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  #221  
Old 06-20-2011, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
Zonk, I don't think this is political, just facts so here goes. Wounded Knee is a National Historical Monument to our massacre of the native Americans. It is a monument to a shameful deed. Yes, of course, we took land, but as a people. Manifest Destiny was the cry. For the country. In Europe, it was taken for the benefit of a few. Taxes are a great issue to the accumulation of wealth. When taxes were established here, everyone paid, Preisdents and street cleaners. The Winsors only started a few years ago. And property can be passed from Sovereign to Sovereign, so vast amounts of land and jewels and other articles of worth, are passed without be taxed, while the janitor inherits a small plot of land or some jewelry or whatever, he is taxed. Many of the British have to sell part of their inheritance, to pay the taxes.

The BRF did pay taxes until George VI made a deal with the government of the day because of the expenses of buying back Sandringham and Balmoral from his brother.

The Queen was allowed to continue this practice until 1992. Charles, like many earlier Princes of Wales, has always voluntarily paid taxes.

The only royals who inherit inheritance tax free (which is not the same as taxes as many people don't pay it as their estates aren't large enough to warrant paying it - it tends to affect the wealthy not the poor) are the sovereigns themselves so when the Queen dies what she leaves Charles will be inheritance tax free but what she leaves any other child, grandchild etc will have inheritance tax on it - as we saw when Diana died and her estate had to pay 40% of the money in inheritance tax before the money could be put into trust for the princes.

The reason for this is so that the monarch can continue to live in a manner befitting the position. If Charles has to pay 40% of what he inherits from the Queen in inheritance tax then he would probably have to sell one or both of Sandringham and Balmoral or some of the private jewels etc. Of course most of the jewels and other wealth that the royals use is actually the property of the nation e.g. BP and Windsor Castle aren't the monarch's personal property but the state's.

How they acquired their position was being the biggest bully in the playground, just as major world powes acquire that position today by being the biggest bully on the world stage but the monarchs of Europe today work hard for their nations and promote them well. Most rich people today who inherited their wealth do so because their ancestors were simply better than others at acquiring wealth using whatever were the legal means at the time - whether it was by being the most talented fighter in the middle ages or the most talented singer today - they gained their wealth by the appropriate means and the past that wealth onto their children who have continued to pass it down, having protected their wealth. Michael Jackson's children have inherited his wealth because he was a talented singer and if they look after it wisely they will pass more onto their children and in time they will have some extremely rich descendents who may never again have the talent of the original provider of the wealth but they will still have it - the monarchs and other noble families are the same - used the legal talents of the time to acquire the wealth and past it on to their descendents.
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  #222  
Old 06-20-2011, 07:43 PM
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either system run with competent leaders is a fine system republic or constitutional monarchy they are both good systems.
i would much prefer a hybrid system of both a monarch with limited political power and an elected parliamentary system i think the problem with most republics or democracies is the politicians have a short term vision of 2 -4 years or less .
and they only do whats politically popular to get reelected not whats right for the long term social and financial stability of the county.

many of the economic problems of the past couple years have been a result of short term vision not worrying about future consequences. coming back to bite europe and the US .
with a lifelong monarch with limited power would hopefully be able to temper that short term just get me reelected vision and add a bit of long term thinking/vision to the equation i dunno thats just my 2 cents
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  #223  
Old 06-20-2011, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Zonk View Post
Okay...let's stay away from political and/or religious aspects of this topic.

My apologies if I offended and/or broke a rule/accepted practice.

I was using religion as a part of my argument and I consider Monarchies to be political entities, non partisan though they may be, merely based on the definition of politics: that is a group of people who make decisions in a collective manner. I mean to say that they are part of the political entity that governs their respective countries.

