Joan Watson.The number of government workers is proportional to the
need to protect the people of the society from their enemies. Judged by the
size of the law libraries, the greatest need is for protection from domestic
enemies rather than foreign enemies. With regard to personal
freedom it is the regulations and enforcement that gives us the freedom we
enjoy. The unfortunate truth is that most all people are selfish and greedy and
will take every advantage of others they can. It is the laws that make you
free. Government workers are paid with the same kind of money that
private workers receive. It spends the same and is easily traded between the
two. Whether your neighbor works for a store or a government office, you
don't really care. In that respect, the government is just like any other
private business that you buy goods or services from.
We keep hearing about how the wealthy are getting fantastically rich in the US
in the last 10 years but the economy is said to be terrible.I think
that's all we need to conclude that top down economics is a huge fat ehhh
not truth. will it be posted?
I love quotes like this...."Ah yes. Why, if only the government
ran our lives completely, we would then be free! That's LDS Liberals'
world view"In a perfect world, we would't need a government
to keep people playing nice with one another. But alas, history has shown us
that in the absence of rules or government, peoples dark sides often take over
the better side of them. If we could trust business would be honest, we
wouldn't need watch dog organization. But we have plenty of examples
where greed got in the way of good judgement.The role of government
is to keep you from doing things that takes away another's rights or
opportunity. If people would live honest lives, it would be redundant. So if
you want to stop government over reach, start insisting you and your fellow
citizens live lives that make "supervision" unneeded.
Republicans are mostly tyrants and Democrats are too. If you prefer reverse the
statement; it still says the same. If tyranny has escalated in the current
regime it is that they are more audacious in promoting mostly the same policies
of perpetual war and a gigantic and powerful public sector ever meddling and
restricting and tying down "the little man", failing to address the
outsourcing of our economy, and doing anything to effectively control illegal
immigration. Also the people themselves buy the cheap Asian products and the
corporate tax is too high. Huge "donations" come from the big
corporations, who are happy to outsource to nations with cheaper labor and lower
corporate tax, and who by this means exert a powerful control over their allies
in political power. They seem to have no nation and no party in particular.Health does not come from health care or health insurance laws; the most
healthy nations are surely those who, having access to good health information,
do not do stupid. We are unhealthy inasmuch we live reckless, hedonistic,
gluttonous lifestyles. No health care or insurance "systems" can change
that. Ours is a bad one and has not been free market for decades.
Well if your are going to rely on data from such a well-rounded group - the
corporate welfare loving/anti-regulation advocate Wall Street Journal, AND the
ultra-conservative/anti-regulation advocate Heritage Foundation, then what you
say MUST be true.
IronyAnd under Obama and Democrat rule it's the women and
children that get hurt the most."In 2011, child poverty reached record
high levels, with 16.7 million children living in food insecure households,
about 35% more than 2007 levels"
@John Kateel"Exports are at an all time high. Our natural gas
production is so high that energy intensive industry worldwide are looking to
relocate to the US. Bankruptcy and death are not the primary options for those
with a preexisting medical conditions. Our tech companies dominate their
industry worldwide. Home mortgages are once again evaluated on documented
income..."-------I would be doing very well also if I
borrowed a million dollars a year. The Day of Reckoning WILL come.
"The rich get rich and the poor get laid off. Ain't we got fun?"
Roland,Thank you for the clarification. I don't think that we
disagree that the tax rate listed is not the rate that any of us pay. Whether
we pay 17% or 23% when the rate listed is 39% is not the primary point that
concerns me. The primary point is that we are all citizens and, as citizens, we
all have a responsibility to pay for the core costs of government. Maybe I can
make that point by writing about the cost of heating my home. Yesterday, I
received my natural gas bill. It was substantial. December and January are
cold months. I knew that the gas bill would be substantial even though I set
the thermostat at 62-degrees. The gas company did not disappoint me. My wife
and I will not be eating steaks for a long time; however, my very rich neighbor
has a house that is three-times larger than mine. His gas bill is about 3X
larger also. Should he paid 10X my gas bill? Should he pay 100X? Or, should
he pay for what he uses?
