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Old 09-15-2010, 02:45 AM
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Default Should Government Stay Out of Social Policy Altogether?

I've been pondering a lot lately what role governments should play in their countries, and while I concluded that government definitely has a role in ensuring a stable economy, defense, safety-net programs, and public infrastructure - I am beginning to doubt what role it should have, if any, in a country's social policy. IMO debating non-issues like gay marriage, personal drug/alcohol consumption (as in off the roads, and not endangering anyone), abortion, or anything that involves closed doors, seems like a complete waste of time and resources on the part of politicians, that could be used elsewhere.

Let's take the US, for example. When people live in a country like the US - a country of the free - they have to be willing to make their own decisions without constant guidance from authority, yet people seem to want judicial guidelines for every facet of their lives - prop 8, "the war on drugs," censorship, etc. If people want a law for every little thing, they should move to a country ruled by fiat. Plus when social policy becomes such a major part of government, ass-backwards people like Christine O'Donnell or Sharron Angle end up being elected, one that wants to reinstate prohibiton (Angle), and one that has pretty much declared a personal war on masturbation (O'Donnell).

Plus much social policy clashes with economic policy. Imagine how much money would be drained from the economy if Sharron Angle won her little war on vice? Or how much tax money the drug war costs? Or how much money could be made from gay weddings/marriage licenses? As I think I mentioned once before somewhere, this is a place where the TEA Party is being ripped apart. Libertarians say "yes yes" to these "sins" for their economic value, while "big-gummint" social conservatives are saying "no no."

TL;DR - The government should ensure economic stability/prosperity, keep the land secure, give me infrastructure to use, protect the environment, and give me something to prop-up on when I fall, BUT STAY THE **** OUT OF MY HOUSE! And don't waste my tax money trying to dictate my personal life, when I am completely capable of doing that myself. For free, too.

Who's with me?
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:50 AM
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Civil rights.

Governments enforce civil rights laws, otherwise, there are still people even today who would discriminate given the chance.
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Aihwa View Post
Civil rights.

Governments enforce civil rights laws, otherwise, there are still people even today who would discriminate given the chance.
And that's the kicker. The Constitution protects your rights from the government, but unfortunately not your fellow citizen, and we unfortunately need even more laws for those.

What I was more refering to were unnecessary restrictions of rights. Restricting people's marriage rights, or personal consumption habits. It all seems like a waste of time and effort. Maybe social security wouldn't be drying up, or roads and bridges wouldn't be crumbling if the government didn't waste $20 billion a year on a failing drug war. And how much time was wasted over the Prop 8 debate? I find it funny how a state in such a fiscal ****hole as California can still drum up the time to squabble over something as petty as marriage.

I hate to call morality petty, at risk of sounding like Andrew Ryan, but so many of these rights restrictions are at the hands of religions, when they try to infuse their own brands of morality into the state. Then when they don't get their way, they have a hissy fit about how seperation of church and state is unconstitutional and undemocratic - something Sharron Angle said.

Ok, let me try another argument. What if the government worked only to increase people's rights - never restrict them? That means marriage for all (consenting adults, of course), liberal drug laws, pro-choice, net neutrality, etc. Then, any group that wants to take away people's rights (such as religious institutions), can be considered domestic enemies. That means once prop 8 was revoked as unconstitutional, it would have been an act of treason for the 9th District Court to have initiated a stay, because that would have been a restriction of the rights of gays.

That's better.
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The Dreamer's Manifesto

Mike Malloy, a voice of reason in a world gone mad.

"You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling." - Inception

"Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy **** we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off." - Tyler Durden

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Old 09-15-2010, 03:01 AM
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That's the debate, is it constitutional to restrict those rights? (every one of them boils down to that)

Except for drugs. Drugs are bad, mkay?
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:02 AM
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Very nice.

I agree with this, except in extreme circumstances which demand attention.
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Aihwa View Post
That's the debate, is it constitutional to restrict those rights? (every one of them boils down to that)

Except for drugs. Drugs are bad, mkay?
Penn and Teller - Bull**** - War On Drugs [VUTRA.TV]

But let's not make this thread into a drug debate. They're banned, and I don't want this locked.
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The Dreamer's Manifesto

Mike Malloy, a voice of reason in a world gone mad.

"You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling." - Inception

"Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy **** we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off." - Tyler Durden

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Old 09-15-2010, 09:30 PM
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I'm a libertarian at heart, but I am also an idealist at heart. Unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world. I'm all for personal freedom, but certain things like gun control I am for. It's a very mixed subject for me, I'll try to add more later.
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Grif View Post
I'm a libertarian at heart, but I am also an idealist at heart. Unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world. I'm all for personal freedom, but certain things like gun control I am for. It's a very mixed subject for me, I'll try to add more later.
Gun control is another one of those kicker issues. I'm not really sure who is right on that one. On one hand, a lot of gun crime is committed using illegal guns, so gun control laws are a moot point there. Plus, when it comes to homicide or suicide, if someone wants to kill or be killed bad enough, they'll do it with or without a gun. I'm kinda in the minority faction of pro-gun liberals out there, partially because of fascists like the two aforementioned. If Sharon Angle is so fond of a "second amendment remedy" to having "government be our god," than a similar remedy could be in order if she got her way, and god became our government.

Yes, Ms. Angle, the 2nd Amendment is in there for a reason, to protect us...from people like you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EaF2OyhyPw
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The Dreamer's Manifesto

Mike Malloy, a voice of reason in a world gone mad.

