World Government

Discussion in 'World Events' started by kmguru, Jul 22, 2001.

  1. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    Have a little problem ...

    I understand where you're coming from iszlq and agree that certain matters should be left to the States. But what bothers me most is that certain matters should not be decided only within a State. Too often State and local governments are even more susceptible to corporate pressure than the Federal Government.

    And, lets face it, there are a number of social and environmental issues we'd still be faced with if it were only up to the States to deal with them.
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  3. iszlq Registered Senior Member

    Elaborate please.
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  5. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    I'll try ...

    Other than military bases and uranium production plants, when winning WW II was more important than tight safety/environmental controls, almost all of our environmental contamination has resulted from private businesses and corporations that were supposed to be under State control.

    It took the Federal government to protect the mine workers, the Federal Bureau of Mines, because the States were under the control of the big mining corporations. Same goes for protecting the railroad workers.

    And even something like road building. Do you really think that we would have the Interstate Highway system that we now have if it were up to the individual States? I think not.

    And, like national health. What would replace the CDC or FDA?

    Just can't buy returning almost everything to State control.
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  7. iszlq Registered Senior Member

    Chagur said:
    Years ago nearly every business polluted the environment whether or not it was under government control. What ultimately reigns in environmental pollution is public opinion, not government regulation. In fact I'd venture to say that government regulation is actually a detriment to the environment at times because it provides a pollution cap that industry never fails to meet.

    Something interesting that I have noticed about one particular business over the years - McDonalds - the bane of the environment.... What's interesting is that every turn of public opinion turns McDonalds. For every environmentally poor decision McDonalds has made they have corrected the situation as soon as negative publicity ensued. Certainly I may be wrong about some of their business practices, but it seems to me that public opinion means more to McDonalds than government regulation, which is not at all surprising since their business depends upon the satisfaction of their patrons.

    I was under the impression that most road building IS done by the states. Nevertheless, an income tax is unnecessary for road building. I never said I was against ALL taxes - I find INCOME tax to be the most bothersome. Other taxes are generally used to provide a necessary service such as garbage collection, police force, fire department AND roads.

    Don't forget that income tax is a relatively new phenomenon in the history of the US. It didn't exist until 1913.

    You guys are good debaters. If some of you might be interested I'd love for you to check out my groups.
  8. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    On Income tax ...

    I agree with you there, islq.

    My own feelings are that a scaled 'consumption' tax would be the fairest based on the premise that those who make the most, spend the most, and that those spending the most should be taxed at a higher rate than those spending far less.

    True, there might be the trillionaire who is miserly, but I think s/he would be the exception (thinking of the 'Witch of Wall Street). Hell, why be wealthy if you can't flaunt it.

    Hmmm ... Maybe that might be a partial solution to the insanely high compensation that has pretty much become the norm in many areas ... even when dumping a CEO who has practically ruined the company. Ah, the wonder of 'golden parachutes'.
  9. kmguru Staff Member

    Hello Lisa:

    Sorry for the confusion. Normally I am a minimalist. I try to convey my ideas with as few sentences as possible. Most of our very smart readers who have seen most of my posts can create the full picture from my subset. Looks like I owe you an explanation since you jumped in the middle of the conversation without reading my other posts.

    To start with, let us define what a government is (from the dictionary):
    1. The act or process of governing, especially the control and administration of public policy in a political unit.
    2. Exercise of authority in a political unit; rule.
    3. Management or administration of an organization, a business, or an institution.
    4. A governing body or organization, as: a. The ruling political party or coalition of political parties in a parliamentary system.
    (among others - you get the idea)

    Now the definition does not say about political boundaries or physical boarders, geography, ethnic background, language that separates one government from another and whether they can or can not join in policy decisions.

    If you need any more help in understanding my post, please let me know.
  10. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    And now for the other aspects ...

    Yes, I realize that years ago 'every business' polluted the environment. Tanneries come immediately to mind because their pollution was so obvious, but there were many others. Yet, I can not think of a single State that imposed stringent pollution laws prior to the Federal government stepping into the picture.

    Even California, until recent years, looked the other way as far as the oil companies (Texas still does) and the agricultural industry. Really, the only area where California has been a leader in recent years has been the auto industry (no jobs to be lost in California) and the power generators (and look how quickly they have backed off when faced with power shortages after a poorly constructed 'deregulation').

    As for McDonalds' ... Let's face it, any industry/corporation that has to deal directly with the public is going to be more sensitive to public pressure (ex. Nike also), something that you're already aware of. But how about Boeing, or better yet, its subcontractors? How 'sensitive' have they been to 'public' pressure?

    With regard to road building: That's why I specifically referred to the Interstate Highway system. Based on the German Autobahns, it was realized after WW II that a national highway system was in the country's best interest and consequently the States were heavily subsidized to meet Federal requirements regarding where and how to build their portions of the system. Unfortunately, the spec.'s for overpasses were set too low and before the system was pretty much completed, it was useless for the movement of large pieces of military equipment.

    And finally, with regard to your comment, "government regulation is actually a detriment to the environment at times because it provides a pollution cap that industry never fails to meet." I think that is due to a lack of enforcement rather than the setting of a cap.

    Thanks for some interesting ideas.

  11. iszlq Registered Senior Member

    What need for enforcement is there? Just at the limit no laws have been broken.
    This was actually something brought to my attention by a Swiss friend of mine when I was working at a pharmaceutical company. He found the web of regulations in America to be absurd. He felt that no one had any personal responsibility and that the government enforced this lack of responsibility by setting limits. In this way companies that might have had some measure of responsibility instead readily pollute to the limit.
  12. kmguru Staff Member

    Don't you hate when people come to your house to have a party and ignore the HOST....Oh! well, so much for the World Government....

