Thursday, December 8, 2016

Why are (most) high schoolers immature?

I think it's undeniable that most high schoolers either do immature things, encourage others to do immature things, or enjoy to watch others do immature things. For some reason, teens are often the object of criticism for their ways from their parents, and, however, are applauded by their peers after they see the video of his action.

Why is this? Why is an adult usually more mature than a teenager? For a while, I thought it was experience, but this is not the case. Rather, for this answer, we must turn to philosophy.

First, we'll take a look at Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher. Part of Kierkegaard's theory is that of multiple life stages: the aesthetical stage, the ethical stage, and the religious stage. Another key element of this theory is that an individual must find himself on one of these stages. He cannot be halfway ethical and halfway religious.

However, what makes this theory applicable to this situation is that someone can stay at whichever stage he or she wants. Kierkegaard reasons that it takes a reasoned choice to move from the aesthetical stage, one in which the individual is merely observing the world as it affects him and acts without realizing consequences, to the ethical stage, one where the individual understands his or her actions have far-reaching consequences and is willing to take responsibility for said actions.

When we apply this to what most high schoolers do, we see that they don't think things through, showing a lack of commitment. This is a clear sign that the individual is in the aesthetical stage rather than the more mature, perceptive ethical stage.

This also brings up my argument against high school relationships: that most of the time they lead to disappointment, disapproval, and avoidance of the other partner. If the majority of these high schoolers are not mature enough to realize and accept the consequences of their actions, how can they be ready for a relationship that is anything more than superficial, or ascetically pleasing? Instead, the majority of these relationships are merely for pleasure rather than commitment. The purpose behind them is skewed and twisted, and therefore, will end badly for both parties.

Note: I'm not saying all high schoolers are immature, simply that most of them are.

Any questions or comments?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Wartime Policies

I've discussed with many people, both online and in everyday conversation, on the policy of non-interventionism. I've decided to share my views so that my position on this topic is clear.

First off, it's important to note that war destroys countries. It tears their economies apart, leads to death on both sides, and requires massive funding. The rewards are, perhaps, a certain amount of land, people, etc., but the cost is enormous. In most every war we've seen in the late 20th and 21st century, not much good has come of it. It has run us billions in debt, cost us over 2000 lives in the Iraq war alone, and required more taxes sent overseas rather than benefiting the citizens who are footing the bill.

However, I'm not against war altogether. There are absolutely instances in which we must fight, because either we are attacked, or someone leads an orchestrated attack upon our allies. It is in these circumstances that we are not only entitled, but required, to respond with a certain level of force to ensure safety of ourselves and others.

Wars not fought for this reason, though, were not justified. Our reason for annexing Texas and multiple other territories from Mexico in the 19th century was an example of a nation on the attack, not on the defensive. Our focus in war should not be on acquisition of land or financial gain, but instead on protecting our citizens from foreign forces.

To conclude, I am by no means against our military. I salute their commitment to our country, willing to take a job that may put their life at stake. What we do with it today is detestable. There is a reason why the military adviser to the POTUS is not called the Secretary of Offense, Secretary of Policing the World, or Secretary of War, but instead the Secretary of Defense.

“America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."
-John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States

Any questions or comments?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Progressive Taxation vs. Flat Rate Taxation

Another post on economic theory.

Let's start with some definitions:

Progressive Taxation: When the taxation rate is changed based upon amount of income per year.
Flat Tax: When the taxation rate is independent of amount of income.

With this in mind, I'll compare the two, and come to a conclusion.

1) Fairness

First off, a progressive tax means that a disproportionate amount of money is taken from the rich solely based upon the fact that they make more profit than others. In a flax tax, the rich still pay a larger amount of money, but this amount is proportionate to all others.

To give an example, someone who makes $300,000 a year off his business pays the same percentage as someone who makes $30,000 a year. Supposing the tax rate is flat, at, say, 20%, the richer individual pays $60,000 in taxes, and the second individual pays $6,000 in taxes. Although the richer individual has the same tax rate as the second, he is still paying 10 times what the second individual is paying.

Comparing this to the US progressive tax today, the richer individual would pay $87,904 (27%), and the second would pay $4,036 (13.5%). Now, the richer individual is paying more than 20 times what the poorer individual was, and at a disproportionate rate.

