Fair Share….What Is It and Who Determines

“FAIR SHARE!”, shouts the POTUS from the pulpit of politics. Standing behind a podium with a Presidential Seal that allows this mantra to spew forth, the POTUS fixes his glance…it is not about Class Warfare (as he stifles the ever present snicker), it is math. This from the lips of a man that cannot add numbers to reach two much less understand the concepts of math. It is clear that he took the same math class that Warren Buffet has taken. BUT, class warfare is a subject of another time. So, what is exactly “fair share”?

What is fair? How about D13’s definition……………..“free from favor toward either or any side.” I have always been taught that this is what fair is. When I looked up the definition in various dictionaries, I found that each dictionary had at least 11 different scenarios of the word fair ( ie. Fair winds, fair skies, a lady fair) but when it comes to taxes it seems the definition has taken on a metamorphosis and myriad of definitions. I think it means take from those that have and give to those that do not. It means redistribution. It means theft.

Now, for the sake of BF and others that view taxes as a form of theft, please take into consideration for the purposes of this article, that taxes are the reality of the times we are now facing. Like it or not, taxes are the cost of society. But what is, exactly, a fair share? I still like…….free from favor towards either or any side.

I can just see General Grant, while observing the battlefield at Gettysburg, saying to his CIC (commander in Chief)…” You know Abe….we outnumber the Confederates four to one and have four times the number of supplies and materials, would it not be fair for us to back off and give the confederates some of our men and materials so that the fight would be more equal?”

I can see the Boston Red Sox coach, lamenting the spiral dive at the end of his 2011 season, surmising…the Yankees have so many more wins, I think it is only right that they give their fair share of wins to make it a more equitable race to the pennant.

Outlandish examples to be sure but is it any more outlandish an example where taxes are concerned? I know that there are those that will say where taxes are concerned it is different. It is different in that the rules of fairness must be changed. It simply is not fair for someone to be able to have more than anyone else. So, D13 takes a look at fair share.

But first, I must state that before any of you come to me with this Warren Buffet statement, let us put it into context. His comment was so drastically flawed it was laughable. According to his own accountant, Mr. Buffet paid greater than ten times the amount of tax his secretary did. He paid a marginal tax rate of 35%. In addition, he paid a 15 % tax rate on investment income (capital gains). He was actually double taxed because he paid an extra 15% off money that he already paid 35% on. So, for the sake of argument, Mr Buffet is full of misdirected hot air…..or, as we call it in Texas, bull shit.

Now, on to the fair share of taxes. Do we define fair in the amount of dollars? Do we define fair in percentage taken? How do we define fair? Let’s take a look at the 2011 tax code. I see a progressive tax rate beginning at 10% rising to 35% based on income levels. First question that needs to be asked…is that even fair? Is this free from favor and imbalance? Why is it “fair” to have a higher tax rate than anyone else? It seems to me that fairness needs to be measured from favor and imbalance.

I hear much about the Bush tax cuts. So, consider this, from the US Department of Treasury. “Under the U.S. income tax system, most of the taxes collected are supposed to be paid by the people who make the most money. Thanks to President Bush’s tax cuts, that is exactly the way the system works, says the U.S. Treasury Department.” What? How can that be? The Liberal Left says it isn’t happening this way but their beloved government says otherwise.

US Treasury Department further advises, “the top 5 percent of taxpayers paid more than one-half (53.8 percent) of all individual income taxes, but reported roughly one-third (30.6 percent) of income.” This is fairness? How is it so? What happened to equal?

The US Treasury Dept. goes on to say, “The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 33.7 percent of all individual income taxes. This group of taxpayers has paid more than 30 percent of individual income taxes since 1995. Moreover, since 1990 this group’s tax share has grown faster than their income share. Taxpayers who rank in the top 50 percent of taxpayers by income pay virtually all individual income taxes. In all years since 1990, taxpayers in this group have paid over 94 percent of all individual income taxes. Since 2000, 2001, and 2002, this group paid over 96 percent of the total.” Where is the fairness in this? What happened to equality? Where are the rest of the tax payers?

The US Treasury Dept. continues, “Treasury Department analysts credit President Bush’s tax cuts with shifting a larger share of the individual income taxes paid to higher income taxpayers. In 2005, says the Treasury, when most of the tax cut provisions are fully in effect (e.g., lower tax rates, the $1,000 child credit, marriage penalty relief), the projected tax share for lower-income taxpayers will fall, while the tax share for higher-income taxpayers will rise. The share of taxes paid by the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers will fall from 4.1 percent to 3.6 percent. The share of taxes paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers will rise from 32.3 percent to 33.7 percent. The average tax rate for the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers falls by 27 percent as compared to a 13 percent decline for taxpayers in the top 1 percent.”

I have a question. Why doesn’t EVERYBODY share equal? After all, we all have the same government services available to us……or do we? ( Yet, another discussion ). Just because someone makes more, why is it they should shoulder more? I disagree with this BUT…..ok. Let us now go to the flat tax. No one YET has given me a reason why a flat tax would not be fair? It would sure simplify the tax code (probably put accountants and tax lawyers out of business). But simple math can answer this.

For ease of application, let us set the income tax code to a flat 10% of ordinary income.

Hmmmm…..Joe Tent Peg makes $25,000 per year, he pays $2,500 to the Uncle Sammy Boy. Colonel Piston Engine makes $250,000 per year, Uncle Sammie taps him for $25,000. Jimmy Jet Bomber does even better and makes a whopping $500,000 per year and pays his duty of $50,000 in taxes. Where is the fairness in taking 35% simply because Jimmy Jet Bomber is more fortunate? It is ridiculous.

Please save me the diatribe of impact on those earning less. That is coffee house bullshit. With a flat rate, when income goes up…taxes go up. When income goes down, taxes go down. If I can afford to eat steak, and someone else has to settle for hamburger…..what is wrong with this? So what if Jimmy Jet drives a brand new Mercedes and Joe Tent drives a Prius.

Joe Tent needs to make more money.

But let us delve even further into the redistribution or fair share crapola. Where is the fairness in reducing or eliminating the deductions for charitable contributions for the wealthy but not eliminating them for the less wealthy? You want to eliminate deductions? GREAT !!! I am all for it……but do it across the board….for everybody. That is fairness. But before you eliminate all the deductions for charitable contributions, you better, it does not take rocket science to determine who makes the most contributions.

What about the fairness in corporate taxes? Want to tax corporate income. Tax it. EQUAL. Do not want to allow deductions. Cool….NO ONE gets them. There are no special cases. This is fairness. Remember your little buddy Immelt? The man that you appointed as jobs czar? You know the one. The two faced lying son of a b**** that sent 40,000 jobs to China while trying to make a jobs plan here. Yes, him.

Why is it that there seems to be no consternation about GE’s sheltering of 3.4 BILLION dollars in off shore accounts? And why is it that he, Immelt, has invested 4 billion in China and then tears into American mom and pops and small corps for not doing more? FairShare? Better yet, where is the outrage, Mr. Fairness? Why have you sent federal agents into Gibson Guitar over some stupid imported wood, when your own administration has just given China our most secret avionics technology as a deal to let GE put their avionics division over there avoiding taxes and employment here in the US?

Before you start yelling fair share, maybe you need to look under your own bed, Mr. POTUS. You have more dust bunnies under there than Jimmy Carter has lies and that is saying a lot.

What is wrong with my definition of fairness? Free from FAVOR and imbalance.

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Comments

  1. ALRIGHT~ fresh article after two days, just like the old days!

    Good job D13. Easy reading, sensible reasoning. I’m in favor of a flat tax. No deductions. Fair share to me means we all pay the same percentage of our income. Then , and I’m not in favor of this, but if you must, tax interest income and capital gains separately at a lower flat rate.The higher earners already pay more dollars, that in itself doesn’t sound fair. This business of ” because they can absorb it easier”, doesn’t make sense. Following that logic, those that make more should have to pay $100 for a Big Mac because that can absorb it easier. That doesn’t make much sense either. And for crying out loud get rid of the estate tax! And while I’m complaining, how about make it where you (govt) don’t need so damn much to operate.

    Stuff to do today. Can’t wait to read the justifications later. 🙄

  2. Good Article D13 🙂

    In today’s world, my definition of “fair”, as given by the left, is nothing more than class envy. This country is loaded with problems that all start with government, that’s where all the protests should be aimed at. But envy has clouded the minds of so many. Most would not be concerned with what is fair if they were taught to mind their own damn business.

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  3. Common Man says:

    Oh wise and nobal one;

    Excellent article and very well written. Sound judgement and logic.

    Hope all are well

    CM

  4. Buck the Wala says:

    “the top 5 percent of taxpayers paid more than one-half (53.8 percent) of all individual income taxes…” Interesting, as the top 5 percent also control 62% of the wealth in this country.

    • Good morning, counselor. Talk about dejavu……I had sent this article to USW some time ago but he is pretty busy these days and I am not computer literate enough to publish on his own site….however, it does tie in to what we discussed yesterday….

      But, question for you…..so what if the top 5 percent has 62% of the wealth? How does that relate to taxes?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        It was a bit funny to open up Sufa and see this article posted today. Didn’t think it was a coincidence.

        I’m just pointing out the economic disparity in this country. Given wealth doesn’t equate perfectly to taxes, but it is telling that the top 5% control that much wealth (more in certain surveys – I took the more conservative number).

        • But Buck, Sam Walton, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates didn’t start in that 62%. When success earns you rewards, you get successful people. If you turn it around and reward people for not being successful, you get an entitlement society.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I agree — they should be rewarded for their success, and they should have substantially more than others. Nothing wrong with that. But I think there’s a problem when the bottom 80% of the country (the vast majority of the country, mind you) possess, by certain measures, only 7% of the wealth.

            • It really doesn’t matter what the spread is because what the next guy makes has no bearing on what you can make.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                So it doesn’t concern you that 46 Million Americans live in poverty? That wealth has become more and more concentrated at the top (not only the top, but at the very top)?

              • First question..irrelevant Attempt at using emotion unnecessarily. Do a feel a small sense of sympathy? Only the smallest. But that doesn’t mean I have to do anything about it. It is is to them to do something about it.

                So what if there’s money at the top? How does that affect your ability to earn money?

              • Buck

                So your solution to solve poverty is to glorify theft?

                You can’t think of a better solution then that?

    • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

      So what? Please inform me if they stole it, if they cheated to get it, if they swindled someone on their rise to fame and fortune. Seems I hear a lot about that Steve Jobs guy these days. Despite my abysmal lack of knowledge of computers, I am informed that he, that rich MoFo, made it possible for thousands of others to become rich too. So, lets slap that sucker down and mosey along into some kind of Orwellian fantasy world that you seem to think would be better than this one.

  5. All are well, sir. Good to hear from you.

  6. Buck the Wala says:

    And can we please stop this whole nonsense about the 47% not paying taxes. I keep seeing this pop up everywhere — in SK’s comments on yesterday’s post, to one of the cartoons included here, to conservative pundits, etc. First, the 47% are paying taxes — state, local, payroll. Second, and more importantly, the majority of those not paying any federal income taxes do not make enough money to pay federal income taxes.

    • But, sir…who determines that they are not making enough to pay income taxes? And, I am NOT implying that the 47% are not paying any taxes…I am talking income taxes. You and Mathius made your argument yesterday about impact and tax pains and while a truth….sometimes the truth hurts. I keep hearing this “fair share” argument…..and the definition of fair is supposed to be equal and unfavored treatment. So why not do it? Eliminate loop holes and deductions….for everybody. Corporations, individuals…everybody and treat everybody equal? Everybody pays a flat percentage according to their level of income whether it is 1 dollar or 1 million dollars. That is still not fair because some will still pay more…but it is as fair as I can get it.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        As I said yesterday, I don’t think ‘fair’ is the right word in these debates. But going with ‘fair’, sure, ‘fair’ could be the same actual dollar amount, or the same percentage rate, or ‘fair’ could be based more on ability and lessening the pain inflicted on the poorest of us.

        I’ll be in and out all day with meetings, but will try to continue to chime in on this topic.

        • This is where I would like the discussion to go…how do we define fair and when we define it,…how do we control it and not create an entitlement mentality.

          • Just a question-D-in this discussion or we talking-the Flat tax replaces all other Federal taxes taken directly from ones check? Or do we still pay-S.S. etc. as we do now.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I am hoping you are not talking about getting rid of the payroll tax to pay for SS. Otherwise, if only a flat tax, there would be no funding of SS and therefore no SS.

              • I’m not talking about anything at the moment-I’m trying to determine what is “fair” , based on what we pay and how we pay it. I think the payment of all these taxes affect that determination. Income taxes aren’t the only taxes. Is it “fair” that there is a cap on S.S. taxes? How does that affect the whole scenario.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                VH, we agree! Let’s remove the cap on SS taxes.

                For one thing, that would be more ‘fair’.

                For another, it would ensure SS is fully solvent for years and generations to come.

              • That is only part of the discussion-is it fair to have a progressive rate and no cap too.

