Defining Socialism… and Our Discussions

socialism1I have been intrigued a bit to watch the debates unfold between several folks from the left and several folks from the “no government” perspective. What intrigues me is the opportunity to see things from the perspective of someone who believes that socialism is the way to go. It isn’t just an argument that health care, or a single issue, should be one way, but an actual claim that what we have doesn’t work so they are willing to give socialism a shot because they think it would be better for the American people. For those that believe differently, which is a large portion of the readership, I don’t think it is fair to simply say “socialism is bad”, so I think some discussion should follow as to what flaws have led people to that conclusion. Allow me to be clear that I believe that nothing could be further from the truth than the idea that socialism is a good way forward. Socialism is NOT a good idea, and I am going to discuss why….

And I am also going to attempt (remember I said attempt, not that I would be successful) to help frame the discussion in a way that may perhaps allow the parties involved to actually discuss the situation without both sides typing the same question over and over. I know this article is long, but to be honest…. I think it is worth the extra five minutes of reading in order to gain the knowledge. Of course I may be biased towards the author…

obama_socialismSocialism. A dirty word in many parts of America. Not quite as dirty as Communism, but close. So what exactly constitutes socialism or communism? They are similar in many ways, with some key differences. We’ll save communism for another day. Socialism is not a political system, it’s an economic system. Socialism comes down to government control of the means of production and the allocation of resources. According to Wikipedia: Socialism refers to various theories of economic organization advocating state, worker or public ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals with an egalitarian method of compensation.

So let’s go a step further and define one of the other words there that may cause trouble: “an egalitarian method of compensation”. Egalitarianism is defined either as a political doctrine that holds that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social, and civil rights, or as a social philosophy advocating the removal of economic inequalities among people. Egalitarianism asserts that all people are of equal value and should be treated the same irrespective of their birth. Our forefathers believed in egalitarianism, but only to an extent. All men were born with inalienable rights. Unless of course, those men were black. So while espousing a form of egalitarianism, they fell flat on their face in practice.

Calm down folks... Just a little Obama Socialist Fun

Calm down folks... Just a little Obama Socialist Fun

Let’s apply those terms in the definition of socialism to reality here so everyone is clear. Socialism, in our society, constitutes state ownership and/or worker ownership of the means of production. This means that the state, essentially, sets the terms of how things are produced. This doesn’t mean just regulations and controls, but going right down to what is produced and how much of it will be produced. General Motors and the state they are in is a direct example of socialism. The government has taken over the right to control how the company is run, what types of cars will be produced, what their specifications will be, and the quantity that will be produced. State run industry. GM fits the bill right now.

The health care industry is rapidly being forced towards socialism under the “reforms” we are seeing pushed in today’s public debates, as well as through some provisions already passed through “stealth legislation”, inserting things into other bills having nothing to do with health care sneaking it under the noses of the people. While claiming “insurance reform”, the government is actually moving towards being able to control the pricing, availability, services offered, and medical treatment courses. Government control of the health care industry. “Obamacare” falls nicely under the realm of socialism. And like any big thing the government wants to get passed, you can be sure that they sell you one bill of goods that those on the left think sound good, but you can bet they won’t think it is so hot once government has the control and no longer needs the “will of the people” to do what they want.

Socialism GunpointSocialism does not take the step that communism takes in eliminating the classes of people. Under communism, essentially, there are no classes of people. Everyone earns the same no matter if they are a doctor or a garbage collector. Socialism does not eliminate classes. And under socialism, people are still able to earn based on their contribution to society. Doctors make more than garbage collectors.

It is an important side note that those who espouse the tenets of socialism, in general, are not “bad people” who are looking to do harm to society. The problem is that things such as McCarthyism and the cold war have rendered the American mindset, for many, to believe that those who would attempt to move towards socialism are doing so with bad intention or lack of morals. That is not the case, and we should take care to not begin from that premise. Karl Marx was not a bad person. He wanted to create a better society, and truly believed that communism in its purest form would bring about the true freedom for the individual. His theory was fatally flawed, and his methods were evil, but his intentions were not evil. Che Guerva was not much different in that he believed in a better society. And Greatergoodcs wants to find a better way forward, not to destroy everything. My personal belief is that his thinking is flawed, as I am sure he believes mine is flawed. But I don’t think him “evil”. I think his intentions are good, just not his method. Remember that as you discuss and debate this subject.

So why do I think socialism is such a bad idea? There are lots of answers to that question. I will begin with some of the standard answers to that question.

Ludwig Von Mises

Ludwig Von Mises

Socialism is inefficient in the market in the grandest way. It makes economic calculation impossible. Economist Ludwig Von Mises wrote extensively on the economic disaster that socialism entails. For those wanting to truly understand why socialism is bad, I highly suggest that you read Mises’ work entitled “Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis”. I would bet my car payment that BF has this book on his shelf and has read it in its entirety. Mises set out to dispute the economics of socialism and instead wrote a piece of work that destroyed the entire premise of socialism completely. With a central government owning the means of production and distribution there can be no competition, profits, losses, market prices, or market, for that matter. However, profits, losses, and prices serve to guide scarce resources to their most highly valued means.

What this really means is that the market forces that operate naturally, that almost no one can dispute the power of, are unnaturally thrown off balance the second that government enters the equation. Supply and demand are the forces that are taught at even the most basic level of economics coursework. We all know they are the forces that naturally control the market, whether we like it or not. Yet even after learning this fact of the economic world, we subscribe to the ideal that government control, regulations, intervention, and oversight can do a better job than the natural forces that existed long before government had the ability to pervert the system.

I understand the fact that a truly free market is a scary proposition for people. It is scary for me too. And I am not sure how it can work or not work. The problem is the perversion of humans. There are inherently that 10% who are not moral and will work to take advantage of their fellow man. And there is great debate on how to “control” those bad seeds. But I submit to you that no amount of government control will ever do so. And that is because while the perverted humans make up 10% of the population, they make up a far higher percentage of the politicians. Asking the biggest group of perverted humans to control the smaller group of perverted humans that put that bigger group in place is like asking the factory worker to control the factory owner. Remember that analogy, because that is what you advocate when you say you want government to control the wealthy. Failing to realize and remember that is fatal.

Socialism for the RichBut more than that, socialism is a morally bankrupt system. It operates on the premise that it is allowable to take from someone the fruits of their labor. There is no other way to say that. It is that blunt. Socialism and the redistribution of income that it encompasses is theft at a grand scale. It is the belief that you have the right to take from the person that produces wealth, the person who earns wealth, and give that wealth to someone else who did not produce it or earn it. At its very core, socialism is evil for that reason. Theft in the name of good is still theft. And even those on the left advocating this system know in their hearts that this is so.

Frederic Bastiat had perhaps the clearest statement to this end: “It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder…. But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” Remember that Robin Hood may have been a hero, but he was still a criminal.

Another economist, Walter Williams goes even further in condemning the theft involved in socialism, and even in our current welfare system: “Can a moral case be made for taking the rightful property of one American and giving it to another to whom it does not belong? I think not. That’s why socialism is evil. It uses evil means (coercion) to achieve what are seen as good ends (helping people). We might also note that an act that is inherently evil does not become moral simply because there’s a majority consensus….. For the Christians among us, socialism and the welfare state must be seen as sinful. When God gave Moses the commandment “Thou shalt not steal”, I’m sure He didn’t mean thou shalt not steal unless there’s a majority vote. And, I’m sure that if you asked God if it’s okay just being a recipient of stolen property, He would deem that a sin as well.”

Do you really need any other proof that socialism is bad than to know it was the tool of choice for these three?

Do you really need any other proof that socialism is bad than to know it was the tool of choice for these three?

Property rights are an essential part of liberty and freedom, my friends. There is no way around that. A man’s right to live on the results of his own effort and to aspire as high as his effort is willing to take him is the essence of what constitutes “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. I will never, ever, so long as I live, understand the mentality of someone who believes that they have the right to take from me what is mine, what I have earned with the sweat of my brow. I know there are those that will say the system is rigged in favor of the wealthy. To them I say a resounding “bulldookey”. The “system” is rigged in favor of those that will work the hardest, put forth the most effort, and take the most risk. That isn’t corrupt or morally wrong, that is nature at its finest. The Lion that learns to hunt the best is the one that sits down to a feast of antelope…. that is until the Hyenas come along and decide that they have a right to take what they did not earn.

Those with the most ability and putting forth the most effort earning the most fruits is not greed, although I know some feel that it is. It wasn’t greed that drove Bill Gates to do what he did. He had a vision for everyone having personal computers. Was he always moral, I am not the judge of that. But I know he is giving a VAST majority of his wealth to charity upon his death, and that says something good about his character. Most business, despite claims otherwise, is not driven by greed. Most business is driven by the desire to be the best, by competition, and by the desire to see how much one can accomplish with the ability he is given. That is not greed. Greed is the belief that you are entitled to something that you did not earn, no matter why it is that you feel entitled.

Relax... Just a little more fun. No more than I would poke at GW

Relax... Just a little more fun. No more than I would poke at GW

Are there silver spoon kids, born into wealth and, therefore, given some advantage over someone born into poverty? You bet. They are born that way because their genetic line worked for it in most cases. I have every right to work hard, earn money, and pass it on to my children, because I EARNED IT. You did not, so you have no right to it. Again, taking of someone’s property is theft, no matter what flawed reasoning you attempt to use to justify it. Regardless, those fitting that description (silver spoon kids coming from a family line that didn’t earn that money) are far and few between. And those that are born to wealth, yet who do not learn to earn and produce, will surely squander it and ensure that their descendants have a tin spoon instead.

I have a suggestion for those who prescribe to this flawed position. If you don’t like economic inequality passing from one generation to another UNJUSTLY (meaning that those who gain wealth from history rather than hard work), then focus on finding the morally sound method of dealing with that situation. It is not morally sound to steal from them what is theirs. It is not morally sound to set up barriers to success. It is not morally sound to demand that they sacrifice for what you believe that they should sacrifice for. These are morally flawed positions, no matter the reasoning you attempt to use. Instead remove the one barrier that has been erected that is also morally corrupt. That barrier is the prop that allows them to act without the ability to fail. Remove the mechanisms that falsely prop up failing decisions in the business world. THAT is the only morally sound path to take. Once that is done, those who do not deserve to succeed will fail.

One more quote that I want to add here. I found this writing on a discussion board and despite my best efforts, I cannot find out who the author is. It was posted as “anonymous” (nearly every entry on this particular board was anonymous). But I thought the author did a good job of discussing the subject (highlights mine):

Socialism CartoonThe question always should be which style of government sacrifices the least of its people’s individual powers to protect those powers and privileges with the least oppressive way.

Giving over power of survival against one’s will to a supreme body of decision makers has yet to be proved any more beneficial to growth in morality or social desires than a desire to instill personal gain and reward as the prize of good effort. Some systems reflect the human desire to succeed better than others and the envy of some becomes their jealousy to slander reality against those better equipped to gain at that given time.

Governments set up to steal value, repress achievement and imply conformity have not shown any moral superiority to influence positive social awareness. Whether it be capitalism, socialism or communism, the power of the individual to seek his own destiny within the framework of a social conscience should be supported by the government, not dictated or coerced by that government.

All systems have a flaw in that humans will incorporate their jealousy, power and superiority upon each other and the one that allows failure and good deeds to be freely attained by personal merit of all classes reflects reality best.

Class struggle is no more the enemy of mankind than retardation of intellect is a measure of someone’s heart. I only wish that those who think governmental style protects some sort of moral equation would please go back into their minds and discover where morality is based and where does it get its strength.

I am not a believer that morality is attained by forced compliance to the will of the state, nor is it preserved by a systematic oppression of the individual characteristics of those that wish to advance more than another.

The risk of dominance by coercion or dominance by effort will always be a part of any human government. The question should always be which system allows failure and success to everyone with some amount of reality and personal set value so that the powerful can risk failure as much as the peasantry. Avenues that destroy that reality by preserving failed enterprise or individuals to their lost causes should be dissuaded from government support.

Socialism PosterSo there you have it, my take on socialism. At least as much as I intend to offer this evening. So that should begin to offer some sort of framework to the discussions that I have seen happening over the last couple of days. But I want to go a step further and offer some advice to all parties. Might I suggest a little more explanation when setting forth your questions. BlackFlag has a very precise method to his madness. So going down his path is actually beneficial in a lot of ways. But, BF, you might do well to better explain why you are ignoring some questions while asking others that seemingly don’t enter into the equation. After some exhausting debates with you myself, I can see where you are going, so I see the value in the journey even when I completely disagree with you. At the same time, you might also at least partially answer a question that I saw asked at least ten different times by GG.

Greatergoodcs. I know that BF is exhausting. Believe me when I say that I don’t worship him. Perhaps some here do, but not in the way you think. Those who seem to worship him have actually gone through these debates with him before and found a little bit of their core that aligns with his thoughts, so they are not worshipping him, they are actually trying to help the conversation along because they see you suffering the same frustration with him that they once did. Sometimes I think BF is crazy. For example, it is well documented that I completely disagree with him on the idea of “no government”. We argue incessantly, but I believe we each respect the fact that we are both honest and attempting to find a better way forward. I can point to a night where he, Just A Citizen, and myself sat in a three way instant message chat for 4 hours debating a simple definition, with all three of us having different opinions.

But I promise you this: If you decide to play along with his game, you will learn something about your own position, whether good or bad. He can seem harsh, blunt, and annoying at times. But I promise you he has a good heart and he does his level best to use reason and logic every time, even when it damages his own previous position (in which case he will amend his previous position). I also know debating the theoretical sometimes seems silly when discussing the real world, but what he does with the theoretical allows for the formation or realization of what your core belief really is, which is essential in determining a path forward that eliminates moral contradiction.

And I remind everyone of my rules here. You all know my one rule: RESPECT. Some of the discussions have gotten a little testy and I saw a bit of a slip in some cases. We all share far more in common than what separates us. I know it becomes necessary for me to remind everyone of that every now and then. We will get nowhere by treating differing opinions badly. The key to finding the way forward is respectful discussion of differing ideals and positions. 304 million of us have to find a way to get along. Arguing won’t do that. Discussion with respect will solve everything so long as we rely on logic and reason to guide us.

Comments

  1. USW,

    Thank you for the informative essay this evening. You have touched a nerve with me tonight. It was not your words but one of the graphics, but the Socialist Trio of Mass Murderers. That one graphic sums up my unease about Obama and his czars. Call me crazy…..

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Posting to receive emailed comments.

      Have a wonderful day!
      RS

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Cyndi – just an FYI – several conservative POTUS’ used the term ‘czar’ long before it was turned into a slur by the Glenn Beck’s of the world with respect to the advisors used by President Obama (Nixon & Reagan to name two).

      • Ray- I have heard the term czar used in respect to past presidents, but i always thought they were for the small things like (restaurant czar) or (Clothing czar)but i didnt think they were for major govt. department branches that we already had a hierarchy for. Am i missing something or are obamas czars extremely powerful and have major say and a front row seat to obamas attention? Besides this, are there any of obamas czars that arent radicals or communists?
        Did the czar of the past prezs have major roles?

        peace and in all respect

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Good questions Ty

          Here is one aspect of Czars – although I am not sure if it truly hits the nail on the head: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._executive_branch_%27czars%27

          My opinion on the Obama appointees – often it is difficult to gauge power or influence until “afterwards” – usually in books, articles, studies, etc. My sense is that the various appointees have his ear to varying degrees. I like the fact that Obama is willing to build out his circle – I do not like that we are paying a lot of money and there is virtually no scrutiny for folks that certainly, and to varying degrees, directly impact policy.

    • Cyndi, Obama and his Czars make me worse than uneasy. Anytime someone gets in a position of power with the Socialist and even Communist Leanings that SOME, not just one of Obama’s Czars and Advisors have, it is a case to start growing worried.

      When Congressmen and women start bragging about how Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez are 2 of the greatest and brightest men they have ever known, it’s again time to be worried.

      Anytime men and women who have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution begin to espouse Socialism, it’s time to be afraid.

      These are not things Glenn Beck has slurred. Nor are they things that Rush Limbaugh has spouted from the airwaves. Although I’m sure he probably has. These are things straight from the horses mouth. Out of their own bragging. You see, they’re not ashamed or afraid to say they love Socialism. Or that they are going to try to change America into a Socialist state.

      I find it hard to believe that some are actually arguing that these people are not what they say day in and day out emphatically that they are. People like Van Jones DO NOT CARE if the world knows they are Communist.

      My question is, why they are in the positions they are in? Why would our President give Socialists and Communists that kind of clout in our government? The answer is that he is just like them. He knew he would never be elected running under the Socialist Party. So he professed to Democrat. He’s about as much a Democrat as I am a Communist.

      I don’t see how it can be argued any other way. Every day it becomes more and more plain where he stands. And what is so harmful this time over every other is because he has a powerful base in Congress just like him. We will be lucky to make it to 2012 with half our freedoms intact. Our Constitution is under attack from the very Government that is supposed to protect it. God help us all.

      • Thanks, Esom. You’ve summed it up very nicely for me!

        You and I have agreed much in the past. I hope that doesn’t worry you! 🙂

        Obama supporters are quite willing to excuse anything he does by comparing it to Bush or other presidents. True, other presidents has done some of things that Obama does BUT, this time it is different. Its different for just the reasons you’ve explained.

        That’s about all I can manage at the moment. 4:15 am here, need more coffee…..

        Have a nice day, Esom.

    • Cyndi,

      I am with you on the unease. Who are these people accountable to? I cannot understand how anyone can see the history of the Socialist Trio of Mass Murderers, and consider socialism or communism to be a good thing.

      • Last I checked 45 czars and counting. Some are not appointed yet, all either accountable to Obama or Biden that is it. Most make at least 90,000 a year.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Wow LOI – I expected more from you – these are advisors and the 24/7 media allows us accessibility into a practice that has existed for DECADES.

        • Ray,

          How does that answer the question asked which was who are they accountable to? Hypothetically politicians answer to the people, but we all know better than that.

          The czars bother me because of the political stances that some of them have taken.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Look at it from a delegation perspective – if one of these advisers spin something up it is still on POTUS’ head. I’ve heard a lot of conjecture and innuendo regarding political stances of the some of the advisers – but don’t see any evidence therein – if such-and-such and so-and-so really avowed Communists then let me see it – and I’ll be happy to step onto the wagon – that’s all I am asking.

    • Brett Gundersen says:

      Socialism CAN and WILL work. It just needs the right leader to get the job done. Hitler is the worst example of why Socialism wouldnt work, partly because he was Facist, and insane with diseases, not to mention paranoia and a hatred for the Jewish people. SOCIALISM FOREVER!

      • Brett,

        I all depends on what you define as “working”

        If your definition is pervasive poverty, suffering, and economic stagnation, the “Socialism” works.

        However, if prosperity and growth defines “working”, Socialism cannot provide it.

        Economically, Socialism destroys monetary calculation – which is what the free market uses to determine access to resources.

        With no way to measure which particular need or want is more important than the other, Socialism creates incredibly large inefficiencies in allocation – so large, that these mis-allocations end up dominating the economy.

        And you are correct- Socialism does need a leader who is willing to use extreme force and violence upon the people for them to comply.

        Free people avoid Socialism like a disease because, well, it is. Since Socialism will always lead to economic decay and suffering, free men will chose a different path. Thus, only by use of massive violence against them would such men be chained into such systems like Socialism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hitler was not a socialist, but it would actually take some research for any of you to know this and how he used the term to manipulate the people of Germany.

      Furthermore, I find the use of these scaremongering images to be particularly manipulative, particularly the image of blue and red stick fingers that you have cropped in half in order to subvert its meaning, and not least in inaccurately linking socialism to mass murderers and the implication of cause.

      Finally, you have included religious comment so, despite believing that politics should be secular, I will add that you will find many religions believe capitalism to be inherently evil.

      • Anonymous

        Hitler was indeed a Socialist.

        “Government-run society”

        Socialism MUST end in economic disaster and collapse – and with that, massive social strive an upheaval.

        Men who are full of fear do fear Capitalism – the manifestation of FREE men in voluntary action – and completely opposite of socialist which demands force, coercion and violence on the People to enforce.

  2. Good morning! I will follow throughout the day, but may not be able to post till later this afternoon. Ray, I answered your question you asked of me yesterday (in yesterdays remarks).

    I have a question for our left leaning folks. Can one of you define “greater good”, and once defined (if you can), what happens if you find yourself on the wrong end of it?

    Have a great day out there!

    G!

    • Oops, forgot to hit the little box below. First cup of coffee thing, LOL!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      G – I’ll bounce back and pick up your response – last couple of days have been brutal at work

      I suppose I have a lot of thoughts on greater good – you have asked a good question

      Generally I have thought this to mean that for basic necessities/needs – there is some measure of sacrifice I can make for my own selfish needs that helps others I may never see or no. It can be in small acts or very large acts. So long as the sacrifice is reasonable and appropriate and it can be organic to me at times as well as requested of me then things usually work out.

      • I agree with what you said, Ray.

        Now, do you think it is justifiable for the government to FORCE you to do this? I’m sure you do :). Personally I don’t think this should be forced, but I can see the appeal. A book I read whose name escapes me talked about a prison camp in which only some people got food packages from their country. When they were told to share they were indignant that someone would take what was theirs. It isn’t charity, they said, if it was forced. When asked if they would give unforced, they would, but only a small part instead of actually sharing.

        Examples like these make me realize there must be some compulsion, but it is an unsavory and unjust thing. As so many have said, thievery is thievery. If it must happen, let’s keep it to a minimum.

        • JB, the real lesson in your prison example is that human nature is incompatible with the socialist philosophy. Thus it is in contradiction with the universe.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            JAC – you’re using a wide paint brush to assume that all human nature is as you dictate it should be.

            • I do not dictate what human nature is.

              I simply study it and see that it is not consistent with the philosophy of socialism or communism.

              If you disagree then provide me with proof as best you can.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                C’mon JAC – you’re asking me to show you how to scratch your own ass. History is rich with cultures who function or have functioned quite successfully using pervasive elements of execution that we may associate with socialism or communism. Be it tribes of the Amazon (e.g. the Koguis), Africa (e.g. the Baka), the Sherpas of Nepal or closer to home for me – the Saint Emma Monastery in Greensburg PA.

                Some of these folks have been referred to herein as “savages” – i guess that is an appropriate term for anyone deemed not congruent to how you view human nature and its constructs.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          “Thievery” is used by USW and others as a clever linguistic device to bolster some weak and some not so weak points (sorta like me saying “weak and not so weak points” versus “strong and not so strong points” – do you see how the difference between the two phrases can shape one’s thinking?). Thievery implies bad intent as an entirety of the act. Now – I am not naive – if I know I have to pay taxes and agree to stay on this country and pay my taxes then it isn’t thievery. The malicious nature occurs if the taxes are used to for surreptitious purposes or for purposes other than what they were stated to be used for (e.g. our occupation of Iraq).

          FORCE – is your word – not mine. No one is forcing you or I to live here. You choose to live here – here is the rule book.

          You’re right about charity – I have fury towards those that demand charity and pass it off as charity.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Ray,

            Do you assert that if one person takes your money without your consent it is theft, but if the government takes your money without your consent it is NOT theft, or do you assert that you gave your consent to the government, so because you gave your consent it is not theft?

            Further, if you gave your consent for the government to take your money, but they then decide to use it for something which you do not agree with, do you have the right to withdraw the money that you contributed that is going to things which you do not agree with? Or do you just see some of your money going to things that you do not agree with as a “necessary evil”?

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Peter:

              “Do you assert that if one person takes your money without your consent it is theft, but if the government takes your money without your consent it is NOT theft, or do you assert that you gave your consent to the government, so because you gave your consent it is not theft?”

              – Circumstance matters. If my wife or my Dad takes the five dollar bill sitting on my counter w/o asking me first I do not consider that theft.

              – By nature of me accepting that in order to work legally here I will have to consent to a percentage of my earned income being taken from the government I would not consider that theft

              “Further, if you gave your consent for the government to take your money, but they then decide to use it for something which you do not agree with, do you have the right to withdraw the money that you contributed that is going to things which you do not agree with? Or do you just see some of your money going to things that you do not agree with as a “necessary evil”?”

              – No – I do not have a right to withdraw it – I do not require a detailed line-by-line accounting of everything my money was used for. That is impractical and a waste of time. I assume that some of my money will be used for things I never see or directly benefit from. I expect that there is sufficient visibility into how money is being spent so I can use proper channels to (a) audit and (b) react.

          • Ray… Now you paint with too broad a brush. I have been clear in the past to support some taxes, but socialism supports massive appropriation of other’s wealth. That is thievery.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Please refer to my other responses regarding notions of ‘thievery’. My brush is appropriate in size for this – if we ask for some policies to be socialistic (we have) then we cannot bitch about the manner in which they are funded.

      • Ray, it might not be your birthday but…

        While I certainly love being able to do my own thing and reaping the benefits of all those earlier 16 hour days gives me a woody, there are cases where a “crown corporation” has been the answer. Here in Saskatchewan debate as to the selling off of our utilities has always been a political suicide waiting to happen and for a very solid reason. The Saskatchewan tax payer themselves ponied up the dollars to lay down the complete infrastructure with the goal of “not a single village left behind”. You see it is vastly unprofitable to emplace and maintain fringe rural power and telecommunications and the “free market” originally demanded the tax payer make good on their “having” to provide for such. To us all it meant someone was going for a “gravy run” while we were footing the bill anytime they cried “unprofitable” and that just wasn’t good CONSUMERISM. So there came about the plan for doing it ourselves, using the profitable areas of population concentration to cover all the fringe areas of our province and our Crown Corps came about. Some cried foul when they couldn’t own these insanely profitable ventures. They lobbied for such, tried to grease a few palms but the consumers stood their ground on the matter. To the outside commercial interests salivating over Saskatchewan we said, “We build it, paid for it and will be its beneficiaries, too bad for you now piss off!” and you can still hear them scratching at the door.

        As businesses go they are in the incredibly profitable areas of “utilities” and mining. That the hand of government is all over them to most would mean disaster but in this instance it works well. They “hire” directors and management to oversee and sack them when performance lags as should happen in all major corporations yet seldom does. To some its blasphemy for someone “on the top” to not be raking in profits for he and his from a market certainty. To us its stupidity to not put that profitability to work for “We The Consumer”. You pay into this system through purchasing your utilities, you reap the benefits without exception and equal to your consumption. There is no free ride here and lends itself to that which has been the business of survival on the prairies, the cooperative. Use the system and benefit directly or not and don’t, your choice and either way you won’t be getting it for free so pack up that tin cup. Yup another spot of bad news for my inner fat cat and likely your own too. Cooperatives work when they are manned by those who would otherwise be capitalists, weather permitting.

        Combining your current Medicare into a cooperative with covering the “uninsured” is the only thing with a chance at becoming viable. It needs to see three things above all else though. Everyone has to pay something based upon their income no exceptions made for one demographic over another EVER. Its directors are to be hired based upon their abilities alone and fired upon poorly performing their duties WITHOUT EXCEPTION OR HESITATION. Those in government responsible for and to the program to be made up of accountants and economists with nary a lawyer in sight.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Alan – is the same applied in places like Regina?

          I love your last paragraph and especially the 3 criteria.

          Thanks for the post.

          • Province wide Ray. You get the same services there as you still do in what’s left of Uranium City.

      • Mike M. Houston Texas says:

        Ray that all sounds good on the surface. This is the problem that I have with Obama and socialism. Your statement below.

        Generally I have thought this to mean that for basic necessities/needs – there is some measure of sacrifice I can make for my own selfish needs that helps others I may never see or no. It can be in small acts or very large acts. So long as the sacrifice is reasonable and appropriate and it can be organic to me at times as well as requested of me then things usually work out.

        Who gets to decide “what is reasonable and appropriate”. I am sure that our definitions are widely disparate. Since I would disagree with anyone taking even 1% of my money to “support” the common good I would be “forced” to give it anyway. I cannot think that way. Goodwill helps many many people but no one is “forced” to donate. The salavation army does many good things “but no one is forced to donate”. Northwest Assistance Ministries does many good things in my area but again, no one is “forced” to do anything.

        Again another seperation is this. Under our current freedoms those aforementioned organizations help those who “ask” for help when they require it. My real problem lies in this very fact. The guy who doesnt work for it does not have it. The government takes it from me and then gives it to him. I have yet to read a single story about the guy who worked 60 hours per week starving, or dying, or not being able to get some form of care. I will not pay anyone to sit on their couch and like it one bit.

  3. OK, so my thoughts off the bat:

    1. I am not a socialist. My support certain policies that tend in that direction, but I think the right path is a heavily regulated private sector, not government owned businesses.

    2. I do not support everyone earning equally. I think the hardest working and smartest among us should earn the most – I just don’t feel that we are entitled to enjoy 100% of our earnings at the expense of those who are unable (NOT UNWILLING, UNABLE) to support themselves.

    3. The hyenas may argue that they worked hard to take from the lion, and that the lion “stole” life from the antelope.. just a thought..

    4. Bill Gates stole from Apple. Perhaps not entirely, but very clearly at least some. He put the close box on the other side of the window, called the trash can a recycle bin and presented Windows as a new an original product. Why should he profit from Steve Job’s work? Yes, he’s giving a huge amount of money away to noble causes, but does this make him moral in your eyes?

    • 1. However, if I had to choose between socialism (properly applied) and VDLG (properly applied – whatever that means), I’d have to go with the socialism and hold my nose.

    • I feel a desire to agree with you, Mat. Though we differ on a lot of things, we agree on the foundations and I think that should be stressed more often, rather than only looking at our differences. Hence I will leave out the points where I disagree.

      1. I agree that some government programs are social programs and yet are good and necessary (fire dept, police dept, etc).

      2. I agree that people who have tried to help themselves but cannot should be given aid.

      3. I agree that many times, we think we are doing something within our rights though others may disagree (how’s that for digging out some meaning 😉 ).

      4. I agree that many people who have success did so disingenuously and that Bill Gates have a lot of ‘splainin to do.

      I look forward to a good conversation on how to best achieve these and other things upon which we agree!

