The Parade to November

13Aug10

Candidates Campaign

With the primaries over, we are waiting for the TV and mailing campaigns to start. None of this will be particularly interesting or informative unless a candidate is caught with a bag of money or performing some sort of illegal act in a public restroom.

What we will inevitably see is the same old tired debate between the parties of Warfare vs. Welfare. Somehow neither party seems to understand reality or provide solutions.

According to the GOP (and I am sure Linda McMahon will be leading the charge in CT) the only solution that applies to everything is cutting taxes for the wealthiest 1% of the population. That hasn’t worked in the last four recessions. Maybe the 5th is a charm. The deficit is only important if the other 99% of the population suffers. That way they can claim to be “disciplined”.

The Democrats simply have nothing. No plan, no solutions, no real agenda and no organization. They couldn’t pass universal healthcare, actual financial reform, a stimulus that worked, an effective jobs bill nor even an extension of unemployment benefits without asking the GOP’s permission. Who needs a majority?

American (public) companies posted a record $1.4 trillion in PROFITS in the 1st quarter this year and yet our economy is in the tank. And what is the solution? According to one of my favorite hypocrites, Newt Gingrich, the problem is the capital gains tax. According to Newt, the main reason Chinese companies are doing well is that they have no capital gains taxes. Simple.
(Of course, they pay their workers $0.20/hour, no benefits, no holidays, no vacation and the Chinese government artificially controls the currency value). But, no….it’s that evil capital gains tax. To be successful and avoid Obama’s “socialist agenda” we have to be more like Communists.

We can hardly wait to hear Linda McMahon decry the coming “tax increase”….for herself and her wealthy friends. So let’s start the parade.

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148 Responses to “The Parade to November”

  1. 1 sudds

    The good thing for good old Blummy is that he can vote either way, and then if the public opinion changes he can just “mis-speak” and say that he voted the opposite way which he actually did!!!

  2. 2 jezebel282

    Oops!

    OMG! I forgot Blumenthal!

    Well, the good thing is that if he is elected, he won’t be Attorney General anymore.

  3. 3 sudds

    “Well, the good thing is that if he is elected, he won’t be Attorney General anymore.”

    I got $5 that says he “mis-speaks” and says that he was fighting for Democracy… in Vietnam… for the last 19 years!!! 😛

  4. 4 sudds

    PS… just to clarify… I don’t want the wrestling lady either!!!

    Mulligan for Senate ❓ ❓ ❓

  5. 5 paradisegreen

    McMahon is a joke. She exploited her wrestlers refusing them any benefits and is a general greedy shrew. As much as some of you here wanted to pack up and leave Stratford if Miron won, I think I will want to pack up and leave this state if she wins.

  6. 6 sudds

    “I think I will want to pack up and leave this state if she wins.”

    https://secure.linda2010.com/donate

  7. 7 1george1

    Sudds + Jeze
    Thank you for the LOL.

    The GRAPHICS are TOOOOO Appropriate!
    I wish the clowns had more white, where there is yellow.
    What’s that line about people who wrap themselves in the flag?

    The CT POST op-ed claimed the reason for 10 – 20 % turn out was
    it was early August.
    Maybe IF there was a FDR Democrat or a LINCOLN / IKE Republican,
    I and I suspect others would register for that Party and Vote?

    Back about 1999, when Kevin Kelly was first appointed Town Attorney
    by Schirillo and fiends …. I turned on the W W F
    An announcer was NAMED Kevin Kelly.

    Has anyone ever noticed the W W E story lines, resemble Stratford’s
    counter intuitive politics?

    Hey Jeze – Can you do a split screen, with the clowns and the W W E
    Royal Rumble super stars?

    I wonder if Linda will work to legalize STEROIDS?

    THe USA is over run with COCAINE … POT … ALCOHOL … TOBACCO
    and the SENATE grandstands against STEROIDS?

    Kinda like the USA invading PANAMA, when COLUMBIA is COCAINE source?
    Should USA citizens question DISTRICT of COLUMBIA COCAINE connection?

    Kinda like the USA invading IRAQ, when AFGHANISTAN is a HEROin source,
    and supposedly where 9/11 attackers trained?

    If Blumenthal and Kelly are reunited in Hartford … will Stratford’s problems
    be over … or just beginning? 😦
    Unless Miron wins? 😦

  8. 8 jezebel282

    On a national note, the GOP would like to repeal this:

    14th Amendment

    Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Section. 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

    Section. 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

    Section. 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

    Section. 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

    Apparently, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell R-KY and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL don’t think being born in the United States is sufficient cause to be called an American Citizen. Then there is that whole “due process” thing that Republicans have always hated.

    Honest to goodness, what is the matter with these people?

  9. 9 sudds

    HOLY CR*P… Jez is Bill Maher!!!

    “On a national note, the GOP would like to repeal this”

    (corrected)

    “On a national note, A FEW [obviously ignorant] MEMBERS OF the GOP would like to repeal this”

  10. 10 sudds

    Geesh Jez… you’re starting to be about as “fair and balanced” as FoxNews!!!

  11. 11 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “[obviously ignorant] MEMBERS OF the GOP ”

    The Senate Minority Leader? The ranking member of the Judiciary Committee?

    Where are the normal ones?

  12. 12 1george1

    For too many Americans the Constitution, especially the Bill of
    Rights and Amendments, are used for toilet paper.

    Far too many in government and business are the criminal class.

    It is only gonna get worse.

    What is the opening line to “Paradise Lost?”

  13. 13 robertfwalsh

    Very well said, Jez!

  14. 14 1george1

    correction: divine comedy.

    I have pointed out the importance and relationships of Amendments:
    14, 1, 4, and 9.

    The reason Martin Luthor King Jr. was so dangerous was he understood
    the power of the vote, right to appeal to government for redress of
    grievances and free speach, due process and unarticulated rights ofthe
    individual.

    The Stratford Town attorneys and town council abridged the Peoples’
    Right to Initiative to create a petition for redress of grievances.

    I dare any reader to request issuance of ANY PUBLIC INITIATE PETITON!!!
    The Town Clerk will defer to the Town Attorney.
    The Town Attorney will delay …

  15. 15 portia1776

    “To Get Rich is Glorious” said Deng Xiaoping, a capitalist-roader who fought for liberalization in China, and thus freed tens of millions of Chinese from traditional poverty and socialist policy failures (e.g., the war on bourgeois flowers and grass, heresy hunts, backyard steel production, banning of private enterprise, and centralized government takeovers of food production, finances, manufacturing, media, and health care with barefoot doctors) that produced massive famines and economic as well as societal devastation.

    So, yes, Jez, while we don’t need to follow China’s political authoritarianism (although we’re doing that, too), we could do worse than to relearn some free market principles from studying mainland China’s or Hong Kong’s economic history. Instead, President Obama has been engaging in a protectionist trade war and increasing government intervention in the economy that costs Americans jobs and hurts American consumers, especially low income families. (For background: http://freedomtotrade.org/multimedia/chinese-protectionism-great-depression ).

    You can’t have it both ways. If you must support every “Progressive” policy to have government command-and-control more and more of the economy, then you must also accept the almost inevitable failures such policies will precipitate. Government intervention, in direct (regulations and taxes) and, in some ways the more harmful, indirect (uncertainty about the impact of new regulations and taxes) varieties, has consequences.

    One, which we saw in the 1930s and which is being repeated now, is for capitalists (as in those with money to invest) to go on strike (For background: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/08/AR2010070804272.html ).

    Just as workers protest for better working conditions, businesspeople and investors, by holding back, are protesting the horrible economic environment created by this “Progressive” administration and Congress’s anti-free market policies. (It is fruitful noting that the worst enemies of free market capitalism, in Milton Friedman’s phrase, are capitalists, who seek government subsidies in the form of corporate welfare and tariffs for themselves. “Progressives” rather like those policies, too, albeit strictly for the power that it gives to government).

    That capitalists can go on strike should not surprise anyone. Even rich “Progressives” are not above economic self-interest. Take the example of Senator John Kerry mooring his new multi-million dollar yacht in Rhode Island so as to avoid a hefty tax in his home state of Massachusetts. He voted against those taxes with his yacht. Others are voting with their dollars and their feet, moving out of high tax states like Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, for lower or no income tax southern, western or foreign alternatives. It is naive in the extreme to think that businesses have not and will not continue to do likewise.

    Instead of dreaming up new ways to soak the rich and stifle true economic progress, Jez, you should start to consider an ominous question: “But what if more of them start to leave?” After the golden goose has flown away (or been slaughtered) who is going to pay for all your unemployment extensions, health care, and other beloved entitlements? (For a meditation on this: http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2010/04/12/what_do_we_do_if_the_rich_start_to_leave_98414.html )

    One final note: It is true that an American worker cannot match what a Chinese worker can do profitably for a seemingly insignificant wage (by American standards). It is also true, however, that a Chinese worker cannot match what an American worker can do profitably for a seemingly extravagant wage (by Chinese standards). What does this mean? To paraphrase the classic liberal trade principle: American and Chinese workers should do what they do best and we should trade for the rest, to the benefit of all parities, including consumers who can then afford to purchase quality, low cost goods (everything from cell phones and computers to furniture and cars).

    Contrary to the “Progressive” understanding of economics, free trade is not a zero sum game. Pro-Growth Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), chairman and founder of the Congressional Pro-Trade caucus, understands “that the advancement of new trade policies will expand opportunities for American businesses, workers and farmers.” (see: http://cuellar.house.gov/Issues/Issue/?IssueID=3829 ).

    Here is a concrete example of how, courtesy of classical liberal-leaning Republican Rick Torres: “Successful people are the engines of economic growth; government is not. Consider Bill Gates. Bill Gates is one of the world’s richest men, a point for which he has been lambasted by socialists the world over. Yet he has 90,000 people employed today at Microsoft. He has employed over 1,000,000 people over the last 30 years. And there are estimates that over 7,000,000 jobs are directly associated with the Microsoft company. Is Bill Gates the enemy?”

    Those jobs and Gates’ wealth were created out of thin air — a true capitalist miracle. What is an example of a socialist miracle? Perhaps how President Obama’s administration “rescued” a failed auto company, GM, with upwards of 50 billion taxpayer dollars in order to have that now-government run entity produce an overpriced, insufficiently “green” (in their own words) car, the $40,000+ Chevy Volt, which only “young, very high income individuals” will want or be able to afford. Arise, ye Yup’pies of affectation!

  16. 16 jezebel282

    Portia,

    You say “liberal” and “progressive” like it’s a bad thing.

    Your characterization are a bit one sided. While you espouse free trade, you do not mention millions of jobs shipped out of this country to a place like China where it’s currency is carefully manipulated.

    Some of your heroes are a bit tarnished as well. “Is Bill Gates the enemy?” He is if you are Netscape or the dozens of other companies crushed by Microsoft’s use of unfair trade practices.

    “Perhaps how President Obama’s administration “rescued” a failed auto company, GM, with upwards of 50 billion taxpayer dollars in order to have that now-government run entity”

    What? No mention of nearly $800 billion in bailouts for Bank of America, Chase, Goldman Sachs, AIG…..? And what did we get in turn? Jobs, Cars? Homes?

    “Jez, you should start to consider an ominous question: “But what if more of them start to leave?”

    Leave? You mean like putting 12 people in Switzerland and avoiding billions in taxes? How will we tell the difference if they leave? Or are you saying it’s getting harder to make an honest living if you’re rich nowadays. I know 17 million unemployed people that can tell you all about.

    As my favorite character, Tevye, said. “It’s no sin to be poor. But it’s no great honor either.”

  17. 17 portia1776

    Jez,

    I defy you to find where I said to be a “liberal” is a bad thing. On the contrary, I am an heir to the great liberal tradition of our Founders, David Ricardo, Abraham Lincoln, Fredrick Douglas and fellow Radical Republican abolitionists, Mark Twain, and Milton Friedman.

    The confusion lies in your conflation of those terms. Candidate Hillary Clinton, in one of the presidential debates, actually provided a decent gloss on the difference between the two: a liberal is someone who stands for individual rights and limited government while “Progressives” are for “collective rights” and unlimited government. The illiberalism of the latter view was made clear when Hillary, speaking to a group of wealthy Democrats, said: “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

    To make the distinction more concrete, here is an excellent summation of liberalism from an appreciation of Twain’s politics: “To be liberal was to favor free enterprise and property rights, oppose slavery, reject old-world caste systems, loathe war, be generally disposed toward free trade and cosmopolitanism, favor the social advance of women, favor technological progress — and to possess a grave skepticism toward government management of anything.”

    That is a taste of liberalism’s intellectual and moral heritage. “Progressivism,” by comparison, has represented the polar opposites of those positions, including: eugenics, state-institutionalized racism, imperialism, protectionism, jingoism, Ludditism, as well as economic and social Lysenkoism (for a typical example, look-up Fr. Charles Coughlin, the faith-based “Progressive” leader and founder of the National Union for Social Justice).

    “Your characterization are a bit one sided. While you espouse free trade, you do not mention millions of jobs shipped out of this country to a place like China where it’s currency is carefully manipulated.”

    Right, you provided one side (the seen) and I provided the other side (the unseen), in an effort to make the blog more “fair and balanced.”

    Outsourcing is to our benefit, as it allows Americans to use their resources more effectively. Outsourcing jobs frees up capital and labor in America for more profitable enterprises, including the creation of new wealth. This type of creative destruction is certainly traumatic for the person put out of work, as it was for the Luddites, who appealed to their government to outlaw the newfangled sewing machines that were costing them jobs. But such transitions are necessary for progress. And jobs aren’t stagnant in a robust, free economy. The Luddities found new work. When Americans switched from typewriters to computers, the myriad workers displaced did likewise (see Comrade Karl below for clarification).

    Notice that I wrote this occurs “in a robust, free economy,” something which we haven’t had for a long while. Given our double-digit real unemployment and even higher underemployment rates, maybe it’s time to start asking the presumptuous masters of the universe in the White House and Congress why they can’t match the results we used to get from an invisible appendage?

    Or, we could ask for more targeted stimulus. For example, if Americans were forced to abandon our cars and went back to horse-drawn buggies, the government could create millions of new “green jobs”!

    Why should we complain that China is purchasing our national debt and, through currency undervaluation, subsidizing our buying? Instead of President Obama slapping a 35% tariff on Chinese made tires and attacking them for making their people poorer at our expense, perhaps a “thank you” would be nice. (For background: http://cafehayek.com/2010/02/8475.html ).

    “Some of your heroes are a bit tarnished as well. “Is Bill Gates the enemy?” He is if you are Netscape or the dozens of other companies crushed by Microsoft’s use of unfair trade practices.”

    Bill Gates is an example, not a personal hero. And that criticism does not abrogate the majesty of what he achieved and the millions of people who have directly and indirectly benefited from Microsoft. Even his competitors and critics owe their existence, in part, to Bill Gates’ creation.

    Would you have preferred Steve Jobs? How about John Mackey, the classical liberal who turned a small, flooded natural food store into Whole Foods — and created billions in wealth and hundreds of thousands of jobs in America and around the world in the process?

    “What? No mention of nearly $800 billion in bailouts for Bank of America, Chase, Goldman Sachs, AIG…..? And what did we get in turn? Jobs, Cars? Homes?”

    Well, now that you mention it, those were all unconstitutional, immoral, and incredibly stupid policies, too. It would seem that expanding the scope and power of the national government at the expense of individual and economic liberty has bipartisan support. President George W. Bush famously stated that he “abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system,” (i.e., he had no principles to begin with). Not wanting to be outdone, President Barack Obama’s most well known comment on economics is: “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” Call that what you will, but free-market capitalist it is not.

    (While seldom recalled, Karl Marx should be given credit for his prescient comments on capitalism and globalization. While presuming himself to have discovered the utopian endpoint of history, he admired the ability of the free-market to internationalize trade, foster global interdependence, and remove barriers between peoples as a necessary prerequisite to socialism and then communism. As he and Engels wrote in the Communist Manifesto (warning: this is not in the least politically correct or morally relativist):

    “To the great chagrin of Reactionists [et tu, Jez?], it [capitalism] has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature.

    The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians’ intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image”).

    “Leave? You mean like putting 12 people in Switzerland and avoiding billions in taxes? How will we tell the difference if they leave? Or are you saying it’s getting harder to make an honest living if you’re rich nowadays. I know 17 million unemployed people that can tell you all about.”

    1.) I accept your concession that as the tax rates increases, the wealthy are best able to afford evading their tax burden (presumably some well paid accountant or lawyer advised Kerry about the yacht). The rest of us are not so lucky. Be careful, though. This concession is half-way to admitting the reverse.

    How will we tell? Easy. When those nice people who pay over 70% of the national income tax and 2/3rds of the CT income tax are either made poor or leave. More bluntly: When there is no one left to pay the entitlement bar tab our politicians keep running-up.

    2.) Yes, and, as a result, we all face diminished opportunities to become rich ourselves. Everyone suffers when capitalists are on strike. Show solidarity and demand politicians return us to an unfettered free-market! Show your patriotism by buying the best product at the cheapest price! (See: http://reason.com/blog/2009/07/24/recently-at-reasontv-is-your-i ).

    Tevye’s on my side… he wants to be a rich man!

  18. 18 portia1776

    Getting back to the Parade to November in CT, Republican AG candidate Martha Dean, Esq., has included in her platform a helpful list of the economic inanities our State government has produced:

    “…State government’s practice of choosing winners and losers among businesses… is not the proper role of government. Examples of this unseemly practice in Connecticut are almost too numerous to mention:

    * taxi cabs/liveries – the state chooses who can enter the market and severely restricts entry – all to the detriment of entrepreneurial inner city residents who are prevented from starting their own profitable jitney cab routes to grocery stores that they and their neighbors frequent
    * casinos – only the state itself and Indians can profit from gambling operations in Connecticut
    * bus systems – the State chooses who gets a license to service what routes, leaving most of the State dependent on cars
    * convenience stores – they can’t sell beer but grocery stores can
    * liquor stores – they cannot sell their products on Sundays while virtually all other lawful businesses can
    * polluted properties – the Connecticut Transfer Act picks winners and losers at the whim of the legislature among those who own contaminated properties – some owners can sell easily while others find there is no market for many properties once they are subject to the Transfer Act
    * electricity – the State carves Connecticut in half and grants a monopoly of electricity provision in each area — preventing competitors from lowering the price and improving service
    * telecommunications – the state chooses those companies that are allowed a franchise monopoly while forcing competitors out of the market, all to the detriment of consumers who want better service and lower prices
    * hospitals – the state decides which hospitals are allowed to do which procedures, denying hospitals in remote locations the ability to do specific surgeries simply because other hospitals much further away provide the same services
    * tobacco litigation – the state sanctioned a government-created monopoly, allowing the select few tobacco companies who were sued to actually collude and fix prices at an artificially high price – thus forcing other tobacco companies that were not sued out of the market – all in the name of ‘generating state revenue’ – through what some leading scholars believe was government extortion of a settlement (http://marthadeanforattorneygeneral.com/platform.php).”

  19. 19 jezebel282

    Portia,

    Whew, this one sounded a lot like a manifesto. Something along the lines of the Free Market and Greed Testament with Gordon Gekko as the Messiah.

    “Outsourcing is to our benefit”
    Portia, honest to goodness? Really? I thought it benefited shareholders. But you claim it benefits unemployed Americans? It is one thing to be obsoleted by new technologies and efficiencies, but another thing to be replaced by someone in another part of the world willing to work for a fraction of the pay. In most places that is simply called “exploitation”.
    Prior to the internet and vast communication networks, companies could not physically remove their production and operations to facilities around the world. Now it is easy to find someplace where the labor is cheap, the pollution regulations are nonexistent and workers have no rights. Is this progress or simply a way to exploit a new resource? Does it make a company more efficient, their products better, lead to innovation or develop new technologies or simply increase profit margin?

    I feel at the end of our discussions we will come to the conclusion that we will always disagree. I do not believe we are a country of Gordon Gekkos. I still believe we are a country of hard working people with consciences that have a real concern for the weakest among us.

  20. 20 sudds

    God I hope Portia1776 is a woman… because she’s getting me “excited”!!!

    Look out PCS… you may have some competition here!!! 😉

  21. 21 jezebel282

    “because she’s getting me “excited”!!!”

    Figures.

  22. 22 1george1

    Portia,
    You appear to be very, very well versed in economics, poli-sci, history,
    philosophy, and an excellent writer.

    I can agree on many items and levels, and disagree on others and some
    of the priorities of examples used:
    Alcohol / Tobacco Sales for one set.

    ATF & E, DEA, and more are part of the US TREASURY.
    Used illogically, the logical result are premature deaths and suffering
    of millions, including ingrediants which create dependency.

    The post Eisenhower age appears to have reverse economics,

    Mercifully moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/the-dark-side/#comment-13245

  23. 23 mikereynolds

    Just out of curiosity George, how long did it take you to type all that?

  24. 24 ronmoreau

    George,

    I really tried to get through this one.

    Had to quit when my head hit the keyboard.

    OUCH!

    LOL

  25. 25 sudds

    “George, I really tried to get through this one.”

    You’re a better man than me… I stopped after:

    “Portia,
    You appear to be very, very well versed in economics, poli-sci, history,
    philosophy, and an excellent writer.

    I can agree on many items and levels, and disagree on others and some
    of the priorities of examples used:
    Alcohol / Tobacco Sales for one set.”

    At this point I KNEW that the wheels had come off the bus!!!

  26. 26 portia1776

    Sudds… don’t get too “excited.” George W. Bush-style compassionate conservatism (“Progressivism”-lite) is revolting, not arousing. Too many Republicans are no better friends of liberty than their “Progressive” Democratic counterparts.

    George, I hope it will suffice to say thank you and that I am honored by your praise.

    Jez, I think we have reached the point of diminishing returns. These criticisms of free trade were definitively answered decades, even centuries, ago. President Obama is not wrong to talk about a consensus among economists; he has just misattributed what side he is on in relation to it.

    Guy Sorman, writing in City Journal, provides a list of positive propositions that “Almost all top economists—those who are recognized as such by their peers and who publish in the leading scientific journals—would endorse them (the exceptions are those like Joseph Stiglitz and Jeffrey Sachs, whose public pronouncements are more political than scientific).” Point No. 2 addresses most of your gripes:

    “Free trade helps economic development. As Smith observed when his native Scotland began to benefit from free trade, it is through access to the world market that poor nations become rich. They never do so by trying to become self-sufficient. Free trade also makes rich countries richer, economists agree. By importing less expensive goods made in low-wage nations like China, wealthy nations effectively increase their own citizens’ income—and the main beneficiaries are poor and middle-class people, who can buy cheaper clothes, electronics, and myriad other goods. In addition, importing cheaper components—computer chips, say—lowers the cost of equipment in wealthier economies. In fact, economists have long understood the law of comparative advantage: whenever differences in the cost of producing goods exist between two countries, both will benefit from free trade, a mechanism that allocates their resources most effectively.

    Free trade not only generates the greatest possible growth; it tends to distribute it widely, both within nations and among them. For evidence, consider the emergence of vast middle classes in all free-market societies, as well as the economic convergence among nations that have embraced capitalist economics. After less than 20 years of market-driven growth, Brazil, China, and India—whatever their injustices—are closer to the Western level of development than they were before that growth got under way… (http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_3_economics.html).”

