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HorrendousGames

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20th November, 2010 at 21:37:00 -

After some great news today, I think I've snapped.

I was fired last year from Radioshack because I was put in a wheelchair. I sued them, but of course, the projected outcome would've been a mixed motive case since Radioshack fired me for having improper footwear (Apparently I didn't have the right wheels). So, reluctantly, I settled for $4000, which is terrible for missing out on a years worth of work, but at least it was something. The lawyer, whom I had hired when I did not have any money, was working on a contingency basis, meaning they'd take a set amount out of the winnings in this case, 30%, which is fine, I agreed to that before we went into this. So they took about 1,333.33 and left me with 2666.66, which was fortunately enough to keep myself afloat for a while. I get the check, and good old Uncle Sam decided to dip his hand in and take out half of the check, leaving me with around 1000 bucks. A thousand bucks to compensate for a years worth of missed work, the humiliation of being laughed out of every stable job opportunity and not even being able to afford insurance or even find out what exactly it is that is wrong with my legs, plus the $50,000 plus medical bill for half assed tests that "didn't show anything" (that's a whole other story).

So it comes down to this, why the hell am I paying taxes? I'm not even required to file anything unless I make 9,000+ during the year (so far, I've made this check). Even if you buy into that fairy tale that income tax goes towards infrastructure and police forces etc. how the hell does this help me? Public transportation doesn't run anywhere near me, the police have never helped me (and don't go spouting that whole "if there were no police we'd all be murderers and rapists" crap, because there is no evidence that that would even happen) in fact I can think of a multitude of times where the police have arrested me for doing nothing at all! And of course, the public school system just blows.


In terms of welfare programs, that's a joke too. I am on food stamps, and am very grateful for that, but I've been applying for disability for 3 years now. Because of this backwards system and crappy job market, I pretty much got my footing on any grounding I probably never had in the first place. I always get really offended when people have the nerve to say that this whole economic crisis is caused by too many lazy people on welfare. I gotta tell you, welfare won't pay for jack crap, and you have to jump through all kinds of hoops to get it.

But none of that matters because taxes do not go into any of those, it is owed back the the federal reserve, something that shouldn't even be there in the first place.

Even if I can stop them from taking the taxes out, I'm refusing to pay taxes ever again. What are they going to do? Throw me in jail? Hah. Like there's any difference between that and my living here. I've been homeless on over 3 occasions, for a total of about 3 years, I got out of it, and I went from a 180lb wrestler with plenty of work, my own place and tons of stuff to do, to a cripple that can't even get out of the house, sits in a chair and makes crappy games.

I don't know, I've been over working myself like crazy trying to get something started for myself, when I should be trying to recover, and it really just kind of seems like I'm going nowhere. Maybe I don't have a valid reason to be upset, crap like this has been happening to me for almost my entire life (so it seems a bit unlike me to be upset now, only after this), but I'll get over it, I just felt the need to vent to some other people for a change. Any advice from the more logical members of the community?

 
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Hayo

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20th November, 2010 at 21:45:32 -

Dude, normally I don't read such long posts, but this time I did. I don't know how taxes work where you live, but I am pretty sure I could get back most of what they took. I hope your legs will get better soon, whatever is wrong with them.

Good luck with everything.

 
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HorrendousGames

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20th November, 2010 at 22:03:38 -


Originally Posted by Hayo
Dude, normally I don't read such long posts, but this time I did. I don't know how taxes work where you live, but I am pretty sure I could get back most of what they took. I hope your legs will get better soon, whatever is wrong with them.

Good luck with everything.



You have to make a certain amount or they won't give back anything. One year I paid almost 3000 in taxes and they were only going to give back 66 dollars. I'm not sure if that differs, however, from court winnings. The point is, why am I giving money to some rich people to get richer/a cluttered system of bureaucrats that will end up loosing it anyways? If I do end up paying this, I'll have to see if they'll give any of it back during tax time. Either way I'll do my research.

But thanks for taking the time to read it and the kind words, I really appreciate it.

 
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Hagar

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21st November, 2010 at 00:58:16 -

Not sure of what the system is in the states but in the UK you have to at least make so much money before its taxable so I dont understand why they taxed your cheque.

To be honest your payout from court also seems low.

Hope your legs get better soon.

 
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HorrendousGames

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21st November, 2010 at 01:22:37 -


Originally Posted by ..::hagar::..
Not sure of what the system is in the states but in the UK you have to at least make so much money before its taxable so I dont understand why they taxed your cheque.

To be honest your payout from court also seems low.

Hope your legs get better soon.



Well, actually in my last post I mentioned court winnings, but it was a settlement. And you're right, it's ridiculously low.

The system in the states is basically "we have the guns and the numbers, so it's the law." There legit isn't any law in the U.S. that requires any non-corporate entity to pay taxes. There was a 1913 case that apparently granted the state the ability to tax everyone, but the case stated that it gave no new powers. But of course with the induction of the federal reserve, the gold standard went bye bye in favor of a currency based on debt, the US Government needs to pay back it's bill to the fed, and of course the government doesn't have anything on it's own it has to take it from someone else, hense why there is an income tax.

And thanks.

