Capitalism: A Hate Story, Part I

The discussions the last few days around the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd has resulted in some interesting thoughts coming out on all sides. A few weeks ago (months ago?) Mr. Stella claimed that I must know that Capitalism is a failed enterprise because I refused to answer Noam Chomsky’s claim that capitalism would not survive for five minutes without government. A claim that tonight I call nonsense. And I will tell you why, Mr. Stella. It is because in the first place, what Chomsky refers to as capitalism in most of his “intelligent” discussions is actually nothing more than a convenient manipulation of the definition of capitalism in order to fit his argument.

Mr. Chomsky’s entire argument is based on you first accepting his definition of capitalism, his facts around what it is and how it works. Unfortunately, Mr. Chomsky is working from a false premise, probably caused by his hanging around liberal higher learning types for so long that he forgot that you have to start with the truth to end up at the truth. He starts from a false definition and has been getting patted on the back for so long by libtards that he now actually believes his definitions and premises to be true. They are not. But then again how could they be true? He has never stuck to any one definition or belief with any consistency.

There is this little nugget…

Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. Thus, a corporation or an industry is, if we were to think of it in political terms, fascist; that is, it has tight control at the top and strict obedience has to be established at every level — there’s a little bargaining, a little give and take, but the line of authority is perfectly straightforward.

Business Today, May 1973

Or these thoughts on Capitalism…

Capitalism is basically a system where everything is for sale, and the more money you have, the more you can get. And, in particular, that’s true of freedom. Freedom is one of the commodities that is for sale, and if you are affluent, you can have a lot of it. It shows up in all sorts of ways. It shows up if you get in trouble with the law, let’s say, or in any aspect of life it shows up. And for that reason it makes a lot of sense, if you accept capitalist system, to try to accumulate property, not just because you want material welfare, but because that guarantees your freedom, it makes it possible for you to amass that commodity.

Interview by David Dobereiner, John Hess, Doug Richardson & Tom Woodhull, January 1974

Or is it that Capitalism doesn’t exist at all?

I should say that when people talk about capitalism it’s a bit of a joke. There’s no such thing. No country, no business class, has ever been willing to subject itself to the free market, free market discipline. Free markets are for others. Like, the Third World is the Third World because they had free markets rammed down their throat. Meanwhile, the enlightened states, England, the United States, others, resorted to massive state intervention to protect private power, and still do. That’s right up to the present.

“Sovereignty and World Order” at Kansas State University, September 20, 1999

Or capitalism used to exist but doesn’t any longer, which certainly flies in the face of the capitalism wouldn’t let 5 minutes without government…

The “corporatization of America” during the past century has been an attack on democracy—and on markets, part of the shift from something resembling “capitalism” to the highly administered markets of the modern state/corporate era. A current variant is called “minimizing the state,” that is, transferring decision-making power from the public arena to somewhere else: “to the people” in the rhetoric of power; to private tyrannies, in the real world.

Profit Over People (1999)

As you can see, Noam Chomsky is simply all over the place when it comes to defining capitalism or even discussing the concept of capitalism. And that is because he practices what many intelligent manipulation professionals are so adept at: Appearing to never be wrong because for each premise they espouse, they first alter and set forth precise definitions and parameters that will specifically support whatever point they will make that day. As a result, they seem extremely intelligent so long as you don’t follow them enough to notice how often their definitions and parameters change as needed. What he lacks is consistency, because consistency in his definitions would paint him into a corner that he can’t avoid contradictions in.

So there is my answer on Chomsky, Charlie. I see him as little more than a very intelligent snake oil salesman. He is so intelligent that people don’t really challenge him to his face for fear of being embarrassed. Yet the more you read of him or listen to him, if you are doing so with rational skepticism, the more you see the contradictions and false assumptions. In his world, A+B+C= Pasta. And he will always be right so long as no one challenges his definitions of what A, B, and C are.

Now on to the claim that Capitalism wouldn’t last 5 minutes without government.

Do you really not see the ridiculousness of this claim? What is the “real” definition of capitalism? I will leave it to Webster’s:

an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

What exactly does government have to do with that? None of that economic system defined above requires government to survive. In fact, as far as capitalism goes, government doesn’t even need to exist. All that needs to happen for capitalism to survive is for a free market to allow things to happen without government interference. Now, whether you believe that is a good idea or a bad idea is a whole different story. You can believe that capitalism as defined above is a horrible idea. But that wasn’t the question. The question was how do I answer Chomsky’s claim. And I answer it by saying that he is dead wrong. In fact he couldn’t be further from the truth if he tried. The reality is this:

The length of time that capitalism will exist is directly proportionate to the amount of interference that government will put in its way under the guise of “controlling outcomes.” The claim that capitalism cannot exist without government is utter nonsense. The reality is that capitalism cannot exist BECAUSE of government.

Capitalism may very well be dying. If it is, the reason will ultimately be because government continued to attempt to control it. It will be because people were manipulated by people like Chomsky into believing that socialism should replace capitalism as a reigning ideology (in other words believing that it would be better to have ten ultra powerful super rich folks and everyone else equally poor than to have thousands of super rich folks and “too much” disparity among the rest).

And that, my friend, is what I say to Chomsky’s nonsense. In Part II, I will deal with Capitalism on a broader scale, devoid of Chomsky’s nonsense…

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Comments

  1. I wonder if Charlie ever stopped to surmise…..that in his perfect world…..there is still a one percent with absolute power and all the money?

  2. @ Charlie,the Canoli Man and Plutonian adventurer…..I have read the following books by Chomsky. “Manufacturing Consent – Noam Chomsky and the Media”, “Profit Over People: Neoliberalism & Global Order”, and “9-11: Was There an Alternative? (Open Media Book)”.

    Very interesting outtake on a lot of things…..but the one major thing that has stood out above all others are his books. He sells them…for profit…on the open market, So, how does one who despises capitalism……use it and not be guilty of hypocrisy? But…what the hell, I am just a retired old colonel whom knows nothing.

    • Morning Colonel, a little cruel to shatter the Sages illusions like this. Maybe next time he’ll pick a cowboy for his hero…..

      Noam Chomsky, Closet Capitalist
      by Peter Schweizer

      Chomsky talks an anti-capitalist game, but what does he practice? Market economics at their most profitable. By Peter Schweizer.
      this is an image

      One of the most persistent themes in Noam Chomsky’s work has been class warfare. He has frequently lashed out against the “massive use of tax havens to shift the burden to the general population and away from the rich” and criticized the concentration of wealth in “trusts” by the wealthiest 1 percent. The American tax code is rigged with “complicated devices for ensuring that the poor—like 80 percent of the population—pay off the rich.”

      But trusts can’t be all bad. After all, Chomsky, with a net worth north of $2,000,000, decided to create one for himself. A few years back he went to Boston’s venerable white-shoe law firm, Palmer and Dodge, and, with the help of a tax attorney specializing in “income-tax planning,” set up an irrevocable trust to protect his assets from Uncle Sam. He named his tax attorney (every socialist radical needs one!) and a daughter as trustees. To the Diane Chomsky Irrevocable Trust (named for another daughter) he has assigned the copyright of several of his books, including multiple international editions.

      Chomsky favors the estate tax and massive income redistribution—just not the redistribution of his income. No reason to let radical politics get in the way of sound estate planning.

      When I challenged Chomsky about his trust, he suddenly started to sound very bourgeois: “I don’t apologize for putting aside money for my children and grandchildren,” he wrote in one e-mail. Chomsky offered no explanation for why he condemns others who are equally proud of their provision for their children and who try to protect their assets from Uncle Sam. Although he did say that the tax shelter is okay because he and his family are “trying to help suffering people.”

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @D13 – am assuming you collect some form of payment for your soldier activities – does that make you a hypocrite for criticizing the government that pays you?

      • Absolutely not…….I am a free man and have a right and a duty to openly criticize my government. I elected them. They are accountable to me. If Chomsky despises the capitalist system….then why profit from it? I criticize my government policies all the time…..but it is not abhorrent to me. Chomsky hates capitalism…but I notice he does not move to nor live under a socialist system. At least, that is my rationale.

        How are you this morning, sir? A little chilly by Texas standards today, but I will manage.

        • Come to think of it (and with no disrespect intended) … if you’re not such a big fan of government (all veterans feel free to chirp in here) why would you go to war on their behalf? I find it kind of confusing. The government is clearly corrupt; as are some of the wars they engage us in … and since corporations seem to be the only ones who benefitted from said wars (Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan immediately come to mind–between defense contractors (i.e., Haliberton) and private businesses going overseas to set up), why are you so willing to risk your lives for what is hard to define as “defense of a nation”? Again, no disrespect intended, but seriously, can you explain that to me?

          If it has to do with patriotism alone, I’d have to stand with BF on this and say: Isn’t that foolish? Organized crime runs on the same principal … and it’s kind of like the boyscouts unless you (or the country you pledge your lives to) is under direct threat.

  3. Ray Hawkins says:

    Sorry USW – using the definition you provided you’re dead wrong on this one…..

    “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods”

    (1) How is ownership determined? We can simplify and say two actors can determine the particular ownership of a capital or durable good. Those two actors comprise, even if just for the purposes of determining ownership or transacting to establish ownership, a political unit. The exercise of authority with respect to that political unit to perpetually recognize that ownership is call governing.

    (2) On the same theme – “corporate” is a legal term. A system of laws requires a government to make, sustain and enforce said laws.

    “by investments that are determined by private decision”

    No real arguments here. Acknowledging a “private” decision would seem to carry forth that there can be a decision other than “private” – I dunno – perhaps like a “public” decision?

    “distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market”

    (3) determined………………….”mainly”………….. – hmmmmmm. If distribution is determined “mainly” rather than “wholly” or “entirely” or “completely” – then what is the delta? What else helps determine distribution if it isn’t competition? Tariffs? Taxes? Trade policy? Access to transportation? All attributes of capitalism.

    Your definition would have to assume that a particular Capitalist system would be precluded from interacting with a different economic system. Just doesn’t make sense USW.

    • @ Ray.It seems to me, sir, that you are making USW’s argument, unless I misread his article.

      Example ” How is ownership determined?”….You simplify your position then turn it political. Why did you do that? Why do you say “two actors” are a political unit? Unless there is an assumption here that I have missed. (After all it is early and no DP yet and was on the border). Then you turn the political unit into governing. Why can it not be two free individuals exercising their free right to determine among themselves?

      I will agree with you that corporate is a legal issue that was designed solely to perpetuate a specific purpose. Protect from liability, etc. And I will also state that such legal tactics, in my opinion, destroys true capitalism.This is where the issue becomes clouded, murky,and eventually dense. I will also agree that the legal entity of corporations uses government to enforce “THEIR” brand of capitalism…which is no different than protectionism, is it? I understand the arguments here but that is not how I read Chomsky.

      Now, I ask you a question in relation to your comment……. “Acknowledging a “private” decision would seem to carry forth that there can be a decision other than “private” – I dunno – perhaps like a “public” decision? Now, does not a public decision, which implies government to me, fly in the face of true private investment? Is not true capitalism considered to be the free trade of goods and services devoid of any interference? Public, private, or government? IF the public, as individuals, do not like a product…they simply do without it. A good example would be the public backlash on Bank America……Bank America had a right to charge a fee they wanted….the public outcry was so demonstrable and people pulled their money out….that BA changed its mind. Is this not a good example of capitalism and free choice?

      Your item three has a salient point. “mainly” as compared to wholly or entirely…I can buy that one. Distribution should be determined by competition….there should be no tariffs or trade policies. None…..in order to be a true capitalist movement, correct?

      And, finally, any capitalist system would have to interact with any other system. Why would it not? But it does prove difficult when one system, say China, subsidizes certain markets in order to promote and export their products……BUT…..that is also a good point in that tariffs and taxes and fees that we, as a government, introduce…kills competition. Murders it, in fact.

      Anyway……I may not be making much sense….but that is the way my warped brain “figgers” it…..perhaps I inhaled too much napalm residue….I did like to call that stuff in…

    • Ray

      (1) How is ownership determined?

      By force of arms
      By agreement or law
      By the fact no one else is there

      We can simplify and say two actors can determine the particular ownership of a capital or durable good.

      What sustains this?
      Either by force
      or
      By agreement

      (2) On the same theme – “corporate” is a legal term. A system of laws requires a government to make, sustain and enforce said laws.

      True, as D13 states as well, corporations screw up everything.

      Your definition would have to assume that a particular Capitalist system would be precluded from interacting with a different economic system. Just doesn’t make sense USW.

      No.

      A free man can trade with a slave just as well as with another free man.

      That particular trade can be voluntary on the free man’s side, and coerced by forces behind the slave upon the slave.

    • Ray (the reinforcements) have arrived!

      Explain it to him, my friend. He assumes private ownership was somehow “earned” legitimately … ignoring the raping of this great land of ours from natives (amongst 2 or 3 million other assumptions) …

      • Reinforcements? Your statement is emotional yet irrelevant. I made no statement above at all about how private ownership was earned. You are doing what you normally do, bringing in an emotional statement that has nothing to do with the subject being discussed. You forgot to mention that the founders were slave owners.

        • Thanks for reminding me, USW. They were, weren’t they?

          Yet you still haven’t proved a thing about Chomsky or capitalism. It seems to me it’s on the serious decline in any nation state that at least makes believe it’s concerned with human rights. China was doing well (economically) while they imposed no regulations … forget that a large portion of the country remained in poverty.

