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FRED
01-18-09, 04:08 PM
http://www.itulip.com/images/injection.gifA Modest Proposal: New sources of tax revenue during the US economic depression

Unemployment is skyrocketing. Housing prices are crashing. Income, sales, and property tax revenues are plummeting. What will the government do for money? Recent research by the Federal Reserve (http://www.physorg.com/news150992952.html) reveals that the police hand out more tickets during recessions, we'd guess to do their part to collect the tax revenues that pay their own salaries. What else can government do to make up for tax shortfalls? We have some ideas.

We propose that a wide range of human behaviors now considered sinful or self-destructive be legalized. Social costs be damned. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

(Jonathan Swift's original "A Modest Proposal" Essay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal).)

Legalize all gambling

The commercial gambling business already delivers billions in tax revenue.
Gross gambling revenue (GGR) ... in 2004, for example, the commercial casino industry [was] more than $30 billion, but paid over $12 billion in wages and benefits and more than $4.9 billion in taxes, plus other expenses. - American Gaming Association (http://www.americangaming.org/Industry/factsheets/statistics_detail.cfv?id=8)
The government gambling business is even bigger.
In fiscal year 2005, total consumer spending on lotteries surpassed $50 billion, and the average American spent $177 playing the lottery. Over $15 billion of this revenue was transferred to state coffers. The significant revenue raising potential of state lotteries raises serious tax policy concerns. Although no government agency is willing to call the lottery a tax, it is nonetheless a source of implicit tax revenue. - Tax Foundation (http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/22457.html)
Even as state lottery revenues decline during the depression, there are many missed opportunities, such as video lottery terminals (VLTs) that bring the lottery to the gambler, so they don't have as far to go. This analysis (http://edr.state.fl.us/conferences/revenueimpact/2007/pdf/page%20615-620.pdf) forecasts a $300 million per year revenue opportunity for the state of Florida alone.

But the great untapped source is Internet gambling. Especially during a depression when the unemployed are holed up in their apartments, condos, and homes, with their Internet connection their main source of outside contact, government should not miss out on this critical source of revenue, and if Rep. Jim McDermott gets his way, it won't.
Protect online gamblers, collect tax revenues (http://thehill.com/op-eds/protect-online-gamblers-collect-tax-revenues-2008-03-11.html)
By Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.)
Posted: 03/11/08 06:10 PM [ET]

As members of Congress, we have a duty and responsibility to act in the best interests of the American people. That’s the outcome I see with passage of new legislation that I introduced as a companion bill to Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-Mass.) proposal regarding Internet gambling.

Today, countless Americans are wagering online — but offshore, because Congress made Internet gambling illegal just a couple of years ago, with virtually no debate or hearings. The net result is that Americans have no protection when they wager online and Americans are vulnerable to scams and unscrupulous operators. I think Congress should do something about that.

We all recognize that the Internet presents emerging opportunities in commerce and entertainment, but we also know there are dangers lurking online. That’s why we have taken thoughtful steps in recent years to bring a delicate measure of regulation to online activities in order to protect the American people.

What’s more, the U.S. Treasury is losing billions in revenue every year from offshore gambling because we cannot enforce existing tax laws. In good economic times we might see that as an unfortunate oversight, but in bad economic times, like now, we should see it as totally unacceptable.

H.R. 2607, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act, would protect Americans even as it restores tax fairness. Currently, all of the legal online gambling companies are based outside the U.S. and thus are not subject to U.S. taxation. Under my proposal, however, a condition to be licensed to conduct business in the U.S. would be a requirement that each licensee submit to U.S. jurisdiction to ensure the ability of the U.S. to enforce payment of all taxes due — including state taxes, generating new revenues for any state that chooses to allow Internet gambling under the federal license.

Preliminary revenue estimates prepared by the respected accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers indicate that regulating Internet gambling could generate between $3.1 billion and $15.2 billion in federal revenues during the first five years, and between $8.7 billion and $42.8 billion over the first 10 years. Additional revenue to the federal government would come from income tax on the operators’ profits and on the winnings of individual gamblers.
Your government is very concerned about your safety when you are gambling online. The billions in tax revenue that the government can earn by regulating it is not the intent of the regulation, mind you, but is a fortunate side-effect.

