Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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prepaid war card

that'll be cash in advance for that war, buddy
 
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The success of prepaid phone cards has inspired a rash of related business ideas. One I see in my local supermarket is gift cards for local chain stores. Prepaid cell phone service is hawked on the TV airwaves, at least around here.

Clearly prepaid is the way to go for so many of today's transactions. It has so many advantages. The seller doesn't have to worry about getting paid, the buyer never gets an unexpected bill, and there's no question about how much stuff to use: the buyer uses until he uses up the amount on the card.

Why not extend this idea to war?

For instance, take the proposed Iraq war. There's been much talk about how much it will cost, with varying estimates based on various scenarios, much of which depends on policy. Well, why not use the prepaid card to answer all that: you have war until the card is used up, and that's the policy, the scenario, and the transaction.

Another advantage: some feel that taxes to pay for war is unfair because everyone has to pay, including people who didn't want the war. With the prepaid war card, only those who want war pay. Then they have as much war as they've purchased. If you want a lot of war, charge up the card a lot.

Plus of course no bickering later about war debt.

And no bickering now about whether to have the war, or how much to have. If we don't have enough people who are willing to prepay enough for a decent sized war, then it's simple; you don't have one. That's how it works with prepaid cards of all sorts. No one makes you have that phone service. If you want it, you pay for it. In advance.

jpk, Jan 28 2003

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       I suppose you would have a picture of a white dove on these...collect them all.Baaaah !
skinflaps, Jan 28 2003
  

       I need to see some ID with that.
lurch, Jan 28 2003
  

       "Maverick, Maverick ! We have a tone - Fox One ! Fox OnBIP BIP BIP 'You have used your available credit. Please insert four hundred and fifty-six thousand, eight hundred and nine dollars and fifty cents for your next heat-seeking air to air missile, or enter your chargecard number at the tone. BEEP.'"
8th of 7, Jan 29 2003
  

       /some feel that taxes to pay for war is unfair because everyone has to pay, including people who didn't want the war/

Perhaps it is also unfair that everyone in this country enjoys freedom, including those who have no appreciation of it's value or the responsibilities that come with it?

This goes much deeper than the issue of war. I am not a senior citizen, nor a handicapped person, nor an abused child, nor unemployed, but I pay taxes to support programs which benefit them all. I also pay taxes which enable medical treatment for illegal aliens who cross our borders seeking treatment with no intention of ever paying. My tax dollars also go in the volumes of millions and billions of dollars in aid to virtually any country you can name or even pronounce, with little if any hope of ever being repaid. The list of things my tax dollars do is virtually endless, and very few of those things actually benefit *me* directly.

Do I *select* not to participate?

NO!

Selective participation is NOT an option when considering the welfare of a country as a whole.

I am not saying that I support *any* proposed war with *any* other country, but like it or not, we as a country have elected people to act on our behalf, and hopefully in our best interests regarding matters such as war. Regrets? Your vote was as powerful as any other, assuming that you *chose to participate* in that process. The system is obviously not perfect, but it remains one of the longest-standing democracies on the books, which has in it's history several wars... some of which were fought for freedom, some for principle, and some, unfortunately, for misguided righteousness.

Perhaps you should start working on the model for the perfect government that *you* will enact when you have a country of your own to run, where there are no bad guys, and every tree gets a great big hug every day.

By the way, I regret that I have but one fishbone to give for this idea.
X2Entendre, Jan 29 2003
  

       X2Entendre: Unless you're from Iceland, your claim to having the longest-standing democracy isn't true, since they've had a functioning parliament since 930.
FarmerJohn, Jan 29 2003
  

       930 ? That's only just after breakfast .....
8th of 7, Jan 29 2003
  

       [Farmer John], though not a shining example by any means, you are correct that Iceland's so-called democracy (even though it has been known to act against the wishes of a good 95% of it's population at times) *is* older than that of the U.S. Many would question whether Iceland has a true democracy, but I've amended my annotation, nonetheless. Thank you for pointing out this technicality.
X2Entendre, Jan 29 2003
  

       War Bonds are investments. The government promises to pay you back more than you invested.   

       Prepaid cards are expenses. You get nothing back.   

       Nothing like each other.
jpk, Jan 30 2003
  

       /Perhaps it is also unfair that everyone in this country enjoys freedom/   

       Of course. Just as it's unfair that everyone in this country pays taxes to prop up third world dictators. Prepaid war card is just a payment option that offers selectivity.
jpk, Jan 30 2003
  

       Every war must have clearly designed goals and an exit strategy. Unless of course you are planning to just lob a few cruise missiles.   

       Just "running out of money" in the middle of a complicated mission like Iraq would be stupid.
Madai, Oct 18 2005
  

       Quite correct Madai, but it would at least stop politicians from saying they could overthrow some foreign government for $50bn when they knew perfectly well they couldn't.
wagster, Oct 18 2005
  

       You would have to make this a constitutional amendment for it to work in the US. Otherwise, the legislature would just pass a law allocating X dollars for whatever war they choose.   

       Also, this would not have prevented the 2003 Iraq war for another reason: We never made peace with Iraq back in '91.   

       Even if we assume this idea is well-meaning, it's still impractical. I'm not against pre-funding wars, but this particular idea is flawed.
Madai, Oct 18 2005
  
      
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