on unused flight tickets and never bothered to collect refunds even though the tickets were refundable.

Washington spends $60,000 per hour shooting Air Force One photo-ops in front of national landmarks.

Over one recent 18-month period, Air Force and Navy personnel used government-funded credit cards to charge at least $102,400 on admission to entertainment events, $48,250 on gambling, $69,300 on cruises, and $73,950 on exotic dance clubs and prostitutes.

Congress recently spent $2.4 billion on 10 new jets that the Pentagon insists it does not need and will not use.

The Advanced Technology Program spends $150 million annually subsidizing private businesses; 40 percent of this funding goes to Fortune 500 companies.

The Conservation Reserve program pays farmers $2 billion annually not to farm their land.


Finally, here's the most disgusting one to me: A GAO audit classified nearly half of all purchases on government credit cards as improper, fraudulent, or embezzled. Examples of taxpayer-funded purchases include gambling, mortgage payments, liquor, lingerie, iPods, Xboxes, jewelry, Internet dating services, and Hawaiian vacations. In one extraordinary example, the Postal Service spent $13,500 on one dinner at a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, including "over 200 appetizers and over $3,000 of alcohol, including more than 40 bottles of wine costing more than $50 each and brand-name liquor such as Courvoisier, Belvedere and Johnny Walker Gold." The 81 guests consumed an average of $167 worth of food and drink apiece.

Of course, while all this massive amount of spending is wasteful to the taxpayers whose money is being taken, it is great to the ones receiving the money, such as the corporations getting corporate welfare, who will stand to profit even if they spend millions or billions lobbying, legally bribing (namely with campaign contributions), illegally bribing, and blackmailing their way to this money. As I explained in the OP, if you spend $10 million lobbying for an $11 million government handout, you have just made $1 million--and the taxpayers have lost $11 million.
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Post Number:#18  Postby whitetrshsoldier » October 15th, 2009, 6:20 pm

Great point, Scott!

Doesn't this just prove that we should entrust "Washington" with 1/7th [or 1/6th, depends on who you're talking to] of our GDP by slowly evolving into a single-payer Medical system?

[sarcasm]

What money goes to Washington, STAYS in Washington!!!

** I think that could be their new slogan; it's more accurate than Las Vegas'!
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Post Number:#19  Postby Scott » October 15th, 2009, 10:05 pm

I do not support a national single-payer health care system.

I would support other alternative measures of government spending or restrictions towards health care as opposed to the status quo, which consists of taxpayers and other patients paying for the expensive emergency room visits of people who could have gotten less expensive preventative care.

But we can discuss the specific issue of health care in another thread.
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Post Number:#20  Postby whitetrshsoldier » October 16th, 2009, 1:44 am

My apologies, Scott. I meant that as a statement to everybody, not directly towards you.

I agree with your disgust at all this spending. I believe that government spending should be limited to Defense [Military], and Law [Legislation, Interpretation through the Court Systems, and Enforcement]. These are the only things I think we can justify spending "Federal" tax dollars on.

And how much easier would it be if we implemented a "flat tax" to fund these numbered programs? Social programs could be more easily monitored and manipulated at the State and local levels if communities so desired.
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Post Number:#21  Postby Scott » December 4th, 2009, 7:58 pm

Moderation note: Because I felt the discussion was being derailed, I split some of the posts in this thread into a new thread regarding Obama, unemployment, the question of whether or not the stimulus is spending or is an investment or Pareto Trade-Off, and the question of whether or not the stimulus is working and the economy is getting better. See that thread here.

This thread is for discussing government spending in general and my arguments regarding alleged fundamental problems of government spending that are independent of political party or country.


whitetrshsoldier wrote:I agree with your disgust at all this spending. I believe that government spending should be limited to Defense [Military], and Law [Legislation, Interpretation through the Court Systems, and Enforcement].

I do not think government spending on military, courts or police is less prone to the problems explained in my original post. Indeed, the military industrial complex is one of the most poignant examples of politicians giving taxpayer dollars to industries which hurts the taxpayers and typical citizen but profits the politicians and their corporate cronies.

