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Stosh

Interesting topic came up....

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When man defines morality, the man with the biggest stick redefines morality and the poorest always suffer the most.

 

Man has a short memory. The community changes when the governments compassion replaces Gods compassion. In the early times, if a stranger came to town down and out, the church would take them in, feed them, clothe them and find them a job. If the stranger took the food and clothes but refused work, food and clothing stopped. The church was compassionate as God demands of Christ's church, but pragmatic as well in changing mans position of taking and giving. The government (ambitious men with a self serving agenda) redefined compassion so that not only did they define compassion as taking from the haves and giving to the have nots with only the expectation of a vote.

 

I came to really understand Gods compassion vs mans compassion when the town we were living in was struggling with teenage girls getting pregnant for government compassion. They had it down to three kids to be set for life. This wasn't a trend, it is a culture.

 

this isn't a religious discussion, it's a pragmatic explanation of why short sighted man keeps repeating history, as this discussion points out.

 

Barry

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Just for fun, let's bring it back around to da BSA, though.  ;)    Seems like you'd be advocatin' for a smaller national office, less GTA/G2SS/etc. regulations, and more local market choice with different kinds of troops takin' different approaches.   Sound about right?

 

Beavah

I think we call it Venturing :).

 

Silliness aside, yes, I'm totally in with that idea.  I think it's basically unworkable to have a program that meets the needs equally of inner-city, suburban and rural youth.  I live in a rural area.  If I told a 16-year old boy who's been farming with his dad and the FFA for 4 years that he can't drive a tractor on camp staff because he's too young, he'll laugh me out of the room.  Kids that are interested in the outdoors have probably been to deer camp with their dad a number of times before the BSA let's them camp and they already have their own private firearms.  The BSA shooting ranges are below their skills out of the gate.  But, I would never cut any of them loose in the mountains because they've never had to survive anywhere when they weren't at the top of the food chain!   My parents are ok with laser tag and paint ball and letting their 11-year old sons run lawn mowers and power tools.  That said, it does require the hierarchy to trust the "boots on the ground."

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It is YOUR duty to assure a basic income. The government should have nothing to do with you and your income.

 

A true free market capitalist does not want government anywhere near their income or the market.

Actually it's your employer's duty to make sure that you are paid a just wage; if they can't or won't then the duty falls to the government.

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Actually it's your employer's duty to make sure that you are paid a just wage; if they can't or won't then the duty falls to the government.

 

In a free-market capitalist country like the US? The wage you are paid is determined by the market...not the government and not your employer (directly). The employer relies on the market forces to dictate his costs for materials for his product. The choice of production facilities dictates the price for labor. The skill set of the workforce dictates the market for the labor. NONE of this should be governed by the government.

 

I think you're in the wrong country. If you are looking for the government to secure your income for you, might I suggest you go to a socialist country or, perhaps, China. There the government is willing to pay you what THEY think you need and provide the services THEY think you need.

 

Here in the USA, we leave it to each individual's ability to make something of themselves and to secure their own future. Well, at least we did prior to 1998.

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The effectiveness of a charity organization is dependent on the mission, charity status, non-profit status and governmental status and even how they go about fund raising.

 

Some of the most cost effective organizations are the religious organizations.  VERY few of the personnel involved are professional and the vast majority are volunteers or volunteers working for just enough to stay alive.  No one's going to be having a meeting anywhere other than a hut or under a tree.

 

Then there are the non-profits, they tend to be quite relaxed in their approach and tend to have a greater number of paid volunteers, Red Cross, BSA, GS/USA, United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA's, and medical kinds of research all fit in this middle ground.  Then there are the for-profit organizations that do work for the benefit and welfare of others, like hospitals, private schools, etc.

 

On the bottom of the scale where people contribute with no cost to the organization, i.e. passing the plate so to speak these organizations can operate on about 7%-10% administrative fees of moving goods and services to those who need them.  Lutheran World Relief and Catholic Charities fall into this level of assistance.  That means 90%-93% of the money raised goes towards the mission for which it was collected.

