Defining the Greater Good

Greater Good SignI read through yesterday’s comments with some level of fascination. The discussions about the greater good were simply too good to pass up the opportunity to continue them by posting an article with my thoughts on the topic. As many of you may remember, I am a proponent of social darwinsim. I understand that in some people’s eyes, that makes me evil. I can live with that, simply because I reject your definition of evil. I have seen evil in my lifetime. It can take many forms. I saw pure evil in the eyes of men. But the purest evil I know is that which takes the form of a smile as someone tells me they have the right to control another’s destiny in order to serve “the greater good”. So I thought I would write out some thoughts here and merge them with the Atlas Shrugged content that I was going to share. I think the place where many are getting hung up is the idea of true freedom….

Allow me to be clear up front. I understand the concept of true freedom in exactly the way that BlackFlag, JAC, PeterB, and many others espouse it. Furthermore I embrace the concept of it, and I want to find a solution that refuses to contradict it, if that is possible. Perhaps BF is right and it cannot be done in government (or whatever I would choose to call it going forward). But until that is proven to me, I will fight on. In that way I will remain diligent. I do understand that I often make small errors in my interpretations. Small amounts of contradiction that I then have to consider and attempt to correct. Where I take my pride from is that I will conform to logic and reason in an argument 100% of the time. If you can logically and conclusively show me where I am wrong, I will discard my old position and adopt a new one, more consistent with reality and the universe.

Social Darwinism PosterAnd because of that tenet of mine when debating or discussing, I seek out opportunities to test my thoughts for consistency and figure out where I may be gummed up in my thinking. Today is an attempt to do just that. I promise to try and keep up with the conversation and answer what I can and discuss throughout the day, or for as long as we want to keep this thread active. But it seems that there are two very different trains of thought in the forums here. On one side, sacrifice for the “greater good” is not only justified, but essential and worthy of scorn for refusal to do so. On the other side, all sacrifice of any kind must be voluntary, no exceptions. I respectfully fall much closer to the second, but may stray a few times so I want to also discuss how to do some things that may be getting in my way, or in your way.

Social Darwinism, under my definition, means that you adapt or die. If you have no means to procure, through some form of behavior, the means to live, then you are unfortunately a weak link in the species. A great beggar has a talent, and therefore will survive. A great industrialist has a talent, and therefore will survive. Someone who is content to live off the work of others, has no talent, and therefore is flawed and subject, through selective breeding, to extinction of his or her blood line and its genetic flaws. It is a tough stance to take, I agree. But it is consistent, in my opinion. Because under my theory, there is no ability to use coersion to change your lot in life. You will find a way to do things without coercing others, or your bloodline will perish, as survival of the fittest demands. That doesn’t mean I look to “destroy” anyone or that I refuse to offer a helping hand. But my helping hand is limited to giving an opportunity to develop or use a skill to change your lot. I refuse to accept the notion that I must support someone for good who cannot support themselves. I may choose to but I will be damned if I should be forced to.

Does that make me evil? Maybe. I don’t know. Who am I to say? I don’t think I am evil. I am more than willing to help those in need so long as I see them helping themselves. A woman with 6 children and no father around is likely to have not helped herself. If I had two kids and no father, no education, no way to feed them, etc. I would quickly decide that I am not having sex with anyone without major protection. I would leave almost nothing to chance. The person who does not do this, has a flaw, and therefore has been selected by the universe for extinction. Unless of course she develops a talent and uses it to feed her children, thus ensuring survival.

That is social darwinism, at least my version of it, in a very small nutshell. I am happy to answer any questions as we go, and I didn’t want to spend all day discussing it, as I have written whole articles on the subject that any of you can find in the archives.

Greater Good Power CoverSo on to the greater good. I submit that the “greater good” is a myth. There is no such animal. The greater good, as defined by those who discuss it today, is nothing more than an excuse to impose their will on those who would disagree with them. It is used as an excuse to form society in a way that they deem acceptable under their particular standards and desires. Most importantly, the greater good is, in modern times, the greatest threat to freedom and liberty we have. It is the tool most used by political pundits as a reason to impose their ideas and philosophies on those who would not otherwise conform. But I do understand the greater good as a concept, when it is used as an idea of an action that will be of benefit to society at large. The problem is, the greater good is usually in no way being served by those who use it as their excuse.

Let’s talk turkey here. I will use names, not to embarass anyone or call anyone out, but instead just to eliminate the need to re-type entire lengthy conversations in order to set up my thought. BlackFlag rejects the coercive actions taken in order to take from one group in order to give to another group in order to serve the “greater good”. Mathius is completely OK with sacrificing his loot to help serve the greater good, and is also OK with forcing others to share his level of sacrifice. The argument is then made that BF is evil, for he cares not to save that little starving child (an emotional appeal at its finest I might add). In this case, I don’t believe that BF is evil. He is perhaps heartless if he watches misery and does nothing. But evil… absolutely not.

And this comes down to a fundamental difference of core beliefs. I, along with BF, JAC, Peter, and others, believe that I was put on this earth to serve myself. By serving myself, I serve society (my own little take on objectivism). I will call that option A. Chris, Mathius, Ray, Todd, and others believe that man is put on earth to serve society. By serving society, they serve themselves. I will call this option B.

I watched the fruitless argument against option A. Sure, Mathius believes that many of us will be charitable and help those that deserve help. But he concludes that there are others that will not. Thus, they should be forced to contribute. The argument against option B, however, isn’t as clear cut, but in reality option B requires massive contradictions and coercive force to make happen. What Mathius, and others are missing is that when you decide to force the hand of others, you breed resentment, thus damaging society much worse than poverty or starvation currently damage society. And in the zealotry to demonize the wealthy as a means to gain public support for a greater percentage of their wealth to be taken for “the greater good”, you breed both resentment for the wealthy, and resentment from the wealthy.

Facts Are Coming CartoonAnd let me be clear here, the wealthy, the producers, the job creators, the “have’s”, reaching a state where they resent the rest of the population is the most damaging thing you could possibly do to “the greater good”. The absolute worst scenario you could create for the starving, the poor, the destitute, is to have the people with the means to help decide that they are no longer willing to help. To have them decide that a society that stopped recognizing their rights is not worthy of their providing anything to that society. We see this already. How many businesses out there, that provided jobs, insurance, and support for American workers, have been punished to the point of them deciding that they hold no moral obligation to continue to support those workers. Instead they took their factories, manufacturing, etc., overseas. To a country that respected their right to make as much money as they have the ability to make.

I hear the calls from the left to do something about the companies that take jobs overseas. We should tax them harder. We should punish them in some way. We should do something to stop them from leaving. It smacks of Mr. Mowen of Amalgamated Switch and Signal Company proclaiming “there oughta be a law” as he watched businesses pack for Colorado. And their solutions, I have no doubt will come in the form of something that has the feel of the “Public Stability Law” that forbade Eastern businesses to move out of their states. It is madness, and for those that are making the calls for action such as this for “the greater good”, I submit that you have fallen to the lowest rung on the ladder of morality, choosing to demand action from another for your own selfish concerns.

We all know what evil is when we see it. Theft is evil. Start with with that premise. Do you refute it? I don’t think anyone will do so. So how do we define it? BF sees forced taking of one’s wealth and giving it to someone in need as theft. Chris Devine sees this as responsibility, not theft. So who is right? Theft, as a defined thing is the seizure of property that does not rightly belong to the person doing the seizing. I adhere to that definition. It serves as a fair and accurate version of what theft is in my eyes. So where do we go from there?

Greater Good CartoonChris and Mathius both stated that the seizure of wealth from those who have more than enough to survive on is acceptable for “the greater good” (I know that they worded it differently, but in a nutshell that is what they said). The wealthy already provide 90% of the tax money collected in the United States from personal income. But even that is not enough for them. They want more, because those they seek to take it from “can afford to sacrifice more”. If that is a moral justification for theft, then as a society we are nothing but a long list of contradictions in terms of the laws that Chris and Mathius fully support.

Surely then, the burglar who breaks into a home and steals a TV is not a criminal if they do so because it was to feed their children. The auto thief who needs to get to work is completely justified in stealing a car from General Motors, as GM (especially now that they are backed by government) has more than enough wealth to sacrifice that car without even noticing. Any person needing a meal is well within moral bounds to walk into a restaurant and eat their meal and consequently skip out on the tab. The restaurant can surely eat the cost of that meal, while the thief had no money to pay.

Greater Good Heart CoverMake it more personal. Knowing that Chris is a smart guy with the ability to earn more wealth, government is well within the realm of morality to knock on Chris’s door, tell him they have seized his home to be used as a daycare for single mothers. After all, Chris is sacrificing his home for “the greater good”, as he has the ability to earn the money to get another home. Mathius, your wife has a car, so in order to enable the government to begin road construction that will provide jobs for those without, they have decided that you must turn over the keys to your truck. It will make a useful highway construction vehicle. It serves “the greater good” though, so I am sure you will be fine with it.

And there is the crux of the problem when those who espouse the morality of “Option B” take their stand. There is no way to draw the line once you begin. If you justify taking 10 dollars from the man with $100,000, then you have justified the taking of ANYTHING in any situation where the seizure results in something better for two people than for the one person who owns that thing. After all, benefitting two people does more for the greater good than benefitting one person.

THEFT IS THEFT, NO MATTER THE REASON. If it is mine, and you take it by force, you are a thief. I have no obligation to “the greater good”, no matter how much you tell me that I do. I, USWeapon, choose on my own to benefit society in the ways that I see fit. I do so on moral grounds. If it is immoral, I choose not to do it because being moral is something I believe in. If it benefits me, I will choose to sacrifice something that is mine to sacrifice. The benefit may be nothing more than feeling good about my sacrifice. But the choice is mine to make because the sacrifice is mine. You have no right to offer the sacrifice of something that you did not earn or that you do not own.

Culture of CorruptionNow make it less personal. The do-gooders will argue that the wealthy are corrupt. They will argue that big business has no heart, no soul, and no compassion. They will argue that without their intervention, big business, the wealthy, and the “have’s” will screw everyone for their benefit. They will skirt paying taxes. They will dump toxic waste. They will organize in a way that squeezes out competition. And then they will argue that big, bad government will save us from those evil people.

Bulldookey. In 250 years of trying, government has yet to stop a single “big business” from doing exactly what government claims they will stop. They don’t have the power to “regulate” business. They don’t have the means to do it effectively. And they absolutely DO NOT HAVE THE POWER OR THE MEANS OR THE DESIRE TO DO IT MORALLY. There is only one group on earth with the power to control business:

The Consumer.

Consumer ChoiceThe consumer has bankrupted corrupt business after corrupt business. And the best part of this whole argument is that those on the left absolutely know this. When government doesn’t have the ability to shut Glen Beck up, what do they do? They ask the consumer to do it for them, unwittingly proving that consumers have powers far beyond what government will ever be able to accomplish. Those on the right should thank the left for this clear admission of the power of consumers where government, and rhetoric, and partisan bullshit falls impotent. The consumer is the viagra of an impotent political movement. Yet while asking the consumer to do what the government cannot, they still cry that government is the answer to the ills of big business. Nothing like being de-pants’d in front of the whole class….

So what does all this mean. It means that “the greater good” is a scam. It is a ploy. It is the attempt to win the argument when their logical attempts at doing so have failed. Nothing more and nothing less. Those who claim to want to take from one to give to another in the name of “the greater good” are doing nothing but attempting to justify theft in the name of their cause. Unwilling to sacrifice all that they have, they demand that others sacrifice in their place. And I refuse.

Our government has played a very cruel trick on the American people. They have fooled the people into believing that they are looking to help them. Yet we can point to example after example from both sides of the political spectrum that prove that government has no interest in making things better. They only want to make them “better enough” to quell a rebellion. Their desire is for power, and they have duped many on the left and on the right into serving their cause in the name of “the greater good”.

Atlas RealisticI will leave you with a quote from Francisco D’Anconia, in reply to Bertram Scudder, a philosopher who feels that he is “enlightened to the greater good” and thus proclaims that “money is the root of all evil”. D’Anconia, wise in the fact that money is a tool used for trade, made possible by the efforts of productive men. When I hear of the evils of the wealthy, I remember that they are who make the society in which we live possible and the words of Francisco return to my mind:

Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and exchange value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak. What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product on man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is MADE – before it can be looted or mooched – made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.

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Comments

  1. I didn’t have time to finish the article this morning, but I will later. I just wanted to throw this out as a quick observation.

    It’s all about greed. Greed on the part of the “haves” for not wanting to give and greed on the part of the “have nots” for demanding something they don’t deserve.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hi all,

      Great article USW. Posting to receive emailed comments…

      Have a wonderful day!
      RS

    • Sorry its about the word “deserve” and how its used in society. Its the excuse of the massless over why they steal, why they pile on debt they’ll not be paying and why they vote for those willing to indulge their parasitic deservedness. Who is to say the wealthy don’t “deserve” to keep what they earned or what their grandfather earned? Why does one individual’s efforts not “deserve” to be rewarded when they are the more successful? Who wants to put in the Herculean effort of amassing a better skill set and summoning the will to wield it best when another who makes little past the effort to breathe and not get turd on his fingers when wiping will be your forced beneficiary? Oh that’s right you should. Why? Because he “deserves” it.

      I give what I’m willing to and I don’t mind paying for another getting health care, hey its a Canadian thing, but I do very much draw a line in the sand. When there is nothing to be gained from success outside of filling society’s coffers, the stagnation of Russia is all you’ll be smelling. Read your history books if you believe me a lair. Then you can apologize and I’ll weigh if it “deserves” acceptance.

      • Black Flag says:

        If you are willing to pay, then go pay.

        Do not demand the same from me.

        • Exactly. As I’ve posted elsewhere, the satisfaction of my choosing to give is still payment to myself for having done such. Once again its back to the individual.

  2. Well done USW, I wholly agree with your definition of the “greater good”. I choose not to eat the vegetables that have been shoved my way, simply because I grow my own and don’t want anyone elses. I will now offer a plate of venison, which I also harvested, but I will only share with those who choose to eat by their own free will. Enjoy!

    G!

    • MMm, venison, however, I don’t share mine ;)

    • Then enjoy your case of scurvy.

      • Scurvy is caused by a lack of vitamin C…not venison…you simply have to wash it down with orange juice!

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Let’s take onions!

      I deplore onions…I know what an onion tastes like, I know what an onion feels like in my mounth…onions make me want to barf.

      Now, I ALWAYS tell people that I hate onions, that they make me ill (this goes for friends, family and restaurants)…

      There are the people that “respect” my onion-hatred…Thank you!

      Then, I get the whole gambit of people trying to “convince” me to like onions…”I’ll mince them so that you won’t know they are there”…”No, I say…I hate onions, I have ‘state-of-the-art’ onion radar… “Okay”, they say, “I won’t put them in there”…these are the trustworthy people…they don’t try to pull the wool over my eyes…

      Then you get the whole gambit of other people, thinking that they can “fool” me…They cut those darn onions up so small and then “put” them in my food, thinking that they are smarter than me! Ha…the radar catches them everytime and then I refuse to eat their onion-infected food. Yeah, I suffer ’cause now I have to starve thru that meal, but these people suffer too…they’ve lost my “onion” trust…In the case of a restaurant, either they make it right and re-do my meal w/o onions or they lose my business forever!

      Yes, I do seem rather strange and extreme in this way; but #amnit…I hate onions and I refuse to eat them. I’m telling you the truth, biting into an onion (no matter how ‘small’) is really is disgusting to me. NO ONE has a right to force me (physically or subvertly) to each a friggen’ onion.

      To equate this long and winding “anti-onion” anarchist story to our Government, think about it…Do you hate (something – insert whatever here) so much but are forced to comply because our Government says it is best for everyone…Take my onion story…the government tells me…too bad, not only will we put onions in it, we’ll also put celery (hate them too)…I say to the Government, “Leave the onions and celery out of it…minimize — the less ingrediants, the better.”

      The government “one size fits alls” attitude just doesn’t work. To all the lefties out here, stop trying to make ME eat onions. Stop mincing those onions and trying to hide them — I’m not stupid, I know they are there.

      To our ‘so-called’ Representatives … I think your onion-hiding ways are finally catching up to you … people are getting heartburn from it and are starting to figure out your devious ways.

      RS

      • I hear that if you have no sense of smell (ie a bad cold, etc), that you can’t *taste* the difference between an apple and an onion. I keep meaning to try it to see if it’s true..

        • observe and do little says:

          speaking of onions ifu cut onions and cry then u are told that if u put an onion piece on ur head ull stop crying…….it worked on my bro and i took it off and yet he didnt cry any more….all psychological

      • Richmond, thank you for this onion analagy. One of my brothers is just like you and I have often been that person trying to sneak and hide the onions in but no more. Sometimes it takes looking at our actions in a different way to see what we are doing. My brother (and I) both thank you!

      • Spitfire,

        I am allergic to onions, and go thru the same thin every holiday, they think I can’t tell about the oninions, as I pick them out of the dressing, try to be nice about it. A good analogy also.

      • I'm learning! says:

        Spitfire,

        I love onions in my cooking. It would be a sad day if I didn’t have one in my kitchen. However I understand your situation. I HATE peanut butter. People at work have made bars, not told me that it’s in there (they all know I hate it) and I will peg it every time. Even if it is just 1 tsp in the entire frosting recipe, I know it’s there. I just never really thought of the government like a pile of stinky, sticky, stick to the roof of my mouth and make me want to gag, pile of peanut butter until now! Or for that matter think if it as something that sometimes makes me want to cry like onions. That sure puts a new spin on cooking!

      • My brother hates onions too. So does my youngest son. I’ve had to learn to make some adjustments because of my son.

        The rest of us like onions but if I put it in anything, then he won’t eat it. Good thing he’s picky anyway or I’d never get to eat them. A lot of things he won’t eat onions or not.

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          I too make accomodations for my “very picky” family of 5…I feel like a short-order cook. It is hard (and annoying), but it is worth it to see them eat and enjoy what they are eating.

          I wish EVERYDAY that I loved onions…but the fact of the matter is…I’ve hated them for 43 years; I can safely say that I will NEVER like them and attempts at onion tomfoolery will only fail.

          RS

      • Hey RS……I will take your onions….I will eat them as I clean my weapons for venison and dove. That is how it works….you don’t want onions, give them to me and I will give you the best dove casserole on rice (without the disguised taste of onions)that you ever put into your mouth…assuming you are not a vegetarian…(oh, an old family recipe takes the wild out of the dove).

  3. Great article USW and so true. At one point, we owned a residential and commercial construction company, employing over a hundred, plus many sub-contractors. It became pretty evident that the government was taking more than it’s fair share “for the greater good”.
    At the end it was my husband, me and one employee. Now we do nothing, to protect what we have earned. As my husband would put it, the government was not out there freezing their asses off on the construction sites and had no risk involved. Therefore, it’s mine! Back the eff off!
    Have a great day all!
    Willo

  4. All;

    To take this a bit farther I think we should ask those who support “Option B” what it is that they invision as the ultimate goal. If we were all to agree to the idea of the “Greater Good” in it’s purist form, what would we ultimately accomplish?

    CM

  5. Black Flag says:

    One of the greatest sin is coveting – the desire to have what one did not earn. This sin leads to theft,violence and slavery.

    Coveting is the core of all Statist systems.

    • Add to that jealousy and envy. The three interact to form the manifestation of the leftist’s value system, Altruism.

      • I recently read Atlas Shrugged and found that I agreed with most of it, but I didn’t really go for her hatred of altruism. She says that altruism is evil and then she makes excuses for all of the noble cases of altruism by saying that they are really trades. Couldn’t you say that all incidences of altruism are really just trades?

        • Jennie, I’ve always thought that the biggest danger to altruism is the arrogance that I know what you need better than you or the ones who love you. hope all is well.. c

        • Jennie:

          Your dilemna is fed by your education and indoctrination. I posted the original meaning of the Altruistic ethic at #11 below. Rand does not give “nobel” examples of “altruism”. She gives examples of individual acts based on “selfhishness” (as she describes it) that we have been trained to think is “altruism”.

          The difference you seek is that I make choices based on my personal desire/need. In my own case I love to work with kids and I love sports. So I have spent alot of time coaching kids sports. That is a selfish motivation. The result is free coaching for kids from someone who knows the sport. Because of our indoctrination we view that as some “altruistic” act. But it is not, if you understand the true meaning of the concept as expressed by its creator.

          Altruism requires the sacrifice of one for the many. It is built into the definition. It in fact requires us to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others. So if I am truly operating under the “altruistic ethic” I would feel it “my duty” or “my civic responsibillity” to coach kids sports.

          So what you see are on the surface the same outcome. But the reasons supporting the action are entirely different. And I submit the actual results will differ as well. How many of us can perform well if our motivation is some sense of civic responsibility rather than personal passion?

          I’ll go with personal passion everytime. In fact it is the common ingredient among successful people. Yet we want to adopt an ethic that kills this passion in favor of “duty”? I don’t think that is in our society’s best interest, in the long run.

          • If you coach because you think it is your duty, then you do it to make yourself feel like you are not a shirker, so you really did it so that you could feel better, so it was really selfish of you, so it was not altruism.

            • Your logic leads to the conclusion that guilt and desire are the same emotion.

              Perhaps that is why you think Rand is condeming on one hand and extolling with the other. She is condeming the root motivation of guilt or action taken to avoid coersion. She is celebrating motivation based on personal desire.

              • I’m not saying guilt and desire are the same thing, just that one can have a desire to avoid guilt.

              • Then the root motivation is guilt not desire.

                If you do not think them the same then you can not create a circular argument that makes them the same.

                You must keep them separate and not confuse the underlying emotion.

                I love God because I fear him is not the same as :

                I love God because God is good.

                Do you now understand better what Rand was getting to?

