A Free Market This is Not…

The time has come for us to stop with the constant bashing of the concept of a free market by using the current status of the United States market as an example of its failings. While I will freely admit that the US market is one of the more free markets in the world (#5 according to the study shared the other day), to claim that this is a free market is naive at best and reprehensibly dishonest at worst. The reality is that the inequity in America, the faults of the American markets, and the examples thrown up as “proof” of free-market failure all have a single thing in common…

Government.

It is the intrusion of the government at all levels, federal, state, and local, that has perverted the concept of the free market and caused the failures that are subsequently blamed on the free market. Of course, those who rally against the free market conveniently attempt to dismiss these inconvenient truths, and understandably so. To admit to the reality of what has happened would be to admit that government intrusion into the market has catastrophic consequences. And that doesn’t set the table well for making the case for more government intervention.

I understand that there is some overwhelming belief that the corporations in America “own” the federal government. I think that it is more nuanced than that and thus not true in the sense that it is claimed. Corporations don’t own government. They own politicians. The laws and regulations are exactly what the politicians make them to be, so corporations spend ridiculous amounts of money to ensure that they own the politicians who make the law. But let us not forget that the corporation would not exist were it not for the writ of government.

And like it or not, the reality is that the problem is not that the corporations do what they do, the problem is that our government’s politicians are in their pocket. The problem is the politicians, not the businesses of America. What power would the corporations have if the politicians weren’t for sale? None. But I digress.

Accepted Only by College Students and Those Who Lack the Capacity to Actually Understand Economics

The point is that the government has gone over the top in inserting itself into the world of business. Massive amounts of regulation have become what the country is known for in the world of business. While there are certainly countries out there that have some draconian laws in their business cultures, few can equal the US in terms of the sheer volume of legislation. And the result of that volume is increased costs in a major way.

Are some of the regulations necessary. I imagine a good case can be made for answering that question in the affirmative. After all, the child labor issues and working conditions a hundred years ago certainly screamed out for someone to create some form of punishment for failing to maintain an ethical and safe working environment. However, we all know that the level of regulation and control the government wields is far more than over these areas. Not to mention these past indiscretions are used as the argument for both government intervention AND increased union power. Which is it? Why are the unions needed with so much government intervention? Or conversely, why is so much government intervention needed when unions are there to protect the workers? But I digress into pointing out the weakness of those arguments again….

Americans have fallen to relying on government to do everything in the world of business. They have abdicated any personal responsibility. The American consumer has fallen into the familiar laziness around economic decisions that they exercise around social decisions. Rather than do their research on who they buy from or what they are buying, they appeal to government to do it for them. Rather than using the power of choice to control the market, which does work, they instead whine to the government to force businesses to operate in a dictated way.

Almost True... This is a Market Correction After a Century of Government Manipulation

A perfect example of this was the Credit Card Act of 2009. This bi-partisan legislation was a massive set of dictated rules for companies that issue credit cards. I could sit and list out all the alterations and new rules set forth in this bill, but I won’t. If you want to get a better understanding of the bill, you can view it by clicking HERE . The bottom line for me is that consumers had a choice in how to deal with these types of issues. They could refuse to do business with credit card companies that did business in these foul ways. But they didn’t. They instead chose to attempt to force companies to do business in a certain way by pushing the government into the equation.

And they do so because they are lazy and undisciplined. Using the power of the consumer is difficult. The consumer is forced to work at it. They are further forced to exercise fiscal discipline and actually live within their means. Rather than revert to a stance of saving for what they want and operating on a tight budget, they demand that credit be extended to them on their terms rather than the terms of the credit extender. I would rather there was a vote that ended the existence of credit cards altogether than the abomination of over-reaching government that we have now.

The point of all this is that the fact is that we have not operated under a “free market” for a very long time. Despite the plethora of examples that those who eschew a free market attempt to use, the reality is that those things happened under a mixed economy that has always had government intrusion and thus never operated as free. Enron, Worldcom, and the like would not have happened in a free market. They could only happen in the economy we have where government enabled those companies to do what they did.

So I offer up a deal, I will concede that the free market may not solve all the problems of the market, as I am well aware that there are still things that may be difficult to control or stop in the market as it exists today. In exchange, can all you who seem to have a phobia of any aspect of America without government involvement stop attempting to claim that the free market has failed? It hasn’t failed. It hasn’t existed. You cannot claim BF is crazy for his belief that a world without government is possible while simultaneously living in a fantasyland where you claim a history that never existed.

For the record, and a record that anyone who actually has paid attention to what I write instead of making up their own version of what I write (you know who you are), I have never advocated for zero government. I have never claimed that this is something that would work. Neither has JAC, for those that pay attention. What we have advocated for is a drastically reduced involvement of government in our lives. Very Damn Little Government, to be exact. And I maintain that it has and will work.

Because for all those who want big government and massive regulations… At what point are you able to take off the blinders long enough to see that your version of what America should be has absolutely proven catastrophic, both to our economy and to our liberty?

The government’s only proper job is to protect individual rights against violence by force or fraud …

to protect men from foreign invaders … 

to settle disputes among men according to objective laws … 

The greatness of the Founding Fathers was how well they understood this issue and how close some of them came to understanding it perfectly.

Ayn Rand

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Comments

  1. Corporations don’t own government. They own politicians.

    Duh … and the government is run by?

    • Bureaucrats!!!

    • USWeapon says:

      @ Charlie…

      This is an important distinction. Owning government would mean that the legislation is in place to allow big business to make their own rules. It would mean that a group of ethical and principle driven politicians wouldn’t be able to get in their way.

      • big business to make it’s own rules … is that sort of like $700 billion bailout?

        And let’s not forget, that money came “free” and “clear” … can’t even be disputed in courts of law. I don’t know how you ignore that one, but somehow you do. Big business managed to get all the politicians (Reps did it first–bush & AIG) to vote a $700 billion bailout on our backs and the money came free and clear. Free markets at work, I call it … for who they’re deesigned for … the rich.

        • USWeapon says:

          I don’t ignore it, and you know full well that you understand what I am saying. There is no use bothering if you are simply going to pretend to be ignorant of the point I am making.

          • Maybe I’m crazy. You argue that politicians are corrupt and owned by big business (which is accurate, no doubt), then you argue for less government, but not zero gov’t (which is the only way to fully eliminate corruption of politicians becasuse there wouldn’t be any), yet you still want a government (however small) for what then? So that big business has less people to corrupt to get their way?

            Stop jumping the shark, USW. You can’t turn $700 billion “no strings attached” into what you attempt to do with slavery and the founding fathers (one bad thing that doesn’t diminish the good things). Sweet Jesus, those are PRETTY BIG THINGS. They last a long, long time …

  2. What power would the corporations have if the politicians weren’t for sale? None. But I digress.

    Actually, you FINALLY make sense but … you probably digressed to walk that one back. I’ll read on …

    And they do so because they are lazy and undisciplined

    Maybe they should’ve joined the army and learned all that important stuff. Or maybe they’ve been sold a bill of goods (like kids in college getting more credit on work study jobs than their parents working full-time jobs). Right, it’s the kid’s fault … the parents fault … everybody but the bank’s fault because God forbid a bank be held to some kind of “ethical” standard (like not trying to give lend money it knows can’t be paid back).

    And I maintain that it has and will work.

    And you, after all, know what you’re talking about … excuse me while I gag.

    At what point are you able to take off the blinders long enough to see that your version of what America should be has absolutely proven catastrophic, both to our economy and to our liberty?

    At least use your own phrases (blinders). My version of what America should be is a beautiful thing. Your version is the mess we have today.

    The government’s only proper job is to protect individual rights against violence by force or fraud …

    to protect men from foreign invaders …

    to settle disputes among men according to objective laws …

    The greatness of the Founding Fathers was how well they understood this issue and how close some of them came to understanding it perfectly.

    Nothing quite like a quote from a batshit broad to make my day. Let’s take this one apart piece by piece, shall we?

    “to protect individual rights”, bla, bla, bla leading to the “greatness of the Founding Fathes” … These the same dudes didn’t mind slavery? Too bad they weren’t around for another 100+ years to see it start to be abolished. You (and this whack job, Rand) call that greatness. Those who can think on their own call it some serious bullshit (like all men are created equal, etc.).

    • “greatness of the Founding Fathers” These the same dudes didn’t mind slavery?”
      Charlie’s perfect world where it doesn’t matter how many things you get right, only the one think you can be shown to be wrong about. Would you ever agree to a deal on something? Where you don’t get it completely like you want, but think it’s still a much better deal than you have right now? Seems like the type of deal you would make for the GreaterGood…….from John Lott, July 3

      The Double-Double standard on Dealing with Misstatements by Candidates

      Could one imagine Chris Wallace asking Obama about being a flake or George Stephanopoulos asking Obama about misstatements that he had made? Probably not. How about Stephanopoulos strenuously claiming that Obama was making misstatements when he hadn’t? Sure, not. But that is what happens continually with Republicans, particularly Republican women Palin and Bachmann. Take Stephanopoulos’s attacks on Bachmann regarding: “Founding Fathers ‘worked tirelessly’ to end slavery.” Even the Weekly Standard gets this right.

      [Princeton Professor] McPherson in the “Battle Cry of Freedom” summarizes Lincoln’s argument:

      The founding fathers, said Lincoln, had opposed slavery. They adopted a Declaration of Independence that pronounced all men created equal. They enacted the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 banning slavery from the vast Northwest Territory. To be sure, many of the founders owned slaves. But they asserted their hostility to slavery in principle while tolerating it temporarily (as they hoped) in practice. That was why they did not mention the words “slave” or “slavery” in the Constitution, but referred only to “persons held to service.” “Thus, the thing is hid away, in the constitution,” said Lincoln, “just as an afflicted man hides away a wen or a cancer, which he dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death; with the promise, nevertheless, that the cutting may begin at the end of a given time.” The first step was to prevent the spread of this cancer, which the fathers took with the Northwest Ordinance, the prohibition of the African slave trade in 1807, and the Missouri Compromise restriction of 1820. The second was to begin a process of gradual emancipation, which the generation of the fathers had accomplished in the states north of Maryland.

      Here’s what Lincoln said of the Founding Fathers in his 1854 Peoria speech:

      The argument of “Necessity” was the only argument they ever admitted in favor of slavery; and so far, and so far only as it carried them, did they ever go. They found the institution existing among us, which they could not help; and they cast blame upon the British King for having permitted its introduction. BEFORE the constitution, they prohibited its introduction into the north-western Territory—the only country we owned, then free from it. AT the framing and adoption of the constitution, they forbore to so much as mention the word “slave” or “slavery” in the whole instrument. In the provision for the recovery of fugitives, the slave is spoken of as a “PERSON HELD TO SERVICE OR LABOR.” In that prohibiting the abolition of the African slave trade for twenty years, that trade is spoken of as “The migration or importation of such persons as any of the States NOW EXISTING, shall think proper to admit,” &c. These are the only provisions alluding to slavery. Thus, the thing is hid away, in the constitution, just as an afflicted man hides away a wen or a cancer, which he dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death; with the promise, nevertheless, that the cutting may begin at the end of a given time. Less than this our fathers COULD not do; and NOW [MORE?] they WOULD not do. Necessity drove them so far, and farther, they would not go. But this is not all. The earliest Congress, under the constitution, took the same view of slavery. They hedged and hemmed it in to the narrowest limits of necessity.

      In 1794, they prohibited an out-going slave-trade—that is, the taking of slaves FROM the United States to sell.

      • Kind of like the Chinese building the railroads, or the cheap immigrant worker who earns $200 a week but his rent is $250. Another form of slavery and what are we willing to do about it?

    • USWeapon says:

      The best part about adding any quote from Rand is that it is the same as talking crap to get into the head of an opponent on the field. There mere mention of Rand is enough to completely throw you off your game and start causing you to spout nonsense about slavery….

      Instead, here is a novel concept. I know it is a stretch for you. How about you take Rand’s statement for what it actually says instead of what you wish it said. It’s simple. Here. I will show you.

      Rand said “The greatness of the founding fathers was how well they understood this issue” referring to the issue she was actually discussing and appearing previously in the quote, “the only proper role of government is…

      What you wish Rand said (and consequently addressed instead of addressing what she actually said): The greatness of the founding fathers is that they didn’t mind slavery.

      And then you claim that those can think on their own call bullshit! Correct. It isn’t too hard to call bullshit on a position that completely invented. It wasn’t mine. It certainly wasn’t present in the quote from Rand. Yet you want to argue it. Perhaps one day you will decide to argue the points of my articles based on what the positions actually are????

      • The government’s only proper job is to protect individual rights against violence by force or fraud …

        to protect men from foreign invaders …

        to settle disputes among men according to objective laws …

        The greatness of the Founding Fathers was how well they understood this issue and how close some of them came to understanding it perfectly.

        You really have to reread what you post, USW, because, as usual, what you ACTUALLY quoted in your post (above), isn’t what you’re posting now.

        So, once again, duh …

        And then you write this: Perhaps one day you will decide to argue the points of my articles based on what the positions actually are????

        Except, they weren’t the same quotes, were they?

        Ask the lawyers about this: Once you argue a position as vague as “the greatness of the founding fathers” (at least in formal research writing), you open yourself to the “not so greatness” (for lack of a better term you’d understand). Therefore, you quote (or quote someone else) that vaguely, you get your lumps for it.

        • USWeapon says:

          My bad Charlie. You are correct I did mess up the quote. What I said in the comment above was:

          Rand said “The greatness of the founding fathers was how well they understood this issue” referring to the issue she was actually discussing and appearing previously in the quote, “the only proper role of government is…

          when what the actual quote said was: “The government’s only proper job is…”

          However, the two statements are fairly similar and mean the same thing. Outside of that misquote, what in the H. E. double hockey sticks are you talking about? Rand’s statement was pretty self explanatory. What she said is “The greatness of the founding fathers was how well they understood this issue (the issue being “The government’s only proper job is to protect individual rights against violence by force or fraud …to protect men from foreign invaders … to settle disputes among men according to objective laws …)

          I would say that rather than being vague, her statement was fairly concise. She clearly stated what the issue was that she was referring to prior to making a further statement based on that position. I don’t really care what some lawyers you know would say here. I care about common sense. You argued by making the claim that I, along with Rand, think the FF are great because of slavery. That is an outright false statement.

          That Rand quote really has taken you completely out of your game, hasn’t it?

          Is there anyone else who understands what the heck Charlie is talking about here. Is it me? Am I confused? I don’t think I am but what he is saying simply doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. A little help here so the stupid veteran can understand????

          • You argued by making the claim that I, along with Rand, think the FF are great because of slavery. That is an outright false statement.
            No, this may well be over your head, USW. Sorry. The point being, when anyone (ANYONE) argues that “the greatness of the founding fathers” they open their argument to the bad those same founding fathers either ignored or could care less about (for whatever reason–perhaps noble in their minds). Assume your post is an opening statement in a court of law (or on the corner outside the deli, if you will), once you argue “the greatness of anything”, you open the door to the ungreatness of same … unless you aren’t allowing a counter argument, then your post isn’t about finding possible solutions (as you claim). You are right, though, justifying anyting by Ayn Rand does make me blink …

            • If this is true, then no one can think anyone or anything is “great.”

              Are we really playing this game?

            • Charlie

              You create a FALSE argument.

              The issue of one’ s greatness on a point is whether that point was true or not.

              NOT whether they said or did something unrelated that was bad.

              So while you may feel this opens one to question that is not a logical argument.

              • The issue of one’ s greatness on a point is whether that point was true or not.

                Except, of course, the fact we can prove they’re greatness leave something less than desired; USW was making a statement of fact he neither proved or attempted to prove (he simply stated something and attempted to support it with a quote by a controversial figure only righties admire). Her quote “greatness of the founding fathers” needs go nowhere further than to prove “if they could be wrong on one issue, they sure can be on something so subjective a statement as USW was attempting to make (via a lunatic, Ayn Rand).

            • You know Charlie, if you would stick to the inequality that slavery caused as your argument-we could discuss-the relevant points and what we have and should do or not to fix the problems. But you don’t do that -you just use the words Founding Fathers or Constitution as an opportunity to make a racist attack against the Founders-relegating any good they did as moot and totally ignoring why they couldn’t get rid of slavery at the time. Of course maybe you don’t give them any credit for anything.

  3. So you admit the politicians are owned by corporations (I won’t say “business” becuase we all know that corporations don’t do “business” {sweet jesus}) … and we seem to know (you haven’t figured it out yet) that the politicians run the government … therefore, ipso facto, corporations run the government.

    But you digress …. oy vey

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Good Morning Charlie :)

      Isn’t it interesting that you get more responses when you attack the message instead of the messenger. You methods the last two days have been “elementary school” childish. You better than that.

      • Gman, trust me, I’m not interested in responses.

        • USWeapon says:

          Nor are you interested in addressing the actual positions of the people you lambast. If you aren’t interested in responses Charlie, then why bother? I write the articles with the intent of starting discussions that ferret out the issues and potential solutions. If you aren’t interested in doing so, then what is your point? To “stir the pot”?

    • USWeapon says:

      Again, you intentionally miss the point. There is a very large difference between business being able to game the system and businesses actually being legally in control of the system. The difference being that ethical politicians would have the ability to not be controlled by the businesses.

      I know that the Rand quote scrambled your brain first thing this morning. But do please attempt to understand what people are saying to you without being condescending as though we are stupid. I have tried several times to engage you to discuss the issue, but you have resorted to little more than name calling and condescension.

      • Mathius™ says:

        “ethical politicians”

        Sorry, what?

      • I write the articles with the intent of starting discussions that ferret out the issues and potential solutions.

        You write the articles with a front loaded condescending tone toward everyone who disagrees with you. Fact.

        That’s okay, but when you are confronted with something you can’t handle, suddenly we’re “changing the topic or going off base or purposely being misleading” … when in fact, you can’t (or refuse) to address our (certainly my) questions.

        For instance (forget the rest for now). You write: There is a very large difference between business being able to game the system and businesses actually being legally in control of the system. The difference being that ethical politicians would have the ability to not be controlled by the businesses.

        And I’d say: What is the difference if a number of business just managed to use the system to reward themselves with a $700 billion dollar bailout. The legal instrument was there but wasn’t used might be your argument, but it seems a pretty absurd one to make since the bailout happened and it happened without legal recourse (since it was written into the deal). And who are these “ethical politicians” you speak of? Can you name a few. I’d name Bernie Sanders but I doubt you’d swallow that one. I might even name Ron Paul (because I don’t believe he’d sell out) but that makes 2 … what about worker representation in this new small government of yours? Do workers get a voice or are they supposed to take the bad with the good (like slaves did from 1776-1965)? Another small item we (on the left) forgot to mention was how that “free market” managed to strip the American indigenous population of all its land, but what the heck, those things happen …

        • USWeapon says:

          Well… I will throw your all too common references to slavery and native Americans aside as those are obviously nothing more than chafe designed to detract from the issue.

          As to the rest… you are missing the point. Nowhere did I claim that we had the ethical politicians to make it happen in Congress now. What I claimed is that there is a difference between the law giving the power to the businesses and the law giving the power to the people but being usurped by the businesses. In the former, there is nothing a mythical ethical group of politicians could do. In the latter, an ethical group of politicians would be able to take that power back. If I need to break it down further in order for you to understand it, say so. If you actually understand it and are intentionally refusing to acknowledge what I am saying, please say so. I don’t want to waste my entire day attempting to explain what I am saying to someone who is intentionally trying to not understand.

