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« Ruminations - 16may12 | Main | Placebos vs Big Pharma »

17 May 2012

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Michael Anderson

George, could not the same question be asked of every president's second term? I mean, it kinda goes with the territory.

I'm all in favor of one 6 year term for president, no second time around. These plebiscites on presidential performance just aren't all that helpful in the long run, it pulls the executive branch into a more legislative function.

Just my 2 cents.

George Rebane

MichaelA 730am - of course the same question could and should be asked. The voters need to consider it in light of what was accomplished in the first term. But your thought about a two term president being pulled into a legislative function is interesting; why does the possibility of a second term do that?

Ryan Mount

A one term, six year Presidency? What an interesting idea. We should try it out. And why not? If we're brave enough to create and actually eat a KFC Double Down or a batch of In-N-Out Animal style French Fries, we probably have the courage to amend the Constitution again for a 6 year Presidency.

Michael Anderson

George asked: "...why does the possibility of a second term do that?"

Because with 2 terms, the first term becomes all about trying to please a constituency of everybody, which is not really an executive function. The second term is when the executive finally gets to feel his oats, as you suggest, but by then enough voters are sufficiently pissed off that even though they have given the president another four years, they usually also place a legislative block in Congress by handing either one or both of the halls of Congress to the opposing party.

I'm all about getting things done, even if it's "bad." I would much rather see the presidency and Congress vacillate together with one-party domination every six years or so, rather than be crushed beneath the gridlock we've experienced since Nixon resigned.

The last 4 decades feels like we've been watching algea grow. Our antiquated federal political system is holding us back in the 21st century.

Douglas Keachie

And what on earth has Mitt presented that indicates that anything more would be accomplished with him at the helm? Less regulations for more pollution, jobs will still go overseas, probably in greater numbers (no restrictions on off shore tax free earnings, or incentives to make it in the USA), Visa's will still be issued to destroy the American programming industry, and taxes will be set up to screw the middle and working clssses even further, and banks will run amuck and invent new derivative-like scams. All the while Americans pay the highest for healthcare in the world and yet the service is 37th place.

Oh Joy!

Let's give AZ back to Mexico, and let the Mexicans kick out anyone without a birther certificate that says they were born in AZ.

Michael Anderson

Keach is cranky this morning.

George Rebane

MichaelA 844am - but putting "a legislative block in Congress" does not require that the Presidency acquires a legislative function.

Your view of government having done nothing is more than surprising. In the last 40 years government has grown and done more than in the preceding 200, almost all of it overwhelmingly bad as far weakening the Bastiat Triangle, and diminishing Americans' freedoms and opportunities. The effect of that 'algae growth' has also been non-uniform and exponential. What we have in Washington and Sacramento are ineptocracies.

Ineptocracy: (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Were I king, Congress would get at least equal credit for 'doing' away with dated and dysfunctional laws, as they would by the pell mell addition of new ones. Witness the reactionary farce that it is going through in its hurry to again do something in response to a private company losing private monies in private dealings. Michael, your promoting such governance puts each of us way on opposite sides of the growing chasm.

Michael Anderson

"Witness the reactionary farce that it is going through in its hurry to again do something in response to a private company losing private monies in private dealings."

But they're not private dealings, are they? When the big banks--those deemed too large to fail--were headed for the cliff in 2008, us taxpayers coughed up $7.7 trillion dollars to make them whole.

The current derivatives market is ~$600 trillion dollars. This has me a hell of a lot more worried than bloated public-employee pensions.

BTW, as I've said before, I would love to get rid of dysfunctional laws, and trim the California Code, and get rid of overlapping agencies. My libertarian side loves to streamline. And as we've also agreed, tax reform should be one of the main topics of this year's presidential campaign.

The governance I am promoting is where each side gets a shot at making real change for a prescribed amount of time, without gridlock. IMHO, gridlock promotes ineptocratic bloat, regardless of whether the Republicans or the Democrats are in charge.

George Rebane

MichaelA 1111am - How again are they not private dealings??? Just because we made a mistake in bailing out banks that should have failed (their assets would have been picked up by other financial institutions), and thereby plastered in another layer of moral hazard for future failures, doesn't mean that everything these banks do from now on is public business - that is indeed perverse.

Every day we are seeing more evidence of the cost of discarding the wisdom of von Mises, 'Do nothing, sooner!'

