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02 June 2011

Comments

Todd Juvinall

Paul, if you want an example of what people are paid and what they are paid for, go to the County HR and look at the 250 different job descriptions and payrolls for same. That would be translated to every job on the planet under your thinking I guess.

Paul Emery

wmartin

It would be a shift in government support over a period of years using the savings in health, education and law enforcement that would result. I can't answer all the questions but let's imagine something like care giver salaries from basic to administrative and whatever. Again, keep in mind that while this may be an added expense early on it would soon balance out when savings become apparent in other areas. It's not realistic for me to know all the answers but I hope you get the idea.

It would be funded as an investment for the future justified by the confidence that in time that it would do a better job for less money than current systems. We fund the military for national security. I believe this is an equal necessity.

D. King

So, you want a big fat nanny state, or, granny will die in the street. Knock me over with a feather. If you’re looking to scare us, it's not working. Yes Paul, conservatives want dirty air, dirty water, and dear granny dead or, better yet, suffering horribly!
Please!!!
You guys are like a broken record!
Here!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XWfbT-BB9E

Paul Emery

Todd

Look at what we have now to fulfill these basic common needs for comparison. Look at the budgets and job descriptions for education, health care, law enforcement, environmental repair, etc. for a start.

wmartin

"It would be a shift in government support over a period of years using the savings in health, education and law enforcement that would result."

Let's ignore the huge savings for a moment.

So you are saying that the government would cut a check to everyone who spends a good part of their day taking care of a child/sick person/old person?

How much are we going to pay them? Do they all get the same amount?

Paul Emery

wmartin
Once we, as a nation, decide to embrace caring economics we would then create a process where a variety funding levels would be discussed and evaluated. Various options would then reveal themselves.

D. King

I am proposing ideas that embrace the real work that needs to be done with a reasonable argument that it is cost effective and will do a better job. As a Libertarian fundamentalist (not religious necessarily) you are offering harsh criticism of my ideas without offering any real alternative to what we have today which I contend is inefficient, unhealthy, not self sustaining and destructive to the earth and the well being of future generations. If you think things are fine the way they are state that stand by that position. If you want to make changes let me know what they are spend at least as much effort as I have to describe them to me.

wmartin

"you are offering harsh criticism of my ideas "

I'm trying to figure out what the ideas are.

Let's start at the beginning.

Do you want to have the government give money to some people? Who are they?

Here's what I'm seeing thus far:

. There's a group of people.
. They do good.
. They should get some money.

So far, that could define anybody from the President's Council on Physical Fitness to Vladimir Putin's singing coach.

At least Vlodya's coach has done some good in the world:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV4IjHz2yIo

Russ Steele

Paul,

We used to have a system of paying for what a persons labor was worth, and then workers unionized and the union bosses determine what a persons labor was worth. Before long the auto companies had to pay worker not to work, with the same wage scale as if they were working. What was there worth to the company? You seem to be implying that we have a super labor union boss in the sky determine what our labor is worth, and pay us accordingly. But, who is that payroll person?

As a freelance writer I like to set my own worth. I can decided to write for free, for $40.00 and article, $500 an article or $200 a page. I have even written for 5 cents a word. It gives me freedom I would not have under your super union boss concept of determining my labors worth. You just cannot value my freedom to work or not to work.

D. King

Energy is the answer to all your worries.
With energy L.A., S.F. and S.D., being on the coast, can all desalinate; there is your water problem solved.
Clean energy is your pollution problem solved.
It solves your problems with transportation, farming, increased prosperity which translates to a better standard of living for the entire planet, and that translates to lower populations without hammering people.
If you want to put money into anything, put it into base level energy research.
Because you don’t understand, you’re flailing around with out of control regulations. Oil has brought us to the STANDARD of living we enjoy today.
Why do all your solutions involve suffering…and what are your contributions to base level energy research???

BTW thanks for the poisonous mercury filled light bulbs and the low flow-no flush toilets…great job!

George Rebane

"There are many other examples of economic systems that do not employ the system of price that you advocate."

Paul, I'm not aware of any that have worked and not spread human misery across the countryside.

Re putting personal childcare into the same funding category as, say, the police or military. I find it difficult to do that. One takes from the general fund to finance an agency that provides for the general good, the other takes the same monies and funds individuals perform the same function through the (better?) maintenance of their family members and functions.

Both are laudable, but not equally fundable without a fundamental change in our economy and culture. But I guess that is what you and Eisler are promoting while the rest of us see simpler ways.

Paul Emery

All of you neglect the importance of the work I prescribe by changing the subject. Either you are satisfied with the way things are or you propose that some new invention will lead us to the promised land. This is not meant to be a substitute for base energy research. This has to do with taking care of the work that needs to be done right now.

If you are satisfied with the warehousing of seniors for $6000/month ignore what I have to say. If you are satisfied with children being raised by government sponsored interrogation centers so be it. I'm trying to present realistic alternatives to what we have today and what I feel is our best hope for the future. I'm sick of the left-right pissing contests that this blog degenerates into. If you don't want to at least consider my ideas and think outside your idealistic boxes you might consider what you have to offer a public dialogue.

wmartin

"I'm trying to present realistic alternatives to what we have today"...

So what in the heck are they? Use your brains, man. Invent even the sketchiest alternative plan.

Paul Emery

wmartin

That's what I did. I have detailed as best I can the values of caring economics and why I believe it's a reasonable path to the future.

What I propose is entirely different than the mess we have today and it's cost effective. You may not like it so propose something else at least as comprehensive as I have before you condemn what I have put on the table. You may ignore the problem but it won't go away. We will continue to have spiraling unemployment, warehousing of seniors and government education programs unless we change something.

Paul Emery

George, please describe to me the simpler ways you wish to accomplish these tasks. I'm all ears.

wmartin

" You may not like it so propose something else at least as comprehensive as I have before you condemn what I have put on the table. "

But, you've said absolutely nothing. I'm asking you to actually propose something, it's the only way I'll see what you're getting at. The attempt I've seen thus far is merely a hugely broad brush stroke serving mostly to paint the capitalists as meanies.

To merely say that we should somehow value some non-paid positions more highly is not a plan. By having no stated concept, all you've accomplished is having everyone else produce a strawman, it's all you get when there's no definition.

Jeesh, I'll give it a try.

Let's say that dealing with old people is better and more cheaply done by their relatives than it is in a rest home. Without payment, they simply won't do it due to lack of resources or an aversion to wiping asses.