    At that, I think I will still the keyboard for the moment, seeing the futility of citing reason against emotion. We both care about the weakest among us, but I recognize, in Milton Friedman’s phrase, that “in the only cases in which the masses have escaped the kind of grinding poverty you’re [Phil Donahue] talking about, the only cases in recorded history, is where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it is exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that… the record of history is absolutely crystal clear.” If you really want to help, support freedom not its reactionary enemies. You can start by signing this petition against “‘Green’ Protectionism”: http://www.freedomtotrade.org/

    Gordon Gekko, a sad personification of “Progressive” economic ignorance, is no capitalist messiah — although many Wall Streeters did take him as one, to their shame. Gekko was a pirate, not a capitalist exemplar. He created no wealth and thought, like “Progressives,” that wealth creation is a zero-sum game. His ode to greed is memorable, but betrays no real understanding of the free-market.

    Friedman, by comparison, in this Donahue interview, articulates the true, the good, and the beautiful in individuals being free to pursue their own economic self-interest (call it greed if you must!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV_A

    Contrary to your assertion, Jez, we have been been benefiting from free trade with foreigners and outsourcing jobs abroad since before the beginning of the Republic. The pencil you used as a kid was a product of international cooperation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6vjrzUplWU

    The iPod similarly contains ingredients from more than 30 countries (Sudds, I know you’ll be watching just for a glimpse of Reason Mag’s “bikini bandits”): http://reason.com/blog/2009/07/24/recently-at-reasontv-is-your-i

    “…to be replaced by someone in another part of the world willing to work for a fraction of the pay. In most places that is simply called ‘exploitation.'”

    Actually, I think it’s called a job. Slavery is explotative. There is a big difference: “Frederick Douglass, in his autobiography My Bondage and My Freedom, recalled the ‘rapturous excitement’ of his first paying job: ‘I was now my own master—a tremendous fact.’ As the historian Eric Foner has put it, ‘To Douglass, the wage represented not a mark of oppression but a symbol of a fair exchange, reflecting the fact that for the first time in his life he enjoyed the fruits of his labor (http://reason.com/archives/2009/02/23/restoring-the-privileges-or-im_).'”

    But doesn’t government interference in the economy and labor unions protect American jobs from foreigners? Shouldn’t we “Buy American. The Job You Save May Be Your Own?” Actually, and again, no. According to economist Robert Sexton: “A common myth is that it’s better for Americans to spend their money at home than abroad. The best way to expose the fallacy in this argument is to take it to its logical extreme. If it’s better for me to spend my money here than abroad, then it’s even better to buy in Texas than in New York, better yet to buy in Dallas than in Houston… in my own neighborhood…within my own family…to consume only what I can produce. Alone and poor.”

    For Friedman’s response, in regard to the steel industry, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0pl_FXt0eM

    Some final thoughts:

    “The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.”
    — Thomas Jefferson

    “A wise and frugal government… shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”
    — Thomas Jefferson

    “”…a spectator who knew nothing of the world, and who was put into it merely to make his ovservations… could not suppose that the hordes of miserable poor with which old countries abound could be any other than those who had not yet had time to provide for themselves. Little would he think they were the consequence of what in such countries is called government.

    …we still find [in the improved but “more wretched parts of the old world”] the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping at the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretenses for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without a tribute.”
    — Thomas Paine

    “A society that puts equality—in the sense of equality of outcome—ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom…. On the other hand, a society that puts freedom first will, as a happy by-product, end up with both greater freedom and greater equality. Though a by-product of freedom, greater equality is not an accident. A free society releases the energies and abilities of people to pursue their own objectives… It preserves the opportunity for today’s disadvantaged to become tomorrow’s privileged and, in the process, enables almost everyone, from top to bottom, to enjoy a fuller and richer life.”
    — Milton and Rose Friedman

    “Unfortunately, there is one thing that stands between me and that property: the rightful owners.”
    –Jez? No, Hedley Lamarr, State Attorney General, Blazing Saddles.

  27. 27 1george1

    Mike – likely 35 minutes
    Ron – Aspirin?
    Jeze – from portia:

    PORTIA:
    liberal tradition of our Founders, David Ricardo, Abraham Lincoln,
    Fredrick Douglas and fellow Radical Republican abolitionists,
    Mark Twain, and Milton Friedman.

    GEORGE from INTERNET to counterpoint PORTIA’S REFERENCES:
    Moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/the-dark-side/#comment-13254

  28. 28 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “Unfortunately, there is one thing that stands between me and that property: the rightful owners.”
    –Jez? No, Hedley Lamarr, State Attorney General, Blazing Saddles.”

    Hmm..you may be wrong on this one. That sounds like a perfect description of Bill Finch and the City of Bridgeport trying to steal more land from Stratford.

    But let me take a moment and clarify. I am all in favor of capitalism, profit and free trade. I have spent many decades as a successful practitioner. I am not in favor of ideas that masquerade as free trade, capitalism and profit.

    Free trade is not exploiting cheap labor at (really) not much more than slave wages, child labor, dangerous conditions and lax or no regulation. A bowl of rice is still a bowl of rice whether or not it is “paid” for in wages or given by the master. There is no amount of acrobatic justifications for that.

    You are entitled to a profit if you add value to something. Oil is useless unless it is brought to the surface. Computers are just electronics soldered together unless you have software. Medicine is just a mixture of chemicals unless you are diagnosed and treated. That being said, the collapse of our economy is mainly due to placing value on items that had no value. This was done purposely and willfully in order to extract profit from thin air.

    Capitalism has taken a vacation in this country. There is no investment in actual companies, no risk taking with entrepreneurs, no spending on hiring not even lending. It is not due to unholy taxes on capital gains nor either political party. It is simply the belief that more money can be made by trading paper than goods.

    Trickle down economics and laissez faire policies have failed regularly and often. How many times do we have to be reminded? Banks require regulation (gambling with depositors money is not a good thing) as does Wall Street. Self regulation is just silly. You can’t play the game without referees and umpires. Just as the Yankees shouldn’t hire their own umpires (except when they play the Red Sox), the banks can’t hire their own regulators.

    I am all for making money. I am for it even more when it is actually earned.

  29. 29 portia1776

    Scratch that line about diminishing returns… this latest response, Jez, shows some real progress.

    “I am all in favor of capitalism, profit and free trade. I have spent many decades as a successful practitioner. I am not in favor of ideas that masquerade as free trade, capitalism and profit.”

    Glad to hear it… you had me worried! Some of the rest of this post is still worrisome. You’re actually sounding like Ralph Nader, who couldn’t be more right when talking about how America has abandoned free-market capitalism in favor of “corporate socialism.” Unfortunately, like Nader, you couldn’t be more wrong in how to fix that, i.e., more government interference in the economy. (I fully support the other part of Nader’s solution, which is to pursue more lawsuits against corrupt, polluting, and incompetent businesses and government I know George is a Nader fan, too).

    “Free trade is not exploiting cheap labor at (really) not much more than slave wages, child labor, dangerous conditions and lax or no regulation. A bowl of rice is still a bowl of rice whether or not it is “paid” for in wages or given by the master. There is no amount of acrobatic justifications for that.”

    When workers are free to *choose* where they are employed and negotiate their own terms of employment, no exploitation is involved. You are focusing on pay and conditions as if the standard of living in a 2nd or 3rd world country is the same as America in 2010. But they are not, and, in fact, our own standard of living did not start out anywhere near this good.

    Generations of Americans had to work and live in what we would consider appalling conditions. Yet, millions came to our shores just for the opportunity to work in sweatshops. How could that have been? Why would people risk their lives on a long journey to a foreign land just to subject themselves to unbearable hardships, grueling hours, and dangerous work, or what you termed “exploitation”?

    The answer is to be found in the dreams-made-real of Andrew, a poor boy from Scotland. He got his start as a child laborer, earning a $1.20 a week in a cotton factory, and died a pauper – having freely given away his entire fortune, $6.7 billion in today’s currency, to help people help themselves. Over 2,800 libraries attest to the greatness of Andrew (Carnegie) and the majesty of the mostly laissez-faire American domestic economy in which he was free to pursue his own happiness and, in turn, benefit millions of Americans to this day.

    In the words of Professor Robert Whaples: “Carnegie stood for a meritocracy in which, with integrity, thrift, self-reliance, optimism and hard work, any man and his family could ascend the economic ladder.” And Carnegie was not an anomaly. Millions of immigrants, refugees from Old World grinding poverty and persecution, did exactly that, making the globally unprecedented transition in one or two generations from poverty, sweatshops, and cold water flats (tenements) to the middle and upper classes, air-conditioned offices, the suburbs, and “deluxe apartments in the sky.” Contrary to myth, this progression was secured with freedom not government labor, environmental, financial, consumer protection, zoning or other regulations (there were essentially none) or government subsides, welfare, food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, Obamacare, etc… (none of which existed).

    Could this happen again in America? The answer is increasingly “no” – preciously because of all the government interference that has intruded upon and shackled the free-market. The odds are stacked against the individual, especially the small or medium-sized businesses owner, by unlimited government and its massive corporate colluders.

    I’ll leave you with two questions to contemplate: Is it “exploitation” for a business to offer a Chinese village dweller an alternative to subsistence living? Without giving the Chinese village dweller the opportunity to climb the socioeconomic ladder (by, in effect, kicking her off the lowest rung), how do you expect China to ever achieve our living standards?

    Personally, I’m proud to live in a country where homeless people in Venice Beach California can afford RVs: http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/city-news/venice-rv-fox-video/

    For a truer perspective, plug-in your salary to know where you stand on the global rich list: http://www.globalrichlist.com/

    “You are entitled to a profit if you add value to something.”

    Exactly! Consumers, and only consumers, are the ones who decide value. It is not “exploitative,” for example, to sell someone a pet rock. There is, however, the trader principle, whereby value should be traded for value, to the benefit of buyer and seller. This led a present day free-market capitalist hero, John A. Allison’s company, BB&T (Branch Banking and Trust Company), to refuse to make loans to companies that obtained property for commercial development through eminent domain (public-private partnership in theft) or to offer “‘pick a payment’ mortgages that got so many of its competitors into trouble. Such loans, also known as ‘option A.R.M.’s’ or ‘negative amortization loans,’ allow borrowers to make payments that don’t even cover the interest on the loans, which causes the amount they owe to grow.

    ‘While we did not foresee the decline in the real estate market, we knew home prices would not continue to appreciate at 15 percent per year forever,” he says, adding that his bank knew that pick-a-payment loans would be trouble for many homeowners (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/business/02bbt.html?pagewanted=all ).’”

    “Capitalism has taken a vacation in this country. There is no investment in actual companies, no risk taking with entrepreneurs, no spending on hiring not even lending. It is not due to unholy taxes on capital gains nor either political party. It is simply the belief that more money can be made by trading paper than goods.”

    Now you’re starting to get it. Indeed, taxes are only one part of the problem. And, right, it’s not “either political party” but both of them, specifically the “Progressives” within each. From this non-partisan standpoint, one can see how President Clinton’s pro-growth policies (deregulation, modest taxation, free-trade agreements, reductions in entitlements) were vastly preferable to President Bush’s unlimited government policies (massive new regulations (Sarbanes–Oxley), a whole new government agency (Homeland Security), anti-free trade steel tariffs and agricultural subsidies, and a massive new health care entitlement (For a fuller comparison: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8137 ).

    The economic policies of Presidents Bush and Obama as well as Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are solely predicated on making money by “trading paper [rather] than goods.” Whatever you wish to call those policies — corporate socialist, crony capitalist, neo-Keynesian — they can be profitably reduced to one line (courtesy of CATO economist Daniel Mitchell): “taking money out of the economy’s left pocket and putting it in the economy’s right pocket doesn’t magically increase prosperity.”

    In the words of economist Russell Roberts, “I want my country back!” I have provided an excerpt from his Congressional testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, delivered on October 28, 2009, below, but first let me address your last paragraph.

    “Trickle down economics and laissez faire policies have failed regularly and often.”

    Laissez faire is the single best economic system known to us and has produced (as noted above) the greatest results for the largest number of people, especially the weakest among us, in all of human history. The market, like life in general, can be unfair. But free-market capitalism stands tall against feudalism, mercantilism, and socialism, as it provides for the remediation of its own inequalities, injustices, and hardships.

    As for “trickle down,” your complaint should rest solely with President Obama and the “Progressives” in Congress. By bailing out wealthy failed executives (brother, can you spare a few billion?), they say, we’re all supposed to benefit. How is that working out? The rich losers stay rich or get richer, government gets more powerful, and we get poorer, in wealth, freedom, and opportunity.

    “How many times do we have to be reminded? Banks require regulation (gambling with depositors money is not a good thing) as does Wall Street. Self regulation is just silly. You can’t play the game without referees and umpires. Just as the Yankees shouldn’t hire their own umpires (except when they play the Red Sox), the banks can’t hire their own regulators.”

    You’re sounding like Chief Justice Roberts. Regulations are a necessary evil, usually more evil than necessary. When considering the efficacy of regulations, it is always imperative to presume guilt. Regardless of its intended consequences, the unknowable unintended consequences and the known limit the new rule will place on individual liberty are often reasons enough to prefer freedom to whatever “security” it may offer.

    Banks gamble with money because, with government depositors insurance (FDIC), they have no reason not to. If they make a bad bet, the taxpayers are always there to bail them out. In a free-market, depositors would be a check and balance to ensure bank accountability. Empowered consumers would demand that their bank makes available its financial records and maintains good solvency marks from third party ratings agencies.

    Self-regulation, or what Immanuel Kant called the categorical imperative, is how most things work. To my knowledge, there is no law on the books banning cannibalism (provided it stops short of murder), yet cannibalism is still non-existent in this country. If self-regulation was truly silly, we would need a body of laws requiring that which was not explicitly permitted to be prohibited. Our legal system is mercifully just the opposite.

    I think what you really meant was what James Madison believed: “All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.” This skepticism of human nature led the Founders to design a system in which “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” We have forgotten and are destroying what they knew so well: self-interest competition is the single best way to prevent political and financial abuses.

    Now, without further delay, economist Russell Roberts’s testimony
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCGHPNK-HIU&feature=related):

    “Americans are angry about executive compensation.

    Rightfully so.

    The executives at General Motors and Chrysler don’t deserve to make a lot of money. They made bad products that people didn’t want to buy.

    The executives on Wall Street don’t deserve to make a lot of money. They were reckless. They borrowed huge sums to make bets that didn’t pay off. And they wasted trillions of dollars of precious capital, funneling it into housing instead of health innovation or high mileage cars or a thousand investments more productive than more and bigger houses.

    Everyday folks who are out of work through no fault of their own want to know why people who made bad decisions not only have a job but a big salary to go with it.
    No wonder they’re angry at Wall Street.But if we keep getting angry at Wall Street, we’ll miss the real source of the problem. It’s right here. In Washington.

    We are what we do. Not what we wish to be. Not what we say we are. But what we do. And what we do here in Washington is rescue big companies and rich people from the consequences of their mistakes. When mistakes don’t cost you anything, you do more of them.

    When your teenager drives drunk and wrecks the car, and you keep give him a do-over—repairing the car and handing him back the keys—he’s going to keep driving drunk. Washington keeps giving bad banks and Wall Street firms a do-over. Here are the keys. Keep driving. The story always ends with a crash.

    Capitalism is a profit and loss system. The profits encourage risk-taking. The losses encourage prudence. Is it a surprise that when the government takes the losses, instead of the investors, that investing gets less prudent? If you always bail out lenders, is it surprising that firms can borrow enormous amounts of money living on the edge of insolvency?

    I’m mad at Wall Street. But I’m a lot madder at the people who gave them the keys to drive our economy off a cliff. I’m mad at the people who have taken hundreds of billions of taxpayer money and given it to some of the richest people in human history.

    I’m mad at President Bush and President Obama and Secretary Paulson and Secretary Geithner and Chairman Bernanake. And I’m mad at Congress. You helped risk-takers continue to expect that the rules that apply to the rest of us don’t apply to people with the right connections.

    You have saved the system, but it’s not a system worth saving. It’s not capitalism but crony capitalism.

    F. A. Hayek, the Nobel Laureate economist, said: “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

    Let’s get the government out of the auto business, out of the banking business and out of the compensation design business. We need explicit timetables to disengage from government ownership including a plan for how the Federal Reserve will draw down its balance sheet. Most of all, we need to stop trying to imagine we can design housing markets and mortgage markets and financial markets and compensation.

    I want my country back.

    I want a country where responsibility still means something. Where rich and poor, Main Street and Wall Street live by the same rules… We just need to take the crony out of crony capitalism so we can get back to the real thing.”

  30. 30 mayor2013

    Portial,
    Are you related to George?

  31. 31 mayor2013

    All of this worldly conversation is great – but once in a while let’s bring it home – that is the discussion that interests me the most. What is happening in Stratford or rather what is not happening with this present administration.

  32. 32 jezebel282

    2013,

    “What is happening in Stratford or rather what is not happening with this present administration.”

    Not to worry. I am working on that. We were just having a little “fun” in the meantime.

  33. 33 sudds

    Mayor(LOL)2013…

    “that is the discussion that interests me the most. What is happening in Stratford or rather what is not happening with this present administration.”

    And what exactly are my fellow citizens (i.e. YOU) doing to make our town a better place??? (Other than masterba***** at the thought of being mayor)

  34. 34 jezebel282

    Sudds!

    Not everyone has the same reaction as you, you know.

  35. 35 sudds

    LOL… good one Jez!

    But seriously… this person claims that in 27 months he/she is going to be elected mayor… yet, he/she doesn’t do anything other than post an occasional “holier than thou” message.

    This town has gone from (a) too much stupid activity to (b) no activity… how about if we elect someone with a proven record (paging Mr. Forrester) of getting good things done in the proper way???

  36. 36 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “he/she doesn’t do anything other than post an occasional “holier than thou” message.”

    And therein lies the problem. What can be done? Under this inane charter giving us a “strong” mayor there are not that many legal actions that can be taken. The Council is limited to the occasional ordinance and budgets. The last budget passed with little more than “trust me” from Harkins.

    This mayor doesn’t even want to be mayor (he’s really got to stop telling people that). You are correct. We went from a sociopath who almost ran out of things to destroy to Mr. Nice Guy who doesn’t want to rock anyone’s boat even if it is full of gaping holes and sinking fast. Adam Bauer may well have the toughest job in town trying to make it look like Harkins is doing something.

  37. 37 1george1

    I agree with most of Portia’s post from a very quick reading.

    Nader and Marx ask(ed) the right questions and have a few good
    solutions, but I do not agree with many of their Economic ideas.

    When I met Nader in Waterbury Library last year, I specifically brought
    up Andrew Carnegie and his contribution to the USA Library system as
    my introductory point.
    – Nader proceeded to nail Carnegie for his Capitalistic abuses and then
    turned to the philanthropic aspects, from the life work.
    – Nader was promoting his book “Only the super rich cab save us.”
    The book has many interesting points, however Nader lost me as an
    answer when he was hobnobing with most of the beneficiaries of a
    rigged system – to which Portia refers.

    Portia nailed Bush(s) + Obama for many reasons I agree with as posted.

    All one has to do is a little internet investigation to find that at the
    National and International level most of the insides, just like Stratford,
    move in and out of government office and actively work with BOTH
    parties … ie the is ONE MAJOR PARTY doing controlling.

    Jeze, Sudds, Chris, Portia, myself and a couple others go back and forth
    on a few national issues like Health Care, Unemployment, Pensions, and
    other things rocking the USA.

    Some others want to keep heads in the sand and blog only about Stratford
    issues as if the universe revolved around Stratford (to a degree it does for
    some people AND that is the TITLE of this BLOG)

    HOWEVER what/who are the causes and likely solutions to Stratford problems?

    1 – AVCO = U. S. ARMY / Executive / Congress controls

    2 – SIKORSKY = U. S. ARMY / Executive / Congress controls

    3 – Stratford Economic Development = FEDS + STATE control MANDATES
    GRANTS and can INFLUENCE / FUND Business

    4 – Stratford Economic BUDGETS = FEDS + STATE control MANDATES
    GRANTS (28 % of the BUDGET REVENUE) and INFLUENCE / FUND Business

    5 – SHAKESPEARE = STATE of CT hugely involved = FEDS + STATE control
    GRANTS and can INFLUENCE / FUND Business

    6 – RAYMARK remediation = Healthy and Property values = FEDS + STATE
    control EPA + DEP + DOT

    7 – AIRPORT = FEDS + STATE control FAA + EPA + DEP + DOT

    8 – RTC + DTC = FEDS + STATE control NATIONAL + STATE Parties and three
    Branches of government, and can influence local power through many open
    and invisible means of support.

    To want to discuss Stratford problems and potential solutions, how can
    any intelligent person ignore mechanisms/persons which overwhelmingly
    influence and control Stratford Politics and Economics.

    DEBATE?
    What happens if STATE pulls all EDUCATION GRANTS or 25 % of their BUDGET?
    What happens if FEDS + STATE pull all GRANTS or 16 – 18 % of TOWN BUDGET?
    What happens if FEDS / ARMY close SIKORSKY – the MAJOR Tax Payer?
    What happens if FEDS / ARMY keep AVCO closed past 2nd MAJOR Tax Payer?

  38. 38 sudds

    Jez,

    I believe that having a “strong” mayor can be a VERY good thing… IF (and only IF… paging Mr. Forrester) we have a GOOD mayor!!!

    PS… God I hope mayor 2013 is NOT Mr. Forrester!!!

  39. 39 1george1

    Sudds,

    I believe GAVIN is the CFO of a SPECIALTY INSURANCE COMPANY.
    I suspect the Mayor Salary would be a pay cut?

    I suspect the AVCO + SHAKESPEAR + ECONOMIC Development that
    should happen by 2012 and beyond will substancially help GAVIN’S
    Company into the following decade, since there is SOOOOOOOOO
    much property in Bridgeport + stratford which would have specialty
    insurance needs.

    GAVIN does have a HUGE + HEALTHY EGO (me too)
    Being Mayor would be the crown in GAVIN’S PUBLIC SERVICE.
    GAVIN has superior INTELLECT and PUBLIC SERVICE RESUME.
    GAVIN has done many things for the RIGHT REASONS.

    GAVIN has also maintained silence on many issues, I believe against
    the best SHORT TERM and LONG TERM INTEREST of STRATFORD.’
    GAVIN is neck deep in the TOWN CHARTER REVISIONS (Blog name)

    If GAVIN and I ran, GAVIN would be severely damaged in DEBATES.
    (I got 80 votes last time, and would get more, but not close – I am
    also on the lunatic fringe of town issues, to main stream people.)

    However GAVIN posts under his own NAME.

    GAVIN’S writing style and Mayor 2013 – do not match.

    Ben Branyan, Ben Barnes, Mike Feeney, Mark Barnhart have the skills
    for CFO or COO, which could translate into mayor.
    Each is politically malleable.
    If Feeney or Barnhart or Branyan ran for Mayor
    – I could severely damage them in DEBATES.

    If Norm Aldrich or Rich Burturla ran for Mayor
    – I could severely damage them in DEBATES.

    Malloy already destroyed any potential Mayoral future with 9.75% Mil
    Rate Increase. He is a very successful business man and Mayor=paycut!

    Actions of the Town Council in Calzone’s Term, eliminate him.

    Neither Laura nor Paul Hoydic (nice guy) would survive scrutiny of their
    ivolvement in Town Charter, Town Politics, Town Economics.

    None of the Attorneys in Town, deserve a free pass at Mayor.
    ALL have FAILED as OFFICERS of the COURT, to PROTECT INTERESTS of
    “WE THE PEOPLE” without exception!

    I am relatively sure Harkins successor has been selected by both parties.

    John Harkin is a gentle man, who should not be in politics.
    Unfortunately, he makes for a very good front, due to his qualities!