          • What I claimed is that there is a difference between the law giving the power to the businesses and the law giving the power to the people but being usurped by the businesses. In the former, there is nothing a mythical ethical group of politicians could do. In the latter, an ethical group of politicians would be able to take that power back. If I need to break it down further in order for you to understand it, say so

            Let’s not confuse you any further and stick to your rules (the incredibly inarticulate ones). Using your above statement, there is an underlying flaw in it (something BF would agree to, in fact). Law comes from man, yes or no? Man writes law, yes or no? It happens all the time. Even laws written a long time ago are constantly interpreted differently (reinterpreted, etc.). Ethical politicians is an oxymoron, but the bottom line is … if man is corrupted so easily by business, what makes you think the laws matter an iota? Law obviously gives the power to business to do what it wants now … or there wouldn’t have been a $700 billion dollar bailout. They did it, fact. No matter the law. They wrote something around the law.

            Sticking to your dream (that such a group could use the laws to work for the people rather than corrupt businessmen), you would still need your mythical ethical group and can you see why? Business has the power to corrupt, plain and simple. It is an ongoing process; the way it does so with unions, private companies, politicians, cops, lawyers, judges, church’s … you name it, business will corrupt it. Money is power … power corrupts … the way a socialist government would eventually be corrupted, our government has been corrupted. The difference being, only one small percentage of people benefit from this government while the vast majority pay the price.

            In fact, the closer to a truly “free market” we get, the more corruption would result (for there would be fewer to administer over it). The less government, the easier to corrupt. The more “professional” the government remains, the easier to corrupt. You can’t show us a truly free market so you have to rely on assumptions (or what you “maintain” would happen).

            We don’t have a paradigm (those of us red thru and thrus) to show you either. What we do have are numbers, soon too many of us to be out of work and looking for real answers. I’ll probably be gone, but sooner or later, this catastrophe of an economy will pay its dues and your free market nirvana will die its more than deserved death.

            • USWeapon says:

              Sticking to your dream (that such a group could use the laws to work for the people rather than corrupt businessmen),

              Isn’t this your dream as well Mr. Stella? You consistently claim that a larger government with more control and more power would work better for the working man who is getting screwed. My question is why on earth would you want to continue to grow that government, further consolidating the power so that the corporations, who are obviously all twisted and evil according to your claims, know exactly who to bribe, control, and threaten to get what they want?

              you would still need your mythical ethical group and can you see why? Business has the power to corrupt, plain and simple. It is an ongoing process; the way it does so with unions, private companies, politicians, cops, lawyers, judges, church’s … you name it, business will corrupt it. Money is power … power corrupts … the way a socialist government would eventually be corrupted, our government has been corrupted. The difference being, only one small percentage of people benefit from this government while the vast majority pay the price.

              And contrary to what you constantly claim that I have as my position (even doing so again today), I don’t dispute that money is power, power corrupts, and the rest of your spiel. What I posit is that the socialist/communist utopia you believe in is a fantasy. I acknowledge that a true free market utopia is also a fantasy. But at least my fantasy doesn’t centralize power and control and make it easier to control the little man. You despise Rand, so choose some other author that doesn’t make your head spin. Are there any out there that don’t acknowledge that the way to exercise greater control is to centralize power as much as possible? I consistently champion decentralization, you do the opposite. So which is more likely to make it possible for “the little guy” to prosper?

              • Actually, what I want is a workers party in charge. It doesn’t necessarily have to be big, but it does require term limits and a constant changing of the guard (to make corruption as difficult as possible). I’d go for no government at all before I’d go with a small government made of “professionals” such as we have today. Either break it down 50-50 or make it all workers but the professionals have had their chance and they’ve proven untrustworthy.

                Again, there’s no guarantee socialism would work either … but it’s capitalism that has led us to socialism; the ever widening gap of inequality.

  4. Mathius™ says:

    ::Lurking::

  5. Ray Hawkins says:

    Interesting topic today – I’m going to bounce in and out with a few things here…..

    Statements such as this: “Enron, Worldcom, and the like would not have happened in a free market.” I find intentionally misleading and factually incorrect. Most Americans remember just enough to recognize that any mention of Enron and Worldcom (“and the like”) as BAAAAAD. We know some bad things happened in those companies so how convenient would it be to associate them with what what supposedly would or would not have happened had the market been “free”?

    There is a rub however…..

    Much of the badness that Enron built up was the use of offshore dummy corporations created under CFO Andrew Fastow so they could hide losses and inflate the stock price. This isn’t top secret “I’d have to kill you if I revealed my sources” type stuff USW – it is painfully public knowledge.

    The ability of Enron to do this existed solely because there was an absence of anything preventing them from doing so. That “anything” can and should include internal Governance practices, Government regulation and/or public/shareholder knowledge of what they were doing. In my book – the 2nd and somewhat part of the 3rd ring very true of what most free market systems would look like.

    I don’t know many folks that spend their time reading 10K/10Q’s when deciding how to spend their consumer dollar. Information is power – and the less information a corporation is required to share with a consumer the more competitive advantage they will inherently have AND the increased room they have to do BAD things. It is a pickle.

    Government regulation is worthless if it is not enforced. Even post-Enron in the SOX world we have spineless gutless accountants and auditors who enable at least criminal if not inappropriate behavior by looking the other way.

    Internal Governance sounds and feels squishy and usually is – most F1000 I ever worked with view corporate governance and ethics as situational. If you thought politicians were slimy dirtbags then you simply haven’t met enough business “leaders” yet.

  6. Ray Hawkins says:

    “So I offer up a deal, I will concede that the free market may not solve all the problems of the market, as I am well aware that there are still things that may be difficult to control or stop in the market as it exists today.”

    I think this is an interesting deal…..

    Care to elaborate (anyone) on what things may require control or should be stopped (and by whom)?

    Thanks!

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Good Morning Ray :)

      How’s that little one doing lately? I’m still liking the idea of stripping the Feds of most if not all power and return in to the States and locallities. While it may not end corruption, it may go a long way to lessening it. I think most of us agree that politicians are owned by big business and bankers. The problem, when looking at a free market, is that regulations are made that may derail competition from smaller companies. When regulations benefit one while harming another, then that regulation is a failure.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Hey G-Man – both little one’s are doing well. My son didn’t like going to daycare this a.m. as he was used to being at home with mom and dad and his new baby sister. But alas Daddy must earn a paycheck.

        I don’t have the thoughts fully fleshed out – but I believe the root of much of this comes back to the perversion of power under the Commerce clause…..

    • Things are so complicated-I hesitate to even try to guess what should come first-but I’ll say lets start with our tax system. Repeal Obamacare and throw out the last 1500 page new regulation bill.

      • No New Tax Cuts
        By Michael Barry

        On O’Reilly on July 8, 2011, Alan Colmes said — in defense of Obama’s fiscal policy — that 40 percent of the 2009 stimulus was tax cuts. If you look beyond this rhetorical flourish, you find that, yeah, there was 40 percent in things that the media called “tax cuts.” They mailed out $116 billion in $800 checks to individuals making under $75,000. Fourteen billion in credits for green energy. A college tuition tax credit for individuals making under $80,000. An $8,000 check in the mail for first time homebuyers making under $75,000. An increase in the earned income tax credit. With “tax cuts” like these, who needs spending?

        Throughout the 2008 campaign, Obama bragged that he was for tax cuts — specifically, mailing checks to his friends and constituents. Obama is actually for keeping the Bush tax cuts, except for the “rich” (which I think this time is measured as singles making over around $170,000). The cost of keeping the Bush tax cuts for the rich was widely reported as around $700 billion (over 10 years). The cost of keeping the Bush tax cuts for everyone else? $2.7 trillion. Words fail.

        The Bush tax cuts included a radical increase in the progressivity of the Tax Code. “[T]he share of overall tax liabilities of the top 1% increased from 22.9% to 25.3%, as the result of a tax system which became more progressive since 2000.” Bush “cut the lowest income tax bracket by one-third and doubled the refundable child tax credit — taking 10 million low-income families off the income tax rolls. In fact, the poorest 40 percent of households now pay zero income taxes, and many actually receive checks from Washington on April 15.”

        And now Senator Coburn (what happened to this guy?) is proposing changes to Medicare — which includes its own self-contained tax-harvesting system — that make benefits more progressive. Turning it into a welfare system financed by “rich” people.

        And, oh yeah: The Democrats want to keep not collecting Social Security taxes (to “put money in the pockets of consumers”), even though they admit that that system is in fiscal trouble. Taxes under Social Security are “regressive” (that is, they are flat), but benefits are progressive, and the net is a marginally progressive system. Not collecting Social Security taxes, financing benefits out of general revenues, and radically increasing the progressivity of benefits — all of these things, again, turn this into another system of transfer payments from the “rich” to the “middle class.”

        All of this heightened progressivity leads in only one direction. If you study the history of the development of democracy, there was only one major concern that thinkers not attached to some special interest were concerned with. That, as Franklin put it, “[w]hen the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” When half the voters pay no taxes, the only battle is over how much to tax the “rich,” and every attempt to stop government growth is characterized as special pleading for the rich.

        This has to stop. The Tax Code has become a whore. It can be anything to any person in a position to impose their will on the American people. Like financial regulation and the nascent federal health care system, it is an (intentionally) overly complex system for looting those out of favor and providing bread and circuses and payoffs and money-laundering to those in favor. G.B. Shaw famously said that all professions are conspiracies against the laity. Here we have a system that objectifies that principle in lurid detail. With the right lobbyist (professional) and the right spin, you can get a tax deduction. If you just stay home and do your job, you will be punished.

        This system must be made radically simpler and the burdens it imposes and the benefits it bestows must be made radically more transparent and explicit. In a democracy, the people must have a way to understand and make intelligent decisions about tax policy. They can’t now. And the system must burden all citizens.

        America is going through a Magna Carta moment. Government is taxation. Democracy grew out of a resistance to monarchical demands for wealth to support luxurious courts and self-aggrandizing wars. The people — historically, we are talking about people who, in today’s dollars, did make over $250,000 — said: “You can’t tax us without our consent.” Our country was founded on a tax revolt.

        Before any new specious cuts which are simply newspeak for income redistribution, give us a Tax Code we can understand, and tax all voters. And then we can talk about rates.

        http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/no_new_tax_cuts.html

      • Taxes Upon Taxes Upon . . .
        Obama wants $1 trillion in taxes on top of what he’s already signed.

        So the fondest Washington hopes for a grand debt-limit deal have broken down over taxes. House Speaker John Boehner said late Saturday that he couldn’t move ahead with a $4 trillion deal because President Obama was insisting on a $1 trillion tax increase, and the White House quickly denounced House Republicans for scuttling debt reduction and preventing “the very wealthiest and special interests from paying their fair share.”

        How dare Republicans not agree to break their campaign promises and raise taxes when the jobless rate is 9.2% and President Obama’s economic recovery is in jeopardy?

        We think Mr. Boehner is making the sensible choice. No one wants to reform the tax code more than we do, but passing a $1 trillion tax increase first on the promise of tax reform later is a political trap. If the President were really sincere about reform and a willingness to keep the top tax rate at or below 35%, he’d negotiate that at the same time he does a debt deal. Mr. Boehner will have a hard enough time getting any debt-limit increase through the House, much less one that raises tax rates.

        Keep in mind that Mr. Obama has already signed the largest tax increase since 1993. While everyone focuses on the Bush tax rates that expire after 2012, other tax increases are already set to hit the economy thanks to the 2010 Affordable Care Act. As a refresher, here’s a non-exhaustive list of ObamaCare’s tax increases:

        • Starting in 2013, the bill adds an additional 0.9% to the 2.9% Medicare tax for singles who earn more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000.

        • For first time, the bill also applies Medicare’s 2.9% payroll tax rate to investment income, including dividends, interest income and capital gains. Added to the 0.9% payroll surcharge, that means a 3.8-percentage point tax hike on “the rich.” Oh, and these new taxes aren’t indexed for inflation, so many middle-class families will soon be considered rich and pay the surcharge as their incomes rise past $250,000 due to tax-bracket creep. Remember how the Alternative Minimum Tax was supposed to apply only to a handful of millionaires?

        Taxpayer cost over 10 years: $210 billion.

        • Also starting in 2013 is a 2.3% excise tax on medical device manufacturers and importers. That’s estimated to raise $20 billion.

        • Already underway this year is the new annual fee on “branded” drug makers and importers, which will raise $27 billion.

        • Another $15.2 billion will come from raising the floor on allowable medical deductions to 10% of adjusted gross income from 7.5%.

        • Starting in 2018, the bill imposes a whopping 40% “excise tax” on high-cost health insurance plans. Though it only applies to two years in the 2010-2019 window of ObamaCare’s original budget score, this tax would still raise $32 billion—and much more in future years.

        • And don’t forget a new annual fee on health insurance providers starting in 2014 and estimated to raise $60 billion. This tax, like many others on this list, will be passed along to consumers in higher health-care costs.

        There are numerous other new taxes in the bill, all adding up to some $438 billion in new revenue over 10 years. But even that is understated because by 2019 the annual revenue increase is nearly $90 billion, or $900 billion in the 10 years after that. Yet Mr. Obama wants to add another $1 trillion in new taxes on top of this.

        The economic ironies are also, well, rich. Mr. Obama is now pushing to reduce the payroll tax by two-percentage points for another year to boost the economy, but he’s already built in a big increase in that same payroll tax for 2013. So if a payroll tax cut creates jobs this year, why doesn’t a payroll tax increase destroy jobs after 2013?

        Mr. Obama is also touting spending cuts he’s willing to make in entitlements in return for bigger tax increases, yet the spending increases built into ObamaCare aren’t even up for discussion in the debt-limit talks. The Affordable Care Act adds more than 30 million more Americans onto Medicaid’s rolls, when that program is already growing by 6.5% this year. So Mr. Obama is willing to cut current entitlements on grounds that they are unaffordable, but he’s taken what may be the most expensive entitlement off the table.

        We think this was the President’s spend-and-tax plan from the very first. Run up spending and debt in the name of stimulus and health-care reform, then count on Wall Street bond holders and the political establishment to browbeat Republicans into paying for it all. He apparently didn’t figure on the rise of the tea party, or 1.9% GDP growth and 9.2% unemployment two years after the recession ended.

        Last November Republicans won the House and landslide gains in many states in large part because of the deep unpopularity of the stimulus and ObamaCare. Mr. Boehner has a mandate for spending cuts and repealing the Affordable Care Act. If Republicans instead agree to raise taxes in return for future spending cuts that may or may not happen, they will simply be the tax collectors for Mr. Obama’s much expanded entitlement society.

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303812104576438130028027412.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

    • Ray

      Stopped:

      1. OSHA regulations prohibiting <18yr olds from operating equipment.
      2. State/City regulations requiring taxi cab medallions.
      3. Govt protection of genetically engineered corn via "patent".
      4. Federal regulations requiring "certified lead paint" testing on all commercial facilities prior to "repainting". Regardless of age or prior testing.
      5. Federal regulations governing control of impounded water, such as stock ponds, on private property.
      6. No Chile Left Behind.
      7. Prohibition on POT.

      Keep:

      1. Water pollution standards. But not federal enforcement. Standards to be used by citizens in suits against individuals, companies, municipalities or the State and Federal Govt's.

      2. Air pollution standards, those PROVED to cause harm. Same as water standards.

    • USWeapon says:

      I think that currently there are a lot of things that need cleaning up and government is more than likely required to clean them up. The outright corruption and theft that goes on in the modern business world is horrible. At this point, government is needed to put a stop to it. However, I don’t believe that is even remotely being accomplished with the present tactics. Despite being perhaps the most regulated economy in the world, we have one of the most corrupt. Business leaders and politicians in bed together all to the detriment of the average joe. I absolutely agree that this is true.

      The point of this article was that I can concede that it is a daunting task and I can concede that government has a role to play. What doesn’t do anyone any good is the nonsense that some people do with changing what I say into what they want to argue.

      • Mathius™ says:

        “Despite being perhaps the most regulated economy in the world”

        Sorry, what?

        “we have one of the most corrupt”

        Sorry, what again?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @USW –

        “Despite being perhaps the most regulated economy in the world, we have one of the most corrupt.”

        You’re stating we have one of the most corrupt ECONOMIES?

        Also

        “Business leaders and politicians in bed together all to the detriment of the average joe.”

        Remove the politician from the equation – does the businessman still screw the average joe?

        Not trying to be cute – enjoying this line of discussion and want to develop it further.

        Thanks!

        • does the businessman still screw the average joe?

          So fast his head will spin off (Joe’s head). USW will have you think different. In his Nirvana (and BF’s) the fact there are dirty and corrupt businessman would be outweighed by all the legit competition we’d have; people will simply recognize a corrupt business man (after, say, one of their kids died from food poisoning) and would never shop there again. All those bad businessmen would then go out of business and the world would be safe for democracy.

          What us lefties think (some of us, anyway), is the following: It was as close to free as you could get back in the day and as businesses became more profitable and powerful, they bought more and more of government (anybody remember this: “The business of America is business!”) … and the more powerful, the more corrupt, leading to a $700 billion bailout that can’t be touched by law.

          Bada-boom, bada-bing. Free market this.

          • Golly, at the risk of Charlie just belittling me some more………….

            I agree with his comment here.

            • And for damn sure I am no leftie.

            • I’ll offer you the same thing I offer USW, Plainly. Don’t be condenscending and you won’t be “belittled” … the point of asking those questions (school, job, etc.) was to attempt to make you see those in unions aren’t out to “steal” from the rest of us; that their intentions are to survive, not become billionaires, etc. As to nasty, etc., I respond in kind.

              • Unions can (and in some ways are) just as abusive as government, you apparently just don’t want to discuss anything that puts unions in a bad light? End of story.

                Don’t be condenscending and you won’t be “belittled”

                You’ve got to be kidding? LMAO. You, and say Todd, are the two most condescending provocateurs on SUFA.

                Go, drink more caffeinated beverage. I’m going for more coffee.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Well said Mr. Stella…..

  7. gmanfortruth says:

    The American’s for Tax Reform Foundation’s Cost of Government Day Report is a mindbender. Amongst the data it crunches, it finds that …

    The Cost of Government Day (COGD), the day of the calendar year on which the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government on the federal, state, and local levels, is now August 19, the latest date ever recorded.

    In simple language, it means that the average American must work 230 days, or 63% of the year, to pay for the full cost of government.

    That’s pretty darn amazing. And frightening. It essentially means that 63% of your labor output belongs not to you and the loved ones you care for, but to Washington.

    Here’s how it breaks down:

    Federal spending: The average American worker has to labor for 104 days just to pay for federal spending, which consumes 28.6% of national income.

    That compares to 90 days in 2008, a 15.5% increase. The chief increase in costs were the bailouts of the financial crisis. The bailouts cost the average American 14 days of worth of work to pay for them.

    State and local spending: This is also costing us all, big time. In 2010 the average American had to work 52 days just to pay for state and local government expenditures.

    That’s up from 42.5 days in 1999. A whopping 22.3% increase in costs.

    The regulatory costs of the federal government: Another shocker ― the average American worker must labor 48 days just to cover the costs of federal regulations.

    And then there’s …

    Another 26 days you must toil to pay the costs of state and local regulations.

    Anyone feel violated yet?

  8. USWeapon,
    Not a free market? Did you buy anything yesterday? Were you forced at gun point to buy it? If not, that was a free market. It happens billions of times a day. Can’t you see that?

    You seem to just ramble around, complaining about anything “government” or “union”. You always have to get in your cheap shots!!

    The point is that the government has gone over the top in inserting itself into the world of business.

    Not really. Corporations do not like “uncertainty”. Regulations let the corporations know exactly what the rules and risks of the market are, so they limit uncertainty. As you pointed out, corporations own the politicians who create the regulations.

    the reality is that those things happened under a mixed economy that has always had government intrusion and thus never operated as free.

    Wait a minute – mixed economy?? Always had government intrusion??

    What happened to SOCIALISM?? And how great things were 100+ years ago??

    Are you saying that our mixed economy has existed since the Founders Fathers and they approved?? Say it ain’t so!!!

    So has a “market”, that meets your definition of “free market”, ever existed? If so, I’d like to know when and where. If not, why not? And how do you know it will work?

    And then some Ayn Rand to “brighten” my day!!

