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Bjorn Lomborg  (Source: Dustinkirk.com)
Copenhagen Consensus Project makes Bjorn Lomborg see importance of cutting carbon

A well-known climate change skeptic has changed his mind regarding the importance of global warming, and in his new book, he is urging the spending of over $100 billion annually to help fight warming.

Bjorn Lomborg, an academic and environmental author, has held a strong opposing opinion against global warming for some time now, writing books such as "The Skeptical Environmentalist." In this book, he argues against claims regarding certain aspects of global warming, species loss, water shortages, etc. It was a controversial book when it was first published in Danish in 1998, then in English (2001).

In addition, Lomborg has campaigned against the Kyoto Protocol, which is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that fights global warming. He has stated that humans should adapt to short-term climate rises, since they are inevitable, instead of trying to cut carbon emissions in the short-term. 

After making so many controversial statements and making his opinion against the importance of global warming known, Lomborg has now switched teams and makes this new vision clear in his upcoming book, "Smart Solutions to Climate Change," which will be published next month. 

Lomborg never denied the human role in global warming, but always argued that trying to counter climate change should be a "low priority" when it comes to government spending. Now, in his new book, Lomborg says fighting climate change is a priority and that over $100 billion should be spent annually to address the issue. 

"The point I've always been making is it's not the end of the world," said Lomborg. "That's why we should be measuring up to what everybody else says, which is we should be spending our money well."

So what made him change his mind? According to Lomborg, the Copenhagen Consensus project, which is where a group of economists are asked to consider the best way to spend $50 billion, made him reconsider global warming's importance. He noted that in 2004, global warming was put near the bottom of the list, and in 2008, new ideas for fighting global warming made it about halfway up the list. Lomborg then stated that he "decided to consider a much wider variety of policies to reduce global warming, so it wouldn't end up at the bottom." 

Lomborg now proposes a global carbon tax to raise $250 billion annually, where $100 billion will be spent on clean energy research and development, $50 billion on climate change adaptation and $1 billion on low-cost geo-engineering solutions. He wants the rest to be spent on better healthcare in poor countries and cleaner water. 

"Lomborg has acknowledged the need for public spending on man-made climate change," said Mike Childs, Friends of the Earth climate campaigner. "He is right that wind, wave and solar are the energy industries in the future and need much greater support from governments. A carbon tax to raise funds is undoubtedly part of the solution, but regulation and public spending also have their place.

"But he is still dangerously attracted to pursuing the cheapest, more risky geo-engineering solutions, is putting too much faith in future technologies and R&D, and is not giving enough support to the urgent need to reduce current emissions through rapid deployment of existing solutions and behavioral changes."

A Greenpeace spokesperson noted that while Lomborg's cross to the other side is welcomed, it's about two decade too late, and it's hard for some groups to take him seriously. According to the Guardian, some have dismissed Lomborg as "politically naive." Lomborg was an anchor in the climate change skeptic community, and his change of mind is sure to rock the boat. 



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Redistribution of Wealth
By Schrag4 on 8/31/2010 3:00:07 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Lomborg now proposes a global carbon tax to raise $250 billion annually, where $100 billion will be spent on clean energy research and development, $50 billion on climate change adaptation and $1 billion on low-cost geo-engineering solutions. He wants the rest to be spent on better healthcare in poor countries and cleaner water.


So he wants roughly 40% of carbon tax money to go to poor countries for non-environmental issues. Sounds like redistribution of wealth to me.




RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By CowKing on 8/31/10, Rating: -1
RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Quadrillity on 8/31/2010 3:38:34 PM , Rating: 1
What qualifies you to make such a claim? So if I start drinking filtered water from now on, my healthcare will go down? The OP was right, this is nothing but a grand scheme to redistribute wealth.