So, we'll declare at home care by relatives a form of state-paid job. They'll need special training, it ain't that easy to stuff needles into people or even pick them up plus some sort of certification. Somebody from the state needs to check up and make sure that granny is a)still alive and b)not stuffed out in the woodshed.

As much as 'rest homes' cost, you can argue that it's cheaper to pay people $50k/yr/old person to take care of their parents. To be fair, you should probably pauperize the parent first in order to pay the $50k. No doubt you'll need a bundle more inspectors, etc. due to the huge number of tiny rest homes.

Hey, I like this public policy thing.

George Rebane

Paul, for the employment problem I have spelled out the Non-profit Public Service Corporation. No one has shot it down.

As for the children and the old, I strongly recommend that we retry the methods that worked for generations in America before Great Society's social engineering project began destroying families (starting with the blacks). Gov Tim Pawlenty today released his straight ahead economic plan to put us back on the path to economic growth. Take a look at that.

But there is no hope of achieving your goals Paul if your method first beggars the country. This is NOT changing the subject - to my knowledge no one here has - but another appeal that you put some meat on the naked Eisler bone that you tossed out there.

BTW, I hope that in this forum your introduction of Eisler etc has received more polite attention and respect than you give credit. Your disappointment seems to be in that the ideas were not immediately embraced. But then again, this is not the Nevada City Council chambers.

Todd Juvinall

Paul, please answer one simple question for me. Who will set the wage amounts for all the professions and determine their "compassion levels?

wmartin

"Paul, please answer one simple question for me. Who will set the wage amounts for all the professions and determine their "compassion levels?"

I'm afraid that's my job.

First off, a 20% raise for good looking women.

I was thinking about how to deal with kids in this brave new world.

I have a funny feeling that I won't be allowed to pay more for better/smarter kids and charge the parents a fine for those that end up in CYA (an ironic name, that), so we'll stick to a basic payment per child.

Since the government already subsidizes children via tax credits, I'll just grow that number a bit.

But, you may ask, how will we pay for this? This is the brilliant part, take notes.

Since the kids will be better behaved and smarter, we can both pay the teachers less and increase their class sizes.

This, my friends, is a win-win situation with synergistic elements.

Paul Emery

Wage amounts will be set by the employing government agency. They should be a sustainable wage with health and medical benefits. This is very important work and should be compensated as such. Another option might be to revive Richard Nixon's plan for a guaranteed annual income. That was oddly enough shot down by the Democrats

I never expected these ideas to be embraced by this community. I did expect the idea that this kind of employment would be given a serious look as to it's cost effectiveness and practical necessity.

George

Can you give me an idea how you're Non-Profit Public Corporation concept might accomplish these tasks.

FYI these concepts are starting to fall into place in segments of western Europe and so far they have proven to be cost effective and have not contributed to the misery index. I saw seniors dying on the streets of San Francisco this weekend something i never saw in my two years traveling and playing music in Europe.

I appreciate the dialogue on this subject.

George Rebane

Paul, the NPSCs would hire the people to perform any such labors. And since the money does not go through the feds, it would suffer no government shrinkage. However, the wages paid would be something I cannot predict, and your method cannot afford. The following is abstracted from my 12sep09 Union column.

If you accept that even more wealth redistribution will be mandatory from here on out, then the remaining question is – how do we redistribute wealth in such a way as not to kill the geese that lay the golden eggs, while providing its recipients fulfilling and meaningful jobs?

The liberals' answer to this is always a bigger government that increasingly robs Peter to pay Paul. But we all know that big government is the least efficient and effective institution for performing most functions in a society – by its very nature it cannot implement the needed corrective feedback mechanisms for almost anything it does. And the bigger government gets, the poorer the country grows.

I suggest that a possible starting point for a solution is to consider the Non-Profit Service Corporation. Under a revised tax code – which everyone agrees needs fixing – such a new class of corporations would be established to supply most of the services now provided by governments at all levels. Here's a quick overview.

- Establish a new kind of wealth-consuming, non-profit service corporation (NPSC) under a revised tax code;

- NPSCs can only be owned by for-profit private corporations paying US taxes;

- For-profits will set up, (jointly) own, and fund the various NPSCs while get favorable tax treatment as a result. (Their overall tax-plus-funding costs will be lower than paying increasing taxes to an inefficient government.)

- NPSCs will gradually take over government service functions - prisons, schools, universities, healthcare, eldercare, youth services, land and forest management, park services, …

- NPSCs charter is to benefit both the servers (their employees) and service-receivers (‘customers');

- Government will charter NPSCs, and retain certain NPSC performance auditing and rating functions

- NPSC customers would get tax credits and/or vouchers for the use of certain NPSC services. This would force certain NPSCs to compete.

Many will ask, where would all the money come from to fund such NPSCs. It would come from the same place it comes from now – corporate and personal taxes. The key argument here is that, with a revised tax code, the same monies would go directly to pay for the operation of each NPSC. And since these NPSCs would be owned and operated as cost centers by for-profit corporations, they would be run more efficiently by organizations that are expert at getting the most productivity out of every dollar they spend.

Finally, I don't claim that the NPSC is the only or even the best answer to the uncompetitive American worker problem. This modest proposal is just an example of the kind of solutions that would address the coming crisis that no one wants to acknowledge.

To conclude, let's revisit Europe's solutions to these and other problems after the eurozone collapses. They are just getting into 'pay the piper' phase of their economies.

Paul Emery

OKay

- NPSCs can only be owned by for-profit private corporations paying US taxes;

- NPSCs will gradually take over government service functions - prisons, schools, universities, healthcare, eldercare, youth services, land and forest management, park services, …

So George a NSPC could be set up that would be owned by Halliburton that would run our County Sheriffs Department. MacDonalds could head up a NSPC to run our schools, Murdock's News Corp could run our Libraries and Disney could run our parks,

Is this what you have in mind?

I don't share the apocalyptic collapse of Europe that you vision. I only know that I saw people dying in the streets of San Francisco, something I never saw in Europe.

D. King

Everything is fine in the E.U.
Read down to the last sentence.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1414362/eu-budget-talks-for-2011-collapse

Paul Emery

D.King

That report was from last November. Europe is still intact. Do you have any recent news?

George Rebane

NPSCs don't have to be owned by only one for-profit corporation. Several corporations with something to offer from their own operations may go together to own a given NPSC.

If one reads respected world commentaries on the current situation in Europe, the shoals toward which both the eurozone and the EU are heading are not only visible to me. However, I humbly accept the honor for being Nevada County's seer and bearer of such such tidings.

