Poll

Do you identify as the left, the right, or neither?

The left
76 (46.6%)
The right
24 (14.7%)
Neither
63 (38.7%)

Total Members Voted: 163

Author Topic: Are you the left?  (Read 3774 times)

v8rx7guy

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #50 on: August 06, 2018, 02:37:23 PM »
I've actually never taken a test like this before, but it probably explains why I'm so strange when it comes to politics:


scottish

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #51 on: August 06, 2018, 02:56:46 PM »
Culture existed well before nations and will always exist, to imply it relies on borders is bizarre, it never has and never will.

I say you're wrong.

Look at Norway.     
Quote
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Norway

China's interesting.   It's an amalgam of cultures which are gradually being absorbed into one capitalist-totalitarian culture.

Compare Canada and the US.   We're both a mix of many different cultures due to our long history of immigration, yet the countries are very different in terms of social program and military adventures.

Maybe you mean something different than I do when you write 'culture'.    I view culture to be a mix of the law, social norms and behaviours found in a region.   I can only think of things that would be lost if we were to consolidate everyone into one big mixing pot of people.    Would we have rule of law?   Or rule by and for the ruling class?     Would we have European social programs or no social programs?    Would we relax by watching TV shows or by playing sports?    What would be the basis for forming public policy?


gaja

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #52 on: August 06, 2018, 03:02:32 PM »
Culture existed well before nations and will always exist, to imply it relies on borders is bizarre, it never has and never will.

I say you're wrong.

Look at Norway.    
Quote
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Norway

China's interesting.   It's an amalgam of cultures which are gradually being absorbed into one capitalist-totalitarian culture.

Compare Canada and the US.   We're both a mix of many different cultures due to our long history of immigration, yet the countries are very different in terms of social program and military adventures.

Maybe you mean something different than I do when you write 'culture'.    I view culture to be a mix of the law, social norms and behaviours found in a region.   I can only think of things that would be lost if we were to consolidate everyone into one big mixing pot of people.    Would we have rule of law?   Or rule by and for the ruling class?     Would we have European social programs or no social programs?    Would we relax by watching TV shows or by playing sports?    What would be the basis for forming public policy?

Could you please elaborate?
best regards, Norwegian.

mm1970

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #53 on: August 06, 2018, 03:30:24 PM »
Quote
I also don't believe in the welfare state, and people should not be allowed to have kids who have no way of taking care of them. Having kids is not a freedom, your rights to be a parent end at that child's right to have a suitable upbringing. Pro birth is not the same thing as pro life (which I actually am, even if it means less births). Additionally, welfare is supposed to support you until you can find work again, not be a permanent crutch. While the majority of welfare users are honest, plenty of both races, aren't. Kick those people off it. Then they can stop being used as the strawman against a program designed to get people working again.

I didn't catch this the first time around.

The welfare reform of the 1990s limited the number of years that you can collect.  "Those people" have already been kicked off it.  Many of them have almost zero income.  Many of them are completely incapable of working.

"$2 a day, living on almost nothing in America" is an interesting book on the topic.  As is "This House Protected By Poverty" by Frances K. Ransley.

Also, random thoughts in no particular order
- who decides what a suitable upbringing is?
- what happens to all those children whose parents are unsuitable?  How is foster care helping anyway?  Is there any hope for children with fetal alcohol syndrome, or personality / brain issues from having been neglected?  If there is hope, what is it?  What does it cost?  How do we pay for it?
- if we are forcing families off welfare (which, as I pointed out above, already happened in the 1990s) - how exactly do people get jobs  without child care?  What happens if there is work but it doesn't pay enough for housing, food, and child care?
- Are we willing, as a country, to subsidize mothers and/ or fathers to stay at home with children until school, simply because it's cheaper than having them work?

The whole issue is incredibly complicated, and every book I read and person I talk to convinces me it's even MORE complicated than I originally thought.  "Back in the day" and all that (The Frances Ransley book takes place a few decades ago) - kids went hungry, lived in substandard conditions.  Is that really what we want?

Approximately 20% of the students in our elementary school are classified as homeless.  These aren't families that aren't working.  They are working - they are just poor.  I think a lot of people who complain about welfare want to complain about the "cheats" (we all know someone who knows someone)... but nobody talks about the people who are just freaking poor.

expatartist

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2018, 03:53:51 PM »
I voted Left, but really how Left & Right are defined is variable.

In the US where I'm from, I'm Left. In Hong Kong where I live, I'm Centrist-Left, in Europe where I've lived and will again, I'm Center-Right(ish).

Malkynn

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #55 on: August 06, 2018, 04:45:40 PM »
Quote
I also don't believe in the welfare state, and people should not be allowed to have kids who have no way of taking care of them. Having kids is not a freedom, your rights to be a parent end at that child's right to have a suitable upbringing. Pro birth is not the same thing as pro life (which I actually am, even if it means less births). Additionally, welfare is supposed to support you until you can find work again, not be a permanent crutch. While the majority of welfare users are honest, plenty of both races, aren't. Kick those people off it. Then they can stop being used as the strawman against a program designed to get people working again.

I didn't catch this the first time around.

The welfare reform of the 1990s limited the number of years that you can collect.  "Those people" have already been kicked off it.  Many of them have almost zero income.  Many of them are completely incapable of working.

"$2 a day, living on almost nothing in America" is an interesting book on the topic.  As is "This House Protected By Poverty" by Frances K. Ransley.