I would much rather see my money go to nuclear power development AND (ACTUAL) DEPLOYMENT than see it go to some PR charity case.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Stoanhart on 8/31/10, Rating: 0
RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Solandri on 8/31/2010 7:07:22 PM , Rating: 5
I'm going to put aside morality for the moment and argue purely from a numerical standpoint. Do we really want to be giving undeveloped nations clean water? Look at where nearly all of the world's population growth is happening:
http://www.school-portal.co.uk/platforms/21401/301...

The developed countries (which have clean water) have population growth which barely registers. Many developed countries in fact are facing negative growth (their populations are shrinking). It's the undeveloped countries which are exploding in population. Do you really want to just give them clean water and have their population grow even faster?

To me, charting a course for the best future of humanity is not just about minimizing deaths and maximizing life. It's about maximizing the quality of life for as many people on the planet as possible. In that respect, the primary goal has to be fostering economic growth and development in those undeveloped countries. Generating clean water should be a byproduct of that goal (they attain the productivity and build the infrastructure to purify water themselves), not the primary goal in and of itself.

So what at first glance appears to be the moral choice (giving undeveloped nations the tools to filter water so fewer people die), may in fact be the immoral choice. Simply handing them clean water and free food compounds their current problems by adding to their population without increasing their self-sufficiency to support that population.

As paradoxical as it may seem, the real-world data says that economic development decreases population growth. What the people in undeveloped nations need most are education and jobs, and a thriving economy to support those jobs. Clean water should come about as a consequence of those things if you want those countries to grow in a sustainable manner.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Reclaimer77 on 8/31/2010 7:12:45 PM , Rating: 3
While I'm not sure I agree with ummm.. the tone of your post. I agree that simple dumping billions of dollars, water, and food into underdeveloped nations is putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. It just goes into a black hole because they don't have the education, infrastructure, and leadership to make use of it properly.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By clovell on 9/1/2010 2:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
The use of Water & Food is independent of education, infrastructure, and leadership. The efficiency of its use will often be limited by those things, however.

I too, find the OP's idea that we shouldn't help 3rd world countries because their populations are booming quite reprehensible. The only reason developed nations have low birth rates is due to birth control. As long as food & water are in short supply, the third world will not be too concerned with population control.

Putting the cart before the horse is selling old munition and weaponry to nations with more basic problems - advancing their capacity for inhumanity beyond their collective maturity.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By FITCamaro on 9/1/2010 5:35:41 PM , Rating: 3
Developed nations also have lower birth rates because the majority of people in developed countries recognize a child not only as a gift of life, but as an economic burden.

Having a child in a developed nation is just as much about wanting to procreate as it is a decision to accept that you now have to have the income to provide for the child.

Those who have lots of children(more than 5) in a developed nation often times live off government assistance programs and see the child purely as a way to get more money from the government. At least in the US. This is because few people have the resources to support such a large family.

His assessment was pretty spot on. No matter how little you want to accept its reality. Giving people things does nothing to solve their problem. No one wants people to die. But if you continuously just give things to people instead of making them work for it or strive to better themselves, you get into a situation.....pretty much like we have now in the US. Where 50% of people are at or near the point of dependency.


By Stacey Melissa on 9/2/2010 10:00:29 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Giving people things does nothing to solve their problem. No one wants people to die. But if you continuously just give things to people instead of making them work for it or strive to better themselves, you get into a situation.....pretty much like we have now in the US. Where 50% of people are at or near the point of dependency.

Did the potable water that you were given turn you into a welfare queen?


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By clovell on 9/2/2010 11:03:26 AM , Rating: 2
I understand your logic, Camaro, but letting them die without doing anything just isn't acceptable to me. We're not too far from the same page.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By YashBudini on 9/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Zoridon on 9/1/2010 4:01:59 AM , Rating: 5
A real republican? A cheap shot if I ever read one. The poster is exactly right about how this should be approached. You come from the crowd of people that can only see whats in front of your face. "I see thirsty people, I give them water" and never address the root cause and end up making matters worse for everyone. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and you helped pave it. Try doing some cause and effect analysis or does that require you to "think" before you start your insults.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By LoweredExpectations on 9/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By FITCamaro on 9/1/2010 5:43:03 PM , Rating: 1
Liberals regardless of religion want "to help the poor". How is making someone dependent on you helping them? The far kinder and ultimately wiser thing to do is to help them help themselves.