Legalize all prostitution

Legalized prostitution can generate hundreds of thousands of dollars per brothel in annual license fees, plus payroll taxes, plus sales taxes.
The county expects the newly approved, 40-room brothel to generate $200,000 to $250,000 in room taxes each year. - American City & County Magazine (http://americancityandcounty.com/mag/government_qastorey_countys_brothels/)
A population of 50,000 males can support one brothel. As of the last US census there are 90 million males between the ages 20 and 64. The US is missing out of the tax revenue it can collect from 1,800 brothels producing approximately $200,000 per year in tax revenue or $360 million.

When it comes to lost tax revenue, compared to gambling and prostitution, nothing beats drugs.

Legalize Class C drugs

Legalize and license all Class C drugs (Cannabis, tranquilisers, some painkillers, Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Ketamine) to America's largest existing alcohol and tobacco drug peddlers -- Anheuser-Busch, Castle Brands, Constellation Brands, Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco -- and tax the products they sell.
The money spent on marijuana, consequently, removes $112.9 billion from the gross domestic product, and results in a loss of payroll expenditures by businesses of $19.7 billion. Allowing for 15% federal income tax, 15% social security tax (combining individual and employer shares), and estimating a state income tax rate of 4.7%, this results in a loss of $6.8 billion in taxes for state and the federal government. Assuming an estimated sales tax of 5.4%, the result is a loss of $6.1 billion in tax revenue for state governments. Assuming an effective corporate tax rate of 2.6% of gross revenue, the result is a loss of $2.9 billion in tax revenue. This minimal model produces a total loss of tax revenue of close to $15.9 billion. - Drug Science.com (http://www.drugscience.org/Archive/bcr4/6Fiscal.html)
Not only can the government collect tax revenue on drugs sold and from drug companies, but they can cut drug policing costs, too.
In 2004 total US expenses on the criminal justice system (police protection, the judiciary, and corrections) totaled $193.5 billion(57). The cost allocation employed by the ONDCP report on the costs of drug abuse is to calculate the cost of drug law enforcement by using the percentage of drug arrests. In 2004 marijuana arrests accounted for 5.5% of all arrests. Consequently marijuana arrests cost taxpayers $10.7 billion in 2004.

Taken together, the lost tax revenue from the diversion of funds to the marijuana market and the cost of marijuana arrests produce a budgetary cost to local, state and the federal government of $41.8 billion.
If we include all of the other Class C drugs, we're talking at least twice that. Call it $100 billion in new tax revenue and drug law enforcement cost reductions.

The recent demise of Wall Street creates a vacuum that drugs, prostitution, and gambling can fill, and our list is by no means exhaustive, but it adds up to hundreds of billions in revenue opportunity that our federal, state and local governments can't afford to pass up as the US economy collapses.

Other ideas


Debtor's Prisons
Euthanasia Clinics

We're certain readers can think of others. All of these avenues need to be pursued -- any and all to avoid confronting the need for politically inexpedient long term policies to increase productive capacity, reduce consumption, increase saving, decrease private and public sector debt expansion, and dependence of foreign borrowing. No one ever got elected by proposing policies that increase short term pain, and drugs, gambling, and proposition not only relieve these for millions but provide a critical source of tax revenue in the bargain.

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Jim Nickerson
01-18-09, 04:12 PM
An Other Idea: Free Abortions.

Repeal of all tax freedom to religious organizations.

don
01-18-09, 04:31 PM
Every office could have a designated gambling auditor that would collect the feds share on the various office pools that go on through the year. NCAA Basketball Tourney, NFL games, the World Series. The appointment of that individual could be a little tricky, though they could be eligible for bonus compensation by giving an IRS heads up on office tax dodging scuttlebutt, like that cash rental of Uncle Ernie's :D

antiserf
01-18-09, 06:09 PM
US citizenship, which still has significant value, could be offered for sale to foreigners.

medved
01-18-09, 06:43 PM
A Modest Proposal: New sources of tax revenue during the US economic depression

We propose that a wide range of human behaviors now considered sinful or self-destructive be legalized. Social costs be damned. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

By the same token "capitalist" behaviors now considered normal will be considered sinful. And, the tax code being the main tool of social engineering, we need the following to make the capitalist pigs pay their "fair share":

1. Tax excessive personal property (art, precious metals, jewellery, etc.) or, for that matter, anything people own in excess of the average.
2. Tax securities trading (i.e. speculation).
3. Tax excessive consumption. Average hardworking people don't have the means to do it, so whoever goes abroad, takes luxury vacation (staying in a hotel in SF, NY, LV), eats in fancy restaurants, etc. is considered eligible for this type of tax.
4. Value added tax. The smart Europeans do it, so should the stupid Americans.
5. Drastic increase in gasoline tax. In addition to bringing some revenue, it will help to fight Global Warming and Peak Oil.