    Maybe our NEXT MAYOR is JOE GANIM?
    Bridgeport has the AIRPORT, extra ACRE, support from DODD + FAA
    Bridgeport has channel 79 on the the week end
    Bridgeport has messed up AVCO BID since 1998 preferred vender.
    Stratford Town Hall is already an annex of Golden Hill Street.

  40. 40 1george1

    Bill Cabrol or Lou DeCilio might be potential Mayoral Candidates.

    At one time Lou asked the right questions, for the right reasons,
    and had many good positions. Now I refer to him as Darth.

    I really like and respect Carol Cabrol. On the other hand is Bill.
    I separate them as people and Bill’s political acts for personal life,
    which he is amiable, like Florek, Bishop, or Kelly, whom I have some
    poiitical differences.

    I can not see Miller or Backer as candidates for Mayor.

  41. 41 sudds

    “I got 80 votes last time”

    If you’re running against Mr. Forrester I can guarantee that you’ll get at least one less this time!! 😛

  42. 42 jezebel282

    George,

    “I could severely damage them in DEBATES.”

    Relax…all anyone has to do is say the words “Trilateral Commission”, “CIA” or “Rockefellar”. No one will find you at the end of that tangent.

  43. 43 1george1

    Sudds, I would likely lose some voters and likely gain some voters.

    Winning would have been or would be nice.
    However I have NO DELUSIONS, despite …. 🙂

    Jeze,
    You are gonna love the NEWEST DARK SIDE POSTS 8)

    YAHOO STORY > CASTRO openly questions existence of Bilderberger
    Group. No Mention of CFR or Trilateral.
    CIA definitely mentioned.
    (I do NOT believe NUKES used in 9/11)
    I do believe 9/11 wasa allowed or likely planned for BIGGER REASONS,
    like decreasing OIL / GAS availability = INCREASING PRICE >
    LOWERING STOCK MARKETS >
    USING INCREASED PROFITS from WAR / OIL Stocks to buy control of rest

    USING T.A.R.P. to PAY OFF the decsion makers to keep quiet.
    USING STIMULUS MONEY to PAY OFF Police, Fire, Teachers, Government
    Officials to bribe them to keep quiet,

    ALL betraying USA Constitution PREAMBLE, for personal / political gain.

    [] [] [] [] [] those are my packed bags for this post to be moved 😉
    However this post is a direct response to above post.

  44. 44 jezebel282

    See?

  45. 45 mayor2013

    Sudds,

    You are a horrible excuse for a human being. I hope you move out of Stratford soon.

  46. 46 1george1

    Mayor 2013
    Don’t take Sudds Seriously ….

    Given a choice between a serious post
    and a wise crack
    Sudds tends to the latter.

    Actually if Sudds did think you might be Gavin,
    that is a complement to you and your posts,
    since GAVIN is held in high regard by many,
    including myself …

  47. 47 1george1

    Portia 1776 claimed Jessica was shylock’s daughter.
    From memory, I thought it was Portia?

    I took the time to look it up….

    Portia:
    You stand within his danger, do you not?

    Antonio:
    Ay, so he says.

    Portia:
    Do you confess the bond?

    Antonio:
    I do.

    Portia:
    Then must the Jew be merciful.

    Shylock:
    On what compulsion must I? tell me that.

    Portia:
    The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

    Disguised as a doctor of law, Portia has come to rescue Antonio,
    the merchant of Venice. Antonio had foolishly signed a bond
    granting the usurer Shylock a “pound of flesh”
    if he defaulted on the loan he was forced to seek—ironically,
    in order to help a friend court Portia. And defaulted Antonio has.
    After determining the facts of the case, Portia doesn’t appeal at
    first to legal technicalities
    —which is the only way she will force Shylock to submit—
    but delivers a Christian moral. When Shylock demands to know
    why he “must” be merciful, Portia replies that compulsion is
    precisely contrary to the spirit of mercy, which is not “strain’d” (forced).
    Only because mercy is voluntary
    —because it mitigates the compulsions of the literal law
    —is it true mercy, which drops gently like heaven’s rain,
    a natural and gracious quality rather than a legal one.
    That Portia treats her Christian ethics as natural and universal,
    however, raises questions about the quality of
    her own compassion for the Jew.

    In the end, only because Antonio requests some mercy for
    Shylock is he spared complete destitution, on the condition
    he convert to Christianity.

    SEE CONSTITUTION FIRST AMENDMENT.

    Forcing CONVERTING RELIGIONS based on other than FREE WILL …
    how sad!

  48. 48 jezebel282

    Getting back to an actual Topic for a moment:

    Sudds,

    “I believe that having a “strong” mayor can be a VERY good thing… IF (and only IF… paging Mr. Forrester) we have a GOOD mayor!!!”

    And what are the odds of finding a “GOOD” mayor among RTC & DTC members? It is clear that voters in Stratford will not support an independent candidate. We are therefore stuck (for eternity?) with choices from these two gangs.

    I would prefer a government with actual checks and balances.

  49. 49 sudds

    “Sudds, You are a horrible excuse for a human being.”

    VERY mayor-like Mr. “Mayor2013”!!! (at least I now KNOW that you’re not Mr. Forrester… he has too much class to say such a stupid thing)

    And what exactly is it that makes me a horrible human being? Is it the fact that don’t support your “candidacy”, or the fact that… oh wait… there isn’t much else you have against me, is there???

    “I hope you move out of Stratford soon.”

    OK Mr. “Mayor”, tell me… assuming that I did move out… who is going to chair the golf tournament that raises over $20,000 for our community??? Who is going to volunteer and prepare the 100+ tax returns that I prepared last year for low-income earners??? Who is going to (literally) climb into Longbrook Pond twice a year to clean out all of the crap that people throw in there??? And most importantly… who is going to call-out dumbasses like you who think that being an arrogant prick entitles you to be our mayor??? Huh??? Huh???

  50. 50 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “And what exactly is it that makes me a horrible human being?”

    I do believe it was your reference to self-gratifying techniques. Apparently, you believe that everyone ELSE requires them too.

  51. 51 1george1

    Sudds,
    Can you prove you do what you claim?
    Kidding – I suspect you do good things.
    However, you do write hurtful / insensitive things
    – but not as LOW, CRUEL, MEAN, and VISCIOUS as some others,
    who have been relatively silent for months / years.

    I plead guilty of mostly responding in less than kind terms occasionally.

    Jeze, Dominic’s mailing either shot himself in the foot, or more likely
    was planned to push votes to Harkins, because fractured votes caused
    Jim Miron to win # 1, with less than a Majority.

    I think legitimate, competent, and honest Independents CAN WIN in the
    TOWN COUNCIL, BOE, + ZONING.
    Then the MAYOR could be WON with a LEGIT CANDIDATE.

    If Ralph Nader moved to Stratford, or if Diane Buda ran – I would have
    thrown support to either one, in a second.

    There are a few others in Town I could back.

    Until there was no other option, I did not spend several hundred $$
    and close to $ 1,000 the prior election cycle with any desire to win.
    I have NO DELUSIONS about being elected Mayor.
    I could not afford psychically being elected to town council where
    1 vote does nothing,.
    A second is needed to get a vote.
    A majority is needed to pass ordinance – resolution
    A super majority is need for several reasons.

    Several women in town, like the late sylvia, had more guts than most men.

    The plebiscite deserves everything being done to them.
    Land of FREE … Home of the BRAVE … Liberty and Justice of ALL ??
    SLAVES … COWARD … Oligarchy + Esquirachy = Plutocrachy / Kleptocracy!

  52. 52 sudds

    “However, you do write hurtful / insensitive things”

    I speak the truth George… if it hurts some people sometimes… then TOUGH CR*P!!! I am not a politician who needs to kiss arse to keep my job… I am a taxpayer who is sick and tired of:

    (a) the God awful leadership in this town,
    (b) the grotesque (how do I put this nicely?) “fleecing” of our town’s citizens for the benefit of a few, and
    (c) people who talk about how great they are going to be, but don’t do diddly-squat (hint: you don’t have to be mayor to make a positive change in our community)!!!

  53. 53 1george1

    Sudds,

    There were a couple of times I hurt peoples feelings in this blog,
    without realizing how sensitive they were.

    I take it.
    I dish it back.
    I recognize the realities of blogdumb.
    Some do not?
    Some do not recognize that when they debate, they can be hit back.
    NOTICE: Several DTC people played for awhile, got hammered, and went
    back to the shadows.

    You, Jeze, and I dish it out and take carp

    =========================
    Sudds > I COMPLETELY AGREE with:

    I am not a politician who needs to kiss arse to keep my job…
    I am a taxpayer who is sick and tired of:

    (a) the God awful leadership in this town,
    (b) the grotesque (how do I put this nicely?) “fleecing” of our town’s
    citizens for the benefit of a few, and
    (c) people who talk about how great they are going to be, but don’t
    do diddly-squat
    (hint: you don’t have to be mayor to make a
    positive change in our community)!!!

    WELCOME to a SMALL PART of MY WORLD!

  54. 54 mayor2013

    Sudds,

    You have no idea what I have done and continue to do for this town. I don’t need to announce it to you or anyone else. When the time comes, and I register my exploratory committee (and yes, Sudds, go public) it will become very evident what I have done for Stratford – and it will not come from me – it will come from the taxpayers of this community whom I have served every day of my life.

  55. 55 1george1

    Mayor
    “it will come from the taxpayers of this community whom I have
    served every day of my life.”

    GEM:
    It appears sudds got you mad and you must have exaggerated.

    I can not imagine anyone service stratford as a baby or early childhood.
    Perhaps you meant serving every day of your ADULT LIFE or from a certain
    point in time?

    I also suspect Sudds has done good things too, as he has blogged.

    This blog is good practice for debates, and there is a need to develop
    how to give and take criticism and ideas.

    Mayor, you learn little from people who agree with you or pretend to
    agree with you. I would encourage you to challenge sudds and others
    and accept that they have legitimate political preferrences and that
    they will often NOT answer those things you want answered.

    Sudds is this blog pre-eminent expert on the non sequitor.

    In the debates and in the news papers, I loved being criticized by
    Joe Pedoto, despite the damage he did to me getting votes and the
    worse damage I inflicted in my answers.

    Those topics Joe Pedoto legitimately brought foreward were the very
    things JIM, JOHN, and DOM and their backers DID NOT WANT RAISED
    despite how they would make me LOOK!

    As bad as I looked Pedoto’s questions raised the VERY ISSUES I WANTED
    someone ELSE to RAISE and the reasons I became involved in POLITICS,
    in Stratford. “There are Murderers among us.”

    Mayor – back to you and Sudds –
    You are going to get a Sudds or Pedoto or dirty tricksters.
    Learn to handle it.

    You would be well advised to run for Town Council before running for
    Mayor, to learn the system and mechanisms and personnel and issues
    and problems and assets.

    I have rarely seen Town Council candidates at Town Council Meetings,
    ever. The exceptions are a month or two before an election and some
    of the career volunteers:
    Gavin, Calzone, Fredette, Sylhavey, Henrick and the merry go round
    involving town council, board of ed, and zoning.

  56. 56 portia1776

    Jez,

    Cf. Boehner, McConnell, et al:

    “…Today, this leftist government wants to re-create our economy. Such hubris ignores the reality that the most prosperous and equitable economy in human history was created by the American people, not the federal government, and it rejects America’s revolutionary experiment in freedom and limited government. If, as under Obamacare, the federal government can arbitrarily and radically re-create our economy, it is no longer limited and subservient to the sovereign American people.

    Ideologically enthralled, the left has replaced the housing bubble with a government bubble designed to prop up the decrepit welfare state. This economic quackery pumps monetary morphine into the terminal carcass of the left’s Great Society model of governance, wherein your power, property and decisions are concentrated increasingly in a highly centralized, corporatist and bureaucratic state. In consequence, the left’s big-government orgy of spending, taxes, deficits, debt and depressed economic growth does not facilitate a brighter future; it perpetuates the benighted present.

    It cannot do so indefinitely. To date, government has escaped restructuring because, while families and businesses can spend only what they make, government spends what it takes – and more. Still, government will not prove immune to necessary change. Best we immediately reject and prudently rectify the left’s redistribution, for the longer the restructuring’s economic day of reckoning is denied, the greater the number of Americans – present and future – who will be crushed beneath the wheels of the left’s fiscal train wreck.

    Admittedly, the times require more from Republicans than bland mantras of reduced spending and balanced budgets, because this fails to put such proposals in the proper context of ultimately transcending the restructuring. This omission enables the left’s redistribution to pose as a palliative to our present distress, paint Republicans as draconian accountants and thereby diminish a prospective GOP majority’s ability to attain even a modicum of fiscal integrity in federal spending.

    During the restructuring, Republicans must hasten government’s reformation so Americans are free to forge our path to enduring economic growth in this nascent age of globalization. In so doing, Republicans’ core principle must be that true progress is the expansion of liberty and self-government, not the increase of bureaucracy and big government. Only the entrepreneurial and industrious American people will keep our economy the world’s inspiring light of prosperity.

    Again, the good news is that by dooming big government, the great restructuring will ensure our economic destiny stays in our hands. The only question is how much of it will be left in our pockets when the great redistribution’s bill comes due (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/sep/9/obamas-great-redistribution/?page=1 ).”

    Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter of Michigan is chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee.

  57. 57 1george1

    PORTIA
    In one of your earlier post your wrote Republican deeds do not
    match their words.
    I am no fan of Democrats or Republicans, however I read that more
    jobs have been created in Obama’s 2 years than Bush-Cheney 8 years

    Reaganomics, Bush, & Bush Cheney greatly expanded
    National Debt
    Joblessness
    Oil Pricing
    Insider Trading
    Wars

    Dooming big government, is a cover story for stealing national and
    internetional assets to off shore shell companies and creating forms
    of debter prisons of dependency …..

    DEPENDENCY FORMS:
    Alcohol, Cocaine / Pot, Low income, DEBT, more ….

    I admire your beliefs about what should and could be done.

    However, Al Gore apparently stole a quote from Einstein related to:

    “If you always do
    what you always did
    and expect anything different
    that is the definition of insanity.”

    PORTIA – I believe your trust is misplaced on liars, theives, criminals,
    murderers, and traitors….Greed is Good … Money never Sleeps …
    Crime Pays … War generates business and profits….

  58. 58 1george1

    Marshall Plan, follow ups depended on Wars as political /economic instruments:
    (Clausewitz – War is politics, just by other means)
    (USA evolving foreign economic policy: M. P. > Foreign Aid > Dollar Diplomacy >
    Dollar Imperialism > Transfer production / wealth = build foreign trade assets.)

    Berlin Blockade => Had to resurrect Allies Airforces who killed massive city
    dwelers with fire bombs. War = Germans did it first. Churchill did not give
    bomber command a campaign medal because of political realities …

    Japan – Korea > 60 year sword of Damacles. Galvanize UN countries militaries
    and businesses. Turn Japanese from occupied to protected and built up
    staging areas.

    Indochina – So. Vietnam > French kicked out. USA drawn in.
    100th anniversary of the CIVIL WAR – Catholic President / MLK Black rights
    23 of 36 senate / congress seats controlled by slave state southerners due
    to the seniority system, which Nixon would use for southern strategy.
    Eisenhower + Military largely responsible for USA desegragation.

    967 BC – destruction of Solomon’s temple (JEWS / MASON icon)
    1967 AD – Yom Kippur War
    1967 AD – MLK Jr. assasinated on 1 year anniversary day of being against the
    expansion of So Vietnam War
    1967 AD – RFK assassinated – against the expansion of So Vietnam War.
    If elected President, would be in position to find truth about JFK?
    > ALTHOUGH I was Raised catholic, 1/2 my education was public schools,
    1/2 my family are protestant, with sprinkling of others, and many friends
    are the spectrum.

    Who has hurt the American people more and killed more americans?
    Al Qaeda or
    Democrats / Republicans

    For the record: I support our troops and despise the people who caused
    and allowed 9/11, and cause the unnecessary deaths of Americans in what
    has been a 7 year war, which saw Osama allowed to escape to Pakistan.

    I wonder how many IEDs were built in America or members of the UN and
    allowed by Halliburton, Black Water, CIA, and DOD to prolong the War and
    kill our kids?

  59. 59 jezebel282

    And while we wait for the GOP to trot out their claims of discrimination against the rich and how ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy will somehow cause rich people to stop hiring, there is this from Bloomberg News:

    Rich Americans Save Tax Cuts Instead of Spending, Moody’s Says
    By Timothy R. Homan – Sep 13, 2010 12:48 PM ET

    Hand the wealthiest Americans a tax cut and history suggests they will save the money rather than spend it.

    Tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 under President George W. Bush were followed by increases in the saving rate among the rich, according to data from Moody’s Analytics Inc. When taxes were raised under Bill Clinton, the saving rate fell.

    The findings may weaken arguments by Republicans and some Democrats in Congress who say allowing the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to lapse will prompt them to reduce their spending, harming the economy. President Barack Obama wants to extend the cuts for individuals earning less than $200,000 and couples earning less than $250,000 while ending them for those who earn more….

  60. 60 jezebel282

    GOP unveils tax proposal

    By Lori Montgomery
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Even as they hammer Democrats for running up record budget deficits, Senate Republicans are rolling out a plan to permanently extend an array of expiring tax breaks that would deprive the Treasury of more than $4 trillion over the next decade, nearly doubling projected deficits over that period unless dramatic spending cuts are made.

    The measure, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this week, would permanently extend the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts that benefit virtually every U.S. taxpayer, rein in the alternative minimum tax and limit the estate tax to estates worth more than $5 million for individuals or $10 million for couples. ”

    You can bet our local candidates like Linda McMahon and Dan Debicella will be fully supporting this idiocy. All the while they will be blaming their opponents for the deficit.

    Their claim, of course, will be that those making over $250,000 will use that money to create jobs. Too bad that for the last 10 years of tax cuts for the wealthy that has proven false.

    We can also guess that the GOP will be opposed to any extension of unemployment benefits.

  61. 61 portia1776

    Jez,

    I recommend a reading of Anne Applebaum’s latest column: “For the U.S., Britain’s austerity is a foreign concept” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/13/AR2010091305291.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

    While I was never much impressed with Britain’s leaders, Dave (“hug a hoodie”) Cameron and Nick Clegg (at least the “Clegg” who appeared in the debates), before they were elected, the coalition government is doing much good in office. I bring this up only in so far as their motivating philosophy is so much different than our own political ruling class i.e., they are treating the people like adults. Telling the truth (the situation is dreadful); putting everything on the table, including sacred cows (entitlements, defense); and launching a national discussion on the direction of the country.

    What are we doing in America? Well, President Obama and the DNC have launched a nonsensical ad against the odious John Boehner (which, as I noted previously, is xenophobic and racist and protectionist), and the Republicans are, as you point out, fixated on extending a deeply flawed tax policy.

    To put the comparison in greater relief:

    “On Oct. 20, the [British] government will announce $128 billion worth of spending cuts, and many seem positively excited about it. Okay, the trade unions are not so excited, but Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats — the smaller party in the governing coalition — is overjoyed. Recently he gave a speech in which he explained that tough choices had to be made, so that ‘we will be able to look our children and grandchildren in the eye and say we did the best for them.’

    Clegg went on to explain that his own generation, born in the 1960s, had got things wrong. ‘We have run up debts, despoiled the planet and allowed too many of our institutions to wither.’ By contrast, his government’s forthcoming austerity budget will value ‘long-termism’ over ‘short-termism’ and eliminate ‘the dead weight of our debt and our failings,’ so that future generations could flourish. ‘I think it was a Hollywood actress,’ Clegg quipped, ‘who said that nowadays instant gratification isn’t quick enough for some people.’

    …”nobody is talking about ‘austerity’ in the United States… On the contrary, Republicans are still gunning for tax cuts, and Democrats are still advocating higher spending. Almost nobody — not Paul Krugman, not Newt Gingrich — talks enthusiastically about budget cuts. Instead, our politicians use euphemisms about ‘eliminating waste’ or ‘making government more efficient,’ as if no one had ever thought of doing that before.

    Despite the deep shock the United States supposedly experienced during the banking crisis of 2008 and the resulting recession, we are, in other words, still far from Clegg’s ‘long-termism.’ Hardly anyone in America is talking about cuts in Medicare [Note: this is not true, President Obama and Democrats plans to cut possibly $1 trillion from Medicare. Unfortunately, they are using that “savings” wrung from the poor and seniors to irresponsibility finance the rest of Obamacare] , Medicaid or Social Security, for example, the biggest budgetary items (even though ‘private’ pensions now look a lot safer, even when taking stock market fluctuations into account, than those who will depend entirely on a bankrupt federal budget 20 years hence) [true, but I wouldn’t be exclusively banking on the stock market for retirement]. In Britain, by contrast, everything is on the table: pensions, housing benefits, disability payments, tax breaks.”

  62. 62 jezebel282

    Portia,

    It remains to be seen exactly what remains on the table in the UK.

    However, if it your suggestion that there is no serious discussion of the way forward in Washington, the media, or the space between legislators ears I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    For a whole week we were treated to the inane comments of a preacher in Florida threatening to burn someone else’s holy book. He had a “flock” of 50 paying customers…err, congregants.

    Now that Congress is finally back from their month+ long fundraising efforts, I happened to see them on CSPAN today debating for 1 1/2 hours on a resolution commemorating Constitution Day (which is apparently on Friday). (CSPAN is better than any comedy on TV. You can’t believe how dumb these people are.)

    In the meantime, 625 Connecticut residents have exhausted all benefits last week. There will be 625 more this week and growing. CT would have to add 33,000 jobs just to keep pace. That’s is not counting graduates entering the market or any sort of growth.

    Is ANYBODY talking about this? Nope.

  63. 64 1george1

    I believe most government managers / workers are slightly over paid.

    The higher the pay and better the benefits for the workers, the more
    for the politically appointed hierachial management.

    The more for all of them, the more that can be kicked back through
    services and goods and fees to Town / State / Federal Committees,
    who steer business to other politically connected in other towns for
    political deniability and chinese wall for legal / ethical liability, all
    creating potemkin political illusions … smoke + mirrors / diversions.

    I believe in good pay and benefits and retirements for everyone.
    It is NOT that it has not been done, nor can not be done.

    Other people just do not recognize the realities of how to get it
    done, because they do not recognize the transience of politics.

    Will it get done?

    Based on the DEADLY TRADING by the most powerful …. I am worried!
    Skunks do not changes their stripe.

  64. 65 jezebel282

    Update:

    Poverty stats show the damage

    By Carol Morello
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, September 17, 2010

    In the second year of a brutal recession, the ranks of the American poor soared to their highest level in half a century and millions more are barely avoiding falling below the poverty line, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.

    About 44 million Americans – one in seven – lived last year in homes in which the income was below the poverty level, which is about $22,000 for a family of four. That is the largest number of people since the census began tracking poverty 51 years ago.

    The snapshot captured by the census for 2009, the first year of the Obama presidency, shows an America in the throes of economic upheaval.

    Since 2007, the year before the recession kicked into gear, the country has almost 4 million fewer wage-earners. There are more children growing up poor. And for the first time since the government began tracking health insurance in 1987, the number of people who have health coverage declined, as people lost jobs with health benefits or employers stopped offering it.

    1 in 7. An astounding number. 44 MILLION Americans?

    And what did the GOP discuss in the Senate and House yesterday? Extending tax cuts for the wealthy, of course. That alone will fix everything. And what is the proof of that? Rather than discussing an unemployment extension or restoration of COBRA subsidies that is all they talked about. Well that and voting against a small business aid bill. Only two (count ’em, 2!) Republicans voted to help small businesses.

  65. 66 1george1

    I agree with Jeze # 65

  66. 67 sudds

    “And what did the GOP discuss in the Senate and House yesterday?”