          Come to think of it, we still have tent cities (not the occupy Wall Street ones either) out in CA …

          I know, it’s their fault they aren’t Bill Gates.

          So, explain to me again how capitalism is working. I see where Wall Street had its best month (october) since 2002 this morning. How’s that working out for the rest of the country?

          It’s doomed (capitalism is), brother … time to face up to it. It’s just a matter of time.

          • Charlie,

            You suffer from what is called the “backfire effect” – the more evidence provided that shows your understanding is flawed, the more you entrench yourself in the flaw.

            http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/the-backfire-effect/

            Chomsky does not know what Capitalism “is” – to him, it is a derogatory term that he applies to anything he does not like, such as aspects of socialism, corporatism, mercantilism and fascism.

            He does not hold to any definition of it, but merely labels what he abhors, and then points to it and says “That is my definition of capitalism for this minute“. Some other thought meanders by him, he moves his label on it, points to it, and repeats “…and that is my definition, too!” …. even if it is nearly opposite the first.

            So to say that USWep has failed to “prove” anything -one way or another – about Chomsky is irrational.
            Chomsky has already done all the work on himself enough to to that.

          • Charlie,

            It seems to me it’s on the serious decline in any nation state that at least makes believe it’s concerned with human rights.

            As the nation state declines, freedom of men improves, free market grows, and Capitalism flourishes – and the people get richer.

            China was doing well (economically) while they imposed no regulations … forget that a large portion of the country remained in poverty.

            You forgot they were far worse off before they began the reversal of Mao’s socialist policies …his “Great Leap Forward” that wiped out 30 million peasants…..

            I really enjoy the TED video where it presents the life expectancy of different emerging economies… the commentator points to China and says “….and here is Mao’s Great Leap backwards…. ” and the moving stats goes forward to more of the present where China begins to recover and he says “…and here is where the Chinese learned not to listen to Mao…”

            I know, it’s their fault they aren’t Bill Gates.

            Yes, it is. It is their lives – they can chose differently…..if they want.

            It most certainly not the fault of Bill Gates that they are not him.

            So, explain to me again how capitalism is working.

            Struggling as the forces of tyranny continue to strangle freedom.

            I see where Wall Street had its best month (october) since 2002 this morning. How’s that working out for the rest of the country?

            Corporatism and Mercantilism does well for those that benefit from it – from others in the game, not so well.

            It’s doomed (capitalism is), brother … time to face up to it. It’s just a matter of time.

            You maybe right, but that future would mean chains on you too.

        • Yous guys (and gals) kill me … on the one hand you decry government intervention and claim this isn’t a free market (not true capitalism). Yet you agree corporations are ruining the economy with corruption of government; that they should not exist. Then you point to a cup of coffee (this is BF’s great capitalist argument–you buy a cup of coffee for a dollar and presto, capitalism works–totally ignoring what goes behind the production of the coffee by abused farm workers, distributors, the vendor selling it who has accepted a less than minimum wage job because he’s illegal, etc.).

          So capitalism, according to USW, works.

          Show me where. Just once. Show me where capitalism works without state intervention (or out and out brutality–dictators you so favor like Batista in pre Castro Cuba … or Somoza, or Pahlevi, Marcos, etc.) … show me where capitalism without government intervention thrives … hell, just show me where it works. You can’t. You can assume greatness (a utopia even) but no more than a communist or socialist can assume the same. It is a fraudulent assumption. We will turn toward socialism because whatever frauds exist in that system of government/economy, they will still benefit the greater good more than capitalism does today. Eventually it too will be overthrown, no doubt, but yours comes first because it has finally caught up to itself (as the money gap widens, the people get fed up–because they know it hasn’t been earned by anybody but their own sweat of their brow).

          You can’t see the effects of capitalism overseas here because you choose not to (the farmers truly “earning” cents per hour to slave for your coffee, etc.). You only have to fork over the dollar. Somehow that (in your view) equates to capitalism working; someone is a slave for your benefit. Well, that kind of fits my theory perfectly. We’re slaves to wages.

          Honestly, it’s a little more amusing every day to peak in here. The Sage can’t come close to knocking off someone like Noam Chomsky the way USW has. It was a brilliant argument (Webster’s dictionary).

          You have to be kidding me …

          • You know what Charlie, I may not be the smartest person on this blog. But please explain to me-why anyone who acknowledges that things with time have gotten worse-Would recommend that we replace what with time has stopped working-BECAUSE with time more and more of the FREE aspect of our system has been going away-with something that will take away all our freedoms-instead of acknowledging that the answer is to turn back towards freedom-back towards a more free market. You want us to show you-how about you show us-where your type of governess has ever worked-has ever done anything but start out bad and continue being bad.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Charlie,

            Why do you see a contradiction where there ISN’T one?

            “Yous guys (and gals) kill me … on the one hand you decry government intervention and claim this isn’t a free market (not true capitalism). Yet you agree corporations are ruining the economy with corruption of government; that they should not exist.”

            Yes, we decry government intervention because government intervention distorts the free market. And we agree that corporations are ruining the economy with corruption of government. This is because CORPORATIONS ARE A CREATION OF GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION. Without government intervention, the concept of a “corporation” would not exist. Government created corporations.

            There is absolutely no contradiction there whatsoever. Saying government intervention is bad and saying corporations are bad is saying two things that stem from the same root. Government intervention is bad –> Corporations would not exist except by government fiat –> therefore, corporations are bad because they are a form of government intervention. Get it now??

            Why do you find this so confusing? Ordinarily you seem to be pretty darned intelligent.

            • I guess I’m confused because you spend a lot of time decrying the Democrats. The assumption being you prefer the Republican Party. I hear you prefer Libertarian but my guess is most of you will vote Republican when push comes to shove. How can you defend the Republican Party (a pubic hair to the right of the Dems)?

              What I get is that you champion a system that was CREATED BY MONEY. GET IT … YET? Money owns the government, my friend. That shouldn’t be a surprise. What makes you think MONEY DIDN’T HAVE IT’S PAWNS CREATE CORPORATIONS SO THEY COULD LIMIT THEIR LIABILITY? GET THAT?

              Probably not …

      • The natives are getting even with their CASINOS which fund their lawyers, and are winning court cases to enforces their rights!!!

        • Fred … what can I say? You’re a genius! Ignore what happened since Europeans landed on the north american continent and bring up casinos.

          And they call me the “sage” …

    • Sorry USW – using the definition you provided you’re dead wrong on this one…..

      I just took the first thing that popped up on a google search. My point was to take an accepted definition versus Chomsky’s constantly changing definitions based on what he needs it to be for each argument.

      (1) How is ownership determined? We can simplify and say two actors can determine the particular ownership of a capital or durable good. Those two actors comprise, even if just for the purposes of determining ownership or transacting to establish ownership, a political unit. The exercise of authority with respect to that political unit to perpetually recognize that ownership is call governing.

      What? How does that make sense to you? Two individuals acting freely somehow comprise a “political unit” and therefore that equates to somehow legitimizing Chomsky’s “capitalism wouldn’t survive for 5 minutes with government” nonsense? You are really reaching here Ray.

      (2) On the same theme – “corporate” is a legal term. A system of laws requires a government to make, sustain and enforce said laws.

      Agreed. I am fine with removing corporate from the definition completely. I have no need to give corporations ownership of anything. Disband the entire concept of corporations and I will be just fine with the situation. Corporations do nothing good in my opinion (despite Charlie’s maniacal belief that I worship them).

      No real arguments here. Acknowledging a “private” decision would seem to carry forth that there can be a decision other than “private” – I dunno – perhaps like a “public” decision?

      Yes, a public decision such as a regulation or any other form of forced market decision.

      “distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market”

      (3) determined………………….”mainly”………….. – hmmmmmm. If distribution is determined “mainly” rather than “wholly” or “entirely” or “completely” – then what is the delta? What else helps determine distribution if it isn’t competition? Tariffs? Taxes? Trade policy? Access to transportation? All attributes of capitalism.

      I am not sure what you are looking for here, but I am happy to answer when I understand. Keep it simple. Unlike the Colonel, I was just a lowly enlisted man.

      Your definition would have to assume that a particular Capitalist system would be precluded from interacting with a different economic system. Just doesn’t make sense USW.

      The definition with or without corporate in it in no way precludes a capitalist system from interacting with a different economic system. Your household operates on a capitalistic system every day and it certainly interacts with other systems regularly.

  4. A Puritan Descendant says:

    I see a lot of various definitions of capitalism. My way of thinking is that capitalism is simply the private accumulation and compunding/multiplication of capital/wealth.

    The less government gets involved beyond road/transportation (if even that is necessary) and/or the original intent of our constitutional commerce clause the better.

    What can be more natural than planting one kernel of corn and creating one cob of corn with 600 kernels, to be replanted to produce 360,000 kernels of corn? That is a simple and wonderful creation/compounding of wealth. To interfere with the beauty of that, is either foolish or evil.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      “compounding” in the first line….

    • My way of thinking is that capitalism is simply the private accumulation and compunding/multiplication of capital/wealth.

      at the expense of (and on the backs of) the working class. Exactly.

      • So in order to stop the rich from taking advantage of the worker-you want to make it where no one has a way to succeed, except of course for the elites who are in charge. Oy Vey

        • Why do you ASSUME that because someone is liberal or socialist or communist they can’t succeed? Isn’t that a little brainwashed? And what makes you think everyone wants to be ubber wealthy? I suspect “rich” has many definitions, VH.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Then plant your own damn corn Charlie……… 😉

  5. Capitalism is a consequence of a free market, which itself is a consequence of free men.

    It is NOT invented or “discovered” before it can exist, it just exists – like gravity.

    Gravity has always existed, has always “worked” even before humans articulated its existence.

    Same with Capitalism.

    You destroy Capitalism by destroying the free market.
    You destroy the free market by destroying the freedom of men.

  6. If this is an insane thought-you guys tell me. But I’ve been sitting hear reading and thinking. It has come to mind-that the process of giving a corporation, which is made up of a lot of individual owners, the legal status of one person-Isn’t turning our country from a capitalist society into more of a collective society based on the same premise?

    • V.H.

      One must be very clear on this point.

      A “company” is a host of men organized for a specific purpose.

      A “corporation” is a legal entity created to mitigate or limit loss (limited liability).

      One is not the other, though the former can utilize that latter.

      A Company is a voluntary association of like-minded men, who agree to certain principles in decision making and profit/loss sharing.

      It is very democratic, though the forms of such democracy vary, and in a way to maintain personal rights – if you do not like the decision of the company, you sell your stake and leave. This is way a company is a promotion of freedom, whereas the appearance of democracy in politics is a destruction of freedom (you are forced to participate, regardless of the horrific decisions)

    • Not insane, VF….but cannot add anything to BF’s statement.

  7. Ray Hawkins says:

    Bruce Bartlett, Ex-Reagan Economist: Idea That Deregulation Leads To Jobs ‘Just Made Up’

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/31/gop-candidates-plans-on-economy-housing_n_1066949.html

    but we love fairy tales

    • Ray,

      It is no surprise that a Keynesian argues that reducing government ‘costs jobs’ – since the root of his economics is that government action is an economically positive work.

      A tax cut will reduce employment of those who work in collecting or documenting taxes – in companies and companies that service other companies taxes, or benefits from the tax as collected.

      However, economically – reducing the inputs of economic parasites and keeping wealth in the hands of wealth creators must improve the economy – to argue the opposite is irrational.

    • Ray

      The regulatory impact on job creation is NOT a fairy tale. Just ask all the loggers and mill workers put out of work during the housing boom.

      But the problem with the arguments, by ALL SIDES, is that they are always moving the argument and ignoring the time frame. That and each person selects only those portions of the story that fit their narrative.

      JOBS TODAY is NOT THE SAME as JOBS YESTERDAY OR TOMORROW.

      And most importantly, A GROWING NATIONAL ECONOMY and WEALTH is NOT THE SAME AS JOBS.

  8. 😐

  9. House Keeping:

    OK, I have now had time to peruse the topics and comments while I was gone. I think I will hold my thoughts until Open Mic day. But there is one thing I must address immediately.

    ANITA: Go ahead and gloat and post your fight song here if you feel it necessary. That is unless you are to embarrassed after this weekend. Bwahahahahaha.

    In the same vane (vain?), Kathy my dear I am sorry for your loss, er I mean two losses. Bwhahahahahahaha.

    • VEIN

    • So I just get this text that JAC is talking stupid and I better jump on and defend myself…….

      Except how can I defend making the same damn mistakes two weeks in a row!!!! If I ever see #64, our supposed-to-be punt blocker up close and personal, I will literally tell him to turn around and give his big ol’ wide butt my very best Tae-Bo side kick! Then our defensive coordinator better hope he doesn’t get within earshot of me……. We apparently don’t have a plan to defend hail mary passes? OMG!

      But I am not so vain to admit my veins were popping but at least the weather vanes didn’t make us plow our field before the game like Penn State!

      And thank goodness for the Pack and my son’s HS team enters the third round of play-offs this upcoming weekend!

      • YOU RAT !!!!!

        This is in lieu of the fight song that JAC, loser of the bet, was supposed to post!

        🙂

        • Anita

          So sorry my dear, but I misunderstood the bet. I thought the winner got to post “their” fight song. I will remedy the situation soon as I can find it.

        • Anita

          OK…………here you go…………..head hanging in shame!!!!!!

          On the banks of the Red Cedar,
          There’s a school that’s known to all;
          Its specialty is winning,
          And those Spartans play good ball;
          Spartan teams are never beaten,
          All through the game they fight;
          Fight for the only colors:
          Green and White.