    • Where’s the fun in that? Disagree away

      For example, I’ll disagree on your spelling of my name.. I usually spell it with two T’s.. but we can agree to disagree if you like 🙂

      • Ok, I draw the line there. It’s Mat with only one T. Don’t try to give me any of your bulldokey! I will not budge on that!

        • That’s cool with me.. but if you’re going to take a letter from me, I’m going to add one to you.

          Jeb.

          By the way, stealing is evil, if you haven’t heard.. just saying..

          • Oh, now it’s on. I won’t stand for Jeb. It’s Jake if you must be adding letters. I will appease you for my theft by adding several more letters, Matterequalsenergydivedbythespeedoflightsquarehius!

    • Yes I agree and disagree with some points.

      Yes there should some government programs to help those who are unable to work due. But what I see as Unwilling, others see as UNable. To me having 8 kids to make you unable to work is not acceptable.
      Yes Bill gates with no doubt stole from Steve Jobs(Apple) to get what he wanted. But that does not give me a right to demand the government to take from him to give to me, because I have less. He will have explaining to do, but it is not to me, because I am not his judge.

      • My dear Ellen, if you leave the door ajar just enough to let one snake in the cabin, do you think the other snakes will decide to stay outside?

        The system we have today started with a decision to use the power of govt to ONLY help those “unable” to care for themselves.

        One can not barter with the power of the ring. Once you pick it up, it WILL consume you.

        • That was my point, I do believe there are people who are disabled or have serious mental issue that makes them unable to work to a point.

          But we have let everyone in who are just unwilling and expect us to support them.

      • If you have to deputize LoTR into your argument, you’re in trouble.

        That said, who says that welfare is a “snake?” I would say it’s a good thing. And, because “bad” things might also get in, you would suggest not doing good?

        Put another way, if you could cure a disease, but it had a chance of causing side effects, you would say that it’s better to do nothing? After all, the vast majority recipients of welfare are probably legitimate – you only ever hear about the ones who aren’t.

        I would take your statement and read it to mean that we should simply try to push the system back towards it’s original intention (helping the truly needy).

        • Stealing is evil.

          Using the power of govt to steal is evil.
          Deliberately killing or injuring one to help many is evil.

          You do not understand the “nature” of government. Until you do you will continue to be the means of your own destruction.

          • I understand the nature of government – it is a necessary ill (I won’t say evil, because I do not consider it such). I think, perhaps, that it is you who does not understand the nature of man. Humans without government are are greedy, short-sighted, selfish, bullying, sociopathic creatures prone to herd mentality, paranoia, hoarding, and territorialism.

            They lie, cheat, steal. They murder, they enslave, they abuse. They pollute, they deceive, they rape. They will do unspeakable harm to another for the slightest benefit to themselves. Ours is not a moral species. We are nature, red in tooth and claw. Take the shackles of government from our hands and the 10% of the population USW was referring to will sow chaos and destruction the likes of which you have never imagined.

            • So the power of government in the hands of savages is somehow supposed to result in “civilization” of humanity?

              Like I said before, you need to change careers. You view of the human race is being tainted by your observation of those in the “financial markets”.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Mathius,

      Who makes the determination who is UNWILLING to make their own money vs. who is UNABLE to make their own money?

    • Where did Jobs get the graphical user interface?

      He stole it from PARC (Xerox). I saw the Xerox “Star” system in use long before the Mac.

      Stealing? Borrowing ideas? Imitating? Improving someone else’s product?

      Different shades of gray on the same spectrum.

      • Black Flag says:

        Jay,

        Stealing is not on any spectrum.

        One cannot ‘steal’ an idea – do you claim that PARC suddenly ‘forgot’ after Jobs left the building?

        • The main point is that Jobs often gets credit for an idea he did not originate.

          But, I disagree with your point (given here and below) that “intellectual property” cannot be stolen. It is true that copying an invention or a book does not remove it from its originator, but it does reduce its value to the originator, in some cases to zero.

          Giving people exclusive control over the fruits of their intellect and labor seems to me to be a good thing. There is a question below about computer code and its copying. I believe you are in the IT business, but I don’t know if you are a software developer. But, if you were, would it be right for me to copy an application you developed at great effort and expense and not pay you any money for it?

          • Black Flag says:

            JayDickB,

            Giving people exclusive control over the fruits of their intellect and labor seems to me to be a good thing.

            I am sure that IBM would love to have exclusive control of the production of computers too – but that is hardly an argument in favor of IBM control.

            There is a question below about computer code and its copying. I believe you are in the IT business, but I don’t know if you are a software developer.

            Been that, done with that.

            But, if you were, would it be right for me to copy an application you developed at great effort and expense and not pay you any money for it?

            The question is:
            What right do I have to stop you from an action that is non-violent?

            After you are done copying, does my copy evaporate? Or do I still have my copy?

            • Yes, but it is not nearly as valuable as it was before. By taking it and using it, I have deprived you of money you were entitled to. Effectively, I have stolen from you.

              • Black Flag says:

                So you also agree that if I sell coffee, I’m stealing from Starbucks?

              • No, coffee and software are inherently different. The value of software is the value it provides when used. The value of coffee is the substance itself.

              • Black Flag says:

                They are not inherently different.

                They are both “goods”.

                So, by your reckoning, Microsoft cannot value its software sitting in inventory until you use it….true?

              • Yes. They are different in that one is a good and one is a service. The value of software is not in the object, but in its use. Too squishy here.

              • Technillay, MS software is valuable only when licensed for use.

  4. Just posting right now to get follow up comments.

    Have a great day all!

  5. Greatergoodcs says:

    The following is all with the utmost respect (including a “baloney” way down below). I might be a bit busy today and can only check in from time to time. The wife is back in class (after working all day) and our nights are as busy as our days, so cut me some response slack (and don’t think I surrendered!). USW isn in quotes until I can figure out the itals (how to turn them off).

    There’s a lot of stuff to debate here, but I’ll start with this: “I submit to you that no amount of government control will ever do so. And that is because while the perverted humans make up 10% of the population, they make up a far higher percentage of the politicians.”

    I’m not sure where you get the 10% from and I submit that the process of existing in a free market will pervert itself; the concept inherent to it, that greed is good, is a perversion one cannot necessarily ignore.

    “Asking the biggest group of perverted humans to control the smaller group of perverted humans that put that bigger group in place is like asking the factory worker to control the factory owner. Remember that analogy, because that is what you advocate when you say you want government to control the wealthy. Failing to realize and remember that is fatal.”

    That implies that the owner knows what is best for the workers, doesn’t it? What makes you think so? I suspect the owners knows what is best for him/her and that it will come (as it usually does) at the expense of the workers. Unions aren’t my favorite thing in the world, but they sure were a necessary evil at one point (whether it was in construction or major league baseball). Owners weren’t very compassionate about those who produced for them. In fact, they were downright abusive.

    “Socialism and the redistribution of income that it encompasses is theft at a grand scale. It is the belief that you have the right to take from the person that produces wealth, the person who earns wealth, and give that wealth to someone else who did not produce it or earn it.”

    Once the owner of the means of production is in place, he no longer earns squat. It is those who work for him that “earn” their wages and the owner’s profit. A guy builds up a plumbing business from the ground and eventually hires 5 other plumbers to expand his business. What gives the owner of the business the right to pay salaries to those other five plumbers and take profit for himself since he isn’t the one “earning” from their labor?

    “The “system” is rigged in favor of those that will work the hardest, put forth the most effort, and take the most risk. That isn’t corrupt or morally wrong, that is nature at its finest.”

    The system is rigged for those who already have. The have nots are screwed to the wall (most often through no fault of their own). Your paradigm doesn’t even work when there is a level playing field to start (and there isn’t one at all). Assuming everybody starts with nothing and through the “sweat of your brow” you come to accumulate more than persons B-Q, what happens to persons R-Z who might have handicaps precluding them from accumulating anything? Forget charity here. I’m talking about the right to accumulate equally. It doesn’t exist.

    “They are born that way because their genetic line worked for it in most cases. I have every right to work hard, earn money, and pass it on to my children, because I EARNED IT. You did not, so you have no right to it.”

    Baloney. I challenge how you EARNED IT as well as the right of an unborn to then OWN it. Again, see above (how the system is rigged). Owners (haves) pass on ownership; workers (have nots) pass on labor. I know people can pull themselves up and that anything is possible in America (although I submit to you that the new American dream has become Mega Lotto), but not EVERYBODY can pull themselves up and that is the issue.

    BF is alright by me … just exhausting … but I suspect that is a debate tactic more than him purposely being annoying.

    • Kristian Stout says:

      One flaw that I see in your reasoning is that those plumbers wouldn’t have a job if the man who started the company hadn’t started it. Now, there is nothing stopping them from going out and starting their own company except that they don’t want the headaches that go with it and would prefer to work for someone else. So, yes, once the owner of the company starts hiring employees he’s not physically earning but he is still the one taking all the risks. He has more to lose than the employee does.

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        Suppose he’s an older man and they’re young and there just isn’t anywhere else for them to start said business (not that they don’t want to bother)? And if he can hire 5 employees, what’s the risk? It was upfront when he started the business (and he earned his profits). Now he’s just piggybacking off others.

        • I your example of the plumber if the plumber needs to hire 5 employees, it can easily be reasoned that there is such an abundance of work available to him that he requires 5 employees. Lets look at why he would require them.

          More than likely he has built a name for himself through years of hard labor and good quality work. Something that would take one of the other 5 employees years to do for themselves. He risks his good name by having others work for him. The employees are differing their risk level. Should the one not see a return for this

          Perhaps he is now getting offers for jobs that require the work of more than one person, something that he nor the other 5 workers could do on their own. By having employees he now can accept those jobs. The one plumber now has to deal with resource allocation and managing the other workers. If he did not do these things all 6 of them would miss out on a job offer. Is this not work he should be paid for.

          Being a Plumber requires tools and equipment that means there is an intital investment. The 5 employees he has hired may be good plumbers but lack the capital to begin there own company. The one Plumber has the initial capital and therefore takes all the risk should he not see a return on his investment (profits).

          Running a buisness has alot of paper work involved for all kinds of reasons. The ones takes on the paper work of the 5 freeing the 5 to spend more time being productive Plumbers. Should the one not be paid for his work?

          I would state that the 5 employees are benefiting from the employer equally as much as the employer benefits from the employees. And besides if the 5 employees dont think they are getting enough from the employer they are free to quit whenever they want, and sell there work elsewhere.

      • bottom line says:

        One of the good things about being a skilled craftsman is that you don’t necessarily need to work for anyone. There will always be people that either aren’t qualified, or don’t want to spend their wekends off doing plumbing, drywall, painting, deck building,laying tile, ect… Is there a plumber in your friends and family network? Do you know a plumber, or anyone that does? My guess is yes. Next time you have a plumbing problem, try calling him before the guy in the phonebook. Unless you have a huge problem, you’ll likely find that the guy in the book is more expensive and unnecessary. Alot of craftsman like “side-work” because they make more than they would if they had done it working for a company. Home owners benefit as well because they get the same quality workmanship for less money. It’s a win/win situation.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          Good point.

          • bottom line says:

            I remember I did a quality job for a family friend, for about 60% of what the guy in the book would charge. Her neighbor saw it and knew she got a deal…next thing ya know, I was busy for four months straight. Word of mouth works wonders. I didn’t have time to go look for a “job”. This happens on occasion. It wasn’t some ONE providing me with a “job”, but rather the demand for my skill and ability to quote a fair and reasonable price.

            • Mike M. Houston Texas says:

              Good point. To the point of the article. I am glad you are very skilled and spent your weekends “working”. Unlike others who chose NOT to work. Please give me 50% of your money you made so I can give it to those who did nothing.

              The wrapping of these many arguments in these various companies and people must come back to the original argument. Knowing I sat on my butt on the weekend doing nothing for the four months you are speaking of, are you willing to give me 50%? Are you willing to give me any of it? I will send the address for a check if you are willing.

    • Just because someone works hard to get ahead, does not explicitly imply that he is greedy.

      The owner knows what is best for his business…not the workers. If he is wrong, the business will either falter or fail. The workers enter his business knowing they will be controlled by management…it matters not who knows what is “best” for whom rather what will further the company’s success.

      “Once the owner of the means of production is in place, he no longer earns squat.” I could not disagree with you more. The owner has created a method for others to earn a living, and through his effort this exists, so naturally he is entitled to the rewards of the business.

      The system is easier for those that already have, that is how life is…get used to it. Their family worked to make life better for them, and that is also how life is, get used to that as well. I would like to think that when I pass away, my family can still reap some benefits from my labor. I came from almost nothing, nobody has given me anything, but I do enjoy a comfortable life…not extravagant by any definition.

      You seem to have ill feelings toward those who have what they have, if it seems the least bit more than what you think it should be. Why is that? Can’t you simply be glad that others get ahead and use that as motivation to do the same?

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        “owner has created a method for others to earn a living”

        Someone invented Cabbage Patch Dolls and you want to quantify that as a method for others to earn a living?

        I do pretty well myself and my politics have nothing to do with holding something against those who do well. It has more to do with the inequality inherent in a capitalist society. I don’t buy into “get used to it”. That’s what the French royalty (and British royalty, for that matter) told their minions before revolutions knocked them back a peg (and rightfully so).

        • Wheter it is cabbage patch dolls or automobiles, the fact that the “workers” hired on knowing full well they are there to do a job, and to pretty much do what they are told. If they aspire to go further in this profession, or not, it will be up to them.

          Whether you buy “get use to it” or not, the simple fact is this exists anywhere humans exist. It is life…grow accustomed to it.

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            You’re mixing things up. Cabbage patch addresses your statement regarding creating a method … nonsense. It was creative geniuse (perhaps) but a method? Nope.

            unions are the result of the attitude: get used to it. How do you like unions? Something tells me not so much.

            So long as you have capitalism running amok, you’ll have to deal with unions (so grow accustomed to it).

            • I have been a union member…you? I deal with them now, and have grown accustomed to them, even though I disagree with them on most things…imagine that, growing accustomed to things you disagree with. Grow up, there will always be things you do not agree with, either get use to them or change them if you can. Just be aware that just because you disagree with them doesn’t make them wrong…I came to that realization long ago.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                10 years in a union. I’m all growed up, too.

                Unions came about because of the abuse inherent in letting the owners call the shots. I suggest you maybe should grow up about that, buddy.

              • The unions had their place and time…the time passed for the unions to be the tool they were meant to be. Has it come full circle and they might be useful today…perhaps, and I am well grown up thank you.

              • But today its the unions doing the abusing by telling the owners and/or civic jurisdictions what they can and can’t do, who they can hire or fire regardless of skill or knowledge of equipment.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                I fully agree; many unions are out of control (but they are so in direct response to the counter interests of management/owners). It is an evil inherent in this system; everybody “wants” and few are willing to compromise. Look at major league baseball. The unions are now holding the hands of ownership at the expense of the suckers trying to go see a baseball game. Everybody is a millionaire at the expense of the fans (most of whom can’t afford to go to a game). And do those millionaires perform at their best? Hell, half of those bums don’t even run out a ground ball; they watch balls they assume are home runs. Where’s the productivity for all the millions they are getting?

                Or the pigs who stole our bailout money to pad their pockets on their way out the door (from being incompetent—investment bankers, et al).

                Unions did have a purpose. Unfortunately, the more deregulation we have here in the good old US and A, the more we’ll need them twice as strong as before. Most of the corporate world (workers) have been stripped of basic benefits the labor movement has fought decades for (less sick time, no merit raises (while incompetents running the show were rewarded with our hundreds of billions), etc. That’s what deregulation has gotten us.

              • “That’s what deregulation has gotten us.” You have to be kidding. Unions are needed to fend of the evils of deregulation? This should be good:

                How so?

            • Why doesn’t the government regulate unions the way some want to regulate business? The unions should have audited financial statements (at their expense), full disclosure of officials’ salaries and expenses, full disclosure of political contributions, etc.

              Also, why is coercion necessary to get workers to pay union dues? Shouldn’t this be a free choice?

              • Exactly JayD…the unions leaders have the final say period regardless of what is at stake. As long as they get their dues (one way or another) they will bully anyone who doesn’t comply with them getting what they feel is theirs. They need to be audited and held accountable for whatever is discovered.

              • First time post, long time reader.
                I read your statements JayDickB and need to correct something. Being a treasurer for a small local union, I must fill out financial disclosures every year for all monies that enters and leave the local, and file it with then DOL (form LM-3). While it doesn’t detail every expenditure, it does detail categories like contributions, office supplies, salaries, etc. These reports are available publicly on the DOL website. http://erds.dol-esa.gov/query/query.do

                As for the auditing, I do not believe a company is required to be audited, unless they want some sort of certification such as ISO 9001, or they are believed to be breaking the law. Believe me, a Union can be audited for that as well.

                I am sure corruption is still possible, just as in any company, but to say that Unions don’t have to report like a company is false. The difference being that since we are a type of nonprofit, there are no taxes involved in the reporting.

                I believe your perception can be based on what laws the government chooses to enforce. It plays much better politically to go after a “big eeeevil” corporation rather than go after a “poor union just trying to fight for the little guy”. Both may be breaking laws, but which one will look better next election?

              • So no such thing as big evil unions?

              • On the contrary, I was using sarcasm in that statement. I believe there are some evil unions out there, just as there are some evil corporations out there. Both are possible, and equally as likely to exist because they are run by people, and people can be corrupt. (On a side note, the government is run by people as well, so it is just as likely to be corrupt, and I would even argue that it has been proven to be so)

                I guess I stand corrected over my previous post though. I just read an article this morning that looks like Obama has changed the disclosure rules for Unions. This is new to me, so I will have to research it a bit.

                http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/obama_ditches_union_financial.html

                American Thinker is a good site, but sut be taken with a grain of salt.

              • Welcome DaveS! Thanks for the insight. As I have never been in or really even dealt with the unions I was unaware of the reporting requirements. Useful information!

                USW

    • I will only point out one of the biggest problems with the world for which you wish. If everyone gets what they want despite their level of skill or industriousness, where is the motivation to work, achieve, progress? Greed is evil, no one is disputing that, but it is a motivator to propel society forward. If no one had the opportunity to succeed, why put in the effort? If I can’t get rich no matter what I do, I will put in minimal effort and get the same reward as everyone else. Without solving this problem, there is no way that socialism will ever work!

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        Reread what USW posted. Socialism isn’t communism (although I have less of a problem with communism than I do capitalism). You can still earn more than the next guy, it just means those at the end of the food chain aren’t starving/homeless, etc. Also, that those at the top aren’t making a gazillion bucks they can never spend (and that they don’t get to be the haves forever through inheritence).

        • You are correct, sir. Please disregard my post, I shall save it for another day. I delved a bit too far and hit communism when we are talking about socialism.

      • Wait.. didn’t BF say that no evil can be tolerated ever?

        If greed is evil, and no evil can be tolerated, and greed is the beating heart of capitalism, it is a moral imperative to scrap capitalism.

        Thou shalt not covet.

        -God

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          that’s the trouble with all that morality crap and philosophical mumbo jumbo. We’re dealing in the real world and one need not retreat to text book philosophy to deal with real issues; one is hindered by doing so.

          There is text book smart and there are people who get things done … and never shall they meet.

          • I’m just going to sit back and wait for a response from Jeb…

          • I see you have finally exposed your core values.

            Ignorance is not only bliss but it is the salvation of mankind.

          • I do not think it is “either” “or,” I think for many it is “both” “and.”

            To say that those who are educated and those who have amibition (and that is a positive word) are mutually exclusive is inconsistent with what I see in the successful people around me.

            And I know we must have dug deep today, because Mathius is quoting from Scripture.

            Selfishness and stereotypical hatred are not exclusive to right or left; today we prove that we all must deal with ourselves before we can properly deal with our neighbor.

            • I have an entire book of the bible named after me, and my name means Gift of God.. I quote on occasion..

        • Well, BF said that, not me, though I hate to say that some evil cannot be avoided… *shiver*

          Steal: v. to take the property of another wrongfully and especially as a habitual or regular practice.

          The wrongful part will be where the debate rages.

          “Thou shalt not steal.”
          -God

          BTW, the full commandment is, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” Exodus 20:17. Nothing in there about coveting what I have myself (it’s not actually coveting then?…), not that that isn’t wrong.

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            Why I don’t get along with God … when thou is starving and there’s no other way to eat, thou is stealing like a champ.

            • Deut 23:24-25
              24 “When you come into your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes at your pleasure, but you shall not put any in your container. 25 When you come into your neighbor’s standing grain, you may pluck the heads with your hand, but you shall not use a sickle on your neighbor’s standing grain.

              I would say God understands the need for those who are hungry to eat and did not consider this stealing. However taking more than you need is stealing. I would say that your argument is more of a reason to disagree with men not God.

              • The passage did not say “Go into your neighbor’s house, and take the grapes he picked and eat them. It said “Go work for your meal and pick them yourself”

              • 2 Thes 3:10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

                I agree

              • Interesting..

                But the neighbor did work to grow the grain. So you are allowed to take from him the fruit (literally) of his labor if he has need. And God is ok with this. Thus, it is ok with God for the man with need* to take from you.

                *We can discuss what this means, if you wish, but for now take it as intended.

              • Black Flag says:

                Discuss “need” please – how do you measure it? How do you know the difference between ‘unable’ and ‘unwilling’? What is your test?

                we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

              • bottom line says:

                You guys ever heard of “THE GRAPES OF WRATH” ?

          • I was paraphrasing for brevity’s sake – something God, in his infinite wisdom chose not to do.

            That’s a very interesting definition though.. to take wrongfully… interesting.. very interesting.. I would agree that the debate should be on that word.

            Have you heard George Carlin’s take on the 10 commandments? If not go to youtube right now and find it.

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              Let me put it this way: Screw what God said. I don’t believe in God (any God). Every man has the right to survive and if me or mine are going hungry through no fault of my own, I’m clipping my next meal(s) until things get better. I might start with a Rolex (since they are not necessary) but I’ll take the Timex too if it means an apple in exchange (rather than starve).

              Now imagine that kind of thinking x’s 304,000,000 (or half if you prefer) with no gov’t to referee the matches?

              • Luckily, people have a moral conscience which helps people to refrain from such acts. Only a few a willing to commit a crime for their own benefit.

                BTW, if you dismiss the existence of any god you are setting yourself up as one. You decide what is right and wrong and you control your own destiny. Hence atheism becomes its own religion.

                What is stressed in the Bible is dependence on God alone for all things. The point is that what happens in this life doesn’t matter. Who cares if I starve to death in this life if I live in eternal bliss after death.

                The sad thing is that people would be more willing to give to those who need it if some people didn’t prey on that kind of generosity. It makes people wary of giving.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                NO offense intended, but if your reference point is the Bible, I’m not interested in what you have to say. For me (not immoral me, just me) it is a book of fairytales; nothing more, nothing less.

              • Black Flag says:

                The Bible – like any moral text – provides historical examples of the morals that build the basis of society.

                Of course, you are free to ignore them, GG.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                So do cartoons provides such examples. Thanks, I choose to ignore both.

              • How do you define/recignize morality? evil?

              • Black Flag says:

                How do you define/recignize morality? evil?

                Who are you asking, Csm

              • goto 37 🙂 for answer to question below

              • “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” James 2:15-16

                You have the right to make your comment about God and His Word, but I would not be proud of it. But, in the words above, note the proof of Black Flag’s position . . . the “brother in need” is provided for by the generosity of others (and it is an implied obligation), but it is not fulfilled through the “taking” (or stealing) by an outside entity called government, it is provided for by an understanding of the common obligation to provide for those in need . . . voluntarily. And that voluntary response is the best arbiter of the definiton of those who are truly in “need.” Socialism is forced and therein lies its failure; generosity that flows out of the success of capitalism is voluntary. And perhaps, now I finally understand Black Flag’s position in a spiritual light.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                What if there aren’t any givers? The poor SOB starves … That doesn’t work for me.

                I am neither proud or ashamed about my atheism. I’m indifferent to it (and God).

              • Black Flag says:

                There has never existed “no givers”.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                You can prove this? Or anything you spew? I doubt it and lord knows you won’t bother.

              • Black Flag says:

                If you understood any concept of reasoning, you would understand the following statement, however, since you have long thrown away reason, I hold no doubt you will not understand.

                You cannot prove a negative

                I cannot prove there are no fire breathing dragons, either. That does not mean there must exist fire breathing dragons.

              • Black Flag says:

                I just smile when I see ‘lights go on’ in people’s thinking.

                Thanks, anoninnc!

              • So your argument is that because you are immoral, the government is needed to control everyone else?

    • GG;

      Your comments are quoted and my response is below:

      “Once the owner of the means of production is in place, he no longer earns squat. It is those who work for him that “earn” their wages and the owner’s profit. A guy builds up a plumbing business from the ground and eventually hires 5 other plumbers to expand his business. What gives the owner of the business the right to pay salaries to those other five plumbers and take profit for himself since he isn’t the one “earning” from their labor?”

      He no longer earns squat? He put the blood, sweat, tears and endless hours getting it to a point where the company becomes a productive entitiy; why is he not allowed to benefit from those sacrifices, just as he would suffer should things go bad? He took the risk, put in the efforts, and at the same time benefited employees, industry and the community. How can you promote that after all that effort and risk he is no longer entitled to the reward? What is the benefit of sacrificing if in the end you turn it all, or a great deal, to those who did not sacrifice? This mentality, adopted throughout industry, would surely crush all industrial spirit; and therefore society.

      As far as the “plumber” example: Those who choose to accept an offer of employment do so as a choice. They are earning a wage by providing a service as a representative of the owners company. Should their work be sub-standard the owner suffers, and is at risk of law suit or bad customer feedback. The owner is taking the risk, not the individual plumber, therefore the owner is due a profit in order to continue operations and minimize risk from poor employee preformance.

      Using my business as an example: I provide both contract/consulting and direct placement services to clients in the Information Technology arena. As such I employ many independent IT contractors to service my clients. Those contractors are paid as sub-contractors to preform a service as directed by me and the client.

      Your argument would allow that any sub-contractor I use would have the right to solicit that same client at any time for future business (I mean they did the work, so they deserve the entire profit after the initial assignment has been accomplished…right?) I should no longer be involved even though I won the client initially based upon my skills…right?

      You cannot really make that argument, and I dare say that the majority of my clients would agree with me, and let me know if a former contractor tried to solicit independent of my involvment.

      This mentality does moer to promote pirating than the curent standard, and is a sure fire way to elliminate any kind of free trade.

      I took the risk, I earned the trust, and as long as I preform to the clients expectations I deserve a return on my investment

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        One of my ex-wives (there are several) owns a very successful temp agency in NY (although they’re hurting now). She would argue the same thing, but you’re skipping much of what I addressed above (maybe you didn’t see it yet).

        And much of the “sales” involved in any business today in America involves wining and dining as much as “hard work” (never mind blood sweat and tears). Luck also has a lot to do with it.

        As far as workers doing a sub-par job, they usually get fired for it (in union free shops) and that’s fine with me. They shouldn’t be rewarded for being incompetent (like so many of the CEO’s who just bankrupted our economy … but that’s one of my points. Once the owners get to make the rules, its rarely with workers intersts in mind).

    • GG said:

      “A guy builds up a plumbing business from the ground and eventually hires 5 other plumbers to expand his business. What gives the owner of the business the right to pay salaries to those other five plumbers and take profit for himself since he isn’t the one “earning” from their labor?”

      In 1970 fresh out of school I went to work for a guy starting his business. At first it was he and I out in the world doing the dirty work. Time passed and more and more people were hired and business grew. Now in your scenario once we had 20 or 30 people working for us the owner would go home, set on his butt and rake in the money. Not so, the owner does not go out and do the dirty work anymore he devotes his time to marketing and managing the firm so the employees can CONTINUE to work. If he just sat at home raking in the profits, business would soon fail. By the way I don’t go out and do the dirty work anymore, I manage the ones that do, so in you view do I fit in the same category as taking advantage of the poor working class “earning” from their labor?

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        It’s not a matter of “taking advantage”. I think many of you see me as holding “owners” in the role of villain. Not so. Why can’t you earn more than the workers and the owner earn more than the workers but not in so disproportionate an amount that they are forever on the short end of the stick (or that the owner is forever the one in control)? If the gov’t ran the business (compensating the original owner more so than his work force), where’s the risk? Sometimes the assumption is that if workers have nothing to fear, they won’t work. I don’t buy it. Workers are workers … as are practive people; they’ll never milk anything. Likewise, the lazy will always be lazy. Chances are, the lazy will be comfortable at the bottom of the workforce. And if they don’t want to do anything, give them a one way ticket out of the country. No problem here with that.

        • The risk is in the government having their hooks into a private business…more so than they already have. The government has proven themselves as woefully inefficient running most any type of business. They do not have the investment that individuals have…their investment is made from the efforts of others in the form of tax…or by simply printing the wealth.

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            I’ll agree with you regarding gov’t ability to get things done (it is pathetic) but I suspect that has much to do with the economic structure of our society. The more proactive workers seek the market for reward, not civil service.

            • That is correct. Most everyone seeks reward in the marketplace. That is how people who want to be self sufficient survive. Perhaps I have become institutionalized to how the economic structure of the US is, but it seems pretty fair to me…but that is not to say I am comfortable with the level of taxation, and the probability of that level increasing.

              Even our “civil servants” get paid pretty well, and with pretty darn good (privately run insurance) medical plans as well.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                yet there are still 46,000,000 without insurance; that is an issue

              • bottom line says:

                It is for 46 million.

              • Some choose not to purchase insurance, some are illegal aliens…the numbers once crunched, are nowhere near as daunting as you would like to believe. Even so, if medical care is required, they cannot be refused…medical insurance is a priveledge, not a right.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Health care and medical insurance are not necessarily the same thing.

              • That 46 million number will be covered in Wednesday night’s post, which is the first part in the health care series. Needless to say the 46M number is bunk… let’s keep the debate honest instead of relying on rhetoric.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                If it was 46 (total) it would be 46 too many; the point of greater good is that all are treated as equally as possible.