    Umm… Jez… the GOP can DISCUSS all they want… but sweetheart(?) YOUR PARTY has been in control for 18+ months now!!!

    “Democrats Use Power of Majority to Pursue Agenda…”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/17/us/17cong.html?_r=1&ref=politics

    The only thing muscle GOP Senators/Reps have been flexing these last 18+ months has been in the bathroom of Minnesota airports!!!

  67. 68 portia1776

    Jez,

    “And what did the GOP discuss” – How could you possibly blame hapless, powerless Republicans for the demonstrable failures of this Democratic Congress and this “Progressive” President as represented by their dubious achievements: an unprecedented growth in poverty, a deteriorating economy, and especially the non-existent Keynesian “multiplier” that has lost, not “saved or created,” millions of jobs?! I wrote about the horrifying poverty numbers already on the Dark Side on September 12, post no. 268.

    I thought you were getting away from “Democrats good, Republicans bad”? This kind of partisanship is too cheap and easy for you, anyway. And it is not fair, especially to the growing number of Democrats (currently about 31) who support extending the deeply flawed Bush “progressive” tax rates. Without the support of so many Democrats, what would minority Republican opposition mean? Nothing.

    “Only two (count ‘em, 2!) Republicans voted to help small businesses.” – Government intervention with the big banks has worked so well in getting them lending again that we should give billions now to smaller, community banks to repeat the prior bailouts’ success?!

    Unlike the Republicans who supported the bill or those who didn’t because of the stupid lending provisions, I don’t even like the bill’s tax cuts. Politicians are just not smart enough to know which sector of the economy will most benefit from tax cuts.

    What they should instead be doing is reducing onerous regulations on all private enterprise – for instance: repealing the “Costly IRS Mandate Slipped into Health Bill” that, “If it goes into effect… will waste vast quantities of human effort in filling out forms [for every transaction over $600 businesses will have to file a 1099], reworking computer systems, collecting and organizing data, and fighting the IRS. The struggling American economy can’t afford anymore suffocating tax regulations. This mandate is a giant deadweight loss. It should be repealed (http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/costly-irs-mandate-slipped-into-health-bill/).” – as well as across the board and massive spending cuts.

    The tax dollars and borrowed future tax dollars that the President and Congress are redistributing to their favored special interests is, after all, our money.

    But maybe you still have faith in politicians – of course, only if they have a D after their name – to know better how to spend our money than we do. Case in point, Appropriations Committee stalwart Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH):

    “Back in March, the House Appropriations Committee banned members of Congress from awarding earmarks to for-profit companies.

    Kaptur publicly praised the new ban, but privately she taught corporations (including one of her biggest campaign contributors) how to get around it [by setting-up non-profit front organizations], thus ensuring that their steady diet of taxpayer-supplied pork would continue.

    Way to go, Rep. Kaptur (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwhW1FvJGZc )!”

    There is an unmistakable trend that is more serious than Kaptur’s pet project: giving millions of our tax dollars to the Great Lakes Research Center (actually Imaging Systems Technology) to “demonstrate the ability to produce hollow shapes (spheres) of various metal alloys,” or, in other words, we’re paying for their R&D. Another example of how “Progressives” socialize costs and privatize gains.

    “Turning Japanese – Is the US Creating Its Own Lost Decade?

    June 26, 2009

    It wasn’t that long ago that everyone in America believed that Japan would soon overtake the United States as the dominant economic force on the planet. When the Japanese stock market rallied to historic heights in late 1989 and Japanese investors even bought Rockefeller Center in New York, it all seemed like a done deal.

    But then…the Nikkei Index tanked, the nation’s economy collapsed, the government responded with an ever-changing mix of tax hike and tax cuts, stimulus spending on infrastructure, massive bailouts of businesses, and more. None of it worked and Japan entered what’s been called its ‘Lost Decade,’ a seemingly endless period of economic stagnation.

    What are the lessons for the U.S. from Japan’s experience? Reason Foundation policy analyst Anthony Randazzo is the co-author of the recent study “Avoiding an American Lost Decade: Lessons from Japan’s bubble and recession” and a July 2009 cover story for Reason magazine, ‘Turning Japanese: Japan’s post-bubble policies produced a ‘lost decade.’ So why is President Obama emulating them?

    As Randazzo explains, both the causes of and official responses to Japan’s bubble and economic slump eerily anticipate exactly what the U.S. government is doing. Worse still, the Obama administration and Congress seem dead-set against the sorts of policies—across-the-board taxes on personal and business income, reductions in long-term and unsustainable government debt, and allowing damaged firms to go bankrupt—that would help revivify the American economy.

    Is America on the verge of its own lost decade? Sadly, the government seems to be doing everything it can to make that happen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ecKF_FPM34 ).”

    Randazzo says that the causes for the Japanese and American downturns were essentially the same (“overly aggressive financial sector; government sets artificially low interest rates, and government policies inflate property values”). Given the failed experiment of the Japanese government’s Keynesian response (lending to struggling financial institution; propping up ‘Zombie Businesses’; $1.4 trillion [a Krugman super-sized] stimulus,” President Obama and this Democratic Congress have been following the Japanese example, with predictable results. As Einstein said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    But never mind all that. “Progressives” at the DNC want us to focus on more important things like hating foreigners, killing free trade, and how evil John Boehner is for being candid about his smoking (even though President Obama still smokes, too).

  68. 69 portia1776

    Jez,

    While I was gladdened to read you are a “card carrying capitalist” (where can I get one of those cards?), I think a philosophical gulf between us remains. Perhaps the following can serve as a litmus test for your (free-market) capitalist credentials:

    “…no president or candidate in recent history has embraced ‘the common good’ like Obama, who has furthered a program to forgive federal student loans in exchange for ‘public service’ and recently signed $6 billion worth of national service legislation designed as a ‘call to service’ for everything from clean energy to health care. The not-so-subtlety titled government web site Serve.gov steers visitors towards a myriad of projects that serve the ‘public good’.

    From Zimbabwe to Venezuela, we’ve often noted how a philosophy makes or breaks an economy, not its natural resources. The most prosperous countries have always been those in which each individual is left free to pursue their own self interest, not be compelled to serve the so-called ‘public good’. ‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ refers to your life, your liberty and your happiness. Is self-sacrifice and an unwavering pledge to serve the ‘common good’ really as central to the American ethos as the president always suggests?

    There’s no question that the relentless call to put the ‘common good’ ahead of greedy self-interest runs directly contrary to the to the rugged individualism and rational self-interest on which the country was founded. The ‘pursuit of happiness’ protects the right of every man to live for his own happiness, not be made a means to an end for the ‘common good.’

    Because ‘the public’ is only a collection of individuals, the only beneficiaries from a society geared to serve the ‘public good’ are the politicians who are afforded even more control over each person’s freedom to live their own life.”

    Read more: “There’s Nothing Good About the ‘Common Good'” – Investing – Economy – SmartMoney.com http://www.smartmoney.com/investing/economy/theres-nothing-good-about-the-common-good/#ixzz0zoG4DFGX

  69. 70 1george1

    Portia,
    A couple examples of plausible deniability / invisible hand are:

    > Pirate Privateers wrecking havoc on spanish / portugese plunder
    ships, bringing wealth back to Europe.
    Leaders repaid those who staked them and wanted to build power
    both in OLD + NEW Worls

    > British and Dutch East india companies conquored india as private
    entities and not as official country invaders.

    > Anglo / French colonists did dirty work taking over North America
    coast lines / inland.

    > Imported Germans, Irish, Italians, English, French others were used
    in the Civil War and for Industrial Factories, compared to slaves on
    Plantations …

    The wealth of nations points out it is easier working from a blank slate
    and places where pay is far lower … or maybe it is Detoqueville?

    —-

    CT POST published me in you said it Sunday and today – Mark Twain quotes.

    —-

    I concur 1000 % with PCS Letter to Editor today.
    Decent pay + benefits + pensions for workers
    Not abusive for Administrators (and Lawyers / Town Committee skimmers)

    —–

    I concur with Eleanor Burke letter in the Star.
    Except for supporting Dominic, who like DeBicella’s dad was Bridgeport PD.
    Burturla’s dad was Stratford PD
    DeStephano dad was PD.

    Funny how mayors/governors whose dad was not PD get investigated
    and make front page needing to resign?
    I am glad we have NO POLICE corruption …. 😉
    Oooops … that wink was tooooo symbolic – relevant to investigations

  70. 71 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “How could you possibly blame hapless, powerless Republicans”

    You are unique in lumping the words “hapless” and “powerless” as adjectives for Republicans.
    When I think of “hapless” & “powerless” (along with “bumbling” and “disorganized”) I usually think of Democrats first.

    “I thought you were getting away from “Democrats good, Republicans bad”” I know, I know…it was just too easy this time. I couldn’t let it go.

    “Government intervention with the big banks has worked so well in getting them lending again that we should give billions now to smaller, community banks to repeat the prior bailouts’ success?!”
    You know, now that you mention it, you hardly ever hear the GOP complain about TARP. They seem to always be screaming their heads off about ARRA though. (PLEASE, don’t go Googling statements from random Republicans criticizing TARP.)

    “reworking computer systems, collecting and organizing data,”
    Yay! More work for IT consultants! I LOVE that! It might be as good as the good ole Y2K projects. Sigh…those were the days.

    “of course, only if they have a D after their name”
    Not quite true. I wouldn’t believe anything Charlie Wrangel said. Chris Dodd either. However I almost always know that I will disagree with anything out of the mouths of Jim DeMint or Barbara Bachmann. I keep hoping that someday Boehner says something that makes sense to someone.

    “While I was gladdened to read you are a “card carrying capitalist” (where can I get one of those cards?)”
    LOL! You apply to Visa or Mastercard. I keep mine right next to my ACLU and Amnesty International membership cards.

    “the following can serve as a litmus test for your (free-market) capitalist credentials::
    I missed it. Was that a True/False question or Multiple Choice? Was the problem clean energy or health care?

    People do things all the time that is not in their self interest for the benefit of others. The first example that comes to mind are our EMS volunteers. They receive no pay yet donate their time and talent for the benefit of Stratford residents. There is not even a list published as to who they are. And yet, they must conform to extensive government regulations in the care of others. Are they crazy? Are they destroying the fabric of our society?

    I’m not exactly sure what the test is about. Is it that the government is making public service something a young person can do while and become debt free in the process?

    Did I fail?

  71. 72 portia1776

    “You are unique in lumping the words ‘hapless’ and ‘powerless’ as adjectives for Republicans… I usually think of Democrats first.” – Stereotypes are hard to break, but, if anything, this Congress has been incredibly effective in getting the President’s agenda passed. Remember Chris’ list of achievement? Even opponents of that agenda must give credit where credit is due.

    “You know, now that you mention it, you hardly ever hear the GOP complain about TARP.” – Right, Republicans can’t complain about it because they, along with Democrats, overwhelmingly voted for it. The Republicans leadership really doesn’t oppose ARRA. Seriously. If the tables were turned, they would support ARRA. The only difference would by cui bono (e.g., unions out, coal companies in). Taxpayers lose either way.

    “Not quite true. I wouldn’t believe anything Charlie Wrangel said…” – I don’t believe anything any politician, right or left, says. That said, if a word of truth does emanate from a politician, for instance Mayor Harkins’ EMS letter in which he echoed your own thoughts, I readily accept that truth as truth, regardless of the politician’s partisan affiliation. As stated I am a classical liberal Republican (note the order).

    “I keep hoping that someday Boehner says something that makes sense to someone.” – That is like hopping for Barney Franks to transmogrify into Milton Friedman!

    “People do things all the time that is not in their self interest for the benefit of others. The first example that comes to mind are our EMS volunteers.” – Volunteering is in their self-interest as they define it. It is clearly not in their financial self-interest, but self-interest cannot be so narrowly defined. Before addressing that, let me just say that our EMS is a shining example of the good that is possible only in the free market. To paraphrase the idea of political theorist Frank Meyer: virtue is not virtuous unless chosen freely.

    Our wonderful EMS volunteers are motivated by a desire to save lives. There are many other things they could do instead of giving so much of their time and energy to serve other individuals in their time of need. Gavin put his service alone at more than 12,000 hours and wrote about what that work entails (in response to critics on a previous blog post): “I work every Friday evening 6 – midnight and Sunday Morning 6 – noon (while you both are snug in your beds) Hope you guys don’t faint at the sight of blood or body parts, mind being spit at or punched, maybe even vomitted [sic] on, but no worries, we will be there to pick you up if you do.”

    Given all that, he and the others still freely choose to volunteer, placing the value of saving lives above other competing priorities – and thus carry on the noble tradition of mutual association for the good of the community that I wrote about previously in regard to Ben Franklin’s civic activism. Those other priorities, in economics, are refereed to as “opportunity costs.” Volunteering for EMS involves a sacrifice, but the person making that sacrifice to be worthwhile. Otherwise they wouldn’t make it.

    “And yet, they must conform to extensive government regulations in the care of others. Are they crazy? Are they destroying the fabric of our society?” – But for such people who consider their self-interest saving and protecting us (our military is all volunteer, thanks to Milton Friedman) we would not have a country.

    “Did I fail?” – Don’t sweat it, you received an A-. Your strengths are in not being ashamed to make an honest living, recognizing that the current political ruling class of both parties (although you loathe Republicans more) are not serving our interests, and proudly self-identifying as a capitalist and champion of civil liberties. Your weaknesses are recognizing the mutually beneficial nature of free trade and the efficiently of the “invincible hand” over bureaucrats, championing economic liberty as vociferously as individual civil liberty, and taking at face value the nice sounding titles of legislation (e.g., the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has not resulted in “recovery” and could never result in “reinvestment,” because the money was not this administration’s to “invest” in the first place).

    “LOL! You apply to Visa or Mastercard. I keep mine right next to my ACLU and Amnesty International membership cards.” – This line bumped you up half a grade point 😉

  72. 73 portia1776

    George,

    “plausible deniability / invisible hand ” – The invisible hand is meant to personify the free market, in which individuals can pursue their own self-interest and “[b]y pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it (Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations).”

    The types of public-private collusion (government chartered companies, secretly encouraged privateers) you point to have nothing to do with the invisible hand, rightly understood.

  73. 74 1george1

    Portia,
    I understand the “invisible hand” as stated by Adam Smith.

    However, my point is that there are other “invisible hands”
    which influence “free market” situations.

    EXAMPLE: Supposedly there is an “invisible hand” related to
    the price of Heating Oil / Gas, and Transportation Fuels.
    However de facto government control and collaboration with
    other government has created a monopoly of supply.

    Saddam was trading oil for food and capital. Creating 9/11 gave
    the Oil / Gas / Coal Companies and Military opportunity to take
    Saddam out and take out the 2 – 3 million barrels a day which
    helped keep prices down.

    Former ENRON Energy Traders and “Free Marketeer” who made big
    buck with MCI / World com could day trade and Institution like the
    Rockefeller and Ford Foundations and all of the other government
    (Pension Funds) and private Institutions had motive to kite oil prices
    which benefitted supplier like those “lovable cuddly people:”

    KGB – Russia = # 1 exporter of OIL + NATURAL GAS
    SAUD / BIN LADEN – Saudi Arabia = # 2 exporter of OIL + NATURAL GAS
    BIG OIL = Refiners of 20 million USA barrels a day USA OIL
    BIG NATURAL GAS = Quiet beneficiaries of kited OIL PRICING
    BIG COAL = Quiet beneficiaries of kited OIL PRICING
    UTILITIES = Higher rates allow higher PRICING / PROFITS= % same margins
    NORTH SEA OIL Countries = Note Institutions profits / dividends in BP
    BRITISH EMPIRE = Canada / Down under and many primogenitor lands.
    O.P.E.C. = PETRO DICTATORS-prima facie/self evident/low cost producers
    PUPPET Dictators = Attention diverted for Cocaine NARCO DICTATORS

    Rightly understood, these have nothing to do with the “invisible hand!”

    However, they had EFFECTIVELY handcuffed and imprisoned same!

  74. 75 jezebel282

    Update:

    I didn’t realize how true the caption to this topic would be. And since the DTC website has been down all year, it’s difficult to tell what sort “talent” they are running….until you see the lawn signs.

    Someone actually thought Kent Miller would be a viable candidate for probate JUDGE. ROTFLMAO! Judge? ROTFLMAO! No, no…seriously, they paid for signs and everything.

    Kent Miller for probate judge.

    As Sudds would say:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  75. 76 jezebel282

    Richest Americans see 8% jump in total worth, ‘Forbes’ says

    By Matt Krantz, USA TODAY
    The nation’s richest Americans have seen a healthy jump in their net worth, even as the economy faces an uncertain recovery.

    The total worth of the 400 members of the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans rose to an estimated $1.37 trillion in 2010, up 8% from 2009, according to the list released late Wednesday.

    And according to the GOP, these poor bastids shouldn’t pay 3% more in tax.

    $1.37 TRILLION among 400 people……

  76. 77 portia1776

    “The nation’s richest Americans have seen a healthy jump in their net worth, even as the economy faces an uncertain recovery.” – To quote David Mamet (since you missed it the first time): “…classes in the United States are mobile, not static, which is the Marxist view. That is: Immigrants came and continue to come here penniless and can (and do) become rich; the nerd makes a trillion dollars; the single mother, penniless and ignorant of English, sends her two sons to college (my grandmother). On the other hand, the rich and the children of the rich can go belly-up; the hegemony of the railroads is appropriated by the airlines, that of the networks by the Internet; and the individual may and probably will change status more than once within his lifetime (http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-03-11/news/why-i-am-no-longer-a-brain-dead-liberal/full/ ).”

    “$1.37 TRILLION among 400 people……” – What is your point? That $1.37 trillion is THEIR money. If someone earned it corruptly, by all means raise a legal objection. But otherwise the only one potentially guilty of a crime here is you… No. 10 of the Ten Commandments to be precise. Stop coveting!

    Or, if you must persist,

    Please explain the constitutionality of government forcibly expropriating these wealthy, law-abiding citizens money, as well as how the resulting wealth redistribution would not, as it always does, create a “perfect equality… that is to say, equal want, equal wretchedness, equal beggary, and on the part of the partitioners, a woeful, helpless, and desperate disappointment. Such is the event of all compulsory equalizations. They pull down what is above. They never raise what is below: and they depress high and low together beneath the level of what was originally the lowest (to quote Burke).”

  77. 78 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “Please explain the constitutionality of government forcibly expropriating these wealthy, law-abiding citizens money”

    It is surprising how easily you missed my point. The hue and cry of the GOP is to preserve tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% that they themselves had purposely planned to expire. To use your words, they raise what is above higher, they never pull up what is below.

    It is interesting to note (although not fitting in well with Philosophy for the Rich 101) that Sam Walton and his family made their fortune by selling to the poor, paying the least amount allowable by law to their employees and helping the Chinese economy grow with tremendous exports to Walmart distribution centers.

  78. 79 portia1776

    Jez,

    “It is surprising how easily you missed my point.” – You’re point is that it’s evil that these people are rich. You repeat that point now by condemning the Walton family for their providing jobs, services, and products that millions of Americans freely chose. No one is being coerced to invest, work at, or buy from Wal Mart.

    The benefits of a job compared with no job should be obvious enough.

    The benefits of poor people being able to save money buying necessities at Wal Mart frees up their income for other, more productive uses of their choosing. Paying less is not only mutually beneficial for the Wal Mart and the consumer, it also enables foreign workers (in China or elsewhere) to have jobs they otherwise would not have.

    As I questioned you in Post 29 above: Is it “exploitation” for a business to offer a Chinese village dweller an alternative to subsistence living? Without giving the Chinese village dweller the opportunity to climb the socioeconomic ladder (by, in effect, kicking her off the lowest rung), how do you expect China to ever achieve our living standards?

    Maybe you will answer those questions this time.

  79. 80 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “You’re point is that it’s evil that these people are rich.”
    And your point was that somehow concentrating this amount of wealth is noble and to be admired.

    “frees up their income for other, more productive uses of their choosing.”
    ROTFLMAO! It frees up their income to the extent they can pay their utility bills. Honestly, Portia…have you always been rich?

    “how do you expect China to ever achieve our living standards?”
    According to you, by lowering our living standards to theirs.

  80. 81 1george1

    JEZE: “how do you expect China to ever achieve our living standards?”
    According to you, by lowering our living standards to theirs.

    GEORGE: Jeze’s wise crack hits the Macro economic / socio / political
    realities on the head.

    By helping Russia / China / communist block countries improve Q L for
    their people through capitalism – good for their people.
    Outsourcing our industries – bad for USA people / good for macro objectives
    of mensa morons, intent on creating World Federation

    By helping 3rd world countries improve Q L for their people through
    capitalism – good for their people.
    Outsourcing our industries – bad for USA people / good for macro objectives
    of mensa morons, intent on creating World Federation

    By helping 3rd world countries (Petro/Narco dictators) improve Q L for
    their people through capitalism – good for their people.
    Outsourcing our industries – bad for USA people / good for macro objectives
    of mensa morons intent on creating World Federation

    By creating pain in the USA for those not in the inner circle, it directs
    people to change priorities and rethink policies – like jeze, portia, chris,
    and I try to articulate.

    Many readers also know it, although many are SO FAR insulated because
    of having government PAY – PENSIONS – BENEFITS.

    The class warfare predicted will include Government employees vs.
    non government employees / business people – even the densest
    people can see those storm clouds brewing.

    Everyone will be double crossed!
    YOU WILL FEEL THE PAIN.

    SOME PEOPLE GET PSYCHIC GRATIFICATION from SADISM / SCHADENFREUDE!

  81. 82 portia1776

    Jez,

    “And your point was that somehow concentrating this amount of wealth is noble and to be admired.” – No, not exactly. I don’t think to be rich or poor, in and of themeselves, makes one noble. I look at individual’s own character and achievements to make such a determination, not their class affiliation. I know, how classically liberal of me.

    My point is who is “concentrating this amount of wealth”? If it occurs naturally, in a free-market – i.e., there is no coercion from government – I don’t have a problem with it. Consumers freely choose to shop at Wal Mart. Consumers freely choose products that best fit their needs, which usually means a price they can afford regardless of where it is made. Wal Mart’s employees freely choose to work there.

    “It frees up their income to the extent they can pay their utility bills.” – And that’s a bad thing? Economics is the study of SCARCITY. If I choose to pay $10 for something at Store A instead of $20 for the same thing or something of similar quality at Store B, I just saved $10. Maybe that $10 can go toward purchasing another product or service I want or need to pay. Maybe I want to put that $10 in the bank or otherwise invest it. Maybe I want to donate it to charity. The choice is mine, and mine alone, to make.

    Most people outside of the national government, which can unilaterally raise the national credit card’s debt limit, have to live on a budget and within their means. The less means you have, the more frugally you have to live. There are trade offs (opportunity costs) involved in everything.

    “Honestly, Portia…have you always been rich?” – I’m only rich in the sense that all Americans, including poor people, are exceeding rich by global standards. See for yourself: http://www.globalrichlist.com/

    “According to you, by lowering our living standards to theirs.” – Absolutely not. Free trade is mutually beneficial. We raise our living standards by not paying more for products produced overseas. How do I know? Well, if I am forced by the government to pay $500 for a “Buy American” product that a Chinese company is willing to sell me for $100, I’m loosing $400. That is $400 that I will not be able to spend on something else. So instead of getting the $500 product for $100 and using the remainder to purchase other products or services, I now only have the $500 product. I’m poorer, as a result. And the Chinese workers are poorer, too.