Paul Emery

Whats to keep a NPSC from acting in the interest of their host corporation? For example if Chrysler takes over the CHP how we insure they don't give special preference to Chrysler cop cars? What kind of oversight vehicle do you see being established and who's in charge of it?

D. King

You're a regular Zoltar George.
Now put in more silver coins for more perdictions ;)

Nigel Farage 2011: anti EU-anti Euro - pro Democracy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFNd2hRbKf0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3ayxuE5dn0&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBA95tDZCQk&NR=1
The Sovietisation of the EU Continues Environmental

Data to Tax and Control - May 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKI9jlLPKlg

George Rebane

As I mentioned in the article, the government is the procuring agency and provides compliance oversight. In your example, if Chrysler is among the winning consortium that operates the CHP, then you can bet your bippy that they will use Chrysler vehicles and that was part of their proposal. Such factors are intended to be part of the benefits of the competitive bidding to establish and operate NPSCs.

wmartin

"Whats to keep a NPSC from acting in the interest of their host corporation?"

That strikes me as the point, it's just that you want interests to converge. What company would not act in it's own self interest?

An NPSC sounds a heckuva lot like a utility company to me. I can't say that I'm altogether sure that PG&E is more well run than a government body. In both cases you are bound to have massive infiltration by unions and a monopoly relationship with customers. In essence, they are sort of the same beast. I suppose the primary difference is that the government can legally shoot you for some reason or the other.

It smells to me like privatization works when there's real competition, and once a large company has it's hooks in you, that competition may well go away.

The no-brainer cases out there, like using private companies for food service in government, schools, or other companies, look to work since you can fire them and bring in someone else with relative ease.

It's a shame, since there's plenty of cases where providing public services in some other way seem so obvious. Public libraries, rather than providing a jobs program, should be about providing books. Obviously, you could run one of the things along the model of a MacDonald's, a manager plus relatively low skilled worker bees following a well thought out system. This is ignoring the politics of the matter of course, the last spate of library privatization fuss showed the ability of the librarians to get their friends with protest signs riled up.

Paul Emery

I followed the Library story quite closely. It aroused the most dissent of any proposal in recent years. The supes really stepped into something stinky on that one and couldn't get out quick enough. People just didn't like the idea of a corp from Delaware running our libraries.

Paul Emery

So what kind of NPSC is going to prevent people from dying on the streets of San Francisco and who's going to pay for it?

George Rebane

Ultimately, if NPSCs are adopted in some form, it will be because of their bang for the buck, i.e. value. (In the case of libraries, the people will have to decide whether they like their government to run the library that is open two days a week at great cost, or have it open, say, five days for less cost. Similar trade-offs for other government functions that can efficiently sop up labor that cannot efficiently create wealth.)

And I hope that no one thinks that I have worked out all the kinks in the NPSC concept - I have not. But I think there is enough in the outline to 1) point at a useful starting point for providing such services, and 2) invite serious and thoughtful discussions that refine the idea, or, in the process, even come up with a better one. This is just the best that I have been able to come up with for the necessary redistribution of wealth, employing the unemployable, and efficiently providing the collective services that government has assumed in our society.

wmartin

"People just didn't like the idea of a corp from Delaware running our libraries. "

Pretty much all corporations of any size are from Delaware. It's rather like Liberian registry. I think it was a red herring in any case.

Obviously, the prime mechanism for saving money in a library is to pay the employees less. Those same employees excel in getting members of the public to write letters to the editor, Plus the whole thing is a cause celebre for people of the Leftish persuasion who are utterly convinced that the library will fill up with Nazi propaganda once Lockheed Martin takes over administrating the place. It's a perfect storm of silliness.

How do you keep people from 'dying in on the streets of San Francisco'? Maybe you don't encourage extremely poor people to move to an extremely expensive place with bad weather. Reinstitute the idea of a 'poor farm'. Hand out government cheese. Maybe some people are just doomed to die cold and alone due to a series of events.

In any case, whether a shared public service is best done by government, a public utility, a monopoly, or competitive bid, can be looked at on an individual basis. My guess is that the way it's done, regardless of your choice, needs to change every few decades. The ability of people to game the system is nearly limitless and at this point the amount of gaming done by public unions is so high that I think the cycle needs to be turned back.

Paul Emery

In Denmark they do not have a street culture like we have here. Most of the people who die on the streets of our cities are either mentally ill or suffer from drug addiction or more recently desperate poverty. In Denmark these individuals are noticed early on and given the proper treatment and accommodations to avoid their further degeneration. When people come over here from Europe and Japan they are shocked by the conditions we allow people to exist in. Capitalism has no use for these people and provides no accommodation for their care. Caring economics creates jobs to help out the weak and helpless. Yes, this is paid for out of the general fund as it should be. It's a national disgrace that we allow people to die on the streets. Billy Kelly froze to death 100 yards from the National Hotel last winter. It's not just in big cities.

George Rebane

All social problems are so because of their numbers. Paul, you are bringing to this discussion a firmly established progressive alarum that has always implied that the country is going to hell through starvation, disease, crime, and "desperate poverty". All problems that could and should be alleviated by a better redistribution of wealth through additional social programs.

What are the related numbers here that make America such a "shocking" county, a country which immigrants continue to abhor and avoid, a country that is put to shame by the likes of Denmark whose frontiers are stacked with people fighting to get in? How often did I hear my father say during the fifties, 'We should have gone to Denmark instead.'

wmartin

The problem of the poorest of the poor is different than the issue of paying parents to raise kids is different than the issue of a guaranteed income for everybody.

I suspect they all have the same emotional core, but it's sounding like a kind of intellectual whack-a-mole. It's fun to muse about how to spend other peoples' money on good works, but no single system is oriented towards all the different problems o' the day that you keep bringing up.

The poorest of the poor is an interesting issue and really is a thing that a person could present various solutions for. It's tractable in size and probably wouldn't distort the economy in any huge way.

Of course, the truth is that scarcely anyone really gives a rip about the welfare of street people. Whether it's a kind of 'tough love' from the Right, or endless weepy letters to the editor from the Left, the amount of work or money personally given to deal with that kind of thing is essentially nil. Practically any given individual could make a huge difference in the state of a small-town homeless community, but it's incredibly rare to do so. It's a kind of hypocrisy that I find absolutely hilarious.

George Rebane

Well said and agreed wmartin.

D. King

"Billy Kelly froze to death 100 yards from the National Hotel last winter. It's not just in big cities."