We also need to make sure, all of these taxes don't hurt the little guy, so, whoever does not pay taxes 1, 2 and 3, will get subsidy to pay taxes 4 and 5.

Sharky
01-18-09, 08:38 PM
By the same token "capitalist" behaviors now considered normal will be considered sinful. And, the tax code being the main tool of social engineering, we need the following to make the capitalist pigs pay their "fair share":

Socialism is at the heart of the problem. Adding more of it won't fix anything; it will just make things worse.

EVERY discussion of new tax revenues should also include a discussion of ways to cut government spending. For example:

-- Release all non-violent drug offenders from prison (reduce prison costs)
-- Close most overseas military bases
-- Close most government research facilities
-- Close down NASA
-- Close down the Dept of "Education"

And taxes shouldn't be considered the only way to raise money. The government has other options:

-- Sell public assets, including land
-- Sell intellectual property held by the government (patents, etc)
-- Sell water and mineral rights
-- Sell various offshore access rights

The path out of the current crisis can ONLY be through increased production. More taxes, printing more money or going more into debt will just make things worse. What we need to do -- and which no one is talking about -- is to find ways to encourage production. For example:

-- Reduce regulation
-- Abolish the minimum wage
-- Remove trade barriers
-- Reduce or abolish income taxes

And finally, new sources of tax revenue. As mentioned in another thread, tax things that should be destroyed:

-- Tax pollution (personal and industrial)
-- Tax non-recyclable waste
-- Tax toxic chemicals (pesticides, solvents, etc)
-- Tax bio-engineered foods
-- Tax health-destroying foods like sugar
-- Higher taxes on alcohol and tobacco (yes, I know they're already high)
-- Higher taxes on oil (yes, I know it's already highly taxed)

vinoveri
01-18-09, 09:16 PM
Fred, I read your posting as sardonic tongue-in-cheek, but it looks like some other postings are taking it a bit more seriously, no?

Jim? Tell me it ain't so, ...PLEASE.

grapejelly
01-18-09, 11:14 PM
I have another idea. Limit all federal government spending to 10% of the total GDP. Let the states and local governments have at it, as people can at least move. Competition will set in and spending will fall and taxes will fall.

The real evil is the fiat out of Washington. Waiting with bated breath, the state and locals don't cut spending. They appease their unions and their populist base instead.

Let 'em go out of business. We could use a wave of state and local bankruptcies.

Starve 'em.

Chief Tomahawk
01-18-09, 11:28 PM
Before we go down the road of adding stripper poles as standard playground equipment for girls, how about auctioning off the healthy bodily organs of those decision makers who rang up a pretty significant set of moves to put us in this mess? Surely a Greenspan kidney or a Mozilo liver can fetch a few thousand. But their brains? There won't be much of a market for those.... And those hearts are looking pretty black as well, too.

xela
01-19-09, 04:26 AM
http://www.itulip.com/images/injection.gifA Modest Proposal: New sources of tax revenue during the US economic depression

Unemployment is skyrocketing. Housing prices are crashing. Income, sales, and property tax revenues are plummeting. What will the government do for money? Recent research by the Federal Reserve (http://www.physorg.com/news150992952.html) reveals that the police hand out more tickets during recessions, we'd guess to do their part to collect the tax revenues that pay their own salaries. What else can government do to make up for tax shortfalls? We have some ideas.

