The Liberals' True Face

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  • #593854

    Dave Hirsch
    Participant

    Democrats and liberals (or Progressives – as they revamped themselves) are always busy talking about taking care of the poor. The constantly slam the Republicans for

    having no pity on the needy and criticize their legislation as “bills favoring the wealthy.”

    Most recently, the Republicans were berated for pushing “tax cuts for the wealthy” and “having no pity on the unemployed.” Even here in the Coffee Room, many liberals try to perceive the conservatives’ stance as opposing the Torah’s view of having mercy on the poor. Although, as I stated in another thread, the Torah doesn’t tax anyone for the sake of charity, neither does it “spread the wealth” to those that lobby best, those liberals maintain that it’s in sync with the liberal view of semi-socialism. Thus, the liberals believe that caring for the needy shouldn’t be done by giving rather taxing.

    There’s a famous anecdote that highlights the difference between a Republican and a Democrat: Two Congressmen were walking the streets of Washington D.C. The two colleagues, a Republican and a Democrat, were discussing a recent bill introduced in Congress. The bill would further spread the wealth and raise taxes to cover the additional transfer payments that was included therein. As the Democrat scolded the Republican for

    having no remorse on the poor, a common begger passed thereby asking for a donation. The Republican put his hand in his pocket, took a ten dollar bill and handed it to the pauper. The begger then looked at the Democrat with pleading eyes as the Democrat put his hand into the Republican’s pocket, pulled out a fifty dollar bill and handed it to the pauper. The man thanked the Democrat for being so generous as he went off to buy some food.

    Ann Coulter sums up the Democrats’ generosity quite well.

    Bottom line: In a liberal society, the poor and impoverished need “taxing the rich” to survive. The Republican way is democracy and freedom, while placing an emphasis on charity.

    #768556

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    They had a fake face.

    Then they removed it.

    Now we see their true face.

    We can now use the fake face for Purim.

    Thank you Liberals!

    #768557

    charliehall
    Participant

    “Although, as I stated in another thread, the Torah doesn’t tax anyone for the sake of charity”

    This is a very misleading statement. Chazal mandated that communal authorities levy taxes (that’s right, taxes) for education, public works, and to provide for the poor. That would give it at least the status of a d’rabbanon.

    “There’s a famous anecdote “

    More like a famous slander.

    Why do you put so much energy into bashing Democrats?

    #768558

    mdd
    Member

    Beis din extracts at times money from the wealthy, if they refuse to give charity. Rova did it.

    #768559

    rt
    Participant

    obviously the Torah doesn’t mention taxes; there are certainly references to tzedakah, chesed (even to the wealthy), terumah, maaser, maaser ani, smittah, yovel. The Rambam says it’s a mitzvah to feed & clothe non-Jews as well.

    Trying to fit western democracy into Torah is complete folly to begin with, whether it’s republicans or democrats or independents.

    Torah is not a liberal or conservative “document” lehavdil, it’s a Divine one.

    #768560

    msseeker
    Member

    Epilogue:

    And the beggar voted for the democrat. Early and often.

    #768561

    Homeowner
    Member

    Dave Hirsch, how did you code a hyperlink?

    #768562

    Homeowner, using standard html coding for a link:

    http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_a.asp

    #768563

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Beis din extracts at times money from the wealthy, if they refuse to give charity. Rova did it.

    My issue with this comparison, is that beis din does it for the rich man’s benefit, because he is obligated to give charity.

    Liberals believe that the poor are entitled to it, and that they can be tovea from the rich.

    #768564

    TheGoq
    Participant

    welcome back popa

    #768565

    Midwest2
    Participant

    What is ma’aser oni if not a tax to support the poor? And why did the nevi’im condemn their contemporaries for not supporting the poor? The whole argument sounds like a re-issue of “midat S’dom.”

    #768566

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    To compare the Torah to liberalism is absolutley ridiculous.

    As popa-bar-abba said quite pointedly liberal philosophy is that the poor man is entitled to the rich mans money, it is not charity that the rich man is giving rather it is simply the poor mans true rights that he is fulfilling.

    In other words the liberal believes that the rich mans money is not really his rather it is the poor mans.