2) Complexity

This should be simple. The flax tax will obviously less complex, as there would be no brackets, tax breaks, exemptions, etc.. On the other hand, a progressive tax requires brackets, varying taxation rates, etc.. To put it into context, the US tax rule book has over 1000 pages, and is updated each year with new rules.

3) Economic Growth

With a flax tax, people are encouraged to make more. There is no penalty for becoming richer in taxes, as there are no special brackets. This leads to a more prosperous nation as a whole, giving incentive for economic growth.

However, with a progressive tax, people are punished for making more. There are many accounts of people who spend needlessly simply to stay out of a larger tax bracket instead of saving or investing. This leads to the people who are poor to remain poor, and not grow richer.

Seeing the arguments, I'm inclined to state that a flax tax is fair, simple, and leads to economic growth.

Questions?

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Election: Part 2

Part 2:

ECONOMICS

Not too happy about this one. Trump's policies on tariffs may be the worst I've seen yet. The cost of living will go up, how should I put it, tremendously (get it?). His patriotism goes unchecked when it comes to economics. However, on the other hand, we have Clinton with an overly progressive economic plan that is bound to hurt businesses in the US and drive trade down. Obviously, both candidate's plans are incredibly flawed, but out of the two, I'd rather pick Trump's. We've seen what progressive policies do to the economy with Obama's administration, and I don't want it to happen again.

PERSONAL LIVES

Honestly don't care. Sorry, that might seem strange, seeing as most of the campaigns were about the personal faults of the two candidates, but I'd rather focus on policies than personal. I think Bernie Sanders said it best: "Enough of the emails. Let's talk about the real issues facing America."

THE "OTHER CHOICES"

Bernie Sanders:
A socialist man who wants the GDP control to raise to 50%, wants all education to be free, and will cost us $17 trillion in debt within the end of the decade. No thank you.

Gary Johnson:
If there was ever a faker libertarian (and I should know, as I am one)...
Not to mention, he knows nothing about the issues. Just take a look at one of his interviews on Aleppo.

Jill Stein:
Just look at her tax plan. According to her, the rich shouldn't even keep half of the money they've earned, at the very least they can only keep 40% of it. Not only that, but she opposes free trade, and is unable to call illegal immigrants "illegal immigrants" after they have conclusively broken the law.

OVERALL

Am I happy with the way things turned out? No. Not at all. But is it better than I expected? On the whole, I'd have to say that yes, it did turn out better than I expected it to. These 4 years will show us whether or not we've got enough bipartisanship in the Government to keep it together.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment down bellow.

The Election: Part 1

Hello,

Well, well, well. Not what I expected at all. I expected 20% voter turnout, blue states all around, and lots of riots.

But, the way it is now is way better than how I thought it would be, and here's why. I'll split this into two parts.

THE JUDICIAL BRANCH

VERY happy about this one. In the debate, Clinton stated she wanted to appoint a justice who would support certain issues, such as pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, etc.. Trump wanted someone who would uphold the constitution. Simple choice here, folks. The Supreme Court's job is to use judicial review, not support certain issues. Pro-Trump on this one. (I never want to use that phrase again...)

THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

With the Democrats having majority in Congress for the past 8 years, it'll be good to have a Republican Senate and House to reel back some leftist policies we've seen over the past years. However, that means we have McConnell as party leader for the Republicans, someone with 49% disapproval rate. Hopefully, we'll get something good out of this, though.

FOREIGN POLICY

Well, here we have a lose-lose scenario. If Trump wins, we'll be stuck with terrible foreign relations with Mexico, the EU (those that support Syrian Refugees), and the middle east. However, based upon my research, Clinton wants war with Russia. I'd rather this country be called bad names by other nations for 4 years than to get ourselves into a war with the second most powerful nation on Earth. Not to mention how much that would run us into debt.

Stay tuned for part 2.

Also note that I didn't give any supporting articles. If you want some evidence, comment bellow and I'd be happy to give it.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Minimum Wage

You hear constantly about how the minimum wage is a tool that prevents slavery, promotes good treatment of workers, and protects the low skilled worker.

But does it?

I will attempt to disprove all three of these claims, and show how the minimum wage does not help, but instead hinders. I'll begin with the claim that MW prevents slavery.

