government

government


Taxation: Good, Bad, or Ugly?

taxation September 20th, 2017

In a class I am participating in (taking), a fellow student asked a question about taxation. Here is a glimpse at that conversation, followed by some thoughts by people who have some wise or insightful point to add. In the end, my view will culminate in: No one likes paying taxes, but it’s basically rent. Unless you’re a saint or a true Christian, routing our collective funds through a good and responsive government – comprised of citizens – is the best way to affect social betterment. It’s in the spirit of this, by mega-capitalist, Warren Buffett: “I was lucky enough to be born into a time and place where society values my talent, and gave me a good education to develop that talent, and set up the laws and the financial system to let me do what I love doing—and make a lot of money doing it. The least I can do is help pay for all that.”

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Virtues: Society’s Guiding Light

love is best among virtues September 10th, 2017

Since time immemorial, values, virtues, and societal norms (and mores, folkways, etc.) have been part and parcel of the fabric of every civilization. Not only is interesting to think of the ways in which different cultures differ from each other and how societies can spin out of control, it is exciting to think of the ways in which certain virtues hold up beautifully over time. For example, every society has more or less valued the virtue of truth: honesty, fair dealing, justified belief, etc. A society which prized chicanery, deceit, and unscrupulous behavior would not long last. Trust and law are the glue that hold a people together, and thus, the virtue of truth is written into the sacred texts, myths, laws, and norms of a society. Read on to see which virtues are tried and true, and ideally gain some inspiration for honoring them. 

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More, Better, Principled, Responsive Government

responsive government September 8th, 2017

Fareed Zakaria, ever the reliable liberal, penned a smart essay on responsive government. In it, he suggests we need not less, but more (and I would say, better and more principled) government. In a word, a responsive, ethical, and subservient group of individuals who know how to do their jobs, serve rather than take, and govern effectively. Unfortunately, with Trump occupying high office, most government officials who can afford to leave already have. And Congress has a nearly-single-digits approval rating. Their job performance is truly abysmal. The courts are either suffering vacancies or filled with reactionary political appointees (consider the awesomely bad rulings by the SCOTUS, Citizens United, Vallejo, and McCutcheon). What can be done to help us achieve the kind of leadership we desperately need – more, better, principled, responsive government? Here are a few thoughts.

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Libertarianism Discussion (V&E-9)

libertarianism July 26th, 2017

The following is based on an audio interview I did with Mark Potok and Amanda Phillips that became Chapter 9 of the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom (itself based on an Internet-based talk radio show of the same name I did in times past).  Their words are indicated by the initials MP, and AP, respectively, and mine are JM. For paragraphs with no initials, assume they are a continuation of the speaker who was speaking in the previous paragraph. I highlight words having to do with values and virtues by placing them in boldface type. Enjoy this look at libertarianism!

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Quotes About Politics, Govt. & Citizenship

quotes about politics April 15th, 2017

Quotes about politics are a great way to learn more about the subject. Instead of a thick book or a dense paragraph surrounded by more dense paragraphs, a sentence or two that have been vetted as really communicating something worthy and informative about the subject is often a great way to learn. In this blog, you will find many diverse, interesting, and insightful quotes about politics, government, citizenship, morality, responsibility, and civics. Put on your critical thinking cap and go to work! 

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