    The government’s only proper job is to protect individual rights against violence by force or fraud …

    to protect men from foreign invaders …

    to settle disputes among men according to objective laws …

    It seems our current government fits this definition PERFECTLY!! It all depends on your definition of a few key words!!

    The greatness of the Founding Fathers was how well they understood this issue and how close some of them came to understanding it perfectly.

    This part just sounds…lets say “not real intelligent”…it sounds like someone reaching to try to justify their thoughts…it sounds like Sarah Palin!

    I am disappointed there’s no quiz in this post. Those are always so much fun!!

    • So has a “market”, that meets your definition of “free market”, ever existed?

      It’s called the Black Market

    • “Not a free market? Did you buy anything yesterday?”
      I bought gasoline yesterday. Won’t dwell on the cost. How many different “formula’s are required by the government? They also regulate it’s storage and transportation.
      Gas has been in use for over a hundred years, most of it’s safe use comes from the businesses that provide it, having learned killing customers is not profitable. Now the gov. wants to add more regulations to the credit card I pay with, that I am not forced at gunpoint to use. This adds to my cost of using said card, along with all the costs of the regulations on nearly every product I buy.

      Free market? Bread has been around for thousands of years, before any government. How many regulations are now involved to produce bread in America?
      The farmer is heavily regulated, even though they have grown wheat for thousands of years, the gov. feels the need to “protect” us from miss-grown wheat? Baking bread, what can be added and how it’s written on the package. Nutrition info, failing to provide can result in fines and prison? And you call that a free market…………

      http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/our_retreat_from_prosperity.html

      July 11, 2011
      Our Retreat from Prosperity
      By Jack Curtis

      The process that built the United States into the world’s wealthiest country has reversed; it’s tearing down what it once built. Americans once sang proudly of “America the Beautiful”; now they avert their faces in guilty silence while demolishing everything that once defined them. They welcome strangers to replace them. This is an ending; it cannot end well. Long downhill slides never have.

      British colonists came to North America for opportunity denied by the rigidities of their home society. The British had made the most of the Industrial Revolution up to that time and they brought that with them. Some tried communal forms of organization; those quickly failed and were replaced by private property, which worked because people produced when they could own and enjoyed the result. Private property was a foundation inducing colonists to produce; a result was their buying and taking land to develop from the Indians, a process that accomplished the replacement of the Indians by the colonists.

      Spanish colonization awarded the land to elite settlers and absentee owners who enslaved the Indians to work it rather than driving them off, making a very different society compared to the farmers, traders, and manufacturers who appeared in most of North America. The southern plantations were the closest parallel but for their use of imported Africans to replace Indian labor.

      The American who developed out of this was optimistic, ambitious, hardworking, capable, and willing to sacrifice for future gain; what came to be called the Protestant Work Ethic was his sigil. He viewed an enormous land rich in resources, there for the taking. His government saw the lure for other governments and encouraged him to take as far and as fast as he could. The government protected manufacturers, provided farmland to homesteaders, and used huge land grants to encourage universities and railroads; the railroads in turn sold land cheaply to encourage farming, ranching, and mining as sources of business. Roads, canals, bridges, and other improvements were favored. By 1850, the United States had laid the base for its development into world leadership in manufacturing and agriculture. Immigrants from depressed countries flooded into the U.S. to share the opportunity unavailable on such a scale anywhere else, furnishing large amounts of both labor and knowledge. This was a potent mix on a new scale.

      American industrialization piled factories onto an agricultural society, accelerating urbanization. As it had in Europe, it displaced people, which provided fertile ground for politicians selling socialism in various forms as a means for relieving the economic distress. In Europe, the socialists were immediate beneficiaries of the Industrial Revolution. In the United States, the Civil War displaced additional people, especially in the South, and fed political corruption. Political reformers clustered around the idea that the solution to such large-scale problems had to be the federal government. Approaching the end of the 19th century, the came to call themselves Progressives and eclipsed Americas’ acknowledged socialists. They accomplished their first national political successes with passage of the Interstate Commerce Act, the Sherman Antitrust Act, and the Forest Reserve Act, which began government control of commercial carriers, of corporations, and of natural resources, all before 1900.

      The first Progressive president was Republican Theodore Roosevelt; the second, Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat. Both effectively forwarded Federal government control of the U.S. economy.

    • Todd

      I am curious how you think the defining of a few words would make our Govt today consistent with Rand.

      Please expand.

    • You seem to just ramble around, complaining about anything “government” or “union”. You always have to get in your cheap shots!!

      Or calling us (certainly me) ridiculous, etc. The guy wore his helmet too tight. But we’re wrong to criticize … because he can’t follow our arguments through … so he claims we change up on him (and don’t deal directly with what is on his mind). The problem is he’s so tunnel visioned by now, he can’t see how it is possible to interpret what he writes differently; see where he “maintains” things will work … try and unmaintain that … you’ll be subject to … well, you know.

      It’s what I meant by his posts being “front loaded” … he must have some GOP official to answer to … I mean, seriously, Stand Up For America? Until Palin self-destructed something tells me this place was Stand Up For Sarah … oy vey

  9. Ray Hawkins says:

    Quick sidebar….

    This here is one good book:

    SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper
    http://www.amazon.com/SEAL-Team-Six-Memoirs-Sniper/dp/031269945X

  10. I know I don’t contribute much, but I usually do enjoy reading along with the debates.

    I must say, this is getting very tiresome. It’s like the entire blog has become USW, JAC et al. vs Charlie, Todd, et al.

    “Free markets rock”
    “Show me the proof, I say free markets suck”
    “Well I can’t show you proof because the government gets involved”
    “Well then I don’t believe the free market rocks, I’ll take my government intervention”
    “But that’s what has ruined the free markets”
    “Show me the proof”
    “Well I can’t show you proof because the government gets involved”
    … later on …
    “The founding fathers suck because of slavery”
    “But addressing the slavery issue would have destroyed the union at the time”
    “Doesn’t matter, the founding fathers suck because they allowed it”

    Haven’t we had this discussion about 87 times already?

    • gmanfortruth says:

      JB,

      Way more than 87. Maybe someday a solution will arise from all the squabbling. Now wouldn’t that be a nice change :)

      • Indeed it would, G-Man.

        Not holding my breath…

        • Mathius™ says:

          Maybe you should try holding your breath? It would give us added incentive to solve the issues.

          BTW: I don’t say that the founding fathers suck because of slavery. I say that you can’t treat their opinions as unassailable (fail: appeal to authority) and I offer, as evidence, the fact that many believed slavery was not immoral. The conclusion, which invariably gets ignored, is that if they say, for example, “markets must be completely free,” you have to prove it to me by some other logic than “the FF’s said so” or you must opine that they are always right about everything. If the later, then explain why your stance on slavery is different than theirs.

          • LOL….dont fall for it JB…..Mathius will just run over there with a 42oz Red Bull and then where would you be?

          • Mathius

            When many of us invoke a quote from the Founders we are not simply using their existence or their role as “founders” as the authority, or evidence, in the argument.

            We are referencing all the understanding, knowledge and experience that these men, and women, had that led them to make the statements and decisions they made.

            It is a means of “footnoting” thousands of years of philosophy and political theory that was discussed during the period. Jefferson said……….means Jefferson, Locke, Rousseau, Smith, Aristotle, Plato, etc etc.

            So I find your disregard of their arguments just because they are not “evidence” equally vacuous as those who do in fact invoke their memory without knowledge of who they were or what they were really saying.

            • Mathius™ says:

              I do not accept the authority of Jefferson, Locke, Rousseau, Smith, Aristotle, Plato, etc etc. as a viable argument. I do not care who they are, what they studied, nor anything else. Appeal to authority is a void argument.

              If Hitler said the sky is blue, it is a true statement.
              If Plato said it is green, this is a false statement.

              Facts and arguments stand on their own merits regardless of who said so. Make your case without this invalid tactic.

              Or would you prefer I argued using statements from the government as footnoting thousands of years of philosophy and experience that these men, and women, had that led them to make the statements and decisions they made.

              • Mathius

                I did not ask you to accept their “authority”. Nor did I make an appeal to authority. I explained how many of us use them as a reference when quoting them. That is not the same as simply using them as the argument in itself.

                “I do not care who they are, what they studied, nor anything else.” Well if that doesn’t say one hell of a lot about your view of the world. So do you think all knowledge simply appears from thin air each new day?

                I should not have to restate every argument made in antiquity when others have summarized that knowledge at some other time. Don’t you think it reasonable that I can use a Jefferson quote if it captures the point I am trying to make? Would it make you feel better if I used the quote without citing the author?

                If you wish to debate their findings or conclusions then that is fine. Do so. But don’t assume that a reference to a Jefferson quote is simply an appeal to authority. Seems to me you are way over reacting to the use of quotes by the “founders” or anyone else for that matter.

          • I generally agree here. What the founding fathers said is not great because they said it, they are great because of what they said. We should be looking into the meaning behind the words. Since that is the case, the fact that some of them approved of slavery is irrelevant. It is a tribal argument (You don’t like slavery, you’re in my tribe. They like slavery, they are not in our tribe. Don’t believe anything they say.). It’s the same with hypocrisy in religion. Just because I can’t walk the walk doesn’t mean that what I say in untrue.

            • Most of the time when people bring up quotes by the Founders it is to support an argument about the Constitution-not as a way to claim the Founders were perfect. And most of the time when people bring up slavery-they just want to make their statements moot-by introducing racism into the debate-so everyone will ignore the point. You don’t like the Constitution-than try to change it-but stop with the race card playing because the founders didn’t have the ability to force all the states to agree to abolish it. The Constitution did give us the way to abolish it-they gave us that ability-and they should be given credit for doing so.

          • or you must opine that they are always right about everything. If the later, then explain why your stance on slavery is different than theirs.

            This is what so baffled USW this fine day. He doesn’t like having a quote he used (perhaps aimed at one specific discussion–the free market) assailed because in his mind that changes the argument. Wrong. When you use a quote to significy “Greatness” you immediately open that same quote to all the not-so-greatness behind it. That is the “inconvenient truth” USW fails to acknowledge, which is why so many of his posts end with Sarah Palin-like attempts to hoist the flag.

            Somebody explain to him that Sarah Palin is a MORON, please.

            • USWeapon says:

              Completely false Chaz, as usual.

              When a statement clearly says that something is great because of x, you don’t get to change x and say that the statement is false. That is what you have been trying to do all day. Your futile attempts to turn Rand’s quote into some endorsement of slavery by both Rand and myself, is not only dishonest, it is insulting. And the fact that you run around in circles trying to make it so makes you look like Palin more than I. I imagine that the only person on this site who will agree to your whacky logic will be Todd, who attempts to belittle me regularly using the same tactic. I don’t believe that the other left-leaning folk here will go down your crazy trail.

              Now, at what point will you be willing to discuss anything without bringing up slavery and native Americans as proof that the statement “all men are created equal” is false? Obviously the men who wrote it didn’t believe it or didn’t do enough to prove they believed it (depending on which camp you fall into). But it doesn’t change the fact that “all men were created equal” is a true statement. In the same vain, it doesn’t in the slightest impact what Rand believed the popular role of government to be. Stop dodging discussions by making ridiculous links and false statements, and get down to business, unless you are only interested in stirring pots and doing circles to avoid the topics. If that is where you want to remain, you can do so on your own.

    • JB

      You must have missed the several days that Todd and I were standing against BF. :)

      • Mathius™ says:

        I missed it too, I think… how’d that turn out?

        Let me guess you were both blue in the face while he stubbornly ignored reality?

  11. Good Grief-this is why this country is falling apart. This is why we are so divided. We don’t have a totally free market-very few on here or anywhere else believes we should have one. We also shouldn’t become more socialistic than capitalistic and that is where we are headed by our out of control friggin regulations, out of control unions, out of control corporations, out of control welfare state-and a huge federal government that uses everyone’s pet peeves to manipulate everything with their constantly changing legislation.

    Want to look like your punishing big business-raise taxes but over here lets give them some kind of subsidy. Want to look like we’re helping the little guy-regulate something-raise the cost of business and that little guy loses his job. Unions-hey they were actually helping people-so lets turn them into huge money making institutions-so the government owns them more than the actual employee. Yea, all this arguing in the media that reduces the right as anarchist and the left as socialist-is really working for us.

  12. Good morning, Charlie. Are we on the prod today? You seem to be stuck in a rut on this slavery bit and the fact that we had it here in a minority of cases. Slavery, and the buying and selling of same, was around before America was even a thought and you know this. It was a lucrative business the world over and it appears to me that you seem to think it was America’s fault. That is not to say that you will find that us opposite thinkers….the majority of us….did not and do not condone slavery in any form. Our government is just another slave master as it stands now but that does not seem to bother you any. Any attempt at free market, it seems, is something that you wish to control as slave masters controlled their charges. So let’s us talk a little of slavery and government.
    Let me see. A slave master controlled the actions and dictated how slaves, or its people, exists or does not exist. An intrusive government controls the actions and dictates how its people are to exist or do not exist. I do not see a difference here but let us progress a little further and stick with free market.
    The Story of Charlie, the Eye Talian Stella Man….by D13 the Colonel.
    Charlie, the Stella man, decides to open a…hmmm…eye talian food stand. He is a good cook and has a service and a talent that he wishes to exploit (other than Johnny Porno books). Exploit is a noun and a verb. In business, it has three applications. (1.) to utilize, especially for profit; turn to practical account: to exploit a business opportunity. (2.) to use selfishly for one’s own ends: employers who exploit their workers. (3.) to advance or further through exploitation; promote: He exploited his new movie through a series of guest appearances. So, Charlie, the Eye Talian Stella Man, is going to sell for profit his food. A free market allows him to look around and decide..”Hmmm, there is no one else in this type of business so I will market my good and services at $5 a plate. I will hire a couple of people and pay them to wash dishes and clean up the place at a cost of 1$ per plate, leaving a total of a $4 gross profit to pay for ingredients and such. ( I know this is economics 101, but bear with me a little further.) His food is great and the demand is such that he has long lines out the door. The free market says…Charlie, you can make more money because you are the stud duck. There is no competition. So, Charlie wants to expand his business and build a new home. He raises his prices to $10 per plate. His profits soar because the free market allows it. He expands his business with his profits and buys his new home and hires more people and his cost per plate rises as a result to $2 per plate and his gross expands exponentially. Everybody is happy. Even the people who like his food may be disgruntled a little because of the price but they still show up and are willing to pay the price to eat.
    Now comes the US Weaponator and sees an opportunity to open a competing food store and restaurant. He sees Charlie making profits but Charlie is also hiring people and adding to the economy. There is free trade happening BUT the Weaponator is pretty good as well and he sees that he can compete at a lower price and offer food just as good as Eye Talian. So, the Weaponator opens a……hmmmm…..Southwestern Cuisine food stand. BUT, his advertising says that the food is just as good as Charlie the EyeTalian Stell man and it is cheaper. My food, says the Weaponator, is $8 per plate and I will throw in a free drink. The free market allows this because there are no regulations dictating otherwise. The Weaponator understands that marketing is everything and he will get more volume at a lower price to make up for the $2 that the Stella man is charging. The Weaponator profits will be larger due to the volume, he hopes. After all, the Stella man set the wage structure at $2 per plate and I have to compete with that. Why would somebody work for me cheaper. So the Weaponator opens his business. The Stella Man does not like it but that is what the free market is dictating so he lowers his price to match the Weaponator and the now the people have a choice in food at the same price. (Charlie could have left his price higher if he chose to do so but he needed to complete). The market (people) set the price by consumption. So, everyone is happy. The free market is operating. Supply and demand are equal and the farmers are happy, the people are happy, and there is enterprise prospering.

    Then enters Buckster, the WALLA WALLA Legal Beagle politician. Charlie wants his profits back and he wants to control the market place so he gets the Buckster to go to the City of Cess Pool and change the regulations. The Buckster says…not so fast Stella man…if I do that, what do I get in exchange? The Stella man says, “ How about my vote and a hefty sum o’ dinero to line your pockets with because if you force a change in regulations to the Weaponator, I will be able to make a greater profit to pay you with… So the Buckster goes to Cess Pool City and changes the regulations. There is torpedo one to the free market system. He knows that the Stella man has certain ingredients so he passes a “law” that interestingly enough only affects the ingredients in the Weaponator and increases his cost through government intervention and regulation. In addition, the Buckster, having also attended the Obamanomics School of non-Business, issues a WAIVER exempting the Stella man and his ingredients from extra taxes and all regulation. Torpedo Two to the free market system.

    Last but not least, the final player of the game pounces upon the scene….we have MATHIUS, the Master of Red Bull, and government dominator. He decides that there is too much arguing and he decides that, after watching his favorite TV show “the government knows best” decides to regulate everything and make the people the pawns of the state. He agrees to a trade agreement that is imbalanced to a foreign entity “over the pond” that causes undue hardship onto both the Stella Man and the Weaponator. Torpedo number three to the free market system. Government trade agreements not in favor of his own citizens and eliminates the need for the markets here. Stalla man and the Weaponator both go out of business causing unemployment and wards of the state. Taxes on the rich are increased while the market is help captive to deceptive trade agreements and trade practices of the government. People become numbed and indifferent and used to not taking personal responsibility and blame the rich and corporations. Torpedo number four…..if you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.

    The moral of the story: Corporations did not destroy the free market. Government destroyed the free market. Intervention destroyed the free market. Then the saga of the puppet master…errr…slave master continues on….we are still in chains and we are still being whipped. If the market were truly free….the Stella Man and the Weaponator would still be putting out quality goods and the market (the people) decide which they like the best…..now….the market is controlled, the goods and services less, the people have no choices and the masters…..laugh. In the end, Charlie…..ATLAS Shrugs.
    Disclaimer: Any reflection in this story to actual persons or entities is coincidental.

    • Good afternoon, Colonel man!

      I like the story … until the competition showed up. Then I became Charlie Colbert and quickly used my profits to undermine USW eatery, causing him to go bankrupt. Since there were no regulators around, a few of his customers died from poisoning (unbeknownst to USW). I remained the only joint in town … raised my prices to $100 a plate … don’t like it, starve, I said. People robbed each other to eat. I fed them at $100 a plate with a discount of $1.00 on two meals. Eventually other establishments tried to open but Stella man was quick to sabotage those businesses too … see where I’m going here. I am Enron … GE … Goldman Sachs … now that I have all this money, I start to gamble and lose bit … very big … so big I need a $700 billion bailout … guess where I’m getting it from? Righto … thank you, sir, I think I’ll give myself a record bonus for pulling this off … I think I’ll set new record profits, then fire a couple hundred NY’ers because I can hire thousands in SE Asia and India for the same cost … God Bless American and the Stella man!

  13. Progressive Unemployment
    By Clarice Feldman

    The great political philosopher P. J. O’Rourke said, “You can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money.” If anyone doubted that, the present inhabitant of the White House has proven it by tossing away trillions of dollars on projects that had no lasting effect on eradicating poverty, creating employment, or improving the nation’s purse or infrastructure. Indeed, his initiatives have increased unemployment, will continue to do so, and must be reversed if we are ever to get back on track. He has given us all a clear picture of the devastating effect progressive policies have on employment.

    As the week drew to a close, the President and his advisers surely were gasping at the figures. It is what my friend Rick Ballard calls Wreckovery Summer. Most especially 9.2 percent unemployment, a figure significantly higher than what we’d been led to believe, and a figure higher than the 8 percent we were warned we would face if we didn’t open the doors of the treasury to create those promised “shovel ready “jobs. Jobs which today the President laughingly admits were not exactly shovel ready.

    As Bloomberg reports:

    “U.S. employers added 18,000 workers in June, less than forecast and the fewest in nine months, while the unemployment rate unexpectedly climbed, indicating a struggling labor market.” Plus this: “The so-called underemployment rate – which includes part- time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who want work but have given up looking – increased to 16.2 percent from 15.8 percent.”