One thing to remember about a free market is that there should be no coercion or force involved in that trade. If a trade is forced, it is not a good trade. It can be seen to be the equivalent of someone pointing a gun to a person's head and asking for him to "trade" his money with him. We can easily see that this cannot be treated like a trade, instead, it is stealing. For a brief moment, he has made the man he is pointing the gun at his slave, and that man must comply with anything the gunned man orders him, at the price of death.

Now, let us compare this to the MW. The MW, as you all know, sets a minimum price on a person's labor. It makes it illegal for that worker to try and find a job that pays less than that amount, and it makes it illegal for a business to bargain with their workers underneath that amount. That means even if that job is not worth the minimum wage, neither the business or the worker can sell or buy labor at it's market price. We can see the man with the gun again, but this time, it's the Government.

The second argument for the MW is that it promotes good treatment of workers. But, once again, this is far from the truth.

It can be agreed that good treatment of workers occurs when they are employed by a business that values them. After all, if a business does not value their workers, they will not give attention to their workers. To make this more clear, I'll use a simple analogy.

Let's say that you are buying some wheat. If you buy it at a good price, you would value that wheat. You wouldn't throw away that wheat if you bought it at a low price, because that was a good deal that you got it at. It would be more expensive for you to buy more wheat if your wheat got rotten, so you would take precautions not to let it rot.

In the same way, if a business is able to buy labor at a good price, the business would value that worker. The business would not want to risk loosing that worker, because if the business was able to trade labor at a very good price, it would be much more expensive to hire new workers. Therefore, if business hires a worker at a good market price, they would value that worker over the ones asking for more.

But, the MW changes the entire scene in front of us. Now, workers are all asking for the same amount of money because they are forced to by the Government. This makes workers replaceable, dispensable. If a worker misses their quota, the business can simply fire that worker and hire another one, without thinking twice. Thus, the MW does not promote good treatment of workers, instead, it takes away their value and makes them disposable.

Finally (this is a long post, so bear with me), it is argued that MW protects the low skilled worker. But this claim, like the others, can be dismissed.

One must simply look at what the MW does. It forces everyone, regardless of their skill level, to ask for the same amount of money for a certain job. This is a no brainier: would you rather have a skilled worker working for you, or a unskilled, uneducated worker working for you? They are both asking for the same wage.

That should be easy: any business would choose the skilled worker over the unskilled, uneducated worker. Thus, it is easy to see that the MW does not protect low skilled workers, but instead, out prices them out of the labor market.

For these reasons, the MW is not a tool that prevents slavery, promotes good treatment of workers, and protects the low skilled worker. Instead, when we break down its implications, we see it is a tool of force used by the Government, a tool that makes workers disposable, and a tool that out prices low skilled workers out of the market.

Questions or comments?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Why are we here?

Sin is pretty bad.

Thievery, murder, promiscuity, cheating, lying... The list goes on. And the sad thing is we all do it. You, me, your neighbor, no one is free from sin. And the really bad thing about sin is that it separates us from the greatest reward ever: eternal life.

So then what is the purpose of life on earth?

That's a question that I have asked many people, but no one was really able to answer it with a sufficient answer. Some of the answers were:

-The only purpose of life on earth is to praise God.
My response: Then what about people who don't believe in the same God I do?

-To make the earth a better place than you found it.
My response: But doesn't the Bible explicitly state to invest in eternal things rather than finite things, like the earth?

-To fulfill God's purpose for you.
My response: What about for atheists? Did God specifically intend for them to not be saved? Is that in line with God's character? Do we then have no free will?

I have an answer to this question, but I want to see if any of you have one.


Friday, July 29, 2016

The Economy: General

My economic views (keep in mind this is speaking of America):

I find that the Government's role is to protect its citizens from infringement upon their rights. These rights are
 a) life,
 b) liberty, and
 c) property.
The first two are self explanatory: the Government has the job to protect its citizens from physical harm (life) and to give them freedom (liberty). However, the third is somewhat tricky. What I mean by property is that the things you earn, either by labor, entrepreneurship, etc., are yours and yours only, and cannot be taken away from you. This prevents both individuals from taking away your property and the Government from taking away your property. 