That there is a $600T derivatives overhang about which you (and others) are "more worried" has no bearing on the obligated disposition of unsustainable defined benefit pensions that have accrued a several trillion dollar national unfunded liability account that the retired state workers expect taxpayers to now make good. The answer to that is a clear NFW! The rapacious public service unions and the lamebrained politicians (elected by lamebrained voters that included public employees) got us there, and now there is no way out but defection and default.

'That Which is Unsustainable Will Go Away: Pensions'
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-which-unsustainable-will-go-away-pensions

Douglas Keachie

"Just because we made a mistake in bailing out banks that should have failed " our leaders were paid by them to make those kinds of mistakes, for their benefit. Look at the latest Goldman Sachs has to offer:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/accidentally-released-and-incredibly-embarrassing-documents-show-how-goldman-et-al-engaged-in-naked-short-selling-20120515

BTW isn't "naked shorts" an oxymoron?

A stock brokerage house in in the game and gets to see everyone's cards and all their planned future moves. Given computers, it's only total restraint that keeps them from running off with everything in less than a month. It is better to shear the sheep than kill them. This has been obvious to me since the mid 80's, when I learned what computers could do.

Douglas Keachie

That which is unsustainable will go away, the top one percent grabbing everything in sight without thought as to what the other 300 million Americans are going to do about it.

Michael Anderson

I guess that's where we see things differently, George.

These banks have a hold on Washington D.C. that is a lot more gripping than that of the unions, so my money is on another too-big-to-fail bailout instead of public employees causing gov't default.

It's all about leverage. The unions will pitch a fit and stomp their feet, then take it in the shorts like good little serfs.

The banks will threaten global catastrophic economic fail, and they will get their way as always.

Herein lies the dichotomy of our positions.

Ryan Mount

Does it matter which one(derivatives and pensions in this discussion) is more dangerous? It seems to me both are very concerning for different reasons, but both given recent history will look to the government's central banks for help.

I think Greece is an interesting study here. Lots of unreasonable government liabilities which the EU was willing to bail out contingent on austerity reforms, twice if I recall. Then their voters threw the reforms into instability. And the EU (Germany, really), said "we're done. You folks are perfectly entitled to play the game your way. We choose not to play anymore. Good luck."

In the case of the USA, we're the lender of last resort. So my dove-ish friends like to harp on that in a very cynical way. They tell me, "Ryan, if it gets to the point where the USA can't pump enough liquidity into the economy it won't matter anyway. Stop worrying and get back to your gin."

George Rebane

A more accurate portrayal would, "In the case of the USA, we're the PRINTER of last resort." We are a net borrower, we have nothing to lend.

Brad Croul

Obama made promises, or you took campaign rhetoric a little too seriously?

Bush/Cheney also said lots of things and they got re-elected.

http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/2004/broken_promise.html

Todd Juvinall

Yeah but they are our promisers. LOL!

billy T

Here is my take. President Obama comes into office after a long fought campaign complete with women fainting at his words on a daily basis. Never mind that Hillary got more popular votes than Obama in the primaries (if you count Puerta Rico) and he backed into the nomination by losing the last 4 or so contests. He won. He came with zero administrative experience and said in the debates he would rely on Joe Biden for foreign policy experience. But the no economic experience nor economic curiosity has come back to haunt him. His first economic team of advisers and experts had zero private sector experience and zero job creating experience unless you think working at an Ivy League school is private sector experience. Be that as it may, he threw nearly a trillion bucks at the problem then wiped his hands and moved on to health care. Throw enough money in the air and surely the GDP will rise a percent or two...for awhile. This economy keeps bouncing along the bottom month after month. Every single week the jobs reports come giving us a glimmer of hope for a green sprout or two on the horizon. We are an optimistic people. But every single week the government revises the figures upward so the next's weeks numbers look good by comparison to the revised numbers and the broken record repeats itself. Like today they said last week's count of first time people applying for unemployment has been revised to 375,000, a wee bit too close to 400,000 for my liking. States have their share of blame as well. Obama dumped hundreds of billions to the states and most states like California used a HUGE big hunk of that to pay Medicaid. Another big hunk went to local governments to keep one cop around or keep from laying off a teacher....for a year or two. It was just a temporary patch covering a deep open gash infested with gangrene and flesh eating bacteria and the temporary fix is over. Obama had the House and Senate eating out of his hand, yet had no clue how to fix the economy. He still does not. People may like him more than Romney by a mile, but in the end we vote with out pocket books and too many people have run thin in the wallet and cannot wait forever. Obama may be able to do many things in a second term, but fixing the economy is not one of them. The economy will eventually fix itself if left alone, but nothing will fix the debt that Obama has run up. Ok, lets tax the rich, support gay marriage, pass out free contraception upon demand, forgive some student debt, decrease our nukes in Europe, hold a beer summit, spout there will hundreds of millions of economy saving green jobs, etc, etc, etc, but don't do one thing to fix the debt or turn the economy around or get anything resembling our financial house in order. Like him or despise him, time is running out. People want results and hurting people want results sooner than later. I see the race tightening at a minimum and the chances of a Romney route a distinct possibility.