We propose that a wide range of human behaviors now considered sinful or self-destructive be legalized. Social costs be damned. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Legalize all gambling

The commercial gambling business already delivers billions in tax revenue.
Gross gambling revenue (GGR) ... in 2004, for example, the commercial casino industry [was] more than $30 billion, but paid over $12 billion in wages and benefits and more than $4.9 billion in taxes, plus other expenses. - American Gaming Association (http://www.americangaming.org/Industry/factsheets/statistics_detail.cfv?id=8)
The government gambling business is even bigger.
In fiscal year 2005, total consumer spending on lotteries surpassed $50 billion, and the average American spent $177 playing the lottery. Over $15 billion of this revenue was transferred to state coffers. The significant revenue raising potential of state lotteries raises serious tax policy concerns. Although no government agency is willing to call the lottery a tax, it is nonetheless a source of implicit tax revenue. - Tax Foundation (http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/22457.html)
Even as state lottery revenues decline during the depression, there are many missed opportunities, such as video lottery terminals (VLTs) that bring the lottery to the gambler, so they don't have as far to go. This analysis (http://edr.state.fl.us/conferences/revenueimpact/2007/pdf/page%20615-620.pdf) forecasts a $300 million per year revenue opportunity for the state of Florida alone.

But the great untapped source is Internet gambling. Especially during a depression when the unemployed are holed up in their apartments, condos, and homes, with their Internet connection their main source of outside contact, government should not miss out on this critical source of revenue, and if Rep. Jim McDermott gets his way, it won't.
Protect online gamblers, collect tax revenues (http://thehill.com/op-eds/protect-online-gamblers-collect-tax-revenues-2008-03-11.html)
By Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.)
Posted: 03/11/08 06:10 PM [ET]

As members of Congress, we have a duty and responsibility to act in the best interests of the American people. That’s the outcome I see with passage of new legislation that I introduced as a companion bill to Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-Mass.) proposal regarding Internet gambling.

Today, countless Americans are wagering online — but offshore, because Congress made Internet gambling illegal just a couple of years ago, with virtually no debate or hearings. The net result is that Americans have no protection when they wager online and Americans are vulnerable to scams and unscrupulous operators. I think Congress should do something about that.

We all recognize that the Internet presents emerging opportunities in commerce and entertainment, but we also know there are dangers lurking online. That’s why we have taken thoughtful steps in recent years to bring a delicate measure of regulation to online activities in order to protect the American people.

What’s more, the U.S. Treasury is losing billions in revenue every year from offshore gambling because we cannot enforce existing tax laws. In good economic times we might see that as an unfortunate oversight, but in bad economic times, like now, we should see it as totally unacceptable.

H.R. 2607, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act, would protect Americans even as it restores tax fairness. Currently, all of the legal online gambling companies are based outside the U.S. and thus are not subject to U.S. taxation. Under my proposal, however, a condition to be licensed to conduct business in the U.S. would be a requirement that each licensee submit to U.S. jurisdiction to ensure the ability of the U.S. to enforce payment of all taxes due — including state taxes, generating new revenues for any state that chooses to allow Internet gambling under the federal license.

Preliminary revenue estimates prepared by the respected accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers indicate that regulating Internet gambling could generate between $3.1 billion and $15.2 billion in federal revenues during the first five years, and between $8.7 billion and $42.8 billion over the first 10 years. Additional revenue to the federal government would come from income tax on the operators’ profits and on the winnings of individual gamblers.
Your government is very concerned about your safety when you are gambling online. The billions in tax revenue that the government can earn by regulating it is not the intent of the regulation, mind you, but is a fortunate side-effect.

Legalize all prostitution

Legalized prostitution can generate hundreds of thousands of dollars per brothel in annual license fees, plus payroll taxes, plus sales taxes.
The county expects the newly approved, 40-room brothel to generate $200,000 to $250,000 in room taxes each year. - American City & County Magazine (http://americancityandcounty.com/mag/government_qastorey_countys_brothels/)
A population of 50,000 males can support one brothel. As of the last US census there are 90 million males between the ages 20 and 64. The US is missing out of the tax revenue it can collect from 1,800 brothels producing approximately $200,000 per year in tax revenue or $360 million.

When it comes to lost tax revenue, compared to gambling and prostitution, nothing beats drugs.