Also, random thoughts in no particular order
- who decides what a suitable upbringing is?
- what happens to all those children whose parents are unsuitable?  How is foster care helping anyway?  Is there any hope for children with fetal alcohol syndrome, or personality / brain issues from having been neglected?  If there is hope, what is it?  What does it cost?  How do we pay for it?
- if we are forcing families off welfare (which, as I pointed out above, already happened in the 1990s) - how exactly do people get jobs  without child care?  What happens if there is work but it doesn't pay enough for housing, food, and child care?
- Are we willing, as a country, to subsidize mothers and/ or fathers to stay at home with children until school, simply because it's cheaper than having them work?

The whole issue is incredibly complicated, and every book I read and person I talk to convinces me it's even MORE complicated than I originally thought.  "Back in the day" and all that (The Frances Ransley book takes place a few decades ago) - kids went hungry, lived in substandard conditions.  Is that really what we want?

Approximately 20% of the students in our elementary school are classified as homeless.  These aren't families that aren't working.  They are working - they are just poor.  I think a lot of people who complain about welfare want to complain about the "cheats" (we all know someone who knows someone)... but nobody talks about the people who are just freaking poor.

Hellz yes to this post.

Where do people expect poor people to go if they arenít supported. They donít just disappear.

LonerMatt

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #56 on: August 06, 2018, 05:46:23 PM »
Culture existed well before nations and will always exist, to imply it relies on borders is bizarre, it never has and never will.

I say you're wrong.

Look at Norway.     
Quote
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Norway

China's interesting.   It's an amalgam of cultures which are gradually being absorbed into one capitalist-totalitarian culture.

Compare Canada and the US.   We're both a mix of many different cultures due to our long history of immigration, yet the countries are very different in terms of social program and military adventures.

Maybe you mean something different than I do when you write 'culture'.    I view culture to be a mix of the law, social norms and behaviours found in a region.   I can only think of things that would be lost if we were to consolidate everyone into one big mixing pot of people.    Would we have rule of law?   Or rule by and for the ruling class?     Would we have European social programs or no social programs?    Would we relax by watching TV shows or by playing sports?    What would be the basis for forming public policy?

I think that your definition of culture is inaccurate, just a quick dictionary.com search gives us:

"culture
ˈkʌltʃə/Submit
noun
1.
the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.
"20th century popular culture"
synonyms:   the arts, the humanities; More
2.
the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.
"Afro-Caribbean culture"
synonyms:   civilization, society, way of life, lifestyle"

Culture is a broad word, and I suppose if you were specifically talking about the culture of a nation state then, sure, that might be specific to that conception of space and people. However, there have been arts, intellectual achievement, customs, ideas, social behaviours, etc, for as long as there have been societies. Those things don't stop existing.

In terms of your more specific questions, obviously I don't know. I'm one guy sitting in a room in Australia - even small countries are ruled by more than one person, so it'd be quite arrogant to assume I have the answers to all questions because I believe in a directional shift.

Malkynn

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2018, 06:11:51 PM »
Culture existed well before nations and will always exist, to imply it relies on borders is bizarre, it never has and never will.

I say you're wrong.

Look at Norway.     
Quote
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Norway

China's interesting.   It's an amalgam of cultures which are gradually being absorbed into one capitalist-totalitarian culture.

Compare Canada and the US.   We're both a mix of many different cultures due to our long history of immigration, yet the countries are very different in terms of social program and military adventures.

Maybe you mean something different than I do when you write 'culture'.    I view culture to be a mix of the law, social norms and behaviours found in a region.   I can only think of things that would be lost if we were to consolidate everyone into one big mixing pot of people.    Would we have rule of law?   Or rule by and for the ruling class?     Would we have European social programs or no social programs?    Would we relax by watching TV shows or by playing sports?    What would be the basis for forming public policy?

I think that your definition of culture is inaccurate, just a quick dictionary.com search gives us:

"culture
ˈkʌltʃə/Submit
noun
1.
the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.
"20th century popular culture"
synonyms:   the arts, the humanities; More
2.
the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.
"Afro-Caribbean culture"
synonyms:   civilization, society, way of life, lifestyle"

Culture is a broad word, and I suppose if you were specifically talking about the culture of a nation state then, sure, that might be specific to that conception of space and people. However, there have been arts, intellectual achievement, customs, ideas, social behaviours, etc, for as long as there have been societies. Those things don't stop existing.

In terms of your more specific questions, obviously I don't know. I'm one guy sitting in a room in Australia - even small countries are ruled by more than one person, so it'd be quite arrogant to assume I have the answers to all questions because I believe in a directional shift.

Oh I do love when people quote the dictionary in debates on the internet.

It always makes me envision pre-internet days and someone walking over to the bookshelf and grabbing a dictionary and emphatically indicating an entry. It makes me laugh because my ex used to do that, but with the encyclopedia.

Itís so much more dramatic when a heavy book is slammed down on a table. Lol.

LonerMatt

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2018, 06:25:13 PM »
As much as I hate a definition debate sometimes you've got to make sure you're on the same page.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #59 on: August 06, 2018, 08:03:56 PM »
Speaking of subsidizing, I would gladly pay double the payroll tax to help shore up Social Security and Medicare so that seniors don't have to take a hit to their benefits.

maizeman

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #60 on: August 06, 2018, 08:43:48 PM »
Speaking of subsidizing, I would gladly pay double the payroll tax to help shore up Social Security and Medicare so that seniors don't have to take a hit to their benefits.

Are you including only your contribution, or the hidden half payed by your employer?

15.3% total payroll tax (it's quite obvious when you have self employment income), so doubling that would mean 30.6% before we even start adding in federal or state income tax. I'm afraid that personally that's too rich for my blood.

simonsez

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #61 on: August 07, 2018, 08:13:46 AM »
Speaking of subsidizing, I would gladly pay double the payroll tax to help shore up Social Security and Medicare so that seniors don't have to take a hit to their benefits.

