A Journey To Understand

On April 25th, USW posed a question to me, which was based on my response to Just A Citizen concerning the 2012 national elections, I had replied to JAC that I did not believe they would occur. USW then asked why I would think such a thing and that he certainly didn’t feel the same. The answer isn’t as easy as some would think. I began to feel this way over three years ago, after Obama was elected. Not that Obama did anything wrong, I just had a strong gut feeling that there would be no 2012 elections, as they will be cancelled or delayed for some time. There was something wrong  that I could not pinpoint, but I felt so strongly about it that I told people who were closest to me. But when asked why I felt this way, I could not answer, thus began my journey to understand!

So how many of you, at some point in your life, had a sudden feeling come over you that something was very, very wrong? You know, that sixth sense that we all claim to have but can’t be proven. That happened to me, several years ago, and the first words out of my mouth, was ” There will not be an election in 2012″. For the sake of legalities, I claim sole ownership of this statement, therefore I own it. Any use of it must come with expressed permission from the owner, ME! At the moment of uttering these words, my first thought was why? So I ventured into a fact-finding mission that turned into a journey. A journey that has blessed me with knowledge, understanding and a sense of peace within myself.

I was lacking in political, economic and philosophical knowledge, that over the last few years I have been able to greatly improve. I credit those here on SUFA for a majority of that, and I have learned to research and come to conclusions based on this new found knowledge. I can honestly say, that because of the current geopolitical and economic conditions that we are facing, I am holding to my prediction that the 2012 national elections will not take place on the scheduled date, if at all. I have many reasons for this now, not just a gut feeling.

Our Government: It’s simple. They are corrupt to the core. The two-party system is a joke that does not serve the people any justice. They are supposed to be “of the people, by the people and for the people” They are none of the above. They have as a whole in 2008 ignored the will of the people and voted to bail out Wall Street. They did it again with Obama’s stimulus, which failed miserably. It continued, until the most recent actions of President Obama, when he sent our troops into harms way in Libya, without Congressional approval, as required by the Constitution and the War Powers Act. Congress will do nothing on this matter, furthering my beliefs of things to come.

Our Economy: We are in deep poo poo here folks. Unemployment is not getting better and prices are rising. Gas is soon going to cost what $5, $6, $7 or even more by the end of the year. I predicted this winter that gas would be $4 to $5 a gallon by October. It looks like that will occur by Memorial Day, as traditionally, gas goes up for the summer travelling season, which for many, is cancelled already. The dollar is devaluing, in 2008 when oil hit $100 a barrel, gas hit $3.05 a gallon, this year, oil hit $100 and gas was $3.79. That’s a very big difference in just three years. Food prices are going to begin to hurt for those on government aid, if that’s not already occurring.

The Future: Ugly! Economically it could be the most violent time within our borders since the Civil War. This country can’t sustain 7 or more dollars a gallon for gas for very long at all. Can you imagine what 10 bucks a gallon would do to this nation? Most people will only consider their personal situation in assessing the what ifs , while discounting others who aren’t so lucky to have enough wealth to weather the storm (ask Charlie, he’ll tell you). The dangers of these possibilities and how you deal with them could make a difference in survival, not just for you and your immediate family, but relatives and friends who may become displaced.

The Future II: Ugly! Politically, how will government handle this if it comes to be? If their recent actions are any indication, not very well for us. If major civil unrest occurs, the government will likely do the same thing they did in New Orleans after Katrina, if not worse. How are they treating the citizens today? The TSA, the DHS, the President’s actions with Libya. All a tell-tale sign of what could be coming to our cities if the economy drops out. When people are hungry, it’s gonna be a tough ride for this nation and it’s citizens.

So why am I predicting no elections in 2012? Because it’s gonna take time to get to where I think we are going. Once we get there, and the government cracks down on the civil unrest, what politician will be able to campaign, much less get many votes. They would all be gone where violence occurred on the citizens by the government. They will need time, to try and save their sorry hides, so the easiest thing to do, cancel or delay elections. If anyone thinks for one minute that with this nation under a State of Emergency, or worse, Martial Law, that Congress will not vote to do this, think again.

So there you have it, my journey to understand one simple statement made in 2008. Some of you will think I’m bat shit crazy, some a conspiracy theorist, some a Black Flag waiving nut or just plain whacko. That’s OK! I hope I’m wrong. I want to be wrong! But what if I’m not?

Live Free!

G!

p.s.  As a note, my journey was not by anyone’s help or hand.  I discovered on my own, and made my own conclusions, without outside interference.  My conclusions are just that, mine, I follow nobody.

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Comments

  1. Good Morning, Gman. Interesting thought. My father, who is still alive at 92, told me the same thing yesterday. He grew up during the FDR New Deal and was explaining its woes as he feels it is a direct result of where we are today. He remembers the depression very well and all of this made an indelible impression upon him and, he says, is why I have been so tough on you and your brother and sister, so we, and you can weather the coming economic storm. Survival is dependent upon the individual and not any collective, because any collective will turn on you faster than a pissed off rattle snake with a rabid dog sidekick. Survive, we will…but what stuck with me yesterday…..he feels that there will be no election either and he feels that Obama is and will suspend the elections due to a National Emergency. He also feels, as I do, that Obama and his kind do not care one whit about our Consitution and therefore holds no allegiance to it or this country. He finished saying that, ” I am 92 years old…I hope I do not live to see it.” Depressing statement but his thoughts.

    Just food for thought from a 92 year old. Interesting thoughts.

    • Colonel, Your fathers timing is quite scary! He must be a very wise man. 🙂 Ths bad part is it’s happening, almost as I thought it would.

      Hope today finds you and the family well and safe!

      • My dad was raised very strict…..by a lawyer. A bankruptcy attorney during the Depression era. He remembers his father saying that people simply do not prepare for the rainy days. ( I know Buck, but that was the only attorney in the family). I do not remember my grandfather (died when I was 14 months) however, my dad remembers well two things his dad taught him. (1) When you are out of money, you are out of luck, and (2) FDR is bad for this country. His policies will bankrupt this country and destroy is industrial will and entrprenurial spirit with in 60 years. Appears he was right.

      • two brief things
        I believe the reason for no 2012 election in 2012 will be because economic collapse cannot be delayed so long. That will probably be beyond a “mere depression” and this government will disappear.

        2. While I have ID at WordPress.com, I never use my that. I am hoping that entering my info to post this will suffice as registration, otherwise I can suggest a plugin that works.

        Very good article, and absolutely it would be very welcome on No-Ruler.net – bring it ON! I will next make sure you are designated as Author!

  2. Buck the Wala says:

    People on the left said the same thing about there being no elections with Bush. It was crazy talk then and it is crazy talk now. There is not one iota of evidence to support such a claim, except of course for your (and others’) gut feeling.

    But the sentiment “that Obama and his kind do not care one whit about our Consitution and therefore holds no allegiance to it or this country”? There really is no place for this in our discourse – it stymies debate and has no basis in reality. Obama (and myself) may disagree with your interpretation of the Constitution, but that does not mean he doesn’t care about the Constitution or hold any allegiance to the USA. He just views the country in different terms than you do.

    • Buck

      This is where you and the likes of Obama go wrong.

      We don’t love the Constitution. We love the principles on which it was founded and thus the meaning of its content.

      The same holds for the USA. We love the idea of an America where individual freedom, liberty and justice are primary. Where we are free to pursue our own will, be responsible for our actions, and reap the rewards of our effort.

      Yes, you and Mr. Obama just have a different “view” or “interpretation”. One that stands in direct contrast to the values on which this nation was founded. Those values that many of us love so much.

      He does not love our Constitution and he does not love our country. He loves those things he wants to turn them into, but not what they were, or even are today.

      Stymie debate you say? It is the Debate of our times Buck. Nothing else matters.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        You suffer from the illusion that all the Founders agreed unanimously on a single ‘idea’ of the United States. Sure there were core principles of freedom, liberty and justice, but you are misguided in thinking that our approach to constitutional interpretation and our views of the country and the direction we are (or should be headed) go against these core principles. I am all for individual freedom, liberty and justice — but want to make sure everyone is afforded said justice, that everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

        “He does not love our Constitution and he does not love our country”. I must ask – do you feel the same about me and Mathius?

        • Buck

          “I am all for individual freedom, liberty and justice — but want to make sure everyone is afforded said justice, that everyone has the opportunity to succeed. ”

          So your for something before your against it!

          OR

          You have to change the meaning of the words to fool your own mind.

          I will not beat around the bush today Buck. I am not sure about you and Mathius because I have not listened to your words and watched your body language. I have not seen the friends and advisers who surround you. You are both young and the flames of liberalism burn in most youth. But Mr. Obama is NOT young, nor are his key advisers. The young are also synics and use humor to mask either their true identity or their lack of one.

          Neither of you have a political machine supporting you with a mission of taking the final transforming step to your leftist Utopia. Mr. O has all that so I can be more positive in judging him. But essentially you are the enablers.

          But if forced to JUDGE you today, in the same context and using the same criteria from as I have presented, then YES. I would put you both in Mr. Obama’s camp. You more so than Mathius. We might keep him out of the camp for kitchen duty so we can evaluate him further.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Tell me how you really feel…

            “Neither of you have a political machine supporting you with a mission of taking the final transforming step to your leftist Utopia”….YET! But just you wait, I know Mathius is gearing up to be President of the World once we get this one-order world government in place.

            “You are both young and the flames of liberalism burn in most youth”…You really do enjoy just chalking it up to misguided youth, don’t you?

            I find it very unfortunate that you feel this way JAC, that you feel someone is somehow less “American” than you for having a different view of what America is. That you believe that you are the arbiter of what the Founders intended, of how they envisioned America to progress and move forward, all the while ignoring the disagreements on this very point by the Founders themselves. Very unfortunate indeed.

            • Buck

              Be careful here and don’t over react. I was specific about the criteria I set for making the judgment. I said I don’t view you as the same. But if I HAD to judge today using the SAME criteria then you share the same goals.

              I am not sure you will stay with those views and values. But I am sure Mr. Obama will.

              I have never claimed the Founders were uniform in their thinking or policy views. But most were very similar in the core principles. I was the first at SUFA to point to Hamilton as the Founding Fascist of this country.

              So once again you use the strategy of ignoring all my words in assigning a claim against me. So either I have a communication problem or you have a reading problem.

              It is usually only the young who are insulted by being called young. It is a simple fact Buck. Young folks tend to be more “liberal” then tend to be more radical and revolutionary in their thinking. This is not “chalking it up to misguided youth”.

              Only time will tell whether it is “misguided”. In my youth there were two major movements. Civil Rights and Welfare. WE were half right and half wrong.

          • I have to tell you, I resent that. I may be cynical (and at least I know how to spell that), but I resent when people constantly hold my views to be an artifact of my age. As we are on an online forum, if I told you I was 60, would you doubt it? Given the way I talk, the way I think, the things I know? I grew up on Dragnet, Mr. Ed, and the occasional Lone Ranger – just like a lot of the older folks here. I’ve been called an “old soul” my whole life, and not without merit, I think. I may not have been there for the halcyon days of your youth, but that does not disqualify my thoughts – after all, you weren’t there for the founding of this nation, and you have plenty of opinions about it.. should we just write those off since you’re too young to remember personally?

            Should D13, who is approaching 300 years old, be the only one whose opinion matters, since a whippersnapper like you only thinks the way you do because of your comparative youth?

            What about the fact that I am 27 means that my views are transient and can be ascribed to some trash-heap with a shrug and the words “the flames of liberalism burn in most youth”? As if I don’t know plenty of conservatives in my age bracket and even younger. As if I didn’t arrive at my beliefs through study and introspection with a substantial amount of intellectual heft?

            But oh yea, he’ll grow out of it.

            Bah!

            My father is 57 and he’s liberal, but maybe he’s just a late bloomer and he’ll grow out of it by the time he’s 67?

            • Matt-don’t be so insulted by the age thing-it isn’t an attack on your intelligence or your work to be informed. It is based on experience not intelligence. Obviously there are alot of progressives that are old as dirt. But there is also the truth-that most who become conservative started out as liberal in their youth. It simply means that with time you might still change your mind on some issues because you have an open, searching mind.

              • Any changes in my opinions that come as I age will be due to reasoned arguments and/or evidence brought to my attention. My age is irrelevant.

                At 27, I can slug it out with the likes of JAC or Black Flag on virtually any topic. Yet, he and others here insist on continually portraying me as some kind of naïve youth.

                I have known many people who are “more experienced” who don’t have a clue. I have known older and “more experienced” people whose lack of introspection has led them to absurd, illogical, conflicted, and irrational views. And I have argued with them – when I corner them, as I have several times, they always seems to fall back on “well you’ll understand when you’re older.” As if age is some magical talisman which confers wisdom.

                I own a home, I have a wife, I have a job, I have a dog, I’m considering starting a family. Yes, I am too young to have voted for Al Gore for President (though I would have), but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a nuanced and perfectly viable view of the Constitution or of the intent of the founding fathers.

                It’s annoying, how would like it if people persisted in writing off your opinions because “you’re only a woman”? As if being a male somehow meant that we can understand things that are beyond your reach. How old are you? Are you old enough to have experienced a time when the world was like this? A woman’s place is in the kitchen? Does it matter if you aren’t old enough? Because I’m sure you’re perfectly capable of understanding what such a world was like, despite a lack of personal experience.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I did vote for Al Gore for President…though wish I had been voting for Bill Bradley in that election.

              • Well, just consider it a “right of passage” we have all gone through it. It irritated us at the time too. 🙂

              • Rite not right-and did you actually ask my age-you will learn better when you get older. 😆 Sorry couldn’t stop myself.

              • It was rhetorical! I would never ask a lady her age!

            • Mathius

              Big time over reaction based on what I said.

              So why are you so touchy on the youth comment?

              I made a simple statement of truth. Never claimed it was reason to discard your views or opinions out of hand.

              But you do in fact lack experience. You will find with time that it can temper those “fires”. Or it may not.

              Got to run to special olympics. Will try to address more later.

              And for the record, most of us felt the same way and would have reacted similarly when we were young. When I was 19 I had all the answers.

              • Well that’s the difference between you and me, now isn’t it? I’ve known since I was a kid that I don’t have the answers, and that no one else (not even BF) does either.

              • Mathius

                So you don’t think there are correct answers or that anyone can have such a thing.

                So you dismiss the possibility out of hand.

                How is that consistent with your claim of using reason and logic?

              • I think that the world is a complicated place and odds that any one person has all the right answers is negligible. Further, there is a vast difference between “a right answer” and “the right answer”.. that is, the idea that someone is not only correct, but exactly so.

                Oh sure, I probably have some right answers here and there, and you probably do too, and maybe even Charlie and/or Flag. But the idea that any one of us could possibly have the absolute corner on absolute truth is something I find absurd.

                The more I learn, every single day, the more I realize that I don’t know. Every time I broach a new subject, I learn what a wealth of knowledge is out there that I don’t know and probably never will. I watch Jeopardy! and run some categories and miss others entirely.

                How could anyone possible lay claim to The Truth? How could I ever be so egotistical as to believe that I know with certainty anything more complicated than the absolute most basic and time-tested of facts (if I drop this rock, it will fall to the floor).. how could I ever hope to assert with any conviction that I know – KNOW – the intent of the founding fathers? As if there was a single intent.. as if they all had a clear idea of the intent.. as if they each only intended one thing.. as if theirs are the only opinions that matter.. as if, as if, as if.

                Your certainty is diametrically opposed to what I suspect is probably the case: That we human beings are flawed and primitive beings operating with imperfect logic and imperfect knowledge, that we simple do not know the things you assert with such conviction.

                And the only people I fear
                are those who never have doubts

            • No one would believe you are 60 Matt, cause no one that age can knock down 3+ Red Bulls a day like you do… 😛

        • Buck, opportunity is a by-product of freedom. Without freedom, there is no “opportunity to succeed”. If you truly want what you say, you must be a supporter of freedom.

          I do not feel the same way about you and Matthius in terms of your love for the country, because you have not spoken against it like Obama has. I think if you were making policies they would be bad for the country, but I do not think you hate it, you just dont know how bad what you believe in is when put in practice. I do think you do not like the constitution because you are trying to warp it to fit your mold. If you like something, you would not spend so much energy trying to take some small part of it and warp it into what you want while taking other parts of it and minimizing their importance, all so that some system you think is better can be put in place without going through the trouble of a new Constitution. So no, you dont like it, at least not as it is written.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Actually I think the Constitution is an amazing document. That we differ in how we approach and interpret the document is irrelevant to whether or not we both ‘like’ the document itself.

            To add, regarding freedom – I do support freedom, and believe we are, overall, a very free society. I do promote certain restrictions on freedom to ensure for the greater good of society as a whole. Remember: the world is not black and white; see the shades of grey!

            • I believe that you are impressed with the document, but you do some rather significant acrobatics with interpretations to get what you want out of it. Most constitution supporters do not need such manipulation of the document. Perhaps you do like it, but you want it changed significantly, and you want the parts that are ignored to continue to be ignored.

              As for freedom, we may be “overall very free”, but do you not agree that the level of freedom is dropping? In light of that, do you agree that we should reverse the course we are on?

              As for shades of grey, I do see them. My question to you is whether you see black or white at all. I can accept that not everything is good or evil, but can you accept that some things are good or evil? Freedom comes at a price. We disagree on the value of freedom, the importance of it, and the level of it that is good. Thus, you are willing to sacrifice some of it. I admit that I, too, accept the idea that perfect freedom cannot exist on a societal scale because of the combination of evil and incompetence. Some are evil and seek power, some are weak and either cannot resist, or worse, choose not to. That said, I believe there is a way to have full freedom for those who desire it and regulation for the rest. If those who desire regulation must regulate those who desire freedom, then they are asking for too much. If they ask for defense against evil men who seek power or control of others rather than freedom, then that is acceptable.

              For instance, if I seek to regulate a person like BF from living as he sees fit, I am seeking control and have compromised freedom. If I seek a method for societal organization to fund and work within a structure that helps to defend against those who would seek to restrict my freedom or take my property or otherwise coerce me then that is acceptable. I would join in such a thing for the help of others less able to defend themselves, I would voluntarily fund such a thing. But that is a voluntary arrangement by the members of society. To have a standard of freedom and individual rights, and to protect from any encroachment on that standard. That is all that is needed.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                An example of the acrobatics and manipulation of the Constitution I have made if you will…

              • Most notably the ignoring of the tenth amendment while simultaneously applying the commerce clause to any government action you support. Going deeply into the intricacies of the first line of the second amendment so that you can justify ignoring the second line.

                Stuff like that.

                The tenth amendment is in direct conflict with a variety of federal action and expenditures. The commerce clause is not positioned in nearly as clear a place or manner yet it is the most quoted line in the entire document by yourself.

    • I agree with Buck (big surprise, I know)..

      I was convinced that Bush was going to suspend the ’08 elections due to some perceived or artificial emergency. Mercifully, it didn’t happen. I think, in all probability, he was so sick of being President that you couldn’t have begged him to stay on.

      But it’s interesting to me that, while I always thought many unflattering things about Bush (idiot, asshat, war-monger, hate-monger, fear-monger, homophobe, etc, etc), I never questioned that he was doing what he thought was best for the country. I thought he was wrong, but never actually malicious. When he shredded the Constitution with the Patriot Act, I disagreed with his interpretation (because he was wrong), but I never thought that “[Bush] and his kind do not care one whit about our Consitution and therefore holds no allegiance to it or this country.”

      I think that’s very unfair.

      As Jon Stewart said: “I think you’re confusing tyranny with being in the minority.”

      • Mathius

        I think you’re confusing what someone thinks is best with standing on founding principles.

        “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

        As for POTUS, like Bush. I do think the magnitude of the office overwhelms even the most principled. They fall victim to the Govts demand for pragmatism. Not practical but pragmatic. As in “we need to do something now”.

        The most principled men to hold that office in my memory were:

        Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

        One held to his principles firmly (LBJ) and nearly destroyed the nation.

        The other two were eventually overcome by events and made decisions contrary to those principles.

        These I would say are the top. The next tier has two names.

        GW Bush and Barack Obama. Both are Fascist Progressives, only differing on policy issues. Both had agendas that were slowed by external events. But both used them to further their agendas. One was run by neo-cons and the other by progressives and socialists. But the results are all the same. Because at their core, the base principles are the same.

      • Good morning, Matt. Actually, I do not think that I am confusing anything but that is my belief at this time. But, I firmly believe, and will stand by my beliefs with my reasons for it….that there is no allegiance to this country by B.O….not on the foundation under which it was established. I believe that O embraces the European models and wishes to change us in that direction and that, I feel, is non allegiance to the United States. Do I believe there will be elections…yes. Do I think that dead people and homeless will vote many times Democratic…yes. Do I believe that the elections are going to be set up as much as possible to favor Obama…yes. But I will believe there will be elections. I believe there will be court challenges and I believe that rules and fund raising will be changed by Executive Action not through Congress. We shall see who is correct. If I am wrong….I will say so. But if I am right, I will expect you to change from Red Bull to Dr Pepper and say ya’ll.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Same question I asked of JAC above for you D13:

          “But I firmly believe…that there is no allegiance to this country by BO…”

          Do you feel the same about me and Mathius and Charlie and others?

          • No sir….neither of you appear to have the same ilk of Obama. I just finished reading his two books…. “Dreams of My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” and “Audacity of Hope”….

            Both of these books are very scary and reveal a side of Obama that I feel guides his policies. There are several quotes that I could put out there, but I will assume that you have read both books. IF you have, and agree with them, then I would rethink my opinion of you and Matt…but I am willing to wager BF’s table stakes that neither of you embrace his viewpoints to the extent he wrote about.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Throw out the quotes – I haven’t read either book. I’ll let you know my thoughts.

              But please, provide SOME context to the quotes.

              • Sure..as to context, as you pointed out, it must be remembered it is his views of things.

                – a phrase he uses to describe his attitude toward whites.
                He harbors a “COIL OF RAGE”…..

                From Dreams From My Father:

                “I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of
                12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I
                was ingratiating myself to whites.”

                From Dreams From My Father : “I found a solace in
                nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity
                against my mother’s race.”

                From Dreams From My Father:

                “There was something about her that made me wary, a
                little too sure of herself, maybe and white.”

                From Dreams From My Father:

                “It remained necessary to prove which side you were
                on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike
                out and name names.”

                From Dreams From My Father:

                “I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates
                didn’t speak to my own. It was into my father’s image,
                the black man, son of Africa , that I’d packed all the
                attributes I sought in myself: the attributes of
                Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.”

                From Audacity of Hope:

                “I will stand with the Muslims should the political
                winds shift in an ugly direction.”

                Now, the only reason that I “cherry picked” these quotes for now, is that there has been significant discussion on this blog that he is not racist and that he will not stand with Muslims against any other religion.

                There are many quotes that pertains to things that have not been topics of discussion but these two topics have seen significant discussion….I would suggest that people read the books. You can get them at the library.

                The context that I got out of it Buck, is actually confusing and I intend to read them both again…because I admittedly read them with bias. But his bias is more so and I wish to re-read with as little animosity as I can.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Interesting quotes — to me, they speak more of his past struggles with race and race relations growing up in the circumstances and in the time he did. I can’t relate to these sentiments because I wasn’t raised in a bi-racial household; I wasn’t privy to the same experiences he was growing up.

                What I do know – from friends – is that even in the 80s and 90s and today, and even in NYC or DC or San Fran, it is sometimes very difficult to be of mixed race – not knowing who you are, grappling with questions of how you should see yourself, how others see you. Perhaps this is the context in which these sentiments found their way into Obama’s upbringing and his thoughts.

            • Haven’t read them. I don’t read self-serving crap like that. Throw out the quotes. I’d love to hear ’em.