 
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UrbanMonk

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21st November, 2010 at 02:05:35 -

Aaaand it looks like it can only get worse.

They've just printed a bunch more money, expect price increases.

 
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Don Luciano

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21st November, 2010 at 12:28:14 -

I v heard a lot of bad things about US goverment, but i guess you could be in a worse position, it's not like there are not even worse countries in the world when it comes to economic inequality, like China for example, and brazil. I am not sure if that is actually helpfull.

 
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21st November, 2010 at 12:38:53 -

maybe you arent filing your taxes right.

when you have a job, you should be getting taxed per paycheck. not all at once. if you filed correctly you should be getting money back, not having to pay. i only have a part time job and make about 9 to 10k a year, and am only paying maybe 1100 in taxes the whole year. i usually end up having to pay like 50bucks or get 50bucks back cause i didnt file my w-2 right. it has to do with what you claim on your w-2 form, how much they take out of your checks for taxes.

sorry about the legs though.

get a desk job dude.

 
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Matthew Wiese

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21st November, 2010 at 14:57:26 -

Since this post is by a kid in high school, I won't be giving you tangible advice, but I'll give you my wishes nonetheless.

Hope you can find your way out of the mess, just keep on chugging and it'll get better bit by bit.



 
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Hagar

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21st November, 2010 at 15:07:13 -

Robot Cecil : I am really surprised you have to pay taxes at all on 9 to 10k dollars per year. Over here you can earn upto 6,475 pounds ($10,343 USD) before hitting the taxable limit which accounts for most part time jobs students take.

But then again our cost of living is quite a bit higher (a gallon of petrol is over $9.50 USD - and Americans wonder why the British drive small cars... ) so I guess it balances out.

@ Horrendous Games : If there is any equivalent of a citizins advice beuro in the States I suggest you give them a ring. Something sounds not quite right. As said before a desk job (or perhaps acadmia) maybe good routes.

 
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Hagar

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21st November, 2010 at 15:11:47 -


Originally Posted by Matthew Wiese
Since this post is by a kid in high school, I won't be giving you tangible advice, but I'll give you my wishes nonetheless.

Hope you can find your way out of the mess, just keep on chugging and it'll get better bit by bit.




How did you deduce he is in high school (at 23) ?

 
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Matthew Wiese

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21st November, 2010 at 15:23:53 -


Originally Posted by ..::hagar::..

Originally Posted by Matthew Wiese
Since this post is by a kid in high school, I won't be giving you tangible advice, but I'll give you my wishes nonetheless.

Hope you can find your way out of the mess, just keep on chugging and it'll get better bit by bit.




How did you deduce he is in high school (at 23) ?



I was referring to myself. "This post" meaning the one I was writing.

 
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Hagar

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21st November, 2010 at 17:15:36 -

Ah I suffered from a senior moment then .

 
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HorrendousGames

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21st November, 2010 at 17:46:08 -


Originally Posted by Robot Cecil
maybe you arent filing your taxes right.

when you have a job, you should be getting taxed per paycheck. not all at once. if you filed correctly you should be getting money back, not having to pay. i only have a part time job and make about 9 to 10k a year, and am only paying maybe 1100 in taxes the whole year. i usually end up having to pay like 50bucks or get 50bucks back cause i didnt file my w-2 right. it has to do with what you claim on your w-2 form, how much they take out of your checks for taxes.

sorry about the legs though.

get a desk job dude.



I thought so too, I usually attempt to file several different ways, sometimes I get a better outcome, sometimes I don't. Unfortunately, I usually only make 2-4k a year, usually due to not having a stable home to live in. You'd be surprised but it's very rare that anyone will ever hire a homeless person (despite the whole "get a job" thing), it didn't matter if I was honest with them, neglected to tell them or picked a random address (the truth usually comes out). Once that changed, I was holding onto that RadioShack job for a while, but yeah. But yeah, I might very well be filing wrong, but with that small amount of income, I'm pretty much in the category of "you didn't work enough". I know there have even been several instances where the government gave out like 500 bucks, but of course I flew right in under the radar.

A desk job would be nice, I've been looking for quite some time. The only desk job I had so far was a telemarketing position, the desk part was nice, but unfortunately I couldn't handle the customer service end of it. I have beefed up my resume a ton, and I've been sending my resume out to as many office positions as possible. The only obstacle is the whole getting out there deal, well that, and actually finding one, but I'm sure if I could get out there, I'd have a better chance of landing the job.

Haha, I'm in a wheelchair, every job is a desk job.

@Matthew Wiese: Thanks, haha.

@..::hagar::.. : Not sure on what exactly that place does, so it's tough to judge which American service would do the same, but most American Government run places are horrifying, unproductive and tough to get straight answers. Can't hurt to give it a shot, though.

 
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HorrendousGames

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21st November, 2010 at 17:49:22 -


Originally Posted by Don Luciano
I v heard a lot of bad things about US goverment, but i guess you could be in a worse position, it's not like there are not even worse countries in the world when it comes to economic inequality, like China for example, and brazil. I am not sure if that is actually helpfull.



