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Old 10-29-2008, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Montrose, CA
3,031 posts, read 7,863,957 times
Reputation: 1925

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Quote:
Originally Posted by laysayfair View Post
We are not "afforded" alot of rights. Our rights come from "God", not from the state. Our constitution dosen't give us anything, it acknowledges what already belongs to us. Other countries deprive their citizens of their "god-given" rights. You should read the constitution for yourself because someone has been lying to you. Also, free "mandatory" service" is called slavery.
If our rights come from a god, that god must surely hate all the people living in countries where they have little or no rights. Thank goodness those of us living in the USA are his Chosen People and that he grants us all these nifty rights.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:18 AM
 
Location: vagabond
2,631 posts, read 4,831,584 times
Reputation: 1300
i think that those rights can be just as naturally claimed by the atheist. the whole theory of social contract is that we enter into it of our own accord, with the goal of retaining as much freedom as possible, while garnering the protection and order of society. we are not entering into the agreement of society so that we can receive our rights--they are already there. we naturally come into this world with those rights. social contract says that we judge what portion of our rights are expendable in order to create a better quality of life overall.

obviously, different societies have had different ideas about how many of our rights should be sacrificed for the common good (and some societies believed in common sacrifice for the good of the elite only). our society has to find that balance as well, and it is not a static delineation--it constantly moves with the culture that evolves around it, and the ideals of the people within it.

government should be as minimal as reasonably possible, because every additional unit of government decreases the overall freedom of its subjects.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 43,564,164 times
Reputation: 58603
I personally feel most young people would benefit from some sort of a mandatory 2 year military or public service program that would be accompanied by future college funds. It would enable them to become independent from their parents and also know more what they want to do with the rest of their life. They can learn leadership skills and dealing with people from all walks of life.

However, all that being said, the problem would still remain of it not being the American way and a lack of freedom of choice. During a war, it would seem downright wrong to force these young people to go. I say this as a mom of a 16 year old son who intends to join the military, but I wouldn't want him to be forced into it if he chose not to.
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:28 PM
 
3,413 posts, read 6,314,290 times
Reputation: 1410
Quote:
Originally Posted by stycotl View Post
i think that those rights can be just as naturally claimed by the atheist. the whole theory of social contract is that we enter into it of our own accord, with the goal of retaining as much freedom as possible, while garnering the protection and order of society. we are not entering into the agreement of society so that we can receive our rights--they are already there. we naturally come into this world with those rights. social contract says that we judge what portion of our rights are expendable in order to create a better quality of life overall.

obviously, different societies have had different ideas about how many of our rights should be sacrificed for the common good (and some societies believed in common sacrifice for the good of the elite only). our society has to find that balance as well, and it is not a static delineation--it constantly moves with the culture that evolves around it, and the ideals of the people within it.

government should be as minimal as reasonably possible, because every additional unit of government decreases the overall freedom of its subjects.
I agree with part of what you say. I am an atheist, that's why I put God in quotes. The point is that you are born with those rights. I don't agree that some people are to be sacrificed for the good of others. Overall, good post, even if I disagree.
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Old 10-29-2008, 02:46 PM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,938,535 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by B.H81 View Post
We live in a country were we are afforded a lot of rights that aren't had around the rest of the world, and how to we repay ourselves's? We call each other liberals, or conservative's like its a bad word. We disrespect each other beliefs even though we were founded as a nation of the free. Why dont' we ever give back. When you graduate high school you should have to serve America for 2 years. Not in the military for say, but in schools, in community centers, hopitals, in the areas where we need work. After that you will get some help in paying for college, but not a free ride. There should also be very few waivers for this as certain people will try not to do there share for america. I'm hoping that this would give the youth to see more of our contry from different points of view. What are your thoughts?
My thoughts are that creating an endless stream of free labor will generate a HUGE unemployment problem, particularly in the unskilled and low-skilled sector. I mean, why hire a billing clerk for a hospital even at the minimum wage, when you can have a slightly less competent high school graduate for free? Another obvious consequence is that the quality of services will decline -- for instance, a high school graduate is clearly less qualified to teach math than someone with a masters degree in the field, but at the savings of upwards of $35K per year, school districts may very well be tempted to save the green for executive pay raises. Such consequences will hardly serve America -- will they?