 

On the other end of the scale, we have such organizations such as Red Cross and YMCA's that have high administrative fees.  Those can run into the 90%+ range meaning less than 10% of the money raised actually gets to those in need.

 

How many is raised also has an affect on the amount that goes to the "cause".  If the American Cancer Society relies on telemarketers to raise funds for their operation, the telemarketers cost about 90-cents on the dollar which means for every dollar taken in by the telemarketer, 10-cents goes to the American Cancer Society.    Basically this is a for-profit operation posing as a non-profit to raise money for charities.  The 10-cents becomes a donation to the American Cancer Society they can take as a tax write-off.  American Cancer Society doesn't complain because they get a donation and the public who thinks they are making a substantial contribution are being deceived.

 

The government has no checks and balances for it's "charitable" efforts, on average takes $2 worth of administrative fees to provide $1 worth of benefit, barring no political ramifications.

 

There was a major drought in Northern Africa a few years back and the US government sent tons of relief aid which sat at the airport tarmacs and wasn't being delivered.  In the mean time Catholic Charities and Lutheran World Relief vehicles were going out half full of church contributions on routes and in vehicles that had been used and were set up to do this kind of work in the area already.    The US government would not put US goods on the "religious" trucks that were taking things to the people in need anyway.  They had to wait for the Army vehicles to get clearance and come into the area to haul the goods.  By the time they got the stuff to the people it was weeks if not months late.  The religious trucks did the best they could with what they had in the meantime and actually did some good.  No price tag was ever set on that kind of stupidity.

 

 

Comparing NGO's for their effectiveness to the government, while tempting, isn't really all that helpful because not only does the government operate under different constraints and rules, agencies within government operate under different rules and constraints than other agencies within the government.  What we need to figure out is which governmental agency more closely corresponds to which NGO and then compare them. 

 

For instance, you make a good point about organizations that can raise funds with little cost to them using only 7%-10% of the funds raised for administration - and this is a great stat - but it implies that the government can't be as efficient - and while it's quite true that there are a lot of places where the government isn't very efficient, there are places where it is incredibly efficient.  Private insurance companies provide health insurance with a 20-30% overhead (administrative) cost - Medicare, because it's not out to make a profit, manages to deliver their services with an approximately 3% overhead cost.  Love or hate the government and things like Medicare, but flaws and all, a 3% administrative cost is pretty darn good for a government bureaucracy of that size.

 

For those familiar with the Federal Duck Stamp, 98% of the money raised by the stamp goes directly to purchasing/leasing lands and protecting wetlands.  That means the overhead cost for everything from running the program, marketing the stamps, printing the stamps, running the contests to choose the next stamp is 2% of the funds raised - again, not a bad percentage at all.

 

But yes, there are times that NGO's can do better than the government and providing relief supplies is certainly one of those - and a big reason for that is NGO's aren't as hamstrung by diplomatic and sovereignty concerns - and yes, from our view in the cheap seats, it seems so obvious to just put US relief supplies on the trucks and get on with it but if we think it through, if we're already hamstrung by diplomacy that our supplies are spending time on the tarmac until we can get the diplomatic issues worked out, how well do you think these regimes will take it if they catch Lutheran World Relief or Catholic Charities vehicles with US Supplies heading out to camps without permission?  I sure wouldn't want to have to explain to the family members of a crew of relief workers taken prisoner because they're "sneaking" aid in illegally.

 

So really, just like there is a range of efficiencies in the NGO world, there is a range of efficiencies in Government - some that can be controlled, and some that can't be controlled.  I'm not a big fan of broad brush approaches to criticizing the government - and at the same time, delving in to minutiae can be a bit counter-productive too and can just get downright silly sometimes. 

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Yah. Yah. Barbara Boxer says that, but Forbes pointed out the scams in her numbers.

 

 

 

Medicare is partially administered by outside agencies

First, other government agencies help administer the Medicare program. The Internal Revenue Service collects the taxes that fund the program; the Social Security Administration helps collect some of the premiums paid by beneficiaries (which are deducted from Social Security checks); the Department of Health and Human Services helps to manage accounting, auditing, and fraud issues and pays for marketing costs, building costs, and more. Private insurers obviously don’t have this kind of outside or off-budget help. Medicare’s administration is also tax-exempt, whereas insurers must pay state excise taxes on the premiums they charge; the tax is counted as an administrative cost. In addition, Medicare’s massive size leads to economies of scale that private insurers could also achieve, if not exceed, were they equally large.