    • No prob, counselor…just repeating a man that has been around for 92 years is all. I also agree there is no basis for his thoughts on the elections and argued same…however, I will have to say that, yes, I personally feel that Obama is ruthless and dangerous and does not have the best interest of this country at heart. I will agree that his interpretation of the Constitution is different than mine, thus I can have my opinion and do and I will do everything within my legal powers to not have him re-elected. I have no one in mind to replace him but I do not want him there. He does view this country in different terms as I, therfore, I can also have my opinon about him, which I have stated, but I feel that he has no allegiance to this country at all….not upon the foundation upon which it was established. But what the hell, my barrister friend, it is my opinon and differs from yours.

      On another note…how are ya this morning? Cold here…45 friggin’ degrees…IN TEXAS…IN late April…..sheesh.

      • Should have warned you bout that I guess. Didn’t think it would dip that far south. Weather has been pretty much making a beeline due east from here.

        We had snow in the valley two days ago. Fresh snow in the mtns around town last two days.

        One Big Sky day since back in January. Guess I should view it as getting acclimated for my new abode.

        By the Colonel, I don’t recall you telling us Texas was in a serious drought situation. That has been the news stories of late. Due to fire of course. Some are talking dust bowl.

        So just how bad is it?

        • We have gotten so used to the drought, it is old news. It is particularly bad in Southwest Texas and West Texas….not so much around here. We have been in these conditions for about 7 years now. ( Wait for it…the GW crowd will say,,,see?) But we have these periodic issues. THe biggest problem that we have is the gulf air that pushes up and is strong enough to stop the weaker cold fronts from coming through. The other reason is geographic. Most of the storms come off the Western Slope of the Rockies but will hit the low areas of the Red River and follow it straight East…we have a significant caprock that runs the length of the state (north to south) that also affects the weather patterns and turns most of the storm systems straight east. They then collide with the gulf air around the DFW area and east Texas. The prevailing winds also come from the southwest…across the Senoran and Chihuahua desert areas of Mexico and the mountains of the Guadelupe and Mexico block rain from Baja. If the jet stream from the West Coast dips south, Texas gets rain in the mid section. But it has stayed north….no doubt due to the melting glaciers that seem to be growing (cough cough).

          Exacerbate that by the fact that this time of year, our prevailing wind blows from the Southwest to the Northeast at speeds of 35-55mph. Hard winds have a tendency to blow apart forming storms unless triggered by strong cold fronts. 9Rumor has it that Washington sucks so badly, it is the reason for our winds trying to fill that low area up there, but I cannot confirm that.)

          The problem with the fires are lightning and humidity around 12%…combine that with very dry conditions…..voila…raging fires.

    • Good Morning Buck 🙂

      When I came to this conclusion, I was a very non-political type. It wasn’t poilitics that led me to this. AS time has gone on (over two years) unemployment remains high, food prices continue to rise, gas prices are on the rise again, and the dollar has been falling against other world currencies (from a steady 75.85 to 73.16 as we speak) With 40+ million getting government aid for food, when will that aid not be enough? We will find out, as all the above continues to occur.

  3. Good morning gents.

    First, I want to point out the hard lefties were saying the same thing about Bush two years before the last election.

    Second, there WILL be elections. ESPECIALLY if we are under Marshal Law. This will happen for two critical reasons.

    a) Prevent complete armed revolt.
    b) Maintain legitimacy of the Govt.

    Obviously the two are closely related.

    • Agreed. We are not at the point of suspending elections, that is too extreme a reaction. We ARE however, at the point of major individual regulation in the form of rationing. It will be about who you know, the aristocracy of pull.

      Gman, I agree with a lot of your assessment of where we are, just not the reaction to it. Still, it is food for thought. I do not think you are crazy, just incorrect in your conclusions. Still, to have someone who is not crazy saying this is, at the very least, a major indicator.

      • Jon, Good Morning 🙂

        I hope I am incorrect as well, but this is a long way off still. Many things are going to happen before we get to November ’12.

        Can you explain your thoughts on individual rationing? I don’t believe we’re in danger of a food shortage (although one can be made).

        • G!,

          Afraid I’m with JAC & Jon. If he had intended to suspend elections, they would have acted when the Dem’s had their majority with gun bans and confiscation. If they were to try that now it would end in armed revolt. Every state except NY & Calif would hold elections and demand the results be counted and applied.

          More likely, he’s about to unleash every dirty trick he can think of….

        • I was more thinking fuel prices and currency issues creating significant inflation, the government stepping in with price fixing, which will lead almost immediately to a shortage. Also, restrictive regulations of what can be sold will lead to shortages, with food regulation and carbon regulation on the horizon. Suddenly we are only legally able to buy things that pass some arbitrary health standard (a standard that will be based on energy content, not nutrients, leading to a weak, sickly population if it is followed to the letter), and therefore that constricted supply, when combined with price fixing driving many private companies under, and we will have shortages of all sorts of stuff, food included.

  4. Common Man says:

    G;

    Certainly won’t disagree with an individuals gut, it’s theirs to ponder.

    I think things will be a bit more controled. Right now (overall) as a nation we don’t see a lot of people speaking out or protesting the actions of obama and/or his legions. Now don’t get me wrong there are some (Tea Parties, Beck, Limbaugh, etc), but the great majority of people seem to be very much asleep. This is especially true within the ranks of our youth. They for the most part seem to be more concerned with their BFF’s, parties, cloths, movies and obtaining a specific social status among their cliche. Those that are involved are largely followers of the Liberal minded and spend their time promoting a socialist regime. (Interestingly the majority of them have no real understanding of any “isum”, but are bent on following whomever leads them toward their ill-advised objective). I am amazed by the fact of how much they don’t know or understand. It is as if they completely void of any logic or free thinking abilities. I have tried to engage a number of 20-30 year olds in current transgressions and usually get only blank stares or reluctent shrugs followed by “Whatever, don’t be a hater”.

    I am not sure why the majority seems void of concern, but I think a great deal of it has to do with the fact that either they don’t comprehend the magnitude, or do and it is just to much to deal with; especially given the fact that everyone is struggling financially and/or fundimentally.

    Maybe a lot of them have just decided to give up because no matter who they support things just get worse.

    But, back to your initial thought. I think it will be far more controled. I think those in power are calculating everything that is going on to ensure their objective, which is control.

    As I have stated before in these pages, I believe these people have a stated purpose and it is to change everything into a different order; one that they manipulate to obtain those objectives they desire.

    You can call it whatever you want, but it is not an order that promotes individual freedom and liberty; at least not for the majority.

    I don’t have the time to list all the actions that have taken place over the past several years that are stepping stones toward this order, but each action is part of an overall effort to crush our current structure and justify the new one. In short we are being squeezed into passification, and in the last few years that effort has advanced 10 fold.

    My belief is that we will soon find ourselves in a real pickle and the majortiy of people are going to be begging the government to help us. This is the point in time the current regime is pushing and structuring for, because they will then stand up and tell us they have the new solution to a failed order. And the majority will chose to follow

    I have a lot of additional thoughts along these lines, but my new adventure does not permit me a lot of time to put pen to paper. This will pass and I will once again rejoin the regular ranks of SUFA.

    Keep the faith and as the Boyscouts say “Be Prepared”

    CM

  5. I feel really bad in hijaking here, but I can’t help myself.

    Massachusetts House votes to restrict unions!

    http://articles.boston.com/2011-04-27/news/29479557_1_unions-object-labor-unions-health-care

    The paragraph that caught my eye:
    “It’s pretty stunning,’’ said Robert J. Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “These are the same Democrats that all these labor unions elected. The same Democrats who we contributed to in their campaigns. The same Democrats who tell us over and over again that they’re with us, that they believe in collective bargaining, that they believe in unions… . It’s a done deal for our relationship with the people inside that chamber.’’

    In other words, the union bought those representatives and they expect them to vote according to union lines as opposed to what’s best for the people of the state.

    How much press do you think this will get?

    • Morning JB 🙂

      No problem, we still need to keep up with all the news. I’m surprised that this happened in Mass of all places, their almost communists in that state, LOL.

    • Yeah for Massachusetts Dems! (Wow! NEVER thought I’d say that…)

  6. Gman, you never fail to disappoint (or turn down a conspiracy theory) …:)

    I am surprised at your prediction, though … where we agree is that this government couldn’t be more corrupt and that is exactly why it will go forward with the dog and pony show elections (where both libertarian and socialist candidates will NOT be permitted to debate the two morons from the two moron parties). Hell, they didn’t even let some of their own participate in prior elections (Paul, Kucinich, etc.) … they were just ignored.

    They need the cover of “legitimacy” and will have their silly elections once more. Now, you tell me the difference between this kind of corruption of government and the kind in the Soviet Union (where the mob has just about taken control)?

    • That’s where Trump will come in handy. He probably won’t win the nomination but I think he’ll cause enough commotion along the way to make everything appear to be functioning the way it should be.

      • I hope Trump wins the nod.. boy that would be one entertaining general election cycle..

        • Buck the Wala says:

          I can see the signs at all his campaign stops now:

          OBAMA….YOU’RE FIRED!

        • Careful what you wish for..he has nothing to lose

          • They’d have to take his show off the air.. I remember when Arnold was running, they wanted to do a Predator / Terminator marathon on TV but couldn’t because it conflicted with some election/advertising law.

            But he can run all he wants, what “fiscally responsible” person votes for someone with several bankruptcies? What “morals” voter votes for someone on his third marriage?

            • I don’t think he actually wants the job he just wants to shape (shake up) the campaign.

              I’ve said before and I’ll say it again. No one expects a perfect candidate..everyone comes with baggage.

              • he just wants to shape (shake up) the campaign. Nope. He’s an attention whore. He just wants to build his brand, get some attention, and ideally make some more money.

            • 3 bankruptcies … well, maybe no bankruptcies but business failures? George W. Bush …

              Again, that labotomy … it’s not like I wasn’t warned.

            • But he can run all he wants, what “fiscally responsible” person votes for someone with several bankruptcies? What “morals” voter votes for someone on his third marriage?

              What “morals” voter votes for an admitted past cocaine user? An admitted drunk? Hmmmmm……….

              Voters find all kinds of excuses to look past “flaws” in candidates that they won’t overlook in their neighbors.

        • Gawd……if Trump wins the nod…..I WILL HAVE TO RESORT TO RED BULL…there is no other antidote out there if that happens.

          But……..it would be entertaining.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Trump said yesterday that when he announces if he will run or not, we might be surprised at what he says. What does that mean? Is he going to run as an Independant or a Tea Party candidate? Maybe start a new party?

    • Top ‘o the Day Charlie 🙂

      Corruption is just that, once the government(s) get that way, the losers are always the people governed.

      As I told Buck, my feelings aren’t political. It so so happens that Obama is in the big chair right now.

      • Charlie, This is not a conspiracy theory, at least not one I have read about. USW asked a question, that took 966 words to answer. If it is a new conspiracy theory, then I get all the credit, LOL 🙂

    • Good morning, Charlie…..how are ya, sir? Ok, sit down…..I will agree with you on one teeny tiny point. It will be a dog and pony show.

      So, don’t have a heart attack, ok?

  7. I’ve been following the value of the dollar (see link below) for several weeks now. When I began watching daily, the dollar was steady around 75.85. It then began to drop and is now at 73.26. That’s a big drop in just a couple weeks.

    If BF or any other person with a better knowledge of this could chime in and give an opinion, I could use the knowledge. What is the lowest it can go before super inflation hits? Hyperinflation?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=DX-Y.NYB#chart1:symbol=dx-y.nyb;range=1d;indicator=volume;charttype=line;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=undefined

    • GMan

      The Bernake spoke yesterday. What did he say?

      My summary:

      The economy is shit and will stay shit for some time. But its not as bad as it could be, so be happy.

      The specter of inflation is beyond the horizon but we are not going to stimulate the economy because we feel its evil presence lurking beyond the hill.

      Oh, and we will revisit the notion of raising interest rates in a month or two.

      OK, GMan, does that answer your question?

      • Bernake did nothing to sway me one way or another. I just see the same as now down the road. The Fed and the Feds do not make a habit of warning us about bad events. The question still stands, what is the bottom that the US dollar can hit before things go to poo poo land?

      • GMan,

        Actually what Bernake said made massive impact.

        Because he did not provide a darn thing regarding the FED policies means he has nothing. He has no idea what to do let alone when to do it.

        The market now knows this.

        After his talk, silver bounced up $2, up another buck today.
        Gold is making new records every day.

  8. We still need to laugh sometimes, keeps the spirits up! 🙂

    ‘Mom, may I take the dog for a walk around the block?’

    Mom replies, ‘No, because she is in heat.’

    ‘What’s that mean?’ asked the child.

    ‘Go ask your father. I think he’s in the garage.’

    The little girl goes to the garage and says, ‘Dad, may I take Belle for a walk around the block? I asked Mom, but she said the dog was in heat, and to come to you.’

    Dad said, ‘Bring Belle over here.’ He took a rag, soaked it with gasoline, and scrubbed the dog’s backside with it to disguise the scent, and said ‘OK, you can go now, but keep Belle on the leash and only go one time round the block.’

    The little girl left and returned a few minutes later with no dog on the leash. Surprised, Dad asked, ‘Where’s Belle?’

    (YOU’RE GONNA LOVE THIS!!!!!!!! ! )

    The little girl said, ‘She ran out of gas about halfway down the block, so another dog is pushing her home.’

    • A man washed up on a desert island after a ship wreck. The only other
      survivors were a sheep and a sheepdog.

      The three of them got into the habit of going down to the beach every
      evening to watch the sunset.

      One particular evening, the sky was a fiery red with beautiful cirrus
      clouds and the breeze was warm and gentle. It was a perfect night for
      romance. As they sat there, the sheep started looking better and better
      to the lonely man. Soon, he leaned over and put his arm around the
      sheep.

      But the sheepdog, ever protective of the sheep, growled fiercely until
      the man backed away.

      A few weeks passed by and, lo and behold, there was another shipwreck.
      The only survivor was Nancy Pelosi.

      That evening, the man took Nancy to watch the sunset. It was another
      beautiful tropical evening-perfect for romance. Before long the man
      started to get “those feelings” again.

      He fought the urges as long as he could, but he finally gave in, moved
      closer to Nancy and told her he hadn’t had sex for months.

      Nancy batted her long, lovely eyelashes and asked if there was anything
      she could do to help.

      “Yes,” he said, “Take the dog for a walk.”

    • Canine Weapon says:

      As an elderly lady sat on her front porch reflecting on her long life, a Fairy Godmother suddenly appeared and offered to fulfill three wishes for her.

      “Well,” said the woman, “I guess I’d like to be rich.”
      POOF: The Fairy Godmother turned her rocking chair into solid gold.

      “And I wouldn’t mind being a young and beautiful princess.”
      POOF: The Fairy Godmother turned the old woman into an exquisite young princess, with a priceless crown of jewels.

      “Your third wish?” asked the Fairy Godmother. “Could you possibly turn my wonderful dog into a handsome prince?”
      POOF: There, in front stood the most handsome young man anyone had ever seen. She stared at him in awe, completely smitten.

      As he came toward her, her knees weakened. He bent down, brushing his lips across her ear as he whispered, “I bet you are sorry you had me neutered.”

  9. The government will never cancel elections without a major disaster causing it to happen; elections are too important for maintaining the charade and making people believe the government is under their control and accountable. It keeps “the mundanes” manageable.

    • Kent is absolutely correct.

    • Kent, you are correct. As you say “without a major disaster causing it to happen” This is where I have come to my conclusions. The economic facts are indisputable, the results are still unknown, but growing towards very ugly each day. Do you have any opinions on some of the questions I asked, pertaining to the dollar value?

      • I don’t think an economic disaster would be enough. I’m thinking asteroid strike or 10.9 earthquake or alien invasion scale event.

        If economic disasters were enough it would have happened already. The dollar has lost over 96% of its value so far (probably a lot more by now). If people didn’t notice or care about that, why would losing that last tiny bit of value on the way to a federal reserve note’s intrinsic worthlessness cause a crisis? If it gets bad enough the US gov will just issue a new counterfeit money to “solve” the problem and people will be satisfied that “something” was done.

  10. AS we speak, gold almost 1535, silver broke 49, Dollar 73.09. oil and corn are up (corn has gone up everyday but one in the last couple weeks)

    China has stated that they will part with 2 trillion worth of US dollar holdings.

    In July, quarterly earnings will come out, how much will the Japan disaster effect the auto and electronics industry? How will Wall Street respond? Wall Street is overvalued and due for a major correction, could this be it?

  11. Buck, Mathius, Charlie , Todd, and any other left leaning folks,

    I don’t consider any of you any less of an American than I see myself and all the rest of the SUFAites. Our views may differ on many things, but we all want a better America. I have encountered many very hateful leftists, thankfully, you guys don’t fit that mold. Your presence here makes for better debates and is a constant learning environment.

    Despite our differences, we all will deal with the problems in this country together.

    PEACE!

  12. gmanfortruth says:

    Major press release: Weiss Ratings rates U.S. credit!
    by Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D.
    Dear Gary,

    I am about to send out the single most important press release of my lifetime, and I want you to be among the first to get this vital information:

    Starting today, Weiss Ratings is issuing ratings on the credit worthiness of sovereign nations. And we have given the U.S. a rating of C, just two notches above junk.

    We rank it 33rd among the 47 countries we cover. China, Thailand, and Malaysia get much higher ratings. Even the government finances of the Philippines, Indonesia, Bulgaria, and Mexico are stronger than ours.

    Only a handful of countries get a lower rating than the U.S., including, as you might expect, Ireland, Greece and Portugal.

    In a moment, I will give you the ratings. Then, I’ll invite you to hop on my blog or Facebook page to give me feedback, ask questions and get my responses. But first let me tell you what you must do about it — urgently:

    If you own medium- or long-term government notes and bonds, dump them immediately.

    If you have your cash in short-term U.S. Treasury bills, be sure to surround them with investments that go up when the U.S. dollar falls.

    And if you wish to profit from this crisis, consider adding still further to those contra-dollar investments.

    Most important, get ready for turmoil in global markets caused by the Fed’s follies and Washington’s inaction.
    We Are Taking This Action for Four Vital Reasons:

    First, the AAA/Aaa assigned to U.S. sovereign debt by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch is fundamentally unfair to anyone who invests in U.S. government securities. It fails to warn you of real dangers. And it helps keep your yield far too low to compensate for the risks you’re taking. Investors urgently need a more honest rating.

    Second, their AAA/Aaa U.S. debt rating is also unfair to you if you rely on interest income to help meet daily living expenses or finance your retirement. Since nearly all U.S. interest rates — including rates on bank CDs, annuities and other instruments — are tied to U.S. Treasury yields, you and millions of other investors are being severely underpaid, virtually across the board.

    Third, their recent commentary regarding the future of their AAA/Aaa rating is ambiguous and unclear. As long as they continue to reaffirm their triple-A ratings, any statements they might make are entirely inadequate to warn or protect you.

    Fourth, their AAA/Aaa U.S. debt rating has helped foster political resistance and gridlock in Washington. If they had only issued a fair rating years ago, it could have played a pivotal role in helping lawmakers and policymakers take earlier remedial steps.

    Today more than ever, we need an honest rating for U.S. government debt to help provide public support for the political compromises and collective sacrifices we must make in order to restore our nation’s finances.

    Big Risks for Washington

    Our C rating signals grave risks for U.S. policymakers. Unless they make an about-face in a timely manner, a further deterioration in the nation’s finances will trigger a series of events beyond their control:

    The dollar will lose its status as a reserve currency.

    Global investors, already dumping the U.S. dollar, will dump U.S. bonds in panic.

    They will demand draconian cutbacks in U.S. government spending. And these cuts, in turn will bring a vicious cycle of economic declines, larger deficits and further investor demands for even greater cutbacks.

    It will be very ugly. We must not let it go that far.

    But our C rating also means that, while investing in U.S. treasuries is far riskier than you’ve been told, the ultimate crisis I have just described is NOT here yet! And until it is, our leaders DO have an opportunity to take action.

    For the Weiss Sovereign Debt Ratings on the 47 countries we cover, go here:

    http://weissratings.com/ratings/sovereign-debt-ratings/?csm=3009983

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      Do you see that expression on my face?

      No? Oh yea, this is an online forum..

      Well if you could, you’d know that this is my “no shit, Sherlock” face.

      PS: AAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!

  13. “But I firmly believe…that there is no allegiance to this country by BO…”

    Do you feel the same about me and Mathius and Charlie and others?

    @Buck… How to answer this without hurting your feelings…

    Just Kidding! No, I don’t think this of you or Mathius or Charlie or anyone else. For me it comes down to this: Do I think that what the group of you (and yes I realize you all have your own unique positions, but will generalize here just for the sake of easier discussion) all have in your mind what America should stand for and what it should be.

    What you believe it should be is different from what I believe it should be. So do you have allegiance to this country? Well, you don’t have allegiance to what I, USW, envision as what the USA is supposed to look like, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have allegiance to the country at all. Your vision is simply different than mine.

    JAC specified that you are contradictory to what the ideal of America was supposed to be. I would agree with him based on my interpretation of what the underlying principles of the country are. But I also understand that your interpretation of the underlying principles is also different. Perhaps you don’t have any allegiance to the founding principles. That would mean that you have allegiance to the USA as a country but at the same time feel as though some of the underlying principles need to be re-defined.

    The bottom line is that there are a lot of differences between what you believe and what I believe. I don’t think it makes you “less American” than me or that you have less allegiance to America. I just think you have an allegiance to a different desired future for America than I do.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      That would probably be a more fair statement.

      My only disagreement or better yet, point of clarification – and this could just be how I’m reading your comments and not what you actually meant – is that no one of us has a claim on what America is supposed to be or look like. The Founders laid out general guidelines or core principles — freedom, liberty, justice, equality, pursuit of happines, blah blah blah (hmm…that ‘blah blah blah’ didn’t help my case much did it?) — my support of various policies, to me, does not go against these core principles. Rather, it is my view of how we can best achieve those principles in our society.

      For instance, univeral health care. You may believe that this is a horrible idea because it restricts individual freedom. I view it as almost essential to promote equality. Clearly this results in a huge disagreement among where we should go as a country, but it doesn’t mean my allegiance to this country (and its underlying core principles) is nonexistent or any less than your own.

      • Created equal does not mean equal til death do us part.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Clearly not. But how about some measure of ensuring equal opportunities for all?

          • What measure? You and Matt are clearly doing well for yourselves..you want equality so badly but I dont see either of you lowering your standard of living to make things equal. Why?

          • Buck,

            (1) Please provide such a measure for “opportunity”. How can you tell my opportunity is “large” and yours is “small” when you are utterly clueless to my wants, needs and ability?

            (2) Please provide your measure of equal and the methods you will use to enforce it. Are you saying we should cut off 7 toes of Micheal Jordon to ensure I am “equal” with his ability to play basketball?

            What determines the circumstances for your demand of equality and when do you allow inequality?

            • I think it will take a lot more than the loss of seven toes to make you equal to Michael Jordan in basketball..

              • Terry Evans says:

                That depends on how far back you cut them off…oh yeah, and play him in a game way before it heals, and pain medication is not allowed!

    • Perhaps you don’t have any allegiance to the founding principles. That would mean that you have allegiance to the USA as a country but at the same time feel as though some of the underlying principles need to be re-defined.

      Close.

      We disagree on what the founding principles are as well. It’s not about re-defining them. We acknowledge that there was not universal agreement on what America “should be” amongst the founding fathers, and as such, we don’t consider it to be a redefining if we simply side with one faction over another.

      Conversely, some here *cough* JAC *cough* feel that they are entitled to be the arbiter of truth in determining what the FF’s meant. They gloss over the differences, perceive some non-existent consensus that just so happens to neatly match their views and then hold the rest of us in contempt of court for holding an alternative (and perfectly viable) view.

      To my mind, the idea that those who hold different views are un-American is, itself, un-American.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        But then isn’t that idea (the idea that those who hold different views as un-American being un-American) also un-American?

        My head hurts.

        • Stop questioning my American-ism-ness!

          I’m as American as Baseball*, Hot Dogs**, and Apple Pie***!