    BTW, I checked out that forum at Yahoo site...what a dog. People are rambling... solution runs off to UFOs...The law of conservation of matter/energy is out the window...
  13. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    iszlq ...

    Seems like I remember an Amerikan Corporation that was making some chemicals over in India ... had a little 'incident' ... don't remember how many died.

    The only thing that corporations are responsible to is the bottom line!

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2001
  14. kmguru Staff Member

    In the early hours of Dec. 3, 1984, gas leaked from a tank of methyl isocyanate (MIC) at a plant in Bhopal, India, owned and operated by Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL).

    The state government of Madhya Pradesh reported that approximately 3,800 persons died, 40 persons experienced permanent total disability, and 2,680 persons experienced permanent partial disability.

    (Actual deaths may be higher...)
  15. iszlq Registered Senior Member

    Whether because of the "bottom line" or not, no company wants to have a major accident that destroys human life and property. It's very expensive in public opinion. (Someone brought up airlines - well suppose you heard that all Boeing 737's were crashing, would you get on one?)
    The government can easily be responsible for this type of tragedy as well - Challenger, agent orange, military maneuvers at ground zero - why all the trust in government to know what's best? After an accident like the Union Carbide accident, or accidents with Goodyear tires for that matter, a company suffers from negative public opinion and they certainly want to remedy that quickly. Legislation is inevitably called for in the mistaken belief that it will prevent further accidents. The Russian government controlled every aspect of nuclear power and yet - Chernobyl. So much for government control being the answer.
  16. iszlq Registered Senior Member

    The forum in not moderated - this is one thread introduced by one person - try viewing some of the earlier ones.
  17. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    iszlq ...

    I'm going to say it only once ... and slowly:

    The ... 'government' ... is ... you ... and ... I!

    We ... are ... the ... ones ... who ... elect ... those ... who ... are ... to ... act ... in ... our ... best ... interests!

    I voted for Nader and was chagrinned by how few of my fellow Americans did likewise. But then, this is a democracy and the voters get what they deserve.
  18. kmguru Staff Member

    iszlq ...

    What are you babling now? All I asked is "What do you think?"
  19. iszlq Registered Senior Member

    I'll say this as many times as need be:

    You have an awful lot of faith in the majority and elected officials. The majority could vote in communism - would that be okay with you? The majority could vote in slavery - would THAT be okay with you? The majority could decide that all people named Chagur should be put to death - would that be alright with you?

    I'm GLAD more people didn't vote for Nader... his platform is mainly FLUFF and it is based upon EMOTION rather than anything useful. It all sounds so nice, but it isn't. I voted for Harry Browne, and while he may not be the best Libertarian candidate, he is far better than anyone else who ran. One of the best house reps is Ron Paul. Check out his website:
  20. iszlq Registered Senior Member

    I'm confused?? I was responding to Chagur, I thought. When did you ask?? I missed something.
  21. kmguru Staff Member

    Finally I got your attention! (with a rude!)

    First of all, it is my topic. So always read the topic first, then if you want to join in, answer to the topic. You can answer to fellow members comments to explain your stand if they do not get it. But always stay on the topic unless the topic starter allowed you to take off on a tangent. Otherwise members will be trashing each others interest and the moderator has to step in.

    If you read the whole posting, you will find that you took exception to my comment, then you ignored my comment. It is OK to answer two or three members in the same post.

    I understand it takes time to get used to this forum. Note that this is much more organized than that Yahoo site you reffered me to.
  22. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    Oh, what the hell ...

    Don't be so possessive! Yeah, you started the thread and wanted it to be directed toward the question of World Government, but what the heck - Threads have a way of going off topic every so often.

    Checked out the link to Ron Paul's web site and all I can say is, If that's the best Texas has to offer ... God help the poor Texans! Talk about FLUFF! Did a quick scan of the bills he either sponsored or cosponsored ... Yikes!

    At least Nader had the guts to buck Corporate America at a time when 'What was good for GM, was good for America'. Sorry, but I still would vote for him again even though it's like tossing my vote in the waste paper basket. At least I wouldn't feel that I voted for a sleazy corporate ass-kisser because he was 'the lesser of two evils'!
  23. kmguru Staff Member

    Some feel that globalization will spawn a new world empire with fading borders and diminished state sovereignty. Here is an interesting book by Duke University literature professor Michael Hardt and Italian Philosopher Antonio Negri called "Empire".

    Some excerpts and links follow.

    Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's "Empire" is best understood as a *turn*
    within the ideological/political current known as "post-Marxism". Although
    this movement has been closely identified with protests against
    globalization--albeit not within classical Marxist parameters--Hardt and
    Negri will have nothing to do with any movement that makes concessions to
    the idea that "Local differences preexist the present scene and must be
    defended or protected against the intrusion of globalization." (Empire, p. 45)

    Before turning to part one of "Empire", it would be useful to say a few
    words about the emergence of post-Marxism. As a theory, it tries to
    reconcile Marx with postmodernism. From Marx it borrows the idea that
    capitalism is an unjust system. From postmodernism it borrows the idea that
    "grand narratives" lead to disaster. While postmodernism had been around
    since the mid-80s (Lyotard's "Postmodern Condition" was published in 1984),
    the disenchantment with the traditional Marxist project reached a crescendo
    after 1990, when the Soviet bloc began to collapse and after the Central
    American revolution had been defeated.

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