          Go right through for MSU,
          Watch the points keep growing,
          Spartan teams are bound to win,
          They’re fighting with a vim!
          Rah! Rah! Rah!
          See their team is weakening,
          We’re going to win this game,
          Fight! Fight! Rah! Team, Fight!
          Victory for MSU!

          • Now you’re talkin’ 🙂 🙂 🙂

            Read em and weep Kathy!

          • 1 LSU 8-0
            2 Alabama 8-0
            3 Oklahoma State 8-0
            4 Stanford 8-0
            5 Boise State 7-0
            6 Oklahoma 7-1
            7 Arkansas 7-1
            SEC seems pretty dominate this year!
            8 Oregon 7-1
            9 South Carolina 7-1
            10 Nebraska 7-1
            11 Clemson 8-1
            12 Virginia Tech 8-1
            13 Houston 8-0
            14 Kansas State 7-1
            15 Michigan 7-1
            16 Penn State 8-1
            17 Michigan State 6-2
            18 Georgia 6-2
            19 Arizona State 6-2
            20 Wisconsin 6-2

            • LOI

              The SEC dominates the Pollsters, that is all. Always have.

              LSU and Alabama are legit contenders. The rest, not so much. I thought Arkansas would be the team this year but they are rated to high now that I have seen them perform.

              And speaking of over rated………. South Carolina at #9?????

              I see many changes before the end of the year.

              • I learned early on not to bet on Arkansas. They will loose a home game they were a cinch to win, then beat LSU and spoil their perfect season, then get a bowl game and tank that on too…..

              • “The SEC dominates the Pollsters, that is all. Always have.”

                WAH WAH WAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                No we dominate on the field of battle.

                The rumbling and ground shaking the rest of the country hears and feels Saturday night will be LSU and Alabama going at it.

        • 3 points??? Legend that you guys are couldn’t even get into the endzone?

          • FINE! you just get your special teams and defense tuned up then we’ll meet again! Now you’re forcing me to root for the Nittany Lions in a few weeks.

      • Kathy

        Two out of three will get you in the hall of fame.

        I was going to suggest that next time your in Madison you skip the State House B.S. and go directly to the coaches office and explain how to defense against the Hail (Hale?) Mary.

        Sorry, I just couldn’t resist after sticking my neck out for the Badgers against Anita. Should have known better than get mixed up in the Div AA games.

        Go Broncos 🙂

  10. USW

    Nice to see you back in the saddle.

    Just one note on your article here. Capitalism requires only “private” ownership, not “or Corporations”. I know it was somebody else who created that definition.

    I just wanted to point out that it is flawed, like so many modern definitions. It is hard to stand the test of time when the conspiracy against language is so rampant.

    • @JAC… A great point to make. I wasn’t keen on “corporate” being in the definition either. But I chose to leave it in there, lest I be accused of altering a definition to suit my argument. I 100% agree with your clarification. Personally, I would remove corporate and the word mainly, as Ray points out.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        US,

        So now you’re taking “an accepted definition” of capitalism (as you said) and complaining that that definition isn’t really the definition of capitalism? Your own choice of definition allows for both (i) corporations and (ii) government. Perhaps you should have found another “accepted definition”?

        • Buck

          The definition USW used is not correct. “Accepted” or not. The points I and Ray made were considered by USW and he agrees he should have found a different definition. Is that not the purpose of such discussions?

          Furthermore, the flaw in the definition does nothing to damage his argument against Chomskey. The proposition is not whether corporations or govt can exist in a capitalist system, but whether such a system REQUIRES Govt to maintain it.

          Frankly, the use of the term creates serious problems in these types of discussions because the term can be used in so many ways. It can be general, as in a phylum or family and specific, as in a genera or specie. That is why one must clarify what they mean when discussing this particular topic.

          I think that virtually everyone who spends time at SUFA knows that we use the term to describe “free markets” or “laissez fair Capitalism”. It seems that ONLY Charlie Stella does not grasp this. Although I expect he really does and only ignores it for the sake of confirming his own bias.

  11. As you can see, Noam Chomsky is simply all over the place when it comes to defining capitalism or even discussing the concept of capitalism.

    Here I guess we disagree. I don’t see any inconsistencies at all in what Chomsky says. Not a one.

    What exactly does government have to do with that?

    I don’t see how your using Webster solves any riddles here, USW. It’s a definition. There are many definitions when held to the test come up false (i.e., theory vs. de facto).

    Chomsky into believing that socialism

    Actually, Chomsky is a libertarian so you’ll have to reread him, I guess. He’s a Libertarian-socialist, in fact. He’s probably every bit as conservative (on specific issues) as you or I. But the point of his argument isn’t pro-socialism. He’s an anarchist way before a socialist, actually.

    As to my good friend the Colonel’s claim regarding my “perfect world”. I’d love for you of you crazies on the right to visit Pluto some day … or better yet, find anywhere on this site where I posted that socialism or any other “ism” would lead to a perfect world. Don’t waste your time, you won’t find it.

    As to the nonsense that you disproved Chomsky, USW … nonsense is a good choice of words. Libtards I guess is equal to crazies on the right.

    Now, how ‘bout those Buffalo Bills!

    • Libertarian-socialist, that’s like saying I’m a Christian -atheist. You can put all the pretty words together and tie them in a bow, in order to hide the true meaning,( libertarian-socialist, direct democracy BS) but they still mean nothing more than communism.

      • EXACTLY V.H.! All those fancy names mean nothing. A goat is still a goat.

        • Well…there are goats…and then there are Texas Goats……..proof? One is running for the white house….AND may lose the governors election, now……the jury is still out and I have moved to the fence rail.

    • Here I guess we disagree. I don’t see any inconsistencies at all in what Chomsky says. Not a one.

      So you don’t think it is inconsistent when someone in one statement says capitalism is “X” and in the next says that capitalism has been replaced with “X”.

      No wonder you are so confused, my friend. When an inconsistency as blatant as that slips past you, you simply are accepting everything without applying any critical thought to it.

      I don’t see how your using Webster solves any riddles here, USW. It’s a definition. There are many definitions when held to the test come up false (i.e., theory vs. de facto).

      OK, so give me a definition you agree with. Chomsky can’t stick to one. Pick one of his and I will show you several statements he made at other times that contradict it. The point was that he changes definitions to suit his argument. I took a generally accepted one and showed how his “lasting 5 minutes” statement was flawed. I never for a second thought you would be willing to accept my answer, no matter what it was. I could have had Chomsky write the answer pretending to be me opposing himself and you would have refused to give an inch.

      Actually, Chomsky is a libertarian so you’ll have to reread him, I guess. He’s a Libertarian-socialist, in fact. He’s probably every bit as conservative (on specific issues) as you or I. But the point of his argument isn’t pro-socialism. He’s an anarchist way before a socialist, actually.

      No. He is a socialist. He likes to say he is an anarchist or a libertarian. But underneath it all he believes that redistribution of wealth is good (so long as it isn’t his apparently), that all the power should lie with “the workers” by writ of “the government”, and he has embraced socialist regimes and structures over and over. You can find fruity language all day long, but it won’t change what he really is when you peel the onion. But mostly he is just a walking contradiction, no different than Rand at times.

      Now, how ‘bout those Buffalo Bills!

      Surprisingly good this year. Not sure they are ready to challenge for the title, but a vast improvement over the last few years. A few more years and they should be a real contender.

  12. @ JAC……ya leave any steels?

    • d13

      Yes, we did leave a few for seed.

      It was a great trip with 4 in the freezer. One of which was a good 30+ inches and 12 pounds. This is a very large fish for the upper Salmon River reach and we got two of them, almost twins.

      How are things in the Lone Star State these days?
      Best wishes to you and yours.

  13. @ Charlie…ok ok…..no perfect world. But even on Pluto……there is a one percent that controls every thing.

    • A fact that is lost on many, many people who live on the left. I am not speaking of anyone in particular here at SUFA, just in general.

  14. @ USW………”Unlike the Colonel, I was just a lowly enlisted man.” Remember, I was a “lowly” ssgt at first……..but then us lowly staff sgts…were the actual backbone of the service…..once I understood that, I became an officer……and having dug the ditches, worked Hell’s Kitchen on the Hill at Ft Benning, burned the “honey pots” up wind of course, ate c rations and even left over WWII K’s….etc……I knew how to properly run a combat command…..move the hell out of the way and let the sgts handle it.,,,,so…..there is NO lowly enlisted man anywhere that I found.

    Did you know that the K’s that we had in Vietnam had the 4 pack cigarettes…… Chesterfield, Pall Mall, and Camels…..UNFILTERED. Whoa….

    • D13,

      My brother (younger) was a Colonel as well – and prior to being sent overseas to command a field hospital (he is a doctor), he went to train with his squad that was assigned as his “body guards”.

      The squad’s Sgt. couldn’t quite put his finger on bro’ – bro’ was a “paper officer”, a doctor, but he also had paratrooper wings – and those things are not easily given out.

      During a firing drill, bro’ and the Sgt were inspecting the squad. The Sgt. had twinkle in his eye, and asked bro’ “if he’d like a go at it”.
      Bro’ shrugged and said “Sure”

      The Sgt. bellowed to one of the men “Solider, surrender your weapon!”. Bro took it and noticed there was only one shot left in it, and the only target left was one out few hundred yards.

      While the squad had been firing prone, bro’ took a standing position, shouldered the weapon – put on the agony of testing the wind with a wet finger – and snapped a shot, hitting the target dead on.

      As he returned the weapon to the solider, the Sgt, with a big grin on his face, bellowed “Men, the Colonel can take care of himself!”

      Bro’ said the same thing as you, D13.
      Whatever the Sgt suggested, Bro’ would say “Sounds like a good idea, let’s do that”

      • Yeah…I really like doing stuff like that. If a line officer is going to strut his stuff, he better be able to belly up to the bar. But……one of my hardest jobs was training brand new second Lt’s fresh out of the Point or VMI…and 2lt’s that were ROTC with direct commissions and no OCS or basic training. I always loved to sit and watch them trying to tell a 20 year platoon sgt that pisses napalm how to run a platoon. OR…even better yet, getting upset at a Command Sergeant Major, that wipes his butt with razor wire, because he did not properly salute…..ahhh…….those days are gone now…..but a smart officer stays out of the way.

  15. Flag, trolling for free advice. A friend thinks there is some money to be made.

    After a major flood at a hard drive plant in Thailand, A hard drive factory has flooded and is still under water. The world’s production is down 25% for 4-8 months, Christmas is coming up, prices are already up 40% in less than 7 days. I have had 2 vendors cancel orders for 4 drives in 4 days @ $70. I can buy solid at $115 and have Been giving in the $59 range until last Friday. Never really played the HDD market but….on second thought never really seen a shortage either. Any thoughts good, bad or otherwise appreciated.

    • LOI

      Flag, trolling for free advice.

      Old saying:
      “Free advice tends to be very expensive”
      🙂

      A friend thinks there is some money to be made.

      Millions and Billions, but you have to serve others first…..
      🙂

      After a major flood at a hard drive plant in Thailand, A hard drive factory has flooded and is still under water. The world’s production is down 25% for 4-8 months, Christmas is coming up, prices are already up 40% in less than 7 days. I have had 2 vendors cancel orders for 4 drives in 4 days @ $70. I can buy solid at $115 and have Been giving in the $59 range until last Friday. Never really played the HDD market but….on second thought never really seen a shortage either. Any thoughts good, bad or otherwise appreciated.

      All true.
      HDD’s will be in short, short supply – but whether that is reflected immediately or in six months, I cannot say – I do not know the depth of inventory in warehouses …..

      Here is my thinking
      – the economy has been stalled for quite awhile, and it has hit technology sectors pretty hard.
      – the production capacity has not abated, however.
      – inventories are probably pretty full as I’ve been noting tons of big nearly-fire sale “bargains” from the majors producers, so they are trying to clear
      – I’d suspect that the inventories of HDD are pretty high too.

      HOWEVER,
      – the damage in Thailand is huge, and the production of HDD out from there is now essentially zero.
      – this will definitely be reflected in the prices…. eventually.

      As long as in the future, you have a use for these hard drives personally (your fall-back position, that is consume your speculation yourself) …yeah, you’d probably make a few good bucks on the positive side and your negative -you get a lot of extra disk space for your downloads, cheap – is not a big negative….

  16. Canine Weapon says:

    And the robot revolution gets another step closer..

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=56a_1319595615

    • Serious question-Why is this such a big deal? We have had remote control cars for years. From all the stiff wire surrounding him-is this not a glorified remote controlled toy-not that having remote controlled toys and machinery isn’t a big deal-but why is attaching the word robot to the process make it more important?

  17. USWep,

    The challenge most people -including SUFA- has with understanding economics, politics, the “ism” that proliferate, and what they think they see as “problems” with all of the above is that most people cannot discern the difference between substructures of society and the superstructures of society … a concept written about by Karl Marx.

    I often pull people back into trying to understand the underlying substructures of things, such as Capitalism’s substructure is the free market, whose substructure is the principles of free men.

    In another way, one can say “free market” and “capitalism” are superstructures built upon the substructure principles and actions of free men.

    But many people seem to thing that such things as Capitalism or “whatever-ism” are the substructures of a particular society, and advocate other policies against them or for them, in a vain hope of tilting these structures one way or another into a more “perfect” form or outcome.

