2006 and 2007 proved to be dismal years for privacy advocates, as governments the world over showed little restraint in their deployments of the latest surveillance technologies.
Privacy International released its 2007 annual International Privacy Rankings on December 28, and the results are chilling. The report is based on the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s September 2007 1,100-page “Privacy & Human Rights” report, which Privacy International called the “single most comprehensive single volume report in the human rights field.”
Among the survey’s 47 ranked countries, not a single nation improved its rating over 2006’s rankings; each country either maintained the previous year’s classification or fell further towards a “surveillance state.” Well over half of the ranked countries were ranked at or below a ranking of “systemic failure to uphold [privacy] safeguards,” with a significant number of countries featuring “extensive” or “endemic” surveillance societies.
The temptations of surveillance seduced even the most stalwart of privacy-supporting countries, with the “adequate safeguards against abuse” ranking dropping from five countries – Greece, Germany, Belgium, Austria, and Canada in 2006 – to just one: Greece.
Concerns over border control and threat of terrorism dominated surveillance-oriented initiatives, with “all citizens, regardless of legal status,” increasingly “under suspicion.” Globalization and technological progress are the biggest enablers, and 2007 saw the rise of a number of international agreements that allow for surveillance outside normal judicial limits.
Most notably, Privacy International named the United States as the “worst ranking country in the democratic world” in terms of statutory privacy protections and enforcement. The United States’ lack of constitutional privacy protections, plus the FTC’s inadequate attention towards privacy matters, the growth of biometric databases, and implementation of ever-more pervasive ID systems, led Privacy International to classify the US as an “endemic surveillance society” with rankings that placed it lower than both India and the Philippines.
quote: In fact, he actually spends like a democrat.
quote: The only valid argument against it that I've heard is waiting periods
quote: Do we really think that if health care were universal the poor would overrun clinics with demands for surgery?
quote: By clovell on 1/7/2008 5:08:12 PM , Rating: 2Bush has plans to balance the budget, which have been executed - they simply won't be finished while he's in office.
quote: Say you buy a $1 pack of gum, and then pay 30% in tax, for a total price of $1.30. The extra 30 cents you paid is 23% of $1.30.Sales tax supporters frequently cite the number as percentage of your spending. They say this makes it easier to compare the sales tax to the income tax.Critics, including conservative commentator Bruce Bartlett, have argued that people generally think of sales taxes in terms of mark-ups - that's how state sales taxes are expressed - and that FairTaxers are just trying to come up with the lowest possible number to make their idea easier to sell.
quote: Either way, the point of the FairTax is basic Reaganomics which are proven to work. The more money you have, the more money you spend.
quote: After all, they're the people who can most afford it.
quote: while the company CEO who contributes less makes $10 million/year? No CEO is worth more than 10x that of the company's most productive/valuable worker.
quote: No CEO is worth more than 10x that of the company's most productive/valuable worker.
quote: All you are doing is punishing people for being successful - and then when they get successful, you take it away from them. So in essence, its like teasing a small child by taking them in a toy store, letting them hold a toy, then rip it out of his hands at the exit door, and give it to the boy behind him.
quote:Now maybe "it'd be like buying an Xbox 360, then having someone take it, sell it, buy a PS2, give it to someone else, and keep the difference" then yes.
quote:It doesn't make people want to turn down more money. But that doesn't mean it isn't punishing those who are successful. Why should one have to pay 35% of ones income to taxes merely because they can afford it while another gets to pay practically nothing because they can't afford to pay as much and they're the one who actually uses the programs that those who pay 35% are actually paying for?
quote:Who is getting the better side of the deal here? Be successful, pay more, get less back than those who aren't successful and pay less.
quote:And I'm sorry but the "But they're poor" argument doesn't work on me. I have no pity for those who don't make something of themselves. Sure if you're actually disabled its understandable. Otherwise, you had all the opportunities growing up I did.
quote: I could name 2 egregious tax breaks tailored to specific companies that used the money to outsource jobs.
quote: you'll have to explain why investing in a minimum standard of living wouldn't have benefits for every member of society relative to the cost to them. It may be difficult for you to understand, but most see a benefit to living in a society with 99% literacy, etc.
quote: The long term economic benefit of moving low-value added jobs overseas and forcing unproductive workers to move up the value chain in what ultimately will be a knowledge based economy, like Englands, shouldn't have to be explained. We're rewarded with lower inflation / lower prices, and incentive to add skills.
quote: I'll turn it around on you then. You'll have to explain how the Republican-led assault on Welfare in the mid-90s led to a reduction in poverty and higher standards of livings
quote: and you'll have to explain how Hong Kong, for example, has 93% literacy when it has vastly lower taxes and is surrounded by China, with a much lower real literacy rate, and has to deal with uneducated immigrant workers. It may not sound as nice as 99%, but impressive nonetheless.
quote: Incentives are powerful, and many social goals can be achieved without a nanny state.
quote: Particularly education; while it's probably necessary to be pushed along with government spending and control early on, once you get to the developed stage (is America a third world impoverished nation?) there are vast amounts of room for privatization and minimalist government.
quote: No argument there. I just don't want to subsidize it as we currently do.
quote: Because the system in place at the time was an epic failure, much more so than the current one.
quote: I don't get where you're going with that. That 100% of our taxes go into literacy/education?
quote: I was just pointing out that large cuts can take place, and instead of additional people falling through the "gaps", incentive is simply created that spurs people to rise above the situation where they were before.
quote: There seemed to be an argument developing that our "investments" in society were necessary to achieve high literacy, the example you used. I simply countered that a large tax cut with a large spending cut could still in theory achieve socially desireable goals because others have done well with much less.
quote: One way would be to introduce competition in to school with some vouchers, like you pointed out. In some places in the US it works great, in some places internationally it works great; we need to look at why it worked where it did and why it didn't where it failed
quote: Whatever your idea of scrapping education and starting over would be.. well, you had me onboard at "scrap".
quote: Bullshit. The Republicans 'Assault on Welfare' did NOT lead to a reduction in poverty, period and done with.My aunt STILL lives in poverty, and you know why?
quote: raise the minimum wage from 6.00 to more like $20 dollars!
quote: That is what the REPUBLICANS say
quote: I've worked at those 6.00 jobs, and they are HARDER than my parents laboratory jobs, in all reality!
quote: country have conned money out of the poor
quote: All the same type of events that lead up to WW2 are happening today, right here in America. It's just a matter of time before everything reaches critical mass. Common sense people see it, naive people don't, and greedy people are all for it.
quote: We he goes to the South you honestly think SOUTHERNERS of all people to vote for a Black Muslim...I think Paul is the best option, wouldn't mind Obama eaither