    Both Obama and his party look like fools or liars. Just last year, then-Speaker of the House Pelosi promised if we passed ObamaCare we would create 400,000 jobs almost immediately.

    I’d say she is an economic nincompoop, but for the fact that in the past few years her already lavish financial holdings increased by 63%. Alas, for some reason her economic genius seems to work only for herself and her family.

    But, she was certainly not alone in peddling the snake oil Obama was producing. His vice president Joe Biden also promised voters a booming economy. Just last April he said:

    “All in all we’re going to be creating somewhere between 100[,000] and 200,000 jobs next month, I predict,” Biden said, according to a pool report, adding that he “got in trouble” for a job growth prediction last month. “Even some in the White House said, ‘Hey, don’t get ahead of yourself.’ Well, I’m here to tell you, some time in the next couple of months, we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.”

    “We caught a lot of bad breaks on the way down,” Biden added. “We’re going to catch a few Friday’ good breaks because of good planning on the way up.”

    Friday’s jobs report was apparently not the promised “good break.” It “stunned” economists, reported the New York Times, who must be talking to different economists than I’ve been reading:

    For the second month in a row, employers added barely any jobs in June, showing that the economic recovery has hit a serious speed bump.

    * With all levels of government laying off workers, the Labor Department reported that employers eked out just 18,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs in June. The already low number created in May was also revised downward to a dismally small 25,000 new jobs, less than half of what was originally reported last month.

    Although the government’s survey of employers showed them adding jobs, a separate survey of households showed that more people were out of work than in the previous month, causing the unemployment rate to rise to 9.2 percent.

    The President’s advisers and spokesmen are trying to brush off this unwelcome news. White House spokesman Carney says most people don’t analyze gross domestic product and unemployment numbers.

    David Plouffe, Obama’s senior political adviser says people won’t vote in 2012 based on the unemployment rate.

    I think these guys are wrong if they think the failure of the administration to gin up the economy will not hurt Obama’s reelection fortunes. People know if they are unemployed or not. And they aren’t blind to their children’s dim job prospects, and those of their neighbors and other family members.

    Professor Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection comments wittily but wisely that:

    “The only way for Obama to stimulate the enormous private sector job growth needed to ensure Obama’s reelection is for Obama to announce he is not running for reelection, which would unleash a wave of investment and economic activity not seen since the Great Depression.”

    What Jacobson means in this shorthand way is that the President and his party have brought investment, economic activity and hiring to a standstill by a series of ill-conceived actions, including the unworkable and grandiose ObamaCare, the stifling of almost all conventional domestic energy production, the arbitrary acts of his regulatory agency appointees.

    Having studied Soviet Law in my youth I predict the next action of the gang that has no idea how to create wealth, but knows only to demagogue voters with class warfare promises of free stuff grabbed from others, is to start looking for kulaks figuratively to hang. Never mind that it was the action of the government that killed domestic production from farming to manufacturing, they will start attacking the successful farmers and the hard working professionals (engineers, doctors, managers) and accuse them of sabotaging the economic recovery. At this point, America having been successful for so long in helping people climb the ladder, there are still so many of us in the kulak class I suspect it will be a harder sell than it was for Stalin.

    The jobs picture will improve when he’s out of office and we undo his handiwork (and that of Reid and Pelosi when the Democrats controlled two of the three branches of government and rode roughshod over us all). Still, it’s time we understood the chronic nature of this nation’s unemployment and start working together to change attitudes and laws to make it possible for unskilled workers to support themselves again if we are to have any hope of reducing poverty.

    I was impressed this week, by Walter Russell Mead’s article
    “Beyond the Big City Blues” in which he says the urban underclass in this country is not hampered as much by race as the left would have us believe, that their serious problems are not racial in nature.

    One of these problems, he notes is the lack of jobs. In this case progressive policies are largely at fault and must change, but these are the policies at the heart of Obama’s thinking and which given his intellectual rigidity he is unlikely to alter.

    Our most important task for returning poor urban neighborhoods to health is “the creation of large numbers of private sector jobs that relatively unskilled people can do,” Mead argues. He notes that the “days when domestic manufacturing anchored an emerging urban working class and provided a ladder into the middle class ” are dead. Obama’s preposterous notion that vast numbers of unskilled urban youths can be gainfully employed on “green projects’ like creating solar panels and retrofitting housing is quackery, a delusionary notion that he and his upper class supporters adore just as was the takeover of the auto companies in the belief that they could turn this industry (and with it Detroit and the UAW’s fortunes) around.

    The idea that manufacturing will return and save us is, I fear, a snare and a delusion. The road is closed. Foreign competition is part of the story, but technology is the real driver. As factories become more automated, you can make more and fancier stuff with fewer people. Ending free trade will wreck our economy and the world economy, put the world on the road to World War Three and give a boost to the robotics industry, but it won’t bring back the days of high wage unionized manufacturing labor in the United States.

    Generally speaking, manufacturing employment is going to shrink in the US over the medium to long term and large factories for big employers will be shedding workers as they update their technology rather than hiring. GM and GE will not propel the next generation of Americans into the middle class.

    No. contrary to the progressives’ vision, the urban underclass will find jobs in small businesses (if ObamaCare does not destroy them first) and many will not be “particularly attractive” Mead adds. Such jobs are often “smelly and noxious”; often it will be casual employment with few benefits. These jobs, like those of our grandfathers’ time are “bad jobs,” but it’s the only way for many to get on the ladder out of poverty.

    To get these jobs, we have to change the way our cities work. Essentially, we have created urban environments in which the kind of enterprises that often hire the poor – low margin, poorly capitalized, noisy, smelly, dirty, informally managed without a long paper trail – can’t exist. The kind of metal bashing repair shops that fill the cities of the developing world are almost impossible to operate here. Plumbers, carpenters, electricians, pushcart vendors and day care operators need licenses; construction work has to comply with elaborate guidelines and city bureaucracies disgorge the required permits slowly and reluctantly.

    [snip]

    The combination of a tangled thicket of regulations that interact with one another in unpredictable ways and a bureaucracy that for whatever reasons cannot manage the process in a timely way is a massive job killer. The number of small enterprises that have not started, of small businesses that have given up on expansions or on simple repair jobs deferred is incalculable but large. Our cities are strangling themselves in red tape; we need to a better job of balancing the legitimate need for safety and health regulation with the need to promote enterprise and the kind of jobs that our fellow citizens can actually get.

    Changing the way cities work matters a lot. If we want new businesses and new jobs in our inner cities, we are going to have to declare war on the cost structures of cities like New York and Chicago. The tax load must come down drastically, implying both a reduction in government activities and a revolution in the way services are provided. The forest of regulations that makes everything from opening a new business to repairing a building complex and expensive must be dramatically thinned. If we are serious about creating conditions in which workers with poor skills can make a living inside great cities, we have to move away from regulations and practices which make it prohibitively expensive to do business there.

    In fact, it’s time to challenge the very notion that people who so hamstring development are in any real sense ‘progressive.” They and the president benefit a certain tier — upper middle class citizens and overly compensated, well-cushioned public employee union members — who whether they mean to or not are preventing job creation for all, but most especially for those most in need of work.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/progressive_unemployment.html

  14. Mathius™ says:

    The government’s only proper job is to protect individual rights against violence by force or fraud …

    Hmm…….

    Well now….

    That’s very interesting…

    Force I get, yes, that makes sense.. but fraud?

    Hmm… how, pray tell, does Ayn Rand’s government protect against fraud without impacting on the free market?

    Any government intrusion into the market, no matter how well-intentioned, distorts the marketplace. For example, if you are concerned about fraud, you should pay a premium to deal with a reputable seller, conversely, if you are willing to take your chances, you can buy for a discount but risk being the victim of fraud from a disreputable seller. Government intervention distorts free-market feature, no?

    It seems the rule, in fact, the only “law” applicable to a truly free market (if such a thing were ever to exist) would be this: caveat emptor.

    Ayn Rand is like everyone else who wants government OUT! OUT! OUT!.. except in some preferred exception or another.. the hypocrisy is staggering.

    Government should get our lives! But, you know, those gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry!
    Government taxes are too high! But the poor should have to pay more!
    Government is wasteful and irresponsible! But the moon landing is proof of America’s greatness (that one belongs to Glenn Beck)
    Government is dangerous – that’s why we need our guns! We have a right to invade anyone we want!
    and so on and so forth..

    I need a vacation.

    • Mathius

      Your accusations of hypocrisy are due to your lack of understanding about what she actually said.

      First, she never used “violence” as her ethical criteria for govt. She used “force” and went to lengths to explain why theft and fraud were forms of “force”.

      Second, while she supported use of govt to address this it was not via regulation of business activity. It was the creation of laws and courts to prosecute and convict for fraud. Her arguments here were often directed at those pushing for NO Govt as the only correct moral base.

      • Mathius™ says:

        I’ll admit that I’ve never ready her books. I was tempted to pick up Atlas, for my flight back from Vegas, but opted instead for Starship Troopers by Heinlein – I wanted to read something more realistic.

        That said, can you clarify for me how fraud equals force?

        Let me know if I need to put back on my really cool Jack Sparrow hat.

        • Starship Troopers…..pretty cool book.

          PS: Your really nifty Jack Sparrow hat is missing. What you see is a cleverly designed counterfeit. DPM snuck in a got it and has moved from Baja California to somewhere called Tahiti.

          • Mathius™ says:

            I’m about 2/3 through it (he just completed OCS). I’m looking at the page count though and worried that it’s going to end about 600 pages too soon :/

            That’s ok that he took my hat – I still have his rail gun.. I think I’m still ahead.

        • I wanted to read something more realistic.

          Line of the year. I am literally laughing my fat ass off …

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Ha! Thanks Charlie! In the words of Glenn Beck: “I could kiss you on the mouth”.

              • Ray

                I am disappointed in your cheering here. Hitchens does not address a single one of Rand’s propositions. He just makes fun of the books based on the idea there is enough selfishness. Not recognizing he is not using the same definition as Rand, and that is why she included it in here essays.

                Whether she is right or wrong can be debated but it must be on merits, not snide remarks about the quality of her novels. I usually like Hithchins but found this to be quite childish. His accent and with allow him to play this game and get away with it.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @JAC – easy partner – I like Hitchens (mostly) – I wouldn’t count his “analysis” here as very cerebral. He seemed more of a drunk and incoherent. I took this as a joke……

          • Mathius™ says:

            8)

  15. I will concede that the free market may not solve all the problems of the market

    Yes it can, once you are dead. :)

    Every human solution to a human problem creates a new human problem.

    Believing that freedom cannot solve all problems is irrational. That is NOT the goal, since such a goal is ridiculous within the framework of the Universe.

    The goal: the best solution to a problem, which exists within the exercise of freedom

  16. Re: Fraud

    I do NOT support the use of violence on non-violent men no matter the reason – such a justification, such as “fraud”, will begin the chain reaction of violence which will always end up with tyranny on the masses.

    I will agree that fraud is evil within the definition that all human evil is created by manifestation of a contradiction.

    Fraud is a lie – a lie being a contradiction to the truth, thus is evil.

    Does a man have a right to use violence on non-violent evil?

  17. Obama vs. Obama
    Not long ago, Obama warned that raising taxes in a struggling economy is “the last thing you want to do.”
    1:21 AM, Jul 11, 2011 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES

    In a 75-minute meeting Sunday night, President Obama once again demanded that more than $1 trillion in tax increases be part of any deficit reduction package attached to a vote on the debt ceiling. In the session, Obama rejected a Republican proposal to seek $2.5 trillion in spending cuts and reforms, and insisted on higher taxes on businesses and wealthy individuals.
    Barack Obama,

    It’s a curious position, given the anemic economic growth and rising unemployment. And it’s even more curious considering that Obama himself has warned about the deleterious effects of raising taxes in a struggling economy.

    In August 2009, on a visit to Elkhart, Indiana to tout his stimulus plan, Obama sat down for an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, and was conveyed a simple request from Elkhart resident Scott Ferguson: “Explain how raising taxes on anyone during a deep recession is going to help with the economy.”

    Obama agreed with Ferguson’s premise – raising taxes in a recession is a bad idea. “First of all, he’s right. Normally, you don’t raise taxes in a recession, which is why we haven’t and why we’ve instead cut taxes. So I guess what I’d say to Scott is – his economics are right. You don’t raise taxes in a recession. We haven’t raised taxes in a recession.”

    Todd reminded Obama that he had promised to raise taxes on “some of the wealthiest” Americans.

    Obama responded by reiterating his opposition to tax hikes during a recession and making an argument about timing. “We have not proposed a tax hike for the wealthy that would take effect in the middle of a recession. Even the proposals that have come out of Congress – which by the way were different from the proposals I put forward – still wouldn’t kick in until after the recession was over. So he’s absolutely right, the last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up – take more demand out of the economy and put business further in a hole.”

    When Obama warned about the consequences of raising taxes, the economy was moving away from recession—growth in the fourth quarter of 2009 was nearly 6 percent. Today, however, economic growth has slowed to less than 2 percent. Even before the horrible June jobs report, economists were warning about the “substantial” possibility of a double-dip recession. Many others agreed after the news last week. “In addition to the shock value…we need to seriously question whether a double-dip is there,” David Ader, chief treasury strategist at CRT Capital, told CNBC. “I would say it’s back on the table.”

    If raising taxes in a recession would be “the last thing you want to do,” wouldn’t raising taxes in a struggling economy teetering on a double-dip be the second last thing you’d want to do?

    Obama made a similar argument in December, when he signed the bipartisan tax relief agreement – a deal that maintained Bush tax rates (even for the wealthy) and included additional tax breaks for businesses. “Millions of entrepreneurs who have been waiting to invest in their businesses will receive new tax incentives to help them expand, buy new equipment or make upgrades – freeing up other money to hire new workers.”

    If Obama was right and the tax breaks in that deal freed up money for job creators to hire new workers, isn’t the reverse true? Isn’t it the case that new taxes on entrepreneurs and other job creators will leave them with less money to hire new workers? And wouldn’t raising taxes on the “wealthiest” just “put business further in a hole,” as Obama believed just two years ago?

    His economics were right. So why the change?

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-vs-obama_576524.ht

    I don’t think I would say his economics were right-simply convenient.

  18. only the one think you can be shown to be wrong about

    I guess if you weren’t a slave, it might digest a little better.

    The mistake you guys keep making is the following: Reaching out to the Founding Fathers for “greatness” while excusing some of the “not so great” stuff … it’s hard to take serious, fellas.

    • Mathius™ says:

      Bush was a great President!… you know, except for all the stuff he did in office that wasn’t great..

    • USWeapon says:

      I cannot speak for everyone, only myself. For me, that statement is and remains untrue no matter how many times you attempt to make it so. I will reach out to the founders for greatness because what they accomplished and put together was the greatest attempt at government to date. In the same way that I can call Jordan great despite the fact that he never had an undefeated season or a season without some bad games from him.

      What I do not do, nor have I ever done, is DISMISS the “not so great” stuff. That is your projection of my position, not my position. Slavery was an abomination. But it doesn’t mean that everything that they did or said was wrong. It is a simple concept that you fully understand yet refuse to acknowledge because you think you are “winning” your discussions by constantly throwing it out there in order to distract from discussing the real issues. I don’t dismiss what the founders did wrong. I simply don’t allow you to use it as a distraction and I don’t let it cloud my vision about the other things that they did right.

  19. This should brighten Gman’s day … since the childishness is aimed at moi and the Dems again. The Doc says …

    http://temporaryknucksline.blogspot.com/2011/07/doc-says_11.html

  20. I have a question-people keep saying the Republicans shouldn’t hold raising the debt ceiling like a gun to get cuts-but from what I have been reading the world is upset about our printing money and the effect it is having on their economy-and the fear that our dollar is becoming worth less and less-So how would just raising the ceiling take away the danger of our rating being lowered?

    • VH,

      You have been on fire today! Several great articles shared and great posts, sorry i haven’t had time to respond.

      “the Republicans shouldn’t hold raising the debt ceiling like a gun to get cuts-”
      More like they are holding the check book. But say it’s correct then the Dem’s are holding tax increases on the wealthy like the exact same gun.

      “the world is upset about our printing money and the effect it is having on their economy”
      Geithner has answered that, when we do it,(making US goods cheaper to them) it’s necessary to stimulate our economy. When China does it,(or anybody else) it’s currency manipulation.

      “So how would just raising the ceiling take away the danger of our rating being lowered?” It’s just one of several factors, the main one being presenting a plan
      that is believable as far as showing we will remain solvent, which cannot happen if spending reforms are not enacted.

      Keep cool! Nite.

  21. I suggest you learn how to write a research paper, essay, etc. , but rather than beat that dead horse again, as to this:

    But it doesn’t change the fact that “all men were created equal” is a true statement

    NO matter which camp you’re in, some men are born strong, others weak. Some are born proactive, others lazy. Some are born hairy, others not so hairy … thus it is not a true statement.

    The point being: careful what you use to expound on what “greatness” is … I actually have much less of a problem with the constitution than you might think, including the founding fathers, except for the inherent selfishness of the thing (excluding those were there first and enslaving some of those brought from Europe and Africa). The point was (once again), when you hold up something as “great” it isn’t so just because you (or Ayn Rand) think it is so. There are way too many foibles in the argument to justify “X” or “Y” (which you never proved anyway, as being “great”). It was a statement you made … you make a lot of statements I laugh at. Some of my left friends who peer in from time to time think you’re from the other side of my Pluto (so to speak).

    • Now Charlie-being a little bit literal here aren’t we-“all men were created equal” isn’t true because we all aren’t the exact same-or even because some are disabled and some aren’t. You of all people Charlie-who screams about inequality-you don’t understand the importance and truth of this statement.

      • V.H. I do, I really do. I was just making a point (that ANY statement is subject to opinion/interpretation). I do believe all men are created equal (morally, it is a no brainer for me). I was just making a point regarding how statements can (rightfully so or not) be impugned. No harm intended.

        • :) You might make a point of pointing out when your just making a point-you would be better understood and you could have started a three day debate. :lol: I also just must ask, I cannot stop myself-Don’t you think the Founders were great for taking pen to paper and claiming this truth for mankind-it was a rather new approach to government. :)

  22. One last time (and a peace offering to USW):

    you don’t get to change x

    Who changed x? I simply impugned your “greatness” authority (Ayn Rand and the Founding Fathers). How’s that quote go: “You can’t handle the truth!”

    You made a statement I don’t think is very credible. I impugn it by assailing the authority you use to defend your position. “Greatness” is a big ticket item you (and Rand) are tossing around. I find your claim that government has ruined business false. The fact you agree that business has corrupted politicians, but they are the ones forming the legislation (and aside from all the “regulations” you’re so concerned about–gifted big business $700 billion no strings attached dollars), you claim government regulations are ruining business.

    Well, you could’ve fooled me. That $700 billion isn’t as convenient to forget as Ms. batshit Rand feels slavery was.

    Bottom line, you didn’t prove your point to anybody but yourself (and your supporters). While we (on the left) know there are some tedious and absurd regulations, we don’t see them hindering big business any (they certainly haven’t stopped big business from doing whatever it wants). Now, are you only for small businesses and against big business or is your convoluted position even more confusing?

    Because I gotta tell you, the idea of making this market more free than it currently is, is pretty frightening to me. While competition is a good thing, I doubt there’d be much of it once the regulations were stripped wholesale. The biggest buck would win … and if you think you can find a group of “ethical politicians” who wouldn’t read the laws on the books in favor of big business, you really are living the Ayn Rand fantasy.

    In this regard, I’d side with BF first … and take away all forms of government (why have child labor laws when we as consumers could walk away from such evil practices)? I’d almost enjoy watching the brutes of the world take what they want (the chaos that would ensue) … if for no other reason, to show the Ayn Randers what a crock of shit they spew.

    Now, I’m willing to put aside the “childishness” if you are. For the third (or forth) time, the ball is your court.

