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John Locke

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Republicans - Democrats

Democrats want a stronger central government, more taxes to fund these programs, and more government jobs and activities.

Republicans want a weaker central government, less taxes are needed, and the country should be based on small and large businesses not the government.

Please explain which government system you would prefer and why.

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    Nov 25 2011: If I had to expand a bit, I'd say we need a cut and spend administration that's deficit neutral, spends the same amount of money, but uses it more intelligently. Government needs to run like a not for profit organization, we need to pay government employees less, cut administration, fire people based on performance, pay people based on performance, and introduce a free online education system immediately.

    If we were 14 trillion dollars in debt to NASA, no one would be angry... of course we wouldn't be in debt, we'd be the wealthiest most technologically advanced country on the planet, so I vote we start there. Real programs, that everyone loves... Spend more money... cut the personal social legislation, and I hate to sound like a republican, but I think both sides nowadays both really want a fair, understandable tax code, I just want one that relies more heavily on the estate tax, and obscene wealth taxes.

    Also, i'd just like to point out, Republicans are not a conservative organization that wants to limit government anymore. They want to expand government, they just don't want to pay back our debts.
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      Nov 25 2011: Thank you for your opinion however I have some questions.

      If you want a more understandable tax code, what about the 9-9-9 plan Herman Cain proposed?
      Do you believe we should start to pay back our debt deficate?
      What areas of the government should we keep and expand?
      How do you suggest we introduce a free education system?

      You have some excellent ideas however some of them may need to be more elaborated.
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        Nov 27 2011: I'll put a number next to the 4 questions... unfortunately the first one is the most difficult, so you'll see number 1 at the end, in short, Herman Cain, of course not, even if was a decent idea he couldn't lead us to pull it off.

        2. No... I know... Crazy... but basically, the answer comes down to no. I think we should print money to pay off domestic debts to the fed, and then stop doing business with them. I think we should plan a strategy for printing our 14 trillion dollars in debt, and letting it pay our debts, by a planned system of gradual inflation, in which the US accepts that it has made a mistake, and rather than paying down an insurmountable debt, we devalue our currency, as it would be devalued in a fair competitive global market.

        At the same time, we try to encourage a policy of Americans maintaining their faith in the American economy locally, and spending more of their money locally. We also fight for better working standards for laborers, so that as this currency devaluation occurs, working people get paid, more, and the only real consequence is that large amounts of money are now worth less in the open market, we lose a little status in the world, because we made mistakes. At the same time we begin this program we adopt paygo. For domestic spending we tax as much as we spend. Maybe we even create a debt, with no interest, where we destroy 14 trillion dollars that we tax, over the following 20 years, to return to even.

        For domestic "goodwill" spending. Make it good will. No more loans. We won't print money for our people, but if the UN comes to us, and says, this country needs this much money, for this project... we say "okay, we like that project, the money's free, we'll send someone to oversee it, but you can't devalue our currency, you now have faith in the American dollars abillity to do good in the world."

        3. Most areas of government should be kept and expanded, but they should do less intrusive things, and more good...
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        Nov 27 2011: 3. Cont'd. Education would be a great place to spend more money, after i'm done with it (see 4)... Millitary technology can be a phenomenal investment when it's cutting edge stuff. No more billion dollar bombers, we're in the global intelligence finesse game now, not the hack and slash years of the past. When our troops get home, train them to build infrastructure all over the world and pay them to build it. Create what I term a "Jobs Corp."

        As for things to eliminate, the DEA should be incorporated into the IRS, and we should have a high end phorensic accounting approach to tracking drug dealers, because we should legallize, and non profitize all narcotics. The narcotics, should be properly labeled "this will probably kill you", everywhere that sells narcotics should have to provide every customer with information for getting help via a medical health model for treatment... and no one should be able to pay more than minimum wage, to anyone who produces narcotics. Salary cap drug dealing at minimum wage, and most drugs will drop in use overnight, marijuana use will go up a bit for awhile, but it'll taper off.