A sad story Paul.

http://www.theunion.com/article/20110302/NEWS/110309962/1053

I used to volunteer with the Sally Army (Salvation Army) and they are the only organization I donate to now. They are on the streets.


http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf/vw-dynamic-arrays/ACEBE360E86E201A8525784C006FE670?openDocument&charset=utf-8

Paul Emery

wmartin

We are fortunate here to have the folks at Hospitality House doing much good work to provide assistance to the homeless.

In Denmark there are paid street watchers who spot people with drug and alcohol problems early on and guide them to proper facilities and help, hopefully before they become permanently damaged. This prevents crime, lowers the rates of alcoholism and drug addiction and helps treat mental illness early on while it's still treatable. They also assist in reconnecting people with their families and provide job training and educational assistance. Yes, this is part of what caring economics does and it does involve investment from the public sector but it provides good jobs doing meaningful work and saves money by treating problems early on.

George, sarcasm won't rescue your apparent indifference to the conditions of the homeless and mentally disturbed. I am offering the ideas of Caring economics because I honestly feel that this is work we must do and now when we are at an economic crossroads is a good time to move in that direction.
"Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:9

D. King

It's sad that some progressives have problems with the Sally Army's Red Kettle drive. Maybe they should clean up their own sanctimonious house before telling anyone else what to do!

Paul Emery

They do a great job of helping thousands of unfortunate folks find warmth and shelter. The Red Kettle drive is part of the Christmas season to me and I always contribute.

I am intrigued of the possibilities that by adopting caring economics we can help prevent people being in those situations where they need emergency help.

Mikey McD

Paul, my wife is a homemaker. She is not respected by 'working women.' The womens lib revolution squashed the once-virtuous role of being a mom. Overcoming a value system where homemakers are disrespected by working women will take generations (and I don't see the working women wishing to pay higher taxes to fund homemakers).
Note: we have found the 'older generation' to be very appreciative and supportive of today's homemaker.

Ben Emery

George,
I have friends and family from all over the planet and people aren't praising the US anymore. They can't believe that we, the wealthiest nation on the planet even with all our republican debt, have people starving and freezing to death. I heard this very thing yesterday from my friend who just got back from India. We used to own a restaurant in CO and had many legal foreign employees from places like Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Russia, Peru, and even a few from Alaska(ha ha). They were all horrified at our system and almost all returned to their countries of origin.

The nation you are talking about no longer exist because we have gone down this destructive path called Supply Side Economics and Free Trade for two to three decades. Average workers no longer have the ability to afford basic necessities on their wages so have to turn to the government to fill in the holes that have been created by stagnant wages and decent paying manufacturing jobs leaving the country due to tax and trade policy changes. 50,000 factories and millions of jobs have left the country since 2000. The worst part about it is the US government actually pays these companies for abandoning the US (republican policy). The provision that would of ended this policy in the stimulus package was obstructed/ compromised out of it by the republicans in the 111th congress. The provision would of given tax breaks to companies that stayed in the US while removing the tax breaks from the companies that left the country, republicans and enough sell out democrats said no.

Mikey McD

I could not disagree more: "Average workers no longer have the ability to afford basic necessities on their wages". By "basic necessities" are you referring to iphones, the four meals a day that contributes to our obesity epidemic, or the need for each family to have a third car?

Why manufacture overseas? US Corps are over taxed, US employees have more rights than US employers, US regulations are obstructive and our labor is of lower value than overseas. To blame supply side economics shows ignorance.

Manufacturing may be in luck! With the Keynesian path we are on the US dollar will continue to collapse making it more feasible to manufacture here.

By "supply side economics" were you referring to the 1980s? Certainly you are not referring to the bailouts, QE1, QE2, Stimulus, TARP, etc as "supply side economics"?

Paul Emery

Mikey

In 1956 a much higher percentage of families could sustain themselves on one income than today. That was a year that also had a much higher percentage of union workers (around 30%) and a much steeper graduated income tax and corporate tax. Average incomes were around $1000 and a typical mortgage would be $200, around 20%. I don't know you get your numbers pointing to today's over pampered workers and demonic taxes.

Todd Juvinall

In 1956 my parents were raising four kids, two more came later, on a one income setup. We had a home, food and I walked down the road to the neighbors to get our fresh milk. We lived here and my dad had a construction business. Things were tough but we went to school, learned a few things, had bicycles and played in the woods around Sontag Road. I am sick of people claiming hardship when most everyone has two TV's, food galore and shelter. There is a government program for just about every malady or need and I have seen these government programs advertising for customers! Ben Emery is so far out there I think we need to send a rescue squad. I suppose the 20 million illegals from all over the world come here for reasons other than we are the greatest place on the planet Ben? Amazing you would even say they leave disgusted. I worked with people from all over the planet when I lived in Palm Springs and they were immensely happy to be here. They were legal too! So, please stop the whining about how mean the country is, we are a magnet of goodness and light for the rest of the planet. Accept the success for goodness sakes.

Paul Emery

You make my point perfectly Todd. In 1956 families could make it with one income in an economy that had over 30% union membership and much higher income and corporate taxes than today. Whose doing the wining here?

The rest of what you say is just standard Todd. Despite all this talk, people die on the streets of America and they don't in Denmark.

Paul Emery

sp whining

D. King

Yeah Todd, look at this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjbL265nQf8

George Rebane

We have had supply side economics for essentially the entire history of the Republic, including the time of 30% union membership and a income tax rate. Upon closer inspection, as I have endlessly attempted to point out, those times were starkly different from today. The US was the world's manufacturer, and half the world did not compete with us. The left acknowledges none of this economic history and primarily cherry picks stats that fit well on class warfare propaganda posters.

PaulE and BenE, all your solutions require either collective altruistic behavior or the state with its hand in our pocket and gun to our head. Neither has worked well. And are you not a little tired of accusing the rest of us about not caring. Of course we care, and we believe our solutions that hearken to individual liberty, the assumption of risk, and entrepreneurship is the path back from the ills you describe. I venture that in the greater scheme of things, worrying about the small fraction that die in the cold here is not one of our top priorities now. In these pages I have given my opinion on how we should proceed to avoid Great Depression 2.

This is not intended to convince any progressive, that is futile. But I am talking to those undecideds who are invited to confirm this for themselves. I assume you are doing so yourself. If not, we are engaged in a circle jerk.