Religion also teaches not to steal. Which is exactly what wealth redistribution is. Furthermore, people of the conservative mindset give far more to charity as a percentage of income than those who are liberal.

Any other remarks to make yourself appear superior?

PS - While not an atheist, I am not religious.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By diggernash on 9/1/2010 6:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
Or simplified. Liberals find great satisfaction in making charitable contributions using other people's money. I am happy to give MY money to individuals or groups of MY choosing. I am not happy to have MY money taken from me and given to individuals or groups that I do not support.

I would like to know how many of the advocates of redistribution are net contributors to the federal government the end of the tax year.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By LoweredExpectations on 9/2/2010 1:55:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Religion also teaches not to steal. Which is exactly what wealth redistribution is. Furthermore, people of the conservative mindset give far more to charity as a percentage of income than those who are liberal.


Is it realistic to think that every problem faced by mankind can be solved by voluntary charitable donations from concerned individuals? I don't think even the most fanatical conservative with a foot in this world could defend that position. Therefore, some amount of taxation, redistribution of wealth, and social engineering will always be necessary.

I agree that taxation must always be justified, but to claim that all taxation is theft - maybe in a perfect world, but given what human beings are, that remains more a religious devotion to first causes than a practical recipe for managing human affairs.

When one of the Koch bros - 3rd richest (oil-wealth) guys in the States and single largest contributors to the TeaParty and anti-AGW initiatives - David Koch ran for vice president on the Libertarian ticket in 1980, he called for the elimination of Social Security, all regulatory agencies (EPA, FDA, etc.) welfare, the FBI, the CIA, and all public schools. They would also do away with Medicare and Medicaid.

That's the kind of thinking that predominates among free-market fundamentalists. In spite of charitable donations from compassionate conservatives, the US already has the largest rich-poor gap of any country in the 1st world; a greater portion of national wealth is already owned by a smaller percentage of the our population than in any other country in the developed world; what do you think would happen to real wealth distribution if guys like Koch got their way? We might as well bring back the landed aristocracy, because anybody not born rich - like the Koch bros - would be f*****d! Wealth is power is the ability to look after your own interests.

Conservatives go on about meritocracy. Without a level playing field there can be no meritocracy, and without social engineering there can be no level playing field - it's as simple as that. There is no way for a functioning society that cares about freedom and equality to avoid some degree of wealth redistribution. But the Republicans hammer away at their prime agenda of lowering taxes on the rich and doing away with inheritance taxes altogether. What amazes people of the left is how many working people have been hoodwinked into thinking the Republicans care about the common guy. When you vote for the Republicans you're just screwing yourselves.

I would love to live in a world where taxation is unnecessary - wake me in a million years when we've re-engineered our DNA to make that possible.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By ekv on 9/2/2010 2:22:55 AM , Rating: 1
you forgot "the vast right-wing conspiracy"

/tinfoil-hat Off


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By SPOOFE on 9/1/2010 7:45:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
while the atheist liberals all want to help out the poor.

When tax rates are high, charitable donations go down. Who's helping who, now?


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Hare on 9/1/2010 11:41:27 AM , Rating: 2
It's not just economical development that decreases growth. When more and more children survive childhood parents no longer need to play it safe and get a bunch of kids to have someone take care of them when they are older. It has been argued that vaccinations and clean water are very efficient at slowing down population growth. Check out the latest presentation by Bill Gates at www.ted.com.

Clean water can be considered a consequence like you said or it can be regarded as a catalyst!


