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24 October 2011

Comments

Russ Steele

George,

I find most of those from the left are other directed people. They are very concerned what other think about them, they attempted to pleases others and are controlled by a list of should, ought and have-to'. They are indecisive, decision making is difficult and for them because it is a group process. For these other directed folks to deal with the tenets of the right, who are most often inner directed people who have the courage to be who they really are not what anyone else expects them to be, they have come to grips with who they really are and they find that an impossible task. Being other directed they lack the ability to change the whole that they are part of, so their solution is to demonize the tenets of right. They fall back on the group think, the group says that right thinkers are uncontrollable, and a danger to collective, therefore it is much easier to demonize, rather than examine. Not to do so, might cause them to be expelled from the group. This fear of expulsion and abandonment prevents them from addressing the issues in question #1, resulting in actions consistent with #2. I hope this makes sense, this early in the morning.

Martin

Everyday I get a real chuckle driving about Nevada County seeing vehicles sporting Save Tibet, Coexist, Think Peace, and similar Left groupie bumper stickers. Just how these people propose to "Free Tibet" given that China has an army of around 7.5 million soldiers, none of whom is likely to be impressed by a few bumper stickers, is a real mystery but it must Feel Good to them showing solidarity.

RL Crabb

Being a critic of both left and right, I have found over the years that the left does have a much harder time being scrutinized. I mean, how can anyone argue with their lofty goals?

As for Tibet bumper stickers, years ago I bought a Ford Courier that I assume came from the Bay Area because of the various slogans plastered on the back of the vehicle. One day at the dump some guy asked me what the "Save Tibet" sticker was all about.

I told him that I once had dinner at a Tibetan restaurant in San Francisco and had the opportunity to sample a Tibetan drink that consisted mainly of curdled yak's milk. After choking down the horrendous liquid I realized that these people definitely needed help. Thus, the sticker.

Todd Juvinall

Life is tough and it is a miracle humans are even here let alone able to think and be political. It is my observation over the years, running for office, running the Central Committee and doing battle with the liberal, bloodless of course, that the liberal is simply the easy path for the real tough life of a human. It is not easy to make decisions that send people into harms way. It is always easier to say "we will meet and discuss this" than to act in a timely fashion (and spend others money for them). I think that is why most military are R's as they are used to acting instead of "kumbayaing".

The leftwing, here in Nevada County and elsewhere, never answer a question that a conservative asks. It appears George has noticed that too. They always ask us for clarification or further explanation, yet never return the favor. I do not comply with them any longer since I learned the left takes our answers (I never give personal information either) and then twist the words into a intent unknown to the person giving.

The press over my lifetime and the education of our children over the last 40 years has been in hegemonic control by the left. I went to discuss a lot of the crap being taught my kids in the local schools (I was nice) because what they were being taught was anathema to me. (property rights, environmental crap social justice etc.) I wanted a balance but was never afforded that. The left has had their way, they have achieved government ownership of all property in the USA through zoning, property taxes and eminent domain. They control all our money by having convinced most everyone the government "allows" us to keep some of hat we earn or make and As Elizabet Warren, the liberal running for US Senate against Brown has said over and over, the people who make it in America only did so because the government let them use the roads and the infrastructure etc. That is the difference between how the people on the right and left think. We will battle the chicken and the egg story forever. The left wants the makers to give to the takers because they say so.

Mikey McD

The "radical" or historically non-mainstream views smearing "the Right" are present largely because of our failed education system/value system (including the degeneration of public education, agnostic culture, the collapse of the family and moms choosing work over their children).

I was taught that FDR was godlike in high school, further indoctrinated in college as professors worshiped central planners/progressives- a.k.a. Greenspan and perhaps most importantly that the world existed solely to provide me with what I was entitled to.

Those who are too 'selfish' to share (via force) continue to be portrayed as evil/radical.

Despite the fact that the works of classic intellectuals (once 'required reading') are now viewed as extreme (including The Bible).

Our country no longer values individual rights.

Our country's entitlement mentality requires the demonization of those whom value liberty.

Ben Emery

George and other regulars,
The litany of complaints can be redirected back at yourselves.

It seems that many here have drank the Rand cool-aid and that is some radical stuff. Unfortunately Ms. Rand was like most icons only radical in theory. She ended up on Social Security and Medicare. But I guess she did what most sociopaths do, acted in her own best interest in complete contradiction to her lifelong cult creating fantasies.

bill tozer

Delighted to see Mr. Crabb is back to his old self this lovely morning. Will think of his observation the next time I go to the Briar Patch and circle the parking lot. I am ruint forever. Oh, what was the topic?

George Rebane

BenE 930am - What complaints? it appears that you don't understand the point of this post. Re the exit questions, we may relegate your comment to the bin labeled Exhibit A.

bill tozer

Its not all black and white. We humanoids have varying degrees of left and right within ourselves and seem to live with the contradictions. Remember when I took the youngest toddler down to Skid Row. She burst out crying when she saw a poor bum on the corner, her heart bleeding about the man's condition. I was moved as well. Later, we took in friends of hers that had druggie parents and the like. One sweet abandoned girl later moved in with her older sister to be with family. The sister was on welfare and broke. We sent food over and offered to watch her child so she could seek and obtain employment. My daughter gleefully brought her job apps from K-Mart and anyone hiring. The sister replied "Why should I work when I will make the same on welfare?" She never filled out one app. That turned my daughter into someone who became anti "those who can work, but choose not to" and I had to tell her its her choice and you can lead a horse to water, but....Later, my oldest wanted to go to Brazil and discover new herbal medicines from plants in the jungle. I showed her a article that labeled Brazil the most dangerous nation on the planet, ahead of Iran and Yemen. That is the harsh reality when good intentions clash with the facts. My own Sista Soldier moment came when I was a bum reading a card at a thrift store. Had a pic of a James Dean look alike on the cover and inside was the caption "Rebel without a job". That was me. Whatever happened at that moment I can't describe. But, I walked out determined to change my life, crystal clear that every decision I had made put ME in my situation and it is no longer a matter of changing others and focusing on the evils of the world, but rather what can I do to change myself to adapt to this world and better my life. I started dropping the word "but" from my vocabulary. Society is safer since that day in thrift store.

Mikey McD

Ben, was Rand forced to contribute to SS and medicare at the point of a gun? YES. Libertarians despise such entitlements only because they are forced upon us. Should either SS or Medicare exist when I am old I will accept whatever benefits I have already paid for.

Would you allow SS and Medicare participation to be voluntary?

Mikey McD

p.s. The "sociopath" title of Rand is a miss-diagnosis and is rooted in hate.

D. King

"George and other regulars,
The litany of complaints can be redirected back at yourselves."

Whatever you say, bounces off me and sticks on you.
Really Ben?

It's fear George. Fear of making a decision that turns out to be wrong and having to endure the ensuing ridicule. The collective is like the butter knife for bad decisions, it spreads them around. The real question is how far will they let a bad decision go before they abandon it?