              • Desire has to have an object. Why do you think it is OK to desire to fill your own belly, but not OK to desire a good feeling for filling another’s belly?

              • Jennie:

                Perhaps we are missing each other here.

                I DO think it is a good thing to help someone because it gives me a GOOD feeling. And so does Rand.

                I DO NOT think it is a good thing to help someone to avoid a feeling of GUILT.

                It is OK to desire good feelings. Humans seek pleasure and that is part of who/what we are. But do not confuse the seeking of pleasure with the avoidance of pain.

                This is the distinction Rand draws in her Novel. You stated you had a problem with her hatred for Altruism but then she basically rationalizes altruism. I am trying to show you that she did not rationalize it. She is drawing the distinction between the seeking of pleaure for personal reasons and doing something to avoid pain or in this example guilt. She also points out that a “sense of duty” that is created through manipulation of definitions and emotions is also coersive. Thus a sense of duty to help, which is formed in this way, is built on pain avoidance, not a desire for pleasure. Do you see that they are different?

                Altruism does not mean helping others. It means that your self interest must be subservient to the needs of others. It requires the elimination of all personal, individual, rights including that of owning property. It is a zero sum game of personal sacrifice. Because many don’t want to play that game, it eventually leads to someone taking up the power of govt to force it on all of us.

                Are you any closer to understanding the distinction Rand was trying to draw?

                I am trying to help you resolve your apparent conflict with her views on Altruism. If you agreed with most then your disagreement with her on Altruism is probably because she is using the original meaning in terms of ethics while you are using a modern understanding that this means “compassion” or “charity”. It is much more than that and we must understand it.

        • Jennie:

          One additional point, using my coaching example.

          If I am living under a true Altruistic ethic, my love of kids and sports would prevent me from ever coaching kids sports. You see my “personal” desires are to be subordinate to the needs of the whole. I have not right to pursue my passion, and in fact it is viewed as contrary to the good of society. Therefore, if I am ethical I would seek out some public service that I have no personal passion for nor interest in, whatsoever.

    • GASP! Not altruism! Anything but that!

      And isn’t jealousy and envy what drives the economy? Isn’t keeping up with the Jones’ why we buy bigger tv’s and better cars? Without it, the economy grinds to a halt because you don’t actually need that new tv, so why spend?

      • I doubt very much that the actual motivations in the market are envy and jealousy. These may play a role to the extent these emotions are played upon by hollywood and advertising. Of course this is driven by the leftist view of society after all.

        It is what we want to meet whatever need or desire we have. Folks who see the Jones’ new boat don’t say I want that so everyone will think I am a Jones. What they really say is gee, Jones has given me an idea. I think I would also like a boat as I too could enjoy myself on the lake.

        Your example of impact to the economy because the consumer doesn’t “actually need that new tv” is inherently flawed by your perspective of the universe. You are projecting you view of his need onto him. And the economy will not grind to a halt because people stop buying one or more objects. It will reach a new equilibrium as markets change. That is what a free market does.

        And by the way, with alot less pain to the general population in the long run, than an economy where central planners try to orchestrate the change based on their perceptions.

      • Oh, and it is not “anything” but Altruism.

        It is Freedom instead of Altruism.

      • Not at all. I do much better than those around me because I am. I put in the decades of learning necessary to become me. I choose to keep more of what I earned too. Socially selfish? I don’t think so as when I put it to my peers that I should be able to retire and they could pay for that retirement from what I’ve taught them, they declined. The ingratitude! The social injustice! Oh well. The burden of success it appears is mine to bear.

        Mathius those who are successful don’t necessarily have a boat load of things. Some of us have investments which in turn gives some employment. Know of any?

  6. OK.. so that’s a long post.

    Some thoughts in no particular order:

    1. I love the picture of the beaver crushed by the tree.. excellent. Am I supposed to be the guy with the hammer in the other picture?

    2. Darwinism is great for animals, but if you accept that we should allow the weak to perish, you are tacitly accepting that human life does not have value sufficient to mean that it must be protected. If life is “sacred,” then it must be protected, if not, I get to tear you apart on some different topics. Choose wisely..

    3. I drive an Infiniti G37. It is my baby, and the government can have it when they pry the keys from my cold dead fingers – yes, I know this supports your argument, not mine, but screw it, I love that car.

    4. I do, in fact, argue that corporations are only interested in making money because corporations are only interested in making money. Without government control, regulation, and “interference,” you would find yourself surrounded by companies which treat workers as cogs rather than people. They would pay the bare minimum ($1 / hour?). They would pollute, they would effectively enslave them. Again, anyone who doubts this should take a look at the period around the industrial revolution. Start with Dennis Lehane’s excellent novel The Given Day. The reason they’re going abroad is because they get to treat their workers that way in Laos, but not the US – not because they’re upset with the government, but cause they can abuse workers to make more money elsewhere.

    5. With reference to point #3, though, of course, my car would not make a good one for road work, if the government had sufficient need of it to do sufficient good (and who am I to judge what that is? I am not objective), I would support (at least in principle) their right to seize it (by force) since I would never give it willingly. This, because a loss to me would be offset by a (presumably very large) gain to others.

    6. I do not demand anyone sacrifice in my place. I sacrifice right along side of everyone else.

    7. I do not consider you or anyone else evil for failing to give. I consider you human. My point with regards to this is that humans are greedy and selfish and must be forced to help one another. My statement that it is evil to allow suffering when you have the power to ameliorate it is there for the sole purpose of offsetting the opinion that it is evil to take what is not “rightfully” yours. I do not, in actuality, consider either to be evil per say. It just helps, if you’re going to put one side into moral perspective, to put the other into moral perspective as well.

    8. Your analogy of seizing Chris’ home is flawed. In order to offset a great loss to one, a great gain must be made (or a great number of minor gains). To that end, taking away his biggest asset and the fruit of a life of saving and fiscal responsibility should only be done if the net result is a HUGE boon to the rest of society. But I do not advocate for isolating the loss to one person any more than I advocate isolating the gain to one person. Rather, for this example, the government would come to a million homes and take one brick, then use this to build the daycare center in question. Yes, I know, a matter of degrees, but I will thank you not to reduce my argument to the absurd. The point is to spread it around, so that nobody gets the shaft.

    9. “Bulldookey. In 250 years of trying, government has yet to stop a single “big business” from doing exactly what government claims they will stop.” Bulldookey, yourself. Government has broken up monopolies left and right (see Ma Bell, Standard Oil) which were detrimental to society. Government has forced coal plants to contain their pollutants, cars pollute less, companies provide minimum wages, the list goes on, but I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it from me. Where would we be without this? I cannot say, but it take a braver man than I to try to make that case. (I have a sneaking suspicion that I know who that “braver man” will be…)

    10. I will allow that “theft” is evil. I will not stipulate that taxation is theft. It’s more like a bill for services rendered / to be rendered. The government gives you clean air, water, safe food, drugs, road, police, fire protection, emergency care, provides for the common defense, ensures domestic tranquility, etc. These things are not free, so they levy the bill onto the recipients of these goods/services, weighted for those most capable of paying. When my car got towed a while ago, I received services I didn’t ask for (the towing), but I still had to pay the bill to get it back. I parked my car in the wrong place, so I had to pay. You parked yourself in the wrong place, so you have to pay too – or move. Arguing will get you nowhere.

    11. The government hasn’t done anything about Glen Beck because (A) the Dems are cowards who are terrified of the right regardless of their superior numbers, (B) the Constitution says that they aren’t allowed to abridge the right of free speech, which I assume includes the right to be a blowhard. So, because of this, eventually the private sector seems to be getting around to putting some pressure on the station – woooooo. How many years did this go on before they acted? Do you think you could have waited that long if it were a fire or a life-threatening epidemic?

    12. With regards to the woman with 6 children, perhaps you’ve never seen the movie Idiocracy. I strongly recommend it. It terrifies me, but you may enjoy it.

    • My quick thought and then maybe more later.

      A constant mistake made by those ranting agains corporations and who try to discredit freedom is the use of the “industrial revolution” period as proof of how things would be.

      The problems with such examples is the context in the timeline of human history. The little fact that as bad as we consider the conditions within the factories at the time, it was much much worse in the country side.

      Once again I say, if this is your view of history you need to ask your top end publicly funded Calif. college for a refund.

      • Sorry, went to a private college (on schollarship) in PA. But thanks for playing.

        • Adding, what’s wrong with UCLA, UCB, UCSD, or UCSB? The rest, maybe you could make a case against, but these are some good schools..

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Its just a cheap shot Mathius – they did the same thing to Chris when he revealed that he went to Berkeley.

            • It was not a cheap shot Ray.

              You have apparently not been following the discussion. It was a little twisted humor between Mathius and I, going back a couple of days.

              And to continue such, the problem with each of those schools is that they contain the word “California” in their name. Nuff said?

              • Maybe I should have gone to the Los Angeles University of Anaheim?

                Maybe California could do something about its budget issues if it renamed UCLA to reflect corporate sponsorship.. “Coca Cola Presents UCLA”? University of California’s Blackwater Berkeley?

              • I think just plain Unif of Bezerkeley is good. Gets the Calif. out of the name and would lend itself to a wide array of mascots, including extinct bears.

                The Bezerker Bears, yep I like it.

      • And the reason we keep referencing the industrial revolution is because it is a perfect example. But if you prefer, go take a look at the sweat shops in the third world. The government isn’t interfering, and 6 year olds are working 14 hour days (at $1/day) to sow clothes that you will buy because they’re a dollar cheaper at the store.

        • Your statement that govt isn’t interfering is flattly false in the vast majority of cases.

          Gvot’s interfere with economic forces in many ways and that interference distorts those forces.

          And of course you ignore the fact that those children are there voluntarily by either their decision or their parents.

          That is why you must evaluate against the timeline of human condition. It is called evolution.

          The industrial revolution is not an example of what we would have without govt regualtion and control. You assume there are not control mechanisms whatsoever. Not true.

          • I contend that the government isn’t interfering because they aren’t stopping the situation, not in an overall macro-economic sense. I lack, at present, sufficient data to say one way or another as to whether the government “created” the situation in the first place, but I would enjoy hearing your reasoning for saying so.

            The children are there by choice, only in the sense that you choose to continue breathing. They must be there or they will have no ability to buy food. Thus the choice is a simple one: be abused as a worker, or starve. Which would you choose?

            • Black Flag says:

              So, by your own words, if the company was not there, they would starve.

              That is your choice, then?

              • If no company were able to pay $1/day anywhere, then no company would. The children would make a decent wage for their labor.

                More to the point, the children should be in public school paid for by the government, and if the parents are too poor to live, they should receive a basic level of assistance.

              • Black Flag says:

                No, the company would not produce.

                Ergo, the child starves.

                No company is ‘forced’ to produce.

              • Black Flag says:

                Education is not a silver bullet.

                A rudimentary economy has no use for those whose learning cannot earn.

              • Absolutely disagree. Education is the silver bullet. “Genius without education is like a silver in the mine,” Benjamin Franklin.

      • Oh, and when one of these children gets injured because of unsafe working conditions, they are simply replaced. The child doesn’t have a health care plan, so he/she’s S.O.L., no unemployment, so good luck eating, and a missing hand, so good luck finding a new job.

        Behold the marvel that is Libertarianism!

        • Black Flag says:

          So, for you then, it is much better that the company did not even go there, so that the child starved to death instead.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            BF – but how then do you answer to the end result of allowing that so-called factory to operate un-checked? Are we going to argue degrees of shittiness? That shirt on your back that was made by that kid in Asia – any thoughts on the downstream “coercion” that had to be exercised to get that shirt made? Or does “coercion” only matter when you can see/feel it directly?

    • 3 quick things:

      1. Henry Ford offered what he considered a fair wage for a fair day’s work. That wage happened to be higher than most, and he was able to attract the best workers, and therefore succeded. THAT is what corporations are all about. Yes, they want to make money, but that can’t do that if they don’t have employees. Competion WILL arise in a free-market. Government intervention stifles competetion.

      2. INNOCENT life is sacred, people have free will, and there a consequences for each and every action and decision we make, and not all are positive.

      3. The world portrayed Idiocracy is what COULD happen if we continue down this road of the governement FORCING you and me to pay poor decisions and actions of others.

      • 1. Henry Ford was an anomaly, not the rule.

        2. So, innocence is what makes life sacred. Ok, what of a man with insufficient mental capacity to find work? What of a man, gainfully employed and hard working, is struck by a meteor and can no longer support himself? Are they not innocent? Should they not be protected? If they cannot rely on charity because People. Are. Greedy., then should the government not step in to force you to give of yourself so that these innocents may survive?

        3. I still have my money on genetic enhancements saving us from the world of Idiocracy.. inshallah

        • “1. Henry Ford was an anomaly, not the rule.”

          Perhaps you should get out of the tainted financial industry and travel the country a bit. You will find that there are far many more with these and even better values than those you claim dominate the landscape.

          And since you see to be so “uninformed” regarding the true nature of history and the funcitioning of economies, I think you should no longer be allowed to vote.

        • Tainted my industry may be, but the business of business is money. You may contend otherwise, but that is a somewhat illogical view. I do not contend that all businesses are heartless soulless things in a mindless pursuit of profit – just the vast majority.

          I’m glad you don’t get to decide who votes and who doesn’t.. you set a high bar if even I’m not allowed to vote. Or is it just that you disagree with me? Either way it’s irrelevant, I live in a blue city in a blue state, and I typically vote blue.. no loss to me. I think my vote should only count where I am competent. If we were having this debate in a way that made a difference – rather than something I am doing at work as time permits – I would do research to support my stance, consult experts in the field etc. As is, I have to go by my understanding of the facts combined with a healthy amount of reason in insight. If you can provide countervailing facts, I await them with open arms. Simply saying so however, does not make it so.

          And, because you are so determined to misinterpret my stance on the subject of the ignorant masses, let me spell it out once again: On complicated or nuanced issues, such as health care, fiscal policy, international relations, etc, the average voter is too ignorant (willfully or otherwise) to have an opinion which should matter. Though I may mock the electorate at large, my sole contention is that our elected leaders should be free to make decisions based on, you know, science and reason and facts and expert opinion rather than the angry calls of constituents driven by soundbites from the AM radio.

          • I did not misunderstand your view about voting at all. I listened very carefully to make sure I understood.

            What you don’t see is that my example that you should not be allowed to vote is the outcome of your position. After all what is the difference between not voting and having the polytickshun ignore your vote because “he/she or someone” decided you were “uninformed”.

            As I said, if you think the majority of businesses in this country are as you describe you need to travel the country and start talking to real people.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              JAC – so who is “real person”?

              I spent more years than I care to remember canvassing the country and working in almost every industry vertical imaginable – my job required me to work with the worker bees as well as senior management and company leaders. At the end of the day it is money – pure and simple. Risk decisions are made based on money and very little else.

              • amen.

                Thanks, Ray!

              • And an Employee works for???? You have it Money….it is all about money pure and simple and nothing else. Now for the really sad part….they believe they get paid to prop up on a shovel.

            • The government HAS TO ignore idiots. Likewise, you shouldn’t be forced to take investment advise from a drooling idiot. If they did, bad things would happen. If you did, bad things would happen.

              Why is it that you feel you should have the ability to decide who knows what they’re talking about and to filter out the rest, but the government – the entity which makes massive decisions which affect us all – shouldn’t?

              • Black Flag says:

                There is no way anyone, let alone some politician, can gather, discern, decide or plan the economy or know what is best for any person better then the person themselves.

                To belief otherwise makes one a fool or a tyrant or both.

              • How about their track record?

                If my right hander in the bullpen can’t get a lefty out why would I use him against a left handed power hitter with the winning run on second?

          • And exactly what is it that makes you think that our elected officials are any smarter than the average dolt? Listening to the leaders at the town hall meetings wpould convince you that they all slept through sixth grade history and civics. Their contempt for us “plebs” is painful and obvious.

            What is forgotten is that in this society, according to the founders, we are ALL interchangable. Wasn’t it Bill Buckley who once said he would rather be governed by the first hundred names in the Boston phone book than by the US Senate? All things being equal, I agraa with him.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Redleg – ever read about what Henry Ford and his ilk did in the Amazon (Fordlandia)?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fordl%C3%A2ndia

        • You mean that failed utopia? The one where the government made all of the choices?

        • Seems to me Ford tried something different and it failed. Along the way he acted as a benevolent despot without understanding that cultural barriers are very real. I assume from the comments above you would have expected him to ferment a revolution among his own workers so that they could toss him out like George III and then live in peace and harmony merrily producing rubber.

          Ford was berated by Chrysler and Mott at GM for paying his workers so well. His answer, “Then they will be able to afford to buy my cars”. This I believe is known as enlightened self interest.

          If someone has an idea, Fordlandia for example, before you come down all over it, you should ask yourself, If it worked what would have happened next?

    • Mathius said: ” I will allow that “theft” is evil. I will not stipulate that taxation is theft. It’s more like a bill for services rendered / to be rendered. The government gives you clean air, water, safe food, drugs, road, police, fire protection, emergency care, provides for the common defense, ensures domestic tranquility, etc. These things are not free, so they levy the bill onto the recipients of these goods/services, weighted for those most capable of paying.”
      Taxation is not theft????? So you think we are willingly giving 75% of all we make? If the Government gives us clean air…talk to the people of LA. Safe food? The food in my garden is safer than all the chemical laden food the government supplies. Drugs??? look at all the bad drugs the government has given to the people. These are all off the wall arguments. The point is taking from me to give to you is theft, it is theft if BF does it and it is theft if the government does it.
      If you steal from me half of what I make what incentive do I have to work? If you give to me when I do not work what incentive do I have to work? The government wastes more than half of all charitable dollars….so if you are hungry and I give you $25 to get a meal, you get to spend the $25. Now if I give it to the government by the time it gets to you, you only have $12.5 to spend. I am alot better controller of my money than the government.
      It is real simple it costs the government more to steal from me than the contributor can afford to contribute.

      • OK… umm…

        1. In what reality are you paying 75% of all you make? I am paying 40%, and that’s inclusive of sales tax I pay on the things I buy with my take home salary. Or are you Canadian, eh?

        2. I’m from LA. The air is fine, considering the amount of cars driving around. When Los Angeles was originally discovered, it was called the Bay of Smokes, care to guess why? That’s right, the area is naturally hazy due to the way it is situated geographically. Everyone drives in LA. The city is simply too large for walking or bikes, and the people keep underfunding mass-transit because (say it with me) People. Are. Greedy.

        3. You have an incentive to continue working because you still make more than the other guy and you want to keep it that way. So you will continue working. He will have an incentive to work because he doesn’t get a mansion and a steak dinner, he gets a shack with canned tuna. He has to work to give himself a better than bare minimum life style.

        4. I am in agreement with you on government waste (though I might argue the extent – 50% seems high to me), but this is a problem with waste, not the underlying matter.

        • 4. Also note that this “waste” goes somewhere. If it goes into the pockets of government employees, they’ll spend it to buy things – this will help the economy. If they spend it to buy things, they buy it from somewhere in the economy – this will help the economy. In fact, the only place your money does no one any good, is when it’s sitting in your back account. This is the compounding nature of the money supply – it is how banks and the government are able to “create” money and increase the M3 money supply.

          And, what do you know? I would have sworn that that tidbit of information would never come in handy.. go figure.

          • “In fact, the only place your money does no one any good, is when it’s sitting in your back account. ”

            Now there is a new philosophy of the Left that I had not heard before. Makes sense though, given the ethics involved. Your money sitting in your bank account is not doing any good for society (as we have determined) so we will remove it through taxation and put it to more productive use. Paying for more govt.

            • Forget the ethics for a moment – look at the logic. By forcefully putting your money to work, it benefits everyone (including you). That way you don’t bury it in a mayonnaise jar out back.

              • That is not logic my friend. Your theft of my money does not help me in any way.

                Without your theft to support whatever it is you think is important I would have enough money to pay off my house, pay for my medical care, pay for my kids college, save for my retirement, and have some left for a little trip once in a while.

                All that money I spent would of course flow throughout the economy and the savings would be used by someone until I needed it. No unnecessary overhead expense, called govt program management, and no govt charity required to support my family.

                What you call logic is that we take 1 trillion out of the economy in taxes and then spend that 1 trillion in the economy. Or, we print up an extra 1 trillion and spend that into the economy, and then tax our grandchildren to pay off the 1 trillion plus the 1 trillion in accrued interest. While inflation reduces the purchasing power along the way.

              • But it is my money. I earned it. By what right do you take it and let others benefit from what they did not earn? That is the craziest thing I have ever heard. Under your argument nothing is yours. It all belongs to the collective.

                Sheer madness.

              • Madness only because you feel that you have a right to deny others what they need because you earned it and you want it.

                To be sure, I believe there is a happy middle somewhere between communism and BF, but the poorest and weakest must be cared for by the rest of us. If they cannot (as opposed to will not) sustain themselves, it is our moral obligation to do so. As I cannot trust everyone to give willingly, I feel just fine about having the government compel your generosity.

              • What they need? or what they want? Cell phones, Ac, large screen TV, computers, internet access….you need to define need.

              • Shelter, food, water, basic hygiene, heat, clothes (basic, not designer). I advocate for giving nothing more (involuntarily). These, again, should be provided to those who cannot provide them for themselves, not those who choose not to.

              • Black Flag says:

                But who pays?

                Who decides if enough is stolen? What if your theft destroys me?

                WHat if there is not enough to go around? Who choses who gets what? What criteria? What right?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I do not deny anyone what they need, whether I myself an rich or poor. They may deny THEMSELVES of the things that they need by their own poor choices, but I did not make those choices for them.

              • Mathius says: Madness only because you feel that you have a right to deny others what they need because you earned it and you want it.

                D13: Yessir…that sums it up.