          *Derived from the English game Rounders
          **Created by Germans and after the city of Frankfurt
          ***Dutch

      • I don’t think your views are un-American, I don’t think you hate America-I think your views(which many I agree with upto a point) taken to the extreme will destroy this country. Now people who’s views include stripping us of capitalism and going to a completely socialist or communist system ideas are un-American. If saying so is un-American-So be it.

        • V.H. if my views, taken to the extreme would destroy this country (this is true, though at this point, they’d no longer be my views, now would they?), then would you agree that the views of someone far to the right (JAC/BL/BF) would similarly destroy this country if taken to the extreme?

          As I always say.. all things in moderation

          • NO. Their’s is the Golden Rule. That’s all you need. Everything else fall into place.

            • Anita

              You are on your game today!

              Mathius presented a fallacy.

              The opposite of destruction by evil methodology is not the destruction by “good” methodology.

              It is the mitigation of destruction by “good” methodologies.

          • “V.H. if my views, taken to the extreme would destroy this country (this is true, though at this point, they’d no longer be my views.”

            Yes I agree you would stop supporting the progressives the moment you felt it had gone to far. But I think it has already reached that point.

            And Yes, I think BF’s ideas are too extreme and would hurt this country-but I will qualify that with my feeling that I would stand with BF if pushed to it by the Progressive left. I would rather deal with the problems that come with freedom than the control of slavery.

            As far as JAC-No I do not think his ideas are dangerous. he wants to head in that direction with steps-He believes in limited government. He thinks and hopes a free market will work -I don’t(but I leave my mind open to the possibility if Americans mind frames were open to the idea and the responsibility, maybe?-and I also know we won’t ever get that far and if we ever did we could change it back immediately. I don’t feel we could make that change if we ever slip into complete governmental control ) -but I think working towards a mostly free one is advisible.

  14. GMan,

    Your feeling on 2012 maybe accurate fundamentally.

    The government has not had a real election since 1945. Nothing has changed.

    As Kent suggests, the vote is merely a facade. It is functionally meaningless other than as an illusion.

    I believe 2012 will be such an illusion.

    Thus, as I’ve said, I have no interest at all in any dialogue over it.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Flagster,

      I’ve also asked some econmic questions above. While I believe that our problems lie economically, I still have many questions (always learning). I was hoping to get your input on them.

      I agree with your views on the election, it will change nothing.

  15. Gman,

    When the bond buyers stop buying will be the day of decision.

    If the FED steps in and buys up the T-bills, high inflation will “pop up” over night.

    If the FED refuses to buy up the T-bills, the interest rates will skyrocket and a massive Depression will “pop up” over night.

    Until then, it is business as usual.

  16. gmanfortruth says:

    I have managed to convince my 70 year old dad to walk with me out to my ground blind and back (1.5 miles). I shall return! 🙂

  17. Anita,
    Exactly.

    Buck’s philosophy is fundamentally immoral and destructive.

    He wishes all men to be “equal” regardless of the consequences of their actions.

    Thus, he rewards imprudent behavior.
    That what you reward you get more of.

    His philosophies have always ended badly for society.

    This era will be no exception.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Who knew I was an immoral and destructive individual? Go figure.

      • Buck

        Your PHILOSOPHY is immoral and destructive.

        Do try to keep up, please.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          But if I adhere to my philosophy….if I work towards seeing my philosophy come to fruition….then I myself must be immoral and destructive. Correct?

          • Yes and, because you seek to use government to control non-violent people through the use of violence, that makes you evil and, de facto, a direct threat to their freedom. Thus, they are within their natural rights to shoot you in self-defense.

            FYI

          • Buck

            You will not nor have you ever “adhered” to your philosophy – when it has suited you, you have abandoned it, and when it suits you, you reclaim it.

            Immoral is subjective.
            Destructive is definitive.

            I claim you are immoral. Others may claim differently. I have my definitions and have provided such. Others have yet to provide theirs. I win.

            Your philosophy has always led to the destruction of society. It will be no different now.

            • I could start that “free market” ball rolling again (that “truly free market stuff”) … all those missing examples and therefore assumptions about man in the “true state of nature (without government) but … nah, life is too short and I gotta get to the gym before a hurrican shuts it down.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I’m curious – when specifically have I abandoned my philosophy?

              • Buck,

                specifically have I abandoned my philosophy

                As raised by Anita, you do not subscribe to your philosophy if it means you will sacrifice your lifestyle.

                You will judge -for yourself- what is enough, yet you will not honor another person’s judgement of what is enough for them.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Again, how do I not sacrifice my lifestyle?

                And again, where is this notion that I am living a life of luxury coming from?

                You and Anita assume you know my current situation, how much (or little) I contribute to charity, what my lifestyle is. But you know what happens when you assume…

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Still waiting….

      • gmanfortruth says:

        pssst! Your a lawyer 😆

        • Buck the Wala says:

          That explains the immorality, but not the destructiveness.

          • Doesn’t it, though? Doesn’t it..?

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Nope, just the immorality. And perhaps the evilness and selfishness and whatever else you want to throw at me. But not the destructiveness. That’s explained by something else entirely.

      • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

        I knew!

    • Whew! Thank you BF..I was looking to get slammed for that comment 🙂

  18. 😐

  19. To BamaDad, LOI and any others affected by these unbelievable storms and destruction. Please let us know if SUFA can help in any way – supplies, $$, whatever.

    I realize sending a message this way may not even reach you due to power outages, etc., but if you can get a holler, out……

    • Hear, Hear…I was also concerned about VH, and BL..I see V has popped up but have yet to see BL.

      • Bottom Line says:

        Thanks for thinkin’ ’bout me, Anita.

        All is well. How ’bout you?

        I’ve been popping in here and there to read between yard work, preparing this year’s garden, and germinating seeds.

        (2 varieties of corn, 4 varieties of tomatoes, green beans, peas, squash, cucumber, cabbage, banana peppers, onions, brussels sprouts, carrots, and watermelon.

        I’m feeling just lazy enough(intellectually) to resist weighing in with another long-winded futile attempt at breaking Matt and Buck free from their ridiculous rationalizations.

        …besides, you, Flag, V, JAC, Jon, PS, etc. are already all over them. 🙂

      • Oops, I forgot my manners-I did say it in my head-thank you Anita for caring about me too.

        • I felt your good vibes through the screen V 🙂

          • 🙂 Hate to leave the conversation-very interesting today-but it is Friday and I am out of here. 🙂

            • Hate to break it to you V but it’s Thursday!

              • This realization finally hit me-which is why I am home at 10:30. 7:00 comes early-Daughter didn’t have school today and I had plans to go out -So brain said “it is Friday” Woo Hoo- too bad it wasn’t. 😦

    • Kathy thanks for the concern, my family and I came through just fine, but many in our area did not. Some coworkers had some damage but nothing serious. I know some who lost everything but at least they survived. If you saw any of the video of the mile wide tornado let me tell you it was a sight to behold. We will be cleaning up for sometime but we will all pitch in and help our neighbors.

    • All good here, thanks. Lost internet for a day. Have been watching a golf course turn into a nice lake. One community started to evacuate, but the water above took an un-expected seven foot drop. The night after all the storms, a freak tornado hit about 15 miles away, took a few roofs and a barn. We have been very fortunate this go-round.

  20. V.H.

    Now my brain hurts

    The opposite of evil destruction is destruction by good — this is Mathius’ argument, but it is false.

    The opposite of evil destruction is GOOD CONSTRUCTION.

    • You assume that people will act a certain way within your structure. Otherwise, you have a very moral system in which you live, surrounded by people who will kill you and happily steal your stuff.

      Thus destruction.

      But you ignore that.

      Thus the opposite of the current status quo, with the necessary evils is anarchy with different and possibly worse evils.

      • Mathius,

        You assume that people will act a certain way within your structure.

        You continually repeat this ignorant mush about “my assumptions”.

        No such assumption is made. It is you who is making this stupid assumption, not me

        Gawd, I wish you would get a brain some day.

        Otherwise, you have a very moral system in which you live, surrounded by people who will kill you and happily steal your stuff.

        You seem to believe moral people are helpless.

        What utter ignorance you display some days.

  21. Mathius and Buck

    You claim belief in freedom liberty, etc, etc. Putting your differing views on the definitions aside, there is another key principle of our founding that your tribe ignores.

    You correctly point to differences of opinions and even differing values and ideas. The founders recognized these as well. That was why they tried to constrain the FEDERAL govt within the structure of a Republic.

    And herein lies a major flaw in your supposed support of these concepts. Your tribe wishes to use the Federal to impose your views upon all of society (300 million plus).

    My tribe does not. If you want to rule in California or New York then so be it. If other do not then leave them suffer their own ideas.

    That my friends is why State’s Rights was and remains so important. It is the only rational way for a diverse public to live in some fashion of harmony. The role of the Federal must be limited to those values shared by the vast majority, not just those who win the seats of Congress.

    • Here!!! Here!!!…Come, join the Republic of Texas…..we are finally getting enough. We even put out our own fires without government funds using our rainy day funds….government emergency funds had a caveat of accepting the Medicaid and Medicare proposals to which Gov. Perry said no and did not invite FEMA down. We did just fine within our own.

      • Took a little longer but we need a good brush burning anyway….some houses got in the way….people, animals, cars etc….but all in all it was exhilarating. You have to get this mental picture….Sky hooks setting down tanks with blades attached, helicopters herding cattle through cut fences, Army guys playing with 70 ton toys, knocking down trees and fences creating fire breaks….PETA and Green Peaced having catatonic fits……what a rush.

    • TexasChem says:

      *Sweeping bow in JaC’s direction*

  22. The government worries not about elections…..since the government no longer takes its legitimacy from the people but legitimizes itself.

    Elect away.

  23. If the “greater good” was a primary goal of the Founders:

    Why did it take so many decades to create social security?

    Why did it take so many decades to have unemployment insurance?

    Why did it take so many decades to have the ACA?

    Why weren’t they done at the time of the founding of the nation?

    I’m guessing an answer to that is because the founders never envisioned the idea of enforced government charity. People were responsible for themselves, not everyone else.

    Just thinking out loud.

    • If people wanted better and faster communication why did it take so long to create the internet?

      Just thinking out loud.

      • Nope…nice try though.

        We’re talking about a vision of America the founders may have intended.

        The internet has not a damn thing to do with the status of a persons life.

      • Mathius

        wanted better and faster communication

        Of course, over all history, people have always wanted better and faster “everything”….

        ….cheap.

        There are trade offs. There is no free lunch.

        To have “this” means you cannot have “that”.

        The Fax machine was invented in 1870 (or so). But no one wanted to pay for it because there was no immediate value in getting a document the next day vs. the next month.

        By 1970’s, there was value. So fax became the “thing” to do.

        There was no need for the internet before there was the need for the internet.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Not to rehash old arguments, but if the Founders truly believed all men were created equal and deserving of equal rights…

      Why did slavery exist for nearly a century after?
      Why did it take so many decades to get rid of Jim Crow laws?
      Why did it take so many decades for women to be granted the right to vote?

      I’m guessing an aswer to that is because the Founders never envisioned the idea that blacks and women were really the equals of white male landowners.

      Just thinking out loud.

      • Neither of you answered the questions

        • anita,

          I doubt they will answer it. Instead, as Buck has done (though I expected it to be Mathius) they drag out the negative issues of the founding.

          None of which – as I answered Buck – have anything to do with the underlying foundation of which I speak to.

          or so I suspect because I would not want to be accused of KNOWING what they believe or think. 😉

      • And you are much more correct than in any other arguments you could make.

        Yet, freeing the slaves, riding ourselves of Jim Crow laws, and giving women the right to vote do not change the economic/social foundations of having old, sick, and unemployed.

  24. Mathius,

    How could anyone possible lay claim to The Truth

    This is the irrationality of the subjective mind – believing that the Truth is -somehow- so hard to find.

    In fact, it is the easiest thing to find of all things.

    The Truth is what exists without contradiction

    But since the irrational mind MUST exist within self-imposed contradictions, it suffers great difficulty in finding the Truth.

    • Bottom Line says:

      But, Flag,

      …gravity isn’t fair, …gray area, …sometimes, …blah blah blah

      🙂

  25. Buck

    I do promote certain restrictions on freedom to ensure for the greater good of society as a whole. Remember: the world is not black and white; see the shades of grey!

    Yes, to evil the world must be grey to justify itself.

    Evil always suggests that restrictions on other people’s freedom is required for it to be free.

    • We want restrictions on others.. AND OURSELVES.

      • You are free to restrict yourself – you have not the right to restrict me as long as I use no violence towards you or harm you physically.

      • AND OURSELVES

        BULLSHIT! or you would lower your standard of living on your own.

        • I do lower my standard of living. Do you know how well I would be living if I didn’t pay such high taxes due to the progressive taxation system which I support?

          It is an imposition on me, which I support.

          • Paying taxes says nothing about doing it on your own, Matt.

            As only half the country pays income tax giving up half your income to support another person/family is doing it on your own.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Probably not much different as I am willing to bet most businesses would lower salaries across the board.

            • I guess no one catches this, Buck? The governmnet can raise taxes all it wants and it will kill what is left of the middle class. Don’t you think for a second, that business’ will not only lower taxes but simply shift income to fall under the minimums? That is what we will do. One dollar under the minimum and get our money in other fashions. Progressive taxes do not work. YOu have access to the tax codes….VOLUMES of them…. our tax burden will not increase at all….we will simply shift the impact.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Can you explain then why the middle class prospered during an era of much higher marginal tax rates than we currently have?

                But how dare anyone propose merely raising rates an eye-gouging 4% today!?

              • Buck

                The record shows that the “effective tax rate” was far below the marginal rate in those days. And not that much higher than it is today.

                The REASON for the massive growth of the middle class was caused by a massively destructive Global War wherein the USA was the only major industrial nation left with the infrastructure needed to rebuild the world. And of course, pent up demand following the disastrous FDR policies that extended the Depression for a decade.

                It wasn’t taxes, it wasn’t Unions, it wasn’t praying in school, etc, etc. etc. It was massive industrial expansion with little competition.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Right, it had absolutely nothing to do with an economic, social and political climate that included — among a myriad of other things like expanded industrialization — taxes and unions.

                How silly of me.

              • @Buck…..take a look at the tax code….1939 til now. The tax code has changed so much and the middle class was left out of it. But we are not talking a simple 4%. We are talking effective rates throughout the spectrum. My fancy dancy numbers guys have looked at the code and the proposal..it is diasterous to the middle class and the over 65 crowd…and leaves untouched, the entitlement groups (ie, Welfare, gov’t housing, etc). We already anticipate the estate taxes and inheritance tax bites under Obama and the socialist agenda (Robin Hood approach)….I have parents in their 90’s. We have solved our problems and the income tax problems but the middle and lower class that is supposed to be protected is going to get clobbered…why? Because they are the masses that do nothing..THey do not plan….they spend and listen to rhetoric and there are very few pro bono folks out there willing to help them.

                I will back your idea of change in the tax codes…provided you make everyone…and I mean EVERYONE….pitch in. Stop this 45-55% of those not paying any income tax. When that happens, I will back changes in the tax codes and eliminate breaks for corporations or big busines…but in the meantime…the ONLY business’ that are going to get hurt…..the small business guy. They get creamed for a handout minded country.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I agree everyone should pitch in.

                It may surprise you, but I believe even the middle class needs to be subject to some hike in the tax rates. As I’ve said before, I would argue for additional brackets as well.

              • Just for clarification Buck, D13 – could we have an income range that constitutes the “middle class”? Heck, all the classes if possible?

                It gets frustrating when the “classes” are tossed out there in discussion and I – and maybe others – aren’t unsure of just how we define these different classes.

              • Crap, I need a new keyboard I think.

                I meant we aren’t sure (not unsure)…………..

                ::sigh::

              • Hi Plainly……middle class to me ( I do not care what the government says) are incomes that range between $30 K and 70K. Upper middle – 70K – 200K ( A much wider range ). I do not use the term rich on income levels. Anyone can be rich…..it depends upon individual assumptions and wants. A person may be considered rich if he makes 50K and has all he wants…he is rich in his mind. Some do not consider themselves rich until they see nine zeros. This is one reason why I like the flat tax approach. Everyone pays….the more you make, the more you pay in whole dollars.

                I am not convinced that you tax some one a highe percentage than anyone else simply because they have more and can “afford” it and the term afford is very subjective.

                If the tax rate is 10 percent flat….someone makes 30000…they pay three thousand. If they make 100000, they pay 10 000…..But the liberal argument is that the person that nets 90 has more buying impact than the person that nets 27…..to that I say…so what? Where is the justification to take more percentage just because someone makes more. Do away with FICA, WH, U/E and go to a flat tax with NO deducts for anyone….personal or corporate. Go to the figures that the government does put put and apply a 15% flat tax….you will be amazed.

          • Mathius,

            It is an imposition on me, which I support

            Of course you support it! The evil is not your support, but that you believe you need to force others to do as you do

  26. The birth certificate issue was a distraction, Obama stated, and the White House decision to release his long-form birth certificate was an attempt to re-focus national attention on the important issues, specifically his budget proposal. But which media outlets were most guilty of sustaining attention on the issue? On cable news, at least, the answer runs contrary to the usual media narrative.

    As it turns out, one was 35 times more likely to hear about the birther issue on CNN or MSNBC than on Fox News during the week of April 11 through 17, when Obama was touting his budget. The cable network most often railed against as the birther-enabler was least likely – by far – to even mention the issue.

    Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2011/04/28/study-msnbc-and-cnn-covered-birther-issue-far-more-fox-news#ixzz1KqEIQQIX

  27. Buck

    Not to rehash old arguments, but if the Founders truly believed all men were created equal and deserving of equal rights…

    Why did slavery exist for nearly a century after?

    Because many people did not believe black men were “persons”.

    Why did it take so many decades to get rid of Jim Crow laws?

    Because once government determines “your right” you have very littel recourse to overrule government.

    What ya goin’ do to enforce yourself OVER government?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought … nothing.

    Why did it take so many decades for women to be granted the right to vote?

    The real question: why was it important for women to vote?

    I’m guessing an aswer to that is because the Founders never envisioned the idea that blacks and women were really the equals of white male landowners.

    Blacks were not persons by government law

    Women were not given the privilege of voting by government law

    I bet you can see where the problem is … but you will never admit it, for it defeats your rationalizations for government.

    Just thinking out loud.

    Too much loud, not enough thinking.

  28. Buck

    Again, how do I not sacrifice my lifestyle?

    And again, where is this notion that I am living a life of luxury coming from?

    You and Anita assume you know my current situation, how much (or little) I contribute to charity, what my lifestyle is. But you know what happens when you assume

    As she raised, you do not sell your house and your car and provide all your excess income to the poor – as demanded by your philosophy of “care” of others.

    You judge for yourself what you believe is enough FOR YOU and then declare YOU are capable of knowing this for other people.

    You REFUSE to honor other people’s own decision of “what is enough” and if they do not MEET YOUR DEMAND you have no problem applying violence (by proxy at the minimum) to make them fork over the amount YOU DEEM is correct.

    As I claim constantly about Mathius:

    “Freedom for me but not for you” is your motto.

    • TexasChem says:

      If I may jump in BF…

      Buck if you truly believe in the concepts of liberty and freedom how can you justify in your mind the diabolical belief that government has any just authority to take those rights from an individual?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      BF, I have never advocated for stripping myself, or anyone else for that matter, of all excess income. I have never advocated for a total redistribution of wealth so that every individual has the same amount. To prove me wrong, you continuously go to these ridiculous extremes that I have not once argued for.

      • Buck

        You have failed to comprehend my argument.

        You believe YOU judge the amount of redistribution for YOUR SELF.

        As long as it is “ok by you”, you hold this to be applied to everyone else

        You do NOT honor another person’s determination for themselves.

        You are the ultimate ego-centric individual.

        What is “ok” for you must be “ok” for everyone else and it does not matter what they may believe.

        YOU JUDGE the matter. If they complain YOU DEMAND THEY PROVE THEMSELVES to YOU. You refuse their demand that you prove yourself to them.

        As I said, You are the poster boy for:
        “Freedom for me, but not for you”

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Again, you err. I do not hold myself out as the judge in such matters. I am but one member of the jury — a jury comprised of 300 million.

          • They’re so wrapped up in “self”, I don’t think they can grasp the idea of “society”…

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Yet I’m the egocentric individual in this equation…

              sigh.

              • Buck,

                Yes you are.

                You measure “common good” by its application TO YOU.

                You have no measure of common good beyond yourself. But neither do I.

                The difference: you believe what is good FOR YOU is the measure of good FOR ALL.

                I do not hold such egotistical notions. I believe I cannot measure good for another person at all, and thus honor the decisions that other men make FOR THEMSELVES determines THEIR GOOD.

          • Buck,

            So you NOW argue that 300 million people enforcing evil makes a good?

            • Todd,

              You do not understand the concept of society or its formation for you to rationally comment here.

              • Black Flag,

                You do not understand the concept of society or its formation for you to rationally comment here.

                Yeah, I certainly don’t understand YOUR bizarre concept of society.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              You keep returning to this evil nonsense.

              You and I disagree as to whether government is inherently evil. You say yes. I say no. Neither of us are going to change views on this issue, so its not worth going down this road.

              • Buck,

                I have defined evil, therefore – BY DEFINITION, cannot be “no sense”, unless of course you find a flaw in my definition, reason or logic. But I know that such a flaw does not exist.

                So, indeed, your complaint HAS NO SENSE, sir.

                You and I disagree as to whether government is inherently evil. You say yes. I say no.

                You are wrong -again.

                You have never defined government coherently. You saying “no” remains an irrational plea.

                I have defined government.
                I have defined evil.
                My position is rational and coherent.

                I win.

                , so its not worth going down this road.

                The irrational position meeting reason has only one of two choices:

                (1) accept reason and adjust.
                (2) dig in deeper into irrationality.

                You choose (2)

              • Black Flag,

                unless of course you find a flaw in my definition, reason or logic. But I know that such a flaw does not exist.

                But there is one tiny little flaw:

                IT DOESN’T WORK!

                No one wants to be a part of it.

                You know that Free Market you’re always talking about? It voted – and you lost.

                Oh sorry, I guess that’s three…

  29. TexasChem says:

    @-Mathius

    I really do hope you were joking when you said you would have voted for Gore…

  30. I am quite amazed by this consistent line of thinking that all existing governments/societies are bad/evil, but the no-government/small government/free market societies so many of you promote would be “good”.

    If these no-government/small government/free market societies would be so great, how come one has never existed? And I’m dead serious about this.

    Why aren’t we living in a new-world-order no-government free-market world where there are no borders, no wars, no disease, etc because all these problems have been solved by “free men” working in “free markets?”

    I believe Charlie said it a few days ago – because no examples exist, your society cannot be dissected and discussed. If any perceived issues are identified, you say they will be solved by “free men” and “free markets”. If anyone doubts this, the usual response if “how do you know it won’t work?” or “are you afraid to try?”

    Meanwhile, almost every developed country in the world (at least the western hemisphere) is an example, to one degree or another, of what Charlie, Mathuis, Buck, and I (and others) advocate for. Every messy, crappy one of them.

    And no matter what the issue, somewhere in the developed countries in the western hemisphere is an example of some mistake made in one of these countries that “proves” mixed economy social democracies don’t work, or are “EVIL” and “BAD.”

    And those of us on the “Left” are expected to defend every one of them.

    But since the no-government/small government/free market societies have never existed, those on the “Right” are not burdened with this.

    When you ask for an example, I give you Singapore. And even with all of its imperfections, you really can’t tear it down.

    When you’re asked for an example, you piss-n-moan and make all kinds of excuses.

    I really want an answer to this question:

    If these no-government/small government/free market societies would be so great, how come one has never existed?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Todd, don’t hold your breath.

      • TexasChem says:

        I thought once you inhaled you were supposed to hold your breath?

      • Why that remark Buck? No faith in us right-wingers?

        http://www.amcham.org.hk/pr/background/elements-fundamental-to.pdf

        And as for you Todd, read pg 2 of the link above, Hong Kong, as I posted in reply to Charlie, has the highest rating for economic freedom.

