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Old Nov 16, 2012, 06:27 AM   #1
glocke12
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What responsibility does a citizen have to his nation?

So first off, congratulations to the left on here. It appears that the majority of Americans desire a more "European" style gov't with expanded social programs. I honestly hope it all works out.


With that out of the way, all this talk about entitlements and how to pay for them (for example, nationalized healthcare and having employers and the rich bear the brunt of paying for it) has me wondering what responsibility the citizen has towards its government. I mean, if the government is going to be a provider, shouldn't the citizens have an active role of some type in return?? I am thinking of two specific things here and am curious as to what people think.

The first is a four year, mandatory stint in either the military or a civilian corps of some type for everyone once they reach the age of 18. They can choose either the military, or a civilian corps that helps to rebuild blighted areas, helps the poor, the elderly, and others who cannot take care of themselves, and helps to build and maintain the nations infrastructure.

The second is a nullification of voting rights for everyone until they take a civics test that shows they have a firm understanding of government functions, what is in the constitution, and what the president, supreme court, senate, etc. can and cannot do, and also shows that they actually know who is running for election. This would have to be taken and passed prior to any presidential election.

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Old Nov 16, 2012, 06:41 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by glocke12 View Post
So first off, congratulations to the left on here. It appears that the majority of Americans desire a more "European" style gov't with expanded social programs. I honestly hope it all works out.


With that out of the way, all this talk about entitlements and how to pay for them (for example, nationalized healthcare and having employers and the rich bear the brunt of paying for it) has me wondering what responsibility the citizen has towards its government. I mean, if the government is going to be a provider, shouldn't the citizens have an active role of some type in return?? I am thinking of two specific things here and am curious as to what people think.

The first is a four year, mandatory stint in either the military or a civilian corps of some type for everyone once they reach the age of 18. They can choose either the military, or a civilian corps that helps to rebuild blighted areas, helps the poor, the elderly, and others who cannot take care of themselves, and helps to build and maintain the nations infrastructure.

The second is a nullification of voting rights for everyone until they take a civics test that shows they have a firm understanding of government functions, what is in the constitution, and what the president, supreme court, senate, etc. can and cannot do, and also shows that they actually know who is running for election. This would have to be taken and passed prior to any presidential election.

have fun!


None.

I pay a tax on my earnings, a national insurance, and various other taxes etc for those 'social securities', most of which are substandard for the price we pay, but at least serves a safety net which isnt available for other countries.

This is the whole reason that whilst our social services are being desecrated in the UK whilst we're being encouraged to pay more for them and take part in the 'big society', is fundamentally flawed.

I owe nothing to my nation, the nation owes me the service that I've been forced to pay for.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 07:35 AM   #3
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None.

I pay a tax on my earnings, a national insurance, and various other taxes etc for those 'social securities', most of which are substandard for the price we pay, but at least serves a safety net which isnt available for other countries.

This is the whole reason that whilst our social services are being desecrated in the UK whilst we're being encouraged to pay more for them and take part in the 'big society', is fundamentally flawed.

I owe nothing to my nation, the nation owes me the service that I've been forced to pay for.

Pretty much. The government should be for the people, to enable a better society, not at the cost of people to service corporate entities.

It's maddening watching the Tory part in the UK dismantle social programs by using their abuse to encourage outcry as a blind to cover the injustices committed by the banks and other large corporations.

I don't want to live in the world depicted in Starship Troopers, there's no need for it. Life isn't about keeping things "fair" it's about making the best with what we have.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 07:40 AM   #4
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I don't think a government should exist at all, and blind loyalty to a geographic area drawn up by a bunch of people seems irrational to me.

So obviously I'd say none.

I disagree with both mandatory service and a civics test. The civics test only because I don't want the government power to be expanded even more, and knowledge of civics =/= knowledge required to vote.

I do think that the draft needs to be abolished, or at least women need to be part of it from now on, gender equality and all.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 08:07 AM   #5
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I personally think the most patriotic thing you can do for your country other than joining the military is to be a productive and successful tax paying citizen. One who doesn't whine about paying taxes.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 08:08 AM   #6
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Ask not what your country can do for you...I think a liberal said that something like that once.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 08:12 AM   #7
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One who doesn't whine about paying taxes.
Especially when they are paying for wars of aggression. You shouldn't complain about what your countries policies are. Just be quiet, pay your taxes, and if you don't like what your country is doing go vote.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 08:43 AM   #8
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I personally think the most patriotic thing you can do for your country other than joining the military is to be a productive and successful tax paying citizen. One who doesn't whine about paying taxes.
Without tax revolt, the US would still belong to England...
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 08:46 AM   #9
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I owe nothing to my nation, the nation owes me the service that I've been forced to pay for.
Such a patriotic statement, lol.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 08:46 AM   #10
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The people owe whatever the people require.