                You say it’s bunk. That doesn’t mean I have to believe it’s bunk.

              • Black Flag says:

                But what if we cannot treat everyone equally?

                How do we determine who is first?

              • No sir, you are not required to believe anything… fortunately for you.

                But a refusal to believe facts staring you in the face makes you unreasonable, which does nothing to enhance your position.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              The economic structure of society is such that if a worker demands more than a producer is able to pay because what he produces will no longer be profitable, then the producer will go elsewhere to find workers that will make his product at a cost that will ensure that the product is still profitable.

              Perhaps why you are seeing so many formerly US Union jobs flee to other countries.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                isn’t that great (Outsourcing)? Now you’ll have even more unemployed.

                Great system.

              • Black Flag says:

                Your way, the business would simply cease to exist, GG.

                Socialism = equality of massive
                poverty.

              • GG,

                Do you not see that outsourcing of jobs is the direct result of government’s treatment of industry in this country? If you treat them like crap, tax them incessantly, and, under your rules, take away the right to keep the fruits of their own labor, what incentive did you provide for them to stay? I swear you cannot possibly be so dense as you are attempting to appear. It makes me wonder if your only purpose is to stir the pot, good sir.

        • GG said:

          “Why can’t you earn more than the workers and the owner earn more than the workers but not in so disproportionate an amount that they are forever on the short end of the stick.”

          From day one the owner has made more than me and continues to this day. Through hard work I make much more than I did when I began. I was free at any time to leave and start my own business but I did not. Who determines what is the short end of the stick, you, the government, by what formula do you use?

          “(or that the owner is forever the one in control)?”

          Who better than the owner, as he and the employees have much more too lose if thing go south.

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            Again, I’m not demonizing the owner. I’m suggesting there’s a way for him to do better than his employees but in such a way that the employees are rewarded for their efforts (wouldn’t the same incentives apply–that they’d want to perform better knowing their reward was greater)?

            it would give him say 50% of the profits as opposed to 100% over what he doesn’t directly earn.

            • Kristian Stout says:

              What makes you think the owner gets 100% of the profits? Have you ever owned a business? I do own one and I can tell you that after inventory and taxes are paid I’m not able to keep 100% of my profit. It’s the same with any business, the owner is the one taking all of the risk even if he isn’t physically earning. He has to pay for the inventory, the tools, payroll and taxes. What risk is the employee taking?

            • I agree that if employees are rewarded for their efforts they tend to respond positively. I also see that the business owner is the one taking the risks, and should be rewarded at a greater level. I imagine it would also matter what type of business it is as well…some bussiness would do better if employees were better compensated, others not as much…those greedy employees always wanting more!

            • So, would you have the government force the owner to do this? If the business lost money during a downturn, would the workers share in the loss? Could the workers’ hourly wage be reduced and more of the total compensation be given in the form of profit sharing?

              This could get complicated. Better to let the owner decide; it’s his business, his money, his property. It might be better for the business to give workers part of the profits, it might not. The real issue is who decides. I can’t see a case for anyone but the owner deciding.

            • Workers rewarded for their efforts? Isn’t that exactly what their salary is? Payment rendered for labor performed? If they don’t feel they are getting what they deserve, they are free to leave….

              that is until you and your friends put directive 10-289 in place and freeze the workforce.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      GGcs,

      If a free market will naturally, as a matter of course, pervert itself because people are greedy or whatever, what is to stop government from naturally, as a matter of course, perverting itself because people are greedy or whatever?

      Why are the two any different in regards to their propensity for perversion?

      If a company makes a particular product, but does so in a way which massively pollutes, I have a choice to not buy that product. I also have the choice to share with others the fact that I am not buying the product because the company which makes it pollutes massively. If enough people decide not to buy the product because of the way in which the company operates, the company will fail.

      If the government makes a particular law, and I do not like that law, I can ATTEMPT to not follow that law, but if I get caught not following that law, I will be punished. I can convince others that it is a bad law, but regardless of how many people complain to the government that a particular law is “bad” it is highly unlikely that the government will ever be convinced to change the law. If you assert otherwise, please provide a list of laws that have been repealed, and then compare that to the list of laws which you do not particularly agree with that are still on the books.

      Government gives far more power to the perverse (see Stalin, Hitler, Mao, George W. Bush, Barack H. Obama, etc.) than they would have without government.

      If you wish to continue to give more and more power to the perverse, then by all means, continue to support larger and larger government.

      If you wish to severely limit the power of the perverse, take away the #1 source of their power.

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        you wrote: “what is to stop government from naturally, as a matter of course, perverting itself because people are greedy or whatever?”

        Good point (and something I think BF was trying to get at with me). Nothing. People can only watchdog the process and vote in or out what they like/dislike. Left on their own, might will tend to make right (and might defined by capital as well as muscle).

        • Black Flag says:

          Ah, so GG is of the “Might is Right” crowd – where irrationality and savagery is the norm – and civilization cannot exist.

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            You just stated the exact OPPOSITE of my point.

            Momma mia (yes, GG is Eye-talian).

            • Black Flag says:

              Sir,

              You describe the people as being savage and chaotic – yet, capable of rationally organizing a government. How irrational savages make rational government – you have no answer.

              The question on how to prevent government from perverting itself? You admit, it can’t be done.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                I’m tired of answering this. When you explain to me how 304 million co-exist without a gov’t (in detail, explain it, not more nonsense), I’ll re-address your questions.

              • Black Flag says:

                I can – but it requires a reasoned man.

                You have not answered my questions on whether or not you will accept the conclusions of reason.

                Do you need me to ask that again?

        • Government is now too big, too complicated, and too adept at hiding things for the people to be effective watchdogs. It must be made smaller, much smaller.

  6. Some of you new to the site are not familiar with the Very Damn Little Government party. I will explain my viewpoint. It is an ideal that came up in a discussion between JAC, Black Flag and myself. Most people talk about the left and right, and do not really understand where it all falls in a true comparative relationship. I will post the left at the top, right at bottom.

    Extreme left: Total government control
    Fascism
    Communism
    Socialism
    Obama, Pelosi, Reed and the Czars
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Average Liberal
    .
    .
    .McCain and moderate Democrats
    .
    .
    .
    Average Republican
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Far right
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    VDLG
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    No government, Black Flag & Kent

    It is somewhat misleading to show VDLG as a far right position. VDLG’s intent is to reduce government to the smallest practical size. Examples, Post Office & roads may have needed government to start them, but are sustainable now without government. Few of us have advocated eliminating welfare, but are outspoken about reducing it.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      LOI – clarify also please that by your post you intend to reject the U.S Constitution as it calls for the government to do things you specifically reject.

      • Ray,

        I’m not a lawyer, but it seems the Postal Service is “Established”.
        Why does the government have to continue its operation? Why not let it become private? Does every town of fifty or whatever have to have its own Post Office? By comparison, UPS delivers direct to everyone’s house.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          I’m no lawyer either – but I assume an amendment would be needed to do this.

          PO does support law enforcement efforts in a big way – not sure it is appropriate to privatize – but perhaps they follow the same rules already in for UPS and others.

          Allowing private control – think through in how that could be abused for how information is provided to the public. Would oversight still be needed?

          • An amendment is not needed to eliminate the Post Office. The constitution authorizes congress to establish, it does not establish by itself.

            Same goes for the military.

            Thus your comment about ignoring or abandoning the constitution is in error.

            VDLG would start out by returning to the original intent of that document, at a minimum. Unfortunatley, that would require amendments.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              I am not error – for I have provided you what I believed to be the “intent” of the document. See what happens when we see intent differently? My question to you thus is this – for VDLG to re-visit the ‘original intent of that document’ I am guessing you would thus have to make some interpretations of the document and said intent. What of those who do not agree with your your interpretation?

              • I would like to see the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and all amendments revisited by a Constitutional Convention. Wasn’t it 3/4 majority required to pass?

                I don’t see VDLG requiring that, if doing away with the Postal Service is not legal, lets follow the law, and downsize it, stop its unfair practices regarding competition. If YOU were elected President on the VDLG platform, what government waste would you cut? Would there
                be any agencies? Come on Ray, you hate waste, how should we do this?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                LOI – Haha – I would need a scalpel and a machete. There are several agencies and depts to go – Education comes immediately to mind.

                Postal? Maybe that is a candidate to privatize – what nags me is how is oversight done properly or at all?

              • Those who do not agree will be FREE to live in the USA or leave if they so choose. If they want they can all move to the same place and build a commune to practice their love affair with slavery. That will be up to them.

                There is little in the constitution that requires interpretation. That is a misnomer created by those who wanted to change it without a vote of the people. It is written in pretty plain language.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                JAC – you could not be more wrong on this issue – there is a reason for the judiciary.

              • I have not proposed otherwise, have I.

              • bottom line says:

                JAC…I agree. So many times I have made the very same point to people. It’s pretty clear what our founders intended. What bothers me is when I see a complete disregard for the relevant principles behind the laws giving way to BS technical interpretaion. Specifically, the second amendment. They actually voted on the contitutionality of private citizen gun ownership. Gimme a break. Who else do you think they meant when they wrote “THE PEOPLE”? WTF SCOTUS?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                But it escapes you that they needed so quickly to add amendments? Even they knew it was far from perfect.

              • bottom line says:

                of course they did, which is why they designed it to be flexable. But what is in there is good stuff, for good reason. We have “unalienable rights” which means they are inherant to all humans and cannot be taken away. The 2nd amendment is all about the unalienable right to protect yourself, your family, your property, and your way of life. I’t meaning is clear and unargueable. DO you think “unalienable rights” should be infringed upon?

              • This comment makes no sense what so ever given the context of bottom line or my previous comments.

                You say VDLG requires “rejecting” the constitution. I say no it doesn’t and you say I am wrong. Then you defend your claim by assigning assumptions and conclusions to me and others which we have not made.

                You have me completely confused at this point.

          • Ray,

            “Allowing private control – think through in how that could be abused for how information is provided to the public. Would oversight still be needed?”

            It can be abused now, its just harder to take legal action against the government protected agency than a private business. Oversight? What happens if a business discloses your private information now?

            The point here is that the push for more big government(socialism)is not working. Look at the European countries that are improving and those in decline.

            Can we agree to reject what clearly does not work?

            Then we can look at what does work.

    • Haha only in America would Obama be considered the far left, in terms of global politics Obama would be right of centre. You will probably have to look at the actual communist and socialist parties in the US if you are looking for left wing.

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        Thank you, Bob. Obama is Bush III in my book.

      • Bob,

        Getting close to tea time. Has the rain started yet? From my perspective, Obama has been brown nosing communist/socialist his whole life. He has just been able to portray himself as a moderate, mostly because the media covers up for him.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          Why your screen name is “life of Illusion”

          • I’m trying to see through the hole in this wall of confusion.

            Sometimes I can’t help the feeling that I’m
            Living a life of illusion
            And oh, why can’t we let it be
            And see through the hole in this wall of confusion
            I just can’t help the feeling I’m
            Living a life of illusion

            Pow! Right between the eyes
            Oh, how nature loves her little surprises
            Wow! It all seems so logical now
            It’s just one of her better disguises
            And it comes with no warning
            Nature loves her little surprises
            Continual crisis

            Hey, don’t you know it’s a waste of your day
            Caught up in endless solutions
            That have no meaning, just another hunch
            Based upon jumping conclusions
            Caught up in endless solutions
            Backed up against a wall of confusion
            Living a life of illusion

            Joe Walsh

        • Yeah just had tea(dinner) and yes it chucked it down for most of the day, its been a pretty crap summer.
          As far as American politics are concerned they are skewed to the right to begin with, like I have said before British conservatives would be considered liberal lefties by conservatives in the US. If you think Obama is left wing then talk to some hard line communists for further clarification.

    • Great.. so, um, the EPA, FDA, justice system are best handled by private means?

      That is, if you need medicine, you’re equipped to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of that medicine by yourself?

      And the air you like breathing so much wouldn’t be polluted by unregulated factories nearby? How would you keep your air safe? Use force? That’s a big no-no, isn’t it? Afterall, the land and resources they’re using are theirs to do with as they will, correct?

      If someone commits a crime (say, robs you), what do you do? You hire a private detective to find him? Then what? Take your stuff back by force? Then what? Do you pay for a prison to lock him up? Shoot him?

      In (what will eventually become) PeterB’s favorite book, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, two people adjudicate a dispute by hiring a judge. They walk up to a wise man, give him money and ask him to rule. Is this how you would do it?

      • You have apparently heard nothing while passing through the cave. Take what you have heard here and begin to work with it on your own.
        You do not have to adopt the beliefs just spend time working out the possible answers to your examples.

        You appear to still be reacting, just swinging away wildly. Slow down and concentrate. THINK.

        • I am thinking Jac.. I am thinking that it doesn’t work that way. I am thinking that, absent government, factories will pollute and destroy the environment. I am thinking that, absent regulation, people will sell “medicine” which does nothing or is worse than nothing – recall, if you’re old enough, how things were in the 1800s. I am thinking that, absent a publicly funded and standardized criminal/civil justice department, justice will be almost impossible to obtain except for the wealthy.

          • Black Flag says:

            First, government allows pollution – it does not stop it.

            Corporations tells government how much it needs to pollute, and the government legislates it.

            A monopoly on justice holds the same defects as any monopoly. I always chuckle about those that will cry the evils of monopolies, and in the next sentence, demand their existence.

          • So the government mandated legal system is equally fair for the rich and poor now?????

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            You got it, Mathius … you got it exactly right. Left alone, greed will always win out.

            Ignore BF’s gibberish that is about to start all over again.

            If we have regulation now and there are polluters, just imagine what happens when you remove the regulation.

            • Black Flag says:

              Greed winning out is a good thing – it means that humanity will never be satisfied with its current lot and demands a better life.

              There is no right to pollute – government gives polluters legal permission to pollute.

          • Mathius,

            First, removal of government from an equation does not equal no rules. Don’t make that mistake.

      • Matthius,

        “Great.. so, um, the EPA, FDA, justice system are best handled by private means?” Where did I say that? The EPA is considering regulating CO2. Does that mean they can control what you exhale?
        In, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, they charge for breathing air, so do you think its OK for our government to do that here on earth?

        Ray has posted about efficiency ratings, and how government agencies do not follow them. The National parks have built million dollar outhouses. You don’t think our government is too big?

        The federal housing authority cannot be sued. How many of their properties are war zones? A private business will do a better job, for less money. But the Pelosi/Obama/socialist approach is to throw more money at the problem. How is that working on the housing? More people are using “free housing”, that must make it a success. And the poverty level continues to rise with the welfare.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        Rather than merely asserting that there is no private, free-market solution to the problems which you pose, try devising what the free-market solution would be to the problems that you pose. You might find it highly informative.

        Also, if the FDA is so great, why is it not 100% fool-proof? Why do drugs like Celebrex get approved, thus leading to massive lawsuits against the maker of the drug, but no lawsuits against the FDA for not properly identifying the risks associated with the drug ahead of time?

        If an agency like the FDA ACTUALLY DID what you claim that it does, then it would be one thing, but I can throw out COUNTLESS examples where the FDA completely failed.

        You might assert that any free market system could never work 100% of the time. Fine. I assert that no government system ever works 100% of the time either, so why is it better?

        • I make no assertion that the government works 100% of the time. Only that it does, on balance, work. So Celebrex was recalled. OK. Great, the gov saw a problem and did something about it. Yes, it made it through initial (exhaustive) trials, but then it was pulled. In a free market, Celebrex would have still been available, while the company pushed misinformation that it was safe. How many bad drugs are screened out for every one that gets passed? What would happen if they were all out available on the market?

          People were once sold tape worms for weight loss (effect but dangerous), the were given lead and mercury for aches and pains. The term snake-oil comes to mind..

          But neither do I think the private market fails 100% of the time.

          • So for the VERY limited success of the FDA, you are willing to quadruple the cost of prescription drugs? Because that is what the FDA does to the pharma indusry. The FDA is useless. The EPA is useless as well.

        • Hell, some of the Ambulance Chasers make themselves a nice fat living sueing drug manufacturers. Yet it take the FDA up to 15 years to approve a drug for use. What is the FDA protecting? Us or the Lawyers profits?

  7. Ray Hawkins says:

    More feedback from the left

    Style ~

    – I think you are confusing big “c” Communism with little “c” communism – they are different and its important you observe that when touching upon the -isms;

    – ‘entering’ into this conversation is like being a Michigan Wolverine exiting the tunnel to run onto Beaver Stadium in State College, PA – boy you can feel the love. I have to give you credit that in finding and using the most inflammatory pictures possible you certainly help set the table for discussion – a table setting no less where if you don’t agree with the positions then you’re kinda missing a knife or a fork or a spoon – but hey, its just style – just thought I’d point out the tone setting 😉

    Substance ~

    Our country has long had/held ASPECTS of socialism. I would amend what was written to say that: “Socialism, in our society, should constitute state and/or worker ownership or direction of certain means of production defined by the citizenry as necessary and appropriate.”

    So what does that mean? Elements of our Constitution are socialist in nature (e.g. Defense) as a necessity. Others have been determined over time to benefit from a socialist approach. I scoff at those that openly enjoy the benefits of our National Park system yet bitch about a government with heavy hands. You should not be able to like the cake but hate the recipe.

    What of our monuments? Do we sell of the beautiful memorials in Washington to the highest bidder (most likely the Saudis or Chinese through ‘fronts’) and let them charge what they choose for admission? This free market idea is sounding good!

    Our preservation of our own history? Well, if it requires the government to steal from you in order to preserve our history then maybe that should be stopped as well. This could be another really cool free market idea – as of today – wherever these registered elements of history become the sole property of the State where they are located – that’s it – they’re all yours. Cannot afford them? Fine. Sell them. Open an eBay store and sell it. Just don’t get pissed when you see the Betsy Ross flag or a copy of the Gettysburg Address being burned in downtown Tehran. Free market idea – sounding even better!

    Our transportation system? Maybe we should privatize our entire Interstate Highway system. Then I can look forward to paying a small fortune to travel those highways when I go to Maine or burning half my vacation traveling all back roads to get there. I love you Mr. Free Market!

    The Healthcare issue? Perhaps that should go purely socialist. If my government is to provide for the defense of our country, and therefore – me – is she not providing for my health and safety? Kennedy was right in that it should not be a privilege but a right. Get to the proactive side of the Health issue and leverage the positive aspect of socialism to use the authority granted by the citizenry to treat healthcare as we do clean water, or air, or defense or any other program we rely upon but in many ways necessarily take for granted. It will not work 100% of the time always – but nothing ever does/will. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness mean nothing to the U.S. citizen who is too sick to ever have the opportunity to manifest those ideals. A citizenry that is screwed by the system (e.g. Walmart employees with a ‘healthcare’ plan) can never ‘pick themselves up by their bootstraps’ if they’re too sick to do anything once they have picked themselves up.

    Another free market approach

    Not more than two years ago I was close to doing information security work for an online services portal to be used by customers of a then, highly secretive conglomerate, that was providing health care services to the very wealthy. Based in Southern Florida, the idea was simply this – the company had recruited the very best phsycians and doctors from around the world in a variety of specialities – these were the ‘top of the food chain’ types that were the best at what they do. These ‘top docs’ were essentially getting out of the business of providing care to the masses and deciding instead, to focus on providing their high level of care and service to a select few – a select few that can afford to a pay a premium for service. The Doctors involved could reduce their risk by having severe liability limitations, extensive fringe benefits and reduced overhead. These Docs, when needed, could/would fly to some of the top destinations in the world (Miami, London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Rio, Sydney, and others) in private jets to service their customers in exclusive ‘members only’ facilities. Shocking? Maybe not. Money talks right? Sort of like the best of our best soldiers that exit active duty to go make more money in the mercenary market. Is there a downside? Yep – it takes no genius to see a perversion of a free market idea – greed and the self, when it has money, can easily lock everyone else out of the system – BF may see this as ideal. Its easy to say ‘it is what it is’ and dismiss it. Do I blame the docs? Not completely. Last I heard some of them still do work in their local areas to stay busy or make a few more bucks. I never ended up doing the portal work – karma may not have smiled upon me.

    • Ray:

      “Elements of our Constitution are socialist in nature (e.g. Defense) as a necessity.”

      This is not “socialism”. Implying so is nothing more than creating confusion in the term so as to rationalize its justification.

      “What of our monuments?”

      Monticello and Mt. Vernon seem to be doing quite nicely, why not others.

      “Our preservation of our own history? Well, if it requires the government to steal from you in order to preserve our history then maybe that should be stopped as well.”

      History has always been preserved primarily by the private sector. It is the preservation of “places” that has justified the use of government power to steal from the owners. If it requires the govt to steal then it should be stopped.

      By what right do you take from my family to protect some building or place that means nothing to me? Just because you say so?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        JAC

        This is not “socialism”. Implying so is nothing more than creating confusion in the term so as to rationalize its justification.

        – By definition it is – for defense the government controls its production and allocation – why does that seem confusing to you?

        “Monticello and Mt. Vernon seem to be doing quite nicely, why not others.”

        – Nice try on the rabbit trail – this isn’t a discussion of the economic performance of any particular monument – it is the fact that for certain and many monuments that decision and spend and allocation is made by the government.

        “History has always been preserved primarily by the private sector. It is the preservation of “places” that has justified the use of government power to steal from the owners. If it requires the govt to steal then it should be stopped.”

        – Uh – really? One of the largest in the world – the NARA is wholly controlled by the Federal government.

        “By what right do you take from my family to protect some building or place that means nothing to me? Just because you say so?”

        – So should my criteria be that I can only take from you and protect some building or place that means something to you? Does that strike you as practical? I see that as practical only if you do live in the euphemistic cave you often reference. Your notion of VDLG is striking more as Very Damn Little Good more than anything else at this point – I need you to show me a better carrot.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Ray,

          The problem with the system you seem to espouse is that it takes away all the carrots and only uses sticks for motivation.

          If you only use a stick, the mule will move where you want him to for a short while, but eventually with no carrot, the mule will simply stop.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Oh no Peter – you need both. I have shown agreement several times in the past for example that in order to reduce the welfare rolls we would absolutely need both.

  8. Socialism destroys economic calculation. Without economic calculation, producers do not know what consumers want or need. They are adrift in an economic ocean without a compass.

    The end of Socialism can only be waste, mass poverty, morbidity and stagnation.

    • The end consequence of Socialism can only be waste, mass poverty, morbidity and stagnation.

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        Socialism serves the Great Good. Capitalism serves the few over the many and is doomed. It dies a new death every day; the more millionaires, the more poverty. 46,000,000 without health insurance while some use gold trash cans is as evil as it gets (talk about morality). Property worth $100,000 per square foot vs. hoovervilles is criminal and evil and as immoral as the day is long. Most of those who were living in tent cities outside Sacramento lost their jobs. Half a mile away others drive Rolls Royces to dinner. Nice diversity.

        • Isn’t it amazing how socialism has failed throughout history and capitalism has built the greatest country the world has ever seen. In this country, rather than worrying about starvation, our poor worry about how they can finagle a TV out of the welfare system. In this country, “middle class” people live comfortable lives and the “lower class” lives better than most people in the world. I could go on, but it’s time for Relativistic Quantum Field Theory!

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            Me thinks you drink too much of the capitalist Kool-Aid.

            Our poor don’t starve? Interesting.

            What, you think people without health insurance have the same quality of life as those that do?

            The greatest country if you’re on the list of “haves” … there are those who would argue about how great it is (the have nots) vehemently.

            • Glad to see you resort to ad hominem and dance around the point, it means I’m on the right track.

              Our poor do not starve, they go on welfare and the gov’t pays the bills. Anyone who dies of starvation in this country would get front page news and something would be done.

              I never said those without health insurance have a better quality of life than those that do, I said they have a better quality of life than those in other countries (say most of Africa…). But while we’re on the topic, anyone in this country can get health care whether or not they have insurance. Drop by any ER and they HAVE to treat you. That won’t even change with Obamacare. Hence their standard of living is quite well compared to those in other countries who cannot get health care at all (say most of Africa…).

              This is a great country no matter whether you have or not. If you have naught, then the government will give you something. The reason they can do that is the industriousness and ingenuity and American Spirit that this country was built upon.

              I wonder how you define “have nots.” I live below the poverty line, so I guess I’m on that list. One of the great things about this country is that we are free to move from here to the “haves” list. While I agree that some people cannot and not by their own fault, the fact is that we take care of those people. You can’t really expect them to be given enough to make them “haves” without any effort on their part do you? Or would you rather see the “haves” brought down to our level?

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                you wrote: “Our poor do not starve, they go on welfare and the gov’t pays the bills. Anyone who dies of starvation in this country would get front page news and something would be done.”

                You’re so misinformed it is scary. From a world hunger source on the net: “In the U.S. hunger and race are related. In 1991 46% of African-American children were chronically hungry, and 40% of Latino children were chronically hungry compared to 16% of white children.”

                you wrote: “I never said those without health insurance have a better quality of life than those that do, I said they have a better quality of life than those in other countries (say most of Africa…).”

                Great, just because our poor are doing better than the poor in Africa, you should wear a Rolex. Very moral of you.

                you wrote: “I wonder how you define “have nots.” I live below the poverty line, so I guess I’m on that list. One of the great things about this country is that we are free to move from here to the “haves” list. While I agree that some people cannot and not by their own fault, the fact is that we take care of those people. You can’t really expect them to be given enough to make them “haves” without any effort on their part do you? Or would you rather see the “haves” brought down to our level?”

                I would rather see everybody given an equal opportunity and for you to dismiss the advantages of the haves is ludicrous.

            • I would like you to point me to any shred of evidence that we have starving people in the United States. I want to see where some people have starved to death in this country. I hear it said over and over, yet I don’t recall ever reading such a thing.

              Homeless have shelters that feed them. That is as close to starvation as anyone is going to get here.

              I am not saying that they don’t exist, but i would like some proof rather than silly rhetoric.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                You wrote: “I am not saying that they don’t exist, but i would like some proof rather than silly rhetoric.”

                Sounds like a contradiction to me (what you just stated above). I suggest you go to any urban hospital in the country and ask those in the pediatric wards if babies die of starvation related diseases. Unless you mean starving in the streets.

                Yet malnutrition is a very real problem in the bloated U.S.; there are as many malnourished as bloated.

                Same Hunger Source: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that in 2007:

                36.2 million people lived in households considered to be food insecure.
                Of these 36.2 million, 23.8 million are adults (10.6 percent of all adults) and 12.4 million are children (16.9 percent of all children).
                The number of people in the worst-off households increased to 11.9 from 10.8 in 2005. This increase in the number of people in the worst-off category is consistent with other studies and the Census Bureau poverty data, which show worsening conditions for the poorest Americans.
                Black (22.2 percent) and Hispanic (20.1 percent) households experienced food insecurity at far higher rates than the national average.
                The ten states with the highest food insecurity rates in 2007 were Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Maine, South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

              • Wait a minute. I live in Georgia. We have Food banks all over the State. Illegals are given Food Stamps, Medicaid, and other benefits. We have at least 5 food banks just in my hometown. ANYONE can come in and get groceries without any proof of support at all. so why would anybody here be starving?

                Not that I have seen any. Food Insecurity means that they don’t eat the right foods according to the Government. Not that they are starving.

              • GG,

                Yet malnutrition is a very real problem in the bloated U.S.; there are as many malnourished as bloated.

                That would make no sense given that the CDC says that 64% of Americans are overwieght. Even if the entire other 36% were malnourished it would mean that there are half as many. And I dare say that the VAST majority of those other 36% are not malnourished.

                Sounds like a contradiction to me (what you just stated above). I suggest you go to any urban hospital in the country and ask those in the pediatric wards if babies die of starvation related diseases. Unless you mean starving in the streets.

                I unsure what contradiction you mean. However, your argument that I should go to a pediatric ward is random. Care to discover how many babies with malnutrition or starvation related issues come from a situation where the mother has substance abuse problems? I have spent time in plenty of hospitals for the record. I asked for stats showing actually death by starvation in the US. You provided subjective judgements of “malnourishment” and “food insecure”. I am glad that you trust the government to evaluate reality, but remember that these are the same people who think $7.25 is a living wage and other nonsense. That is why I asked for starvation death statistics, not subjective nonsense. And you added evidence that completely contradicted your earlier evidence given in another response. Once source said 46% of black children, the other 22.1%. Quite a difference. I do note the difference in years, but a reduction that large would indicate that their situation was drastically improving under the Clinton Welfare Reforms that removed government assistance. It certainly wouldn’t prop up your argument that we need “more” government intervention.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                If the greater good would served the numbers would be significantly lower. I trust your stats as much as you trust gov’t stats.

              • I didn’t offer any stats of my own. I merely pointed out the flaws in yours.

        • GG

          You have not defined “Greater Good”.

          You have not offered any reasoning for anyone to know the difference between a “Greater Good” and a “Greater Bad”.

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            your way (on gov’t) is evil … a greater bad.

            my way is right … 🙂

            • Black Flag says:

              You are unable to define Greater Good.

              You are unable to offer any reasoning on how to determine “Greater Good” or “Greater Bad”.

              Your position remains unsupported and essentially irrational.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Same as yours, Hojo. You haven’t even dared to attemp it (as you stated-you “refused”). You’ll now get carpal tunnel from asking the same thing over and over.

              • Black Flag says:

                I cannot define the “Greater Good” because such a thing cannot exist, so how can your definition be the same as mine?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Socialism servers the wants of the few over the needs of the many far better than the free market does.

          Look at the USSR for example. The power AND WEALTH of that country were highly concentrated among a very select few, because only a very select few held the controls of the government.

          Big governent allows a certain select few people to amass great wealth and power, while the rest of the population struggles mightily. I have friends that lived not far from Moscow during the USSR period. They have told me precisely what I now tell you.

          If you wish for the greatest societal inequality possible, then go for socialism. 99% of the population will be economically equal (none of them will have much of anything), but 1% of the population will be VERY VERY well off. Why is this? Because you have selected to empower a very select few with total control over everything. You have eliminated the ability of 99% of the population to SUCCEED. Sure, they might be SURVIVING, but they are not succeeding.