That said, the last line has the strange quality of a rejoinder and was entirely inappropriate and impolite. I suspect *that* is the politics to which you are referring. I am sorry.
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  #224  
Old 06-20-2011, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
Zonk, I don't think this is political, just facts so here goes. Wounded Knee is a National Historical Monument to our massacre of the native Americans. It is a monument to a shameful deed.
Well, we all have them :) I lived for many years in Manitoba - a hub, of sorts, for several aboriginal tribes - Cree, Blackfoot, Sioux mostly. My point being, of course, that the provenance of any nation and/or Monarchy and its tactics and governance, is subject to the same sorts of scrutiny. One would not toss out the American Presidency as a symbol of the Republic because George Washington had slaves, one imagines. As much as Obama is not Washington, HM is not William the Conqueror. One presumes Monarchs, as with presidents, are reflections of their times and not their predecessors and remain relevant to the political and social structure of their countries.


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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
Yes, of course, we took land, but as a people. Manifest Destiny was the cry. For the country. In Europe, it was taken for the benefit of a few.
Sounds a lot like the doctrine of Divine Right or Pax Romana :) Kings and Queens needed subjects - and without a long and tedious discussion on Divine Right / Pax Romana and contemporary religious belief - they would have argued that they did it in the name of and for the people, one suspects. It seems really disingenuous now - but now and now and then was then.

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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
Taxes are a great issue to the accumulation of wealth. When taxes were established here, everyone paid, Preisdents and street cleaners. The Winsors only started a few years ago. And property can be passed from Sovereign to Sovereign, so vast amounts of land and jewels and other articles of worth, are passed without be taxed, while the janitor inherits a small plot of land or some jewelry or whatever, he is taxed. Many of the British have to sell part of their inheritance, to pay the taxes.
This was answered very well by another poster, so I will leave it saying that I agree with that response and have nothing to add.

My apologies for being rude earlier.

Cheers.
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  #225  
Old 06-20-2011, 10:13 PM
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Oh, you weren't rude. As the the other reply is didn't take into account many things. First of all it was George V who refused to pay any taxes on his Civil List funds. There has been a great sale on how cheap the monarchy is. But BP has 120 live in servants, The White House 26 and that's a lot. No one here cares if the president has to sell his property to pay for taxes. The Sovereign to Sovereign transfer is is a scam, as Charles and Camilla have been handed many possessions from the Queen Mother, and, though in time he will be a sovereign, he is not now. Yes, they are called loans. Michael Jackson earned his money with great talent. Michael Jackson's kids paid taxes on what they inherited, the same as everyone else. Ask the Scots or the Irish about what was taken from them, by a few. That may be political. Sorry.

The economic problems exist just as heavily in Constitutional Monarchies, Doric44, because the monarchy is not in control of the financial dealings of the nation.

Every system has its pluses and minuses. Presidents come and go, but RFs live in the same splendor, always, no matter how little their subjects have.
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  #226  
Old 06-20-2011, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
Oh, you weren't rude. As the the other reply is didn't take into account many things. First of all it was George V who refused to pay any taxes on his Civil List funds. There has been a great sale on how cheap the monarchy is. But BP has 120 live in servants, The White House 26 and that's a lot. No one here cares if the president has to sell his property to pay for taxes. The Sovereign to Sovereign transfer is is a scam, as Charles and Camilla have been handed many possessions from the Queen Mother, and, though in time he will be a sovereign, he is not now. Yes, they are called loans. Michael Jackson earned his money with great talent. Michael Jackson's kids paid taxes on what they inherited, the same as everyone else. Ask the Scots or the Irish about what was taken from them, by a few. That may be political. Sorry.

The economic problems exist just as heavily in Constitutional Monarchies, Doric44, because the monarchy is not in control of the financial dealings of the nation.

Every system has its pluses and minuses. Presidents come and go, but RFs live in the same splendor, always, no matter how little their subjects have.

Sorry I put an extra I on the end of the George - and ended up with VI instead of V.

Anything Charles inherited from the Queen Mum was subjected to inheritance tax in the normal course of events, which is why she left everything to her daughter who then followed her mother's wishes with the property - sneaky yes but legal.

You, I notice missed the point about Michael Jackson. He had the talent so his kids inherited the wealth. 1000 years ago the Queen's ancester had the talent and she has thus inherited the wealth generated by that talent on the battlefield. Same principle - talent created the wealth at the time and the descendents benefit today.

The Scots and Irish weren't as talented at the national sports in those days - fighting and whereas now it would result in simple riots - like those seen in Canada this week over a hockey game - they lost lands to the more talented fighters - just as the Native of North American and Australia lost their lands to the more talented and better equipped fighters.