It’s Bush’s fault!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/18424744#45005415

So, their answer to number 1 will necessarily be number 2. :)

Mikey McD

D. King your 11:05am comment is ringing loud and clear as Obama uses 'executive order' to bailout (buy votes) from folks who over extended in the real estate market... and to the investors holding the notes... "screw you!" Moral Hazzard anyone?


http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Obama-to-promote-new-steps-to-apf-1199309847.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=3&asset=&ccode=

Ben Emery

If you guys want to hear a real American Patriot listen here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZVDmqwgk7k

Ben Emery

Everyone,
I responded with a detailed comment on the questions posed by Mr Rebane's exit questions.I finished the comment with an excerpt from a FDR speech about Freedom. Mr Rebane I guess has taken the liberty to remove it.

Mikey McD

Ben, Would you allow SS and Medicare participation to be voluntary?

Todd Juvinall

Ralph Nader has some good points and I even agree with a few. I agree with many different kinds of people and over my life and through my personal experiences have come to a fork in the road and I took it. Yogi and I took it. Anyway, watching politics from the bench like BenE does and many other lefty, mostly socialist folks do is not a effective way to get your agenda going and get the mojo working. You need to take a path to success, meaning, either start or energize a party of like minded folks to successful election or just be a carper. BenE has some points I agree with but like many in the OWS and other leftwing organizations, they spend their time whining about the haves and spending their time trying to remove the haves from their possessions. Spend your time in a endeavor which could lead to success. Get a passel of greenies elected, enough for a majority, then start changing things the way you desire (just like the TPP did). Sitting around crying the blues accomplishes nothing.

Mikey McD

If you guys want to hear a real American Patriot listen here

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/vp/45005727#45005727

Ben Emery

D King,
It is a political evolutionary process that hasn't occurred with most Americans and with those on Ruminations with the exception of a few outsiders. Not over on Jeff Pelline's blog either for the most part. It is hard to continue posting here because we (myself and Rumination regulars) are speaking about two completely different subjects.

What I am seeing on Rebanes Ruminations is that George is beginning to make this transformation and this post is proof of it.

D's vs R's isn't the problem it is the institutions of both the D's and R's that is the problem. These unaccountable institutions have been taken over by powers not accountable to the people. It is not the candidates/ representatives and especially not the voters but they too are victims to their party leadership direction. Go along to get along is the only way to make your way up through the ranks but by the time a person gets there they are so compromised/ corrupted they no longer represent their principles and convictions let alone their constituents wishes.

If we are not happy with the Democratic Party, how do we hold them accountable? By electing republicans. When the Republican Party shows they are not worthy to govern, how do we hold them accountable? By electing democrats.

It is a paradigm that is in the process of shifting as I type. We are in the middle of the next political revolution. The question for most is which side will win (D's vs R's) the next generation of policies. I hope they both lose and we start governing ourselves through self determination absent of political parties/ factions.

It is W Bush's fault. It is Obama's, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan's fault. It is Boehner, Pelosi, Hastert, Delay, Gingrich, and O'Neil fault. Our government is supposed to be the people not two unaccountable institutions who have been bought off by consolidated money.
,
The debate we are having is what I have been conveying to George for awhile, the very same debate our founders had in Philadelphia in the 1780's.

George I encourage you to repost my last comment if that is within your power.

Ben Emery

Mickey,
To many here at Ruminations surprise if the election were held today in the D and R presidential fields my vote would go to Ron Paul.

Another real American Patriot an Independent talking to Fed Chairman
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBnKh6B2cMw

Mikey McD

Ben, I believe that the Tea Party was birthed from 'your' frustrations. I went to the an early TP rally to voice my concerns that government was being used by a club against me. I expect as much from democrats, but Bush wielded the biggest club (until Obama) ever. I see very little difference between a Romney and Obama. I loved the meet the press interview of Ron Paul for that very reason, he is a breath of fresh air.

George Rebane

BenE 1125am and 1228pm - I have not mediated any comments for weeks now. Please repost your comment, we all look forward to an answer to Q1. Thanks for the heads up.

bill tozer

We all need to be on our guards and have our radars on high alert for any hints of evolving into a society that is more authoritarian that the society we currently have. People like me don't like been told that the butter in my movie popcorn is now banned. I understand the necessity for stop signs, slowing down in school zones, and taking care of our elderly. Those are for the benefit of us all. But, what I see is a creeping blurring the lines between the difference of authority and power. Authority is for the benefit and good of society as well as a servant of society, while power benefits only the few who abuse authority (think Col Gadify, the former Soviet Union, some control freaks who happen to call the shots in any sewing circle, Congress that exempts itself from the laws it passes, and the PC/thought police.) Authority empowers the individual while protecting society at large, while power is the master not the servant. We all are familiar with the phrase absolute power corrupts absolutely. Ah, life would be grand it only people would behave and do as I want them to...and agree with me and worship my every word. I just hate it when things don't go the way I want them to or my grand ideas are rejected. If only I was in charge. Hitting again on "its not all back and white": http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_19150644?source=pkg

Ben Emery

Mickey,
In Grass Valley for the 4th of July Parade in 2009 I talked with many people for at least an hour about what the Tea Party was going to represent. I was encouraged by the outrage but skeptical about the direction they were pointing to for solutions, so I held back to see what the group materialized into. I was going back and forth whether or not to engage with the local TP and those spread out through the CA 4th. The AZ immigration law was the deciding factor, when pretty much universally the TP throughout the nation backed a law that forces people to carry papers and prove their innocence my decision was made easy.

I agree with there are little differences on major issues between the two parties. So I withdrew my consent to be represented by either in the 1990's. There is this curtain between the people and the real agenda and all we get is the rhetoric that separates us.

Mikey McD

Ben, Would you allow SS and Medicare participation to be voluntary?


p.s. my understanding was that the TP did not have a position on social issues such as the AZ immigration laws. I am sure I could cherry-pick members of the TP against the AZ immigration laws. To discount the TP movement because of a social issue which the movement itself holds no position seems rash.

Ben Emery

Bill,
To the butter remark, I don't want butter to be banned but would much rather have the choice of real butter or highly processed GMO partially hydrogenated garbage. Most developed countries agree with labeling but the US does not.

Big industry has fought the labeling the food products that they are drastically changing tooth and nail, which goes back to who controls our government? It would definitely be in the peoples interest to know such things but we have to fight against huge money interests to get it.

Ben Emery

George,
I will try but my frame of mind is different at this point in time.

The complaints I referred to were about the liberal media propaganda machine. I will break this up into two comments.

In 1980 we had around 50 major national media companies, today we have 6 that control over 90% of the media we consume.
These 6 own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many of our favorite websites.
None of these corps have the idea of promoting left wing agenda but rather to make as much money as they can. If they can do that by exploiting a certain political population they will do so as did Fox "news" losing $500 million the first five years of existence. As does prime-time programming at MSNBC.
This list is long but a must to really get the idea of how consolidated media ownership has really become.