People may excuse government spending on the grounds that it is needed for the welfare of the general public. Unfortunately, what is created or continued supposedly for the sake of the poor or the general public often actually benefits wealthy special interests groups who do not need it but who benefit from this anti-Utilitarian government-sponsored robbery. Still, I would not suggest abolishing all government spending tomorrow because some of it at least for the time being does protect the public, help prevent poverty and help reduce the affects of poverty--even though these excuses are drastically overused to support counterproductive measures that are beneficial to special interests. However, again, I do not see the military, courts and police being more likely to fall in this category of spending that 'for the time being does protect the public, help prevent poverty and help reduce the affects of poverty.' For instance, I do not see any reason why it is more or less acceptable, beneficial or poverty-alleviating for a government to spend $1 billion on health care to protect people who cannot afford (or choose not to buy) health care to protect them from a life-threatening disease than for a government to spend $1 billion on security guards or investigators to protect people who cannot afford (or choose not to buy) security guards or private investigators to protect them from potentially life-threatening acts of offensive violence or victimization insofar as both cases save the same amount of lives per dollar.
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Post Number:#22  Postby NameRemoved » January 6th, 2010, 10:09 am

Scott I think Government need to rethink allowing Business and employees to work here [UK] and then send their money back home? otherwise "Who" is going to generate investment back into the UK? those businesses that employ overseas workers and third world workers to keep their costs down make it impossible for the unemployed skilled workers in the UK to gain work for a fair livable viable salary. whilst its easy to say but oversea workers are cost effective to small businesses..of course it would be..they don`t have to pay the high taxation on goods we get in the UK..equally employing illegal immigrants [as Gordon brown allows] and allowing them to work for less money is not improving things in the UK when they send all their wages back home and have no intentions of spending and investing here in the UK the same for our education system..they come here to use it..but once educated go to Saudi and elsewhere ..where they know they can earn over 10 times the salary they would get here. The standards of the NHS including dental services has dropped dramatically due to hiring for cheapness , those who are lacking the training that our own UK citizens have but of course would not work for the low pay that others who don`t live here would work for.

That is why in my country inflation is through the roof..and people who are skilled can`t find employment..the way it is going currently no one will or can afford to purchase housing. No housing is being built and no investment in companies here to employ people who live here and who expect to get a fair days pay to be able to reside here.

regarding the spending being done on the Iraq and now Iran war I think its a waste of public money that could be better used toward our own lands..For me it is not a state of War..how can their be a War on Terrorism? I am all for having defense and military and admire our forces all of them..but this is all about OIL and as such is not warranted the trillions owed

Don`t get me started on the failed Banks! why should the public money be used by government to bail out the banks and pay huge pay offs to said failed bankers! by huge I mean humungus! tell me wherelse would some who failed in their work would get such nice payoffs? they would classed as incompetant and sacked! no fat cat pay offs of millions of pounds..and just to be crystal clear here, I was a small business owner who has now gone into liquidation because the bank.`s [that Labour government promised were all for aiding small businesses] don`t in fact aid small businessmen/women [like me] at all and refuse to loan them even the measliest amounts.

Izzy :x
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Post Number:#23  Postby whitetrshsoldier » February 9th, 2010, 5:04 pm

Scott wrote:People may excuse government spending on the grounds that it is needed for the welfare of the general public. Unfortunately, what is created or continued supposedly for the sake of the poor or the general public often actually benefits wealthy special interests groups who do not need it but who benefit from this anti-Utilitarian government-sponsored robbery. Still, I would not suggest abolishing all government spending tomorrow because some of it at least for the time being does protect the public, help prevent poverty and help reduce the affects of poverty--even though these excuses are drastically overused to support counterproductive measures that are beneficial to special interests. However, again, I do not see the military, courts and police being more likely to fall in this category of spending that 'for the time being does protect the public, help prevent poverty and help reduce the affects of poverty.' For instance, I do not see any reason why it is more or less acceptable, beneficial or poverty-alleviating for a government to spend $1 billion on health care to protect people who cannot afford (or choose not to buy) health care to protect them from a life-threatening disease than for a government to spend $1 billion on security guards or investigators to protect people who cannot afford (or choose not to buy) security guards or private investigators to protect them from potentially life-threatening acts of offensive violence or victimization insofar as both cases save the same amount of lives per dollar.