        Hopefully a more fair tax code will help cut the IRS a bit... but our government costs what it costs, I'll pay taxes for things that are good. If this model is more expensive, it won't be by much, and I think we could cover it. Lots of little changes, and a huge redistribution of our millitary budget, and a huge turn towards personal responsibillity in the courts. So less lawsuits, more criminal investigations.

        4. Easy. I can't believe we haven't done it yet. For the cost of 5 elementary schools, 5 junior highs, 5 high schools, and 5 universities, we could easily create a free online version of all 4 similar to U of Phoenix, mix with Kahn Academy. I would actually, to be in the spirit of conservative economics in a debt, reccomend we close 5 underperforming schools to pay for it (on the back end a local pollitician will build a new one).
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        Nov 27 2011: 4. Cont'd. The pay methodology should try to find a balance between student test scores and "likes". Over time I believe we should funnel more and more money into the system until the most amazing Algebra 1 teacher in the planet, has graduated a million students through his video learning program, and because of this, he's a millionaire. I want to make awesome teachers rock stars through a youtube like approach to cheap education.

        I would add a surprising caviate however that I believe in a two tiered education system. I think people should see e education, as slightly below traditional education, especially at first as we work the kinks out. I still like the idea of the 10000 smartest kids in the country getting scholarships, and parents to give them 50 grand to go get the best hands on personal education in the country. I think culture needs to continue to respect traditional education while providing people who use the online model entry level chances to prove themselves. A Yale engineering degree should get you a job, an online university engineering degree should get you a trainee job... imho.

        4. I almost like 9/9/9 because I almost think people are that stupid, and it needs to be something that simple. In general though, my basic philosophy of taxes, is that money generated through doing actual labor, and producing actual goods, should be taxed much less than it is now. Money created through financial instruments and investments should be taxed higher. And the estate tax should go up to 90% on anything over a billion dollars. We don't need child billionaires, that's like a child king.

        In my perfect world, we would simply graduate the income tax, dramatically, and make that graduation apply to investment income, so as to stop people from generating obscene wealth without producing actual goods or services... I'll keep this one general and short actually... It's such a hodgpodge I could lose myself talking about tax codes, merit, incentives
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          Nov 27 2011: I found your reasoning very interesting. I definatly agree with you about education however some natural problems arise such as how does everyone get a computer, who can make sure they watch the online videos, how about homework, test, etc.?

          I also agree about your military ideas. We do not need to have as large of a military as we do now, instead, we should put our money into devoloping new weapons and sciences. Who needs more men when you have better weapons?

          You mentioned earlier that you want to keep NASA, and again, I agree compltely. Through NASA we have discovered many things about science and space. NASA has provided us with rocket technology, solar technology, vacuums, racing cars, and personal storm warning technology.

          Great job expressing your ideas and contributing to this forum.
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        Nov 27 2011: Thx. I have a weird idea with the online testing, make everyone who participates buy a 20 dollar webcam, and pay someone 15-20 bucks an hour to watch ten test takers at a time. While you take a test, you have to set up your webcam in a way that allows an employee to see, you're not looking at a book or a phone, you're just taking the test.

        You shouldn't have to prove you watched the material simply pass the test. If you want to read books on your own time, and test out of something, go for it. This will be one of the jobs we can give returning soldiers/ the jobs corp.

        This relies on difficult, large question bank tests... I think we could pull it off though. Basically, homework would become optional, most people will need to do it to thoroughly understand the material, some teachers may still choose to value it, but honestly, as long as the online degree is recognized as a trainee degree, or an entry level 70%ish competency degree... let tests do the talking.

        Ooh, and on NASA. We need a United Nations of NASA... We need every country on the planet to contribute to a giant worldwide space program, in my humble opinion. That's one of the few areas where it would be better to have a unified vision of collonization, than competition between the various countries. We all want humanity to get to Mars, and live on the moon. I think.
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          Nov 28 2011: You have some very strong opinions and many of them are sensible and achievable.

          I actually answered my own question on how to make sure the students watch the vides. Websites like Kahn Academy or others that use the same programing they do, keep track of the user that watches the videos and if they watch the whole thing.

          I like your testing idea, but I have a question. Are you proposing that the students go to an area where they can be watched while taking a test? Or can they go anywhere they want as long as they have a webcam to watch them?