          If, instead, you give every person control over their own lives, yes, you are going to have plently of examples of failure, but you are going to allow for many examples of success as well.

          The greatest percentage of success will occur in the societies which provide freedom for the most individuals to succeed.

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            You wrote: “If you wish for the greatest societal inequality possible, then go for socialism. 99% of the population will be economically equal (none of them will have much of anything), but 1% of the population will be VERY VERY well off. Why is this? Because you have selected to empower a very select few with total control over everything. You have eliminated the ability of 99% of the population to SUCCEED. Sure, they might be SURVIVING, but they are not succeeding.”

            Interesting … because it describes capitalism (the power of the few over the many). The difference being those at the bottom of the economic ladder in capitalism don’t survive.

            And Success, my friend, is a relative term.

            • You are correct, success is a relative term. However, I do not understand what you mean when you say “The difference being those at the bottom of the economic ladder in capitalism don’t survive.” If someone does not survive, do you mean they die? In the US that would be their own fault…there are way too many ways to “survive”.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Mia culpa: Survive with dignity. There are those who cannot survive with dignity because of the disadvantage they are born into.

              • GG,

                I’m not buying the can’t survive with dignity because of the disadvantage they are born into position. Anybody can improve their situation in the America Obama is quickly destroying. I’m a first generation American. Both my parents came with NOTHING. I was given NOTHING. I paid for my own education, and got my backside out of bed and went to work even when I didn’t want to. I worked at jobs I hated until I could find something else more suitable. I’ve lived with in my means. I’ve had three lousy marriages that left me with nothing or a big pile of debt. I’m four years out of the last one; have paid off the debt he stuck with me with, and now have six months of mortgage, car and living expenses saved up. I am what is labeled Hispanic American. According the Demooratic party I should be on welfare and loving Obama because of my being born disadvantaged. Fortunately, I have my own ideas about how to life my life.

            • It ain’t that relative! Describes Capitalism? Are you serious?!

              Man, you need to quit listening to the Socialist Rant. From reading you posts you sound like a throwback to 1960’s USSR!! It’s plumb hee-larious to read!

              “The peaceloving peoples of the Democratic Peoples Republik of the Soviet OOnion denounce the actions of the Capitalist Dogs of the United States!”

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Yes and I find your version of reality … well, we used to say “forgetaboutit” … now we just roll our eyes.

            • Funny but capitalism has not resulted in 99% poverty and 1% royalty. Capitalism when operating without your madness instilled created the largest middle class in history.

              Now socialism is destroying it quickly. Bravo.

  9. “Karl Marx was not a bad person. He wanted to create a better society, and truly believed that communism in its purest form would bring about the true freedom for the individual. His theory was fatally flawed, and his methods were evil, but his intentions were not evil. Che Guerva was not much different in that he believed in a better society. And Greatergoodcs wants to find a better way forward, not to destroy everything.”

    Firstly, Marx, Stalin, and Hitler were not bad people? Do you prefer to judge people by your perception of their intent, or the fruit of their actions?

    Secondly, did you just compare your reader to Marx and Che? Are we comparing actions and results or perceived intent?

    Beck is getting hammered by his critics right now because of his espousing of his perception of Obama’s intent, in which Beck called the president a racist.

    Lastly, for those of you that do not want direct government control of businesses, and prefer heavy regulation and control to achieve the government’s ends instead, that is not socialism. That is fascism.

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      Please don’t offer “Beck” as anything more than a carnival barker. I can’t take you seriously if you use Beck as a point of reference.

      • I’m just curious-have you ever watched Mr. Beck’s show, say for a week-in order to make an informed decision -I would agree that he presents information in a weird way in order to entertain but his actual words make sense, IMO, whether one agrees with him or not.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          I purposely watched Bill the buffoon O’Reilly several times (mostly when Dennis Miller, who I like, is on–used to be Wednesdays) and then when Beck was on just to here this moron speak. Him and O’Reilly are a perfect match; a pair of buffoons. And, yes, so is Keith Olbermann et al … none of them should EVER be taken seriously.

          • You should listen to Beck’s show with an open mind…he is a little nutty, but all too often hits the nail right on the head.

      • I wasn’t using Beck as a positive example to make a point. In fact, I was suggesting that his calling the President racist is projection, at best. Trying to psychoanalyze the President’s intentions, or those of Marx, Stalin, or Hitler, is irresponsible if you are not a trained psychologist.

        Please read the actual comment instead of seeing the word “Beck” and tossing out the rest. Your kneejerk reaction means that I can’t take you seriously.

  10. Karl Marx was not a bad person. He wanted to create a better society, and truly believed that communism in its purest form would bring about the true freedom for the individual. His theory was fatally flawed, and his methods were evil, but his intentions were not evil

    Yes, good ol’Marx. Engels paid for Marx’s lifestyle because Marx was a lousy businessman, lousy employee and dirt poor. Engels was rich because of his father, and didn’t work a day in his life. These are the guys who thought Socialism is good…..

    “Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis”. I would bet my car payment that BF has this book on his shelf and has read it in its entirety.

    Be careful of a man who bets his car. He is probably holding a Straight Flush.

    So, to keep my discussions organized, I’ll pick pieces of others – point by point:

    Mathius

    OK, so my thoughts off the bat:
    1. I am not a socialist. My support certain policies that tend in that direction, but I think the right path is a heavily regulated private sector, not government owned businesses.

    As soon as you provide a way for government to control business, government will be controlled by business.

    By coercion and legal force, one can limit or prevent competition, business will no longer chose to compete in the open and free market (where there is no legitimate use of force, violence and coercion) and will compete, instead, for control of government – using force, violence and coercion.

    Those that cry “business runs the government” need to review the reasons.

    If government controls business, business will work very, very hard–for its own survival- to control government.

    Yes, business is competing with the People for that control, but business can focus and centralize far more resources to the task than any individual.

    Hence, business eventually takes over the government.

    Further, the larger the government, the larger the corporations necessary to take that control – big government begets big mercantilist corporations.

    As soon as government leaves the economy and free market systems operate – business has no need of the government; actually, it becomes a liability – and business will abandon its control of it.

  11. Mattius

    2. I do not support everyone earning equally. I think the hardest working and smartest among us should earn the most – I just don’t feel that we are entitled to enjoy 100% of our earnings at the expense of those who are unable (NOT UNWILLING, UNABLE) to support themselves.

    So, who determines “how much they are entitled”?
    By what method?
    How did you reason the method?
    How do you tell the difference between “unwilling” and “unable”?
    What level of “support”? Does it include cable TV? Why or why not?

    4. Bill Gates stole from Apple.

    You have a bizarre concept of theft.

    A person cannot steal ‘knowledge’ – if you have an idea and I ‘take it’, do you forget your idea?

    Theft is a loss of property in a manner that the owner cannot no longer use it .

    If I steal USWep’s car, USWep cannot use his car.

    If I have USWep’s idea, USWep still has his idea, he didn’t ‘lose’ it.

    • 2. I am not, just yet, discussing specifics of how, but I would suggest that it is better err in favor of giving too much aid too many than the other way around. If someone freeloads on my dime, while I am not happy about it, it is better than someone starving because I did not give enough.

      4. My concept in intellectual property theft is very standard, and I feel it is you who is wildly off base on this one. Consider. If I work hard to build software, then you steal my code and sell in competition, I make less money because you have receive that money instead. You are profiting from my work, how is that not theft?

      • Black Flag says:

        (2) I have question GG on this:
        You hold that there exists a right to take from someone to give to someone else because the latter are, with no fault of their own in a bad way.

        If it is not their fault, why is it my fault?

        If it is not my fault, by what reasoning do you justify harming me by forcefully taking my property so to satisfy another who is not at fault?

        If by harming me, you become the fault of my harm. Are you now not the problem?

        (3) Stealing: – it is evil because it removes the ability for me to use that property. Knowledge is not property – it cannot be owned exclusively once it has been articulated outside of one’s own mind.

        Once I know what you know, you do not lose what you know.

        Once I have knowledge, you cannot ‘take it back’.

        Stealing or theft is not determined by “how hard I work”. It does not matter – the lose of property via theft is independent of any manner of effort, worth, etc. In other words, if took me a minute or two days to earn my car, it does not change the your theft of it – it is still theft.

        Whether you earn or do not earn on your knowledge is irrelevant to me earning or not earning on my knowledge.

        I am profiting from MY WORK – I am the one had to market and support and sell the code. It is not MY fault that you cannot market, or support, or cannot sell your code. If you have a problem in the market – and no one buys from you – it is a problem with you, not me.

        • BF, you’re being ridiculous.

          If I write a book, does anyone else have the right to copy it and market it on their own?

          If I design a machine, you can copy it despite my extensive R&D outlays?

          When you sell your copies in the same market as me, you will get some sales and I will get some sales and my sales will therefore be less than they would have been.

          Knowledge can absolutely be property – that’s why they call it intellectual property.

          And, because you are always such a fan of the Constitution:

          [Congress shall have the power to] promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

          Please tell me why this clause exists.

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            Mathius … you so nailed it in your first sentence above. So long as he plays that game, he should be ignored.

            I think he’s a plant!

    • Chris Devine says:

      BF, as usual you oversimplify matters in order to ridicule ideas you disagree with.

      Intellectual property is a BIG DEAL these days (check out the DMCA). Furthermore, when companies like Microsoft take a product developed somewhere else and use their behemoth marketing machine to make it appear like they were the innovator, what happens to the little guys? Should they just give up and find a huge MNC to work for? What happens when a good idea is bought for the sole reason to keep it from being marketed (e.g., electric cars)? At some point firms get so big that the desire to make profits encourages a stagnant reliance upon the status quo (e.g., the petrochemical industry). This is why I have a problem with relying on the profit motive to the exclusion of all other motives. This is also why I am in favor of market regulations to limit monopolies and collusion.

      Innovation and hard work should be encouraged. Profits should be a means to that end, not an end by themselves. A sensible, transparent regulatory apparatus can make that the case. Taking Greenspan’s line that regulation is pointless because businesses can always bribe the inspector seems fatalistic and is nothing but a cop-out for industries who don’t want to deal with the nuisance of a fully informed public.

      • Chris Devine

        BF, as usual you oversimplify matters in order to ridicule ideas you disagree with. Intellectual property is a BIG DEAL these days (check out the DMCA).

        It is simple – it is not property. Therefore, demands of property rights on something that is not property is contradiction.

        As I said before, I find it amusing that those that claim a human right to real property is subject to whim defend intellectual property to the death.

        I understand that many have tried to make something that does not exist into a big deal. I’ve watched this flurry around such other contradictions like “Social Contract” do the same futile things.

        Furthermore, when companies like Microsoft take a product developed somewhere else and use their behemoth marketing machine to make it appear like they were the innovator, what happens to the little guys?

        Become incredibly rich.
        Microsoft has provided a platform for millions of people to develop products for consumers and for consumers to use such products for their own benefit.

        Should they just give up and find a huge MNC to work for?

        They are free to give up, or work, or sleep or search or…pretty much do any non-violent action they wish.

        What happens when a good idea is bought for the sole reason to keep it from being marketed (e.g., electric cars)?

        The electric was and is still unfeasible. Amazing! Chris promoting a Conspiracy Theory!!!

        At some point firms get so big that the desire to make profits encourages a stagnant reliance upon the status quo (e.g., the petrochemical industry).

        Impossible is a free market. To do as you claim requires Perfect Business – as we say in poker, no leaks in their game.

        However, the large the business, the more bureaucracy and stagnation – at the minimum! There are so many interconnected things inside a business that it is impossible for any business to do everything perfectly.

        These gaps are more than wide enough for any other business to start up and exploit.

        The only way something in business can do as you claim is by government preventing by edict other business from exploiting these weaknesses.

        This is why I have a problem with relying on the profit motive to the exclusion of all other motives.

        Or is it that those that work smarter than you get more than you?

        This is also why I am in favor of market regulations to limit monopolies and collusion.

        Monopolies cannot exist without government. It requires the force of law to prevent competition. Hence, your solution is precisely the problem.

        Innovation and hard work should be encouraged.

        It is encouraged. It is called “profit”

        Profits should be a means to that end, not an end by themselves.

        Profits are only a means – they are a way to create wealth which increases the prosperity of people.

        It is because you believe profit is an ‘end’ that you become twisted and confused about economics and wealth.

        A sensible, transparent regulatory apparatus can make that the case.

        The only law required is one that de-legitimizes all initiations of violence. Free men need no other law than that.

        Taking Greenspan’s line that regulation is pointless because businesses can always bribe the inspector seems fatalistic and is nothing but a cop-out for industries who don’t want to deal with the nuisance of a fully informed public

        Interesting that it is the government which regularly invokes demands of secrecy in its actions where you demand they are needed to inform the public – a typical contradiction.

        There is no need for ‘regulation’ of business in a free market. The market destroys those that abuse it and rewards those that increase wealth of society.

        The moment government tries to control business, business will try to control government

        All of your post, however, does not prove Knowledge is Property.

        Intellectual Property remains a contradiction.

        • Chris Devine says:

          So if I write for a living then nothing I produce can be considered my property? Nice.

          All of your assertions regarding freedom, government and business boil down to this:

          It would be extremely difficult to manage these entities so why bother? We should just let the chips fall where they may and call the result freedom.

        • Chris Devine says:

          What you call a ‘whim’ I call due process. I would no more kill somebody (or risk my life) to defend real property than I would my writings. However, this does not mean that the product of my creativity isn’t worth as much as some hypothetical widget.

  12. Mathius

    I understand the nature of government – it is a necessary ill (I won’t say evil, because I do not consider it such). I think, perhaps, that it is you who does not understand the nature of man. Humans without government are are greedy, short-sighted, selfish, bullying, sociopathic creatures prone to herd mentality, paranoia, hoarding, and territorialism.
    They lie, cheat, steal. They murder, they enslave, they abuse. They pollute, they deceive, they rape. They will do unspeakable harm to another for the slightest benefit to themselves. Ours is not a moral species. We are nature, red in tooth and claw. Take the shackles of government from our hands and the 10% of the population USW was referring to will sow chaos and destruction the likes of which you have never imagined.

    And, yet government has murdered 200 million people in the 20th Century – for the first time in human history, death by natural calamity (water) – which for all human history has been mankind’s biggest killer – took second place.

    Humans with government magnifies the worst of humanity and degrades the best of humanity.

    • I can’t speak to your statistics (though 200mm sounds high to me), but I will say this: there is no way 6 billion people share this rock without government. In any form. They simply could not coexist.

      Yes, there are evils. Yes, there are abuses. I do not condone these, but I do separate them from the idea of government. They are rogue acts whether of a rogue individual within a government or of an anomalous rogue government.

      • Black Flag says:

        Google “Death by Government”

        So, as you admit, there are abuses and evil WITH government as there is WITHOUT government.

        Therefore, your argumet about evil WITHOUT government is irrelevant, since that is the same argument case WITH government.

        Your argument against my position also argues against your position.

        In logic terms, your argument cancels itself out.

      • Cute, but no.

        I argue that both are flawed, but yours is more so.

        -3 points for VDLG vs. -1 points for Mathius-ism vs. -2 points for socialism

        Ergo, my solution is best

        • Black Flag says:

          And it is not just cute, it is reasoning – yes, you can ignore reason – and be irrational, but that will end our discussion.

          I have demonstrated that government kills 200 million – you have demonstrated that freedom has killed……?

          • Chris Devine says:

            Google “Blackwater” “Xe” or “Eric Prince”.

            Who says armies have to be run by governments?

            • Not me.

              In a free market, there is no monopolies – including in the business of defense.

              Blackwater is capable of its abuses as it is protected by the US government.

              • Chris Devine says:

                So if the government didn’t exist those abuses wouldn’t occur?

              • Suffering Always Occurs, nothing you do will eliminate it.

                The abuses of Blackwater would not be justifiable in a free society – where as with government, they are [immorally] justified.

  13. Good article USW, thank you for your efforts.

    We’ve been through many of these discussions before when the Road to Socialism series was posted several months back. I would encourage all new readers to go back to those postings as they were very informative.

    Like many here, I grew up in very modest means, one of five siblings. We were taught to take care of yourselves and don’t expect others to do for you, what you can do for yourself. We are all very independent people today, sometimes almost to a fault. I remember when, after my mother passed away suddenly, my neighbors and friends coordinated a meal chain and for two weeks provided us with dinner every evening. It was very awkward to accept this kindness as it felt like charity. I’ve mentioned on this blog also, my uncomfortable feeling when I stayed home after our third child was born and was no longer contributing financially to our family for the first time.

    My family has given in charitable ways often. I prefer to give anonymously and both the school and our church will call me when they know of a need – whether it be clothes, food, I’ve even paid utility bills and a mortgage once. We are not rich, but we have been responsible and believe in voluntarily sharing what we’ve worked for.

    I don’t believe we are unique in any way; I truly believe this is how the majority of Americans operate.

    I want/expect to make the decisions on how best to use our money. To think that government knows best is bulldookey, to put it nicely.

    GG has some interesting views on business owners. Quite frankly, going out and working for someone else is the easy way out. I chose to leave the corporate world several years ago and now have my own business. I love what I do, but there are days, when I think back to how easy it was to show up, do a good job, go home and not think about it again until the next day. (yea, yea, I know, I’m belittling the worker here to make a point)

    GG also has some interesting views on one generation leaving wealth to following generations. My Father-in-law passed away 3 weeks ago. He (and my MIL, who is no longer living) were classic small town working-class people. He worked his entire life, up until about 3 months ago, when his health prevented him continuing. They enjoyed some nice things and trips throughout their lives, but lived under their means and now, we are in a position to inherit a fair amount. As a matter of fact, because we also live under our means, and certainly didn’t plan on this inheritance as part of our overall financial picture, we really don’t need this money. Will it make our life easier? Absolutely! Are we appreciative? Beyond measure. But, according to how I interpret your postings, GG, since we don’t need this money to survive, it should be passed on to the Greater Good?

    I strongly support VDLG!

    As a PS to everyone: SPEND YOUR MONEY WHILE YOU ARE LIVING!

    • As a PS to everyone: SPEND YOUR MONEY WHILE YOU ARE LIVING!

      …and with this belief, is one reason why the American economy is self-destructing.

      With a time preference of goods approaching near zero (that is, demanded today), there is no savings. With no savings, there is no capital. With no capital there is no investment. With no investment, there is no increase in capacity. With no increase in capacity, there is no method to satisfy a zero-time preference.

      • You know, I knew when I wrote that, I should have a disclaimer and of course, you would catch it.

        What I mean is this – live responsibly, plan for the future, but enjoy the present. There were times over their lives that my in-laws would bicker about little money issues that would make us question their financial status. That kind of stuff is stupid! There were trips that they wanted to take and one or the other would decide they just couldn’t do it. Yes, they could!

        Does that help?

        • Black Flag says:

          Of course, I agree one should enjoy the fruits of the labor.

          Sustainable Prosperity depends on one generation earning and saving their labor (called capital) for their children to use and build upon.

          Things that are worth the most cannot usually be be built in a single generation.

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      I was independently employed once (for 18 years as a criminal). I made a ton of money. I took care of my family and others with a smile on my chops. I worked harder then than I do now. I had many headaches (including the risk of jail) but was lucky enough not to get beyond the arrest stages (charges were always dropped). I loved the coin I earned (mostly through usury) and I didn’t have a problem with what it took to keep the business afloat.

      I chose to go another path when I felt the luck might run out. I was lucky to do so; a few years later, those I dealt with took a massive hit.

      I don’t get the point of your story (regarding working hard as an owner vs. having it easier as a worker). I’m now a legitimate worker again and it is much easier. So?

      I don’t demonize owners or self-employed people. I demonize the system.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Just because when YOU earned a lot of money you did so in an illegitimate way does not mean that ALL PEOPLE who own money do so in illegitimate ways.

        It just means you made a bad choice, largely avoided the consequences, and then couldn’t find a legitimate way to maintain your earnings, so you made a better choice and decided to live with the consequences of the better choice, which was to earn less.

        Other than that, I fail to see your point.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          Exactly, we are both pointless. But I will say that usury, whether it be by banks or individuals, does not serve the greater good; that usuary is a byproduct of capitalism (I’m not blaming what I did on capitalism so don’t go there–like Willie Sutton, I did it for the money).

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Usury is the by-product of one of two possibilities:

            1) The consumer is willing to pay ridiculously high interest rates in order to be able to obtain credit at all.

            OR

            2) Government regulation allows financial institutions to charge ridiculously high interest rates to the consumer for credit, so the corporate banks raise their rates to the highest levels allowed by law. Since their is insufficient free market competition, the consumer does not have the option of obtaining credit at a more reasonable rate.

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              Brother, have you got it backwards. It’s simple supply and demand. They want it, I got it, I get to tell them how much they’re paying.

              Yes with the financial crisis, the Wall street’s lackies in gov’t gave them OUR money and told us to shove off about it; then they choked us off from our own money anyway (because there were no regulations to stop them).

              Good country, America …

      • Black Flag says:

        There are some people who play poker badly, and win against those that play poker well (but lose).

        There are some people who live life badly, and win against those that live life morally (but lose).

        But that does not mean playing bad poker is a good play and living life badly is a good life.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hi Kathy…

      I’m sorry about your FIL…

      I interpret GG’s thought process on inheritance differently…my interpretation is that GG believes an inheritence should be split among the “people” for the “common good”, REGARDLESS of the heir NEEDING the inheritence or not…

      Best Regards,
      RS

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        Let me use an example (fictitious, of course):

        Bob is worth 20 billion. He has 10 kids. His kids get a percentage of his inheritence equal to the maximum national pay scale (say, 50K each is what the maximum salary is worth). The rest goes into the pot.

        • v. Holland says:

          Why would Bob bother to earn 20 billion -if his children could just dip into the pot and without Bob-where would the pot come from.

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            Dipping into the pot might net them $02. because there will be other dipping in as well (paying for services).

            I’ll suggest that most proactive people will want to achieve no matter what the rewards are. And most lazy SOB’s will be lazy no matter what the rewards/deficits are.

            • v. Holland says:

              I’m gonna give you an example-We take all the money and we put it in a big pot-Now putting it in this pot-I think most would agree will cause a percentage of people(in my opinion a large percentage of people to earn less)so the pot is smaller so it is automatically harder to help all the peolple. Now we give everyone an equal amount of money-say $3000.00 a month to live on-Some people will be more frugal and will survive on less, other people will live month to month, and other people will after a week, maybe two will be broke. In the end, we have the same situation-but we have thrown away our freedom, we have reduced the amount of money being made etc. etc. So what has your extreme measure to try to bring about equality actually accomplished?

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                You wrote: “So what has your extreme measure to try to bring about equality actually accomplished?”

                GREAT example. Those who pissed it away are up the creek without the paddle. They can depend on charity or starve. Those who live month to month are surviving. Those who save for a rainy day (when the pot takes a hit), get extra scoops of ice cream (I guess). Why do you see it as giving up your freedom? Those who blow the money (gambling or whatever) are out of luck. They do it enough times and they’re out of the system. They rob while being provided for, they’re in jail. Nobody is proposing a tree hugger society here. People have to be responsible, that’s granted, but under this system we currently have (which to me is free market and I won’t argue with BF about it again), we have such disparity of advantage/income, etc., too many are always left behind and it has little to do with their desire to move up the social ladder.

              • v. Holland says:

                So, you are saying because a segment of our society has been unfairly treated economically-that we should completely change our form of government, instead of taking less extreme measures to help them. You realize in your form of government-there are going to be people who come out and scream we must do something for the GreaterGood because they will feel that they are being mistreated by those people who actually saved their money-My limited knowledge about countries that are Socialist or are mostly socialistic either turn into dictatorships or they seem to back off on their socialist programs after some time has past because they realize that they can’t maintain socialism economically. I can’t understand how you can believe that you will be truly helping people when the end result will be either the same economic division of money (at least in my example) but in reality, if you destroy the human spirit’s drive to achieve, you will end up destroying the country, which that spirit supports.

        • Black Flag says:

          Why the maximum pay scale? Why not half? Or twice? Whose pot? Who owns the pot and where is this ‘pot’?

          Or, you do you mean it is wholly arbitrary on whomever happens to be sitting in the right chair that day?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Whose pot does it go into?

        • If I’m Bob, I give my kids the difference before I croak.

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          GreaterGoodCS:

          I have sat back for several days trying to get a take on you. I’ve been trying to understand your positions with an open mind.

          At this point, your opinion is of no further consequence to me. If “shunning” were still in practice today, I would shun you; I will use my best recourse going forward and that is to “tune you out”. I would no more take advice or listen to opinions of an arrogant criminal than I would of Freddy Krueger.

          This is not due to your political bent; this is due to the fact that you have no shame and are disrespectful in a smarmy way. You have admittedly performed usury at a high profit (and you seem arrogant and joyful, thumbing your nose at escaping prosecution – thus my statement on no shame). This usury was most likely against the very people that you demand be suppported by stealing more of my money. Perhaps if immoral individuals like yourself didn’t take advantage of these people then they would be in better shape.

          If you were attempting to lay a trap, i.e. Capitalism unfettered can equal legalized usury, I do not fall into it. The “raw” fact of the matter here is that you are an immoral person taking advantage of disadvantaged individuals.

          Of course you have no problem with your immoral political beliefs.

          Now, I have officially tuned you out.

          RS

      • v. Holland says:

        One of my problems with your idea-is that you seem to base it on how money is earned now-without factoring in the changes that would occur(a much smaller amount to put into the pot) if your system was enacted.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          That might prove out (what you say) but we won’t know it until we try it. Right now the greater good does not get served is what we do know.

          • Black Flag says:

            But how can you know, since you have no idea what “Greater Good” is? It could be a “Greater Bad” but you have no clue that it is or not. So if we try it, it is very likely we’ll be destroyed.

            So, let’s hold off trying until we know what we are trying.

  14. Greatergoodcs

    That implies that the owner knows what is best for the workers, doesn’t it?

    No.

    It implies the owner knows what is best for himself, and the workers can chose – freely – whether or not that worker’s goal is aligned or not. If it is not, he can find work somewhere else. If it is aligned, he can participate in the profit.

    What makes you think so?

    Because in a free market, both the employer and employee enter their arrangement voluntarily – that is, each makes their own choices without force or coercion.

    A person knows what is best for himself, not?

    I suspect the owners knows what is best for him/her and that it will come (as it usually does) at the expense of the workers.

    An expense is a payment for a good/service.

    The employee is not paying – he is being paid, hence the worker is an expense to the owner.

    Once the owner of the means of production is in place, he no longer earns squat. It is those who work for him that “earn” their wages and the owner’s profit.

    If the owner did not put in place his factory, there exists no job for the worker.

    Hence, without the owner, the worker is doomed.

    The owner could always do his task by himself, and does not require the worker.

    The worker is beholden to the owner for work – not the other way around.

    Forget charity here. I’m talking about the right to accumulate equally. It doesn’t exist.

    It cannot be equal, since no one works the same way.

    Using force and coercion to make it equal will do so – it will eliminate any accumulation, and all will be poor.

    BF is alright by me … just exhausting … but I suspect that is a debate tactic more than him purposely being annoying.

    Yes, it is a tactic – but not to be exhausting – but one used to expose contradictions.

    It is called “Socrates’ Drilling” – ask questions that peel away rhetoric until reasoning is offered instead.

    Often, the reasoning exposes a contradiction in the originally held opinion.

    After that, the rest is up to the person – do they hold on to an irrational position, or move to one based on reason?

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      You wrote: Because in a free market, both the employer and employee enter their arrangement voluntarily – that is, each makes their own choices without force or coercion.

      Often enough people take what they can get (in the form of jobs–never mind nepotism, etc.). They are forced by circumstances out of their control.

      • Kristian Stout says:

        I completely disagree with that last paragraph, it is not out of their control. The majority of the population is capable of learning and as long as they are they are capable of changing their cicumstances. I’ve taken many a job that wasn’t what I wanted but I made it a point to stay there only until I found a better position. Anyone can change their circumstance if they choose to but they have to choose to.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          If you believe there isn’t a large segment of this society which is so disadvantage that they can’t better themselves, then you are in serious denial.

          • The only ones in “serious denial” are those that refuse reason and moral standards.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            There is a large portion of society that is at a huge disadvantage.

            The portion of society that has been taught that they do not need to work because the government will take care of them is at a huge disadvantage.

            The portion of society that feels that they do not need to learn anything, because learning anything won’t do them any good because they will never get anywhere anyway is at a huge disadvantage.

            The portion of society that believes that no matter what their situation is, they can always learn more, adapt, and better their own situation is at a huge ADVANTAGE.

      • But if it is out of your control, it is out of my control too.

        So why do you believe you have a right to harm me for something that is not in my control?

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          Because without help some would perish and I’m no fan of so-called social darwinism. I don’t buy the charity argument and you can’t claim that everyoen would be cared for via charity; as many as there are who would take it without blinking an eye, there are those who wouldn’t think of giving it either.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Whether we are helped or not, 100% of us are eventually going to perish, that is just a fact of life.

          • Black Flag says:

            Without EFFORT you will perish.


            But if it is out of your control, it is out of my control too.

            So why do you believe you have a right to harm me for something that is not in my control?

            Does that mean I can harm you for things not in my or your control too?

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              Let’s take the existential argument one step further (since we’re all going to perish). Why give a flying ___ about morality? Why don’t I just take whatever I want from you whenever I want it whether there is a gov’t to stop me or not?

              What do contradictions in the universe have to do with anything? We’re all gonna go, so it’s officially party time according to you … and my idea of a party is to drink your booze.

              • Black Flag says:

                G

                Let’s take the existential argument one step further (since we’re all going to perish). Why give a flying ___ about morality?

                Because without society, the human race will collaspe into savagery, and millions (if not billions) will die.

                Society cannot sustain itself on an immoral premise.

                Moral premises are achieved by reason.