Here's the difference, Scott. "Liberty", as it's most commonly understood, does not mean freedom from adversity in life. It means freedom from the oppression of an over-imposing neighbor.

Our guarantee to a right of liberty in America does not mean that we are afforded freedom from hunger, poverty, cold, inclement weather, bad health, or other crappy environmental conditions that are often beyond our control.

It means that we are guaranteed freedom from physical obstruction by other men; so that we are all "free" to attempt to protect ourselves from these things through the fruits our own merit.
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Post Number:#24  Postby Scott » March 5th, 2010, 10:31 pm

whitetrshsoldier wrote:It means that we are guaranteed freedom from physical obstruction by other men; so that we are all "free" to attempt to protect ourselves from these things through the fruits our own merit.

I agree. But it doesn't mean you are free to rob me to fund the protecting of yourself from physical obstruction from other men.

I agree with your distinction between poverty or other adversity in life that is not offensively caused by other people (e.g. being hit by lighting) and physical aggression from other people (e.g. being raped or being offensively punched in the face by a bully) in that freedom entails the right to use certain types of violence against the attacker to stop or rectify the latter but not the former (e.g. in a free society you can use violence to stop a rapist or stop the punching bully but not to enslave a doctor against his will to treat the injuries you got when you were hit by lighting).

But if you cannot afford to stop the rapist or bully, liberty does not entail the right to force me or the doctor to help you stop them anymore than it entails the right to force me or the doctor to help protect you from being hit by lightening--assuming the doctor and I are not responsible for the attack, i.e. we are not the rapist or punching bully.

If one wants a security guard to follow him around to fend off human attackers or he wants a doctor to help him fend off viral or bacterial infections and one can afford to buy this service from a willing seller of the service, then in a free society one can do that. But if one cannot afford the service, then the problem is a lack of money. If the desired service is considered a necessity, then the problem is poverty. Forcing a third-party to provide the service or pay for the service that the person cannot afford himself is state-sponsored poverty alleviation.

Please note, I am not talking about using violence to stop a rapist from raping someone or to make the rapist pay for the medical bills of his victim or pay for the costs of the policing it took to stop him. I support that. I am talking about forcing someone else who was not responsible to pay for that stuff. That is state-sponsored poverty alleviation.

You are the one who is arguing for that in this thread, in my view. In my view, you are arguing for poverty alleviation.

Yes, I agree, in a free society you are allowed to buy security cameras, to hire bodyguards to violently stop anyone from offensively attacking you and to pay a private investigator to find out who stole the bicycle you built. In a free society, I do no think you have the right to tax people who are otherwise not involved to buy those things for you. In a free society, you can't force the rest of us to give you that charity.

Government spending for the need of security is as prone to wastefulness and as conducive to corruption as government spending for other needs. Moreover, though many instances of government spending are often defended and supported by bought politicians, bureaucrats and special interest groups as having the purpose of helping the general public fulfill its needs, food, clothes, shelter, security, transportation to work and so forth, the real reason for it is to make special interests even more rich and keep the kickbacks for politicians, lobbyists and bureaucrats coming.

One person gets sucked in to the claim that we need more cops on the street to stop violent crime. One person gets sucked into the claim that we need more money to feed starving children. In either case, government spending increases, special interests groups get even wealthier, politicians get more campaign contributions from the wealthy people receiving the common man's money and kids still starve to death and average folks still get mugged, raped and killed on the poorly policed streets. I think it's a mistake to think either claim--that more money needs to be spent on cops to protect us from violent crime or that more money needs to be spent on programs to feed starving children--is exempt from the inherent drawbacks and harmful tendencies of government spending pointed out in this thread. Similarly, I think it is a mistake to think either one has significantly more or less of a place in a free society. They're just different types of poverty and different excuses used for corrupt, wasteful government spending.

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Post Number:#25  Postby Keith Russell » March 7th, 2010, 4:38 pm

I think one need only look at the fortunes being spent on election campaigns for local, state, and Federal offices whose salaries are but a fraction of the money being spent to get elected to that office in the first place, to know that something very crooked is going on in American politics these days...
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Post Number:#26  Postby whitetrshsoldier » March 9th, 2010, 6:43 pm

Scott wrote:Please note, I am not talking about using violence to stop a rapist from raping someone or to make the rapist pay for the medical bills of his victim or pay for the costs of the policing it took to stop him. I support that. I am talking about forcing someone else who was not responsible to pay for that stuff. That is state-sponsored poverty alleviation.

