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Define the Government's duty to the people?

What is the duty of our Government?

  • To define and protect our fundamental rights

    Votes: 6 66.7%
  • #1 and to define and provide additional privelages

    Votes: 3 33.3%

  • Total voters
    9

fredmertz

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We the people decide what powers the government has. How big the government should be. And how the balance of powers is enforced. The founders of our nation debated this and came up with a system via the constitution. It feels to me, that we have veered from that system (for better or worse). If this is what we as a nation want to do, so be it, let's change the system/rules/constitution based on our 'new' philosophies. But neglecting the rulebook isn't the answer.

So I feel we need to go back to the basics. Let's first ask the most important question: What is the job of our government?

1) To define and protect our fundamental rights
2) #1 and to define and provide additional privelages


so let me define the options:

1) our constitution, exactly as it is written - no extras.

2) our constitution plus the ability to provide laws granting privelages (such as health care, social security, medicare, unemployment benefits, public roads, etc.). Assuming that most people want it, therefore it passes legislation, and all people live by it for the benefit of the majority.

I am asking in a broad sense, should it be the government's job to step beyond simply protecting our fundamental rights as defined by the constitution and also grant us privelages?

My arguments against any 'privelage' is always the same. But it seems those against the 'privelages'.... the GOP... are against it based on some other ideas that just don't make sense to me. The debates seem pointless to me. It's not a question of 'is this a good or bad idea' but rather, 'is it the job of the government?'
 

phattonez

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None of the above. Government does not define our rights. Rights are natural. The only job of government is to enforce those rights.
 

fredmertz

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None of the above. Government does not define our rights. Rights are natural. The only job of government is to enforce those rights.

Though I 100% agree that rights are natural, I disagree that they don't have to be defined. I mean, if we don't clarify those rights, how do we know what we are asking the government to protect. Simply assuming we're all on the same page isn't good enough. What you may call a fundamental right may differ from someone else (as I'm sure it does).

So first, let's define those rights and then decide, does the gov't have the authority to act beyond those rights. Which you seem to say "no" to (which I agree with). But you can't say they don't need to be defined. Though I believe they are obvious, they still need to be spelled out or you leave the gov't room to protect 'rights' that are beyond natural rights.
 

Redress

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Holy loaded poll options!

The governments duty to it's people is to create and support the best possible country within the framework of the law.
 

fredmertz

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Holy loaded poll options!

The governments duty to it's people is to create and support the best possible country within the framework of the law.

The idea is simple enough. Implementing it is the difficult part. I'm asking a question on implementation.
 

Redress

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The idea is simple enough. Implementing it is the difficult part. I'm asking a question on implementation.

I answered your question. If you want to debate the fine points, but the question you presented could not be answered with your poll options, and I gave the answer as I see it.
 

Ikari

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It's mostly A, a little B. The main purpose of the government is to protect and proliferate the rights and liberties of the individual. Now times change, yes? Technologies improve, society becomes more complex, to protect those rights the government may have to act in various ways. It's a delicate balancing act in reality. There is necessity for government, we cannot get away from that. Anarchy does not work. Thus that means there are legitimate and necessary places for government to act. Those places may not be static, and indeed as the aggregated society gets more complex those places will not remain static. To continue to protect and proliferate the rights and liberties of the individual what the government does may have to change. Too much government is bad, which is why this becomes so very delicate. But there are proper roles of regulation and oversight which the government can partake in to ensure the free practice of our rights. The Constitution not only lays out the powers of government, but also the purpose of government. And the government can use those granted powers to fulfill its purpose. Nothing is ever static, there is no such thing as infinity. To continue to do its job to the people, how the government acts will change over time. We just have to be careful and ensure that it changes in the right way and in a way which abides by our rights and liberties.
 

fredmertz

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I answered your question. If you want to debate the fine points, but the question you presented could not be answered with your poll options, and I gave the answer as I see it.

You say: "within the framework of the law." - my question is exactly that - what should the framework of the law be? I suppose the question needs to be clarified. not 'what' but 'how' does the government go about it. So you answered my question, but not the intent of my question. I'm not trying to debate the answers. I'd really like to know what people think and why. Could you answer my intended question instead of my actual question? (assuming my intended question is now clear)
 

Korimyr the Rat

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The duty of the State is to protect and promote the material and moral well-being of the People. Protecting rights is only valid insofar as it is compatible with those fundamental aims.
 

Redress

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You say: "within the framework of the law." - my question is exactly that - what should the framework of the law be? I suppose the question needs to be clarified. not 'what' but 'how' does the government go about it. So you answered my question, but not the intent of my question. I'm not trying to debate the answers. I'd really like to know what people think and why. Could you answer my intended question instead of my actual question? (assuming my intended question is now clear)

The government goes about it by creating laws that promote the health and wellbeing of the country.
 

fredmertz

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It's mostly A, a little B. The main purpose of the government is to protect and proliferate the rights and liberties of the individual. Now times change, yes? Technologies improve, society becomes more complex, to protect those rights the government may have to act in various ways. It's a delicate balancing act in reality. There is necessity for government, we cannot get away from that. Anarchy does not work. Thus that means there are legitimate and necessary places for government to act. Those places may not be static, and indeed as the aggregated society gets more complex those places will not remain static. To continue to protect and proliferate the rights and liberties of the individual what the government does may have to change. Too much government is bad, which is why this becomes so very delicate. But there are proper roles of regulation and oversight which the government can partake in to ensure the free practice of our rights. The Constitution not only lays out the powers of government, but also the purpose of government. And the government can use those granted powers to fulfill its purpose. Nothing is ever static, there is no such thing as infinity. To continue to do its job to the people, how the government acts will change over time. We just have to be careful and ensure that it changes in the right way and in a way which abides by our rights and liberties.