Gregory

"He came with zero administrative experience"

No, he was CEO of the Chicago Annenburg Challenge from '95 to '99, helping the grant application author, Bill Ayres, blow through something like $150 million while implementing Ayre's theories on educational reform via community organizing of the parents. No positive educational outcomes of the exercise were ever found.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122212856075765367.html

Russ Steele

Gregory 10:13

Right, he learned how to spend other peoples money with out producing any results. It looks to me like the lesson was well learned, we have spent trillions to goose the economy and produced zero results.

Ryan Mount

"we have spent trillions to goose the economy and produced zero results."

Except that new $1,125,832 fire station in Rough and Ready?

http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/RecipientReportedData/Pages/RecipientProjectSummary.aspx?AwardIDSUR=44058&PopId=334699

Brad Croul

So, you got one guy who was hired to oversee a privately funded social experiment in getting people to take an active roll in their communities and government; and you have another guy who used to run a corporate "pick and pull - Bain wrecking and salvage. Ralph Nader: where are you?

Gregory

Russ, 10:20... not zero results. He helped to slather millions of bucks across Chicago and that launched him into Illinois and national politics. He succeeded beyond the dreams of Ayres and Dorhn.

Without Bain, CalSTRS might already be belly up. There's a Kimberly Strassel piece in the WSJ today, the dead steel company being used to trash Romney was about to be closed down when Bain acquired it and pumped in the capital it needed, and was doing OK before foreign dumping ruined the specialty market it was serving.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303360504577410573651845802.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_h

George Rebane

I continue to be almost startled at how compartmentalized our news seem to be. It is especially noteworthy how many of RR's more liberal readers arrive here without knowledge of basic factual news reports that only come to their news sources either days or weeks after they have been thoroughly discussed on the blogosphere. A good example is the Dems' hammering of Romney's Bain Capital 'transgressions' that Gregory's 1053am cites.

Many of these folks arrive here and see such news for the first time on RR, and then proceed to take either me or RR's better read readers to task for 'introducing' such outlandish notions. None of them have ever recanted after later finding out what the rest of the world already knew and opined. They just continue patronizing their carefully blindered news sources, and return here to repeat the same harangues.

Gregory

Contrary to BC's screed, $49.2 million of the money pissed away by the Chicago Annenburg Challenge was indeed public money. And all of the private money expected educational gains that did not occur.

However, just because I'm against BS political blather falsely blaming Romney for some unionized steel workers who lost their jobs (and would have anyway, thanks partially to their inflexible unions) doesn't mean that I think private equity firms were a force for good; to the contrary, I think they helped wind down the US manufacturing base with help from public pension funds that didn't care how the high returns were made or where the private jobs got shipped.

Ryan Mount

> 49.2 million of the money pissed away by the Chicago Annenburg Challenge

That's absolutely true. Poof went the money. Measure [judge] results, not intentions.

> I think they helped wind down the US manufacturing base with help from public pension funds

Yep. Nailed it.

George Rebane

Ok Gregory (517pm) and RyanM (610pm), please enlighten us on what the alternative scenario would have been had not private equity funds capitalized on the (inevitable?) migration of manufacturing to overseas venues where capital commanded higher returns.

Todd Juvinall

RE: Brad Croul | 18 May 2012 at 07:38 AM on RR.

That one comment by BC is why there is a Great Divide in America between us here, the conservatives or even Indies, and the nuts of the left. How a person could be so dumb is now exposed. I hope others do their homework better than him. Ban Capital saved over 100,0o00 jobs in America and lost 6,000 or so to foreign competition. Why don't these libs thank Bain for that? A net 95k fore America. Amazing.