Are you including only your contribution, or the hidden half payed by your employer?

15.3% total payroll tax (it's quite obvious when you have self employment income), so doubling that would mean 30.6% before we even start adding in federal or state income tax. I'm afraid that personally that's too rich for my blood.
Yeah, doubling the percentage would be rough.  However, moving up the contribution limit wouldn't be the worst idea.  With the two inflection points built in already, any additional dollar beyond inflation on the contribution side would help the program.  I'd peg the number so it matches with the high end of the single filing 24% bracket (the middle bracket), which in 2018 is 157.5k.

OurTown

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #62 on: August 07, 2018, 12:16:14 PM »
Unfortunately, here in the U.S., the right has gone off the fucking deep end.  We no longer have a "center right."  We currently have a left, a center left, and a radical right.  Among other things, this means there is nowhere for the money interests to go because the radical right is too unstable.  It's bad for business.  I suspect we will see the money interests land with the center left (read:  the Democratic Party), making it more of a broad centrist center, flanked by an economic left and a radical xenophobic religious right.

andy85

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #63 on: August 07, 2018, 01:21:41 PM »
Unfortunately, here in the U.S., the right has gone off the fucking deep end.  We no longer have a "center right."  We currently have a left, a center left, and a radical right.  Among other things, this means there is nowhere for the money interests to go because the radical right is too unstable.  It's bad for business.  I suspect we will see the money interests land with the center left (read:  the Democratic Party), making it more of a broad centrist center, flanked by an economic left and a radical xenophobic religious right.
I hate getting into political threads...i really do..

but it is statements like this that really piss me off and disenfranchise a massive swath of right-of-center individuals such as myself. I took the test and I am 2 boxes to the right of center and about half way down the libertarian axis, which is pretty much where i thought i would land and I know without question that i am in the minority by being right of center on these boards. But it is statements like yours that are echoed by a lot of people here and really make me not want to remain on this board...although i should probably just do what i usually do and not open political threads.

But how can anyone logically and legitimately throw blanket statements out there about a group of people? There is only a far right!? I mean, c'mon. Sure, only the far right garners media attention, much like the the far left gets attention on right leaning news outlets. There is nothing newsworthy about people near the center of the spectrum. I would guess that there is a massive group of people (if not the majority) who fall somewhere between just left of center and just right of center. To think otherwise is just silly. I would say the vast majority of my friends are right of center and approximately 0% of us are "far right". I'm pretty socially liberal when it comes to gay marriage, drugs, war, abortion, things of that nature....but when it comes to fiscal and monetary policy i fall on the right side of things. I am a small government kind of guy, and most of the time, candidates on the left just don't do it for me.

I don't really have much else to say other than blanket statements about the right (or left, or any group of people) do not sit well with me.

I consider myself a right of center libertarian.
If you put a gun to my head i would call myself a republican.
I did not vote for Trump.
I voted for Hillary.

ETA: don't take this as a personal attack please. I just get tired of seeing these types of statements so casually thrown around. I honestly meant nothing personal by my post.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 01:23:53 PM by andy85 »

GuitarStv

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #64 on: August 07, 2018, 01:28:44 PM »
Unfortunately, here in the U.S., the right has gone off the fucking deep end.  We no longer have a "center right."  We currently have a left, a center left, and a radical right.  Among other things, this means there is nowhere for the money interests to go because the radical right is too unstable.  It's bad for business.  I suspect we will see the money interests land with the center left (read:  the Democratic Party), making it more of a broad centrist center, flanked by an economic left and a radical xenophobic religious right.

From where I sit here in Canada, I'm not sure that there's any real voice in the US for the left.  There's a centrist/slightly right wing party - the Democrats, a very right wing party - the Republicans.  You have a few EXTREME right wing groups - Libertarians, Tea Partiers, etc.

:P

deborah

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #65 on: August 07, 2018, 02:18:31 PM »
Here in Australia, as per @BrakeForTurtles link above, the left is disenfranchised, since the major parties are all to the right and the Greens are quite silly (they have caused much harm to the democratic process due to some of their votes) and donít make consistent decisions. This is despite one of the two major parties being seen as leftist.

This quiz, with all its flaws, shows that significant parts of each countryís electorate simply donít have anyone to vote for. And that is a problem, no matter where you sit on the spectrum. If you canít get reasonable representation you feel disenfranchised, and start to believe that the democratic process is a sham. Itís no wonder that democracy is having problems worldwide.

OurTown

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #66 on: August 07, 2018, 03:10:14 PM »
Unfortunately, here in the U.S., the right has gone off the fucking deep end.  We no longer have a "center right."  We currently have a left, a center left, and a radical right.  Among other things, this means there is nowhere for the money interests to go because the radical right is too unstable.  It's bad for business.  I suspect we will see the money interests land with the center left (read:  the Democratic Party), making it more of a broad centrist center, flanked by an economic left and a radical xenophobic religious right.

From where I sit here in Canada, I'm not sure that there's any real voice in the US for the left.  There's a centrist/slightly right wing party - the Democrats, a very right wing party - the Republicans.  You have a few EXTREME right wing groups - Libertarians, Tea Partiers, etc.

:P

You may be right.  The Bernie Sanders "democratic socialists" would certainly style themselves as "left."  They are socialists in the sense of European socialism I guess.  There are a lot of good progressive ideas coming from that wing.  I tend to like progressive ideas better than some of the progressive advocates, for what it's worth.

