I think it's funny that wherever you go, debates about economics always seem to center around the US.
This is fundamentally not about value, but about currency. A government can increase the money supply as long as its debt is denominated in its own currency. This is why the economy has begun to grow again. Public debt is not the problem, bubbles in private debt are along with speculative bubbles in derivatives based on private debt.
Of course it's about value. If you're just shifting currency around you're not actually making anyone wealthier.
The public through equitable taxation.
So you want to take away money from people, so that they have more money to spend?
If you think public works investments are going to provide a return, you already said that the economy is on the upturn. By the time the projects have been prepared and vetted, the benefits will not pay off and they'll end up costing us more. The problem is that it is impossible to have shovel ready jobs in boom years for Keynesian theory to really be put into practice. Moreover, any effect such approaches DO have, need to be balanced with tax cuts during recessions.
It's funny how the most avid proponents of Keynesianism, don't seem to understand Keynes' thought.
Deficits like we are running in the US are a direct result of paying for two illegal wars and a huge contraction in the tax base. Hence it is a revenue problem and not a deficit problem.
The statement you made does not follow logically. It is not valid to claim that the problem is a revenue problem because it is spent on X and because we have less Y. All you're doing is admitting the problem is a deficit problem. And moreover, you are trying to obscure the truth with complete falsehoods: Defense spending in 2012 was 19% of US Federal Spending, Medicare & Medicaid and Social Security were 45% of US Federal Spending. Personally I think that such "mutual aid" are state level affairs - problem solved.
Now that the wars are winding down, as the economy grows and taxes return to more equitable levels on the wealthy, the deficit will become a surplus.
When? O Prophet, please give me your magic predictions.
Meanwhile, in reality world, each citizen's share of the national debt is higher than the national average income. The US is toast. There is not going to be a second American century because they were reckless and irresponsible with spending.
Do you think any business would prefer privatized insterstate highways?
Of course, they'll pay less tax that way, and won't have to pay for the highways they don't use.
Do you think any business is going to want to run roads that nobody lives on.
If no one needs the road, what's the point? It's just wasting money. Don't tell me you expect me to pay for roads to nowhere involuntarily. That's just torture.
How about a privatized military, police or fire department?
No, I think these are best run by the government.
But better security is always available using private companies. Just consider, if you rely on the police for household security, suppose someone vandalizes your property, the police will write it down in a log, but will likely not do anything more. On the other hand, in the private sector you can purchase security cameras and alarms to protect your property - do you really believe the police would put these up for you? They don't care.
Or for a simpler example consider if you lose a cat. If you tell the police, they might write it down, but won't distribute fliers asking for people to report it. You have to distribute the fliers yourself, or pay someone else to, and offer a reward.
Fire protection is best provided by the government. But private options are also often going to provide better safety. E.g. installing sprinkler systems, etc.
You are simply trying to legitimize selfishness and greed.
No, I am trying to avoid the use of force as much as possible. To make sure society is more peaceful, and to make sure society is voluntary. Being greedy and selfish are individual emotions, and are regulated by your own mind, not by the government.
If you want to tax me, you are doing so at gun point, because if I don't choose to comply I will be thrown in prison. But in the private sector, people choose, people have agreements and decide for themselves voluntarily, without the use of guns, without the use of batons or prison bars.
You are just trying to legitimize violence, brutality, theft and murder.
It's mind-boggling that a buddhist can attempt to make the argument that the only binding glue in society is self-interest.
It's amazing that a Buddhist like you can attempt to argue for mass oppression, abuse, theft and murder.
It's amazing that a Buddhist like you believes that big brother, the government, controls whether you are greedy or selfish.
You have no hope on the Buddhist path if you think you have to rely on the government for your salvation. The Buddha said, be a light unto yourself.
Oh yes you did: "Everyone knows that poverty was on the whole decreasing in minority populations before welfare kicked in." It's a completely false statement, not to mention an argumentum ad populum. If everyone knows it, you should have no problem substantiating your claim with statistics.
That is not the New Deal. That was in the early 70s.
However, the New Deal maintained the Great Depression for over a decade more than it had to be.
Not only that, but it implemented policies directly taken from Mussolini's Fascist Italy.
The Great Depression only ended after the death of FDR and implementation of Republican tax cuts in 1946.
I can't help but thinking that you will have a much more nuanced view of the world once you move out of your parents' house.
I can't help thinking that you would have a much more compassionate and Buddhist view of the world if you stop worshiping fascism and promoting mass brutality and oppression.
And I'm a few thousand miles away from my parents' house, thank you.