            • No maam……..income tax only. Withholding and SS are already deducted mo matter what you earn.

      • Mathius™ says:

        But colonel, why stop there?

        Why is it “fair” to pay an equal percentage?

        Why does the fact that I make X mean that a I have to pay a different amount than someone who makes Y? If my tax burden comes to $100 (as a set percentage of my income), why is it fair that yours comes to $1,000 (as the same percentage of your income)? If the goal is being “free from favor,” are you not favoring me by making me pay fewer dollars toward the same society? It seems to me that the position you’ve taken is a sort-of halfway step between (full on liberal) progressive taxation (where the litmus test is pain incurred) and (extreme libertarian) per capita tax (where everyone pays x-dollars, regardless). If I am one person and you are one person, why am I paying a different amount than you?

        I don’t see how the stance is tenable. It tacitly acknowledges the ability/duty and lower-pain of making the wealthy pay a greater dollar-amount but still insists that everyone should be treated equally. It insists that everyone should be treated equally, but then makes some people pay more than others.

        It seems to me that if you’re going to try to logic the tax code, there are only three viable positions: progressive taxation, per capita taxation, no taxation. That is, burden-based, equality-based, or taxation-is-theft, respectively. The flat tax doesn’t have a bedrock to ground it on, and instead tries to use the first two simultaneously.

        Just my take on it.

        • If you say there should be a fixed dollar amount..you’d really be in trouble when the government decides the dollar amount is going to be higher than your wages.

          • Mathius™ says:

            I’m not saying any such thing. I support progressive taxation. But trying to straddle the two logical ways of thinking about taxation seems irrational.

            But with a per-capita tax, if your share of the money due is higher than your wages, why is that my problem? Just go earn some more money, right?

        • And it is a great take……and you are correct by my definition of fair. BUT…..I am recognizing that in our system, not everyone can pay exactly the same. My argument is that many feel that there are entitlements and I do not feel that way. So, I am against the progressive tax and prefer the flat tax with no deductions and EVERYONE pays into it.

          And you are correct, in that the flat tax still means that someone pays more than another but I think I can argue that it is more relative than progressive. But my point is that everyone is in the system and everyone pays. The rich still carries a higher dollar burden over the less fortunate or the poor.I do not have the answers but I do see the greater inequality of the current progressive system

    • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

      Who cares that they do not make enough money. That is an artificial construct. Hell, I don’t think I make enough money to pay Federal income tax but the Feds disagree with me. I think only lawyers should have to pay taxes in this country. How’s that?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        That’s a low blow…

        For once in our nation’s history bankers are more villified than attorneys. And you had to go and bring up the attorneys again…sigh.

  7. Seems to me that with a flat tax there should be no personal exemption. According to this calculator, a single head of household making 25k pays only hundreds. But a single head of household making 50k pays several thousand. Not fair. A flat tax should mean starting from zero.

    http://www.freedomworks.org/flattax/index.php

    • Buck the Wala says:

      A single head of household making 25K is struggling to make ends meet to feed his family. A single head of househould making 50K is still struggling, but not as much. A single head of household making $5M is not even remotely struggling.

      In re personal exemption — if no personal exemption and you subject that 25K family to a full 10% flat tax, that $2500 is a huge huge burden and a substantial tax increase. So Anita, do you support raising taxes on the poor and middle class?

      • TANSTAAFL. Yes I fully support (everyone having skin in the game) raising taxes on poor and middle class. Need more money? Earn it.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          TANSTAAFL?

          Everyone DOES have skin in the game. And seriously, ‘need more money? earn it’? Sorry, but that’s just a bit too condesending for me. I noticed the Colonel made the same statement above — “Joe Tent needs to make more money”. Surprising to see that ‘argument’ from the two of you.

          • I need to get going but….BUCK! Assume there was no govt. You alone are in charge of your own survival. When you get to the bare root of life, you can only depend on yourself for your survival. Why does that change when govt comes into the picture? You have to earn your way. There’s no way around it.

          • Buck……why is “making more money” condescending? I am not talking about someone whom is truly infirm…..but why do you see that as a condescending statement? Legit question from my end. Really want to know.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              It struck me as glib. Nothing more, nothing less. As Mathius points out, not everyone can simply go out and earn more. It isn’t always that easy.

              • Ok…got it. And, as I told my kids, you have a job that does not pay enough? Earn more or get a second job. That said…..I just checked the Fort Worth Star Telegram and the Dallas Morning News.,…….. There are hundreds of places crying for workers this very day. Shift work, restaurant work, local bistros, fast food…..

                Granted they are $7-12 an hour but it is work and it is a paycheck and the COL is relative to where you live….but there are literally hundreds of jobs available today…..and they will still be there tomorrow. Why is that? And please…..no statements that it is not a living wage…..it is still a job and it is something.

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                The way it is supposed to work is that you get a job which frankly may be menial. You then proceed to bust your ass. If it is white collar, you use your brain, if it is blue collar you use your brawn. You learn as much as you can and angle for a promotion. If the promotion is not forthcoming for whatever reason you wait till the time is right and skip to another job where what you have learned now pays off. Hopefully you are smart enough to realize that you were not as screwed as you thought you were. You actually got paid while you were learning something useful. Show me the college that does that!.

                If however, you are one of those folks who think they are God’s gift to whoever hired them, don’t be surprised if a promotion is not forthcoming and if you didn’t devote all of your heart, soul and mind to learning all you could, there will be no other opportunity to move out and up either. It will then be, “society’s fault”.

              • Mathius™ says:

                If however, you are one of those folks who think they are God’s gift to whoever hired them, don’t be surprised if a promotion is not forthcoming and if you didn’t devote all of your heart, soul and mind to learning all you could, there will be no other opportunity to move out and up either. It will then be, “society’s fault”.

                My first “job” at 17. My father pulled some string and got me a job at a credit card processing agency. WOW was it boring. It was so easy, so menial, so monotonous. I had, I’ll admit, a bad attitude. Not the worst attitude, but not good either. I wandered in late a couple times. Didn’t try very hard to look presentable. I didn’t bother to learn anything. I slacked off, etc. I was 17, and I thought I should be running the place, not doing data entry.

                The owner of the company, who I will never forget, called me into his office and read me the riot act.

                After getting my head screwed on straight, I spent the rest of the summer busting my hump, and by the end of my time there, I was “promoted” (though they didn’t bother paying the intern more money).. twice.

                Yea, sure, it was a first job, and they folded the next year, and I hardly earned any money, and the commute sucked, and the work was dull, and I didn’t like the hours, and blah blah blah blah blah. Where I am today can be directly tied to the lesson I learned then: Work hard and stop complaining or you’re not worth employing and you’ll never get anywhere in life.

          • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

            How do you figure everyone is in the game? You have no idea, non at all. A few years ago there were three nail salons on every block in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. See if you can tell me why they were there. It shows the creativity of the supposedly lower, uneducated classes.

            • SK..I must be slow. I don’t get it. I would ASSume that there was a market for nails. Are you saying there was a lot of under the table wages going on? And you say a few years ago..are they no longer there? Why?

          • Oh boo hoo condescending schmoo. Sick and tired of tax, tax, tax crowd pulling that crap when all she’s saying is self-reliance is the only way to go. It’s not condescending at all to point out that if you are incapable of pulling your weight you better do something about it.

            Now here’s where you are finally catching on Buck. You feel $2500 tax on a $25,000 household is too big a burden? I AGEE! Cut government so such a family does not have to pay that much!

            • I think this may be the smartest thing said today. If government would back off-the cost of living would go down and paying our fair share of only what the government is supposed to do-wouldn’t be all that big a drain on anyone. The States would handle any arguments over the questions of helping the needy through government. Which would be a much more democratic and close to home forum to make these decisions.

          • SK Trynosky Sr says:

            TANSTAAFL = “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”, courtesy of Robert Heinlein. Read the canon, start with his oldest and work your way through and see how reason and thought can grow, it is amazing. I re-read them ever five or ten years or so, always pick up something new.

            • Mathius™ says:

              Time Enough for Love is one of the finest books I’ve ever read. I could do without some of the odder sexual things going on in it, but the rest is fantastic. Maybe I see a little bit of myself in Lazarus. It almost feels like what Michener might have written if he did science fiction, in terms of the epic scope.

              Moon is a Harsh Mistress is great. Starship Troopers (while substantially better than the movie) was just too short – it felt unfinished.

              I’ve read a handful of his others, but is there any one in particular, you’d recommend?

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                Beyond this Horizon, Methuselah’s Children (the introduction of Lazarus Long), Stranger in a Strange Land (most absolutely) and for a rollicking good time, the first book I read of his in High School, “Glory Road.” Glory Road was really his only major move into fantasy/Mythology and what a hell of a trip it is. Great possibilities as a movie with a great screenwriter and a better director. The kids would eat it up. Great video game potential too.

                Oh, what the hell, I just checked my bookshelf, there are too many to name. Punch up the order they were written and read them that way especially if you commute by train or bus. His first book which was not sold, which he destroyed and which turned up a few years ago and was published is really interesting. Just don’t ask me it’s name. Heinlein was a Socialist who became a very Liberal Democrat who then flirted with conservatism while on his way to Libertarianism although he would probably have described his brand as rational anarchy or maybe Jeffersonian Democracy.

                Do not make the mistake of ignoring his books written for teens. There is stuff in there that fills out his universe view. Get the anthologies of short stories too and the novellas like Waldo and Magic Inc. There are a few clunkers along the way but even they have their moments.

              • Mathius™ says:

                I wasn’t thrilled with Stranger in a Strange Land. I’ve always considered that there’s “hard” science fiction and “soft” science fiction. Hard is based on, you know, science (ie, Star Trek). Soft is based on “science” that we have no basis for, but which could be true given the fact that we don’t understand all science (ie, Star Wars). To me, Stranger is a story of a human raised by aliens who has super powers which are never explained or couched sufficiently in science. The driver of the plot is the personal story of his adaptation to human living, not how the world is/will be different because we’re more advanced. So, Moon was great because the whole plot, really, was driven by the fact that there was an AI in the mix and we were living on the moon – the life-stories of the characters was really secondary. Does this make sense?

                Science Fiction = Good
                Science Fantasy = Meh

                So, to rephrase, what would you recommend in the Science Fiction category? I simply don’t have Time Enough for Reading that I can afford to waste it on fantasy books that don’t really interest me.

                (adding, there’s also new Chrichton book out.. he died a while ago, so this one is his last one. I haven’t been impressed with him for a while, but I’ve read everything else he’s written, so I guess I’ll do this one too. Great Train Robbery was his best, in my humble opinion.)

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                I shall have to think further. I am as interested in his societal perspectives as the science itself. He blended both well. Stranger was to me a classic example of what would happen to Jesus if he showed up today, (the same thing). Methuselah’s Children starts off with the Johnson Families, an experiment in extending human life, deciding to “come out” to their neighbors. From that point on it becomes a Twilight Zone episode.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            TAANSTAAFL:

            There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

            Yes, everyone SHOULD have skin in the game, and no, not everyone does.

            Married couple, 2 kids, income 36k per year. 2k in credits for the 2 kids. another 3k in credits for “earned income credit”. So many deductions that their “taxable” income is near zero. They can fill out the W-4 so that they don’t even pay any Federal Income Tax from their payroll. Sure, they still pay a few thousand in FICA/Medicare, and maybe a thousand in state and local taxes, but they can (if they choose to) pay no income tax at all. Then in late January (if they are smart) they file their taxes right away, and what happens? They “get back” nearly $5,000 from the Feds due to their total lack of “taxable income” and all of their “credits” and they get darn near all of their state and local taxes back. This happens even though they paid NO federal income tax at all over the course of the year. Maybe they paid $3000 to FICA/Medicaid, but they got ALL of that and more back.

            Sure, they pay sales taxes, but food is exempt, and that is one of their major expenses. They cannot avoid gas and energy taxes, so they have to pay those, but SUPPOSEDLY those taxes are used to pay for roads, power plants and infrastructure and they do use roads, and the power from the power plant, and the local infrastructure, so….

            Even with the taxes they cannot avoid, that $2,000 that WASN’T THEIRS that they got back over and above any income tax/fica/medicaid taxes kinda helps a LOT, so are they really paying ANY sort of significant taxes at all under the current system?

        • Mathius™ says:

          You say “earn it” as if “earning it” were so easy. How many people are looking for work right now? How many jobs are available?

          Don’t get me wrong – I am a staunch advocate for the idea that if you can’t afford a house/dog/child/car/TV/etc, you shouldn’t have one. Period. Don’t have the money for children, don’t have children, it shouldn’t be my problem to pay for them just because you decided you wanted them. And I am a firm believer that you should never be able to just sit on the couch eating Cheetos while collecting unemployment. And I don’t think “being old” is sufficient cause for receiving a weekly SS check (it should be physical inability to work any viable job).

          But if you have a job pumping gas, and you make 12k / yr, you simply cannot afford to put “skin in the game.” You just don’t have the money. I might argue you should take a second part-time job, or do your neighbor’s laundry for extra cash, etc. Ah hell, I don’t even know where I’m going with this anymore..