    The same people are constantly surprised by the fact that their policies do not work – or worse, make things worse.

    They do not understand that by merely pushing the consequences of the substructures causes the superstructures to push back and correct themselves – and eventually, those that do the pushing get pushed out of the way.

    However, what is fatal is an attack on the substructures – as Marx identified.

    When the attacks are on the freedom of men, the entire structures of modern Western society are vulnerable to collapse.

    When substructures of Socialism takes root; that is, that a man must provide earned goods to another man who has not earned such goods – it does so at the substructure – that is, confound and destroy the freedom of men in a society.

    The resulting consequences are always horrific – collapse, economic destruction, mass death – because the superstructures that provided economic well being, peace and safety have been undermined at their core.

    If people, under the guise of trying to “correct” a superstructure, actually attack the core substructure – as the protestors on Wall Street are trying to do – the risk is far, far greater of turning mere idiocy into horrific tyranny.

    We have to be wise to know when something is infrastructure, superstructure and substructure – and guard jealously the substructures whose consequences have given us great wealth, long life, and freedom of choice over our own lives.

    • “The resulting consequences are always horrific – collapse, economic destruction, mass death – because the superstructures that provided economic well being, peace and safety have been undermined at their core.”
      Now why does that sound familiar?????

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-31/papandreou-says-new-greek-loan-plans-must-be-put-to-referendum.html

    • BF

      Well said. And in other terms: When the core principles of the foundation (substructure) are rotten, the building will collapse (superstructure).

      The corollary is that the house will stand against the storm if the foundation is sound and each floor is securely anchored to those below it.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      BF,

      “such as Capitalism’s substructure is the free market, whose substructure is the principles of free men”

      could the following be true?: A free market’s substructure is Capitalism, whose substructure is the principles of free men.

      Example from my earlier post: “What can be more natural than planting one kernel of corn and creating one cob of corn with 600 kernels, to be replanted to produce 360,000 kernels of corn”……….. in this example a free man practices capitalism/wealth creation/compounding while consuming his own excess production (feeding himself/livestock…) before entering into a market with others.

      Isn’t Capitalism such a natural thing, that it actually supports the free market as a substructure?

  18. November 1, 2011
    At last! A serious televised GOP debate
    Thomas Lifson

    If you are as sick of the sound bite debate format as I am, there is cause to cheer today. C-SPAN has announced that it will televise Saturday night’s debate between Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain in Texas. We shall finally have a shot at the longed-for Lincoln-Douglas style extended discussion. Full answers will be allowed. The timekeeper will be Rep. Steve King, with the subjects economic and social issues.

    Instead of a format designed to encourage punchy jabs at each other, the Cain-Gingrich debate has the potential to educate, elucidate, and even persuade. Instead of being a shooting gallery, the debate could become a classroom.

    The process by which the debate emerged as a televised national event is notable. A grass roots group, the Texas Tea Party Patriot PAC, came up with the event as a fundraising opportunity, and the two men agreed. Andrew Malcolm of Investors.com played a key role:

    We wondered out loud if in 2011 sitcommed Americans would sit still for 90 minutes of political discussion by two of the party’s better speakers uninterrupted by “these important messages”? The networks’ answer to this weekend opportunity was silence.

    “Hello, C-SPAN,” we wrote. “Are you there?”

    Many of you agreed, tweeting pleas to us and to C-SPAN for televised access to a GOP front-runner and a resurgent Gingrich at this private function in Houston via the treasured public affairs network. We passed our messages on to Brian Lamb’s crew in D.C.

    And guess what? C-SPAN was there. And C-SPAN was listening.

    The C-SPAN network has just informed us here at Investors.com that it will, indeed, broadcast the entire Cain-Gingrich Lincoln-Douglas debate nationally Saturday evening on its main channel, plus C-SPAN Radio and live-stream it at c-span.org. Starting time is 5 p.m. Pacific, 8 p.m. Eastern.

    Notice that this was an entirely spontaneous movement. Each of the parties involved was operating out of self interest. It is an example of what organizational theorists call and “emergent” phenomenon, as opposed to a planned operation

    The Texans are raising money, and offering a valuable service to their base, while advancing the broader cause.

    The candidates are getting a forum, and believe they will benefit from depth.

    Grass roots conservatives finally break the media-imposed format and get to hear two conservative candidates in depth.

    C-SPAN, a nonprofit established by and funded by the cable and Satellite industry, gets to fulfill its mission, respond to viewer requests, and gain more viewers and visibility.

    Andrew Malcolm gets some credit for helping this boon to become reality.

    I expect that a lot of people will watch this. Those who are busy Saturday can always view it later, because C-SPAN maintains video archives (here.)

    It would not surprise me if the two men engaged in more of a collaborative than a confrontational mode. Newt has all the experience and policy depth that Cain lacks. Cain has the likability and the commitment to principle that the conservative base craves. I earlier offered a thought experiment on a running mate able to backstop Cain’s profile as a new entrant to politics. Newt brings many of the same compensating virtues that Romney would, minus the fundraising potential.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/11/at_last_a_serious_televised_gop_debate.html#ixzz1cTCF9ljP

    • Yaaaaay!

    • V.H.

      Yaaay also!!

      Saw a very good, although depressing, debate last night on C-span of a similar nature.

      It was called the “Clash of the Titans” debate sponsored by Regent University. It included Gibbs (Obma’s ex-Press guy) and Larry Summers on the Dem side and Alan Simpson and Carl Rove from the Republican side.

      The topic was the debt, deficit and economy.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Watching a debate is an attempt at an informed decision as to who’s best suited to perpetuate the mess.

  19. Scandal-Plagued Former California City Official Sues City for Failing to Pay $1.5 Million Salary
    Update

    Published November 01, 2011

    | Associated Press

    LOS ANGELES – The former city manager of scandal-plagued Bell, Calif., filed a lawsuit against the city Monday, claiming his contract was breached when the city stopped paying him nearly $1.5 million in salary and benefits.

    Robert Rizzo claims he’s owed benefits and wages — with interest — because he hasn’t been convicted of a felony and hasn’t resigned his post, according to court documents he filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

    According to the lawsuit, Rizzo hasn’t been paid since a public meeting in July 2010, when the small, blue-collar community of Bell learned of his outsized pay packet.

    Protesters were outraged by compensation of $100,000 to City Council members that met once a month, but it was Rizzo’s $787,637 salary, along with numerous perks that amounted to almost $1.5 million a year, that it led furious residents to view him as the poster child for corruption in government.

    They came out in droves to let that anger be known at city meetings.

    “In response, the City Council locked Rizzo out of his office and stopped paying Rizzo his salary and benefits due to him under his employment agreement,” the lawsuit said.

    Rizzo notified the city that he hadn’t resigned, retired or terminated their agreement in August 2010, but never got a response, according to the lawsuit.

    Prosecutors say Rizzo orchestrated a scheme to bilk the Los Angeles suburb out of more than $6 million.

    Rizzo and seven other Bell city officials face charges of fraud and misappropriation of public funds. Rizzo has pleaded not guilty.

    Bell Mayor Ali Saleh said he’d leave it to lawyers to talk about the legal merit of Rizzo’s filing, but says “Rizzo’s lawsuit is just another example of the gross disregard he has had towards all the working families in Bell and is just another distraction from the injustices Bell residents suffered under Rizzo.”

    Saleh expressed hope the lawsuit would be thrown out and that Rizzo would be found guilty of the criminal charges against him.

    “The real atrocity is that taxpayers have to respect due process and spend precious tax dollars on defending ourselves from the same person who had a complete disregard for due process and misappropriated millions of taxpayer dollars,” Saleh said.

    Rizzo filed the lawsuit on his own behalf. Numbers for Rizzo’s former homes in Huntington Beach, Calif., and Washington state were disconnected. A message left at the number listed for Rizzo on Monday’s lawsuit filing was not immediately returned.

    Rizzo’s lawyer on fraud and other charges, James Spertus, said Monday that Rizzo’s claim is just — even if the outraged public may balk at paying Rizzo his salary.

    “Thank God judges are not guided by emotion,” said Spertus.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/01/scandal-plagued-former-california-city-official-sues-city/#ixzz1cTcov3Ns

  20. Was just informed Dell has stopped selling replacement hard drives. Who knew a monsoon in Thailand would affect the Us in such a major way?(besides Flag)

  21. Occupy Wall Street Causing Local Layoffs
    2:09 PM, Nov 1, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPE

    The Occupy Wall Street protests might be making things worse. A local Manhattan news outlet reports:

    Twenty-one restaurant workers lost their jobs last week because of the Occupy Wall Street protests, the cafe owner said Tuesday.

    Marc Epstein, owner of the Milk Street Cafe at 40 Wall St., said he had no choice but to let nearly a quarter of his staff go last Friday after he saw his sales drop by 30 percent in the six weeks since the protests started.

    “What are [the protesters] trying to accomplish here?” Epstein asked Monday.

    “The end result is that I and all the wonderful people who work for me are collateral damage.”

    Are the protesters boosting the local economy in other ways in Manhattan’s financial district? Perhaps. Police are getting paid overtime (from an already stretched city budget), maybe protesters are frequenting some local venues more than others (the nearby McDonald’s is supposedly pretty popular, though I think the main feature there are the bathrooms for the protesters), and the encampment is seemingly turning into a tourist attraction. But the regulars–the ladies and gentlemen who work in the neighborhood–are bringing their lunches more frequently, avoiding the mayhem and foul smell outside, and therefore spending less at local joints.

    It’s ironic that a protest meant to highlight a bad economy would be the direct cause of employed folks getting fired.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/occupy-wall-street-causing-local-layoffs_607655.html

  22. “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism,’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”.
    – Norman Thomas, U.S. Socialist Party presidential candidate 1940, 1944 and 1948.

    • I’m fairly certain that blackmail is also illegal. That basic mathematical truths aren’t racist and human nature is predictable-so no one can claim not to have seen the probable outcome of this stupidity-and that there helping the poor-almost always needs up hurting them in the long run.

      • I seem to be having more of a problem with writing today than usual. their and ends 🙂

        • Bloomberg to OWS: Congress caused the mortgage crisis, not the banks
          Share212
          posted at 2:05 pm on November 1, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

          printer-friendly

          By this time, everyone should be aware of the federal policies that precipitated the housing bubble and its collapse — the push by Congress and two administrations to push higher-risk lending in order to expand home ownership, as well as the effort by Congress to get Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to spread that risk through mortgage-backed securities. While Wall Street made the situation worse by developing risky derivatives on those securities and failed to recognize the risk inherent in the securities themselves, the collapse wouldn’t have occurred at all had the federal government not intervened to distort lending for their own social-engineering goals.

          Michael Bloomberg tried to explain that to Occupy Wall Street protesters this morning, and pointed out the contradiction between their protests and their demands:

          “I hear your complaints,” Bloomberg said. “Some of them are totally unfounded. It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp. Now, I’m not saying I’m sure that was terrible policy, because a lot of those people who got homes still have them and they wouldn’t gave gotten them without that.

          “But they were the ones who pushed Fannie and Freddie to make a bunch of loans that were imprudent, if you will. They were the ones that pushed the banks to loan to everybody. And now we want to go vilify the banks because it’s one target, it’s easy to blame them and congress certainly isn’t going to blame themselves. At the same time, Congress is trying to pressure banks to loosen their lending standards to make more loans. This is exactly the same speech they criticized them for.”

          Bloomberg went on to say it’s “cathartic” and “entertaining” to blame people, but the important thing now is to fix the problem.

          It’s even more important to not make the same mistake again, which is exactly what the OWS crowd wants. They want Congress to intervene even more heavily to lower lending standards as a policy of “fairness,” which is exactly what Congress did in the late 1990s, and which started the housing bubble that nearly destroyed the financial sector in 2008. And Investors Business Daily claims that they have the “smoking gun” that shows exactly how the government created the bubble in the first place by intimidating banks into distorted lending practices — based on a flawed study:

          At President Clinton’s direction, no fewer than 10 federal agencies issued a chilling ultimatum to banks and mortgage lenders to ease credit for lower-income minorities or face investigations for lending discrimination and suffer the related adverse publicity. They also were threatened with denial of access to the all-important secondary mortgage market and stiff fines, along with other penalties.

          The threat was codified in a 20-page “Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending” and entered into the Federal Register on April 15, 1994, by the Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending. Clinton set up the little-known body to coordinate an unprecedented crackdown on alleged bank redlining.

          The edict — completely overlooked by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and the mainstream media — was signed by then-HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, Attorney General Janet Reno, Comptroller of the Currency Eugene Ludwig and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, along with the heads of six other financial regulatory agencies. …

          The unusual full-court press was predicated on a Boston Fed study showing mortgage lenders rejecting blacks and Hispanics in greater proportion than whites. The author of the 1992 study, hired by the Clinton White House, claimed it was racial “discrimination.” But it was simply good underwriting.

          It took private analysts, as well as at least one FDIC economist, little time to determine the Boston Fed study was terminally flawed. In addition to finding embarrassing mistakes in the data, they concluded that more relevant measures of a borrower’s credit history — such as past delinquencies and whether the borrower met lenders credit standards — explained the gap in lending between whites and blacks, who on average had poorer credit and higher defaults.

          The study did not take into account a host of other relevant data factoring into denials, including applicants’ net worth, debt burden and employment record. Other variables, such as the size of down payments and the amount of the loans sought to the value of the property being bought, also were left out of the analysis. It also failed to consider whether the borrower submitted information that could not be verified, the presence of a cosigner and even the loan amount.