Douglas Keachie

I was first aware of Bain Romney at least two months back, probably Reuters, that old left wing conspiracy group.

billy T

Bain Capital? Bain Capital is all you got? Read them and weep, boys. Romney and Co dumped millions in that steel company and kept it going until Romney left in 1999 and the plant closed in 2001. 17 US steel mills closed in 2001 mainly due to foreign dumping of steel that made it unprofitable to continue. Ok, we will wait and see to see how this issue pans out. Yes, Mrs. Romney raised 5 boys without the help of a nanny but she knows nothing about what soccer moms worry about. We were promised by the libs that Scott Walker was toast. Maybe, maybe not. We were told after 2008 that the Republican party was toast for 20 years, relegated to a small regional party in the Bible Belt. We were scolded for not jumping on the hang George Zimmerman band wagon because a white guy shot a black teenager and we said wait and see. We were told Zimmerman is toast. Now the evidence coming forth is that Zimmerman will walk and he was pummeled by the 6'2' young man. Maybe he will walk free, maybe not. Obama can run on his record? Well, he ain't running on his record. Nay, President Obama is running away from his record. We were told that the Interstate Commerce Clause trumped everything concerning Obamacare and only ignorant haters and corporate pawns such as I could not see beyond the noses on our faces. All those Constitutional experts said the Supreme Court would NEVER overturn the individual mandate. Maybe, maybe not. So, is Bain Capital all you got?

Douglas Keachie

Whoever first patents and markets a Skittle gun will have a winner for next Christmas as a gag (on it) toy.

Ryan Mount

A firm that gobbles up other firms either to turn them around, reorganize them or even to liquidate them is an example of the Austrian school's idea of creative destruction. This term, of course was ironically forged from Karl Marx's process of accumulation and destruction of wealth by he Superstructure.

It's actually a good force, over time. In the short term, it's very disruptive particularly to the working classes (there's a Marxist term for this, but I will avoid allowing my union slip to show under my dress) who generally take it up the rear.

In America we've attempted to avoid this conundrum by constant innovation and investment, both public and private. We are, after all, extraordinarily optimistic relative to the rest of the world. And when this destruction goes too far, we print money, put it jars, bury them and then have the working classes go and find them. Figuratively speaking.

George Rebane

Neither Marx nor the Austrian school get to claim invention of the notion of 'creative destruction'. Like the rest of free market capitalism, this ongoing process is a natural one that has been going on for more than a billion years. The other main component of natural evolution is that it proceeds without the centralization of control or of knowledge, having 'chosen' the alternative of distributed control and knowledge. A high level of wealth generation and broad improvement of quality of life on earth have been the emergent properties of such a system when adopted my mankind.

Brad Croul

@T3 (trash talking Todd) 8:15pm Friday - were you drinking and keyboard surfing? You sure are rude sometimes.


My post could have been interpreted, but was not (why am I not surprised), as an appeal to a third party. The right lovers dredge up some old Obama history like the Annenberg challenge, and the left lovers do the same with the likes of Bain capital.

I don't pretend to be an expert on political history and the work history of the candidates.

My reference for my Annenberg comment was here,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Annenberg_Challenge

What I noticed while skimming through the article is that Annenberg donated $100s of millions through the challenge. Chicago put up some matching funds but the majority of the funds appear to have come from private donations.

Regarding the public funds used, this section seems to explain it,

" In recognition of preexisting strong support by local foundations—which were already spending more than $12 million per year on Chicago school reform (including $4 million per year from the MacArthur Foundation and nearly $3 million per year from the Joyce Foundation)—the Annenberg Foundation agreed that the Chicago Annenberg Challenge could draw upon existing commitments as a source of matching funds.[18][34] The public match would come from public funds committed to implementation of the 1988 school reform law, including some of the $261 million per year state Chapter 1 antipoverty funds provided to Chicago public schools (an average of $500,000 per elementary school and an average of $800,000 per high school).[18][34]"

Millions of public monies were already being spent, right? So, why the feigned outrage directed at Obama?

As far as what's up with Bain, I have no knowledge, and don't really care. I only mention it because it the latest "gotcha" (political noise) from the left.

I would think a candidate who is referred to as the father of Obamnicare would have more to worry about than his past successes or failures in the private sector. Do we need a paternity test to determine if Romney or Obama are the father of that evil spawn?

How about a Ron Paul write-in campaign?