    Now the Chachomim were rather clear about what is the status of someone who feels that someone else’s money is his “Those who say that mine is yours and yours is mine is a an “am haaretz and there are those who say that this is the midda of Sidom”.

    #768567

    fabie
    Member

    I think this post is just baiting C”H. The aforementioned is obvious though.

    #768568

    RuffRuff
    Member

    Popa, I’m glad to see you back. I’m not sure what practical difference you had in mind. I do however see that they confuse and overuse the term “right” and use it to mean entitled. It doesn’t make sense to say everyone has a right to a house or medical care. Just be honest and say that you want to give it to them. If that would be the stated drive, it would be done in moderation, and those fringe leftists wouldn’t be cooking up an anger toward successful people, saying that they stole from the poor.

    I do believe that a government may not allow its people to die from starvation or sickness. It is ridiculous to say that a country should depend on the kind hearted to take care of the needy, and just focus on prosperity and terrorism.

    The fact is that barely anyone actually evaluates the situation. If you set up a debate between a Republican and a Democrat, you can write out the arguments before they start the debate. I see the same thing here in the Coffee Room. Why can’t you seriously think about every issue from scratch, and leave the pundits out of your mind in the meanwhile.

    It does seem to me that the Democrats are spend oriented, and the Republicans are hung up on not spending. You hardly hear of either side saying, without being pressed to the wall, that in this case we wholeheartedly agree with you guys on the other side.

    While I don’t give much thought to there money arguments, my main issue with the ever bending left, is their anti moral stance, and their unrealistic loving thy enemy.

    #768570

    mdd
    Member

    Popa, not so poshut. Plus, what difference does it make? The bottom line is the same.

    #768571

    mdd
    Member

    Not everything Rush Limbaugh says is Da’as Torah. Certain ideas in the Torah concur with what the “right” says, and certain ones with what the “left” says.

    #768572

    Dave Hirsch
    Participant

    The whole argument sounds like a re-issue of “midat S’dom.”

    Obviously, the system your liberals support is in sync with Midas Sodom, not vice-versa.

    Not everything Rush Limbaugh says is Da’as Torah.

    #768573

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    MDD is asking:

    Since the policy of the torah is to force the rich to support the poor, and that is the same policy endorsed by socialism, shouldn’t I support a socialist agenda since that will fulfill the policy which I support- regardless of the theory.

    I need to think about how I want to respond to that.

    Remind me if I forget.

    #768574

    nfgo3
    Member

    The “anecdote” in the opening post on this thread is not an anecdote. Rather, it is a parable, or a joke (and a good one, even if you disagree with its meaning). An anecdote must be factual, and if I am not mistaken, the “anecdote” in the opening post is merely an old joke.

    #768575

    charliehall
    Participant

    Nonsense. Please cite even a single rabbi in the US who paskens halachah l’maaseh that one does not need to pay taxes in the US.

    The author of the Tosafos Yom Tov instituted what we would now call a progressive tax system in Prague under which the wealthy were required to pay more. Opponents of this mosered him to the authorities and he was arrested. Whose side would you be on?

    “the policy of the torah is to force the rich to support the poor, and that is the same policy endorsed by socialism, shouldn’t I support a socialist agenda “

    Forcing the rich to support the poor is not socialism. Rather, socialism is mandating communal (usually governmental) ownership of private property. While Judaism in theory says that no individual really owns anything at all (everything belongs to HaShem), in practice there is in fact a limited right to private property with the exception of land in Eretz Yisrael. While Jabbotinsky may not have been that religious, his idea that the community should be responsible for everyone having the “five mems” –mazon (food), maon (dwelling), malbush (clothing), marpeh (medicine), moreh (teacher) — is quite consistent with Jewish teaching. And neither he nor I am socialist.

    #768576

    RuffRuff
    Member

    Dave,

    You mention Ma’aser Kesafim which is a Minhag, definitely not a De’oraisa. However, I think Charlie is refering to other Halachos, namely the Tamchuy that every town had to set up to feed the poor.

    I would agree with you that things are being done irresponsibly, but why call it redistributing wealth? It is simply a tax, which a government is entitled to collect for its purposes, one of which is to feed the poor. I really do hear in your words Limbaugh’s voice. I think you are getting caught up with his arguments.