              • I’m with you Colonel. Sounds like he hit the nail on the head. I made it I should be allowed to keep it. Otherwise, what’s the point?

              • M;

                YOUR words are quoted and my response is not:

                “Madness only because you feel that you have a right to deny others what they need because you earned it and you want it.”

                I do not deny anyone their needs or their ability to earn them, but forcing me to provide for them without considering my own needs is theft, regardless of who or how it is done. It is no different than you deciding that my cabage garden is a community supply, despite the fact that I grew the cabbage for my own consumption and/or selling at a profit.

                Your whole thought process is completely whacked man.

                “To be sure, I believe there is a happy middle somewhere between communism and BF, but the poorest and weakest must be cared for by the rest of us. If they cannot (as opposed to will not) sustain themselves, it is our moral obligation to do so. As I cannot trust everyone to give willingly, I feel just fine about having the government compel your generosity.”

                It is not my moral obligation to assist or help anyone regardless of their situation, because I am a freeman and ss such can believe or act as I so choose. Should I decide that I will assist a person, that too is my right and free act to pursue. You and/or government do no have a right to force me to do otherwise.

                Where did you get the idea that we as individuals have a moral or legal obligation to assist anyone; individual, group or government?

                And to further address my initial post earlier this morning:

                What is it that you and those like you invision as a utopian society? Everyone is happy, working, paying taxes, keeping up with the jones’s, fair and honest government dedicated to serving the whole of society, flat tax, peaceful cohabitation with the other countries, etc, etc… I truely want to know what you and those like you invision as eutopia…please explain.

            • I disagree JAC…
              Your money doesn’t sit in your bank account…it gets funneled into everyone else’s hands like Brokers, ect. Why do you think at most banks you have a set limit you can withdrawl a day. When the economy really does hit the fan, please don’t think FDIC will have your money.

          • Black Flag says:

            “In fact, the only place your money does no one any good, is when it’s sitting in your back account”

            Hmm, economics is not your strong suit I see.

            Money in a bank account is then lent by that bank (called a loan). People borrow money so to spend it. That money never left the economy.

            Money under a mattress is a different story. That action is deflationary – it withdraws money from the economy.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          ” I’m from LA. The air is fine, considering the amount of cars driving around. When Los Angeles was originally discovered, it was called the Bay of Smokes, care to guess why? That’s right, the area is naturally hazy due to the way it is situated geographically. Everyone drives in LA. The city is simply too large for walking or bikes, and the people keep underfunding mass-transit because (say it with me) People. Are. Greedy.”

          The “underfunding” of mass-transit has nothing to do with the fact that people are greedy. If the mass-transit system were designed in such a way that it actually provided an economical, viable, and attractive alternative to cars, people would use it and pay for it, and it would not require government funding.

          Mass-transit is generally designed and brought to you by the government. It generally does not provide an economical, viable, and attractive alternative to cars, so hardly anyone uses it, and it runs a deficit. Then the mass-transit people cry to the government that they need more funding to stay afloat, even though more funding is not going to get them more ridership, so the only thing that is going to happen is that they are going to continually run larger and larger deficits and require more and more funding in order to provide the same lousy service that most people won’t use because it is unreliable and poorly designed.

          I fail to see what “people are greedy” has to do with any of that.

        • Nope, real estate tax, fuel tax, sales tax, permits and fees, social security, medicare, state tax, cigarett tax, resturant tax, shall I continue?

        • LA…the smog is horrible…one hour there and your lungs hurt so bad…could see the smog belt when you drove into LA. So the air is not fine. Lived there 14 years.

        • 3. You have an incentive to continue working because you still make more than the other guy and you want to keep it that way. So you will continue working. He will have an incentive to work because he doesn’t get a mansion and a steak dinner, he gets a shack with canned tuna. He has to work to give himself a better than bare minimum life style.
          Excuse me I have no mansion…..I get canned tuna….I have no big screen TV……They have as much as me and I work….what incentive do I have to work?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      “4. I do, in fact, argue that corporations are only interested in making money because corporations are only interested in making money. Without government control, regulation, and “interference,” you would find yourself surrounded by companies which treat workers as cogs rather than people. They would pay the bare minimum ($1 / hour?). They would pollute, they would effectively enslave them. Again, anyone who doubts this should take a look at the period around the industrial revolution. Start with Dennis Lehane’s excellent novel The Given Day. The reason they’re going abroad is because they get to treat their workers that way in Laos, but not the US – not because they’re upset with the government, but cause they can abuse workers to make more money elsewhere.”

      Mathius, it is government regulation and government intervention that ALLOWS mega-corporations to exist, and what allows/causes mega-corporations to behave in the way that they do. More to follow.

      • economies of scale allow mega corporations to exist, then use their power to decrease their cost, then use their lower costs to take over market share, then drive their competitors out of business, then jack up their prices because consumers have no choice

        • Black Flag says:

          Corporations are the sole creation of government.

          Mega-Corporations exist because mega-governments exist. The former exists solely by the existence of the latter.

          If you do not like mega corps, get rid of of mega-governments.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Precisely,

            Economies of scale have nothing whatsoever to do with it. Without the existence and intervention of mega-governments, a mega-corporation could not possibly compete with a local provider.

            • I disagree Peter. It can compete quite well as long as it can continue to provide the best value. However, the assumption is that it will raise prices once competition is reduced.

              If it does then competition will spring up once again, throwing the advantage back to the local. Unless of course govt creates artificial barriers to market entry.

              Of course there is also the eventual and predictable outcome that any MEGA anything will eventually become inefficient and slow to respond to changes in customer needs. Thus also reducing the value to the customer and opening up the door to new competitors.

              Economy of scale leads to centralization which leads to waste which leads to decentralization which reduces economy of scale but increases value.

        • Please provide examples of where this theory has manifested itself.

    • Lana makes herself relax at Daray’s touch. It’s not her fault that Lana is felling overwhelmed and tense.

      2) Life is sacred in that I am not allowed to by deliberate and direct action to deprive another human being of it. Let’s leave abortion out of this as that becomes too complicated to define a human being and the state of life. But by any other account I believe that is a reasonable level of the sanctity of life. I am allowed to walk past the man begging on the street corner and decide not to drip a quarter in his cup. It’s a sad situation that he finds himself in but I am not accountable for his lot in life. On the other hand my friend that I met on the internet had a bad turn of luck. I have offered my couch to. I have added him to my food budget and my energy budget and in exchange he baby-sits for me whenever I have need. I CHOOSE to share my roof with him. He CHOOSES to offer the only service he can provide to me right now in exchange. This is what friends and families and religious communities are for. To help each other out in times of need. NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. It’s a hard thing to prove, I know. But there have been may people who claim that those who have are more likely to give large donations when it is their choice then when they are forced to do so and I can speak for myself that this is try. I make around 40k a year. I support my husband, my two children and currently my friend on that income alone. I do not have any left to make charitable contributions like I did when I was younger and had no car payment and no house payment.

      4) I’m sorry. I believe I will have to argue the other way. Was not the industrial revolution that which gave rise to unions? PEOPLE rose up and demanded better work standards, better wages. The government didn’t care at that point. It was only later that unions became government sanctioned that unions start to overstep their bounds which leads/led to not being able to fire incompetent employees and having to provide more benefits than the company can afford which leads to inflation of the cost of the product.

      7) If you really believe that is the core driving force of humanity then we should scrap the planet and let it try again with another species.

      12) That move terrifies me as well, although to me it represents a socialized society. How else cold that many useless people survive without help?

      • please ignore that first little smidge. Apparenly I didn’t erase my for fun writing before typing my response.

      • #2, I just take it one step further than you. You say by my actions, my may not cause harm. I say by my actions or by inaction, I may not cause harm. (Asimov may side with me here). This slight change causes a big difference in conclusions you draw.

        #4, yes, but what happened to those unions until government intervened? The Pinkertons forcibly busted them up. Pete’s benevolent corporations used force to maintain the status quo of oppressed workers.

        #7, Perhaps..

        #12, Perhaps..

        Adding: I, too, would like to know what was going on with the “for fun” writing..

        Also adding: Hi!

        • Black Flag says:

          Inaction – if I am NOT there, the ‘thing’ would be done. How can it become my obligation, then, if I am there and do nothing – the ‘thing’ would be done the same.

          When being there or not being there results in the same conclusion – my being there is not a condition of the cause.

          There cannot exist an obligation without an action.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          My INACTION cannot CAUSE harm.

          Harm may be happening, and my inaction may allow that harm to continue happening, but my inaction HAD NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the fact that the harm was happening.

          Basically, according to your premise, anyone that sees an injured person on the side of the road and simply continues on driving by should be arrested for causing that person’s injury.

        • If you see a leak in the dam and choose not to report it (inaction), then the city floods (harm), are you not partially responsible for the catastrophe? If a man falls into a road, and you choose not to swerve (inaction), then he dies (harm), did you not cause his death?

          If this, then that, is the definition of causality.

          Please no post hoc ergo proctor hoc arguments.

          • If I see a leak in the dam and grab a passing child and stuff him into the crack, I have saved the city from immediate harm (maybe) but I was still evil for doing it. You can solve potential or imminent catastrophies without compounding the problem, unless you just want an excuse to do evil things.

          • Black Flag says:

            No. For this is the test.

            If I was never there, would the dam have burst?

            Thus, I am not the cause of harm. My being there or not there shares the same consequence.

            Do test the case of the falling man.

            Does the case of me being there and not being there result in the same consequence?

            NO!

            Therefore, my presence is directly the cause of his death. (We’ll leave out accident vs. intentional).

            Thus, it is my duty to attempt to mitigate his harm by an action of avoidance up to but not over risking my own harm.

          • No you are not responsible for the catastrophe. Morally you could have saved some lives and property and you may be held accountable for that behavior from a higher power. But in no way shape or form are you LEGALLY RESPONCIBLE for the damage. I feel that morally and legality do not necessarily agree and to some extent shouldn’t. Because when you legislate morality you’re a trampling on someone else’s freedom of religion. The minute you say one way or belief is right you by default are saying that anyone whose beliefs are contradictory are wrong.

          • I write fiction as a hobby in my spare time and I’m sure you can understand my reluctance to discuss that frivolity when most of the discussions here are of such a serious nature (also out of fear that my diminutive writing might undermine any respect I might garner here) Thank you for the welcome. Although I’ve been around for quite some time, I just don’t post very often.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            If a man falls into the road, it is not INACTION if I choose not to swerve. It is a conscious decision on my part to TAKE THE ACTION OF RUNNING THE MAN OVER.

            If I did not see the man that fell into the road, and therefore I failed to swerve and the man died, then he would have died due to my inaction.

    • Mathius one question. How much of your salary do you keep? (Please no level of comfort duck.)

      • not sure what you mean by comfort duck…

        I pay high 30s % off the top of my paycheck.

        Additionally, virtually everything I do with it is taxed to some degree or another. Net net, I keep probably around 55% of what I earn.

        • Include the various hidden taxes here and anyone making over 25K is nearing 33% here and in making 100K or more keeping half is as much work as making it. Some I know give 25% of their after taxes net to charity and themselves make do with the remainder. They don’t indulge in anything outside of helping those that appear to need it. They are the true believers of Altruism and the only pleasure they indulge in is working for the benefit of someone else. Who “someone else” is also moot as they don’t indulge judgment over others. So in having donated my own time to work with them, friends of my mother no less, I’ve seen the life of the true believers and I don’t want it nor do you. You wouldn’t have the time to be here posting much less anything else.

  7. Spot-on USW. The “greater good” can only be defined by indivuduals and groups VOLUNTARILY deciding to give of themselves for someone elses benefit. Even the US Military recognizes this. Each individual has volunteered to give up some of their personal freedom to benefit others. Granted, each person who joins expectes to see some sort of return on their investment, whether it is skills to aply future civilian employment, an opportunity for education, or simply a sense of duty and self-fullfillment. In the end, though, they have voluntarily subordinated themselves to someone else’s orders, while knowing that the possibility that they will not see a return on their investment in the near future, if ever.

  8. Black Flag says:

    Mathius

    2. Darwinism is great for animals, but if you accept that we should allow the weak to perish, you are tacitly accepting that human life does not have value sufficient to mean that it must be protected. If life is “sacred,” then it must be protected, if not, I get to tear you apart on some different topics. Choose wisely..

    It is NOT my job to protect YOUR life, nor is your life mine to value. I have my own, and protecting it and creating value with it takes 100% of my own time.

    But for me to be free, I must let you be free – thus, I do not impose. But what you do with your life is yours to do.

    3. I drive an Infiniti G37. It is my baby, and the government can have it when they pry the keys from my cold dead fingers – yes, I know this supports your argument, not mine, but screw it, I love that car.

    Do not love an object – love a person.

    I enjoy my car and love my wife.

    4. I do, in fact, argue that corporations are only interested in making money because corporations are only interested in making money. Without government control, regulation, and “interference,” you would find yourself surrounded by companies which treat workers as cogs rather than people.

    I always laugh at those that demand government control over a government-created entity. It’s like watching someone pummel themselves with their own fist.

    Again, anyone who doubts this should take a look at the period around the industrial revolution.

    The Industrial Revolution was the start to the greatest increase in wealth and prosperity for the common man in history. It is usually ignorance about what was the reality of the common man throughout most of history compared to his lot today that makes mass confusion in this regard.

    Start with Dennis Lehane’s excellent novel The Given Day. The reason they’re going abroad is because they get to treat their workers that way in Laos, but not the US – not because they’re upset with the government, but cause they can abuse workers to make more money elsewhere.

    And people flock to the factories because their lives are far worse everywhere else.

    5. With reference to point #3, though, of course, my car would not make a good one for road work, if the government had sufficient need of it to do sufficient good (and who am I to judge what that is? I am not objective)

    But how can you claim someone else who did not earn your car be objective?

    6. I do not demand anyone sacrifice in my place. I sacrifice right along side of everyone else.

    As long as we are all slaves, you believe slavery is a good thing?

    My point with regards to this is that humans are greedy and selfish and must be forced to help one another.

    Who determines what help?
    Who determines enough or too much?
    What happens if there is not enough? Who gets it first?
    Who gets to be the slave-master and who gets to be the slave?

    My statement that it is evil to allow suffering when you have the power to ameliorate it is there for the sole purpose of offsetting the opinion that it is evil to take what is not “rightfully” yours.

    How do you determine what is rightfully mine vs. what you think is rightfully yours?

    To that end, taking away his biggest asset and the fruit of a life of saving and fiscal responsibility should only be done if the net result is a HUGE boon to the rest of society.

    So you agree it is a right to harm someone as long as it benefits someone else?

    Rather, for this example, the government would come to a million homes and take one brick, then use this to build the daycare center in question.

    But when does it stop? What happens if someone believes a million daycare centers is more important? How do you know it is enough or not enough, when is it too much? Who choses if daycares or auto plants is more important? What makes one more important then the other?

    Yes, I know, a matter of degrees, but I will thank you not to reduce my argument to the absurd. The point is to spread it around, so that nobody gets the shaft.

    So you advocate that someone gets a good/service without earning it. But someone had to earn it for you to ‘spread it around’. Therefore, you believe it is a right for one man to force another to provide for his wants and needs – that is, you support slavery.

    . Government has broken up monopolies left and right (see Ma Bell, Standard Oil) which were detrimental to society.

    LOL – Bell was a monopoly by government writ. It amuses me to read people complain about monopolies and then demand the very entity that creates them to stop creating them.

    Standard Oil was never a monopoly.

    All monopolies exist by government writ. Only government coercion and force can stop a man from earning.

    Government has forced coal plants to contain their pollutants, cars pollute less, companies provide minimum wages, the list goes on, but I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it from me.

    Government allows pollution – minimum wage guarantees unemployment – there is NO ACTION by government in the economy that IMPROVES the economy.

    All government action in the economy is political – it is bizarre to assume that uneconomical action (ie: political action) will result in a superior economic outcome. Political action results in a political outcome. Economic action results in an economic outcome.

    Where would we be without this? I cannot say, but it take a braver man than I to try to make that case. (I have a sneaking suspicion that I know who that “braver man” will be…)

    Action of freemen constrained by violence and coercion always leads to a worse economic outcome and enslavement.

    10. I will allow that “theft” is evil. I will not stipulate that taxation is theft. It’s more like a bill for services rendered / to be rendered.

    Forced to pay for things I do not want is not a service. Being forced to give money under threat of violence is theft.

    The government gives you clean air, water, safe food, drugs, road, police, fire protection, emergency care, provides for the common defense, ensures domestic tranquility, etc

    Government gives nothing that is not first made by someone else.

    Police existed long before government – as did Fire, and emergency care. Government involvement has increased its cost while decreasing the service.

    . These things are not free, so they levy the bill onto the recipients of these goods/services, weighted for those most capable of paying.

    So you think you should be forced to pay $215 for a hamburger so that I can pay $0.25?

    When my car got towed a while ago, I received services I didn’t ask for (the towing), but I still had to pay the bill to get it back. I parked my car in the wrong place, so I had to pay. You parked yourself in the wrong place, so you have to pay too – or move. Arguing will get you nowhere.

    If you park on my property without permission, your car will be removed. It is because that is my property, not yours, to use. It is not a ‘service’ that you paid for.

    12. With regards to the woman with 6 children, perhaps you’ve never seen the movie Idiocracy. I strongly recommend it. It terrifies me, but you may enjoy it

    Statist fear free people. What else is new?

  9. Black Flag says:

    Mathius

    GASP! Not altruism! Anything but that! And isn’t jealousy and envy what drives the economy? Isn’t keeping up with the Jones’ why we buy bigger tv’s and better cars? Without it, the economy grinds to a halt because you don’t actually need that new tv, so why spend?

    There are only two ways jealousy and envy can be resolved.

    You earn so that you can have.

    Or

    You steal it.

  10. Black Flag says:

    Mathius

    And the reason we keep referencing the industrial revolution is because it is a perfect example. But if you prefer, go take a look at the sweat shops in the third world. The government isn’t interfering, and 6 year olds are working 14 hour days (at $1/day) to sow clothes that you will buy because they’re a dollar cheaper at the store.

    …instead of that 6 year old starving ….that is a better consequence for you, then?

  11. And just so we are all operating from the same set of definitions I thought I would bring this over from Wiki.

    Altruism is an ethical doctrine that holds that individuals have a moral obligation to help, serve, or benefit others, if necessary at the sacrifice of self interest. Auguste Comte’s version of altruism calls for living for the sake of others. One who holds to either of these ethics is known as an “altruist.”

    The ethical doctrine of altruism has also been called the ethic of altruism, moralistic altruism, and ethical altruism.

    The word “altruism” (French, altruisme, from autrui: “other people”, derived from Latin alter: “other”) was coined by Auguste Comte, the French founder of positivism, in order to describe the ethical doctrine he supported. He believed that individuals had a moral obligation to renounce self-interest and live for others. Comte says, in his Catéchisme Positiviste [1], that:

    [The] social point of view cannot tolerate the notion of rights, for such notion rests on individualism. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. After our birth these obligations increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service…. This ["to live for others"], the definitive formula of human morality, gives a direct sanction exclusively to our instincts of benevolence, the common source of happiness and duty. [Man must serve] Humanity, whose we are entirely.”

    The Catholic Encyclopedia says that for Comte’s altruism, “The first principle of morality…is the regulative supremacy of social sympathy over the self-regarding instincts.” [2] Author Gabriel Moran, (professor in the department of Humanities and the Social Sciences, New York University) says “The law and duty of life in altruism [for Comte] was summed up in the phrase : Live for others.” [3]

    Various philosophers define the doctrine in various ways, but all definitions generally revolve around a moral obligation to benefit others or the pronouncement of moral value in serving others rather than oneself. Philosopher C. D. Broad defines altruism as “the doctrine that each of us has a special obligation to benefit others.” [4] Philosopher W. G. Maclagan defines it as “a duty to relieve the distress and promote the happiness of our fellows…Altruism is to…maintain quite simply that a man may and should discount altogether his own pleasure or happiness as such when he is deciding what course of action to pursue.” [5]

    Sure does sound like Utopia doesn’t it?

    • Sounds good to me.

      Because you’re omitting the next logical step. That if everyone works together for the “Greatest Good,” then better results are obtained. Imagine if you will, a crowed freeway where every driver is constantly changing lanes to get the best edge for themselves, this causes more congestion and thus worse results. If everyone works together (ie stays in their lane, or better yet, if a “traffic control” system were in place to get the best result overall), there wouldn’t be any problems (or they would be fewer). Game theory, my friend, I refer you again to the Nash Equilibrium.

      • Black Flag says:

        That if everyone works together for the “Greatest Good,” then better results are obtained.

        You make an irrational assumption that your good is the same as my good.

        Be careful of the Nash equilibrium.

        It is predicated on insanity (Nash viewed the world through his eyes – he was a paranoid psychopath).

        It worked very well in organizing strategiesy between political entities (guess why!), but was shown to be useless in determining actions between common people.

        • Attacking the author does not change the math.

          Imagine the following grid:

          Prisoner B Stays Silent Prisoner B Betrays
          Prisoner A Stays Silent Each serves 6 months Prisoner A: 10 years
          Prisoner B: goes free
          Prisoner A Betrays Prisoner A: goes free
          Prisoner B: 10 years Each serves 5 years

          Simple prisoner’s dilemma. Each player acting for their own benefit nets a result which is worse for both. Had they worked in tandem, both would be just fine. Seems pretty useful in this interpersonal situation. It explains omerta.

          The reason it doesn’t work so well with actions between people is because people are irrational – if they weren’t, it would work fine. For example, you are being irrational in your hatred of taxes, perhaps I am being irrational in my appreciation of them. The trust probably lies somewhere in between.