Legalize Class C drugs

Legalize and license all Class C drugs (Cannabis, tranquilisers, some painkillers, Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Ketamine) to America's largest existing alcohol and tobacco drug peddlers -- Anheuser-Busch, Castle Brands, Constellation Brands, Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco -- and tax the products they sell.
The money spent on marijuana, consequently, removes $112.9 billion from the gross domestic product, and results in a loss of payroll expenditures by businesses of $19.7 billion. Allowing for 15% federal income tax, 15% social security tax (combining individual and employer shares), and estimating a state income tax rate of 4.7%, this results in a loss of $6.8 billion in taxes for state and the federal government. Assuming an estimated sales tax of 5.4%, the result is a loss of $6.1 billion in tax revenue for state governments. Assuming an effective corporate tax rate of 2.6% of gross revenue, the result is a loss of $2.9 billion in tax revenue. This minimal model produces a total loss of tax revenue of close to $15.9 billion. - Drug Science.com (http://www.drugscience.org/Archive/bcr4/6Fiscal.html)
Not only can the government collect tax revenue on drugs sold and from drug companies, but they can cut drug policing costs, too.
In 2004 total US expenses on the criminal justice system (police protection, the judiciary, and corrections) totaled $193.5 billion(57). The cost allocation employed by the ONDCP report on the costs of drug abuse is to calculate the cost of drug law enforcement by using the percentage of drug arrests. In 2004 marijuana arrests accounted for 5.5% of all arrests. Consequently marijuana arrests cost taxpayers $10.7 billion in 2004.

Taken together, the lost tax revenue from the diversion of funds to the marijuana market and the cost of marijuana arrests produce a budgetary cost to local, state and the federal government of $41.8 billion.
If we include all of the other Class C drugs, we're talking at least twice that. Call it $100 billion in new tax revenue and drug law enforcement cost reductions.

The recent demise of Wall Street creates a vacuum that drugs, prostitution, and gambling can fill, and our list is by no means exhaustive, but it adds up to hundreds of billions in revenue opportunity that our federal, state and local governments can't afford to pass up as the US economy collapses.

Other ideas


Debtor's Prisons
Euthanasia Clinics

We're certain readers can think of others. All of these avenues need to be pursued -- any and all to avoid confronting the need for politically inexpedient long term policies to increase productive capacity, reduce consumption, increase saving, decrease private and public sector debt expansion, and dependence of foreign borrowing. No one ever got elected by proposing policies that increase short term pain, and drugs, gambling, and proposition not only relieve these for millions but provide a critical source of tax revenue in the bargain.

iTulip Select (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1032): The Investment Thesis for the Next Cycle™
__________________________________________________

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All information provided "as is" for informational purposes only, not intended for trading purposes or advice. Nothing appearing on this website should be considered a recommendation to buy or to sell any security or related financial instrument. iTulip, Inc. is not liable for any informational errors, incompleteness, or delays, or for any actions taken in reliance on information contained herein. Full Disclaimer (http://www.itulip.com/GeneralDisclaimer.htm)
Testing the ground, are we?

The Clinics gave it away though, way to early for that stuff :)

ASH
01-19-09, 02:10 PM
Fred, I read your posting as sardonic tongue-in-cheek, but it looks like some other postings are taking it a bit more seriously, no?

Jim? Tell me it ain't so, ...PLEASE.

Perhaps Fred should have provided a link to Jonathan Swift's Essay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal), rather than trusting to the education system. Plus, iTulip has an international readership, and although iTulip is an English language publication, it may be that "A Modest Proposal" is not required reading everywhere that English is spoken.

:)

Jim Nickerson
01-19-09, 02:39 PM
Perhaps Fred should have provided a link to Jonathan Swift's Essay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal), rather than trusting to the education system. Plus, iTulip has an international readership, and although iTulip is an English language publication, it may be that "A Modest Proposal" is not required reading everywhere that English is spoken.:)

If I ever read "A Modest Proposal," it did not stick in my brain.

Whatever were FRED's intentions, I personally seriously agree with the possiblities he put forth except I don't readily appreciate how Debtor's prisons would generate income.

If a woman doesn't want an abortion or thinks there is something "sinful" with aborting early stage fetuses, then she certainly should not have one, and the same for whatever are the implications regarding stem-cell research. If technics evolve that will improve the quality of some afflicted persons' lives and one's morality prevents him/or her from subjecting themselves or their children to such therapy, such objectors are certainly free not to avail themselves of such treatment.

As far as the government at all levels, I guess it is at all levels, subsidizing any religions with tax breaks, it strikes me as pure bunk and failure to separate state and religion as I see it. As long as religions are free to use their pulpits to interfere with elections, they should not be given tax breaks.