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Laereom on 9/1/2010 12:16:48 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, infant mortality is the largest predictor of birth rates. Of course, infant mortality is fairly closely linked to economic growth...but in the vast majority of cases, where infant mortality is low and economic development is low, the birth rate tends to be low, as well.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Stacey Melissa on 9/1/2010 2:43:03 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'm going to put aside morality for the moment and argue purely from a numerical standpoint. Do we really want to be giving undeveloped nations clean water?

No, we shouldn't be giving those poor people clean water. I think you made an incredibly cogent argument that is both about what we should do, and also not about morality. Somehow.

Well, anyway, the obvious solution to poor people without clean water is not only to not give them clean water. The obvious solution is for us first world people to eat them. Preferably while they're still children, so they never get to reproduce. That will have the most beneficial numerical effect on the number of people without clean water. Plus, they're tenderer when young. Mmm-mmm good.

Cheers to Jonathan Swift.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By clovell on 9/1/2010 2:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for that. The problem here is that everybody wants to be a hardass when the topic is related to redistribution of wealth.

People - you don't have to tear down the benefits of charity and generosity to have an arguement against the redistribution of wealth. Logicians call this the 'either or fallacy'.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By ekv on 9/2/2010 1:32:07 AM , Rating: 2
You wouldn't happen to have a relative by the name of James J. Lee (aka Discovery bldg. gunman), would you?


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Stacey Melissa on 9/2/2010 9:52:33 AM , Rating: 1
So let me get this straight. I'm the random faceless internets poster who mocked a grossly inhumane post that dehumanized poor people to the point of just letting them die for lack of potable water. And now you're thinking that, out of our planet's 6.7 billion people, I just might happen to be related to a guy who dehumanized people to the point of taking hostages to get his message across that "the planet does not need humans"? Wow.

If you're looking for someone who doesn't much care if people die, take a look at the atrocious post I was mocking.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By ekv on 9/2/2010 12:31:02 PM , Rating: 2
Sarcasm is a two-way street, no? My apologies for striking such a nerve, as apparently I did 8)

Yes, I read Solandri's post (not long after he put it up). There are good points and bad points. Good is the stuff about not going beyond infrastructure. Bad is not providing clean water. In case you aren't convinced of the latter, I do have some other posts here, Living Water Int'l to be specific.

LWI raises private funds, locates a potential well site (geologists are on staff), drills the well, teaches the village leaders -- typically -- how to take care of the well, teaches the village about hygiene. The last step is the most important and also the most time-consuming. One guy, literally, drills the well, but the rest of the team is required for all the other steps. No sense in drilling the well and the water to become tainted later on.

I well understand about clean water AND infrastructure. My apologies if my sarcasm was out-of-line.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Paj on 8/31/10, Rating: -1
RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Reclaimer77 on 8/31/2010 6:29:37 PM , Rating: 5
Then maybe they should do something about it???

Key word, THEY. I love it, nobody wants the Western world involved in anything. But something as simple as clean water should be our responsibility to finance in 3'rd world countries?


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By clovell on 8/31/2010 6:38:20 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't there an article on DT some time ago about a water filter that was housed in a straw? Now, see - a follow-up article on that - would be a big deal.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Kurz on 8/31/2010 9:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
Or you could use sand and gravel.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHilE1ukkjY


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By clovell on 9/1/2010 2:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of it has to do with having the technology and the distribution model to accomplish that. I think you guys are jumping on extremes here.

If a guy at a gas station asks me for money so he can buy food, I'm not giving him a twenty, and I'm not flipping him off - I'm gonna buy him a hot dog, a bag of chip, and fountain drink. You can help people intelligently, and in moderation.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By FITCamaro on 9/1/2010 5:47:48 PM , Rating: 2
And many times they'll tell you to go f*ck yourself.

No one is against charity. But these global initiatives to basically finance the modernization of third world are ridiculous.