Roland Kayser,The IRS publishes a "top 400 wealthiest households
list"? Really?That doesn't seem like the job of the IRS.
I don't care if some magazine decides to publish their top-100 or their
top-500 whatever list. But the IRS should not be tracking, much less
publishing top-10 household lists etc. They should not be publishing ANYTHING
that identifies families (making them targets).IMO the IRS should
not publish any of it's data it tracks on households. That seems kinda
private (more private than who I'm calling on my cell phone).Sounds like the IRS is more out of control that I thought!
I'm sure the conservative Heritage Foundation appreciates you taking their
side. But it's not the only viewpoint.Freedom? There are many
aspects to that. Thanks to ACA, many people will be free to enjoy good health
who were previously denied it by no fault of their own. Sounds like
the freedom to live in a more fair society to me - is it fair that sick people
are punished because they are merely unlucky enough to suffer illness or
LDS liberal are you implying that a country/stake/government that hires
thousands to oversee its restrictions, regulations and programs is beneficial
for the good of the country or not good? The deceased assassinated governor of
Louisiana, Huey Long, hired more government workers than those in the private
sector. All of which did not bode well for Long or for citizens of that state
as his aim was for control of both. In my opinion government heavy at the top
creates problems, easily sliding into a bureaucratic quagmire.
Nobody has taken the bait in response to my question as to why Switzerland and
Canada make the top six in BOTH the WSJ - Heritage index AND the World Happiness
Index. Is it possible for a country to have a high degree of economic freedom
and at the same time have a productive socialist component? It may. But
further research is needed.Why don't you at the Deseret News
take the bait and delve into both indexes to see what you find?
To Mike Richards: The 16.6% figure comes from an annual report that the IRS
publishes on the 400 wealthiest households. I should have clarified that. The
highest taxes are paid by those in the 90-95th percentile, and I believe your
23% figure probably represents those taxpayers.
Irony GuyIs this the data you speak off? It seems to show how great
it is under Democrat rule...In November 2012 the U.S. Census Bureau
said more than 16% of the population lived in poverty in the United States,
including almost 20% of American children, up from 14.3% (approximately 43.6
million) in 2009 and to its highest level since 1993. In 2008, 13.2% (39.8
million) Americans lived in poverty. California has a poverty rate of 23.5%,
the highest of any state in the country.In 2011 extreme poverty
in the United States, meaning households living on less than $2 per day before
government benefits, was double 1996 levels at 1.5 million households, including
2.8 million children. This would be roughly 1.2% of the US population in
2011, presuming a mean household size of 2.55 people. In 2011, child poverty
reached record high levels, with 16.7 million children living in food insecure
households, about 35% more than 2007 levels
LDS LiberalIsn't it about time to stop blaming GWBush for everything.
You claim during the Bush Adm: "the rich off-shored $21 trillion into Caymen
island and swiss bank accounts,and Corporations squirrel away another $100
trillion in profits". How is it that the big bad Corporations squirrel away
a $100 trillion? when the entire US GDP in all 8 GWGush years combined was $98.2
TRILLION??? The number that will impact everyone is the debt!! Obama took it
from 9 trillion to 17 trillion, explain that away......
Agreed that the Heritage Foundation's ranking may miss the mark.So let's go straight to the point. Do countries with less govt.
intervention have better healthcare and education?From what I see,
the answer is no.On the education front, countries with the best
results appear to be those where govt. takes a strong role and funds it well.On the healthcare side, govt. provides strong regulation and may mandate
participation (often via a single payer system).Simply put, if you
could not raise your family in the US (and ignoring issues of language, culture,
and weather) which five countries would you pick for your family?For
many, the answers would likely include countries with more govt.
regulation/involvement than we have in the US due to issues of education and
healthcare to name a few.
I read Roland's post, so I used Google to see why my understanding of tax
rates and his were so different. I trust Roland. I respect what he writes.