Actually, I am 1000% for freedom of religion as long as it is practiced by a single individual within the privacy of his/her own closet; otherwise I see more bad to it than good.

ASH
01-19-09, 03:24 PM
If I ever read "A Modest Proposal," it did not stick in my brain.

Whatever were FRED's intentions, I personally seriously agree with the possiblities he put forth except I don't readily appreciate how Debtor's prisons would generate income.

If a woman doesn't want an abortion or thinks there is something "sinful" with aborting early stage fetuses, then she certainly should not have one, and the same for whatever are the implications regarding stem-cell research. If technics evolve that will improve the quality of some afflicted persons' lives and one's morality prevents him/or her from subjecting themselves or their children to such therapy, such objectors are certainly free not to avail themselves of such treatment.

As far as the government at all levels, I guess it is at all levels, subsidizing any religions with tax breaks, it strikes me as pure bunk and failure to separate state and religion as I see it. As long as religions are free to use their pulpits to interfere with elections, they should not be given tax breaks.

Actually, I am 1000% for freedom of religion as long as it is practiced by a single individual within the privacy of his/her own closet; otherwise I see more bad to it than good.

Yeah -- this is a tricky thread, because it made reference to Swift's satirical essay of the same name. That makes it especially hard to determine who is being serious, and who is trying to emulate Swift's satire by "proposing" in jest policies which are defensible on a strictly economic basis, while being morally offensive to some. That was the essence of Swift's original proposal to sell poor Irish children to the rich as food, as a means of easing the economic hardship of the lower class. The thing is, now anyone who wishes to suggest a practical policy that will be seen as immoral by many, and shield themselves from ire, can make reference to Swift's essay as a fig leaf. It provides plausible deniability -- "see, I wasn't really for that, it was all satire."

Anyway, thanks for clarifying that you were being serious. I share the sentiments you expressed about the tax-exempt status of religious organizations, but I am inclined to see it as one more crowd-pleasing distortion of the tax code, like the mortgage interest deduction. At one level, these preferences are all BS. But, as long as no one comes round on Sunday morning to make me go to church, I'll live.

I think a proper debtors' prison involves labor. Cheap prison labor can produce income for the state. Actually, I guess it does already. (It also lets the state compete unfairly with private business.)

pwcmba
01-19-09, 04:24 PM
With the oil price down so much now, I will give you an easy source of revenue in the USA. Raise the gas tax!

Each penny increase is about 2 billion in annual revenue. My thought is to raise the tax 10 cents per month for 16 months. This $1.60 increase added to the current 18.4 cent federal tax would bring an additional 320 Billion of annual revenue. Adding 1.60 to the current average price of 1.82 (http://www.gasbuddy.com/) brings the total average price back up to $3.42. This is just above where we saw a marked shift in peoples consumption of gasoline (ie: switching to mass transit, car pool, bike, walk, etc..

Some of these funds should be used to fund mass transit and high speed passenger rail.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_tax

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/fifahiwy/fifahi05.htm

LargoWinch
01-19-09, 05:38 PM
xela, the finger on my mousewheel is impaired with arthritis...

Why quoting the entire article?

FRED
01-19-09, 07:08 PM
Perhaps Fred should have provided a link to Jonathan Swift's Essay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal), rather than trusting to the education system. Plus, iTulip has an international readership, and although iTulip is an English language publication, it may be that "A Modest Proposal" is not required reading everywhere that English is spoken.

:)

Good idea.

vinoveri
01-19-09, 07:12 PM
If a woman doesn't want an abortion or thinks there is something "sinful" with aborting early stage fetuses, then she certainly should not have one, and the same for whatever are the implications regarding stem-cell research. If technics evolve that will improve the quality of some afflicted persons' lives and one's morality prevents him/or her from subjecting themselves or their children to such therapy, such objectors are certainly free not to avail themselves of such treatment.

As far as the government at all levels, I guess it is at all levels, subsidizing any religions with tax breaks, it strikes me as pure bunk and failure to separate state and religion as I see it. As long as religions are free to use their pulpits to interfere with elections, they should not be given tax breaks.

Actually, I am 1000% for freedom of religion as long as it is practiced by a single individual within the privacy of his/her own closet; otherwise I see more bad to it than good.