          • Right. You are arguing with yourself. You fully understand that you must earn your way. So there is no argument. The conversation stops, right?

            • Mathius™ says:

              No, the conversation never stops. DPM and I get into these fights all the time.

              The simple fact is that there are people who try there very best and simply do not have the wherewithal to make sufficient money to support themselves and pay taxes at the same time. They are just not very smart, or they are disabled, or they just have really bad luck, or some combination.

              Other people are lazy. These people choose not to make the concerted effort needed to make more money to support themselves and pay taxes at the same time. They live on the dole, mooch off of others, game the system, get paid under the table, etc etc.

              Then there is the rest of us.

              Group #1 should not have to pay taxes. They simply don’t have the means to.

              Group #2: F*** these people. #$@ #$@ $@#$@#*Y$#! Cut the subsidies and tax them until they get their fat, lazy, entitled a$$es off the couch and go TRY to stop sponging off of me. Seriously, we would be better off if we rounded these people up and used them for manure.

              • who try there very best and simply do not have the wherewithal to make sufficient money to support themselves

                They don’t need a break, they need a roommate.

              • Mathius™ says:

                I would argue that getting a roommate is part of trying your very best. Maximize in-flow, minimize out-flow. If you still don’t make enough afterward to pay taxes, you should get a break.

                Note, though, that I would guess this is a small, small percentage of the country – maybe 2-5%, tops. The rest should work harder, spend less, save more, buy in bulk, work extra shifts, free-lance, not buy houses, get roommates, not pay for cable, et cetera. Your laziness and/or unwillingness to make hard choices is not my problem. Your inability, however, means that I have some moral obligation to help.

                Again, just to be clear, for the 1000th time. I want to help those who CANNOT help themselves. Those who DO NOT help themselves are human waste.

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                You, my young friend have to go into those moocher neighborhoods and tell me exactly who belongs to which group. Let me tell you, even today, after forty years of it, I still get fooled, not very often mind you but I do get fooled. There are stories, I could tell: the Shirley Temple look-alike arsonist and her mom, the wonderful clean cut lady and her two kids who just needed a “chance” before they cleared out all the furniture in the hotel room they were staying in. Tain’t easy McGee.

        • Bottom Line says:

          Instead of advocating theft, why not, instead, tell the thieves “Want more money? Earn it.”

          😉

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        I’ve known a few folks out there who had the $5,000,000 income. Don’t paint with such a broad brush. These folks no longer have that income because, guess what, their businesses tanked and they poured everything they had into saving them unsuccessfully. Try to remember, Risk equals reward (but not always). You can take that from a guy who is risk adverse and was scared S—less by his parents stories of the Great Depression. .

        • Buck the Wala says:

          I have several clients facing this exact situation. I’ve never argued that these folks shouldn’t be rewarded highly and benefit from their risks. But while they are making $5M, of course they can pay a higher percentage than the head of household earning 25K.

          • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

            Why? Do we not all benefit? Should we not all have a stake? Would not government be better, more efficient, more responsive if everyone shared the burden and was concerned about what was happening to their money. I know that the poor, non taxpaying folks out there just don’t care, all they want, as Edward G. Robinson said so well in “Key Largo” is “MORE.”

  8. Canine Weapon says:
  9. @ Mathius

    “The simple fact is that there are people who try there very best and simply do not have the wherewithal to make sufficient money to support themselves and pay taxes at the same time.” Yes sir and I agree with this statement except the pay the taxes. However, there is help for those that are not able to provide for themselves because of a disability or some such extraordinary situation and I do not propose nor have I proposed not having a security blanket on a temporary basis. But, I still think that the have to pay a tax even though they qualify for other services. After all, unemployment is taxed and that is someone without a job….but someone with a job is not taxed….unfair. (example).

    “Your inability, however, means that I have some moral obligation to help.” Whoa,,,,I think BF’s head just spun around.

  10. SK Trynosky Sr. says:

    Just for the hell of it did you ever see the poor line up in McDonalds or other fast food emporiums. You know, I know, that we could feed a family of four Fillet Mignon for a night with what the tab on a McDonalds dinner for four comes to. But still they come. Of course, your solution I guess would be to shutter those McDonald’s in poor neighborhoods since they take UNFAIR advantage of the poor (more entrepreneurs out of work). As poor Andy Rooney would say, didya ever notice that the number of people lined up to buy lottery tickets is inversely proportional to their incomes? Hey, that’s where the good old government makes the mafia look good. at least the mafia cuts off your credit (and maybe your legs) at a certain point.

    • Mathius™ says:

      “poor Andy Rooney”?

      Did something happen to Andy? I know he retired (and, therefore, I no longer have any reason to watch 60 minutes), but did something happen to him?

      Seems “poor” Andy had the single greatest job in the history of mankind. I would give my left arm to have 40 years in that job (and he probably made a pretty decent salary, too). I can kvetch with the best of them.

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        Apparently minor surgery went bad this week and it’s touch and go. Disagree with the guy on most things but he is old school and I like and admire old school. Plus, he pulled those five bombing missions that he really did not have to go on in WW 2.

  11. I simply do not understand why the word fair and tax can even be used in the same sentence. The Left want the rich to pay more, why? Do you think the govt can spend it more wisely? Or is it that pesky redistribution thing? Let’s end Capitalism they say! And do what then? Let’s steal all the excess wealth that the rich have and redistribute it to those that aren’t wealthy. Great idea until you run out of rich people to steal from, then what? I can tell you, everyone is then equally poor. Great Idea!

    • A cop stops a Harley for traveling faster than the posted speed limit, so he asks the biker his name.

      ‘Fred,’ he replies.

      ‘Fred what?’ the officer asks.

      ‘Just Fred,’ the man responds.

      The officer is in a good mood and thinks he might just give the biker a break and, write him out a warning instead of a ticket. The officer then presses him for the last name.

      The man tells him that he used to have a last name but lost it. The officer thinks that he has a nut case on his hands but plays along with it. ‘Tell me, Fred, how did you lose your last name?’

      The biker replies, ‘It’s a long story, so stay with me.’ I was born Fred Johnson. I studied hard and got good grades.

      When I got older, I realized that I wanted to be a doctor. I went through college, medical school, internship, residency, and finally got my degree, so I was Fred Johnson, MD. After a while I got bored being a doctor, so I decided to go back to school.

      Dentistry was my dream! Got all the way through School, got my degree, so then I was Fred Johnson, MD, DDS.

      Got bored doing dentistry, so I started fooling around with my assistant and she gave me VD, so now I was Fred Johnson, MD, DDS, with VD.

      Well, the ADA found out about the VD, so they took away my DDS..

      Then I was Fred Johnson, MD, with VD. Then the AMA found out about the ADA taking away my DDS because of the VD, so they took away my MD leaving me as Fred Johnson with VD.

      Then the VD took away my Johnson, so now I am Just Fred.’

      The officer walked away in tears, laughing

  12. John Maynard Keynes:
    “The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward.”

    Intaxication (n.): Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

    Colonel, good morning and a great article. Seems to have roused or liberals.

    My thought, I think you are wrong (a little), that it’s not about class warfare or fair share. Income redistribution is part of it, but only as a means to an end, that being a socialist/marxist society. All big government types such as Romney and Obama favor a complex tax code, where they can give out favors to their supporters without being held accountable. Look at how union exemptions and GE’s profits without paying tax has gotten so little media attention. The funny thing is tax revenue is largely flat no matter what the rate, around 20% of GDP. That said, the government manipulating the tax code does impact the economy, being a factor in the boom/bust cycles.

    While all this is going on, the public sector has grown while the private sector continues to shrink. With 47% paying no income tax, but receiving tax refunds, 40% of US households receive some form of gov. assistance. It’s been shown that 70% of households living in poverty could raise themselves out of that if only one or a combination of both would work 40 hours a week, but they seem content to live on what the gov. provides, gaming the system with higher rewards paid to unwed child bearers, etc…

  13. I think something needs to be pointed out here. It seems to be a common belief that the progressive tax is unfair because people pay different percentages on their income. In reality the progressive tax we have in this country is more fair than you give it credit for. Income is not taxed at a single rate. Income is taxed according to the amount of money you make within the bracket.

    Let’s use an example. Tom makes $145,000 per year. Tom is in the 28% tax bracket, but Tom does not pay $40,600 (28%) in taxes! He will pay
    $8,500 * 10% = 850 +
    ($34,500 – $8,500) * 15% = 3900 +
    ($83,600 – $34,500) * 25% = 12275 +
    ($145,000-$83,600) * 28% = 17192

    or $34,217 which is about 23.6% of his income.

    In other words, EVERYONE pays the same amount in tax on their income up to a certain level. If you make more than the boundary, you pay a higher tax on the amount of money above that amount.

    I think this taxation system is fair. I believe it is fair, because it makes an allowance for people based on their income level. If I make less money than my neighbor, less of my income is disposable (more goes to rent, food, etc).

    On the flip side, I think the rich are absolutely paying their fair share. What I think some people have a problem with is not the INCOME or INCOME TAXES the rich make and pay, but rather the amount of wealth their have. Of course, the easiest way to make money is to have money to utilize in your wealth creation efforts. Of course the rich will keep getting richer. They have the best tools to do so.

    I couldn’t care less how rich the rich are as long as they don’t make it illegally (immorally?) and as long as they don’t use it to corrupt the government. It’s no skin off my back. In fact, the more that rich people use their money, the better off I am. That money will go to businesses to expand (jobs) and inflate the economy. Taxing investments more means less money in the economy, etc.

    • Good points also JB……I am talking more of simplifying the code. The code allows for certain deductions to where there is no tax liability. A good example are the deductions that I currently use as allowed by IRS code that reduces taxable income to almost zero when it should be significantly more. I keep hearing the left’s terminology of “fair share” and I do not know what it means? I do know that if 47% or whatever the real number is…pays no income tax…..I feel that is incorrect regardless of the amount they make. I am sorry for Joe Blow that only makes 25k a year…but is that really my problem. I say no it is not…..it is Joe’s problem but Joe should not be exempt from paying HIS fair share of income tax….to coin the phrase that the left uses.

    • I’m not a fan of a progressive tax code, but when I have more money, I don’t mind sharing nearly as much as when times are tough. What bothers me is what my money is being spent on, like the drinking habits of Chinese hookers…. Limiting how much government can take limits their size and power, giving us greater freedom.

      • Mathius™ says:

        Those are two separate arguments.

        To some extent I agree with you – a lot of money the government collects is wasted or spent frivolously. No argument here. And constraining the amount of revenue they raise may tie their hands and force them to abandon these things in favor of the actual job of, you know, governing.

        But the question at hand is the tax code. I’m not a huge fan of the progressive tax code either – I just think it’s better than the alternatives. Where do you stand on this – you’ve said you’re not a fan, but do you think it’s the “right” or “best” answer? Do you have an another option you’d like to suggest?

        • Simple, Make it Simple! I don’t support Cain’s 9/9/9 plan because I think the sales tax will become10 or 15 sometime. FairTax, FlatTax, 999 all wold work for me or Regan’s original. I would also like to totally abolish property tax. Do we own anything, or just lease it from our city, state and the federal gov.? I think it needs to be one of two, not both, either tax when earned, or when spent.

  14. To all on SUFA……since this is my article, I will use myself as an example as how I see a fair share. Last year, my total income from various sources (military, civilian, investments, etc)..totaled a little over $300k. I paid the customary ss, medicare, medicaid..etc…estimated withholding on a quarterly basis…..and received an tax refund of $24k…..because my taxable income was reduced because of the IRS code and allowable deductions. Under a flat tax with no deductions, I would have paid….according to my pull out of the air figure of 10%….30k in income taxes. Instead, I got a refund…..because the tax code allowed it. My taxable income was reduced to the point that my total tax paid on $300 k was a whopping…..$6,400. or 2.13%. Therein, lies a discrepancy in my opinion. Under a flat tax with no deductions, it would have been a bigger slice. The progressive tax structure can be so manipulated. It matters not in the progressive tax code if you raised the percentage to 75%……it can be manipulated to reduce tax burdens to a lower net than the secretary that is pushing the papers. Simplify the code. Flat tax everyone with no deductions and you would have GE that paid NO tax on billions…..to paying millions.

    • D-doesn’t this tell me what you overpaid based on an estimated tax-not what you paid.

      • Nope….what I am telling you is that my total tax bill ended up being 6400…I paid quarterly on an estimated tax basis utilizing the “best guess” method which also utilized the tax breaks and codes. I have found that it is much better to overpay than to miss the guess because of the penalties involved. There was no way that I could have estimated a total tax liability of 2.13 %……and submitted quarterly payments on that basis. If I miss the guess it can be quite costly.

  15. D13,

    Like it or not, taxes are the cost of society.

    No, it is not – it is a destruction upon society and as such, should be resisted by all free men, for the sake of society.

    Now, on to the root of your article.