The US Senate is losing two centrist Republicans this year:  Corker and Flake.  A third centrist, McCain, is not long for this world.  With Corker, we may be able to flip the seat and replace him with a true centrist pro-business Democrat, Phil Bredesen.  The House is losing a number of centrist Republicans as well.  It's getting pretty hard to find a centrist Republican in elected office.  In my opinion they aren't even conservative any more, just wacky.  I don't believe trade wars and holding immigrant children in cages counts as conservative.  In fact, I'm not really sure what the Republicans stand for, other than lower taxes which they have already done, sort of.

aaahhrealmarcus

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #67 on: August 07, 2018, 03:29:56 PM »
Unfortunately, here in the U.S., the right has gone off the fucking deep end.  We no longer have a "center right."  We currently have a left, a center left, and a radical right.  Among other things, this means there is nowhere for the money interests to go because the radical right is too unstable.  It's bad for business.  I suspect we will see the money interests land with the center left (read:  the Democratic Party), making it more of a broad centrist center, flanked by an economic left and a radical xenophobic religious right.
I hate getting into political threads...i really do..

but it is statements like this that really piss me off and disenfranchise a massive swath of right-of-center individuals such as myself. I took the test and I am 2 boxes to the right of center and about half way down the libertarian axis, which is pretty much where i thought i would land and I know without question that i am in the minority by being right of center on these boards. But it is statements like yours that are echoed by a lot of people here and really make me not want to remain on this board...although i should probably just do what i usually do and not open political threads.

But how can anyone logically and legitimately throw blanket statements out there about a group of people? There is only a far right!? I mean, c'mon. Sure, only the far right garners media attention, much like the the far left gets attention on right leaning news outlets. There is nothing newsworthy about people near the center of the spectrum. I would guess that there is a massive group of people (if not the majority) who fall somewhere between just left of center and just right of center. To think otherwise is just silly. I would say the vast majority of my friends are right of center and approximately 0% of us are "far right". I'm pretty socially liberal when it comes to gay marriage, drugs, war, abortion, things of that nature....but when it comes to fiscal and monetary policy i fall on the right side of things. I am a small government kind of guy, and most of the time, candidates on the left just don't do it for me.

I don't really have much else to say other than blanket statements about the right (or left, or any group of people) do not sit well with me.

I consider myself a right of center libertarian.
If you put a gun to my head i would call myself a republican.
I did not vote for Trump.
I voted for Hillary.

ETA: don't take this as a personal attack please. I just get tired of seeing these types of statements so casually thrown around. I honestly meant nothing personal by my post.

I don't think he means that right or center-right voters don't exist, I believe he's referring to politicians. And I agree. Like GuitarStv says, in the US we have a lot of center-to-far right politicians in both parties, but virtually no representation on the left. As a socialist, I'm way to the left of all but a few Democrats, most of whom would be considered conservatives in Western Europe or Canada. It's a matter of perspective.

scottish

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #68 on: August 07, 2018, 03:37:57 PM »
Culture existed well before nations and will always exist, to imply it relies on borders is bizarre, it never has and never will.

I say you're wrong.

Look at Norway.     
Quote
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Norway

China's interesting.   It's an amalgam of cultures which are gradually being absorbed into one capitalist-totalitarian culture.

Compare Canada and the US.   We're both a mix of many different cultures due to our long history of immigration, yet the countries are very different in terms of social program and military adventures.

Maybe you mean something different than I do when you write 'culture'.    I view culture to be a mix of the law, social norms and behaviours found in a region.   I can only think of things that would be lost if we were to consolidate everyone into one big mixing pot of people.    Would we have rule of law?   Or rule by and for the ruling class?     Would we have European social programs or no social programs?    Would we relax by watching TV shows or by playing sports?    What would be the basis for forming public policy?

I think that your definition of culture is inaccurate, just a quick dictionary.com search gives us:

"culture
ˈkʌltʃə/Submit
noun
1.
the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.
"20th century popular culture"
synonyms:   the arts, the humanities; More
2.
the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.
"Afro-Caribbean culture"
synonyms:   civilization, society, way of life, lifestyle"

Culture is a broad word, and I suppose if you were specifically talking about the culture of a nation state then, sure, that might be specific to that conception of space and people. However, there have been arts, intellectual achievement, customs, ideas, social behaviours, etc, for as long as there have been societies. Those things don't stop existing.

In terms of your more specific questions, obviously I don't know. I'm one guy sitting in a room in Australia - even small countries are ruled by more than one person, so it'd be quite arrogant to assume I have the answers to all questions because I believe in a directional shift.

Yeah, we do seem to have different definitions of culture.

My opinion though is that the different nation states have fairly different aspects to them.   This diversity gives people choice in where they aspire to live and what type of society they wish to live in.    If we amalgamated all the nation states into one, I think much would be lost.   Perhaps it would benefit people in the developing world, perhaps not.

For example, Norway is unique in that it's in a sub-arctic to arctic climate, the country is wealthy because of it's resource base and effective governance and it has strong social programs and a high level of happiness.

The United States is unique in it's strong support of business and capitalism, as well as some other aspects of the US constitution.

deborah

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #69 on: August 07, 2018, 03:47:45 PM »
The United States is unique in it's strong support of business and capitalism, as well as some other aspects of the US constitution.
I'm not the only one who disagrees with this - look at Germany, Switzerland...