          Consider:

          Mathius BF Compromise
          Mathius’s way 1 2 3
          BF’s way 4 5 6
          Compromise 7 8 9

          1. Lots o’ tax for everyone, people get pissed, the economy shuts down amid a brain drain. COMMUNISM!
          2. I pay lots o’ tax, you pay none, sucks for me. Services are insufficiently funded and everything sucks.
          3. I pay lots, you pay less.. still sucks for me, but ok, I’ll deal with it. Services are slightly less, not optimal, but ok..
          4. You pay lots of tax, I pay none – irrational, would never happen
          5. No taxes at all! Wahoo! Oops, no government either, warlords take over.
          6. I pay no taxes, you pay a little – irrational, would never happen
          7. I pay some, you pay lots – irrational
          8. I pay some, you pay none – Services are insufficiently funded and everything sucks.
          9. I pay some, you pay some – services are slightly less, but ok, not optimal, but everyone OK with it.

          But you would never agree to that. So you would want to pay none. So if you pay none, I have to pay lots or everything goes to seed. Now you’re abusing me by using my services (clean air etc) and not paying for it. Who’s stealing from who?

          • I guess my grids didn’t come out too well.. I thought that might happen. Still, you’re a smart guy, I’m sure you’ll figure it out

          • Black Flag says:

            It is not attacking the author.

            It is understanding the root of his thinking processes.

            Simple prisoner’s dilemma.

            However, in reality, the choices of real people confounded the Game theorists.

            People act, purposely, for their own reasons. They are not machines.

            Each player acting for their own benefit nets a result which is worse for both.

            The problem with your dilemma is that it is contrivedyou fail to include the third player, the jailer.

            Because you have failed to account for his motives of making the game in the first place the conclusions you derive from the prisoners is faulty.

            The prisoners are as likely to resist the game in its entirety, recognizing it is contrived by the jailer.

            • Phew, I thought you were going to try to offer legitimate criticism rather than fluff..

              The reason game theory fails (OCCASIONALLY) with people is because we are more complicated. If we knew all the ins and outs of a human brain we would be able to create a predictive model. Since we don’t, the best we can do is an approximation of the likely responses given a situation.

              The jailer’s motivation is irrelevant. He is not the one being offer the two choice. Who cares why he set it up that way? Obviously he did it to get maximum jail time for the prisoners, but what if he hadn’t, the rules are the same. Why my situation is the way it is is irrelevant – I must choose what is best going forward.

              Your last point is my point. They’re likely to resist it in its entirety because they know the rules and because the rules aren’t sufficient to encompass the complexity of a human brain. Still, offered the choice, what do you do? Risk 10 years in jail to get 6 moths, or risk 5 years in jail to get off entirely? What would any rational person do if they cannot guarantee the other prisoner’s behavior? People. Are. Greedy. so they will do what is best for themselves 99 times out of 100.

              • “People. Are. Greedy. so they will do what is best for themselves 99 times out of 100.”

                Which of course would prove that your concept of Altruism is not consistent with the rules of the Universe, and therefore is evil.

              • Forget the universe, already. It’s simple and you’re making it complicated: Helping people is good.

              • Black Flag says:

                Forcing people is evil.

                You cannot achieve a good from an an act of evil.

              • Sure you can.. watch me.

                If I take from you, you view that as evil.

                If I give to a homeless man, he views that as good.

                Please explain why you are write and he is wrong. I can see how one could make a case for both, but you are saying that giving him money was evil. Seems counter-intuitive, no?

              • Black Flag says:

                Too squishy, see below

              • Black Flag says:

                The reason game theory fails (OCCASIONALLY) with people is because we are more complicated.

                So, let me get this straight.

                You offer a theory on human relationships that doesn’t work because people are more complex than the theory allows.

                Hmm…

                If we knew all the ins and outs of a human brain we would be able to create a predictive model.

                No, you could not.

                The problem is intrinsically infinitely complex

                It is an example of Holomorphic functions

                Since we don’t, the best we can do is an approximation of the likely responses given a situation.

                You suggested that Game theory offered deterministic capability.

                This is wholly different from probabilistic capability.

                However, that is useless.

                If I create a scenario with three conditions, a probability exists that a choice will occur within those three – because that is the limit of my scenario.

                However, in real life almost no scenario contains a finite series of choices.

                Hence, only in the most simplistic cases – like your two person plus one person scenario maybe resolved.

                However, in this case, as shown, you failed to account for the jailer’s contriving – and thus, are stuck with merely measuring the result with no certainty of prediction.

                The jailer’s motivation is irrelevant.

                This is where your example fails.

                It is very important – for it changes the motives of the prisoners.

                The prisoners hold the option of frustrating the jailer by not playing the game (which you failed to recognize).

                Do not be disappointed. Many amateurs of game theory make this simple mistake.

                Still, offered the choice, what do you do? Risk 10 years in jail to get 6 moths, or risk 5 years in jail to get off entirely?

                Or piss off the jailer and go on a hunger strike.

                Again, the theory cannot predict the uncertainty of motives – thus, it failed spectacularly in any understanding of human action.

          • Black Flag says:

            Your taxation example is humorous.

            For example, you attend descriptions for (6) as ‘irrational’ for no rational reason!

            You remind me of that cartoon where a huge formula is on a chalk board, with a part that says “..and here a miracle occurs..” – with the professor saying “You’ll have to expand on this point a little more…”

            • I contend that it is irrational because you would never opt to pay taxes – especially if I paid none. The results are irrelevant since it could never happen.

              • Black Flag says:

                So you do not believe there exists people who pay no taxes?

              • Of course there are. These are the people to whom the money is being redistributed. I imagine there are more than a few here with us today. Do you think any of them are refusing their checks because it was “stolen” from the proletariat?

              • Black Flag says:

                I wouldn’t know.

                But there are many others that pay no tax that do not depend on plunder.

              • I am one. Thanks to Obama, I don’t pay taxes because I don’t make neough money. But I get up and go to work everyday. I didn’t ask for that tax break, and would not complain if it were given back. By the same cause, I cannot afford to refuse my check. I still don’t have to like the theft from others so I don’t have to pay.

            • Absolutely lethal BF. I must get Murray onto this board during his limit access sessions to the internet at the library. His own recognition that continuous internet access would guarantee his becoming a shut in keeps him to using a timed public portal. He too doesn’t believe in linearity.

      • You have failed once again. The next logical step is the siezure of power by the educated elite who are well informed about the complexity and nuance of what the “Greatest Good” trully is.

        Therefore they will decide. And they will now use the power of the ring to “do good” for all. And those who do not agree shall be forced to participate.

        The logical conclusion is slavery and the eventual sacrifice of some for the good of the many.

        Claiming that everyone will work together is not logic it is nothing more wishful thinking, or whim. Which is the assumed human method of acquiring knowledge if one wants to support Altruism as a core ethic.

        I think I have discovered the Flag for you. A White field with a big Honey Bee. Perhaps a slogan, “For The Hive”.

        • Nah, a Borg Cube would be better.

          • The Borg are far more advanced that humans and they do not seem unhappy. And to say that is because they don’t think is fallacy. They think, just as a collective.

            I really don’t want to get into a point by point analysis of fictitious race(?)/species(?).

            Good analogy though, I like it.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        The greater good does not exist. You are not omniscient, so you have no idea what is good for someone else. Stick to what is good for you. What is good for you is something that you are qualified to determine for yourself.

        What is good for me, only I am qualified to determine for myself. You are not me, so you are not qualified to make that determination.

        • Just because I cannot calculate with the utmost certainty the greatest good, doesn’t mean I can’t figure out with a high degree of certainty what is in the greater good. If you don’t eat your veggies, you get sick. If you don’t tax, everyone suffers. I feel I have been very clear on this point.

  12. Great Post USW.

    For myself, I agree with BF and think that if we had no Government at all we would be better off. Whoa BF!!! I said that I agree with your philosophy. That doesn’t mean that I believe we will EVER see your dream realized. Now that Government has that power nothing short of a Revolution will ever be able to remove them.

    I also like JAC’s version of VLDG. And I also think that we will never see that version, short of Revolution.

    So what do we do? I certainly am not going to settle for what we have now. And even more of it is completely unacceptable. And before anyone tries to tell me that I have no choice let me say that you may be right to a certain extent. But you obviously are not thinking about the millions of people in this Nation who think just like me. We’re mad as hell and we ain’t gonna take it anymore! I think I heard it called “passive resistance”. I will simply refuse to comply with their unconstitutional rules. I will take a page from Obama himself and “fly under the radar”.

    Will it work? I think so. Maybe one day I’d be able to come out in the day, after the sane people take back the Asylum. I refuse to be forced to do something I don’t agree with in the first place, and don’t think is legal under the Constitution in the second place. I refuse to be stolen from to support the poor or worthless of society. I have enough to support without their burden added to my back. And I wouldn’t piss on the worthless if they were on fire, much less support them. If the liberals want to do so, that is up to them. Just don’t caterwaul to the rest of us when they don’t appreciate your help and instead complain for more.

    • Black Flag says:

      That doesn’t mean that I believe we will EVER see your dream realized

      That’s ok, Esom.

      People had a hard time believing they couldn’t find God without a Pope too.

      • I wish it were not BF. Do YOU see it ever coming to pass? If so, how, and a reasonable guess at when?

        Maybe when they collapse from their own weight combined with their stupidity?

        That would certainly bear consideration.

        • Black Flag says:

          In order of your questions,

          Yes, it will come to pass for those that want it. For those that do not, it will not.

          How? When the strength of cooperative self-defense exceeds the capability of others to project violence from a center.

          When? Sooner than you think. The ability to project violence from a center is shrinking exponentially. Remember, though, that the decrease of centralized, global violence will increase decentralized local violence. It is the latter that will need to be resisted.

          The collapse is certain. But a thrashing dinosaur is still incredibly dangerous.

          • Well, the decentralized local violence I can take care of. I don’t even have a problem with a little tax locally. We’re pretty conservative here anyway.

            Folks who would be screwed would be the “all things to all people” bunch.

            Maybe that would be a good solution. Like minded individuals coming together in a common cause after the collapse.

            I personally believe that one of the biggest problems with our nation right now is that we’re too big and have too many differing views which are unacceptable to another group.

            Maybe we SHOULD split. We’ll go our way with small, almost non-existent government, and free-market capitalism. They can go theirs with their liberal socialistic altruism and monster all encompassing government. Let’s see who makes it.

  13. Black Flag says:

    Mat,

    Though I may mock the electorate at large, my sole contention is that our elected leaders should be free to make decisions based on, you know, science and reason and facts and expert opinion rather than the angry calls of constituents driven by soundbites from the AM radio.

    But science, reason and facts are not required for political action.

    These ‘elected leaders’ do not even read the legislation.

    What you hold is the process is not shown in reality – hence, your view on the subject of government is irrational.

    • Not only do our elected leaders not read the legislation, They do not write it either.

      So. They don’t write it, and then they don’t read it, and they most certainly, out of their own mouths admit, don’t understand it.

      WHY WOULD THEY PASS IT ON AS LAW??

      Anyone else besides me see a problem?

  14. Ray Hawkins says:

    “And there is the crux of the problem when those who espouse the morality of “Option B” take their stand. There is no way to draw the line once you begin. If you justify taking 10 dollars from the man with $100,000, then you have justified the taking of ANYTHING in any situation where the seizure results in something better for two people than for the one person who owns that thing. After all, benefiting two people does more for the greater good than benefiting one person.”

    - There is a way to draw that line – we’ve just never held the line drawers more accountable to when that line is drawn and how it is maintained (reasonable and appropriate). Saying that no one should have the ability to draw the line to begin with is no better an answer than not having clear and reasoned accountability after the line is drawn.

    Do you feel conflicted at all that your military service served the “greater good” of our country?

    • That military service was by choice. Nobody forced it on me. Can’t speak for USW.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        True – but how many of the actions you took while enlisted where by your own choice versus someone else?

        • Ray,

          If it had to do with duty performance, probably not a whole lot, but then I knew that going in. I voluntarily put myself under somebody else’s orders, but I made the choice to follow them.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Fair enough – so you put yourself in a situation to serve society and her greater good. I thank you for your service.

            I submit that you only knew generally and not specifically how your career was going to play out (I have no idea how long you were in or if you still are) – jobs, assignments, stations of duty, etc. Once in – you were largely at the mercy, order-wise, to your superiors as they decided for you, what your role was going to be for the greater good. Was it that bad?

            • Ray,
              What you a missing is that I continued to make choices about my career (I’m still in, in the National Guard) primarily because they benefited ME. Did I have assignments and jobs that sucked, yes, but I CHOSE to do them to the best of my ability for the future benefit of ME. The benefit to the greater good was a bonus.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                You’re missing my point that you were not a sole actor – there are two sides to your coin.

              • Even when you choose to do something specifically for the rest, the satisfaction is rewarding so in effect it’s still about you.

              • Lets take it down to its simplest argument. Why do men (yes I mean the male of the species) do things for their wives? To keep them happy. When they are happy, we are happy.

              • and don’t forget.. when they aren’t happy, nobody’s happy..

              • Wow my marriage is a two way street and I thought it the same in America. Now the existence of all those “Housewives” shows make sense.

              • v. Holland says:

                I think the most important conclusion is that people will do things for the greater good without being forced.

    • Ray:

      In the entire history of mankind there has never been a society that empowered govt to act as you wish and that was then able to contain the power given.

      History tells us that what you want is unattainable.

      Therefore, one must conclude that a separate and entirely different option must be considered.

      Unless of course you trully do prefer the current situation. If you continue to adhere to your philosophy the best you can hope for is small resets with progression back to the present.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        And what causes you to think that going down the path you guys have been promoting is going to be any more or any less successful? What I find odd is that the change you present is at odds with the fundamental nature of conservatism – I know you aren’t all pure conservatives – but there is no “here is what works” for you to hang your hat on. Even the pundits (OMG – I’m about to reference Sean Hannity) will say that fundamentally most things such as healthcare “work”. The nature of the philosophy you espouse – does it not (with notions of social darwinism) REQUIRE you to be exclusive and therefore equally elitist? You guys state outright that not everyone is going to have a place setting at your dinner table – do you not notice the grotesque contradictions this presents? Just say it guys – the whole thing is a Titanic – and you only want there to be a limited number of boats.

        • Ray:

          I must step out for awhile so I can’t answer right now in the way I want.

          Let me say this. My philosophy and ethics do not REQUIRE me to exclude anyone and it absolutely does not place a group of “elitists” or any type of “rulers” with coersive power over anyone. But it is my CHOICE whether to exclude anyone from my home, property or my life for that matter.

          There are no contradictions but this requires a better response so I will address later.

          You are correct that I have no examples of my ideal succeeding at a large scale (nation). But I have history to prove that what we have has never worked in the long term. I do have one small piece of history to support my theories, the beginning of the American experiment. But I ask you why would you continue to support a concept that has never worked? Haven’t you noticed that the rationale always comes down to either it just needs to be made more effective and efficient, or it won’t work unless it is bigger (nation vs state, global vs nation). Regardless of what it is, there is always some excuse as to why big govt isn’t working and “if only” to make it better.

          I think it is time to stop feeding the alligator. Let him starve to death for all I care. I want a happier more prosperous place for my offspring to live. That can not happen by doing the same thing over and over and over.

          And just for the record. Our health care system is not working just fine. It is distorted by govt interferance.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            JAC – its very simply to boil this down – I disagree that it has ‘never worked’ or cannot work. There is an answer and it is within, not outside.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Repeating the same action again and again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity- Albert Einstein

  15. Black Flag says:

    Government destruction of the Economy

    Federal government deficit over the next 10 years – $9 trillion works out to $30,000 for each man, woman, and child in these United States — or roughly $77,100 per household.

    If you add the unfunded liability of Social Security and Medicaret you are individually on the hook for about $300,000, and your household for $771,000.

    We could stop there, and probably should, but that ignores the fact that, according to the Tax Policy Center, some 43.4% of the U.S. population pay no income taxes.

    If I’ve done the math correctly, after adjusting for the non-payers, individual taxpayers are now on the hook for about $520,000, or $1.75 million per household.

    What makes this even worse, this amount is made against your AFTER TAX income – remember, this is the deficit – your tax dollars (plus inflation) is paying for the rest of government – so divide your income in half. Now, figure out how long it will take for you to pay it off.

    If you are amoung the lucky 25% that earn $66,500 or more a year and assuming that total federal, state, and local taxes come to 50% of the top quartile income, a person on the edge of that quartile — i.e., making just the $66,500 a year — would be left with just $33,250 to live on, but still owe their share of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the deficits and unfunded liabilities.

    Ok – so @2%, over 50 years, it costs $4616.34 PER MONTH to overcome the DEFICIT…..wait, that is more than you have left available – for the rest of your life.

    Remember, this is still before Obamacare and any new ‘stimulus’ package coming this fall.

    Big numbers befuddle people.

    So here is the bottom line.

    The game is coming to an end. The Elite have lost control. They have bankrupted you.

    The rest of the population is still, for now, in a fog and the time to extract one’s self from the entanglements of government and its currency is shrinking.

    What are you waiting for?

  16. Black Flag says:

    Mathiu

    Also note that this “waste” goes somewhere. If it goes into the pockets of government employees, they’ll spend it to buy things – this will help the economy.

    Ah! I see you’ve exposed your economic no-sense, you are a Keynesian.

    Those that consume without production do NOT help the economy. It is equal to pouring money down a toilet.

    Buying does not produce. Production MUST ALWAYS precede consumption.

    • v. Holland says:

      BF

      I understand(I think) that since the government had to take the money from someone else to pay government employees then when this money is put back into the economy, it has no real effect-but doesn’t putting it back just nullify the government taking it?

      • Black Flag says:

        Consider a direct analogy that will help focus.

        The mafia comes and shakes you down for “protection” money. The mafia don gives it to one of his thugs, and the thug goes and buys a car from you.

        Do these actions result in a ‘zero-sum’ of economic activity?

        • Black Flag says:

          Ans:

          You had $20,000 plus a car. The mafia took $20,000 (You are down $20,000).

          They come and buy a car from you for $20,000. (You are now down a $20,000 car).

  17. Black Flag says:

    Ray Hawkins

    BF – but how then do you answer to the end result of allowing that so-called factory to operate un-checked? Are we going to argue degrees of shittiness? That shirt on your back that was made by that kid in Asia – any thoughts on the downstream “coercion” that had to be exercised to get that shirt made? Or does “coercion” only matter when you can see/feel it directly?

    A person going to work in a factory so to earn food to eat is not “coercing” that person.

    Going through the country-side and seizing people to work in a factory is coercion.

    Which scenario are you claiming is occuring?

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Either – the conditions in such a factory I would see as coercive. I once took a job in the concrete business while in college for summer employment. There were no other jobs available so that job ‘won out’. Our days went from sun up to sun down and you worked straight through – water breaks were by permission only from the foreman (as were bathroom breaks – often you just relieved yourself right there in the trenches when no one was looking). Lunch was eaten in the truck in between job sites and at a time convenient to the job orders – not when you think you were hungry. Other than a few other college kids the majority of the workers were paroled felons or drug addicts that needed a quick buck for a fix. There was extensive coercion used in that job – but I knew I needed the money so I could eat and have a roof over my head when I went back to school. There were no other options for me (I actually was close to quitting the job and quitting school and enlisting in the military – I saw that as a more viable option). That entire season there was not a single instance where anyone who would have given a shit about the working conditions rolled through the job sites. My point is not that I should have been ‘given’ an easier job or free money – but my economic prospects were slim/none. It would have been nice to know that such abuse of people was not so damn easy on our own soil just so a development of houses could be rushed to market for the lowest price possible.

      btw – did you ever send that video?

      • So you did have a choice. You chose to suck it up in the short term for long term benefit, rather than what appeared to be the better short term choice (joining the military) but would have had long term consequences.

      • Black Flag says:

        I concur with Redleg – you had the choice to leave and your acceptance was voluntary – that is, the owner of the company was not holding a gun to your head.

        That is the key, Ray. Who is holding the gun?

        I am not the cause of your economic ruin – therefore, I cannot be held in obligation for it either.

  18. Good post USW. I am so sick of hearing the emotional ploy of “the greater good” and your article does a good job of pointing out the problems with this belief.

    • I'm learning! says:

      I truly believe that a lot of people want to “help” others.

      Maybe this is a really bad example since I am not the least bit familiar with how it is funded. But considering ads for donations, it must be at least somewhat through private contributions. There are places such as St Jude or Shriners Hospitals that offer free treatment to children. I’m sure there are multiple facilities like that in the country. I have a distant family member who is extremely rich. He frequently pays for surgery or medical treatment for some person in a dire situation that just can’t afford it. Quite often he will do it anonymously. I have a co-worker that knew a family that was struggling. She said she went to a closet where she had extra sets of sheets and blankets she bought on sale waiting for what she had to wear out. But she gave it to the family. Along with that some groceries and many other miscellaneous items she had, found, was donated or bought at rummage sales. This family was ever so grateful for the generosity of neighbors.

      These situations are my preference for charity anyway. I see/hear way too much about “non profits” paying their directors millions of dollars to run and having extravagant parties etc. Government programs just feed welfare cases like my aunt – who bad news from the day she was born. She had twins right out of high school and convinced multiple guys that they were the father and if they paid her child support “under the table” she won’t take them to court for a larger quantity. Meanwhile, she partied – left her toddler kids in the car in the alley behind the bar while she drank, etc. She collected welfare and stole from anyone she could. Despite their “repressed conditions they grew up in”, my cousins grew up to be responsible, decent people who really don’t have any respect for their mother.

      Even shows like Extreme Makeover Home Edition – can bring heartwarming tears to your eyes when you hear the stories of people that need help and people willing to help. But now you hear more and more stories of people losing those houses because they can’t afford the property tax on them. That show should show that people are willing to help when you see the crowds at each episode. KEEP THE GOVERNEMENT OUT OF CHARITY! Let it be up to me to decide what sort of time, talent or treasure I want to share. People that don’t do that are often seen by others as selfish. While selfish people are often looked down on by others, that is their choice to make, not anyone else’s.