                Why don’t I just take whatever I want from you whenever I want it whether there is a gov’t to stop me or not?

                If you believe you have a right to steal from people, you grant everyone the right to steal from you.

                What do contradictions in the universe have to do with anything?

                There are no contradictions in the universe, thus attempting to create one is creates evil.

              • GreaterGoodscs says:

                That is as useless an explanation as any you’ve provided.

                Absolute nonsense.

              • Black Flag says:

                Coming from a man who has no sense, I am surprised by your inability to understand.

          • “I’m no fan of so-called social darwinism”

            I have to be honest GG, at this point I am not sure that you have the capacity to even understand it, let alone make a judgement about it.

    • Chris Devine says:

      It’s called the elenchus. It amounts to persistently asking your interlocutor for clarification until he eventually contradicts himself. While this may seem like a valid method of inquiry, it’s results are entirely dependent upon the lack of equivocation (i.e., bait and switch) on the part of the interrogator. It is a rhetorical device pretending to be non-rhetorical, a sophist wolf in sheep’s clothing.

      BF, I think you are often guilty of oversimplification and pandering to amorphous concepts like ‘freedom’ and ‘evil’ to make your points. While you seem to firmly believe that your definition of freedom is self-evident and sufficient, the fact that you rarely allow for subtlety tells me that you are more interested in furthering your own agenda than getting to the truth of any matter. You claim ignorance or omniscience depending upon your immediate goal, which is invariably to paint your opponent as someone who prefers ‘violence’ over ‘freedom.’ You name drop and pretend to be some self-taught luminary of science, yet you hide behind a moniker. If you weren’t such a coward you would use your real name and not rely upon some imaginary persona.

      Feel free to cut and paste this and rearrange it to make me look unreasonable or irrational. Eventually people may see you for the free-market snake charmer you truly are.

  15. Mathius

    Wait.. didn’t BF say that no evil can be tolerated ever?
    If greed is evil, and no evil can be tolerated, and greed is the beating heart of capitalism, it is a moral imperative to scrap capitalism.
    Thou shalt not covet.
    -God

    Covet – to desire (what belongs to another) inordinately or culpably.

    Covet is not greed.

    Greed is wanting more than what one has already.

    Greed can become coveting if to satisfy that want, I desire YOUR STUFF.

    Socialism is coveting – hence, evil.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Precisely.

      God never said it was immoral for you to go out and earn whatever you were capable of earning.

      God DID say it was immoral to steal what someone else had earned.

      BIG difference.

    • I believe we did establish above that God did precisely that: approve of stealing if you are in need.

      Then again, God* also said that planting different crops side-by-side shall be punishable by death. Failure to observe the sabbath shall be punishable by death. Wearing clothes made of different cloths was punishable by death. Eating bacon is punishable by death**. The pinnacle of a “good man” in Sodom was willing to throw his two virgin daughters out to be raped because his guests were more important. Homosexuality is an abomination. Daughters are worth less than men. Eve was created from Adam’s rib. Eve and Adam were created at the same time from earth. Slavery is fine as long as the slave isn’t Jewish. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. The entire universe was created in 6 days. If someone slaps you, you should turn the other cheek, but if someone takes your eye, you shall take theirs, a hand for a hand, a burning for a burning. Jonah lived inside a giant fish (not a whale – those are mammals). The entire earth flooded for 40 days. Lazarus rose from the dead. So did Jesus. Methuselah lived 900 years. And I could go on, but I won’t. I just don’t know how much faith into what we “know” God* thinks.

      *Assuming, for the sake of argument, that He does exist.
      **In my humble opinion, this is well worth the risk

  16. Greatergoodcs

    Let me put it this way: Screw what God said. I don’t believe in God (any God).

    You do not have to believe in “God” to be moral.

    Every man has the right to survive and if me or mine are going hungry through no fault of my own, I’m clipping my next meal(s) until things get better.

    If it is not your fault, then why is it my fault?

    You believe because you are faultless, you can harm another – that is, be the cause of harm and therefore you become the fault of another’s injury, true?

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      I believe when I’m hungry, the guy with the Rolex is up first. The Concord is on deck … down to the Timex.

      That is life in a free market system. I wouldn’t have to a) go hungry in a socialist state if I lost my job through no fault of my own … or b) if the gov’t was there to lend a hand (which the watch owners, Rolex through Timex) contributed to in the form of taxes.

      • I already understand that you will steal and potentially kill another for your food that you did not earn, BUT….

        You did not answer my question:

        If it is not your fault, then why is it my fault?</b?

        You believe because you are faultless, you can harm another – that is, be the cause of harm and therefore you become the fault of another’s injury, true?

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          in a system without gov’t/rules, etc., because you might just be unlucky enough to be there (at the wrong time in the wrong place). That is what no gov’t will get you.

          Why gov’t needs to be in place (to protect you from poor starving me).

          • You cannot answer the questions, GG?

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              He is incapable of answering the questions because he knows that if he did answer them he would contradict himself.

              • Black Flag says:

                I believe GG does not care if he is a contradiction or not.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                I believe you’re incapable of answering every question I asked of you. We’re even.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                But BF has answered your questions.. just because you don’t LIKE the answer doesn’t mean it wasn’t an answer.

                You on the other hand have provided no answers, so we have no way of knowing whether we like your answers or not.

              • Black Flag says:

                Sir, I have offered a shared requirement of reason for us both to delve into the answers.

                You have refused to agree.

                I cannot answer questions irrationally.

              • Chris Devine says:

                Your questions are always loaded. You presuppose an answer in the way you frame them. This is precisely what I was trying to get at a while back. When you ask a question like “when did you stop beating your wife” there’s no good answer. Asking “why do you hate freedom” is exactly the same.

                You have no trouble justifying a market where individual choices result in macro-scale effects (e.g., unemployment). Why can’t you allow for similar choices (i.e., votes) to justify macro-scale management (i.e., government). You have yet to explain why you think the limitation of choices due to market pressures is not a limitation on freedom. How is “work for what I’m willing to pay even if it’s below subsistence level” a real choice (especially if there is no other practicable option)?

              • Chris, reply over in Tues. Open Mic

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            So you admit that because of government rules, you are allowed to steal from the guy with the Rolex if you are starving?

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              Oy-vey (again). You call what we live in socialism. I think you’re in denial. We don’t have anything near socialism here yet. We have “hints” of it. This is your society that promotes stealing, Peter. YOURS (i wish I could do the bold thing …)

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Once again, you have not answered the question.

                YOU YOURSELF stated that if you were starving, the guy with the Rolex would be first, the guy with the Concord would be on deck, and then the guy with the Timex.

                So, either you believe it is ok to steal from the guy with the Rolex if you are starving or you do not… which is it? It is a perfectly clear question.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Your assertion that this is in any way MY society makes absolutely no sense. Please provide an explanation for that assertion.

          • GG;

            The government does not protect that which is mine, I protect that which is mine. The government is only involved to determine what laws, if any, were broken when I protected that which is mine.

            Those who would allow theft, for whatever reason, are bound to a life of dependence; not independence.

            BTW: If you stole and at the time believed it to be moral/acceptable, because the end justified the means, but you chose to stop being a thief because you wanted to avoid being caught, then you morality is flawed. If you worked for me and I found this to be true I would fire you.

      • GG,

        Is this what you are hoping for? Someone at the FCC who thinks the first amendment is overrated, overused? And thinks its great when a foreign government seizes TV/radio stations?

        Mark Lloyd, “Chief Diversity Officer” at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

        As we have repeatedly stated, Chief Diversity Officer Lloyd is virulently anti-capitalist, almost myopically racially fixated and exuberantly pro-regulation.

        Lloyd had this to say about the First Amendment:

        “It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press. This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.

        “[T]he purpose of free speech is warped to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote democratic governance.”

        What Lloyd says about what Hugo Chavez is doing in Venezuela

        “In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution – a democratic revolution. To begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela.

        “The property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela rebelled – worked, frankly, with folks here in the U.S. government – worked to oust him. But he came back with another revolution, and then Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country.

        “The property owners and the folks who then controlled (read: OWNED) the media rebelled” in 2002 against Chavez’s “incredible…democratic revolution.” You bet they did – they were watching Chavez seize their property and nationalize their industries.

        Lloyd then expresses disdain for the fact that there were some senior officials in the Bush Administration who gave a wink and a nod to the attempted ouster. How dare we in any way intervene to prevent Chavez’s full-on Communist takeover?

        And this is where Lloyd gets really dangerous given his new gig: “But he (Chavez) came back with another revolution (in 2006), and then began to take very seriously the media in his country.”

        Well let’s see; what does Lloyd mean by this? How exactly did Chavez “beg(i)n to take very seriously the media in his country” when he “came back with another revolution?”

        NGOs Warn of Restrictions in Pending Venezuela Law

        Associated Press – May 7, 2009
        Prominent Venezuelan nongovernmental organizations warned Thursday that a bill being drafted by lawmakers loyal to President Hugo Chavez could be used to financially strangle groups that criticize the government.

        Chavez clamps down on broadcast media

        Irish Examiner – Friday, July 10, 2009

        President Hugo Chavez’s government is imposing tough new regulations on Venezuela’s cable television while revoking the licenses of more than 200 radio stations.

        Report: Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez aggressively seizing control of media

        Miami Herald – August 14, 2009
        An unclassified report lists examples of Venezuelan government efforts to crack down on or seize control of media outlets to stifle criticism.

        How’s that for a chronology of authoritarian censorship?

        http://newsbusters.org/blogs/seton-motley/2009/08/28/video-fcc-diversity-czar-chavezs-venezuela-incredible-democratic-revol

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          You’re off on an “irrational” tangeant.

          Socialism is a more political democracy than the crap we’re fed here (Holland). I don’t believe the former Soviet Union is a true socialist state. I think Holland comes closer to the picture I like (where government regulates and provides when necessary).

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Your definition of socialism is interesting… You assert that a largely free-market society that has some socialist aspects is socialism (Holland) but at the same time you assert that a largely free-market society that has aspects of socialism is NOT SOCIALISM (the US)…

            So which is it? Is a largely free-market society with aspects of socialism socialism or not socialism?

            • Black Flag says:

              The Netherlands is not Socialist – it is Capitalist.

              GG is so strange – he uses precisely the country that is reducing government in the economy as his example of government in the economy.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                We went through this yesterday, BF and you’re distorting it (because they let you).

                Holland provides national health care, education, enforced vacations 6-12 weeks (try any of those here), euthenasia, etc.

                We have that here?

                You’re both funny.

              • I know people who live in Holland and I have been there. Sounds good to you but they don’t like it and would kill or die to live in the USA.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Baloney.

              • Black Flag says:

                That is a piece of meat, not a reasoned reply.

              • Black Flag says:

                You point to a little bit left of Socialism – while the Netherlands (ps: Holland is a province of the Netherlands, not the country)

                But even your information is incorrect (do you actually check anything)?

                Netherlands:
                Vacation – 4 weeks (not 6/12)

                Health Care – only long term care; short term care requires insurance

                Right to life (or death) is not an economic issue…

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Those are your figures, brother. Mine were researched.

              • Black Flag says:

                Please provide links or reference.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I am glad your failure to correctly define socialism or capitalism makes us amusing to you 🙂

          • GG,

            Lets stay with the USA. The Chief Diversity Officer for our FCC thinks its great for a government to seize TV and radio stations. Does that not give you a clue about how he thinks the FCC should operate? And is this typical for the 46 Czars? Let me take a wild guess, Fox needs to be taken over, for the good of the people, ABC, NBC & CBS are doing fine, except Lou Dobbs has to go, and Rush is in prison.

        • Chris Devine says:
      • And I believe in the fact that I have the full right to defend myself and my property from your larcenous hands. That’s why I carry a weapon.

        If you want to take what I have without permission for whatever reason, you will only do so by wading through a hail of lead. 😉

        As long as we still have the 2nd Amedment to the Constitution you will not take my possessions no matter what your reason. If the 2nd Amendment is taken away I would have to prove that man had other weapons long before guns were invented. 🙂

    • BF…why do you waste your time?

      • Black Flag says:

        Because GG does a great job of demonstrating how irrational, perverse, arbitrary and, essentially, incredibly dangerous the socialist mindset is…

        …my hope is that those that support the existence of government, to its logical conclusion, re-evaluate that support. They will ensure the likes of this gentleman will become their ruler.

  17. (Once the owner of the means of production is in place, he no longer earns squat. It is those who work for him that “earn” their wages and the owner’s profit. A guy builds up a plumbing business from the ground and eventually hires 5 other plumbers to expand his business. What gives the owner of the business the right to pay salaries to those other five plumbers and take profit for himself since he isn’t the one “earning” from their labor?\

    It’s not a matter of “taking advantage”. I think many of you see me as holding “owners” in the role of villain. Not so. Why can’t you earn more than the workers and the owner earn more than the workers but not in so disproportionate an amount that they are forever on the short end of the stick (or that the owner is forever the one in control)?

    Again, I’m not demonizing the owner. I’m suggesting there’s a way for him to do better than his employees but in such a way that the employees are rewarded for their efforts (wouldn’t the same incentives apply–that they’d want to perform better knowing their reward was greater)?

    it would give him say 50% of the profits as opposed to 100% over what he doesn’t directly earn.)

    I find your first statement contradicts the other three-No offense -But what do you really think? I am confused.

    • Sorry- this is for GreaterGood

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        Perhaps “earns squat” comes off in too negative a manner. I’m fine with owners earning more (structured) than their workers but not to the degree that empowers him beyond reason (and I’m not going to define reason for you BF; a collective sense of what is reasonable is as far as I’ll go).

        When I say “earn squat” I meant once he has others working for him, he isn’t performing the labor (and thus collecting profit he doesn’t really deserve–not 100% of it anyway).

        Hope that helps.

        • what is reasonable

          But, GG, how do you know it is reasonable?

          You simply believe it is reasonable is merely another persons says so?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Who would “structure” what is worth what amount?

          A brain surgeon does not require many employees, yet he saves many lives. Should he be paid more than the Auto Maker who saves no lives at all but provides many jobs?

          Who decides?

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            The people (masses) through voting would provide the structure of pay scales and yes, a brain surgeon should get paid more than an auto mechanic but he should get to pick and choose his clientele; everybody should share in his expertise. Why does that bother you?

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              And you could demonstrate that “the masses” would actually have the means of properly assessing who is worth what amount of money how?

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              By the way, YOU just advocated a free market!!!!

              In a free market, “the masses” determine what a product or service is worth by either purchasing that product or service or not purchasing that product or service. This has the effect of setting the price of the product or service to a price at which the masses feel that their desire to obtain that product or service and their desire for that product or service are equal.

              In this way, in a free market, “the masses” do indeed vote to determine how much a producer of a given product or service should make. They vote with their wallets.

              So I guess you do support a free market after all 🙂

  18. Reading and following.

  19. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Logically analyze the following statement:

    A free market enables some people to make vast sums of money in immoral ways; therefore anyone who has amassed large sums of money in a free-market system must have done so immorally.

    • It’s illogical to assume that everyone is immoral.

      • bottom line says:

        It’s illogical to assume anything.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          And it is insance to give credence to non-governmental society made up of 304,000,000 individuals.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            You have already demonstated your inability to have a logical or civil conversation. I will continue to respond to your posts simply because it is fun, but I certainly do not expect logic or the ability to hold a reasoned debate with one that claims that freedom is insane.

        • Your statement is illogical.

          If I see a man walking toward me in a threatening way waving a gun at me and shouting for me to give him my wallet, I assume he wants me to give him my wallet. Maybe he’s just ranting to himself or replaying a movie in his head or some such nonsense, but my assumption is anything but illogical.

          • bottom line says:

            Without looking it up in a dictionary, I would define logic as anylizing and interpreting a set of facts, and using induction and deduction to form a determinable conclusion.

            FACT: A man is walking toward you in a threatening way waiving a gun at you and shouting for you to give him your wallet.

            LOGICAL CONCLUSION: You’re being robbed.

            Without looking it up either, I would define an assumption as a faulty conclusion based on something besides facts. That is to say it isn’t fact based.

            If you see a man walking toward you while in passing, acting like everyone else, and in no way taking a threaten posture or weilding a weapon…If he is just minding his own buisness, and you dtermine that he is going to rob you…then THAT is the assumption. You ASSUME that he is a threat although there are no facts to support your conclusion.

            If anyone in your example is making the assumption, it is the guy trying to rob you and demanding your wallet. How the hell does he KNOW you have a wallet? For all he really knows, the only thing you carry is your credit card, cell phone, keys, and a .44 desert eagle. He is making the assumption that you are his victim.

  20. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I find it highly amusing that when I make the statement “If all people are esssentially children that require the guidance of government in order to do the right thing, and yet you put people in charge of the government, all you have done is put irresponsible children in charge of irresponsible children” no one bothers to attempt to refute that statement.

    • Black Flag says:

      It is too easy to refute for you and me – but it is interesting how so many people seem agree with it, even though it is irrational.

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        So many where? You guys are getting too much self-praise. Step out of this fantasy world you “debate” in and soak up some sun.

        • Black Flag says:

          Sun shines here everyday.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          I get out and enjoy the sun regularly. Just took my kids to the park and ate some yummy ice cream treats at Dairy Queen the other day. I highly recommend it.

          It is good that you recognize that there is a sun… I was beginning to wonder just how unusual your world was. I am glad it has a sun in it.

  21. Black Flag says:

    Mathius

    BF, you’re being ridiculous.

    Such a claim suggests I have presented an irrational argument. I have not. Please do not insult the discussion with such baseless rhetoric.

    Point 1: Theft is the loss of property taken by force or coercion, preventing the owner from using it or accessing it for his own purposes.

    Point 2: Knowledge can be known by more than one person at the same time without any loss of that knowledge.

    Point 3: Therefore the transfer of knowledge between any person is not theft, there is no loss.

    If I write a book, does anyone else have the right to copy it and market it on their own?

    Why not?

    They have to copy it and market it by their effort, right? They didn’t steal your book that you printed, right?

    If I design a machine, you can copy it despite my extensive R&D outlays?

    Why not?

    I have to build the machine with parts I make or buy, right? I didn’t steal your machine or your parts right?

    When you sell your copies in the same market as me, you will get some sales and I will get some sales and my sales will therefore be less than they would have been.

    If I open a coffee shop and compete against Starbucks, are you claiming I am stealing ‘their customers’ and that should be illegal?

    Knowledge can absolutely be property – that’s why they call it intellectual property.

    That is merely a theory that I suggest is baseless.

    Knowledge is not exclusive property. I can know exactly the same thing you do, and it does not diminish one little bit of the knowledge you hold.

    A basic tenant of law: No harm, no foul.

    Since my knowing has not harmed your knowing, there is no foul.

    And, because you are always such a fan of the Constitution:

    You are too new here to know that I am not a fan of the Constitution.

    Why should I obey a bunch of words written on a piece of paper by some men with white hair in their ears?

    [Congress shall have the power to] promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
    Please tell me why this clause exists.

    They made a mistake – their reasoning is incomplete and violates the Rights of Men by claiming that another man owns the knowledge of other men.

    (PS: Your last argument is a fallacy – “Appeal to Authority”)

    • Appeal to authority was just the kicker.

      I sense we are too far apart on this to reach consensus. I do not see how I can convince you that intellectual rights must be protected if you accept that no such right exists. So, let’s try another tact..

      Please tell me how your theory on intellectual property rights would not completely stifle innovation. Specifically, what incentive does Apple have to create a new OS if you can buy one copy and give or sell it to everyone else?

      • Black Flag says:

        I sense we are too far apart on this to reach consensus.

        I am not looking for consensus.

        It is either property or it is not – it can’t be ‘half and half’.

        I do not see how I can convince you that intellectual rights must be protected if you accept that no such right exists.

        Try using reasoning – it always works on me.

        So, let’s try another tact..

        Please tell me how your theory on intellectual property rights would not completely stifle innovation.

        Since we have had innovation without intellectual property “rights” (as if such a thing exists) in the past, such a demonstration is self-obvious.

        Specifically, what incentive does Apple have to create a new OS if you can buy one copy and give or sell it to everyone else?

        Another fallacy, sir.

        Appeal to consequences, also known as argumentum ad consequentiam (Latin for argument to the consequences), is an argument that concludes a premise (typically a belief) to be either true or false based on whether the premise leads to desirable or undesirable consequences.

        This is based on an appeal to emotion and is a form of logical fallacy, since the desirability of a consequence does not address the truth value of the premise.

        I do not have any reason to concern myself with Apple’s problems or victories.

        It is a case of human rights – you do not own my knowledge.

        • BF, I am trying to reason with you, but you are alone in the wilderness and cannot hear me.

          The fruits of my physical labor are mine by definition (so you say, I say tax away, but that’s a different issue). How then, do you feel that the fruits of your intellectual labor are somehow not.

          The book I write is mine. I thought it up, I wrote it down, I alone reserve the right to profit from its distribution. If you take this and give it away, you are stealing my ability to sell it. You are stealing money that should have gone to me as the end result of my labor. You did not work. I did.

          Your argument that people used to innovate is flawed. You base your premise on the pre-technological era. Before, copying an idea meant a huge investment in time and/or energy which was generally cost-prohibitive. Today, it costs nothing to mass distribute someone else’s ideas. Whereas, if I made a song 200 years ago, I could “sell” it by performing it. 75 years ago, I could sell it on record, or radio. Today, I could sell it over the internet, but nobody would buy because you’re giving it away for free on Napster. Thus, your actions have cause a loss to me. I sold you that song for personal use, not distribution.

          I appeal to authority and consequence because they are logical ways to demonstrate this. I say ideas are property, you say they are not, but either way, we should be able to come together to acknowledge the necessity of protecting IP. Without it, no one would make software, artists wouldn’t bother to record, novelists wouldn’t write, movie studios wouldn’t produce. Why should they when someone like you will immediately steal their work and give it away?

          Please don’t insult either of us by trying to argue for DRM.

  22. GreaterGood, lets celebrate some of the good things a union brings to a business, like education, people work, get paid, its a business.
    “molesting a student”

    It’s a June morning, and there are fifteen people in the room, four of them fast asleep, their heads lying on a card table. Three are playing a board game. Most of the others stand around chatting. Two are arguing over one of the folding chairs. But there are no children here. The inhabitants are all New York City schoolteachers who have been sent to what is officially called a Temporary Reassignment Center but which everyone calls the Rubber Room.

    These fifteen teachers, along with about six hundred others, in six larger Rubber Rooms in the city’s five boroughs, have been accused of misconduct, such as hitting or molesting a student, or, in some cases, of incompetence, in a system that rarely calls anyone incompetent.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/08/31/090831fa_fact_brill

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      Yeah, yeah, the jon stossel report. I know about it. The problem is I agree they should be fired (so your argument doesn’t hold water). I’m saying that a free market requires unions to offset the natural contradiction of owners wants vs. workers needs.

      • Black Flag says:

        Unions probably would be a common thing in the free market – its called “Freedom of Association”.

        They would not be backed up by the coercion of government, however.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Owners WANTS vs. workers NEEDS?

        Are you asserting that the owners have no needs or merely that they make so much money that they need not worry about their needs?

        If they make so much money that they need not worry about their needs, but the poor downtrodden workers do not, why did the workers agree to work for a wage which would not be capable of meeting their needs?

  23. I’m laughing really hard right now…

    Me: Our poor do not starve…

    GG: You’re so misinformed it is scary. From a world hunger source on the net: “In the U.S. hunger and race are related. In 1991 46% of African-American children were chronically hungry, and 40% of Latino children were chronically hungry compared to 16% of white children.”

    Excuse me for not specifying, our poor do not starve to death. I’d like to see those hunger stats from Africa…

    Me: I never said those without health insurance have a better quality of life than those that do, I said they have a better quality of life than those in other countries (say most of Africa…).

    GG: Great, just because our poor are doing better than the poor in Africa, you should wear a Rolex. Very moral of you.

    Once again, you are putting words in my mouth. The entire point of this discussion is that capitalism produced a great country, aka our country is better than others. The fact that our poor are doing better than those in other countries is part of the proof of that statement. It has zero implications on what I choose to do with my money. In fact I would be willing to bet I give more of my income to charity than you do even though I’m betting you have more than I do.

    Me: I wonder how you define “have nots.” I live below the poverty line, so I guess I’m on that list. One of the great things about this country is that we are free to move from here to the “haves” list. While I agree that some people cannot and not by their own fault, the fact is that we take care of those people. You can’t really expect them to be given enough to make them “haves” without any effort on their part do you? Or would you rather see the “haves” brought down to our level?

    GG: I would rather see everybody given an equal opportunity and for you to dismiss the advantages of the haves is ludicrous.

    Have I ever dismissed the advantages of the “haves”? Sure some people have it easier than others. There is no way anyone will have equal opportunity by your definition. Those born with full use of their bodies will have an advantage over those with disorders, should we cut off some limbs to make sure they have the same opportunities? My idea of equal opportunity means the government won’t stand in my way of bettering myself as long as I do so within the law. As I remember, we are guaranteed life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness. There is guarantee on starting out at the same point as anyone else, nor is there one on actually being happy.

    I’m done with this argument. I will not try to argue with someone who refuses to think about what I’m saying and instead puts words in my mouth, twisting them to some other motive. Good day to you GG, and I wish you the best of luck!

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      Good luck to you, too, my man!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      It is indeed difficult to argue with one who refuses to think 🙂

      • GreaterGoodscs says:

        I highly recommend you learn how to think …

        • Black Flag says:

          GG,

          Such a recommendation from you carries no credibility.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Ah GG, you amuse me greatly.

          Thinking involves first having a coherent thought, second being able to analyze that coherent thought using reason and logic, and third being able to accept or reject that coherent thought based upon the outcome of your analysis. It is a 3-step process.

          Once you are able to get beyond step 1, you will find it very enlightening.

      • I don’t think it’s refusing to think, it’s refusing to admit anyone other than liberals can have a coherent thought. This is exactly why I made a point of agreeing with Matt about some important points. Rather than agreeing to my logical statements, he just made his own conclusions and ran with them…

  24. GG, what is it that you do that allows you so much time for debate on a Tuesday? Just curious 🙂

    • GreaterGoodscs says:

      GREAT point, Willo. Like I said, I’m bored at work and waiting for business to flow again (after Labor Day, I hope).

      I hope BF is independently wealthy … I’m looking forward to some of his gelt if I lose my job …

  25. This was sent to me by a friend and I thought it would make for a good chuckle.

    Hope it copies:
    DEMOCRAT

    You have two cows.
    Your neighbor has none.
    You feel guilty for being successful.
    You push for higher taxes so the government can provide cows for everyone.

    REPUBLICAN

    You have two cows.
    Your neighbor has none.
    So?

    SOCIALIST

    You have two cows.
    The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
    You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

    COMMUNIST

    You have two cows.
    The government seizes both and provides you with milk.
    You wait in line for hours to get it.
    It is expensive and sour.

    CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE

    You have two cows.
    You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

    BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE

    You have two cows.
    Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pours the milk down the drain.

    AMERICAN CORPORATION

    You have two cows.
    You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one.
    You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows.
    You are surprised when one cow drops dead.
    You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses.
    Your stock goes up.

    FRENCH CORPORATION

    You have two cows.
    You go on strike because you want three cows.
    You go to lunch and drink wine.
    Life is good.

    JAPANESE CORPORATION

    You have two cows.
    You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
    They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
    Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

    GERMAN CORPORATION

    You have two cows.
    You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
    Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

    ITALIAN CORPORATION

    You have two cows but you don’t know where they are.
    You break for lunch.
    Life is good.

    RUSSIAN CORPORATION

    You have two cows.
    You have some vodka.
    You count them and learn you have five cows.
    You have some more vodka.
    You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
    The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

    TALIBAN CORPORATION

    You have all the cows in Afghanistan , which are two.
    You don’t milk them because you cannot touch any creature’s private parts.
    You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapons.

    IRAQI CORPORATION

    You have two cows.
    They go into hiding.
    They send radio tapes of their mooing.

    POLISH CORPORATION

    You have two bulls.
    Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

    BELGIAN CORPORATION

    You have one cow.
    The cow is schizophrenic.
    Sometimes the cow thinks he’s French, other times he’s Flemish.
    The Flemish cow won’t share with the French cow.
    The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow’s milk.
    The cow asks permission to be cut in half.
    The cow dies happy.

    FLORIDA CORPORATION

    You have a black cow and a brown cow.
    Everyone votes for the best looking one.
    Some of the people who actually like the brown one best accidentally vote for the black one.
    Some people vote for both.
    Some people vote for neither.
    Some people can’t figure out how to vote at all.
    Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which one you think is the best looking cow.

    CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

    You have millions of cows.
    They make real California cheese.
    Only five speak English.
    Most are illegal.
    Arnold likes the ones with the big udders ..

  26. WOW, what a crazy debate today. Sometimes I fely like Elmer Fudd try to catch Bugs bunny, as the answers to so many simple questions seemed so allusive.

    First and foremost, I would like to send out a BIG vet salute to D13 on his answer to the “no man left behind” question. That, sir, was from the heart and well written. I agree with you 100%.

    Second, I noticed that noone gave, or could give, a definition of “greater good”. This doesn’t surprise me. So Iwill try to define it the best I can: Greater Good: A term used to justify the theft of one who earns to give to one who does not deserve: Imaginary group of people located in the imagination of those who would choose to steal. Hope that helps!

    Cheers!

    G!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Question of the day:

      If there is such a thing as “the greater good” and our taxes do indeed go to fund it, why then are there people still going hungry in in America?

      Think about it… the government is spending 2.5 TRILLION dollars just this year alone, and that is not a sufficient sum of money to properly feed the portion of 304 million people that cannot feed themselves?

      Even if 50 million people were not capable of feeding themselves (which is a stretch), 2.5 trillion dollars is enough to give each and every one of them $50,000.00.

      Even if we assume that HALF of the 2.5 trillion that the government is spending goes to ESSENTIAL GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS (which do not even include welfare) which is again a stretch, that is still enough to give 50 million people $25,000.00

      Now, ‘splain to me how this works?