A somewhat obscure federal law was enacted in the early 1990's (please don't ask me to cite it, but if you don't take my word for it, I'll understand), which prohibits employers (with very, very limited exceptions) from taking on volunteers to render essential services that they would have had to pay people for. In other words, you can volunteer at a hospital to read to or entertain the patients, but not to change bed pans or take vital signs. You can volunteer at a school to help organize the senior dance, or the canned food drive, but not to teach a curriculum subject. This law was enacted precisely for the reasons that I outlined above.

Okay, you may say, let's have high school graduates serve America by performing non-essential services for 2 years. Again, there is a problem here. A hospital may welcome 25 candy-stripers, but 200 would really interfere with the actual care and treatment of patients. The project would place an undue burden on organizations to constantly invent ways for all these mandatory volunteers to be useful while staying out of the way. In the end, the cost of operating the program will be so tremendous to America that they will far outweigh the benefits.

I also dispute that being a volunteer is the best way to serve America. This is a fallacy born out of a conviction that pursuing selfish ends is necessarily bad for society. This is not always true, and certainly not in this case. People who are gainfully employed and pay taxes benefit America. People who perform essential services, even for pay, raise the standard of living for everyone and thus benefit America. And people who go to college usually acquire skills that benefit America in the future.

Finally, as has already been pointed out, forcing people to work for free is, simply, slavery -- and it has been outlawed in this country for a long, long time. True, the government can draft you into the military, but that is because the US Constitution creates a specific power for the government to raise an army and a navy -- and since governmental powers are narrowly construed, it cannot be extended to forcing people to mend sidewalks just because they've turned 18. The project you are proposing would simply violate the 14th Amendment.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:14 PM
 
Location: vagabond
2,631 posts, read 4,831,584 times
Reputation: 1300
Quote:
Originally Posted by laysayfair View Post
I agree with part of what you say. I am an atheist, that's why I put God in quotes. The point is that you are born with those rights. I don't agree that some people are to be sacrificed for the good of others. Overall, good post, even if I disagree.
i don't believe that people need to be sacrificed for the good of others either. i'm assuming that you are referring to my parenthetical statement about the majority working for the good of the elite. while certainly a corrupt and pitiful system, it has been employed throughout almost every culture and history of humanity. look at the slaves, the serfs, the peasant class versus the aristocracy, the caste systems, etc, etc.

hardly ideal, but unfortunately very common.

the only other thing that i mentioned being sacrificed was that when individuals enter into the social contract, they voluntarily relinquish some of their natural rights for the good of the society, and in order to gain the advantages of that society. there is a necessary sacrifice of freedom there, but it should be considered very carefully--with input from all social and economic classes within the society--before being implemented, and that even after implementation, it should be open to the group to decide as a collective what needs changing.
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:16 AM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 40,266,772 times
Reputation: 10915
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redisca View Post
My thoughts are that creating an endless stream of free labor will generate a HUGE unemployment problem, particularly in the unskilled and low-skilled sector. I mean, why hire a billing clerk for a hospital even at the minimum wage, when you can have a slightly less competent high school graduate for free? Another obvious consequence is that the quality of services will decline -- for instance, a high school graduate is clearly less qualified to teach math than someone with a masters degree in the field, but at the savings of upwards of $35K per year, school districts may very well be tempted to save the green for executive pay raises. Such consequences will hardly serve America -- will they?

A somewhat obscure federal law was enacted in the early 1990's (please don't ask me to cite it, but if you don't take my word for it, I'll understand), which prohibits employers (with very, very limited exceptions) from taking on volunteers to render essential services that they would have had to pay people for. In other words, you can volunteer at a hospital to read to or entertain the patients, but not to change bed pans or take vital signs. You can volunteer at a school to help organize the senior dance, or the canned food drive, but not to teach a curriculum subject. This law was enacted precisely for the reasons that I outlined above.