    #768577

    fabie
    Member

    The author of the Tosafos Yom Tov instituted what we would now call a progressive tax system in Prague under which the wealthy were required to pay more.

    No he didn’t!

    #768578

    Dave Hirsch
    Participant

    Charlie, check out the link to my previous thread and look up the Rishonim (Ran, Rashba, Shita Mekubezet) in Nedarim.

    nfgo3, technically you’re right; however, being that this is actually a daily occurrence (in big money) I felt that parable wouldn’t term it well. I was actually debating the term “anecdote” before posting.

    RuffRuff, check out Hilchos Tzedaka and see for yourself. It is Tamchui!

    Just for the record: There are many Poskim that say that Maaser Kesafim is a Doraisa (while others say it’s Drabanan or Minhag). The Kesef Mishne is actually the one that says that Maaser Kesafim replaced Maaser Ani.

    Additionally, you probably heard Rush Limbaugh more times than me. I was about to say that I never listened to him – but that is simply not true. However, I hardly have the time to listen to the “EIB network.” I like facts and he might cite them as well; facts are facts and you can see it for yourself (click on link above).

    Charlie, I doubt that the Tosafos Yom Tov would go against the Rishonim. As for Zabotinsky, he wasn’t religious at all and I wouldn’t be off-mark if I would say that he was anti-Torah. His support alone make me hesitant to support “semi-socialism”.

    Charlie, I’d say that I’d rather support Communism. It’s either capitalism or socialism. If you think that supply-side doesn’t work, abolish “free markets.” If you think that the government can perform better than the private sector, let Evrything be taken over by the government. The current system simply has all ramifications. Of course I’d be devastated if Marxist activists take over this country but I feel that it’s already going in that direction and we’re simply going to be stuck in the middle. Europe already sees where “semi-socialism” has taken them. Capitalism only works well if it’s completely “free markets” and the society has confidence in the system.

    #768579

    Midwest2
    Participant

    Hey guys (and gals) read up a bit. Socialism isn’t about supporting the poor or giving charity. Socialism is about who owns the means of production. Who owns the steel mills? Who owns the farms? Who owns the apartment houses in the city?

    The idea is that the State, as a representative of the people, owns these things, determines how they’re used, and spreads the wealth around fairly equally. “Giving charity” isn’t discussed. The idea is who owns what so that everybody gets a fair cut of the pie. In a large, complex economy socialism doesn’t work. A centralized economy is just too clumsy and unresponsive.

    You can have a system which is out and out capitalist and which gives plenty of help to the poor. There is no rule that poor people have to starve to death under capitalism. In a capitalist society there will always be people who – often through no fault of their own (like children) – don’t have enough income to have a decent standard of living. It’s simple decency to make sure that such people have a reasonable standard of living – “reasonable” here of course not meaning a BMW and a Jacuzzi, but adequate food, adequate housing, health care, etc.

    And as far as “communism OR capitalism” goes – most governments in rich countries are a mixture. The US is an example. The closest we’ve come to pure capitalism in the last century was under Greenspan, and the result was the mess we’re in now. NO system works by itself. It has to be supervised and tinkered with on a constant basis, because the only unchanging thing in economics is change itself.

    #768580

    MDG
    Participant

    Charlie,

    How much is the obligation to support the five Mem’s?

    i.e. At what point do you stop taxing?

    If the gov’t can levy a tax to whatever degree they want (which includes taxing everything) then that is, IMHO, tantamount to socialism.

    What is your opinion?

    #768581

    charliehall
    Participant

    “What is your opinion? “

    A government may levy whatever taxes it believes are appropriate. In the past, marginal tax rates in the US were at times as high as 94%.

    Yet private sector fortunes were made throughout the 1940s and 1950s with 90% marginal tax rates. That isn’t socialist!

    (I’m not advocating a return to 1945 tax levels, but it is clear that high marginal tax rates do not make a society poor.)

    ‘If you think that supply-side doesn’t work, abolish “free markets.”‘

    “Supply side” has been shown repeatedly to work the way its proponents claimed: The government clearly brings in less in taxes when it lowers tax rates. (Duh.)