    The premise you hold regarding taxes simply follows this:
    (1) taxes are necessary to fund government
    (2) there exists a way to allocate taxes in a manner that funds government without undue burden on anyone group.

    Premise #1 is false.
    Taxes are NOT necessary to fund government (though they do fund government – necessary is the operative word)

    Taxes, therefore, exist for more of a purpose then merely funding. In fact, funding is not at all its primary purpose at all.

    Social policy and economic manipulation is the primary purpose of taxation.

    Without a tax, there cannot exist a tax credit or a tax benefit.

    Government uses taxation, tax credit and tax benefits to manipulate the citizens into avoiding certain behavior and engaging in different behavior.

    Any attempt to “fix” taxation so to simplify the funding of government will FAIL because it MUST remove government’s self-necessary ability to manipulate the citizen.

    Therefore, all this muck about “flat” tax, “fair” tax, “simplify the tax code” is merely pure fluff and typical political lies.
    It will NEVER happen as long as government demands and holds the ability to manipulate the citizen.

    • BF I agree with you but remember, my premise today is based on the inevitable tax.

      • D13,

        inevitable tax.

        So was my comment based on such

        You argue you can devise a fair/flat/”don’t hurt much” tax system

        I agree you can – there has been almost 100 years of such devising by more dedicated men to such a task then you or I would ever be.

        Yet none have come to pass

        So, why not?

        The reason why not is the same reason your article is pointless and futile – the tax system does not exit to be simple and easy, it exists as a tool to manipulate the People.

        The arcane nature and complexity of the tax code exists because the government wishes to manipulate YOU but not, say, your neighbor.

        It takes a massive amount of complexity to devise a system with such granularity as to bind some men doing some things, bind different men doing other things, but not bind a few men to either.

        You want to remove the complexity – but the removing removes the precious tool.

        Government will never give up this tool willingly.

        Complexity and distortions of the tax code will never go away as long as taxes exist.

  16. @ Buck……”So it doesn’t concern you that 46 Million Americans live in poverty? That wealth has become more and more concentrated at the top (not only the top, but at the very top)?”

    Ok….so what is the answer? Take away their wealth or create the environment where more can make it?

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      The Colonel and I have been around since the dual wars on Poverty and the Viet Cong. As you can see, neither has worked out very well. After untold trillions spent on fighting poverty through a variety of social service programs, it is high time to discard what has failed and try something (anything) new or at least different. .
      \
      I love my analogy to French WW I generals even though nobody else ever seems to get it. It was not the machine guns that made the war static and un-winnable, it was that the troops lacked sufficient elan. My liberal politician friends do not think their programs have failed, merely that they have not been big enough. We are now seeing just how wrong that notion is.

      This of course leads me back to my other favorite topic, immigration and to a lesser extent crime. How in the hell are you supposed to win the war on poverty or crime when you allow millions of new poor people to sneak into the country every year? That I think is insane. To ignore the question is to be a fool.

      • SK

        Yes, your French WW1 analogy is actually very good.

        How in the hell are you supposed to win the war on poverty or crime when you allow millions of new poor people to sneak into the country every year?

        It is NOT the influx of new people -poor or not- that creates poverty, nor their existence an impediment to relieving poverty.

        In fact, it is absolutely the only cure to poverty

        Productivity is the only cure to poverty. The immigration of people in hunt for work are valuable people because they want to work.

        A country of one, that one being unproductive, will be a poor country.

        A country of 2 billion, that being very productive, will be a rich country.

        • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

          I personally know a number of these folks who have done very well. Not the illegals but the poor conventional Ecuadorians, Hondurans, Dominicans etc. who have come here and busted their proverbial asses as most immigrants in the past have done. What I don’t see is a way for huge numbers of illegals to make it. Some will, most won’t. The argument as always, (and do me the favor here of not doing what the liberals do of equating legal and illegal), how many can you take? I have no problem and don’t think anyone else here has a problem with opening up the border to new legal immigrants or temporary immigrants. Having a legal basis for residency protects everyone though.

          I consider myself a damned good observer and most of what I have to say is based on things I have seen and thought long and hard about. I have been known to actually switch sides and there are things that I frankly can’t come up with an opinion on because they have two good sides. I have always tried to be honest about the way I see things and most times, it is not received well. I may have said it before, but if you are allowed to have someone from Greek Mythology be your patron saint, I pick Cassandra, Daughter of Priam, King of Troy.

          • SK,

            how many can you take?

            As many as those who want to come

            How many people do you want in your town producing wealth, benefits, goods and services?

            It is like asking “How much money to you want me to give you?” – the blunt obvious answer: As much as you can give me

            Immigrants are people looking to work – doing work creates prosperity – so they are saying, with their feet, “I am here to make you richer”

            , I pick Cassandra, Daughter of Priam, King of Troy.

            I would not pick her.

            We only know her because of her failure.

            Had she been successful, none of the events she predicted would have come true – hence, she would not have been an Oracle – that is, one successful predicting the future – since none of it would have come to pass.

            You only become an Oracle by the failure of changing the course of action you predict.

            I would rather pick the greatest, unknown, futurist who -by his nightmare of what would happen, caused him to change paths – thereby avoid his own future. That is a person of the greatest wisdom.

          • Mathius™ says:

            Here’s the thing, SK. I … almost… agree with you. The problem is that an illegal immigrant shows, by virtue of the fact that they’re willing to break the law to get here, that they’re probably not the kinds of people you want as neighbors.

            The other side of the coin is that we are so fascist about how we restrict immigration, and the job/freedom/economic/social/lifestyle/etc pressure is so great to come to America that it’s hardly surprising (especially when our border is so porous) that they come here in droves. Especially when you consider how badly our economy (particularly the agricultural economy) depends on them.

            The third side of the coin is that (putting on my nifty Jack Sparrow hat) we have no right to tell a free man where he can and cannot live. I wouldn’t tolerate being forced to ask prospective neighbors permission to move into a house I bought, so why should people who just had the misfortune of being born in a rat-hole of a country?

            The fourth side of the coin is (tugging on the heart strings a little) children who were brought here illegally. They had no choice in the matter and should not be held accountable for the actions of their parents.

            The fifth, and hopefully final, side of the multi-dimensional coin is for people who are born here. A lot of talk has been going on about stripping birthright citizenship. Oddly enough, I don’t know where I stand on this.

            My personal thoughts are that you should be able to live and work here if you like. Period. You are a free human being and you should be free to live and work wherever you can find accommodation and employment. Period. Y’AAGRH!

            • Matt,
              “a free human being and you should be free to live and work wherever you can find accommodation and employment”
              How about when the accommodations include public housing and welfare, with a higher standard of living than they had in their native country? And how many such immigrants can we support?

              Each year, state governments spend an estimated $11 billion to $22 billion to provide welfare to immigrants.3 Those programs include Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Child Care and Development Fund, reduced meal programs in school and public housing.
              Why Are Immigrants On Welfare?

              Some people mistakenly think that immigrants are not eligible for welfare. Several years ago, Congress did attempt to render immigrants ineligible for most forms of welfare. However, subsequent backpedaling by Congress and the executive branch has undone most of those reforms. Furthermore, many immigrant families get welfare through the eligibility of their U.S. citizen children. (It is also important to realize that even when immigrants are ineligible for federal welfare programs, the burden of their support is simply shifted over to the state and local welfare agencies.)

              • Mathius™ says:

                Let me tell you, LOI, it is one of the great enjoyments of my life when I outflank you on the right.

                OK, here we go, ready? “Who cares?”

                They’re two separate issues. The first is a question of who has a right to live where and I say (and the Dread Pirate and Black Flag agree) that you have no right to artificially restrict where a free man may and may not live, nor where a free man may and may not work. If someone arbitrarily told you that you cannot go where you like or work where a job is available, you would have consider it a crime against humanity, yet to tell migrant workers that they will be arrested if they cross a line on a map in order to pick strawberries in miserable conditions for near-slave-wages, somehow that’s ok?

                The other issue is whether they should be eligible for welfare. I think (being the bleeding heart liberal that I am) that the question of need and duty to your fellow human beings is independent of citizenship status. A starving human is a starving human and, insofar as any such duty exists to help (I know we disagree on whether it does, but if it does exist), it exists to help people who are here legally or otherwise (if such a duty doesn’t exist, then it doesn’t exist for legal and illegal residents alike). They don’t stop being human because they crossed some artificial border without some piece of paper.

              • Hmmm-I find I equate that with someone-walking onto my property and telling me-They came and took my property-so instead of standing and fighting for what is mine-I have decided to simply demand that you share your property with me.

              • Matt,

                “it is one of the great enjoyments of my life when I outflank you on the right.”

                Sorry, another fail on your part. Just like the deficit or SS, numbers don’t care and they don’t lie. China HAD to do something about their population, barbaric as their single child policy is, they had to do it. We are on the pathway China is trying to escape, a population that we cannot sustain. It’s funny, each hunting season they decide how much game each area can support, and allow the excess to be hunted rather than starve. Look to the future, cause when it’s open season on humans, I think conservatives will do a lot better than liberals…..

                http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4094926727128068265#

                And the welfare is not a separate issue, its a cause and effect situation. If an immigrant can illegally come here and be given a higher standard of living than they have at home, it makes perfect sense on their part to come here. It makes no sense on our part to give free room and board to anyone who shows up in America and holds out their hand. The worlds population is about to hit 7 billion, with how many billion living in poverty? How many billion do you think the USA can support who are not working?

              • LOI

                China HAD to do something about their population, barbaric as their single child policy is, they had to do it.

                Bull crap.

                The same bizarre crackpot theory of overpopulation as vomited by Malthus – which NEVER comes true.

                China’s policy -implemented by ignorant men trying to solve a non-problem posed by other ignorant men- is now reaping its disastrous
                consequences – tens of millions of men who have no hope of family.

                We are on the pathway China is trying to escape, a population that we cannot sustain.

                Utter nonsense.

                The use of grossly simplistic linear models to claim the world is on the verge of population collapse ha been a theme repeated throughout history.

                Plato and Aristotle discussed it regarding city-state and Confucius wrote about this in the 5th century with warnings about excessive growth.

                Then comes the idiocy of Thomas Malthus with his “An Essay on the Principle of Population.”

                Modern times, we were dosed in more idiocy by Paul Ehrlich’s “The Population Bomb” that claimed the world was already overpopulated and doomed.

                These predictions among the most ridiculous on human record.

                Yet, though NONE OF THESE HAVE EVER COME TRUE, there is utterly no loss of the creditability of these yahoos.

                Every decade or so, or whenever there is some irrelevant number with an even number of zeros happens past, these yahoos pour out of the wood work spewing their idiocy and receiving an adoring crowd

                Why are they always wrong?

                Because human beings defy being locked into a math model

                We make different choices, we are ingenious in solving human problems – and none of this is ever quantified by a simplistic math model.

                Here you sit, with the tools, services, and goods that you could not have predicted at all 25 years ago – provided to you by the meandering genius of human intellect — and then doubting and ignoring the very process that has made you richer than the richest men on Earth a mere 100 years ago and falling to fantasy that such genius of men will be unable to solve human problems of the future!

              • Question ?? I do not see anytime where it is right to use extermination as a form of population control-and I agree that with time a society will adjust and adapt in order to survive. But I also would think that Time to change and adapt is essential-so it seems to me that controlled immigration is the key. I assume you are going to tell me I am wrong-so why am I wrong?? 🙂

            • Wow…..so a nifty Jack Sparrow hat comes with mult-sided coins? Cool…..so, when you flip a multi sided coin to determine the kick off…..what do you call?

            • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

              I don’t think that “fascist” is the word you want to use here. With well over a million legally immigrating every year, it seems that we are hardly slamming the door. I will say the same that I did to a member of my church the other day who raised the same issue with me. If you bring Calcutta to Chicago, will the people be better off or not? Now we are not just talking about the former residents of Calcutta when we do this, we are talking about the people in Chicago too. If you care about them than the only way to help is by supporting things like the Peace Corps. I often think we would be far better served in our efforts if we brought their young people here for an education and then returned them home to help build their countries.

              • SK,

                often think we would be far better served in our efforts if we brought their young peo ple here for an education and then returned them home to help build their countries

                “We” (whoever that is) would be far better served if “we” let these people chose for themselves how they wish to live their own lives.

                If “they” wish to come to learn and then go home – good for them.
                If “they” wish to come to learn and then stay to work – good for them.
                If “they” wish to stay where they are – good for them.

                ..and all of that is good for “us”

              • Mathius™ says:

                No, I’m pretty sure “fascist” is exactly the word I was going for.

                And, even going with your 1mm/yr stat, that’s 0.3% population increase annually due to legal immigration. You’re telling me that one third of one percent is more than we can handle?

                Even if that’s true, it does nothing to address the other point: Who are you to tell me where I can and cannot live or work?