Time Warner

Home Box Office (HBO)
Time Inc.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
CW Network (partial ownership)
TMZ
New Line Cinema
Time Warner Cable
Cinemax
Cartoon Network
TBS
TNT
America Online
MapQuest
Moviefone
Castle Rock
Sports Illustrated
Fortune
Marie Claire
People Magazine

Walt Disney

ABC Television Network
Disney Publishing
ESPN Inc.
Disney Channel
SOAPnet
A&E
Lifetime
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Buena Vista Theatrical Productions
Buena Vista Records
Disney Records
Hollywood Records
Miramax Films
Touchstone Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Buena Vista Games
Hyperion Books

Viacom

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Home Entertainment
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Comedy Central
Country Music Television (CMT)
Logo
MTV
MTV Canada
MTV2
Nick Magazine
Nick at Nite
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon
Noggin
Spike TV
The Movie Channel
TV Land
VH1

News Corporation

Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox Television Stations
The New York Post
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Beliefnet
Fox Business Network
Fox Kids Europe
Fox News Channel
Fox Sports Net
Fox Television Network
FX
My Network TV
MySpace
News Limited News
Phoenix InfoNews Channel
Phoenix Movies Channel
Sky PerfecTV
Speed Channel
STAR TV India
STAR TV Taiwan
STAR World
Times Higher Education Supplement Magazine
Times Literary Supplement Magazine
Times of London
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox International
20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Television
BSkyB
DIRECTV
The Wall Street Journal
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Interactive Media
FOXTEL
HarperCollins Publishers
The National Geographic Channel
National Rugby League
News Interactive
News Outdoor
Radio Veronica
ReganBooks
Sky Italia
Sky Radio Denmark
Sky Radio Germany
Sky Radio Netherlands
STAR
Zondervan

CBS Corporation

CBS News
CBS Sports
CBS Television Network
CNET
Showtime
TV.com
CBS Radio Inc. (130 stations)
CBS Consumer Products
CBS Outdoor
CW Network (50% ownership)
Infinity Broadcasting
Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books, Scribner)
Westwood One Radio Network

NBC Universal

Bravo
CNBC
NBC News
MSNBC
NBC Sports
NBC Television Network
Oxygen
SciFi Magazine
Syfy (Sci Fi Channel)
Telemundo
USA Network
Weather Channel
Focus Features
NBC Universal Television Distribution
NBC Universal Television Studio
Paxson Communications (partial ownership)
Trio
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Pictures
Universal Studio Home Video

Russ Steele

Ben,

None of these corporations control my browser. While I use Comcast's Broadband, I do not consume the video content. We are a fan of UK programs and documentary. When we lived across the border from Canada we watched the Canadian Ch more than the US. The point, all of this is on the Internet and no one controls my browser.

Ben Emery

Russ,
For now but net neutrality is being threatened by those who want to control its content for a number of reasons.

Ben Emery

Maybe because it is to long it shows being posted then disappears. I will break it up.

1. What is "radical" or historically non-mainstream about these ideological tenets of the Right?

What is so radical coming from Ruminations regulars, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker? It is that we should only have a small few controlling the policies and laws for the masses. This small few are the ones with private educations that allow them to participate in business, government, and to manipulate these life-controlling entities to ensure their power and stature. In short term this wouldn't be the case but within two generations this would be well into practice.

No public schools, no public health care programs, no worker rights, no social security, ect... Basically the majority of people having no say in the government that sets the laws and rules we live by as a society. Either through purposeful manipulation or through misguided ideology those regulars at Ruminations are advocating feudalism. The very type of government/ nation we fought against to gain our independence.

Tyranny and Despotism are terms traditionally used to describe governments but there is another type of oppression and that is Corporatism. I believe there has been a corporate coup de'tat of our government and the political parties have been hijacked to use our government institutions, agencies, and regulations to further ensure corporate power and profit under the legal terms set by our government. In the 1980's a 1,000 bankers went to jail. Today 0 bankers have gone to jail, why? Because what they did has now become legal through this coup and capturing of regulatory agencies.

Ben Emery

Part II
I want to have some say in my government not because I am wealthy or privileged because I am an American citizen and want the ability to pursue happiness despite what SES class I was born into.

For Mickey here is an excerpt defining freedom from FDR in 1936 speech that says it perfectly.

"That very word freedom, in itself and of necessity, suggests freedom from some restraining power. In 1776 we sought freedom from the tyranny of a political autocracy - from the eighteenth-century royalists who held special privileges from the crown. It was to perpetuate their privilege that they governed without the consent of the governed; that they denied the right of free assembly and free speech; that they restricted the worship of God; that they put the average man's property and the average man's life in pawn to the mercenaries of dynastic power; that they regimented the people.

And so it was to win freedom from the tyranny of political autocracy that the American Revolution was fought. That victory gave the business of governing into the hands of the average man, who won the right with his neighbors to make and order his own destiny through his own government. Political tyranny was wiped out at Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

Since that struggle, however, man's inventive genius released new forces in our land, which reordered the lives of our people. The age of machinery, of railroads; of steam and electricity; the telegraph and the radio; mass production, mass distribution - all of these combined to bring forward a new civilization and with it a new problem for those who sought to remain free.

For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital - all undreamed of by the Fathers - the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.

There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small-businessmen and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer. Even honest and progressive-minded men of wealth, aware of their obligation to their generation, could never know just where they fitted into this dynastic scheme of things.

It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.

The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their labor - these had passed beyond the control of the people, and were imposed by this new industrial dictatorship. The savings of the average family, the capital of the small-businessmen, the investments set aside for old age - other people's money - these were tools which the new economic royalty used to dig itself in.

Those who tilled the soil no longer reaped the rewards which were their right. The small measure of their gains was decreed by men in distant cities.

Throughout the nation, opportunity was limited by monopoly. Individual initiative was crushed in the cogs of a great machine. The field open for free business was more and more restricted. Private enterprise, indeed, became too private. It became privileged enterprise, not free enterprise.

Ben Emery

part III
Continue FDR 1936 Philadelphia

"An old English judge once said: "Necessitous men are not free men." Liberty requires opportunity to make a living - a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for.

For too many of us the political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's money, other people's labor - other people's lives. For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness.

Against economic tyranny such as this, the American citizen could appeal only to the organized power of government. The collapse of 1929 showed up the despotism for what it was. The election of 1932 was the people's mandate to end it. Under that mandate it is being ended.

The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business. They granted that the government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live.

Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.

These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike.

The brave and clear platform adopted by this convention, to which I heartily subscribe, sets forth that government in a modern civilization has certain inescapable obligations to its citizens, among which are protection of the family and the home, the establishment of a democracy of opportunity, and aid to those overtaken by disaster."


Greg Goodknight

Ayn Rand as a sociopath really is hate speech. Ben, you've outdone yourself. While never an Objectivist and never a fan of Rand's ponderous fiction (a Russian affliction, perhaps?), I've never detected a hit of sociopathy in her writings; cold logic, yes, but as an escapee from a system that looks more like a Ben Emery paradise gone wrong, I can't blame her.

I have (and will) sucked down every SS benefit possible, starting with the Survivor's benefits my late first wife (also an engineer) qualified for because of our elementary school aged son. When the thief (the essential role government is filling when they take from one person only to give to another) is willing to give me some of our money back, I'll take it.

For some reason, the left-liberals among us seem to think we should put up with the loss rather than accepting the tainted money. Nope. I will not cut off my nose to spite my face and besides, you'd just invent some other insult to take its place anyway.