At least as far as the US goes, we give plenty of money to the rest of the world as it is. Now if the rest of the world wants to attempt to play catchup, they're welcome to. But there is no more giving nation than the United States. Not only from the government, but from the people. But the people, by and large, want to decide how much we give to charity. Not have the government force us to do it. It's not charity anymore then.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By clovell on 9/2/2010 11:05:34 AM , Rating: 2
Good points.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By ekv on 9/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Iaiken on 8/31/10, Rating: -1
RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By YashBudini on 9/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By CowKing on 9/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Zoridon on 9/1/2010 4:20:23 AM , Rating: 5
"maybe succumbed to the force of that bearded guy with the starving children around him maybe you would feel better about what Lomborg is proposing" Ahh I see the word "feel" in your post. So you feel better about yourself while adding more pain and misery to the end result. Solving the root cause should be the priority not hand outs. BTW Americans fought a WAR because of the redistribution of wealth to the KING. Maybe you have read about it? The revolutionary war, give me liberty or give me death... any clues yet? If those third world nations continue to practice corruption and abuse of their own people then throwing money at the problem amounts to being an enabler to a drug addict. The only reason America has risen to the status it has over the last 200+ years is the type of government we use. Fix the government in a poor country first and give the people their freedom and then you can give me a call about whether or not I want to help. I'm not going to make matters worse with a "feel good" liberal policy. BTW I do not think the American form of government is perfect either so don't try that angle its predictive of a left wing communist comeback. Nothing is perfect in life but their is a difference between good and bad.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Snowy on 9/1/2010 10:38:21 AM , Rating: 2
let's not be nation builders please, that's just as bad as redistributing the wealth. They'll figure it out by themselves, they'll change their government. It may take awhile, but you're right, throwing money at the problem does not help.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Snowy on 9/1/2010 10:38:21 AM , Rating: 2
let's not be nation builders please, that's just as bad as redistributing the wealth. They'll figure it out by themselves, they'll change their government. It may take awhile, but you're right, throwing money at the problem does not help.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By clovell on 9/1/2010 2:52:33 PM , Rating: 2
America fought a war presumably due to taxation without representation. Let's not sensationalize history.

Giving a small village a fresh water well is far more effective than sending a check to a government. Problem is that you have to get your hands dirty. Both you and the poster above would seem to rather not dirty your hands - either, "Leave em alone and they'll figure it out" or "Send em a check and they'll figure it out". There are other, more effective alternatives.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Nfarce on 9/1/2010 1:50:53 PM , Rating: 2
Idiot. Taxes for INFRASTRUCTURE and SERVICES is not redistribution of wealth. Taxing Americans for carbon and giving it to some third world shiesters through the fraud of man-made climate change IS .

What you are referring to as the spawn of Satan and Karl Marx regarding domestic income redistribution is higher and higher progressive income taxes (one of the key points in Marx's Communist Manifesto), cash for clunkers (which artificially inflated car sales which now are at a 28 year low), and the government takeover of private health care (which the vast majority of Americans were against).

What you do with your money is your business. Do not TELL or FORCE us to pay into something we do not want to. We re SICK of the holier than thou people out there telling us how we should live our lives and what we should do with our money. Hey, John Kerry Heinz is the #1 wealthiest Congress person in Washington yet he has the gall to tell us what we should do with our money.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Schrag4 on 8/31/2010 3:56:02 PM , Rating: 4
I'm not against clean drinking water or better healthcare. I just don't see what that has to do with carbon.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By CowKing on 9/1/2010 12:42:06 AM , Rating: 1
well, I guess they could cut the tax down to just cover the carbon problem, but this looks like a way to help the poorer countries become a part of the modern world and start up with greener technology.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Schrag4 on 9/1/2010 2:29:57 PM , Rating: 2
I think others here have pretty much beaten to death the point that you can give 3rd world countries all the money/food/water in the world and all that will happen is the corrupt government will keep it for themselves and everyone else will continue to suffer.