    As economist Robert Sexton wrote above:

    “A common myth is that it’s better for Americans to spend their money at home than abroad. The best way to expose the fallacy in this argument is to take it to its logical extreme. If it’s better for me to spend my money here than abroad, then it’s even better to buy in Texas than in New York, better yet to buy in Dallas than in Houston… in my own neighborhood…within my own family…to consume only what I can produce. Alone and poor.”

  82. 83 1george1

    Portia – TIME Magazine during Reagan years!

    94 % or 96 % of all $ 100 bills had cocaine traces.
    Reagan deserves to be on the $ 100 bill.

    It didn’t start with Reagan.
    Cocaine use hit in early 1900s and was virtually non existant
    (under 5 % popular use) through the 1950s.

    Same TIME article showed FLASH RECESSIONS in different Federal
    Reserve Districts, where MONEY SUPPLY decreased rapidly and
    well under proscribed supply necessary per population.

    Conversely FL + CA had excess CAPITAL in their respect Fed Reserve
    Districts. concentrations of cash were (no surprize) near Miami and
    LA / San Diego.
    (University of Miami Football recruiting peak then, coincidently)

    In post WW II USA and Marshall Plan countries there were MILITARY
    BASES and GOVERNMENT PLANTS (Sikorsky, AVCO, New London) in
    every Municipality, Area, or District, where MIL SPEC and FEEDER
    COMPANIES kept Money supply consistent in USA, Western Europe,
    Pacific Rim and certain 3rd World Countries.

    It was the INVISIBLE HAND of UNIFORM GOVERNMENT SPENDING and
    by DIRECTED CONTRACTORS / SUBCONTRACTORS, which maintained
    relative prosperity for WHITE PEOPLE and COLLEGE Educated class,
    and Business owners.

    Within the MIXED ECONOMIES, there are FREE ENTERPRIZE wizards
    who figured a niche market and were successful on their own.

    However, within many of those who appear to be self made, there are
    cryptographic clues within peoples names, that they were chosen to
    play roles and be seen as successful types, but were mentored and
    built toward success in
    Business – Private or Corporate
    Politics and/or Military
    Entertainment and/or Media
    Industry, including Finance and other aspects.

    EIN STEIN = # One STONE
    JACK WALSH = JACK = Britain / WALES = Prince of WALES
    IBM John F AKERS.
    FRANC is Co Frank co
    HIT ler
    hiro HIT o
    CHURCH ill / C hur CHILL
    WARREN (Underground) BUFFET = plentiful food
    Bill / Robert GATES > SE TAG backwards
    PEN TAG ON
    CIA Oss = bye highest of the high or HITLER GUARD
    Bush – many many connotations / points of references

    ALL THE WORLD is a STAGE?
    WHAT is in a NAME?

  83. 84 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “Wal Mart’s employees freely choose to work there. ”
    LOL! It’s OK…you can admit it. You’ve always been rich. You make it sound like Walmart is a worker’s paradise.

    “concentrating this amount of wealth”? If it occurs naturally, in a free-market – i.e., there is no coercion from government – I don’t have a problem with it.”
    No…of course not. No problem at all with concentrating $1.4 TRILLION in the hands of 400 people out of 300,000,000,000. You can’t see any problem for the economy or society at all? Not even a smidgen?

    “Maybe I want to put that $10 in the bank or otherwise invest it. Maybe I want to donate it to charity. The choice is mine, and mine alone, to make.”
    That may be your choice. But that is generally not the choice of most Walmart shoppers. It might be store A or B to you. You have a choice to do either. But to many the choice is to buy white bread instead of whole wheat because it is CHEAPER. To buy cereal instead of fruit because it is CHEAPER and goes farther.

    “Well, if I am forced by the government to pay $500 for a “Buy American” product that a Chinese company is willing to sell me for $100, I’m loosing $400.”
    How superficial of you. What if the Chinese company has the support of a government that continually undervalues its currency? Or has no environmental regulations that pollute not only its own country, but the entire planet as well. Or that subsidizes oil purchases and uses them inefficiently thus wasting a nonrenewable resource? All things not be equal that is.

    While you prefer to see all private enterprise as noble and good and anything that involves government as evil and bad, that is not the reality.

  84. 85 portia1776

    Portia,

    “LOL! It’s OK…you can admit it. You’ve always been rich. ” – Really, how do you know? In point of fact, I am middle class. And judging by how much you pay in taxes, probably less so than you. But what does my socioeconomic status have to do with the truth I speak? Nada.

    “You make it sound like Walmart is a worker’s paradise.” – It beats the actual “worker’s paradises,” yes. Is it perfect? No. I have criticisms of Wal Mart, particularly its reliance in some places on corporate welfare from government.

    “No problem at all with concentrating $1.4 TRILLION in the hands of 400 people out of 300,000,000,000. You can’t see any problem for the economy or society at all? Not even a smidgen?” – Right, there is no problem when the “concentrating” is being guided by consumers in the free-market. Why? Because that means that someone who is rich today may be poor tomorrow and vice versa. It’s not a zero-sum game. But, since you seem so fixated on this, what, prey tell do you propose government does about this non-existent “problem.”? Should President Obama steal their wealth and then spread it around to the rest of us?

    “But to many the choice is to buy white bread instead of whole wheat because it is CHEAPER. To buy cereal instead of fruit because it is CHEAPER and goes farther.” – And your point is that some people are not making “healthy” choices because they can’t afford to? If so, that is a truism. But I don’t see why that is Wal Mart’s fault. Contra Michelle Obama there are no “food deserts” in this country. Many poor people get their food at bodagas and other small markets where a variety of wholesome fruits and vegetables are available and in their price range.

    “How superficial of you.” – It’s superficial not wanting to pay retail? Oy!

    “What if the Chinese company has the support of a government that continually undervalues its currency? Or has no environmental regulations that pollute not only its own country…” – Yes, what about that? Isn’t it awful that the Chinese government wants to subsidze our clean air and prosperity? How awfully… nice of them. Seriously, I am against corporatism whether in China or in this country. And I believe that currency’s should flout freely on the open market. But these particular Chinese misdeeds are too our benefit, as I’ve written numerous times.

    “but the entire planet as well.” – Nice try… “the real tragedy is that, by exaggerating the threat of global warming, we have awoken the beast of protectionism. There are always forces in society that demand that politicians create more barriers to trade because they cannot compete on an even, fair playing field. Global warming has given them a much stronger voice.

    Already, politicians are responding — and using the fear of global warming to create ‘green fences’ against free trade. The U.S. House has passed the Waxman-Markey climate change bill with clear provisions to impose new trade tariffs on countries that don’t agree to emission reductions. Eyes are on the Senate, where John Kerry sees these as “sanctions” against ‘renegade countries.’

    t the greater goals seem to be to barricade imports from China and India, to tax companies that outsource, and to go for short-term political benefits, destroying free trade.

    This is a massive mistake. Economic models show that the global benefits of even slightly freer trade are in the order of $50 trillion — 50 times more than we could achieve, in the best of circumstances, with carbon cuts. If trade becomes less free, we could easily lose $50 trillion — or much more if we really bungle things. Poor nations — the very countries that will experience the worst of climate damage — would suffer most.

    In other words: In our eagerness to avoid about $1 trillion worth of climate damage, we are being asked to spend at least 50 times as much — and, if we hinder free trade, we are likely to heap at least an additional $50 trillion loss on the global economy.

    To put it bluntly: Despite their good intentions, the activists, lobbyists and politicians making a last-ditch push for hugely expensive carbon-cut promises could easily end up doing hundreds of times more damage to the planet than coal ever could.

    Bjorn Lomborg is director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and the author of ‘Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/27/AR2009092701444.html).'”

    “While you prefer to see all private enterprise as noble and good and anything that involves government as evil and bad, that is not the reality.” – And now we come to the obligatory false choice. Needless to say, I have never and do not support such a simplistic world-view.

  85. 86 1george1

    The people who figure the better mouse trap will always have more
    than those who do not have a clue, or the connections.

    Sidney Zion wrote: “It is Democrats against Reublicans, and both against
    the people.”

    Ancient Greece, Rome, Israel, and other places had ROYALS/WARRIORS/
    PRIESTLY/LAND-SLAVE HOLDERS against/over the workers/slaves/soldiers
    and office holders. Not much changed is caste / class hierarchy.

    Thanks to improvements in Communications/Education, there were
    massive improvements in Technology, Food creation/distribution,
    Manufacturing and other sectors.

    Regardless of our gripin, who would prefer amenities of 100, 200, 300,
    400, 500, or 1000 or 2000 or 4000 years ago than today?

    Pure Laisse Faire Capitalism is like the abbott/costello routine:
    one for you – one for me
    two for you – one, two for me
    three for you – one, two, three for me

  86. 87 portia1776

    “The people who figure the better mouse trap will always have more than those who do not have a clue, or the connections.” – Well put, George.

    The free-market rewards innovation while its collectivist alternatives stifle innovation. Of course, those with connections will always try to get unfair advantages – but this is a reason again government intervention, not for it. The more government intervention, the more opportunity for those who can’t compete to pull strings for their own benefit.

    Cf. Regan’s quip about the Soviet Union’s auto market:

    “Its hard to get an automobile in the soviet union. They are owned mainly by elite bureaucrats. It takes an average of 10 years to get a car. 1 out of 7 families own[s] automobiles. You have to go through a major process and put the money out in advance. So this man did this and the dealer said ‘okay in 10 years come get your car.’ ‘Morning or afternoon?’ the man replied. ‘well what difference does it make?’ said the dealer. ‘The plumber is coming in the morning.'”

    I was speaking to a former Soviet citizen (second-rate because he is Jewish) who lived in Minsk. He confirmed that the underground economy was how everyone survived, the official government command-and-controlled economy being nearly completely ineffective.

  87. 88 1george1

    “The people who figure the better mouse trap will always have more than
    those who do not have a clue, or the connections.” – Well put, George.

    PORTIA will love these BALZAC quotes:

    Finance, like time, devours its own children.

    Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.

    I do not regard a broker as a member of the human race.

    Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism
    operated by pygmies.

    Equality may perhaps be a right,
    but no power on earth can
    ever turn it into a fact.

    When law becomes despotic, morals are relaxed, and vice versa.

    If those who are the enemies of innocent amusements had the
    direction of the world, they would take away
    the spring, and youth,
    the former from the year,
    the latter from human life.

    It is the mark of a great man that he puts to flight all
    ordinary calculations.
    He is at once sublime and touching,
    childlike and of the race of giants.


    To those who have exhausted politics, nothing remains but abstract thought.

    Years ago my father arranged for me to do back breaking work as a
    Mason’s helper. One of the few things I can remember was a joke he
    told (at least I thought it was a joke) and I had not understood?

    “Why did G-d create goyim? (his word)

    Someone has to buy retail.”

    GEORGE: I wonder which is superior quality control?
    Kosher or FDA approved ot Mil Spec?

    I hung around the westport tree house comedy club and was friendly
    with immigrant Soviet yiddish comic Yakoff Smirnoff:

    “In CAPITALISM, man exploits man.
    In COMMUNISM, it is the other way around.”

    Rich man, poor man,
    Beggar man, thief,
    Doctor, Lawyer,
    Indian Chief.

    Being obese and preferring to lead rather than follow,
    and preferring to lead no one rather than misdirect,
    having seen invisible violence to innocents,
    having lived sisyphus and promethean reiffied realites,
    I can relate to the perennial outsiders of Jewish diasporahs
    and pogroms.
    I can relate to the perennial outsiders of American Blacks.
    I can relate to the perennial outsiders of immigre.
    I can relate to the working people, which include private,
    public, corporate, bureaucratic, military, and other sectors.

    “I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, A poet, a pawn and a king;
    I’ve been up and down and over and out, And I know one thing;
    Each time I find myself flat on my face,
    I pick myself up and get back in the race”

    THAT IS LIFE!

    BALZAC for JEZE, CHRIS, and PORTIA, among others:
    Passion is universal humanity.
    Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.

    Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true.

    Small natures require despotism to exercise their sinews,
    as great souls thirst for equality to give play to their heart.

    Thought is a key to all treasures; the miser’s gains are ours
    without his cares. T
    hus I have soared above this world, where my enjoyment
    have been intellectual joys.

  88. 89 1george1

    Perchik: In this world it is the rich who are the criminals.
    Someday their wealth will be ours.
    Tevye: That would be nice. If they would agree, I would agree.

    Mordcha: If the rich could hire others to die for them we,
    the poor, would all make a nice living.

    Villager: An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
    Tevye: Very good. That way the whole world will be blind and toothless

    “Life is what you do, while you’re waiting to die”

  89. 90 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “The more government intervention,the more opportunity for those who can’t compete to pull strings for their own benefit.”
    You mean like banks, insurance and oil companies?

    “and using the fear of global warming to create ‘green fences’ against free trade.”
    Sigh…really? No such thing as global warming? Once again, it’s not “free” when one side controls their currency and has no regulation. Ask the mothers of babies who died from tainted milk. What was their free market choice?

    “It’s superficial not wanting to pay retail? Oy!”
    That’s what God created goyim for.

    Perhaps at some point you will acknowledge that the free market alone can’t solve every problem (and may indeed be deadly) and that neither can the government.

  90. 91 1george1

    “It’s superficial not wanting to pay retail? Oy!”
    That’s what God created goyim for.

    Jeze, it was I, not Portia, who posted the retail joke
    told to me by a Stone Mason, about 41 years ago.

  91. 92 jezebel282

    George,

    What can I say? All goyim look alike.

  92. 93 portia1776

    Jez,

    “You mean like banks, insurance and oil companies?” – Yes, exactly!

    “Sigh…really? No such thing as global warming?” – Where did I say that? Yes, climate change (a more accurate term) is real. How to respond to it is the question that serious environmentalists like Bjørn Lomborg and his Copenhagen Consensus have dedicated themselves to figuring out. He is “skeptical” about those who are using the issue to advance their anti-free trade dogmas: “Economic models show that the global benefits of even slightly freer trade are in the order of $50 trillion — 50 times more than we could achieve, in the best of circumstances, with carbon cuts. If trade becomes less free, we could easily lose $50 trillion — or much more if we really bungle things. Poor nations — the very countries that will experience the worst of climate damage — would suffer most (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/27/AR2009092701444.html).”

    “Once again, it’s not ‘free’ when one side controls their currency and has no regulation.” – By this logic we should end global free trade because, say, North Korea, is not an open market. Again, what is the impact of China’s currency “manipulation”?

    Well, as of 2006, “Real output of U.S. factories has actually increased by 50 percent since China fixed its currency in 1994. Rising imports from China have not so much replaced domestic production in the United States as they have imports that used to come from other lower-wage countries.

    Critics overlook the huge benefits to Americans from trade with China.Most of what we import from China fits in the category of consumer goods that improve the lives of millions of Americans every day at home and in the office. China is now a major market for U.S. companies and an important source of capital for the U.S. economy (http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6706).”

    Cato’s Daniel J. Ikenson, Appreciate This: Chinese Currency Rise Will Have a Negligible Effect on the Trade Deficit, provides a valuable overview as well as real policy proposals that could address a real problem. (hint: not the trade war Sen. Chuck Shummer is pushing for). Ikenson’s conclusion:

    “The world would be better off if the value of China’s currency were truly market-determined, as it would lead to more optimal resource allocations. But compelling China to revalue under threat of sanction could produce adverse consequences -including reductions in Americans’ real incomes and damaged relations with China – without even achieving the underlying, but misguided, policy objectives.

    For now [March 2010], it would be better to let the storm pass and allow China to appreciate its currency at its own pace.”

    “Ask the mothers of babies who died from tainted milk. What was their free market choice?” – So the free market compels people to buy and sell tainted milk?! Where, pray tell, did you here that. Nor even Marx ever said something so absurd.

    “Perhaps at some point you will acknowledge that the free market alone can’t solve every problem (and may indeed be deadly) and that neither can the government.” – False choice, again. The free-market and government need not be antagonistic.

    What I have said repeatedly is that the “invisible hand” is peerless at distributing resources, improving quality, and decreasing costs. Now, there are things that, for a variety of reasons, free-market efficiency would not be preferable, on account of moral hazards (think officers being paid per arrest). There are also what are know as externalities that are wont to create market failures (see Friedman’s discussion on this important topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHFIbfUi5rw ).

    The matter comes down to Richard Epstein’s dictum: “We do not want government to do nothing, but we do not want it to do something stupid either. The presumption remains: Government intervention is bad until shown to be good.”

    To be clear: this presumption is for areas outside of the government’s enumerated powers. No one, not Epstein, not I, nor any classical liberal or proponent of laissez-faire denies a constitutionally limited role for government and supports decisive government action in those areas in which it has been delegated power.

    The problem, my friend, is you have not stated a limit.

  93. 94 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “The problem, my friend, is you have not stated a limit.”

    That is not a problem. It is a method. As we have seen with our example of the family that both income earners have lost their jobs and are confronted with losing their home, you would attribute the circumstance to poor financial management. I, on the other hand, meant it to be an example of a true need for assistance. I would go farther and state that there are hardly any families in the United States that could sustain the loss of all income for a period of two years or more without severe hardship no matter how much cash/assets they were able to save beforehand. My feeling is that your response would be “oh well, there must be pain” where mine would be that there should be a program in place to provide emergency assistance; unemployment compensation, HAMP, Cobra subsidies, etc.

    “Again, what is the impact of China’s currency “manipulation”? ”
    Combined with their lack of any sort of regulation, it artificially lowers the cost of their exports while raising the cost of their imports. It’s not free trade. Just ask the folks at Foxconn who would rather commit suicide than work another day. Foxconn’s response? Put safety nets around the building so workers can’t jump to their death on company property. But hey, you can get an Ipod for $299.

  94. 95 1george1

    George, What can I say? All goyim look alike.

    Jeze, to some that is reflective of the stereotypes that all
    (Jews or Blacks or Whatever) look alike!
    (SARCASM)

    There are others where that reflects a hedgemonistic believe,
    whereas certain segments of Jews, or Catholics, or Protestants,
    or Masons, or Police, or Nationality use like demigods to circle
    the wagons in an “us against them” galvanizing mentality.
    (EXISTING BIAS)

    However, since both you and I both post to benefit groups of people
    with financial / other hardships regardless of:
    race, color, creed, religious beliefs, ethnic back ground, sex, age,
    orientation, handicap, etc

    Since we both wisecrack and go where people tend not to argue,
    I can state for myself, that I and you are provocatuers for thought
    about issues we care about.

    Jeze, you have changed for the better since Jim Miron is out.

    I have no intent to offend innocents and if I do so – I apologize.

    > Interesting …. I apologize, for your remark?

  95. 96 jezebel282

    George,

    “Jeze, you have changed for the better since Jim Miron is out.”

    We have all changed for the better since Jim Miron is out. Now if we could just get Harkins to actually do the job we elected him to do……

  96. 98 portia1776

    Jez,

    I have provided an ample rejoinder over at FinReg. My comments here will be brief… for once and by comparison.

    “’The problem, my friend, is you have not stated a limit.’ That is not a problem. It is a method.” – Only if you’re Stalin. If government is not limited, it is unlimited. There is no “third way.”

    “you would attribute the circumstance to poor financial management” – not necessarily. Maybe they really have fallen on hard times. You still have not articulated a principled reason why that entitles them to our tax dollars, rather than our private charity.

    “meant it to be an example of a true need for assistance” – I know. I offered the hypothetical details as a test… to see if you would still be in favor of bailing this couple out if they had lived well above their means, blown their decades of equity gambling, and lost their six figure jobs.

    Apparently, you do have a soft spot for the rich after all, albeit provided they are losers. I don’t.

    “My feeling is that your response would be ‘oh well, there must be pain’ where mine would be that there should be a program in place to provide emergency assistance; unemployment compensation, HAMP, Cobra subsidies, etc.” – I’m for profits not pain. So my response to a hurting family is – not would be – how can I help. A small interest-free loan to tide things over? Food? Recommendation for a job? These are things that I have done to help people I know. Your response, by comparison, is well-intentioned but impersonal and coercive: “there should be a program.”

    Who pays for such government programs? Tax payers. How effective are national government programs to alleviate poverty? Abysmal. So what exactly are we talking about? You want to help the couple, Jez? To paraphrase JFK: “ask not what other people’s tax dollars can do for people in need, ask what you can do to help those people in need.”

    And what of the economic consequences of bailing out everyone who through bad planning, bad luck, or both ends up on the brink of foreclosure?

    You say not a peep on the moral hazards created by such interventions. If everyone can count on a bailout, why should anyone both to spend, save, and give responsibily. In your nanny state world, there is a perverse inventive for us to live above our means. After all, if we get in trouble, Uncle Sam will be their to “help” us with other people’s money.

    It is this type of thinking that got us into this financial mess in the first place, and why the Times used to refer to Goldman as “Government Sachs.” Socializing risk and privatizing profits is crony capitalism or corporate socialism, the only economics “Progressives” are good at.

    As Gillespie countered in with his Flintstone Model of Capitalism: “It’s not complicated: If you don’t pay your bills, the goods stop coming.” If you don’t pay your mortgage, don’t be surprised if the bank forecloses:

    “I like to look toward the future, but one thing that seems to have gone missing from even the recent past (much less prehistoric Bedrock) is the sense that, with apologies to Spider-man, with great debt comes great responsibility to pay it back. Or even any responsibility to pay it back. Jesus H. Christ, the whole point of flop sweat when you sign a housing contract or a car loan or a student loan is that you know you’re signing on for a potential world of hurt. The minute you stop thinking about that is the minute you start making really goddamned stupid decisions.

    You get one bailout too many – that includes car companies and Wall Street banktards along with home buyers who stretched like Plastic Man to move into that dream house on an ancient Indian burial ground – and suddenly you start feeling really pissed that you have to pay for anything.

    Which is no way to restart an economy (http://reason.com/blog/2010/08/06/when-it-comes-to-free-mortgage ).”

  97. 99 portia1776

    Jez.

    “Combined with their lack of any sort of regulation, it artificially lowers the cost of their exports while raising the cost of their imports. It’s not free trade… But hey, you can get an Ipod for $299.” – The cost of doing business in China has been lower for thousands of years… nothing artificial about it. And, in point of fact, Chinese regulations can be dramatically stricter than American regulations (we don’t execute government bureaucrats when they don’t do their jobs; China sometimes does).

    Curiously, you still manage to prove me right. Americans benefit from purchasing Chinese goods because they are cheaper than comparable products made elsewhere. Why they are cheaper is fairly meaningless. But, if deliberate, as you contend, the worst the Chinese are doing is subsidizing a higher American standard of living than we would otherwise be able to afford.

    Barriers to free trade are reprehensible. Of course, America, with its corporate welfare, small business loans, grants, and other subsides, bailouts, tariffs, tax breaks, and other unfair, protectionist, and anti-free trade interference in the economy, is hardly in a position to complain about the Chinese engaging in similarly reprehensible behavior. The solution is for the US to once again set the example for economic freedom and political freedom, which are good policies for us anyway and will compel other countries (including China) to emulate us by becoming more free.

    The suicides at Foxconn, as suicides anywhere, are tragic. Stressful working conditions are no doubt a contributing factor in these deaths, but not the decisive factor. How do I know? Well, you neglected to mention that the company employees 800,000 workers, half of whom are at the factory where these suicides occurred. Given China’s most recent suicide statistics (16.9 suicides per 100,000 people), ten suicides is clearly well below the national average, which would augur for 67.6 suicides among the factory’s workforce. If Foxconn’s factory were magically moved to America, where the suicide rate is 11.1 suicides per 100,000, the actual ten suicides would still be less than the hypothetical 44.4 suicides our national average would augur for the company’s workforce here.

    As usual with attacks on free trade, this one is predicated on appeals to emotion not reason. As for the hundreds of thousands of Foxconn workers who have chosen not to kill themselves, they have seen their pay increased by about 85% all told this year.