Hey Jim, thanks for clarifying. I'm live and let live for the most part, but I see things the other way; Christianity and other organized religions are not the threat to my freedom as I can join or leave them. It is modern secularism that I would rather stay in the closet and leave me be. Religions don't control the government, but secular causes sure can get legislation passed or more likely court rulings that overturn majorities.

We live in a pluralistic society where the market place of ideas should, IMO, be the place where everything is fair game for discussion, and argument. You being supportive of religion as long as it is practiced in one's closet is the way I sometimes feel (and wish) of those converts to modernsim and other secular "causes" who continue to succeed in getting government to listen and alter society based on their faddish ideas. The sad fact is too many people want to "save the world" or "rule the world" and they are convinced they are right no less than any religious nutter.

Let everyone have their say and let the chips fall where they may - this is not what is going on, though, instead small, well organized and well funded groups lobby the government, infect higher education and teach lies to the next generation - and there's no open debate anymore on campus - ever heard of political correctness, alive and thriving. They don't have the truth, and they are afraid of the truth and those who want to spread it, so they exclude it from curriculuum and ridicule and keep out those with differing view points.

I trust the common man on fundamental common sense questions of human existence, much more than any experts. The common man is simply duped, and the reason PC thought and disapprobation is so rampant is that the Truth, the common sense, is still there in the collective subconscience, just under the surface, and these experts know that and they must stamp out anything that would set men and women free. The goal of higher education should be to teach how to think critically, identifying the axioms and first assumptions and premises, assessing them, and judging the validity and truth or any conclusions. This is not what is going on. The previous generation and current ones are being taught what to think not how to think. Liberty has been transformed into Libertine.

Perhaps organized religion in cahoots with the governmental authorities in west in centuries gone by could be fairly seen as holding a burdensome yolk.
The largest religion in the world, the Catholic church, has no power over anyone, it has no mechanisms of enforcement, via taxation, fining, imprisonments and the like. It is only governments with police power that can compel individuals to act or consent with policies ...and more an more of these policies are being formed and driven by post modern assaults on the common sense of the ages. It is the dogmas being taught today that are the threat to individual liberty - take the global warming farce for instance as the latest example.

With regard to your 1st paragraph above, please consider that the woman who is struggling to decide whether to keep her baby or destroy it will only hear one call for action if your desire represented in your 3rd paragraph is enforced, i.e., if the folks who think that man killing his unborn is not only inhumane but inhuman et cet, has to stay in his closet, and can't speak in order to reach the common sense conscience of the women, what kind of fairness is this?


On taxes, the less the gov takes from all of the us, the better. I believe any 501c org can get tax exempt status, and although I don't know the requirements, I would suspect that their are many many more tax exempt non-religious org than religious, but am certainly welcome to be shown that this is not the case.

marvenger
01-20-09, 06:07 AM
well the chinese government are trying to stop their corrupt people from giving all their cash to foreign casinos. It just keeps on getting worse for poor old james packer.

http://business.smh.com.au/business/dice-with-death-bad-news-for-packer-20090119-7ktm.html

ThePythonicCow
01-20-09, 06:57 AM
It is modern secularism that I would rather stay in the closet and leave me be. Sometimes it seems to me that modern secularism shares a trait with Islam, in that some strains of both seem to view the state as an extension of their religion, rather than as a voluntary, limited association of free people.

I happen to be an atheist, but it offends me when secularists try to remove religion from the public square. The so called "separation of church and state" tenant has become little better than a justification for bigotry, against fundamentalist Christians in particular.

I would go even further, and claim that the roots of this great nation are deeply based in Christianity, and that such was essential, not incidental. The right to religious freedom is the right to practice ones faith, not some right to be insulated from the faith of others.

Public displays of religious faith by others do not threaten my freedom. Public disdain of others religious expression does threaten my freedom.

Chris
01-20-09, 01:05 PM
You guys are amazingly prescient....even when being ironic...


Strip club opens in Henley (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4297716/Strip-club-opens-in-Henley.html)

Residents of the polite Oxfordshire town of Henley-on-Thames are in uproar over plans to open its first strip club.

Diamonds and Pearls, a venue promising lapdancing and "fun", is set to open this weekend in a building once used for ballroom dancing opposite a day centre for the elderly.