When I looked it up, I came up with https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1212/the-5-most-economically-free-countries-in-the-world.aspx

scottish

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #70 on: August 07, 2018, 03:48:04 PM »
Unfortunately, here in the U.S., the right has gone off the fucking deep end.  We no longer have a "center right."  We currently have a left, a center left, and a radical right.  Among other things, this means there is nowhere for the money interests to go because the radical right is too unstable.  It's bad for business.  I suspect we will see the money interests land with the center left (read:  the Democratic Party), making it more of a broad centrist center, flanked by an economic left and a radical xenophobic religious right.
I hate getting into political threads...i really do..

but it is statements like this that really piss me off and disenfranchise a massive swath of right-of-center individuals such as myself. I took the test and I am 2 boxes to the right of center and about half way down the libertarian axis, which is pretty much where i thought i would land and I know without question that i am in the minority by being right of center on these boards. But it is statements like yours that are echoed by a lot of people here and really make me not want to remain on this board...although i should probably just do what i usually do and not open political threads.

But how can anyone logically and legitimately throw blanket statements out there about a group of people? There is only a far right!? I mean, c'mon. Sure, only the far right garners media attention, much like the the far left gets attention on right leaning news outlets. There is nothing newsworthy about people near the center of the spectrum. I would guess that there is a massive group of people (if not the majority) who fall somewhere between just left of center and just right of center. To think otherwise is just silly. I would say the vast majority of my friends are right of center and approximately 0% of us are "far right". I'm pretty socially liberal when it comes to gay marriage, drugs, war, abortion, things of that nature....but when it comes to fiscal and monetary policy i fall on the right side of things. I am a small government kind of guy, and most of the time, candidates on the left just don't do it for me.

I don't really have much else to say other than blanket statements about the right (or left, or any group of people) do not sit well with me.

I consider myself a right of center libertarian.
If you put a gun to my head i would call myself a republican.
I did not vote for Trump.
I voted for Hillary.

ETA: don't take this as a personal attack please. I just get tired of seeing these types of statements so casually thrown around. I honestly meant nothing personal by my post.

This was my point.   Lots of people don't identify strongly as left or right.   It's wrong to categorize someone into a political group and then verbally assassinate them.

scottish

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #71 on: August 07, 2018, 03:50:00 PM »
The United States is unique in it's strong support of business and capitalism, as well as some other aspects of the US constitution.
I'm not the only one who disagrees with this - look at Germany, Switzerland...

When I looked it up, I came up with https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1212/the-5-most-economically-free-countries-in-the-world.aspx

Sure, but Germany and Switzerland have other attributes that aren't so common in the US.

Switzerland has it's near universal militia.   Both Germany and the Swiss have a reputation for meticulousness that the US does not have.

Anyway the US is just a strawman.    My point remains that the different nation states offer a lot of diversity around the world.

robartsd

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #72 on: August 07, 2018, 04:31:17 PM »
From where I sit here in Canada, I'm not sure that there's any real voice in the US for the left.  There's a centrist/slightly right wing party - the Democrats, a very right wing party - the Republicans.  You have a few EXTREME right wing groups - Libertarians, Tea Partiers, etc.

:P
I scored around (-0.25, -2.5) and view our Democratic party as covering a large swath of center-left (both above and below the x-axis). On the other hand, I view our Republican party as covering mostly just authoritarianism right (top half of the top right quadrant). Libertarians are down in the bottom right corner and Tea Partiers hang out on the right edge (many above the x-axis, but some below it). Smaller parties on the left side include the Green party (in the top left quadrant, but with very different ideas of what the government should make you do than the republicans) and the Peace-and-Freedom Party (Libertarians who don't mind social program spending hanging out the bottom left quadrant)

Your statement makes me wonder what you think zero on the left-right spectrum is.

This quiz, with all its flaws, shows that significant parts of each countryís electorate simply donít have anyone to vote for. And that is a problem, no matter where you sit on the spectrum. If you canít get reasonable representation you feel disenfranchised, and start to believe that the democratic process is a sham. Itís no wonder that democracy is having problems worldwide.
This rings true to me.

LonerMatt

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #73 on: August 07, 2018, 04:44:34 PM »
Yeah, we do seem to have different definitions of culture.

My opinion though is that the different nation states have fairly different aspects to them.   This diversity gives people choice in where they aspire to live and what type of society they wish to live in.    If we amalgamated all the nation states into one, I think much would be lost.   Perhaps it would benefit people in the developing world, perhaps not.

For example, Norway is unique in that it's in a sub-arctic to arctic climate, the country is wealthy because of it's resource base and effective governance and it has strong social programs and a high level of happiness.

The United States is unique in it's strong support of business and capitalism, as well as some other aspects of the US constitution.

None of this contradicts anything I've written.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #74 on: August 07, 2018, 05:05:22 PM »
Economic Left/Right: -5.5
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.85



This thing has me further to the left than I really am.  I feel like the democrats are always speaking to the left of me.  Hmmmm.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 05:19:21 PM by DreamFIRE »

DreamFIRE

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #75 on: August 07, 2018, 05:16:14 PM »
Speaking of subsidizing, I would gladly pay double the payroll tax to help shore up Social Security and Medicare so that seniors don't have to take a hit to their benefits.

Are you including only your contribution, or the hidden half payed by your employer?

15.3% total payroll tax (it's quite obvious when you have self employment income), so doubling that would mean 30.6% before we even start adding in federal or state income tax. I'm afraid that personally that's too rich for my blood.

I'm speaking about the 7.65% that is deducted from my gross pay, not my employer's match of that.  I don't think they would be as supportive of the idea of doubling their share.  The 2 to 4 percentage points I mentioned in the other thread is more practical, along with other changes, such as removing the cap.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #76 on: August 07, 2018, 05:38:08 PM »
The United States is unique in it's strong support of business and capitalism, as well as some other aspects of the US constitution.
I'm not the only one who disagrees with this - look at Germany, Switzerland...