Paul Emery

George

I kept hearing from your side that we're in deep economic do do because of over taxation and union strangulation. So I took a good look at 1956 and guess what? We had low employment, a high percentage of single wage earner families leaving a full time parent to raise children, average housing costs at around 20% of income. In addition we had high tax rates and near record union membership so I say "What's up here?" It must not be taxes and unions that brought us to where we are? What's left to blame?

Allowing a "small fraction to die in the cold" is not acceptable or moral when it is preventable. The numbers that die are part of a sizable group that have fallen through the cracks of our grand dominion and need help desperately.

Again, people dying on the streets in our country is not OK especially when it's so easily dismissed as not being a high priority.

Mikey McD

Paul, my [highly employable] wife and I have CHOSEN to do it on one income as an investment in our children. It is easy to erroneously cite the 1950's (before: rampant inflation thanks to Keynesians, devaluation of US dollar, tax anything that moves mentality, regulate everything, materialistic [I need another TV or Car or ], but don't forget that households [more often rented not owned] only had 1 car (if they were well off), no ipods, big screen TVs, etc etc.

THE CONTENTION THAT TAXES WERE LOWER IN THE 1950'S IS 100% BULLSHIT. Once you factor in THE MYRIAD OF TAXES WE HAVE TODAY: Self employed tax, gas tax, CRV tax, sales tax, inheritance tax, gift tax, bonding taxes, permit taxes, school taxes, property taxes, cigarette taxes, tip tax [ask any restaurant owner], utility tax, fishing license tax, state parks tax, car registration tax, ETC ETC. DON'T FORGET THAT SS TAX WAS ONLY 2.3% IN 1950- NOW IT IS 15.3%!!!!!!!! Today, if it moves it is taxed.

Paul Emery

Tax rates in 1956 were 91% over 200,000
Last year they were 35% over $800,000

wmartin

THE CONTENTION THAT TAXES WERE LOWER IN THE 1950'S IS 100% BULLSHIT."


I expect that you mean 'HIGHER'.

One thing that's hard to escape is that government spending in 1950 was on the order of 22% of GDP and now it's well over 40%, with a much lower percentage of military spending. The spending for good deeds just grows and grows.

A lot of the BS involved in madly googling for tax percentages is the high marginal rates that used to exist. What really matters is effective tax rate, which is the amount actually paid by the various income levels. Of course, having said that, no one cares about the facts of the matter. It doesn't make for as interesting a story.

I think a lot of what drives modern politics is the pressure brought on as follows (I'm not claiming causality especially, just potential for problems).

. A rapidly aging group of boomers, uniquely so really, who will be happy to pauperize the rest of the country for it's own healthcare.
. Many in this group never formed family businesses or extended households and got divorced for trivial reasons (a financial deathblow).
. They have expected to retire off of either a speculative bubble (real estate or stocks) and/or from a pension that they put very little into (SS).
. With a pixie dust based retirement built atop unearned wealth, such as it is, there was never a super strong push to save money.
. There's really only so much stuff to go around and there's more and more people.

This group of boomers is starting to panic. There's this strong urge to empty out the Koch Bros. bank vault in order to pay the bills, to get free healthcare, whatever it takes.

The problem is that the truly rich aren't the people to get money from. That's basically wealth taken off the table. It was made largely by pushing paper and is still valued in bits of paper. If it were turned into spendable cash, Big Mac prices would skyrocket. That money is going to stay put holding up bond values. This is really a fight over real wealth, not money.

So who's left? The boomers that actually prepared for the future. The savers. And they're trying as hard as they can to hang onto what they've squirreled away.

That's yer modern politics in a nutshell. An aging group looking poverty in the face vs. a smaller group trying to not get sucked down into the same maelstrom.

Little Red Hen Nation.

Sharon W

Who the hell had $200k in annual income in 1956?! (btw, income taxes were capped at 50% for earning income in the 1950's). Paul your argument has failed.

George Rebane

Excellent point SharonW. This demonstrates more of the apples and oranges comparison that is so dear to the left when pointing back to the Eisenhower years.

Mikey McD

Paul, can you address wmartin's comment Posted by: wmartin | 08 June 2011 at 03:48 PM

Does your 'solution' allow for one to appreciate the fruits of their labors or do you expect to provide another carrot to draw investment, innovation, growth, etc?

I agree that our system punishes those who succeed to pay for those who don't even try or fail doing so. Thoughts? Why should I be paying more because someone disregarded their own personal activity (finances, health, choices) when I am solely responsible for mine?

Mikey McD

Comic relief?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrOZllbNarw

Paul Emery

This is where I got my information. You need to scroll to 1956 and read the fine print, go to 200,000. Correct me if I'm wrong


http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html

Paul Emery

Also you need to compare it to 2010

Paul Emery

Mikey

You wear your Libertarian stripes proudly. From your perspective it's a dog eat dog world where those, who for whatever reason fall by the wayside don't deserve any help from the more fortunate and able unless they voluntarily chose to do so. So what happens to these people if here is not enough willing generosity to go around? Do they just die in the streets or will they be rescued by those who are ultimately funded by, yes, you and I the taxpayers. What is your plan? I have scribed all I am going to do about Caring economics which, in my opinion over a period of time will do the job of essential caring much beter than emergency government services. It's pro active and economically sound and, yes, is paid for by the taxpayer.

So Mikey, what is your plan or do we even need one?

George Rebane

Pardon my interjection here Paul, but I'm confused.

"... will do the job of essential caring much better than emergency government services." If caring economics is paid for by the taxpayer, is it not then a part of emergency government services? How else does the derelict dying of a drug overdose on a cold SF street get help (except, of course, bychance a good samaritan private individual or organization like the Salvation Army)?

Mikey McD

Paul, my tenets would have been considered socialist by early Americans :). Do you discount the fact that our individual decisions determine our welfare (ability to put roof over our heads, food on table)?

I am fine with refined safety nets for society (several months of food stamps etc), but I will not accept the role of retirement sugar daddy for folks who KNOWINGLY made stupid decisions (multiple divorces, chose to tour with the band instead of work, leveraged themselves excessively, chose to indulge in various drugs, etc).

The purpose of my working 10 hr days and risking every penny I have is not to make money so I can be a sugar daddy for folks who knowingly made stupid decisions. I do, however give a considerable amount to charity to care for widows and orphans (those who suffer at no fault of their own).

I contend that our current welfare system (cradle to grave - WIC, food stamps, HUD, Medi-cal, etc) already provides sufficiently. One could make an argument that such entitlements actually self perpetuate the problem. Those who 'freeze to death on the streets' choose to do so.