Greg Goodknight

RLC, Save Japan!

Have you ever tasted Uni (sea urchin roe)? They must be starving to eat that stuff... washing it down with curdled Yak milk might help.

George Rebane

BenE – First, let me thank you for assembling the extensive manifesto that assesses the present condition (state of the nation), and prognosticates where things are going unless prescribed changes are put in place. It is, of course, given from the sense of things past and present that continues to be ascribed to the progressive side of our political spectrum. There is nothing in your development that Team Obama (including Hillary) would not stand up and salute. Conversely, almost everything (especially in your 229pm) you espouse and interpret goes contrary to the tenets of the Right that I posted. I’m not sure if it is due to some more of ‘I know what you’re really thinking/saying’ that is the common fare dispensed by the Left. In short, I don’t see where you’ve addressed Q1 at all – you have not shown how my stated tenets are contrary to mainstream American thought.

On the other hand you cite FDR in the depths of Depression1 which his policies demonstrably extended and deepened. And it is a noble litany of socialist thought wrapped up in bright Americana for consumption, then as now, by the inattentive and unread. Putting this aside, we do have to always remember the sad and frustrating summary assessment of FDR’s programs given in 1939 by his Sec Treasury Henry Morgenthau to Congress (often quoted in RR). And to that we need to append the debates of the 1946 post-war recession which resulted in the dismantling of almost all FDR programs, and the subsequent release of the private sector to again take the country back to prosperity, even though it was burdened by its then greatest debt in history (thereby saving Harry’s butt to win in 1948).

Unfortunately, I realize that none of these arguments make a mark on the Left – their history is their own and it must show that socialism’s foothold in America always propelled it upward, and caused the country problems when its pace slowed. In the final analysis, one cannot argue that the programs offered by our latest socialist president are in some sense on par with those offered by the Right as far as “corporate control of America” is concerned – they are widely divergent.

You lament that as an American citizen you no longer have the latitude and wherewithal to “pursue happiness”, the rich and corporate world have taken that from whom, the 99%? Yet the very policies you propose and I have summarized for the Left in this post are the exact ones that punish enterprise and the determined worker. My parents and I could not achieve today what we did when we arrived here in 1949 (today we would not even be allowed to enter legally).

None of this diminishes the hard reality of accelerating technology and the impact it is having on the un- or mis-educated worker. That is an existential reality and it will only be ameliorated by policies that fully support the Bastiat Triangle of rights, and even then there will have to be some enlightened wealth redistribution. But none of that will happen in the direction that Obama has now taken. Nevertheless I am still interested in what the Left sees “radical" or historically non-mainstream for America about the ideological tenets outlined in the post.

Mikey McD

Ben, that long winded hate speech by FDR is vile and ironically, tyrannical (continuing the tyranny started in 1913 under Wilson).

In the same speech he acknowledges our country's fight for freedom against an oppressive government and then he offers his solution...........wait for it...... an oppressive government!

BTW, Would you allow SS and Medicare participation to be voluntary?

Bobo Bolinski

http://berkeleyearth.org/

So working on your very learned response?

Account Deleted

Thanks for the rant, Ben. Most of what you write about is fabricated. "No public schools, no public health care programs, no worker rights, no social security, ect" I would be fascinated to have you cite actual examples of some of your made up nightmares. You have as much power as Bill Gates or myself. If you don't like the fact that we have politicians that only spend time with wealthy donors, don't blame me. blame the American voters. They keep voting them into office. Freely. The speech from Mr Roosevelt was priceless. He is going to control the "over-privileged". Who decides who is over-privileged? Why FDR hisself. And the fact that he was fairly privileged and wealthy and became more so at the same time he said he would control it shows what he really meant. That there were more millionaires created in the depression than the roaring twenties showed how well he "controlled" the over privileged. He and his buddies got stinking rich while the depression got worse. What a pal - what a pal. The only rights we have are in the Bill Of Rights. You have no right to any level of income other than what you earn freely by making yourself useful to others making their own free decisions. To have any govt force me to hand over my money to someone who does nothing of any value to me is slavery. Pure and simple. No corporation or company or private person has ever made me or you do anything we didn't want to do. Stop blaming them. If you don't like to give them your money, then don't. The govt on the other hand, is constantly at work to do damage to my pocket book and freedoms. I fight an actual enemy while you tilt at windmills.

Greg Goodknight

Five will get you ten that Bozo Bolinski doesn't have a clue about either the BEST or Muller.

Bozo, have you noticed the BEST statement, "How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that."

They've begun an independent dataset that is promised to be public, but isn't yet. There are as yet no peer reviewed papers. They are using the same data as everyone else and so it will be similar.

Now, what was it you wanted to talk about?

Ben Emery

Mickey,
"my understanding was that the TP did not have a position on social issues such as the AZ immigration laws. I am sure I could cherry-pick members of the TP against the AZ immigration laws."

It was a statement sent out by NCTPP either in an action alert or the newletter, I am on the email list. I am pretty sure it was June the newsletter but that seems to have gone AWOL on the internet.

National Tea Party
http://teapartypatriots.org/standwitharizona/

Here is what Russ Steele had to say about the Arizona Law and the TP.

The most recent Court Decision limiting police officers in AZ to ask for immigration status will be a great recruiting tool for the TPP. Once again our government is not listening to the people and the people will continue to organize Tea Parties and will rise up when the time is right at the ballot box.
28 July 2010 at 08:12 PM

Steve Enos

The right, the left???

What an embarrassing “visit” Barry and the Tea Party folks had in front of the Board of Supervisors today.

Barry wanted the Chamber be selected but failed to know the Chamber withdrew and was cut because they wanted an additional 20K for additional work. On top of that the Chamber failed to respond to the follow up questions asked by the County selection committee! Seems Barry didn’t do his homework. It was a train wreck! Barry got handed his head on a plate. The County staff was sharp and had facts… Barry on the other hand?

And ROAR?… you gotta be kidding!. The ROAR spokesperson was LOST and even made a number of threats to the BOS about future elections and “we are watching” threats. The part where she ranted about the OWS was a hoot! Then there was the part where she wanted a conflict of interest removal because a BOS member (Hank Weston) is on the First 5 board and Mrs. Pelline is the First 5 bookkeeper. Sorry, but ROAR looked like a joke at the BOS meeting today.

Seems the Tea Party clan got their head handed to them today. What an embarrassing, childish display of clueless ranting. They sure shot themselves in the foot today and they exposed themselves for what they are. So glad the video of this will live forever for all to see.

The closing statements by Supervisor Beason and Supervisor Owens were a lesson and wake up call to the extreme right, Tea Party folks. Consider yourself schooled!

Mikey McD

Ben, I recall the immigration issue to be a divisive issue among TP members. For that reason the TP Partiots (at least locally) chose/choose to not take a stance on the issue since it did not directly fall under their missions. As a libertarian I want an easy and accessible road to citizenship (we need all the tax payers we can get to help us dig out of this horrific financial hole we are in).

Grant

Sir Enos, it is amazing what you are able to see from way up on your ivory tower; please help us. LOL

Steve Enos

Hey "Grant"... do you have a full name? How about using your full name when you post so all can see who you are.

