Exercise - How Would You Fix the Economy?

It is obvious that we all have differing opinions on how to fix the economy. Here is your chance to put your details in words so that we can all share in your ideas. Just having an idea is not enough. Think about one aspect of the economy and fix it! Take the tough road and put your details on the table. No ranting, insulting or finger pointing allowed!
MaxV MaxV
56-60, M
32 Responses Feb 20, 2009

In rereading my post I will admit to not expressing my thoughts very well. BUT - I did not say businesses will always select short term profit over long term good EVERY time. But they will do it a lot of the time. It is short sighted to do so, and you will ruin your business that way, as we are seeing right now with the investment banks. There are plenty of good well run businesses in the country, and the people running them are not all selfish, greedy and stupid. The point I was trying to make is that regulation is SERIOUS business, and our current elected officials are clearly not up to the task. The only thing worse than no regulation is BAD regulation. When government inserts itself into free markets it should do so carefully. <br />
<br />
Also I did not say the only benefit to taxing and regulating marijuana would be to lawyers, I agree with the benefits outlined. If you want less of something, tax and regulate it. I happen to want less pot smoking, and less illegal drug running, so taxing and regulating it is a great idea in my book. I was just pointing out that the government should put the "job creation" spin on it like they do everything else. I mean seriously........you can't deny the class action firms would be lining up and licking their chops.

Re: 2 comments back: <br />
<br />
You contradict yourself in your own post. You admit that businesses in a free market system will act selfishly in order for short term profit over long term good every time. And then you go on to say that government's job should be to fairly regulate businesses so that their business isn't stifled but that the system doesn't get abused by their natural selfish tendencies.... But then you end by saying we need to get rid of gov't and let the businesses run free. <br />
<br />
I can best sum up my thoughts on the preceding paragraph as: "huh?"<br />
<br />
Re: your last comment:<br />
<br />
Why wouldn't taxing and regulating marijuana (like we do with tobacco) provide a tremendous revenue stream? Why do you think the only benefit would be to lawyers?

Oh yeah, and legalize marajuana and tax churches.<br />
Once we make marijuana legal, then we could tax the crap out of it .....and file suit to try to take what's left, and pretty soon no one could afford to make it OR smoke it. But we could at least create jobs for lawyers.<br />
Once we tax churches, they will stop giving away services and competing against small business......do you know how hard it is to run a for-profit day care when just up the street is a church that pays no taxes and receives our taxes in the form of grants, and they are providing the same service for less $$$ - but I am sure somewhere is an elected official pointing to all the jobs created in the place that pays no taxes, while they ignore the little guy they just put OUT of business.

Fix the economy, lets see........<br />
First elected officials needs to figure out that they don't create jobs. They need to stop thinking and talking about creating jobs, because that is not their job. their job is to effectively manage our government....... and ONLY our government. They are in charge of making the rules the rest of us have to live by, and they are doing a darn poor job of it. Elected officials need to take full blame for the poor job they have done as regulators. They need to stop pretending that a business is at fault for chasing profits. That is what businesses do, they seek money, growth, profits. Businesses create jobs. It is up to government to effectively regulate. Regulations that are too harsh or unfair will stifle business, regulations that are too lax will result in imbalance between two segments of the economy. Regulations that are put in place for political reasons always favor one segment of the economy at the cost to another segment. (and GEE GOLLY are we surprised that the segment that gets favored is ALWAYS the segment that greased the palms of the members of the committee that held hearings on the bill? Are we surprised that the most unscrupulous business people figured this out and used the system to their advantage?) Our free market system is one of the greatest gifts bestowed upon us by our founding fathers..... why are we so intent on throwing it away? Intervention in free markets, be it bailouts or regulation, distorts the voice and power of the purchasing public. Elected officials not only failed to do their duty as regulators, they sold us all down the river. The only way to fix the economy is to throw all of the bums in jail, close congress for several months, and just let free market capitalists run amuck.

Step 3 is to immediately withdraw our military presence from all countries which have not attacked us and don't threaten our national security. Consult this website to see how much the "war" has cost us as a country (you can also view how much it has cost your state or community, and how much it would cost for various things like affordable housing and paying teachers salaries):<br />
<br />
http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home<br />
<br />
Does anyone here have any use for $600 Billion dollars? It breaks down to $340 million dollars a day. <br />
<br />
How about the lives of over 4,000 troops? Do they mean anything to anyone? All wasted in order to pre-emptively invade a country looking for fictional WMD's and to find out what we already knew...that there's zero connection between Iraq and 9/11. Do any of these things sound like tragic mistakes to anyone else?<br />
<br />
Anyone who knows WHY we were attacked on 9/11 and what the real purpose and tactics of Bin Laden were, would realize that our occupation in Iraq is Bin Laden's wet dream. A group of people operating out of caves has succeeded in bleeding the bloated American giant into submission. There are other perks, too. <br />
<br />
Our military presence there spawns as much violence as it prevents, and it brews anti-American sentiment which only leads to further terrorist recruits. Bin Laden's attack on us was in direct response to our refusal to remove our military bases in Saudi Arabia... so what effect do you suppose our occupation and installation of a government has on public sentiment towards us? Do you think that might **** some Muslims off, considering it's infidels (Christians) that are occupying their country? <br />
<br />
No, I think we could do a few things a little more constructive with $340 million dollars a day.