        “If these no-government/small government/free market societies would be so great, how come one has never existed?” Take out the no gov. part and I think the early US is an example of small government. Add to that, when have we been most prosperous as a nation? Is their not a link between greater prosperity with smaller gov., reduced prosperity when gov. grows too large and consumes too high a percent of GDP?

        “Why aren’t we living in a new-world-order no-government free-market world where there are no borders, no wars, no disease, etc because all these problems have been solved by “free men” working in “free markets?””

        I hope everyone else will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think only Flag & Kent have advocated the NO-gov..
        I am on record thinking it cannot be in today’s world. As long as we have the N. Korea’s & Iran’s, we cannot have a completely free society. That does not mean we could not move strongly in that direction, with increased security and prosperity.

        OK, let out that breath, breathe…. All better?

        • LOI,
          Hong Kong is a very unique situation, and I believe it has some issues. Both of which also apply to Singapore, so I’m not discounting it. Just no time to read right now.

          Add to that, when have we been most prosperous as a nation? Is their not a link between greater prosperity with smaller gov., reduced prosperity when gov. grows too large and consumes too high a percent of GDP?

          Prosperity is subjective, but the 1950’s and 1960’s were very prosperous. And they had high marginal tax rates and strong unions, which created a growing middle class.

          All that changed about the time Reagan started touting small government and reduced taxes…

          • Todd,

            Reagan started touting small government and reduced taxes

            …which he neither provided.

            Government got bigger, faster than every in history (except WW2).

            Taxes went up, not down. (FICA was implemented by Reagan)

            • Right, government didn’t shrink, but tax rates, especially for the wealthy, were reduced. Which pretty much lead to where we are today. Trickle-down economics doesn’t work.

              And Reagan didn’t implement FICA.

              • Todd,

                Misstatement. Reagan INCREASED FICA taxes.

                Income tax rates were reduced, but more than offset by increases in taxes other places. In the end, tax revenue increased under Reagan.

                “Trickle down economics” does work.
                Reagan economics does not.

              • Black Flag,
                Yes, Reagan increased the FICA tax, which is a regressive tax and impacts the working and middle class much more than the upper class.

                Income tax rates were reduced, but more than offset by increases in taxes other places. In the end, tax revenue increased under Reagan.

                Yes, because Reagan paid off his wealthy supporters with tax cuts and crapped all over the working and middle class.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Todd – ” If these no-government/small government/free market societies would be so great, how come one has never existed? ”

      BL – Because there are too many occasional pot smokers.

      😉

      • Bottom Line,
        Funny! But also sad that someone as talented as you claim to be will never reach his full potential.

        • Todd,

          How can you claim this?

          Your measure is subjective to you, not to BL.

          But I forgot. You are an ego-centric world view individual, thus all measures come from you POV and no other place.

          • This is not my subjective measure.

            Bottom Line has indicated he feels he is not reaching his potential and is looking for ways to improve.

            • Bottom Line says:

              Todd, Flag,

              As indicated, I do feel that I am not reaching my potential.

              What started out as an objection to Flag’s statement that is in stark contrast to my economic reality, turned into my explanation of it’s importance and relevance, then into an inquiry of suggestions.

              While I appreciate the advice I got from SUFA, I know that it isn’t an esteem or drug problem, but rather an economic problem.

              Todd is arguing from a point of relative ignorance. If I explain it in any reasonable manner, I get accused of being in denial of a drug habit. The reality is that as long as I am a painter, an occasional joint or the YEARS I’VE GONE WITHOUT IT has virtually no bearing on anything.

              I have an economic vs time vs happiness vs mortality problem…mortality being the “constant”. I have to find a way to significantly increase my income soon and I have to start with nothing but my brain and the fact that I will die someday.

              I have been chewing on this for a while. Flag basically confirmed my own conclusion.

              Ultimately, it comes down to risk. My life has come to the point where whatever action or inaction I take is a risk. I am going to have to adopt some sort of risk either way.

              The question is ‘which risky endeavor?’

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Good Day Todd 🙂

      Your question may be better answered by history rather than an argument against small/no government/free market societies. Throughout history there has been one empire after another. Why? Human nature of some who want power and think they know what’s best for all others. Like in England, where there is a Royal Family, history says that there are people who believ they can rule over others, hence we get empires who conquor other peoples to enhance their power and wealth. In the end, all empires have fallen, and all have fallen from within, whether it by by economics or a power struggle.

      We are no different, as the American empire, driven by people who think they know what is best for others, have taken this nation to great fortunes and wealth, all of which is on the verge of falling down, just like evry other empire before us. The desire for small/no government, for me, is history, big governments (empires) always fall, at the expense of the people who don’t choose to rule. If governments were contained in their power, this would not happen, hence small/no government is more disirable, as all others have proven to fail.

      • In the end, all empires have fallen

        I never said we won’t fall. But the minute we fall, someone’s gonna start a new “government” and we’ll eventually end up right back where we are (at least I hope so, because it could be far worse!).

        • Todd,

          Yes, historically, violence used to overthrow violence has resulted in a victory of violence – hence, nothing really changed except the persons applying the violence – the situation has not changed.

          Far worse? Like being free? I agree, many people fear freedom.

        • gmanfortruth says:

          Or it could be far better, by getting government out of every part of our life. While I don’t think we will ever be government free, we can do better than history has proven a failure time and time again. When do we as people finally learn from this? I have, Flag and Kent have, many others have. If this empire does collapse, I’m hoping to leave something that hasn’t been proven a failure to my future ancestors.

  31. Bottom Line says:

    Quote of the day…

    Anita – ” BULLSHIT!… ”

    ROFLMAO!

  32. Todd

    If these no-government/small government/free market societies would be so great, how come one has never existed?

    I have given you concrete and irrefutable reason why many, many, many times already.

    The profits of violence are very, very good

    It is far “cheaper” to steal than to earn.

    A man must labor spring, summer and fall to bring in a crop.

    Another man needs merely 10 minutes to take it all.

    The centralization and legitimization of such theft and violence is -by far- the greatest potential of profit

    You need to brush up on the “Profits of Violence” literature.

    • Right. It has never existed and will never exist because…society is made up of people.

      So, why do you waste your time trumpeting and chasing after something that will never exist?

      Your pursuit of the no-government society is completely irrational.

      And yet you accuse those who disagree with you of being irrational…

      • Todd,

        As I’ve complained about you before;

        You are a 15th Century man arguing that you cannot have a society without a Pope.

        You are ignorant of the “Profits of Violence” literature. I urge you to investigate the volumes as it will help you understand things.

        I live in a “no government” society TODAY. As usual, you have no concept of scope, scale or time.

        And yes, YOU ARE -often- IRRATIONAL. Some days you are better. Today seems not to be one of those better days.

        • So why don’t you tell us where this “no government” society is?

          Or are you afraid other PEOPLE will show up and ruin it?

          • Todd,

            In my house, and probably your house too.

            • And how, pray tell, do you translate that to 300 million?

              Oh, and based on past comments, I’d say YOU’RE the government in your house.

              I guess you do approve of government – when it’s you!! 😉

              • Todd,

                Please provide a coherent definition to Government for you to claim I am the “government” in my house. My wife would like to know how you came to this bizarre conclusion.

                Government initiates violence on the non-violent.

                I do not do this, let alone in my house.

                I would suggest you hold a rather irrational understanding of either my house or your definition government or both.

              • I’ll bet some days your daughter would disagree. If not now, she will eventually – and on that day, the thought will pop into your head “OMG, Todd was right”… 😉

              • Todd,

                So now you define government to be what my daughter thinks it is.

                You do not have your own understanding of anything unless some one else tells you what it is.

      • The eskimos and the indians seemed to do just fine on their own

  33. The only thing I can say to this G, is that I sure HOPE you are wrong.

    I can’t really say whether you are or not, Obama scares the living hell out of me. In fact, the whole Government scares me.

    We are living in bad times friends, and they’re only getting worse. I have to agree with G-man that we will never survive $7 gas. If you think we will, you are dreaming! Sure, some here or there may, but in general, we won’t survive to get TO gas that high.

  34. I was saving this for another time, but today seems like the right time.

    For those who aren’t aware this is what I refer to when I claim that others are using a different meaning of freedom and liberty. It is also the root of Mr. Obama’s famous statement during the campaign about the Constitution should include more “positive liberties”.

    I think you will recognize a key distinction from centuries ago that surfaces in our arguments here. That being the basic nature of humans.

    “Positive liberty is defined as the power and resources to act to fulfill one’s own potential (this may include freedom from internal constraints);[1] as opposed to negative liberty, which is freedom from external restraint.[2]
    Inherent to the concept of positive liberty is the idea that liberty is defined by the ability of citizens to participate in their government, or in voluntary co-operation in the case of anarchists. Specifically, the concepts of structure and agency are central to the concept of positive liberty because in order to be free, a person should be free from inhibitions of the social structure in carrying out their free will.
    Negative liberty is defined as freedom from interference by other people, and is set in contrast to positive liberty which is defined as an individual’s freedom from inhibitions of the social structure within the society such as classism, sexism or racism and is primarily concerned with the possession of sociological agency. According to Thomas Hobbes, “a free man is he that in those things which by his strength and wit he is able to do is not hindered to do what he hath the will to do” (Leviathan, Ch. XXI, [2], thus alluding to liberty in its negative sense).

    Negative liberty and authority: Hobbes and Locke
    One might ask, “How is men’s desire for liberty to be reconciled with the assumed need for authority?” Its answer by various thinkers provides a fault line for understanding their view on liberty but also a cluster of intersecting concepts such as authority, equality, and justice.
    Hobbes and Locke give two influential and representative solutions to this question. As a starting point, both agree that a line must be drawn and a space sharply delineated where each individual can act unhindered according to their tastes, desires, and inclinations. This zone defines the sacrosanct space of personal liberty. But, they believe no society is possible without some authority, where the intended purpose of authority is to prevent collisions among the different ends and, thereby, to demarcate the boundaries where each person’s zone of liberty begins and ends. Where Hobbes and Locke differ is the extent of the zone. Hobbes, who took a rather negative view of human nature, argued that a strong authority was needed to curb men’s intrinsically wild, savage, and corrupt impulses. Only a powerful authority can keep at bay the permanent and always looming threat of anarchy. Locke believed, on the other hand, that men on the whole are more good than wicked and, accordingly, the area for individual liberty can be left rather at large.
    Locke is a slightly more ambiguous case than Hobbes because although his conception of liberty was largely negative (in terms of non-interference), he differed in that he courted the “republican” (classical) tradition of liberty by rejecting the notion that an individual could be free if he was under the arbitrary power of another:
    “This freedom from absolute, arbitrary power, is so necessary to, and closely joined with a man’s preservation, that he cannot part with it, but by what forfeits his preservation and life together: for a man, not having the power of his own life, cannot, by compact, or his own consent, enslave himself to any one, nor put himself under the absolute, arbitrary power of another, to take away his life, when he pleases. No body can give more power than he has himself; and he that cannot take away his own life, cannot give another power over it. Indeed, having by his fault forfeited his own life, by some act that deserves death; he, to whom he has forfeited it, may (when he has him in his power) delay to take it, and make use of him to his own service, and he does him no injury by it: for, whenever he finds the hardship of his slavery outweigh the value of his life, it is in his power, by resisting the will of his master, to draw on himself the death he desires.”[6]”

    From Wikipedia.

  35. Buck and Mathius

    If you are done being mad at me perhaps you can now address a couple of critical, and related, questions.

    Which form of Liberty do you use as your definition?

    Which form of Liberty do you think was the one commonly understood by our founders?

  36. Bottom Line says:
    • It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

      … and some believe I make what I think up off the cuff….

      Great thinkers have provided the knowledge and understanding of human freedom for centuries but I guess this is testament to the failure of the education system that few know this.

      • Bottom Line says:

        BF – ” … and some believe I make what I think up off the cuff…. ”

        BL – Well, if you had half a brain or bothered to open a book once in a while, instead of being some arrogant whack-job, you might get a little more credit.

        …Of course, who the hell am I to say anything? I’m just a red-neck pot-head loser.

        😉

    • Todd,

      BL has provided a great starting point for your (re-)education.

      The basics of the Profit of Violence:

      Property and Plunder

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

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

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

      • Black Flag,

        Sorry, but I think this is a little dated.

        I live and satisfy my wants not by ceaseless labor; not by the ceaseless application of my faculties to natural resources.

        I also do not live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others.

        I live and satisfy my wants by sitting here just thinking; by the ceaseless application of my mind to solve problems.

        It’s much easier on my back, and the pays much better too.

        I do apply ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of my faculties to natural resources, but for a different reason. I do that for FUN!!

        • Todd

          All that this post demonstrates is you have nearly no economic or political understanding.

          • Yeah, right.

            The economic and political systems I support have been in use for centuries.

            How long have your economic and political systems been in use?

            • Todd,

              It has been “in use” since the first day a man traded with another man.

            • Todd,

              My retort specifically addressed your economic “ignorance” in misunderstanding “labor”.

              Economic labor means effort in obtaining resources that you want or need and does not judge your SUBJECTIVE decisions on why you may or may not want or need.

              The fact that you act to obtain such resources is the field of economics.

              Why you want a particular resource or not is the field of psychology.

              Which of these playgrounds are you throwing sand?

  37. WOW! Earlier I could hear the crickets singing in here.

    I go out and work on the lambs pen for a couple of hours and come back to find out all the IED’s went off!

    WOW!

  38. Superman announces that he is going to give up his U.S. citizenship.

    Read More: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/04/27/superman-renounces-us-citizenship/#ixzz1KrKkp8sq

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Since when did he become a citizen? Last I knew he was an illegal alien with a red bull problem 😆

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      There you go, the final proof, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Superman now sounds like a megalomaniac. He will proclaim himself “God” next.

    • I want to see his birth certificate, LONG FORM! He is not eligible to be Superman because unless he can prove he was born on earth he is not a ‘man’. Therefore his name should be Superalien.

  39. Todd, don’t let BF drive you crazy with that fantasy of his (people co-existing without government). It cannot happen. It especially cannot happen in a country with 300,000,000+ people. It is beyond a fantasy and the thing he “claims” to regard most “evil” (violence) would be the ONLY result of such a paradigm. It is actually more of a fantasy utopia than communism. If he gives you another 40 paragraph explanation of his “assumptions”, tell him Charlie’s Universe won’t allow it.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Charlie – ” (people co-existing without government). It cannot happen. ”

      BL – You’re absolutely right, Charlie. That even explains how humans went extinct hundreds of thousands of years ago.

      😉

    • Charlie,

      tell him Charlie’s Universe won’t allow it.

      I feel THE FORCE on my side!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      PS – I don’t read those anyway!!

    • If there is a collapse like the one BF predicts, what makes you think that there will be 300,000,000 people?

  40. SK Trynosky Sr says:

    Here is my problem. I believe that there are certain immutable absolutes that are not really subject to change. I guess I would call these natural laws.

    I believe the bulk of the Constitution contains absolutes that are not subject to change by interpretation. Those Constitutional laws we have were valid and generally accepted norms when they were written. The genius of the Constitution and the founders was that they allowed in their document a means for change. An amendment process. Note that the issue of slavery and woman’s suffrage were dealt with not through judicial interpretation but rather through the amendment process.

    With the noted exception of prohibition, the amendment process has been successful since it allows a society to “mature”. If you read Jefferson and Adams, you know both rejected slavery and respected their women. One would assume that had the society been, as a whole “mature” enough, both the issue of slavery and suffrage would have been decided in 1787. Ultimately it was decided. Soon enough? Probably not but in a way that insured it could not be questioned or easily revisited in the future by some troglodyte.

    Moving right along with certain things that were “acceptable” in 1787 but may not be today, we have religion in the public arena and private ownership of firearms. No question about how either of these things were interpreted up until the 1950’s (religion) and the 1930’s (firearms). Since that time people who question them have chosen to use the courts for their purposes rather than use the mechanism, the amendment process, which would settle the matter permanently. The question is why not? Some might say because the society is not “mature” enough to do away with these anachronisms. Others might say because these are considered immutable absolutes by the people who, in the words of the founders look to the Creator as the giver and guarantor of rights.

    Right now, since Sept. 11th 2001, we are faced with an assault on the entire Constitution by both political parties. It has been mentioned above that the President has taken us to war in Libya despite the “War Powers Act”. The dirty little unvarnished secret there is that there are American troops on the ground. His “turning” over the war to NATO is smoke and mirrors. The Predator Drones have “made in the USA” stamped on the side. During the Church commission hearings of the ’70’s, rules and laws were put into place to hobble the CIA and rogue administrations and outright prohibit political assassination by US forces. Was the strike on the Khadaffi compound the other night, an accident? Like hell. Where is the outrage, WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE!

    The US congress is gradually being (sorry ladies) emasculated until it resembles nothing so much as the post republic Roman Senate. I fully expect Caesar to appoint a jackass to the senate who will sit between John McCain and Lindsay Graham before he is done. They , in turn will welcome it as should we the people who will see it as an improvement on discourse and debate over the current senate.

  41. Marcell Dareus to Buffalo! NOBODY will run on us next year!

    Go Bills!

  42. Gman. Good article. You and I share some of the same thoughts, but have different reasoning. I think the “National Emergency” that will suspend the 2012 elections will be a out and out civil war. The last civil war we had was one of the bloodiest wars in the history of mankind, but I predict that this one will far surpass the last one in bloodshed and pure violence.

    Why?

    All the Progressives are calling for it and Obama and his cronies are setting the stage for it with all this ban on American companies drilling for oil but giving Brazil oil companies licenses to drill right off our southern coast, and refusing to let us drill in anwr, and all this cap and trade talk.

    You are right that Obama and the progressives could care less about this country and its people. They are hell-bent on a one-world Communist Government and they will destroy any nation that gets in their way.

    Civil war is coming. If you are not prepared for it you will be one of the first casualties . . . and those casualties will reach biblical proportions.

  43. MEDIA BIAS…..They are trying to tell you what to think.

    This morning an example of how the media attempts to frame a story in order to get you to think about it a certain way. From HuffPo this a.m., there was another but his one was more fun.

    THIS IS THE TEASSER HEADLINE: State GOP Rep: Minorities Earn Less Because They Don’t Work As Hard

    THIS IS THE TEASER SUBHEADLINE: Measure Seeking To Ban Affirmative Action Advances In Oklahoma

    THIS IS THE STORY HEADLINE: Sally Kern: Minorities Earn Less Because They Don’t Work As Hard.

    HERE IS THE OPENING PARA. OF THE STORY: Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern, a Republican, made questionable remarks in the wake of a measure seeking to ban affirmative action programs advancing in the state, Tulsa World reports.

    2ND PARA: According to the local outlet: Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, said minorities earn less than white people because they don’t work as hard and have less initiative. OK, YOU GOT THAT?

    HERE IS THE QUOTE: “We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school? I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.” CONFUSED??

    NEXT PARA: In light of the proposed constitutional amendment in question clearing the state House of Representatives on Wednesday evening, the GOP lawmaker also suggested women earn less than their male counterparts because they generally spend more time in the home. WONDER WHY THE HEADLINE DIDN’T READ “GOP LEADER SAYS WOMEN SHOULD STAY HOME, PREGNANT AND IN THE KITCHEN” ????? SEEMS IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A LOT CLOSER THAN THE “RACY” ONE.

    I KNOW MANY UNDERSTAND THIS, ESPECIALLY SINCE I HARP ON IT ALL THE TIME. JUST WANT TO REMIND EVERYONE FROM TIME TO TIME.

    AND OF COURSE, THIS TYPE OF LEADING IS DONE BY BOTH SIDES. SEAN HANNITY, I’M TALKING TO YOU.

  44. I have tried to point out, in our discussions of where we go, that in order for a Govt to have legitimacy it muse be respected by the citizenry. Some may recall I advocated doubling or tripling the size of the House and increasing the Senate as well.

    The concept of assuring connection between the elected representatives and the people was a core principle of the founders and framers. As I have tried to point out before, they held many values in common, but disagreed on the mechanisms to assure their protection.

    Here is everyone’s reading assignment for the weekend. While the general topic is the value “sympathy” between representatives and the electorate, the article addresses many other issues along the way. Including special interests, term limits, etc. And it contains at least one pointed barb aimed at Hamilton…….which makes it even more satisfying.

    http://constitution.i2i.org/sources-for-constitutional-scholars/reminder-constitutional-sympathy-and-independence/

    • JAC,

      Such an effect is at best temporary.

      As long as the centralization of power is distant from those subject to it, the greater the tyranny. The number of “ruling minions” that make up this centralization of power does not matter – political distance does.

      More minions will make the application of power slower – more bickering slows the process. But the effect works to also make the system more intractable and much much more bureaucratical with no room for reason or logic.

      • BF

        I agree in part. The number is related in my view, that is the connection to those represented, as is the time spent away from home, that being term limits.

        The other factor is the increasing population. It would simply become far to cumbersome.

        These “combined” with the corrosive nature of the power itself interact together, in my opinion, to cause the need for DECENTRALIZATION.

        Besides, the concept would have been consistent with the principles of most of the founders. Had they envisioned a population of 300 million instead of “millions” perhaps they would have made the states “smaller”.

        Which leads to …………. where is part 4?

  45. Buck the Wala

    Buck the Wala Says:
    April 29, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Right, it had absolutely nothing to do with an economic, social and political climate that included — among a myriad of other things like expanded industrialization — taxes and unions.

    How silly of me.

    Yes, Buck. It is silly of you. The middle class existed before the war, during the war and after the war. The number increases because the freaking population increases.

    The wealth increases because of industrial expansion which fuels massive home and commercial construction.

    How in the hell does high marginal tax rates on a small number of people increase the size or wealth of the middle class? By the way, did you know those rates of 90% you love to tout only applied to half the “taxable income” of a married couple filing jointly? Dropping the actual marginal rate to 45%.

    As to D13’s comment take a look at Table 8 of this data. Notice the effective rate for the upper 1% dropped 10% but the upper 5% dropped much less. Then look at the ranges between the major breaks, to avoid the affect of averaging. You will see that from 1980 to today the effective rate doesn’t change all that much.

    And you will see why I say lets just go to a tax on gross income of about 20%. Then target the bad guys with an excise tax.

    • TexasChem says:

      JaC Stated:”And you will see why I say lets just go to a tax on gross income of about 20%. Then target the bad guys with an excise tax.”

      TC: I’m thinking more in line of a number between 10 and 15%. 🙂

    • Buck the Wala says:

      “dropping the actual marginal rate to 45%”

      Not sure what your point is. I don’t advocate for a rate as high as 90%; I advocate for a rate higher than what we currently have.

      The middle class greatly expanded in the years after WWII. You can’t attribute this expansion in a vaccuum to industrial expansion and population increases. Why did industry expand? Where and how was money being distributed? Etc….

      • Buck,

        See below.

      • Buck

        I’m not going on one of your rabbit hunts today.

        You are the one that alluded to tax rates having to do with the thriving middle class.

        So lets just cut to the chase.

        Do you believe that the high marginal rates following WWII were directly or indirectly RESPONSIBLE for the “thriving” middle class? Please explain:

        What is “thriving to you”?

        What was the “indirect” or “direct” effect you think the higher marginal rates had on the “thriving” of the middle class?

  46. SK,

    I believe the bulk of the Constitution contains absolutes that are not subject to change by interpretation,/blockquote>

    Such as…???

  47. Todd

    Black Flag,
    Yes, Reagan increased the FICA tax, which is a regressive tax and impacts the working and middle class much more than the upper class.

    All taxes are regressive – nothing new here.

    Impacts….who?

    Yes, because Reagan paid off his wealthy supporters with tax cuts and crapped all over the working and middle class.

    The top 5% of earners pay -massively- most of the income tax.

    Your weeping here is humorous.

  48. Todd

    understand YOUR bizarre concept of society

    Yes, I know.