    To be clear: it is manifestly in the self-interest of all companies to treat their workers well, as it is the workers who make or break a company. Foxconn, which has in 36 years grown from a $7,500 start-up investment to a multi-billion dollar business under the leadership of a brilliant and aggressive entrepreneur (not unlike business partner, Steve Jobs), would be foolish not to seek to foster its human capital. The raises are a good start in this regard.

    As for your sneering at the low cost of an iPod and other goods Americans freely choose to buy for no other reason than they want to (I’m sure you’re one of them, btw), Professor Don Boudreaux offers this response:

    “…It’s true that I often point out that free trade keeps prices in the domestic market low. I do so chiefly because opponents of free trade frequently overlook this fact, and discount both its immediate as well as its longer-run importance to consumers’ standard of living.

    In fact, though, my case for free trade is not exclusively, or even ultimately, an economic one. A deeper justification for free trade is that it civilizes and enlightens….

    But the most fundamental reason I support free trade is that it is immoral for me to tell you how to spend your money and for you to tell me how to spend my money. And it is immoral for the likes of Pres. Obama or Sen. Graham to tell you and me and other Americans how to spend our money. For me, defense of free trade is ultimately a defense of right over wrong, peace over force, and mutual respect and tolerance over self-righteous condescension, intolerance, and greed camouflaged as dispassionate economic policy (http://cafehayek.com/2010/10/an-open-letter-to-a-correspondent.html ).”

  98. 100 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “My comments here will be brief… for once and by comparison.”
    Whew! I was worried for a minute that they would be long again…Oh, wait a minute. Never mind.

    “Only if you’re Stalin. If government is not limited, it is unlimited. There is no “third way.” ”
    No quarter, huh? It is either your way or Stalin’s?

    “You still have not articulated a principled reason why that entitles them to our tax dollars, rather than our private charity. ”
    Hmmm…let’s see. Maybe the government’s failure to prevent a global economic collapse due to the crony capitalism of the financial market? Or perhaps that it is the only instrument by which people can be saved are the tax dollars which are almost immediately reinvested in the U.S. economy generating $.63 of profit for every dollar?

    “You say not a peep on the moral hazards created by such interventions.”
    Moral Hazard”? Really? You are going with “moral hazard”? Sigh….
    What about the morality of bundling bad debt and calling it a “mortgage backed security” and then not only selling it but taking out insurance on it? No “moral hazard ” there? Here’s the thing about “moral hazard”; nobody (and I mean nobody) I am aware of would trade a steady job for unemployment compensation. It may be a moot point anyway. In less than 8 weeks all extended benefits will come to a halt. Right after elections, of course. Happy Thanksgiving!
    In the meantime, I do not see the free market coming to the rescue with jobs. I only see the market conserving cash and holding it rather than investing it. There are not enough charitable institutions or donations available to care for 15 million (and growing) unemployed people.

    “As for the hundreds of thousands of Foxconn workers who have chosen not to kill themselves, they have seen their pay increased by about 85% all told this year.”
    You mean after a number of workers killed themselves and it was plastered all over the media?

  99. 101 cstratct

    Just a couple observations based on some curious statements:

    “You get one bailout too many – and suddenly you start feeling really pissed that you have to pay for anything.”

    So if I understand this logic correctly, we’re supposed to trust the “free market” because self-interested actors (and society en masse) are better served by market-based solutions. And we’re to trust those self-interested actors (producers) regardless of ample evidence showing the need for sensible regulations to protect the public from scheming, deceitful actors (I’m not referring to all actors, just those who game the system).

    However, we can’t trust individuals who are on the receiving end of the market (consumers) because if they have a safety net for when circumstances adversely affect them, they will act with self-interest and come to “expect” the government to take care of everything.

    And this one: “Maybe they really have fallen on hard times. You still have not articulated a principled reason why that entitles them to our tax dollars, rather than our private charity.”

    If they are truly “our” tax dollars (meaning all American citizens who pay taxes-including those now unemployed), why shouldn’t those dollars be re-invested, as Jezebel correctly points out, in our economy and in our citizens in order to assist those who paid taxes to begin with? Here’s a principled reason: Those people are taxpayers just like the rest of us and are entitled to benefits when circumstances beyond their control adversely affect them. Many people accept the premise that when they pay taxes it will entitle them to benefits should something happen.

  100. 102 1george1

    PORTIA: In theory and in the past, I believe there were better
    opportunities for “invisible hand” successes.

    Unfortunately, too many “Laisse Faire” success stories result from
    Balzac’s position: “All Great Fortunes, come from Great Crimes.”

    I will not bother to list them.

    There are also pure meritocracy invisible hand, benefitting the
    Public.

    There are also “Capitalism Tool” supported chosen groups and
    individuals who appear merit based, but are system’s fronts and
    proxies. (Buffet, Gates, Bloomberg, Fortune Mag (deceased) head,
    Trump, Matha Stewart, Oprah, and all the Talking heads w agents
    in Hollyweird, DC / State Capitals, CFA and the like.

    Sending Jobs to china, india, brazil, 3rd world, and 2nd world,
    are straight from A Smith “wealth of nations” and (Detox-evil)
    DeToqueville’s “America” for working with clean slate.

    It is the next generation of the Marshall Plan and Trilateral
    Commission towards political decisions for macro issues and
    using the profit model for the ranking decision makers to go
    along.

    The “command economy” macro-monopolies have gutted the
    “Cold War Industries.” Green and future industries are force fed
    to a population which needs a rising tide for the lowest paid
    with the least benefits, majority of Americans.

    Jeze’s recent wise crack about lowering middle class standard of
    living towards that of the lower economic strata, creates a national
    feeling worried of the tenuous fortunes of the upper middle class
    and lower upper class, who depend on spending by the masses and
    by those with money.

    Indeed, much of america is falling, while much of the world is being
    raised. Most of America is paying attention, because “we feel the pain.”
    Or, we see that we can become foreclosed or pauperized by Health.

    The Macro War industries need to be transformed for PLO shares!

    There is an “Invisible Hand” opportunity for macro riches and good
    lives, however, I believe well in excess of 80 % of the population are
    not capable of creating a sustainable “complete independence’ from
    the effects of “controlled flight capital.”

  101. 103 portia1776

    Jez,

    “Oh, wait a minute. Never mind.” – I said “by comparison.” The two posts combined don’t equal the one over at FinReg. But, I digress.

    “No quarter, huh? It is either your way or Stalin’s?” – No, you’re arguing the Stalinist position here by repeatedly stating that limits on government power don’t exist (contrary to the Constitution) and that anyone who claims they do is “absolutist.”

    Well, wondrous Jez, kindly explain what will prevent a government that you have granted unlimited power to from using that power absolutely? Surely there is some fragment of individual liberty (blogging, perhaps) that you don’t think government should ever interfere with? Perhaps not.

    Look, the argument you have articulated from laissez-faire economics is just as applicable to laissez-faire love. Intellectual honesty demands you apply principles consistently. If you oppose laissez-faire in one area of life, it logically follows that you should oppose laissez-faire in all areas. Please tell me where I’m going wrong?

    “Maybe the government’s failure… Or perhaps that it is the only instrument by which people can be saved are the tax dollars which are almost immediately reinvested in the U.S. economy generating $.63 of profit for every dollar?” – The failure of irresponsible people is not my problem. I may feel sorry for them, as I certainly do those who through no fault of their own have fallen on hard times. But in both cases, it remains my choice, and my choice alone, whether or not to help them, and then in what way.

    The failure of government to plan our economy under boom conditions is an argument against government being trusted to “fix” the problems it created, especially when it is recreating the conditions that got us into this mess in the first place. Just because government “can” redistribute wealth, does not mean it should or that doing so is in the best interest of the country. It is not.

    As for your Keynesian multiplier, it is usually estimated at about $1 for $1, and often much less, which means it doesn’t exist.

    That is unless you believe (to paraphrase Dan Mitchell’s line) that “taking money out of the economy’s left pocket and putting it in the economy’s right pocket magically increases prosperity.” Nonsense. Every dollar government spends comes from taxpayers or is borrowed in our name.

    In the first case government is taking money from productive people in the free-market and redistributing it to losers (what’s the return of President’s Obama’s “investments” in Citi Bank or GM? How is selling the Volt at a loss of $40,000 a car going to make the taxpayers a profit?)

    In the second case, government is borrowing money from countries, corporations, and individuals who expect to be paid back at interest. In other words, the so-called multiplier would have to exceed the rate of interest just to break even. This has never happened in the real-world, and never been conclusive proven by economic modeling. No matter, you’ll continue believing in it, just like you believe that President Obama “saved or created” 3.5 million jobs at a time when the country “lost or did not create” 7.5 million jobs. The faith of “Progressives” is notoriously oblivious to reason and reality.

    “You are going with “moral hazard”?” – It wasn’t my main point, but remains valid. Do you think that if you government creates perverse incentives that people – not all people, but a good number – are not going to take advantage of the situation? Dream on…

    “What about the morality of bundling bad debt and calling it a…” – If you had read Gillespie’s article you would realize that is the whole damn point. Let’s try this again:

    “It’s not complicated: If you don’t pay your bills, the goods stop coming. That’s pretty much the basis for vast amounts of economic activity and exchange.

    Unless you’re talking about the goddamned housing market, where for whatever reason, the government is absolutely convinced that every idiot who bought big just as the market tanked should be bailed out. And that everybody who rents really wants/needs to buy buy buy (it’s always a good time to buy a house!). And that the answer to a government-enabled economic crash based on a bubblicious housing market propped up by free and reduced government mortgage subsidies is…more of the same. It’s like economic homeopathy and about as effective as inoculating yourself from lead poisoning by…eating lead (http://reason.com/blog/2010/08/06/when-it-comes-to-free-mortgage).”

    “Here’s the thing about ‘moral hazard’; nobody (and I mean nobody) I am aware of would trade a steady job for unemployment compensation.” – You’re right. The current system does not create a moral hazard, but if it were to be endlessly extended and enhanced, it probably would. As I wrote a long time ago: “too generous benefits carry with them a moral hazard. This has been shown in practice most recently in Denmark,” which you’ll recall has trimmed benefits from 4 years to 2.

    “In less than 8 weeks all extended benefits will come to a halt. Right after elections, of course.” – My position on this has been stated so many times, I’m not even going to bother repeating it.

    “I do not see the free market coming to the rescue with jobs.” – Really? I wonder why? It might be far out there, but you don’t think it has anything to do with President Obama and “Progressive” Democrats commanding-and-controlling the economy, do you?

    We don’t have a free market and have not had one for a long time. Even Greenspan admitted as much to Jon Stewart. So I find it particularly disgusting that people who do everything to kill the free-market then complain when their policies cause market failures. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. While President Obama has not signed a single free trade agreement or pursued any other free-market reform, he has nationalized companies, passed legislation that seeks to centralize more and more of the economy in Washington, and overseen “Progressive” profligacy unseen since the Great Depression-extending “New Deal.” Myriad economists said this kind of government interventionism wouldn’t work; President Obama claimed they didn’t exist and that it would. He was wrong and could care less. Unfortunately, we, the people, must live with the consequences of his failure. The buck still stops with the president, even if he then gives it to a bailed out banker or union boss or “green” energy corporate welfare recipient.

    “There are not enough charitable institutions or donations available to care for 15 million (and growing) unemployed people.” – There are but that is besides the point. The most important charitable institution is free-market capitalism itself. As Kim Strassel relayed this past weekend:

    “…China’s wealthiest man, Zong Qinghou… was invited to this dinner at which Warren Buffett and Bill Gates tried to convince Chinese tycoons to pledge some of their fortunes to charity. Zong Qinghou did not attend. He is, however, on record as saying that he’s skeptical of philanthropy as a tax dodge, and he thinks real charity is creating wealth and jobs for society. Now, obviously, charity does matter, but it was really great to see a businessman out there talking about just how fundamental capitalism is to the general well-being of average people. We could use a few more guys like this in the U.S.”

    “You mean after a number of workers killed themselves and it was plastered all over the media?” – Yes, they acted rationally. Would you have prefered that they kept things as is? By your logic, the national government shouldn’t have fixed-up Walter Reed Army Medical Center after the media exposed the inhumane treatment our veterans were receiving.

    Nice dodge of the the fact that the suicide rate at Foxconn is significantly below the national averages of China and even the US. Meanwhile, 800,000 people have jobs and millions of Americans can afford the technology they freely choose to buy.

  102. 104 portia1776

    Jez and Chris’ governing philosophy – i.e., unlimited government, act now think never, good intentions trump actually horrid results, history is so yesterday, reason is overrated, “action” and “necessity” over constitutional principles – has been made into a song (and appropriately skewered), by British comedian (or something, I’m not sure) Russell Brand:

    An excerpt of the lyrics are below. Brand also borrows from Dylan, interspersing satirical signs (“Don’t consume… buy green”) throughout the song. Enjoy!

    “…

    We gotta do something,
    We gotta do something,
    Before mother earth gets anymore hurt,
    We gotta do something!

    From what I`ve read there`s a lotta bad stuff in the world today,
    It`s been said it`s getting rough to find a place where the children play,
    So, Mr Prime Minister and Mr President you better see that it`s
    not only me, no, our mob is rising in size,
    and they`ve been dying to scream out to you!

    You gotta do something,
    We gotta do something,
    Sometimes I sit in my room and I don`t know what to do,
    but we`ve gotta do something!

    It`s time to do something,
    Someone should do something,
    We gotta do something,
    and that someone is you,
    and you and you and you!

    I don`t wanna see another child crying,
    I don`t wanna see another dog dying in the streets,
    I can`t see another homeless man, because it doesn`t seem right to me,
    He`s got a home, and he`s not got a home,
    What`s the point in that?
    Why can`t we all just get together, in one big home,
    and if I was in Government,
    Then I`d Government things much more differentlier,
    because it ain`t the best way to government things,
    So there`s poor people everywhere,
    You know I would just be sittin` alone,
    Thinkin` ‘How can I do something?’,

  103. 105 cstratct

    And there you go attributing words and ideas to myself (and Jezebel) that we’ve never expressed either implicitly or explicitly:

    “Jez and Chris’ governing philosophy – i.e., unlimited government, act now think never, good intentions trump actually horrid results, history is so yesterday, reason is overrated, “action” and “necessity” over constitutional principles”

    Since neither of us have said anything of the sort, I’ll simply restate your plea:

    “As a person of integrity, I expect you to either substantiate your false claim or issue a retraction.”

    Not that I actually expect anything of the sort. The further you go down this road the more your false bravado makes you a caricature. Your self-aggrandizing behavior is really amusing.

  104. 106 1george1

    PORTIA

    You write so very well, you could leave out some of the pomposity,
    insults, and characterizing positions of others.

    I agree with much of the idealism you write and I suspect so does
    Chris and Jeze.

    However many of your positions, while not absolutist are hard line
    ideological and inflexible (which is fine) and unrealistical in the
    lack of ability for idealistic or academic theory to be pragmatically
    utilized, because of human nature and empirics.

    It is NOT my intent to gang up, as it usually happens to me.
    It is my intent to offer what I consider constructive criticisms.

    You have much of substance to offer.
    Some of your style dilutes your legitimate substance.

    By having multiple positions embedded with each other, it makes it
    difficult to separate wheat from chaff.
    I know… I know … guilty 😦

  105. 107 portia1776

    Chirs,

    You write as if anyone cares what your new-old observations are after so thoroughly exposing yourself as a partisan hack, poor reader, and sore loser in your last exchanges. It was a few days ago, so perhaps you forgot this (https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/finreg/#comment-14210 ) and when you imploded trying to respond (https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/finreg/#comment-14220 ) .

    Jez, since you’re the card carrying capitalist, why don’t you explain to Chris how human nature is self-interested, how “trust” is not a free-market principle while checks and balances are, the difference between supporting constitutionally limited government (classical liberalism and laissez-faire) and no government at all (anarchism) (oh wait, you’re not clear on that one either), and maybe teach Chris how to tie those strings that hang off his shoes and keep tripping him.

    Since other people might be interested in my response to Chris’ question of why tax dollars should not be “re-invested” (i.e., spent) by government and his assertion that being a taxpayer “entitle[s]… [one] to benefits when circumstances beyond their control adversely affect them,” I offer the following: It is immoral for government to coerce Americans to help others. That is our individual choice and responsibility, and we don’t take it lightly; “Americans are the most generous people in the world, measured by charitable giving as a percent of GDP,” according to economist Mark J. Perry.

    Perry continues: “Americans give twice as much (1.67% of GDP) as the next most charitable country, the U.K. at 0.73%, according to this study by the Charities Aid Foundation… Americans give almost 12 times as much as the French and almost 8 times as much as the Germans. In fact, Americans give more as a percent of GDP than France, Germany, Turkey, New Zealand, Singapore and the Netherlands COMBINED!

    And charitable giving in the U.S. set another record in 2006 at almost $300 billion, about the same amount as the GDP of Denmark, Greece, Austria or Norway.”

    The numbers since that study have only gotten higher. As Philanthropy UK notes: “In continental Europe, the state typically plays a strong role in social welfare provision than in the UK… In the US, private philanthropy plays a more prominent role than it does in the UK” or Europe for that matter.

    From an economic perspective, it is incredibly inefficient for government to redistribute wealth because it removes vital checks and balances on how that money is spent. Even social democracies like Sweden do not engage in wealth redistribution because it is incredibly destructive to society.

    As Rick Torres pointed out, government bureaucrats get paid either way, whether the program works or does not work. Unlike private charities, government agency’s do not have to prove efficacy, just good intentions. Here is his excellent and brief synopsis of the moral, economic, and political dimensions of this problem:

  106. 108 portia1776

    Chris,

    I was parodying your and Jez’s positions. If you don’t think you have “said anything of the sort” than refute it. You haven’t and won’t and, in any case, can’t because the parody is pretty close to the mark. Brand is to be applauded for showing the intellectual bankruptcy of those who just “want to do something”… which is fine, except you and Jez are talking about forcibly taking other peoples money and curtailing their unalienable individual liberties, which is not.

    In no particular order: You justified the bailouts because they were “necessary,” including President Obama’s “Progressive” ideological and needless firing of 100,000 people. Jez is bemoaning the opposition party opposing things because he thinks (wrongly) that not enough “action” has been taken. Neither of you have said what the proper role of government in society is, and Jez goes so far as to deny that there is such a thing as a limit on government power. The only discernible principles that you and Jez have articulated are that so long as the action is “expedient” or supposedly “pragmatic” (it never is) any and every government intervention, regardless of what the Constitution says, is justified in advance. Neither of you have principled opposed any of the examples I have provided, whether involving the 100,000 workers who President Obama terminated, how “Progressive” Demcorats took schoalrships away from low income children in DC because their favored special interest, the monopolistic union, said so, or how the FDA is denying drugs to sick patients because its bureaucrats believe government owns our bodies.

    You and Jez continue to make unhinged comments about laissez-faire economics and particularly free trade, which demonstrate no understanding (on your part) and visceral misunderstandings (on Jez’s part). Nevertheless, when I pointed out that we have laissez-faire love in this country, neither of you stopped to think of the fundamental contradiction that issues raises. As I wrote to Jez above, the argument you have articulated against laissez-faire economics is just as applicable to laissez-faire love. Intellectual honesty demands you apply principles consistently. If you oppose laissez-faire in one area of life, claiming individuals are incapable of making decisions for themselves, it logically follows that you should oppose laissez-faire in all areas.

    My character and writing and the veracity of what I write is for others to judge. If I am factually wrong on any point or shown to have mischaracterized someone’s position, I have and will readily concede an error. A cursory reading of your posts reveals that no such error has been made on my part. You, who keep accusing me of anarchism (by implication) and restoring to juvenile taunts, should not be casting aspirations.

  107. 109 portia1776

    George,

    “You write so very well” “You have much of substance to offer.” – Thank you.

    “you could leave out some of the pomposity, insults, and characterizing positions of others.” – I know you like playing peacemaker, but I write what the facts and counter arguments demand of me. If that means wielding a “metaphysical two-by-four,” so be it. My polemical style generates heat, admitting. You must remember, however, that that is only as a consequence of it first producing much light.

    “However many of your positions, while not absolutist are hard line ideological and inflexible (which is fine) and unrealistical in the lack of ability for idealistic or academic theory to be pragmatically utilized, because of human nature and empirics.” – Really? Name one. I don’t mean to be flippant with you, but this is entirely off the mark.

    On the other point: I am steadfast in my principled stand in favor of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, classical liberalism, and laissez-faire. I believe, to borrow from Reason Mag, in “free mind and free markets.” My position on a given policy issue is flexible as to reality, but rooted in enduring principles, chief among them concern for individual liberty.

    If I were as “inflexible” and “unrealistic” (the real word you were looking for) as you say, why would I want to phase out unconstitutional government departments and programs rather than abolish them outright? The answer is that I recognize that every action by government, no matter how well-intentioned, has consequences: known and unknown, good and bad. I am the only one in this discussion who has consistently been principled and truly pragmatic in dealing with the issues of the day. “Ideology” is not bad in itself. Everyone, whether they admit it or not, has an ideology they subscribed to. The question then is what is your ideology? What are your principles? As we have seen with the post-partisan, post-ideological blather of President Obama, these are not insignificant questions to ask. Principles do matter. As Lord Acton put it:

    “I cannot accept… that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Their should be a similar presumption with government intervention. As Richard Epstein has written: “We do not want government to do nothing, but we do not want it to do something stupid either. The presumption remains: Government intervention is bad until shown to be good.”

    “By having multiple positions embedded with each other, it makes it
    difficult to separate wheat from chaff.
    I know… I know … guilty :(” – I do consider this a constructive criticism. When you come up with a solution, please let me know 😉

  108. 110 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “You write as if anyone cares what your new-old observations are after so thoroughly exposing yourself as a partisan hack, poor reader, and sore loser in your last exchanges.”

    That is simply not furthering the debate. Chris and I have disagreed vehemently in the past, yet I hold no animosity towards him. He does tend to attack and deflect a bit more than he should, but he is young and not always wrong. While I am at it, I would also like to take this opportunity and congratulate him on his 4 day old daughter even though I feel it may have been more work on his wife’s part.

    “Jez goes so far as to deny that there is such a thing as a limit on government power.”
    I am simply not young enough to think that my beliefs in the limits of government will be respected by anyone, especially government. The Patriot Act which I vehemently oppose is an example. I also believe in the absolute guarantees of the First Amendment (like writing here), but yet, as Doug O’meara has shown, there are plenty of government and law enforcement officials who daily abuse their power and violate the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

    “You and Jez continue to make unhinged comments”
    Really? It that one of those facts or an opinion of yours?

    “If you oppose laissez-faire in one area of life, claiming individuals are incapable of making decisions for themselves, it logically follows that you should oppose laissez-faire in all areas.”
    Actually, it does not logically follow. It would be consistent, but not necessarily a logical conclusion. One participates in society as a part of the whole. One conducts their sexual, biological and emotional life separately from society. It does not therefore logically follow that a laissez-faire attitude in one’s sexual life (remind me again what that was?) would necessitate a laissez-faire attitude toward business, government nor anything else. Happy now?

    Now I have to go over to Finreg and finish responding to that one having completed my task of feeding the masses. A blogger’s work is never done.

  109. 111 portia1776

    Jez,

    “That is simply not furthering the debate.” – neither is calling me a… well, you saw it. Post 686 on FinReg. And yet I’m the one not furthering debate?! Not that I need your help, but if you’re going to intervene on his behalf, as President Obama did for GM when they were in a similar downward spiral, a question needs to be asked: where exactly did you scold Chris for not furthering debate?