I really like the first two ideas. I think if we switched to a efficient universal health care system it would be both humane and save the US government money in the long run.

This is a question directed toward the title of this group. If you don't agree with the newly enacted "socialist policies" what would make them irreversible? If these policies did fail what would stop the pendulum from swinging in the other direction like it has done in the past? What changes to the constitution have been made that would keep future administrations from making changes?

Unfortunately, they're not COMPLETELY listening. When Obama put up his website before taking office he set up a place where people could voice their concerns or talk about the change that they would most like to see. Out of the many thousands of ideas posted, what do you suppose got almost 70% of the votes? Legalizing marijuana and ending our stupid war of prohibition against it. After that outpouring of response and public interest... Obama's office issued a short, terse reply "President Elect Obama is not for the legalization of marijuana." The other replies they actually went into details and even if they refused to say they would adopt a certain idea to change, they would still say lots of other things. When it came to pot, something that he admits he smoked himself, that is the pathetic reply they came up with. <br />
<br />
I am posting that only to illustrate one of the areas that I disagree with Obama. I am not a worshiper, he's just a man doing his best job of leading. Part of that leadership includes deferential treatment to the religious and righteous Americans that think it makes sense to throw pot smokers in jail. <br />
<br />
I'll get back to the economy probably tomorrow. So far we have decided to tax the churches since they insist on inserting themselves into politics, and we've legalized marijuana. Those are two very promising steps forward.

I actually know a lot of church-going people that would have no problem with it being legal.My own problem with it is simply that putting the government in control will always ruin a good thing.

Set them out Whuttup! You need to send them to Whitehouse.gov. people are actually listening to us now!

Whattup12,<br />
<br />
Go for it! Let's hear those ideas. The thread will die in it's own time!

Are we done fixing the economy in this thread yet? <br />
<br />
I've got more ideas, dammit.

I'm all for jumping in on that fight too. I'm fighting for Sunday alcohol sales in Ga as we speak!

Sign me up, I have facts and I'm not afraid to use them.

I can see legalizing Marijuana. I'm all for it. Just think of the prison space that it would open up! I'd much rather pass a stoned driver than a drunk driver also. As for the other recreational drugs, I don't agree. I do understand the argument that taxing them would provide revenue and making them legal would collapse the drug cartels but some of them are dangerous drugs, not recreational. I've never seen a "pot head" addict but I have seen crack/meth/heroin addicts and it is definitely a life/health and family destroyer. We're already fighting the fight for Sunday liquor sales in Georgia and the Fundies are in an uproar. Imagine the fight for legalization of marijuana! Man, now that would be a fight!

Whuttup... got to agree, there's a very god case to be put for legalising, producing, taxing and supplying ALL recreational drugs (including Crack, Methamphetamine, Heroin and MDMA) The benefits far outweigh the risks...<br />
<br />
Takes the profits away from the drug gangs, terrorists, mafia etc.<br />
<br />
Quality and purity would be constant leading to fewer overdoses and poisonings with adulterated drugs.<br />
<br />
The revenue would be enormous and a percentage could properly fund education and health care for addicts.<br />
<br />
Afghan farmers would have a legitimate market for their poppy crops meaning the taliban lose their income.<br />
<br />
S.American drug cartels would crumble and disappear.<br />
<br />
Alcohol, with all it's violence, health & social problems would cease to be attractive.<br />
<br />
You could bring tobacco and alcohol into the same rigid control as the rest of the drugs we consume leading to harm reduction all round. <br />
<br />
Save vast sums from stopping "The War on Drugs" and free thousands of people from jail if all they did was put a certain chemical into their bodies (ie; not violent).<br />
<br />
Taking drugs, like blasphemy, is a victimless crime.

Let's move on to phase 2 of whuttup's plan to stabilize America's economy.... legalize and tax marijuana like cigarettes and alcohol. <br />
<br />
In the early 20th century we tried prohibition of alcohol. It was disastrous and went directly to the black market. When the depression really started to his us hard, we had the brains to give up the war on alchohol and turn it into a legal revenue stream. Our current war on marijuana costs us hundreds of millions annually, without fail. Pot is no more dangerous or harmful than cigs, so there's no rational argument why it isn't illegal for adults to smoke it. In fact, considering the medical benefits that it can provide to cancer patients going through chemo treatment, it actually makes more sense for it to be legal than regular tobacco, which is only harmful. <br />
<br />
We spend all this money trying to break up dope rings and put pot dealers in jail, which strains our prisons and costs taxpayers additional money. It's all so very insane, and until we wake up we'll continue to suffer for it.

Max, I think I posted that as you were posting yours. Look at the times! <br />
<br />
Degletnoor. I agree with you. To a certain extent, we should isolate ourselves. The US currently has a global interest in 162 countries. If we brought most of those ambassadors home AND tax the Chruches, we'd be spot on!