The BOS today? The facts are there if one just watches the BOS meeting, like I did. It will soon be available on line for all to see.

It was embarrassing beyond belief. The vote was 5-0 to boot.

Steve Enos

PS to "Grant". Please post on topic next time. No off topic, personal attacks or insults.

Ben Emery

George,
I did answer your questions but I refuse to use your narrative. Unlike the democratic party have a backbone and refuse to be led around by the nose. I'm sorry that you and your followers cannot understand without government programs that they profess to hate so much none of us would be where we are today.


The whole basis of your life is in government and its funding. Did you go to college through the GI bill? I asked you this before and you pointed me to your bio, it doesn't address this question. If yes, once again another positive government program that has altered your life in unmeasurable ways. If there is a socialist in the group is it you with all of your tax payer "hand outs" (your ideology not mine). I have been working for paychecks or have been self employed since I was thirteen years old. I have never received unemployment, welfare, food stamps, or any government assistance in monetary form outside of tax credits.

George Rebane bio
"During the early part of his career, after active duty in the Army, George was a combat systems developer for a big aerospace firm. From there he joined a small think tank company, doing classified research for the Pentagon, and ultimately became its president. In the later part of his career he was CEO of two other high-tech companies one of which manufactured educational electronics systems and the other, which he founded, became a leading developer of interactive multi-media technologies. "

US Military- Complete Socialist program

Aerospace firm- Who were the primary clients?

Think Tank- Pentagon hmmmm sounds like the biggest spending department in the US government, is it the same one?

Educational Electronic Sytstems- Once again, who were your targeted clients?

Taught at UCLA, CAL State Schools- University of California and California State Schools. I believe these educational systems are public/ government sponsored and were the creme of the crop until Governor Reagan stopped their funding.

So does this mean that you are lazy and undeserving? Not even close, this means without these programs and years of hard work your life would have been drastically different. Possibly better or possibly worse.

Here is my exit question

So why do you advocate to abolish other government programs that didn't necessarily benefit you but could have the same positive benefits to others?

George Rebane

BenE - you ascribe to me statements that I have not made. Nowhere have I advocated the termination of ALL government programs, regulations, taxes, ... . Your response is the usual bookend of 'if you don't like one, you don't like them all'.

Yes, part of my career involved defense contracting that produced systems and capabilities that kept those who sought to do us harm at bay, and in the interval gave others of us an environment to pursue their dreams in a very dangerous world. Such efforts by my compatriots and me happened to support one of the clearest of constitutional mandates - national security. (You are benefitting from some of my contributions even as you read these words.)

For my MS, as an officer in the Reserves, I received a pittance from the government so small that it did not affect any financial decisions in the Rebane or any other family that I was aware of. Most certainly it enabled me to do nothing that I could not do entirely on my own nickel. I declined it for my PhD. No other government 'largesse' has augmented my wallet. (Your inclusion of tax credits as a benefit is an interesting testimony to how your ideology views taxing and taxes.)

It is easy to advocate the termination of unconstitutional government functions and spending. The problem is that you have a different Constitution from the one I read.

And still you haven't told us how my listed tenets for the Right are in any way in the extreme. But in the process of dancing around and using your own "narrative", you are beginning to provide an answer to Q2.

Barry Pruett

It is sad that I must follow Mr. Enos around the internet to clear up his half-truths and misrepresentations, but I expect nothing less from the shameless dullard. LOL.

Steve: You are misrepresenting my comments. My comments were all about the lack of a long-term plan and vision for the county. “My desire for today is that the BOS table this contract and formulate and implement a long-term strategy through the Chambers, or in the alternative, award the contract to the chamber as the lowest responsible bidder.”

The importance of the meeting today was to develop a long-term strategy – which is now happening as a result of the thoughtful comments by the public and the willingness of most of the BOS to work with us. To give anyone $20,000 without a long-term vision is the issue. I am glad the the BOS is leading by implementing the Switchback Plan and putting together a tourism committee. Today was a great day for the community!

http://barrypruett.blogspot.com/2011/10/board-of-supervisors-funds-regional.html

Paul Emery

Wrong Scott

This is the summary of the Iraq Survey group about the so called attempts to purchase yellow cake from Niger.

"Investigation Into Uranium Pursuits and Indigenous Production Capabilities
Foreign Pursuits

ISG has not found evidence to show that Iraq sought uranium from abroad after 1991 or renewed indigenous production of such material—activities that we believe would have constituted an Iraqi effort to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program. As part of its investigation, ISG sought information from prominent figures such as Ja’far Diya’ Ja’far—the head of the pre-1991 nuclear weapons program.

Paul Emery

Sorry

This should have to Greg G on Who Are the Occupiers.

Steve Enos

Hey Barry... no name calling here! Stay on topic when you post please.

The video of today's BOS meeting will soon be availbale for all to see and it will live for ever!

Barry asked the BOS to select the Chamber but Barry failed to know the Chamber withdrew and was cut because they wanted an additional 20K for additional work as in they wanted $37,000 or no deal.

On top of that the Chamber failed to respond to the follow up questions asked by the County selection committee.

It was a train wreck! Barry got handed his head on a plate by the County staff and a couple of the BOS members... as did the lady from "ROAR" that spoke.

The comments by Supervisors Beason and Ownens just before the 5-0 vote was GREAT and it sent a message to the ultra right folks.

I see where Stan Meckler is now running to be on the GV Chamber Board... funny stuff!

Account Deleted

Ben - you should stop and read what you have written before you post. "I'm sorry that you and your followers cannot understand without government programs that they profess to hate so much none of us would be where we are today." I'm still laughing. Where I am today is beggared beyond belief with govt debt. Since I and my family and future progeny are producers, we will be the ones to try to pay back all of the graft and corruption and stupidity because of your cherished govt programs. Where would I be, you ask? Let's try free of any debt - in a comfortable, lavish, paid for hand crafted home - with a bright safe future for my grandson and a healthy productive nation to live in. Oh, the horror! Let's just start with the dept of education. It has been a cabinet level parasite since 1979 and since it's inception, education in this nation has gone downhill. It didn't do anything for me, sir, since it didn't exist while I was in school. Yet somehow I obtained an education. It educates no one. Get rid of it. That isn't radical in any meaning of the word, just common sense. We can certainly go through the fed govt and throw out huge buildings full of useless (or worse) bureaucrats. Where would I be? I can only dream of how good life could be if the useless un-Constitutional activities of our corrupt govt were ended.

Todd Juvinall

Bravo Scott!

Bonnie M

Someone sent me this 1948 cartoon you may have seen before. It pretty much sums up what we're dealing with today. Amazing!
http://nationaljuggernaut.blogspot.com/2009/09/this-cartoon-seemed-far-fetched-in-1948.html

Brad Croul

I applaud your attempt to illustrate what you see as the differences between left and right but am afraid that the list comes off looking like a rightwinger’s attempt to pigeonhole the left wing. It sounds like you are trying to put round pegs, lubricated with “liberal” doses of prejudice, suspicion, fear, and loathing, into square holes, and they just don’t fit that well. Also, I don’t see how you can realistically separate the “Left” from Democrats and the “Right” from Republicans. I am assuming you are talking about politics and current events here.