Douglas Keachie

"And when this destruction goes too far, we print money, put it jars, bury them and then have the working classes go and find them. Figuratively speaking."

And literally speaking, the banks, by holding properties off the market, and allowing them to deteriorate to the point where major repairs are needed, due to simple aging compounded by vandalism by teenagers and the homeless, are creating jobs for those who can buy for cash and fixer up. Then rentals become available to the former homeowners, at rates guaranteed to make sure they don't get uppity again and buy their own homes. Keep the workers poor and ignorant, seems to be the solution reached in the board rooms and resort conference rooms of America. I don't think this squirrel cage model for the economy will serve the country well over the long run, even though we ourselves have bought such a second house, about a year ago, and work progresses, and we no longer has such a long commute.

Gregory

George, it's the impatient capital focused on short term gain that concerns me. Get in, restructure, take a profit and get out... there's certainly a place for it, but public employee pension funds itching for huge gains took it to a new level.

Hawker Beechcraft went chapter 11 a few days ago. Goldman Sachs, who is taking part of the $2 billion haircut on that deal, did a number on them not long ago, part of the strategy apparently thinking their parts inventory was a gold mine they could exploit, but they only got pennies on the dollar... seems the only time an airplane owner is willing to pay a huge amount for a part is when they need it, not when the vulture wants to sell it. The new company will only have $2.5 billion of debt to service, but the new owners (and the continents they are from) have not been identified.

Douglas Keachie

"That will be 10,000 yuan for a 4" framsit transitioner gasket."

Gregory

BC the only outrage I have is that Obama got away with describing Ayers as 'just a guy in my neighborhood who I don't exchange ideas with on a regular basis' in a debate with Hillary Clinton. Somehow, our professional journalists never figured out Obama helped him spend $150 million as part of their (Ayers and wife, the infamous Bernadette Dohrn) launching their favorite community organizer into politics. And even though the $49.2 million of tax money was going to be spent on the public schools anyway, spending it based on Ayer's theories (he gave up bombs for a doctorate in Education) meant it was pissed away to no good effect, which wasn't what taxpayers expect for their education dollars.

Obama was CEO of a non-profit that spent $150 million over his ~5 years in the position that he left for elected office, his only administrative experience prior to being sworn in as President. Why wasn't it covered during the campaign? [he asks knowingly...]

Ryan Mount

We're picking the fly poop out of the pepper here in terms of coining the phases, but certainly Marx and the Austrians added them as categories of discussion. I guess I was pointing out that in a Hegelian sense, our modern notion of creative destruction was ironically popularized by Austrian thinkers, using Marx as their text.

The American Left's complaint, is that money that should be distributed to the population is currently being hoarded by large institutions and the mega-wealthy. Which is congruent with both Marx and the Austrians in terms of wealth accumulation.

Douglas Keachie

This is more more of an accurate view of the left's view of the economy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIhOXCgSunc

Gregory

Ryan, you spent too much time at Humboldt State. Most rational folk can go years without mentioning Hegel or Marx or wealth redistribution.

Ultra rich leftists seem to hold onto their money as well as their less revolutionary peers.

Brad Croul

Greg, you may correct regarding Obama and Ayres, but I would question the time frame being assumed in Obama's answer. I would guess that the two did talk frequently - at some point in time - but I cannot speak to their relationship at the time he was asked the question.

Yes, a lot of money was pissed away in Illinois, on education in general, just as it has been in California (as has been pointed here on RR).

George Rebane

RyanM 1108am _ "The American Left's complaint, is that money that should be distributed to the population is currently being hoarded by large institutions and the mega-wealthy. Which is congruent with both Marx and the Austrians in terms of wealth accumulation."

The use of "hoarded" implies that these monies were 1) obtained from a zero-sum economy, and then 2) kept out of productive circulation under some giant mattress. In my Austrian studies I missed that interpretation. Could you point us to it please?

Gregory

BC, you're conveniently ignoring it was Obama and Ayres who did the pissing away of $150 million of Other People's Money, and trying to focus on the exact nature of the Ayres/Obama relationship only at the time of the debate is a "meaning of the word 'is' " moment. Splitting hairs to try to not be caught in a fib.

"Yes, I got my start in politics in a coming out reception in the Ayres/Dohrn living room, and Bill subsequently had me hired for my only real private sector job, President and CEO of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge where, together, we spent $150,000,000 to no measurable effect on the education in Chicago public schools, but we no longer share ideas on a regular basis" might have been honest, don't you think?