          On the Nasa subject. This is a long way away, but what would happen if we did get to mars or the moon and were able to colonize it? How would we split up the area? Would it be evenly divided or would it be based on how much you contributed to the program? And, where would this UN of NASA take place? Would it be in the USA or another country?
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        Nov 29 2011: I think they should be able to hook up there webcam at home, and we'll just pay people a living wage to watch the webcams. Obviously if there was abuse, policies would have to be adjusted, but I really think again, as long as the idea was that this was the McDonald's of a degree, this just proved bare minimum competency, I think we'd be alright.

        On the NASA subject, I'll actually suggest a fiction novel to you "Enders Game", which basically suggests that all of humanity will unite in a unified space race to colonize other planets... Right after the aliens attack : p. I hope we can do it without the attack. I basically think that no country or corporation will ever be able to colonize space, I think humanity will have to do it.
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    Nov 26 2011: Hi Jack,

    I see no reason why the government could take a combination of democrat and republican qualities. None of these two is perfect and there is nothing wrong with recognizing that the "other" party may have some good ideas too.

    And while at it, why not expand the horizon and look at other governments to see if something can be learned from them and incorporated?

    Is it really an "all or nothing"?
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      Nov 27 2011: Right now, America views democrats and republicans as two different people, partly because the two parties disagree on so much. When you do have a mixture of democrats and republicans, like we do now, we end up in a stand-still where nothing gets passed, nothing gets approved, and we basically don't have a congress. Obviously this isn't good for anyone, we need all three branches of government .We need a congress that is willing to act swiftly when we need them to.

      So, I would love to see two parties come together and work out ideas, compromise, and pass laws, tax reforms, etc. that America needs right now. However, I don't believe that with both the Democrats and the Republicans in the congress we can achieve that.
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        Nov 27 2011: hi again Jake... apologies for calling you Jack in my first reply.

        You say republicans and democrats are like two different people. And when i think about an all or nothing or a mix, i was not thinking just about the composition of congress, but about individuals as well.

        Why is it so hard to think that a single person could support some democrat views and some republican views? do these parties have a monopoly on religion, social enterprises, civil liberties, etc?

        Is a republican that supports social security an aberration? is a democrat who is pro-life an aberration?
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          Nov 28 2011: Thank you for expanding on your comment. Democrat and Republican are just labels on two different ideas of how we should run our government. So, yes, someone share views of both a democrat and a republican, but can the people who see the situation from only one side ever agree?
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    Dec 3 2011: The truth lies in the middle.

    I guess the real issue is: where is the middle?
  • Nov 26 2011: I don't particularly enjoy thinking of politics in terms of "choosing sides", but that seems to be the way America views it for the time being. I suppose I would have to choose Democrat, if being a Democrat is defined by the guidelines you have listed.
    That being said, I would only choose so if there were strong regulations on who could benefit from these programs and a way to monitor the progress of those who decide to benefit from these programs.

    The problem with taxes is..how do you create fairness in who you tax and how much you decide to tax them? Its virtually impossible to correctly assess the merit of an individual when literally millions of people are involved in such a system as a government-run society, and to ask those would have worked hard to obtain what they have to assist those who haven't put forth effort to positively contribute to society, regardless of why they haven't contributed, seems to be almost a figurative slap in the face. This is one of the problems I see in Democracy.

    A sound society involves a lot of compromise, but it is hard to get many to agree on what compromise entails when debating what makes a nation properly work, and because our values and external factors are constantly forcing us collectively to try and adapt, its tough to say that one system will exist that can reshape itself in accordance to the progression of time and the succession of events in this time.

    Anyway, isn't our country almost due for a change in dominant political parties? I have a feeling that soon, it won't be Rep. v. Dem. anymore, unless we choose to keep those titles and simply change the values that exist within the parties. That probably wouldn't be such a simple task to accomplish right now.
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      Nov 27 2011: Well, I choose democrats - republicans because most americans classify themselves as one or the other. I agree that soon we will have other problems where two groups will pick sides, perhaps change the name, and now we have two more parties...
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    Nov 25 2011: I vote no