When I looked it up, I came up with https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1212/the-5-most-economically-free-countries-in-the-world.aspx

2018 is here:
https://www.heritage.org/index/ranking  Oops, different organization but similar methodology.
New Zealand #3, Australia #5, UK #8, Canada #9
US  #18, behind a bunch of countries that have socialized medicine and strong social networks.  The numerical differences are not huge, but if the social networks and socialized medicine are such economic drags, why is the US not in the top 5?  Maybe they are not economic drags?

anisotropy

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #77 on: August 07, 2018, 05:46:00 PM »
The United States is unique in it's strong support of business and capitalism, as well as some other aspects of the US constitution.
I'm not the only one who disagrees with this - look at Germany, Switzerland...

When I looked it up, I came up with https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1212/the-5-most-economically-free-countries-in-the-world.aspx

2018 is here:
https://www.heritage.org/index/ranking  Oops, different organization but similar methodology.
New Zealand #3, Australia #5, UK #8, Canada #9
US  #18, behind a bunch of countries that have socialized medicine and strong social networks.  The numerical differences are not huge, but if the social networks and socialized medicine are such economic drags, why is the US not in the top 5?  Maybe they are not economic drags?

No. I guarantee you it was skewed by the govt size.

Q.3. How do you measure economic freedom?

We measure economic freedom based on 12 quantitative and qualitative factors, grouped into four broad categories, or pillars, of economic freedom:
1.Rule of Law (property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness)
2.Government Size (government spending, tax burden, fiscal health)
3.Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom)
4.Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom)

Notice how all top 6 countries are tiny. When you add up the govt spending from all top 17 countries, does it even come close to America's?

RetiredAt63

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #78 on: August 07, 2018, 06:04:18 PM »
The United States is unique in it's strong support of business and capitalism, as well as some other aspects of the US constitution.
I'm not the only one who disagrees with this - look at Germany, Switzerland...

When I looked it up, I came up with https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1212/the-5-most-economically-free-countries-in-the-world.aspx

2018 is here:
https://www.heritage.org/index/ranking  Oops, different organization but similar methodology.
New Zealand #3, Australia #5, UK #8, Canada #9
US  #18, behind a bunch of countries that have socialized medicine and strong social networks.  The numerical differences are not huge, but if the social networks and socialized medicine are such economic drags, why is the US not in the top 5?  Maybe they are not economic drags?

No. I guarantee you it was skewed by the govt size.

Q.3. How do you measure economic freedom?

We measure economic freedom based on 12 quantitative and qualitative factors, grouped into four broad categories, or pillars, of economic freedom:
1.Rule of Law (property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness)
2.Government Size (government spending, tax burden, fiscal health)
3.Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom)
4.Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom)

Notice how all top 6 countries are tiny. When you add up the govt spending from all top 17 countries, does it even come close to America's?

I'll go back and look at some point but wouldn't that be per capita?

deborah

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #79 on: August 07, 2018, 06:51:45 PM »
I'm pretty sure that Australia has a smaller government per capita than the US. It's one of the things our politicians have used in some of their arguments.

maizeman

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #80 on: August 07, 2018, 06:55:32 PM »
Australia's total government spending is about 35% of GDP. For the US it is about 41%.

deborah

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #81 on: August 07, 2018, 07:03:56 PM »
Australia's total government spending is about 35% of GDP. For the US it is about 41%.
When you think about this, it's pretty impressive. We are the same land area as the continental US with 10% of the population. So each person needs to provide a lot more of the infrastructure - roads, railway, power lines... We also have government provided health care and government subsidized medicine. So you would expect us to either have a lower standard of living or to have much higher per capita government costs - and that isn't the case.

Canada has a similar population density to us (one and a half times the population and area), with similar outcomes.

Raymond Reddington

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #82 on: August 07, 2018, 07:11:25 PM »
Payroll tax, IMO, is one of the dumbest taxes and way too high. It should not cost money to hire Americans in America. It incentivizes offshoring of production.

A progressive income tax system with fewer loopholes for passive income, lower corporate taxes, and elimination of tax deductions for businesses on exorbitant salaries with treatment of stock based compensation with more consistent and less fudge-able valuation dates, and a massive increase in the estate tax rate (and a general lowering of the threshold, but indexing that number to inflation) would be a welcome rewrite to the tax code that does not tax those who cannot afford it disproportionally.

Congressional benefits should be significantly reduced, no pensions from Congress, institute term limits, and add various "non compete" like agreements that bar legislators from working as lobbyists or in industries they had ties to during their period in office. Politician was never meant to be a career.

Healthcare should be privately purchased by individuals who receive pay increases from their employers matching the current year's employer share of healthcare costs, who are now free to shop among all providers to choose the best option like car insurance. No more being afraid to leave a bad job because of the loss of coverage, no more expensive COBRA premiums, no more useless COBRA administrators to run that boondoggle. Good ol' fashioned competition to keep costs down.

People will still generally spend their pants off and end up broke, but then you can blame them for their plight, not the system. Also, the hardworking among them now have a shot to get ahead, rather than be stuck because of one or two bad life decisions. The children of multi millionaires and billionaires will have to earn their keep in life, not rely on money earned by their parents for a hassle free life. Anything that makes the country more meritocratic, I am for.

anisotropy

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #83 on: August 07, 2018, 07:13:47 PM »
We are the same land area as the continental US with 10% of the population. So each person needs to provide a lot more of the infrastructure - roads, railway, power lines... We also have government provided health care and government subsidized medicine. So you would expect us to either have a lower standard of living or to have much higher per capita government costs - and that isn't the case.