    The concept of voluntary exchange is so beyond your comprehension.

  49. Todd

    But there is one tiny little flaw:

    IT DOESN’T WORK!

    Yet, there you are sitting at a computer, provided to you by such a process …. and in your ignorance, you proclaim “it doesn’t work”.

    You are a very strange man.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      A single ‘free market’ transaction (me buying my coffee from the local shop) is very different from having a truly free market system for ALL transactions and at ALL levels.

      Moreover, this just goes to show how much of a free market system we actually do have .

      • Buck

        Again you demonstrate the inability to understand scale.

        I ask again (but I’m sure you will not answer as you never do – I guess the questions are too hard for you):

        What is the number of people in transaction means -to you- a Market

        • Black Flag,

          What is the number of people in transaction means -to you- a Market

          Could you explain this question to me – in English?

          • Todd,

            How many people do you believe is necessary to create a “market”?

            • Black Flag,
              Two parties are necessary to create a “market”. However, in the USA, a “market” almost always involves more than two parties.

              Let’s take Buck’s cup of coffee as an example. I’m not 100% certain, but there were probably 3, and maybe more, parties involved in that “market”. And by your definition, these additional parties being involved in the “market” means it is not a free market.

              For my computer, there were 4 parties involved in that “market”. Again by your definition, not a free market.

      • Buck,

        is very different from having a truly free market system for ALL transactions and at ALL levels.

        So you need absolutely every transaction -including the robber mugging you – to be a “voluntary” exchange before you claim their exists a “Free Market”????? Is this what you are saying????

        And yes, Voluntary exchange occurs at EVERY LEVEL. International banks exchange letters of credit in amount of hundreds of billions of dollars a day under such a system.

        Indeed, it is probably the largest single demonstration of a Free Market system as there exists NO ENFORCEMENT on these transactions by any government

        But you do not understand that.

      • Buck,

        Further,

        Do you believe the laws of economics are different when applied to you buying a cup of coffee, vs. “some other size of a market place”?

    • Black Flag,
      Me “strange”??? Well, Ok I am, that’s not the point!!

      The computer I’m using was provided by the economic reality that I prefer, not the economic fantasy that you prefer.

      Like I said, that Free Market you’re always talking about? It voted – and you lost.

      • Todd,

        You are economically illiterate and essentially ignorant.

        The Free market = voluntary trade.

        Since you believe you did not voluntary trade for your computer demonstrates your massive ignorance of economics.

  50. Buck

    an you explain then why the middle class prospered during an era of much higher marginal tax rates than we currently have?

    What era?

  51. Buck

    JAC is absolutely correct here.

    The REASON for the massive growth of the middle class was caused by a massively destructive Global War wherein the USA was the only major industrial nation left with the infrastructure needed to rebuild the world. And of course, pent up demand following the disastrous FDR policies that extended the Depression for a decade

    At the end of WW2, the US government has:
    massive cuts to its budget
    ended wage and price controls
    dropped the top income tax rate from 95% to 25%
    returned women to the home and the returning soldiers to the factories.

    It was the reduction of government intrusion into the market place –across the entire economy that created the post-war boom

    • Buck

      To help you:
      (1)Massive cuts to US government budget
      – returned billions of dollars back to the producers of goods to use for economic gain instead of wasted by government (ie: blow up and destroyed)

      (2) ended wage and price controls
      – all wage and price controls create massive shortages. You can allocate economic goods in one of two ways: (1) by price or by (2) ration.

      By price: the more scarce an economic good, the higher the price. The broad “auction” of the market means the hightest bid wins the goods.

      By ration: without price to moderate demand, shortages result. The price of bread maybe only a penny, but there is none on shelf.

      The US government chose (2) – price and wage and ration cards. Thus massive shortages of everything.

      When this ended, shortages ended.
      This creates economic boom because -as Say’s Law says – products buy products – the moment government-imposed shortages end, there are more products on the market, thus, more trade, thus, more prosperity.

    • Mr Flaggie,

      Playing fast and loose with the facts again, huh?

      Please show me evidence that the top income tax rate dropped from 95% to 25% after WW2.

      You’re also leaving out a few things:
      * Post WW2 recessions
      * The Marshall Plan for Europe, which created huge demand for US goods

  52. When a person says that the government needs to do something to in the economy, they are enforcing these things:

    1. The interests of sellers should trump the interests of buyers.

    2. Lower prices are bad for society.

    3. What bargainers decide is a fair price is wrong.

    4. Forces that raised prices should be supported by law.

    5. Forces that reduce prices must be contained by law.

    Now, they do not understand that this is what they are demanding, but this is exactly what is the consequence of government action in an economy creates.

    Government uses regulation to manipulate the economy.

    All regulation increases the barriers to entry into that market.

    All artificial barriers to entry:
    (1) improves the position of incumbents and degrades the ability of new comers. This creates monopolies and cartels within that market. Cartels benefit sellers to the detriment of buyers.

    (2) raises prices of goods in that market as they are not subject to the full degree of free market competition.

    (3) regulation punishes those that discount goods in competition to the cartel (example: AMA and medical industry).

    Remember these facts whenever someone declares government must act in the economy.

  53. Ostia archaeology official Anna Maria Moretti said Thursday the discovery is important above all because it indicates the coastline during ancient Roman days was some 3-4 kilometers (2-2.5 miles) farther inland than it is now.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110428/ap_on_re_eu/eu_italy_ancient_ship

    Ouch. This really must hurt the AGW crowd claiming a “rise” in sea levels.

  54. 1555.40 (+19.60)

    wowza..

    • Mathius,

      You made a whole $19 today!

      • Yessir.. and just how much did you make?

        PS: Half my 401k is in metals, so I think I made a good deal more than $19 today..

        PPS: Thinking about buying another coin, but the question is gold or an equivalent amount of silver? I think gold could run to $2k by ’12, but silver spooks me given its recent run.. your thoughts?

        • Mathius,

          Re: 401K
          Better something then nothing, but I will go out on a limb, knowing you a little bit, and say you will never collect out of your 401K.

          Re:Silver vs Gold
          Silver will always experience greater climbs and greater falls.

          Also, the Central Banks of all nations hold gold bullion and trade between themselves this bullion.

          They do not hold silver bullion.

          • This is true. Very true.

            What’s your guess for gold and silver, say, end of year?

            PS: I’ve already made up my mind, just curious on your take.

            PPS: 1564.80 (+29.00)

            • Mathius,

              Such a guess is near-impossible. Too many variables.

              If things stay the same, I expect Gold to be +$2000 and silver +$60

              If the FED stops buying T-bills before then, Gold -$800, Silver -$10

              If the PIIGS go crazy, I expect Gold to be +$5000 Silver +$150

              • You also said $1050 was the new bottom for gold.

              • LOI,

                That is correct – all things being the same.

                This “bottom” was created by Barrick Gold disposing of its pre-sale position. It closed all of its outstanding contracts @ $1050 an oz. – given these are the “experts” in gold and gold mining, it was pretty much a given for me to declare that this would be the new “baseline”. These guys earn their living doing this, and I am in no position to debate them.

                BUT…. should the FED close off T-bill purchases – this would dramatically raise interest rates. Commodities would plummet – all of them – as suddenly contraction of cash in the market place would occur. Remember your supply/demand economic law: A shortage of money=a drop in price.

                Gold is not immune to this, and we saw this already in recent history where gold fell from $850 to around $250.

                The “buy and hold forever” strategy for gold has a purpose. It is called “delivering a large inheritance to your great grandchildren”.

                If, however, your goal is more short term, you will need to sell your horde one day, or suffer the reverse of those that do not buy today – that is, a man who never sells for a profit.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                Flag,

                If the FED stops buying T-bills, who will? That would cause another problem, yes?

  55. So one wonders where the protests are in Massachusetts when the Democrat controlled House back/pushes a bill to take away collective bargaining ‘rights” from unions?

    How come the unions haven’t invaded the state house there? Where is all the national media coverage haranguing those despicable legislators?

    http://articles.boston.com/2011-04-27/news/29479557_1_unions-object-labor-unions-health-care

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Simple answer. The liberal media will not attack a liberal legislature. The unions will not attack a liberal legislature. Both are immoral and useless to our society.

      • Isn’t it amazing how the left of centers here at SUFA have not uttered one word about this action by the Dems in Mass?

        Where’s all the vocal public employee union support? Charlie……CHARLIE, where’s the love for the unions here? Mathius? Buck? Well, where’s the screaming against the “union busters”?

        I mean, could the crickets be any louder in here?

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Not much to say — we’ve expressed our opinions on this subject ad nauseum.

          • LMAO! A lawyer who says enough has been said? Are you feeling okay today?

            And why does this subject hit the ad nauseum wall? It’s not like it has stopped the comments before on subject debated ad nauseum?

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Eh, a bit stressed and exhausted today…trying to wrap up a bunch before the weekend.

              Allow me to rephrase — I’VE expressed my opinions ad nauseum. If others want to continue, go for it! 🙂

              • Well here’s to hoping you get it done, get home, have a nice dinner and a couple of your favorite drinks to relax.

                Then, wishes for a great weekend! Snow is forecast here for the next 3 days so I may be house bound.

                Cheers!

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Right back at ya! Enjoy the weekend. If you get stuck inside, make some hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps – it does wonders for the cold!

              • mmm, not a real schnapps fan. However, almost as good is some warm milk spiced up with a shot of bourbon.

                Or, just the bourbon. 🙂

              • Buck the Wala says:

                True, why let the milk get in the way…

  56. gmanfortruth says:

    Flagster, The dollar value has dipped below 73. What’s your guess as to the Oh Poop number where it may free fall?

    • Gman,

      The index is based on other fiat currencies – which are based on the US$.

      Thus, the yard stick changes with the changes in the yard stick.

      So, it is hard to say where the index will go up or down.

    • Doesn’t exist. Americans are sheep. They will sleep until they try to go to the store one day, and Walmart refuses to restock the shelves.

      Then: oh poop.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Matt, how much is gas in your area?

        • Way too much.. $4.20-ish.

          But see, that doesn’t shock people out of their lethargy. They’re used to prices going up. Prices get too high, they’ll gripe and/or eventually switch to more efficient cars or hybrids or alternative energies.

          They’re used to the dollar’s inflation day by day.

          But what they’re not used to is going to Costco and seeing empty shelves.

          Anything else will be met with a shrug.

          • Mathius,

            Prices get too high, they’ll gripe and/or eventually switch to more efficient cars or hybrids or alternative energy</blockquote.

            Not true.

            If using efficient cars was important, it would already be there. Those that would, have already. They still suffer rising costs.

            Thus, what really happens is the money spent else where is now spent on fuel.

            Prices for other commodities will fall.

            The assumption is that the rise in price is NOT inflationary but supply.

            • Your assumption is that demand is inelastic over the long term. This is not the historical case. If price rises, in the short term, what you describe is true, but in the long term, people will find a way to do without.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                That depends on how high the prices rise! If gas hits $7 a gallon, how much will food then cost? Food is one thing that people must have and living on Ramen noodles will get old quick.

                Gas will continue to rise, with a big jump near the end of May. When those who are getting aid for food, cannot afford enough food, then what?

              • Gman,

                You are correct that a rise in the costs of transportation will effect goods that require transportation.

                First, let us assume that the rise in fuel is not inflationary, but demand based -that is the threat to supply due to war.

                Yes, food stuffs will rise in cost where transportation is required for delivery.

                However, over most of the USA, local food production is the norm.

                Yes, Chilean grapes will become expensive, but local tomatoes will drop in price.

                Why?

                The local tomatoes that would have been shipped to, say, Canada will not be shipped.

                They will rot locally if not sold.

                The prices -LOCALLY- will plummet, while the cost for tomatoes in Canada will skyrocket.

                This effect will occur over all geography, including Canada.

                Canadian beef will drop for Canadians, but go up for Americans, which will offset the increase in cost of tomatoes from Americans.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                I totally agree BF, but we don’t have a supply problem (yet) with oil. Prices have been slowly rising for some time and I’m thinking that this is an inflationary event, rather than supply and demand. In this case all prices will rise.

                Transportation will be highly effected if the price of gas and maintenance gets to high, this will be passed off to the consumer. Many independent drivers may park, leading to a supply problem, leading to even higher transport prices. At some point, things implode and transportation slows…..

                I think you get the picture, LOL

  57. gmanfortruth says:

    A blind man was flying in a small plane with his brother, the pilot, when his brother suddenly clutched his
    chest and died.

    After finally finding the radio, the blind man called for help and was answered by an air traffic controller at
    a nearby airport.

    “You’ve got to help me! I’m totally blind, the pilot of this plane is dead, and we are flying upside down!”

    The air traffic controller answered “I understand that the pilot is dead and you are blind, but if you are blind
    How do you know that you are flying upside down?”

    “Because I have shit running up my neck!!!”

  58. Here is something for all of you to consider and banter about among yourselves;

    On November 3rd, 2010 we hooked up my 2001 Dodge 2500 Cummins 24 valve diesel to our 34 foot 7 ton fifth wheel trailer and drove south for the winter (where on my laptop I became papadawg). We paid $3.37 a gallon for diesel fuel. We just got back home and we paid $4.27 a gallon for diesel fuel. Due to tax increases my retirement income went down by $165.82 each month now.

    Food has increased by about 30% over that six month period.

    Question; How many more years will I be able to buy food and fuel and go south for the winter?

    • gmanfortruth says:

      You probably should have just stayed south.

    • G.A.

      Wrong question.

      The question you need to ask yourself:
      What do I need put in place so that I can buy food and fuel and go south every winter?”

      • G.A.

        I wish to highlight this one more time.

        My Mother-in-Law was in a similar position as you “How do I maintain my retirement lifestyle, including being a “snow bird”?

        On a fixed income, dependent on investment return, she saw her income drop and *worse* a serious erosion of her principle.

        Before the serious crash, I took her out of the market and into cash.

        This saved most of her principle, but since she was dependent on the income, she had to draw it down against the cash. I saved the destruction, but not the erosion of her principle.

        I advised that she “inflation proof” herself and stop the erosion by investing in rental property.

        With the housing collapse, there was a surge in renters, and -paradoxically- a surge in homes for sale.

        She invested in such a property with her cash, and turned that cash into a nice +10% return on investment, above the repayment of the loan and interest. Amortized for 25 years, her renters will pay off the property while they fund her own income requirements.

        Since rent increases with inflation (with a lag of about 6 months), her income increases with inflation with the net to be about stable.

        Her lifestyle will not change with inflation (albeit as long as it is not hyperinflation). Further, in a deflationary period, her high equity position in the property allows her large flexibility in negotiating with tenants and their income/cash position.

        As such, she has never made “some much money” as she has over the last couple of years – and best of all – it is sustainable for as long as she is alive if she wishes. Further, should she need a sudden massive cash requirement, a loan to equity or even sale of the property will provide this.

        …just an idea…

  59. Todd,

    Please review here:
    http://www.truthandpolitics.org/top-rates.php

    You’re also leaving out a few things:
    * Post WW2 recessions

    No, I am not.

    I am responding to a fallacious claim that government makes the economy grow. The focus is post-WW2 immediacy, not the next 75 years.

    * The Marshall Plan for Europe, which created huge demand for US goods

    No, it did not.
    This -again- is a fallacy often posted by economically illiterate people.

    Replay your thinking personally. If you give half of your income to your destitute brother-in-law, do you believe you made more money?

  60. Black Flag,
    In your typical style, you’re wearing me down with a constant barrage of “straw man” arguments, and I’m getting bored reading the same thing over and over.

    Based on many of your comments yesterday and today, it seems you’re now down to the “no-government/small government society” existing only in individual homes, and the “free market” existing in each individual transaction?

    Is that correct?

    If so, that means you are perfectly happy with our existing society?

    It meets all of your requirements for freedom and non-violence?

    • Todd,

      In your typical style, you’re wearing me down with a constant barrage of “straw man” arguments, and I’m getting bored reading the same thing over and over.

      There are no “straw man” here, unless you have provided them.

      My questions and comments are direct.

      If you getting bored, trying answering the questions or try providing COHERENT argument.

      Based on many of your comments yesterday and today, it seems you’re now down to the “no-government/small government society” existing only in individual homes, and the “free market” existing in each individual transaction?

      I am not “down” to anything.

      I have been quite clear in my questions to you and Buck.

      What number of people is required by you for you to declare a “market”? Please provide your reasoning for choosing such a number.

      It is common for people who do not understand economics to misapply scale – and you are no exception.

      If so, that means you are perfectly happy with our existing society?

      Economically speaking, I am ambivalent. It is what it is.

      Economics explains WHY things are the way they are.

      It does not JUDGE whether this is “good” or “bad” – they are the way they are.

      You see massive economic distortions. I tell you why.

      In your ignorance, you are disturbed by my answer and proclaim “NO! My fantasy on why things SHOULD work must be true!”.

      But your “should” fails reality’s test of “is”.

      If you are discussing with me a better way – one of REASON, then we move onto another study called philosophy.

      I do understand that you become confused with the fluidity of dialogue between philosophy, economics and psychology. But I have patience and will walk you through this, if you’d like.

      It meets all of your requirements for freedom and non-violence?

      No, but that is a matter of philosophy and not of economics.

  61. What does Freedom of Speech mean? Different thing to different people. In a theater, don’t yell fire unless there is one. If reporting on Obama, don’t report anything that is not favorable to the ONE, or you get the boot. Think this is not a warning to other reporter…..

    http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2011/04/29/wh-west-coast-pool-reporter-banned-videotaping-sf-fundraiser-protest-gav#ixzz1KwqccH8g
    more at link

    Yesterday evening (late afternoon West Coast time), Phil Bronstein at the San Francisco Chronicle informed his readers that one of its reporters had been banned by the Obama administration:

    The hip, transparent and social media-loving Obama administration is showing its analog roots. And maybe even some hypocrisy highlights.

    White House officials have banished one of the best political reporters in the country from the approved pool of journalists covering presidential visits to the Bay Area for using now-standard multimedia tools to gather the news.

    The reporter involved is Carla Marinucci.

    As will be shown later, Bronstein’s characterization of her as “one of the best” is questionable. But let’s continue the story:

    … like many contemporary reporters, (Marinucci) has a phone with video capabilities on her at all times -shot some protesters interrupting an Obama fundraiser at the St. Regis Hotel.

    Marinucci’s video is at Bronstein’s post. In it, a group of what appear to be mostly female protesters break into a song while President Obama is at the lectern. The song’s wrap is: “We’ve paid our dues, where’s our change?” For taking, posting, and reporting on this video, Marinucci has been banned.

    Bronstein goes on:

    So what’s up with the White House? We can’t say because neither Press Secretary Jay Carney nor anyone from his staff would speak on the record.

    Other sources confirmed that Carla was vanquished, including Chronicle editor Ward Bushee, who said he was “informed that Carla was removed as a pool reporter.” Which shouldn’t be a secret in any case because it’s a fact that affects the newsgathering of our largest regional paper (and sfgate)and how local citizens get their information.

    What’s worse: more than a few journalists familiar with this story are aware of some implied threats from the White House of additional and wider punishment if Carla’s spanking became public. Really? That’s a heavy hand usually reserved for places other than the land of the free.

    Well, it may be a heavy hand, but it’s generating pretty light coverage outside of the center-right blogosphere. A search on Marinucci’s last name shortly after 2 p.m. ET at the Associated Press’s home site comes up empty. Identical searches done the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times return either nothing, or nothing relevant. At Google News, a search on Marinucci’s full name during the past 24 hours (sorted by date, with duplicates) returns 23 items (the first page says 39, but it’s really 23).

    The White House may have been waiting for an opportunity to pounce. On April 5, Marinucci filed a report relaying harsh criticism of the upcoming Obama fundraiser’s hefty price tag:

    Even loyal Obama supporters are raising their eyebrows at the very pricey fundraising — like that exclusive $35,800-per-person dinner in San Francisco — planned as part of the President’s April 20 visit to the Bay Area.

    The April Western U.S. swing by the President, which includes a stop in Reno and Los Angeles as well as San Francisco, is part of Obama’s 2012 re-election kickoff campaign. But also scheduled is what the White House promises will be a jobs and economy event in the Bay Area on April 20.

    On April 21, Obama heads to Los Angeles.

    Obama supporters acknowledge that the $35,800 per person San Francisco Obama Victory Fund dinner may represent a new pricetag high for political fundraising. After all, loyal Dems thought the ceiling was reached last Oct. 21, when tickets to that Obama dinner in the Palo Alto home of Google executive Marissa Mayer hit an astonishing $30,800 per person.

    Yes, “there’s a little bit of sticker shock,” one Dem told us this week. The explanation: $30,800 of that donation will go to the Democratic National Committee, with $5,000 going to the Obama campaign — $2,500 for the primary and $2,500 for the general election.

    … And this is just the beginning for California’s deep-pocketed donors: remember, it’s still 19 months until the 2012 election.

    Part of the report was picked up at Fox News. That may have generated a big “uh-oh” in the Chronicle’s newsroom.

    Early this morning, Ed Driscoll at Pajamas Media, after yours truly chose to sleep first (darn you, Ed), noted that instead of banning Marinucci, Team Obama owes her a debt of gratitude for her possibly election-saving journalistic negligence in early 2008 (video is at the link):

    … during the cold winter of 2008 … Obama felt free to tell the San Fransisco Chronicle that he’d cheerfully bankrupt coal companies, and not-coincidentally, “energy costs would necessarily skyrocket.”

    That tidbit stayed bottled up in the full video in an obscure location at the Chronicle’s web site, uncited by any of the paper’s reporters, including Marinucci, who as proven in this saved document at my web host, was the reporter tasked to write up the results of then-candidate Obama’s hour-long interview.

    The video surfaced via Naked Emperor News on November 1, just days before the election, too late to have any meaningful influence.

  62. Ted Nugent Blasts Hollywood ‘Idiots,’ Promotes Gun Ownership

    Rocker Ted Nugent likes meat, and has no time for those who don’t.

    We caught up with the rocker and star of the Outdoor Channel show “Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild,” (which airs on Tuesdays at 8:30 pm ET) to find out more about his love of hunting, and his distaste for Hollywood.

    What are some of the biggest misconceptions surrounding hunting, and why do you love it?

    As a hunter, I am a person who is connected to Mother Earth and knows where food comes from. The production of tofu causes more death than my machine gun and helicopter. The fields that you need to grow the beans in have to be completely destroyed of any wildlife or any living thing so that it doesn’t have to compete with tofu.

    You tweeted about having a great Easter…

    Yes, I devoured a ham. It’s the least I can do to celebrate He rises. We have an incredible pantry of God’s renewable protein here in Texas and Michigan and God just keeps sending me packages of delicious grilled meat and I accept them.”

    You’re speaking at the 2011 NRA Show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this weekend where you’re hosting a seminar session called, “I Still Believe,” which focuses on freedom and gun rights. What is the main message you’re trying to get out?

    It has always been the brain-dead elitist element to disarm others, while they are armed and protected by the other’s tax dollars. The misconception is misrepresentation in the media, and people who look at a gun and immediately look at the tragic use of a gun.

    They don’t look at a chainsaw and think of dismembered people, they don’t look at automobiles as the tool of the drunk driver, and it is this bizarre mysticism of some shallow minds that the gun has a personality. Guns save lives. Anti-gunners have created these gun free zones where more lives have been lost. The most evil empires start by disarming their subjects, meanwhile 99 percent of gun owners in America have never caused a problem.

    So what solutions do you have for curbing crime?

    If you want to stop crime you can’t go after hardware, you would stop the early release, the parole, the plea bargaining and the turning of the states’ evidence by vicious evil monsters that are raping and murdering Americans. Don’t let them out of the cage! Crime will be down 90 percent the day we do that, because 96 percent of the crimes are committed by some judge or some prosecuted attorney somewhere let him out of the cage. When my dog poops on the couch, he’ll never do it again – because I won’t let him near the couch again. What an idea!

    You’ve come under fire by numerous animal rights groups such as PETA over the years – what rationale do you give people who disagree with hunting and slaughtering animals?