          When these missing data were factored in, it became clear that the rejection rates were based on legitimate business decisions, not racism.

          Lenders faced a nightmare regulatory threat and so began to “bend” their lending standards to demonstrate compliance. Congress helped by authorizing Fannie and Freddie to buy up subprime mortgages at a higher rate in order to incentivize compliance. That opened the floodgates, as Fannie and Freddie essentially ended any risk for lenders in the subprime market, and it also opened up a significant incentive for so-called “predatory lending.” After all, why not give consumers more credit than they could handle if the original lender didn’t have to bear the cost of failure?

          As a result, demand accelerated, and so did prices. They got disconnected from their usual tie to the rate of inflation, soaring far above normal valuation. People believed they had acquired a windfall of real equity and began either trading up or opening up home-equity lines of credit to fuel consumer spending. In 2008 the bubble popped, and a lot of homeowners found themselves unable to make their payments as jobs disappeared and property values rapidly descended.

          And that may not be over, either:

          The besieged housing market has even further to fall before home prices really hit rock bottom.

          According to Fiserv (FISV – News), a financial analytics company, home values are expected to fall another 3.6% by next June, pushing them to a new low of 35% below the peak reached in early 2006 and marking a triple dip in prices.

          Several factors will be working against the housing market in the upcoming months, including an increase in foreclosure activity and sustained high unemployment, explained David Stiff, Fiserv’s chief economist.

          Should home values meet Fiserv’s expectations, it would make it the third (and lowest) trough for home prices since the housing bubble burst.

          In June I also made the same observation, based on projecting normal inflation without the bubble from 1998 onward. Rapid job growth could change that, but since we don’t see any indication of that on the horizon, CNN Money’s prediction is likely to come true.

          http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/01/bloomberg-to-ows-congress-caused-the-mortgage-crisis-not-the-banks/

          It’s also very apparent that the government and the people have learned nothing from the experience!!!!

  23. This sounds smart-but what do I know.

    Will the Greeks Save Democracy?
    November 1, 2011 3:21 P.M.
    By David Pryce-Jones

    A bombshell! This is one to bring the house down. The Greeks are to have a referendum on whether to accept the terms of the bail-out cobbled together a few days ago in crisis conditions. The country has no possible means ever of repaying its debt, and the Brussels mob came up with a bail-out, inadequate in itself, vague except for the strings attached. Essentially they issued a diktat whereby in return for token cash, Greeks are to hand their economy to the Brussels mob, or in plain language, give up their sovereignty. Aux barricades! Of course, they have taken to the streets. Much more of it, and the country will reach social break-down.

    Prime Minister George Papandreou may look moth-eaten, but the announcement of this referendum is pretty brilliant politics. He ducks the blame for giving in to the Brussels mob, and he heads off the threat of a general election that he and his Socialist Party are certain to lose. Better still, he can be sure that the voters are going to say no and reject the bail-out by a large margin. Ouf! Greece will then be able officially to default, scrap the doom-laden euro, return to the drachma that it should never have abandoned, and devalue. That way, they can become competitive again, and the society will hold together.

    The panic of the Brussels mob is wonderful to behold. Of course they may yet devise another of their anti-democratic tricks to keep the show on the road, and in the great quip of long ago British prime minister David Lloyd George, die with their drawn salaries in their hand. They may somehow rout Papandreou, or refuse to accept a referendum that says No, and insist on a second one that delivers Yes.

    Everybody with a head on their shoulders has been forecasting for years that the euro was certain to come to a crisis like this. The sovereignty of nations is stronger than the Brussels mob. Union was a historic mistake. The Greeks invented democracy, and it will be poetic justice if they save it now and free us all.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/david-pryce-jones/281899/will-greeks-save-democracy

  24. You know, if you guys would talk-I would quit posting 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Is that blackmail? hee hee he

    • V.H.

      But I love the clips you find and share with us.

      How about we talk AND you keep posting! 🙂

      • 🙂

        Who am I kidding. I’m gonna keep posting, whether anyone discusses the points I make or not-I want people to READ what I think-whether they talk about the post or not.

        But I have to be honest, a friend of mine, who I have known since the 5th grade died today-she got a new liver-but an infection took her out. A few drinks to claim down and a lot of posts to take my mind away from the horror of the day has helped tremendously.

  25. The Wrong Inequality
    By DAVID BROOKS
    Published: October 31, 2011

    We live in a polarizing society, so perhaps it’s inevitable that our experience of inequality should be polarized, too.

    In the first place, there is what you might call Blue Inequality. This is the kind experienced in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Houston and the District of Columbia. In these places, you see the top 1 percent of earners zooming upward, amassing more income and wealth. The economists Jon Bakija, Adam Cole and Bradley Heim have done the most authoritative research on who these top 1 percenters are.

    Roughly 31 percent started or manage nonfinancial businesses. About 16 percent are doctors, 14 percent are in finance, 8 percent are lawyers, 5 percent are engineers and about 2 percent are in sports, entertainment or the media.

    If you live in or around these big cities, you see stores and entire neighborhoods catering to the top 1 percent. You see a shift in social norms. Up until 1970 or so, a chief executive would have been embarrassed to take home more than $20 million. But now there is no shame, and top compensation zooms upward.

    You also see the superstar effect that economists have noticed in the income data. Within each profession, the top performers are now paid much better than the merely good or average performers.

    If you live in these big cities, you see people similar to yourself, who may have gone to the same college, who are earning much more while benefiting from low tax rates, wielding disproportionate political power, gaining in prestige and contributing seemingly little to the social good. That is the experience of Blue Inequality.

    Then there is what you might call Red Inequality. This is the kind experienced in Scranton, Des Moines, Naperville, Macon, Fresno, and almost everywhere else. In these places, the crucial inequality is not between the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent. It’s between those with a college degree and those without. Over the past several decades, the economic benefits of education have steadily risen. In 1979, the average college graduate made 38 percent more than the average high school graduate, according to the Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke. Now the average college graduate makes more than 75 percent more.

    Moreover, college graduates have become good at passing down advantages to their children. If you are born with parents who are college graduates, your odds of getting through college are excellent. If you are born to high school grads, your odds are terrible.

    In fact, the income differentials understate the chasm between college and high school grads. In the 1970s, high school and college grads had very similar family structures. Today, college grads are much more likely to get married, they are much less likely to get divorced and they are much, much less likely to have a child out of wedlock.

    Today, college grads are much less likely to smoke than high school grads, they are less likely to be obese, they are more likely to be active in their communities, they have much more social trust, they speak many more words to their children at home.

    Some research suggests that college grads have much bigger friendship networks than high school grads. The social divide is even starker than the income divide.

    These two forms of inequality exist in modern America. They are related but different. Over the past few months, attention has shifted almost exclusively to Blue Inequality.

    That’s because the protesters and media people who cover them tend to live in or near the big cities, where the top 1 percent is so evident. That’s because the liberal arts majors like to express their disdain for the shallow business and finance majors who make all the money. That’s because it is easier to talk about the inequality of stock options than it is to talk about inequalities of family structure, child rearing patterns and educational attainment. That’s because many people are wedded to the notion that our problems are caused by an oppressive privileged class that perpetually keeps its boot stomped on the neck of the common man.

    But the fact is that Red Inequality is much more important. The zooming wealth of the top 1 percent is a problem, but it’s not nearly as big a problem as the tens of millions of Americans who have dropped out of high school or college. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the 40 percent of children who are born out of wedlock. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the nation’s stagnant human capital, its stagnant social mobility and the disorganized social fabric for the bottom 50 percent.

    If your ultimate goal is to reduce inequality, then you should be furious at the doctors, bankers and C.E.O.’s. If your goal is to expand opportunity, then you have a much bigger and different agenda.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/opinion/brooks-the-wrong-inequality.html?_r=2&hp

    I was only kidding about continuing to post, if you don’t talk-so I am done. 🙂

  26. A Puritan Descendant says:

    BF,

    “such as Capitalism’s substructure is the free market, whose substructure is the principles of free men”

    could the following be true?: A free market’s substructure is Capitalism, whose substructure is the principles of free men.

    Example from my earlier post: “What can be more natural than planting one kernel of corn and creating one cob of corn with 600 kernels, to be replanted to produce 360,000 kernels of corn”……….. in this example a free man practices capitalism/wealth creation/compounding while consuming his own excess production (feeding himself/livestock…) before entering into a market with others.

    Isn’t Capitalism such a natural thing, that it actually supports the free market as a substructure?

    • Great definition-it works, while the crazy idea that human nature supports the idea that we will or can share everything without any kind of motivation to do so is NUTS. Many would but it only takes a small percentage to mess up the whole system/

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Agreed. I love the Mayflower example. Where they tried sharing the corn/crops. They almost starved because everyone lost motivation to produce. (there was more charlies every year :-)). then they tried capitalism and overflowed with corn/food. A true story from the Mayflower records.

    • Purtian,

      Absolutely yes, I do argue that Capitalism is a natural thing – it is not “invented” by any man – it is a natural consequence, like the occurrence of sound when a rock hits the bottom of the cliff after gravity and the laws of motion have done their thing.

      Free men, by their own principles, create a “free market”, which is merely voluntary trade. “Ownership” is fundamental to trade, since trade is an exchange ownerships of certain goods. The principles of “ownership” + “free market” creates “Capitalism”.

      There is nothing else but a natural system, impossible to be invented by man, nor conceived by a man… “it just happens” as an occurrence of applying the principles of freedom and property.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Ok, we agree, except for the sake of splitting hairs, I am saying “ownership” + “Capitalism” can create a free market. Assuming the definition of Capitalism is as a simple as planting seedcorn over and over to create a wealth of corn even if only for self consumption. In other words, Capitalism is so basic it can arrives even before a free market.

        Whatever your answer you always help clear my mind, even if it causes new questions……. on and on ……..

        • Hopefully, I won’t make people crazy-but I find that Christianity fits the same definition- free will -supports freedom-which supports the founding principals of this Country.

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            Ok, I follow you. And yes you did make me crazy for a few minutes…. 🙂 Back to the movie and a 2nd glass of cider…..

        • Puritan,

          We probably could hash out the chicken/egg of Capitalism and Free Market

          Here is my thoughts:

          Capitalism … requires capital. One must acquire capital to be able to utilize it in the market place.
          Thus capital exists requires the market place for it to be utilized.

          The market place is merely a trade place. I trade an apple for an orange – if I eat the orange, I have no capital and unless I save my orange, I have no capital.

          So I’d say the free market place exists, without the necessity of Capitalism.
          Capitalism requires a market place for capital to be useful.

          • Maybe I’m nuts but I have always defined Capitalism the same as I’ve defined a free market.

            • A Puritan Descendant says:

              If I wasn’t so busy splitting hairs tonight I would ‘Almost’ agree, they both come from our creator. Capitalism consists of wealth creation/compounding, free market consists of free market. GN 😉

            • V.H.

              Your not nuts. But yours is only one of many possible permutations, which is what lets people like Charlie to make ridiculous generalizations against Capitalism.

              “Capitalism” only requires “private ownership” of “capital”, and the term “capital” is not limited to money. It includes the “capital goods” that provide the means of production, such as buildings and equipment.

              • V.H.

                JAC is correct – money is just another economic good, like any other economic good

                It is NOT different from a tractor or a house – it is scarce, desired, and human beings desire these things.

                “Money” is merely the most desired economic good in an economy – and in this particular economy, this good happens to be a particularly printed piece of paper. This does not change its nature as being an economic good – and hence “capital”

              • Not sure how my feeling the words are interchangeable helps people attack capitalism. I do realize that there is a definition of capitalism and a definition for free markets-but when we are using the word Capitalism to note our whole economic system-does the word Capitalism not have to incorporate the definition’s of both?

              • Yes, I know JAC is correct-did I somehow unknowing infer that money wasn’t an economic commodity?

            • V.H.

              I was not insinuating that YOUR use of the terms was allowing the attacks on Capitalism. It is the broad definition of the term itself that allows these attacks, because it includes systems that are NOT free markets. Like Mercantilism or “mixed economies”.

              Thus Charlie is able to label Fascism as Capitalism, as long as Govt doesn’t actually OWN the Capital.

              This leads to the answer to your question……..NO! When we refer to Capitalism as OUR system it does NOT mean we are referring to BOTH free markets and capitalism as synonymous. At least not in the context of the “accepted” or “common” definitions. While most of us at SUFA may use them the same, it is not necessarily true when we are trying to discuss the matter with others, like Charlie Stella.

              Except in this context, if we use the broad established definitions; Free Market Capitalism is a TYPE of Capitalism that is allowed to operate unfettered by a political structure that is based on supporting a FREE society.

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            CAUTION: I am drinking cider.

            “So I’d say the free market place exists, without the necessity of Capitalism”
            ok, you could have stole your apple………

            “Capitalism requires a market place for capital to be useful.”
            ok, useful beyond self consumption.

            I will dwell on this more later. Thanks, always enjoy your thoughts! And V.H.’s too, even if they do on occasion make me CRAZY! LOL

          • Hmmm-I see both words as the same-there is always a market for trade. One doesn’t exist without the other. Capitalism, free market-if you have one you have the other-if you do not have both-you have neither.

  27. A Puritan Descendant says:

    It is getting late and I either had a revelation or a brain tornado…:-)

    Just as consumption cannot occur before production, trade cannot occur without capital! (capital can be an apple)

    Thus Capitalism is a substructure of a free market!