Canada has a similar population density to us (one and a half times the population and area), with similar outcomes.

Well... there's this thing that Americans have..... the word starts with M

I am not saying its not needed or even wasteful, at the same time I am also not saying it's not enough. The majority of the western countries (traditional allies) do benefit from an oversized American military global presence, it was simply a feature when the system was designed and agreed upon post ww2, not the case how some folks claim "omg they taking advantage of Americans". Anyway, this has nothing to do with the original post lol.

maizeman

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #84 on: August 07, 2018, 07:22:20 PM »
I'd thought Australia's population was actually relatively more concentrated in a set of big cities (where infrastructure per capita is relatively cheap), with big parts of the country with essentially no people or infrastructure at all. But this is a gut feeling backed up by nothing more quantitative than pictures of each country at night, so I could be completely off base.




(FWIW that big bright area in western North Dakota isn't a giant new city, but natural gas being burned off from new oil wells.)

(Also who knows if these images are even based on anything like the same exposure settings. Almost certainly not.)

Anyway, in no way intended as a knock against Australia, one way or another you folks clearly do have your act together.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 07:24:19 PM by maizeman »

LonerMatt

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #85 on: August 07, 2018, 07:47:43 PM »
Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world. 82% of people live in the 50 largest cities, many of which are incorporated into the state capitals (for example, Melton is listed as a separate city, but is actually part of Melbourne, etc).

deborah

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #86 on: August 07, 2018, 08:17:48 PM »
This is true, but, by the time you get to our 17th largest city (probably really the 10th), it has a population of less than 100,000. This means that infrastructure is a lot more expensive for most of the country. We have a flying doctor service to get doctors and nurses into remote communities. We have "school of the air" to allow children in remote locations to be in a virtual classroom with their peers... All these things should make basic services much more expensive per head of population than they are in the US.

When I worked in education, we worked out the cost of all the rural and remote services that we needed to provide, and the extra cost was quite amazing. Trying to get electricity and communications to the remote places is really difficult and expensive, but, because all citizens should have basic services available, we work hard to do it. When I worked on provision of communications to one area, the equipment got bogged early in a 1000 mile cable placement, and work needed to be halted for 6 months because the tropical wet season started early, so immediately that project was 9 months behind schedule.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #87 on: August 08, 2018, 04:57:46 AM »
Payroll tax, IMO, is one of the dumbest taxes and way too high.

It's my favorite tax.   It's a tax with more specific purposes vs. the federal income tax.  SS benefits are determined based on past earnings, so it makes sense that they are funded based on those earnings as well.  The problem now is that it needs to be increased to properly fund SS and Medicare and protect seniors from cuts to their benefits.  They are already having to pay too much out of pocket for Medicare/supplementals - it's no where near free to be fully protected.  Someone in the ACA thread mentioned it costing them about $11,000/year for the various Medicare parts.

marty998

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #88 on: August 08, 2018, 05:19:19 AM »
sorry guys missed the replies up above a page ago (I am no longer on here as much as I used to be :) I don't have a lot to add in those arguments, you're all quite well reasoned.

I'd thought Australia's population was actually relatively more concentrated in a set of big cities (where infrastructure per capita is relatively cheap), with big parts of the country with essentially no people or infrastructure at all. But this is a gut feeling backed up by nothing more quantitative than pictures of each country at night, so I could be completely off base.




(FWIW that big bright area in western North Dakota isn't a giant new city, but natural gas being burned off from new oil wells.)

(Also who knows if these images are even based on anything like the same exposure settings. Almost certainly not.)

Anyway, in no way intended as a knock against Australia, one way or another you folks clearly do have your act together.

Yes, we are clustered along the coast (east mainly), and centred in about 10 major cities and towns. So it would appear that service delivery would be quite simple however, there used to be a strong public policy basically called the Universal Service Obligation. Mainly applied to the then government owned telco company, but also filtered down to other areas such as the postal service, and other utilities.

Didn't matter where in the country you were or how far remote you were, you were entitled to pretty much the same service as your urbanised fellow man/woman.

That explains a large part of the additional infrastructure costs. The rest is the usual garden variety corruption and incompetence - a little bit of fat added to every big project. Sydney Light Rail being constructed now is a beautiful case in point.


RetiredAt63

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #89 on: August 08, 2018, 05:48:01 AM »
I'd thought Australia's population was actually relatively more concentrated in a set of big cities (where infrastructure per capita is relatively cheap), with big parts of the country with essentially no people or infrastructure at all. But this is a gut feeling backed up by nothing more quantitative than pictures of each country at night, so I could be completely off base.




(FWIW that big bright area in western North Dakota isn't a giant new city, but natural gas being burned off from new oil wells.)

(Also who knows if these images are even based on anything like the same exposure settings. Almost certainly not.)

Anyway, in no way intended as a knock against Australia, one way or another you folks clearly do have your act together.

In the North American picture, Canada is the mostly dark area to the top.   Most of our population is clustered in the 200 miles closest to the US border, because that is where the climate is milder.  Australia has the outback, we have the north.  Neither very hospitable.  And large size with low population density does mean it costs more to run a country.

craiglepaige

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #90 on: August 08, 2018, 06:28:08 AM »
Looks about right.
Thanks for the link.

OurTown

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #91 on: August 08, 2018, 08:46:00 AM »
Dude, I love those night-light maps.  Here's a good one:  GDP by metro area.  https://howmuch.net/articles/where-the-money-is-by-metro-area.