Brad Croul

I just watched the Romney, Steel Dynamics, commercial. What the commercial didn't say is that Bain received $77 million in subsidies for its plant in DeKalb County, Indiana (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, June 23, 1994).

Bain also got $18 million in local tax incentives for a structural steel mill in Whitley County, Indiana (AP State & Local Wire, October 21, 1998, via Nexis).

But, hey, its OK. If he didn't have his paws in the subsidy honeypot (commons) like all the other greedheads, he would not be competitive.

What a hoot!

Todd Juvinall

What I find fascinating about our system as it has morphed in America is this. The government regulates all businesses to such a degree they make them non-competitive with other countries, then in order for the business to survive the government then offers subsidies to "save" the business. If that is not the screwiest way to proceed. I think the steel business was affected as is the timber and mining industries. Look at textiles, I was told we have no more businesses that make socks! None the make shoes and sneakers and TV's! (But we have great regulations for them) So, I would not blame any business that is trying to survive the regulations to survive the cut from taking the "subsidy" from the very set of scofflaws regulating them. Oh, the complicated web we weave in order to deceive,

George Rebane

ToddJ 719am - you nailed it Todd. Government comes in and regulates and/or taxes the bejeezus out of an industry or process. Then in order for the local a jurisdiction to attract new business, they lobby the feds to give the company tax breaks (subsidies, etc) or cobble together their own package to make the financials hang together. But the real kick in the butt is when the loonie left then begins howling that government is doing business favors and 'putting the burden on the backs of the peehpul'.

As noted many times in these pages, socialists recognize no win-win contracts; it's always a zero sum game with win-lose being the rule of the day.

Todd Juvinall

When the CARB people were going to regulate cow farts I knew we were in seep trouble. Then I watched the State Senate Committee discuss moving ten billion from cap and trade over to the high speed rail. When I was Supervisor I read and listened to some of the most creative ways to spend "designated" funds a mafia accountant would pale over. The government can make any nexus they want on any thing they want and the fiasco of the high speed rail is just the latest. At least Doug LaMalfa has submitted a redo to the people about the scam.

billy T

Agree with the last two posts. Mr. Juvinall nailed it. We are becoming a dependent society (dependent for survival on our Great White Father in Washington) on ever single level imaginable. Even businesses must be brought to depend on Big Brother to make life grand. It drives Big Brother nuts that there is a watch maker or Facebook or GM out there that has not bowed a knee to the Feds. Remember when Ford ran that commercial showing an interview with the guy who bought a Ford (not an actor) because he said Ford did not take a penny of bailout money. Caused quite a stir within certain circles. The ad suddenly was yanked. All deny any political pressure had anything to do with the decision, lol. Reagen's words ring truer today than ever. Truth has a way of standing the test of time. Reagen said something like the most fearful words in the English language is "I am from the government and I am here to help."

billy T

Mr. Juvinall, you are spot on this beautiful morning. One's imagination can only venture into the realms where regulating cow farts will take you. The sky is the limit I suppose. I followed closely the theories that cockroach flatulence is the major factor causing the greenhouse effect. We can deal with cow expulsion of gas from their anuses (usually a foul odor). The Save the Whales people and the vegan banana heads would be all for eliminating beef from the planet. Maybe we can stomp on all the cockroaches with pointed shoes in corners like they do in San Juan, but others say the cockroaches will be the only ones to survive an all out inter continental nuclear war. But, if dinosaur farts are impacting our climate, how do we deal with that???

Gregory

The punch line about the closing of GST Steel came out on Meet the [De]Press[ed]... again, Kim Strassel of the WSJ.

Romney was no longer running Bain Capital at the time of the closing. The guy who WAS at the helm of Bain when it closed is now a megadonor for the Obama campaign, one of the guys Obama was courting in his just concluded Manhattan fundraising tour.

You just can't make this stuff up.

Brad Croul

If taxes for businesses were equal across the board, local municipalities would still be competing to lure those businesses into their communities. Look at the athletic league wars going on in big cities around the country. So, taxes must be raised to support the poor orphan corporations looking for a home. Then, the CEOs take home ten of millions in salary a year, while the average taxpayers stay stuck in their economic ruts.

George Rebane

BradC 1220pm - So, how do we get off of this merry-go-round?