You are the one who is arguing for that in this thread, in my view. In my view, you are arguing for poverty alleviation.


Scott,

I think you're right about what I was arguing, but I think I mis-conveyed what I intended to argue.

The distinction is between the fact that I believe that we should be guaranteed the right to be free from intrusive physical behavior from others. From offensive actions of others that would inhibit our personal liberty. However, I did not mean to say that guaranteeing this right meant that nobody would ever have their rights violated. The right to be free from physical oppression does not imply that you will never actually BE physically oppressed, just that it will not be permitted or unpunished in society. That you should not have to accept your exposure or vulnerability to that threat.

......

Scott wrote:One person gets sucked in to the claim that we need more cops on the street to stop violent crime. One person gets sucked into the claim that we need more money to feed starving children. In either case, government spending increases, special interests groups get even wealthier, politicians get more campaign contributions from the wealthy people receiving the common man's money and kids still starve to death and average folks still get mugged, raped and killed on the poorly policed streets. I think it's a mistake to think either claim--that more money needs to be spent on cops to protect us from violent crime or that more money needs to be spent on programs to feed starving children--is exempt from the inherent drawbacks and harmful tendencies of government spending pointed out in this thread. Similarly, I think it is a mistake to think either one has significantly more or less of a place in a free society. They're just different types of poverty and different excuses used for corrupt, wasteful government spending.


I think you're correct. I think it's more accurate to claim that higher levels of private gun ownership, and possibly increased personal and neighborhood awareness will actually lower crime rates, not increased spending on "police" or other security measures.

In fact, gun ownership is currently at an all-time high, and crime rates [violent and property-crimes] are at a 40-year low, so that assumption of mine may in fact have legs.

I agree that government is not responsbile for our safety, but it is responsible for sustaining personal liberty. I believe those are two different things. When you call the police, you should expect about an 6-11 minute wait time, depending on where you live. This probably won't "save" you from a violation of your liberties, but the services provided in the aftermath should ensure that your rights are "sustained" in the end.

I consider that an extremely important difference, especially when it comes to government spending. We can't "stop" anything from happening, from natural disasters to disease to illness to crime, but we can ensure that man's basic rights [life and liberty] are protected against other men in the end. This is the only logical application of "government spending", IMO, as the establishment of freedom of men from men within a group is the only thing that makes "society" "civilized".
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Post Number:#27  Postby Scott » March 10th, 2010, 3:56 pm

Whitetrshsoldier, good replies and points.

How do you feel about government spending that indirectly lowers violent crime and victimization?

For instance, hypothetically, consider if a study proved that putting a youth recreation center in a neighborhood would significantly reduce the amount of violent crime that occurs and thus reduce the chances that innocent people's 'basic rights' would be infringed. Consider the costs of setting up and running this youth recreation center would cost $1 million a year. Consider the amount of violent crime reduced would have cost $2 million a year more in terms of the costs of salaries for cops, judges, prosecutors, etc. and the costs of cop cars, equipment, imprisonment of wouldbe offenders and so forth. Surely a philanthropist who wants to reduce violent crime would prefer to uses his own money to charitably buy the preventative recreation center than charitably spend his money inefficiently on the law enforcement end, right? Hypothetically, wouldn't you prefer government spending (in the absence of said philanthropist) on the recreation center? Does using government spending to pay for the recreation center as a means to prevent violent crime fit into the exception you make to your opposition of government spending for defense and law?

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Post Number:#28  Postby whitetrshsoldier » March 10th, 2010, 5:33 pm

Scott wrote:Whitetrshsoldier,
How do you feel about government spending that indirectly lowers violent crime and victimization?


Scott,

I know that this response is revealing the true depth of my idealism, but since we're discussing the philosophy of government spending, I feel compelled to extend my argument against anything that is not specifically directed towards the sustainment of liberty.

This is different than spending that is focused on preventing violent crime or victimization. If we considered it the government's responsibility to put an end to violence, we would be asking the impossible. It would be similar to asking government to eradicate all diseases, to end poverty, homelesness, and hunger, and other various things that naturally plague mankind.