                And, now, for some more pirate logic: what you are doing (trying to do) is improve quality of live for current residents at the expense of the immigrants by denying them access to resources, wealth, and opportunity. Effectively, you are artificially restricting the supply side of the labor market using government as a market distortion tool. Yet, you neglect to admit that where immigrants take money out of the system (via income), they also put into the system (via labor, especially cheap labor, which lowers the cost items you buy) and spending of their own (they live here, so they have to buy food, services, stuff, etc.). Money they spend is recycled into the system and creates more wealth, more opportunity, etc. You assume the net of this equation is necessarily negative (“their gain is my loss” / “they look our jobs!”), but I see no evidence to support the opinion that it is a zero sum game. If anything, history has shown the opposite.

  17. I’m curious-based on our discussion today-this plan seems to be somewhere in the middle of the arguments issued. Opinions!

    New Perry ad: “Creating jobs”
    Share15
    posted at 10:05 am on October 26, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
    printer-friendly

    Rick Perry has decided to focus on job creation in his new ad, a 30-second TV spot that will get hefty play in Iowa, where polling shows him deep in the second tier at the moment. Matt Lewis has the script for the ad, which highlights Perry’s best narrative as a public-sector executive that knows how to shape a political environment for explosive job creation:

    It’s an effective ad, concise while covering the broad strokes of Perry’s economic platform. In fact, it’s so good that it prompts the question of why Perry didn’t start off his campaign running ads like these and sticking to this narrative, rather than go negative so early against Mitt Romney.

    One ad on its own won’t turn things around for Perry, but a comprehensive economic plan may well do so. So far, Perry’s plan has won praise from the Wall Street Journal, although not unqualified support:

    The Texas Governor would address the inevitable political attack that this would be “regressive” by allowing a $12,500 standard deduction per individual. This means that a family of four would pay no federal income tax until it earns $50,000 a year. This is a very generous exemption, and the Perry campaign couldn’t say what share of taxpayers would pay nothing at all. But it would be tens of millions, which reduces the tax base.

    The standard deduction would also begin to phase out at $500,000 of income, which guarantees a higher effective tax rate for higher income taxpayers. This won’t be enough to satisfy the liberals at the Tax Policy Center that is portrayed by the media as “nonpartisan,” but Mr. Perry is sure trying.

    Less defensible on equity grounds is Mr. Perry’s proposal to include deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes even in his optional flat tax. This is intended to blunt political criticism from powerful lobbies that like their current breaks. …

    All of this is bold enough that it will require an informed and articulate promoter, and the question about Mr. Perry is whether he can make that case better than he has so far been able to defend his Texas record. He’ll be helped by Steve Forbes, the original flat-tax proponent, who is now advising Mr. Perry and knows the attacks to come.

    The good news is that Mr. Perry and most of his competitors are thinking big, with proposals that will reverse the U.S. slide to high-debt, slow-growth stagnation. President Obama wants to portray the economic debate as pro-growth government spenders vs. the austerity of budget cutting. But the real debate is over whether government or the private economy is the main engine of prosperity. The flat tax puts Republicans on the side of private growth and government reform, a potent combination. Perhaps Mr. Perry and his comrades can even coax Mitt Romney to join the party.

    The WSJ notes that the proposal probably won’t raise as much money in static analysis as the current system, but also points out that Perry wants to cut spending back to 18% of GDP, which this tax system should be able to raise. In two posts for AEI, economist Jim Pethokoukis runs the numbers both statically and dynamically, and comes to the conclusion that Perry’s plan could unlock explosive economic growth — which would solve the problem anyway:

    2. Under dynamic scoring, the Perry tax Plan (call it PTP-DS) would raise $1.7 trillion less than the unrealistic CBO baseline. But revenue would move above 19 percent — a historically high number — of GDP in 2019 and 2020.

    3. Under PTP-DS, the U.S. economy would be $3.5 trillion bigger in 2020 than under the CBO baseline forecast. And this gap would widen since CBO has some pretty sluggish growth forecasting moving forward. …

    Bottom line: If a President Perry could balance the federal budget by 2020 and cap spending at 18 percent of GDP — and if you buy the JDA analysis — the result would be a more financially stable America and a richer America than the current economic and budgetary trajectory would indicate.

    The WSJ’s point on the ability of Perry to sell this coherently still remains, however. This is a comprehensive plan with lots of moving parts and complications, one that will have to stand up to a series of models, not all of which will be entirely favorable. Perry’s earlier debate failures and his strange decision to spend time talking about Mitt Romney’s book rather than his own record doesn’t build a lot of confidence in his ability to defend this plan in detail, but we’ll see in the next few debates if Perry can turn that around. If Perry can’t sell this plan himself, perhaps another Republican can pick up the standard and sell it in his stead in a general election, or something similar to it — like Newt Gingrich’s plan.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/10/26/new-perry-ad-creating-jobs/

    • V.H.

      Do you really believe that a politician will do as he promises?

      Do you really take into account these promises so you can decide your vote?

      Seriously?

      • Oh, I find BF -that every politician can come up with ideas-but whether or not they will or can make them a reality isn’t up to just them. But yes, I do look at their ideas to see if the ideas, at the very least head us in the right direction. Because unlike you, I do believe that things can get worse if we don’t vote and we should at least try to delay the end as long as possible. But we have had this discussion numerous times-to have it again between the two of us is a waste of time for both of us. 🙂 I have listened -I have considered your view extensively-I disagree.

        • V.H.

          Oh, I find BF -that every politician can come up with ideas-but whether or not they will or can make them a reality isn’t up to just them.

          You use what they say they will do, but cannot possibly provide it, as a method to choose a man you think can provide such a thing, even though you admit he cannot.

          I’m looking at the definition of insanity and it says ………

          I have listened -I have considered your view extensively-I disagree.

          Yes, I do understand that it is very, very, very hard to discard irrational beliefs that one has held onto as a truth for most of your life.

          • PS:
            That is why God invented death – death is the primary method of removing people who refuse to discard irrational belief and prevent them from remaining in the way of a new generation that is not so burden by such irrationality.

            I truly believe that the day man adheres to reason, death will be completely abated.

            • Hmmmm 🙂 I guess by your way of thinking-One irrational statement deserves another. 🙂 🙂

              • V.H.

                Actually that is been a common philosophical position on death for 2,000 years by many of the great thinkers of mankind.

              • Well, per your own reasoniong-just because people have believed it for along time-doesn’t mean it is right. But would you like to supply the reasoning behind this reasoning.

              • V.H.

                But would you like to supply the reasoning behind this reasoning.

                Not all new ideas are good ideas. Indeed most new ideas are bad ideas.

                Not all old ideas are bad ideas. Indeed most old ideas are good ideas.

                But it is these very features that make displacing an old, “bad” ideas so hard, and accepting new ideas so hard.

                It is difficult to tell the difference between old bad ideas and old good ideas. Usually “time” eventually discards bad ideas – so an idea that has “hung around” for a long time has been successful in avoiding the discarding.

                But that does not mean it might not be a bad idea to discard it.

                The youth – already grating against the Establishment – are more adept in accepting new ideas.
                Being young, they are also the ones best in place to recover from the losses of new ideas gone bad.

                Old people are not in a position to recover from a bad, new idea – the cost is too high, and they do not have enough life time to recover. So old people will tend to resist any new idea for the sake of loss avoidance – where the young are more adept in accepting new ideas as they are less risk adverse.

                So, until the old die, they become an impediment to new -good- ideas for the sake of stability, even though that stability is destructive.

                Death is necessary in a world partly ruled by irrational people.

            • Mathius™ says:

              death will be completely abated.

              What happens with exponential growth once people stop dying? How long until there are 10 billion? 100 billion? 100 trillion? 100 bajillion?

              Is there a breaking point?

              • Mathius,

                Is there a breaking point?

                The Universe is quite a big place, for your information.

                I wouldn’t worry much about “out growing” it for at least another year or two.

              • Mathius™ says:

                Assuming Andromeda is too far away, how long until we run out of room?

                http://library.thinkquest.org/C003763/index.php?page=future05

                Then again, I guess we could just sit tight and wait for Andromeda to come to us..

              • At least 20,000 years – until the next ice age – then we will have something real to worry about.

              • Mathius™ says:

                Ice Age? BAH! 20,000 years from now, geo-engineering will be child’s play. And, anyway, we will have power supplies sufficient to heat our domed-cities to the point where nature impotent.

                Hell, I would bet someone clones a herd of woolly mammoths, just because, and let’s the loose in the countryside.

            • SK Trynosky Sr says:

              There is a certain school of theology which holds that man, created in the image and likeness of God was put on this earth to use the reason,logic and most importantly free will he was given to bring himself as close to God as possible. If that is achieved, there will be no breaking point, there will be a rapture.

              Unfortunately, the likelihood of this happening is not high. I think we are at the point where we mistake as a society our reason, logic and rationality as making us not God-like but making us Gods. There is a cautionary tale out there about this in that Bible thing,
              “The Tower of Babel”.

  18. Canine Weapon says:

    Daylight Savings Time!

    And, remember, according to The Google:

    Daylight Saving Time (United States) began Sunday, March 13, 2011, and ends Sunday, November 6, 2011.
    Except Arizona and Hawaii. Move your clocks ahead 1 hour in spring and back 1 hour in fall (“Spring forward, fall back”).

  19. We’ve had this conversation over and over and over on SUFA. Another thing that changes when you have skin in the game is your whole mindset. You realize that now you are paying for someone else who isn’t and all of a sudden you are on the other side of “fair”.

    Saw this big time when Wisconsin implemented welfare reform years and years ago. When people had to work for their money they were no longer ahead financially because they were working very entry level jobs – but they finally found out what it was like to get up and go to work every day for your food money. Long term entitlements, which is what it is when you pay no income taxes, robs a person of a sense of responsibility, of being part of the big picture. It’s why I don’t understand the liberal mindset of we must take care of them crowd – you are robbing them of opportunity, dignity and a whole host of other life experiences under the guise of fairness and generosity. Bullcrap1

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      Ah… so correct. You miss something in their mindset though. They do it and push it because subliminally, it makes them feel good without having to get their hands dirty. There are exceptions, there are those who put their money where their mouth is and invest the time helping others.

  20. Oh Boy-first I hope that he is okay!!

    but this is just great-gonna look so good blasted across the world. So cloudy you can’t distinguish who is doing what-but they have just gotten their wished for media sympathy. Don’t know -what is true and what isn’t but the yelling for a MEDIC with their little gas masks on their faces -seems so contrived.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/report-iraq-war-veteran-critically-injured-in-occupy-oakland-police-action/

  21. 😐

  22. Grrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama Taps Taxpayers For Student Stimulus

    By Chris Stirewalt

    Published October 26, 2011

    Obama Taps Taxpayers For Student Stimulus; Romney’s Nuance Doesn’t Thrill on Hill

    Obama Looks to Wring Stimulus From Saturated Student Loan Market

    “$1 Trillion”

    — Estimated amount of student loan debt owed by Americans.

    In keeping with his new campaign theme of “we can’t wait,” President Obama today will roll out a plan to put more money in the pockets of some of the nation’s 36 million student loan recipients.

    Obama has broad latitude in this area – certainly broader than the first two parts of his western campaign trip, underwater mortgages and subsidies for hiring veterans – because one of his early legislative initiatives was to have the federal government take over the student lending business in America.

    Obama argued for the measure in 2009 as a cost-savings initiative, saying that the old system of privately issued, government secured loans reduced the amount of available money for needy students and also prevented the feds from making the system more efficient.

    But Obama is now seeking to use that new power to obtain a taxpayer-financed stimulus that Congress won’t approve. The idea is to cap student loan repayment rates at 10 percent of a debtor’s income that goes above the poverty line, and then limiting the life of a loan to 20 years.

    Take this example: If Suzy Creamcheese gets into George Washington University and borrows from the government the requisite $212,000 to obtain an undergraduate degree, her repayment schedule will be based on what she earns. If Suzy opts to heed the president’s call for public service, and takes a job as a city social worker earning $25,000, her payments would be limited to $1,411 a year after the $10,890 of poverty-level income is subtracted from her total exposure.

    Twenty years at that rate would have taxpayers recoup only $28,220 of their $212,000 loan to Suzy.

    The president will also allow student debtors to refinance and consolidate loans on more favorable terms, further decreasing the payoff for taxpayers.

    Obama’s move comes at a moment when many economists are warning of a college debt bubble that is distorting college tuition rates and threatening to further damage credit markets. The president’s move is intended to make college more affordable for more people, which will, in turn allow universities to jack up their rates.

    As in the housing bubble, cheap credit on easy terms increases the amount of money chasing the product (in this case a diploma) allowing schools to increase prices. This inflation makes it harder for middle-class families to afford paying their own tuitions, driving them into the government financing program, which, you guessed it, drives up costs further still.

    Obama’s goals, aside from continuing to encourage young people to spurn the private sector in favor of service jobs, is to try to juice the economy. Those who participate in the program could see their monthly incomes rise by hundreds of dollars, thereby increasing the money they have to buy stuff and try to juice the economy.

    A more modest program already in place has been a bit of a bust with only 1.25 percent of debtors signing up, likely because of the unpleasant notion of additional paperwork and government reporting hassles. But by sweetening the deal and putting a big PR push behind it, Obama is betting that he can get people spending in time to help shore up his re-election chances.