This shows the absolute economic dominance of the cities in the "blue" states on the coasts, with Texas as the notable red-state exception.

scottish

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #92 on: August 08, 2018, 04:03:44 PM »
We are the same land area as the continental US with 10% of the population. So each person needs to provide a lot more of the infrastructure - roads, railway, power lines... We also have government provided health care and government subsidized medicine. So you would expect us to either have a lower standard of living or to have much higher per capita government costs - and that isn't the case.

Canada has a similar population density to us (one and a half times the population and area), with similar outcomes.

Well... there's this thing that Americans have..... the word starts with M

I am not saying its not needed or even wasteful, at the same time I am also not saying it's not enough. The majority of the western countries (traditional allies) do benefit from an oversized American military global presence, it was simply a feature when the system was designed and agreed upon post ww2, not the case how some folks claim "omg they taking advantage of Americans". Anyway, this has nothing to do with the original post lol.

aircraft carriers.   nuclear powered aircraft carriers.   and escort ships.   That'll fix the Australian budget!

deborah

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #93 on: August 08, 2018, 04:09:00 PM »
Actually, Australia is one of the few countries that the POTUS says is pulling its weight in terms of military. See https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/us-envoy-says-australia-is-poster-child-for-pulling-its-weight-20180805-p4zvl9.html

Of course, that hasnít stopped the POTUS from denying us an ambassador since heís been in office.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 04:12:27 PM by deborah »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #94 on: August 09, 2018, 08:24:03 AM »
Actually, Australia is one of the few countries that the POTUS says is pulling its weight in terms of military. See https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/us-envoy-says-australia-is-poster-child-for-pulling-its-weight-20180805-p4zvl9.html

Of course, that hasnít stopped the POTUS from denying us an ambassador since heís been in office.

Seriously ?  We have one, even though we are a threat to national security    oops, they took that back.

Drifting OT, American politics is like a vortex, it sucks us all in.

robartsd

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #95 on: August 09, 2018, 09:22:47 AM »
Actually, Australia is one of the few countries that the POTUS says is pulling its weight in terms of military. See https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/us-envoy-says-australia-is-poster-child-for-pulling-its-weight-20180805-p4zvl9.html

Of course, that hasnít stopped the POTUS from denying us an ambassador since heís been in office.
Indeed, as of 2017, Australia is pretty close to the worldwide average for military spending as % of GDP (2.042% vs 2.166%). The US spent 3.145% of GDP on military in 2017, so extra military spending doesn't answer all of the US total government spending over Australia; though I suspect that it answers a bigger portion than these values indicate due to cost of debt incurred to pay for past military spending.

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/MS.MIL.XPND.GD.ZS?locations=US-AU

maizeman

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #96 on: August 09, 2018, 08:33:45 PM »
Okay really, dumb/basic question about Australia: Do you folks have an equivalent of the United States's Social Security program (government taxes current workers and employers and distributes that revenue to retirees*), or is that need fulfilled by the superannuation funds (government mandates private retirement savings by workers and employers)?

If not, it seems like that could explain a big chunk of the gap, since the US taxes and then spends a good trillion dollars for social security retiree benefits each year (call it 5% of GDP?), while in Australia the government's legal requirement for private savings wouldn't show up as government spending, despite fulfilling the same need (avoiding old people going cold or hungry or living in the streets).

*Quick googling revealed that the term "social security" in Australia seems to refer to what we'd call welfare payments in the USA (support based on poverty/need rather than old age), so it seems like there is a lot of potential confusion tied to the same words having different meanings.

middo

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #97 on: August 09, 2018, 10:24:13 PM »
Okay really, dumb/basic question about Australia: Do you folks have an equivalent of the United States's Social Security program (government taxes current workers and employers and distributes that revenue to retirees*), or is that need fulfilled by the superannuation funds (government mandates private retirement savings by workers and employers)?

If not, it seems like that could explain a big chunk of the gap, since the US taxes and then spends a good trillion dollars for social security retiree benefits each year (call it 5% of GDP?), while in Australia the government's legal requirement for private savings wouldn't show up as government spending, despite fulfilling the same need (avoiding old people going cold or hungry or living in the streets).

*Quick googling revealed that the term "social security" in Australia seems to refer to what we'd call welfare payments in the USA (support based on poverty/need rather than old age), so it seems like there is a lot of potential confusion tied to the same words having different meanings.

Australia has an extensive welfare or social security system.  As I understand it, our system is more comprehensive, wider ranging and pays more than the US system.  A quick look at wikipedia shows around 15 major types of payments to Australians through the social security safety net. 

Social security accounts for 35% of the Federal Governments expenditure.  (source: https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook45p/WelfareCost )  Aged pension, from memory, is around 1% of GDP.  It is not contributed to by workers, but it is means tested.  If you are rich, you don't get it.  Note: the vast majority of people over 65 qualify for the aged pension in Australia.

All Australian workers contribute compulsorily to superannuation, currently at 9.5% of income.  This is relatively recent, starting in the late 1980's at a lower rate, and most workers do not have enough superannuation to live on when they retire.  Many buy a boat and caravan, and then qualify for the aged pension, and live off that.

LonerMatt

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #98 on: August 09, 2018, 10:49:53 PM »
To add to middo's answer:
- Yes, there is an exact equivalent of SS here
- Superannuation was introduced specifically (I believe) to reduce the amount of total money being spend on retirees

HappierAtHome

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #99 on: August 09, 2018, 10:56:04 PM »
To add to middo's answer:
- Yes, there is an exact equivalent of SS here
- Superannuation was introduced specifically (I believe) to reduce the amount of total money being spend on retirees

I wouldn't say exact, as it is means-tested whereas SS is not.