The only thing that a government can, and should guarantee, is the sustainment of liberty as a social contract.

Just as the rich parent can spend all of the money in the world raising their child to be perfect, they cannot guarantee a successful child. So a government that attempts to spend its way into a perfect society cannot expect utopia. No study I have ever known has been able to control with 100% accuracy the outcome of an individual based on the complex combination of genetic and environmental factors. The enigmatic world we live in should serve as a guide to people everywhere that we cannot control for individual preference, choice, or, in the end, behavior.

But one thing we can do is create a contract that all are required to agree upon in order to co-exist, and enforce it so that once a person violates another's life or liberty, justice will be maintained. Hopefully this will encourage the proliferation of freedom [including peace, as freedom-loving individuals will be mostly peaceful] without the requirement of an invasive, coercive, or expansive centralized government.
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Post Number:#29  Postby Scott » March 11th, 2010, 3:40 pm

How do you determine when its a direct and thus acceptable form of government spending and when its an indirect and thus unacceptable form of government spending? Consider these examples:

1. the violent-crime reducing recreation center that would prevent more infringements on liberty (such as murder, rape, etc.) per dollar than common forms of direct spending to that end.

2. Consider a guy who suddenly gets an acute brain disease that makes him utterly insane, unstable and delusion. Consider he owns a gun. Consider that it wouldbe a psychologist's estimation that without forceful interference one with such a mental ailment has about a 95% chance of severely hurting or murdering someone such as one of his family members for any silly reason such as that he thinks they are evil aliens from space trying to take over the world or such. But consider that the guy hasn't actually started directly threatening anyone or attempting to commit an infringement of liberty (such as murder or rape). Would you support government spending to send some cops or state-paid medical doctors to go check out the situation and decide whether or not the guy needs to be institutionalized against his will? If institutionalized, would you support government spending to pay for the institutionalization? Wouldn't government spending to prevent this crazy guy from becoming a criminal be essentially as indirect as the spending on the recreation center?

3. Consider a guy who comes home, finds his wife cheating, pulls out a gun and keeps pointing it at her saying that he should kill her. Would you support government spending on this, namely on sending cops out to the scene to figure out what's going on and maybe preventing a murder?

4. Consider a clear-cut instance of attempted murder. A guy plots for days on how to murder someone. There's enough evidence available that it is tantamount of proof of his intent to commit murder. Because his plans are so well known by the evidence available to the government agents, if they work at it immediately they can intercept him before he murders the victim. I assume you support the laws against attempted murder, which direct government spending to send taxpayer funded cops out to the scene in such a situation, right? And generally this entails arrest the guy and paying for his incarceration.

What exactly is the differentiating principle that determines which of those form of violent-crime-reducing government spending you would support and which ones you wouldn't? That is, if we are not measuring simply by how much infringement on liberty is prevented per dollar spent on average in any given case? Or would you only want government spending and government action to be done after-the-fact--meaning you don't want the taxpayer-funded cops to do anything when they receive a call that someone is threatening or attempting to commit murder but only when they receive a call that a murder has already taken place as a way of enforcing liberty as a social contract?
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Post Number:#30  Postby whitetrshsoldier » March 11th, 2010, 5:19 pm

Scott,

Before I begin answering the hypotheticals, I should point out that I am against Federal spending on these types of preventative measures. I do agree with you on the potential of the effectiveness of some crime preventing measures being greater than "policing", however I do not think that these methods, which are not proven and which may change in effectiveness over time, are the responsibility of a centralized Federal government.

Scott wrote:How do you determine when its a direct and thus acceptable form of government spending and when its an indirect and thus unacceptable form of government spending? Consider these examples:

1. the violent-crime reducing recreation center that would prevent more infringements on liberty (such as murder, rape, etc.) per dollar than common forms of direct spending to that end.


I would leave creative methods of crime-reduction [i.e. non-policing] to the City level, and more reluctantly to the States if such methods were proven effective.

My major problem with this is that criminology isn't a fully understood science, and neither are any of crime's assumed underlying causes. Considering how little we know, how can we justify spending on programs that don't directly address the prevention of imminent violent crimes or the administration of justice in their aftermath [Police, Justice System, and Corrections]?