Okay, you may say, let's have high school graduates serve America by performing non-essential services for 2 years. Again, there is a problem here. A hospital may welcome 25 candy-stripers, but 200 would really interfere with the actual care and treatment of patients. The project would place an undue burden on organizations to constantly invent ways for all these mandatory volunteers to be useful while staying out of the way. In the end, the cost of operating the program will be so tremendous to America that they will far outweigh the benefits.

I also dispute that being a volunteer is the best way to serve America. This is a fallacy born out of a conviction that pursuing selfish ends is necessarily bad for society. This is not always true, and certainly not in this case. People who are gainfully employed and pay taxes benefit America. People who perform essential services, even for pay, raise the standard of living for everyone and thus benefit America. And people who go to college usually acquire skills that benefit America in the future.

Finally, as has already been pointed out, forcing people to work for free is, simply, slavery -- and it has been outlawed in this country for a long, long time. True, the government can draft you into the military, but that is because the US Constitution creates a specific power for the government to raise an army and a navy -- and since governmental powers are narrowly construed, it cannot be extended to forcing people to mend sidewalks just because they've turned 18. The project you are proposing would simply violate the 14th Amendment.
It wouldn't be free. They'd be paid in room and board. There is no such thing as a "free" lunch.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:12 AM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,938,535 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by TKramar View Post
It wouldn't be free. They'd be paid in room and board. There is no such thing as a "free" lunch.
Preliminarily, that would still mean they'd be paid a lot less than salaried employees -- meaning, people who get paid for blue-collar services will still find themselves kicked to the curb. Slavery is still an issue here: slaves were also provided with room and board, but that doesn't mean they are no longer slaves; inability to leave the employer or seek better wages is the linchpin. Apart from that, labor that's nearly free would just as surely create unemployment among people who not only need to earn their own room and board, but also support their families. Either way you cut it, the job market would be severely shrunk, leading to skyrocketing unemployment and a lower quality of services. Sure, in a libertarian world, someone who can no longer find a job moving furniture (ahem) could just go and become a brain surgeon instead. But if that's the principle people operate under, then they shouldn't whine when blue-collar jobs migrate overseas or go to illegal immigrants.

P.S.: You are very, very much mistaken about that "free lunch" thing. There sure is such a thing as a "free lunch". Just ask any Wall Street executive. (And parenthetically, clichéd one-liners almost never, ever reflect reality.)
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:30 AM
 
3,413 posts, read 6,314,290 times
Reputation: 1410
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redisca View Post
Preliminarily, that would still mean they'd be paid a lot less than salaried employees -- meaning, people who get paid for blue-collar services will still find themselves kicked to the curb. Slavery is still an issue here: slaves were also provided with room and board, but that doesn't mean they are no longer slaves; inability to leave the employer or seek better wages is the linchpin. Apart from that, labor that's nearly free would just as surely create unemployment among people who not only need to earn their own room and board, but also support their families. Either way you cut it, the job market would be severely shrunk, leading to skyrocketing unemployment and a lower quality of services. Sure, in a libertarian world, someone who can no longer find a job moving furniture (ahem) could just go and become a brain surgeon instead. But if that's the principle people operate under, then they shouldn't whine when blue-collar jobs migrate overseas or go to illegal immigrants.

P.S.: You are very, very much mistaken about that "free lunch" thing. There sure is such a thing as a "free lunch". Just ask any Wall Street executive. (And parenthetically, clichéd one-liners almost never, ever reflect reality.)
"There is no such thing as a free lunch" means that everything MUST BE PAID FOR, in one way or another, by someone or other, sooner or later. Nothing is more true in objective reality than this.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:36 AM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,938,535 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by laysayfair View Post
"There is no such thing as a free lunch" means that everything MUST BE PAID FOR, in one way or another, by someone or other, sooner or later. Nothing is more true in objective reality than this.
That's generally true, but the poster evidently meant providing the involuntary work force with room and board represents adequate payment on the part of the employers. It is, however, quite the contrary -- the employers would be getting a free lunch, paid for by their workers.
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