    (careful, third glass of cider here)

  28. The irony of OWS…….occupy wall street to protest capitalism…to protest why people with stupid degrees cannot get a job…to go after the 1%…..to demand free goods…..to demand that all tuition be obliterated……

    Then, the news this morning was interviewing the union food handlers that hate the fact that there are homeless coming to eat the food for the OWS crowd and turns them away…..bags of feces and urine being brought into the local coffee shops and bistros…to be disposed of…..and if turned down they drop it there anyway….the mom and pop coffee shops and bistros and sandwich shops…are laying off employees by the hundreds because tourism and locals do not come there anymore and the OWS crowd does not buy…….

    They are not hurting the banks nor the 1%…they are killing the 99%.

    And now, they try to hijack the BOA decision to not charge fees……..BULL SHIT…..the 99% did that on their own…they pulled their money out and went to banks that did not charge…..free market and capitalism at its finest.

    OWS…..go home. You have done nothing but show your ignorance. And now…..the blame Bush crowd is activated again….Romper Room Rejects once again.

    • Colonel…go back to bed, then get up and try again..maybe it will be better then! 🙂

    • I heard the cops were telling the homeless to go mooch of the OWS bread line. Good trick if it is true. A dose of their own medicine. Leaves a bitter taste when someone else is using you. But then I doubt they see the irony.

      • That is what I was saying earlier….I have heard the same thing….the cops telling the homeless to go get fed and the homeless being turned away by the very crowd that is supposed to help the homeless…..

        @ DPM……let’s go conquer Barbados!

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          I’m in! I’m hanging out in Laguna Madre right now. Meet me here for some grog and then we’ll head out.

        • A New York City cafe cut its staff by nearly 25 percent last week because of lost business due to the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests, the cafe’s owner told FoxNews.com.

          Marc Epstein, owner of the Milk Street Cafe at 40 Wall Street in lower Manhattan, said he had to cut 21 of the 97 members of his staff on Thursday and Friday after seeing sales plummet by 30 percent in the six weeks since the protests began. He’s also been forced to slash the restaurant operating hours, moving up his closing time from 9 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

          The incessant noise and police activity aside, Epstein said the biggest obstacle to his business has been the ubiquitous New York police barricades surrounding Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.

          “It’s not only a physical impediment, it’s a psychological impediment,” Epstein told FoxNews.com. “You look down Wall Street now, and it looks like it’s under siege. So, people who have to walk down Wall Street don’t walk down Wall Street. It used to be a beautiful pedestrian mall, and now it’s not — it’s ugly.”

          If the barricades are not removed, Epstein said he “cannot see” how his business could sustain itself. The eatery, which opened in June, is a $4 million venture and is an expansion of the Boston restaurant he and his wife opened decades earlier.

          “It’s my first venture in New York and my last venture in New York,” he said.

          Epstein said he has pleaded with city officials, the New York police and his landlord, Donald Trump, to get the barricades removed, but he has been unable to get a return call from the city and the New York police. He was told by Trump himself, however, that the real estate mogul would try to contact city officials in hopes of removing the barricades.

          Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/01/owner-occupy-wall-street-cost-restaurant-21-jobs-and-counting/?test=latestnews#ixzz1cYo1g6i6

          • Many “Occupy Wall Street” protesters arrested in New York City reside in more luxurious homes than some of their rhetoric might suggest, a Daily Caller investigation has found.

            For each of the 984 Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested in New York City between September 18 and October 15, police collected and filed an information sheet recording the arrestee’s name, age, sex, criminal charge, home address and — in most cases — race. The Daily Caller has obtained all of this information from a source in the New York City government.

            Among addresses for which information is available, single-family homes listed on those police intake forms have a median value of $305,000 — a far higher number than the $185,400 median value of owner-occupied housing units in the United States.

            Some of the homes where “Occupy” arrestees reside, viewed through Google Maps and the Multiple Listing Service real estate database, are the definition of opulence.

            Using county assessors and online resources such as Zillow.com, TheDC estimated property values and rents for 87 percent of the homes and 59 percent of the apartments listed in the arrest records.

            Even in the nation’s currently depressed housing market, at least 95 of the protesters’ residences are worth approximately $500,000 or more

            Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/11/02/nyc-arrest-records-many-occupy-wall-street-protesters-live-in-luxury/#ixzz1cYpVYqsW

      • T-Ray

        How the heck have you been?

        Here in Portland it actually worked the other way. The OWS crowd needed to boost their numbers so they embraced the homeless folks. That is until they realized they were just being used for free food and group shelter. They didn’t like the smell and attitude either so now they are trying to get the police to remove the homeless from their “squatter” settlement.

        Oh! Michael Moore showed up the other day to pump them all full of glory and pride in their silly occupation. He was in town for a “Book Signing” to promote his “Capitalist Supported Bank Account”.

        • Good morning JAC……this morning in Dallas, the Dallas police were called out to check on a couple of children that were in the tent city set up on city property. Someone from the OWS crowd was concerned about three children that had been there for about two weeks. When the police showed up, the lady involved had a video camera and was taking pictures of the police as they checked the condition of the children. The news media showed up and started taking pictures of the lady taking pictures of the police. She got pissed and pushed the news media camera away shouting racism and crap…..the three children ranged in age from 9 months to 3 years living in a tent eating food from the homeless shelter with no sanitation facilities. The Dallas Mayor is considering breaking up the protest for health reasons.

          • d13

            Don’t know if you have seen this, but the leader of a Virginia Tea Party group has demanded the refund of all permit and other fees paid to the city of Richmond for their Tea Party rally, along with all costs (such as toilets) caused by those permits. The mayor has decided that these fees and requirements are not necessary for the OWS crowd.

            SHOUT OUT TO MY DEAR SOUTHERN BELLE, RICHMOND SPITFIRE. I couldn’t help but think of her when I was listening to the lady from the Richmond Tea Party. Could it be they are “related”????

            The same is happening here in Portland. There is an ordinance against “camping” in the city park. Yet the Mayor has decided to “not enforce” the law for this group while they piled requirements, and FEES, upon the local Tea Party. Can anyone say “arbitrary and capricious” governance??????????????

            A small group within the OWS crowd here is getting more “forceful” and thus the arrests are starting to increase. They admit this is deliberate because the public is “no longer paying attention to us”.

            Yet yesterday the media was playing up how the OWS message has “captured America” and is “forcing a change in discussions around the kitchen table at night”. Of course the media’s claim was based on a survey of how often the “press” used terms shared by the OWS movement.

            In other words, the OWS movement is effective according to the press because the Press is discussing the OWS movement. Ignorance has become the norm among the elite, in my humble opinion. Joe the Plumber has more brains than the whole lot of these dipsticks.

        • JAC,
          Been fine, just busy as all hell. Been following along when I have a few minutes.

  29. @ Buck…The Walla Man….good morning counselor……interesting movement developing in Texas….filing suits against the companies that hire illegals for negligence. Taking a cue from the laws that allow suits against bar owners for the actions of a drunk driver after they leave the bar claiming the bar was negligent in not controlling the drinking of a patron, thereby, be also responsible for the actions of the driver after they leave the bar…..individuals are now going after companies for negligence if an illegal ends up in a traffic accident with a phony license, or commits a crime against persons….the negligence arising from the failure of the company to do due diligence in hiring and proper screening of a prospective employee.

    There is a case going on in Fort Worth revolving around a landscaping company that hired an illegal with a fake drivers license. After clocking out, the illegal was involved in a traffic accident. The plaintiff is claiming, in a civil suit, that since the illegal did not have a drivers license and had no insurance and no way to pay the damages, that the landscaping company is negligent in hiring the illegal in the first place and claiming that the hiring of the illegal is a direct factor in the accident. The plaintiff is saying that the company was the first line of defense.

    I understand that there are several cases pending down here like this….ever heard this before? A barrister friend of mine thinks the plaintiff could easily prevail……..especially if the company “knowingly” hired an illegal. He said it is tantamount to putting a gun in the hands of a known felon.

    • Mathius™ says:

      What you are referring to, sir, is known as the Dram Shop Rule.

      The distinguishing factor is that the alcohol CAUSES the damage. That is, a drunk driver gets in an accident because he is drunk. Therefore it is the alcohol which is responsible. Therefore, it is your fault for making the alcohol available.

      In the case of hiring an illegal alien who then gets involved in an accident, it is not your employment which caused them to have the accident. Yes, you could make the argument that it is your employment which allowed them to afford the car which they then used to have the accident, but that’s a somewhat flimsy rational – you might as well blame their parents for giving birth to them which resulted in them getting a job and buying a car with which they had an accident. Or blame Stephen F. Austin for the Mexican American War which resulted in the current borders which resulted in the socioeconomic-political system in which the immigrants’ parents met and conceived him which allowed him to be born, then find work, then buy a car, then have an accident.

      To blame the employer is just choosing a scapegoat which, conveniently, puts pressure on employers not to hire illegal immigrants (which is, after all, the real point of the suits). If the employer is really responsible, then why isn’t my employer responsible if I have an accident? After all, their decision to hire me gave me the funds to buy my car, and they should have known my character better and known that I drive over the speed limit.

      Now, if he’s driving a car as part of his job… well then, sue away.

      • @ Mathius…….ummmmmmmm……….remember, this is a civil suit. Texas is not doing it nor any governmental agency nor the city….it is an individual. I guess one could conceivably argue that hiring an illegal…put him there in the first place. Going to be interesting.

        • Mathius™ says:

          Right.. but where do you draw the line. Yes, the employment is a necessary component to why the illegal is able to be where he is with a car, but so is the fact that his parents met and decided to have a baby. Why aren’t they liable?

          It just strikes me as an arbitrary place to draw the line, which suspiciously applies economic pressure in favor of a political goal.

      • Oh…the dram shop rule is a stupid rule as well.

  30. SUFA

    A little background on why we have trouble understanding what we mean when we use the terms Free Markets, Capitalism, etc. Please note the reliance of both ideas on the “Labor Theory of Value” and how each philosopher uses them “differently”.

    Also note that Adam Smith’s view of his preferred economic system as “the system of natural liberty” is consistent with Ayn Rand’s proposal that Laissez-fare Capitalism is the preferred “Political System”. Keeping in mind that the “philosophy of politics” follows after, and is dependent upon, the philosophies of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.

    Adam Smith

    The first theorist of what we commonly refer to as capitalism is usually considered to be Adam Smith. His 1776 work, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, theorized that within a given stable system of commerce and evaluation, individuals would respond to the incentive of earning more by specializing their production. These individuals would naturally, without specific state intervention, “direct … that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value.” This would enable the whole economy to become more productive, and it would therefore be wealthier. Smith argued that protecting particular producers would lead to inefficient production, and that a national hoarding of specie (i.e. cash in the form of coinage) would only increase prices, in an argument similar to that advanced by David Hume. His systematic treatment of how the exchange of goods, or a market, would create incentives to act in the general interest, became the basis of what was then called political economy and later economics. It was also the basis for a theory of law and government which would gradually supersede the mercantilist regime that was then prevalent.

    Smith asserts that when individuals make a trade they value what they are purchasing more than they value what they are giving in exchange for a commodity. If this were not the case, then they would not make the trade but retain ownership of the more valuable commodity. This notion underlies the concept of mutually-beneficial trade where it is held that both sides tend to benefit by an exchange.

    Although he is often described as the “father of capitalism” (and the “father of economics”), Adam Smith himself never used the term “capitalism”. He described his own preferred economic system as “the system of natural liberty.” However, Smith defined “capital” as stock, and “profit” as the just expectation of retaining the revenue from improvements made to that stock. Smith also viewed capital improvement as being the proper central aim of the economic and political system.[4]

    A major difference between Adam Smith’s view of economics and that of present day capitalist theory is that Adam Smith viewed value as a product of labor, and thus operated under the Labor Theory of Value, which was used by basically all economists until the Labor Theory of Value became central to Marxism.

    “The rich should contribute.. not in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.” is a quote by Adam Smith, but would be considered Marxist or Communist by today’s conservative leaders.

    Karl Marx

    It is generally considered that the most thorough and enduring critique of the results of capitalism was the one formulated by Karl Marx. According to Marx, the treatment of labor as a commodity led to people valuing things more in terms of their price rather than their usefulness (see commodity fetishism), and hence to an expansion of the system of commodities. Marx observed that some people bought commodities in order to use them, while others bought them in order to sell them on at a profit. Much of the history of late capitalism involves what David Harvey called the “system of flexible accumulation” in which more and more things become commodities, the value of which is determined through the process of exchange rather through their use. For example, not only pins are commodities; shares in the ownership of a factory that manufactures pins become commodities; then options on the stock issued in the company that operates the factory become commodities; then portions of the interest rate attached to bonds issued by the company become commodities, and so on. The prevalence of commodity speculation in modern capitalism significantly shapes its outcomes.

    Marx defines “capital” as money and “capitalist production” as the use of money to denominate wealth in money terms; these labels refer to John Stuart Mill’s definition of value in a market economy as being the going price for a good or service.

    Marx expounded on the Labor Theory of Value to show that according to the Labor Theory of Value (which was the theory of value that was used by Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, etc.) capitalists (owners of the means of production) exploit workers by depriving them of value that workers themselves create. According to Marx, surplus value is the difference between the value that the worker has created and the wage that the worker receives from his employer.

    Once Marx firmly established this principle, the Labor Theory of Value was criticized and abandoned by supporters of capitalism.