As of now I'm required to obey the laws and pay taxes/fees.

And I do a very good job complying with both.

I don't believe anything further is necessary, but volunteerism is a nobel endeavor.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 08:51 AM   #11
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The people owe whatever the people require.

As of now I'm required to obey the laws and pay taxes/fees.

And I do a very good job complying with both.

I don't believe anything further is necessary, but volunteerism is a nobel endeavor.
What about defending your country? How do you feel about that?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 08:59 AM   #12
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What about defending your country? How do you feel about that?
Right now it's a volunteer force.

And as I said, volunteerism is a nobel endeavor.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 09:08 AM   #13
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Right now it's a volunteer force.

And as I said, volunteerism is a nobel endeavor.
I think we need to go to national service enjoyed by all. If we had the equivalent of a draft, I think as a nation, we'd be more hesitant about launching ourselves into foreign adventures. And if we do, lets share the pain among families. Right now if you don't happen to know someone or have a family member in the volunteer service it is the unknown "them" who are suffering and dieing.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 09:27 AM   #14
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Without tax revolt, the US would still belong to England...
The revolution was about "taxation without representation". Doesn't mean people were opposed to paying taxes, they were just opposed to paying them to what they considered was now a foreign country. Paying taxes to your own government is nothing to be ashamed about. Especially when they benefit you.

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Especially when they are paying for wars of aggression. You shouldn't complain about what your countries policies are. Just be quiet, pay your taxes, and if you don't like what your country is doing go vote.
We should certainly complain about our country's policies if we don't agree with them. Not paying taxes won't help anything though. And yes, go vote.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 09:33 AM   #15
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Slavery was outlawed 150 years ago. However, I think Americorps is a great program and one that allows young kids a chance to grow as well as experience different aspects of America. Roosevelt's "Tree Army" the Civilian Conservation Corps did a fantastic job in creating some of America's favorite recreation places. I think it would be great to bring a similar program back. Our public lands need assistance. I don't think public service is equal to military service and the two should not be connected.

Nullification of Constitutionally given rights is never gonna happen, it's just another wingnut's wet dream.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 09:49 AM   #16
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[/COLOR]

We should certainly complain about our country's policies if we don't agree with them. Not paying taxes won't help anything though. And yes, go vote.
Well not paying taxes is not agreeing with a policy. Where is the disconnect here?

If the government keeps getting the money that it wants to fund things you disagree with, than that's not helping you at all.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 09:51 AM   #17
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i would favor a 1-2 years mandatory 'civil service' as a default situation, with no exceptions except severe medical condition and similar situations. Regular enlisting in military services would void the requirement.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 10:01 AM   #18
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Well not paying taxes is not agreeing with a policy. Where is the disconnect here?

If the government keeps getting the money that it wants to fund things you disagree with, than that's not helping you at all.
You can't agree with everything your government does. If everyone stopped paying taxes when the government did something to make them unhappy, this would be a third world country. As you said, the best way to change policy is to go vote. Not paying your taxes won't benefit anyone.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 10:03 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by glocke12 View Post
So first off, congratulations to the left on here. It appears that the majority of Americans desire a more "European" style gov't with expanded social programs. I honestly hope it all works out.


With that out of the way, all this talk about entitlements and how to pay for them (for example, nationalized healthcare and having employers and the rich bear the brunt of paying for it) has me wondering what responsibility the citizen has towards its government. I mean, if the government is going to be a provider, shouldn't the citizens have an active role of some type in return?? I am thinking of two specific things here and am curious as to what people think.

The first is a four year, mandatory stint in either the military or a civilian corps of some type for everyone once they reach the age of 18. They can choose either the military, or a civilian corps that helps to rebuild blighted areas, helps the poor, the elderly, and others who cannot take care of themselves, and helps to build and maintain the nations infrastructure.

The second is a nullification of voting rights for everyone until they take a civics test that shows they have a firm understanding of government functions, what is in the constitution, and what the president, supreme court, senate, etc. can and cannot do, and also shows that they actually know who is running for election. This would have to be taken and passed prior to any presidential election.

have fun!
Wow. What happened to America being a "free" country? These ideas are insane.

Although, if you were forced to pass a test in order to vote, the Republicans would never win another election.

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Originally Posted by eric/ View Post
I don't think a government should exist at all, and blind loyalty to a geographic area drawn up by a bunch of people seems irrational to me.
So then, how exactly would you handle defense, civil services like schools, fire, police, EMS, building roads and bridges, and making sure corporations aren't raping people?