    But more to the point, economists know that free markets are efficient in terms of allocating societal resources only when there is perfect competition and perfect information. They are almost efficient when there is pretty good competition and pretty good information. Today with monopolistic tendencies in many industries, we certainly do NOT have anywhere near close to perfect competition.

    Free markets are also efficient only if higher prices result in an increased supply. (This is the real importance of the “supply side” — not the political polemics from the 1980s.) In real estate, health care, and transporation, higher prices do NOT result in increased supply of goods and services. The supply of land is fixed, the supply of health care workers and facilities can increase only very slowly, and it now takes forever to create new transportation infrastructure. Hence free markets don’t work in these areas. Energy infrastructure is probably now in the same category. Another problem is that for real estate, health care, and food, many people simply can’t afford basic necessities. Hence we have government subsidies that distort the markets — but they are essential on a moral level if you don’t want people to be homeless, dying because of lack of medical care, or starving because they are losers in the competitive economy. This is where the Torah breaks with laissez-faire capitalism — we do not stand by while blood is shed! Hence Chazal’s mandate to commual authorities to tax the community to provide for the poor.

    In America we desperately try to save the market economy. Hence we have rent controls, Obamacare based on private for-profit insurers rather than a socialist government agency, and food stamps. Israel is smart enough not to try; a government agency owns most of the land in the country and there are no for-profit health insurers.

    ‘Europe already sees where “semi-socialism” has taken them. ‘

    15 of the 20 richest countries in the world are in Europe — and some of the richest have some of the most generous welfare states. See Norway for an example.

    ‘Capitalism only works well if it’s completely “free markets” and the society has confidence in the system. ‘

    One problem today is that American society does NOT have confidence in the system. We assume that the wealthy and influential will plunder everything then use their power to get themselves bailed out. Corporate CEOs squander their stockholders’ equity and get rewarded with huge golden parachutes — and then get nominated (and sometimes elected) to public office.

    #768582

    charliehall
    Participant

    “I think Charlie is refering to other Halachos, namely the Tamchuy that every town had to set up to feed the poor.”

    Correct. And also to provide public works and educational institutions. I am pretty sure this is a d’rabbanan.

    #768583

    MDG
    Participant

    “A government may levy whatever taxes it believes are appropriate.”

    Dr Hall, isn’t that like having the fox watch the hen house?

    Further you wrote:

    We assume that the wealthy and influential will plunder everything then use their power to get themselves bailed out. Corporate CEOs squander their stockholders’ equity and get rewarded with huge golden parachutes — and then get nominated (and sometimes elected) to public office.

    That’s the way many of us feel about government’s handling of our tax dollars. Power corrupts, whether in industry or gov’t. The main difference is that in industry, there are alternatives – you can choose to avoid a company or maybe use the competition. But in gov’t there is no where to turn from bad policy. In addition, gov’t policies can go on indefinitely. You have no choice, short of running to another state or country.

    #768584

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    CharlieHall

    It’s great to read your comment right when I just returned from taking an Isreali Meshulach around for an hour and a half trying to help him earn some money to pay off his debts.

    Have you ever wondered why there are so many Isreali Meshulachim here to help pay for medical expenses when they have Socialized medicine.

    Because Socialized medicine does’nt pay for good medical care. Period.

    Oh and yes Isreal had a socialized economy.

    The socilized economy broughty the country to the brink of collapse.

    Then an MIT trained Netanyahu came in and introduced the concept of free markets and soon brought in an American Banker (Stanley Fisher) enouther staunch defender of Capitalism.

    The results.

    Even while the world economy declined. Isreal is expieriencing growth.

    #768585

    mdd
    Member

    Supporting the poor does not equal Socialism. Not Everything Rush Limbaugh Says is Da’as Torah! Do not be blindly influenced.

    #768586

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    MDD:

    It is quite interesting that while those in favor of what are generally conservative positions are able to cite expicit Torah sources and real life examples that have formed and continue to support and inform ours/their worldview.

    However the only counter arguement that you are able to muster up as “Rush Limbaugh is not Da’as Torah” This in spite of the fact that I have yet to have heard someone proclaim him as such or use him as a primary source for thier opinions.