What I found was slightly different from what he posted, but it was from other
sites, so I'm sure that he quoted the IRS data as he saw it. What I found
was the the top rate was about 23%. He quoted about 17% (rounded). Both
figures are far below the published rate of 39.6%, so basically Roland and I
agree that the extremely wealthy pay far less than 39.6%. What surprised me was
that the lowest percentile paid a negative 9%. In other words, while the
richest people pay somewhere between 17% and 23%, the poorest people get back
more than 9% of what they paid in. We all receive the same
protections from the Federal Government. Why should there be tax brackets? By
being in a "bracket" means that the wealthy will pay more than the
"poor". Shouldn't we all at least pay the same rate?
I find it interesting that several people's comments regarding this
editorial cite the following quote"the less a government
interferes with personal economic freedom, the better its people become
educated, and the more effective is its health care system"either to proclaim or dispute its veracity, because the Heritage
Foundation's Economic Freedom Index has very little to do with *personal*
economic freedom, but is primarily focused on *corporate/institutional* economic
freedom. RJL hit the nail on the head when he said that this was an editorial
supporting supply-side capitalism. The problem with that is that there is not
much "trickling down" going on, and there really hasn't been for a
very long time, if in fact there ever has been.
Joan WatsonTWIN FALLS, IDThe 'foolish' - is that
government needs to employ thousands upon thousands in order to oversee
regulations, restrictions, and programs.10:35 a.m. Jan. 23, 2014=========== Q: The State of Utah's largest employer?A: The State of Utah.I'm betting the same hold true for
So Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada and Denmark all rate as more free
than the United States? How come I hear these countries bashed so regularly by
conservatives as moving toward socialism?Except for Switzerland, I
think they all have single payer healthcare (much more concentrated than our
own) and Switzerland does have compulsory healthcare.As to higher
education, each of these countries (other than Switzerland – I could not
find good data) has a much lower cost of college than in the US - typically due
to strong govt. support of higher education.So apparently certain
types of govt. intervention are okay.
A people was once accused of being "unstable and foolish."
Unfortunately for that generation they went the way of all people and
governments that implode. There are more U.S. government restrictions and
regulations and programs imposed upon its people than ever before in our
history. The 'good' one may argue, is that there are more government
jobs than ever before. The 'foolish' - is that government needs to
employ thousands upon thousands in order to oversee regulations, restrictions,
It is wrong to measure economic freedom by the amount of freedom given to
business organizations. The term economic freedom implies the freedom for all
of the people, not just the people measured by the factors in the Wall Street
Journal and the Heritage Foundation survey. The recent years show that business
interests in America have prospered while the non-business people have
experienced economic disaster. The information from the survey
seems to be propaganda for the relaxing of control over capitalistic business.
Capitalism is a good system but it must be controlled by government if the
non-business people are to have economic freedom. If the voters are
unable to see that the Tea Party, republicans and conservatives are selling them
false information, our economy will only get worse and bring on the kind of
strife that we see in foreign nations.
The article states: "Some may find it ironic, but the less a government
interferes with personal economic freedom, the better its people become
educated, and the more effective is its health care system"I
don't find it ironic, I find it fallacious!! The United States
has NEVER been the country with most freedom in the world. Always have been a
segment of its population that have been "legally" prevented from
enjoying all the privileges and opportunities that society has to offer.Canada, Sweden, Norway, and many other developed countries contradict
@ SEY. Please explain how the rich steal from the poor since the poor have
nothing to steal? If prosperity was generated by low productivity, there would
be no poor. Prosperity is only generated by productivity! The reason some people
are poor is that they are not productive! The only way to really help the poor
is to help them be productive, not by keeping them poor with welfare handouts!
Isn't it interesting that as soon as we elect a black Democrat president,
the WSJ and Heritage Foundation declare that America is no longer as
"free" economically as it used to be. That is a strong correlation as
well. The Deseret News may dismiss the correlation if it chooses, but
here's my bet: Regardless of what happens under the next Republican
president, the WSJ/Heritage consensus will be that we have immediately become
more "economically free." Yet the data are in. Check the
poverty rates for the last 50 years and you will see that they decline under
Democratic administrations and rise under Republican administrations. And
that's a fact. I guess it depends on who defines economic freedom and for
RJL: both types of capitalism you referred to are better known as
crony-capitalism. Both types are reverse Robin Hood policies, stealing from the
poor and middle class to benefit the already-rich.
