"My definition of human rights is this: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
Your "definition of human rights" is the usual individualist oriented ideology that supports neoliberal doctrine. In turn justifying hegemonist corporate/capitalist atrocities and obviously in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That's probably the different premises that is making this clash, from one that emphasizes property and the worries of the wealthy, to one that emphasizes universal welfare and the needs of the poor.
"But the fact remains that government has made it clear that they will be expected to continue to shoulder more and more financial burdens to pay for some politician's wet dream. That is what they seek to escape."
Oh boo hoo, the multi-billion dollar machine is expected to pay the federal government to help single mothers feed their children.
I think that your understanding of this situation is pretty flawed, not surprising considering the apparent neoliberal indoctrination. In this situation there are three entities: the corporations, the political entity (government), and the poor people. In this situation is John Dewey's efficient observation that "Government is the shadow cast on society by big business", most accurate and fitting. For one thing, big businesses, or as Chomsky appropriately calls them, "unaccountable private tyrannies," pretty much control the government to do the bidding of the "National interests," namely the interests of the rich and the strong. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels effectively illustrated the use of the government in the Communist Manifesto (I'm not a Communist BTW): "The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie." The poor people are left out of the decision-making process, which is not democracy, but in this case a plutocracy. But there is sometimes a burst of democracy where people try to force the government to care about them. The people try to realize material security, and pretty much Article 23.
Therefore that "politician's wet dream" you speak of is the guarantee of education, healthcare, in effect, material security of the people.
The real "politician's wet dream" you speak of is when the government is paid to ensure that the rich stay rich, the people are not heard, the Universal Declaration is ignored, and that the people who are powerful enough to pay the money to control the government live comfortably.
"Here's another fact: I don't care.
Taxes are a form of theft, done under the threat of force (e.g., give us your money or face the law). Regardless of their alleged uses (sorry, but I don't support punishing the wealthy for the problems of the poor. They earned that wealth and it is theirs to use as they please), it is immoral. And forcing more taxes on businesses that are already struggling to get money isn't going to help them expand, which is what leads to more employment."
That's funny, I took you for a patriot American exceptionalist.
Taxes aren't a form of theft. I want to pay taxes because it will go to the welfare of my community (in a just society, but we live in a hegemonist society so it goes to keeping the rich rich and to killing strangers to secure "National interests"). If you want to go around making bold pronouncements based in ideology like "Taxes are a form of theft", how about this? Wages are a form of slavery, and slavery is immoral (not to mention a violation of the UDHR). Today, the rich don't pay taxes, they live in comfort. Using the system above, the government (in the ‘80s, when troubles in the economy started off) lightened taxes on the rich, and laid heavy taxes in the poor. Taxes stopped going to the welfare of the people, but the luxury of the rich. To illustrate, the poor work as slaves to the masterly rich, and pay taxes which go to paying for the perfection of the military state or the limousine.
Let's look at one of the good things that taxes fund - education. Public education allows for the economy to become stronger. A more efficient education allows for the learning of skills which is crucial to the strengthening of an economy.
Where do the problems of the poor come from? The worker is only paid enough to survive. The sick are denied treatment because they are sick poor. The young are denied excellent education because their parents are blue collar and are meant to dwell within the caste. The poor don't receive the money to live in dignity (which, by the way, violates Article 25). America is not a meritocracy. There is an illusion that is common among citizenry (because they've been indoctrinated) that if you're rich, it's because you've worked very, very hard. It's true for the small business, but for the giant, they are rich because of ruthlessness, violation of treaties with workers, and working in the system above of socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor. Essentially, the rich are so rich not because of honest work, but efforts toward vicious class war and inheritance.
Taxes may be immoral when it goes to war and fraud, but they are not at all immoral when they go to funding education and welfare, eventually healthcare (which is a human right). What is immoral is that some drive expensive cars, while many live hardship and submit to others because ‘they work harder', and it is declared that there is equality.
Now imagine a world where the plutocracy has total control of life, there being no obstacle such as a potentially democratic political institution to impose accountability. No social security, no medicare, no institutions sponsored by tax to protect people's material security. Not hard to imagine, especially in the Third World (where this reality exists). People would be given only enough money to survive and propagate more slaves to serve the lavish masters. Not to mention the horrifying working conditions.
Behind the colorful patriotic, and nationalist preaching in neoliberal doctrine, this is the goal, the victory of the class war.
"Land has no value in and of itself (honestly, you're talking about DIRT); its value is based on how it may improve the life of man (e.g., growing food, providing natural resources, etc). Also, if the land in question is privately owned, the owner has the right to do whatever he wishes with it, as the right to property includes the right to use and disposal."
I am not talking about dirt, I am talking about water. Take for instance hydrofracking, where thanks to dismantling laws to protect water, companies use unsafe drilling methods that pollute water. Let's imagine that someone allows a company to drill on their land, it poisons their water, and their neighbor's groundwater. What right does someone have to ruin someone else's water? Watch Gasland for the account.
"I would like to see you show me proof of what you're claiming. I've seen what the people like you define as slavery and how you blow things out of proportion."
Read Profit Over People by Noam Chomsky
Read No Logo by Naomi Klein
Watch : http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4513202692382805096
Pilger does pretty good movies, and Chomsky is refreshingly objective.
"And what kind of governments do those countries have?"
These countries have dictatorships that obey the companies that fund them. Without these dictatorships, there would be labor laws, and the effort to out source would not have happened.
Now justify it for me =)"
Monday, August 16, 2010
Response to a neoliberal
This was from a conversation I had with a staunch Ayn Rand enthusiast. In retrospect, I should commented on the superb welfare state that funds the corporations that he and Ayn Rand adore, and the 'socialism for the rich; capitalism for the rest'.