    #768587

    charliehall
    Participant

    “in industry, there are alternatives – you can choose to avoid a company or maybe use the competition”

    Not in every industry. In how many communities do you have a choice of cable TV carriers? Or electric power delivery?

    “But in gov’t there is no where to turn from bad policy.”

    Yes, there is — at least in a democracy. You vote them out at the next election.

    “You have no choice, short of running to another state or country. “

    Please note that I support open borders. The right wingers who comment here generally don’t.

    “Because Socialized medicine does’nt pay for good medical care. “

    Actually, by objective measures, Israelis are healthier and longer-lived than Americans — while paying far less for health care. The US would have done well to have adopted Israel’s system.

    “The socilized economy broughty the country to the brink of collapse.”

    Had Israel had a free market economy in the 1950s, hundreds of thousands of Jews would likely have starved to death. And note that none of the religious parties have ever objected to Israel’s welfare state. You folks who say you follow “the gedolim” on everything should note that the religious parties they run are the biggest supporters of Israel’s generous welfare state.

    “Even while the world economy declined. Isreal is expieriencing growth. “

    Indeed! And a major reason was that Israel has for a long time kept its financial sector highly regulated so that it could not engage in the kinds of legalized gambling that destroyed the US economy. Canada had the same experience. It is the more laissez-faire countries such as the US and Ireland that have been devastated.

    #768588

    charliehall
    Participant

    “And also to provide public works and educational institutions. I am pretty sure this is a d’rabbanan. “

    Rabbi Gil Student just put up an essay on his torahmusings site about the obligation to provide and maintain roads.

    #768589

    charliehall
    Participant

    “The closest we’ve come to pure capitalism in the last century was under Greenspan, and the result was the mess we’re in now.”

    True. And he was notorious for having been part of the inner circle of the atheist hedonist Ayn Rand. Fortunately by the time he became Fed chairman he no longer followed all of Rand’s policies otherwise we’d REALLY be in the soup.

    #768590

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    CharlieHall

    1) Just so you know in the 1950’s many isreali’s did starve they were undergoing a depression.

    How do I know?

    My Father was an Isreali child then!

    He still remembers standing in line to recieve US AID which kept many people from starvation.

    2) To state that Isreal’s socialist economy kept it from collapse is laughable till Netanyahu became Finance Minister the Isreali economy was in a perpetual state of collapse, it virtually did not exist rather was proped up by billions in loans from the U.S.A

    3) To state the Gedolim back the wWelfare state is to simplify a complex issue in an extremley naive way. The Gedolim are strenuos in their objections to cutting the Chareidi budget in disproportion to the wider population and not provide legitimate way’s for Charedim to earn a living.

    4) In every place where legitimate competion has been introduced the results have been a better quality product introduced at a lower cost with greater profits provided.

    #768591

    charliehall
    Participant

    “what are generally conservative positions are able to cite expicit Torah sources”

    I’m not into Limbaugh-bashing although I think his midot are not a model for us. But I’ve also pointed out explicit halachot that are consistent with interventionist government and inconsistent with laissez-faire.

    ‘Certain ideas in the Torah concur with what the “right” says, and certain ones with what the “left” says. ‘

    I agree. The Torah tends to (mostly) leftist economics and (mostly) rightist social policies.

    #768592

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    I must admit it is quite amusing to consistently have European countires with tiny populations compared to the U.S.A with a population that dwarfs them.

    Oh and the comparisons stop as soon as you start hitting the midsized economies that collapsed (or are near collapse i.e Greece,Portugal, Spain or have began the move towardsCapitolism to head off collapse i.e Isreal, France, England.

    #768593

    charliehall
    Participant

    “The Torah tends to (mostly) leftist economics and (mostly) rightist social policies. “

    I actually see the US going in the opposite direction in both areas.

    #768594

    Midwest2
    Participant

    A sidelight about Ms. Rand. Her first book, which launched her career, was “Anthem,” about a regimented society. This book was forced on me by an enthusiastic friend, so being amiable about such things (what’s another book to read?) I read it. Surprise. It was an out-and-out plagiarism of a book I had already read.