And as we know... that's a "good" thing.
Hutterite. We do have a single payer healthcare system now. Those who have
healthcare insurance are subsidizing those who don't by paying higher
premiums, higher deductibles and higher co-pays not to mentions higher hidden
taxes! What more do you want?
This is just a matter of the Deseret News supporting supply-side capitalism as
opposed to Keynesian capitalism.
Single payer health care and regulated banking sector are both missing from the
LDS LiberalYou could really benefit from watching FOX and Bill
O'Reilly. Just last night for instance the very subject of the rich
getting richer was a topic. Truth is, all the stats show that the huge
disparity between rich getting richer and poor getting less has in FACT happened
MOST under these last 5 years of Obama. Just the facts. Sorry. Sooner or
later you guys will have to get into the current times and realize that going on
6 years of Obama, it is all his game now. And it is becoming more and more
apparant that if with 8 years available to Obama he is not able to fix things,
he was a bad choice to be President in the first place. But, in liberal terms,
he has made things worse. Medium income in America has dropped some 4 thousand
dollars during his administration.
Ah yes. Why, if only the government ran our lives completely, we would then be
free! That's LDS Liberals' world view. I love the "It's
Bush's Fault! Obama did nothing! 70 years from now, it will be
Bush's fault!!!!!!" Cue frothing at the mouth. Guess what: Bush is
somewhat to blame; because he expanded the nanny state too. Pray tell, who is
going to pay for the 7 or so trillion of debt the democrats have added? It is
COMPLETELY on them, because they passed the stimulus package--and ever since
then have refused to cut that stimulus out. We've been dumping a trillion
dollars a year of government spending over and above what Bush ever had--and we
are STILL in recession, still worse off, and Obama with the NSA and spying is
rapidly destroying the US tech edge. Who's going to order American tech
anything? Liberalism is another word for slavery to government.
I'm going to focus on just one comment from the piece: "And even with
the federal income tax taking 39.6 percent from the top earners, the nation is
nowhere near meeting its burgeoning obligations."If you
don't understand the difference between a top marginal rate and actual
taxes paid, please refrain from commenting about tax policy. I suspect that you
do know the difference, which means you are simply lying to prove a point.The actual effective federal income tax rate for the wealthiest
Americans is 16.6%. (source IRS)
Nearly the exact same article was published but a couple of days ago in this
same paper. The factors used to make this determination are flawed on their
face and the DesNews is rapidly becoming what most conservative "news"
sources have reverted to over the past few years: an echo chamber for their own
propaganda. These "opinion" pieces are making it clearer
and clearer that the DesNews has put away any semblance of integrity and prefers
rather to "believe" only things that support their worldview. Perhaps, if the DesNews actually cared about providing a useful opinion, they
would have been more studious and consulted the Church's Proclamation on
the Economy. That helps reveal that our Nation is "less free" but for
an entirely different set of reasons than the ones outlined here.
The rich are get richer, the middle and poor are getting poorer.It all happened on the watch of GWBush and the GOP, like Nero lighting
Rome of fire and playing his fiddle while watching it burn -- which
is WHY I loathe and go after them daily for all their WRONG policies!Phooey!BTW -- Who IS going to pay the $3 Trillion - direct
costs - and $6 trillion in indirect costs -- for his still yet unfunded and
unpaid for Middle Eastern wars?Not to mention the $49 trillion lost
in home values,and $16 trillion lost in wages and earnings.While the rich off-shored $21 trillion into Caymen island and swiss bank
accounts, and Corporations squirrel away another $100 trillion in profits.