Should all modern people have to pay forever for the fact that their forebears were better at fighting then others?

Monarchies work in European countries because they are cost effective and the people support them.

As for how many staff the palace has etc - those that are employed purely for the personal whim of the inhabitants of the palace are paid for from the private income of the monarch not from the taxes of the people. Those that are employed to carry out work associated with the job of Head of State are paid for from the income of the Civil List and have to be approved by the accounts committee (or some other such body whose title I am not sure about but I know it exists - it scrutinses the accounts of the Queen and Charles annually.)

If there was no monarch there would still need to be a large staff employed at BP and they would have to be paid more to live elsewhere - living in is part of the remuneration package and BP is a very very large building. The White House with it 29 staff is 52.1 metres x 21.6 metres compared to BP 108 metres x 120 metres with 100 rooms compared to about 600 rooms. http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...ite_house.html This has a comparison in terms of size with one comment that BP is 15 times larger than the White House but I am not sure that that comment is correct but it is at least three times as large and probably more.

As a number of families within the royal family have apartments there it is no wonder that a large staff is needed as Andrew and Edward also have their London homes in BP along with the Queen (and there were reports that she was thinking of giving another apartment to William and Kate but they decided to go with KP instead.)
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  #227  
Old 06-20-2011, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by dbarn67 View Post
Wow, once again as an American I thought politicking on this forum was forbidden. Yet folks come here to play politics when there are plenty of partisan boards where they can find like-minded followers. But given the topic Americans can't help but start throwing political stones. As an American and a big D Democrat I will trying to answer the question without resorting to partisanship. I love everything superficial about traditional monarchy, the gowns, the jewels and the wonderful palaces and castles and the appearance of rules that define what is proper behavior. I love looking at pictures and fantasizing about royal life and beautiful weddings etc. But that's the limit of my interest in royalty and I would be 100% against any form a monarch here in the U.S. IMO the U.S.'s greatness comes from it's very foundation; which is that any one can come from anywhere can be successful and even rise to the highest position of authority. Monarchy suggests that highest position can only be occupied by an exclusive few. The U.S. is too diverse in every way to expect citizens to view 1 family as the right "type" of people to emulate. No, I love my country and am proud the way it is and see no need to change it just because I don't like who's in power at any one time.

Saying that, I wil defend the notion that royal families are a financial liability to the European nations that support them. I think they're a bargain compared to what they bring in with regard to tourism and general interest. One estimate of the financial windfall share throughout England due to the wedding of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge is about $1 billion in revenue against whatever the cost of the entirety of the wedding. Also, I know I went to England last year with an eye on seeing some historical royal sites....and some Hary Potter sites lol.
And how long did it took for the US to end slavery, segregation or give equal rights to all its citizens? And even today, the US has arguably the worst income inequities in the Western world, and lags behind in things such as health care. Politics is really all about big money- you need to be very rich or have rich backers to even get elected anyway. They don't represent the people, more often than not, but the vested interest groups.

How does not having a monarchy make any country better when there are so many countries that are *not* monarchies which happen to be plagued by poverty, corruption, and tyranny?
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  #228  
Old 06-21-2011, 06:38 PM
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Seems like most countries are on an economic low and need a way to cut programs/services to the general public. Why not abolish the monarchy? Simply put, if the major reason to keep a monarchy is to increase travel and tourism into the country - again the main reason - then the purpose to retain a monarchy is for naught. Royals are independently wealthy anyway. Heaven forbid they should attain the status of 'commoner' - they could not live in the real world anyway. I will end my post at this point. So many other points to address, but I will not ignore TRF's rules and regulations.
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  #229  
Old 06-22-2011, 12:07 AM
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Do you think tourism is the only reason for a m onarchy's existence? I'd rather have Margrethe II, Beatrix or Juan Carlos as a head of state than... someone like Bush, Sakorzy or Chavez, thank you very much.
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  #230  
Old 06-22-2011, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by NotHRH View Post
Seems like most countries are on an economic low and need a way to cut programs/services to the general public. Why not abolish the monarchy? Simply put, if the major reason to keep a monarchy is to increase travel and tourism into the country - again the main reason - then the purpose to retain a monarchy is for naught. Royals are independently wealthy anyway. Heaven forbid they should attain the status of 'commoner' - they could not live in the real world anyway. I will end my post at this point. So many other points to address, but I will not ignore TRF's rules and regulations.