Mikey McD

Paul, your link proves my point! read the details QUOTE "Corresponds to one half of taxable income" Making th actual tax rate 46% AT $200K (WHO MADE $200K IN 1950'S?) AND BEFORE DEDUCTIONS.

Paul Emery

You picked up on my chant George. We do rescue some unfortunates from the street although others get missed. Usually when people reach that level it's too late to really help them. A caring system does all it can do to prevent people getting in that situation. There are thousands of caring jobs that need to be done but it has to be a recognized, accepted and funded function of government services. I guess it could be looked at as a care giving CCC type program that would both employ people and do good work that will have an economic return by helping to restore useful citizens to a good life. We pay for it in our soul when we ignore those in need. It sure is a lot better way to get people back to work than giving billions to Banksters and Wall Street pirates.

Mikey McD

Paul, sorry for the long list of questions (previous posts and this one):

Are you in favor of 'bailing out' people who make bad decisions but against the 'bailing out' of businesses who make bad decisions (like Goldman Sachs, BofA, GM)?

Do you believe that our individual actions should be void of consequences?

Do you think parents need a financial reason to bring their kiddos up well (i.e. welfare payments from gov funded by tax payers)?

Do you believe in discrimination based on income level?

Do you believe in property rights?

Have we convinced you that we are taxed more today than we were in 1950's.

Please you comment on wmartin's comment/questions?

Paul Emery

Paul, sorry for the long list of questions (previous posts and this one):

Are you in favor of 'bailing out' people who make bad decisions but against the 'bailing out' of businesses who make bad decisions (like Goldman Sachs, BofA, GM)?

It depends on what you mean by bailing out. I believe people who have problems should be helped so that they can live a useful and productive life. I don't believe in bailing out companies whose execs get paid millions.

Do you believe that our individual actions should be void of consequences?

no

Do you think parents need a financial reason to bring their kiddos up well (i.e. welfare payments from gov funded by tax payers)?

Your question is pretty vague. Are you saying people have children for the big welfare bucks?

I don't believe in baby farms. But what do you do when children are born and their parents have no way of supporting them. A basic subsistence for under privileged families is in everybody's best interest. What do you think is the best thing to do with a single mom with two kids that can't find time to work even if she could find a job because child care takes so much of her wage she can't afford to make ends meet.

Do you believe in discrimination based on income level?

You're talking about graduated income tax. I believe in it

Do you believe in property rights?

Sure, depending on what you mean. I don't believe we have the right to put a hog farm in a residential neighborhood or cause your neighbor to have breathing problems by burning leaves that blow into his house for example.

Have we convinced you that we are taxed more today than we were in 1950's.

no. I need to look into it a little more.

Please you comment on wmartin's comment/questions?

I need to take a little time and look at it. I am not an economist so it's hard to counter well rehearsed arguments.

Mikey McD

Something tells me that our definition of "useful and productive life" is different... we will reserve that for another day :).

George Rebane

I wonder if anyone here would consider a voting restriction on people who pay no federal or state income taxes. Would it be proper for them to be enjoined from voting on measures that raise or lower such tax rates? In short, only taxpayers vote on measures affecting the taxes they pay. This question addresses the popular notion that democracies fail through the Peter/Paul Principle.

Paul Emery

You're in rare form tonight George. How about different voting quantities based on how much you pay.. For example 1 vote per $10,000 tax payment. You pay $100,000 you get 10 votes. By the way George, what Democracies have fallen because of the P/P Principal. I've been answering questions all night so it's your turn.

Mikey McD

Mikey- "Do you believe in discrimination based on income level?"

Paul "You're talking about graduated income tax. I believe in it"
How do you address the discrimination question? Are you not discriminating based on income (same as sex, skin color, religion, etc)?

What about a single lump sum income tax? You want to be a citizen you must pay $x? Even a flat tax favors lower income levels. The progressive income tax penalizes upper income levels. Ironically, it is the lower income levels that use more of the gov funded programs/services (public education, welfare, etc). 16th Amendment be Damned!

By the way George, what Democracies have succeeded because of the P/P Principal?

Greg Goodknight

when marginal tax rates were 91%, no one with any sense or access to good accountants paid 91%.

For example, in those days even consumer credit card (any loan whatsover) was deductable, for good reason. If you paid ANYONE interest, that would be income they'd report and pay taxes on. So you didn't pay taxes on it.

wmartin

when marginal tax rates were 91%, no one with any sense or access to good accountants paid 91%."...

Exactly. These super high marginal rates are an especially irritating talking point, especially when effective tax rates are a thing a person can look up without too much trouble.

For anyone who is interested, effect tax rates for various quintiles/deciles/top %1 are readily available to (I believe) 1979 or so and are extracted here and there before that.

There's plenty to argue about even from those numbers, but it's certainly best to start from that baseline. Rates for the very top generally have dropped lately, but not as much as you might think, and they've dropped a *lot* for the bottom 20%.

One problem with intake of tax money is that smaller differences don't make for as interesting a story, but really can be pretty huge in effect due to compounding debt plus the number of years they occur.

As someone else mentioned, the total tax bill should include vastly increased sales tax, increased property tax (I believe that houses are still historically over trend, even with the drop), SS and Medicare rates that went way up, plus the thousand hidden taxes that are out there. Vehicle registration in CA is a great example of something that became a major cash source.

wmartin

"I need to take a little time and look at it. I am not an economist so it's hard to counter well rehearsed arguments.
Posted by: Paul Emery"

I wouldn't sweat it, the well rehearsed argument of an economist seems to have as much predictive value as a monkey with a dart board. They are hell on wheels at predicting the past, though.

I'm not certain if it's because their uber-simplified models of mass behavior are wrong or overwhelmed by unintended consequences .or. their emotion-based political beliefs come out in the models.

My own working theory is that you are better off listening to Bill Gross than you are Paul Krugman or some old Friedman article. Having lots and lots of chips on the table tends to clarify the brain.

Greg Goodknight

"Sure Greg, I hope this helps."

I'm afraid it did not.

"First of all we have to place economic value in the work activities that lie beyond the marketplace.

Who is this "we"?

"When I say invest in the infrastructure I mean investment like when we build highways, bridges, airports and dams. The money would come from the general fund pool that we all pay into but in short order would more than be returned by less dependence on public education, social welfare systems, law enforcement and medical services and general taxpayer support for social services."

Please define exactly what you mean by "infrastructure" in this case. You want to "invest in it" I get that, but I have a sneaking suspicion this valuable infrastructure is just the promise of better people through a centrally planned wealth redistribution administered by 'caring economists', the right people in the right jobs.