    To be clear: I hold no animosity toward Chris as a person, and I join you in congratulating him on his recent fatherhood.

    What I do hold in low repute are his past actions as a chornic Mironite and continuation of Jimmy’s style (arrogance, ignorance, demagoguery, and pathology) in nearly all of our exchanges.

    “I am simply not young enough to think that my beliefs in the limits of government will be respected by anyone, especially government.” – My beliefs are irrelevant when considering what the Constitution actually says the limit should be.

    “The Patriot Act which I vehemently oppose is an example. I also believe in the absolute guarantees of the First Amendment (like writing here), but yet, as Doug O’meara has shown, there are plenty of government and law enforcement officials who daily abuse their power and violate the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.” – This proves my point and, oddly, yours: we need the Constitution to mean what it says now more than ever because too many in high office believe themselves above the rule of law. Moreover, they have already succeeded in concentrating so much power over our lives in Washington that it will take a long time to set things right again, if ever.

    What is puzzling is that you continue to believe, on faith, what the great classical liberal champion of laissez-faire (and anti-imperialism) William Grahman Sumner dismissed already in 1883 as old hat: the attempt “to set up ‘the State’ as an entity having conscience, power, and will sublimated above human limitations, and as constituting a tutelary genius over us all. I have never been able to find in history or experience anything to fit this concept.”

    “one of those facts or an opinion of yours?” – Opinion, of course 😉 But, I think “unhinged” is perhaps too nice a word for those who act as if the broken window fallacy, debunked by Frédéric Bastiat *only* 160 years ago, is still valid. What next, reviving the geocentric debate? If you go to your doctor with the flu and she asks the nurse to bring on the leeches, would you just sit there and say “oh, ok, they must be necessary.” Well, even in the current economic crisis, “[f]or an economist to contest the principle of free trade or to recommend inflation… would be comparable to a physician’s practicing bloodletting (Guy Sorman, “Economics Still Doesn’t Lie,” City Journal).”

    “Actually, it does not logically follow. It would be consistent, but not necessarily a logical conclusion.” – Possibly. You’ll note my description was not flattering. I echoed many of the “Progressive” and conservative talking points against laissez-faire economics in describing laissez-faire love. This was to stress the similarities. Love is more important than money. Are you saying you trust the invisible hand (of cupid) to find a spouse, but not to get you a really smashing computer?

    “One participates in society as a part of the whole. One conducts their sexual, biological and emotional life separately from society.” – Yes, but only In a free society, i.e., one with a constitutionally limited government. But unlimited government recognize no such distinctions. Authoritarian regimes have no such compunctions about trespassing on “your” personal life. As far as the State is concerned, you have only one life and it belongs to the State.

    I heard an interview with Li Cunxin, “Mao’s last dancer,” recently, in which he said that during the Maoist period Chinese young people could not date who they wanted. They first had to secure approval from a Communist Party bureaucrat.

    A horrific policy that continues into the present day is China’s one-child policy (officially the “family planning policy”), under which the government determines who should have children, who should not, how many, and possibly what sex (girls are reportedly more apt to be forcibly aborted or targeted by the State for infanticide).

    Because the CCP sees the proper role of the government as all-encompassing, forced abortions and sterilizations on behalf of the “common good” are perfectly legitimate. As Cato’s Steven Moore wrote more than ten years ago (i.e., before it was leaked that at least one province had a quota of 20,000 forced abortions to fill):

    “To this day no one knows precisely how many babies and women have died at the hands of the population control fanatics in China. What we do know is that this program will go down in history as one of the greatest abuses of human rights in the 20th century… The Chinese government’s birth control policy has already claimed an estimated 5-10 million victims. I say already because this is an ongoing genocide. An estimated 80-90 percent of the victims have been girls (http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5457 ).”

    But that could never happen here, right? Wrong. “Population control,” was all the rage in the “Progressive” era. The Nazi’s, by their own account, were emulating our own “Progressive” policies towards the supposedly feeble-minded, the poor, the sick and infirmed. Buck v. Bell was a product of its time, and contrary to the concept of individual liberty as set forth in the Constitution, a document for all time.

    A chilling dramatization of the horrors of well-intentioned “Progressive” planners making such personal decisions (“for your own good,” of course) is on full display in the controversial 1934 film Tomorrow’s Children.

    I link to part II, where the State social worker comes to tell the family that she knows best how to run their lives, including the forced sterilization of their soon-to-be wed, gainfully employed daughter (the only normal person in the whole family – spoiler alter – she’s not related).

    They have a “choice,” the nice lady bearing gifts says. Do exactly what the State wants or face having your welfare cutoff. The good “Progressive” also betrays the usual lust for power in her in the invocation of a court order. One way or another, they will get what they want (sound familiar? Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on ObamaCare: “We’ll go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, we’ll go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed…”)

    It’s hard to watch. This scene especially, but also the court room scene where the judge pronounces Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ infamous majority opinion in Buck as his own, as well as when Dr. Brooks expresses remorse to his wife for having ever referred the troubled but previously self-sufficient family to the State welfare vultures in the first place.

    “Happy now?” – Not really… it is troubling to consider how many of us are philosophically just as ill-prepared to oppose central planners controlling our lives as the film’s besotted father. Sure, we might feel bad about it. But when faced with nudging and threats, who among us would stand their ground?

  110. 112 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “neither is calling me a… well, you saw it. Post 686 on FinReg. And yet I’m the one not furthering debate?! Not that I need your help, but if you’re going to intervene on his behalf,”
    LOL! “He started it”? If you scroll (way back) you will see that I have scolded Christopher many many times. His defense of Miron and the Mironistas was inexplicable for an otherwise intelligent person. To be honest, I am still befuddled by that.

    “Are you saying you trust the invisible hand (of cupid) to find a spouse, but not to get you a really smashing computer?” First of all, I am not sure that cupid is sober most of the time. Second of all, don’t get me started on Microsoft, who seems to have escaped the invisible hand of the free market. Windows may be the biggest drag on software development in the history of the free world.
    Q. How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?
    A. None. They just declare darkness the new standard.

    “the attempt “to set up ‘the State’ as an entity having conscience, power, and will sublimated above human limitations, and as constituting a tutelary genius over us all.”
    I am not sure how you get to this as my belief. The Parens Patriae power of the State has nearly always been with us. It is up to us to use it wisely. The choices we have made have not been good. Is it better to warehouse psychiatric patients or close the facility and turn them loose to be homeless and victims of the street? Neither solution (at either extreme) is beneficial to anyone. (Group homes have shown promise). Before you once again bring up eleemosynary efforts, you will have to explain how the quantity of people of all ages with psychiatric, economic, physical, medical and social handicaps will be accommodated.

    “where the State social worker comes to tell the family that she knows best how to run their lives, including the forced sterilization of their soon-to-be wed, gainfully employed daughter”
    Fiction? If this were present day, I know at least 2 dozen lawyers that would love to take the case on contingency. Or perhaps you are suggesting that explaining the options available and providing a guide to the State’s meager resources should be illegal? I know of no licensed social worker (and I know a LOT of them) that have any inclination to control anyone. Their primary concerns, as they should be, are their clients’ safety, health and comfort. In that order.

  111. 113 cstratct

    “Oh waaaaahhhh, he called me a name. I’m offended. I demand an apology.”

    Portia, you’ll get an apology as soon as I get one from you for consistently insulting me despite my repeated attempts to remain civil and respond forthrightly and concisely to your questions and opinions. Notice I don’t use the word “attack.” Insults flow freely here, but very few comments are actually “attacks.”

    You blog as if your opinions and ideas (and make no mistake, that is all they are) are irrefutable (or in your words, “truth”) and everyone else is inferior. My friend, the debate regarding “truth” has been ongoing since Socrates (no need to quote his dialogue with Protagoras), and it hasn’t been resolved by anyone. You really do seem to take this blog as though it is some life or death struggle. It is a place to share thoughts, ideas, comments, opinions and some facts. Jezebel and I do not agree on every issue. Heck, my wife and I don’t even agree on every issue.

    Sudds, care to comment on marital relations? 🙂

    Nowhere in any post on this site have I ever made the comment that the government’s power should be unlimited. I don’t believe that is what Hamilton was saying, and I don’t believe in it as a governing principle. Despite my oft-repeated and consistent stance, you have continued to state that I’m a Communist, Stalinist, “Progressive” and any number of other titles that are completely false and lack any factual basis.

    I get it. You’re passionate about your positions. But as I stated some time ago on this very blog, all we’re doing here is stating our opinions, despite the links we cite or “authorities” we quote. You cite everything you’re against, but I have a difficult time finding those regulations, programs or activities you support. You claim you represent moral certainty and “truth,” a rather arrogant stance which I have never put forward here or anywhere. I don’t believe I have all the answers. I don’t believe you do either.

    It’s a web blog, nothing more. It is filled with some facts and lots of opinions, and strong personalities. It’s NOT life or death.

  112. 114 sudds

    “Heck, my wife and I don’t even agree on every issue. Sudds, care to comment on marital relations?”

    We agree on EVERYTHING in casa de Sudds!!! She has an answer, and I’m not allowed to disagree. 😆

  113. 115 cstratct

    Hmmm, that sounds eerily similar to my household. As long as I accept the premise that she is right and I’m wrong, harmony exists. Although considering the birth of our daughter, I’m inclined to agree with her at this point. 🙂

  114. 116 sudds

    “considering the birth of our daughter…”

    C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !!!

  115. 117 1george1

    Chris,

    Congradulations on the birth of your daughter.
    I wish she, your wife, and yourself = good health!

  116. 118 1george1

    From Portia:
    “However many of your positions, while not absolutist
    (You) are hard line ideological and inflexible (which is fine)
    and unrealistical in the lack of ability for idealistic or academic theory
    to be pragmatically utilized, because of
    human nature and empirics.”

    – Really? Name one.

    They are too numerous to write.

    — Here is one

    While I agree with many Milton Friedman positions,
    there are many like positions on drugs, I do not agree with,
    which you embraced.

    Drug addiction is extremely complicated and no one size fits all,
    is a pragmatic solution.

    If governments wanted cocaine use down to 1950s levels of 5 %,
    it could be done, the same ways it was done in early 1900s.
    However, there is no complete or simple solution, unless the drugs
    were laced with poison, meaning use would be instantly terminal…
    NOT ACCEPTABLE.

    — Alcoholism was more rampant in the 1950s.

    — Tobacco

    —- Sugar & Salt & other things are also pernicious, when abused.

    We read about people robbing for money for alcohol, tobacco, coke,
    and other “controlled substances.”

    When is the last time you read about a robbery for a SNICKER’S FIX?


    corrolary thoughts:

    Where are the cocaine fields in CT?
    In New England?
    In TriState?

    Some theorize the PORT AUTHORY RECORDS of Bills Of Laden in the
    World Trade Center were ample motive to destroy the buildings?

    Especially with new and higher speed computers and better programs
    than were generally available in prior decades.

    Attacking the PEN TAG ON + WORLD T R A D E CENTER were SYMBOLIC.

    After WTC destruction, the “EMPIRE STATE” building again dominated NYC
    skyline, also highly symbolic

  117. 119 jezebel282

    Cstrat,

    “Oh waaaaahhhh, he called me a name. I’m offended. I demand an apology.”
    What are you? Twelve?

    If you two don’t stop, I’m going to separate you both.

  118. 120 cstratct

    Sorry Jez, I was simply pointing out how easily Portia takes offense and demands apologies for perceived slights yet fails to recognize how his/her own misrepresentations of other’s comments are seen in the same light. I’m not offended. I am however amused.

    “Given the clear and ample evidence, I await your apology.” – FinReg Post 571

    Portia obviously believes he/she is the only person on this blog that offers evidence and “truth.”

    “But what does my socioeconomic status have to do with the truth I speak?” The Parade to November Post 85

    I tried to play nice up to the point where even an apology and an offer to refrain from personal invective was met with continued insults and disparaging remarks.

    I think a Shakespeare quote is appropriate here: “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?” Granted, the word “revenge” is a bit over-the-top in this scenario, but you get the idea. You’ll see if you go back to posts from the end of August I attempted to engage in conversation without the insults. Unfortunately that turned into a one-way street. I’ll commit to it again if others (Portia) are so inclined, but there has to at least be a modicum of respect for the opinions of others.

  119. 121 1george1

    Chris,
    When I used the Shylock analogy, I was jabbed several times …

    Perhaps each of the 4 of us needs our own “time out corner?”

  120. 122 cstratct

    Perhaps George, Perhaps . . .

  121. 123 jezebel282

    George,

    “Perhaps each of the 4 of us needs our own “time out corner?””

    Hey! Wait a minute! I edit when I’m doing a time out!

  122. 124 1george1

    Finally …. something relaxed and amusing …. 😉

  123. 125 portia1776

    Jez,

    “He started it” – No, I clearly started everything. My first post, you’ll recall, was on how you were saying that the State runs the teacher’s pension so well that Stratford should turn over its municipal pensions to the State. Curiously, you stopped advocating that position when I pointed out the inconvenient fact (yes, Chris, they do exist) that the State has completely mismanaged the fund to the tune of a $6+ billion deficit, jeopardizing teachers’ retirements and our economy. That little point aside, it was a great idea. And so was the principle underlying it: a “free” lunch.

    I must, however, admit a mistake. I wrote long ago that Chris’ posts were self-discrediting, but didn’t leave it at that. Reiterating the obvious was unnecessary. Worse, it has given him the excuse to evade the issues and seek to write post after post whining about my “style.” It’s a tactic, in other words, of last resort. When a trial lawyer starts talking about her guilty-as-hell client’s hard upbringing or the “inequalities” of society or how the police where “mean” to him, she has conceded that the case is lost; the only hope for leniency is jury nullification. In other words, to persuade the jury members to look past the facts of the case and try to think with their hearts, not their heads.

    While sometimes effective, the problem with jury nullification is that it does not change the facts. Acquittal is not synonymous with innocence (as O.J. learned the hard way). So Chris can have his fun snipping at me ad hominem (and you can, too), but doing so in no way qualifies as a challenge to the veracity of anything I have written.

    Marx was a horrible human being, whether or not it’s true that his mother said: “Karl should accumulate capital instead of just writing about it.”

    Marx felt entitled to financial support from his and his wife’s wealthy families; he exploited Engels, who actually earned a living as a successful capitalist (of all things), and who finally put deadbeat Karl on a dole (even the father of communism was supported by bourgeois classical liberal charity!); he let a child die and his wife suffer instead of self-regulating by living within his means and/or trying to hold down a job.

    While all true, ironic, and perhaps indicative of the damages his bad ideas would wreck on the world, none of these details matter when evaluating what he wrote. Marx wrote much sinister piffle; he was, however, remarkably prescient on the benefits of capitalism and its relation via free trade to globalization, which he also wrote about approvingly.

    —-

    “His defense of Miron and the Mironistas was inexplicable… To be honest, I am still befuddled by that.” – I guess you haven’t been following our exchanges. His posts explain everything… particularly how Miron and Mironistas are a microcosm (among other things) of our national problems re: moral decay.

    Jimmy Miron believes in the rule of lawlessness not the rule of law. Miron is a man of “action” who was doing what was “necessary,” regardless of principles, ethics, morals, and often sanity. Miron, a proponent of “green jobs” and other “Progressive” policies, is unsurprisingly a corporatist who would do whatever was supposedly “pragmatic” (read: unprincipled) to further his and his business supporters interests. Miron values sycophancy over competence, groupthink over independent thought. Mironistas’ echoed the Miron-style, a kind of politics that is arrogantly assertive, even proud, of its own ignorance. And also demagogic. No amount of factual documentation and reasoned argumentation could dissuade them from their fictionalized view of the bane of Stratford. Even now the chronic Mironite bristles at any question of their action: ‘What? Miron wasn’t great? That’s just your ‘opinion.”

    —-

    Getting back to the substance at hand (such as it is):

    “Second of all, don’t get me started on Microsoft, who seems to have escaped the invisible hand of the free market.” – You’re absolutely correct but do you know why?

    “They just declare darkness the new standard.” – LOL. Sort of like how FinReg has made “too big to fail” permanent and how the Obama Administration is projecting chronic unemployment and an ever-growing deficit for give or take forever.

    “The Parens Patriae power of the State” – There is just one little problem with your desire to have the national government to be your daddy (or mommy): it’s unconstitutional.

    To wit:

    “English royalty originally enjoyed virtually unlimited power over the minors of their subjects. Over time, however, the Crown’s power became circumscribed by the rule of law, through the Magna Carta, the Writ of Habeas Corpus, and the continual evolution of the common law.

    The United States Constitutional system of Ordered Liberty included additional safeguards. Article I, Section 9, guaranteed access to the Writ of Habeas Corpus. The Tenth Amendment created a vertical system of checks and balances, thereby distributing some powers to federal government, some to state government, and the remainder to the People. Parens patriae power of standing was reserved to the state governments, and could not properly be exercised by the federal government. See Fontain, 58 U.S. at 379, 384, 393; Mormon Church v. United States, 136 U.S. 1, 57-58 (1890)(parens patriae authority of Crown devolved upon the state legislatures); American Loan & Trust Co. v. Grand Rivers Co., 159 F. 775, 782 (W.D. Ky. 1908). The First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Amendments afforded affirmative protections of individual liberty, which further constrained the practical reach of parens patriae (http://www.quaqua.org/parenspatriae.htm).”

    As for State governments, which, I hope, are what you have in mind:

    “State government exercises of parens patriae power are also subject to the United States Constitutional system of Ordered Liberty. See Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 290 (1923)(“Determination by the Legislature of what constitutes proper exercise of police power is not final or conclusive but is subject to supervision by the courts.”). Particularly after the enactment of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Supreme Court applied due process principles and strict scrutiny analysis to limit state invocations of its parens patriae power. Liberty in “matters relating to marriage, procreation, . . . family relationships, and child rearing and education” are “’fundamental’” and “’implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’ as described in Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319 (1937).” Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, 713 (1976). “In these areas . . . there are limits on the state’s power to substantively regulate conduct.” Id. (ibid).”

    So which is it daddy, mommy, or adult state? http://www.theadvocates.org/blog/119

    “The choices we have made have not been good.” – Really? You mean the national government getting into public housing wasn’t a great idea? To paraphrase Rick Torres, who grew-up in Bridgeport’s “projects”: Uncle Sam is the biggest slum lord in the country.

    “Is it better to warehouse psychiatric patients or close the facility and turn them loose to be homeless and victims of the street?” – You’re confusing levels of government, state and national. As noted above this makes a very big difference in the legality of the legal doctrine you’re invoking.

    “Before you once again bring up eleemosynary…” – You mean like Bridgeport’s Kennedy Center? In the latest Atlantic, there is an article on the first diagnosed autistic. He was initially placed in an asylum by the State, only to be rescued from that stifling institutionalized setting by his parents. They treated him like a human being. At his psychiatrist’s suggestion, his parents sent him a short ways away from home to work on a farm, after which he went on to attend a regular schools and college. The man, today a senior citizen, has led an extraordinary life by almost any standard, including travel to dozens of countries, self-regulation, driving, and regular golfing. How many others with the same potential to lead normal lives to the best of their abilities are not being given the chance?

    I bring up eleemosynary activity because it’s never brought-up at all. You (plural) assume that the State, whether state or national government, must always intervene because there is supposedly no alternative. The “social” problems are always, in your mind, too complicated, too costly, and too large for individuals or groups of individuals to attend to without government intervention. History begs to differ. Counting the colonial period, Americans manged for over two hundred years without much of any nanny statisim, by dint of their own hard work, ability to self-regulate (or face the consequences for not doing so), and the generosity of their family members, friends, houses of worship, and civic organizations.

    “…you will have to explain how the quantity of people of all ages with psychiatric, economic, physical, medical and social handicaps will be accommodated.” – Jez, I could answer your loaded question with the obvious: this world will never be a Utopia and that’s not a bad thing.

    But let me try a different tact:

    Right now, as I write, there are places in this country that embody the philosophy you are seemingly espousing. These places are dependent upon the benevolent State, with its best and brightest central planners and “social” bureaucrats. In these places, the government provides an expansive social safety net, from food and health care to education and welfare. And this has been going on for generations, so we have ample empirical data on the status of these entitled communities.

    Unfortunately for your argument, these places – American Indian reservations – are usually ranked the poorest and most depressed in all of America. American Indians, according to Peter Carlson, “have the highest rates of poverty, unemployment and disease of any ethnic group in America.”

    The national government does a horrible job “helping” people with disabilities. Under good economic conditions, about 70-80% of blind people are unemployed. In the wake of such devastating government failures, private charities step-in to provide critical services and deliver real-world results.

    The burden of proof here is on you to prove that existing government intervention is beneficial. The evidence that private sector, free-market solutions work better is all around us.

    Consider the rebuilding of New Orleans. As economist William Anderson asks: was the city a “Victim of Government Neglect? Or just of government?” The abundant evidence is the latter:

    “…Daniel Rothschild pointed out two years later in an article in Reason… ‘The most effective solutions are being found locally, mostly in spite of government efforts, not because of them. The real problem, as economists Sanford Ikeda and Peter Gordon suggest, is not that political leaders aren’t doing enough, it’s that they’re doing too much, and doing it poorly. There’s too much centralized control preventing people from finding the solutions that best fit their own communities…. The commonly held notion that post-Katrina recovery effort has been hampered by a lack of leadership is true only if “leadership” refers only to political leadership. There, there’s not only a lack of leadership, but a stifling bureaucracy that’s smothering real progress. Across the Gulf Coast, there are real people taking real risks, trying to buck the obstacles thrown in their way, and many are seeing real results.”

    According to a recent Bloomberg News article, Brad Pitt is one of those people. He became so “appalled by how little had happened two years after the Lower Ninth’s inundation, founded in 2007” that he founded the Maike It Right Foundation and “has raised $31 million so far — including $5 million of Pitt’s own money — to build 150 houses in the Lower Ninth, which became the symbolic epicenter of the human failure that made Hurricane Katrina so senselessly devastating.” Pitt’s Foundation, with the help of lawyers to cut through the government’s bureaucratic red tape, has built more houses, quicker and cheaper, than the local, state, and national government efforts combined, despite his only having a modest budget by comparison to their billions of taxpayer dollars.

    Ansderson asks another pertinent question: “One can only wonder what might have happened had the federal government spent no money at all. We never will know, but I suspect that the Crescent City very well might have been much better off. A few months after the disaster economist Richard Ebeling predicted that government efforts to rebuild New Orleans would be disastrous and that it would be better to let the free market work.

    That, of course, was the road not taken. Let’s remember that as we watch the painfully slow recovery of New Orleans (http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/not-so-fast/new-orleans-victim-of-government-neglect/ ).”.

    “I am not sure how you get to this as my belief.” – Maybe it’s because you invoke a principle, Parens Patriae, which, historically and philosophically, is opposed to individual liberty unless check and balanced by a constitution. Worse yet, you do not invoke the legal limitations on this doctrine as it exists in the US, only saying it should be used “wisely.” What does that mean?

    “If this were present day, I know at least 2 dozen lawyers that would love to take the case on contingency.” – They can’t travel back in time can they? Carrie Buck sure could of used them. On second thought, they better hang around. We need all the help we can get with the heirs of Oliver Wendall Holmes in the White house, Senate, Congress, and on the benches.

    “Or perhaps you are suggesting that explaining the options available and providing a guide to the State’s meager resources should be illegal?” – What? Did you miss the part where the law was non-negotiable? If the State wanted to deprive you of your reproductive rights the victim had no say in the matter. Buck v. Bell makes plain that one’s individual liberty is inferior to the interests of the State – that, my friend, is what makes the ruling unconstitutional, not to mention evil.

