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Question for liberals

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Fifty, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Let me preface this by saying that I intend this as a question because I'm curious for a liberal's perspective, not because I think that liberals don't have an answer or whatever:


    So a very vague concept of a liberal (in the American sense of the word) is someone who advocates social freedom (gay marriage, etc.) with economic restriction, such as higher taxes to welfare and social programs, etc.

    The common liberal argument for social freedom (and I agree) is that "people should be able to do whatever they want with their own lives". So why can't people do whatever they want with their own lives when it comes to their money? If some homosexual wants to marry another homosexual, it is none of our business. If some rich guy wants to relentlessly hoard his money and donate nothing to social welfare programs, why should we force him to with taxes?

    How can liberals reconcile what seems to be a conflict between advocating freedom in the social realm, while simultaneously advocating restriction in the economic realm?
     
  2. North King

    North King blech

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    Your birth should not determine your wealth, no more than your birth should determine your social standings.

    But hey, that's just my take on it. I'm a really wierd liberal, so don't take me as the common opinion.
     
  3. punkbass2000

    punkbass2000 Des An artiste

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    I believe you're mixing terms. Economic liberalism and social liberalism are two entirely different belief set. Arguably they're diametically opposed.
     
  4. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    EDIT: @North King
    So if I'm smart enough to earn $10 million a year and can't spend it all, and then I die with $30 million in the bank, I don't have the right to leave it to my son? What?

    What do you propose we do with it? Distribute it to the masses? That's messed up man.
     
  5. WillJ

    WillJ Coolness Connoisseur

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    Although everyone likes the word "freedom," neither liberals nor conservatives truthfully base their opinions on it; only libertarians do.

    What really matters to the two main factions is having sympathy/understanding versus valuing personal responsibility. Liberals have sympathy for the poor and wish to put a dent in it through any means necessary (well, not any means, but taxation isn't a problem to them); liberals also have understanding of various minorities (gays, pot smokers, atheists, blacks back when that was an issue, etc.), and are willing to support them, and promote "social freedom" as a side effect. Conservatives, on the other hand, have certain expectations of what people should personally do to be righteous. They have little sympathy for the poor, believing that its their own fault they're poor, and have a certain respect for those who manage to acquire wealth through hard work. Similarly, they have expectations of individuals to not engage in homosexual acts, not use drugs, not hire prostitutes, etc.

    Edit: Of course, not everyone can be so pigeonholed, but I just described how I view a "purely authentic liberal" and a "purely authentic conservative."

    Edit2: Oh, and the "General paradigms of political economy" section of the political economy article on Wikipedia is relevant and quite interesting.
     
  6. punkbass2000

    punkbass2000 Des An artiste

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    You must be a Libertarian ;)
     
  7. WillJ

    WillJ Coolness Connoisseur

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    Hehe, I guess you could say I'm a very moderate one, although mostly I'm just an astute political observer. ;)
     
  8. North King

    North King blech

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    Very, VERY logical reasoning there. "That's messed up". Well, this isn't a debate thread, so I won't take it any further, but that's just what I believe, sorry... Well, actually, no. I don't believe what you said, but you're just going to put words in my mouth anyway.
     
  9. blackheart

    blackheart unenlightened

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    You know the more I talk to older people (former business execs, military officers, etc.) the more I realize getting rich has less to do with skill and intelligence and more to do with personal connections, cutthroatness, and craftiness.
     
  10. PriestOfDiscord

    PriestOfDiscord (Not MobBoss)

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    I'm a leftist libertarian myself, so I don't really see the welfare state as something we should strive towards as a society, but only something that should exist as a last resort for people who fallen on truly hard times as a result of circumstances out of their control. I do not believe there is some standard of living that is a universal right no matter how unmotivated that person is to reach it using the fruits of his own labor. As long as there is fair competition in a free market, jobs will be created and work will be available for anyone with the right skills.
     
  11. Dominus Romae

    Dominus Romae Warlord

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    That's the principle of extremist economic liberalism and american wild capitalism: to get rich, even if you have to starve your children :mischief: .
     
  12. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    Then defend your position, that's mine. Telling me what I can't do with money I earn is stupid; if I want to use $100 bills to light cigars that I throw at original van Gogh paintings on my wall, I should be able to. Now that would be stupid beyond all reason, but people are stupid, and you can't protect people from being stupid and irresponsible without negating free will.

    C'est la vie.
     
  13. Dominus Romae

    Dominus Romae Warlord

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    You forgot the "e".
     
  14. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    I fixed it, thanks. I always make grammatical errors in rather comical places, but that's life.
     
  15. brennan

    brennan Argumentative Brit

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    Because they accept that a system must exist to police those social freedoms. This includes making sure that no-one becomes disenfranchised from their freedom to housing, health, food etc by social security measures, which means that all the haves must pay for the have-nots.
     
  16. North King

    North King blech

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    Take it up by PM if you really care that much. If you're just looking to stir up a debate, too bad.
     
  17. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    Why? What's wrong with a debate? I don't mind taking it to PM if it's that big of a deal, but I don't see why you seem to skittish.
     
  18. Colonel

    Colonel Sandbox

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    *sniff sniff* Commie v Nazi bash is a foot, bests be ready, *pulls AKs out of closet*

    To the orginal question, there is no really good answer unless you understand complete jiberish, but the exact opposite can be asked of the conservatives and neo cons, how can you be so pro free market and yet hold such distain for basic civil liberties. There aren't answers to these questions, we just need opposites in the American political system and this is what we recieved.

    He doesnt want to threadjack this thread
     
  19. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    So why does the government have the right to decide which freedom has supremecy?
     
  20. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Agreed. I mainly chose liberals out of sheer volume here in OT. :lol:

    I've never been really hugely into politics, but I think I'm becoming something of a libertarian.
     

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