    The best part for Obama is that he can obligate the Treasury without Congressional approval thanks to the passage of what he described as a cost-saving measure in 2009.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/10/26/obama-taps-taxpayers-for-student-stimulus/#ixzz1bvzzJBq0

    • This guy is Chicago politics through and through. How low can you go? And I don’t mean doing the Limbo or listening to Ludacris! This guy is just a crook to his core and I can’t wait for him to be out.

    • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

      Cut out student loans and watch tuitions drop. One of the saddest things I ever had to hear was when my eldest was getting ready for college. I took him to my Alma Mater and presented the case that I had four kids, was a civil servant and was looking for financial aid. The financial aid director didn’t seem to care much, they had made the US News top 20 list that year. He was willing to give nothing beyond a minor stipend. He did suggest loans though, lots and lots of loans, subsidized and unsubsidized. being new at this I blurted out that it seemed to me that tuition actually began where the loans ended. He looked me straight in the eye and said “exactly”.

      Wherever the Feds meddle, housing, college loans, things get screwed up in a hurry. They take something easy and make it difficult for all. In the mistaken notion that .they can help some, they ruin it for all.

      • Sk

        Wherever the Feds meddle, housing, college loans, things get screwed up in a hurry. They take something easy and make it difficult for all. In the mistaken notion that .they can help some, they ruin it for all.

        Academia and government coexist symbiotically – one needs the funds for they produce little to nothing of value, the other needs intellectuals to legitimize the theft to gain those funds.

        Your boy can get a degree and live at home for most -if not all- of his college years – and do it in two maybe three years, saving you a hundred thousand dollars.

      • Mathius™ says:

        I actually had this converation with the director of the MBA program at my grad school.

        His contention was that he would actually like to be able to cut tuition, but for some reason, people equate price with quality (go figure, right?). So, and he spouted a bunch of figures to support this, when schools lower tuition relative to other schools, enrollment drops because people think the school isn’t as good.

        • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

          The following answers it quite well.

          “Youse peoples are just too damned dumb to live….”

          S/Sgt. Robert E.Lee Smith 1969

  23. SK Trynosky Sr. says:

    Actually we got smart. I found out that there are all these schools who once had a reputation then lost it. they were all trying to get it back. They were dying for students with decent SAT’s and good grades who could finish in four not fourteen years. they cut him a deal for a 75% scholarship and 50% off room and board. He got an excellent education for a fraction of the cost at a smaller college not that far from home with no loans. Did pretty much the same for my daughter. One of the twins went to the US Merchant Marine Academy which is one of the most outrageous good deals on an engineering school out there. The other wound up in a mid size Catholic college before it got too full of itself. Would not recommend that place today. In many cases, the real quality of the school is inversely proportional to the size of the football field or sports complex.

    We also discovered that if you are going for a name, save it for grad school. Nobody really cares about undergrad. If you have a degree from Podunk U or St. Somebody, have good grades, do something important for a few years and THEN apply to Harvard. Surprisingly they will take you. At that point you will discover that they are merely rehashing everything you already learned at Podunk.

    Having been a day hop myself, I completely agree with your idea too. Those fools who used to go on to us about the “college experience” and “independence” still don’t get it. You become independent when you support yourself. The experience of learning how to puke everywhere is highly over rated.

  24. Mathius™ says:
    October 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Let me tell you, LOI, it is one of the great enjoyments of my life when I outflank you on the right.

    OK, here we go, ready? “Who cares?”

    They’re two separate issues. The first is a question of who has a right to live where and I say (and the Dread Pirate and Black Flag agree) that you have no right to artificially restrict where a free man may and may not live, nor where a free man may and may not work. If someone arbitrarily told you that you cannot go where you like or work where a job is available, you would have consider it a crime against humanity, yet to tell migrant workers that they will be arrested if they cross a line on a map in order to pick strawberries in miserable conditions for near-slave-wages, somehow that’s ok?

    The other issue is whether they should be eligible for welfare. I think (being the bleeding heart liberal that I am) that the question of need and duty to your fellow human beings is independent of citizenship status. A starving human is a starving human and, insofar as any such duty exists to help (I know we disagree on whether it does, but if it does exist), it exists to help people who are here legally or otherwise (if such a duty doesn’t exist, then it doesn’t exist for legal and illegal residents alike). They don’t stop being human because they crossed some artificial border without some piece of paper.

    Matt, I think you just made D13’s point here, what’s in my wallet is not your fair share. If someone arbitrarily told you that you had to pay to support anyone who enters the USA and demands assistance, you would have consider it a crime against yourself if they took by force what they decided was “fair”. By legislative process, they decide what is fair to take from you and I. By legislative process, they decide how much will be allocated for assisting needy citizens. But then we have laws against discrimination, which have been ruled to mean if we provide a service to a citizen, we have to provide that same service to any person, weather they are a citizen or not.

    “If you build it, they will come.” If you keep giving everyone free housing and food, they will come. They will also write home and invite friends and neighbors. Haiti hasn’t recovered from that earthquake yet. Why don’t we just send some boats and bring them here? As you say, they are human. I think NY would be where they should go first, “give me your poor, tired, hungry” etc… And if we take all the Haitians, then the Dominica Republic can have the whole island and make it more prosperous. Isn’t it strange, same island, half prosperous, half forever in poverty. And after that, how about inviting the all those Palestinian refugees in, you know, those mobs that were celebrating on 9/11?

    Or we give our government a permanent budget, they get so much each year.

  25. SK Trynosky Sr. says:

    Matt,

    Coming down here for a little more clarity. So, your solution is to become Calcutta? To allow anyone in at anytime? For what purpose? To make their lives better? Historically, from time to time we shut the gates allow the homogenization process to begin. As I said before, I have seen every day the result of this unfettered immigration that we have . Second and now third generation children not conversant with English and in my humble opinion doomed to marginalization for their lives. This is good?

    • SK,

      Second and now third generation children not conversant with English and in my humble opinion doomed to marginalization for their lives. This is good?

      How do you judge it?
      Why is your judgement of “good” or “bad” the one that is true?

      It is up to them, not you
      It is their lives, not yours.

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        I am not that heartless though I am upon occasion, pretty heartless. Just can’t see a society of Alpha’s and Epsilons if it can be avoided.

        • Mathius™ says:

          I am an Alpha.
          I am glad I’m an Alpha.
          Betas aren’t very smart.
          Deltas work too hard.
          Alpha is the best.
          I am glad I’m an Alpha.

          (one of my favorite novels of all time)

  26. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Greece is allowed to default on 50% of its debts (but no one calls it a default), 1.4 Trillion Euro (approximately $2 Trillion) “appears out of nowhere” and world markets celebrate this rampant devaluation of fiat currencies by sending stocks and commodities up like crazy. This rampant devaluation puts more money in the pockets of the “fat cats” while taking more money away from the poor and middle class. This is precisely what OWS should be protesting, but it ISN’T CAPITALISM by a long shot.

    • Peter

      world markets celebrate this rampant devaluation of fiat currencies by sending stocks and commodities up like crazy

      I wouldn’t call it a celebration, but a consequence.

      Europe is going to pour a trillion into a pit.

      The 50% write down will trigger the derivatives, the loss will not be borne by the bond holders but by US banks. The banks cannot hold this, so the FED will step in, pouring more money into a pit.

      Inflation is a risk.

      If you do not “believe” in gold, there is really only one avenue to save your cash wealth – and that is to get out of cash and into assets.

      Stock market sees a rise in demand.

    • Gold started dropping also, might be a buying opportunity coming. My first thought, we/they are just putting this off for an even harder fall, but as long as it’s not them in office when it hit’s I guess they don’t care. Hot potato, hot potato……

  27. Mathius™ says:

    What makes you think that English is going to (or should) emerge as the dominant language? English is awful. The spelling is atrocious. The grammar is squirrely. Syntax is all over the place. “PH” makes “F”. “C” can be an “S” or a “K” depending on the situation. “I” comes before “E”, but not after “C”. There are no accent marks to clarify pronunciation. There are exceptions to virtually every rule. I don’t speak Spanish very well, but I can tell you it’s vastly a superior language. English sucks – we’d all be better off if we spoke Esperanto.

    And, before you have the audacity to declare that this country was founded on English, I would point out that speaking Native American languages long before that. Then French, Spanish, Potugese and English, before consolidating into English as dominant) .

    • Are you done? What makes you think your squaking is going to change our language? We didn’t invent the language. It’s the number three (by a hair) spoken language in the world. Is it me or is Matt sounding more and more anti-American each day?

      • Mathius™ says:

        AH HAHAHA AHAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHHAHHAHAAHHA AH AAHAHHAA

        It took over two years, but I knew that if I hung around here long enough, someone would accuse me of being un-American or anti-America!

        • Fine. Hit me with your I Love America speech.

          • Mathius™ says:

            I don’t need to. You’re the one who doesn’t love America. You love the idea of what you think America SHOULD BE. You love mom and apple pie, drive in movies with the pop-top down, small government that stays out of the way, wide open plains with amber waves of grain. A white, English speaking, Christian nation, blessed by the one true God. A country which is, by virtue of it’s inherent superiority in every way, the envy of the rest of the world.

            This America does not exist.

            In many ways, this country never existed.

            And when it did, it was only a passing phase on it’s way to becoming something else. Just a moment in time.

            We are not “special.” We are not inherently superior. There is no national official language and never has been. There is no official religion and never was – Jefferson was a deist who reissued his own version of the bible which edited out all that God-stuff, keeping only the ethics. We haven’t had a “small” or unobtrusive government in your life time, not even in your great-grandfather’s father’s lifetime. It’s true that we are rich in resources, but we got those resources following a concerted program of systematic slaughter and forced relocation of the native inhabitants – my, what moral and upstanding origins this great nation has. Many people do envy us, but it is sheer hubris to imagine that everyone does. We perpetrate so much evil, violence, and brutal manipulation around the world, broad percentages hate our guts, and for good reason. Yet you persist in viewing America as a beacon to the world of justice and morality?

            You have fallen victim to a common affliction. You see “America,” the way it was sold (yes, sold) to you in books in the (socialisticly funded) classrooms of your childhood. You bought it, hook, line, and sinker. You internalized it and froze it. “I love America” to you means “I love an image of America that never really existed, but closely resembles the world of Leave it to Beaver and Patty Duke.” And then you grew up, and you see the world changing. And in many ways, it is changing, but in a lot of the ways that count, you’re just seeing that the world you remember does not apply.

            Where are all these brown people coming from? What is happening to the language I speak? Before the “brown people” showed up, it was the “yellow people” and before that, it was the “red haired people” (Irish). And they came with their own foreign and scary and “Un-American”) regions and social customs and languages. America has been, since before it’s inception as a country, a land in constant flux in terms of demographics, religion, language, culture. Yet you have a picture in your head of it one specific way, and anything else is un-American.

            You want to use government as a means to “lock-in” the picture in your head; to force the world to confirm to your ideal.

            It is you who hate the real America.

            • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

              We are a goal oriented people in this country. No one is fool enough to think now or in the past that we are/were perfect however, we strive for perfection. We, lead the way. Others follow us. In the history of all mankind, for the past 6,000 years, we are the longest surviving democracy and we are one that constantly seeks improvement (with an occasional setback.)

              There are worse things than Mom, Apple Pie and old time religion. Concentration Camps and Gulags for example or the killing fields of Cambodia.

              • SK,

                we are the longest surviving democracy

                Just let you know, the US was supposed to be Republic, not a Democracy, and that lasted only 11 years.

                The pretense of such a formation was totally vacated by 1865.

              • Mathius™ says:

                We’ve had concentration camps / gulags. Manzanar and the some Indian Reserves.

                We’ve had killing fields a plenty.

                You suggest that because we seek perfection, we are special? Do you believe that other cultures are happy to simply sit in mediocrity? Or that we’re just better at innovating? Others follow us, and we follow others. Why do you think I own a Japanese car? Because they WALLOPED us on the innovation front while Detroit was perfectly happy to stagnate.

                We are not special.

                We are not a beautiful butterfly.

                We are part of the same compost heap as everybody else.

              • I think you own a Japanese car because of Progressive policies. 😆

                We need some music-things are wayyyyyy to intense this morning.

                How about

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                Yep, and we rejected them, apologized for them and tried to improve ourselves. Somehow, the Manzanar’s never quite achieved the status of Dachau. I remember back in the day, in that very same History class the teacher fielding just such questions about Indians and reservations. He asked us who thought it was wrong. In 1963 all 48 hands in that class shot up. He considered that progress. I tend to agree. We acknowledge our mistakes, grudgingly, maybe and too late definitely but we acknowledge them. Just what do the Japanese teach about WW 2 in their schools, want to guess?

              • SK

                We acknowledge our mistakes

                The Apache are waiting for your apology.
                Then when you are done there, the Filipinos are waiting.
                Then when you are done there, the Vietnamese are waiting.
                Then when you are done there, the Iraqis are waiting….