Take your first point, The Left sees legislative productivity only in the amount of new laws, regulations, and taxes a government passes.  The Right measures legislative productivity by the absence of new laws or the prudent revision and rescinding of existing laws, regulations, and taxes.”

The first sentence, “The left sees...only”, suggests a, limited-thinking, “big government” macro view. But, “The Right measures”, suggests a scientific, high-minded approach” and sounds prejudicial. Both the Left and Right in government are feeding at the trough. I think both have a vested interest in keeping government big. I am pretty sure the Right has written a few laws and has kept plenty of laws that have outlived their usefulness on the books.

Next,  “The Left can put no limits on the size and scope of government; the Right attempts continually to limit both the size and scope of government.”

This sweeping generalization is flat-out BS and again shows prejudice and panders to the author’s base. The Left might promote more social programs that would take additional taxes to implement, and the Right can serve to put the brakes on too much spending. But there are plenty of examples of the Right increasing the size and scope of government and raising taxes.

The answer to Q.1 for me is in your last statement about space travel. I don’t know how many in the mainstream Right are thinking, “How do I get off this planet?”, but I have seen a few bumper stickers imploring “Scotty” in the starship Enterprise to beam them up because this planet sucks.

I wonder which form of governance would work better on your spaceship; a centralized government, or a bunch of soveriegn gangs competing for the limited resources on the spaceship? What if some enterprising libertarian decides to start up a meth lab onboard the ship, uses up all the Sudafed and screws up the air filtration system?

I don’t think all the ideological tenets of the Right (as you have described them) are exclusive to “the Right”. I see that you are trying to differentiate the Left from the Right but you end up painting the Left into a corner so you can manage it. To me, it sounds like you are listing the “dangers” of taking big government, or world government, to the extremes. But, conversely, you can take the tenets of the Right, weaponize them, and do damage with them also.

Todd Juvinall

Mr. Croul is apparently ignorant of the actual political world based on his naivete' on who is and has been in charge for a long time. The left had control of Congress for forty straight years until 1995. My recollection is that during that time thousands of laws to create and control were passed and with those laws a huge diminution of individual rights. In California the left has had control of the legislature for even more time and look at the volumes of rules and regulations controlling almost every aspect of our lives. I see the left doing that and the right trying to undo that. If you pay attention to the Governor's website here in California you will see at the end of this session a list of all the laws and regulations he signs or vetoes. If you look closely you will see a D or and R alongside the name of the sponsor from the legislature. Count them up and then when you see a ten to one D over R you might change your ignorance to smartness.

Ben Emery

Scott,
I strongly suggest you look at history and be honest on what social class you were born into, you would be a peasant unable to read this comment more than likely. But remember you still would be shackled with debt because kings would levy taxes on their subjects to pay for war. The more things change the more things stay the same. I will try to find some numbers of how much of the US national debt is principal plus interest on defense spending.

Todd Juvinall

And the difference between a king and the government run by liberals is?

Brad Croul

Maybe government tenure is like academic tenure where the motto is "publish or perish". This might account for all the laws and regs being proposed. Legislators feel they have to do something besides make paper airplanes to fly around the hallowed halls of government - so they legislate.

Ben Emery

George,
You are making my point over and over but don't use the same critical thinking towards your own views.

I want complete communism about as much as you want complete feudalism. When we are forced into making broad statements these seems to be the final accusations. You do it and I do it. When we both know that we probably agree on way more than we disagree. I have worked hard my entire life and luckily have avoided really hard times so far and live my life on my own terms for the most part. You have worked hard your entire life and reaped the benefits. We are both success stories.

So lets stop the hyperbole and gigantic leaps.

Todd Juvinall

Well then it sounds like you should support Dan Logue's legislation to return to a part time legislature.

Ben Emery

Brad,
Somewhere in the ball park of 90% of legislation is written by lobbyists and special interests today. Since I am critical of the right I know their groups and ALEC is a huge one. Maybe somebody can give me one on the left.

http://alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

Todd Juvinall

The Socialist Party of America.

George Rebane

BradC 416am – thank you for your willingness to address my post, and for your thoughtful answer.

To begin, in this post I want to discuss the attributes of the common notions of Left and Right as they are independent of any established political parties. Yes, the Democrats also have people of the Right, and Republicans have people of the Left despite the obvious preponderance of these in each. Left/Right in the context here are intended as the broadly understood labels for two ideologies consisting of tenets, some of which may be shared (technically, these sets of tenets are ‘fuzzy sets’ q.v.).

And since I am of the Right persuasion, let there be no doubt that my observations issue from and are colored by that ‘side’. I have little patience with naifs claiming objectivity in their interpretations and judgments, and don’t claim to join them in this dissertation.

Re legislative productivity. My generalization hangs on the oft observed accusations of a ‘do nothing Congress’ or ‘do nothing Assembly’ etc that come only from people of the Left. California’s legislature is a poster child of this jaundiced view, and it is ONLY the Left that introduces a continuous stream of bills to inject government into the minutest and most ridiculously petty crevices of people’s lives. To argue that this trait is shared in any significant way by the Right is simply disingenuous.

Re limiting the role of government. The misinterpretation here comes from your inability to separate the notions of Right/Left from Republican/Democrat. A fundamental tenet of the Right has always been to limit government. For example, it is ONLY from the Right that proposals to shut down the Depts of Education, Energy, Commerce, … are issued, retaining and aggregating select functions from each. BTW, we should never confuse ‘limited’ government with ‘small’ government – the attributes are orthogonal.

So please understand that the intent here is to give some important broad yet operational outlines of the semantics that define the Right/Left ideologies. I maintain that they are operational in the sense that if applied by a grandstand full of people listening to some speaker of unknown (to the grandstand) Right/Left persuasion who recounts his own socio-political actions and pronouncements, the people in the grandstand, applying the outlined tenets, would overwhelmingly label the speaker correctly.

Re ‘going to the stars’. My selection of this simple to comprehend criterion for evaluating, say, ideologies is for rating the competing types of creative, collective, and mutually beneficial societies such an enterprise would demand of humanity – there are, no doubt, other criteria that may equally serve. Homo sapiens boiling off this planet and out of our solar system to populate the galaxy is, perhaps, the grandest vision of accomplishment for our species. And this objective cannot be achieved without creativity, broad cooperation, coherent vision, enterprise, freedom, and the ability to generate enormous amounts of wealth by Earth’s peoples. So I have come to recommend this criterion as a measure of Man’s ideologies, structures of governance, social policies, … in the process of making trade-offs and decisions about collective actions – ‘how does this vs that better help us get to the stars?’

Re ‘tenets exclusive to the Right’. Again, the attempt here is to explicate the semantics of an operational discriminant – to describe a semantic boundary that makes sense of our daily use of Right and Left. For if there is no or little difference in their tenets, then why give them distinct labels and use them so profusely in our daily communications and debate. I have assembled here some of the important tenets of such a discriminant from the perspective of the Right. Please notice that I do not characterize the Left’s tenets as being pejorative in any absolute sense; they simply form a diametrically opposing approach to organizing a society that its adherents (those of the Left) believe will benefit its members.