    • JAC

      Labor Theory of Value was criticized and abandoned by supporters of capitalism

      Austrian economist Carl Menger, replaced it with the Theory of Marginal Utility in 1888.

      • BF

        I know. I am not creating an argument for the theory. I am only trying to provide background so everyone has a better understanding of how the terms came to exist and how they have been used over time, by conflicting philosophies.

        Frankly, I think both “theories” are gross “over complications” of a very simple principle. That principle is captured quite well by Smith in describing his “preferred system”.

  31. CAPITALISM…………continued review.

    Please note the when and who regarding the term “Capitalism” as opposed to just the word “capitalist”. Notice anything peculiar???

    Etymology and early usage

    Capital evolved from capitale, a late Latin word based on proto-Indo-European caput, meaning “head” — also the origin of chattel and cattle in the sense of movable property (only much later to refer only to livestock). Capitale emerged in the 12th to 13th centuries in the sense of funds, stock of merchandise, sum of money, or money carrying interest.[18][19][20] By 1283 it was used in the sense of the capital assets of a trading firm. It was frequently interchanged with a number of other words — wealth, money, funds, goods, assets, property and so on.[18]

    The term capitalist refers to an owner of capital rather than an economic system, but shows earlier recorded use than the term capitalism, dating back to the mid-seventeenth century. The Hollandische Mercurius uses it in 1633 and 1654 to refer to owners of capital.[18] In French, Étienne Clavier referred to capitalistes in 1788,[21] six years before its first recorded English usage by Arthur Young in his work Travels in France (1792).[20][22] David Ricardo, in his Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817), referred to “the capitalist” many times.[23]

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an English poet, used capitalist in his work Table Talk (1823).[24] Pierre-Joseph Proudhon used the term capitalist in his first work, What is Property? (1840) to refer to the owners of capital. Benjamin Disraeli used the term capitalist in his 1845 work Sybil.[20] Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels used the term capitalist (Kapitalist) in The Communist Manifesto (1848) to refer to a private owner of capital.

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the term capitalism was first used by novelist William Makepeace Thackeray in 1854 in The Newcomes, where he meant “having ownership of capital”.[20] Also according to the OED, Carl Adolph Douai, a German-American socialist and abolitionist, used the term private capitalism in 1863.

    The initial usage of the term capitalism in its modern sense has been attributed to Louis Blanc in 1850 and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1861.[25] Marx and Engels referred to the capitalistic system (kapitalistisches System)[26][27] and to the capitalist mode of production (kapitalistische Produktionsform) in Das Kapital (1867).[28] The use of the word “capitalism” in reference to an economic system appears twice in Volume I of Das Kapital, p. 124 (German edition), and in Theories of Surplus Value, tome II, p. 493 (German edition). Marx did not extensively use the form capitalism, but instead those of capitalist and capitalist mode of production, which appear more than 2600 times in the trilogy Das Kapital.

    Marx’s notion of the capitalist mode of production is characterised as a system of primarily private ownership of the means of production in a mainly market economy, with a legal framework on commerce and a physical infrastructure provided by the state. No legal framework was available to protect the labourers, so exploitation by the companies was rife.[29][page needed] Engels made more frequent use of the term capitalism; volumes II and III of Das Kapital, both edited by Engels after Marx’s death, contain the word “capitalism” four and three times, respectively. The three combined volumes of Das Kapital (1867, 1885, 1894) contain the word capitalist more than 2,600 times.

    An 1877 work entitled Better Times by Hugh Gabutt and an 1884 article in the Pall Mall Gazette also used the term capitalism.[20] A later use of the term capitalism to describe the production system was by the German economist Werner Sombart, in his 1902 book The Jews and Modern Capitalism (Die Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben). Sombart’s close friend and colleague, Max Weber, also used capitalism in his 1904 book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus).

    THIS IS ALSO VERY INTERESTING, ESPECIALLY IN LIGHT OF HOW AND WHO POPULARIZED THE TERM:

    Other terms sometimes used for capitalism:

    * Capitalist mode of production
    * Economic liberalism[11]
    * Free-enterprise economy[10][12]
    * Free market[12][13]
    * Laissez-faire economy[14]
    * Market economy[15]
    * Market liberalism[16][17]
    * Self-regulating market[12]

  32. A thought of the day regarding Free Market Capitalism.

    FREE MARKET CAPITALISM DEMANDS THAT THERE BE NO GOVT REGULATION OF THE MARKET PLACE.

    FREE MARKET CAPITALISM DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT THERE BE NO GOVT EFFECT ON THE MARKET PLACE.

    So my challenge to you is to explain how this could be true or false.

    • JAC,

      You askin’ me, or are you waiting for the rest to pipe in first?

      • BF

        Go for it. Most are usually reluctant to speak up and I am in the mood for discussion.

        • JAC,

          The Marginal Utility theory is not an over complication or a simplification.

          It is a superior understanding.

          The challenge that even Smith had difficulty explaining was why -in times of scarcity- people would give away ‘diamonds’ for a drink of water – yet at other time, wouldn’t even consider such a trade.

          Menger figured it out by the Marginal Utility theory – exposing both the understanding that all value is subjective and hence, defined by the individual – and that there is no such thing as inherent value.

          This understanding answers a number of fundamental questions – such as the rise of money, creation of wealth, and why trade occurs.

          • BF

            My criticism was aimed at the academics and “economists/philosophers” who go on and on trying to describe the minutiae of each concept.

            The “simple principle” to which I am referring is that which you posed; ” all value is subjective and hence, defined by the individual – and that there is no such thing as inherent value.”

            While Smith is said to utilize the LTV in his work, my point was that the simple concept you describe is contained within his preferred system as being “the system of natural liberty.”.

            In my view Smith captures the essence of the source of “value” in this statement and others, but then utilizes concepts of “effort” to quantify this. I think Smith did not consider the “value of labor” in the strict “cost” based sense that later economists did or that they assigned to him, but more as a descriptor of effort required to acquire something directly as opposed to trading for it.

            I agree, however, that he and others have missed the element of “desire” that goes beyond measurable utility. I think the common use of “marginal utility” equally misses this point. That being the one you capture quite well……… value is based on what I am willing to exchange to acquire something. That willingness is based on MY desires and ability to trade. My DESIRES could be purely economic based or they could be based on something more esoteric, like I want to live with a particular view of the river and surrounding mountains.

    • I would say both statements are true-anything can effect the market even government-as long as it doesn’t use force to do so.

      • V.H.

        I see you have awoken from your nap 🙂

        Can you elaborate on why or better yet, an example of how?

        • Let’s see-the government can encourage us to buy green-they have the ability through words not laws to change the feelings of the participants involved in transaction, which can change their actions.

          • V.H.

            Good example, assuming of course that the funds to run this campaign were “voluntarily” given to the govt by those who wanted to affect such change.

            But then what happens if the other side also wants to run a similar “campaign” for opinion? Wouldn’t the Govt be compelled to run both??

            • I suppose they would-but they are still effecting public opinion just by highlighting the issue.

              How about their Constitutional ability to declare war. Their ability to effect the economy through increasing or decreasing the number of public or federal employee’s.

              Their releasing statistical data on the economy.

              • Yes, more good examples.

                But what I was thinking when I came up with the thought was the difference between “regulating” to favor a certain type of economic outcome (green vs. other) as opposed to the effect of laws designed to protect our rights, or act on our behalf against force by others. Such as theft, fraud, pollution, unsafe products etc.

                Regulation has been used to create inequities in the economy and thus causes great distortions. If laws are restricted to true protection, or restitution, then ALL segments are affected equally. While there is a corresponding effect on economic activity, there is no single group or segment favored.

  33. JAC,

    FREE MARKET CAPITALISM DEMANDS THAT THERE BE NO GOVT REGULATION OF THE MARKET PLACE.

    FREE MARKET CAPITALISM DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT THERE BE NO GOVT EFFECT ON THE MARKET PLACE.

    It claims neither.

    Free Market and Capitalism is a consequence of human action.

    Humans will act to avoid things which hurts them or interferes with their action.
    Humans will act to seize things which benefits them or expands their action.

    So when government violence is introduced, people will avoid it.

    They avoid this in many ways, like not attracting government attention – that is, obedience and surrender to its demands.

    However, in all cases, what ever the violence is applied, that area will be avoided.

    SO when government steals wealth, people will hide their wealth, dispose of their wealth, and stop producing wealth.

    • BF

      You left a little something off of your statement.

      Free Market and Capitalism is a consequence of “free” human action.

      Thus my statement that “free market capitalism” demands there be no regulation by Govt.

      Yes, people will act to avoid Govt violence. So when would such violence be applicable to our discussion? Even in your model there is a place and time. The issue under your model is not that it could be applicable under these conditions, but that once started you can not stop the fire from spreading. So lets focus ONLY on the starting point if you please.

      • JAC,

        Yes, you are right – “free” is the dominant word there.

        when would such violence be applicable to our discussion?

        Only as a response to an initiation of violence.

        Thus an outsider of any sort, entering the market place with gun and club in hand would find himself resisted by the same force.

        • BF

          As would a producer who is poisoning the water of his neighbors??????

          • JAC,

            Correct.

            • BF

              So such action might have an affect on the market place, but it is not “regulating” the market place. That is it is not controlling freely made decisions about price or value. It facilitates free trade by reducing the risk of bad players but does not effect the decisions of good players, relative to any given trade decision.

              So at the beginning point, if govt simply replaces the actions of free people in response to force of others, it is compatible with a free market. It does not regulate, but it does affect the market place.

              Of course next comes the ultimate dilemma relative to Govt. How do you stop it from growing beyond this point???? I know your answer is YOU CAN’T.

              • JAC

                So such action might have an affect on the market place, but it is not “regulating” the market place.

                Correct.

                No less than one claiming that we must regulate murder so we can control the amount of its legitimate use.

                No one has the right to kill you, or hurt you – not even under the disguise of “freedom”.

                So at the beginning point, if govt simply replaces the actions of free people in response to force of others, it is compatible with a free market. It does not regulate, but it does affect the market place.

                So, simple substitution.

                “Preventing people from killing you effects your freedom”

                No. The absence of something does not cause an effect.

                It maintains the concurrency of its own – unmolested – existence.

                Of course next comes the ultimate dilemma relative to Govt. How do you stop it from growing beyond this point???? I know your answer is YOU CAN’T.

                Well, you have defined government differently – and labelled “non-government” action as to be “government” by claiming a particular designate group of people exist to enforce human rights.

                But this is why I demand a coherent definition of government.

                If such a group does not claim the existence of other rights superior to that of any of the individuals – thus, they only rightly act -as a group- as they would individually.

                But if they claim the existence of something more than those rights then the problem begins….

            • BF

              “Preventing people from killing you effects your freedom”

              No. The absence of something does not cause an effect. ”

              Disagree. We are talking about human behavior when we discuss economic activity.

              If I have less fear of being robbed or killed then I will act differently than if I have that fear. If I know there is a stable system for dealing with fraudsters and thieves then I will act differently, and in fact will not have to wast as much money to investigate every seller from which I wish to purchase.

              So YES, the absence of something CAN have an effect on other things, when we are talking about human behavior.

              And absolutely preventing someone from killing me has a direct affect on my freedom. By definition, my freedom is inversely proportional to the amount of coercive force (violence in this case) used against me.

              I have not changed the definition of govt, I have used yours in this example. I simply limited its actions to those that fell short of actually initiating violence.

              Having a monopoly on the apple market does not prevent me from selling oranges. The same holds for Government.

  34. I’ll ask it again, since it appears to have been ignored (or not seen) the first time:

    Come to think of it (and with no disrespect intended) … if you’re not such a big fan of government (all veterans feel free to chirp in here) why would you go to war on their behalf? I find it kind of confusing. The government is clearly corrupt; as are some of the wars they engage us in … and since corporations seem to be the only ones who benefitted from said wars (Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan immediately come to mind–between defense contractors (i.e., Haliberton) and private businesses going overseas to set up), why are you so willing to risk your lives for what is hard to define as “defense of a nation”? Again, no disrespect intended, but seriously, can you explain that to me?

    If it has to do with patriotism alone, I’d have to stand with BF on this and say: Isn’t that foolish? Organized crime runs on the same principal … and it’s kind of like the boyscouts unless you (or the country you pledge your lives to) is under direct threat.

    Reply

  35. Ahhhh…Charlie….you know that I will not shy away from this. I will answer your question without the innuendos…..

  36. @ Charlie…..my answer, sir.

    As a military officer, I am not concerned with the making of wars…..only the fighting of them. Our form of government is civilian. Run by civilians and planned by civilians. There was a reason for this. As a United States Officer I have taken an oath. There are two oaths of office for commissioned officers.
    I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

    “I, _____ , having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”

    The first oath is for all to take and the second oath is for Officers of the United States Army. It is something that I take as seriously as any promise or vow towards a wife or family. It is a matter of integrity and a matter of honor. As an officer, I do not make foreign policy nor am I, in any manner, to interpret foreign policy. I am to implement the policies of my government whether I agree with them or not. To do otherwise is a violation of my oath. You can call any war illegal if you wish… I do not have that luxury. I do not and cannot concern myself with what the world thinks. I do not and cannot concern myself with MY interpretation of foreign policy. I cannot and do not concern myself to what corporations say and it does not matter how much money they make. If I do not like the military and think that they are wrong, then I do not belong there.