That's actually one of the things that keep me going. One of my old history teachers used to tell me "You could be in Cambodia with a leg blown off". Although sometimes that puts me in a situation of feeling bad for feeling bad. But that kind of feeling bad isn't as bad as feeling bad because I feel bad, which is bad. Now if that makes any sense at all, you deserve a medal.

 
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Marko

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21st November, 2010 at 19:05:16 -

Sorry to hear about your situation. I guess the only advice i could give is to stay positive, look down every avenue (unpaid work to gain experience/open new doors?) and never, ever give up!

Also, you being an ex-wrestler interests me tons and i'd love to hear more!

 
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HorrendousGames

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21st November, 2010 at 19:47:31 -

In highschool I was in amateur wresting, as well as Judo, although they both kind of clash while at the same time having many similarities. After highschool, I never really pursued them, but I occasionally did some professional wrestling under several different names, but of course my favorite had to be "The Brockler".

The only video I could find on youtube was one with old clips around the time I started after highschool, it's a tribute to one of my best friends that passed away in 08 from an asthma attack.



I'm at 0:51, 1:00, 2:07 and 2:20

It's kind of ironic that the company that those events took place at, and put the video together treated both of us like garbage. When I started there, they were a bunch of kids from highschool wrestling on a trampoline. I got them to build a ring, advertise and get fans, hire entertaining wrestlers, and merged them with another group that was doing the same. I made every single show professional, streamlined and cut down on a ton of wasted time, but of course, never got any credit for it, and when I was homeless, not one of those guys that I had considered my good friends gave me any single bit of help, well except for Brandon, of course. But enough of my life story.

EDIT: No, my hair isn't anywhere near that long anymore, and I do realize these are only clips of me getting manhandled, but of course, it's a tribue to him, not me.

Edited by HorrendousGames

 
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Matt Boothman

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21st November, 2010 at 19:55:37 -

Is that rule just an American thing? The whole "you haven't worked enough, so you can't have your tax back?". Surely it would be the other way around? I only earned around 5000 last year (in Britain), so I got a tax refund in April of 350 because I hadn't worked enough to have my income taxed.

The amount you won (or settled on) seems pitifully low, and the tax system seems very unfair in the US.

By the way, what was your good news?

I also get really offended when people say the economic crisis was caused, or exascerbated, by people on welfare (or benefits as we call them here). I spent around six months on Jobseeker's Allowance, "earning" around 50, which is about $80 I believe, a week. Peanuts. Economic theory logically says that if you give poor people money, no matter how much they've 'earnt' it, the money always goes back into the system anyway whenever they spend that money. Rich people get taxed, taxes get given to the poor, the poor people buy the products of the rich ad infinitum. And because people on benefits cannot save, it is a lossless transfer. But there are so many people out there who think running a country's economy is like running your own household. They think money in = money out. The real cause of the whole problem is the artificial problem of debt and interest. Money cannot make more money, but the whole world acts like it can.

Just needed to get that off my chest. Good luck with the job hunt.

 
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HorrendousGames

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21st November, 2010 at 20:51:41 -


Originally Posted by Matt Boothman
Is that rule just an American thing? The whole "you haven't worked enough, so you can't have your tax back?". Surely it would be the other way around? I only earned around 5000 last year (in Britain), so I got a tax refund in April of 350 because I hadn't worked enough to have my income taxed.

The amount you won (or settled on) seems pitifully low, and the tax system seems very unfair in the US.

By the way, what was your good news?

I also get really offended when people say the economic crisis was caused, or exascerbated, by people on welfare (or benefits as we call them here). I spent around six months on Jobseeker's Allowance, "earning" around 50, which is about $80 I believe, a week. Peanuts. Economic theory logically says that if you give poor people money, no matter how much they've 'earnt' it, the money always goes back into the system anyway whenever they spend that money. Rich people get taxed, taxes get given to the poor, the poor people buy the products of the rich ad infinitum. And because people on benefits cannot save, it is a lossless transfer. But there are so many people out there who think running a country's economy is like running your own household. They think money in = money out. The real cause of the whole problem is the artificial problem of debt and interest. Money cannot make more money, but the whole world acts like it can.

Just needed to get that off my chest. Good luck with the job hunt.



I'm not sure what you meant by what was my good news, but I'm going to interpret that as one of those "think on the bright side" kind of things. If that's the case, you're right, I do have a ton of things to be thankful for. I've got a great family that has been nice enough to take me in and give me a hand, even though they aren't technically my family, I'm still alive, and I can always keep trying with just that.

When it comes to the court case, it's been about a year or so, and I haven't been to court once. If I hadn't settled, it would've been at least another year before the case went to court. When I got thrown out of my apartment, it took the owners a weekend to get us into a courtroom. Even that aspect seems even less fair than the chump change I received. Granted, I'm thankful I at least got something out of it, but sometimes I feel like I would've gotten more out of the situation if I had just gone "fuck you" and thrown a rock through the window.

You made some fantastic points, it's always nice to see someone that doesn't look at people on welfare as "lazy black people".

And thanks for the kind words.

 
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Matt Boothman

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21st November, 2010 at 21:12:43 -

You said "After some great news today, I think I've snapped." in your OP. Just wondered what it was.