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                Yes Matt, we stagnated in the ’70’s and were blindsided by the first oil embargo. But just who taught them how to be competitive in manufacturing in the 1950’s and literally built their industrial plant? It has been said that we profited by WW 2 in the ’50’s and ’60’s because we were literally the last man standing with our undamaged pre-war industrial plant. Same thing happened for them in the ’70’s. We had this 1930’s manufacturing industrial base and they had the brand spanking new one built by us after the 20th and 8th Air Force urban renewaled theirs. There is never one reason, there are always many.

              • I guess we’ll just see in the coming years. There is a shift happening from progressive to conservative thinking. Folks are more alert to what’s happening to our country because of progressive thinking. I stay firmly rooted in conservatism. In the meantime I think I need a break before I go crazy.

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                Yes Flag, I understand we are a hyphenated, bastardized Republican Democracy and the only thing the Confederacy succeeded in doing was to create the exact monster they feared the most.

              • Mathius™ says:

                V, you win the internet for your musical selection.

                I LOVE this song. Fits my mood pretty well for right now, too.

                +10 Mathius Points.

              • Mathius™ says:

                V!

                Another awesome selection.

                I’m going to have you build me a playlist for my workday.

                +10 more Mathius Points

              • Glad you liked them-I especially like the Buffalo Springfield song 🙂

            • Mathius,

              For the most part……….well said sir.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Many languages are what is known as romantic languages. They’re generally more efficient, easier to speak, and even arguably sound better. Whereas English is generally more mechanically oriented, systematic, flexible, and redundant, and is therefore more geared toward science.

      I’m not sure that makes it superior, …but it sure is useful.

      • Mathius™ says:

        Can you support your stance that it is better geared toward science? I’m not sure how you reached the conclusion that it’s more systematic or flexible or “mechanically oriented” or, even, redundant.

        • Bottom Line says:

          Okay, for example,…

          Spanish is one of the romantic languages and it’s grammar is set up to be a little simpler and efficient in some respects…like when you’re addressing someone, you don’t have to use the word “you/usted” unless there is a reason to do so. They already know you’re talking to them. To say “you/usted” is unnecessary. Whereas in English,the word “you” is used by default. It is more redundant, but arguably more accurate.

          English is a lot about Latin, and prefixes and suffixes, which is rather useful when categorizing things. This also makes it flexible as you can use prefixes and suffixes to make up words on the fly, …and people still know what you mean.

          It’s kinda like playing Lego’s with words instead. This is basically what I was getting at when calling it more mechanically oriented and geared toward science.

          There are a lot of languages that when there isn’t a word for something, they have to use more words to describe it, rather than altering the words like you can with English.

          • Mathius™ says:

            Whereas in English,the word “you” is used by default. It is more redundant, but arguably more accurate. In Spanish, the “who” is implied in the conjugation of the verb. -o means yourself, -as means you, -a means he/she/you-honorific, -amos means we, -as means they. I’m way oversimplifying this, but you get the point.

            There are a lot of languages that when there isn’t a word for something, they have to use more words to describe it, rather than altering the words like you can with English. I’m not strong enough in Spanish to comment on this.

            But you’ve given me some food for thought… I’ll mull this over.

            • Bottom Line says:

              ” In Spanish, the “who” is implied in the conjugation of the verb. -o means yourself, -as means you, -a means he/she/you-honorific, -amos means we, -as means they. ”

              …therefore offering a way to eliminate certain adverbs, thus more efficient. Good example.

              ” I’m not strong enough in Spanish to comment on this. ”

              Neither am I, really. Any Spanish that I know comes from working with Spanish speakers in the service as well as on construction sites, and the practice while visiting several Spanish speaking places. I can tell you what the general topic and perhaps the individuals’ position of a conversation is, by identifying words, clips and phrases here and there, …but I’m not fluent by any means.

              The message I am conveying to you about Spanish grammar vs English grammar was conveyed/taught to me by a Colombian.

              And it’s not just/necessarily Spanish. There are a bazillion languages, and types of languages.

              Since we’re on Spanish, I might add that there are several forms of Spanish, and from what I understand, are all deriving from Castillian Spanish from Spain. It is the ‘mother language’ (if you will). There are Spanish words in some countries that don’t apply in others. If I were fluent, I may be able to give you an example.

              ” But you’ve given me some food for thought… I’ll mull this over. ”

              I like ‘food for thought’.

              Enlightenment is Knowledge, and Knowledge is Power. It’s also Truth, and Truth is Freedom. Freedom is also Knowledge, and Power too. It’s all connected, …and starts with food for thought.

              Hence why Learning is Fun, and Teaching is a Reward.

    • Matt, learning the native language means adopting a large part of it’s culture. Melting pot or assimilation.

      • Mathius™ says:

        Melting pot means you adapt to them as well.

        If I had to lay a bet on what the majority of people will be speaking in 50 years, it would be on some kind of English-Spanish hybrid.

        • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

          More likely an Arabic hybrid.

          • Mathius™ says:

            Maybe some of that thrown in too for good measure. And Chinese as well.

            Hell, English already steals words from practically every other language.

    • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

      Actually was speaking with a Brazilian teacher of English the other week. He loves English. He claims that English is a clear language where many more thoughts, feelings and ideas can be expressed than in Portuguese and by extension Spanish. When you see that the roots of English are much more complicated than the romantic languages, you can understand what he is getting at. If you want simple, go with Esperanto. There is another little matter to me, the history of English law and culture. back in High School I had a great History teacher who predicted that the only former colonies that even had a prayer of success were the ones that England controlled. The Spanish, Portuguese, Belgian, and Dutch ones were going to be a disaster since their history of democratic tradition and the rights of man were so far inferior to the English. Forty five years down the road, history has more or less proved him right.

      The American tradition of freedom was founded on English. That’s all I have to say about that. Drag any other culture into the equation and you get Mexico.

  28. Occupy Wall Street kitchen staff protesting fixing food for freeloaders

    By SELIM ALGAR and BOB FREDERICKS

    Last Updated: 10:58 AM, October 27, 2011

    The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution yesterday — because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.

    For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad.

    They will also provide directions to local soup kitchens for the vagrants, criminals and other freeloaders who have been descending on Zuccotti Park in increasing numbers every day.

    To show they mean business, the kitchen staff refused to serve any food for two hours yesterday in order to meet with organizers to air their grievances, sources said.

    As the kitchen workers met with the “General Assembly’’ last night, about 300 demonstrators stormed from the park to Reade Street and Broadway, where they violently clashed with cops.

    Officers made at least 10 arrests when rowdy demonstrators refused to get out of the street and stop blocking traffic. A dozen cops on scooters tried to force them back to the sidewalk.

    There were no reported injuries.

    The demonstrators said they were angry over the violence in Oakland.

    After making their way to Union Square, many of the protesters returned to Zuccotti.

    The Assembly announced the three-day menu crackdown announced earlier in the day — insisting everybody would be fed something during that period.

    Some protesters threatened that the high-end meals could be cut off completely if the vagrants and criminals don’t disperse.

    Unhappiness with their unwelcome guests was apparent throughout the day.

    “We need to limit the amount of food we’re putting out” to curb the influx of derelicts, said Rafael Moreno, a kitchen volunteer.

    A security volunteer added that the cooks felt “overworked and underappreciated.”

    Many of those being fed “are professional homeless people. They know what they’re doing,” said the guard at the food-storage area.

    Today, a limited menu of sandwiches, chips and some hot food will be doled out — so legitimate protesters will have a day to make arrangements for more upscale weekend meals.

    Protesters got their first taste of the revolt within the revolt yesterday when the kitchen staff served only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chips after their staff meeting.

    Organizers took other steps to police the squatters, who they said were lured in from other parks with the promise of free meals.

    A team of 10 security volunteers moved in to the trouble-prone southwest section of Zuccotti Park in a show of force to confront them.

    “We’re not going to let some members of this community destroy the whole movement,” a volunteer said.

    Some arguments broke out as the security team searched tents — but no violence erupted.

    Overall security at the park had deteriorated to the point where many frightened female protesters had abandoned the increasingly out-of-control occupation, security- team members said.

    Rumors swirled that one homeless man had pulled a knife in a dispute the night before — and that there had been yet another case of groping.

    But protesters and a cop on duty told The Post that most of the crime goes unreported, because of a bizarre “stop snitching” rule.

    “What’s happening in there is staying in there,” said the cop.

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/zuccotti_hell_kitchen_i5biNyYYhpa8MSYIL9xSDL#ixzz1bzoYTya1

    Seems the protesters are tired of feeding the freeloaders-so they are trying to figure out ways to stop the freeloaders from taking what is not theirs-and low and behold-the problem being local seems to make their ability to identify which is which easier.

  29. Mathius™ says:

    Black Flag® says:
    October 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    SK

    We acknowledge our mistakes

    The Apache are waiting for your apology.
    Then when you are done there, the Filipinos are waiting.
    Then when you are done there, the Vietnamese are waiting.
    Then when you are done there, the Iraqis are waiting….

    ——————

    I don’t think the Iraqis are going to accept our apologies until after we stop killing them.

    .. just a thought..

    • I suppose, I understand the desire to open people’s eyes that we are not perfect-but I find those who work so hard to do so-end up presenting a very one-sided argument-an argument that brings about-not the change you desire but a “Fuck America” mentality.

      • EXACTLY! And to those who feel that way, why continue to live in this country?

        (I can’t believe you said that word V, but your description fits.)

        • Anita-I agree that there are some people who actually hate America-but many who talk this way-Do not-they are trying to stop us from going into another war, etc. They love the US as much as you or I do.

      • Versus those who put forth their one-sided argument leading to the mentality of how great America is?

        This nation is flawed from more than one direction. You wish to infer with your statement – it would seem – that only one side of the coin is tarnished. That’s a bit hypocritical don’t you think?

        • Is that what I inferred-I really don’t think so. I think I said pretty clearly exactly what I meant.

          • I was being polite in my phrasing.

            Otherwise I must say your thought bolsters what Mathius wrote in the first place.

            • Plainly-what part of -I understand wanting to open people’s eyes-means I think those who promote the we are perfect message are right. And what part of -if all you do is condemn leads to a one-sided argument is wrong. And please tell me the “Fuck America” idea isn’t prevalent and encouraged by one-sided arguments.

        • PS Don’t put words in my mouth. I do not condone much of what has happened to our country in the last 40 years. Tell me what harm it is to live under my illusion of what America is. Then tell me what harm it is to live in this progressive America that we have today. Then tell me which America you prefer.

          • Anita, you are free to live under whatever illusion you wish – but not to try an push that illusion on me or anyone else.

            My choice would be neither – since both are only promoting their brand of freedom and liberty. Conservatism is no more (or less) righteous than liberalism.

            • Nice dodge. Care to answer now?

              • It isn’t a dodge. I can, apparently unlike yourself, realize there are more than two choices.

              • I guess it just sucks to be me then.

              • No, what sucks it that you can only see an either/or choice. Is that to say then that your side is right and the other is wrong? That America can only survive and prosper under the conservatism you so firmly stand in?

                Others, like myself, will point out that your conservatism is just as guilty as liberalism for doing wrongs too. You don’t want to believe – it seems – that conservatism can be just as ugly.

                I answered your question simply, but you won’t accept that. Why?

              • Mathius™ says:

                Then tell me which America you prefer. The REAL America.

                Your America never existed. You’ve blanked out all the bad stuff and kept all the good.

                You said 40 year.. ok.. let’s go back 40 years.

                Let’s see..
                We’re already in Cambodia as part of the Vietnam War
                We’ve now also invaded Laos as part of the Vietnam War
                Big Government is spending a fortune in your tax dollars to launch Apollo 14
                Cold War with Russia is in it’s 16th year
                Insufficient building codes result in decimation when a 6.4 quake hits the San Fernando Valley
                The Weather Underground bombs the men’s room in the US Capital
                Frazier defeats Ali
                Here’s a big one: Mai Lai massacre
                And another: Charles Manson is convicted
                SCOTUS rules in favor of bussing
                Police arrest 12,000 people protesting in DC
                Pentagon papers

                Let’s also recall that being gay or black or a woman or a Jew made you a second or third class citizen.

                That’s just the first half of the year, and after just a few minutes of looking around. Some bad, some very bad, some not so bad. And the Ali fight was great. I’m just listing mostly bad stuff here to make a point – that it wasn’t all roses.

                But I wonder.. what is it that YOU remember about 1971? You remember an America that was.. what? Like a sitcom. You remember families being closer, government being smaller, the world being more peaceful and safer. You remember only half the story. You think America was better then than now? How? Why?