    • Charlie

      In my view it was in fact you who changed the argument. Just as you always do when it comes to the Founders.

      So lets review your latest and square it with what you really did.

      “I simply impugned your “greatness” authority (Ayn Rand and the Founding Fathers). How’s that quote go: “You can’t handle the truth!”

      Here was your first response to the Rand quote:

      “Nothing quite like a quote from a batshit broad to make my day. Let’s take this one apart piece by piece, shall we?

      “to protect individual rights”, bla, bla, bla leading to the “greatness of the Founding Fathes” … These the same dudes didn’t mind slavery? Too bad they weren’t around for another 100+ years to see it start to be abolished. You (and this whack job, Rand) call that greatness. Those who can think on their own call it some serious bullshit (like all men are created equal, etc.).”

      Now I guess if “impugning” means name calling to you then yes, you impugned USW’s “authority”. However, since all you do is call names in the first sentence there is no “truth” to be handled.

      The next sentence is where you start changing the argument. Rand is stating her view that the greatness of the Founders was in understanding these principles about the role of govt and “how close SOME of them came to understanding it perfectly”. USW, by citing Rand, is offering the same opinion. However, in your tirade you don’t really impugn Rand’s claim, except to call her a “batchit broad”. What you do is play your usual “slavery” card regarding the Founders. So in fact, you did not impugn the “authority” cited by USW, which was Rand.

      Then you fall into your usual pattern of substituting your version or view for the actual facts. First of all, most of the Founders clearly understood these principles. SOME far more so than others. One only has to read the Federalist Papers and Convention Debates to understand this. Let alone the multitude of other works on these men. MANY of those same men spoke out against slavery and argued for its abolition. Even those that owned slaves at the time, like Jefferson and Washington.

      This of course calls into question your claim that these “dudes didn’t mind slavery”. Clearly many of them DID MIND slavery. They simply lacked the ability to do anything about it. WHY? Because they put the needs of the unified nation ahead of their principles, which they had articulated. Where in I must invoke the golden rule of BF that “contradictions” are the source of all evil.

      So Charlie, their Greatness was in “understanding”, some almost perfectly. Why should this be considered “great”? Because no body of men trying to form a govt. had ever tried to articulate those principles let alone implement them. Their Failure was in not sticking with the principles. But notice, neither Rand nor USW stated that the Founders were simply Great. They stated that their greatness was restricted to this single concept of “understanding”.

      Let me put it in terms you may better associate with. The Greatness of the Buffalo Bills was their ability to get to the Super Bowl more consistently than any other team of their time.

      • However, in your tirade you don’t really impugn Rand’s claim, except to call her a “batchit broad”. What you do is play your usual “slavery” card regarding the Founders. So in fact, you did not impugn the “authority” cited by USW, which was Rand.

        The slavery card in this instance seems to debunk Rand’s credibility quite well, I think. The fact there was slavery the great founding fathers overlooked (or ignored or whatever) seems to suggest (at least to me) they weren’t so great and therefore not such a great authority.

        Then you fall into your usual pattern of substituting your version or view for the actual facts.

        I’m confused as to why you’re so confused about the “actual facts” (Slavery–did it exist or not)?

        MANY of those same men spoke out against slavery and argued for its abolition. Even those that owned slaves at the time, like Jefferson and Washington

        How’s that slogan go again: Let the buyer beware? Ignorance (or intelligence) is no excuse under the law (and you should know that). Their intent was worth squat to those enslaved, yes or no?

        This of course calls into question your claim that these “dudes didn’t mind slavery”. Clearly many of them DID MIND slavery. They simply lacked the ability to do anything about it. WHY? Because they put the needs of the unified nation ahead of their principles, which they had articulated. Where in I must invoke the golden rule of BF that “contradictions” are the source of all evil.

        The “dudes” quote, I thought, was effective sarcasm. Clearly, they didn’t mind ENOUGH, eh? Are you claiming that “the needs of the unified nation” required slaves? Gee, that’s comforting.

        their Greatness was in “understanding”, some almost perfectly

        JAC, we’re back to “intent” again, and I have to return to my theory (let’s call it) that those enslaved probably weren’t thinking their understanding meant a whole hell of a lot.

        Let me put it in terms you may better associate with. The Greatness of the Buffalo Bills was their ability to get to the Super Bowl more consistently than any other team of their time.

        Ah, a subject I know well … the ungreatness (in fact, to their ultimate shame) of the Buffalo bills was in losing more consistently than any other team of their time … and therein lies the rub, JAC; any statement, ANY STATEMENT is subject to interpretation and impugning.

        • Let me clarify (on the Bills). 4 consecutive superbowl losses is something that will never be challenged. They should’ve crashed their plane on the way home from the third fiasco (in my humble opinion). Certainly, Ralph Wilson should’ve fired Levy after the 2nd debacle. There was nothing great about losing 4 consecutive super bowls, not to me.

        • Charlie

          “Are you claiming that “the needs of the unified nation” required slaves? Gee, that’s comforting.”

          YES Charlie, that is what history tells us. In fact the French and Brits were willing to exploit a divide in the colonies to their advantage. Thus threatening the independence recently won in war.

          South Carolina, and I believe North Carolina would not approve the constitution and the Country we now called the “United” States would not have existed.

          I understand your argument on the greatness issue. Apparently you are unable to deal with the specific comment in its own context. Instead you want to judge Rand’s claim on criteria that you assign, which is not the criteria she assigned. That is why you are changing the argument Charlie. It is not a matter of interpretation. You are simply unwilling to consider the greatness of these many men and women in context of the period in which they lived because in your view they failed to live up to their principles. I and others are able to recognize the greatness of grand ideas or actions in and of themselves. At the same time we do not discount their failures in other matters. There has not been a single human in history that could live up to your criteria for greatness. Perhaps not even Jesus himself.

          Ironically, what Rand was doing was challenging conventional wisdom about the greatness of the founders as a matter of general fact.

          So do you condemn all those founders who spoke against slavery, did not own slaves and proposed resolutions to abolish slavery? Do they fail the greatness test also, because they could not persuade their fellow delegates?

          • YES Charlie, that is what history tells us.

            Really? So what’s the excuse for slavery leading up to the war for independence (there were European slaves as well, brought over to till the land up north, work as servants, etc., don’t you know).

            Ignoring that FACT, let’s examine how you seem to defend what the FF did (ignore an entire race of people) because “it was good for the nation”. WTF, JAC? Seriously.

            So do you condemn all those founders who spoke against slavery, did not own slaves and proposed resolutions to abolish slavery? Do they fail the greatness test also, because they could not persuade their fellow delegates?

            It’s interesting how you pose the question, JAC, “those founders,” etc. because NO WHERE in the Rand quote USW used did it mention “those founders” … it simply stated “the greatness of the founding fathers”. That you need to qualify it so distinctly here is telling enough.

            • I’m sorry-does Jac qualify it-he qualifies it based on the ideals they promoted-such as “all men are created equal”-you are the one who quite frankly employs prejudice to disqualify the whole group on the basis of what some believed. But guess what in the end the ideals won out and slavery was ended.

            • Charlie

              You: Really? So what’s the excuse for slavery leading up to the war for independence (there were European slaves as well, brought over to till the land up north, work as servants, etc., don’t you know).

              Me: Yes, really. It is history Charlie. Not sure what the hell the rest of your comment has to do with my statement. Fact remains that if the Convention had tried to abolish slavery, which was attempted by the way, there would not have been a United States. What is not known is what the reaction or outcome. Would the Carolina States have returned to the Confederation or would some of the southern states simply seceded and formed a new nation, or stayed as separate nations. Would Virginia go with the Carolinas or stay with the others? We can’t answer these questions with absolute certainty. But we do know that the Constitution which formed this Republic would not have been ratified.

              You: Ignoring that FACT, let’s examine how you seem to defend what the FF did (ignore an entire race of people) because “it was good for the nation”. WTF, JAC? Seriously.

              Me: Once again you play your most obnoxious card…….projecting false behavior or values on others. Show me specifically where I “defend” what they did. Go ahead, try and show me. You seem to confuse my presentation of historical facts and accepted interpretations as some sort of “rationalization” of slavery.

              You: It’s interesting how you pose the question, JAC, “those founders,” etc. because NO WHERE in the Rand quote USW used did it mention “those founders” … it simply stated “the greatness of the founding fathers”. That you need to qualify it so distinctly here is telling enough.

              Me: The question was regarding YOUR criteria Charlie. It was not about Rand’s, USW’s or mine, but YOURS. It was YOU who claimed the founders as not deserving the judgment of GREATNESS in any form because they failed to eliminate slavery with the Constitution, or after the Declaration. So given YOUR criteria, how do you rate those other founders who did in fact fight to end slavery and did not own slaves? Do they still fail your criteria for assigning “greatness”?

              As for the last sentence I suggest you read the entire statement in its entirety. You obviously are trying to assign criteria to only part of the argument without considering the ramifications of the second part.

              • USWeapon says:

                Amen JAC… at least someone is making an attempt to understand my position.

              • Fact remains that if the Convention had tried to abolish slavery, which was attempted by the way, there would not have been a United States.

                I think, JAC, you’re confusing my angst here. Frankly, I’m appalled that you even ask the question (to me). Who gives a flying fuck about the creation of the United States if it had to have come at the expense of men in chains? Now, I wasn’t alive then and can’t speak to how I would have felt then, but the fact YOU POINT OUT yourself that “some”/ “many” were against slavery says enough for me to believe the issue should have been held to a higher standard than the creation of the United States. That’s my opinion. I’m not willing to accept that an entire race of people be enslaved for a friggin’ concept (because that’s all it was at the time). We now have the luxury of excusing it for any number of reasons (none of which are valid, by the way), but what about the people enslaved?

                So, fuck the ratification of the constitution. That answer your question about how I feel?

                Show me specifically where I “defend” what they did. Go ahead, try and show me. You seem to confuse my presentation of historical facts and accepted interpretations as some sort of “rationalization” of slavery.

                Excuse me for taking those long-ass winded responses as a defense of what the FF wound up doing (for the sake of the nation), which I still do because I’m not sure how to otherwise interpret your statement. Perhaps you presentation is confusing itself (see my example of how not to frontload a past with negative commentary — I left it for USW’s sake).

                It was YOU who claimed the founders as not deserving the judgment of GREATNESS in any form because they failed to eliminate slavery with the Constitution, or after the Declaration. So given YOUR criteria, how do you rate those other founders who did in fact fight to end slavery and did not own slaves? Do they still fail your criteria for assigning “greatness”?

                Yes, so, what’s your point? They fail … the same way my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills failed to win a ring (YOUR example). In my book, the morality question was a friggin’ no brainer. Let’s see, Create a nation on paper or leave people in chains?

                Please.

                Your last para read like legalize that made no sense (first part of the second part). My head is swimming, just took a long walk in the heat.

  23. JAC, JAC, JAC …. I so want to make peace with you, but you keep at it without hesitation. I often call unions out on their corruption (and in fact wrote a few blogs about the corruption of the President of the AFL-CIO in continuing to support Obama after he ignored the WI demonstrations (and his pledge to put on comfortable shoes, etc.).

    I even used corrupt unions in my first crime novel (showed how some are corrupt). So, you’re wrong on that point.

    Todd and I, I suspect, return volleys of nastiness. I know that’s the case with myself and USW. I’m pretty sure you took the first swing in this battle. If I offended you first, I surely apologize (but I don’t think that’s the case). Maybe you don’t like what we have to say … maybe. I’m not sure.

  24. This should be interesting-and good questions-why shouldn’t they? Why do the public unions have the right to stand up and demand that government give them what they demand and individual’s stand up and demand what they didn’t earn-but the so-called rich(which includes alot of people and business’s that didn’t get the bail outs) should just stand by and allow the government to take what is theirs? Why should the middle class put up with the cost of everything they need to survive going up-in order to give these people this money? And why isn’t there a middle ground -where people can agree to help-but not agree to be raked over the coals -or to acknowledge some kind of right-which in reality is compassionate giving?

    July 12, 2011
    Make the Capital Strike Official
    By Gene Schwimmer

    One factor that distinguishes the current recession from previous ones in memory is that past recessions have been coincided with a falling stock market. That the market has virtually doubled from its low of about 6,600 in March 2009, is something on which the finance punditocracy should comment. But today, we have a much more important, related, fiscal fish to fry.

    All those dollars that the Fed has been printing have to go somewhere and the U.S. stock market clearly is one of those places. Which is why we don’t hear much of the lament one usually hears in economic downturns about “money sitting on the sidelines” of the stock market as mutual funds and individual investors await the opportune time to start investing again.

    No, what we hear about these days is not investor and mutual fund cash sitting on the sidelines of the stock market. What we hear instead, and for the first time, at least in my lifetime, are the lamentations not of investors in business, but of the businesses themselves. And the “sidelines” they sit on are not of the stock market, but of the entire U.S. economy. The number I most often hear is $2 trillion — $2 trillion of cash sitting in the coffers of businesses large and small, waiting?

    Waiting… for what? The speculators have speculated, the pundits have pundited and the Obama administration has buried its collective head in the burning sands of Denial Beach. Everyone understands, intuitively, what’s happening, no “sideline-sitter” has come forward to state the issue explicitly. Atlas is shrugging, but he’s not talking.

    Or he wasn’t until April 20, 2011. That was the day that legendary adman Jerry Della Femina — an Atlas if there ever were one — published an editorial in the East Hampton Independent, in which he announced the sale of his eponymous, and successful, restaurant, a restaurant that had long been his dream and his passion. He joined AT’s C. Edmund Wright who 3 years earlier, announced his withdrawal from the business he had built from scratch.

    Rather than merely announce the sale, Della Femina, like Wright, told his readers why he was selling and if the folks at American Thinker will indulge me, I think Della Femina bears quoting at length (emphases mine):

    In 2008 I watched Barack Obama run over Hillary Clinton to become our President.

    From the very first “Yes We Can” and “Change You Can Believe In,” I decided that this country was falling in love with an attractive, great-speechmaking hustler/socialist who, if he got into office, was going to pursue his agenda to destroy the best health care in the world and re-distribute wealth. Yours and mine.

    I told my friends that from that moment on everything I owned – my houses, my advertising business, my newspaper and my restaurant – was for sale.

    A lot of people have come around to my way of thinking, but there is no way in the world that Barack Obama won’t be reelected in 2012.

    If you think that Obama’s plan for over-taxing everyone but the 46 percent who don’t pay any income tax (including his friend Jeffery Imholt and General Electric) will stop after he’s re-elected in 2012, you are naïve.

    Why does this so go against my grain? Maybe it’s because of where I’ve come from to get to where I am. I’ve been broke, so broke with a wife and kids and no job that I had to borrow money from my parents, who didn’t have it for themselves but always managed to come up with it for me.

    I got lucky and worked day and night and built a great advertising agency. I have employed thousands of people in my lifetime. I’ve been good to them and they have been good to me.

    I’m just not ready to have my wealth redistributed. I’m not ready to pay more tax money than the next guy because I provide jobs and because I work a 60-hour week and I earn more than $250,000 a year.

    So why am I dropping out? Read a brilliant book by Ayn Rand called Atlas Shrugged, and you’ll know.

    As the blogocracy says, read the whole thing.

    Now, as a subsequent article in Forbes noted, this is not quite Atlas Shrugged; Della Femina sold his restaurant, he didn’t destroy it and he doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who would intentionally sell his business to someone who would run it into the ground. But it is also a fact that transferring ownership of an existing businesses differs significantly from starting a new one; yes, it preserves existing jobs, but barring a significant expansion of the restaurant’s business, it does not create new ones.

    And that’s a tragedy. But if I can steal — and mangle — a line from Patrick Henry, if this be tragedy, let us make the most of it. Whether he realizes it or not, Della Femina, with his explicitly Galtian statement, has done the nation a great service. It now behooves every Atlas who agrees with Della Femina — and, one would hope, Della Femina himself — to build on what Della Femina has started. Now that one Atlas has shrugged, it is time for all like-minded Atlases to shrug, too, and, like Della Femina, to announce it publicly.

    What we have in America today is a capital strike, straight out of the pages of Atlas Shrugged. And what we have, in Della Femina’s editorial, is John Galt’s 60-page speech condensed into a few paragraphs.

    But what don’t have and what we need, is to make the capital strike official. We — those of us who care about this country’s future and who honor its past — need other “Atlases” to join Della Femina in withdrawing their wealth, their talent, and their genius, from the economy until the government comes to its senses, removes the shackles from the innovators and job-creators on the one hand, and stops punishing them for their well-earned success on the other.

    Until the government reforms the tax code; drastically reduces government’s size and its role (read, intrusion) into the private sector; slashes regulations to allow free markets to function and generally cease and desist from treating – and using – five percent of the American people as the personal ATM of the other 95 percent, that five percent should publicly pledge not to invest a single penny in the people who vote to seize their wealth from them.

    Editorials, such as Jerry Della Femina’s, backed by action, are a good start, but only a start. The time has come for capital to organize – to band together and quantify the funds they have or intend to sequester. And, like Della Femina, they should buttress words with action.

    But most important, they should organize. Like the leeches and moochers who throng congressional halls and offices like packs of wolves, their intended victims should create their own organization and start advocating. They should write and promulgate a manifesto that announces a capital strike and states the reasons for it. And, above all, such a manifesto should list the specific demands that the government must meet for them to agree to participate in the economy again.

    If it is right for public service employees to organize and shut down local, state and the federal government by withholding their labor, then why would it not be equally right for the wealthy to do the same by withholding their capital?

    If it is right for labor unions to intimidate politicians by promising to donate or withhold, as the case may be, the vast sums of union dues at their disposal, then why would it not be equally right for “the wealthy” to do the same with the funds at their disposal? Never mind that union dues are forced exactions from members, many of whom “joined” the union involuntarily in closed shops, while the wealth of “the wealthy” is derived from the provision of products and services purchased by willing consumers, voluntarily.

    If it is right for representatives of various and sundry special interest groups to sit before congressional committees to explain why the power of the state should be used to seize and transfer the wealth of one category of citizens to another that did not earn it, then surely the people whose wealth is to be seized have the right to have their own representative testify on their behalf.

    If we can have a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, why can we not have, too, a National Association for the Protection of People Who Provide Jobs for the Advancement of Colored People (and Everyone Else)?

    What would a job-creators’ manifesto contain? Certainly, there would be a preamble, stating the signers’ intention to put their capital on strike and the reasons therefor, as embodied in Jerry Della Femina’s editorial. A statement that America was founded on the principle that God created all men equal, not all incomes, would be a nice touch.

    A bit of advice for any prospective member: Transfer as much of your wealth as possible overseas. Declare your income, of course, and pay the taxes, but put the remaining fruits of your labor beyond the reach of the left, who, should they ever once again regain full power, can be expected to make every effort to seize it.

    You might also want to read up on the constitutional prohibition on bills of attainder. Should the Democrats decide to repatriate your overseas wealth de facto with confiscatory tax rates, you will want to remind them that those rates will need to apply equally to all of “the wealthy,” including their friends and enablers in entertainment and sports world and not just to you.

    Unfortunately, not being wealthy myself, I would not qualify to join the ranks of your organization, should you decide to form it. But as someone who would like to be wealthy someday and who, in the meantime, would be happy just to have a secure job and a stable dollar, I wish you good luck and godspeed.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/make_the_capital_strike_official.html

    • So why am I dropping out? Read a brilliant book by Ayn Rand called Atlas Shrugged, and you’ll know.

      As the blogocracy says, read the whole thing.

      Here comes another one of those annoying and inconvenient challenges to authority.

      Ayn Rand wrote a “brilliant” book? Really?

      Read the whole thing (the theme of which is so repetitive you can probably make believe you read it after 200 pages or so–but then you wouldn’t meet the mysterious John Galt–hero to the galactically selfish and worshippers of fantasy. Some guy who claims to have struggled and done very well thinks Obama a socialist and gave it all up? That sounds rather gallactically stupid (as well as melodramatic) … sort of like fiction.