"Probably the closest models we have to this are from the Nordic countries."

And even the Swedes couldn't get that to work well.

George Rebane

PaulE – When you introduced Eisler’s caring economics (CE), an untried social order, I believe it is up to you to answer as many questions about its workings as you can (and it’s OK to say ‘I don’t know’). I feel the same responsibility when asked greater details about my NPSC recommendation.

But reviewing the comment threads on this, what you seem to be doing is side-stepping questions about CE and constantly returning to accusing your questioner of not caring for people freezing on the streets – the anecdotal incident that caused you to introduce CE. The issues of deeming it important to care for the less fortunate and the analyzing the means to provide such care are semantically orthogonal (q.v.).

Your refusal to pick up on this and continuing to repeat the same old charge has not boded well for the discussion on CE. We are going around in circles; witness GregG repeating earlier question by me and others on who the ‘we’ are who will make the subjective value judgments, develop the infrastructure, determine pay scales, and operate it.

As I said with my link to the summary of Eisler’s new economics, CE has ALL the attributes of failed socialist economic theories in which market price was replaced by government diktat. It is up to you to dispel that notion for us.

Re P/P Principle and democracies: Paul, you and Mikey raise important questions about the effects of that principle in how realworld systems of governance have wound up operating under the guise of starting out as noble democracies. This topic deserves a forum of its own, and I intend to launch it with a little piece spelling out my own thoughts which should answer your question.

paul emery

I'm not answering any more questions till George tells about who the fallen democracys are that tumbled due to the P/P principals

George Rebane

Principal - a chief or head; the head or director of a school or, especially in England, a college; a person who takes a leading part in any activity, as a play; chief actor or doer.

Principle - an accepted or professed rule of action or conduct: a person of good moral principles; a fundamental, primary, or general law or truth from which others are derived: the principles of modern physics; a fundamental doctrine or tenet; a distinctive ruling opinion: the principles of the Stoics.

Paul Emery

Exactly what questions am I avoiding. Will CE be paid for by taxpayers money? yes How will it work? We hire people to do the jobs available. ("We" refers to the American citizenry as represented by our elected bodies) Investment in infrastructure means investment in better educated and healthier children that will be productive in their adult lives therefore being positive contributors to society and the economy. Look at our incarceration numbers and the chronic mental and physical health rates of young people to illustrate our current failures. Maintaining the environment has obvious economic value and the care or seniors and the infirm is an obligation that needs no explanation.

I envision a modern CCC type program with lots of jobs that will reduce unemployment and pay for itself.

I can't prove any of this so don't ask me. I realize it's the antithesis of Libertarian thought so from that view it is easily discredited as socialistic garbage and the next step to bayonets and firing squads, a chain of events that I have yet to see credible documentation supporting from these pages.

So I do ask then give me a better idea. I have yet to see one or a reference to a working system other than a couple of Asian City states that George favors.

Ben Emery

I believe this is an A-political view of Supply Side Economics- http://www.investopedia.com/articles/05/011805.asp#axzz1Onp5QTFa

George this theory was never tried on a national level until the 1980's. The only other time it is feasible was the 30 years or so during the robber baron era. What we have more in common with that era is a few behemoth companies controlling the major industries. That lead to the labor movement, anti trust laws, outlawing corporate donations into politics, and the New Deal America along with the greatest generation that blossomed out of it. I think we are at the beginning of another one of these movements.

Recommended book to grasp this cycle of cultures is called "The Fourth Turning" http://www.fourthturning.com/html/history___turnings.html

George Rebane

Dear Readers - I just finished a comprehensive, complete, and eloquent ;-) reply to PaulE. And when I hit 'Post', TypePad blew it away. I am pissed.

This has occurred before to me and others. I recommend composing your comment in your favorite text editor like MS Word, and then copy/paste it into the comment box. Then if it disappears into bit heaven, you can repeat the process with better luck. I promise to more consistently follow my own advice in the future.

Mikey McD

Paul, your CCC give ZERO respect for individual liberty. Each citizen is enslaved. Yes, it would take "bayonets and firing squads" to get freedom loving humans to participate.

Mikey McD

Ben, can you expand on this "along with the greatest generation that blossomed out of it."

does your thought process account for our country's (and most citizens) debt and extreme government created inflation to attain this "greatest generation that blossomed" feeling?

George Rebane

PaulE, your responses to CE questions hearken FDR’s NRA program that extended and deepened the Great Depression. I again cite SecTreas Henry Morgenthau’s 1939 testimony to Congress on the failure of FDR’s programs. These will work no better for implementing CE, and I echo Mikey’s pithy response.

My own approach to the much larger problem (which includes freezing people in SF) is the Non-Profit Service Corporation to which you have evidently given short shrift for unknown reasons.

And besides “a couple of Asian cities”, I did cite the America of the 50s and 60s which, with a smaller government and a private/public welfare system, successfully addressed the problem that CE proposes to solve.

My own family’s saga when we first arrived on these shores was just one of the uncountably successful experiences that demonstrated the workings of that bygone system. Let’s not discount our own history.

(My blown away response was better.)

Michael R. Kesti

Paul Emery-

On May 24, 2011 in a comment in the Tea Party – “Deaf, deluded, deceptive”? thread here on Rebane's Ruminations you wrote:

"I'm an odd duck. I'm kind of a Libertarian Green. I believe you can't have liberty without a healthy earth. I'm a strong Libertarian on social issues."

It seems that you have, in this thread, contradicted the notion that you are "a strong Libertarian on social issues." I invite you to comment and perhaps to correct this.

I would also like to hear more about your belief that liberty requires a "healthy earth."

Todd Juvinall

Am I alone in not understanding why folks like Paul and Ben have such disdain for our economic model? Most jobs are created by small business and to me that those people would risk their money for a idea of making their dreams come true is the epitome of liberty and freedom for anyone with motivation. America spends billions on its poor, our churches do as well. We have people using welfare cards on massages and gambling and yet Paul thinks our country is a mean uncaring place. He has yet to answer who will make the rules and enforce them under his favored economic model. What if someone wants to improve their status in life Paul? Will your economic police arrest him for not following the rules?

Paul Emery

It's hard to think about Liberty when you're grubbing for clean air and water. If the earth reaches the point where it can no longer sustain the consumption are regurgitation of it's resources then we'll degenerate to wandering tribes fighting over green grass and waterholes. Not much room for liberty.

Of course this is an extreme example so let's put it more folksy.