...........

But opponents say they are powerless to stop the club opening because of licensing laws which class lapdancing venues alongside pubs and cafes.
The local licensing authority, South Oxfordshire District Council, said it had no choice but to grant a licence for the venue, including permission for "adult entertainment" as the building, a former nightclub, had previously held a late night entertainment licence. But members of the town council, including Gill Zakss, the mayor, insist the venue is not suitable for Henley.

.............

But the owner Manowar Hussain, a businessman from nearby Maidenhead, Berks, dismissed the fears and said the club would make a positive contribution to the town.

"We are not here to wreck people's lives, we are here to provide entertainment and a bit of fun and give something back to the town," he said.
"We are not going to have ladies standing outside. It is not immoral, it is a business venture."

Andy Mags, the manager, added: "Yes, it will have strippers and lapdancers but it will provide a place for people to come and meet, for businessmen to entertain their clients.

....etc etc
[/B]

lurker
01-20-09, 05:16 PM
Sometimes it seems to me that modern secularism shares a trait with Islam, in that some strains of both seem to view the state as an extension of their religion, rather than as a voluntary, limited association of free people.

I happen to be an atheist, but it offends me when secularists try to remove religion from the public square. The so called "separation of church and state" tenant has become little better than a justification for bigotry, against fundamentalist Christians in particular.

I would go even further, and claim that the roots of this great nation are deeply based in Christianity, and that such was essential, not incidental. The right to religious freedom is the right to practice ones faith, not some right to be insulated from the faith of others.

Public displays of religious faith by others do not threaten my freedom. Public disdain of others religious expression does threaten my freedom.

On the other hand it would be impossible for a self-declared humanist or aetheist to attain any elected office of any power. A local school board perhaps. Homosexuals, all races, both sexes ... all can successfully run for office (thank goodness) but aetheists cannot.

Both sides have to look past their prejudices.

GRG55
01-21-09, 09:49 AM
You guys are amazingly prescient....even when being ironic...

Strip club opens in Henley (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4297716/Strip-club-opens-in-Henley.html)

Residents of the polite Oxfordshire town of Henley-on-Thames are in uproar over plans to open its first strip club.

Diamonds and Pearls, a venue promising lapdancing and "fun", is set to open this weekend...


Wow. That'll be quite a change for Henley-on-Thames.

From a requirement that hemlines must be below the knees [Regatta Steward's enclosure rules - strictly enforced from my observations a few years back]...

...to no hemlines at all. :eek:

The gin and Jaguar set must be having heart palpitations.


"...Women cannot wear dresses above the knee or trousers or culottes; men cannot remove their jackets and ties unless it reaches 80 degrees in the shade, the boiling point at which the stewards will make a formal announcement that coats may be shed...

...Women are allowed to row in the Henley regatta this year [1993] for the first time in its 154-year history, but there has been no relaxing of the rules on the fashion front. During the week, women wearing short skirts will show up, just to make a statement and get on the evening news, but they will be turned away; Henley is a very carefully cultivated time warp. Stewards have become adept at catching those women who try the "Groucho Marx," as it is known here, a bowed, slump-shouldered walk that some use to give the impression their hemlines are a couple of inches longer.

"Everyone writes about the women we throw out, but we throw out gentlemen without jackets, too," said Michael Sweeney, a waterworks official from Nottingham and onetime oarsman for Cambridge who is the new Henley chairman. "Every year, we get pressure from half a dozen members who complain that their guests were not allowed in because of their dress. But we get more letters from members saying: 'For heaven's sake, preserve the tradition. Don't let us become like Ascot and Wimbledon.' :p ..."

btw, if anybody has any money left after this catastrophe finally ends, and you're looking for something truly elegant upon which spend it [remember, ya can't take it with you] there may be some good deals on one of these:



http://slipperlaunch.net/Photos%20for%20Web/bt202a.jpg


Bow detail of the beautiful woodwork of a slipper launch moored at Henley-on-Thames, River Thames, Oxfordshire.

'Slipper launches' are so named because of their graceful sterns and low profiles which give an overall impression of a lady's slipper. Traditionally they display beautiful, highly varnished, and often richly contrasting, exotic woods such as teak, mahogany and obeche.

http://www.jimbatty.com/IMG/thames/6_henley/3U119104.jpg