 
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21st November, 2010 at 21:20:43 -

I think the majority of people who attack people on benefits are actually frustrated at the benefit scroungers and those that cheat the system. That frustration gets confused and lost sometimes when the media is thrown in for good measure, especially with the tabloids in the UK!

As for you HorrendousGames, that was a pretty sweet video. The point you made about being manhandled didn't disguise the fact that you still have to sell those moves you're on the receiving end of, and in fact you have to work as hard (if not harder) than the person "doing" the move in order to pull it off without ending up hurting each other. Pro wrestling is lost on those who think it's crap - it's like taking the skill of circus acts and then chucking in a wheel-barrow's worth of physicality for good measure. I look up to pro-wrestlers and i think the effort:financial reward ratio is well screwed up!

Have you thought about using your wrestling background to get on your feet again? Some of the ideas i had were;

1. Offering your services in setting up/running a promotion, using your knowledge and experience

2. Trying to get into pro-wrestling again as a kayfabe promoter/manager? The wheelchair "gimmick" (excuse me for the choice of words, no harm intended) has not been used before as far as i can remember and can be used to either further your face character (the guy who cannot fully physically defend himself from heel wrestlers) or even more effective as a heel (imagine what you could accomplish as a heel with "hired muscle" to protect you. Being untouchable would add to the heat you could create)

3. Writing a book about pro-wrestling and you experiences? Pro-wrestlers on a national scale seem to do well out of books and memoirs, though i bet someone on the independant circuit could easily paint a more interesting story, especially with the "poor" financial gain that brings with it. The story of turning a trampoline-using wrestling show into something that got fans, a ring, promotion, etc., as well as leaving you guys with no credit (every book needs villains - your old promoters could come across pretty bad!) for the effort would make a cracking story!

4. Maybe even a ficticious book based upon the pro-wrestling industry?

In case anyone hadn't realised by now, i love pro-wrestling! And that video was genuinely very impressive, i enjoyed it and wish i knew more about Brandon Ward.

To all those who diss pro-wrestling; when you have people chanting your name whilst watching you do your thing like those guys do night after night, then you can say you have a right to talk smack about wrestling!

 
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21st November, 2010 at 21:42:47 -


Originally Posted by Matt Boothman
You said "After some great news today, I think I've snapped." in your OP. Just wondered what it was.



Haha, I was being sarcastic. I totally forgot about that. The "great" news was the taxes taken out of my check.

@Marko : Totally, those are some great ideas. Unfortunately, when I'm around other wrestlers, it kind of makes me feel like garbage what with my legs not letting me actually wrestle again. But that's just something to get over, and it really wouldn't be a bad idea to do some, if not all of those things.

Usually when people attack pro-wrestling, it's usually because of the soap operas that are paraded around and considered the "top of the line", which I don't have a problem with, I don't like those either. But the problem is they generalize and think that it really don't take any talent to be a pro-wrestler. When people say it's fake, I usually say it's scripted, not necessarily fake. You can't fake gravity. And if it were fake, no one would have ever died from pro-wrestling.

 
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Matt Boothman

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21st November, 2010 at 21:47:36 -

The physicality and acrobatics of wrestling are sometimes amazing. I love any kind of stunts, blokes flying through windows, blokes hitting other blokes with ironing boards etc. It's funny; you get people who say "oh, wrestling, I hate it, it's all fake", but you don't get many people saying "oh, Jackie Chan, I hate his films, they're all faked". Two sides of the same coin.

 
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22nd November, 2010 at 00:12:49 -


Originally Posted by HorrendousGames

Originally Posted by Don Luciano
I v heard a lot of bad things about US goverment, but i guess you could be in a worse position, it's not like there are not even worse countries in the world when it comes to economic inequality, like China for example, and brazil. I am not sure if that is actually helpfull.



That's actually one of the things that keep me going. One of my old history teachers used to tell me "You could be in Cambodia with a leg blown off". Although sometimes that puts me in a situation of feeling bad for feeling bad. But that kind of feeling bad isn't as bad as feeling bad because I feel bad, which is bad. Now if that makes any sense at all, you deserve a medal.



Well, even rich kids with tons of money from their parents and whatnot can feel "bad" and go suicidal on themselves. Just because you can be in a worse or better position doesn't mean it's better or worse. It's a matter of perception. Maybe a man in Cambodia with his leg blown off, is feeling good. Sometimes you just have to go,
Because if you go somewhere anywhere, it is completely logical to assume that you will get somewhere. I hope that helps.

 
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22nd November, 2010 at 04:41:37 -


Originally Posted by Matt Boothman
The physicality and acrobatics of wrestling are sometimes amazing. I love any kind of stunts, blokes flying through windows, blokes hitting other blokes with ironing boards etc. It's funny; you get people who say "oh, wrestling, I hate it, it's all fake", but you don't get many people saying "oh, Jackie Chan, I hate his films, they're all faked". Two sides of the same coin.



The difference is that wrestling acts like it's real. Or it's realistic enough to be assumed to be real, and everyone gets disappointed when they're not. Nobody thinks that Jackie's stunts are real, even when they are.