      • Hi Peter, The “greater good” is a figment of one’s imagination. It has no basis of reality. Those who use and believe it are still living in Nottingham, and that explains the fairtale that it is!

        Peace!

        P.S. Still waiting for a reasonable answer to at least one question you and BF asked today!

        • No its not the “greater good” would be the gooderest.

          • Is gooderest a word, LOL! If not it will be tomorrow!

            G!

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Why should we be concerned with the “greater good” anyway?

            Wouldn’t it make more sense to concern ourselves with the greatest good?

            Greatest > Greater, yes?

            If so, we need to define the greatest good, because obviously it is superior to the greater good.

            • Ah but there will always be a greaterific good that much greater than the greatest whose greatness is just being realized.

  27. bottom line says:

    roflmao! Thanks for the laugh.

  28. bottom line says:

    I wish I could type at the speed of thought. I find so much of what is written in this forum to be so thought provoking that I couldn’t possibly take the time to type my thoughts out, as it would take all day. There is an abundance of stimuli here.

  29. Black Flag says:

    Mathius

    BF, I am trying to reason with you, but you are alone in the wilderness and cannot hear me.

    I maybe alone in the wilderness, but my hearing is fine.

    The fruits of my physical labor are mine by definition (so you say, I say tax away, but that’s a different issue). How then, do you feel that the fruits of your intellectual labor are somehow not.

    The thoughts in my head are completely useless.

    My thoughts in my head manifested into real goods/services are valuable.

    My customers pay me because I perform the work, not because I am smart and merely sit around thinking about work.

    All the thinking about a car does not make a car.

    Making the car makes the car.

    The book I write is mine.

    Yes it is.

    The copy I make of the book is mine.

    I thought it up, I wrote it down, I alone reserve the right to profit from its distribution.

    You thinking about it – makes no value, hence makes no money.

    You writing it down – makes no value, hence makes no money.

    Printing and marketing it – has value and makes money.

    My printing and marketing it – has value and makes money.

    You make money marketing ‘your copies’ of the book.

    I make money marketing ‘my copies’ of the book.

    If you take this and give it away, you are stealing my ability to sell it.

    No, I am not.

    You have the ability and right to sell the book all you want.

    I am doing nothing to you. I am selling a book.

    \ You are stealing money that should have gone to me as the end result of my labor. You did not work. I did.

    I am doing work. I am printing, marketing and selling the book.

    It is you who wants to profit from you not selling, you not marketing or you not printing the books.

    Your argument that people used to innovate is flawed.
    You base your premise on the pre-technological era.

    You do this often, Matt.
    You claim an argument is wrong, flawed or a fallacy — and then go and demonstrate that it is not wrong, not flawed, and is not a fallacy.

    It does not matter if we are technically astute or not – property is property, knowledge is knowledge.

    The former cannot be divisible without diminishing it, the latter can be divisible without diminishing it.

    Before, copying an idea meant a huge investment in time and/or energy which was generally cost-prohibitive.

    So, your argument is:
    “As long as it is hard to do, it is not property. If it is easy to do, it is property?”

    Today, it costs nothing to mass distribute someone else’s ideas.

    It has costs, whether you recognize it or not. There is no such thing as a ‘free’ lunch.

    Whereas, if I made a song 200 years ago, I could “sell” it by performing it.

    And you can do that today.

    I am not stopping you (nor do I have a right to stop you.)

    75 years ago, I could sell it on record, or radio.

    And you can today. I am not stopping you.

    Today, I could sell it over the internet, but nobody would buy because you’re giving it away for free on Napster.

    You can sell it even if it is given away for free. Many products are marketed exactly this way – and are very profitable.

    Thus, your actions have cause a loss to me. I sold you that song for personal use, not distribution.

    As I offered with coffee/Starbucks. Are you claiming that me selling coffee is the cause of Starbucks losing money?

    I appeal to authority and consequence because they are logical ways to demonstrate this.

    Using a logical fallacy because it is logical….. whew~~ ! You got me there!

    I say ideas are property, you say they are not, but either way, we should be able to come together to acknowledge the necessity of protecting IP.

    I do not share your claim of ‘necessity’ – especially if what you wish is to destroy my rights.

    Without it, no one would make software, artists wouldn’t bother to record, novelists wouldn’t write, movie studios wouldn’t produce.

    I know of hundreds of makers of software that give their product away for free; write OS and give it away for free (ever hear of “Linux”); hundreds of writers who write regardless, and many who make movies for free.

    From observation, your argument here is not even remotely correct.

    Why should they when someone like you will immediately steal their work and give it away?

    But since they do, such a question is moot, is it not?

  30. Black Flag says:

    http://www.thefreemanonline.org/featured/human-action-1949-a-dramatic-episode-in-intellectual-history/

    Excellent article in the Freeman today on Mises and his book, “Human Action”.

  31. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I never knew that the literal translation of “Oy-Vey” was “I cannot provide a reasoned response to that question”

    The things you learn on this site!

    🙂

  32. Black Flag says:

    Government hard at work debating a budget – oh, let’s hope the heated debate doesn’t interfere with their Solitaire games…

  33. That was a very insightful look at was is becoming our future. The cartoon that states, “but what the hell, let’s give it one more shot” has some truth to the approach of the left. The whole situation is so complex with so many cooks in the kitchen that many citizens would rather just give up and let someone else take charge. The day of “I told you so” is looming on the horizon.

  34. Black Flag says:

    Bad news for Bob

    Britain facing blackouts for first time since 1970s

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/6118113/Britain-facing-blackouts-for-first-time-since-1970s.html

    The shortage of supplies will hit the equivalent of many as 16 million families for at least one hour during the year, it is forecast.

    * Power cuts are a much more serious problem than ‘Climate Change’

    Not since the early 1970s when the three-day week was introduced to preserve coal has Britain faced the prospect of reationing energy use.

    The gap between Britain’s energy needs and demand throws fresh doubt on the Government’s assertion that renewable energy can make up for dwindling nuclear and coal capabilities.

    Over the next 10 years, one third of Britain’s power-generating capacity needs to be replaced with cleaner fuels. But last night the Conservatives said that Labour had refused to face up to the problem.

  35. Black Flag says:

    Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today said that he was not surprised to learn that Senate Democrats were forced once again to delay introduction of their global warming cap-and-trade bill. Throughout hearing after hearing in the EPW Committee this summer, it became apparent that Democrats were a long way off from reaching the votes necessary in the Senate to pass the largest tax increase in American history.

    “The news today-that Sen. Boxer and Sen. Kerry will delay introduction of their cap-and-trade bill-came as no surprise. The delay is emblematic of the division and disarray in the Democratic Party over cap-and-trade and health care legislation-both of which are big government schemes for which the public has expressed overwhelming opposition. With the climate change debate on Capitol Hill, it’s safe to report that bipartisanship is nowhere in evidence. Cap-and-trade has pitted Democrat against Democrat, or, put another way, it centers on those in the party supporting the largest tax increase in American history against those in the party who oppose it. As to just who will win this intra-party squabble, I put money down on those representing the vast majority of the American people, who are clear that cap-and-trade should be rationed out of existence.”

  36. Black Flag says:

    And today, is the 60th anniversary of a country’s destruction by forces of Socialism and Communism.

    1 Sept 1939 the Forces of Socialist Germany and Communist Russia invaded Poland.

    The devastation on the population was so great, that without the war, the population of Poland today would exceed Germany.

  37. BF, my question was directed to g-squared. I was late to the party and probably wouldn’t have posted if I had read a bit more or the dialog between you two, but I wanted to know how/where he forms his moral base… my bad for being unclear. His complete rejection of the bible as some form of guiding basis of morality (whether his own or not) surprised me, and I wondered about that …

    • Black Flag says:

      I do not believe GG has ever thought about, considered, nor contemplated a moral base of any sort.

  38. Earlier Greatergoodcs said: “I am neither proud or ashamed about my atheism. I’m indifferent to it (and God).”

    I’ll take indifferent.

    May I give you something to do the next time you are feeling bored and very indifferent?

    C. S. Lewis – Mere Christianity.

    • GreaterGoodscs says:

      Oh, sure, why not?

      • GG, I posted above my definition of “greater good”. I’m interested in your comments on it.

        G!

        • G-man!

          Do not hold expectation of a reply.

          GG is in new territory – he is used to critics responding back with bursts of emotion and irrationality as a response to his.

          I think this place hosted by USWep is new to him – a demand of reason and logic.

          He is confused and befuddled. His only weapons has been muted.

          I think we have seen the best he can deliver.

          I do believe we have yet to see his worst.

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            G-Man/BF … EVER wonder why there are about 20 of you in here patting each other on the back (and that all of you pretty much think alike–at least conservative enough to consider socialism evil?

            It’s because you’re on the fringe … of the general population and reality.

            • The fringe? I live in a country with specifically focused socialist leanings and conservative values too so recognition of others like myself is instantaneous. Our socialism was is a refined product and was made so with a blending of voices on the left and the right. You sir have been at least as polarized as any you chastise for such while most of the time being even more so yourself. To think the majority of Americans are as you is a complete flight of fantasy. Were your perspective the rule, would not Nancy Pelosi have long since been president? Certainly so! Would not the present incarnation of POTUS have forgone his running as a centrist(those equally distant from the extremities politically) in the presidential election? Absolutely! Would not the vast majority of America’s political timeline leaned to the left? Why of course! So much for conservatives on the fringe.

              As for throwing about “atheism” as if it lends credibility to whatever you write, hate to break it to you but atheism and intellect are not mutually inclusive. Atheism has been known to associate with all types lobe wise and intellect refines faith more often than discarding it. Sorry Charlie.

              There are a host of profs that indeed are atheists, that I admit freely and recognize their choice as valid unto themselves but those who do indeed do and those who can’t then teach. I know of many who exceed their college profs in every way and vastly so in practical application and problem solving while actually retaining their refined faith. I’ll admit here to being damned lucky to count many who exemplify such as my friends.

              A sure sign of intellect in those I’ve come into contact with is realization and respect of another person’s perspective.

    • Anoninnc,

      Excellent and concise work by a great author.

  39. Black Flag says:

    JayDickB

    [software is a] service. The value of software is not in the object, but in its use. Too squishy here.

    A ‘service’ is physical work in lieu of my own – such as ‘cleaning my house’ is a service. You can tell a service (among other tests), because (1) it takes a physical human (2) the performance is unique (that is, cleaning my house does not clean your house)

    Software is not a service. It is a good – a commodity.

    Technillay, MS software is valuable only when licensed for use.

    So, MSoft has nothing of value in inventory – strange to you, then, that they count it as if does, right??

    I am always amused at Statist and Socialists, they are fully assured that Intellectual Property exists and has rights, but real property is not real and it does not have rights.

    They cannot articulate rights on real property, but try their damnedest to prove the Intellectual Property exists and has rights!

    Intellectual Property fails the almost all the tests of property – primary one is the test of “divisibility”.

    But I will help untangle JayDickB and Mathius from strangling in their own wet noodles.

    MSoft and others licenses software – that is, creates a voluntary contract between themselves and the user regarding copying and the use of software. This license has nothing to do with any concept of property (or the lack of concept) but has everything to do with voluntary agreements

    The twists and perversions of property is unnecessary regarding written works or software.

  40. bottom line says:

    JUST A CITIZEN – Please find where I have made reference, the espousal of the idea that “Very Little Damn Government requires rejecting the constitution”.

  41. Just words!

    I’m an American

    I’m an American, and I was born a free one.
    I’ve lived through troubled times as a young man, the end of the steelmills in my home town, finacial security seemingly lost, but that was not to be. Another American, my father, and fellow vet, would not quit on us, and he made changes, and kept things afloat. A true USN vet, through and through, we took on no water. We were free Americans.

    Now, we are seeing a threat to that freedom, one that I do not like to see. It is not coming from abroad, but from within. This is not acceptable to this free American, nor is it acceptable to his father.

    As an American veteran, I cannot accept this for those that I served for and with. Our men and wemon have perished on our soil and foreign lands to protect that freedom that I cherish. There sacrifice will NOT go for not, for I am an American, and I aim to be free as long as I can stand and breath.

    This is a message to those who would choose to try and change what America stands for.

    You will not take our freedoms, I will not lie down or go away in the night! I will will not allow you to intimidate and discount my fellow Americans. I will, if need be stand alone, in your face and tell you “HELL NO”! But remember one thing, while you only see me in your face, lean to the side a see behind me, for I am not alone. If you choose to be the enemy from within, welcome to my Hell! I am an American, and I will die a free one!

    G-Man

  42. USW – you might want to be aware of these two guys in BO’s Adm.

    http://rightsoup.com/obamas-marxists-want-to-fine-bloggers-shut-down-dissent/

    • OMG, All I can say is, YOU HAVE GOT BE F@#$ING KIDDING ME. What the hell is wrong with this damn government? I said it a long time ago that it was a matter of time before they start taking the 1st amendment away from us. This is outrageous, I just can’t believe it.

    • bottom line says:

      When I see things like that clip, among other things, it prompts me to wonder how long it’ll be before we have a revolution. I think the CIA estimate of a constitutional crisis and/or revolution by as early as 2014 was a little off. I bet it’s more like 2011-2012. The BHO admin. is expediting the power grab.

      BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD – STOP,, HEY WHAT’S THAT SOUND

      there’s something happinin here
      what it is aint exactly clear
      theres a man with a gun over there
      tellin me i got to beware

      i think it’s time we stop, children
      what’s that sound
      everybody look what’s goin down

      there’s battle lines being drawn
      nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
      young people speakin there minds
      getting so much resistance far behind

      it’s time we stop,
      hey what’s that sound
      everybody look what’s goin down

      what a field day for the heat
      a thousand people in the street
      singin songs that they carry inside
      mostly say hurray for our side

      it’s time we stop,
      hey what’s that sound
      everybody look what’s goin down

      there are lawyer strikes deep
      into your life it will creep
      it starts when your always afraid
      step out of line the man come and take you away

      you better stop
      hey what’s that sound
      everybody look what’s going down x4

      • I really like that song, and how it fits with now.

        • bottom line says:

          Yeah, I thought it was somewhat fitting. Something just ain’t right here. I can smell it. My gutt tells me to worry. I don’t like that feeling. There’s a certain spookyness about that song that reminds me of what my gutt says.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Pure speculative b.s. – quotes out of context, looking for fire where there is no smoke. Glenn Beck is an alarmist fool.

      • Our own uber socialist Pierre Elliot Trudeau shredded his naysayers in the media, especially those in the Toronto Star routinely and with relative ease. When you know your issue intimately, as PET did, the carnage of argument is absolute and final. How is it that Barack Obama can’t accomplish this? He’s been willing to go “on air” to explain away issues far less damaging and spent days doing such so time is not an issue but refuses to in this instance?

  43. I’m sorry I didn’t get an earlier start here today, looks like some interesting comments. Just didn’t feel up to it.

    Going to go for the night, tired from work today.

    See ya ll here tomorrow.

    Have a good night people.

    Judy

  44. Russian Professor Igor Panarin says that events are continuing to confirm his doomsday prediction first made over 10 years ago, that the United States will completely collapse like the Soviet Union before the end of 2010, and warns that the chaos could begin to unfold in as little as two months.

    ———–

    While I do not believe such an event would happen that quick – IF the collapse happens, it will be quick, unannounced and a massive surprise to most Americans.

    It is worth the few extra dollars and hours to prepare for such (though unlikely) possibility.

    • bottom line says:

      I am familiar with Panarin’s predictions. Part of his prediction seems to have proven to be pretty accurate. Namely the sucession part. There is a movement among the states to draw a line in the sand by declaring sovereignty. We know what the next step is.

      According to Andrew Osborn from THE WALL ST JOURNAL, He predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.

      California will form the nucleus of what he calls “The Californian Republic,” and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of “The Texas Republic,” a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an “Atlantic America” that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls “The Central North American Republic.” Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.

      “It would be reasonable for Russia to lay claim to Alaska; it was part of the Russian Empire for a long time.” A framed satellite image of the Bering Strait that separates Alaska from Russia like a thread hangs from his office wall. “It’s not there for no reason,” he says with a sly grin.

      And I agree that it would be quick and un announced and that many would be surprised. Not me. I have a bag ready. In the USN we used a term called “material state of readiness” which means be ready for anything at anytime. Preparedness is always a good thing.

      • Sorry but we’re taking Alaska. They’re just like us and will join into not “The Central North American Republic” but you guessed it the wealthiest snow loving country on earth “The United Bastions of Beer and Hockey”!

  45. Reply in Tues. Open Mic

  46. Black Flag says:

    Chris Devine

    The contradictions only arise when you make people argue on your terms. I never said the elenchus requires bait and switch:
    “it’s results are entirely dependent upon the lack of equivocation (i.e., bait and switch)”
    If you equivocate, then as valid as your method may be your conclusions will never be sound. You define ‘freedom’ and ‘evil’ in such a way as to make arguing against them impossible. Even if you negate the frame you still activate it.

    So, defining my terms – to you – is a fallacy!?!

    It would be so, if I denied others their definition. However, I do not – in fact, I appeal for them.

    However, if such definitions are wrong or incomplete (as tested by observation against the universe or by tests of logic and reasoning), I cannot accept them – or I would be equivocating, no?

    I too have offered my thoughts on freedom, violence and evil. Just because you don’t accept them doesn’t mean I refused to offer them.

    You have not defined freedom – you try to describe it, as if it an arbitrary opinion.

    To say that a solitary castaway is free is meaningless.

    It has meaning, Chris – it means no one is imposing upon him.

    Because your definition (whatever it may be) is incomplete when measured against a solitary man does not make my definition meaningless nor suffer the same defect as yours.

    Mine is obviously a better definition as it does not have the defect yours seems to.

    You rail on about choice but never admit that choice can be limited by the decisions of others.

    You are badly mistaken, again. Of course I have stated that – often.

    If you chose to impose upon me, you most certainly have limited me.

    It’s not always a matter of who works harder or who is more shrewd.

    It is not, I agree.

    Like poker, often the better player will still lose a hand.

    Often it is about who started with more.

    Often it is.

    Like in poker, the one who starts with a larger stack can play ‘badly’ longer than one who starts with a smaller stack.

    You can babble on about how it’s not your fault that some people are born poor

    But it is not my fault – so how can this be babbling?

    Is your birth my fault, Chris???

    or that if they really tried hard enough anybody can be as rich as Bill Gates or Sam Walton.

    I have made no such ‘babble’ – though you often make this claim about me.

    Do you not read my posts and simply ‘make things’ up about me as you go?

    You can also blame the ill effects of commerce on the government that tries to regulate it.

    Yes, for government action (use of violence on non-violent people) in a free market place (voluntary exchange) will always pervert and degrade the marketplace.

    Free men, in voluntary exchange, will always try to avoid, divert, withdraw, hide, etc. from those that wish to do violence upon them.

    But how you honestly believe that without government everything would balance out is beyond me.

    My ‘goal’ is not to achieve balance – I am not God in the Universe so to determine ‘what balance’ is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

    I let the Universe determine that.

    My goal is freedom.

    Let the actions of free men find their balance with each other.

    It seems pretty obvious that if all regulatory power were left to the market itself then certain entities would accumulate wealth to a point where they get to dictate everything on their terms.

    They cannot legitimately coerce anyone to purchase or trade for their goods.

    No entity, no matter how it is formed, is more powerful that the Free People – who command their own dollars and how they will spend them.

    How is that freedom and how would the market stop it (realistically not hypothetically).

    How would freedom and a free market stop freedom?

    …Sorry, that is impossible to answer….

    To me violence is forcing someone to sacrifice something you wouldn’t or will never have to in order to feed his family.

    I agree, forcing someone makes it violent. I do not agree with anyone forcing a sacrifice upon someone else.

    A man making his own voluntary choice between wants and needs is a man who is free to make such choice.

    To people like you the only reason people are poor is because they’re lazy.

    You do me serious disfavor in representing claims that I have never made.

    If you persist in lying about me, we may have to end our dialogue.

    If I point out that some succeed despite their efforts just as others fail, you reply that Jesus said the poor will always be here.

    I have pointed out – if you cared to read at all – my analogy of life and poker, where I have amply explained my position.

    And yes, no matter the grinding of your teeth and no matter how much violence you can justify, there still will be poor people and suffering.

    Don’t forget that Jesus also said that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven.

    He did not say it was impossible, nor did he suggest that, therefore, it is a right to steal from rich men.

    You accuse me of using rhetorical devices because I argue with passion.

    I enjoy your passion – it does make you a great writer.

    I accuse you of the same because you argue dispassionately.

    I admit that I am inferior at passionate writing then you – which is probably why you can earn a living writing and I am “forced” to solve technology problems.

    You say that the only way to be free is by accepting the inevitability of suffering and letting people be free to make the choices they are given.

    Suffering of man is inevitable – the Universe has made it so, therefore, accept it.

    To be free – by definition – is to be able to make free choices. Note, they sort of go ‘hand in hand’.

    What about the freedom to determine what actually counts as a choice?

    No matter how hard I try, I will never score more goals in hockey the Gretzky. Therefore, you claim I am not a free man?

    You accuse me of insults and ad hominem attacks.

    I do so, with strong evidence – true?

    How is attacking a faceless name ad hominem? For all I know you are a department at the Cato Institute trying to disseminate free-market propaganda.

    Maybe I am – but so what?

    Freedom, whether advocated by Cato or by me, is still…

    …freedom.

    Greatergoodcs

    Teaching kids to think for themselves is probably the best start … but so long as you label socialism evil, you’re not being very honest with your kid (or yourself).

    My definitions are clear.


    Socialism as a requirement uses coercion and violence upon non-violent people.

    Using violence against non-violent people is evil.

    Socialism, as a requirement, uses evil.

    That which uses evil, is evil.

    Therefore, Socialism is evil.

    Why our numbers are greater than yours … Karl Rove’s strategy (wingnuts and hardline Christians) no longer works, does it?

    Because those that promise ‘free lunch’ will always get more at their ‘window’ than those that require ‘work’ for their lunch.

    Simple economics – that which is ‘free’ will attract an every-increaing response until the goods are completely exhausted.

    You lose all credibility (hear me, BF) when you use terms like evil

    I define my terms – you do not.

    I do not fear a loss of credibility.

    Chris Devine

    Nice straw-man yourself. How could you possibly interpret that statement to mean that I thought you asked someone “when did you stop beating your wife?” It was an example. Likewise, I didn’t mean to imply that you literally asked “why do you hate freedom.”

    If you feel my question is a fallacy trap, please expand on it and demonstrate it.

    Also, I wasn’t talking about unemployment that results from people moving from one career to another. I was talking about pervasive unemployment where people have no jobs and no resources to change that fact.

    The free market does not constrain those seeking work.

  47. Black Flag says:

    Just A Citizen

    Your own moral code prevents you from imposing upon me. You may not diminish the value of my property. If you take it and copy it you will have diminished its value, thus imposing upon my desire to use my property for my own purposes, in this case to earn more money.

    Thus, you believe if I sell coffee, I am diminishing the property of Starbucks and imposing upon them.

    I am not imposing upon you – I am not acting upon you, directly or by proxy.

    I am earning my living marketing a product – I have not taken anything from you – I have not stolen any property.

    I will of course need to prove it has been diminished and that will, I assume, be decided by jury.

    If you would be successful, so would Starbucks.

    Since I paid the fee to register my property and such date precedes yours, if you have one, I am hopeful the jury of my peers will consider this in determining whether the book and necessarily its contents, were in fact my property.

    The book that is yours remains yours – I do not have it. When the jury asks “Where is your book” – they will find you holding it.

    How they will ask can you claim it is stolen, when – in fact – you are holding it.

    If you persist, then the Free People will shun you for what free man would trade with someone who will take his property for his own.

    They may shun me because I wear black hats. So be it.

    And you will either repent and make restitution to me or you will starve

    Perhaps, but I will starve while being ‘right’.

    • Continuing….

      You write ‘a novel’ – you show it to me and I copy it – and then you let your novel sit on your desk. How much money have you earned?

      I take the novel and market it – …. now are you claiming that you ‘earned’ the money I made?

      Now if I take your transcript and do not return it – you have no opportunity to market, because I have it.

      You can claim theft, because you do not have your transcript – and I do.

      If you show me your transcript – but under the conditions I do not copy/market – and then I do, I have broken my word and I am a scoundrel.

  48. So you are going to give up going to public schools, since they paid through taxes, using public roads, since they paid through taxes, calling the police, since they paid through taxes, calling the fire fighters, since they paid through taxes, going to museums, since they paid through taxes, etc. Right?

    Besides, you have no idea what you are talking about. Adolf Hitler a socialist?!?!?! Oh my god! Educate yourself!

    • John

      So you are going to give up going to public schools, since they paid through taxes, using public roads, since they paid through taxes, calling the police, since they paid through taxes, calling the fire fighters, since they paid through taxes, going to museums, since they paid through taxes, etc. Right?

      Where one can, one does.

      But because a monster has seized the entire supply – and I need to live – means I have to deal with the monster.

      If the monster didn’t steal all the supply, then I don’t deal with the monster.

      Besides, you have no idea what you are talking about. Adolf Hitler a socialist?!?!?! Oh my god! Educate yourself!

      What part of:
      National Socialist Party do not understand? <Nationalsozialismus)

    • Perhaps, John, you need to read here more. It seems the education needed is indeed in your court. I have not espoused the idea of giving up those things that you have stated. Had you done more that read a single article you would see the complete falsehoods in what you are accusing me of. But that is fine.

      What is not fine is your lack of respect for myself and the others on this site. If you have a valid point (which I have not seen from you yet), then perhaps you should make it and it can be discussed rationally, that is if you have the capacity for such discussion (which I also have not seen yet).

  49. LOL!

    You look at the name of the party, and you think it describes the political/economic/social policies of that party!

    LOL! You come across like a 3 years old!

    So the party of Thaksin Shinawatra (former Thai Prime minister) “Thai Rak Thai” which means “Thai Love Thai” is made up of people who love each other and have sex with each other? That would be the largest orgy in the world (20+ million people).

    Get an education!

    • Sir,

      You are a crackpot.

      You have no political nor economic understanding.

      • Coming from you, this is bloody hilarious!

        So you think that Hitler and Lenin had exactly the same economic, political and social policies?!?!?! Actually they were EXACTLY the opposite. Hitler added “socialist” to the name of his party to attract the votes of the working classes, but had exactly the opposite policies than any socialist party in world history. Or do you think that he nationalized all companies and put all the millionaires in prison? Actually millionaires made a LOT of money with Hitler, including on stolen Jewish property and manufacturing infrastructure. Seriously. Get an education.

        • John,

          You demonstrate that you do not understand Socialism.

          Here is your free education.

          Socialism is an ECONOMIC system – not a political one (though it takes a POLITICAL system to implement socialism)

          Fascism is a POLITICAL system, whose ECONOMIC system is Socialism

          Socialism is an economic organization advocating government ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources.

          Hitler did that – he, by law, seized the administration of the economy, and the allocation. He told what companies to build what and give to whom.

          Hope that helps.

  50. You got a little bit right, but mostly wrong.

    My goodness, assuming that fascism and socialism are one and the same.

    I have news for you. Actually they are exactly the opposite. And fascism is, as Jean Ziegler said “what becomes with capitalism when the economy goes bad”.

    Why do you think that all the German industrialists and capitalists supported Hitler? Why do you think they made so much money with him? Of course Nazi Germany had a planned economy once WWII started! They were in war with the rest of the world!

    My goodness!

    • Oh they aren’t the same…. But the exact opposite? Perhaps you need to look again. In both instances the government takes control of the mechanisms of the economy. They are certainly not the same by any stretch, but they aren’t nearly as different as you would like to think.

  51. Oh my goodness!

    And this webpage is called “defining socialism”, and then you have no idea what you are talking about.

    This is an insult to education, common sense, intelligence, and everything else!

    I guess your ignorance is the result of the US education system. Thanks god I am European.

    • John,

      Since you have not provided you (mis-) understanding of economics and politics, I have no comment to your rude use of ad hominem arguments.

      Fascism and Socialism is not the same – as I’ve already enlightened you.

      Fascism is a political and Socialism is economic. But I see that is totally lost by you.

      Further, you are incorrect (as you’ve been all a long) regarding Hitler’s economics turning Socialist after the start of the war.

      http://constitutionalistnc.tripod.com/hitler-leftist/id10.html
      Quote:
      The author focuses on the main Nazi work creation programs like motorization, Autobahn, emergency relief, and rearmament. He stresses on the fact that most work creation from the period 1933-1936 was not a result of rearmament rather a fierce attack on employment through some of the methods mentioned above.In addition, the growing control of the Nazi party over all aspects of the economy is clearly identified in every chapter as this control grows. The book is loaded with information.
      [John: Government control over the economy is Socialism]

      Professor Silverman argues, as a result of impressive research in Nazi archives, that it was work creation programs that account for this “miracle” and it was the 4-year Plan announced in 1936 that represented an emphasis on autarky and arms and a seller’s market. Plans called for motorization and the famous autobahns. It is natural to compare Hitler’s achievements with FDR’s New Deal. Strangely Silverman hardly mention the USSR as a source of ideas in the Hitler years, though the 4-year Plan itself was inspired by the Soviet FYP, the second of which was being completed by the time Goebbels began administering the German equivalent. Earlier (February,1935) Soviet-type “work books” necessary for employment were introduced.

      Hitler was named “Man of the Year” in 1938 by Time Magazine. They noted Hitler’s anti-capitalistic economic policies:

      “Most cruel joke of all, however, has been played by Hitler & Co. on those German capitalists and small businessmen who once backed National Socialism as a means of saving Germany’s bourgeois economic structure from radicalism. The Nazi credo that the individual belongs to the state also applies to business. Some businesses have been confiscated outright, on other what amounts to a capital tax has been levied. Profits have been strictly controlled. Some idea of the increasing Governmental control and interference in business could be deduced from the fact that 80% of all building and 50% of all industrial orders in Germany originated last year with the Government. Hard-pressed for food- stuffs as well as funds, the Nazi regime has taken over large estates and in many instances collectivized agriculture, a procedure fundamentally similar to Russian Communism.”