Scott wrote:2. Consider a guy who suddenly gets an acute brain disease that makes him utterly insane, unstable and delusion. Consider he owns a gun. Consider that it wouldbe a psychologist's estimation that without forceful interference one with such a mental ailment has about a 95% chance of severely hurting or murdering someone such as one of his family members for any silly reason such as that he thinks they are evil aliens from space trying to take over the world or such. But consider that the guy hasn't actually started directly threatening anyone or attempting to commit an infringement of liberty (such as murder or rape). Would you support government spending to send some cops or state-paid medical doctors to go check out the situation and decide whether or not the guy needs to be institutionalized against his will? If institutionalized, would you support government spending to pay for the institutionalization? Wouldn't government spending to prevent this crazy guy from becoming a criminal be essentially as indirect as the spending on the recreation center?


Once again, who determines what is and isn't crazy? By what standard, and on what scientific basis can we affirm their findings? The truth is that we can't, so how can we justify an intrusive government who attempts to pre-emptively address "dangerous" people? What if I, as a Criminal Justice and Psychology Bachelor's degree holder, determined that you were a danger to society? Does that qualify me to go around deciding who should and should not be institutionalized?

The truth is, you can't penalize somebody for something they did not do. Just as I can't kill you because I was "scared" that you might kill me and call it self-defense, neither can you punish me for something that [although you might presume imminent] I have not done.

Scott wrote:3. Consider a guy who comes home, finds his wife cheating, pulls out a gun and keeps pointing it at her saying that he should kill her. Would you support government spending on this, namely on sending cops out to the scene to figure out what's going on and maybe preventing a murder?


The threat of deadly force not used for self-defense is itself a violent crime according to the law. A man who holds another at gun point has deprived the victim of his right to freedom of movement, along with freedom of speech, and freedom of liberty in general, so yes, I support police being sent out for this type of situation, and the incarceration of this man for his crime [the deprivation of the liberty of another].

Scott wrote:4. Consider a clear-cut instance of attempted murder. A guy plots for days on how to murder someone. There's enough evidence available that it is tantamount of proof of his intent to commit murder. Because his plans are so well known by the evidence available to the government agents, if they work at it immediately they can intercept him before he murders the victim. I assume you support the laws against attempted murder, which direct government spending to send taxpayer funded cops out to the scene in such a situation, right? And generally this entails arrest the guy and paying for his incarceration.


I treat this situation as the same as the one above. I don't believe that we should not fund law enforcement with tax dollars, but I also do not believe that we can continually spend and think that we will end crime. Even China, with over 70 Capital crimes [punishable by death] including "Death Vans", has people who offend on a regular basis. People will always commit crime, and the only thing we can do is attempt to effectively respond to the crimes during and after they are committed.

Scott wrote:What exactly is the differentiating principle that determines which of those form of violent-crime-reducing government spending you would support and which ones you wouldn't? That is, if we are not measuring simply by how much infringement on liberty is prevented per dollar spent on average in any given case? Or would you only want government spending and government action to be done after-the-fact--meaning you don't want the taxpayer-funded cops to do anything when they receive a call that someone is threatening or attempting to commit murder but only when they receive a call that a murder has already taken place as a way of enforcing liberty as a social contract?


I only want government spending on the direct prevention of crime at the highest, decentralized levels. Cities, communities, groups, and individuals can attempt to institute different crime-prevention measures that are indirect ["non-Defensive"], but until we have proven the theories of what works and what doesn't, I don't support anything but the funding of an appropriate amount of Police [I'd say attempt to keep a response time per-emergency-call of about 5 minutes], an efficient court system [has to maintain the right to a speedy trial as per 6th Amendment - which I'd put at a max of 6-8 months], and a Prison System.

Other than that, let the communities and Cities experiment as they wish, and we can see what works. If something is effective, I'm sure it'll catch on; if it doesn't, I'd hope that it wouldn't. Either way, there is no guarantee in American society that you will never be a victim, so spending tax-dollars as if we're going to create that utopian world is unrealistic.
"I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings! I'm obviously just insecure with the ineptitudes of my logic and rational faculties. Forgive me - I'm a "lost soul", blinded by my "ignorant belief" that there's such a thing as reality and truth in the world"
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