      But let’s assume it’s for real, as is the premise.

      Once again, a dose of caffeine might help with the waking up … they’ve already horded the gelt (our gelt), your friendly 0.2%’ers (that’s for USW’s sake) … Goldman is taking their NY work overseas next year … outsourcing hasn’t stopped … nor has the defense budget been trimmed with all these wars we continue to fight for who knows why anymore (defense contracts, probably).

      I say, go ahead and make my day … the sooner the wealthy take their capital and go, the sooner the revolution necessary to upend they’re collective arrogance.

      Break out the guillotines, I say … off with their heads (but thank them first for all the assets we’d nationalize and run on our own anyway). Seriously, we’re all doing the work anyway, we’ll figure out how to run a restaurant without this guy who “gave it all up” because of a torturous Ayn Rand read.

      • I haven’t read Atlas Shrugged. So to me the point isn’t Atlas Shrugged-I have read many books that I take knowledge from, where I don’t agree with every word. So lets talk about the questions that were asked. All business hasn’t taken the gelt-many, actually most have helped man, not hurt him. So answer the questions-why does the government have the right to take from people who have earned-and why do people have the right to demand -non existent rights.

        • And of course the other questions too-what is the difference-especially if one believes that what is promoted as helping the poor-is actually destroying the poor and the country-Maybe that is what you don’t understand about my stance and many others-we believe what you promote HURTS those you want to help-it isn’t that we don’t want to help them.

          • So answer the questions-why does the government have the right to take from people who have earned-and why do people have the right to demand -non existent rights.

            V.H. I think the confusion here (for me anyway) is the assumption that the government is taking from those who have earned. Many here (on your side of the argument) admit that the same government is working for the benefit of corporations … and I certainly believe that–it is a government owned by the wealthy). So I’m confused by your question.

            I think people (in the form of unions, protesters, etc.) do so out of frustration. Have some unions gone overboard? No doubt they have (and with the help of those politicians they were able to corrupt more so than big business in specific areas). But unions are in a severe decline these days so who’s winning that war?

            I have very specific issues with the word “earn” … I don’t believe a guy who starts a business on his own dime should reap what I might consider inappropriately more profit than those who do the actual work for him or her (but I know that doesn’t sit well with most here). If I write a best selling book, for instance, I don’t think I should reap the rewards for it forever. Not even for very long, quite frankly. There are others involved in the process (booksellers, amazon, readers who spread the word, etc., truck driver who deliver the nasty things, etc.). And the fact I wrote it once, over X amount of time, shouldn’t permit me to “earn” off it forever, I don’t think (my opinion). Likewise, a guy creates Microsoft and earns $650K an hour is absurd to me; as was the hedge fund manager who earned $2.4 million an hour last year. So, “earning” is too tough an issue for me to decipher; your beliefs vs. mine, etc.

            I do understand what you’re saying, and I think the wealthy should feel free to take off on the next flight out of the country. It was workers who built this country … we’ll figure it out.

            • Bama dad says:

              “should reap what I might consider inappropriately more profit”

              That is your problem, you deciding what is right for another.

              • I understand your angst, Bama. It is a touchy issue I’m not sure can ever be resolved without drastic changes … like maybe once we go through this depression we’re heading for … which side wins is beyond me.

              • Bama

                Unfortunately it eventually becomes OUR problem! :)

                How long before Bama, Auburn and LSU follow in USC and Ohio States footsteps?

              • Bama dad says:

                JAC:

                Auburn could have some problems, not sure all the Cam Newton dust has been uncovered. LSU, just don’t know. Like any true Bama fan we don’t waste our time on anything concerning that school. As bad as Alabama got hit by the NCAA a few years back the AD has worked hard to keep the football program nice and shinny, at least there are no rumors floating around about problems. Seven weeks and counting, we are chomping at the bit to go. In eight weeks it off to Happy Valley to see Joe Pa, I would love to go to that one.

              • Naten53 says:

                wow, college football is that close already.

            • How to answer this-I feel that just about anything I say-will just be a rehash of past discussions. So I’m gonna limit it to three points-As a small business owner-I am one of the “workers” and I don’t think you acknowledge that truth. Government support of big business hurts me as much as it hurts the “other Workers”.

              Two-as a business owner-I saved and risked everything we had to start a business-and I have had a business that failed-I lost my house and a lot more covering what I owed-my employees-lost a couple weeks pay, if that-which they had covered by unemployment insurance(which we paid for) to cover a part of that. So even if the government destroys the economy and the availability of jobs-by instating your freedom destroying and economy killing policies-my risk is still higher than my employees and I earned by hours and risk -to keep the profit above paying my employees fair and reasonable compensation for their work. Not to mention-that in the beginning I actually received less than my employees-after paying all the bills.

              Three-you promote giving as a Right-anything that forces another to give what is theirs to another-isn’t a Right and should not be promoted as one.. It is however a great way to create a “you owe me just because I exist society” if you really want to promote that type of attitude-which just leads to hate and chaos-and ends up hurting the ones you want to help much more than the really rich-what can I say to convince you that although you are not completely wrong, your policies are gonna hurt -more than they help.

    • Mathius™ says:

      Not that the Blue Shirts don’t have their failings, but the Red Shirts have a seriously and deeply flawed short-term game plan that they’ve been using for the last few decades. It ignores the sweep of history and the long-term affects of their actions. They have alienated almost the entire African American community, pretty much the entire Latino community (note, the biggest minority, soon to be majority in the US), they have alienated the entire gay community (who knows how big this is), they have alienated the entire Muslim and secular communities. All of this was traded for the heterosexual Christian Caucasian vote – and it’s worked well.. so far.. but the clock is ticking.

      The Iraq/Afghanistan wars were pandering to the military-industrial complex with no regard for the ramifications, financially, geopolitically, in terms of lives (both American and Iraqi/Afghani), or political backlash if we got stuck in another Vietnam-style endless bog.

      The Bush tax cuts for the wealthy were pandering the the ultra-wealthy who made a fortune on them. You didn’t seriously think I’d forget this one, did you? Not one thought was given to how to pay for them. They just ignored it.

      And so on and so on..

      Is it any surprise that they’re willing to demolish the US economy in order to gain an advantage in the 2012 election cycle?

      Read THIS Q&A. (scroll down, it looks almost like a comment section)

      Just a reminder, I admitted that the blue shirts have their own flaws, so don’t give me any “yea, but the blue shirts blah blah blah” (not you Charlie, this is for the other SUFA-ites)..

      • Mathius

        The Republicans aren’t actually the ones holding the country hostage because the Dems could have negotiated an honest solutions months ago. But they wanted to create this crisis to gain advantage in 2012. See the media coverage and your own understanding as proof of how well this worked.

        Think about it for a minute. You claim the Republicans are willing to demolish the US economy to gain advantage. Now please tell me how they will gain advantage if they demolish the economy? Everyone will blame them, especially thanks to the Dem posturing on the whole thing, combined with the media pushing the idea.

        Now all that said, I think the R’s have been stupid as usual in playing this from day one. There standing on principles seems to have stifled their ability to think beyond their nose in a strategic sense. This is one weakness of the “conservative” side. They are actually more radical in that they want immediate change. The Dems have always been willing to take small steps as long as they can see long term success. Yes, I am agreeing here with your general claim that the R’s are not very good at thinking long term, at least politically.

        The health care bill is a good example. The R’s would never have passed that bill as a means to get something better later. The D’s were willing to accept it knowing it would help them get to single payer/provider in the future.

        I fail to see how the “Bush Tax Cuts” now officially the “Obama Tax Cuts” were PANDERING to the rich. The new rates reduced taxes on virtually ALL Americans. The second highest group got screwed, everybody else got a cut and the lower groups got the larger reduction (rates). It made the corporate and upper brackets equal, thus eliminating the long standing incentive for wealthy individuals to “live within their paper corporations” and thus the need for increase compliance costs. What we will never know is “exactly” how much the revenue was reduced due to the new tax rules. What we do know is that tax revenues continued to increase but at a slower rate than expenditures.

  25. An example of “front loaded”: While I will freely admit that the US market is one of the more free markets in the world (#5 according to the study shared the other day), to claim that this is a free market is naive at best and reprehensibly dishonest at worst.

    So, if you take the position that we operate under a free market, you are either intellectually challenged (for lack of a better word) or a reprehensible liar.

    Another way to state the same thing: While I will freely admit that the US market is one of the more free markets in the world (#5 according to the study shared the other day), to claim that this is a free market is a misreading of the facts. Here now, let me show you why …

    • No charge on the example … I’m here for the greater good.

    • Charlie

      Serious question. I, BF and others have provided factual information to you on many occassions that clearly define a “free market” or a “free market economy” or “laissez fair capitalism”. This information was not simply created by us but is included within numerous works on philosophy and economics over the past couple hundred years.

      Yet you continually claim that our current situation is the result of a “free market”.

      So given that you have been presented with such information but continue to make a false statement regarding the same, just what would you call it?

      • JAC, sorry, I missed this (what’s wrong with me)?

        and others have provided factual information to you on many occassions that clearly define a “free market” or a “free market economy” or “laissez fair capitalism”. This information was not simply created by us but is included within numerous works on philosophy and economics over the past couple hundred years.

        I must be confused about this issue because it seems to me that all you, BF and most here do is complain this ISN’T a free market and that none has ever really existed (although BF may have mentioned a time when there was no restrictions on anything–no social contract–but I’m pretty sure I would’ve responded: And how’s that work out for you? Meaning, where is it? If it worked, where did it go? I think it went away because man left unrestricted, especially once he begins to accumulate power/wealth, will seek to accumulate more at the expense of others.

        So given that you have been presented with such information but continue to make a false statement regarding the same, just what would you call it?

        Perhaps the result of a free market? This is where we wind up once you take off the restraints .. things get so bad, people are forced to organize and protect themselves/each other. I’m pretty sure that’s how governments started going back to the prehistoric period. There’s a tribe of big guys over there that can kick ass. Let’s form a group of our own and take them on one at a time, etc.

        So, I’d say today is the results of a free market presided over by the very wealthy/corporations who can’t get enough of what they already have, the people be damned … and that any backsteps toward a more free market would result in bigger disasters. Whatever regulations there are in place today don’t seem to be stopping big business from doing whatever the hell it wants. To me, they have all the freedom (and the money) so … ipso facto, it’s their world, their market.

  26. Ray Hawkins says:
  27. Is anybody paying attention to what is happening in Europe today? Interesting situation and a testament to government ownership and social policies. It is tanking as we speak. Spain and Italy going into default, Germany refusing to help..and the EU not going to bail out at this time. To blame, according to the EU…..excessive taxation, entitlement programs, and immigration.

    • Naten53 says:

      links? I see nothing on major news sites.

    • All that rhetoric doesn’t mean much when REALITY raises it’s unforgiving head.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      The question Colonel is do you believe cause as reported by the EU?

      • Hi Ray……don’t know….all I know is what was on the news a little while ago. They were interviewing the Spain finance minister and he was saying that Spain was in dire straits and Germany, which apparently is a major player in the EU….is refusing to help and is leading a movement to not have the EU bail out Spain and Italy citing that the bail out did not help Greece. The Spain minister admitted that the main problem is spending on social entitlements and the low retirement rate and health issues is bankrupting the country. In addition, he cited that the unchecked immigration problem was straining the coffers. They, the EU is meeting on the 15th to decide further, if any, sanctions or help is going to be forthcoming.

      • Ray

        Wouldn’t it be fun if the political leaders of the world got together and declared a DO OVER. Tole the IMF, World Bank and their minions to take a long walk off a short pier.

        As to your question, we all know its Bush’s fault. Any other excuse is just cover.

        Yes, that was my poor attempt at sarcastic humor.

        How’s that little girl doing? Better yet, hows the sleep deprivation?

  28. V.H. (speaking to what’s above). I do see small businesses as working men and I do have sympathy for their situation, but I can’t ignore the fact that over the years I’ve seen smaller businesses swallowed up whole by bigger businesses (from corner delis to candy stores, etc.). I think freeing up the market even more would result in an eventual gobbling up of the small by the big. Still, that doesn’t speak to how small business owners should definitely be able to collect unemployment. It is unfair if they cannot, blatantly unfair. On the heels of the magnificent bailouts (AIG, et al), they most certainly should be given unemployment insurance (and because they employed people–perhaps even longer and better benefits). Why not look at it that way, rather than punish the little guys just trying to survive. These corporations have bilked our bone marrow already and they aren’t about to stop because some small guy went out of business. It surprises me, quite frankly, that you only “seem” to see it from one side of the coin. Why should a hedge manager be allowed to “earn” $2.4 million AN HOUR? How in the world is that possible? So long as you defend that, frankly, you have nothing to complain about from where I sit.

    • Charlie

      “Why should a hedge manager be allowed to “earn” $2.4 million AN HOUR? How in the world is that possible? So long as you defend that, frankly, you have nothing to complain about from where I sit.”

      Because someone decided that that person created enough value for them that they paid him/her that amount. It has nothing to do with you, me, V.H. or anyone else not involved in the transaction.

      Would you pay someone 2.4 million if they made you 100 million?

      Lets look at your misguided example of your own book sales. Each book sold includes the costs of all those you mentioned as being involved. Yet you claim you shouldn’t be able to continue to profit from book sales. So does that mean they should not be allowed to continue to profit as well?

      Does this mean the book must not be sold after some point in time, thus killing the jobs of those who print, deliver, sell, etc.?

      • It means the distribution should be much more equitable than any one person making the bulk of the profit. Redistribute it. The bulk of the profit (say 50%) should go back into society (maybe for libraries that don’t carry Ayn Rand) … that last bit was a joke (I think).

        Nobody can “earn” $1,000 an hour in my book. Not while the minimum wage is $8.00 (or whatever it is today) an hour. That’s immoral … especially considering the fact the guy making $8.00 an hour is most likely working at least as hard (if not harder) than the button pusher (or investor) earning hundreds of thousands (if not millions) an hour. Sorry, that’s how I feel.

    • Naten53 says:

      Charlie, do you see someone that opens and operates a ‘franchise’ as a small buisness owner?

      • I don’t know enough about the specifics of franchises but here’s a guess. KFC should get the “MINIMUM” profit (maybe minimum wage) since it is the poor SOB’s running the joint who are “doing the work” … sweating from the brow, etc. If someone owns the franchise, they should absolutely be entitled to unemployment, etc. (more so because they employ people) shoudl their business fail. I suspect KFC, et al, get a lot of money for doing dick.

        • Erased my first answer -no need to repeat what others have said. But Charlie-KFC did do something-they created the business-they risked the loss-they expanded the business-they employed, probably millions. They contributed to the economy so people have jobs. Your, I see small business owners as workers-somehow goes away as soon as that small business is successful enough to be considered a really successful business. Your, the owners only have the right to take on the risk and pay for the failure but they damn well don’t have a right to the gain-is immoral in my mind.

          • V.H. I’m not sure how many times KFC has been sold to corporations over the years (truly, I don’t know), but I suspect the profits they earned by simply making the sale/acquisition “after it had already proved its worth” is a lot less risky than you suggest. Still, they did put up the gelt and should be rewarded. I think they have been (in spades) but at what point do the people doing the actual work inside the store (or the small owner who bought/leased the franchise) get compensation worth of their efforts as opposed to “investors” sitting on their duffs (what some consider the “sweating of their brows”)? Sorry, we do disagree here. I don’t think KFS should earn the lion’s share of anything this late in the game. The fact they are super protected as a corporation is even more sickening.

            • Okay, we disagree-and you are answering remarks from all sides-so we will leave it for now. Except for one thing-your ideas will take away-all motivation to succeed-to learn-to create. Not to mention-the most important thing-Freedom to decide-things man is lost without.

              • your ideas will take away-all motivation to succeed-to learn-to create. Not to mention-the most important thing-Freedom to decide-things man is lost without.

                We “almost” made it out of the fire, JAC …. :)

                Why is that all motivation to succeed/to learn/to create just because monetary reward is eliminated from the formula? Do you really in your heart of heart believe that? There are people in the world, some pretty damn bright, successful, smart and creative who don’t agree.

            • First of all, I am not JAC :) I will change my all to most-and yes I do.

              • Sorry, V.H. Surely you know how muddled my mind is by now.

                Okay, if that’s what you believe, that’s what you believe. It’s a bit arrogant, but what the hell, that’s Randian thru and thru …:)

              • I would go into it further-but I don’t think either of us really wants to-at the moment. But arrogant-that does make it hard not to force myself. :)

              • Oh-I almost forgot-I can’t believe you let Mathius command you not to debate him :)

        • Naten53 says:

          I meant more of, a chain where the parent company that owns the ‘name’ (fast food or sit down restaurant, even sometimes merchandise stores) sells an individual a franchise wherein they run a restaurant with the ‘name’ title but ownership and risk is theirs. It usually entails the ‘name’ company making money by selling the franchise and then supplying the food, while the person running the restaurant gets the benefit of people going to a place they know already.

          • Again, Naten, I’m not familiar enough with the process, but if the “name” end of the formula gets the bulk of the profits, I don’t see it as being very fair. Brand names are created by the work and publicity done over the years. Why should investors reap that benefit for doing nothing but adding dollars they already have to the equation? I say pay them a minimal amount and protect the poor SOB who had to save to buy the franchise; then his workers. And there should be a time limit on just how long the “name” collects. I have big issues with inheritance (as you might guess) and don’t see why that benefit should be passed on to second, third and forth, etc. generations of original investors.

  29. Charlie

    Re: The Founders continued.

    First, there was no POINT to my single question to you. It was just a question so I could understand how far you were willing to carry your condemnation or at least unwillingness to assign “great” to any of the men and women of that time.

    Second, my presentation of the relationship of slavery and the creation of the country requires no interpretation. It was a simple statement of accepted historical fact. No justification, no rationalization, no making excuses period.

    Let me remind you that you injected the phrase “for the sake of the nation” into the discussion. I simply pointed out that your statement was true in the context that the very creation, and thus existence, of the nation depended on them making this compromise. That is not agreeing with their choice nor defending the continuation of slavery. It is a simple statement of history.

    Third, I am at a loss as to your accusation of me front loading a negative when raising issues of the past.

    • Okay, JAC, so let’s peace out for a while. Let’s agree to disagree. I have no charity for the FF on the slavery issue. None whatsoever, no matter what they were trying to do (and aside from their best intentions). There may well have been great men in their presence. I cannot argue that one way or the other. What I can argue is their fallibility when it comes to any mention of the word “greatness”. I’m sure some of the slaves of their times were “great men” too (but conditions precluded them from being anything other than slaves.

      The fact they mostly came from relative wealth is another issue for another day (I’m not looking to raise it now), but their greatness was certainly subject to interpretation on any issue while they permitted slavery (for whatever reason–good intentions or not). The remnants of that act, no matter how many wars were fought over it, no matter what legislation was passed since, cannot be calculated as regards the human condition. That will continue to walk for a long time to come in this nation’s history; something that might well have been avoided had they waited to free slaves before they organized a country. I honestly have no idea.

      In the meantime, peace, brother.

  30. Here’s a conservative I didn’t always agree with (very rarely did I agree with him, in fact) but I respect no end. Buckley on Atlas Shrugged:

  31. And here is the now famous Whitaker Chambers review of Atlas Shrugged. Please, please, please, not the “assumptions” the author of the article mentions and how “black and white” Rand (and her protege, Black Flag) present the world.

    http://aynrandcontrahumannature.blogspot.com/2006/10/whittaker-chambers-review-of-atlas.html

  32. V.H. Arrogant wasn’t meant to stir the pot. It is a byproduct of all things Rand (which she seemed to take a lot of pride in, as does Black Flag, if you notice). It is the assumption that people fall into 2 categories: the looters and creators/innovators, when a reality check (by fact) shows that just isn’t true … or that the world at large is much more gray than it is black and white. So no harm intended.