Well it is pretty simple to understand. If a person is a slave, then pretty
much all of their work product goes to someone else. The master of the
plantation, or the masters of a government. If a person pays only half of their
work earnings to a government, then in a sense they are only half enslaved. Now
for those of you who say the person gets a lot back from government, that is
true. However. What is the threat of not paying that half? In some case
enslavement. Or prison if you like. And at a minimum, repaying the back taxes
with a huge addition of late fees and penalities added. So, the government in a
sense makes us, the average citizen live in fear of that very government and its
power. That is why, in our world, the country with too much government power
has frequently become a tyranny. That is also why, we in America need to see to
it that our government of the people and for the people, does not become a
government against the people and for itself.
I agree with the editorial, especially the part that says that "the less the
government interferes with personal economic freedom, the better its people
become educated". If you're hungry, you'll expand your ability to
increase your value to others so that they will pay you for your abilities.
That's the greatest incentive to add value to your skills. When the
government feeds us, clothes us, houses us and provides us with free cellphones
and "free" health care, there is no incentive to add value to our
skills. People work just about as hard as they need too. Very few have the
discipline to continually add value to their skills. Government
that assumes the role of "nanny" cripples its citizens. It makes
citizens slaves by denying them the consequences of their actions. Our Creator
gave us agency with accountability. He placed us in families who are
responsible to get us going in life. He never charged government with the task
of being our "mommy" or our "daddy".
"But in the United States, the Affordable Care Act has added new regulatory
layers onto health care that makes it more difficult for businesses to
prosper."And yet most of the countries rated above the US have
the full monte version of socialized medicine. Not sure how you reconcile
those two data points, but evidently it isn't going to stop the author of
somehow trying to draw that thread.
Try starting a business in America today! High taxes, regulations, red tape,
government agencies, permits, massive paperwork and lawyers all take all the
incentive out of it.
The United States went from nothing to singular superpower in not even two
hundred years under its founding principles, simultaneously watching socialism,
"big government", and theophobia fail spectacularly time and again for a
century. Why do American citizens and leaders suddenly want to flip it all
How does this article square with the fact that nearly all of the nations that
scored better than us have stronger regulations of their banking industry,
universal healthcare and a minimum wage that keeps full time workers out of
Also note that the United States doesn't make it to the top group in either
the WSJ - Heritage or World Happiness Index. Do you think it is because we have
both less economic freedom and more hostility to labor? For your consideration.
Well, OK, but you should try to look at the world through at least one other set
of eyes. I went to the WSJ - Heritage site and also the World Happiness Index
site. Compare the top six countries from both:WSJ - Heritage: Hong
Kong, Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, NZ, CanadaWorld Happiness:
Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, CanadaWhy the
difference? I suspect WSJ- Heritage reflects freedom for capital more, and
World Happiness includes labor contentment, less harassment of labor. Northern
Europe has long led there. WSJ - Heritage is insensitive to stress
on labor - Hong Kong, Singapore? Give me a break!Interesting
sidebar - Switzerland and Canada make the varsity in both. Why?
Exports are at an all time high. Our natural gas production is so high that
energy intensive industry worldwide are looking to relocate to the US.
Bankruptcy and death are not the primary options for those with a preexisting
medical conditions. Our tech companies dominate their industry worldwide. Home
mortgages are once again evaluated on documented income. Gays are free to marry
in 17 states and soon will be free to do so nationwide, once Utah loses the
appeals court case and loses the Supreme Court case 5-4. Manufacturing is
booming for small firms because of 3-D printing. Our creative arts dominate the
world. High school graduation rates are way up. Teen pregnancy is at an all
time low. Abortions are at an all time low. We re- elected a black President.
Our Supreme Court has three women. Our Fed is led by a woman. Social media
forces are chipping away at repressive freedom killing conservative principles
24/7. These are the best of times. I love every minute of it and may God Bless
the USA and all His world's creations.
“. . . the less a government interferes with personal economic freedom,
the better its people become educated, and the more effective is its health care
system.”Doing a few internet searches, this does not appear to
be the case. Single payer health care systems are well rated and education is
high in many countries with more what would be considered more govt.
“interference” than in the US.I understand this might be
what we want to believe but we need to rely on facts not platitudes.