Anyway, on topic... I sort of assumed that you lived in the USA halfway through the post (before I remembered "Uncle Sam" was an American thing). It's really quite sad, the whole country is "I give to myself and nobody gets my money even if they can't earn it myself". I come from Malaysia, with both my parents doing most of their degrees in the USA. The USA is horrible for the people who aren't lucky.. it's got a nasty poor-rich income gap (equal or worse to most African nations), very little opportunities for skilled poor people to become rich.

Economic and social inequality is probably worse than almost every other country in the world, you can tell by the way their citizens angrily refuse the health care reforms on the grounds that they don't want to pay for anyone else to live, and that it should be a charity. Personally, I find it frustrating that a lot of the people in one of the richest, most populous countries in the world still won't spend a bit extra for their brothers in the same country.

I have no advice, other than moving to a socialist country.

 
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22nd November, 2010 at 05:27:09 -

But wrestling is real, it's just "scripted real" like Jackie Chan's stunts are. In it's most basic forms, both are real stunts sold as being real yet both are done to a pre-determined script. And it's only kayfabe real - nearly all wrestling fans know this and so are not disappointed when something happens outside of the storyline (wrestlers getting sacked/injured half-way through a story, for example). People who aren't wrestling fans know it's not real either, except they somehow think it offends wrestling fans to tell them so.

Actually, i think the biggest difference is that with wrestling and film acting is that when filming you get as many takes as you like to get it right. Wrestlers have to perform live every time and only get one take to get it right.

 
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22nd November, 2010 at 06:19:56 -

I don't know, about 10 years ago, Jackie put himself in some situations that I wouldn't think he'd try again.

_9Jg">_9Jg" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350">

EDIT: Embed doesn't want to work, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b07w9 _9Jg

Double EDIT: That's why, stupid smily.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b07w9 _9Jg


GODDAMEDIT: It's mocking me. Just go to youtube and look up "Who Am I - Scene 15"

Edited by HorrendousGames

 
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Hagar

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22nd November, 2010 at 12:44:36 -

I never got into wrestling, but I am not into watching Jackie Chan type films either so its just my mindset.

As Marko said there are scroungers in the UK and the public does get swayed by the papers. Personally I have no problem with "benefits" to people that need it, people that can not find work but are genuinely trying, the ill and disabled.



 
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GamesterXIII



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22nd November, 2010 at 16:22:59 -

You have to jump through hoops to get welfare because you probably aren't black.

Sad truth, but that is how it is. My dad tried to get on disability or some shit because he had a major accident at work and couldn't work. He still suffers to this day, nearly 30 years later I believe on top of fighting in court for getting fired illegally from another job. He was a mechanical inspector and his boss didn't want him to sign off on something that wasn't up to code. If an inspector signs off on something that isn't up to code HE is liable.

Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked. They wanted to give him like $20 a month and told him that its because he isn't black - which is a teeny part of the reason he kept working.



 
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Matt Boothman

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22nd November, 2010 at 16:56:39 -

Yes I'm sure that's true Gamester and your Dad isn't telling you porkies and he's probably not a bigot either.

Jog on, demic.

 
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22nd November, 2010 at 18:13:55 -

Lol yeah I haven't lived with my dad most of my life, something you probably can't say, or seen whats going on first hand or anything!

I'm oblivious to the world around me.

Edited by GamesterXIII

 
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Hagar

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22nd November, 2010 at 18:55:55 -

I wondered how long it would take for the issue of race to brought up...

 
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HorrendousGames

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22nd November, 2010 at 19:06:29 -

Gamester actually has a point to an extent. The US government likes to enact certain policies to show favoritism over one race, because for some reason it feels that it can make up for all those insane crap it pulled in the past. Oh yeah, sorry for murdering the hell out of you "injuns" and stealing your land, take these reservations and instant welfare. Sorry for making your ancestors slaves and crap, so here's affirmative action, black history month and we'll re-write history so that the Union we're the good guys and those crazy southerners (whom combined only possessed 7% of americas slave population) are evil and to blame.

The problem is crap like that happens. It sucks that it happens, but I didn't do it, why should I have to feel sorry. I'm a bad example, because my family came here during WWII, but even people who's ancestors originated here shouldn't feel sorry because they didn't have anything to do with it either.

It isn't the white people that keep other races down, it's the system that keeps poor people down. As Muz pointed out earlier, America has very little social mobility. Don't have a lot of money? Get a job. Can only get a nerve racking job that pays minimum wage? Go to college. Can't go to college because you don't have any money? Get money.

I was speaking with a friend from Ireland. I don't know which other countries do this, but if you're an Irish citizen, all of your Education is free, but if you flunk out of college, you have to pay for the rest of it. I can't see how it can be more fair than that, without getting the government out of eduction completely (which they're screwing up horribly in America).

 
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22nd November, 2010 at 19:44:06 -

I wouldn't go taking tips out of the Irish way of running economies, especially with their "free" education... their country is going down the crapper. Well, if countries like the UK hadn't decided to bail them out, that is!