      • Learning, I too believe in the goodness of the American people and believe charity could and should take care of situations rather than the government.

  19. Good Morning All

    Just doing some reading right now. Will jump in later with that I truly see as an evil thing, and will be looking forward to your thoughts on it.

    Good Day To All

    Judy

  20. Greatergoodcs says:

    First timer here … didn’t get to read the entire article but I did stop where I thought I should dispute one claim.

    You wrote: “Theft is evil. Start with that premise. Do you refute it? I don’t think anyone will do so.”

    I did not read beyond the above (in case you did address what I propose below).

    I do, in fact, refute it (using social darwinism): In the event a family is starving and the father, say, is a big strong guy who refuses to let his family die off (for being too weak) and then steals from a store owner (say) for the sake of survival (social Darwinism at one extreme), I don’t see it as evil. I see it as only the strong survive (essentially what the pirates off the coast of Africa are doing—bullying those too “weak” to do anything about it).

    I suspect Social Darwinists wouldn’t be quite as gung ho about being cold hearted if they were put to a true test (starting with the basic zero so many in America start with through no fault of their own – that “there but for the grace of God go I” formula). And for every “success” story you may claim regarding those who started with nothing here and wound up millionaires through hard work (which I’d dispute 99% of the time–meaning it would take much more luck than hard work), there are one hundred fold who don’t “make it” and I’d have to imagine 50% of those weren’t lazy SOB’s looking to live off others.

    Social darwinism, at its extreme, would lead to (and justifiably so) nuclear war (metophorically speaking).

    • Black Flag says:

      Then, sir, you are an advocate of “Might is Right” – he who is the most violent wins.

      True?

    • Ah, the Jean val Jean argument.. I like it. It is a good argument for why a controlled flow of resources should exist so that one individual does not wind up force to carry the entire burden for another. If that family had a socialized safety net, they wouldn’t need to steal. If the pirates of the coast of Africa had a safety net, they wouldn’t need to plunder.

      • Black Flag says:

        they wouldn’t need to plunder

        Plunder occurs in your scenario.

        Whether you seize it at source by your own force of arms, or advocate another person(s) under they guise of government to seize the goods – it is still plunder.

        • Well I only have one thing to say in response to that:

          AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, MATEY!

    • And welcome, Greatergoodcs!

      We may be in the vast minority here, but you are not alone..

    • GGood,

      In the event a family is starving and the father, say, is a big strong guy who refuses to let his family die off and then steals from a store owner (say) for the sake of survival, I don’t see it as evil.

      OK, for your story, not evil.

      What does the (strong) father do when not stealing? He can’t find a job, so sits around all day, sneaks into the store frequent nights. His children grow up watching him provide by being a thief. The store owner adds security, so the father gets a couple neighbors to assist him in sneaking into the store (no one gets hurt, they are not evil). This goes on for years, so the father & friends make up a name for their group. They call themselves the Democratic party. Funny, there is another group across town that does the same thing, but their name is the Republican party.

      Is their an end to your story where the strong father gets a job by looking very hard for one, not refusing one that is beneath him, or learn a new trade/skill, or just move to where there is work. Or is yours one of those “Never Ending” stories?

  21. v. Holland says:

    It seems strange to be that I tend to use Mathius’ reasoning to come very close to BF’s conclusions

  22. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Mathius keeps saying people.are.greedy. like that is a bad thing. Haven’t quite figured out WHY it is a bad thing yet, nor have I figured out any particuar way in which government addresses that issue in any way other than to enable the greedy to take advantage of the corruption of government and feed their greed even more easily than would otherwise be the case, but perhaps he can enlighten me.

    So, anyway, I just came up with a system that is absolutely fair to everyone. I am pretty sure that everyone can live on $100,000 per year. However, the cost of living is not the same in all locations in the country. So here is what we need to do:

    Standardize the cost of food, clothing, housing, and everything else for the entire country. Standardize all features of housing so that we can just charge a set amount per square foot of house. Give the people a bit of choice… say houses ranging from 1200-2500 square feet with a standard per-square-foot charge.

    Once we have standardized the cost of everything nationwide so that the cost of living is completely equal no matter where in the country you live, set up taxes so that any income you receive in excess of $100,000 is taken by the government 100%. If you make more than $100,000 you lose EVERYTHING above and beyond that number every year. If you make less than $100,000, the government uses the money it took from those making more than $100,000 and sends it to you to make up the difference, so EVERYONE gets exactly $100,000 per year. This would be limited to people 18 or older. Just to be safe and make sure that no one spends too much, lets also mandate that every family unit MUST be made up of 2 adults and 2 kids. Any household that doesn’t meet this requirement will be redistributed as well, so that every household is comprised of 2 adults and 2 kids. If there is an excess of adults, make them have kids. If there is an excess of kids, they will have to be terminated so that they don’t pose an undue burden on the 2 adults that are limited to $200,000 per year between them. Families of 4 should have no problem whatsoever living on $200,000 per year with standardized costs of living throughout the entire country.

    If the government has any money left over after redistributing the wealth in this way, it can keep the excess to pay for government services such as roads, defense, medical care, etc.

    This would, of course, eliminate the need for medicaid, food stamps, social security, and a host of other government programs, so any leftover money that the government had could be dedicated to defense and infrastucture.

    I think that this would work great! The government should get right on this, it would probably save everyone a lot of time and money in the long run.

    • HA

      Cute, but you’re missing that no one is advocating for full equality. All we are saying is that the wealthy must subsidize the destitute to a base-line of survival. You propose communism, I propose the CURRENT AMERICAN TAX SYSTEM.

      Also, why just terminate the excess kids? Johnathan Swift had a slight improvement on that idea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal

      • Black Flag says:

        Because attacking kids, even if they are poor, is as evil as attack rich kids.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        First of all, why is the current tax system better than everyone having precisely the same amount of money? Would it not be a GREATER GOOD if everyone had exactly the same amount of money and everyone was charged exactly the same amount for all things? Please ‘splain to me why that is not better than what you propose?

        What you are saying is that it is ok for some people to make more money than others. Please demonstrate to me why some people making more money than others serves “the greater good” in any way whatsoever?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        What I proposed is, in fact, NOT COMMUNISM. Communism states “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” I proposed no such thing.

        What I proposed is “everyone gets exactly the same thing regardless of their abilities or their need.”

  23. Black Flag says:

    Mathius

    Madness only because you feel that you have a right to deny others what they need because you earned it and you want it.

    All men need resources to live.

    You can earn those resources or steal them. If you steal them from me, you destroy my ability to live.

    Any society where theft is the norm will implode and destroy itself.

    “Thou shalt not steal” – has a reason.

    To be sure, I believe there is a happy middle somewhere between communism and BF, but the poorest and weakest must be cared for by the rest of us.

    The community, voluntarily, has always found ways to care for the poor and weak.

    Because Statist fear free men, they cannot conceive of such things.

    If they cannot (as opposed to will not) sustain themselves, it is our moral obligation to do so.

    You cannot obligate me to something YOU desire without my consent.

    Be careful if you try – you make it MY RIGHT to obligate you to my desire.

    The conclusion of such a system is “Might is Right” – and I do not think you would do well within such a system.

    As I cannot trust everyone to give willingly, I feel just fine about having the government compel your generosity.

    You believe you know how much to take from me. How do you know this? Gift from God?

  24. Black Flag says:

    Mat,

    http://mises.org/books/failureofneweconomics.pdf

    Learn, son.

    Keynes is a monetary crackpot.

    A monetary crank as someone who proposes a system of causation for money different from causation for other market phenomena.

    A monetary crank tells us that private property, entrepreneurship, and the forces of supply and demand explain causation in the overall economy, but then insists that money is different, that government-created and government-planned money is required to balance supply and demand for all other goods and services. He abandons his theory of economic causation when he gets to money.

    95% of all economists are Keynesian. Their only answer to the chaos of Keynes is more Keynes. “We know he is wrong, but it is all we’ve got”.

    Insanity.

  25. Greatergoodcs says:

    Might is right isn’t my theory, but it sure is part and parcel of social darwinism (which is why I refute SD).

    Man in the state of nature wasn’t very accommodating toward his fellow men (which is why social contracts came into play).

    My beef with government has much more to do with its inability to perform competently, but left to its own devices (i.e., the market), corruption runs rampant.

    Outsourcing wasn’t born of taxes. It was born of opportunity (to pay less in the form of wages and benefits). I’m not sure it can be stopped, but if it isn’t, unemployment in the US will reach depression proportions sooner or later.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Greatergoodcs,

      What, exactly, is a “social contract”?

    • The “Social contract” doesn’t pass the BS filter.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        If I didn’t see it, I didn’t agree to it, and I didn’t sign and date it, it isn’t a valid contract :)

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          Fair enough … so I guess we can toss out that good old Constitution since you didn’t sign that either, correct?

          Why I always think people bringing up the constitution and forefathers don’t pass the BS factor either.

          • Black Flag says:

            Now you’re understanding….

            Please tell me why I need to obey what a bunch of strange fellows wrote on a piece of paper?

          • Absolutely: link.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Amazing how some people draw the correct conclusion by attempting to be absurd :)

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              Let me get this straight: You guys propose all against all?

              If so, then I guess might makes right.

              Better hit those red buttons before the other guy does …

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Boy you SERIOUSLY do not get it, do you?

                Might makes right HAS NOTHING TO DO with individual rights. In fact, IT IS IN DIRECT CONTRADICTION of individual rights.

                You do not have the right to INITIATE violence upon a non-violent person, so how does this imply the need to press any “red buttons”?

                Freedom does not mean “I’m free to do what I want, any old time”

                Freedom means “I’m free to do what I want any old time, provided my actions do not impose upon the freedom of anyone else.”

                There is a HUGE difference there that you (so far) completely fail to recognize.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                My man … you wrote: “Freedom means “I’m free to do what I want any old time, provided my actions do not impose upon the freedom of anyone else.”

                And whom is the judge of whether or not your action impose on someone else? You? That would be pretty convenient. Is there an arbiter or do you just make it up as you go along?
                The point I am making regarding “red buttons” (that you, boy, just do not get) is that at some point there will be a collision of desires/wants/needs (for instance) and what happens then? Who gets his way? How is it decided?

                Having no faith in a social contract/government, what do you do?

              • reply below

              • Good Explanation Peter.

  26. Thought I’d put up this I just got from my son. How true is this.

    Judy

    “BAIL EM OUT!?”

    Hell, back in 1990, the Bush, Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in
    Reno, Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They
    failed and it closed. Now we are trusting the economy of our country, our
    banking system, our auto industry and possibly our health plans to the same
    nit-wits who couldn’t make money running a whore house and selling whiskey!
    You’ve got to be kidding me.”

  27. Black Flag says:

    Obama Raises ’10 Deficit Outlook 19% to $1.5 Trillion (Update1)

    By Roger Runningen and Brian Faler

    Aug. 25 (Bloomberg) — U.S. unemployment will surge to 10 percent this year and the budget deficit will be $1.5 trillion next year, both higher than previous Obama administration forecasts because of a recession that was deeper and longer than expected, White House budget chief Peter Orszag said

  28. USWeapon is not evil as he does not advocate harming those who do not deserve to be harmed right now (I’ll ignore the fact that he doesn’t yet recognize the absolute evil of any and all “taxation”; unless I missed it when he woke up ;) )

    You can’t help the collective by selectively harming some innocent parts of it. If a person is making a lot of money without coercion or theft (which includes fraud), then they don’t deserve to be harmed. If they are getting rich (or even if they are not) through coercion or theft, then the answer isn’t to “tax” them (which doesn’t return the property to its rightful owner anyway), but to defend yourself from them in whatever way you must to stop them. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    The only thing I “owe” society is to not intiate force (physical or economic).

  29. USW, Sent you an E-Mail.

    Mathius, Was I greedy this morning when I offered you a free meal? Venison is hard to come by, takes alot of work and requires alot of knowledge to get the leanest red meat on the planet on a plate for consumption. Your vegetables are tainted and laced with LSD, why should I accept your meal, and you not accept mine?

    G!

    • I will happily accept some backstraps.

      They will go well with my LSD laces veggies.

      And I thank you, sir, for your generosity.

      • Just remember Mathius, I grow my own veggies, and if you are still hungry I will share with you. See, we can all be generous, now what you would like to do is take my veggies and give them to someone else, who did not labor to grow them. Your method would cause extreme lead poisoning.

        Isn’t my method much better?

        G!

      • Naw, I thought your food was so good, and you have so much, that I’m going to tie you up in the basement, take a share (probably around 50%), combine it with half my veggies and distribute it to strangers in need. Don’t worry, you’ll still have plenty for yourself, but this way they can enjoy it too.

        Thank you again, though.. it was delicious. You should come over some time and have some of the Missus’s cooking.. it’s well worth the trip (I’ve gained 40 pounds in the 5 years we’ve been together). The woman can do something impressive with a steak.

        (Please excuse me as I drool all over my keyboard)

        • I would be honored to break bread with you and the missus. Good cookin is an enjoyable thing to share with friends.

          I doubt that you could tie me up though, I possess to much lead!

          G!

        • It’s easy when you don’t pay attention to what I slipped into your piece of venison..

          • Another problem with your theory, I’m a vet, and I always pay attention. It’s a habit to watch my surroundings, and I would see your nervousness and smell the laced meat. You should not underestimate your adversaries. It may come to harm you someday.

            LOL, I sound like a survivalist now.

            G!

  30. Black Flag says:

    Mathius

    Sure you can.. watch me. If I take from you, you view that as evil. If I give to a homeless man, he views that as good.

    Please explain why you are write and he is wrong.

    To take from me, harms me. If you take from me, you give me the right to take from you. Believe me, you will have nothing left.

    I can see how one could make a case for both, but you are saying that giving him money was evil. Seems counter-intuitive, no?

    You take, without compensation, from those that create to those that do not.

    The end result of this will be a dissolution of society – and a plummet into savagery.

    Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.

    But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.

    Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain — and since labor is pain in itself — it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

    When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.

    This fact, combined with the fatal tendency that exists in the heart of man to satisfy his wants with the least possible effort, explains the almost universal perversion of the law.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      “Sure you can.. watch me. If I take from you, you view that as evil. If I give to a homeless man, he views that as good.

      Please explain why you are write and he is wrong.”

      Of course the homeless man vies this as good, the homeless man is getting something for nothing… why would he NOT see this as a good thing?

      If you told the homeless man that what you were giving him was stolen from someone else, he might have a different reaction (or he might not, depending on how moral he is :))

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      You are advocating a dissolution of society and a plummet into savagery with absolute freedom. How can’t you see that?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        ABSOLUTELY WRONG!

        Absolute freedom means that everyone has to be EQUALLY FREE.

        This means that the strong cannot dominate the weak, because to do so would be to violate someone else’s freedom.

        The only thing that is even remotely close to being a recognizeable social contract is “You are free to do what you will, provided your actions do not impose upon another.”

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          I’m wondering if history backs up your thesis, but I sure don’t see how.

          A) Man just isn’t that generous

          B) Even if he were, at some point his needs would supercede his better intentions (like running out of resources, never mind greed).

          Talk about nirvana … your thesis reads like tree huggerism.

          • 10 point to the newcomer.

            • Sorry M, no points for claiming a conclusion that itself is not proven.

              On what basis do you claim that a man acting in accordance with his ethic of non-violence would violate that ethic because he ran out of something?

              Our needs and our “better intentions” are separate matters. Intentions are just drivel, it is actions that make or break the man. A moral man acts on his principles.

              And by the way, man is that generous. You will find examples through out the world when looking at the individual, tribe, small group or small community level.

              It is only when Men who seek the power to carry out THEIR view of “The Common Good” form that mightiest of evil things, Govt, that we see the very distortions that you claim.

              Of course there are those who will commit evil but they are the exception. The only benefit of large govt is it reduces the number of evil doers in the local communities. They eventually move to the seat of power, also known as the Capitol.

              That is why our capitol should be relocated to Death Valley. Isolate the evil in its natural habitat, or the closet thing we have to it on earth.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            You are incorrect good sir, Treehuggerism states that the tree has more right to exist than the human does, so if the human cuts down the tree to make firewood, paper, or shelter, it is the human who should be shot.

            Also, I admit to the fact that my system does not prevent bad people from doing bad things.

            Are you wise enough to admit that your system does nothing to prevent bad people from doing bad things?

  31. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I apologize for being so blunt, BUT YOU GUYS (and women) ARE PITIFULLY SLOW IN THE UPTAKE TODAY!

    A few of you have tried to point out flaws in what I came up with in #22, but you all (so far) have ignored the biggest flaw of them all.

    The biggest flaw in the system I designed in #22 is that THE SYSTEM PROVIDES THE MAXIMUM BENEFIT IF YOUR INCOME IS ZERO.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Sorry, hit the submit key before I really intended to there :)

      Not only does my proposed system provide the maximum benefit if your income is zero, it provides a total 100% penalty if your income is anything over $100,000. What incentive is ANYONE going to have under my system to make over $100,000? No incentive whatsoever. To carry this further, what incentive is anyone going to have under my system to make any income greater than ZERO? None whatsoever.

      So, if everyone gets the maximum benefit from my program for making zero, HOW THE HELL DOES THE GOVERNMENT ACTUALLY FUND THE PROGRAM?

      If you answered, “It cannot other than by deficit spending” then you are precisely correct.

      Now, ask yourself why the current system is any better, given that the government ALREADY HAS TO ENGAGE IN DEFICIT SPENDING IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE CURRENT SYSTEM???????

      Oh wait, the current system ISN’T any better than the one I proposed… NEITHER ONE OF THEM WORKS! :)

      • I think the current system is actually being run by the ignorant masses that Mathius speaks of. Hey, that explains this economic mess we’re in. But wait, doesn’t that also mean that the ignorant masses that Mathius speaks of, are the ones who voted these ignorant masses into office?

        And people wonder why many of us would like to relieve the ingorant masses that Mathius speaks of from their duties, permanately!

        G!

    • I didn’t miss it Peter. I just didn’t have the time to answer until now. I liken your system to the professor who came up with a system for grading (we had that example several weeks ago). In the end he who slacks the most gets the most benefit. Eventually, everyone with the means to be a super producer will do only enough to earn the 100,000 thus not working extra to give to the government. There is no benefit to doing more. Production will fail. Industry will fail. There would be no impetus for further learning or improvement.

      Your system would fail miserably.

      But you already knew that before you even posted it. ;)

  32. Black Flag says:

    Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter — by peaceful or revolutionary means — into the making of laws.

    According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.

    Woe to the nation when this latter purpose prevails among the mass victims of lawful plunder when they, in turn, seize the power to make laws!

    Until that happens, the few practice lawful plunder upon the many, a common practice where the right to participate in the making of law is limited to a few persons.

    But then, participation in the making of law becomes universal.

    And then, men seek to balance their conflicting interests by universal plunder. Instead of rooting out the injustices found in society, they make these injustices general.

  33. If the world was perfect there would be no wars, no crime, no starvation and everyone would have everything their little hearts desired. But lets face it folks, we don’t live in a Cum By Ya (sp?) world by any stretch of the imagination.

    Giving up something you have for the greater good is a grand idea but there has to be limitations on who gets what and why they get what they get. I have zero problem with helping anyone in need assuming they are indeed trying to help themselves as well. I do not feel it is right to force anyone to support someone who is perfectly able to help themselves out of a situation, but refuse or are unwilling to do so.

    Case in point. When I was going to college, everyday before class I would go to the bakery and get a cup of coffee and a danish. One morning a homeless guy (Daniel) was in front of the bakery asking for change because he was hungry. So I asked if he wanted anything from the bakery, he said coffee and a glazed doughnut would be great. So I got him what he asked for. Daniel was there every morning for a little over 2 weeks and I got to know him pretty well over our coffee and doughnuts.
    One morning I was running late so I apologized for missing our breakfast and gave him a couple of dollars to buy his own and wished him well. As I was in my car getting ready to leave I saw him go into the convenience store next door and buy a 40 oz of Schlitz. It seemed to me that the beer was more important to him than food was. I asked him about the beer the next day, he was actually irritated that “I dared question how he spent HIS money”. I saw no good reason to continue getting him food and he moved on to some other location.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life. Give a man a fish and he will tell you “GODDAMMIT, I HATE FISH, GIMME A PIZZA!”
      :)

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        Teach a man to fish and he’ll teach another man to fish and pretty soon you’ll have a fleet of fisherman and very limited resources … what happens then?

        • Then someone will teach them to hunt deer instead. Or to grow cantalopes. Or to forage for acorns.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Your argument is faulty. If you simply give away enough fish to feed everyone, you are still going to exhaust the resource, and you haven’t provided the added benefit of teaching anyone anything useful in the process.

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            Dare I ask what happens when you run out of Deer?

            Brothers, you’re fading fast.

            • Ummm. I already answered that.

            • You first herd some into a pen, and raise them like cattle. Ininite resources if you conserve.

              G!

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              So, what you are arguing is that due to the finite nature of all resources, it would be better to simply exterminate the entire human race.

              In that way, the existence of finite resources would never be threatened.

              You can claim that that is not your argument; however, IT IS THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION OF YOUR ARGUMENT. All resources, according to your argument, are finite, therefore none of them should be used.

              Sure, that works well.

              • Peter,

                I think GG read a book from the seventies, I remember it being reference a few times. Seems we should all be dead now, due to overpopulation causing massive starvation. You must not have noticed the billions dying in the street because you are an evil capitolist.

                GreaterGood, did you know the deer population in the US was
                500,000 in 1900. Today its 20,000,000, which explains why deer are the most deadly animal to human life in the US(auto accidents), causing more deaths than sharks, bears, snakes and spiders combined.