Very well said and point well taken. I suppose what I'm trying to get a general sense of is, though the types of laws they need to pass will change due to times changing, what should be the intent of those laws? To uphold the fundamental rights? Or to uphold what the majority feels is 'best' for society in granting additional privelages beyond those fundamental rights?
 

fredmertz

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The government goes about it by creating laws that promote the health and wellbeing of the country.

I'm not trying to be a smart***, but sincerely would like to ask: are you a politician?

I agree with you. Again, my question is: how? Under what intent do they make their laws? To do what is best for the people via granting privelages? Should it be within their power to force people to pay for privelages for other people, for the benefit of the whole?
 

Redress

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I'm not trying to be a smart***, but sincerely would like to ask: are you a politician?

I agree with you. Again, my question is: how? Under what intent do they make their laws? To do what is best for the people via granting privelages? Should it be within their power to force people to pay for privelages for other people, for the benefit of the whole?

See, you are asking loaded questions, which is why you are not getting the answer you want. It's a privilege that you drive on roads that you did not pay for, have police and fire protection from people whose salary you do not pay. It's a privilege to be protected from foreign countries by people you have not paid for. When you say privilege, you are trying to make a point, but it does not work.
 

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The Preamble:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
 

fredmertz

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See, you are asking loaded questions, which is why you are not getting the answer you want. It's a privilege that you drive on roads that you did not pay for, have police and fire protection from people whose salary you do not pay. It's a privilege to be protected from foreign countries by people you have not paid for. When you say privilege, you are trying to make a point, but it does not work.

No. you're making an assumption. So let me clarify: I'm not making trying to make a point. I am asking questions. And I believe you may have finally answered it. All of those things you listed are privelages. Assuming you support those privelages, then you would choose the second option. I'm not trying to trap you or debate you. I understand 'why' you feel that way. I personally would prefer each of those things to be in the private sector (except national security) or in more local or state govt's hands - but not in the federal govt's IMO. But I didn't create the poll to debate this. We each have our own beliefs.

I'm just curious how many people agree with you (assuming I'm right about your belief) and how many agree with me. hence the poll. It is a loaded question, but it's the starting point. Before we debate a topic like healthcare in our gov't, we first need to decide if it's even something that should be debated at the national level. Is that what we intend our government to do?

I just never understand why we debate these topics that are irrelevant, IMO, at the national level.
 

fredmertz

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The Preamble:

Yes. That is what the preamble says. So what do YOU say? How do we do that? by protecting these things listed without providing additional privelages - let that up to the people themselves? Is that possible? Or do you think we should provide privelages beyond those that directly support and protect the fundamental rights? Should the state directly provide more than these rights or to merely provide the opportunity?
 

Ikari

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See, you are asking loaded questions, which is why you are not getting the answer you want. It's a privilege that you drive on roads that you did not pay for, have police and fire protection from people whose salary you do not pay. It's a privilege to be protected from foreign countries by people you have not paid for. When you say privilege, you are trying to make a point, but it does not work.

What do you mean? I've paid for all that crap. None of it could exist without the taxpayers. I pay for roads, emergency services, parks, forests, etc. Is it still privlege or is it my property?
 

fredmertz

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What do you mean? I've paid for all that crap. None of it could exist without the taxpayers. I pay for roads, emergency services, parks, forests, etc. Is it still privlege or is it my property?

I actually missed that point he was trying to make - that we get these 'privelages' without paying for it. Now I'm truly confused as to what he is driving at. I don't think it matters because his point actually answers my question and so I'm happy. But I'd love to hear the explanation.
 

Redress

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What do you mean? I've paid for all that crap. None of it could exist without the taxpayers. I pay for roads, emergency services, parks, forests, etc. Is it still privlege or is it my property?

You paid for a very small portion of them. And yet you benefit from them in full.
 

Ikari

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You paid for a very small portion of them. And yet you benefit from them in full.

But I did pay, it's part of the aggregation ability of the government. They can collect "small" amounts of money from a large population and then use that money for something. Be it the military, the roads, etc. But it does require that we all pay. We aren't simply given these things, we have to pay for all those things. Nothing is free.
 

Redress

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But I did pay, it's part of the aggregation ability of the government. They can collect "small" amounts of money from a large population and then use that money for something. Be it the military, the roads, etc. But it does require that we all pay. We aren't simply given these things, we have to pay for all those things. Nothing is free.

That sounds pretty damn socialist to me...
 

Ikari

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That sounds pretty damn socialist to me...

It really depends. There are certain necessities for government, such as military which can only be provided through tax dollars and backed by the People. The socialist thing is not limited to just things like infrastructure and military. Some other things such as welfare or what have you, you can probably start to ascribe a more "socialist" tone to it. Yet for the context of what we were talking about, it matters very little. These "privileges" we spoke of earlier are bought and paid for by us. Thus we own them, they are our property.
 

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A governments duty is whatever it political platform they are elected on.
 

samsmart

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I think the duty of the government is to provide and enforce the natural rights of it's citizens and to do for the citizens what private individuals or organizations are incapable of doing or can't be trusted to do.
 

The Mark

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A governments duty is whatever it political platform they are elected on.
How the hell do you get that?

And what, in the history of politics, would lead you to the belief that anything a political platform claims to be a goal is an actual goal, or even wish.
 
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