However, a remarkable and longstanding aspect of discussions such as this is how often people of the Left do not want to shoulder the naked descriptions that identify and summarize the principles they want to impose through their public policies.

So are we to take away from your remarks that the Left also holds to the tenets I have attributed to the Right? And does the Left of your experience then consider reprehensible, or at least rejectible, the tenets that I attribute to the Left? If so, I invite you to offer your own discriminant that allows us to correctly label someone as of the Left or Right.

Again, thank you for your contribution in pushing this discussion forward.

Account Deleted

Ben - I know enough history to realize the reason we don't have a king is due to a bunch of right-wing radical Tea Party types. Openly carrying and using 'military-type' firearms. I'm not sure what class I was born into - I'll have the butler ask mummsy for me. Seriously, when my wife was pregnant with our first child, we qualified for food stamps and goodness knows what other freebies. (all refused, thank you) Even though my wife and I had no college degrees, our daughter was reading at approximately the 3rd grade level by age 3. Part of the problem was we couldn't afford a TV like the welfare class could. Said daughter got a college degree paid for by working at what ever jobs she could find and our help. When she graduated (with honors) there was no debt. It's not what class you are born in, it's the attitude you are brought up with. I was taught I was owed nothing and it was my responsibility to earn my own keep by making myself useful in some way to society. When our son was 19, he had dropped out of Sierra College and was making far more money than I did at that age, working as a telephone tech support for a music software company. He had learned all he knew about music and computers on his own.
No, we are not brainiacs or have especially high IQs. We just get up in the morning grateful for what we have and are glad to have the energy to get to work learning and working. That's the 'class' my family is in. The OWS street crowd is in a different class.
Our daughter is married now, with a 2 year old son that she claims will never step foot inside of a public school. We'll see....

Ben Emery

Scott,
You obviously don't understand that throughout history and still with much of the worlds population today if you are born into a specific social class you will die in the same social class. America has one of the worst social mobilities in the industrialized nations today. The American Revolutionaries were progressives moving away from the traditional form of government and the status quo. Since you used reading as an example, when and where did reading for the masses come about? Did those in power support this idea or oppose it and why? Here is a hint; it has "Protest", "Reform", and Printing Press associated with it.

Ben Emery

George,
I read an interesting article with your name mentioned in it.

This seems to fit into the Right - Left discussion of trying to get things done.

http://yubanet.com/regional/Nevada-County-BOS-Process-1-Politics-0.php

excerpt
"Focus on the Person, Not the Issue

The presence of Tea Party Patriots, local bloggers and assorted members of the public for this item was not really surprising. Pelline's husband Jeff, a former newspaper editor, runs his personal blog - separate from their commercial Sierra FoodWineArt venture. Given the often contentious nature of the local blogosphere, a few of his fellow bloggers (Rebane, Steele and Pruett) were in attendance.

Judi Caler, who introduced herself as a Nevada City resident and co-founder of Reclaiming Our American Rights(ROAR), proceeded to paint a scenario melding First 5 of Nevada County, Occupy Wall Street, the Constitution and the takeover by a "one-world government" as cause and effect of the contract. Referring to Shannon Pelline as "married to a well-known blogger, I wouldn't appreciate my tax dollars used to promote his views." She also reminded the BOS that "three of you are up for election and the people are watching."

Barry Pruett, an unsuccessful candidate for Clerk-Recorder, is a member of the Nevada County Tea Party Patriots, according to his blog. He chastised the board for not picking the Joint Chambers proposal over SFWA's: "The Chamber of Commerce is uniquely positioned to promote - without bias - all of the areas of tourism within Nevada County and thereby create jobs in Nevada County." He went on to describe the proposed action as "sending money down a 'cul de sac"' with no clear long term plan and no vision," referring to a lack of long-term planning. He said the Chambers' bid was lower ($17,400) and wanted to know why the lowest bid wasn't awarded the contract.

County staff explained that the Chambers' proposal had two components, one with a $20,000 Groupon module. When asked by staff if their proposal could be executed without the Groupon module, the Chambers decided to withdraw their proposal.

The perceived conflict of interest for the supervisor sitting on First 5's board, where Shannon Pelline is a part-time bookkeeper, was dismissed by County Counsel. The board of First 5 is a policy board. The bookkeeper works for the Executive Director, not the board."

George Rebane

BenE 922pm - "America has one of the worst social mobilities in the industrialized nations today." Reality (especially as confirmed by IRS and Census records) is exactly the opposite, and is the reason why all of us came here while more are still willing to risk life and limb in making the attempt. I am a poster child of the error of such assertions, and I am joined by millions to whom America was a life's blessing. Statements like these confirm that people like you don't really understand this exceptional country, and make clear why you and your cohorts on the streets seek a fundamental transformation of this nation.

But then, you claim the exact opposite.

Ben Emery

George,
TODAY not 50 years ago. Since Thatcher/ Reagan the UK/ US have fallen to the worst two OECD nations for social mobility. Italy ties the US for second worst. Income inequality is the worst in the US in these same nations, 14:1 in between top and bottom quintiles. If we venture into the top 1% or even the top .03% the numbers go off the chart. The republican party filibustered a bill to raise taxes 0.5% on income after the first million is made, this is the top .02%. My question is why did the democratic party wait until they new the bill wouldn't pass before proposing it?

Steve Frisch

That's right Ben, things were comparatively great in the good old days. Too ban many do not realize that those days began to wane about 40 years ago.

Todd Juvinall

Income inequality? So George, could you explain to me and maybe there are some others, who are a bit confused about this claim of income inequality? If Americans have all the necessary consumer goods and a roof over their heads and are in the so-called lower income groups, how is that an inequality? I guess I see this argument from the BenE's as one of envy. not of inequality. Does he want more money to do what? Buy a bigger screen TV or a BMW rather than a Toyota Camry? Please explain would ya?

George Rebane

Income inequality is most commonly measured by the Gini Index. It is a metric that ranges from zero to one - i.e. representing a state of perfect equality at zero, to perfect inequality at one where one person gets all the income of an economy and all the others get zero. I have posted on this numerous times since the Gini is used by the UN and often quoted in the literature on the topic.
http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2009/03/our-new-course-is-declared.html

The problem with the Gini is that it, like the Laffer curve, is double valued. An economy with perfect equality produces almost nothing, and with total guaranteed inequality produces and equal amount. Somewhere in the middle there is a sweet spot or range. Today America's Gini is 0.44 and China's is 0.46, making its income distribution more unequal than ours. Nevertheless, it's the Left that likes to point to the Gini to make its points, especially to the Gini indexes of the socialist Europeans that are now coming apart.

Todd Juvinall

Thanks for that George but I think I didn't make my question as clear as it needed to be. From my simple POV, if a person makes 50k and has all the consumer comforts, and another person has a million buck income and has the same creature comforts, then where is the "inequality"? Is it the "raw" dollars or the comforts derived?

George Rebane

SteveF 1132pm - I had to rub my eyes and read it again - we agree on the sea change in this country that occurred about forty years ago??!! There must be some mistake in my understanding since most of my ilk also see the 1965-1970 era as a major course change for the nation. It would be interesting to compare the particulars.