Cutting the monarchy wouldn't save any money as the costs paid by the taxpayers to the monarchs, certainly in Britain, would simply have to be paid to someone else e.g. there would still be the costs of a State Visit - paid for from the Civil List, the civil servants who assist the monarch would still have to have jobs somewhere - or are you advocating sacking all their employees and putting more people in a difficult position.

You simply choose to ignore the the posts that are saying this - the costs to the British taxpayers won't change if they get rid of the monarch as the costs would still be there.

The British monarch has an independent source of income which is used to maintain the day to day expenses of the family while the taxpayers only support the official side of the job - and that official occupation will still need to be paid.

Put simply - there would be no cost saving by getting rid of the monarchy in Britain.
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  #231  
Old 06-22-2011, 01:06 AM
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I will assert my opinion again as we apparently do not understand each other's point of view on this particular topic.
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  #232  
Old 06-22-2011, 01:10 AM
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I understand you perfectly - you think that abolishing a monarchy would save money.

You don't seem to understand my arguement - it wouldn't.

If you believe that abolishing a monarchy would save taxpayers money please show how - remembering what the taxpayers money is actually used to pay for - salaries of employees and official expenses.
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  #233  
Old 06-22-2011, 02:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotHRH

I will assert my opinion again as we apparently do not understand each other's point of view on this particular topic.
If a monarchy exists simply to encourage travel and tourism to that country, the monarchy is for naught. There other cost-effective measures to ensue to help provide services/programs to a country's citizens. The increased funds to socialized programs, education, medical care and the like would only help the public in general.
In most monarchies, there exists a law-making, legislative branch of government already. The Prime Minister or person in a like position, can become more in control of the government and can gradually take over the monarch's roles in government. No 'side' is cut and clean; all forms of government have differing pros and cons, and the pros and cons also differ from country to country. I have only stated one opinion concerning monarchies. I know others share my opinion. Some opposing opinions in this thread only state 'emotional' reasons for retaining a monarchy. A government is already in place in European monarchies. Why would anyone not want the elimination of those who simply consider the social status of 'commoner, one from which they fear and are trying to avoid? Was not the recent marriage of HRH Prince William presented to encourage pro-monarchy sentiments? Why? Because royals feel they are above their subjects? And citizens are choosing to keep these royals in a position of power? Actually, a monarch had no real authority, especially in European monarchies. My statements and opinions on this topic have been exhausted! No
mas! No mas!
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  #234  
Old 06-22-2011, 02:16 AM
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To be absolutely fair, I agree that in these current economic times, the way in which taxpayers' money is spent should be more efficient and not wasted. My household pays many thousands of pounds each year in tax - of which I believe around 60 - 70 PENCE per annum goes towards the upkeep of the monarch. Accordingly, as a taxpayer, I have to consider whether that 60 pence PER ANNUM would be better spent if I agreed to the abolition of the monarchy and to the introduction of a republic in my country. I am not an expert on how this can be achieved cheaply, but I cannot begin to wonder at the cost of doing this, especially during these straightened economic times where of course one must be economically frugal. As such, I think I would rather wait until we have money to burn before I consider further whether or not it is in the best interests of this country, economically and for the sake of stability, to abolish the current system....UNLESS someone can convince me in as straightforward a manner as possible that the immediate abolition of the monarchy will relieve this country of the financial crisis it is currently in.
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  #235  
Old 06-22-2011, 02:30 AM
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Your 60 pence covers things like State Visits such as the recent one of the President of the US. That would still happen whether or not it was the Queen, President Blair or simply PM Cameron who was hosting the event - no saving there.

Other expenses from that 60 p is the cost of the salaries of the offiical office staff - all of whom would have to be employed elsewhere or put on benefits so again no saving there.
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  #236  
Old 06-22-2011, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by NotHRH View Post
I know others share my opinion. Some opposing opinions in this thread only state 'emotional' reasons for retaining a monarchy.
That is a very important reason indeed, and which should not be dismissed easily.