 
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22nd November, 2010 at 22:10:53 -

The economy is going down the crapper wherever you might be. That's the problem with anything government run, it always sucks. The point shouldn't be getting someone else to pay for it, the point should be getting the people to be able to pay for it themselves, and if you were able to bring the prices down, that would solve most problems. But no, everyone tries to encourage the government to pay for it, but the government doesn't have anything, so it has to take it from someone else. Then people try to encourage private loans and insurance, and that doesn't solve the problem, it just makes it harder for people. The system that most of the worlds developed countries go with is a debt based economy. In the US, for instance, the money is literally just paper. Not paper backed by anything (like before it was gold, you used to be able to trade your dollars in for gold) but backed by debt. Every dollar that comes out of the federal reserve is loaned out at interest. That's why the national debt is as high as it is. Even if everyone gave back every single dollar to the fed, we'd still owe them more. That doesn't sound like a bad deal to anyone?

All that's happening is more money keeps being printed, making the dollar less and less valuable (it's worth about 13 cents or so compared to what it was worth when the fed came into existence). Prices keep increasing for whatever reason, so something bad is bound to happen.

 
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23rd November, 2010 at 20:10:01 -

I'm a firm believer in countries spending their way out of economic trouble. Inflation prices people out of spending, and this messes up economies in the long run, IMO

 
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24th November, 2010 at 10:17:10 -

The thing is HG; in the olden olden days, people only ever get what they could afford. Welfare and benefit systems were brought in as a direct consequence. If you were poor, you stayed poor, you worked to survive and if their weren't any jobs you starved.

The problem, like you said, is that the whole world economy is run on a myth. The only benefactors from this are people with extraordinary amounts of money. There are whole countries endebted to financial corporations. Why does nobody see that trading money, paying interest etc etc will never create wealth, but just simply moves money to the top.

That's capitalism folks.

 
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25th November, 2010 at 10:31:29 -

Peace and prosperity to you all! Peace and prosperity!

 
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Muz



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27th November, 2010 at 05:20:34 -

Eh, printing money is pretty much the only way for USA to dig themselves out of debt. The only other thing they could do is cut down their health care a lot. Either you have dead people, or your money isn't worth as much.

Free market just doesn't work with basic necessities. With something like electricity, water, health care, you can put a really high price on it and people will still pay. Would you rather have a big house or live without an arm? Free market says that people would rather pay for the arm than the house, so they can slap whatever price they want on it.

Why is America in debt? It's not because of the wars... they make enough money to attack everyone they don't like. It's because of the spiraling Medicare costs. And that's because doctors can charge people whatever they're willing to pay.


Originally Posted by Matt Boothman
The thing is HG; in the olden olden days, people only ever get what they could afford. Welfare and benefit systems were brought in as a direct consequence. If you were poor, you stayed poor, you worked to survive and if their weren't any jobs you starved.



It's why I support socialism. It's a step up from capitalism. Too bad American culture is deeply embedded in capitalism, and phobic of socialism, thanks to the Cold War.

 
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27th November, 2010 at 08:30:31 -

This is a major issue. People are mistaking corporatism for capitalism. Everyone is quick to jump at capitalism because it's associated with rich jerks, greed, consumerism and all that junk which has nothing to do with capitalism. Socialism has it's issues with big government, after all, governments don't have anything of their own so they have to take it from someone. Most of the time, especially in America, when the government is in control of something, it dicks it up horribly, well, except anything that has to do with war, after all, that is America's main focus.

You are absolutely right though, Muz, the cost of war is outrageous, and only a handful of people profit from it. We could do without spending 80 billion dollars on a bomb.

I'm in favor of people fending for themselves and having ample opportunity to do so, which is what capitalism is about. America is not a capitalist country. America is about everyone fending for themselves with only the opportunity to work for someone else for minimum wage, while claiming to try to help those in need and doing a terrible job of it. Why would I want the government to take care of me? If they run my life like they do anything else, it's doomed to fail.

I will never support socialism because it gives government more power than they should have. It's forcing people to do the "right thing", but you can't just slap a universal term on there. You can make one person give half his money away, and if he can afford it great, but what about he millions of other people who can't? Why should you force someone who can't take care of himself to take care of someone else? Basically it is saying that no one on this planet is capable of helping out someone else without anyone else telling them to. Some asshole wants to horde his money? Great, no one will like him, and he might as well make himself a prime target for theives. But what about people like Joe Louis? This guy gave most of his boxing winnings to charity, only to have the IRS choke the life out of him, taking what little money he had left until he died.

But don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of coming up with an alternative to money, but should we really be forcing anyone to do anything?

 
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Muz



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29th November, 2010 at 05:36:19 -

Well, you have countries like France, Denmark, and Australia run as socialist countries. Not sure about the UK. Democratic socialism is a great success. My fiancee grew up literally in the jungle, her father died when she was young, her mother is barely able to walk. The government gave her enough (taxpayer) money to complete her studies, she worked hard at it, and now she's an engineer with a good career. If the government didn't subsidize her education or her mother's health care, she'd be homeless now, probably illegally selling biscuits to make a living.

Fending for yourself and having opportunity to do so is what socialism is about. The government subsidizes things everyone needs to prove themselves like health care and education. Because more people can afford to go into universities, education is a lot more competitive, needs harder work, and the people who do it are the ones who are skilled and really want a career in it. Then once they make it, they get taxed more to help others. They are given the money only to get a start early in life. The hardworking will end up a higher social status than the lazy.