Todd Juvinall

BillyT, actually the econuts are now claiming dinosaur farts did change the planet's climate 65 plus million years ago. As Greg says, "you just can't make this stuff up".

BradC has a major misconception about the source of taxes from business and their host cities or counties. In California, property taxes used to be a county job. The Board of Supervisors set the rate after the staff came up with a number on running the county, schools and things like roads. When Prop 13 passed, the State decided to take our property taxes and then send a few percent back along with a gazillion mandates. So, cities and counties had to make up the difference for the state and federal mandates. What they did was try and attract sales tax producers. It worked for a few years and created all those malls and business districts (mainly retail like car malls)many were placed right outside the borders of the jurisdictions that did not want them. Sort of like the surrounding counties of Nevada County. Anyway, the state would send us back some of the sales tax but then they started mandating how it was to be spent. Over time the state robbed all of it so we are right back to the beginning. They stole the property tax, the sales tax and then fee'd everything that moved or didn't move. So California has achieved business "socialism" by ensuring equality in outcomes of a person's business endeavors. What a state eh?

Ryan Mount

Greg 11:38 AM-

I spent way too much time on this stuff. But at least I was paying attention, I think. Because as we know, America is a vacuum of exceptional thought and action. (Actually, that was meant sarcastically but it seems true.)

I see nothing wrong with mentioning (name-dropping) these guys. It's an important footnote to these discussions. I was hoping for a chuckle out of the observation that Anarcho-Capitalist leaning Austrians read Marx very carefully and then took the ball and ran with it 50 yards in the opposite direction. Apparently no one (not you) reads anymore, so folks just prefer to huddle in ideological camps and just repeats 3rd or 4th generation talking points unaware that they're carrying water for some school of thought. It's gossip by that point, really. Entertaining, but gossip.

George, for the record, is a student of history and it is my hope that he would appreciate discussing the assumptions of topics like this. Maybe not, because it's just easier to call someone a Socialist or a Fascist or a Neo-Con or a jerk or a Dr. Oz (I see Dr. Oz has officially jumped the shark by inviting mediums on his show now) fan even if /s/he has no understanding what that means.

Unless you're implying that thinkers like Hegel, Marx and Schumpeter (creative destruction) aren't important or germane to this discussion other than name-dropping them for coarse, fallacious (attack) reasons.

George 1108am-

I'm just trying to frame/understand the Left's position. I don't necessarily agree with it although it seems to fit ironically into both Marx's and Schumpeter's thinking. How can it be both?

George Rebane

Ryan 834am - I am sorry if my use of ideological labels is either confusing or irritating. By training, I am a proponent of using carefully defined labels (search RR for them). Labels expand language and make communications efficient, as I have noted numerous times here. I am not deterred in their use because someone evinces their underlying ideology yet gets offended when the well-known, -accepted, and -used label is attached to their proposing the tenets of said ideology.

I also use (hopefully) the appropriate collectivist label because my history and experiences are rife with collectivist atrocities; to me these discussions are more than intellectual banter. I fear that the Great Experiment - 'can Man govern himself?' - of our Founders will fail under the renewed onslaught of collectivism.

American socialist Norman Thomas famously said, “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 ever knowing how it happened.”

That is not the situation in Europe. There people speaking of the various forms of collectivism and capitalism, with a rich use of the relevant labels, is everyday dinner table conversation. Collectivist thought has long been accepted as an acceptable basis for governance, and the use of the appropriate labels allows the debate to proceed on the tenets of the philosophy instead of sniffing that someone gets insulted by having their expressed tenet assigned to its proper domain.

Our long political isolationism and living long under the world's most benign form government for two centuries has not prepared us for effectively debating the alternatives that now encroach from every side. The debate has become richer and more complex, and the politically correct eschewing of needed labels will not help matters.

http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2011/11/a-readers-complaint-answered.html#more

billy T

Off topic to Todd J, even though Mr. Mount's last post was most thought provoking. Too much thinking for my blood. Ah, never mind: never had one, never will. Todd, if my schooling was correct, the oceans cover 70% of Earth's surface. 30% is dry land, if that adds up correctly. So, dinosaurs roamed on 30% of the Earth's mass and by farting changed the climate in drastic ways? Call me a dummy, but it seems more likely that all the hundreds of millions of tuna and whales and sharks and anchovies probably farted a heck of a lot more in the 70% of the Earth's surface where they dwelt. This begs the question: How much climate change is due to fish flatulence?

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