The monarchy is an important part of my national identity and my cultural heritage. I would need extremely good reasons to abolish an institution which has been around since before my country became a nation.
Symbols, especially national symbols, are important, not least in a world that is getting more and more globalised.
To me the monarchy represents a historical anchor in a changing world, a fix point, stability.

It's difficult to subject national symbols to a cost-benefit analazys.
If we are to do so then arguments can be put up to favour tearing down the Lincoln Memorial, because the space could be utillized for something that will generate more income for the state and thus lessen the burden on the individual taxpayers. - I somehow have a feeling the Americans would protest a little bit...

We can go even further. There is really no point in national days being holidays. It's a wasted workday and it's cost the state a lot of money in lost income. People can celebrate their country in their sparetime. - Any protests?

You see my point?
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  #237  
Old 06-22-2011, 04:23 AM
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I agree with Iluvbertie.

The difference between a presidential post and a monarchical post is minimal.
There would still have to be a presidential bureaucracy of some sort.

A good recent example was the Queen Elizabeth II / Mary MacAleese encounter. The interesting bit there was the gender issue - the Heads of State were both female.
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  #238  
Old 06-22-2011, 06:13 AM
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NotHRH, you haven't been able to refute the arguments in favour of monarchy, or come up with what difference would it make if there weren't any. Why then have some of the more successful countries been monarchies, and many countries countries which are not are in fact very problematic?
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  #239  
Old 06-22-2011, 09:04 AM
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And how long did it took for the US to end slavery, segregation or give equal rights to all its citizens? And even today, the US has arguably the worst income inequities in the Western world, and lags behind in things such as health care. Politics is really all about big money- you need to be very rich or have rich backers to even get elected anyway. They don't represent the people, more often than not, but the vested interest groups.

How does not having a monarchy make any country better when there are so many countries that are *not* monarchies which happen to be plagued by poverty, corruption, and tyranny?

I am an African American women and I would never say the system in the U.S. is perfect. There are many problems, but I still would not trade it for any other form of government (regardless of who's in power at any given time).
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:48 AM
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Really its all about personal preference in regards to your values, beliefs and traditions.

I can understand those who are from countries who have monarchies who see the value in them in regards to their King/Queens being a Head of State and whose presence is an example of continuity and traditions. I can also understand how they don't see a problem having a Monarch and a President/Prime Minister who for all intents and purposes runs the country (also with their Parliaments, legislatures, etc.)

As an American I can also see the value of a having a democratically elected government but its important to note that most monarchies do as well. As previously pointed out, our President is our Head of State and runs the country. Like dbarn67, I wouldn't change it for the world and for me it also doesn't matter who is sitting in the Oval Office, they are MY President regardless.

That being said, I do like following the traditions of royalty (or why else would I be here its not just for the pretty jewels and dresses) and what they represent to the people of Denmark, Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, etc. Is it perfect, or course not...no form of government is....its always a work in progress.

But I must admit (and I am probably opening a can of worms) I always find it a bit strange that people whose daily lives are not impacted by monarchies are so quick to criticize it. Yes, its true that its all about being born to the right family, and your family thousands of years ago had the biggest sticks/arrows/guns or you just had the intelligence to acquire wealth. If you think that royalty is outdated because everyone is equal and no one is better than anyone else, well that is certainly correct and your right to believe that. Than say that and leave it at that. I find the argument that republics are better that monarchies because they cost less to be somewhat lacking in facts. From what I can see, in a monarchy pretty 75% of all money spent can be and is documented. Can the same be said with a republic? As iluvbertie mentioned, in the US we are currently paying for Bush 1, Bush 2, Clinton, and Carter.....when Clinton was President (at some point) we were paying for Bush 1, Clinton, Carter, Ford, Reagan, and Nixon (that's benefits, pensions and their Secret Service protection). And that doesn't include Lady Bird Johnson who was eligible to receive the same? How is that cheaper than the Civil List which pays for the work (not the pleasure) of the Queen and DoE?
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