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                As far as I am concerned, ’71 sucked. Now if you want to throw out ’61 that’s a different matter. Great year!. Re: the ’71 though. As a New Yorker, Blacks, Jews and Women got plenty of respect from me and mine. Gays were smart enough not to be in your face and again were treated like anyone else. They would have sent you to the booby hatch though if you suggested Gay marriage. Mai Lai was a tragedy stopped when a helicopter pilot and his crew of two put down between Calley’s troops and the villagers and threatened to open up on the US troops if they kept it up. That, to me showed what we were made of, not some damn fool brown bar and a shake and bake 1st Sgt who had no business being in the Army. Laos & Cambodia, blame ’em on JFK a fact conveniently forgotten. Cold war with Russia, 16th year was important because it was NOT a hot war with Russia. Apollo 14, a waste?, Never! Money can never be wasted on science or R & D. it always pays you back if not sooner then later.

              • SK, some good points but I have to ask:

                Laos & Cambodia, blame ‘em on JFK a fact conveniently forgotten.

                Could you explain why a man dead for 8 years is responsible? If we go that route shouldn’t we blame Vietnam on DDE?

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                We never really left Laos after the 1962 accords, neither did the NVA but we pretended we did. As a matter of fact just least year we finally authorized a MOH for an airman who died there back in the late ’60’s at a secret radar site the CIA set up. Cambodia was always the “route” into SVN which everyone pretended wasn’t until Nixon invaded.

              • SK,

                Cambodia was always the “route” into SVN which everyone pretended wasn’t until Nixon invaded.

                Why was this important to the USA how one nation 3,000 miles away attacked another nation 3,000 miles away?

      • Mathius™ says:

        V.,

        I’m just trying to balance the scale a little bit. America has done a lot of good and advanced the world in many ways. I think we try to be a positive force in the world, but we often fail in that goal. Have you ever met a person who would look in the mirror and admit to being a bad person? Or who would admit that the world would be better off without him? I’m not talking about someone with depression, I mean someone who has given it serious introspective thought and reached this conclusion?

        Of course not.

        We are self-deluding on a grand scale. We reinforce each other’s skewed and biased world views. It’s why alcoholics tend to hang out with other alcoholics. They support each other when they lie to themselves and pretend they don’t have a problem. It’s easier to believe you don’t have a problem when the people around you are telling you that you don’t have a problem.

        We have a problem.

        The problem is that we are not who we think we are. We are not a country based on Leave it to Beaver. We are a violent, greedy, thoughtless, arrogant, reactionary, selfish, manipulative, vicious, opportunistic people. We have always been. Does this make us evil? I’m not qualified to say.

        But we keep blanking out the bad things, waving them away as if, once apologized for, they are expunged from our record and no longer count toward determining our national character. Mass murder of Native American? Apologized for – doesn’t count! Forced internment camps for the Japanese? Apologized for – doesn’t count! Slavery / Jim Crow? Apologized for – doesn’t count! Why should we able to claim all the good and disclaim all the bad?

        People like Anita were sold a fairytale. They believe in it so firmly that they can never be shaken from this blind faith that America is the best country on Earth and special and bless. And because they believe it WAS perfect at the time they bought into this, they see the fact that it’s different as evidence of it’s decline. Change is always inherently bad.

        So I’m just trying to keep some perspective. I don’t consider myself to have a “fuck America” attitude, but neither do I have an “America! Fuck Yeah!” attitude, that is so pervasive. Recognizing the negatives of ones own character does not mean you dislike yourself on balance, just that you acknowledge that you are human, and are therefore deeply flawed.

        There is a common thing people do called “special exceptions.” If someone cuts you off in traffic, you will many times consider that person a jerk or thoughtless. Yet when you do it (and we all do, occasionally), you write it off as a one-off, or an accident, or boneheaded. You don’t ascribe the personality traits to yourself that you do for others given comparable actions. We always make exceptions for ourselves. You were rude? Maybe you weren’t feeling well, so it’s not who you are. But when you meet someone else who acts rudely, you just think of them as a rude person – it doesn’t really matter to you if they were feeling well or not. Does this make sense?

        It’s the same thing for national identities. Russia creates Gulags, it’s evidence that they are a cruel people ruled by autocrats who don’t care about the rights of their citizens. We create “internment camps,” it’s evidence that we got carried away and made a mistake because we were driven mad by fear – it’s not who we really are. What? Why? Because our psychology plays a trick on us. And it’s our fault for letting it.

        • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

          You are getting me to understand much better a mindset that I have never understood. Yes we have done bad things but and it is a huge BUT, our bad things are absolutely nothing like other peoples bad things. In the scheme of things our bad things are pretty lame. Take the Brits, a civilized people by most accounts who despite colonialism brought the benefits of civilization and modern national management to the second most populous state in the world, India. In Africa and the Caribbean they did likewise and produced the only really successful nations that were former colonies. Yet, there was and is Ireland. A short trip across from Great Britain, a people ethnically not very different from the British and yet a people so incredibly abused it boggles the mind. These were not savages to be tamed, they were a people who shared a lot of history with the Brits and yet there was the famine and what happened to the American Indian even pales in comparison with what the Brits did.

          So, my young friend what I take from you today is not that Anita is delusional (nor am I) but in fact you are. You only see the bad. You are in away so idealistic that the failure of this nation to live up to your ideals and expectations leaves you with a nagging contempt. I honor and respect your idealism, I tend to tear up when I think of how we Americans (get that one, my ancestors arrived in 1905) have abused anyone else, Blacks, Mexicans, Indians, Japanese but I was fortunate enough to be raised in a household that believed that mistakes could be overcome, that the American people who ultimately made us Hunkies and Bohunks feel part of the country would ultimately take us to the place we want to be and make us the people we want to be.

          • Mathius™ says:

            Am I delusional…. hmm.. Well that would be hard for me to ascertain, now wouldn’t that?

            Do I have contempt for America… no… I don’t think so. I tend to just think of myself as a realist (doesn’t everybody?). I see the things we do in historical perspective. I see people demanding that we keep the Mexicans out, and I think of how this country was built on the backs of immigrants. I see people disparaging the “decline” of modern America and yearning for the “simpler” “good old days” of America (which conveniently often coincides with their own youth.. conveniently the time in your life when you had no worries or cares), and I think of how that America never existed. There were no “good old days” – they were nasty and brutish in many of the same ways as now, and far worse in others. I see the way people judge other countries for their actions, but always seem to give America a pass because it was a long time ago, or it was a mistake we’ve since apologized for. I like America – I think it’s pretty good – but I don’t think that it’s what you think it is.

            No, I see an American way of life which is in ascendancy. Quality of life (ignoring the last three years) has been steadily improving. The world has been getting richer, more connected. Are we perfect? NO. Are we getting there? Fat chance. But by virtually every metric, 2011 is better than 1971, and 1971 was better than 1871. The emperor of Rome never had a life so good as the average American today.

            But the upshot is change. Always and forever: change. Anita, you, VH.. you have this picture in your mind – it is a story sold to you in childhood of a flag waving patriot America, land of freedom and opportunity and promise. But , SK, it’s just a story. It’s just a postcard from some exotic destination (instead of a where, it’s a when), and the realities of that place can never live up to your memory and imagination. If you could be transported back in time, you would be severely disappointed.

            And you compare our evils to the evils of others and say we’re not bad.. by comparison. Maybe, maybe not. But if you are a thief, does that make you good just because your neighbor is a murderer? If you used to steal, but haven’t in a while, does that mean you’re now absolved of guilt? Especially if you’re extremely likely to do so again when the urge strikes you? No.. I don’t think so. Maybe I’m just a tough critic.

            As for being delusional.. well the dread pirate living in my head thinks I’m crazy, but what does he know?

            • Matt-I don’t want to be transported back to the past-I don’t want to just return to the way it was-I simply don’t want to throw the good out with the bad. I don’t want our culture-our founding principals -to be thrown away because we have screwed up- and worse be replaced with no principals at all.

            • Dang Anita-were you aware we were struck in the past-unable to acknowledge the bad-that we are living in a dream world of a better time-Hell I thought we were looking at some of the changes and dreading the future our poor children are going to face -if we don’t stand up for our principals.

              • No I wasn’t aware of that either. I just thought my CHRISTIAN upbringing led me to be guided by certain VIRTUES, something that was forgotten in the big rush to the 21st century. Hrumph!

              • ROFL- BTW! (that oughta get em stirred up 🙂

              • Maybe I’m just getting old and mean but I actually heard harps playing while I was being condescended too -just really irritated me. Almost called Matt a whipplesnapple, just because it’s as old as he seems to think I am, but I refrained, well sorta, because I like him so much. 🙂

              • Trust me..my virtues were put on hold for a bit earlier too. 🙂 Thank God for SK. I am certified non-delusional.

            • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

              I have found it difficult to exculpate the Germans and Japanese as races from what they did before and during the second world war. Hell, I have a problem that there was a second world war that they instigated even if they had not elevated butchery to a whole new never before seen level, yet, as a man I have forgiven the German and Japanese people because there is no way all of them caused that horror show. there were good people there. I seem to remember in the Bible the negotiations over sparing certain cities if there were but a few righteous men. Now my problem with your attitude which again you have finally helped me understand today ( by the way, you actually have made me understand the mind set of all those I opposed back in the ’60’s, you have a lot in common with them or vica versa) is that you just don’t see the righteousness in the country or society. Somehow you seem unable to to divorce the evil (temporary) from sacrifices made in this country to right wrongs(permanent). I personally love the last lines of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. “As he died to make men Holy, let us die to make men free.” It never fails to send a shiver down my spine. Over 364,000 men gave their lives in large part to make those men free. Whether you realize it or not, you dishonor their memory with your attitude not to mention the 425,000 that died to rid the world of Fascism.. I understand where you are coming from and occasionally feel that way myself but man is not perfect, only God is. We must struggle and as I’ve remarked before, that is painful.

              We are that shining city on a hill that Reagan talked about. It’s the eternal old question, “If not us, who?” I see no one opposing change unless they feel that the “change” is not for the better. America was an empty country built by immigrants. It is less empty today. You have to look at why America succeeded, why it did not become Yugoslavia. Why by virtue of adopting a common culture and language over generations we were able to leave behind the prejudices that we brought with us from the old country. Watching a mob of white robed Klansmen attack the home of a black railroad worker, my grandfather told his 12 year old son, my father, that this was wrong, that this was why he left Russia. I am so proud of that man who died more than 16 years before I was born to have said that to my father so that he could say it to me when I was an impressionable teenager. I owe Andrei Troyanovskii a debt that I can only repay by passing on his words to my own children.

        • First I will say that I believe YOUR intent is to do whats right. But I think the outcome isn’t going to be what you wish. You talk about balance, yet, as SK aptly pointed out -your words drip with contempt. There is no balance-you have a long list of our evilness but one little line of we try to do good but we fail.

          • Mathius™ says:

            There isn’t really any contempt here, V. If anything, I’m tired. I’m tired of it. People lie to themselves, they carry this self-aggrandizing dream-worlds in their heads. They shield themselves against the harsh realities by seeking out others who will tell them the things that they want to hear. People.. countries.. it’s just a question of scale, but not of substance. It’s really just human nature, writ large.

            America does good things. It does bad things.

            It had good points. It had bad points. (past tense)

            It has good points. It has bad points. (present tense)

            On balance, I’d say things are getting better, and I would say that America is better than many countries but worse than others. But it’s impossible to gauge when the starting comparison point is a fantasy land of the “good old days” which never existed, or of an innocent and beneficent America which simply is not historically accurate. It would be as if I am trying to chart the progress of technology but I insist on treating science fiction novels as fact when talking about the 1960’s, then claim we’re in decline because we no longer have the technology to travel to other worlds. And then I lament how I wish I could return to the good old days when we had food replicators and transporter beams to get from place to place.

            And all this came about because Anita accused me of being anti-America because I don’t see why English should be ordained as the language of America – as if the snapshot in her mind of a specific time period where that was the case is the arbiter of how things always were or always should be or of what is “best.” I’m sorry, I just don’t see it.

            • Seriously Matt-you are too young to be so serious-life is hard but it is also wonderful. We all need to SEE but you need to be able to evaluate their statements based on the context-not the whole picture. I see the 50’s as a better time morally when it comes to acceptable behavior for our children compared to the free love of the 60’s. I do not claim it was perfect-hiding your pregnant children away in shame or forcing them into marriage-goes too far, IMHO. I am not making a statement about our foreign policies when I say this, it is a small window into the past. Lighten up-you can and should participate in trying to fix what is wrong in this world -but stop making it harder than it must be. People are not perfect-we cannot change the past-we can only move forward. Most of us are not as delusional as you think-but some are.

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                The shunning of the pregnant teen was not pretty but it did have an effect, boy, did it ever serve as a lesson. In the scheme of things I wonder if it was not better than what we have now with throw away children. My particular group would shun the daddy as well considering him an irresponsible SOB. Since it was never a government inspired or directed program but rather involved in individual freedom of association you can’t really complain about it. ,

    • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

      Jeez, you ought to look at my kids old High School American History book.

  30. A Puritan Descendant says:

    God I Love this country! It’s highly educated founders responsible for the 5000 year leap!
    ‘Baseball, hot dogs, Hard Cider, and Chevrolet’!
    May the best team win tonight! (so long as they are the Texas Rangers)

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