These are the basic rights every citizen ought to have. But do they? 

Well, no. The Government currently takes property (money) away from its citizens. That's not wrong, provided it is used for its purpose (enforcement and protection of rights). But that isn't what it's being used for! It's being used for
-Free health insurance
-Free welfare
-Free social security
And countless other "free" organizations! Except none of these are "free," someone must pay for it. But these costs are distributed among the many and its benefits are concentrated among the few. Therefore, my incentive to protest against health insurance if I have private insurance is very low (approx. $100/month), but a person covered under this "free" health insurance has the initiative equivalent to the cost of private insurance (approx. $367/month). It is in this way that these laws stay in place. Is it right? No. But these laws are incredibly difficult to get rid of. 

So I will end with a question. Do we have a right to health care, welfare, social security, etc.? Or do these programs infringe on others basic human rights?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Europe: why is everything so small?

As some of you might know, I'm in Hungary right now. What I find strange about Europe, though (and apparently many other people do, too) is that everything is so much smaller. The cans of soda, the furniture, the streets, everything! The shops are as large as a living room (or smaller), the ovens are as large as microwaves, and the washing machines can wash only one sheet at a time!

I found myself wondering, "Why? What reason do all the Europeans have to make everything smaller? Certainly more people would buy larger items. Certainly if you sell larger items they would beat the smaller ones, right?"

I don't have an answer to all those questions. Instead, I will attempt to figure out the answer by asking Europeans (specifically Hungarians) that question:
"Would you want a larger ____? Why or why not?"

Any predictions on what the answers will be?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sola Scriptura?

Catholics.We don't trust only the Bible.

Fundamentalist Christians gasp and say, "All your beliefs should come from the Bible!" "Your church shouldn't be the source of doctrine, only the Bible should!" "Sola Scriptura (by scripture alone)!"

Are they right?

Well, no. They have it the wrong way around.

First off, the Bible wasn't the source of doctrine until the 6th century. Until then, the Biblical Canon was not yet formed. Instead, word was passed down by the Church. The Bible did not create the Church, the Church created the Bible. For this reason alone, if the Church is not deemed credible, the Bible cannot be deemed credible either.

Secondly, the doctrine of "Sola Scriptura" is self-contradictory. If we are truly to trust the Bible only, where in the Bible does it teach "Sola Scriptura?"

Answer? Nowhere. There is not one verse in the Bible that states you must use the Bible as your sole source of doctrine. Actually, the Bible states quite the opposite! "Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours (2 Thessalonians 2:15)." The Bible also tells us to hold onto teaching from the Church. "I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you (1 Corinthians 11:2)." From this, we can show that the Bible does not command us to use it as the only source of our doctrine.

Finally, we must ask this question:
"How did the early church create its doctrine?"

Remember, the early church had no printing-presses, meaning that you would need a hand-copied, 1,281 page book for every believer to read and interpret. Is that what actually happened? No.

The reason why the early church grew so fast wasn't because of people that were sitting around reading the Bible (because it didn't exist yet, see above). It was because of the Church, the apostles, preachers, and teachers that came to their communities and taught them what they were taught by Christ himself.

So this is where we end, with this thought.
Can we use the Bible alone to form all our doctrine?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Who I am, what I do, and why I'm here.

Hi! This is my first real blog, If you are wondering who I am, or what I'm doing writing a blog, you're reading the right page.

First off, I'll introduce myself. My name is David, and I'm a Junior in California. I'm homeschooled, Catholic, and interested in politics. Yes, that means I'm weird. I would rather discuss policies than party, stay home and study economics than go out with friends, and I enjoy debating (as you could probably tell by the title of this blog).

Secondly, I should tell you why I want to blog in the first place.

As you know by my introduction, I have some pretty big opinions on some pretty big ideas. I'm here because I want to tell them to other people who might not have heard those opinions. I won't be conclusory unless I feel strongly about something. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want to force opinions on anyone. As a matter of fact, I would encourage hearing the other arguments from you in the comments.

That being said, I'd love it if you recommend or share this blog to others so that everyone can see it. I want my voice to be heard, and I feel the best way to do it in this day and age is on a blog.

So enjoy this blog, for whatever it's worth!

-DavidDebates