    As to debating Mathius … you think I’m crazy? Those crazy lefties … no way, Jose …

    • Well , as I said I haven’t read Rand-of what I have read about her-some I agree with, some I don’t. But I will say that when one is trying to make a point-that is sometimes better achieved by concentrating on the black and white of a principal-doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions to the rule or another side to the debate. But Rand wanted to state a position and by all the passionate reaction to her words-She must have accomplished her goal.

      • She certainly did, made herself rich (yet used social services going completely against her so-called mantra of individualism in the end), but I don’t begrudge what every person should have (healthcare) … I think she wrote some pretty terrible books that took off. Daniel Steele does the same thing. God (even though she abhors the idea of God) bless her. The movement that follows her seems a determined one (as were the nazi’s), but that’s cool too (they lost in the end).

        Now, before SUFA gets all up-in-arms about Rand-Nazi, lighten up a little. That’s what the famous review that made her upchuck her John Galt Cheerios implied. I’m just having fun with it.

        What bothers me about Rand’s philosophy is it is so absolute and if life has taught me one thing, it is that NOTHING is absolute. There are gray areas to every aspect of life; sometimes they don’t mean much and sometimes they do, but they can never be fully discounted for the convenience of argument (I don’t think). People aren’t evil because they believe the wealthiest nation in the world should provide some of life’s necessities. Likewise, people aren’t Nazi’s for believing they should self-determine how their money is spent. But there sure are a lot of people who fit between those extremes and Randism refuses to see those shades of gray (i.e., you can’t want “some social services” … it’s nothing or you’re evil. I don’t even consider that immoral, I guess. Just downright silly.

        • I tried once, over 20 years ago, to read Atlas Shrugged (my ex-mother-in-law suggested it as a “good” read – easy Charlie, she is a hardcore lifelong Dem). I got through about 70 pages and her writing put me to sleep. I have never tried again – and don’t intend to (which keeps me out of discussion involving her philosophical pondering of her books).

          Not that the above has a danged thing to do with Charlie’s comment – it’s just clarification.

          Now to your comment. Charlie has hit a nail on the head when he talks about there being more than black & white absolutes. There is a lot of gray and failing to recognize or acknowledge that is a failing of many philosophies (and political groups). There is not, and will never be (IMHO) a one size/color/positional answer that will fit all situations/circumstances/issues.

          Charlie is absolutely right that because one holds a position/opinion/belief the person is not evil just because they do and someone else disagrees with them.

          I disagree with Charlie, but he isn’t evil because of his thinking……….just delusional. ;)

    • So folks, please tell me where the gray exists between truth and falsehood, good and evil, moral and immoral, ethical and unethical.

      Those who have discovered truth via reason have no reason to waffle or waiver on core principles.

      “The world is full of gray” is just another rationalization of numerous claims against the existence of truth. It is also an excuse for those who have not established solid core principles or spent time thinking real hard about the issue at hand. Thus the contradictions and lack of understanding are written off as just more “gray areas”.

      Do not confuse opposing core principles as some “gray area”. It is simply the belief in two different truths. But additional thought and reason will identify them as both false, or one false. If they are opposing views, such as rational egoism vs. altruism, then both can not be true.

      • So, for example, you – through direct action – kill a human being (that’ll be our “truth”)

        You could be charged with:
        1. Murder
        2. Manslaughter
        3. Negligent Homicide

        There are no other choices. Which you are charged with is dependent upon different values (like “state of mind”) – which would be gray areas.

        Truth, or the application of truths, can have gray areas.

        • plainly

          I will be charged based on a perception of the facts in the case. There may be a lack of information or a misinterpretation but that is not a gray area. It is simply a lack of accurate information. Gray areas as used in the context by most is an attempt to say that black and white are not distinct in this case but they blend together. But in reality they do not.

          The information is either factual, false or unknown. These represent black and white choices, not gray.

          Now lets work from the core moral principle of non initiation of violence. Did I initiate the killing or was it in self defense? Or, was it an accident. But remember, an accident is not the initiation of violence. So your real choices for charging me are Initiation of Violence, Accident or Self Defense. Again, complete clarity. Any confusion here is created by man, or Govt The categories are to create different groups of “penalty”.

          So lets go to the core concept. The penalty should vary based on severity of the action. If I initiate violence then I am guilty of violating this principle. If I kill someone then I owe their family the support required to replace that person. If I only injure that person then I owe them some lesser restitution. We have created confusion and contradiction by trying to create different categories of killing in order to assign the penalty for each group. Instead there should be fewer crimes with greater ranges of penalties assigned based on some objective evaluation.

          But remember that a range of options is not a gray area. It is simply a range of options. The one selected will be based on some form of criteria established by those judging/deciding. Even with bad information there is no gray, just a bad choice.

          If I stick to only your example then I still see no gray areas. I will be charged with one of the three based on some evaluation. So again, the information used in making that determination will be True, False or Unknown. Because of the choices provided you get a continuum of possible outcomes based on someone’s judgment. But again, this is really not a gray area. It is simply a range of choices.

          Also remember what is going on when the phrase “gray areas” is most often used. Somebody is trying to argue that a particular view of good and bad is false because the world is really a blending of good and bad. This of course means that you can not distinguish between the two. You will be forbidden and chastised for even trying. Who are you to assign good or bad when we all know the world is really gray.

          Plainly, I probably haven’t done this justice as I am very tired at the moment. So just let me know what makes sense and what doesn’t. I’ll try to pick it up again in the morning if you like.

          • You always do well JAC-tired or not-but the issue of black and white in today’s world-tends to come down to, IMHO, a debate between personal responsibility to oneself and moral responsibility to help ones neighbor-I would also bring up abortion as an example-abortion is wrong-but I would make an exception for the life of the mother.

          • JAC, my apologies to the long silence after your reply. I wasn’t on at all until now.

            You said some I will think about. In essence though others have given words to respond with. BF (I believe) in his discussion with Charlie said that justice is in the eye of the beholder for instance. That would be a gray area as each applies their standards and reasoning to whether one received justice over a wrong. If it was black and white as to whether justice was done then there would be those who were wrong in believing it was not. And they can not be wrong when you can not define “justice being done.” Even if the victims (or victim’s family) believes they received justice for the wrongs against them, that is a subjective as the same situation to another resulting in the same amount of recompense or penalty to the violator may not be considered justice by the second victim. (My apologies if what I mean isn’t clear. If not, I’ll try again after I’ve had sufficient rest).

            That – in my currently tired mind (it’s been a long day) – is how gray areas exist.

            • It makes sense to me, Plainly. Who defines justice, etc.? Which is why, as appealing (and it is very appealing) absolute anarchy is (what BF proposes–for me for different reasons), I don’t see how the millions of opinions on very subjective matters will be resolved by “the universe” … we’re not robots.

              Which is why, ideology aside, as much as I’d want Bernie Sanders or Ralph Nader to run things, I’d accept Ron Paul (who I probably agree with on 85% of his platform–but totally disagree with his free market philosophy) running things because I believe he (the person) would not sell out the way the rest of both parties have done so over and over again. I’d be a libertarian myself if it wasn’t for healthcare (I believe it should be nationalized) and the free market (which I believe should be seriously scaled back–at least on the corporation end).

  33. Sitting together on a train was Obama, a Texan, a little old lady, and a young blonde girl with large breasts.
    The train goes into a dark tunnel and a few seconds later there is the sound of a loud slap.. When the train emerges from the tunnel, Obama has a bright red hand print on his cheek. No one speaks.
    The old lady thinks:
    Obama must have groped the blonde in the dark, and she slapped him.
    The blonde girl thinks:
    Obama must have tried to grope me in the dark, but missed and fondled the old lady and she slapped him.
    Obama thinks:
    The Texan must have groped the blonde in the dark. She tried to slap him but missed and got me instead.
    The Texan thinks:
    I can’t wait for another tunnel, so I can slap the shit out of Obama again

  34. Consider this.

    1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare
    to illegal aliens each year by state governments.

    Verify
    at: http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecenters7fd8

    2. $22 Billion dollars a year is spent on food
    assistance programs such as food stamps,
    WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens..

    Verify
    at: http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.HTML

    3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on
    Medicaid for illegal aliens.

    Verify at:
    http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.HTML

    4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on
    primary and secondary school education
    for children here illegally and they
    cannot speak a word of English!

    Verify
    at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt….0.HTML

    5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for
    education for the American-born
    children of illegal aliens, known as
    anchor babies.

    Verify
    at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTML

    6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to
    incarcerate illegal aliens.

    Verify at:
    http://transcripts.cnn.com/%20TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTML
    http://transcripts.cnn..com/%20TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTML < http://transcripts.cnn.com/%20TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01..HTML

    7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison
    inmates are illegal aliens.

    Verify at: http://transcripts.CNN..com/TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt..01.HTML
    < http://transcripts/ .. ” href=”” href=”
    ” href=”” href=”

    8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on
    illegal aliens for Welfare & social
    Verify at:

    http://premium.cnn.com/TRANSCIPTS/0610/29/ldt.01.HTML

    9. $200 Billion dollars a year in suppressed
    American wages are caused by the illegal
    aliens.

    Verify
    at: <" href=" http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRI%C2%A0&lt;;

    10 . In 2006, illegal aliens sent home
    $45 BILLION in remittances to their
    countries of origin.

    Verify
    at:

    http://www/. rense.com/general75/niht.htm < " href=" http://www/http://www/..
    " href="; " ' href="20w.drdsk.com/articleshtml <" href="
    " href="" href="
    The total cost is$ 338.3 BILLION DOLLARS

    So, Charlie…. Interesting. This cost per year is more than any war. So, let us take this amount and put the 10 year plan on it that Obama wants to do. That is 3,380.3 ( in billions )….you do the math. So, we could take his 10 year plan….eliminate these items which should not be here anyway, have every socialized program you want, no new taxes for anyone, no elimination of any taxes….and have billions left over. What say you, sir?

    • I might add that in some real quick extrapolation……the debt would be reduced by 11.2 trillion that would not need to be borrowed and interest paid.

  35. TexasChem says:

    While at the barbershop in my hometown yesterday I asked an old timer what his take was on the reason why our government was so out of control and he said, “Cause all the Gaw-damn congress-men are lawyers. Every Lawyer I’ve ever known is a liar and a thief! Cause all the Gaw-damn Judges are lawyers. Cause all the Gaw-damn businesses are now ran by lawyers. They all twist and distort a words meaning to benefit their cause and themselves! Dishonorable bastards all of em’!”

    Just a lil’ food for thought…. :)

  36. “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, according to excerpts released by CBS News.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20078789-503544.html

    We are constantly told by the politicians (for years and years) that Social Security is solvent, not broke. To me that means the money is there to make all required payments………….until now it seems there isn’t any money to make the payments.

    So which is it?

  37. Sell out or Smart??

    Debt-Limit Harakiri
    Mitch McConnell isn’t selling out Republicans.

    Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday he’s concluded that no deal to raise the debt ceiling in return for serious spending restraint is possible with President Obama, and who can blame him? We’ve never thought the debt ceiling was the best leverage for a showdown over the entitlement state, and now it looks like Mr. Obama is trying to use it as a way to blame the GOP for the lousy economy.

    This may have been the President’s strategy all along: Take the debt-limit talks behind closed doors, make major spending cuts seem possible in the early days, but then hammer Republicans publicly as the deadline nears for refusing to raise taxes on business and “the rich.”
    Related Video

    Opinion Journal columnist James Taranto on President Obama’s news conference.

    This would explain the President’s newly discovered fondness for press conferences, which he has rarely held but now rolls out before negotiating sessions. It would also explain why Mr. Obama’s tax demands have escalated as the August 2 deadline nears. Yesterday he played the Grandma Card, telling CBS that seniors may not get their August retirement checks. Next he’ll send home the food inspectors and stop paying the troops.

    The reality is that Mr. Obama is trying to present Republicans with a Hobson’s choice: Either repudiate their campaign pledge by raising taxes, or take the blame for any economic turmoil and government shutdown as the U.S. nears a debt default. In the former case Mr. Obama takes the tax issue off the table and demoralizes the tea party for 2012, and in the latter he makes Republicans share the blame for 9.2% unemployment.

    This is the political context in which to understand Mr. McConnell’s proposal yesterday to force Mr. Obama to take ownership of any debt-limit increase. If the President still insists on a tax increase, then Republicans will walk away from the talks.

    Mr. McConnell would then let the President propose three debt-limit increases adding up to $2.5 trillion over the coming months. Senate Republicans (with Majority Leader Harry Reid’s cooperation) would use a convoluted procedure to vote for three resolutions of disapproval on the bills. Mr. Obama could veto the resolutions and 34 Democrats could vote to sustain. The President would get his debt-limit increase, but without Republicans serving as his political wingmen.

    The hotter precincts of the blogosphere were calling this a sellout yesterday, though they might want to think before they shout. The debt ceiling is going to be increased one way or another, and the only question has been what if anything Republicans could get in return. If Mr. Obama insists on a tax increase, and Republicans won’t vote for one, then what’s the alternative to Mr. McConnell’s maneuver?

    Republicans who say they can use the debt limit to force Democrats to agree to a balanced budget amendment are dreaming. Such an amendment won’t get the two-thirds vote to pass the Senate, but it would give every Democrat running for re-election next year a chance to vote for it and claim to be a fiscal conservative.

    We agree with those who say that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner can cut other federal spending before he allows a technical default on U.S. debt. No doubt that is what he will do. We’d even support a showdown over technical default if we thought it might yield some major government reforms. But Mr. Obama clearly has no such intention.

    Instead he and Mr. Geithner will gradually shut down government services, the more painful the better. The polls that now find that voters oppose a debt-limit increase will turn on a dime when Americans start learning that they won’t get Social Security checks. Republicans will then run like they’re fleeing the Pamplona bulls, and chaotic retreats are the ugliest kind. By then they might end up having to vote for a debt-limit increase and a tax increase.

    The tea party/talk-radio expectations for what Republicans can accomplish over the debt-limit showdown have always been unrealistic. As former Senator Phil Gramm once told us, never take a hostage you’re not prepared to shoot. Republicans aren’t prepared to stop a debt-limit increase because the political costs are unbearable. Republicans might have played this game better, but the truth is that Mr. Obama has more cards to play.

    The entitlement state can’t be reformed by one house of Congress in one year against a determined President and Senate held by the other party. It requires more than one election. The Obama Democrats have staged a spending blowout to 24% of GDP and rising, and now they want to find a way to finance it to make it permanent. Those are the real stakes of 2012.

    Even if Mr. Obama gets his debt-limit increase without any spending cuts, he will pay a price for the privilege. He’ll have reinforced his well-earned reputation as a spender with no modern peer. He’ll own the record deficits and fast-rising debt. And he’ll own the U.S. credit-rating downgrade to AA if Standard & Poor’s so decides.

    We’d far prefer a bipartisan deal to cut spending and reform entitlements without a tax increase. But if Mr. Obama won’t go along, there’s no reason Republicans should help him dodge the political consequences by committing debt-limit harakir

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303678704576442231815463502.html?mod=rss_opinion_main

  38. We are constantly told by the politicians (for years and years) that Social Security is solvent, not broke. To me that means the money is there to make all required payments………….until now it seems there isn’t any money to make the payments.

    When you can print money, you can never be “broke”.

    If you do not get “in” more money then you spend, and depend on debt to pay your bills, you are “insolvent”.

    They need to sell T-Bills, someone needs to buy them. Less and less bond holders are buying.
    The FED will buy, but that “prints money”, risking inflation.

    It is a smoke screen right now.

    One day, but not today, the choice will be massive inflation or default.

  39. “Debt” ceiling.

    If government does not raise ceiling it has two choices:
    default
    ignore its own law

    Who is going to enforce government law on government?

    So government may ignore its own law, but that will risk legitimacy.

    Default: who will be the first to suffer government’s breaking of its promise to deliver stolen loot?

    If you think you are in that group, make different plans now.

  40. Charlie,

    Do not confuse my position as Randian. There may be an appearance of alignment on some things, but that is inevitable is someone works within fact and reason – but alignment does not make “the same”.

  41. Nobody can “earn” $1,000 an hour in my book. Not while the minimum wage is $8.00 (or whatever it is today) an hour. That’s immoral … especially considering the fact the guy making $8.00 an hour is most likely working at least as hard (if not harder) than the button pusher (or investor) earning hundreds of thousands (if not millions) an hour. Sorry, that’s how I feel.

    This is such a fundamental comment – and a fundamental fallacy – and a fundamental evil, I had to comment.

    Here is a man – who uses his own subjective judgement to claim that how other people value the effort of other people justify his violence on them!

    Charlie is NOT a party to any of this. He is an observer.

    Yet, he claims he has a right to JUDGE the trade between two strangers, and proclaim that HIS judgement is RIGHT.

    He claims his view is the measure of what a man can “earn” – though he is not earning nor paying.

    He claims his view is moral, but he does NOTHING here.

    He claims he knows what “hard work” is, and values it – even though digging a hole in water is futile, Charlie demands that it is “valuable” regardless.

    And in the end, “How I feel” is the moral lever, the justification, and the evil that he is willing to apply violence to enforce his feelings.

    If in one paragraph can highlight how evil grows, this one is it.

    • BF/Ayn Rand … the world is black and white … why we (people who can see all the other colors) make fun of you two.

      • Mathius™ says:

        God, I hate to do this.. I (somewhat) agree with BF here.. ::sobs quietly::

        There are a few errors in your statement which I find glaring and, while I don’t go so far as to say it’s evil blah blah blah, I do recognize that the view is, at best, erroneous.

        I won’t really go into it all except to note that seem to believe that “the guy making $8.00 an hour is most likely working at least as hard (if not harder) than the button pusher (or investor) earning hundreds of thousands (if not millions) an hour.” I work with my brain, not my muscles. But let me tell you, “hard” is a sticky concept. I work far “harder” and come home far more exhausted after a day of intense intellectual effort than a day of hard physical labor. Yes, I sit at a desk all day. Yes, I am in air conditioning all day. Yes, I have an ergonomic chair. But I bust my ass anyway, 12+ hours a day with constant mental effort, so don’t tell me that some schmuck breaking rocks with a hammer 9-5 with an hour for lunch and who never has to actually use his brain is working “harder” than me.

        Harrumph.

        • But I bust my ass anyway, 12+ hours a day with constant mental effort, so don’t tell me that some schmuck breaking rocks with a hammer 9-5 with an hour for lunch and who never has to actually use his brain is working “harder” than me.

          Hard is relative term, no doubt. So do some secretaries, paralegals, administrative assistants, etc. (who may have chosen to have other interests in life than making hedge fund money) use their brains and probably have to put up with a lot more than you do (I don’t know that as fact, but I suspect they have to answer to more people).

          On the other hand, your description of some guy breaking rocks with a hammer 9-5 as a “schmuck” is awfully arrogant. He’s a schmuck because he doesn’t use his brain (or do you mean it in the Poor SOB sense). If the former, you belong in the red seats, my brother … or maybe the red seats make a valid point about democratic elitists after all. That’s sad.

          BF makes no points whatsoever. I was referring to “investors” who sit on their duff and let their money do the work (earning interest, dividends, etc.). Do they really work harder than the guy pushing a broom eight hours a day?

          BF turns “earning” into a black/white issue across the board; you seem to take issue with it when it refers to YOUR job vs. physical labor. I’m sure you work hard … so do a lot of people. Do you work so hard as to “earn” 100% … 200% … 1000% … 5000% more than they do? I doubt it. I doubt it big time.