      (Source: Time Magazine; Jaunuary 2, 1939.)

      End Quote.

      I hope you do remember that the war started 9 months later….

      Cheers!

  52. I didn’t say that Hitler turned socialist at the beginning of the war. Hitler was a fascist! How difficult is it for you to grasp???

    Poor Hitler. Calling him a socialist!?!? He is turning in his grave! (yes, I know he doesn’t have one)

    And fascism isn’t simply a political system. I just checked Wikipedia, and I think it provides a quite accurate description:

    “[b]Fascism[/b] comprises a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology and a corporatist economic ideology.

    [b]Corporatism[/b] is a system of economic, political, and social organization where corporate groups such as business, ethnic, farmer, labour, military, patronage, or religious groups are joined together into a single governing body in which the different groups are mandated to negotiate with each other to establish policies in the interest of the multiple groups within the body. Corporatism views society as being alike to an organic body in which each corporate group is viewed as a necessary organ for society to function properly. Corporatism is based on the sociological concept of functionalism. Countries that have corporatist systems typically utilize strong state intervention to direct corporatist policies and to prevent conflict between the groups.”

    My goodness. Hitler a socialist!?!?!? I can’t believe anybody would write something so stupid!!!!

    • John

      Does the quote, by you, of:
      Of course Nazi Germany had a planned economy once WWII started! ring a bell?

      So, you did say that!

      Again, I don’t think USWep or I is debating fascist nature of Hitler.

      What you are struggling with is the difference between a political ideology (Fascism) and an economic system (Socialism).

      Fascism typical invokes socialist economic policies.

      Again, I have provided Time Magazine article directly for your education.

      I have shown that 1) The part name is socialist 2) economic policies were socialist and 3) provide direct documentary evidence demonstrating this.

      You can certainly ignore all of this if you’d like, and continue to live in your fantasy. But it won’t change the fact Hitler was Socialist.

      • And John filling in the rest of your description (and you probably threw up when you read this – hence, didn’t offer it) ….

        Corporatism has been supported from various proponents, including: absolutists, conservatives, fascists, progressives, reactionaries, socialists and theologians.[5]

        Socialism and Corporatism are two sides of the same coin, creating elites that know best how we should live our lives as individuals.

        “Socialism as an economic system is seen today in democratic, authoritarian, totalitarian and fascist political systems.
        Capitalism-Socialism-Corporatism, p.7

        Sorry, bud – you lost this argument.

        • Thanks for the assist BF. I was too busy being uneducated and figuring out if I could understand a book on socialism.

          • John is simply appalled that someone like “Hitler” used Socialism.

            Just wait until he learns that Stalin, Mao, Pot did too!

            He’ll flip like a pancake!

  53. What you don’t understand is: planned economy is NOT the same as socialism. Hitler had a planned economy during WWII (everybody knows that), but it doesn’t mean that Hitler was a socialist (my goodness. How can anybody say something so stupid???)!

    Stop listening to Fox News. Socialism is NOT a synonym of planned economy.

    So you don’t like the government telling you what to do? That is your right. But the government telling you want to do is NOT socialism. To have socialism you need many many more things than that.

    Please read some books about socialism, don’t just go on repeating stupidly what Fox News tells you. Fox News is just a right-wing propaganda machine that is there to brainwash uneducated people (like you for example).

    • John,

      Alright, since we want to assume so much here. First, I don’t let Fox News tell me much of anything to believe. I am quite well read, including many books and readings about socialism. I did not claim, as you seem to state here, that socialism and fascism are the same. I said they have some components that are the same. And I am correct on that. Next, I am well aware of the difference between a planned economy and socialism. I have stated on this site again and again that we are moving towards socialism, but not there yet. And I stand by that. Perhaps you should read more of my articles, such as the march to socialism series that is up there in the multi part section.

      And that should be the last time that you come in here and make claims such as I am uneducated. I could sit here and say that you spend too much time reading the liberal propaganda sites, but I don’t know that you do. I could claim that you are uneducated, but I don’t know that you are. Should you want to debate the issues jump on up to a current thread (as opposed to one that no one else sees since it is weeks old) and take a shot. You will find me to be more educated than you are prepared to debate with, I assure you. I didn’t throw insults at you. I merely stated my thought. Review the rules of the site. Respect for others is a requirement, not a request. I would appreciate you showing it to everyone, let alone your host.

    • John

      What you don’t understand is: planned economy is NOT the same as socialism. Hitler had a planned economy during WWII (everybody knows that), but it doesn’t mean that Hitler was a socialist (my goodness. How can anybody say something so stupid???)!

      John,

      I’ve provided documentation for you – including completing your own wiki post –All of which demonstrates Nazi Germany was Socialist

      You can certainly continue hallucinating and telling everyone else to “read” – but how about you do it?

      It seems the demonstrations are one way and you’re just spitting in the rain.

  54. Capitalism is known as the free economy, and in a country where we value freedom above all else, the final rule on socialism should be clear.

    The best thing about capitalism and the way the government is set up in this country though, is not the fact that we can all live freely under it, but that we can choose to. With a capitalist federal government (one that doesn’t control business or attempt to spread wealth) then we can have different economic structures in the states. This way, when the people of one state decide that they would rather have socialism, those who disagree with it are not forced to live under it while still being able to stay in the country. This cannot be done with a socialist government. No state within a federal socialist system can decide that it’s going to be capitalist. They would have to stop paying taxes to the systems that the federal government is controlling. Keeping a capitalist system at the federal level while allowing states to become socialist would also help alleviate fears of this destroying the economy. If I live in California, and New York decides to become socialist, so what? If I live in California and America decides to become socialist, I may have fears about the economy and disagree with the government mandating how much of my money will be spent.

    This would not have to be done through the states. If an organization, such as the socialist party of America decided that they wanted to actually implement a socialist system with their members, then they would be able to under a capitalist system. All members would agree to pay a higher rate of taxes to the organization, and they would in turn, supply services to the members.

    I personally believe that the only reason that this is not already being done is that it lacks force. If our government became socialist, and we didn’t follow the laws that it comes with, then we go to prison, or get fined. However, in an opt-in system, only those that want to be in a socialist system would join. And here is where I believe that socialist already know that socialism is unfair and does not work. Otherwise, they would have done this already. When only those that want to join a socialist system join, then you get the freeloaders, and not the hard workers.

    Another argument that I have is one disproving an argument that I hear supporting socialism. After making the claim that socialism wouldn’t work because people would have less incentive to work and would lower the GDP, and therefore the standard of living for all, I often hear that people would work just as much. It’s a simple statement, and one that I can’t disprove without allowing this country to become socialist. However, on the assumption that people will work hard, then it doesn’t matter what system we’re in, except for one thing. They both leave us putting in an equal amount of work and getting our fair share back, though they do force us to hand much of our earnings to the government which will then decide how we use it. If, I’m right, and people will become lazy, then capitalism is obviously better, no argument needed. So I assert that in either case, people losing work ethic or not, capitalism beats socialism hands down.

  55. “But more than that, socialism is a morally bankrupt system. It operates on the premise that it is allowable to take from someone the fruits of their labor. There is no other way to say that. It is that blunt.”

    Wow, that’s a bold statement. This is a very unbalanced discussion.

    Even in capitalist countries large percentages of the population who are too lazy to work are propped up by government money. Taxpayer’s money. What’s the difference?

    I’m a supporter of neither ideology. I think human’s have corrupted them both pretty well.

    • “But more than that, socialism is a morally bankrupt system. It operates on the premise that it is allowable to take from someone the fruits of their labor. There is no other way to say that. It is that blunt.”

      Wow, that’s a bold statement. This is a very unbalanced discussion.

      But that is exactly what it does.

      It takes from those that earn to give to those that did not earn.

      We call that “theft” and define that is immoral.

      Even in capitalist countries large percentages of the population who are too lazy to work are propped up by government money. Taxpayer’s money. What’s the difference?

      Nothing but degree.

      These are fascist countries.

      “Government-run capitalism”

      Fascism is a hue of Socialism.

      I’m a supporter of neither ideology. I think human’s have corrupted them both pretty well.

      They are corrupt to their core.

      They derive from the belief of some people that they have the right to the produce of other people.

      The moment such a belief is justified, tyranny is born.

  56. I would like to make use of the cartoon above for a class project would that be okay?
    Colby

  57. Its all mine and the rest of you can go to hell…. and F the government. What a way to live Anarchy for all.

  58. This article is more dramatic than the reality. The socialism not only are Mao, Stalin or Hitler. The socialism are Lenin, Zapatero or Brown, too. The basic ideas of the socialism are really magnifics, so, why the socialism can’t play in the USA?

    • McHrodik

      Socialism CAN play in the US – but it will be as disastrous a play as it is everywhere else.

      By economic analysis socialism will always provide an inferior system compared to the free market. It cannot do better.

      Further, Socialism cannot provide any economic calculation without some free (or near-free) market system running concurrently somewhere.

      Socialism destroys economic calculation. Socialist engineering then copies the actions of capitalists to determine what goods need to be created. Without capitalists somewhere, Socialists are totally lost.

      Thus, pervasive Socialism will destroy society. It cannot stand alone.

  59. sammy giagnacovo says:

    Could you not, for one minute, look at the benefits that socialism and communism can bring. All you have done is use misleading properganda pictures. Hitler was anything but a socialist! and Stalin was a evil dictator who highjacked communism for his own ego and power lust. A pure socialist world would be the best system for humanity. Take a look at Cuba for example. On that small island of around 11,000,000 people they have more doctors than the entire african continent, one of the best healthcare systems in the world, they all have jobs, illiteracy is practically none existant and nobody starves. This is all because of socialism or if you like communism. Now how about we look at capitalism. You may say the democratic capitalist system in america offers people the opportunity to make it big and achieve their full potential but when does it stop. It is human nature to want more but the capitalist system allows people to get richer and consume the wealth of the nation while the less fortunate are left to suffer. Is it fair the a tiny percentage of the population controls the majority of the wealth. So you tell me does capitalism work in america when the richest country can’t even give its poorest people the most basic healthcare? Does capitalism work in mexico when thousands die trying to get inti america? Does it work in britain when 2 million people are unemployed, when children leave school with a poor education due to cut backs.

    • What a fasinating post, Sammy. Exactly what Cuban city do you live in? I’m sure my Cuban Auntie can help me very your information. She married into the family and still has relatives there in Cuba.

    • Sammy,

      Socialism and Communism work wonderfully in social units no larger than a ‘family’.

      Within a family, economic matters are measured by a different price mechanism – emotion.

      I share my earned goods with my family not by trade of other goods, but by trade of family love and care.

      Such Socialist systems however cannot scale.

      As I cannot know or love or even align my belief system with “everybody”, I chose a different pricing mechanism for trade with strangers than I do with family.

      Hence, Socialism – devoid of the ability to price goods and services in a macro scale nor between strangers will collapse.

      It is in this realm that Capitalism operates effectively.

      Please note this important fact:

      Whether in a macro or micro economic view – the size of all of society or as small as a family unit – FREE MARKET SYSTEM operates the best.

      I give goods to my family FREELY by my choice – not by coercion or threat of death.

      Freedom of choice, whether within society or within a family – is always the best system.

      • There you go again, Black Flag. Always taking the high road! 🙂

        I’d just as soon send the guy a one way ticket to Cuba and have his US citizenship revolked.

        • Cyndi,

          But before you do, he has to understand why – when he gets there – he will be poor and suffering – precisely equally with most other Cubans.

          He wishes to trade unequal prospect for prosperity and growth for the equal prospect of poverty and suffering.

          Capitalist system thrives on massive diversity – vertically as well as horizontally.

          Many people search for their own fulfillment inside other people’s wallets. Hence, they are disappointed and sad. There solution is to equalize all wallets – but it is a race to the lowest commonality – massive poverty – where all men suffer equally.

          • You have a lot more patience than I do. I would think that anyone who goes to the trouble of posting on websites has actually thought about what they espouse. With Cuba and communism/socialism, there is plenty of current and factual information around for them to put it all together. I figure that most people who think its a good idea, need to put there butt where their propaganda is and good live like a good little communist or socialist. But that’s just me. Like I said, you have a lot more patience for them.

            🙂

    • Sammy;

      First let me say welcome, since I do not recall seeing you on any of the posts prior to this one. Let me also offer some advice: Since this was initially published back in September of 09 you are not going to get many replys, as the majority of us are too busy to go that far back. We welcome you to the discussions of today, so join in.

      In response to your claims:

      America was initally formed to be a nation drawing it’s wealth via “Free Trade”, which is a critical factor in Capitalisum. The government, some corporations the legal system have somewhat pushed us away from that principle. However, communisum and/or socialism are not alternatives we citizens consider logical. The primary reason is that both “ism’s” remove our two most valued rights; freedom and liberty. A “Free Market” based society promotes these two fundimental rights while enabling all Americans to work as they desire, when they desire, and where they desire.

      I am assuming you are not a US Citizen and probably do not live here. If you are open minded, wish to engage in peaceful debate, then post your comment above in today’s “Tuesday Open Mic”, and you will certainly be engaged.

      Have fun

      CM

      • And I no sooner write and post this and two of our most helpful participants chime in.

        Sammy: Perhaps by fate or folly you have now unintentionaly stepped into the lair of the Pirate; Black Flag. Should you be fortunate enough to remain unscathed keep you eyes open for the likes of JAC, D13, LOF and many others who will eagerly pounce.

        I fear however, that you will not make it past the pirate.

        CM

  60. Richard Neva says:

    There would be no need for socialism if capitalism was not so evil and perverted! The proof is what you see in America today, no jobs, college degree is useless, inflation, no more manufacturing, debt beyond ability to repay. continual wars of aggression. Come on get a new web site, this one is redundant!

    • Richard,

      Like so many people, you do not know the system working within the USA, and confuse it with capitalism.

      The American system is fascist/socialist – which is why it exhibits the evil you see (government-run capitalism).

      • so government run capitalism is socialism?? uhhh, no…. that’s government run capitalism…. state-capitalism…….

        • Well Red,

          Government run-Capitalism is a contradiction. Capitalism is the consequence of voluntary trade and opposite of “government” run anything.

          Fascism, of which you speak, is rooted in the same core as Socialism.

          From Hayek, (you know him, right?)

          He pointed out the “fatal conceit” of believing that government bureaucrats could “plan” an entire society.

          He explained why socialism – including its fascist variant – meant little more than “equality in restraint and servitude.”

          “Marxism has led to Fascism and National Socialism,” he wrote, “because, in all its essentials, it is Fascism and National Socialism [i.e., Nazism].

          • According to hayek the “free market” did not condone or endorse or lead to totalitarianism. that’s completely ridiculous. the inevitable outcome of capitalist economy is oligarchy, which is where we are now- because, as Einstein and others mentioned, capitalism encourages the growth and development of certain companies/productive forces at the expense of the smaller ones (for example, walmart moves into town and puts small business owners OUT of business).
            what is walmart? what is the huge corporation? what are the six companies that own/control ALL of america’s media outlets? the product of hayek’s thinking, and the same thing he said he opposed.

            • voluntary association is not a characteristic of capitalism itself, it is a characteristic of “liberal economics.” IF, the associations are voluntary, then we have a decent system going. once we are at the point of corporate oligarchy, associations are no longer voluntary. work for them, or starve. not much of a choice… and no matter what, even if you’re not working for a corporation, you’re still being exploited through the exchange-value system created by the market economy… and of course, the prices are based upon supply/demand (and marginal utility), which is of course under the complete control of the capitalist. “free” market indeed.

              • Of course, it’s a given in this market that if you price your goods too high, you will fail… but what is too high? and how do they usually work to lower the price? surely not by simply disseminating their products (increasing supply/reducing demand), but by limiting the compensation of the worker who created the goods.

              • government run capitalism is not a contradiction (if we are using the primary aspect of private ownership as the definition of the word), the USSR and Nazi Germany were state-capitalist, as the means of production were held in private by a numerically minor aristocratic (or ruling, or owning) class which tells the society what to do (the way a corporation tells it’s workers what to do).
                Lenin himself (and all manner of studious marxist, such as bakunin, luxemburg, etc, who wrote quite prolifically of the destruction of Marxism undertaken by the bolsheviks) considered the USSR state capitalist- the highest phase of capitalism, before entering socialism/communism.

                as you say in a previous reply…”the people.” they are to run the “state.” not “the state” running the people.

              • Well Red,

                According to hayek the “free market” did not condone or endorse or lead to totalitarianism.

                That’s correct.

                It is a contradiction to voluntary action to have coercive action, right?

                Thus, if a System erodes into a coercive system and to tyranny, it cannot be by the efforts of a free market,but due to a POLITICAL system, that is, systems where coercion is its core philosophy

                that’s completely ridiculous.

                I am not surprised about this regarding you.

                Your core premise is rooted in violence, thus, you cannot see anything but violence as an answer.

                the inevitable outcome of capitalist economy is oligarchy,

                An oligarchy can ONLY arise if they have access to political violence.

                The Free Market is not involved in such.

                walmart moves into town and puts small business owners OUT of business).

                First point, Walmart has competition and thus your statement here is pure fantasy.

                Second, it is an ongoing and common situation that business grow and fail.

                Thus, exampling a case of what is common and necessary as a “proof” of a defect
                what is a fallacy.
                the product of hayek’s

                It is, actually, a failure of your understanding which is a consequence of your faulty premise.

                You attribute violence and force to all motives and actions, and – as I’ve said above – see nothing but that in all things, including systems that oppose violence and force.

              • Well Red,

                Of course, it’s a given in this market that if you price your goods too high, you will fail… but what is too high?

                A price “too high” is a price that will not be paid by a consumer.

                and how do they usually work to lower the price?

                There are two forces in play.

                First, the consumer seeking value. No one buys a solution to their life problem that is more expensive then that person doing the effort to solve the problem themselves.

                If mowing your lawn costs you $10,000 and you can do it for $100, you will not pay $10,000.

                However, if another offers to mow your lawn for $10, you may pay this since this price is lower than what it would cost you to do it – thus YOU see value in this trade.

                All VALUE is subjective to the individual.

                Thus when a price is offered, it is merely a proposition that this service or good – at this price – will solve YOUR problem cheaper than you doing it yourself.

                If it does, You may buy, but if the price is too high – you will not buy it.

                surely not by simply disseminating their products (increasing supply/reducing demand), but by limiting the compensation of the worker who created the goods.

                Labor is nothing more than an economic good as any other input into a product’s creation

                To believe that it is “something else” will cause you to make serious mistakes in understanding labor, employment and the consequences of actions in manipulating these forces.

              • Well Red

                voluntary association is not a characteristic of capitalism itself,

                In fact, it is – it is a requirement.

                Capitalism does not cause voluntary associations – Capitalism is a consequence of voluntary associations.

                it is a characteristic of “liberal economics.”

                What is your definition of “liberal”?

                IF, the associations are voluntary, then we have a decent system going.

                Agreed. In fact, it is the only sustainable system possible.

                Any other system that requires coercion will and must eventually erode into stagnation and tyranny.

                once we are at the point of corporate oligarchy, associations are no longer voluntary.

                For associations to be “..no longer voluntary..” must mean the system is no longer voluntary and has left the Free part of the “Free market” definition.

                work for them, or starve.

                You must work to live

                or

                You must steal to live.

                Which one do you chose?

                not much of a choice…

                In fact, it is the ultimate choice for it defines you.

                Do you steal or work to obtain the goods you need to live?

                you’re still being exploited through the exchange-value system created by the market economy…

                To obtain the goods you need to live, you need to act. In this, the Universe is absolute.

                Either your actions to obtain your goods provides value to others so to motivate them to give you such goods

                OR

                You use violence and steal those goods from others who created them.

                In this, the Universe is absolute.

                and of course, the prices are based upon supply/demand (and marginal utility), which is of course under the complete control of the capitalist.

                In a Capitalist system, the Consumer is King.

                The Consumer holds the money to make the purchase and it is HIS choice of which product solves best HIS problems.

                The suppliers work to earn the Consumer’s money by providing a greater value to that Consumer – which may be by providing a better quality or a better price or both.

                But for such a system to operate, supply is necessary – a consumer cannot buy what does not exist.

                This intertwining – supply of new goods and the demand of solutions to consumer problems – creates an economy.

                “free” market indeed

                Indeed, it is the only system that can provide the broadest base of prosperity for the greatest number of people.

              • Well Red says:

                Capitalism is primitive and predatory. Barely two steps beyond slave society. You say the core to my outlook is violence (conflict, mainly over purportedly scarce resources, would be a better term to describe it, of course they are related), yet in the capitalist “free” market, the entire premise is that even if I did not personally use my own labor to create a commodity, it’s my right to deny you from taking it, even if you DID have an actual hand in creating it. That’s not “coercion” in your mind? The right of might? I take it (though you made it, I only made you capable of making it since I’ve exploited countless workers of the actual value of their products, and resold them to them, enabling me to buy up property, further disabling you from self-sustainably; exploited others to make machines and put them in place where I deem fit, etc), I defend it, therefore it is mine? it’s not boot to the face blatant, it’s hidden behind the word “voluntary,” or the nonsense of “at will employment.” “oh, you have the right to not even want to take it, or not buy it, or not work for me, good luck on the street.”
                I agree with what you say concerning access or use of “political coercion” or legally sanctioned tyranny, however the entire nature of the corporation, even in a “free” market, say, without an official “government” is the same concept.. the corporation or the expansive owner takes the place of the state (the main criticism of so-called “capitalist anarchism”), and essentially, through a convoluted idea of “voluntary association” relegates, dictates, etc, the access to goods, your ability to be productive in the industry (limited employment due to need to uphold profit), etc.
                Even without a “government,” in a capitalist market economy these goods will be purposefully with-held to uphold profit; they must be.
                Remove the government at this point without altering or abolishing large-scale capitalism and you have more blatant corporate feudalism: undemocratic ownership of the means for individuals to sustain themselves. Good luck with that. If you think no government will allow, or, more importantly, coax these corporations to suddenly disseminate more or grant a compensation which is somehow proportionate to the value of the wealth you create, then why is it even through all the “great conservative years” disparity still exists?

                Who gives the consumer the money?
                Who does the consumer give it back to?
                Your idea of the consumer being king only relates to comfort commodities or “luxuries,” not necessities.

                Private ownership of productive forces is just a coercive as any sanctioned government.
                Capitalism doesn’t allow or entail “free” anything (neither does socialism. that is the Utopian communist phase of society, and even then maintaining productivity is a must, otherwise surplus or stockpile is destroyed) at this point, and it surely does not care for democracy. Only centuries ago when feudal lords/government controlled mostly everything was capitalism even close to “free” or “voluntary.” America stepped out of that in the beginning, largely due to us having MORE OR LESS EQUAL ECONOMIC POWER IN A NEW LAND. That was destroyed by the very nature of capitalist ownership.

                “walmart has competition.” lmfao. yeah, other huge corporations.

                15 million vacant housing units (who capitalists call “hot property”), 1 million chronically homeless people (upwards of 3.5 mil intermittent). Yeah, capitalism is all about freedom, right.

              • Well Red says:

                “Only centuries ago when feudal lords/government controlled mostly everything was capitalism even close to “free” or “voluntary.””
                This should have read “the idea of capitalism,” or the ideas and the actions of the up-and-coming merchant class.

              • Well Red says:

                lmao, “which* capitalists call “hot property”

            • USWeapon says:

              I really do, as I mentioned in my other reply to you, encourage you to bring this over to tonight’s open mic post. You will get good discussion there throughout the next two days with a variety of different positioned folks.

  61. Interesting article, but your basic start-of-point is flawed. Socialism isn’t neceserally about state ownership (no matter what Wikipedia says), but about doing things collectively. All elements in government that gives service to the citizens by collective means could be labeled as socialism. Take medicare or the post-office for example (red bastards!). As you understand all functioning societies have some socialist elements, it’s just an question of have much. Don’t treat it as something foreign to the US. Granted, you have less of it than most western countries, but you have it none the less. It’s only the word you haven’t used.

  62. This post is moronic. Study the actual literature. “Marxist state” is an oxymoron. The entire program is meant to be undertaken by massive direct democracy, i.e. local councils who then send a “representative” to the national council to discuss what needs to be produced where, solely at the behest of their locality. A top down bureaucracy telling everyone what to do is not socialism… it’s state monopoly capitalism, as the state consists not of massive direct democracy, but a numerically minor group of aristocrats who PRIVATELY own and DICTATE to the society what they are to do (e.g. USSR). Complete usurpation of the entire Marxist idea. Like Christians, you’re selecting parts of the philosophy and taking them out of context to back up your presupposition (not unlike Lenin, either. and to say hitler was a socialist… lmfao, you lose all credibility really.. you’re not reading between the lines.. if you were you’d realize hitler was no damn socialist). You people are running around saying a “Marxist president bailed out billion dollar corporations at the expense of the working class.” Completely moronic. And what’s with this “black flag” person? Have you just started reading up on anarchism, or what? Anarchism came out of the labor and socialist movements. It has always (up until the 1960s, when demagogues who wish to sell you a corporatist”anarchist” state came up with the contradiction “anarcho-capitalism”), always, ALWAYS been tied to Marxist theory of history and class struggle.
    What you say of Mises is true if you accept capitalism as the only way to actually go about doing things. He eradicated socialism as an idea only within the context of the current epoch of society- under the sociological disposition and material relations of capitalism and the workings of the current economic situation.

    You are not differentiating between the sociological, and the political… the propositions marx made as a sociologist and critic of political economy, which he was first and foremost, and the nonsense politicians did “in his name” some 40 years or more after his death.
    The “state” in socialist discourse is “expanded” yet localized, directly democratic, and made up of people who form the majority of society under the capitalist/industrial feudal system, the working class.
    Also, “failed enterprise” only exists in the market economy, and any so-called “socialist” economy which is actually clearly state-capitalism (still uses paper money based upon marginal utility/suppy/demand, still operates for profit, i.e. produces goods to leverage against other aspects of industry)

    You said it all in “i’m not demonizing the owner.”
    You like being owned.

  63. Also, “fascist socialism” was completely contradictory up until the 1920s. The socialist movement revolved around NO owners, direct democracy over means of production, etc.. the opposite of fascism, which is the government and the corporation being as one in an UNDEMOCRATIC way… the government operating under direct democracy over industry would be socialism (fascist in a sense, though fascist in the name/interests of the majority of the population… if you think that sounds “bad” I would first ask if you understand the basic utilitarian argument, and then ask: which class are you in?)… the government, composed of a ruling elite, operating industry, is not really so”democratic,” not at all really, and thus fascism. Government operating at the behest of private corporate interests is traditionally fascism, and the opposite of that is the government operating through direct democracy at the behest of the working class (the majority of citizens), which is almost socialism (depending upon the value system being used and the actual material relationships, not the proclaimed relationships)
    Marx said the WHOLE WORKING CLASS MUST RULE. not some group of aristocrats.
    yeah, read the actual literature. Maybe some Proudhon too. “Capitalist anarchism.” lmfao.

    The produce is the capitalist aspect.. you own that by working for it, same as in capitalism… difference is, you are receiving back what is taken from you in other ways which are less exploitative than under capitalism.. for example, if i work at say, a ford plant, my working at the ford plant and having a hand in created cars for dissemination to all, and as long as all other industry operates in this way, I am granted the ability to live somewhere, to take food, to have running water, etc, simply because I am creating autos for people to drive. They will be farming and because they contribute, and they too can take from the collective. Obviously this will lead to shortages, so the expansive groups will have to, during a socialist phase, regulate what is being produced and what can be taken… until we reach the communist phase, this is a necessity, because we’ll have people trying to take more than they need and destroying the surplus we are trying to reach (due to the ridiculous sociological disposition we have, which goes way back to slave society, and more primal times when food was even more scarce than the capitalists say it is now… it all goes back to fear.. more for me, so i can live.. you? well, what can you do for me? yeah, THAT’S civil alright, advanced, etc.. lol /sarcasm.
    and going on the example of automobiles.. how many acres of cars do you pass that are just sitting there waiting for some wage-slave to say “i’ve got a ‘good job,’ i’m willing to take on that debt and essentially enter indentured servitude so that i can use it, until my company’s production falters, i get laid off, or whatever, then they come and take it back, and expect me to find another job without a car…
    on top of it all, your compensation is horridly disproportionate to the wealth your labor creates due to the nature of the market economy.. have to uphold those profits! otherwise we’ll go bust, then you’re really SOL!

    a side note: what was done to GM was VAGUELY marxist, ill give obama that.. the problem is, our congress is not expansive NOR representative enough.. it’s simply the “ultimate corporation,” a conglomerate of bankers and big capitalists, who rule in the interests of big capital. Even after bailing GM out, owning a large share, the people do not have direct control over production. besides, the entire “taxation” system isn’t to exist in the way that we know it now… the exchange value system we have completely nullifies true socialism.

    • Cyndi P says:

      Were you sent here by Organizing for America or some other Soros funded group?

      • are you living in fear? no, i wasn’t “sent here.” I stumbled upon it.

        • Cyndi P says:

          Not living in fear at all.

          Just fed up with politicians both Left and Right telling me what I want to hear, and then shafting me. Marxism sounds all well a good if you believe you’ve been screwed over by ‘the man’ all your life. So far as I can tell under Marxism, the new boss is the same as the old boss. Don’t try to peddle that BS with me. Its every man for himself. Always has been and always will be.

  64. Sorry for being so crude. I’ve been involved in this discourse for some time, and no matter what, there are always more people who have never read marxism telling you they know all about it, than people who actually study it.

    • USWeapon says:

      Still no need to be crude. You will find a few things about the people who frequent this site. First, many of them are quite well read, including myself. We may draw different conclusions but that does not make one of us smarter or better educated. In fact I am willing to put my formal education up against just about anyone. I have plenty of worthless letters after my name. You will also find that people here are more than willing to have respectful discourse on subjects. What I don’t allow here is disrespect. We can differ in opinions and argue our points without losing respectful dialogue.