Administrative costs are calculated using faulty arithmetic

But most important, because Medicare patients are older, they are substantially sicker than the average insured patient — driving up the denominator of such calculations significantly. For example: If two patients cost $30 each to manage, but the first requires $100 of health expenditures and the second, much sicker patient requires $1,000, the first patient’s insurance will have an administrative-cost ratio of 30%, but the second’s will have a ratio of only 3%. This hardly means the second patient’s insurance is more efficient — administratively, the patients are identical. Instead, the more favorable figure is produced by the second patient’s more severe illness.

 

Cooking the books again. (See "cut spending.")

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In a free-market capitalist country like the US?

Well I am not a free-market capitalist.

 

I think you're in the wrong country.

I keep forgetting that if one disagree's with the laws of the country in which he lives, he should leave and go elsewhere!

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Of course not.  If there's room for Noam and the Donald, there's room for you.

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Well I am not a free-market capitalist.

 

I keep forgetting that if one disagree's with the laws of the country in which he lives, he should leave and go elsewhere!

 

If you are going to advocate socialism? Yes. There are plenty of countries that like that system. 

 

This country was founded on a different set of social and economic principles. We like them and don't want them changed. So, yeah, go to China where the government will dictate every thought you need if that's what you want. I prefer to have the government stay entirely out of my life...which is the founding principle of THIS country.

 

I've lived in many countries in my life. I have disagreed with their politics, social systems, economics and many other things. I never advocated changing those countries to meet my personal beliefs...even when I lived in one for over 15 years. It was my choice to live there so I lived within the norms and mores of that society.

 

I wish those living here would do the same.

Edited by Krampus
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If you are going to advocate socialism?

But I haven't advocated socialism, any more than Friedman or Hayek did. References to China (which really is an authoritarian regime, and in some ways more capitalist than the United States) and other countries are just straw men.

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But I haven't advocated socialism, any more than Friedman or Hayek did. References to China (which really is an authoritarian regime, and in some ways more capitalist than the United States) and other countries are just straw men.

Advocating the government guaranteeing income, that's socialism. When you talk about the government controlling markets, that's communism.

 

Friedman said this about a socialism: "The essential notion of a capitalist society is voluntary cooperation, voluntary exchange. The essential notion of a socialist society is force."

 

Friedman didn't advocate socialism.

 

I call it as it is.

Edited by Krampus

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Advocating the government guaranteeing income, that's socialism.

 

No it isn't. Socialism is when the State, or the workers themselves, own the means of production. For example, in Great Britain medicine is socialized as health care workers work for the national healthcare service. Even Canada does not have socialized medicine per se since most medical care is delivered by private services.

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No it isn't. Socialism is when the State, or the workers themselves, own the means of production. For example, in Great Britain medicine is socialized as health care workers work for the national healthcare service. Even Canada does not have socialized medicine per se since most medical care is delivered by private services.

 

You are taking the Marxist definition of socialism....and a very narrow definition at that.

 

If you look at the broader definition (see Websters) of socialism, it is when the government, rather than private enterprise, control industry and markets.

 

When you advocate the government getting involved in "guaranteeing" income, that's socialism. It certainly ain't capitalism. Moreover, it is not what THIS country was founded on. The LAST thing people in this country want is MORE GOVERNMENT. 

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You think that's bad? @@Stosh, @@Krampus, @@Beavah, and I are having the same discussion across like 3 threads, and we've been having it for almost a week!!!!  :D

 

Yah, way longer than that, eh?

 

Do yeh remember @@Oak Tree's old canonical summary of that argument from years ago?  http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/23260-rules-shmules/page-3

 

Where is da Oak Tree anyway?    Or lots of da rest of da old critters?

 

Seems like Scouter.Com is down to just a few folks.

 

Beavah

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