  34. Hi all . . . A little off topic here . . .

    Was surfing the Internet on Sunday evening and computer got thrashed by some #@$(*&^$*&&^%$#& who has nothing better to do with his time and skills than to create something that will thrash someones computer. It has taken me this long – two days – to get this thing back up and running again. Having an external backup drive is the key to computer happyness :-)

    Now, back on topic after my vent . . .

    I am a Star Trek fan to a very small extent. In one of the movies good old pointy-eared Mr. Spock made the statement “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one” or something like that . . .

    If I choose to sacrifice something – anything – “For The Greater Good” then that is my choice, however it should only be MY choice and not that of government – TO A CERTAIN EXTENT ONLY. And that is where it all gets sticky. Something called “Eminent Domain” really gums up the works for me.

    Back in the 1950′s there was this really big transportation problem. We had a choice to make between a failing railway system, a not so safe airline system(not yet into the jet age), and a highway system that really sucked(don’t believe me? Try driving across the USA on only the old US Route roads, you will then understand). Ike signed the Highway Transportation Act that created the currant Interstate highway system and many people lost homes, farmland, and businesses to Eminent Domain but we got one of the best road systems in the world in the process.

    Therein lies my dilemma – Without the use of eminent domain (for the greater good?) we would still be stuck with the unsafe and winding slow moving and traffic jamming US Route system. I still find it very hard to draw the line and state one way or another.

    I have come to the conclusion that each and every case needs to be weighed on its individual merits/demerits, etc. I do not believe that we can say one thing is always better than the other thing without looking at what the accomplishment is intended verses the personal impact on the individuals who would be affected.

    Does any of this make sense?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Yes, this makes sense, BUT (you knew there was going to be a BUT didn’t you :))

      Ask yourself if there was a way that the US Interstate Highway system could have been created WITHOUT the use of emminent domain.

      Perhaps not as many people would have been willing to sell their land without being forced to, so the routes would not be as direct. Ok, fine, but I can already demonstrate to you that the Interstates RARELY take the most direct route between two points (most likely because the government didn’t want to piss off some person or some corporation that had a lot of influence).

      What happened in the 50s was that the people who had no power had their land confiscated to serve “the greater good” while the people who had power and influence got to keep their land and the Interstates were routed AROUND their property.

      Sounds like a good and fair system, yes?

      • The requirement that there be at least ONE MILE of straight road with no obstructions within every five miles dictated that the roads had no choice but to go through property that had to be seized by eminent domain. That and the urgency of the times – remember the cold war that almost turned hot on many occasions? – dictated that the system be built as soon as humanly possible.

        I thought that the one mile rule was a little out of date as most runways now exceed two miles in order to accomodate the heavy lift aircraft of our time.

        Eisenhower was a cautious optimist in that his greatest fear was that the military industrial complex would take over this country, little did he know that it would be the growing complacency of the voting public that would be our downfall.

    • One of the few immutable laws in life is this: Never argue with Mr. Spock.

      If he says that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, who are you to argue?

      • The difference is that Spock made the choice voluntarily. He was not grabbed and tossed in there to get irradiated.

      • True, but he would have agreed with the need to shove someone in there. He just chose to do it himself. If he hadn’t, he would have considered it perfectly logical to grab the next person over and make him do it. Problem comes with the fact that he could last a little longer and had the best odds of success – thus he was the logical choice.

        First with the Borg, now with the Vulcans.. Star Trek makes for great political analogies, I guess..

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Mr. Spock would not have found it logical to grab the person next to him and throw him in there for irradiaton actually. You will notice that no matter HOW stupid he thought that Jim and Bones were behaving he never threw THEM in there :)

        • Only because he did not have confidence that they would complete the task. He would have assessed that humans had a high likelihood of failure. If he threw bones in and he had died, he would have had to throw someone else in to finish, thus killing two rather than one. This is not logical.

        • What I don’t understand is why the Red Shirt rule didn’t apply. Shouldn’t he have sent in a no-name red shirt ensign?

          • You all missed it with Star Trek . . . . .

            Here’s the REAL reason that Cap’n Jim and Dr. Bones were NEVER done away with.

            They had Hollywood Union Contracts that guaranteed they appear in each and every episode. The writers could never do them in or they would get fired!

            I know, I just am a stickler for the obvious verses the wishful . . . ;-)

  35. bottom line says:

    I found this forum the other day from a link that you(USW) posted in another forum. I have to say that I can certainly appreciate the intelligent approach, and wittiness in your debates. From what I can tell…you guys are my kinda folks. USW, I can appreciate your veiws on social darwinism, as it doesn’t much differ from my own. However, I will argue that your above description is a bit over-simplified and inconsistant only in the fact that bloodline extinction can even happen to the fittest. Responsibility doesn’t always fall on the actions of the individual. Don’t get me wrong…I think we are all responible for our actions, that we should always own up to our mistakes,and deal with the consequences. I’m all about personal responsibility. Here’s where the conflict is. Take myself for example(I hate to use myself, but it makes a good arguement)I was born and raised poor in an abusive and neglegent home to a single mother recieving little or no financial assistance from anyone. Dad was nowhere around. By age 13 I was completely independant of both my parents and living with other family members instead. As soon as I was of legal age…I was out on my own, supporting myself. I’ve always supported myself. I’ve NEVER asked for or recieved gov. assistance. When times got tough, I lived off of beans, rice, and ramen noodles. Your damn right about “adapt or die”. It more or less describes my life in three words. I am a true survivor. I’ve surprised myself at times with my resourcfullness and creativity. I’ve had to make sacrifices and work my ass off just to simply survive. I am a hard worker. I’m a highly skilled craftsman. I have a good work ethic. I’m NEVER late. I have values and morals. I’m honest. I’m earnest. I’m driven. I’m confident. I’m healthy. I have an IQ that scores in the gifted category. I have good social skills. I’m diciplined. Like you, I share the accute perspective that can only come from the military experience. I don’t have drug and alchohol problems. I’m not ugly, malformed,or defective. I’m many of the things that describes an alpha. I have those charactoristics that are usually associated with, at least, nominal success. Yet here I sit at 34 with nothing. By nothing I mean little financial success or hope for economic mobility or the real stability needed to raise a family. The odds have been against me from the start. If I measure my success in terms of my peers with a similar background, they usually end up in a far worse predicament. However, when I consider it in terms of my personal standards, the bottom line is that I simply do not yet have the financial stability it takes to ensure the survival,success,welfare and well being of a family. For lack of a better term…I’m a loser. Don’t get me wrong…All my basic personal needs are met and my life is fairly comfortable. Also I find it important to note that I’m not one single penny in debt to anyone. But for now the statis quo seems to be my best. My logic is this…I WILL break the cycle…either by doing it right or not at all. NO WAY IN HELL am I going to bring children into this world if it means giving them a less than standard upbringing and perpetuating the cycle. There’s the bloodline extinction thing in play. I AM of the fittest, but it isn’t enough. I suppose I could have put myself $60-100k in debt to get a formal education and $250k in debt for a nice home. Frankly, I’m glad I didn’t. I can think of so many people that did exactly that and ten years later it has proven to be a costly mistake. They’re not living any better than I am, and they are now $300k in debt with no job, a forclosed home, a repossesed escalade, deteriorating marriage, and hungry children that don’t understand why they can’t have a new ipod. I know I’m kinda rambling, but I’m getting to a point. The point is this…I face the possible extinction of my bloodline in spite of being of the fittest, simply because of outside influences beyond my control. If I had been sent out into the world better prepared… If I didn’t have to compete with illegals that have managed to destroy the standards of pay in my industry…if our government had been promoting free market capitolism and the general welfare, instead of wrecking things, during the crucial years when I am supposed to be accumulating wealth…If I was in control of more than 40% of how my paycheck is spent…(I could go on all day listing all the little things that work against us) If circumstances were just SLIGHTLY better…I would most likely be in a better position in life right now. As it is, It may happen anyway if I just continue to persevere, but the real question is how long it will take? Will I be 50 before I become a proud father? I hope not. I don’t have flawed genes. I AM NOT flawed by a lack of talent nor am I content to live off of the work of others. No one owes me jack shit. I don’t live my life with the classic entitlement complex. But I still am subject to possible extinction of my bloodline. I’m still a good looking man. I still get looks from early twenty something females. I could just ignore my principles and go knock up some fine young woman. My bloodline would continue…But then I’d just be passing the buck to the next generation. Right? “The buck stops here.”- Harry S. Truman

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I love your post, thanks for your contribution!

      The one thing that I feel that I need to point out to you is that our current system is not designed to reward the fittest.

      As you point out, you could have taken on tremendous debt, and as a result had a better education, a better job, a home, a wife, kids, etc.

      You also point out that you did not do this because (essentially) you felt it was immoral to take on that sort of debt.

      So, what you live in is a society which currently rewards irresponsible behavior, and you have come to realize that your bloodline faces possible extinction simply because you choose to behave responsibly.

      Trust me, this isn’t your fault, or “the fault of the universe” or anything of the sort. It is the fault of a system which is bizzare and flawed and chooses to reward irresponsible behavior rather than rewarding responsible behavior.

      We may not ever have a system that truly rewards responsible behavior, but we can certainly try!

    • Welcome to the site BL!

      Your life experiences have taught you what not to do, as far as raising a family goes. But your still quite young. My best friend did not have his first born until he was 41, and he is very happy. Ofcourse he did not marry until he was 39.

      Perservere, and things will come your way, but be patient.

      G!

    • Welcome, Bottom Line, to the site. Stick around for a few and chat with us.

      • bottom line says:

        thank you. I do enjoy this forum. I will chat. However, I am sharing this comp with others and wont be back on till later tonight.

    • Welcome Bottom Line,

      Your post is remarkable but I have to strongly disagree with one of your statements: “I’m a loser”. You, sir, are a winner and perhaps you are not yet where you want to be, but based on your post, I believe you will get there.

      I have nothing to do with the route you’ve taken, but I’m very proud of you.

  36. Greatergoodcs said: “And whom is the judge of whether or not your action impose on someone else? You?”

    The person who is being imposed upon decides. He would then be justified in using self-defense to stop the imposition.

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      Great. That was my earlier point. Might makes Right.

      Thank you, sir.

      If he has the juice, he should use it. If not, he’s screwed.

      Nice game plan … also known as countdown to a nuclear holocaust.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Wow, you have an extreme penchant for missing the bus. How does anything Kent just said equate with “Might makes Right?”

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Also,

        I can demonstrate to you that THE CURRENT SYSTEM is a countdown to nuclear holocaust… Our government has already used 2 nuclear weapons.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          You mean our good old free market system?

          You got one right (talk about missing buses). Applause for nailing that capitalist/free market system for using nuclear weapons. Good one.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            The US in the 1940′s had no such thing as a free-market capitalist system. At the very latest, that disappeared in 1932… probably much earlier.

            Nice try though :)

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              The US wasn’t a capitalist society after 1932?

              Let me quote someone I know you admire (Barney Frank).

              “When you ask me that question, I’m going to revert to my ethnic heritage and ask you a question: On what planet do you spend most of your time?”

              • Corporatism is not capitalism.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Corporatism is one result of capitalism.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Corporatism is a direct result of government intervention. Mega-corporations cannot exist without Mega-government.

              • What? Did you people issue talking points for the day? What is this mega-corporations cannot exist stuff? Of course they can, would, and do. It is the inevitable, inexorable, inescapable result of a well run business that it should thrive and grow. And, having grown, it should accrue more power and wealth to use to grow larger and more powerful still. At some point along this path, if it ever had a “soul,” it gets lost, and power, wealth, and growth become the only remaining goals. – That is, without government to check this power at the behest of The People.

              • Sorry ol’ Hoss, but he’s right. When FDR was elected President, that was the end of free-market capitalism. He passed on what President’s like Teddy and Wilson started. Socialists to the core.

                Now we have the biggest Socialist to date in office.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                The name of that planet again?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Mine is Earth… not so sure about yours… sounds a bit like Fantasyland
                :)

              • It’s a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse.

              • The planet name is K-Pax.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I spend most of my time on this planet.

                Please define free-market capitalism accurately and then demonstrate to me that the US is a 100% free-market capitalist economy.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Brother, if you think this system is socialist, there’s no convincing you of anything.

                Good luck with the crusade.

                Fortunately for the greater good, you’re on the margin and fading fast.

              • No, this system is NOT Socialist. Yet. It is Fascist.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Actually this system is not completely socialist. It is a bastardization of Facsist and capitalist with some socialism thrown in. Precisely why it is so screwed up.

  37. Hi All

    Okay, this is one of my all time gripes, and I will never understand it. It is Eminent Domain. I do not understand why a company or government for that matter, can come in and take a person’s home or business away from, just so they can build what they call for the “GOOD OF THE COMMUNITY”.

    Why do they feel they have to have that particular spot in which to build on, even though, there might be a thousand acres else where where they can build what ever they feel like building? I have seen where people have lost their homes, because some big company wants to come in and build a giant apartment complex on that spot. Or, restaurants, or shops , or even parks that have been taken over because of eminent domain. Is that spot the only spot they can get in order to build their big conglomerate of apartments, car dealers, or movie theaters, or whatever?

    Surely, in all the areas that they can choose from, why do they have to try and take away from others? Guess it doesn’t matter to them that they put people out of business if they can’t relocate to somewhere else, or make people move out of their homes and find another. Yes, I know, that these greedy people who want those spots, pay those others for their property. But for what I understand is, is that it’s not top dollar either.

    So, would this be classified as an evil thing or not? I believe it is. I don’t see how taking away from some in order to build for more is a good thing. I always felt that eminent domain is wrong.

    I noticed that nobody ever brought this up as either being a good thing or bad. Would appreciate in seeing what you people think on this.

    Thanks

    Judy

    • Judy, Hi from OHIO!!! Theft is theft, the reasons are a lie to justify a crime, yes it is evil!

      G!

      • Hi G

        Glad someone agrees with me on this. You’re the first one to answer this. It is evil, it’s down right mean. OMG. I sound like BF now, what’s come over me? LOL.

    • bottom line says:

      I agree. It’s evilish. My great grandparents had a house for about 30 years that was taken to expand an airport. The whole neighborhood was mowed down so they could turn it mostly into a feild of grass. There has to be a buffer zone surrounding an air strip… so, they mowed it all down. The residents weren’t really getting a bad deal though. They built them a brand new neighborhood in a better area of town. Nicer houses, better area, same familiar friendly neighbors. It kinda worked out. While I dont like the idea of eminant domain, I understand the logic behind it in cases of a freeway or airport…something that is a legitamate funtion and benifit of the general populace. But an apartment complex or shopping mall? HELL NO!!! That has nothing to do with the greater good and is all about some greedy bastards pushing people around.

      • The problem with eminent domain, is once you agree it should be used in one situation, it can be twisted around to be used in *any* situation. Either the line is never actually drawn, or it is constantly moved around to fit whatever pet project the ones in charge want to put in place. And since the government is the one both making and enforcing the rules, what recourse do you really have in the end?

  38. Greatergoodcs: “Corporatism is one result of capitalism.”

    Then murder is one result of life. A twisted, perverted, and evil one which should not be engaged in, but a “result” in some cases, nonetheless.

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      Your point (except for making mine for me)?

      • My point is that you shouldn’t throw away something good just because in a few cases it can result in evil. On the other hand, some things (government, for example) have a certainty of being used for evil, not just a slight chance. Corporatism isn’t a certain result of capitalism, but is a certain result of letting capitalism become sublimated to the preverse idea of “the common good”.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          Certainty? Should I assume you believe Medicare is “evil”?

          • Of course it is. It is financed through theft. It causes medical care costs to increase for everyone through simple economic realities. It creates dependency. In other words, it harms the innocent. That is my definition of “evil”.

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              I don’t know what to tell you, brother. I guess we should just let anyone who can no longer produce rot and die wherever they happen to get sick.

              I think you’re off the reservation on this, but you’re entitled to be wrong.

              • Why do you assume I wouldn’t help people who need it? I would, and I have. The thing is that charity is good; “welfare” is not. Consensual interaction is the difference. You can’t “do good” by doing wrong.

                Without Medicare poor people would be more likely to be able to afford good medical care, and charities would be able to afford to help a lot more people.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                You’re joking, right?

                Tell me you’re joking or I have to go away because that is the most absurd reason I’ve ever heard for doing away with Medicare (poor people would be better able to aford good medical care?)

                And trust me, you can help that many people (who need it) nor is your fellow man that willing to do so.

              • Reply at bottom

  39. Just some thoughts, IMHO, there is no such thing as the “greater good”. The term and any use of it is imagined and not real. It is an opinion, unexplainable and therefore completley false in nature.

    A quick poll: How many could survive with a “no-government” society if it were to happen next week? Simple answer of “Can” or “Cannot”.

    I CAN

    G!

  40. Mathius: What? Did you people issue talking points for the day? What is this mega-corporations cannot exist stuff?

    By definition, corporations can not exist without favoritism from government. Big businesses; yes, but not corporations. Big business would not be able to manipulate “laws” to protect their market from competent competition if there were no government to lobby.

  41. Greatergoodcs: “You’re joking, right? Tell me you’re joking or I have to go away because that is the most absurd reason I’ve ever heard for doing away with Medicare (poor people would be better able to aford good medical care?) And trust me, you can help that many people (who need it) nor is your fellow man that willing to do so.”

    So it is better to hurt everyone since I alone can’t afford to help everyone? And why do you find the truth so “absurd”?

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      What you are describing as “hurt” does not equate (in the real world) to the hurt those endure without healthcare.

      Why is it absurd to assume that the poor would better be able to afford better care without Medicare? Think about what you’re saying. It’s not absurd … it’s insane.

      Social Darwinism isn’t going to solve anything, but it sure would get the fireworks started.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Greatergoodcs,

        It is your methods which do not solve anything, they simply perpetuate the institutionalized rationalization of evil.

        Basically, what you are saying is that if you are rich and you steal from others in order to get rich, then that is evil, but if you are poor and steal from others in order to be able to eat, that is good.

        If you fail to see a contradiction there then I am sorry, I cannot help you.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          Evil is your mantra, brother. I call a spade a spade.

          Taxes are meant for the “greater good”. If you don’t want to pay them, why not start a colony somewhere? Sorry, the U.S. is taken.

          It isn’t stealing to support an army, healthcare, infrastructure and medicare (which should be nationalized). You don’t have to pay U.S. taxes, you could move somewhere else.

          • Please define “greater good”! I’m sure someone can define it, or is it a figment of your own imagination?

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              Your own is redundant.

              Greater good meaning all as opposed to the few.

              And if it were my planet:

              Everybody gets healthcare.

              Every capable body serves in the armed forces.

              Nobody gets to be a gazillionaire … but everybody has a roof over their heads.

              Nobody gets a first class private education; everybody does.

              • Who pays for all this? What happens when people realize they get all the benefit without going to work?

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Not everybody out of work wants to be there.

                Most people want to work (or most people wouldn’t be employed, right?)

              • Kristian Stout says:

                Nope, I have a job and would give my eyeteeth to be able to stay home and be a mom full time. But I can’t because I have to work. I don’t work, my kids don’t eat. Simple as that. But I can also tell you there are people out there, I’m related to 2 of them, that don’t see it that way. One of them has 4 kids and the other has 5 and those kids are supported by welfare because these 2 idiots won’t get a job. And there are more of those out there than you think. Pretty much what it comes down to is this; unless you have suddenly developed godlike tendencies such as omnipotence, you have no idea what the “greater good” needs and are indeed a tyrant yourself for trying to force your ideals onto others.

              • bottom line says:

                good point.

              • By your definition, “all as opposed to the few” is a contradiction in terms. You cannot use “all” because the few are a part of the all. Try again!!

                G!

              • More below, getting to squished

              • There are already places like that on earth.

                Why don’t you move there and leave one piece of real estate for those of us who seek freedom instead of slavery?

              • Thank the good lord this is not your planet…

          • You cannot be serious. Why should I move? You do it and start your utopia elsewhere…when it fails, maybe we will let you back in this terrible system that you so despise.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        No, it is Medicare/Medicaid itself that is insane.

        Take this example. My friend’s father was an opthalmologist. For one particular procedure related to macular degeneration, he charged $10,000. His cost of performing the procedure was $8000.

        Other doctors in the area charged $15,000 for the same procedure. Still others charged $20,000.

        Medicare/Medicaid came in and said that they were trying to cut their budget, so ALL opthalmologists performing this procedure were required to cut the fee which they charged for the procedure by 25%.

        End result:

        The doctors who charged $20,000 were now allowed to charge only $16,000 (still an $8000 profit)

        The doctors who charged $15,000 were now allowed to charge only $12,000 (still a $4000 profit)

        The doctors who charged $10,000 were now allowed to charge only $7500 (a $500 loss)

        As a result, the doctors who had been charging $10,000 decided that they would no longer offer that procedure to their patients that were on Medicare or Medicaid.

        Now THAT is insane (and a true story of your government in action :))

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          It isn’t my gov’t. If it were, it’d be truely socialist regarding healthcare and defense (a draft), but what you site pales in comparison to those who die without dignity because they can neither afford or obtain coverage.

          And let’s not get into the corruption on charges at the other end of the spectrum (overcharging). Maybe it’s time doctors should no longer earn according to their clientele (the rich serving the richer).

          • Are doctors slaves that you think you can tell them who they can serve and how much they make?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            No one in America dies without dignity because they cannot afford to obtain medical care. Emergency rooms are required BY LAW to accept all regardless of their capacity to pay already.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            What you fail to ask yourself is the correct question. Why, in the same geographical area, are doctors charging between $10,000 and $20,000 for the exact same service?