      So I welcome you to my site, and invite you to stay a while. Engage on subjects that we discuss. You will find all different political stripes and vast differences of opinion. If you choose to engage respectfully, I think you will find a place where you can discuss your thoughts passionately without raising your blood pressure unnecessarily.

      As for your comment about Marxism. I understand your frustration. You are right. A lot of people don’t really understand it. Then again the same holds true for a free market and capitalism. Many don’t understand it either. We have not had a free market in well over 100 years, so to claim a free market has failed is not consistent with reality. We can debate ideas and topics, but we must do so with the truth up front.

      Again, welcome. You should bring your thoughts over to the more recent articles, where everyone can read and debate them. Tonight is when I post open mic. For the next two days everyone is free to bring up any subject they wish. I highly encourage you to take this discussion and begin it as a topic there. You will get plenty of debate from both sides.

      USW

  65. Well Red,

    Capitalism is primitive and predatory.

    Since it is a consequence of the Free Market, you are also saying that “Freedom is primitive and predatory”, too.

    Freedom is prime – without it, nothing much else matters.

    Predators will always exist – a fact of the Universe and Nature. Freedom, however, offers the optimum solutions in dealing with predators.

    Barely two steps beyond slave society.

    Freedom is, obviously, the opposite of slavery. One step above into freedom is all that is necessary.

    Systems such as Marxism and Socialism is a step DOWN into slavery – for they all require the use of violence upon non-violent men to enforce itself.

    You say the core to my outlook is violence (conflict, mainly over purportedly scarce resources, would be a better term to describe it, of course they are related),

    I agree that there is conflict over resources – which creates a necessity of determining who has right to such resource as it cannot be used at the same time to satisfy two different needs.

    Therefore, we organize either (1) by violence – he who is stronger wins
    or
    (2) by civilization – he who has his Rights wins.

    I support (2) whereas you support (1).

    yet in the capitalist “free” market, the entire premise is that even if I did not personally use my own labor to create a commodity, it’s my right to deny you from taking it, even if you DID have an actual hand in creating it.

    Not true – because you overlook an obvious step.

    The worker committed his labor into the product in trade for money in his hand. You did not labor for that particular good but you had to have labored somewhere to obtain the money for the trade for that good.

    You seem confused to see that even though you did not bake the bread you eat, you shoveled the dirt to earn the money to buy the bread you eat.

    That’s not “coercion” in your mind?

    You voluntarily chose to trade money for some goods and voluntary undertook labor to earn that money.

    Where is the coercion (other than the demand of the Universe that you must act to live)?

    The right of might? I take it (though you made it, I only made you capable of making it since I’ve exploited countless workers of the actual value of their products, and resold them to them,

    Your view is superficial.

    You have bought the his consequence of labor with money. You give money to the worker today so that he can today by the bread he needs to live.

    If you did not do that, and demand the worker to sell his own consequences, he will not have the money to buy his bread today, and will likely starve.

    You, instead, have accepted the time-delay of selling the consequence of labor to another customer. You paid out the labor today for a return of that payment sometime in the future.

    But the future is not determined. There is risk. Thus the time preference of all goods is NOW and any delay in that preference creates a cost and a value.

    You traded to the worker his bread today to fulfill his immediate time preference – and in compensation, you have gained the value of delaying YOUR PREFERENCE and GOOD into the future.

    If there was no value in delaying one’s time preference, everyone would consume today – and there would be no savings or ability to overcome Nature’s adversities with savings.

    Thus, you are not “exploiting” them – they are “exploiting” you! They get their immediate preference filled and transfer the risk completely on you to get your needs filled in the undetermined future!

    But, you do not see this exploiting either, since you gave value for assuming that risk.

    So, in the trade, both are happy. The worker gets his bread today, and you get your profit tomorrow.

    I agree with what you say concerning access or use of “political coercion” or legally sanctioned tyranny, however the entire nature of the corporation, even in a “free” market, say, without an official “government” is the same concept.. the corporation or the expansive owner takes the place of the state

    Do not mistaken me as a supporter of “Corporation”.

    Corporations are the manifestation of Government Law – hence, exist by the violence of government.

    Corporations cannot survive without a grant and protection of government. They are created by government writ –for the benefit of the government.

    Even without a “government,” in a capitalist market economy these goods will be purposefully with-held to uphold profit; they must be.

    You are either a slave or you are free.

    Freedom requires the man to control his own life, body and property. Thus, his freedom requires his ability to deny other people access to his life, body and property. Freedom is not the power to say “Yes” , but the power to say “No”.

    Because you are needy does not give you Right to seize another man’s life, body or property to solve your problems of your meager life, disabled body or lack of property.

    You do not have the Right to live by taking another Man’s life.
    You do not have the Right to sustain your body by stealing the act of another Man’s body (his effort).
    You do not have the Right to obtain property by seizing the property of another Man.

    Remove the government at this point without altering or abolishing large-scale capitalism and you have more blatant corporate feudalism: undemocratic ownership of the means for individuals to sustain themselves.

    Democracy is merely the concept that by vote, other men can seize the life, body and property of the minority.

    You would not agree that the 5 people around me have voted to me your house, even though I *allowed* you to vote too.

    Yet, you believe that if that number is …what? 1,000 – 10,000 – 100,000 – 1,000,000? … your house would be mine! Can you explain why 5 to 1 was not sufficient, but 10,000 (or whatever number) to 1 is?

    If you think no government will allow, or, more importantly, coax these corporations to suddenly disseminate more or grant a compensation which is somehow proportionate to the value of the wealth you create, then why is it even through all the “great conservative years” disparity still exists?

    I do not think this at all.

    Government created corporations to fund itself.

    Corporations are birthed by government writ.

    You are fooled by a merely slight-of-hand trick.

    Government Law creates the existence of Corporations – nothing else.

    Corporations require the power of government violence to exist – without government, corporations would not exist.

    Who gives the consumer the money?

    Consumers create “money”.

    I sense you do not understand what “money” actually is….

    Who does the consumer give it back to?

    Another consumer.

    Your idea of the consumer being king only relates to comfort commodities or “luxuries,” not necessities.

    They are King to all economic goods.

    A necessity vs. a want is merely a matter of trade offs and desires. Whatever you determine is a need and what is a want is equally and exactly the same “economic good”, obey all the laws of economics in exactly the same way.

    Private ownership of productive forces is just a coercive as any sanctioned government.

    A contradiction.

    Freedom from coercion is not coercion.

    America stepped out of that in the beginning, largely due to us having MORE OR LESS EQUAL ECONOMIC POWER IN A NEW LAND.

    This is true.

    What was removed was the INTERFERENCE of Government in the economy – and the Free Market system (or close to it) was allowed to flourish.

    Most of Europe was wholly government controlled economies. You could only buy or sell based on writ of government.

    The American experiment showed that the removal of such government violence created the greatest prosperity in human history.

    To demand a return of government control and its inherent violence is to REVERSE the American experiment and return to the stagnation of feudal Europe!

    “walmart has competition.” lmfao. yeah, other huge corporations.

    Perhaps, but there exists millions of small businesses competing very well with such companies.

    15 million vacant housing units (who capitalists call “hot property”), 1 million chronically homeless people (upwards of 3.5 mil intermittent). Yeah, capitalism is all about freedom, right.

    This economic issue is directly caused by government action in the economy primarily by artificially lowering interest rates and forcing lenders to loan money to people who have no real way to repay

    To complain that the consequences of such interference is the fault of “Free” market place is bizarre.

    • Well Red says:

      Private ownership is freedom from coercion only for the owner. The only option the non-owner has is to decide not to buy their product/work for them, but they will eventually be forced (or coerced) to labor for some other capitalist. If they do not, what is the likely eventuality?

      In owning, I am free from coercion of my workers, who are continually striving to achieve the abundance I must deny them in order to stay in business. Even if they have a “good job,” certain necessities, such as shelter, are still largely out of reach. You buy your house with cash? (Enter credit, indentured servitude) And even if they have a “good job” I still, as owner, have a much better business than they have a good job, thanks mostly to THEM, not me. I outlive my usefulness after I create the factory. The only reason I am still viewed as useful is because the owners in this system control the goods after they are created.

      The “free market” is eventually controlled by those who own the most.
      Government is not itself the culprit, it is the steadfast selfishness espoused by the concept of ownership, the concept which the corporate/government collusion literally banks upon.

      The “right” of ownership is paltry. If anything all resources on earth belong to all residents of earth- only after one applies their labor to those resources does ownership become less paltry- owners are not applying their labor, they are applying other people’s labor- of course, it seems you believe that this is due to them wanting to work there, rather than them needing to work wherever they can.

      It’s interesting to me that you accept the idea that “predators will always exist” (even in a civilization of minds which are capable of remedying such aspects, at least in the economic realm), yet say you support “he who has the right wins” (as opposed to he who is stronger win) when all right is, especially in the current trend of likening capitalism to natural selection, is the result of being a better predator, either in the forest, or in the economy.

      • Well Red says:

        It’s interesting to me that you accept the idea that “predators will always exist” (even in a civilization of minds which are capable of remedying such aspects, at least in the economic realm), yet say you support “he who has the right wins” (as opposed to he who is stronger win) when all right is, especially in the current trend of likening capitalism to natural selection, is the result of being a better predator, either in the forest, or in the economy.

        That is, in being a predator, i am using my will to get my way, forcing my will upon whatever, so in that comparison of capitalism/natural selection, he who is stronger will win.

        • Well Red,

          I have responded here, but I’ve copied this thread to here:

          https://standupforamerica.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/tuesday-night-open-mic-for-july-6-2010/

          I invite you to continue there; there is a great and interested audience that would enjoy your Point of View (though many will respond in disagreement).

          Private ownership is freedom from coercion only for the owner. The only option the non-owner has is to decide not to buy their product/work for them, but they will eventually be forced (or coerced) to labor for some other capitalist. If they do not, what is the likely eventuality?

          Your question, cleared of rhetoric, is:

          What is the only option of a man who refuses to work for his living?

          Answer: starvation.

          Note: it does not matter what such a man owns. If he refuses to “do something” to obtain his resources to live, he will die.

          In owning, I am free from coercion of my workers,

          Again, scrubbing out the rhetoric:

          In owning, I can use my property as I see fit. True.

          However, owning property does not acquire food. I still must do something.

          The workers can refuse to trade with me. Then I must do the work myself.

          This is the root of the power of “Striking Workers”.

          who are continually striving to achieve the abundance I must deny them in order to stay in business.

          You deny them nothing.

          They trade voluntary their effort at some price you are willing to pay. If they ask too much, you will not pay. If you pay too little, they will not work.

          Even if they have a “good job,” certain necessities, such as shelter, are still largely out of reach.

          Almost everyone lives in a home. I have no idea what picture you are seeing here.

          You buy your house with cash?

          I chose not to buy a home and save my “cash” for other purposes.

          (Enter credit, indentured servitude)

          No man is forced to borrow.

          And even if they have a “good job” I still, as owner, have a much better business than they have a good job, thanks mostly to THEM, not me.

          Without you, they have no job whatsoever. They would starve.

          If they can sell their goods without you, why do they need you, then? Obviously they do for a reason.

          They cannot sell their goods without you.

          Either:
          (1) they only supply a small component of the final good – hence, they cannot sell anything since they have no completed good to sell. You provide the ability to acquire all the other pieces and parts to complete the good of which they are but a part. Without you, “making the whole”, they get ZERO value for their part.

          (2) they cannot wait for their payment of their effort. They need money NOW, not later. You provide them money NOW, and you take the risk of the sale in the future. You may lose or you may win. But they are immune to either. They have eliminated their immediate risk of loss by you paying them off immediately. You assume that risk totally.

          I outlive my usefulness after I create the factory. The only reason I am still viewed as useful is because the owners in this system control the goods after they are created.

          Because you bought and paid for them by paying salaries to the workers.

          If I pay you for your wheat, and I make bread and sell the bread at more than the cost of your wheat, it appears you claim that is unfair, since it was originally your wheat and you now desire a part of my profit of the bread.

          Of course, that is ridiculous – yet this is what you claim when the word “wheat” is replaced by the word “labor”.

          The “free market” is eventually controlled by those who own the most.

          No.

          The free market is always controlled by the consumer. It is he who determines the value of the goods and services in the marketplace.

          (Note: the consumer does NOT determine the price – the vendor determines the price. If the price is at or lower than the value, a trade will be made. If the price is too high, the trade will not happen.

          Even here, the consumer is the favorite – since it is he who chooses to trade or not.

          The vendor can only set the price, and that is the price he will receive. The consumer, however, can determine that this price is far lower than his value – and immediately seize upon the trade as it dramatically favors himself. The consumer can then cheer “What a great deal!” – where the vendor can only say “I got what I asked”.)

          No matter what is offered, if it is not desired, it will not sell.

          No matter how beautiful and well made buggy whips are today, they have few sales as the consumer has very little desire for them.

          Therefore, the consumer is the King of the Free Market.

          Government is not itself the culprit,

          Government is the evil.

          Individuals have long dispelled the notion of violence as a solution to problems. Violence is prohibited except in self-defense FROM violence.

          No matter how bizarre you may be, I have no right -ever- to inflict violence on you because your ideas or your non-violent behavior. Indeed, I may not even have a right to inflict violence on you even if you act in some forms of physical violence.

          But government demands exclusively this right – it demands it has the right to inflict great violence – even death – upon the non-violent. Hence, it is one of the primary roots of human evil.

          If anything all resources on earth belong to all residents of earth- only after one applies their labor to those resources does ownership become less paltry- owners are not applying their labor, they are applying other people’s labor- of course, it seems you believe that this is due to them wanting to work there, rather than them needing to work wherever they can.

          Ownership has nothing to do with “labor”.

          Ownership is merely the determination of control of property. Owners determine use, including non-use.

          It’s interesting to me that you accept the idea that “predators will always exist” (even in a civilization of minds which are capable of remedying such aspects, at least in the economic realm), yet say you support “he who has the right wins” (as opposed to he who is stronger win) when all right is, especially in the current trend of likening capitalism to natural selection, is the result of being a better predator, either in the forest, or in the economy.

          Man is not just an animal – he has intellect.
          Where raw Nature suggests the “stronger makes right” – Nature also has no civilization.

          Man has civilization because he has intellect. Man’s intellect has determined that “stronger does not make right” – and instead, man has chosen intellectual determinations of social order that abstain from violence.

          Man has choice: either he subjects himself to “Might is Right” – and forgoes the benefits of civilization, or he holds firm to freedom and human rights and gains the benefits of civilization.

          Barbarianism (ie: government) is in conflict to Civilization (freedom)

    • Well Red says:

      Yes, I view such irrational clamoring to the concept of “freedom” primitive, and based upon emotion. Even in a “free” market, most of your ENTIRE LIFE is devoted to completing the tasks others have designated for you, or in perhaps more technologically “primitive” societies, which must be satisfied in order to remain alive. Freedom is sacrificed to necessity, always. In this system, your freedom is sacrificed to necessity through all manner of convoluted apparatuses, many of which are not even tied to necessity- they are simply there due to someone restraining themselves long enough (in the name of someone else having a better life, first and foremost) for them to be capable of perpetuating the wage-slave system, so that they too may one day hopefully have a “better life.” These elements are connected only through the fact that money is the main tie-in between all manner of industry/commerce and you can do nothing without it, yet money itself does not prove at all that one has done anything actually, worth doing, nor done anything which was of their own accord, or what they did came about due to them “being free.” Only if you are a wage-slave owner is that true, for you are absolutely more “free” than the person who is not an owner, and your actions, your decisions you have made through owning your company, bring your profits, your money, through your “freedom.”

      At one point, someone may be so cynical as to think all adherents of socialist philosophies are “out to get you” or out to impose their tyranny, or think that direct democracy over industry would be “bad,” or is inherently tyrannical, as if people do not know what they want/need (of course, this has been rendered somewhat true due to the nature of capitalism/consumerism/marketing/privatization of EVEN THE INFORMATION WHICH WOULD ALLOW THE PEOPLE TO HANDLE THINGS THEMSELVES), yet then give most of their political and economic responsibilities up to their “betters”; consign themselves to taking the orders of others and view that as making one “more human,” “a man,” a “good provider.” Your owner is the provider. You can do all the things you want independently, but if you are not in their money system, they do you little good, so good thing he needed you to make that completely ridiculous, practically useless comfort commodity, so that he can eventually buy property in other parts of the world for dirt cheap and escape the “headaches” of his quite comfortable material situation.

      • Well Red,

        Yes, I view such irrational clamoring to the concept of “freedom” primitive, and based upon emotion.

        Thus, you expose your leaning – that is, use of violence to impose your will upon others you deem lessor of yourself.

        Even in a “free” market, most of your ENTIRE LIFE is devoted to completing the tasks others have designated for you, or in perhaps more technologically “primitive” societies, which must be satisfied in order to remain alive.

        No matter what system you wish to devise, the requirement to you to act in some manner to live is immutable.

        Under Socialist systems, an elite exclusively determines such tasks, with little or not option for you, under dire threat of violence.

        In the Free Market, such exercise is determined by you, the individual. You can accept (or deny) what ever task is demanded – of course, accepting (or denying) always creates a consequence.

        Freedom is sacrificed to necessity, always.

        Freedom for man is the lack of imposition by another man.
        Man is not “free” to fly like a bird, thus human freedom is not determined by the ability (or lack of ) to do “anything”. It is measured by imposition. Lack of imposition is freedom.

        Freedom is not sacrificed to necessity in a Free Market. Man is not “free” from the Universe’s demand to act to feed himself. Man is free when he can act without imposition from another man.

        perpetuating the wage-slave system, so that they too may one day hopefully have a “better life.”

        Where we may agree in the view that the current, government-created, systems do perpetuate a form of slavery – the cause is government, not the “Free Market”.

        Government – through its public schooling and communication control – has taught the People that a “better life” is made by accumulating “stuff”, and by offering easy access to acquire such “stuff” have convinced the People to surrender their freedom.

        Government claims people have “freedom of choice” – except in areas that are most important. The People have no choice in their government – few, if any, choice in the currency and money – little ability to chose information sources – but the People have 35 different choices of jellybeans.

        Government perpetuates the myth of choice is minor goods – like the paint of their car, or the flavor of ice cream – but in the important and vital areas, government has removed all choice.

        Until the People “wake up” to the perversions of their government – and the Faustian deal offered to them, slavery is their lot.

        These elements are connected only through the fact that money is the main tie-in between all manner of industry/commerce and you can do nothing without it, yet money itself does not prove at all that one has done anything actually, worth doing, nor done anything which was of their own accord, or what they did came about due to them “being free.”

        Money has nothing to do with freedom.

        Money is an economic good, like any other economic good – and as such follows the Laws of Economics perfectly.

        Money is the most desired good in an economy.

        This makes it easy to trade for and easy to trade with.

        Money does NOT determine value of any other good or service. Because money is the most desired economic good, all other economic goods are priced in terms of reference to the “most desired good”. If cows were the most desired economic good, shoes and cars would be priced in terms of “cows”.

        In the US, the Federal Reserve Note is the most desired economic good. It is desired because the government demands the People pay their taxes in Federal Reserve Notes, and nothing else. The People therefore must trade to obtain these Notes so to pay their taxes – hence, creates a substantial trade in these Notes, and a high desire to obtain these notes. Thus, these Notes have become money, and all other goods in this economy are priced relative to this good.

        At one point, someone may be so cynical as to think all adherents of socialist philosophies are “out to get you” or out to impose their tyranny,

        I do not believe adherents of socialist philosophies are “out to get” anyone nor desire to impose tyranny.

        I believe these adherents are totally clueless to the consequences of their belief.

        I believe they are innocently ignorant of the evil they create. Few actually have penetrated the requirements that their philosophy must have so to create the system they hold dear.

        All socialist philosophies – bar none – require violence upon non-violent men to force their compliance.

        At some point in Socialist systems, someone has to point a gun to the head of another man and demand his obedience, even if this obedience results in poverty and slavery. A choice between death or slavery will be offered. Most will chose the slavery of socialism and renege on “Give me Liberty or Give me Death”.

        Socialist systems, therefore, attract the most vile of humanity. It gives these vile humans a philosophy from which to justify their great acts of evil – as highlighted by the Hitler’s, the Stalin’s, the Mao’s, etc.

  66. Well Red says:

    Make no mistake, my feelings are not against freedom.
    “irrational clamoring to the concept of ‘freedom'” is the statement “freedom is prime.” Freedom is never prime, and it always takes second seat to necessity; it is simply the cry of the individual who has none, and since none of us ever have true freedom, we all cry for it, making it an easily promotable, easily corrupted (via demagoguery) idea, same as communism.
    I also understand one may think “in this system, you get to choose how/where you sacrifice your freedom,” but no, that’s up to the owner and his reliance upon/dealings within the capitalist market economy as well.

    • Well Red,

      Make no mistake, my feelings are not against freedom.
      “irrational clamoring to the concept of ‘freedom’” is the statement “freedom is prime.” Freedom is never prime, and it always takes second seat to necessity; it is simply the cry of the individual who has none, and since none of us ever have true freedom, we all cry for it, making it an easily promotable, easily corrupted (via demagoguery) idea, same as communism.

      Freedom is prime – for without it, acting to resolve one’s needs are moot.

      You must be free to act so to solve the need to act.

    • Common Man says:

      Dude;

      First I mean no disrespect, but you are one hosed-up dude. You seem to have lived a life of repression and domination; somebody telling you what you must do or can’t do. How to live your life to meet certain standards, and what and when you can and must do some pre-determined effort outlined by a pre-concieved standard. As a result you have concluded that Freedom is not obtainable due to certain standards defined by society or government. “Living up to the Jones’s” so to speak.

      Our country was built around a concept that each, and every man/women is free to pursue whatever direction they chose; as long as it did not violate the same rights of another. It has evolved to a lesser ideology. But that is only because we allowed it to happen. We sacrificed certain freedoms for convenience and comfort. It was a human mistake. It does not disolve the true concept of freedom, and it certainly does not, in any way, justify an alternative that deploys violence to maintain power. (any isum you want to name)

      Capitalizum as it functions in the US today may, in part, be corrupt, but it is due to an evolving repressive government that is by the current regime’s design ( and a great many before this one) graduating toward some type of “isum”. This is not what the freeman wants, but it is what the corrupt regime’s strive for; and they do so for the same reason those who preach “isum’s” as a solution strive for; power, control, greed and manipulation.

      Throughout all of history governments (all kinds) have pushed for more and more control for the sole reason that it justify’s their exsitance. As long as some aknowledge the need for government controls, the government will envoke more.

      Freemen do not need a government to tell them how to act, freemen only need freedom to function and flurish. Then all will be able to prosper as they so envision.

      CM

      • Well Red says:

        Come to Gary, IN. Land of opportunity.
        I don’t support the government telling everyone what to do, I support the people discussing what needs to be done amongst themselves, and discerning what is feasible. It’s hard for me to fathom that becoming a reality under what is essentially industrial feudalism.

  67. Well Red says:

    There’s no one stopping you from going and making that guy more money than he’s going to pay you for doing what he says needs to be done. Awesome.

    • Well Red,

      It is not my concern whatsoever about how much money YOU MAKE reselling my services or production.

      I couldn’t careless, no more than I care how much money YOU make right now (or less) than I.

      It is simply not my business.

      My Only concern is how much money I make. If I get the trade of my services for the money I demand, then I must be satisfied.

      To then turn around and be complain of another’s trade with someone else – a trade I am not a party to – makes me an envious and irrational SOB.

    • Well Red says:

      You’re not party to the trade because you have no say, other than how much money you can/are willing to give back to a producer for their product. You have been exploited for the actual value of your product.
      You have no say because you have been expropriated from the goods you create, though you seem to be okay with that- since you accept never owning them in the first place, and said “ownership has nothing to do with labor” (that’s the entire problem).
      “The owner denies the worker nothing.”
      His entire wealth comes from surplus value, which comes from the difference between your compensation (and other expenses) and the money he brings in from selling you/others those same products.
      Being envious of something that was essentially yours to begin with…. interesting.

      I’m not envious. I don’t want more of his money. I don’t want money.

      • Well Red says:

        really, i should have typed “give back to an owner for the product you yourself may have produced”

      • Well Red,

        You’re not party to the trade because you have no say,

        My Right of “saying” was terminated by my acceptance of the trade for money.

        There is no extra clause that says “oh yeah, I get to also still determine how the goods that I sold will be used after I sold them and I get money for that too”.

        The sale terminates your Right to determine the use of that property. That is what a “sale” means – transfer of ownership and rights of that property.

        (PS: You could make a contract that says that, however – nothing stopping you. Whether the other party accepts that clause (shrug) probably not, and probably you won’t get the job.)

        You have been exploited for the actual value of your product.

        Not at all.

        I am able to sell my service because I can produce my good cheaper then the buyer could do it himself.

        I sell my service at a profit – I am able to produce an entire weeks worth of goods (168 hours) while only spending less than 35 to do it! Even more, after a year, I have excess earning – called “savings” – I didn’t need to spend every dollar I earned to satisfy myself and family!

        And I got paid well before my contractor received payment for his product! I got all of this in advance and no risk.

        One hellva deal I say!

        If anyone was “exploited” it was me over my contractor. He paid me in advance for something I’d probably do for free, and carried all the risk of selling where I carried none of it.

        You have no say because you have been expropriated from the goods you create, though you seem to be okay with that- since you accept never owning them in the first place, and said “ownership has nothing to do with labor” (that’s the entire problem).

        I owned the product (my labor) up until I sold it. What happens after that is not my concern.

        His entire wealth comes from surplus value,

        There is no such thing as “surplus” value.

        Value is in the eye of the beholder.

        You can look upon a dusty old machine and say “it has no value” to you

        I can look upon that exact same machine and say “it is worth a million bucks” to me.

        Your argument as presented means that though you saw no value when you looked on it, it *somehow* held some surplus value because I thought it is worth a million.

        But how can that be if you didn’t see it in the first place?

        Is there a virtual “value tag” that only special people see and non-special people can’t see?

        Value is completely subjective to the individual. Hence, there exists no such thing as surplus value or inherent value.

        I don’t want money.

        Great! I’ll email you my address and you can send it all to me!

        I promise I will enjoy it greatly! 😉

  68. Well Red says:

    Of course even in the most advanced utopian propositions, you will never, at this point in societal advancement and centralization, be able to receive the full product of your labor. The problem is that in this economy, the proportion is quite slim compared to what those working actually create for the owners.
    Obviously, only if we revert to strictly local communal living would one even be able to consider receiving MOST of the value of the products his labor produces. That’s practically impossible at this point, and in some ways it would not be a “good” idea.

    How is it though, that you will use such a literal interpretation regarding “free to act” but strive for a “free market” which retains some elements of feudalism (most specifically, “private ownership of the means of production,” though, by a different “class” or “private ownership of vast expanses of property/productive forces by the same individuals over time”? how is that a “free market”?)?
    Really not much has changed- property ownership and relations have been slightly altered- owners will change based upon their failure in the market (which granted, I will agree and see more clearly now thanks to some of your responses, is more-so now controlled by the consumer than in previous ages, though not quite entirely), even though that market also destroys some businesses through it’s very own nature (back to darwin again).

    • Well Red

      Of course even in the most advanced utopian propositions, you will never, at this point in societal advancement and centralization, be able to receive the full product of your labor.

      As many here already know, I laugh loudly at those that raise arguments of “Utopia”.

      St. Thomas More, who wrote “Utopia” dreamed a society that had no freedom, everyone was taught the same, believed the same, and prayed to the same God – he felt that freedom must be destroyed so to create order.

      Sounds more like your philosophy then mine.

      Re: Labor.

      Labor is an economic good – nothing more or less. Your statement here makes as much sense as “you will never receive the full product of your apples”.

      The point is, that is not YOUR goal. When you sell your apples, you no longer have an interest in what happens after the sale. Those apples are not yours, nor your concern.

      Whether they are turned into juice or into a pie – is completely irrelevant to you. You do not own them.

      To believe you still hold some claim – after your sale – to the profit of the apple pie is absurd.

      To believe you still hold some claim – after your sale – to the profit of your labor is equally absurd.

      I will agree and see more clearly now thanks to some of your responses, is more-so now controlled by the consumer than in previous ages, though not quite entirely),

      …and I would agree to your point here as well.

      Government still holds substantial control over the economy, preventing the consumer from buying/selling goods and services.

      You cannot buy the beer I make – government prevents this so to enrich itself by “licensing” (ie: taxation).

      Great progress was made, and much of it is reversing.

  69. Well Red says:

    I’ve worked myself into a mind boggling catch 22, for in this system you did not previously own say, the materials used in manufacturing a car… so therefore, indeed, there would be no expropriation taking place- hrm

    • Well Red says:

      the catch being that in order to fully receive the product of that labor, i’d have to be the one owning that material- though practically, directly, that is impossible for the position of a worker- until he himself becomes an owner… so yes, it seems, though I was not in total disagreement with the notion, that currently, there is at least a possibility for one to later become the owner of said materials… however, the surplus value/exchange-value, etc, etc, remain primarily in the interest of the owner’s personal wealth.

      • Well Red,

        I believe you are tightening the knot well enough – don’t let up!

        If you, as a worker, wishes to capitalize completely on the fullest extent of your labor, you must become the owner of the entire process, including the owner of all the risk.

        There exists substantial risk that what you produce – even if you owned it “soup to nuts” – would have no consumer who would buy it – thus, destroying you. You would starve to death (or become a criminal and steal your food to live).

        Thus, prudence dictates that you might avail yourself with the “division of labor and capital” – dividing the risk and effort (and the profit) with a number of other actors.

        Thus, by selling your labor for immediate money now you relieve yourself of systemic economic risk should the product not sell tomorrow. You are freed from the risk of the uncertainty of the future by selling your services for cash today.

        By joining a company, which supplies in aggregate all the other means of the division of labor, your labor can become even more specialized – allowing you to capitalize your expertise into greater profit (that is, less effort for the same return or same effort for greater return).

  70. Well Red says:

    … Hmm.

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