A bear doesn't crap in his own backyard and
It is our responsibility preserve and leave the earth in the same condition for the 7th generation to use as we were blessed to have it left for us.

Fighting over dwindling resources insures we will be invading and violating the liberties of other nations and they will do the same to us.

I support the Libertarian views on personal freedom. That's all I have time for now.

Mikey McD

It is a contradiction to say "I support the Libertarian views on personal freedom" and then support the CCC and the tax structure that would be needed to fund it.

Either a man's earnings are his property or the States- we can't have it both ways. (See Bastiat).

I can't accept that the existence of entrepreneurs must come at the expense of our resources (air, water, etc). I do contend that their is no better steward of a resource than it's owner and/or the man who benefits from the resources.

Michael R. Kesti

Paul Emery wrote: "I support the Libertarian views on personal freedom."

OK, but freedom is not free and one cost of personal freedom is personal responsibility. Perhaps the most significant of personal responsibilities are those we have to our families and especially to our children. Rather than accept these as personal responsibilities, however, caring economics would have them become social responsibilities. This must certainly lead to diminished personal freedom. A Libertarian view of personal freedom is that personal freedoms are to be maximized and you again appear to have contradicted yourself.

Greg Goodknight

OK, so, in other words Paul Emery is calling for:
1) higher taxes
2) new programs administered by Congress or state Legislators, hiring the right people to make decisions for all
3) higher spending on education, and on the health of kids and old people
4) it will all be revenue neutral because of better outcomes

Is that about right?

Paul Emery

Kesti

How does that lead to diminished personal freedom? You don't explain yourself. No one would be required to be a CCC (I'll use that from now on for efficiency) child raiser it will just be an option if a parent wishes to be a full time parent. Give me an example other than the issue of taxation which has been beat to death and of which I can offer no relief other that we pay the costs now through national education institutions and social remedies such as law enforcement, health and welfare costs. So I want examples to give substance to your argument.

Libertarian views are like the Tea Party. There are many variations. I can form my own and call it what I like. I am a strong supporter of Ron Paul's foreign policy views and his stand on opposing the Patriot Act on domestic surveillance. Also the legalization of drugs. I am opposed to federal involvement in education and generally support states and better yet local jurisdiction of most government functions. I think unrestricted possession of guns is a safety issue and has little to do with resisting a government takeover or whatever. Environmentally the Ron Paul Libertarians don't offer any reasonable remedy to the destruction of the earth. They look to the courts as the vehicle of resolution but everyone knows the person with the most money gets the best lawyer and usually wins. So if I have to bring my neighbor to court because he's burning leaves that's causing me to cough I have to beat him in court and there you go. The best lawyer wins.

So Mikey how do you enforce air and water standards without legal standards. Should a manufacturer be able to use a dangerous chemical that can be ingested when manufacturing toys for children. Is it OK to use asbestos as a building material, should we allow lead in gasoline.... on and on.

I believe that in a modern society we need a system of taxation that will insure a civil and healthy society. The form and structure is legislated through our elected representatives. If we don't like what they instigate we can vote them out and elect someone in who suits the desires of the electorate. Pretty simple. Bastiat was fine for 1850 or so but it's a different world now.

So many questions, so little time. Thanks for the respectful dialogue.

D. King

“How does that lead to diminished personal freedom? You don't explain yourself. No one would be required to be a CCC (I'll use that from now on for efficiency) child raiser it will just be an option if a parent wishes to be a full time parent.”

In the same way you’ll be able to build a cheap energy producing coal fired power plant. You can build it, but the sustainability (fees) will be determined by regulations and that will leave you with no choice.

Example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aTf5gjvNvo&NR=1

Result:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqHL404zhcU&feature=related

Michael R. Kesti

"He who pays the piper calls the tune," Paul, and if we accept money from the government in compensation for raising our children we can be certain that the government will have expectations concerning how that raising is done. This means that we would be allowed fewer choices (personal freedoms) concerning family matters.

I admit that I was thinking of CCC child raising as mandatory matter and that it being optional does reduce the impact of the personal freedoms issue. I have other objections, however. How, for example, shall the value of child rearing be decided and by whom? Also, I tend to oppose expansion of government because governments have proven to be ineffective in preventing abuse and unintended negative consequences of its programs, perhaps especially its social programs.

I said nothing concerning air and water quality standards, manufacturing toys with dangerous materials, etc., nor that I reject the need for a tax system. Why do you turn to these side issues rather than support the ideas you propose?

You're welcome for the respectful dialog. I suspect that you didn't intend it, but please note that I find referring to me as "Kesti" and "Mikey" to be disrespectful. Other than for those, I thank you, too.

Paul Emery

Mikey

"Yes, it would take "bayonets and firing squads" to get freedom loving humans to participate."

Are you saying that if this was legislated you would take to organized rebellion to resist?

Mikey McD

Paul, I think we both know that this has as much likelihood of passing as an amendment to cancel the 16th Amendment.

I would organize a rebellion to resist as long as it was peaceful. I like to think that this is what I am already doing.

I would leave the country before I participated in a bloody revolution (Singapore).

Michael R. Kesti

Well, Paul, "organized rebellion" comes in many forms. My answer is, "No," if you're asking whether I would take arms to the streets and storm government offices. I might oppose such legislation in the ways that I sometimes have done regarding other issues, such as informing my representatives of my opinion, supporting organizations that I feel agree with me, etc. If such legislation were passed I might do what I could to promote its repeal in similar ways.

Am I correct to conclude that you are being deliberately disrespectful by mocking my preference for freedom and by calling me "Mikey" or are only again trying to be cute?

Mikey McD

Our self interest is enough to protect resources.

"So Mikey how do you enforce air and water standards without legal standards."


p.s. Ron Paul wants to abolish the IRS (as do I).

Paul, did you see my suggestion for a peaceful transition to 'freedom in education'?
Allow homeschooling and private schooling expenses to be credited towards taxes.

Paul Emery

Kesti

Mikey McD was the blogger I was referring to in the "organized rebellion" segment

Paul Emery

Mikey

You didn't answer my question. How does "self interest" protection of resources work. You are worse than me in explaining the practical application of concepts. Give me an example of how I should deal with a neighbor that raises pigs that stink up my yard and a manufacturer that uses dangerous material in children's toys. Also, an air polluting smelter. Those are three examples that might give a little substance to your statement.

I can go for tax credits for private education and home schooling. This will not make me popular with some of my colleagues but hey, I'm a green libertarian.

Michael R. Kesti

Oops. Mea culpa!

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