Tax vs charity? Well, I'm surprised that charity isn't tax deductible in the USA. Where I come from, if a corporation gives enough money to charity, they don't have to pay taxes. If an individual gives to notable charity organizations, that money is deducted from his taxes (up to a certain limit).

If left to their own devices, not many would help out others. I mean, if you had 3 million dollars, what would do with it? How many scholars would you sponsor? How many sick people would you treat? Some people would give to a favorite charity, religious authority, some "starving africans", some cancer patients. Nobody would feed their own starving people, not many would help the genius poor kids become engineers and doctors.

Charity is all well and good, but it doesn't help in providing equal opportunity and it doesn't help as much in running your own country. Allowing a democratic government to do it makes sure that the money is allocated fairly. If you can't trust your government to have power, then why would you have a government in the first place? If you don't believe the government is doing its job right, then vote for another party.

 
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29th November, 2010 at 08:33:52 -

But you have to remember, this is America we're talking about. You bring any concept that does well in another country here, we'll fuck it up. For instance, the cash for clunkers program. In other countries, they just gave you the money for the car. In America, in order to get the money, you had to spend it as a down payment on a new car. Yes, give them the car you already own to put yourself in debt on a car you can't afford.

It's the same thing with the American education system, there's a reason why it's so damn low, and most of it has to do with Americas backwards regulation.

Perhaps I'm a bit too harsh on socialism, it sounds great, although I usually am fairly skeptical about a lot of things. Getting stuck in this country also gives you a huge lack of perspective. Socialism might work, capitalism might work, but you can almost guarantee, America hasn't been doing anything right, and will continue to do as such unless there are some drastic changes.

But what your explaining is exactly my point, that kind of situation is available in a capitalist society as well, but of course as I explained, America isn't a capitalist society. It's spent so much time being in the "middle of the road" that nothing works the way it needs to in order for the currency to function. It doesn't allow businesses to run without regulation, and it plans virtually all important aspects of American life, while at the other side when you need to access a welfare program, you have to jump through so many hoops, often you won't "qualify" for it, and they regulate how all of the money they give you is spent. They're so caught up with making sure people don't cheat the system, the only people who it hurts are the people that need the system, and to top it off, the cost of people cheating the system is ridiculously lower than the cost of going to war, or the cost of running a campaign, or the cost of random bullshit agencies this country does not need (homeland security, the CIA, department of "insert name here").

But in either case, it doesn't make any sense for someone to be forced to pay their dues if they can't afford it. I doubt this is the best that this world has to offer.

 
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Hagar

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29th November, 2010 at 13:22:24 -

@Muz although what you describe education wise is a meritrocacy its not really happening in the UK.

More and more students are going to Uni but less are doing traditional subjects. In the UK you can degrees in golf-course management, Outdoor Adventure With Philosophy, Science: fiction and culture, Fashion buying and best of all Commercial Floral Design.

While the numbers of eningeers, phsyicists and mathematicians continues to drop.

HorrendousGames: Why do you class the US education system as bad? This idea is also common in the UK but I have never understood why (I have only met about two Americans in real life and both seemed ok engineers).

I hated the scrappage schemes, it was basically subsidising cheap foreign made cars which wont last 5 years (the little 6k pound car springs to mind but I can not think of its name) as with scrappage, you could get a new car for 3k!

I believe even greenpeace has admitted that keeping a car on the road as long as possible is also better for the environment due to the impact and energy of producing the car to start with.

 
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29th November, 2010 at 19:35:04 -

@ hagar that's the exact same as America, although the major field here is Law. America does have some fantastic schools, like MIT, but only 5% of students at MIT are American. It all starts with the public education from preschool to high school, if those suck, which in America they do, then you'll end up with the countries with a better educated general population going to your countries top schools.

 
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Matt Boothman

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30th November, 2010 at 19:54:43 -

America basically is a capitalist country; about as capitalist as a country gets. This isn't a criticism; it's just that very very few American companies, or producers, are owned by the government.

I'd argue with your point HG that capitalism is about people fending for and bettering themselves and being unhindered to do so, the classic free-market libertarian POV. This would work brilliantly if everyone were born equal, but unfortunately we are not (some are born more equal than others). Take two babies born in America today; one the son of a poor black single mother who works as a cleaner, the other the son of a rich white oil trader. Imagine they are both as clever, and as industrious, as each other - which one will 'get furthest'? It doesn't take much figuring out. If the poor black child realises this and says "no matter how hard I try, I will never be as much as the rich white guy", what motivation do they have? And so it compounds, and you get underclasses of lacklustre individuals unhappy with their lot. Show me a capitalist country in the world without this - and that includes Muz's list of so-called socialist countries.

Americans, in general, have this great fear of government, but how many realise that the natural conclusion of socialism leads to completely stateless society?

 
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1st December, 2010 at 18:47:26 -

Actually, most people who fit into the classic libertarian category would be guys like Adam Smith and Thomas Jefferson, and most of which are primarily against the free-market, and more about trying to get everyone to succeed (despite being misquoted to state otherwise).