    Where will next year’s productivity live if we don’t balance the surplus? It makes a lot more sense than Bill Maher and Pam Anderson (celebrity animal rights activists) saying we should stop hunting, because if you did than where would production live?

    Speaking of Hollywood types, have your conservative opinions caused you trouble in the entertainment industry over the years?

    (It is) like being a Jewish bagel operator in Nuremberg in 1938 and being scorned by Nazis. I’m the good guys, they are the bad guys. As long as the idiots don’t like you, it proves you are not an idiot.

    I have been attacked for my NRA activities, my activities as a hunter, attacked as a real conservationist. Here is a man that has been attacked for my militant hatred for drinking and driving, and drunk idiots ruining lives because in Hollywood, if you aren’t drooling, puking and dying it is not a party. If you want to see a party watch Uncle Ted – I have been clean and sober for 63 years and this is a f**king party! Write that down!

    Okay.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/04/29/ted-nugent-blasts-hollywood-idiots-promotes-gun-ownership/#ixzz1KwtOvt38

  63. Mathius,

    Your assumption is that demand is inelastic over the long term. This is not the historical case. If price rises, in the short term, what you describe is true, but in the long term, people will find a way to do without.

    I do not agree with your argument here.

    You muddle up trade offs with inelasticity.

    I posted this a couple of threads back.

    I rise in price of ONE set of goods does NOT increase the CPI.

    You have $100 dollars and allocate it among your needs/wants we call “economic goods”.

    An increase on the cost of one these economic goods MUST cause you to either: deny purchase OR take from another economic good and apply it to the increase in cost.

    Taking from another economic good will REDUCE your demand. The market response (an economic law called supply and demand) will cause the price to drop for those economic goods.

    A rise in price *here* has a response of a drop in price *there*. The CPI does not change.

    If however this price increase is due to inflation, then ALL prices increase across the board, not just in one commodity. Should the income not equally increase, the net result is a drop in standard of living. You have less of EVERYTHING. There are no trade offs available other than forgoing wants for needs.

  64. GMan

    Flag,

    If the FED stops buying T-bills, who will? That would cause another problem, yes?

    So back up a bit.

    Why does the FED need to buy T-bills?

    Because the market will not buy the T-bills at the price offered. (The ‘price’ is the interest rate – it is too low for the market – the risk is too great for the return).

    The FED buys the T-bills so to hold down the interest rate.

    The market will not buy at that low interest rate, so the FED does, and the interest rates do NOT go up.

    But the FED monetizing government debt (which is what a T-bill is) causes inflation.

    One day, the inflation rate is so high, the FED will come to this fork in the road.

    Buy more T-bills at low interest and risk hyperinflation OR not buy T-bills at that low interest and let the interest rates rise until the market feels the risk/reward is back in line.

    The latter: interest rates will rise, which will cause a massive recession. In a recession, prices fall, labor -being just another economic good- will fall in price.

    Demand for goods will drop, including labor – this is called “unemployment”, so unemployment will rise dramatically while the costs for labor (wages) will fall.

    The prices of all commodities will drop like a rock. Those who have cash will win big. Those that have commodities, such as gold, silver, oil, wheat and…labor … will not do as well.

  65. Thomas Sowell
    Race and Economics

    Walter Williams fans are in for a treat– and people who are not Walter Williams fans are in for a shock– when they read his latest book, “Race and Economics.”

    It is a demolition derby on paper, as Professor Williams destroys one after another of the popular fallacies about the role of race in the American economy.

    I can still vividly recall the response to one of Walter’s earliest writings, back in the 1970s, when he and I were working on the same research project in Washington. Walter wrote a brief article that destroyed the central theme of one of the fashionable books of the time, “The Poor Pay More.”

    It was true, he agreed, that prices were higher in low-income minority neighborhoods. But he rejected the book’s claim that this was due to “exploitation,” “racism” and the like.

    Having written a doctoral dissertation on this subject, Walter then proceeded to show why there were higher costs of doing business in many low-income neighborhoods, and that these costs were simply passed on to the consumers there.

    What I remember especially vividly is that, in reply, someone called Walter “a white racist.” Not many people had seen Walter at that time. But it was also a sad sign of how name-calling had replaced thought when it came to race.

    The same issue is explored in Chapter 6 of “Race and Economics.” The clinching argument is that, despite higher markups in prices in low-income neighborhoods, there is a lower than average rate of return for businesses there– one of the reasons why businesses tend to avoid such neighborhoods.

    My own favorite chapter in “Race and Economics” is Chapter 3, which I think is the most revealing chapter in the book.

    That chapter begins, “Some might find it puzzling that during times of gross racial discrimination, black unemployment was lower and blacks were more active in the labor force than they are today.” Moreover, the duration of unemployment among blacks was shorter than among whites between 1890 and 1900, whereas unemployment has become both higher and longer-lasting among blacks than among whites in more recent times.

    None of this is explainable by what most people believe or say in the media or in academia. But it is perfectly consistent with the economics of the marketplace and the consequences of political interventions in the marketplace.

    “Race and Economics” explains how such interventions impact blacks and other minorities, whether in housing markets, the railroad industry or the licensing of taxicabs– and irrespective of the intentions behind the government’s actions.

    Minimum wage laws are classic examples. The last year in which the black unemployment rate was lower than the white unemployment rate was 1930. That was also the last year in which there was no federal minimum wage law.

    The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was in part a result of a series of incidents in which non-union black construction labor enabled various contractors from the South to underbid Northern contractors who used white, unionized construction labor.

    The Davis-Bacon Act required that “prevailing wages” be paid on government construction projects– “prevailing wages” almost always meaning in practice union wages. Since blacks were kept out of construction unions then, and for decades thereafter, many black construction workers lost their jobs.

    Minimum wages were required more broadly under the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 and under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, with negative consequences for black employment across a much wider range of industries.

    In recent times, we have gotten so used to young blacks having sky-high unemployment rates that it will be a shock to many readers of Walter Williams’ “Race and Economics” to discover that the unemployment rate of young blacks was once only a fraction of what it has been in recent decades. And, in earlier times, it was not very different from the unemployment rate of young whites.

    The factors that cause the most noise in the media are not the ones that have the most impact on minorities. This book will be eye-opening for those who want their eyes opened. But those with the liberal vision of the world are unlikely to read it at all.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2011/04/27/race_and_economics/page/full/

  66. gmanfortruth says:

    Test

  67. Hope this is a trend. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Daniels to sign bill defunding Planned Parenthood

    By: DEANNA MARTIN 04/29/11 5:25 PM
    Associated Press
    Mitch Daniels
    By: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File

    Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels said Friday he will sign restrictive abortion legislation, making Indiana the first state to cut off all government funding for Planned Parenthood and boosting Daniels’ credentials among social conservatives as he considers whether to run for president.

    Daniels said he supported the abortion restrictions from the outset and that the provision added to defund abortion providers did not change his mind. He said women’s health, family planning and other services will remain available.

    “The principle involved commands the support of an overwhelming majority of Hoosiers,” Daniels said in a statement announcing his intention to sign the bill when it arrives on his desk in about a week.

    Planned Parenthood of Indiana said in a statement it would file an injunction to “try to halt this alarming erosion of public health policy in our state.”

    Organization president Betty Cockrum said Daniels’ decision to sign the bill was unconscionable and unspeakable.

    “We will now suffer the consequences of lawmakers who have no regard for fact-based decision making and sound public health policy,” she said.

    The bill puts Indiana at risk of losing $4 million a year in federal family planning grants likely to be cut off because of the legislation. Daniels, known as a fiscal hawk, did not address the loss in his statement.

    The bill wasn’t part of Daniels’ agenda and he did not publicly advocate for the Planned Parenthood provision, but signing it might help his chances of winning the GOP nomination. Daniels opposes abortion rights, but his call for a Republican “truce” on social issues has drawn the ire of the social conservatives.

    Bill sponsor state Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, said social conservatives will be happy with Daniels’ decision.

    “No one will talk about the truce,” Turner said. “People in the conservative community care about action, and he’s clearly the most pro-life governor in America with a signature on that bill.”

    State Rep. Linda Lawson, a Democrat from Hammond who opposes the bill, said the legislation wouldn’t win Daniels any friends among independents and women.

    “It might be a maneuver, but I don’t know if it’s in his best interest,” Lawson said.

    While some at the Statehouse thought Daniels’ decision was a sign he’ll be running for president, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said people shouldn’t read too much into it. He said he thought the governor would likely sign the bill regardless of his future plans.

    Planned Parenthood says the bill could leave as many as 22,000 patients without access to Pap tests, birth control and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

    The governor’s office said the law will affect 7 entities in Indiana that have a total of 34 locations in 21 counties.

    Daniels said he has ordered Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration to ensure Medicaid recipients receive prompt notice of nearby care options.

    “We will take any actions necessary to ensure that vital medical care is, if anything, more widely available than before,” Daniels said.

    “Any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions.”

    Planned Parenthood of Indiana had urged Daniels to veto the bill and started a series of statewide rallies against it Friday.

    Daniels, 62, has said he will decide on a run for president after the Indiana Legislature adjourns, which is expected Friday. He’s also said he will not have a decision this weekend.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/04/daniels-sign-bill-defunding-planned-parenthood

  68. Another outstanding and brilliant video!
    Keynes vs Hayek to rap music round two
    8)

    I urge focused attention to what “Hayek” says about
    – Labor and Jobs
    – meaningless employment
    – what the Market “is” and “is not”
    – who “plans the economy” for who

    and the ending … is exactly accurate!

    I also love the quick cameo of the “corner man” for Hayek, the scene flashes his name on the back of his coat …”Say” as in the articulator of “Says’s Law” (Products buy Products)

    .. I urge everyone to watch.

  69. Todd

    , How many people do you believe is necessary to create a “market”?

    Black Flag,
    Two parties are necessary to create a “market”. However, in the USA, a “market” almost always involves more than two parties.

    The market exists from 2 to 7 billion.
    The laws of economics do not change.

    Let’s take Buck’s cup of coffee as an example. I’m not 100% certain, but there were probably 3, and maybe more, parties involved in that “market”. And by your definition, these additional parties being involved in the “market” means it is not a free market.

    I have -beyond exhaustion- explained what a “free market” means.

    It means voluntary exchange.

    The numbers of people involved in such an exchange is completely irrelevant

    • Black Flag,
      Did you stop to think who the “additional parties” are?

      Or were you in too big of a hurry to “prove” me wrong?

      It’s not the number of parties involved in these “markets” that matters.

      It means voluntary exchange.

      The “additional parties” are not a “voluntary” part of the exchange.

      Any ideas? Or do you need more clues?

      They’re not people.
      Or companies.

      Still need more clues?

      The “additional parties” are EVIL and use VIOLENCE on the non-violent?

      Any ideas NOW??

      • Todd,

        Did you stop to think who the “additional parties” are?

        It could be the tooth fairy or Santa Claus?

        You are making up a fictional story, and playing games.

        Or were you in too big of a hurry to “prove” me wrong?

        No, you are providing a story incompletely – as is your style – so that you can change direction on a whim and pretend not to appear an idiot.

        It’s not the number of parties involved in these “markets” that matters.

        This was the direct subject we were talking about, Todd.

        As I predicted, seeing yourself refuted, you will wrench the wheel hard left into something else on your mind.

        The “additional parties” are not a “voluntary” part of the exchange.

        Then we are not talking about the FREE MARKET, are we?

        We are talking about some other market.

        Any ideas? Or do you need more clues?

        So let’s recap.

        You claimed that the free market doesn’t exist.

        I provided factual examples.

        You twirled in believing that a ‘market’ could not exist between two people.

        I provided economic law to correct you -AGAIN-

        You twisted and fumbled to now making up a story, that no longer addresses the free market.

        You and a pretzel would be impossible to tell a part.

        • Black Flag,
          No fictional story.
          No playing games.
          No providing a story incompletely.
          No changing direction on a whim and pretending not to appear an idiot.

          These are all your usual tactics, not mine.

          It’s not the number of parties involved in these “markets” that matters.

          This was the direct subject we were talking about, Todd.

          So, the person who can post pages and pages and pages of endless text, now demands that we stick with the “direct subject”?

          Then we are not talking about the FREE MARKET, are we?

          No, we’re not.

          And THAT was the DIRECT SUBJECT we were talking about, Black Flag.

          We are NOT talking about some other market. We are talking about the coffee that Buck bought and the computer that I bought.

          Yes, let’s recap.

          Black Flag: You claimed that the free market doesn’t exist.

          Todd: No, I said a TOTALLY free market – per USWeapon’s challenge – doesn’t exist.

          Black Flag: I provided factual examples.

          Todd: No, your examples were not free market, because government was involved.

          Black Flag: You twirled in believing that a ‘market’ could not exist between two people.

          Todd: False. Please show me where I said this?

          Black Flag: I provided economic law to correct you -AGAIN-

          Todd: False, again. Since I never said a ‘market’ could not exist between two people.

          Black Flag: You twisted and fumbled to now making up a story, that no longer addresses the free market.

          Todd: The entire issue is “Are these free markets?”

          I used the examples of Buck buying coffee and me buying a computer.
          The examples that Buck and YOU started this with.
          Examples that you claimed to be “free markets”.
          Examples that Buck and I claimed were not “free markets”.

          The fact that YOU got hung up on 2 or 7 billion people, and missed the fact that government was involved in these markets, is not my concern.

          But I am truly surprised that someone who so consistently pisses-n-moans about GOVERNMENT EVIL & VIOLENCE could overlook the fact that the example of a “free market” that YOU provided actually included GOVERNMENT.

          I guess you just had your BLINDERS on so tight trying to find an example of a “free market” so you could once again prove yourself right.

          Black Flag: You and a pretzel would be impossible to tell a part.

          Todd: I’ve noticed a trend with you – like an animal, when you get trapped, you fight nastier and nastier. You try to piss people off so they either get emotional or give up. And then you claim victory.

          It’s a truly shallow tactic of a weak mind – and fits you perfectly.

          But let’s just have a Final Recap, shall we. As you clearly stated above:

          Then we are not talking about the FREE MARKET, are we?

          No, we are not. And that’s the whole point Buck and I have been trying to make.

          YOU LOSE!!!!!!!

          So, back to the original issue:

          Black Flag Said: unless of course you find a flaw in my definition, reason or logic. But I know that such a flaw does not exist.

          But there is one tiny little flaw:

          IT DOESN’T WORK!

          No one wants to be a part of it.

          You know that Free Market you’re always talking about? It voted – and you lost.

          And you’re becoming a bigger loser with every post!! 😉

          • Todd, you are awarded the top prize in the eternal debate with the BF … your patience is deserving of great applause.

            I’ve noticed a trend with you – like an animal, when you get trapped, you fight nastier and nastier. You try to piss people off so they either get emotional or give up. And then you claim victory.

            Very good observation … BF will fireback “ad hominem” soon as you show emotion. Again, fighting this one through is an amazing show of patience. He will no doubt wake up and fireback another 20 or so “I win/You lose” … oy vey.

            If you play to his ego, he’ll eventually forget himself and support the government bailouts (I got him to do that once — although he’ll deny it to his death) … which, if I’m not mistaken (I’m not economically learn-ed like BF), is the furthest thing from “free markets” (truly free, free, and/or free market effects) as one can get. In fact, it is socalism for the big boys at the expense of the little fellas.

            Good job, Todd! But remember, life is way too short to keep engaging an ego that is never wrong …

            • Hey Charlie,
              I knew THE FORCE of Charlie’s Universe was with me!!

              It really is frustrating, but it’s gotten to the point of actually being funny. 😉

              You’ve taken a lot this week too. Keep up the Fight!

              • I try and forgive them … they (really) know not what they do … 🙂

                I think I’ve made three consecutive name mentions in posts either inspired by me or aimed at me.

                It’s all fun.

              • I think I’ve made three consecutive name mentions in posts either inspired by me or aimed at me.

                That’s always my goal – Top Billing!

  70. gmanfortruth says:
  71. At Matt: Should D13, who is approaching 300 years old, be the only one whose opinion matters, since a whippersnapper like you only thinks the way you do because of your comparative youth?

    300??? How did you know I was one of the Spartan’s? Wait…it was the Raptors, right? The Raptors gave it away.
    Sorry, it took me so long to reply to this, Matt….but you know how us oldies read and miss things….we are kinda slow. Just saw the proverbial dig whie re-reading some things. 300, eh? Hmmmm…I did step in some Brontosaurus poop once….I advised George on how to cross that little stream called the Delaware…I do remember how to “pop” a corset…Seems I recall….no, that was waaaay after. I do remember giving DPM his first RAIL GUN….he has prospered well……ok 300 will do. Damn, I thought I was much younger than that.

  72. Anybody see the puss on Trump’s face from last night? How beautiful was that? There was privilege in its most ugly form. The guy is a long standing joke … and there’s no way he’ll be able to handle a presidential campaign. All that was missing was some waiter/waitress smacking him across the chops.

    • Good morning, Charlie…..I do not think anyone takes Trump serious, do you? I certainly do not and he will not get the Repub nomination…nor will he run as independent, I am thinking.

      • I agree, Colonel. He’s just making noise, getting the attention his ego craves, but it is now backfiring; he’s at least a joke a night on late TV and is now being taken as seriously as Sarah Palin … which once again, will make it much easier for Obama to win re-election. The GOP is lost … and Dems are the GOP in drag … and the two parties I want to see on the debate platform will once again be shunned because of the joke our political system has become. A true shame.

        The upside to it all were my beloved new york state buffalo bill draft picks … I see us around 12-4 next year with a cakewalk to the super bowl victory …

        Yes, I’ve been watching the Disney channel again …

        • Sometimes that Disney channel canbe quite entertaining. My Cowboys are sticking with (cough cough) Romeo Romo…I foresee….yes, the cystal ball is clearing……yes….THERE IT IS….the same numbers that Charlie posted for the Bills…..12-4…..no…..wait…with our draft and Jerry Jones involved…it has changed to 4-12……yes….woo hoo….(I wish they would stay on lockout and strike)…..(picture looking down at floor, shaking head…and uttering Charlie’s imoortal words……oy vey!

    • I saw some clips of Seth Meyers and Obama. I thought they both rocked – very funny.

      Trump’s expression was PRICELESS! What a buffoon!

      And sorry Charlie, but the Bill’s will have to go thru the Packers!

  73. LOI,
    Hong Kong is definitely a free market on the business side, but there are some government and social issues you may not like.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong

    From the “Governance” section:

    The Chief Executive is elected by the Election Committee and then appointed by the Central People’s Government.

    The civil service is a politically neutral body that implements policies and provides government services, where public servants are appointed based on meritocracy.

    The Legislative Council has 60 members, half of which are directly elected by universal suffrage by permanent residents of Hong Kong according to five geographical constituencies. The other half, known as functional constituencies, are directly elected by a smaller electorate, which consists of corporate bodies and persons from various stipulated functional sectors.

    Ok, I didn’t completely understand this, but it sounds like there are some groups that get preferential treatment.

    From the “Human Rights” section:

    There are concerns over the freedom of assembly which is restricted by the Public Order Ordinance. The police has been occasionally accused of using heavy-handed tactics towards protestors and questions are asked towards the extensive powers of the police.

    As to the right of privacy, covert surveillance remains the major concern.

    There is a lack of protection for homosexuals due to the absence of a sexual orientation discrimination law.

    There are also comments regarding a lack of protection for labour rights.

    That doesn’t seem to fit USWeapon’s Directive Number One.

    I don’t know if that fits your Directive Number One, because you’ve never defined that. 😉 😉

    I hope you’re surviving the storms Ok and the floods don’t reach that “150 year” level.

    • Todd

      LOI,
      Hong Kong is definitely a free market on the business side, but there are some government and social issues you may not like.

      Wrong =again=

      “Hong Kong” does not have a free market on the “business side”.

      It may have fewer government laws than the USA.

      Hong Kong has millions of free markets and a few not, just like here.

      • See, this is just the kind of crazy stuff I’m talking about. Your need to correct everything and “prove” your superiority has reached new levels…

        If you feel the need to correct our use of “free market”, you should take it up with USWeapon. He started this whole discussion with the incorrect definition.

        (Sorry USWeapon – but he’s all yours – I’m done with him!!)

        • Todd,

          I correct you because you are wrong.

          Your perceptions cause you to make incorrect analysis, which leads to incorrect assumptions and wrong solutions.

          I did not start with an “incorrect” definition – indeed, you are confused about “free”, “market” and “Free market”.

          But that’s ok, you are essentially harmless.

  74. Todd

    No, we’re not.

    And THAT was the DIRECT SUBJECT we were talking about, Black Flag.

    Yes were were

    You said it did not exist.

    I provide FACT it did.

    YOU then introduced something else. The “something else” YOU introduce is NOT the free market.

    Then to your shock, you found yourself NOT in the free market.

    We are NOT talking about some other market. We are talking about the coffee that Buck bought and the computer that I bought.

    Correct. Did you buy it with a gun to your head?

    Yes, let’s recap.

    Black Flag: You claimed that the free market doesn’t exist.

    Todd: No, I said a TOTALLY free market – per USWeapon’s challenge – doesn’t exist.

    OF COURSE IT DOES.

    I gave an example.

    As I said to Buck, it appears that your definition of “market” has confused you.

    I asked you a question: What is the number of people required for you to define a “market”

    You said :Two, which is correct.

    That is A TOTALLY FREE MARKET.

    You then change your definition and expect me to hold to it.

  75. Todd,

    The fact that YOU got hung up on 2 or 7 billion people, and missed the fact that government was involved in these markets, is not my concern.

    I missed nothing. But you cannot read.

    I specifically said “There are many markets, most of the Free and many not”

    You bounce between one and many pretending they are the same.

    But I am truly surprised that someone who so consistently pisses-n-moans about GOVERNMENT EVIL & VIOLENCE could overlook the fact that the example of a “free market” that YOU provided actually included GOVERNMENT.

    You lie. I gave no such example.

    IT DOESN’T WORK!

    No one wants to be a part of it.

    It does work, as your purchase of a computer demonstrates.

    But that disappoints you because you want freedom but you do not want freedom for other people.

    Your position is immoral and ego-centric.

    And that is why Freedom does not work FOR YOU

  76. Todd,

    Start with this fundamental law of the Universe, and begin your thinking there.

    All human action is fundamentally individual

  77. Black Flag,
    I gotta ask – are you feeling Ok? Are you sick and taking some medication?

    Because your posts are getting crazier and crazier – even for you. It was weird at first, then funny, and now it’s just sad.

    You’re not making sense, contradicting yourself, and making stuff up.

    Just one simple example:

    I specifically said “There are many markets, most of the Free and many not”

    When did you say this? I can’t find it anywhere.

    OMG – if you’re smoking something with Bottom Line – STOP! It might not affect him, but it’s not working for you!

    Anyway, I hope you’re feeling better soon!

    • Todd,

      You prattle along making accusations, but provide nothing else.

    • Todd

      From “Capitalism vs Communism” = a thread you were heavily involved.

      Black Flag Says:
      April 28, 2011 at 11:04 am

      Jon

      regarding a “Free market” it simply doesn’t exist; ergo, if one thought that it did, please allow for some kind of example insofar as I, as well, don’t believe one exists either.

      I have -more than merely often- give such an example.

      Did you trade some currency for a coffee today? Did you do this trade voluntarily or was there a gun to your head?

      I think the big mental block here is the understanding of scalability.

      The Free Market exists when two people trade voluntarily all the way up to 7 billion people trading voluntarily. The Free Market exists in many places at once, and in some places not at all.

      Any time you witness people in voluntarily exchange you are witnessing the “Free Market”.

      What you and Todd hold is that such a thing cannot exist unless it envelopes some sort political geography of lines on a map.

      But that’s the power of freedom. It is INDIVIDUAL in its exercise. Freedom does not need a government, a nation or borders to exist.

      It merely needs free men.

      And as the Free Market is a direct consequence of the action of Free men, the Free market merely needs men in voluntary action to trade.