George Rebane

ToddJ 921am - Apologies. Good question. No, it's the raw dollars that are the easiest discriminant of class. No matter the comforts, the socialist can always convince with 'Something is wrong, why should he make so much more than you?'

Todd Juvinall

George, that is what i thought. To me that explanation defeats the illogical of the disparity argument. The debate should not be raw dollars but comforts. Perhaps that argument needs to be changed.

Ben Emery

Todd,

"if a person makes 50k and has all the consumer comforts, and another person has a million buck income and has the same creature comforts, then where is the "inequality"? Is it the "raw" dollars or the comforts derived?"

The point is that $50k doesn't do it anymore with the spiking cost of higher education, housing, health care, and energy. The reason higher education is in there is because a high school diploma gets you a minimum wage jobs these days not a living wage labor job of 40 years ago.

This article nails it.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-warren/america-without-a-middle_b_377829.html

Todd Juvinall

BenE you misunderstand my question. The amounts could be any number, the point is is it raw dollars or the comforts that the inequality pushers are concerned about? If a person lives in a little house and loves it and he makes 50K a year, then where is the inequality? Should the person then change his attitude and become a grouser because someone has a bigger house? You simply don't get it BenE because you are envious. I am finding out that humans who have lots of money and crappy personal health are envious of those that have less and have good health. How do you solve that inequality?

Ben Emery

Todd,
Literally, you have zero understanding of sociology. I will use one of your own comebacks against your last comment.

ToddJ wants everybody to live in shacks with no electricity and running water. What a hoot.

Todd Juvinall

BenE, you are apparently out of your league here. I have stymied you with my questions and examples and that is the best you can do? You need some additional education on problem solving and analogy.

Mikey McD

Ben, your opinion was so far off I thought you were trying to be funny: "America has one of the worst social mobilities in the industrialized nations today. The American Revolutionaries were progressives moving away from the traditional form of government and the status quo."

Mobility- I am a modern day example (similar to George's) that started off poor and am now 'rich.' More examples:http://the53.tumblr.com/

Reduce government (regs/taxes/entitlements) and you will see even better mobility.

To call American Revolutionaries progressive is like calling the sun dark.

Mikey McD

http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_ltoziaAajd1r4q8eoo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ6IHWSU3BX3X7X3Q&Expires=1319844035&Signature=5DEO2fUTeMbnLh7kFP5lOMSHf9A%3D

Mikey McD

Mobility: Do you suggest that increased government power via evermore regulations, taxes and handouts increases mobility?

Mobility: I would not have risked every penny I had, worked 70+ hour weeks, incurred debt, sacrificed my health to succeed if I had believed that people would HATE me enough for them to forcefully take the fruits of my labor from me.

The choice is clear: Force/slavery/government collusion OR liberty (voluntary actions/freedom)

Todd Juvinall

Mikey, nice smackdown!

stevenfrisch

Hey Todd, I am wondering, is this a forum for discussion of serious issues, or is it an on-line version of the WWF? Frankly the "smack down" is just another form of masturbation.

George I do think that the nation began going of track in the 1960's. But I suspect we will disagree on the causes and contributing factors (with the caveat that a contributing factor is not necessarily a cause); with no single cause being enough individually to cause the change.

I would include the following, without order of magnitude:

The rise of global competition
Concentration of capital
Disinvestment in education as a hedge against competition
Disinvestment in research and development
Disinvestment in infrastructure, including technology, science and innovation based products
Loss of confidence in our society to overcome its problems
Deterioration of civil processes of decision-making
The shrinking of the middle class
The rise of independent de-centralized and 24 hour media
Military interventionism coupled with the inability of our allies to invest in global security
Debt
Our inability to adapt "America exceptionalism" to a post national world--global competition is increasingly economic and we are competing militarily--this does not mean that we don't need a strong military, it means we are out of balance in the allocation of resources to improve our competitive position.

George Rebane

SteveF - thanks for the good list of causes. Re education; I think the only "disinvestment" that occurred was a pedagogical one and most certainly not a monetary one. Thanks to the unions, pedagogy went down and school funding went up. Re R&D; investment soared after 1965 and stayed there until 1973 when we pulled out of Vietnam. It again increased when Reagan came in and didn't go down until the dotcom bust.

I don't know how you can argue that the middle class shrunk after 1965. Maybe we should agree on monetary class definitions here in RR so that we're not talking past each other. No one else wants to do it. Your thoughts?

Our allies were not able "to invest in global security" because their socialism was driving (and now has driven) them to the edge of bankruptcy while we were paying their security bills and acting as the global sheriff.

As I have said many times in these pages - we are now beyond the tipping point, there is no return to the good times short of a survivable WW3, which IMHO does not exist. In its current form, America as an exceptional nation is beyond financial and demographic arrears. Stand by and rig for ram.

Todd Juvinall

The rise of nanny government and leftist busybodies into all aspects of our lives is why the country has been experiencing the mess we are in. The tax policies by the democrats in my lifetime have forced the demise of the family. Liberals like Frisch's SBC are sucking the life out of America. They drain the money and produce nothing but paper. We see that in every single project all across America. Money for studies,ad nauseum. We fee everything that is a part of govererments duties to its people. That drains billions from the pockets of mostly the poor. No Steve, it is WWF smackdown time now. It is the useless organizations like yours against the hardworking people and businesses of America that actually make things and supply the goods and service necessary to make a country work. We have to remove the leeches on the body politic, they are numerous and they have almost sucked all the life out of the place.

Steve Frisch

Todd I find it amusing that you are on a 1 man jihad against my organization yet fail to recognize that there are millions on NGO's in the country exercising their free speech and contributing billions of dollars to America's GDP. It really demonstrates just how limited you capacity really is. Our freedom to associate and speak is truly what makes America exceptional, yet you would only recognize that for those you agree with.

Barry Pruett

Wait a second. Todd may be on a mission, but I do want to make a comment here. You said, "NGO's contribute billions of dollars to America's GDP."

I am not talking about SBC specifically but NGO's in general when I ask "How does an NGO funded by taxpayer dollars contribute to GDP when the taxpayer dollars were first taken from a for-profit company?"

It seems like a "net-net" to me.

Todd Juvinall

Yes Barry, it appears the SBC is simply a recipient of money from people that actually do something and then turn around with that money and issue studies and papers accomplishing nothing of real value. The NGO's are the biggest scam perpetrated on the good people and taxpayers of America. I am not on a jihad, (I find that an interesting statement by a person always railing for the people who actually practice jihad) I am simply trying to bring attention to the waste and abuse I see of the valuable taxpayers money. I believe we need to reign in the money and spend it on the poor, defense and other real needs of the people rather than in the bloated salaries of NGO's that do nothing but issue paper. I am waiting for an accounting of who really paid for the trip to the communist countries taken by Mr. Freidsch recently. What is it the SBC and the American taxpayers gained from visiting and meeting with them? Any jobs for Americans? We will never get an answer because it is all a scam on the body of America.

Mikey McD

NGO's and GDP...This is the great central planners shell game... see how China has been playing this Central Planning = GDP shellgame...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ektMQGbW3wk

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