Well I can somewhat agree with the spirit of degle's post, in that if we cut down on our wars of choice and stopped invading countries which did not attack us, we'd probably be better off. Pretty radical change, I know.

See my previous post. We agree in large part. I have dealt with the RC Church, and I cannot say it was always a pleasant or agreeable experience.

Max, besides helping to feed the poor which is a noble cause, churches duplicate services such as daycare and religious schools (which people pay for, btw) and then people want school vouchers (our tax money) to help subsidize the cost of sending their kids to private religious schools. So the churches are tax exempt, providing education for a fee and the people who send their kids to private school want tax money back to subsidize their decision not to use the public school system. Same with with child care. The tax exempt church provides child care, charges a fee to the parents who in turn get to write off the child care expenditures and not pay any taxes through a tax free child care spending account. There are already public schools providing these services. There's already daycare centers everywhere who have to pay taxes on their business, so why should the churches get a free ride?

Ok - lets move on, I think we beat this one to death! BTW - I wouldn't mind seeing the RC Church pay their fair share!

"Black" churches did support Obama, but nearly every other church was against him simply because he is pro-choice. <br />
<br />
And btw that is equally as wrong, even though its the candidate that I voted for. The division between church and state is to protect both from each. It's a two way street. <br />
<br />
If they want to get involved in politics, fine. Pay taxes like any other P.A.C. and lets move forward.

The churches also played a huge role in electing Obama! They saw Obama for the man he is andvoted with their hearts!

My point is that they provide great services, and on top of that they have enough disposable income to build mega church ranches which are commercial giants. What if we taxed the hell out of them, then perhaps they would be limited to only providing great services to people. Doesn't that make sense? <br />
<br />
I realize the initial intent of not taxing churches and the church-state issues... but the government isn't the one blurring the line between church and state, it's the church. With the exception of our previous moronic president who invented faith-based initiatives and sometimes seemed to consider himself moralizer-in-chief. <br />
<br />
Its the churches that are getting involved politically, so my solution is to either forbid them from meddling in politics, or pay to play. You can't claim tax-exempt status because of your non-affiliated status and then turn around and back all pro-life candidates (Republicans) in every election. How many stories do we need to hear about preachers telling their congregation not to vote for Kerry or Obama? I assure you that churches played a huge role in Bush's victories in 2000, 2004, and McCain's campaign in 2008.

Hello Whattup12<br />
<br />
Yes, but you are walking on 'sacred' ground here. No pun intended. When we talk about taxing religious organizations (churches for example) we are talking about church and state issues. BTW - They are granted tax exempt status by the FED (IRS). Not sure Pres. Obama, or any other former President would have tackled that one! You are correct about the size and magnitude of the churches, but some of the ones you have mentioned do a great amount of good for all kinds of people no matter what their political or moral affiliations. I must also say that they are not perfect either!

If I may poke my head in here, I agree with Jojo. You're right, Max, to instantly worry about a decrease in services to the community. I would point out, however, that you need look no further than the mega-churches such as the one that Ted Haggard used to run to see how excessive Churches tax-free income is. Look at Joel Osteen's church and tell me that they are putting the money towards helping the community and not towards building increasingly fabulous churches and enriching themselves. A church should be a building, not an amusement park. <br />
<br />
Look at the 700 club and other religious organizations on television that are currently swindling dollars from desperate people. Faith healers and homo bashers.... the income we would get from taxing churches is astronomical. It would dwarf the money that the Catholic church had to pay in hush money during the child molesting debacle. <br />
<br />
Also, you can look to the Bible belt and see that the # of churches per capita is really staggering. Small towns might have 6 churches before they have a post office. This is excessive.

JoJo,<br />
<br />
I was thinking about daycare, feeding the poor, subsidized school expenses, etc. BTW - Abortion protests enjoy wide support from many groups that are not churches! As I said before, how do we replace the services the churches can longer provide? They are deeply involved in our communities throughout this country. I have seen churches help many people and also deny many people, but please lets stick to the tax issue and not argue abortion not here. I will gladly tackle that separately.

You mean like protesting abortion? There would have to be some write offs for those expenditures. But you know and I know that the churches take in billions, if not trillions of dollars. They should be held accountable and have to pay taxes on it. The legal arguments are just bull.......If that's the case, we can come up with a millions legal arguments why we shouldn't pay taxes either. Chruchs should be held accountable. They should help pay for the roads and bridges that bring members to their doors....etc.

OK. Many churches supply services to their parishes that would no longer have funding or severely curtailed. This is the dilemma we would face when taxing churches, aside from all the legal arguments against it.

Make them file income taxes, just like we have to do. How do corporations file and pay taxes? (besides sidestepping that by going offshore) Then they pay taxes just like us!<br><br />
Maybe then we could get rid of some of the churches because they can't hide their assets and they can't go offshore!

Dear JoJo,<br />
<br />
I must admit, the churches do have a lot of money! Now, how do you wrestle it away from them?

Easy, Max! Just tax all of the churches who enjoy tax exempt status. They collect BILLIONS of dollars every year and they inject themselves in politics and government at every turn. If the churches payed taxes on their income, it would more than take care of our national debt!