      Capitalism is a direct consequence of the Free market.

      To trade goods requires ownership. I have this “thing” – which is a statement of ownership of that thing – and you have that “other thing” – an equal statement of ownership. We trade ownership of those things.

      The only questions within Capitalism is the determination of ownership and its enforcements.

      • Black Flag,
        I still don’t see where you specifically said “There are many markets, most of the Free and many not”?

        • Todd,

          Please refrain from being juvenile, and apply comprehension.

          • Black Flag,
            It’s funny that you can see juvenile behavior in others, but not yourself.

            You quoted yourself, but it was something you never wrote, so you’re wrong.

            And it is absolutely juvenile of me to push this. But that is what you constantly do. You get hung up on some stupid little detail, and then you beat that horse over and over and over.

            JAC asked a simple question, and you spent all night ridiculing him.

            Is this really productive?

            No, it’s really just sad…

  78. Mathius says:

    Any night owls in SUFA tonight? Apparently Obama’s about to make a national security announcement any minute now – he’s breaking into the networks.. sunday night at 10:30-ish?

    odd.

    • That is odd – any indication of what’s happening?

      • Something about the hunt for osama bin laden

        • Thanks VH. Maybe he’s finally caught or killed and we can bring the troops home?

          And Mathius, thanks for the heads up – I was watching the History Channel and didn’t know about a coming announcement.

      • Mathius says:

        not a clue.. trying to get a webbed up, but having trouble.. I might just turn on a tv, but I don’t want to wake the little woman.

        Well, in case he’s canceling freedom of speech tonight, I just want you to know that I’ve had a lot of fun over the last year and a half with you and the other denizens of this asylum.

        PS: All hail Obama, our dear leader! (just playing it safe)

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Military action in Pakistan…..killed by US forces sounds like.

          Shame will never be able to publicly recognize the Special Forces that likely did this.

          Hope we didn’t lose anyone.

          • Mathius says:

            we lost 3,000 people in 9/11
            We lost 5,000 soldiers in an Afghanistan and Iraq
            We lost more than 500,000 Afghani and Iraqi citizens

            Hope we didn’t lose anyone? The bodies are stacked higher than the Washington Monument.

          • Ray, I agree.

            Mathius, yes – this nation has paid one hell of a price to “neutralize” him and now – maybe, we can bring the troops home and stop this insanity?

  79. Mathius says:

    $100 says that this doesn’t really change anything.

    Any takers?

  80. Intentional or Not 🙂

    Primetime interrupted: Osama bin Laden dead
    by James Hibberd
    Categories:

    * Comments 117
    * Add comment

    President Obama has endured entertainment industry criticism over the last few years for requesting premium broadcast air time for making speeches. But Sunday night’s abrupt and unexpected interruption is unlikely to draw any complaints.

    Multiple news organizations are reporting that the White House is set to announce that, at last, Osama bin Laden is dead. ABC, CBS and NBC have cut away from scheduled programming to cover this enormous news.

    With all the back and forth between President Obama and Donald Trump, Twitter flared up with amused conspiracy theories when NBC News cut away from Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice on the East Coast to carry the announcement.

  81. Usama Bin Laden is dead.

    He died sometime around 3:30PM EDT on May 1st, 2011.

    One shot to the head from a United States Navy SEAL.

    Good shot, SEAL, good shot. You get one ATTABOY from this retired Marine D.I. and Viet Nam veteran.

    • Note to our currant POTUS;

      Mission accomplished. Now lets pack up our troops over there and bring them home, with a serious note left behind that reads, “If you mess with us one more time we will leave whatever country you live in and are supported by a nuclear wasteland. End of message.”

  82. I will wait for the briefing before commenting. Good job to the Special Forces…in this case, the Navy Seals. He, Bin dead man, was tracked from Iran to Pakistan to his compound. It was a CIA tip that led to the speculation that he was back in Pakistan. It turned out to be true. There have been several SF types with many different scenarios awaiting their chance. It was a Seal operation and well done with no American Casualties.

    As soon as I get the “real” beifing and not the sanitized media version, I will let you know. I expect the briefing this afternoon.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      I look forward to D13 and USW (and others?) commenting in depth on this – a lot of us have an elevated interest in how JSOC, Special Forces and other elements as such carry these these things out……

      In situations like this do our soldiers wear anything identifying? (wondering if last thing OBL saw prior to muzzle flush was an American flag sewn on the uni of a Seal)

      I’m guessing boatloads of intel was acquired on the compound pre-raid. Does a Seal team train up on replica prior to the raid (e.g. like Son Tay from Vietnam-era)? Or do they know general layout only and work from a base of search/hunt/destroy?

      Do you think ISI was kept in dark towards the end of planning? The site was awfully close to major city so one has to wonder to what extent we were green lighted so we could get in, strike, and get out…..

      Its being reported that 20 Seals did the deed – is that a complete “Seal Team”? Any idea why Seals only versus Delta or someone else?

      I know these guys train to the point of being dispassionate about a key objective like this. But do you think given target there isn’t at least a little extra adrenaline flowing?

      Anyway – applause here to our Special Forces – the baddest men on the planet.

  83. Black Flag

    Your round and round with Todd seems to center on the meaning of the word “market”. Your comments caused me to spend much time this weekend pondering the difference between transactions, market or markets, and economic or political systems, such as Capitalism.

    However, you are using market much differently than any definition I am familiar with. Summary here from Wikipedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market

    So do you have some reference supporting your definition. Which seems to me to utilize only the transaction of two people as the measure, rather than the accumulated institutions or systems.

  84. JAC

    A market is any one of a variety of systems, institutions, procedures, social relationsand infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange.

    Where do you believe my definition is not contained above.

    The question Todd and Buck struggle with is ”
    What is the size of population that creates a Market”?

    Economic theory is clear: it requires 2 people (or more).

    Economic theory cannot apply to “Robinson Crusoe” stranded on an island.

    Economic theory applies as soon as “Friday” appeared.

    The Free Market exists where the exchange of goods between parties is voluntary. There are no other conditions. Two people in voluntary exchange is a Free Market, as would be 10, 1000, 100000, etc.

    • JAC,

      A rough review of definition of Free Market:

      The theory holds that within an ideal free market, property rights are voluntarily exchanged at a price arranged solely by the mutual consent of sellers and buyers. By definition, buyers and sellers do not coerce each other….

    • Black Flag

      It is in the presence of “systems”, “institutions”, “procedure” and “infrastructures”.

      I fully understand what you are claiming so no need to describe it. I am trying to reconcile what appears to be a difference between YOUR definition of “market” and that accepted by economists and others.

      I do not think Buck and Todd’s issue is JUST with scale.

      It is with your definition, which is free transaction between two people, and the accepted view that a “market” is the entire “system” of institutions, rules, etc that we think of when we describe a “market”.

      Note that one of the explanations given in the Wiki article is that a Market is the accumulation of ALL buyers and sellers for a given product/service. Thus the purchase of a computer would be a “free transaction” within the “computer market”. The former is free but the latter could be regulated and thus not free.

      Your definition seems to be different than that accepted by economists, as per the Wiki article. So I go back to where you got the notion that a single transaction is synonymous with “market”.

      • JAC

        Allow me to bring to your attention:
        ….is any one of a variety..

        It is not ALL must be present, it is at least one must be present, and simple social relations suffices.

        • Black Flag

          My question stands. Where did you come up with your definition.

          You can claim it fits within the one I cited but the full discussion clearly shows that a transaction between two people is not considered a “market”.

          Certainly, Wiki was not your source. Was this idea put forth by someone else or is it your own synthesis?

          • JAC,

            HuH?

            I posted one – that you initially agreed with.

            Now, as it appears to agree with me, you disagree with it.

            Read the rest of Wiki – the source YOU posted

            For a market to be competitive, there must be more than a single buyer or seller. It has been suggested that two people may trade, but it takes at least three persons to have a market, so that there is competition on at least one of its two sides.

            This implies a belief that COMPETITION is required to create a market, but nowhere is such a claim demonstrated, except by an expansion to an already offered definition – that a market requires competition.

            Where is the demonstration that competition is a requirement?

            Are you saying that a Command economy devoid of competition is not a market?

          • JAC,

            All economic theory begins with human interactions, and begins with one person.

            The dialogue here demonstrates that there is no such thing as an economy, since scarce goods do NOT need allocation – they are claimed by the sole person.

            The introduction of person #2 begins economic theory so to begin to describe the methodologies available for the allocation of scarce resources. It is here where the “market” is born.

            You can read here:
            http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/FreeMarket.html

            “Free market” is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is undertaken as a voluntary agreement between two people or between groups of people represented by agents.

  85. JAC,

    I fully understand what you are claiming so no need to describe it. I am trying to reconcile what appears to be a difference between YOUR definition of “market” and that accepted by economists and others.

    No economist disagrees with me, so I do not understand your comment here.

    It is with your definition,

    First, they have never given any definition, therefore mine carries.

    Second, my definition is accepted by every economist I know, so if you or they disagree, it is not economists or myself that has errored.

    which is free transaction between two people, and the accepted view that a “market” is the entire “system” of institutions, rules, etc that we think of when we describe a “market”.

    First, you erred on your understanding of the definition – an entire system REQUIRING institutions is unnecessary, as I pointed out in the previous response above.

    Further, you suffer the same difficulty as Todd.

    A free market exists where ever the trade is voluntary. Scale is irrelevant – from 2 to 7 billion or more. But at least two.

    Note that one of the explanations given in the Wiki article is that a Market is the accumulation of ALL buyers and sellers for a given product/service.

    A transaction merely requires a buyer and a seller. You did not buy the circuit board for your computer, you bought the computer et al.

    The manufacturer had another transaction independent of yours to buy a circuit board from another seller.

    The circuit board manufacturer had another transaction independent of you and the computer manufacturer to buy the labor to make the board … and so on.

    You can accumulate all these into “one” market, and attempt to understand.

    You can also view them individually as separate markets, and attempt to understand.

    You will find if you do the latter, you will come away with far more clarity then the former process.

    • BF

      I ask a reasonable question about definitions and you insult me.

      I suffer nothing my friend regarding scale or your claim I don’t understand.

      If economists all agree with you then why does the citation distinguish between “transaction” and “market”. Why is the explanation replete with descriptions of systems and all products/services etc.?

      Here is some more, which preceded your quote about the “theory” of “free markets”.

      “A free market is a market in which there is no economic intervention and regulation by the state, except to enforce taxes, private contracts, and the ownership of property. It is the opposite of a controlled market, in which the state directly regulates how goods, services and labor may be used, priced, or distributed, rather than relying on the mechanism of supply and demand. Advocates of a free market traditionally consider the term to imply that the means of production is under private, and not state control or co-operative ownership. This is the contemporary use of the term “free market” by economists and in popular culture; the term has had other uses historically.

      A free-market economy is an economy where all markets within it are unregulated by any parties other than those players in the market. In its purest form the government plays a neutral role in its administration and legislation of economic activity, neither limiting it (by regulating industries or protecting them from internal/external market pressures) nor actively promoting it (by owning economic interests or offering subsidies to businesses or R&D). Although an economy in this most radical form has never existed, efforts to liberalise an economy or make it “more free” attempt to limit such government intervention.”

      It seems pretty clear to me that the “accepted” meaning of the term involves much more than a single transaction between two people.

      You have claimed you provided “proof” but your definition is not so clearly described here. So where is it described in such simple terms as you have provided?

      • JAC

        “A free market is a market in which there is no economic intervention and regulation by the state, except to enforce taxes, private contracts, and the ownership of property.

        Many people suffer from the failure of misunderstanding economic theory – by applying the fallacy of the necessity of government.

        No economic theory provides this, however.

        You can see the contradiction here:

        A free-market economy is an economy where all markets within it are unregulated by any parties other than those players in the market.

        Then suddenly, they add this:

        In its purest form the government plays a neutral role in its administration and legislation of economic activity,

        and then make a worse contradiction – demanding legislation – which by definition creates limits – they then claim this:

        neither limiting it (by regulating industries or protecting them from internal/external market pressures)

        A typical muddle-mind of many in review of economic theory.

        It seems pretty clear to me that the “accepted” meaning of the term involves much more than a single transaction between two people.

        I posted an article – which has plenty of references – above for you.

        Have at it.

    • BF

      You provided this:

      “The theory holds that within an ideal free market, property rights are voluntarily exchanged at a price arranged solely by the mutual consent of sellers and buyers. By definition, buyers and sellers do not coerce each other….”

      Please note that it says buyers and sellers, as in PLURAL. More than one buyer and seller.

      You seem to be misunderstanding a simple question here. I do not see from either the Wiki articles on markets or free markets where it is an “accepted” among economists that a “market” exists when a transaction occurs between two people.

      It appears to me you have synthesized your own here by scaling down from the traditional to the individual transaction.

      So let me ask you this. If two people exchange unique property between them is this a “market”?

      It appears to me that this would not meet the “accepted” definition. If you disagree then you need to provide some explanation beyond just claiming it to be true.

      • JAC,

        Please note that it says buyers and sellers, as in PLURAL. More than one buyer and seller.

        Please don’t trifle with mere linguistic nuance.

        It appears to me you have synthesized your own here by scaling down from the traditional to the individual transaction.

        Begin with the article I posted above.

        Do not confuse yourself with the theory of market and the complexities of the market.

        So let me ask you this. If two people exchange unique property between them is this a “market”?

        Yes.
        All the laws of economics apply perfectly.

      • JAC,
        You seem to be up against the same problem I was this weekend.

        I understand your original question – perfectly clear.

        Why can’t Black Flag?

        Have FUN!

    • BF

      In support of my question about your use of the term “market” I give you from the citation you provided.

      “The market, then, is not simply an array; it is a highly complex, interacting latticework of exchanges.”

      BF, it is the term “market” here I am focused on and where I see you diverging from accepted use of that term.

      • JAC,

        I’ve provided the specific text with in your own reference.

        I’ve provided an article from econlib.

        If this is all insufficient, I can’t help you. You will merely suffer along with a grave misunderstanding of the theory of economics.

        • JAC,

          As I pointed out above:
          Do you believe the laws of economics do not apply to the exchange between two people?

          If “No, it does not apply” – please provide your –whatever you want to call it— theory that explains this exchange.

          If “Yes, it does apply” – our discussion here is finished and we move on.

        • BF

          Your condescension is not an argument.

          Explain how “highly complex, interacting lattice work of exchanges” is the same as a transaction between TWO people.

          Your own citation describes a “market” as something bigger than a single transaction between two people.

          This is not a misunderstanding of the basic principle of economics. It is a difference in the use of the term “market”.

          • JAC,

            At some point, you will need to get yourself some root understanding of the economic theory.

            You can start with the book:
            On Human Action by Mises

            As I’ve asked Buck and Todd – and neither have come back with any ideas – I ask you.
            “What is the number of people you believe is necessary to create a market – and why?”

            Start there – within your own understanding – and let’s see where it ends.

      • JAC,

        “The market, then, is not simply an array; it is a highly complex, interacting latticework of exchanges.”

        As I said, do not get trapped between the theory of economics and the complexities within economics.

        You are complaining “Gee, BF, mathematics has all these equations, and terms and formulas and symbols – why do you keep saying the theory of mathematics starts with the definition of “One”?

        • BF

          Actually that is NOT what I am asking and I am NOT complaining about anything.

          I asked you to explain why your definition of a “word” is different than the accepted one. You say they are the same but your citation and mine seem to say something else.

          So that leaves only that you arrived at this definition via your own synthesis. I am not arguing yours is right or wrong. Only that the original debate (you, Todd and Buck) appeared to be caused by two different views of the word “market” and thus had no possible resolution.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Can’t speak for Todd, but for my own view of how many people you need for a ‘market’:

            You need more than 2 people to have a market. There must be either:

            1 willing seller and 1+ willing buyer, OR
            1+ willing seller and 1 willing buyer

            Otherwise all you have is a transaction between two people (which is perhaps a cornerstone of a market, but not a market in and of itself).

            Hope that clarifies where I was coming from to put an end to this silly debate! 🙂

          • JAC,

            Start with Buck – to his credit, he has actually provided a coherent hypothesis – though, as we will see, fundamentally incorrect.

            What will be interesting, though, is even if we assume this incorrect hypothesis, because the basics of the market exists in even a simpler form (the two-person exchange), the hypothesis of Buck will show much validity in understanding the Free Market as well since the Free Market is infinitely scalable

            It is the scalability of the Free Market that makes Buck’s “close but not quite” hypothesis still work.

  86. Buck,

    So let’s go through your theory.

    Condition:
    1 seller, 1 buyer, 1 observer.
    What economic theory pertains to this arrangement?
    If the exchange occurs, what did the observer do to influence the exchange?
    If the exchange does not occur, what did the observer do to influence the exchange?
    How did the seller and the buyer come to terms?

    Condition:
    1 sellers, 1 buyer, 1 unsuccessful buyer or seller.
    If the exchange occurs, what did the “other” do to influence the exchange?
    If the exchange does not occur, what did the other” do to influence the exchange?
    How did the eventual seller and the buyer come to terms?

    • Truthseeker says:

      BF, I believe it only requires 1 person to create a market. It does require atleast 2 people to make a transaction. For example:

      1 farmer sells his goods. 1 buyer shows up and decides to purchase a few things.

      The farmer created his own market so that a buyer or buyers could purchase goods. Creating your own market doesn’t mean there will be buyers. New markets (or stuff) is created everyday. Whether or not it is successful is not the point.

      I am correct?

  87. JAC
    mar·ket (märkt)
    n.
    1. A public gathering held for buying and selling merchandise.
    2. A place where goods are offered for sale.
    3. A store or shop that sells a particular type of merchandise: a vegetable market.
    4.
    a. The business of buying and selling a specified commodity: the soybean market.
    b. A market price.
    c. A geographic region considered as a place for sales: grain for the foreign market; the West Coast market.
    d. A subdivision of a population considered as buyers: cosmetics for the upscale market.
    5. The opportunity to buy or sell; extent of demand for merchandise: a big market for gourmet foods.
    6.
    a. An exchange for buying and selling stocks or commodities: securities sold on the New York market.
    b. The entire enterprise of buying and selling commodities and securities: The market has been slow recently.
    v. mar·ket·ed, mar·ket·ing, mar·kets
    v.tr.
    1. To offer for sale.
    2. To sell.
    v.intr.
    1. To deal in a market.
    2. To buy household supplies: We marketed for a special Sunday dinner.
    Idioms:
    in the market
    Interested in buying: We are in the market for a used car.
    on the market
    1. Available for buying: Many kinds of seasonal flowers are on the market.
    2. Up for sale: They put the family business on the market.

    In these series of definitions, please locate a definition the determines numbers.

  88. JAC,

    From Rothbard

    “The Free market is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is undertaken as a voluntary agreement between two people or between groups of people represented by agents. These two individuals (or agents) exchange two economic goods, either tangible commodities or nontangible service.

    Please note his particular explanation only addresses TWO people – buyer and seller.

    Further, an “array” can have one cell (that is, 1×1)

    Market “complexities” expand as further “cells” to an array – increasing the complexities of the marketplace itself with concepts of “competition”, for example.

    • BF

      Please note Rothbard’s use of the word “exchanges”, as in PLURAL. And then his immediate reference to “each exchange” as part of the “array of exchanges”, again PLURAL.

      I get it BF. You have a different definition of “market” than most of the rest of us.

      I see nothing that leads me to believe that most economists would agree with your use of the term. While at the same time many, if not most, would agree with your scaling from individual utility and trade between two people to the larger market of many trades by many people.

      • JAC,

        *sigh*

        He is explicit.
        You want to play word games.
        I am not interested.

        Please note Rothbard’s use of the word “exchanges”, as in PLURAL. And then his immediate reference to “each exchange” as part of the “array of exchanges”, again PLURAL.

        You are running in circles chasing your own tail.

        Let me help.

        Please describe the different set of economic laws that pertain to the size of your “market” vs. my minimum of two.

        I get it BF. You have a different definition of “market” than most of the rest of us.

        The “most of the rest of you” are economic illiterates.

        It is you who misunderstands the economic theory, not I.

        I see nothing that leads me to believe that most economists would agree with your use of the term.

        Go ask an economist, whoever you wish, this question:
        “What is the minimum size of population that makes a market”

        Come back to me with your answer, since you have refused mine.

        • I refuse your question because it is irrelevant.

          Given your entire approach here, including your condescending attitude, I must say it seems that you accuse others of word games when the words don’t fit your argument but when they do fit it is an epiphany or some proof of absolute truth.

          Once again, I have not challenged your definition. I do challenge your claim that it is the commonly accepted definition. I still maintain that this was the primary source of the endless argument you had with Todd and Buck. And now you seem to want to continue with me.

          I am arguing A and you are arguing B. These are arguments about two entirely different things. Thus, there is no resolution possible.

          • JAC

            I refuse your question because it is irrelevant.

            Again you err.

            A definition must have application, or it is pointless.

            If “your definition” is applied as mine is applied, where mine is simpler yours is merely a complexity over the fundamental – which is my point regarding math.

            And that is the case here.

            Since the application of economic theory applies to the lowest common situation – mine – that becomes the ROOT of the discussion – and not your mere “more complex” calculation.

          • JAC,

            your condescending attitude

            I am not condescending.

            I do not suffer ignorance resisting understanding.

            If your definition is applicable – then apply it, and see if it is more fundamental then my definition.

            If your definition provides no more than mine, but mine is more basic, yours merely a more complex definition over a fundamental.

            This is NOT condescending -but knowledge over ignorance.

  89. JAC – Buck,

    The market can be seen as an auction – buyers and sellers meet to bid on goods – highest bid wins.

    Question:
    If only one buyer shows up, is it still an auction?
    Does the highest bid still win?
    Can the seller agree or disagree with the bid?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      1) Don’t know if I would still call it an auction.
      2) Not really highest bid wins; more along the lines of lowest bid that seller is willing to accept wins.
      3) Depends on the rules of the ‘auction’

      • Buck

        1) Don’t know if I would still call it an auction.

        What is an auction?

        What would you call this, then?

        2) Not really highest bid wins; more along the lines of lowest bid that seller is willing to accept wins.

        That is the definition of “highest bid”, Buck.

        “The highest bid that the seller accepts.”

        3) Depends on the rules of the ‘auction’

        Assume voluntary agreement.

        Thanks for the response! We are making progress

        • Buck the Wala says:

          You’re getting a bit carried away with all this BF. I agree that a transaction between two people – the buyer and seller – does have the elements of a market. But a single transaction in a vaccuum (with no other transactions for the same type of good, or with no other prospective buyers and/or sellers) is not a market. It is a transaction.

          Let me ask you this. What is the difference, to you, between a ‘market’ and a ‘transaction’?

          I’ll try to check back in on this later, but I’m off work today (feeling a bit under the weather) and have some errands to take care of with the Mrs…

  90. JAC, Buck

    Ok, since you guys dispute this site’s “economist” on definition of a market, I have posted the question to my Austrian PhD. Economist.

    I will honestly repost his response here.
    Will you accept?

    • The post:
      A discussion of “Free Market” suddenly revolves around “What size of population makes a ‘market'”?

      My argument:
      A “Free Market” exists today. Wherever a voluntary trade occurs between two people, free from coercion, a ‘Free Market’ exists.

      The dispute: “Two people do not make a market”
      My response: “Then how many people are required to make a ‘market’?”

      I say: – 2 or more –

      They say: some number more than two.

      What say you?

      • BF

        So you asked a question based on your definition.

        Sorry but wrong question. Why don’t you send your friend this question.

        Please define market.

        Please define free market.

        • JAC,

          You are appealing to simpletons.

          He is not interested.

        • JAC,

          Having FUN yet?

          • Todd

            This ain’t my first rodeo.

            Although I am starting to feel a bit tired. Think I will retire for the evening and dream of all the productive things I should have been doing this evening.

            Happy dreams

            • Todd

              P.S. The sad part is that I think his discussion with you and Buck could have been very enlightening and productive with just a slight change in the approach.