    “We,” a futuristic novel by a Russian named Evgeny Zamyatin, was written in the 1920’s as a cautionary story about where Communist society was heading and what it would do to the individual. Zamyatin was an extremely influential writer, so Stalin y’sh couldn’t just have him shot or sent to Siberia. Zamyatin was “permitted” to leave the Soviet Union and go to Paris, where he died in exile, a martyr to his courage in defying Stalin.

    So Rand’s philosophy also included “get ahead however you can,” including stealing from a courageous man who was dead and could no longer defend his authorship.

    Considering that this was the person from whom Greenspan got his inspiration, it’s no wonder he didn’t think there was anything wrong with legalized theft.

    You doubt it? Get both books and read them side by side. You’ll also notice that Zamyatin was by far the better writer, and his novel is well worth reading. It’s also the grandfather of all the anti-utopian novels since, like “Brave New World” and “1984.” You can probably find it in your local library.

    #768597

    dancinggirl
    Member

    you guy talk alot! dont you have anything else todo besides write on yw?

    #768598

    charliehall
    Participant

    I really need to post less here. I’m two days behind in Daf Yomi.

    #768599

    My main complaint about the concepts of progressive taxes and redistribution of wealth is that they are based on the demonstratably false premise that the amount of wealth is limited and therefore, if some have less wealth it is because others have more. The fact is that wealth is increasing because people can create wealth. Per Adam Smith, in any mutually agreable exchange, total wealth increases, as follows: Reuven buys a car from Shimon for $3000. Total wealth is increased because both transactors have more wealth than they started out with, Reuven has a car that he wanted more than he wanted the $3000 and Shimon has the $3000 that he wanted more than he wanted the car.

    #768600

    Cont’d

    That may just be a clever khap but consider this: Bill Gates is one of the five richest men in the world. Who in the world is poor because Bill Gates is rich? Every dollar of his wealth and the wealth of the hundreds of thousands of other people in that industry was created yesh m’ayin. It did not exist before he and a handfull of other, now wealthy, men created an entire industry. The total amount of wealth in the universe may very well be infinite or, if not infinite, it is a Very Large Number (Charlie, I’m sure you know what I mean by a Very Large Number).

    #768601

    oyveyshiksas
    Member

    I am personally a liberal just because i feel people should be able to express their own oppinon and you should have an open mind to new things and not just stick with tradition. y do all of you hate liberals SO MUCH?!?!?!?!

    #768602

    charliehall
    Participant

    “Reuven buys a car from Shimon for $3000. Total wealth is increased because both transactors have more wealth than they started out with, Reuven has a car that he wanted more than he wanted the $3000 and Shimon has the $3000 that he wanted more than he wanted the car. “

    No wealth increased in that transaction. UTILITY increased, but the car is still worth just $3000.

    #768603

    charliehall
    Participant

    “Who in the world is poor because Bill Gates is rich? “

    Anyone who invested his life savings in one of the many businesses Gates drove out of business.

    #768604

    charliehall
    Participant

    “Greece,Portugal, Spain or have began the move towards Capitolism to head off collapse i.e Isreal, France, England. “

    Actually the countries that had the most laissez-faire economies were the ones that suffered the most. Ireland in particular is now a poor country again. Canada and Israel, which tightly regulates their financial sectors, had no banking crisis whatsoever!

    #768605

    observanteen
    Member

    Charliehall: The Canadians come here for medical treatment being that their Healthcare is so bad.

    And the Israelis – sorry, there’s an Israeli at the door waiting for my tzedaka…I’ll be back soon.

    #768606

    charliehall
    Participant

    observateen, if Canadian and Israeli healthcare is so bad, why do they live longer?

    And if you have a pre-existing condition and you are in the US, the only way you can get any healthcare at all is to make aliyah!

    #768607

    Charley two things about Canadian and Israeli health care.

    1. Their general health care isn’t bad, in fact, it’s pretty good. That is as long as there isn’t anything seriously wrong with you and you can wait for services. Say what you will about the inequities of American fee-for-service, the quality of American medicine is the standard of the world. American don’t go to Canada to get complicated operations bur Canadians do come to America.

    2. Canadians and Israelis do not live longer than Americans. The apparent difference in life expectancy is due to a, neither of the counties listed report infant deaths less than 30 days old and b, U.S. reporting includes accidental deaths and homicides, theirs don’t.

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