Quote:
I do think that the draft needs to be abolished, or at least women need to be part of it from now on, gender equality and all.
We haven't had a draft in 40 years??

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Originally Posted by thewitt View Post
Without tax revolt, the US would still belong to England...
Grab yourself a history book buddy. The colonists didn't have a problem paying taxes, they had a problem paying taxes without representation in parliament. You know, the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, the Tea Act. The Sons of Liberty threw the tea in the harbor because they refused to pay taxes to a government where they weren't represented.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 10:23 AM   #20
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You can't agree with everything your government does. If everyone stopped paying taxes when the government did something to make them unhappy, this would be a third world country.
Why?

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Originally Posted by likemyorbs View Post
As you said, the best way to change policy is to go vote. Not paying your taxes won't benefit anyone.
Paying them doesn't help either, because it just lets the government continue to operate against your interests.

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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
So then, how exactly would you handle defense, civil services like schools, fire, police, EMS, building roads and bridges, and making sure corporations aren't raping people?
Well corporations "rape" people right now. The government doesn't really help that.

The rest of the stuff could be funded voluntarily.


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We haven't had a draft in 40 years??
You still have to sign the draft card.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 10:23 AM   #21
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What responsibility does one have to a geographical area based on random location at time of birth? Answer: NONE!!
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 10:24 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by glocke12 View Post

has me wondering what responsibility the citizen has towards its government.
I wonder what the Declaration of Independence says about it?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 10:27 AM   #23
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Location: A man of the people. The right sort of people.
Mandatory participation in the war machine. All sounds very new and inspirational. Great minds are at work..
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 10:38 AM   #24
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Such a patriotic statement, lol.
I'd never atest to being patriotic in the slightest
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 12:56 PM   #25
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So first off, congratulations to the left on here. It appears that the majority of Americans desire a more "European" style gov't with expanded social programs. I honestly hope it all works out.
Before you dismiss those social programs as veiled confiscation, you have to understand that it's not quite as simple as those resources disappearing into a black hole to no benefit of the so-called givers.

One of the reasons why Scandinavian countries in general and Sweden in particular survived the Great Recession of '08-09 virtually unscathed, is this:

Economy is about faith. One drawback of a society with a 'you're on your own' type economy is that when a downturn hits, everyone craps their pants in fear, stop spending and huddle up with their savings in bunkers, "HOLY **** I'm losing my job and my health care plan and my house -- quick, where's a sturdy rope?" As a result of consumers retreating underground, businesses fall like dominoes, resulting in fewer jobs, even less spending etc etc - downward spiral. Such developments are often the result of bubbles, and bubbles are also a trademark of economies with laxed regulation and everyone running wild and acting in pure self-interest, as evidenced by the U.S. housing bubble that eventually flushed the whole world economy down the toilet.

But in a so-called nanny state like Denmark or Sweden, people don't soil their underwear when a downturn hits, because they know they can fall back on all those taxes they paid when everything was dandy through generous unemployment benefits in case they're laid off. They don't stop consuming, they're a tad more frugal but on the whole, life goes on. Therefore businesses and investors also don't crap their pants, thus they don't panic and cease all investments and lay off people pre-emptively. And conversely, all the progressive taxing etc provides a slight cooling effect that keeps the most bullish lot from going completely bonkers in good times, which reduces the risk of bubbles. In other words, it works like AC, keeping the temperature stable, and stability facilitates keeping the collective faith in the economy alive, if occasionally by way of artificial life support.

If Papa John's was allowed to act in unrestrained self-interest, they'd have captive chimpanzees making the pizzas for free, but if everyone does that, you end up with 100% unemployment and customers with no money, and all businesses will die anyway except those who export their goods overseas to people with actual jobs.
On the other far end of the scale, there's communism, where everyone works ONLY for the common good without self-interest, and with no personal incentive, people lose interest in doing a good job, as proven in the Soviet Union when Trotsky noted that their factory workers took 3 times longer to build cars than Western factory workers did, plus the craftsmanship was sloppy.

So the optimal system should be rigged in such a way that acting in self-interest automatically benefits the group. This makes no practical difference in responsibility to the nation, you simply do your thing and the better you are at it, the more money you make, which benefits the group through more tax revenue. I bet all the Swedish businesses who survived the recession just fine, without bailouts, feel rather blessed when they look at all the corporate graveyards outside Sweden, and realize that a panicked and bearish population without benefits to keep the whole machine running, would've been their death sentence.

Last edited by Anuba; Nov 16, 2012 at 03:44 PM.
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