      • Mathius™ says:

        put up with a lot more than you do Ooooh, I sincerely doubt it. You don’t know my boss…

        or do you mean it in the Poor SOB sense Yes. In the “poor SOB sense.”

        maybe the red seats make a valid point about democratic elitists after all Well I sure as hell am an elitist, but I’m not so sure about being a Democrat…

        “investors” who sit on their duff and let their money do the work This is absolutely lunatic. We have 30 people whose (highly paid, and highly skilled) jobs are, full time, to research and investigate and analyze companies to decide how to invest the money we have under management. What? Do you think we throw darts at a board? Likewise, I have to fill out reams of investor questions before they give us their money in the first place? What? Do you think investors pick hedge funds out of a hat? They work hard to invest in the right place, and they watch their money like a hawk (especially after Bernie). This is work. Any decent return requires work – hard work. An investor who doesn’t work hard will quickly be parted from his “duff.”

        Do they really work harder than the guy pushing a broom eight hours a day? Yes. In many cases they do. They do not knock off at 5. They do not start at 9. They do not take an hour lunch break. I get emails from investors at all hours of the night. My hedge fund’s managers do not appear to sleep or take vacation (and when they do, they seem to somehow manage to work at the same time). They don’t spend the day on YouTube. They spend it reading thousand page prospectuses and trying to figure out the best way to invest. People who achieve this level of wealth generally do not get their by slacking off, and the ones who do are quickly parted from their “duff.”

        Do you work so hard as to “earn” 100% … 200% … 1000% … 5000% more than they do? I doubt it. I doubt it big time. It’s hard to say. I work far harder than most people. And I have a bigger brain than most people (I think we can safely say that I’m at least above average, non?). I have a double-major from a good college (which cost a bloody fortune). I am half-way through an MBA at a good college (which is costing another bloody fortune). I have worked hard to hone a special set of skills and a knowledge base which makes me valuable and makes my contribution to a company more valuable than others. I am reliable, hard working, efficient, etc. These things add up. Am I worth 100% more than average? You bet your ass I am. 200%? Yup. 1000%? Maybe – I’m still only 28 and relatively new in my career. 5000% I hope some day. What you seem to ignore is that I wasn’t picked at random and just handed a six-figure salary. I worked for it. I EARNED it. And some company evaluated my contribution and decided that I was worth that amount. I suppose they could have hire two mediocre people instead and hoped for the best – maybe they would have need three, and maybe they would wind up making mistakes that cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars (this could happen so easily it’s scary). It’s the difference between buying a premium-priced but superior product versus buying the cheap knock-off – maybe you’ll get the same out of it, but probably not – yet you seem to believe that the premium product (myself) and the cheap knock-off (average Joe) are interchangeable.

        Think about it another way, let’s imagine you’re hiring a mechanic to fix your car. He went to school to train, he’s worked hard, studied, etc, in order to do his job well, he breathes in dangerous fumes all day, and works in cramped and uncomfortable conditions. He says you need something replaced and that it will cost $1,000 for 10 hours of labor. Who are you to tell him that his time isn’t worth $100/hr when Walmart workers are making $8/hr? Do you think a Walmart greeter could fix your car? Would you trust them to do it right? Or is the fact that this man is efficient/trained/etc worth the premium to you? He’s making 12,400% more than the greeter – do you contend he doesn’t deserve it?

        • Bama dad says:

          Wow, I am impressed and take back all those mean and nasty thoughts I have had on a lot of your positions.

        • Glad you meant it in the poor S.O.B. sense.

          They work hard to invest in the right place, and they watch their money like a hawk (especially after Bernie).

          Is that a concession that maybe they WEREN’T “earning” it (or working so hard) before Bernie? And do you think all investors do the research themselves? I don’t. In fact, I know they don’t. Many (probably most) hire people to do it for them. Many are on gold coursers or in an air conditioned lounge somewhere. I worked for law firms where retired investors (with money still in the game) were nowhere near the research so let’s be honest about that aspect of it.

          Do they really work harder than the guy pushing a broom eight hours a day? Yes.

          Not if they’re on the golf course, my friend. No friggin’ way. As an aside, you’re on this site an awful lot during the day. That count as hard work that extends into the late hours, etc.? (serious question).

          It’s hard to say. I work far harder than most people. And I have a bigger brain than most people (I think we can safely say that I’m at least above average, non?).

          Glad you qualified that because it was beginning to smell. But let’s not confused earning big salaries with intellect. Or do you count someone like George Bush as having a bigger brain too? But feel free to substitute John Gotti, Fitty-Cent (I think that’s his name), etc. They made a lot of money too.

          Am I worth 100% more than average? You bet your ass I am. 200%? Yup. 1000%? Maybe – I’m still only 28 and relatively new in my career. 5000% I hope some day. What you seem to ignore is that I wasn’t picked at random and just handed a six-figure salary. I worked for it. I EARNED it

          28 with an ego like that, you’re heading for bit things $omeday. And now that you’ve “earned” it, you feel you hope to be worth 5,000 X’s the guy who cleans your office. I guess that’d be admirable to the Randers of the world, but something tells me had there been no compensation anywhere near the kind you speak of, you’d still seek to achieve greater than the guy pushing the broom by choice (because it’s your nature to do so–not just for the potential rewards) (i.e., I doubt you’d be happy pushing a broom.)

          Do you think a Walmart greeter could fix your car? Would you trust them to do it right? Or is the fact that this man is efficient/trained/etc worth the premium to you? He’s making 12,400% more than the greeter – do you contend he doesn’t deserve it?

          I doubt you (a hedge fund manager) could fix my car either (apples and oranges). Could a second rate mechanic do so? Yes, and probably take longer and not do as good a job. Is he worth 12,400% more than the expert mechanic? That’d almost be as absurd as the hedge fund manager “earning” $2.4 million an hour last year. You content that is okay ($2.4 million)? Is that what you want someday? It’s admirable, I suppose to some, but that wouldn’t bother you knowing families earning $30,000 a year are struggling to survive? Or is it their collective fault for not being the family of a hedge fund manager? Piss on them for not wanting the same thing or working as hard to get it or accepting life in the doldrums of poverty.

      • Charlie,

        What is the gray area between doing evil and not doing evil that you seem to think exists?

        What is the gray area between objective and subjective that you seem to think exists?

        What is the gray area between the truth and a falsehood that you seem to think exists?

        • A guy earns a salary doing legitimate work (how much is irrelevant). He desires social services so his kids can get an education he can’t provide for them alone. He desires healthcare for his parents who are too old to fend for themselves. He hopes someday to retire and not become the economic burden his parents become to him in their old age.

          You tell me, Black and white Flag. Is that guy evil?

          • Charlie

            If he sanctions, enables, govt to steal from me to get his dreams then he is either evil, if he knows what he is doing, or he is sanctioning evil, because he never bothered to think about what he is doing.

            Besides, why would he want an education for his kids. In your world, and his, using ones’ brains to create wealth isn’t considered legitimate “work”.

            • JAC, are you trying to gang up on me … or just stir the pot a little?

              Did I saw using ones brains doesn’t equal legitimate work?

              Still stinging from yesterday, poncho?

          • Charlie,

            A guy earns a salary doing legitimate work

            What is “legitimate” work?

            Why do YOU get to determine what is legitimate or not, when you are neither the worker nor the recipient of the labor and are nothing but a nosy interloper into affairs that have nothing to do with you?

            He desires social services so his kids can get an education he can’t provide for them alone.

            Why does his desires overrule mine?

            He desires healthcare for his parents who are too old to fend for themselves.

            Why does his desires overrule mine?

            He hopes someday to retire and not become the economic burden his parents become to him in their old age.

            Why does his hopes overrule mine?

            You tell me, Black and white Flag. Is that guy evil?

            • Charlie,

              You tell me, Black and white Flag. Is that guy evil?

              Evil, if he uses violence or counsels violence to achieve his desires or hopes.

              Not evil, if he earns his desires or hopes.

              The means is the measure, not the goal.

              • Mathius™ says:

                counsels violence Interesting.. counseling violence is evil? I though only actions can be evil. If I tell you to rob a bank and you do it, am I then responsible for your evil since you took my advise?

                Interesting implications of this…

              • I guess you’re answer is he’s evil. Legitimate work (say, auto mechanic at Sears). Because he joins a union say, to retrieve benefits he doesn’t otherwise have from his employer, you say he is evi.

                That is one shade of gray, whether you want to acknowledge it or not. Otherwise (with you premise), man are you outnumbered (and correct about losing out in the end).

  42. JAC. the quality of her novels

    Quality is a relative term … there aren’t many fans of the “quality” of her novels … except here maybe. Like Buckley, I had to flog myself to read AS too …

    • Charlie

      Fair enough.

      I admit I had a hard time with Atlas and preferred the Fountainhead.

      My issue is that people use their critique of her novels or personal life to dismiss her philosophy. It is a dishonest argument. I would rather see them address the real concepts.

  43. Charlie,
    The means is the measure, not the goal one wishes to achieve.

    This is where I believe you err most significantly.

    You justify any means to achievement by the lofty goal you, and only you, determine is worthy. You are an “End justifies the Means” type of a guy.

    But such a philosophy tends towards extreme violence, evil and tyranny.

    However, if one always measures worthy by the Means one chooses to accomplish the goal, it is hard to conceive how evil is at all possible.

    By choosing good and just means, the outcome cannot be anything other than good and just.

    By choosing evil and violent means, the outcome tends harshly toward evil and violence.

    • BF

      Welcome back, and deep bow to you this morning. I see you are focused.

    • Actually, no, it isn’t that simple a formula. This is the black and white (I and the most of the rest of the world speaks to–the Randian philosophy regarded as absurd). What gives you the right to justify the means? Who are you to decide what is just? Those questions work both ways, Black and White Flag. Thinking in terms of a greater good is a more fair approach to overall fairness than is what Ayn Rand or Black and White Flag decide is just (or when or when not one should use violence).

      If self preservation is most important, than why shouldn’t the strong take from the weak? Because Ayn Rand and you need to protect your trophies? If a man is starving, why shouldn’t he save himself and take from you? Who are you to decide he (or she) should follow your path?

      As to violence, the universe (and you) sure seems to have accepted it thus far, or why aren’t you helping to return all the stolen property/value to the indigenous people who were robbed in the first place?

  44. Mathius

    counsels violence Interesting.. counseling violence is evil? I though only actions can be evil. If I tell you to rob a bank and you do it, am I then responsible for your evil since you took my advise?

    Interesting implications of this…

    I said nothing of responsible, Mathius.

    —————-

    What you are really doing by “telling someone to do evil” is justifying their evil action.

    If I tell “go rob a bank” is me saying “You are right to rob a bank”.

    Justifying evil is an act of evil.

  45. Charlie

    I guess you’re answer is he’s evil.

    If to achieve his desires, whims and dreams he engages in violence or advocates the use of violence against others, then “yes”, he is evil.

    I do not measure his goals.
    I measure his means.

    Legitimate work (say, auto mechanic at Sears). Because he joins a union say, to retrieve benefits he doesn’t otherwise have from his employer, you say he is evil.

    A union is neither good nor evil. It is a tool.

    If a union engages in violence or advocates violence it is evil.
    If the union does not engage in violence nor advocates violence, then it is not evil.

    • Now I am a bit confused about your position on unions. Aren’t you usually against them? What if they threaten a strike and the auto store is closed for several weeks? Is that considered an act of violence? I’m really confused by some of your prior comments regarding unions (unless I’m wrong and you weren’t against them/their efforts).

      • Charlie,

        Now I am a bit confused about your position on unions. Aren’t you usually against them?

        Yes, because they advocate violence against non-violent people.

        What if they threaten a strike and the auto store is closed for several weeks?

        How is this “store” closed for a week?

        The worker has a right not to work – but he does not have a right to force the owner to NOT hire, nor force the owner by threat to close his store.

        Is that considered an act of violence?

        Completely depends on how the store is closed.

        If closed because of violence – then yes, it is an act of violence.

        If closed because no one wants to work there – then no, it is not an act of violence.

        The MEANS toward the goal determines the RIGHT and JUST of that goal.
        unions (unless I’m wrong and you weren’t against them/their efforts).

        • And if a shop is abusing its workers (for example) and the union calls a strike and blocks the doors, that is violence(I’m assuming you’d say because the same workers can “choose” to work elsewhere

          I’d say, they can starve if they can’t and so they have every right in the world to block the doors and trash the joint before having to go hungry. Yep, we disagree.

          I’m evil …

          • Wow-I might agree with you-but from my experience-unions aren’t closing doors because they are being abused-they are trying to close doors of non-union companies simply because they aren’t union. Fairness or mistreatment of the employee has nothing to do with it.

            It seems to be more a matter of how dare you -Not be UNION-I truly dislike unions- I try to be fair-I know there must be unions that represent their members on the basis of the actual practices of companies they work for but that just isn’t my experience-I truly dislike unions.

            • V.H. I was a union member for 10 years (window cleaners union when I was in my 20’s, early 30’s). It was a pathetic union. I have no use for what they’ve become either but … why shouldn’t workers have a voice when businesses have so much MORE influence over politicians ($700 bailout)? Why I’m for nationalization. No unions, no politicians. Revolving door representation; 2 year term limits, referendums, etc. I’m sure that could and would be abused eventually as well (and would have to be somewhat reformed), but there’s no way workers (middle class) can continue to put up with the bullshit going on today (wherein they are demonized for trying to survive while corporate CEO’s and the like piss into gold toilets). Sorry, that’s a no brainer for me. So long as the great divide widens and business controls Washington, unions are a necessary evil.

              Regulations are ruining the economy? For who besides the middle class and poor? The rich have NEVER been richer and for so little friggin’ work.

          • Charlie,
            If you inflict violence on non-violent men simply because they disagree with you and do not accept your irrational demands, then indeed you are evil.

  46. Charlie,

    Actually, no, it isn’t that simple a formula. This is the black and white (I and the most of the rest of the world speaks to–the Randian philosophy regarded as absurd). What gives you the right to justify the means?

    Exactly.

    Thus the ONLY Means that can be Rightful is one that respects Human Rights and non-violence.

    Thus, the ONLY Means justified are Means which ALL men Rightfully can use.

    Who are you to decide what is just?

    Justice is in the eye of the beholder.

    There are many Rights that when applied appear unjust. Thus, in the opinion of others such Means, though Rightful, may appear unjust and therefore attract societal condemnation, and that may be unfavorable.

    Thus, Means which are Rightful AND Just (in the eyes of society) are the best Means.

    . Thinking in terms of a greater good is a more fair approach to overall fairness than is what Ayn Rand or Black and White Flag decide is just (or when or when not one should use violence).

    Appealing for ruling on what is “just” from a mob always leads to massive tyranny and slaughter.

    If self preservation is most important,

    Who says it is?

    It may be for you, but many others hold other things and other people more important then their own life.

    than why shouldn’t the strong take from the weak?

    Because in such a society, social order is managed by an ever increasing volume of violence, leading to mass slaughter, resulting in societal collapse.

    Thus, you do not see such societies existing writ large today.

    If a man is starving, why shouldn’t he save himself and take from you?

    You are merely saying this:
    In allocating resources, theft is a Rightful means

    It maybe indeed a way, but such a way, if even slightly broad throughout society, leads to massive destruction and slaughter.

    If the theft is justified, then more thievery is the result, with the result in more violence.

    The thief beats the Rightful man, but the murderer beats the thief – where violence is rewarded, massive slaughter is the consequence.

    Who are you to decide he (or she) should follow your path?

    I do not decide for you.
    I decide for me.

    Should you decide to breach my Rights, you will be acted upon by my Rights.

    As to violence, the universe (and you) sure seems to have accepted it thus far, or why aren’t you helping to return all the stolen property/value to the indigenous people who were robbed in the first place?

    Please provide names and deeds to such stolen property.

    • Justice is in the eye of the beholder.

      That’s a bit of a contradiction to what you said earlier, but I’ll take it.

      • Charlie,

        No, it is not a contradiction.

        Understand what just and right means – they do not mean the same thing, though they may apply at the same time and as well as one may apply (rights) and the other not (just).

    • Thus the ONLY Means that can be Rightful is one that respects Human Rights and non-violences

      Men have gone to war of human rights, my friend and hopefully will continue to do so. Sometimes a good crack across the teeth goes a long way.

      • Charlie,
        If one finds it necessary to use violence on non-violent men, it can only mean one or both of these things:

        (1) you cannot communicate your ideas effectively
        (2) your ideas are irrational

  47. I have a question for Charlie.

    If I agree to work for $15 per hour (something I think is fair for my job), does the fact that some rich dude makes millions on his dividends affect me in the slightest? If I can live comfortably on what I make, why should I care at all about what someone else makes?

    I really couldn’t care less if people make tons of money and I just make a living. I am interested in supporting my family and friends and if I can giving to charity. If I want/need something I can’t afford, I ask others to help, not steal from them. You are appealing to greed, not of the wealthiest, but of the most indigent. That’s what I see so many progressives saying these days. We need more taxes because rich people are so rich they can afford it. It’s no longer based on fairness, it’s based on how much money they have…

    I would like to see the government spell out everything it wants to fund and why and THEN come up with a reasonable tax rate. The fact that we’re spending almost 50% more now than we were in 2001 tells me that it’s not necessary. I mean, people weren’t dieing in the streets back then, right?

    • I can live comfortably on what I make, why should I care at all about what someone else makes?

      That works for me too, my brother. It probably doesn’t work for those making minimum wage and trying to raise a family or those who get sick and don’t have healthcare, etc. Does someone “need” to make $2.4 million an hour? There are some who don’t have family or friends wealthy enough to help them voluntarily. The gap is getting wide enough so that group gets bigger by the day.

      • Charlie? Drop the 2.4mil/hr and 2%ers a second. Remember when several generations of families lived together in the same house? And it still happens today..just ask the Mexicans or Arabs or Blacks or Rednecks, or Amish .Probably the Eye-talians too. Put a percentage to the number of Americans you think truly need help. I’m talking a percentage who have no family or friends who, if asked, would help.

        • Glad to hear from you-was starting to get worried. :)

          • Was in your neck of the woods for a week on a chicken farm in southern Kentucky. Bet you didn’t expect that! LOL

            • Country girl for a week -sounds like fun :) remember sleeping in a real feather bed when I visited my Grand pal Loved it, except for the walk to the out house in the middle of the night-was bad enough in the day time. Course I was a spoiled city kid. :)

              • Been there! My grandparents had a fruit farm. They didnt care to get indoor plumbing til the very late 60’s. Didn’t like that too much. A double seater no less! WTH? :)

              • Mine finally turned a closet into a bathroom-unfortunately the pot was a pot :) but much better than going outside in the middle of the night-gonna go to bed now-talk to you tomorrow.

        • Anita, my love, I’m fine with that too, but just because some “may” have family doesn’t mean the family is willing to do so. If we’re going to force people to live with one another, isn’t that an “evil” too? We can’t just assume they would. The $2.4 million an hour is why there are so many falling by the wayside. That kind of disparity (and don’t forget it isn’t producing jobs the way a factory might) is why more and more people are finding themselves on the brink.

      • Why does it matter to someone making minimum wage how much a rich person makes? If the rich person makes less, will minimum wage suddenly be more valuable? I can see why you would advocate for a higher minimum wage, but what does that have to do with the wealthy?

        All I can see you saying is that we should take money from the rich and give it to the poor. As heroic as this may sound, it is outright theft.

        • JB, I’m one of those who believe that the “rich” (0.2%’s–always for USW’s benefit) could not possibly have come by that level of wealth legitimately and since so many of your “claim” to be against corporations and that corporatism is an “evil”, the riches gained from such “evil” should be considered ill-gotten gains. In that scenario, I have no problem with the “theft” you claim it would be.

          • Thanks for being honest at least.

            I think a lot of liberals want this sort of thing to happen, but refuse to call it wealth redistribution and theft. I applaud your straightforwardness.

  48. Like I say, I’d prefer somebody like Bernie Sanders or Ralph Nader, but I’d accept Ron Paul because I don’t believe he’d sell out on principle (even though I don’t agree with his theory on the free market):

    http://temporaryknucksline.blogspot.com/2011/07/tk-news-pray-gay-away-ouch-foreclosures.html

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