Part of the issue with your situation doesn't have to do with capitalism itself, although more of an issue with American life in general. As I stated before, in the current state America is in, it has very little social mobility. In poorer families, there is no transfer real transfer of wealth as there is with richer families, so in other words, every time a kid from a poor family turns 18, their economic situation starts over, so they might as well be another poor immigrant. Normally, this shouldn't be an issue but stuff costs money, and a lot of it. Everything has a price tag, even things that don't really need it. Socialism doesn't lower the cost of anything, it just gets someone else to pay for it, which won't solve the issue if the country runs out of money, or the currency busts.

It's true that America has very few government owned businesses, but that alone does not make it a capitalist country, it only has capitalist features. Same as it is not a socialist country but has socialist features, and the list goes on. America basically has this policy of trying to please everyone, so it stays in the middle of the road (with the exception of war and religion, the two big one's that should be in the middle of the road). That leads to a capitalism that only effects the rich and a welfare system that only helps the nobody at all. Socialism or capitalism, I honestly don't care, America just needs to pick something and stick to it.

All in all, all I really would like is to not be subjected to labor for basically nothing, the ability to work and enjoy the fruits of my labor, and to not be forced to obey people that don't know me that want to force me to do what I don't feel I need to be doing or want to force me to believe exactly how they believe.

 
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Matt Boothman

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1st December, 2010 at 20:53:21 -

Hard not to agree with your last statement. Wouldn't we all? The point I'm trying to make is that capitalism, by very definition, causes this situation (private ownership of production, the wage labour that results from this, the fact that 90% of people work for the profit of somebody else higher 'up the chain' than them). I, too, would like to enjoy the fruits of my labour, but at the minute, someone who employs me is enjoying my fruits while I sit here sucking seeds.

The reason why socialism failed was because it doesn't mix with any other system. So like you say, a country with socialist features is typically very muddled and inefficient.

 
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2nd December, 2010 at 20:32:55 -

But that's corporatism you're talking about, not capitalism. I'm talking about capitalism in the terms of you have a skill, you can utilize that skill and use it to make money. What we have now is corporatism, where in order to do anything you need to have a ridiculous amount of money by in which you have to earn by working for larger corporations.

I used to work for a company called IPA, ironically that was the telemarketing desk job I worked for. Their goal was to call up small businesses and essentially tell them how to run it to make profit, which sounds great, but they really don't do that well of a job since they're attacking it at the wrong angle. Their philosophy is that these people just don't know how to run a business, when really it's the fact that most small businesses that operate legit have to adhere to these ridiculous standards, and even just the cost of running a business (most of which should never be necessecary for a small business, such as insurance and other unnecessary taxes). About 90% or so small businesses will fail in the first year because of this, which is why only about 5% of Americans work for themselves. That's not capitalism, that's corporatism. And this is created not by regulation, but regulation that favors corporations. I think that's why most American's fear politicians, since there are plenty that are corrupt enough to do whatever for the lobbyists, which leads to bad regulation. I don't mind regulation, but it has to be regulation that actually benefits a majority of society, and not just the few holding all the cash. So, in other words, socialism will never work in America, because it gives bad people more power, which of course could be said about capitalism if most of these larger corporations aren't brought to their knees first.

 
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Matt Boothman

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2nd December, 2010 at 20:55:14 -

Mate, trust me, I'm talking about capitalism. What you said is nothing to do with capitalism. Having a skill and using it to make money isn't an economic system, it's just an individual ideal. In fact, in its most explicit terms, capitalism isn't about having skills, it is about having wealth or a means of producing wealth (ie capital). Hence why stupid, corrupt and otherwise completely useless people can also be the richest.

Socialism will never work in America because there is no call for it, not because "it gives bad people more power". Americans immediately baulk at the idea that capitalism isn't the best idea, like you have done. They tell you that capitalism is the natural way and gives you more freedom, despite the logical fallacy inherent in this (like you've just said, only 5% of Americans work for themselves, how is this freedom for the 95%?). If you work for someone else, and you work only to make those people a profit, your life depends on their continuing employment - you are a slave. If everyone worked for themselves, that would BE socialism.

Read Animal Farm by George Orwell if you haven't already done, sums up my argument in better words than I could ever muster.

 
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2nd December, 2010 at 21:35:49 -

Oh, trust me, I know capitalism isn't even close to the best idea, and you've made some very good points and have made a very strong case about socialism, I'm merely arguing for the sake of arguing at this point, I should have probably have made that clear. It's apparent that we have a very different definition for certain things, but that's no surprise, I tend to define things differently, if not incorrectly than most people. Obviously, we're both looking for the same thing, just different ways of getting there.

I haven't read Animal Farm for quite sometime, although I do remember the most of it being about the story of Stalin/Lenin and Trotsky. It did leave me feeling that if Trotsky were successful over Stalin, the world would have a much different perspective of Socialism/Communism. I do have to let you know, America is horrible when it comes to thinking differently, to the average American, most anything different is considered Satan or a filthy Communist. I try to be at least a little better than that.

 
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6th December, 2010 at 09:49:10 -

Disney says to pay your taxes





 
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