Plus, why do this in the name of "the environment"? If getting clean water is so important, we should just impose a plain'ol tax on developed countries and send 100% of the revenue to 3rd world countries. If you truly cared about the environment and believe CO2 is hurting it, you'd be OUTRAGED that ANY of the revenue from this tax would go to non-environmental issues, since it makes even slightly informed people who can do even a little math reject it outright since it's jut a trick to redistribute weatlh.

Do you have any other social issues you'd like to fund with this tax while you're at it? I mean, they're all important to you, so why not tax the world to the tune of 450B instead of 250B and use another couple hundred $B on other issues you'd like tackled?


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By PaterPelligrino on 9/1/2010 4:30:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If they can clean up the water enough than the need for better health-care drops dramatically.


Politics aside, that is undeniably true. The provision of clean water is the single most important factor in the improvement of public health.

Strange that you should have received so many unfavorable votes for what is a universally recognized truism among public-health experts.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Schrag4 on 9/1/2010 5:14:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Politics aside, that is undeniably true. The provision of clean water is the single most important factor in the improvement of public health.


Politics aside, lots of things unrelated to carbon are true. I'm not sure why you'd mention any of them when talking about taxing carbon though.

quote:
Strange that you should have received so many unfavorable votes for what is a universally recognized truism among public-health experts.


Clean water has nothing to do with carbon taxation. That's the reason he's getting "unfavorable votes."


By PaterPelligrino on 9/2/2010 12:44:38 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Politics aside, lots of things unrelated to carbon are true. I'm not sure why you'd mention any of them when talking about taxing carbon though. Clean water has nothing to do with carbon taxation. That's the reason he's getting "unfavorable votes."

So who gave you the authority to define the argument for everyone else on the forum?

In the lead article, Lomborg states that he reconsidered his position on climate change and wrote his book because the:

quote:
Copenhagen Consensus project, in which a group of economists are asked to consider the best way to spend $50 billion, made him reconsider global warming's importance. He noted that in 2004, global warming was put near the bottom of the list, and in 2008, new ideas for fighting global warming made it about halfway up the list.

Lomborg then stated that he "decided to consider a much wider variety of policies to reduce global warming, so it wouldn't end up at the bottom." Lomborg now proposes a global carbon tax to raise $250 billion annually, where $100 billion will be spent on clean energy research and development, $50 billion on climate change adaptation and $1 billion on low-cost geo-engineering solutions. He wants the rest to be spent on better healthcare in poor countries and cleaner water.


Lomborg threw in the money for clean water, etc., because what kick-started his rethink was the Copenhagen Consensus project which posed a theoretical question to a bunch of economists on how best to improve life on the planet with a certain sum of money.

You then posted your opinion that public money spent on clean water and health care is a "redistribution of wealth" - the usual knee-jerk conservative call to arms used to oppose any liberal initiative that involves spending public money.

CowKing merely pointed out that just cleaning up the water supply in itself would go a long way to improving health.

Everybody then jumped on him because debate on any issue here in the DailyTech forums always degenerates into an exercise in group-think. Since conservatives predominate, anything that even seems to diverge from the party line gets hammered down.

That's Homo Sap for ya - always more interested in scoring points against the enemy then actually listening to what the other guy has to say.


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By LoweredExpectations on 9/1/2010 3:49:43 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Sounds like redistribution of wealth to me.


I find it really ironic that all these good Christian conservatives are so dead set against the "redistribution" of their wealth, while the atheist liberals all want to help out the poor. What a funny old world we live in. :)


RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Schrag4 on 9/1/2010 3:57:44 PM , Rating: 3
You have it all wrong. Christians (there are liberal christians too) and (some, not all) conservatives tend to give quite a bit to the poor. But it's a choice. Liberals want to help out the poor, yes, but they want to do it with other people's money.

A good fiscal-conservative (christian or not christian) should be dead set against forcing people to give, and rightfully so.


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