    However, I am not only a United States commissioned officer, I am also a private citizen. As a private citizen, I am prepared and do question my government and its elected officials. As private citizen D13 or even as D13 the Colonel, I am free to question my government’s foreign policy and the actions of my government at home and abroad. If I do not like it, I will do what I can to change it short of sedition or treason or overthrow. I am pledged to protect this country against all threats foreign and domestic. If I feel that I cannot do that, then I should resign my commission.

    Patriotism is a fine thing but that is an emotion. I am very patriotic towards my country. But patriotism is not a fault…failure to act according to your personal belief is a fault. If you feel strongly about something, then it is your responsibility to stand up and be heard. I love this country with all her faults. There is no other country that is better…. I believe that. It needs changing, no doubt, and I will do what I can to accomplish that but I will do so from my heart and from my integrity…not from a sound bite.

    • I’ll get back to you from Pluto, Sir. Too busy today. They hired the socialist full-time! can you believe it? A hard working socialist!

      Seriously, I totally respect you, sir (I think you know that). But I do see some conflicts (irrational ones at that) in your response. I’ll have to mull it over the next day or two … once they have the socialist, they tighten the chains!

      • LOL…ok my friend……and I do know the respect is there as mine is as well……

        • Colonel: I thought about this on the drive home and some after that. Please remember that whatever I write, respect for you is HUGE. This is not a personal assault, so please that take anything I say that way. Even on Pluto, we respect our betters.

          I find the oath you speak of very much in line with that most organized crime organizations use. The oath “made guys” take also requires them to honor their new family about their natural family and all else. That line in the movie Donnie Brasco isn’t just drama. Of course, very few actually do honor anything in that world, but here’s another thing that popped in my head (perhaps somewhat off the topic/maybe not).

          I think organized crime (with all the silliness associated with it–the oath being something I always thought somewhat absurd (as I saw it)), is actually more efficient than the military (not that that is saying much–government bureaucracy vs. private). There are no regulations for those in power; the goal is profit, pure and simple and that black market is probably much more free than Wall Street (as regards actual regulations). In fact, one of the few differences I see between legitimate capitalism and black markets is the fact there are no laws enforced against the so-called legitimate markets.

          I guess I see these pledges, even with the best intentions, as a kind of blind faith that surprises me when I hear the distrust you harbor for the government you eventually serve.

          I hope that isn’t insulting. It isn’t meant to be (at all). I am fascinated by what at least “appears” (to me) to be the loyalty on one hand and the absolute lack of trust on the other by many in the military. I guess I find more in common with those who leave the military and go a more liberal route, but that doesn’t mean it’s a better choice (I know that). Just trying to understand it, I guess.

      • Hey Charlie–While your thinking about D’s answer-I would like you to think about something else.

        Do we need a military?

        If we do-how would you fix-what you see as a problem? How would you set up a military? How would you make it function correctly?

        If you don’t think we need one-why not?

        • VH, you’ll be surprised (I think) by my answer. I’m for absolutely EVERYBODY serving at least 1-2 full years, peacetime or not, and I mean everybody (i.e., Israel). For one thing, our kids are way too often too young to make the jump from high school to college (usually not prepared in any way, shape or form), plus I think it’s a great way to actually “earn” some of the benefits I would love to see (national healthcare being primary/some kind of open school enrollment for those who QUALIFY ACADEMICALLY (so long as they had a fair shot) and having nothing to do with money.

          I don’t know enough about how to make it function correctly, except to say if everybody had a stake in it (had to serve), a) we wouldn’t look to jump into wars that aren’t our business and b) all men (and women) would indeed be equal under the law (at least for a year or two).

          • So basically Charlie-you don’t believe that the men and woman who are willing to fight and die for OUR country and it’s people are irrational or wrong to do so-even if they may sometimes disagree with the decisions made.

            • No, I don’t think I implied that. I think the men and women who volunteer to fight and die for OUR country are doing it for many different reasons (some to find work, some to find benefits down the road, and of course those who believe in whatever cause they have convinced themselves is worthy of dying for–honor, etc.), but it is the last group that makes little sense to me; the idea of serving a government you believe (know) to be corrupt … I don’t get it.

              Mandatory service is an entire other enchilada. You actually “earn” benefits down the road while doing some growing up and getting a pragmatic education.

              As to volunteer armies: I do not see the logic in pledging allegiance to something you believe is corrupt from the core (government, crime families, etc.) … for what?

              • Charlie-Are you not saying that the only reason someone should do anything is if they are going to be the sole beneficiary of the action?
                Are you not implying-that if what they are doing is wrong-than it is only okay to do that which is wrong- based on how much you personally gain?

                Your previous remarks (seem) to made it clear that you do not disagree with having a military-you just disliked how the decisions were made.

                As a soldier-they are fulfilling, per your remarks, a necessary function for this country out of a love of their fellow citizens and for the protection of their fellow soldiers.
                As a citizen -they use their “voice” to influence how and what decision is made.
                As an individual, they can resign if they cannot support the current action.
                What do you not understand? I don’t understand-unless you are saying that this necessary function isn’t really necessary-that the answer to disagreements on how we handle subjects of war-is to leave the US unprotected.

                I do however, agree that if we all had to pay more of a personal price for going to war-we would be a lot less likely to send our loved ones into unnecessary battles. How to achieve that desire-I’ll have to think about-not much liking the idea of forcing everyone to serve.

              • As an individual, they can resign if they cannot support the current action.

                VH, I’m unclear here. Are you saying the military member can resign if they can’t support the actions?

                If so, then that isn’t accurate. No enlisted member can “resign” from their enlistment – they do the full term and if they refuse they can be punished – to include imprisonment – using due process of course.

                Officers, I believe (help me out D13) can resign IF they have fulfilled any minimum enlistment requirements (such as a service academy graduate must serve a certain number of years in return for the education and training received in the academy), otherwise when they resign their commission they are dropped to an enlisted rank and are required to fulfill that minimum term.

  37. If you look at a world map; do the areas in which the US of A is engaged in “the war on terror” aka “control the world oil supply” look a bit fishy? Almost as if preplanned far in advance? News of an attack on Irans nuclear facilities has been on the news every hour or so… our good ole hijacked nazi propoganda machine running full steam to sway public opinion it seems. Wasthere an Arab spring? Or was it a cover to place puppet Islamic leaders and keep the Arab people restricted to their belief in Islam to better control them? Play the game by our rules or end up ousted? Weird shit going on in the world today. Only makes a smidgen of sense if you start thinking in terms of conspiracies. To me anyway…

  38. @ Charlie……very eloquently put and I take no offense whatsoever. I am glad that you are trying to understand the military mentality. You are at least open to listening. The oath has nothing to do with the “family” so to speak but it has everything to do with our constitution. The military does indeed function as a team and the lessons learned in the military are quite extensive. (1) Budgets…what they are and how to use them. (2) Management…..how to control and utilize human assets to best possible outcome. (3) logistics….how to control and utilize limited assets.(4) human relations….the intermingling and working with all religions, races, and customs within the military. (5) physical fitness and discipline….to mean exercise and the discipline to stay in peak physical conditioning. (6) command decision making….the training and ability of even the lowest private to make sound. quick, and decisive decisions affecting the out come of lives and equipment. (7) Training…..all phases of it….where else can a 19 year old drive a million dollar piece of equipment or learn communications, or learn to interact and make decisions coordinating between battleships, air, and ground maneuvers……the list goes on.

    I have seen an evolution of the military from “brown shoe days” and mindless robots to thinking and functioning individuals. Going to an all professional military today, with no draft, has not only saved countless lives and materials but has made a more cohesive and functioning military with a brain. A long way from Vietnam to today. The average age that fought in Vietnam was 19.5 years of age and the draft was discriminatory against those that could not afford school or were not married. (Married men with children had an automatic exemption). I was in college in the late 60’s and carried a 2s deferment to the draft until I graduated. The lottery system then made the draft fair….no one was exempt. I volunteered for the Army and volunteered for the Special Forces. I was not drafted. But the average age in the professional army today in the gulf war was 30 and the education was 2 years college…quite a change. The military today is not a bunch of mind numbed, brainwashed soldiers. They are taught to think and react accordingly. Their are sergeants with college degrees and masters degrees serving in line units…..a far more reasoned and thinking military.

    However, that said, any oath…whether mafia or military or wedding vow…carries the same importance. It is a personal testimony to faith and allegiance to what YOU or THEY believe in and it is a true test of integrity and moral character to the individual.

    Charlie, the Stella man,would like to see a socialistic form of government and living standard and is dedicated to that. I may think your head is full of Plutonian Dust Mites eating your brain away……but I admire your stance and give you credit for sticking up for what you believe. That is integrity and moral character. You and I put it out there for all to see and take and give our respective criticism as we see fit…according to our beliefs. I try to convince you my way is better (it is) than your way (yeeech) 🙂 and you also do the same. But in the end, we will share a plate of frijoles or Canoli and shake hands. It is the ones that lurch in the shadows and bottom feed that I have no respect for…..

    As a military man, I believe that our form of government and way of life is the best that there is and I can back my statements up because I have been there……all over. I believe that our military serves a vital function. I am part of it. But I also believe that it is used for purposes other than its intended purpose and we can be outspoken on this…but in the end, if ordered we go. Otherwise….get out.

    Hope this helps and thank you for your kind words.,,,,,no offense is taken whatsoever. “Keep yer top knot dry and yer back to the wind”, my Plutonian friend….I have faith in you. You soon will leave the “dark side”……… (insert heavy mask breathing). 🙂

    • Wait……I have a vision….it is …..it is….Charlie the CONSERVATIVE Canoli Man……….bwaahahahahahahahahaha……..that will drink Dr Pepper and listen to Andy Williams records and…and….and…..shit……sorry, listening to Andy Williams records is worse than water boarding….

  39. @ VH…..I have to take up for Charlie here in that he did not imply anything negative. He is trying to connect the dots of the military mindset. I am very outspoken against my government and its officials on both sides of the isle. His disconnect is..”why would I, or someone, support the government by being in the military, and then condemn the government in the same breath. Because, in this country, we can be both a soldier and a private citizen and they coexist. There has been a line of thinking that the military is a brain washed robot. The non professional military was like that at one time….not now. But we have chosen that as a way of life and our military is controlled by a civilian authority and not a general self appointed dictator. As a military unit, we do not interpret law nor do we interpret foreign policy….that is not for us to do. We are the muscle. And we have the freedom to protest our government and question it but we have the moral obligation to carry out its business…or we should get out.

    I have been passed over three times for promotion to general for two reasons (1) I am not a West Point or VMI graduate (selection boards are very politcal) and (2) I am very outspoken in my beliefs and my officer evaluations show this. I rate a 1 across he board (the highest you can get) but the text supporting the 1 can be a killer. As I have reported before…..the text that killed my promotion was (Captain D13 exhibits candor and frankness to both subordinates and superiors alike)….translation…..he speaks his mind and he does not care what your rank is. But, I was not drummed out of the service for my candor and frankness….I did make Colonel (full bird type)….but…..Congress has to approve any promotion to general officer rank……Congress = civilians…..civilians in Washington = politics….Colonel D13 is not politically correct and my integrity and moral conviction prevents me from “toeing: the political lock step. There are thousands of officers that think like me. So, our military is sound.

    • I wasn’t accusing him of being negative-he made it very clear-he simply didn’t understand. I was just trying to get him to look at it from the perspective of a needed function being fulfilled. Not just a personal decision based on total agreement with every decision..

  40. @ Plainly….you are correct. If you sign an enlistment contract, you are obligated for that period of time.

    In the case of ROTC or Academy graduates, they are committed for a term of years. Unlike the enlisted, an officer commission NEVER retires. As an officer, you can be called to active duty after your obligation is up. Look at an officers ID card….it says indefinite. An enlisted ID card has an expiration date.

    Now, once an officer’s requirement is satisfied, he may resign his commission and he is out. If he retires with a commission, he is subject to recall at any age.

    IF an academy officer or ROTC resigns his commission, he will finish his obligation as an e-5 or greater.

  41. Thank you, Colonel. You the man. And I’d sit down to some fajitas and cannoli with you any time. You’re always invited … seriously, if you’re even in town, chow is on me.

    And colonel, this Plutonian can put it away … I was (long ago and many pounds ago) the world champion spaghetti eater of the world! Little did they know, they were feeding a future SAGE!

    See the photo and read the caption. It was NOT PHOTOSHOPPED, USW!!!

    http://charliestella.net/Blurbs.html

  42. Charlie Stella or Charlieopera, which ever applies.

    Your lack of understanding stated as: “but it is the last group that makes little sense to me; the idea of serving a government you believe (know) to be corrupt … I don’t get it.”

    It is because we don’t serve the GOVERNMENT. WE swear allegiance to the Constitution and thus indirectly to the WE THE PEOPLE who allow the govt to exist. And yes, even they can be misguided, but make no mistake. Our allegiance is to the nation, to our family, friends and fellow citizens. It is NOT to the KING or his kingdom nor to the Govt and the ass-clowns for which it stands.

    • WE swear allegiance to the Constitution and thus indirectly to the WE THE PEOPLE

      You do realize the Constitution created a government that (sorry to correct you) was created by wealthy men (not the working men of the young country) … wealthy men, some of whom were slave owners … so the corruption started with the constitution (accept it or not–it’s a fact). I don’t see the difference in swearing an oath to a constitution that was corrupt from the get-go and a corrupt government.

      Remember what Al Capone said: “Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class.”

      He had a point … how that came about was via your constitution, a document created by the wealthy to serve their purpose (with literaly “slave owners” doing the drafting and signing) … I don’t know how you walk that one back, my friend.

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