              Perhaps something along the lines of : “well if you think about it, a market is really just an accumulation of many transactions. So a single transaction could be considered a market. And if there is no interference then it would be considered a free market. Since we know such transactions exist we can conclude that free markets have and currently exist.”

              Heh, heh, heh. Sorry, just couldn’t resist.

              Again, good night.

              • JAC,
                At some point it seemed like the discussion just took sharp turn off a cliff. I answered BF’s question that it takes two to create a market, because at it’s very basic level, that’s what it is. But I would agree that is really a transaction, with a market (at least how MOST people were talking about it this past week) as being a collection of transactions.

                Example: If I bought a LOAD OF MANURE from you 😉 , we just completed a transaction in a temporary market that was created by our transaction.

                Good night!

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Holy Cow! I can teach a first grader this and get better results. In the simplest form Flag is right. We use it where I live all the time.

        Now all this other stuff is caused by allowing government into the situation, which would certainly change the meaning of free market. But even that can be worked around, it’s called the Black market. Which is a true free market because it eliminates government.

        Truth be known, I’ll take my version of free market, that’s easy, no government interference involved. Once govt is involved, while it may still be considered free, there is an outside force that helps shape prices.

  91. Gman,
    OMG, you were right – the 2012 elections have been cancelled!!

    http://www.borowitzreport.com/

  92. Todd,

    we just completed a transaction in a temporary market that was created by our transaction

    It is no more temporary then your existence.

  93. JAC, Todd,

    You are starting to “get it”.

    Think the analogy of math.
    There is the underlying theories.
    Then there are the mechanics.

    The Market represents the underlying theories.
    The Transaction is one of the mechanics.

  94. Buck,

    I think I laid out the understanding of market and transaction right above this post here.

    “Market” is analogous to “Mathematics”
    “Transaction” is analogous to “Addition”

    When we talk “Market” we talk about the understanding the underlying economic theories.

    When we talk “Transaction” we are talking about applying the theories.

    Example:
    “Free market” exists were the exchange of goods is voluntary based on value.

    The transaction requires each participant to assign a “price” to the goods subject to trade.

    In this example, the “Free Market” exchange of good does not necessarily describe a pricing mechanism – it merely says that some way to measure value is necessary.

    The transaction creates a necessity of pricing this value.

    You’re getting a bit carried away with all this BF. I agree that a transaction between two people – the buyer and seller – does have the elements of a market. But a single transaction in a vaccuum (with no other transactions for the same type of good, or with no other prospective buyers and/or sellers) is not a market. It is a transaction.

    Again, then, I ask what makes “a market” to you?

    We went through the series of questions of your “3 person” problem. If you go through the exercise, you find there is no difference in outcome between the situations buyer/seller/observer and buyer/seller/loser.

    Thus, the complexity you introduce does nothing to the theory – except add complexity.

  95. JAC,

    The answer from my PhD. friend:

    There must be a division of labor and a potential for an exchange for a “market” to exist.

    • BF

      That was the entire answer?

      Seems pretty obtuse to me.

      For example, two farmers decide to trade property. Say a prize young bull for a plow that is better than the one already owned.

      Where is the “division of labor”?

    • Black Flag,
      I guess it’s not just you, because your friend seems to suffer from the same affliction you do – unable to answer a simple question…

      I’m thinking this “Austrian PhD. Economist” friend of yours is just another one of your multiple personalities…

    • I think we have to start using multiple choice questions…

  96. Just A Citizen

    For example, two farmers decide to trade property. Say a prize young bull for a plow that is better than the one already owned.
    Where is the “division of labor”?

    One man raised a young bull.
    The other man built a new plow.

    The man with the bull did not build the plow.
    The man with the plow did not raise the bull.

    Each man divided the labor of building a plow and raising a bull between them.

    • BF

      Both men have bulls and both have plows.

      One likes the other guys bull better.

      The other likes the other guys plow better.

      They decide to trade.

      No division of labor here. As I said, the guys answer was obtuse.

      • JAC,
        You do not understand the meaning of “division of labor”.

        One guy does not have “THAT” bull.
        One guy does not have “THAT” plow.

        It does not matter that they have other bulls or plows.

        Each man -for his own reasons- has valued THAT bull and THAT plow and wish to trade.

        The man who did not have “THAT” plow did not build “THAT” plow, and would rather trade for it, then build it. He feels his effort is best allocated elsewhere then building THAT plow.

        The man who did not have “THAT” bull does not want to raise “THAT” bull, and would rather trade for it. He feels his effort is best allocated elsewhere than raising THAT bull.

        Division of labor is also scalable. Often you have heard me describe Western Society’s economy as one with “a high division of labor“.

        This means even more specialization in the effort of labor than -say- Somalia, where there is a lower division of labor, thus, less specialization.

        But those comments are comments of scale and scope. Both western society and Somalia have “markets”.

        • Further, there is a direct and fundamental correlation between prosperity and wealth and the division of labor.

          The more specialized the labor, the more profitable its exercise.

          The more profitable, the more prosperity.

          Thus, societies with a high division of labor are more prosperous than one with a low division of labor.

  97. Todd

    Black Flag,
    I guess it’s not just you, because your friend seems to suffer from the same affliction you do – unable to answer a simple question…
    I’m thinking this “Austrian PhD. Economist” friend of yours is just another one of your multiple personalities…

    I think he answered your simple question perfectly.
    Perhaps you do not understand the answer.

  98. Black Flag,
    So, back to the example of me buying a computer. The parties involved were:

    1. Me – buyer
    2. Best Buy – seller
    3. State – Sales tax
    4. County – Sales tax

    Does this fit the definition of a Free Market? Why or Why Not?

    • Todd,

      So breakdown the transactions.

      You buy from the computer dealer for a price that you determine has value – wholly voluntary, hence a free market.

      Seller -AFTER YOUR SALE- pays tax to the government – not a free market.

      • How come my purchase of the computer is considered a “free market?”

        Best Buy advertises the computer for sale for $500.
        The sign on the shelf says $500.

        But when I get to the checkout, I have to pay $527.50.
        The tax is not voluntary.

        There is a “gun to my head” – if I want to buy that computer, I have to pay the tax.
        If I pay the $500 and try to leave, I’ll be arrested.

        • Truthseeker says:

          Your purchase is considered a “free market” because you were not forced to buy that particular computer, or a computer at all. You freely dediced, without cooercion, to purchase a computer of your choice. Nobody forced you to buy a computer nor forced you to buy a particular one.

          Paying tax is a choice you make because you fear the consequences of the government using violence on you (non-violent).

          • Truthseeker,
            Did you read the last sentence you wrote???

            If I’m paying the tax because I fear the consequences of the government using violence on me (non-violent), how is that a free market? Or a choice?

            If I choose to not buy the computer because of the tax, government has interfered with and influenced the market.

            • Todd,

              Your analysis is backwards.

              You, the buyer, do not fear the tax.

              You, the buyer, evaluates the price of the offer to the value you hold.

              You measure your cost to the gains of the solution offered.

              Your ‘fear’ exists regardless of tax or no tax. It is “can I afford this solution?”

              The tax DOES influence the seller!
              He has to measure “can I offer my product for a profit at this price I must sell”.

              If his costs with no tax is profitable, but his costs plus tax is unprofitable, he will not enter THIS market, and search for another market.

              But again, this analysis is equally the same for costs of transportation: I can sell here for a profit, but if I have to cart my product over there and pay shipping, it is unprofitable.

              As you can see the substitution is valid.
              In this matter, Tax is a cost to the seller, not forced on a buyer.

  99. Truthseeker says:

    Posting down here if you missed this BF:

    BF, I believe it only requires 1 person to create a market. It does require atleast 2 people to make a transaction. For example:

    1 farmer sells his goods. 1 buyer shows up and decides to purchase a few things.

    The farmer created his own market so that a buyer or buyers could purchase goods. Creating your own market doesn’t mean there will be buyers. New markets (or stuff) is created everyday. Whether or not it is successful is not the point.

    Am I correct?

    • TS,
      There must be a division of labor and a potential for an exchange

      When I say it takes “at least two”, it is a praxelogical statement. That is, “The entire size of society is only two people”, would there be a market?

      So praxalogically, the entire size of your society is “1”. He is Robinson Crusoe. For him, there is no need to create any economy since there is no need to allocate resources. He has 100% of all the allocation. There is no potential for exchange as there is no one there to exchange with.

      It is when there is another person demanding access to those same scarce resources that an economy -and hence a market – is has a POTENTIAL to be created because some means of allocation is MAYBE necessary.

      What are the conditional possibilities?
      (1) RC stays on his side of the island and Friday stays on his side.
      There is no market and no economy. There is might be a division of labor (there might not be, also) but there is no opportunity for trade.

      (2) Friday attacks RC and steals RC goods.
      There is no market and no economy. There is no division of labor. RC does all the work, and Friday steals it.

      (3a)However, if Friday creates a “Rent” scenario, and trades “peace” and “protection” for goods, you could argue that an economy and market has been created, but it is certainly not a “Free” market.

      (3b)RC and Friday trade goods. Now there is an economy and a market.

  100. Todd

    How come my purchase of the computer is considered a “free market?”

    Truthseeker’s response is correct.

    Your transaction is with the computer seller.
    He has offered a price – and that price “all in” is lower than the value you hold for that computer.

    Whether the cost is $550 or $600 to you is a matter of negotiation. You do not care how the dealer spends his money – you only care to get the computer at the lowest price possible.

    How he allocates his money is irrelevant to you. It is not your money after the sale.

    Best Buy advertises the computer for sale for $500.
    The sign on the shelf says $500.

    But when I get to the checkout, I have to pay $527.50.
    The tax is not voluntary.

    Consider if Best Buy advertised each component indidiviually. Would you suggest that because you need to buy a hard drive cable so that your hard disk can work – you were “forced” to buy the hard drive cable? No. It is merely a cost to the whole unit you call a computer.

    You do not look at the components = you are buying a solution to a problem at a price, and you voluntarily paid that price, and the seller voluntarily delivered the solution.

    Indeed, it is the seller who suffers, not you.

    You have already valued the computer at $550. If you did not you would have walked away. So you have calculated the value of the computer to be higher then $550.

    The seller was merely adamant that he would not sell less than $550. Whatever his excuse for not lowering his price is irrelevant. That is the price.

    But the seller is forced to take from what would have been his profit to pay the government. This is NOT a “free market” here at all. It is he who risks severe consequences, not you.

  101. BF, Todd, Truthseeker

    My two cents:

    The transaction between the buyer and the computer owner is a free transaction.

    The final purchase of the computer is NOT a free transaction.

    There are at the core, two separate transactions here. The taxes paid by the computer owner is NOT a transaction, or free market per BF. The taxes are imposed by the Govt without choice or agreement by either the owner or buyer.

    The taxes paid by the owner is not a free transaction nor even a market. The owner is simply forced to act as the tax collector and then transfers the collection to the govt. Nothing is received in return for this payment, except a stay out of jail card.

    The entire tax event fails to meet BF’s own definition of market. It is not an exchange of property between two parties and it does not involve division of labor. Unless you want to count Govt itself as a division of labor.

    • JAC,

      One can argue -under the economy theory called “Economic Rent”- that there was an exchange between Gov and Seller – that if Gov perceives it “owns” the economy, it has traded a tribute from the seller for the “right” to the seller to participate.

      It would not be a “Free” market, but arguably a “market” nonetheless.

      • BF

        The “Rent” is not extracted from the Seller but from the Buyer.

        The Seller simply collects the rent.

        Your argument might hold for “income tax” but not for “sales tax”. At least with respect to the Seller.

        • JAC,

          Your analysis is incorrect.

          It is extracted from the Seller out of his profit.

          For example, what if the Seller said “Buy the computer today and I will pay the tax!” as a tool to motivate your purchase? Would you say now “Yea! I didn’t pay the tax!”.

          But actually all the seller did is drop the price by the percentage of the tax. The Seller must still pay the tax.

          Could you take the computer out of the store for $550? No. To take it, Todd had to pay $570, because that is what the seller demanded. If Todd plucked down $550 and walked out, he would be charged with theft … of the computer, not a “failure to pay sales tax”.

          Don’t get messed up with the slight of hand. The buyer never “Pays” the tax. He pays for the computer.

          Out of the monies the seller receives, the seller pays the tax.

          Now, if you made the scenario that after you obtained the computer, the government came to your door and demanded a fee for you using your computer, you would be correct that THIS is a cost on the buyer, not on the seller.

          In that scenario, the seller has his money and you have left the store with the computer. He does not care any more what happens to that computer or whatever other transactions you make for the rest of your life – whether you buy a cup of coffee or pay off a murderer, he doesn’t care.

  102. Todd,

    We are talking about the “minimum size” necessary to create a market. That size is “two”.

    ——————-

    We can address your example many ways but generally fall into two categories:

    (1) Aggregate or Specific

    If we take your series of actions in Aggregate -as you have done- you can say “there are examples of coercion” – thus, in aggregate, this is not a “Free” market, but something else.

    We can -equally- take components and say “Here, this was a Free market, but there, it was not”.

    We can do this on any scale. Example: you can view the economics of the Nation, and as you proclaim, this is not a “free market”. But within the Nation, we can view examples the size of a state, or a county or a city or a community or a neighborhood, etc. and make different proclamations, with different caveats and adjectives to describe the “market” contained within them too.

    Thus, in the Soviet Union, it was NOT a free market. But on the street, there was a “Free” market – commonly referred to by the government as the “Black Market”, wholly contained within the Soviet Union.

    There are reasons we wish to do adjust our “scale” of economic theory – so to understand economics.

    I am sure in school you heard of “Macro and Micro” economic theories.

    Whereas I do not subscribe to any theory that there are “two” concurrent economic theories that operate depending on scale – the concept that one can disassemble a complex economic scenario into actions between individuals as a means to understand larger economic interactions is valid.

    In other words, what we learn from the economic behavior between two individuals can be equally applied should the situation be equal to larger numbers. Of course, most of the time, the situation is not necessarily equal, so we must be careful of making certain conclusions. Further, this also means that much of the dialogue is theoretical and technical – providing a baseline to the most optimum organizational structures.

    From these theoretical baselines, we can then make such statements as: “the consequences of this “action” will DEGRADE the economy away from its optimum”

  103. Black Flag,
    Normally, you’re constantly point out how government interferes with and distorts markets, using violence and theft. And now you’re going to great lengths to minimize or ignore the impact of government in this market. You are contradicting yourself.

    The tax is not paid by the Seller. It is paid by the Buyer. The Seller simply collects the tax from the Buyer and sends it to the government.

    The price the Seller has offered is only “all in” because the Buyer has no choice but to pay the tax.

    Consider if Best Buy advertised each component indidiviually. Would you suggest that because you need to buy a hard drive cable so that your hard disk can work – you were “forced” to buy the hard drive cable? No. It is merely a cost to the whole unit you call a computer.

    You’re comparing apples and oranges. I need a hard drive cable for the computer to function. I do not need to pay sales tax to make the computer work. I only need to pay it to stay out of jail.

    But the seller is forced to take from what would have been his profit to pay the government. This is NOT a “free market” here at all. It is he who risks severe consequences, not you.

    The Buyer is forced to pay the tax.
    The Seller is forced to collect the tax and send to the government.
    Both are under threat from the government.
    Neither part of this transaction is a free market.

    I would also question if the “transaction” between the Seller and government is a “market”. Yes, 2 parties. But it is not an exchange between the 2 parties. One party (government) forces the other party (Seller) to hand over money.

    It’s not a market – it’s violent evil under threat.

    “Macro and Micro” economic theories…“the consequences of this “action” will DEGRADE the economy away from its optimum”

    Understand and agree.

    But actually all the seller did is drop the price by the percentage of the tax. The Seller must still pay the tax.

    Yes, the Seller must pay the tax. But so must the Buyer.

    Could you take the computer out of the store for $550? No. To take it, Todd had to pay $570, because that is what the seller demanded.

    Man, inflation is occurring right here before my eyes. Actually, I could have taken the computer out of the store for $550. $527.50 to be exact!! 😉 😉

    If Todd plucked down $550 and walked out, he would be charged with theft … of the computer, not a “failure to pay sales tax”.

    This is just a consequence of how the laws are written. They are written in favor of the government – so the Seller looks bad, not the government. Common Black Flag – this is YOUR argument!!

    I find it hard to believe that I’m sitting here making all the arguments that you usually make. I suspect that your next comment is going to be “see – I was just leading you down the trail to prove government is evil”…

    This is truly one of the most bizarre discussion I’ve ever had here…

  104. Todd,

    Au contraire, sir – I am not a demagogue – I know where government acts and where it does not act. I understand some of the consequences of those actions in great detail.

    I do not apply violence where violence is not applied, physically or philosophically or economically.

    Government is not God that exists everywhere all the time. In fact, it is a small group that by the use or threat of violence magnifies its impact.

    You are contradicting yourself.

    You do not understand what a contradiction means.

    Saying “This is black and white at the same time” is a contradiction.

    Saying “This thing is black and that thing is white” is not a contradiction.

    Saying that “This thing is sometimes black and sometimes white” is not a contradiction.

    The tax is not paid by the Seller. It is paid by the Buyer. The Seller simply collects the tax from the Buyer and sends it to the government.

    From your perspective then, the Seller pays for nothing and the Buyer pays for everything, including the labor, disk drives, controllers, chips, board, plastic, the oil to make the plastic, the transportation, the food the driver of the truck ate, the truck driver’s house, his car, his kids education,….

    In other words, your perspective is pointless. It describes nothing, it evaluates nothing, nothing can be learned or understood. Your economic model here is has zero dimensions.

    Further, I have already posted to JAC the arguments, with examples. Nothing you have presented impacts my arguments at all.

    The price the Seller has offered is only “all in” because the Buyer has no choice but to pay the tax.

    Of course you have a choice. It is called “NO SALE”.
    It is the same choice the buyer has no matter how the Seller builds his pricing model.

    Whether the seller creates a Chinese menu, or bundles, or a host of other mechanisms, you-the Buyer- has the final say. “Yes, I will buy at that price” or “No, I will not buy at that price”.

    Note: it does not matter what excuse the seller uses for creating the price.

    Would you say that the Buyer is “forced” to pay a fee if the Buyer said

    “Here is my price for the computer. I will negotiate here. But I will not negotiate on the price of the card board box that the computer is shipped in. You have to pay $5 for that if you buy my computer.”

    Would you be fooled in thinking that you are “forced” to buy the cardboard box so you can get your computer?

    No. The price that you pay is for a concept called a Solution. In the single matter of your computer, you are not buying a hard drive. It does -in of itself- solve your problem. You are not buying a cardboard box. It does -in of itself- solve your problem.

    You buy solutions to your problems.

    The price you pay for that solution means you value the solution more than the goods (in this case, currency) you traded.

    You’re comparing apples and oranges. I need a hard drive cable for the computer to function. I do not need to pay sales tax to make the computer work. I only need to pay it to stay out of jail.

    Not true.

    You do need to pay the price the seller is asking or you do not get the computer. Period.

    YOU WILL NOT GO TO JAIL for failing to pay the tax. He will.

    YOU WILL GO TO JAIL for trying to take the computer without paying for it IN FULL – that is, the price demanded by the seller.

    Again, test this.
    Say the seller does part out his computer, then totals the bottom line.

    You say “I will not pay any money for the hard drive” and deduct it from the total – BUT YOU KEEP THE HARD DRIVE.

    The seller refuses your offer. He demands that you pay his bottom line.

    Now, alternatively, you deduct the price of the hard drive and say “Take out the hard drive” – if the seller refuses to do this, and you take out the hard drive, throw down the cash (minus the hard drive cost) and try to leave you are still stealing because the seller has not agreed to this deal.

    No matter how you manipulate the scenario, the cost of the computer is the price the Seller says it is.

    You have only three choices:
    (1) Let’s make a deal (negotiate)
    (2) Here is my money (buy)
    (3) No thanks (not buy)

    But in the end you pay what the seller asks if you want to solve your problem with his solution.

    The Buyer is forced to pay the tax.

    This is completely false.
    He does not have to pay that tax.
    He does not have to buy.

    The seller, by his existence (that is why he is called a seller) is trying to sell his goods.
    He cannot sell without paying the tax.

    Both are under threat from the government.

    Not true.

    I can buy my computer where I wish, including other markets.

    One party (government) forces the other party (Seller) to hand over money.

    Not true.
    For example, if the seller sells out side the local tax authority, he does not need to pay the tax in that other tax jurisdiction.

    For example, if he sells to France, he does not pay the French sales tax. In this case you are correct – the buyer pays the tax.

    Why is this different?

    First what is the same:
    The seller -in both cases- has all his money before he “ships” the computer In your case, you take the computer in hand, in the second, FedEx takes the computer on behalf of the buyer. The seller has the money in hand.

    What is different:
    Who pays the tax! In your example, the seller is compelled to pay the tax after you leave his store. It comes out of his revenue.

    In the 2nd, the French man pays the tax. The government holds hostage the computer until the buyer pays the tribute.

    NOTE: The seller here couldn’t care less the difficulties of the buyer. He is NOT part of that transaction. If the buyer does not pay the tribute and does not get the computer, the seller still has the money.

    NOTE: In your example, its the other way around. The seller has to pay the tax. If he doesn’t, the government seizes his store. You do not care. You have your computer.

    • Black Flag,
      In your own words, in several places:

      Of course you have a choice. It is called “NO SALE”.

      the Buyer asks “can I afford this solution?”

      He does not have to buy.

      If the Buyer does not make the purchase because of the tax, government has influenced the market.
      If the Buyer does make the purchase with the tax, government has influenced the market by removing scarce resources from the Buyer (or if you insist – Seller – still applies).

      Blah, Blah, Blah…man this is tiring.

      Ok – you win – I guess government isn’t EVIL and VIOLENT after all. I feel so SILLY for thinking that…

      • Todd,

        In your own words, in several places:

        Of course you have a choice. It is called “NO SALE”.

        the Buyer asks “can I afford this solution?”

        He does not have to buy.

        If the Buyer does not make the purchase because of the tax, government has influenced the market.

        I understand your confusion. You do not approach the problem with an economic mind, but believe that a price of a good is based on its cost.

        But it is not.

        A price of the good is based on its value

        You probably still do not understand the difference.

        If my price is higher than the value assigned to it by the buyer there is no sale.

        Only if my price is lower than the value assigned to it by the buyer there is a sale.

        There are many costs imputed to a product. The seller must attribute his revenue and/or his saved or borrowed capital to his costs.

        Any increase in costs will effect his profitability.

        But none of this changes the relationship of voluntary trade between him and his buyer

        Blah, Blah, Blah…man this is tiring.

        Yes, learning is hard work. For some people it appears learning is also unnatural.

        Ok – you win – I guess government isn’t EVIL and VIOLENT after all. I feel so SILLY for thinking that…

        Government is evil and violent – by definition

        Nothing has changed in these definitions.

      • Todd,

        I see you avoided any dialogue regarding my French example – which conclusively demonstrates my point of where and under what circumstances the payment of tax is allocated.

    • BF

      Sales tax is NOT paid from the sellers profits!!

      • JAC,

        It is paid from the seller’s revenue.

        If the price was the same, but there was no tax, the amount would go to the seller’s profit.

        It is a small intellectual step then to walk backwards and say the seller has lost profit due to the tax.

        • BF

          It would be a FALSE argument. But apparently you can’t understand that.

          If the tax did not exist the cost would have been the original price, which was lower.

          • JAC,

            You cannot make this claim.

            We know -for fact of this example- that the buyer valued the computer at $527.50 ( according to Todd 😉 ).

            We know this because that is what he paid.

            That means, without the tax, he would have paid that amount too.

            The value he implied to the computer does not change.

            The computer did not become more valuable with the tax.

            The tax provided no capability or solved his problem better.

            So the price he paid is because he measured the value of the machine to be greater than $527.50.

            If he did not value the machine at this price, or lower, then he would have walked away.

            You, like Todd, suffer from “cost plus” economic theory of pricing and value.

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