            Because it is already NOT A FREE MARKET. When you have insurance of the sort we have now, you do not ask the doctor if your procedure is going to cost $10,000 or $20,000 and you do not go to another doctor to see if you can obtain the procedure at a lower cost. The way that the current system is set up, the cost is irrelevant to you because the insurance is going to cover it.

            If all doctors were interested in was getting rich, ALL OF THEM would be charging $20,000 for this procedure.

            If there was a free market, they would be forced to compete, and the price would come down.

            In my example, the doctors that were more interested in serving the people (the ones charging $10,000 as opposed to $20,000) were the ones that got screwed, while the ones charging $20,000 made out the best.

            If we had a truly free market that forced doctors and hospitals to compete based on both cost and quality of care, prices would necessarily drop.

            If you think that the current medical system as it stands is a free market system, then I cannot help you.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Oh, and it IS your government! Your stance is that we must abide by the rules which it sets forth.

            If you do not acknowledge it as your government, then you agree that it does not have legitimate power to make and enforce rules.

      • So how good is this medical care for the poor going to be when the nation slips into bankruptcy, disavows its current debt obligations (including medicare, medicaid and soc sec) and the value of the dollar is meaured in pennies?

        I thought you guys believed in the Greater Good. How does bankrupting the Nation to provide medical care for less than 20% of the population comprise the Greater Good?

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          One way to handle the cost (don’t you think) would be to end these two fugazy (fake) wars the Bush administration launched us into. The cost of those wars alone would more than handle medicare costs for everyone.

          And letting corporate america pay its fair share (rather than get bailed out) would be another.

          There you go, medicare for all. Paid in full.

          • You mean the two wars Obama refuses to end? LOL

            Anyway, yes, those wars should be ended, and that would free up a lot of money. Do you think that might also add to the welfare dole? The military recruits heavily from the poorest segments of society capitalizing on their limited options.

            Without the bailouts (which I oppose, by the way) those corporations would go out of business and wouldn’t be paying anything in taxes. Each dollar in taxation destroys an even greater amount in the market. You might get a short-term “benefit”, but it isn’t sustainable. The house of cards can not stand.

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              You’re right, Obama is Bush III. No argument here. Both parties are absolutely useless (one a bit more criminal than the other but useless nonetheless).

              Please don’t defend corporate welfare to me (going out of business–please–that was Bush/Wall Street scare tactics). We should’ve bitten the bullet and let them rot. The money those thieves were given (at the expense of the american worker) was robbed (talk about “evil”).

              Life finds a way, not to worry.

              • You didn’t read my post very well if you think I was defending corporate welfare. I was just saying that for your scenario to work, it would be necessary to prop up corporations which deserve to go out of business.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Nope, you assume my scenario requires that. It doesn’t.

                Like I said, we would have had to bite the bullet. That’s fine so long as things don’t return to the status quo.

                Let them go out; life (we) will find a way. Nationalization is one way (or partial nationalization). Whatever it takes.

              • YOu must have been mistreated as a child…you really do not believe this do you?

              • If life finds a way, why are you so eager to have government find the way instead?

              • How do you explain bailing out the car industry as being at the expense of the American workers? They came out smelling like a rose in that deal.

          • Well since we haven’t used a dime of the SS/Med/Medicaid funds to pay for war or corporate bail outs before they totaled a 50 trillion obligation against our future budgets, I would say NO.

            You would not be able to cover everyone with the money saved.

            While you raise some very valid points, which you will find much agreement to on this site, they are not enough to deal with the existing debt obligation. Any savings would not be enough to overcome the distortion in the market for medical care created by govt intervention.

            Using your own argument regarding scarcity, what happens when you run out of doctors?

          • Or Obama could recind the economic spendulus bill which cost more than both wars in their entirety.

  42. WOW 300 comments already, I have some catching up to do. Subscribing for more so I don’t miss any in the mean time.

  43. Mike M. Houston Texas says:

    How in the world does this guy keep espousing my core beliefs each time he posts something here? I guess I am also a social darwinism advocate. Some of my family gets upset when I make the statement “Yet another reason to thin the gene pool”. For those old enough to remember. Man jumps trans am over ravine. Man crashes becomes bound to wheelchair. Sues movie corporation for depicting that a trans am could do that without a warning label. Man wins millions. Hence they were forced to take option B. If you are not smart enough to think doing anything in you saw in a movie is a bad idea then please proceed as it is a perfect opportunity to thin the heard.

    • Maybe, like “Fight Club”, I am really you. In the middle of the night you get up in a trance, write the article and go back to bed. In the morning you get up not knowing the genius that you have committed to the public forum!

      Hope you are having a great day!

  44. Greatergoodcs,

    Everybody is already entitled to healthcare, it’s the law. It’s not free anywhere in the world. It will never be free here.

    Not everybody is mentally capable of the military lifestyle, bad idea. We have the best fighting force on the planet, and they are all volunteers, why fix something that is not broken?

    Why can’t anybody get rich if they work hard for it, how do you think this country became a superpower? It wasn’t just anoited to us. Geez, pull head out soon please.

    Not everyone can handle a first class private education, an many don’t want it, see welfare as an example of a piss poor liberal disaster.

    OH, welcome to the site, nice to here your views on these things!

    G!

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      Entitled without having to lose what they have? You got that wrong, my man.

      Much of our best fighting force in the world is made up of those who can’t find employment elsewhere. I support our troops as much as you, but I’m not in denial, brother.

      Not everybody is mentally capable of the military lifestyle, bad idea. We have the best fighting force on the planet, and they are all volunteers, why fix something that is not broken?

      Working hard at it is the key. Do you really think those who have so much today worked so hard for it (never mind inheritance to incompetents like George Bush, I’m talking about genuine hard work). It’s a nice fantasy you believe in.

      Welfare was necessary and had to be restrained. It was. There can obviously be improvements, but what are you going to call it when 30% of the country is out of work someday because of outsourcing (because of deregulated markets)? They aren’t going overseas because of taxes, brother. They’re going overseas to avoid paying benefits.

      Thanks for the welcome. I appreciate it. Your views, too … they’re amusing.

      • GGood,

        “Welfare was necessary and had to be restrained. It was.”

        And then it was unrestrained. The Stimulus Act of 2009 did away with the Clinton welfare reforms, requiring those states that took money to permanently expand their welfare rolls, even though it had already proven itself to REDUCE poverty, along with reducing the number of people on welfare.

        In 1996, the public debate over welfare reform included dire predictions that new work requirements and restrictions on lifetime benefits would thrust millions of children into poverty and leave a lasting stain on the nation’s conscience.

        Eight years later, with welfare reauthorization pending in Congress, those predictions have proven unfounded. Indeed, there is now broad agreement that welfare reform worked—as demonstrated by the large declines in both welfare rolls and child poverty since 1996.

        http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_44.htm

      • Much of our best fighting force in the world is made up of those who can’t find employment elsewhere.

        Please provide some of proof of this. Everybody I went in with was fresh out of High School, and a small few were just Patriotic, and had jobs that they quit to join.

        Working hard at it is the key. Do you really think those who have so much today worked so hard for it.

        No I don’t, some were born with the silver spoon in their mouth. But who are you to tell them they can’t have that spoon? Playing God is not your role in life.

        Welfare was necessary and had to be restrained. It was. There can obviously be improvements, but what are you going to call it when 30% of the country is out of work someday because of outsourcing (because of deregulated markets)? They aren’t going overseas because of taxes, brother. They’re going overseas to avoid paying benefits.

        I call it Government decisions for the greater good. The problem is, “greater good” is a fantasy, and as you put it in your own words (deregulated markets), the government caused the problem, not the people.

        With all that said, can you define “greater good” that does not have a contradiction of terms in it?

        G!

        p.s. Glad I’m amusing to you, should make for good debate.

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        I resent this oft heard libel of who joins the military. I have three sons, all college graduates, all joined the military. All had other options. My wife and I have to routinely explain this to friends, neighbors and acquaintances who, if I read them correctly think the boys are losers..

        It’s sort of like what they say about teachers/civil servants, “those who can do, those who can’t become, teachers/civil servants/soldiers. Not true McGee! People do unusual things for a variety of reasons.

        • But the military does disproportionately recruit from the people who have limited options. That doesn’t mean that everyone who signs up is in that category, though. As you say, people join for a variety of reasons.

        • SK, pay no attention to the rantings of those who despise the military and who make absurd claims about employment. As you know, I spent 40 VOLUNTEER years in the military and did so after college in 1969. I have a BBA in Management and a MBA in finance and elected the military. I think I will adopt the opposite of the philosophy of GG and Mathius and claim that those that chose not to join the military do not apply the theory of the “greater good” they so espouse. Additionally, when I was a Brigade Commander, ( A little over 3,100 personnel), please observe the following: Advanced Degrees from College, 9%, Undergrad degrees 26%, some college 18%, high school diplomas 32%, all other 15%. One other requirement is that it takes a college education to be an officer and you better have a grad degree to get to “field rank”.

          So, if Mathius and GG did not serve, then I can surmise that it was either cowardice or abandonment from the “greater good” that they espouse. Since I am not prepared to call them cowards, I will stick to the greater good theory. The greater good, in this instance, would be “volunteering” some time to the protection of our system for the greater good. (no, not Iraq or Afghanistan), but the military in essence. Much like them saying it is the moral thing to do to take from those that have and give to those that have not.

          Therefore, my statement has as much or more credibility as theirs. Forgive them, they know not what they say.

          • I SALUTE from afar Sir.

            G!

          • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

            Ahh, you open up an interesting question that I have argued with my now Army Reserve son. As a former carer man how would you feel about a territorial force in addition to the Active or Guard/Reserve? This would give those who want to join and train the opportunity to serve domestically but not deploy unless they volunteered. This was the old British system. In addition, those who have done their three or four back to back deployments to the middle east who are leaving rather than do a fifth could opt out of regular or guard into the Territorial units.

            Katrina and the current fiasco with the border would seem to prove their usefulness. In addition, In the event of a true national emergency, they would serve as training cadre and have the option to opt back into the regular forces.

            After I finished my military commitment in the 1970′s I joined the State Guard in NY. Not terribly exciting but I kept my hand in. What do you think?

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            Some clearing up of issues in my absence: 1) I reiterate: I support the troops as much as each of you, but do assume the entire military is composed of men who chose to go there out of valor is as much denial as assuming you can do away with the government (but you seem to enjoy living in that fantasy so God bless); 2) Obviously, I am a coward who was of age after the Vietnam war and chose to play college football instead of serving (so add unpatriotic to coward). By the time the next Vietnam came around (Gulf 1), I was too old and could hide behind my cowardice thanks to mother nature. That said, I support a draft for the sake of guiding young people who most often are not ready for college at 18 (and as a form of serving their country in exchange for the benefits it bestows on them).

            The coward salutes you, too.

            I won’t define greater good again. You guys can play with semantics all you want (it certainly fits your refusal to accept government in any form); it serves your purpose to ignore what is obvious. As far as your position (no government): I think it is a very disingenuous argument you make; a fantasy that will never happen but that allows you to finger point at “liberalism” without a real answer to the problems of society at large. You are a marginalized group I suspect does not even vote Libertarian and probably votes Republican (both parties, by the way, are marginalized thanks to the “free market” ideology that brought down the financial system and a war of choice we were lied into and the other war this new clown (Obama) pigeon-holed himself into.

            I won’t have time to go back and forth all day, but I do wonder how many of those beating their breasts about their accomplishment (degrees, MBA, MA, etc.) while being in the service have renounced the medical treatment provided by the military/government? Since it’s socialism and all …

            Have a good crusade.

            GG

            • GG….no one called you a coward…quite the contrary.

              • Also, my blogging friend, if you will take the time to read all of my posts, you will find that I support and believe in government…Never, have I said that there should be no government.

                You will also find that the Veterans Health care has been called into issue with me. If this is what socialized medicine is going to be…you do not want it for I am already a victim of the death panels in a lesser outcome. The funding of Agent Orange has been dropped because there is no need of funding for less that 1% of the population. End result,,,,cancer, diabetes, and death. A decision made by Clinton…reinstated by Bush….denied by Obama.

        • bottom line says:

          I’ve always been poor. But that’s not why I joined. It wasn’t about finding a job. Ultimately I think I was just simply bored and wanted to do something exciting and educational.

  45. “The Proposal”

    When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen is they reduce their staff and workers. The remaining workers must find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well.

    Wall street and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of “tough decision”, and the board of directors gives upper corporate management big bonuses.

    Our government should not be immune from similar risks.

    Therefore:

    Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members.

    Reduce Senate members from 100 to 50 (one per State). Then, reduce their remaining staff by 25%.

    Accomplish this over the next 8 years

    (two steps/two elections) and of course this would require some redistricting.

    Some Yearly Monetary Gains Include:

    $44,108,400 for elimination of base pay for congress. (267 members X $165,200 pay/member/ yr.)

    $437,100,000 for elimination of their staff. (estimate $1.3 Million in staff per each member of the House, and $3 Million in staff per each member of the Senate every year)

    $108,350,000 for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%.

    $7,500,000,000 reduction in pork barrel ear-marks each year. (those members whose jobs are gone. Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion/yr).

    The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and improve efficiencies. It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country!

    We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well.. It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing.

    Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established. (telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few)

    Note:

    Congress does not hesitate to head home for extended weekends,holidays and recesses, when what the nation needs is a real fix for economic problems. Also, we had 3 senators that were not doing their jobs for the 18+ months (on the campaign trail) and still they all accepted full pay. Minnesota survived very well with only one senator for the first half of this year. These facts alone support a reduction in senators & congress.

    Summary of opportunity:

    $ 44,108,400 reduction of congress members.

    $282,100, 000 for elimination of the reduced house member staff.

    $150,000,000 for elimination of reduced senate member staff.

    $70,850,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members.

    $37,500,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members.

    $7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members.

    $8,084,558,400 per year, estimated total savings. (that’s 8-BILLION just to start!)

    Corporate America does these types of cuts all the time.
    There’s even a name for it. “Downsizing.”
    ——————————————-
    Also, if Congresspersons were required to serve 20, 25 or 30 years (like everyone else) in order to collect retirement benefits, tax payers could save a bundle.

    Now they get full retirement after serving only ONE term.
    ————————————————–

    IF you are happy with how Washington spends our taxes, delete this message.
    Otherwise, it’s time to “downsize” Congress.

    • Naw…never work. It makes way too much sense! Think of the most obsurd thing, and that will most likely be the next new bill proposed to congress that the POTUS will sign.

      • Hi Terry

        Exactly why it won’t work, because it does make sense. Anything that might make sense, or sounds too easy, or has logic to it, the government won’t do. They do the complete opposite.

    • Judy,

      I love it!!! Will share with all my contacts (might piss a couple liberals off).

  46. Whew.

    My head is spinning . . . reading all of our comments today.

    On one end of the spectrum we have Mathius who expects that society will voluntarily and correctly self-identify those who have a genuine inability to provide for themselves (with no greedy imposters in the crowd) adn that government will only meet the needs of those with its redistribution . . . surely the last 40 years have proven the impossibility of that happening (not to mention Hawaii’s recent health care experiment).

    On the other end of the spectrum, we have Black Flag who, in yesterday’s posts blames the Constitution and the Founders for all of our present mess: “The consequence of ‘that document’ is the world you live in today. Therefore, nothing changes,” and who also says that the only acceptable solution (if I understand correctly) is a society with no governing authority . . . at all.

    So, I expect this post to either be entirely ignored or mostly ridiculed. And that’s ok.

    I believe a return to the Constitution, both in politic and in practice would go a long way . . . but that will take conviction and voluntary (not co-erced) cooperation . . . and strong wills to do hard work . . . work even harder than working in concrete all summer (from someone’s earlier post).

    But I fear, instead, that when the walls crumble and the house finally collapses, we will be found arm wrestling over analogies and theories . . . and utopias.

    The Founders were mere humans . . . who understood their place . . . and were not afraid to debate, reach solution, then work together . . . perfect? Maybe not. Successful? Yes, for a long time.

    But they were not for socialism.

    And they were not for anarchy.

    They were for America.

    Perhaps the final nail in my coffin, but I pray and long for a generation of Statesmen to arise and replace the current and prevalent Statists in every level of government.

    And soon.

    • Anon, How do we get to your replacement idea? It must all begin again for it to work. How would you suggest we replace the Statists, or remove them?

      G!

      • At the ballot box.

        Again, that will not be easy.

        But it will require a willingness to step up, step in, and hang in . . . replacing the superficial and pharisaic icons on Capitol Hill with the people who live across the street, or who work in the next cubicle, or who place principle above personal success.

        And it will require the “silent majority” to cease their silence . . . and get off their duffs and get to the ballot box.

        At the risk of offending Mathius (and I seek to not be a respecter of persons), one or two 80-90% turn-out elections would change the face of this nation quickly and dramatically . . . especially with a slate of Statesmen (and Stateswomen, I am not sexist). One source indicates that 62% of eligible voters turned out in 2008, 57% of
        Americans of Voting Age turned out)
        . . . continuing to long for utopia or continuing to succomb to what Black Flag calls “co-ercion” will never change anything.

        I can hear some scoffing already.

        But, a return is a return.

        • No scoffing from me, not my style. But I will ask, has voting got us in this mess, and if so how will voting get us out. Remember to follow the money, thats what has won the elections in my lifetime, not statesmanship.

          IMHO, All voting has done is put that Statists in power, and there are only two ways to reverse this, let them fail and collapse, or remove by force. Neither of which have I concluded to be the better.

          G!

          • I have to disagree.

            Conservative apathy at the ballot box is what got us here (and a surrender and acceptance of “hold your nose candidates”). . . not elections . . . the outcome of elections is decided by the voters and not the elections themselves . . .

            • OK, but we did not choose who we were voting for, they were chosen by the Statists, and presented to us. We can not win this battle, if we can not pick our own candidates, and right now we can’t. It’s a choice between the best of both evils.

              G!

              • v. Holland says:

                We may not have chosen them, but the truth is if we have a big enough majority, we can control them, problem is they only listen to the people who vote-and too many people don’t vote-so they don’t have a voice.

            • v. Holland says:

              I agree, I believe most people in this country believe in smaller government but instead of voting all these years they have set at home and just figured everything would be alright-if they had voted then the Republicans would have stayed with their conservative platform in order to get reelected instead of compromising.

            • bottom line says:

              When I saw that the last remaining candidates were all of a pro-amnesty position, I knew I wasn’t voting last election. Either they represent me or they don’t. If I have to hold my nose, then they aren’t worth voting for.

  47. I would like to know who ever said that medicare and medicaid, and those who use it is theft. How do you come to that conclusion? My mother has medicare as well as medicaid, and so do thousands of other people, does that make them thieves? She has insurance as well. What one might not cover the other does. Or if one only covers half, then the other picks up the rest.

    Where do you get off at calling these people thieves? Since my mother is 87 years old,I guess that makes her a thief then right. I suppose you think that social security is thievery then too, even though you pay for out of your paycheck. Well, I guess I’m a thief then too, because it comes out of my paycheck every time I get it. That remark kind of pi$$ed me off, and I felt I had to say something.

    Judy

    • It is definitely “receiving stolen property”. I know many people who get different forms of welfare: Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, farm subsidies, even a paycheck from some government job (“public school” teachers and cops). ALL of that money has to be stolen from someone before it can be given out.

      If you don’t think that accepting that money is unethical, then don’t trouble yourself over it. I know it would violate my ethics and my principles so I will not accept any of it (as long as I have any choice in the matter). I am not here to judge anyone, but don’t think I will be content to be stolen from either.

      • So you think teachers and cops,( how about fire fighters,are they thieves too ) are all thieves and they are stealing your money. How then pray tell, are they suppose to get paid? So, I suppose the postal carriers are thieves too then, and how and about the people in the military, are they thieves too in your eyes? After all, they are federal.

        Looks to me Kent, that you think most people are thieves no matter what and where they work. I don’t understand your way of thinking there, and you are not going to convince me medicare, medicaid, and social security is thievery, not matter how you explain it. I know that you and Black Flag are totally against government, but there has to be a compromise there somewhere.

        • Where does the money they are paid with come from?

          If you take property from someone who owns it, property he would rather keep for himself, by threat of force (“arrest” or other punishment) is it called “theft” only if the person doing the taking doesn’t work for government?

          Let’s say a mugger attacks you in the park. As you have over your purse at gun-point, he tells you that he will only keep a tiny percentage for himself (to pay for bullets, perhaps), and the rest he will use to pay for doctor visits (or any other “good” thing) for poor people (or any other needy group). Does his promise, even if he keeps it, make the theft any less evil? What if he promises that if you go along without a fuss today, then next year he will mug new victims rather than you and cut you in on his haul?

          Just because something seems upsetting at first doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

          • You didn’t answer my question about how teachers or police officers are suppose to get paid. If our taxes don’t pay the police, or teachers or firefighters, then I can mug you and I won’t get into any trouble.

            The teachers and police and firefighters are performing a service for us and YOU, and just like you pay for your internet service, we pay the police and others for the service they do for us and YOU.

            • If they are that necessary, then allow competition, and let the market decide the price for the service. All I am asking is for an end to the coercive monopoly. If you wish to continue to rely on the government option for the things you want or think you need, feel free. Just don’t force everyone else to accept what some of us see as a pathetic substitute for “services”.

            • Judy…go outside and talk to a tree…you will get further…they missed the point. HAng in there Gal……want to borrow my .50 cal? Ready to go.

        • v. Holland says:

          The bad people in this is the government, not your mother or any other person who has worked all their lives and paid into these programs-It’s the government that started these programs and mismanaged them.. As far as police or teachers-Calling them thieves because there jobs are government is crazy-We have to have these people and in our current system those jobs are paid for by the government-If people want to put forth the position that these shouldn’t be government jobs-that is fine but they really shouldn’t call hard working Americans thieves because they have to live in the system that we have.

