27th June 2012

“Those of us who value a society that is free from the privileged dictates of clerics and open to progress are standing up in increasing numbers and saying: 'We must find a way to live together that is fair to everyone.'”

Terry Sanderson

7 Responses to “27th June 2012”

  1. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Fairness originates in the mind, it has a quality of not changing over time, and it is deeply imbedded in the human consciousness and very difficult if not impossible to remove.

    This quality of fairness is precisely why we guard against bias in order to maintain public confidence in our legal systems.

    Fairness lies within the human being and this is precisely why humans must never depend upon otherworldly locations for fairness. Jesus Christ, it is recorded, said “be in this world, but not of it”: This is wrong!

    Religious authority is perpetually undermined by this notion that fairness is of god in heaven in two ways: One gods sense of fairness flies in the face of the fundamental human sense of right and wrong all the time (Katrina, World War II, et cetera) and two, the “privileged cleric(s)” as informants of what god deems fair are subject to the very same corruption that any other human being is vulnerable to (rape, thievery, et cetera).

    Looking outside ourselves for fairness is a mistake, but also is depending upon our ego for determination of what is or isn’t fair.

    Instead calling on ourselves to invest in the self an understanding of fairness means some of us can come to the conclusions that all of us know, few can accept, many will deny, and some can’t comprehend.

    Natural selection will take care of this over time, but like the breeders of horses or dogs, flowers and vegetables, artificial selections can do fantastic things to advance “fairness”. I can think of no better technique for the advancement of the fairness trait than education unfettered by superstition, politics, and the distinction of peoples.

    We have reams of evidence showing the benefits to children of educated families, of how majorities of well educated children grow to be better moral actors’ generation on generation.

    The reverse is true as well. In places where those who deny fairness or can’t comprehend fairness (Taliban/Nazis/et cetera) have burned books, destroyed hospitals and society, we have a breakdown of fairness.

    It is as if we, those who accept the importance of fairness, are the genes for evolving humanity on the social level.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Once again, Sinjin, you’ve managed to understand a liberal truism without accepting the underlying truth which leads to liberalism in all it’s forms. Man can become a more perfect being, but in the only way which has overcome the time limitations of evolution: education.

    That’s why every liberal knows at his core that education is the silver bullet which solves all else. It’s why the GI bill was called a socialist program when it was proposed. It’s why the current crop of so-called conservatives want to kill both Head Start and the public school system. A truly educated public would revolt over the current distribution of wealth and power in our so-called republic. Truly educated citizens are the single biggest threat to our current power structure. They come to understand that our tax structure has become a way of transferring wealth from those who have the least to those with the most, and that has been the thrust of the last 40 years.

  3. Defiantnonbeliever Says:

    Evolution creates fierce and wily predators whose prey in a society fail to see a fairness. We humans seem to prey on each other as much as anything else. As we’ve barely started to evolve or passed many stress tests equal to the approaching environmental limits one, it will be interesting to see what becomes of fairness.
    Albert Einstein said, “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” I think, one’s sense of fairness would seems as vulnerable to one’s education and experience.

  4. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Jeff I’d need to check with Abe, Teddy, and Dwight. You see I know you realize Progressivism and Liberalism share some center left space, there are some differences particularly in the area around Keynesian economic policy, where there is a divergence.

    Susan B. Anthony, Frederik Douglas, and Jackie Robinson too might object to an all or nothing defintion that lumps both in the same basket.

    But this is beside the point I think. I hope I never come off as sounding like a rabid partisan. I don’t even support all of the classic Progressive Republican positions: For instance, while I’m for progressive taxation, I am against an income tax. That while I’m for a flat tax, I would apply that to sales transactions where consumption would favor those that consumed less and the less expensive. I believe this is also a pro-market position as consuming the less expensive favors free markets Capitalism.

    Buy a Ferrari get soak on tax dollars paid, buy a Ford Fiesta pay very little in total dollars paid.

    Rich people will never buy or consume at the rate necessary to offset what middle class or poor people consume. Most will own 3 or 4 cars, not the 4,000 cars they would have to in order to spend the same percentage of their income on transportation. They will very often buy far more expensive cars though.

    What I don’t like about the current crop of Republicans is the prominence of neo-conservatives who have the very same undesirable trait of wanting to spend spend spend just like the Liberals they profess to disdain?

    I truly belive there are good ideas in every school of thought and that what shapes my ideology doesn’t grant me the special license of “know it all”.

    I appreciate the offer but in accepting it I’d prefer to go issue by issue.

    Lastly, I live in the town that was the birthplace of Horace Mann. Mann of the Whig Party, proceeded by the Republican party. Public education meant a lot to this progressive minded man.

    It simply isn’t cut and dry based upon what dominates either party today. Ideologically I have arrived at my party affiliation based nearly all on the historical and very little on the the current.

    That to me means we aren’t really that far apart at all, and of course I agree “time limitations of evolution: education.”

  5. Defiantnonbeliever Says:

    A progressive income tax with 90% for both individuals and corporations as the highest rate for top earners would seem fairest to me as then the motivations of those people would shift to more important things than money and others would have a chance. A simple tax code of no more than ten pages, is needed to keep things fair and transparent clerics stole with obfuscation and mystery as sure as complicated tax codes do. Current economic concentration of power has almost killed the plant’s biosphere at the expense of most people and will be short lived as it contains it’s own blind seeds of destruction. The guillotine is hardly rusty and would work in any case as well as stones.

  6. Jeff Says:

    Sinjin,

    The only problem with your tax proposal is that it is directly punitive of those who can least afford it. If only consumption is taxed, and you have to spend your entire income to live, you pay tax on your ENTIRE income. If, on the other hand, you have more income than you need to live, if you only consume what you need then that portion of your income which is unspent is not taxed. You may find that fair, but as someone whose income is currently less than that which I must spend to live, it sucks, ’cause I’m paying tax on what I managed to save, and at the same time those savings are being decimated (or worse by the literal definition of that word) by the markets.

    Taxation challenge to you: Design a tax system from scratch that is fair to you, regardless of their your in life, with just one single proviso: you do not know what your status in life will be. Make it fair to yourself prior to the point of your conception, because who conceives you WILL affect your status in life. See if you can come up with a system which you consider fair no matter how things turn out.

    So far, progressive taxation of income is the best answer to that question that I know of.

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