"You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling." - Inception

"Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy **** we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off." - Tyler Durden

Last edited by Tsyal Makto; 09-16-2010 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:41 AM
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Some is necessary (healthcare, benefits for people who GENUINELY deserve it (not people who live off them with no effort), regulation of medicines and associated claims, etc, but in general I agree that governments should leave it up to people to make their own decisions.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:39 PM
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The question comes down to "what is the role of a government", and I say "To help build a better society."
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:53 PM
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As for the second amendment thing, both of you miss the point; Grif is a naive idealist, and Tsyal is a condescending jerk. If you compare the number of gun homicides in America to England France or Germany, America has not 5 or 25 but nearly ONE HUNDRED times the number (11,000 vs 135-315). Those countries have very restrictive gun laws, so gun laws must be the answer. But, you are omitting a very crucial question; how does America compare to nations with liberal gun laws? It so happens that we have an example nearby: Canada. Out of a population of about 31 million, 2/3 own 1 or more guns. If their population is one-tenth ours, we would expect one-tenth the homicides, but there isn't. It's about one-tenth of one-tenth, around 175. Then gun laws are apparently not the correct answer either. I say, we are not asking the right questions. These gun laws are merely an attempt to treat the symptoms of a greater problem, that America has a violent socio-psychological flaw. America is desperately broken, and too many very rich people have to many friends with power, who are doing to well to want to change things. And the little guy gets screwed again.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EywaBlessMe View Post
As for the second amendment thing, both of you miss the point; Grif is a naive idealist, and Tsyal is a condescending jerk. If you compare the number of gun homicides in America to England France or Germany, America has not 5 or 25 but nearly ONE HUNDRED times the number (11,000 vs 135-315). Those countries have very restrictive gun laws, so gun laws must be the answer. But, you are omitting a very crucial question; how does America compare to nations with liberal gun laws? It so happens that we have an example nearby: Canada. Out of a population of about 31 million, 2/3 own 1 or more guns. If their population is one-tenth ours, we would expect one-tenth the homicides, but there isn't. It's about one-tenth of one-tenth, around 175. Then gun laws are apparently not the correct answer either. I say, we are not asking the right questions. These gun laws are merely an attempt to treat the symptoms of a greater problem, that America has a violent socio-psychological flaw. America is desperately broken, and too many very rich people have to many friends with power, who are doing to well to want to change things. And the little guy gets screwed again.
Condescending jerk? Wah?.... I wasn't trying to be condescending, I've just got strong political views, and I hate seeing constrictive people like Angle and O'Donnell make their way into government. These people feel like they have the right to be telling people what they can and can't do on their own time, behind their own closed doors, in their own homes. IMO authoritarian political ideologies like that are not helping to build a better society. This is true fascism, this is the kind of stuff the founding fathers put the amendment in there to prevent. No, I'm not some sort of gun nut, in case you thought I was. I'm just pointing out the irony that the same woman who wants to use the 2nd ammendment is the very reason it was put in there in the first place. Maybe it was a bit strongly worded (and maybe because I haven't been sleeping too well lately, feeling a bit irritable.).

I don't know where you are from, EywaBlessMe, but here in the US, badmouthing politicians is a national pastime. Every pundit, from the east coast to the west, is a condescending jerk, too.

Anyway, I agree. It's not the guns - they're only tools - it's a bigger problem, poverty, that makes people want to use them to turn against there fellow citizen, and it's a problem that the government is neglecting, in favor of rather feckless social policy (often fueled by religious ideology). That is why Canada has fever gun crimes, government is doing what it is supposed to be doing - ensuring economic stability, protecting the environment, providing safety net programs for the downtrodden, educating the public, etc. Why can they afford all these things? Because they aren't wasting money on trying to regulate people's personal lives the same way the US feels compelled to, often in the name of god.
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The Dreamer's Manifesto

Mike Malloy, a voice of reason in a world gone mad.

"You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling." - Inception

"Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy **** we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off." - Tyler Durden

Last edited by Tsyal Makto; 09-17-2010 at 05:08 AM.
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  #13  
Old 09-17-2010, 03:41 AM
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It's more the reason guns are owned - in Canada, there are often genuine reasons for ownership, while in America, people own guns to shoot other people who have them, or to make their robberies more effective, not because they need them as part of what they do. Countries with high gun ownership can have high OR low murder rates, but countries with less guns have lower murder (and attempted murder) rates. Finland for example has a low rate for a country with less restrictive laws (and excellent welfare provision which should in theory reduce crime), but the rate is still over twice that of the UK, France or Germany.
Yes, if there weren't all the problems that CAUSE crime, there wouldn't be such a problem, but high gun ownership rates only exacerbate the problem.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:47 PM
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I believe ANY restriction in private and public life should be for the common good and have a fair justification; it's not about beginning with a set of absurd rules and then wonder which we should take out or not.

I can understand gun laws for example, sine it's both a security item and a threat for the citizen -but that's another discussion and greatly depends on the situation of each community.

Now -for things like gay marriage, or even homosexual behavior,... is regulating, or banning them really for the common good?
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:03 AM
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Now -for things like gay marriage, or even homosexual behavior,... is regulating, or banning them really for the common good?
Exactly. There is no negative effect in allowing it, it's a personal choice for everyone.
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