          • Of course, we don’t “have to have” cops or government school teachers. The state wants you to believe that you do, though. For a lot of people, they have been very effective.

            Notice that nowhere did I say anyone has to agree with me, nor would I force anyone to act as though they do. I only said my own ethics tell me how I should behave. I am not trying to impose it on anyone else. You are free to act on your own beliefs.

            • Without cops there would be nothing but chaos and you know it. Who would you call if you yourself got robbed of you possessions, or your house caught fire? I guess nobody considering you think they are government thieves.

              Granted you said nobody has to agree with you, and you don’t have to agree with anybody either, but I think your reasoning is a little far off here Kent.

              God, Oh! can I use that word? God forbid anything happens Kent where y ou might just need a cop or a firefighter to help you out if anything should happen.

            • v. Holland says:

              I’m not arguing about your position and I am not accusing you of trying to force anyone, I have read your posts and you are always very nice and reasonable-I am just pointing out that one shouldn’t call the people who were forced to pay into these programs through their paychecks or were forced to get a government paycheck to have a job in their chosen fields thieves-Call the government system thievery all you want.:)

          • Thank you V.

            • Judy, I guess that I am thief also….for 40 years of military service and continue to be a thief for using the Veterans Health Care…to borrow a line from ” A Few Good Men ” , I would rather they just say thank you rather than live under the freedoms that I provide and then question the manner in which it is provided.

              Sigh!!! I love you Judy…hang in there gal.

              • Hi D13

                Thank you very much. I say that because my 2 son’s are in the military, one in the reserves, and one full time. My husband is also an Army vet, and he too is using the veterans services.

                He has had several tests done, and he is going in this Thursday for cataract surgery so he can see clearly again.

                My youngest son of a former Marine, did two tours in Iraq, and he’s the one who is in the Army reserves, and he is going to medical school. So I guess he, his brother and their dad are all thieves then for using the Veterans services. The Army is paying for my son’s medical schooling. Guess he’s a thief for that too huh. There is no way he or us can pay $300,000 for medical school.

    • Actually it exists circa 1965 because of many circumstances. A great many people of that age thought nothing of their physical condition upon reaching the age of retirement as medical knowledge was infinitely less than now. The majority also did not possess the financial means to “invest” for retirement as they were a long way off from the decades of plenty. Few if any back then gave thought to “retirement” what with WWI, The Great depression, The New Deal and WWII cramping everyone but the politico’s and industrialist’s style. Remember many had NO CHOICE with regard to going to war or losing their ability to generate wealth for themselves and their families while you all certainly enjoy such right now and have ever since the last draft.

      As for what their efforts bought and paid for just look around. Minor shifts in what happened way back then mean grand changes up the timeline to any of us typing away on a keyboard. So you didn’t “ask them” to help create the environment where your parents got together creating you in a great country where you could thrive? Like it or not a great many senior citizens weren’t fairly compensated for what their health and lives purchased for America and “They trusted the government too bad!” doesn’t cut it.

  48. This is a great site that you have here. It’s important to have sites like yours, to show the whole picture.

    I have a site myself where anyone can freely express their opinions towards controversial issues. I am telling you because I believe you have share with us some great insight on a lot of these issues.

    Keep up the good work and take care.

    Sincerely,
    Jason

  49. Judy S.-

    “Without cops there would be nothing but chaos and you know it.”

    Actually, my personal experience has not borne that out. I would not run around killing or stealing no matter whether there were cops or not. Neither would anyone I know. But maybe you hang out with a different sort.

    Why do any “security forces” have to be government-run? Wouldn’t it be better to have competing security companies? Security that would actually be responsive to their customers, and personally liable for any harm they did? If they tazered any innocent person on your behalf, both of you would be accountable. If a security provider didn’t do the job to your liking you could fire them and hire another.

    “Who would you call if you yourself got robbed of you possessions, or your house caught fire? I guess nobody considering you think they are government thieves.”

    How often does calling the cops result in the return of your stolen property? Why are the cops not responsible for replacing your stolen property or compensating for damage they failed to prevent? If they had to compete on the free market, maybe they would do a better job. Not all fire fighters are government-employed. On other posts here on this blog we have discussed to death the free market options that could be allowed to exist if society were free of the coercive monopoly of the state. Just as a quickie: in a free market people could contract with fire companies who would then also insure your belongings against fire damage. There could be competition and if they failed to “deliver” you could sue them for their failure. They would be motivated to keep your home unburned.

    “I think your reasoning is a little far off here”

    That is your right, but really think about things from a different perspective.

    “God forbid anything happens Kent where y ou might just need a cop or a firefighter to help you out if anything should happen.”

    As I say, I would prefer a choice, but where there is a monopoly I’ll do what I need to do. I am just aware that there is no situation so bad that it can’t get worse by inviting a cop to show up. I called a volunteer fire department once. They showed up and acted efficiently. Years earlier I called a government-run fire department. They, and the cops who showed up unbidden, almost let my house burn down from a relatively simple situation. What would my recourse have been in that case under the current system? This was part of my education.

    • I do not run with a different sort Kent. I’ve been married to the same guy for 40 years, have 2 son’s, work for a living along side my husband and his brother. I also have my 87 year old mother living with us, so I really don’t know hat kind of people I would run with, except family members, and they are not the sort who would cause any chaos.

      I think what we have to do here is agree to disagree. You have your way of thinking, and I have mine. You believe in one way, and I believe in another. The more I read your comments, the more angry I become.\

      I’m sorry you had a bad thing happen to you when you called the police and fire department, but that does not happen to everybody. When we had trouble here a few years back, called the cops, and they were here within minutes. We never had to call the fire department yet, and I hope we never have to, but for what i have seen around here, they are quick to respond.

      • Judy S.- I am certainly not trying to make you angry. I am also not looking for pity due to my bad experience when I called on a government service decades ago. I learn from my mistakes, and do not dwell on or become bitter over them. That would be silly and wasteful.

        The thing is, I am willing to adjust my beliefs and opinions as I get more information; I know I don’t know everything. This is how learning happens. Becoming angry about new information doesn’t make sense. The truth is more important than any erroneous beliefs I may hold. I seem to have hit upon a sore subject, but when a subject elicits that kind of a response and causes that strong an emotional reaction it usually indicates you need to think about it rationionally. I’ll go away now, but I really didn’t intend to hurt your feelings, and I’m sorry if I did.

        • Kent, maybe angry was the wrong term, but my automatic defenses come out when I hear things like people who use medicare and medicaid and get social security are called thieves. I just didn’t like the fact that you called my mother and all those who need medicare, medicaid, or social security thieves. It doesn’t cut with me too well.

          You don’t have to go, we can chat, but it would have be about something else besides what we were talking about.

      • I understand it’s a sensitive issue Judy. As a thought exercise, try to put yourself in the shoes of a 22 year old straight out of college, just starting his first job.

        Every paycheck, some amount is forcibly taken out for Social Security and Medicare. This person has no choice in the matter. He can’t choose to put that money into a 401k or some other investment account instead and plan for his own retirement. And he knows that there’s almost no chance that those programs will actually be able to pay out money 40+ years later, so it’s not like he can plan on getting any of it back, let alone at a reasonable rate of return. What is that if not theft?

        Just to be clear, it’s not really the recipients of the benefits that are thieves in my eyes, rather the government. If you want to get technical you could be guilty of “receipt of stolen goods”, but so is 99% of the population of this country in some form or another, and I would find it difficult to really fault someone like yourself for taking money from a service for which you’ve already paid. Just recognize what’s really going on with it.

        • I’m trying, but I just don’t think the same way as a lot of you here. Yea. I know, I’ve been brainwashed right. BTW, you made me laugh when you asked me if I wanted to use your 50 cal ready to go. My response is, no thank you, have plenty of our own here.

          I’m not happy with government, especially this one. But I’m just not up to snuff on it like you all are, and I get lost in the battle that goes on here sometimes. Sometimes I can hold my own, then it gets too deep for me, then I’m lost. Make any sense to you? That’s when I bow out, because I think what I might say doesn’t make any sense to anyone, I don’t know.

          But I do appreciate that everybody tries to help me understand, but it can get over my head on things. I can’t back up everything I say like most here can.

          Have a good night.

          Judy

    • Kent, I understand your position, and you did a great job of putting in terms that are understandable. I will, however, defend Judy here, because it’s her an many others like her that have earned a rock solid future. I say that because of the system, that has forced us to comply with a failure (at some point in time) of legislation. Both my retired parents collect SS each month, and pay into Medicare out of that small check. They have paid into this program all their lives, as I have.

      I don’t agree with the system, but I will not call anyone who paid into the system a thief! Maybe you disagree, and that’s cool, but if they paid into it, how can they be thieves?

      G!

      • Hey G, what can I say, except thank you. I really appreciate you and others who do come my defense as well as others who might think along the same lines as I do. I really appreciate it very much.

        Judy

        • Welcome! I don’t understand how some can coclude that we can’t care for one another, without their intervention. I truly believe we would all be just fine, without intrusion.

          Peace to you my friend!

          G!

      • Because the money they paid in was never “held” for them, but is already gone. The money they are getting now is being taken from its rightful owner now. I explained this completely in an earlier comment.

        I am not saying I would treat the person as a thief; I think they are victims who have been lied to. Yet I, myself, could not accept the money with a clear conscience. I have family members who do and I don’t make an issue of it even though I would think more highly of them if they did not. It is not my life, and not my place to lecture them. If they bring it up, I tell them what I think and don’t lie to them.

        • I will agree that they were lied too. You points are not incorrect at all. Maybe being 100% honest has it’s disavantages as well as its advantages!

          G!

          P.s. Not saying your honesty is not a good thing, because honesty is always the best way to go!

        • Kent, We are not in disagreement when it comes to government aide. Hell, I’m a single parent, raising the last of my three (a senior this year), and won’t take a dime from the govt. I qualify for free lunches and all kinds of things, but as I told my daughter, “we get it done on our own, or we are failures”. She get’s it, although it makes things tough sometimes, but she will be better for it in the long run. That is what I call “tough love”, without the violence.

          Hope you can see the difference in my positions (if any) between youth and seniors.

          Peace!

          G!

          • bottom line says:

            I like to hear that someone is teaching their children earnestness and personal responsibility. We need alot more of that in this country.

    • “Actually, my personal experience has not borne that out. I would not run around killing or stealing no matter whether there were cops or not. Neither would anyone I know. But maybe you hang out with a different sort.”

      Too funny! My father was a MTPD and a paramilitary in Belfast before that. Without the law, taking what you want becomes the rule not an exception. Ever seen a city where the police are on strike and off the streets? We have here in Canada and it wasn’t too long before the wolves came out which is why essential services can’t strike here. We know that scenario actually looks like video taped from rooftops. Please no “I’d handle them myself.” garbage. That’s a tween’s response.

      “Why do any “security forces” have to be government-run? Wouldn’t it be better to have competing security companies? Security that would actually be responsive to their customers, and personally liable for any harm they did? If they tazered any innocent person on your behalf, both of you would be accountable. If a security provider didn’t do the job to your liking you could fire them and hire another. “

      They’d not police the areas it was unprofitable. That creates bastions of criminality which will eventually spill over to your “corporate area” thus creating an unprofitable condition. So much for your area as its either pay more or suffer the consequences. Best just cut yourself off from the rest of America. Nice solution.

      “How often does calling the cops result in the return of your stolen property? Why are the cops not responsible for replacing your stolen property or compensating for damage they failed to prevent? If they had to compete on the free market, maybe they would do a better job. Not all fire fighters are government-employed. On other posts here on this blog we have discussed to death the free market options that could be allowed to exist if society were free of the coercive monopoly of the state. Just as a quickie: in a free market people could contract with fire companies who would then also insure your belongings against fire damage. There could be competition and if they failed to “deliver” you could sue them for their failure. They would be motivated to keep your home unburned. “

      Why would your corporate entity take responsibility for a client’s ignorance in matters of self security and fire prevention? That’s not a profitable corporate mantra. Neighborhood standards of security and fire prevention would need to be set and enforced as the rest of the area couldn’t be expected to pay for another’s laziness or lack of foresight. Hell the neighborhood would likely then mandate the expulsion of those not towing the line. What “you” personally thought as a single customer among many wouldn’t matter a whit under any business model dealing with such as you describe.

      • Alan, Free market protection happens to work very well in Central and South America. I’ve seen it personnally, and it’s far better than the joke of a police force we have here. Having experienced that kind of model, I would rather go the route that those areas use, without the tax dollars I spend for a substandard system.

        Just my humble opinion.

        G!

        • Sent you another E. Will get back to you in the morning.

          Good Night.

          Judy

        • The cost, area of coverage, use of deadly force etc.? South America and your America I’m going to guess are two entirely different societies with different expectations. Dealing with the Sicarios in Columbia, as an example, is vastly different to dealing with American gangs.

    • Kent;

      I will say this only once, so pay attention – Police agencies are NOT crime preventative agencies. By law they are crime reactive agencies. Police cannot prevent anyone from committing any crime unless the officer actually witnesses the crime in progress. That is the law.

      Also, no police agency is required to replace your private property. Wether you like it or not, YOU are responsible for your own property.

      Law enforcement is not a monopoly. Explanation = I give you “Dog the Bounty Hunter” in all his glory. Anyone and everyone can hunt down criminals if they have a mind to, but just like law enforcement they all have to follow the law. If they do not, well, that is why ol’ Dog has a Mexican arrest warrant out for him and should he ever return to Mexico he will most likely go to prison for a very long time.

      • I know that the police are not a crime prevention agency. That is my precise point: The free market could do it better.

        I have no problem with being responsible for my own property, but in a free market there could be crime prevention solutions that include “crime preventers” who also guarantee their services. Government enforcers don’t do this.

        “Crime preventers” would also be accountable for their behavior and would not work for the same organization that would hold them accountable when they commit aggression. That hasn’t worked at all under the current system. Only the attacks that get the most attention and cause the most outrage are pursued, and then when the furor dies down, the guilty party just gets a job at a different police force to continue acting the same way.

        And, yes, the police are a monopoly. If someone calls to report a crime, who shows up? If there is a car accident, who responds? If you are walking down the street, who Tasers you? Who sets up “checkpoints” that would make mid-20th century dictators green with envy?

        The police are just the enforcement arm of the state. There needs to be a “separation of justice and state” if there is to be real justice. Who sets the rules that Dog (that disgusting vermin) is supposed to operate under? Who decides what “criminals” Dog is allowed to kidnap, and for whom is he doing the kidnapping?

  50. To all those I have talked and argued with, it’s been a pleasure. But this gal is quite tired, been a long day.

    Have a good night all and take care.

    Judy

  51. Ray Hawkins says:

    USW & others – one thing that has always gnawed at me – especially for those that have served in the military and subscribe to notions of social darwinism as morally acceptable or ‘right’ or necessary – I ask for your insight in relating your ‘no man left behind’ approach from the military to the notion that ‘some have to be left behind’ when we’re discussing things non-military. Why in one context is no one ever left behind but in another someone always must be?

    I look forward to your responses.

    Thanks!

    • Black Flag says:

      The answer to the question is the answer to this question:

      If there was a calamity, would you leave behind a member of your family? If you lost a member of your family, would you return to recover their remains?

      One cannot demand the same level of emotional justification of action for stranger as one does for a family member.

      That is why I said – communism is a great way to run a family and a lousy way to run a society – capitalism is a great way to run a society and a lousy way to run a family.

      • Black Flag says:

        If it wasn’t clear – members of a combat team become family – they have to trust their lives on each other and such dependency drives an emotional attachment to their brothers-in-arms to the same level (if not deeper) as a family member.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          BF – you’re offering the easy part of the answer – often there is an inherent sense of family – or a “code”. Its naive to think the same family is together perpetually – it just doesn’t work that way – especially in battle where, depending on the unit, new faces are rotated in to replace others (who may leave for any number of reasons). The question is more tuned towards how does that code or in your words, “family” develop and how does it compare/contrast with notions of honor and family relative to our fellow citizens. You or I can guess, but as I have not, nor do I think you have served in the military or seen combat (I could be wrong). Know also that those who join and serve do so for a variety of reasons and often in varying degrees of importance. Thanks for the responses though.

          v/r

          Ray

          • Black Flag says:

            True – but that is the essence the Army tries to build in the troops.

            The men do not fight for country, or honor – they fight for the fellow beside them.

    • Ray,

      That is a fair question. BF kind of answered it for me but I will go a little more in depth. It is different in that those men on my team are like family to me. They are my brothers. I believe in social darwinism, yes, but look at that a bit deeper. My issue in society is that there are people who have no worth to society. I won’t try to place a number on that, but I don’t think it is high. Then the question is how do I define having worth to society. There are many ways, but remember in my explanation of social darwinism as I see it being able to and willing to ensure your survival in some way. An exceptional beggar has found a way to survive, and will therefore survive. But the caveat for me has never been that we simply help no one and then let the chips fall. I have always said that I am willing to help those that are willing to work to help themselves. Those who are not willing to help themselves will not get my help, and therefore will perish. Darwinism at its core.

      So apply that to the men you speak of. That mantra, “never leave a fallen man”, is generally accepted as belonging to the Special Ops community. It is a part of the Ranger Creed, “Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy…”. A couple of things to keep in mind. These are men that I depend on to keep me alive and who depend on me to do the same. They are family, plain and simple. Taken in the purest context of social darwinism as I see it, they are men who have volunteered to serve their country, who have proven themselves not only to be capable of surviving in the world, but to be the absolute best at surviving in the worst of worlds. They are men who not only sacrifice their service for themselves, but for millions of others, some of which don’t even begin to appreciate that sacrifice. They have more than proven themselves in the realm of social darwinism. They are at the top of the physical evolutionary ladder, for lack of a better way of putting it.

      But even if you take it to the lowest level. I stated that a person who learns to beg for survival well enough to gain charity has proven his worth to nature. These men, through their character, through their dedication, have persuaded me and all the other men on their team that they are worth saving. That, in and of itself, is a sign of something in a man’s make-up that is part of the selection process of Darwinism. I will do everything in my power to save them, because they have made me believe they are worth saving. And I will hope that I have done enough to ensure they will do the same for me.

      But one thing that I want to clarify in your statement. You said, “Why in one context is no one ever left behind but in another someone always must be?” I think I answered the first context and why no one is ever left behind. But I think your second part is not part of my equation. I don’t think “someone always must be,” Ideally in society, everyone would prove their worth to society in one form or another and therefore elicit charity when needed. What I do not want to see happen is “forced” charity, where society is forced to save those that will not save themselves. I have NEVER been against charity of any form, so long as it is not coerced. So there is never a point where I say someone “must” be left behind, only that through their own actions, in my version of social darwinism, that some probably will be left behind. And if their own actions warranted being left behind, then we are a better race for eliminating their genetic contribution.

      I hope that wasn’t too confusing. I tried to make it all make sense, but I can confuse myself sometimes… Does that answer help you understand or does this still stand as a contradiction that gnaws at you?

      USW

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Thanks USW – need to let some coffee soak in as well as your response – I am very much the Dad who doesn’t feel refreshed after a weekend but is happy about it no less.

  52. It isn’t exactly “the greater good”, but I have been doing a little thinking about “The Common Good“.

  53. “Social Darwinism, under my definition, means that you adapt or die. If you have no means to procure, through some form of behavior, the means to live, then you are unfortunately a weak link in the species. A great beggar has a talent, and therefore will survive. A great industrialist has a talent, and therefore will survive. Someone who is content to live off the work of others, has no talent, and therefore is flawed and subject, through selective breeding, to extinction of his or her blood line and its genetic flaws. It is a tough stance to take, I agree. But it is consistent, in my opinion. Because under my theory, there is no ability to use coersion to change your lot in life. You will find a way to do things without coercing others, or your bloodline will perish, as survival of the fittest demands. That doesn’t mean I look to “destroy” anyone or that I refuse to offer a helping hand. But my helping hand is limited to giving an opportunity to develop or use a skill to change your lot. I refuse to accept the notion that I must support someone for good who cannot support themselves. I may choose to but I will be damned if I should be forced to.

    Does that make me evil? Maybe. I don’t know. Who am I to say? I don’t think I am evil. I am more than willing to help those in need so long as I see them helping themselves.”

    Bad. The problem here is that you have just said it is a GENETIC flaw, which means it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to help themselves. So under your theory, it is IMPOSSIBLE, and therefore they would have absolutely no other choice but to live off the work of others, or else… yet you seem to suggest we should discard them. But there’s a big difference between not WANTING to help themselves and NOT BEING ABLE to. If you say they have a GENETIC flaw, then they fall in the NOT ABLE camp. To refuse then to help them would be exactly equivalent to refusing to provide any sort of medical treatment for more “conventional” genetic or physiologic diseases.

    Unless, that is, you don’t believe in “Genetics” as the top iron-fist arbiter of human behaviors: if so, then why this harping on it so much?

    • P.S. I think there’s also a difference between “coercing” someone and other people willingly giving help out of the goodness of their heart, and we need much more of the latter, than the former.

  54. V. Holland

    I want to call you out for a special comment.

    JAC said “Moral base first”.

    I truly appreciate your comments, thoughts and position. I know your struggle – it was my fight as well.

    But “Black Heart”. To do what is right means that many times we have to do what is right even if hurts.

    A doctor cuts the body and cause bleeding and pain — to cut out a diseased or deadly damaged flesh that threatens the whole body. He must overcome that he is causing pain because is saving the body. “Black Heart” – the necessity to do what is right, no matter what.

    Yes, at times, it may appear cruel – but that is merely ignorance of the observer. The observer does not see the whole picture.

  55. STFU IDIOTS THE GREATER GOOD IS IF CHEESE BACOMES CHOCOLATE CHEESE!!!!!!

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