    “I know of no licensed social worker (and I know a LOT of them)…” – I have several good friends who are now or studying to be “social” workers. Without exception they are great people. That does not change, however, the unconstitutional nature of national government intervention into Americans’ private lives. It also does not change the ethical, moral, and economic problems created by central planning, predicated on the wicked belief that human nature is changeable. It’s not. As William Grahman Sumner wrote:

    “The truth is that cupidity, selfishness, envy, malice, lust, vindictiveness, are constant vices of human nature. They are not confined to classes or to nations or particular ages of the world. They present themselves in the palace, in the parliament, in the academy, in the church, in the workshop, and in the hovel. They appear in autocracies, theocracies, aristocracies, democracies, and ochlocracies all alike. They change their masks somewhat from age to age and from one form of society to another. All history is only one long story to this effect: men have struggled for power over their fellow-men in order that they might win the joys of earth at the expense of others and might shift the burdens of life from their own shoulders upon those of others. It is true that, until this time, the proletariat, the mass of mankind, have rarely had the power and they have not made such a record as kings and nobles and priests have made of the abuses they would perpetrate against their fellow-men when they could and dared. But what folly it is to think that vice and passion are limited by classes, that liberty consists only in taking power away from nobles and priests and giving it to artisans and peasants and that these latter will never abuse it! They will abuse it just as all others have done unless they are put under checks and guarantees,and there can be no civil liberty anywhere unless rights are guaranteed against all abuses, as well from proletarians as from generals, aristocrats, and ecclesiastics.”

    “have any inclination to control anyone” – So because you don’t know of any that means the problem doesn’t exist? The existence of good people in a corrupting system does not make it any less corrupting. The government welfare system, in theory and practice, breeds dependency.

    As the Rainmakers sang: “They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please / They’re feeding our people that government cheese”

    “Their primary concerns, as they should be, are their clients’ safety, health and comfort. In that order.” – Do they get paid by how many people they get off the dole or does the number of “customers” not matter? Incentives matter, you know.

    —-

    What you’re forgetting in all this is that the government cheese doesn’t grow on trees. Someone has to pay for it. And in our current anti-evolutionary (to borrow Taleb’s concept) system, that means those who are responsible and productive.

    Here is Sumner again:

    “As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X or, in the better case, what A, B and C shall do for X. As for A and B, who get a law to make themselves do for X what they are willing to do for him, we have nothing to say except that they might better have done it without any law, but what I want to do is to look up C. I want to show you what manner of man he is. I call him the Forgotten Man. Perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct. He is the man who never is thought of. He is the victim of the reformer, social speculator and philanthropist…”

  124. 126 portia1776

    George,

    “They are too numerous to write.” – Well, if you persist, I must point out that since “unrealistical” is not a word, it is unknowable whether my work is or is not “unrealistical” 😉

    “While I agree with many Milton Friedman positions, there are many like positions on drugs, I do not agree with, which you embraced.” – Now who is being unrealistic?

    George, my position against the so-called “War on Drugs” is consistent with principles of individual liberty (self-sovereignty), sound economic theory (where there is demand, supply will follow), and ample empirical evidence (there was more drinking, alcoholism, and alcohol-related crime during Prohibition than at any other time before or since).

    Drug Prohibition has wrecked even more carnage on society. Consider the tens of thousands of needless deaths, including many innocent bystanders, violations of civil liberties, incarceration of millions of non-violent users, breakdown in respect for the rule of law, and waste of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars with no reduction in supply.

    Things have gotten to the point where a growing number of law enforcement professionals (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, for example) is mobilizing to end these unconstitutional laws once and for all.

    When we discussed this previously you pointed to your friend with a drug addiction. But he got that addiction from using illegal drugs. If prohibition was working, he would not have been able to obtain those drugs, they would be obtainable but too expensive, and, in any case, he wouldn’t want to use them because they weren’t legal. Since no of those conditions prevented him from becoming addicted, how does your example support continued prohibition? It does nothing of the sort.

    “If governments wanted cocaine use down to 1950s levels of 5 %, it could be done, the same ways it was done in early 1900s.” – What? How do you know that 5% of the country was addicted to cocaine in the 1950s. To my knowledge, no such data exists. As for the “if governments wanted” part… the national government has spent vast sums of money and has next to nothing to show for it, except for rich drug kingpins. Our tax dollars are effectively serving to protect the cartels: we catch the little guys while they rake in the money.

    “However, there is no complete or simple solution, unless the drugs were laced with poison, meaning use would be instantly terminal…NOT ACCEPTABLE.” – Ya think? That is not only unacceptable it is, in point of fact, not a “solution.” There have always been people who use drugs, and there always will be. “Some” people, as the Cole Porter song goes, “get a kick from cocaine.”

    “When is the last time you read about a robbery for a SNICKER’S FIX?” – You don’t because its not a controlled substance. People are free to self-regulate, to their benefit or detriment.

    Prohibit sugar and you’ll have people literally going koko for coco puffs.

  125. 127 portia1776

    Chris,

    “My friend, the debate regarding ‘truth’ has been ongoing since Socrates” – Yes, some have always denied the existence of “truth.” As philosopher Harry Frankfurt points out, though: “even those who profess to deny the validity or the objective reality of the true-false distinction continue to maintain without apparent embarrassment that this denial is a position that they do truly endorse. The statement that they reject the distinction between true and false is, they insist, an unqualifiedly true statement about their beliefs, not a false one. This prima facie incoherence in the articulation of their doctrine makes it uncertain precisely how to construe what it is that they propose to deny. It is also enough to make us wonder just how seriously we need to take their claim that there is no objectively meaningful or worthwhile distinction to be made between what is true and what is false.”

    “(no need to quote his dialogue [sic] with Protagoras)” – You remind me more of Euthyphro, actually. The similarities are staggering.

    “Nowhere in any post on this site have I ever made the comment that the government’s power should be unlimited.” – Your statement would have a lot more credibility if you actually ever wrote what limit you believe exists on government power. Where exactly did you do that, again?

    “I don’t believe that is what Hamilton was saying” – You can *believe* whatever you will, but any reading of what Hamilton wrote make quite clear he believed “general welfare” was unlimited. In fact, that is the manner in which you invoked his quote in the first place.

    Now how could such an intelligent person not understand what this simple passage means:

    “The phrase is as comprehensive as any that could have been used; because it was not fit that the constitutional authority of the Union, to appropriate its revenues shou’d have been restricted within narrower limits than the ‘General Welfare’ and because this necessarily embraces a vast variety of particulars, which are susceptible neither of specification nor of definition”

    “you have continued to state that I’m a Communist, Stalinist…” – I have done no such thing. What I have done is use correct terminology when discussing principles, political theory, and history. “Progressives” call themselves “Progressives.” Communists call themselves Communists. See for yourself: http://www.onenationworkingtogether.org/organizations

    Outside of the Motherland, self-professing Stalinists are rarer, though, not extinct. Sightings have been reported on many college campuses.

  126. 128 portia1776

    Chris,

    “Portia obviously believes he/she is the only person on this blog that offers evidence and ‘truth'” – No, that is not true. I have agreed with Jez and George when they wrote factual things. Jez and I agree on a lot more than people think. We are both card-carrying capitalists, support laissez-faire love and immigration, and want to eliminate employer-provided health insurance and undertake reforms to empower health care consumers.

    Yes, you’re suffering is comparable to Shylock’s. I much prefer Bassino’s insight on truth, justice, and demagoguery: “In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt/ But, being season’d with a gracious voice,/ Obscures the show of evil?”

    Speaking of which, are you going to be contributing? Just look how close Jimmy is to stealing our tax dollars: “My FINAL camapign [sic] fundraiser tomorrow. If we raise $3,000 we get an $88,000 public financing grant. Go to http://www.JimMironForSenate.com to help!”

    For every $1 Jimmy raises he gets $5.86 of our hard-earned tax dollars. “Clean,” publicly financed elections, another wonderfully “Progressive” idea.

  127. 129 cstratct

    Well Portia you just proved my point. I extend an olive branch and you go off yet again. You may not like my beliefs or opinions, but they are no less valid or “truthful” then anything you post here.

    Convenient how you leave out the aspects of Hamilton’s view that don’t support your interpretation.

    “Hamilton then says that it is left to the discretion of the legislature to determine what matters concern the general welfare, adding: “And there seems to be no room for a doubt that whatever concerns the general interests of {Learning,} of {Agriculture,} of {Manufactures,} and of {Commerce,} are within the sphere of the national Councils, {as far as regards an application of money.} (emphasis in original)

    In his Final Address to the Congress in 1796, George Washington endorsed Hamilton’s view.”

    http://american_almanac.tripod.com/welfare.htm

    And what is with your continued emphasis on Miron? I don’t live in CT anymore and I’m not involved in CT politics in any way (not that I ever was all that involved). I have stated repeatedly that my interactions with Jim Miron were different from others. With respect to the issues discussed here, my opinion on those issues differs (in some cases) from others. Where I disagreed with certain actions I have stated that.

    Now if you want to continue the insults I’m more than willing to oblige. I would rather have a discussion and set that aside, but you obviously can’t help yourself.

  128. 130 jezebel282

    Portia,

    OMG! When is the response due and how much does it count toward my final grade? Ummm..and how long would it have been if you weren’t trying to keep it short?

    “Curiously, you stopped advocating that position”
    No, I actually haven’t. In terms of solutions, this one is appropriate for Stratford (notwithstanding your objection to anything involving government). The Councils, Town Managers and Mayors have proven over and over again that they do not have the necessary responsibility to manage a pension fund. As George will attest (what am I saying?) we are so deep in the hole we can’t see the top. MERF is a simple solution to an interminable problem.

    “You mean like Bridgeport’s Kennedy Center?”
    Not to disparage anything the Kennedy Center does, but this is kinda weak. I talk about millions of needy and you cite one example you read about? As for Parens Patriae (the State as Parent, for those who haven’t kept up on Latin) power, you are correct. I did not differentiate between national, state or local governments. However, in practice it turns out to be a blend. Medicaid is administered by each State (with income and asset qualifications broadly set by the Federal government) and funded by block grants from the U.S. government. Social workers must navigate through the maze of programs and qualifications to assist their clients with whatever blend works best. That is simply the reality on the street.

    “Jimmy Miron believes in the rule of lawlessness”
    No surprise there. He did what a sociopath always does.

    “The commonly held notion that post-Katrina recovery effort has been hampered by a lack of leadership is true only if “leadership” refers only to political leadership. ”
    On the other hand, NGO’s have not fared all that much better. There are dozens of NGO’s in Haiti alone all doing their thing. Sometimes twice or three times. It seems nobody is in charge.

    “one’s individual liberty is inferior to the interests of the State – that, my friend, is what makes the ruling unconstitutional, not to mention evil.”
    It makes you wonder what Dredd Scott would have to say. After all, his rights were violated in the extreme by the constitutional process. So which is it? According to the law (at the time) Dredd Scott’s rights were not violated. According to the authoritative source empowered by the Constitution to interpret the law, Dredd Scott was property. Carrie Buck was indeed sterilized. Was the Constitution correct? Did it work appropriately? Would the Founding Fathers have been proud?

    Here is the problem with logic. It is not a Universal Truth if an exception is found. It is actually much the same argument that you have been using since the beginning. You tend to cite one or two examples (OK, maybe 3 or 4. 5 or 6 if you have the time) of a policy not working. Then you say “see?”.

    “Do they get paid by how many people they get off the dole or does the number of “customers” not matter? Incentives matter, you know.”
    Dole? Get off? Sounds like a plan. Pay them to get people “off the dole”. Now, would you mind explaining how a 3 year old gets “off the dole”? Or someone with brain damage? Or perhaps a quadriplegic? Maybe you have a secret cure for being 93 years old? Downs Syndrome perhaps?

  129. 131 cstratct

    Freidman, in his book Capitalism and Freedom, states that the “social responsibility” of business is to increase profits. It is the responsibility, as Friedman himself points out, of the executive to be beholden to the shareholders or board, and while he calls this the “social responsibility of business,” it is not a “social” responsibility. It is a corporate responsibility. The CEO is beholden to the owners of the corporation, not the society in which it operates. With respect to “social responsibility” he states, “I have called it a “fundamentally subversive doctrine” in a free society, and have said that in such a society, “there is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

    http://www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/libertarians/issues/friedman-soc-resp-business.html

    So who (or what entity) is to set the ground rules for what constitutes deception or fraud? Who (or what entity) decides whether they are engaging in open and free competition? Are we to simply trust that the executives, boards and shareholders will abide by such a general statement? And what is deception/fraud? Will we know it when we see it and what will be the consequences?

    How about this: Since pollution is neither deception or fraud, and has nothing to do with open and free competition, does the corporation (or the individual running it) have any “social responsibility” to not dump things into the ground and water? Do they bear any responsibility for cleaning it up? Friedman lobbied against environmental regulation which he obviously saw as an unnecessary restriction on the free market. So if the corporation determines that greater pollution leads to greater profits, wouldn’t they be working against their interests by not polluting? And wouldn’t that put them at odds with Friedman?

    Speaking of Freidman’s legacy, Guardian columnist Richard Adams states, “In terms of the policies he inspired or influenced, however, the report card is not so glowing. His great claim, the idea that “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon” may have set off the Monetarist versus Keynesian “econ-wars” of the late 1970s and 1980s. But Friedman’s ideas of directly targeting the money supply were tried and rejected as a failure, in both the UK and the US, and Friedman himself backed away from his dogmatic earlier positions.”

    “And Friedman’s one success? In 1942, during world war two, Friedman actually went to work for the US government. While there he helped design the payroll tax that in Britain is known as PAYE, Pay As You Earn, and in the US as withholding tax, the system that allows the government to administer the taking of income tax directly from salaries and pay packets. Unlike everything else he argued for, withholding tax was withstood the test of time and is in use all around the world. It was the best thing that Keynesian-style government could ever have wished for, and Friedman bitterly regretted it.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/nov/16/post650

    I am completely aware that this is a commentary and so is an “interpretation” of Friedman’s career. That said, it appears even Friedman’s views evolved (or devolved depending on one’s perspective) over time.

    But I had to laugh when reading the comments posted on this article. This from someone named “CrunchyCapsicum”:

    “I guess the costs of keeping Milton Friedman alive just exceeded his market value.”

    The market, like fate, can be a cruel mistress 🙂

  130. 132 1george1

    Portia,

    Meth can be made with available chemicals.

    Cocaine can be grown only in certain climates or expensive
    controlled inside farms.

    Logically there would be lower crime and wars if there was no easy
    access to importing Cocaine, Weapons, and Munitions.

    Logically, who were police since 1967, when the pot / cocaine
    epidemic took off about the time of wars in Vietnam area and in
    the Mid-East. JFK, MLK, & RFK were against expanding War.

    The Knapp Commission proved the Mafia had control of the Judges,
    Police, and Politicians.

    Gradually the Mafia middle men were phased out and the States took
    over legalizing the Mafia Cash Cows.

    Is it likely politicians, and those Judges, Prosecutors, and police did
    not act as facilitators for very lucrative drug trafficking?

    Jeze + Chris have an advantage of making counter points to your broad
    generalizations and lesser to some of your specifics.

    I agree with each of you about wanting a better system, government,
    and quality of life.

    You threw Jeze a bone … picking on Jimmy.
    Jimmy and the Mirons got the role of bad cops.
    Henrick’s, Feehan’s, Crudo’s, Cabral’s, Calzone, and Rose’s Town Councils
    among other and respective Town Attorneys staffs deserve equal blame
    and credit for the mess, especially Norm.
    then there are the states and feds!

  131. 133 1george1

    Chris posted while I was composing.

    It is too bad Chris is no longer a Stratford resident, disqualifying him from
    speaking at Stratford Public Forums and Hearings

    The question related to pollution is especially timely in light of tonight’s
    hearing related to RA “Y” MARK.

    There are analogous questions relation to pollution to TEXT RON LY COMING
    and Sikorsk Y Airport and Army Plants of AVCO SAEP + Skiorsk Y.

    Within AVCO SAEP is anagram > PAVES V CO.
    V has Churchillian meaning and meanings to certain cultures.

    Paving and cover up relates to the preferred EPA alternatives in Stratford
    and government bureaucratic preferred methodology:

    Raymark Paved Impermeable Cap with has been circumvented.
    Temporary Cap which is outdated.

  132. 134 portia1776

    Portia,

    “OMG! When is the response due and how much does it count toward my final grade?” – Let’s say next Friday… unlimited page count 😉

    ” No, I actually haven’t.” – News to me. Why didn’t you say something sooner?

    “In terms of solutions, this one is appropriate for Stratford.” – Yuh? Did you miss the teacher’s marching in the streets when the pension fund $1.5 billion ago, when the pension deficit was “only” $5 billion. The AFT warned teachers that this would happen in the 1970s, when pensions were run by local government, where they could be kept under closer scrutiny.

    Just how, exactly, is this a “solution?”

    “(notwithstanding your objection to anything involving government)” – I thought we settled this. I’m all for government doing things its legally empowered to do. I am not for government doing things that I either illegal or stupid, and often times both.

    “The Councils, Town Managers and Mayors have proven over and over again that they do not have the necessary responsibility to manage a pension fund. As George will attest (what am I saying?) we are so deep in the hole we can’t see the top. MERF is a simple solution to an interminable problem.” – And unaccountable state government bureaucrats have proven themselves responsible in managing the pension funds they already control?

    As noted previosuly, there is one other problem with your argument. Who is going to pay for it? Us. There are no “free” lunches, Jez.

    “Not to disparage anything the Kennedy Center does, but this is kinda weak.” – It was a throw away line, clearly not my main point:

    “I bring up eleemosynary activity because it’s never brought-up at all. You (plural) assume that the State, whether state or national government, must always intervene because there is supposedly no alternative. The ‘social’ problems are always, in your mind, too complicated, too costly, and too large for individuals or groups of individuals to attend to without government intervention. History begs to differ. Counting the colonial period, Americans manged for over two hundred years without much of any nanny statisim, by dint of their own hard work, ability to self-regulate (or face the consequences for not doing so), and the generosity of their family members, friends, houses of worship, and civic organizations.”

    “I talk about millions of needy and you cite one example you read about?” – I’m talking about millions of needy, too. The cognitive dissonance you’re facing is that these millions, people in public housing, people on welfare, people on disability, people on American Indian reservations, children in government schools, people in the inner city, people in New Orleans, in Cleavland, in Detroit, and some many other “Progressive” wastelands are suffering because of government intervention, not for lack of it.

    “As for Parens Patriae (the State as Parent, for those who haven’t kept up on Latin) power, you are correct. I did not differentiate between national, state or local governments. ” – Thank you… I appreciate the clarification and candor.

    “That is simply the reality on the street.” – All true. There are some good people working in a dysfunctional system that has made permanent the societal problems government was intended to fix. Good people and good intentions, however, cannot cause me to overlook the incredible and immoral tragedy that has been perpetrated on so many by nanny statism. You seem comfortable saying’ well, the planners and bureaucrats tried their best… maybe they just need more power and money.’ My I again recommend economist Walter William’s arresting PBS documentary “State Against Blacks”? Part I: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwGWDis2dJw&feature=related

    “’Jimmy Miron believes in the rule of lawlessness’ No surprise there.” – My point is that he is not alone. Saying the Constitution is meaningless or demarcates no limit on national government power(basically the same thing) is Jimmy Miron writ larger.

    “On the other hand, NGO’s have not fared all that much better.” – Are you kidding me? The vast majority of NGOs live or die by the positive results they achieve. If Make It Right doesn’t keep those houses coming, no one is going to choose to give them money.

    “There are dozens of NGO’s in Haiti alone all doing their thing. Sometimes twice or three times. It seems nobody is in charge.” – The invisible hand is in charge, creating a spontaneous order (as Hayek termed it)! Since most NGOs operate in the free market (they must persuade individuals to give donations), NGOs in Haiti must compete against each other for funding. This healthy competition provides a positive market incentive for them to do good and much of it.

    Jez, the invisible hand is in charge of the supermarket, too. Consumers determine what products are going to be there and in what quantities. Would you prefer a central planner deciding that 2 flavors or ice cream or one type of fish are enough, and dispense with the vast diversity the free market provides us?

    “After all, his rights were violated in the extreme by the constitutional process.” – True. Human beings are liable to err. The important distinction to note is that while the process was constitutional, the verdict was not. As Justice McClean wrote in his dissent in Scott v. Sandford:

    “Being born under our Constitution and laws, no naturalization is required, as one of foreign birth, to make[ Dredd Scott] a citizen. The most general and appropriate definition of the term citizen is ‘a freeman.’ Being a freeman, and having his domicil in a State different from that of the defendant, he is a citizen within the act of Congress, and the courts of the Union are open to him.

    In the argument, it was said that a colored citizen would not be an agreeable member of society. This is more a matter of taste than of law. Several of the States have admitted persons of color to the right of suffrage, and, in this view, have recognised them as citizens, and this has been done in the slave as well as the free States. On the question of citizenship, it must be admitted that we have not been very fastidious. Under the late treaty with Mexico, we have made citizens of all grades, combinations, and colors. The same was done in the admission of Louisiana and Florida. No one ever doubted, and no court ever held that the people of these Territories did not become citizens under the treaty. They have exercised all the rights of citizens, without being naturalized under the acts of Congress.

    We need not refer to the mercenary spirit which introduced the infamous traffic in slaves to show the degradation of negro slavery in our country. This system was imposed upon our colonial settlements by the mother country, and it is due to truth to say that the commercial colonies and States were chiefly engaged in the traffic. But we know as a historical fact that James Madison, that great and good man, a leading member in the Federal Convention, was solicitous to guard the language of that instrument so as not to convey the idea that there could be property in man.

    I prefer the lights of Madison, Hamilton, and Jay as a means of construing the Constitution in all its bearings, rather than to look behind that period into a traffic which is now declared to be piracy, and punished with death by Christian nations. I do not like to draw the sources of our domestic relations from so dark a ground. Our independence was a great epoch in the history of freedom, and while I admit the Government was not made especially for the colored race, yet many of them were citizens of the New England States, and exercised, the rights of suffrage when the Constitution was adopted, and it was not doubted by any intelligent person that its tendencies would greatly ameliorate their condition.

    Many of the States, on the adoption of the Constitution, or shortly afterward, took measures to abolish slavery within their respective jurisdictions, and it is a well known fact that a belief was cherished by the leading men, South as well as North, that the institution of slavery would gradually decline until it would become extinct. The increased value of slave labor, in the culture of cotton and sugar, prevented the realization of this expectation. Like all other communities and States, the South were influenced by what they considered to be their own interests.

    But if we are to turn our attention to the dark ages of the world, why confine our view to colored slavery? On the same principles, white men were made slaves. All slavery has its origin in power, and is against right.”

    “According to the law (at the time) Dredd Scott’s rights were not violated.” – Key words “at the time.” If the document is “living,” than it will be interpreted according to the prejudices of those doing the interpreting. Chief Justice Taney and his majoriity claimed (wrongly) that they had no standing to decide the case, and then went on anyway to make a unconstitutional paranoid, and white supramcist argument the law. As Justice McClean wrote above, “This [was] more a matter of taste than of law.” The Consitution may be misinterpreted from time to time, but its principles endure; there is always hope for restoration of lost liberty.

    “According to the authoritative source empowered by the Constitution to interpret the law, Dredd Scott was property.” – Two Supreme Court Justices who dissented against Justice Taney’s racist and unconstitutional majority opinion on the case say you’re wrong.

    Justice Curtis in his own dissent:

    “My own opinion is that a calm comparison of these assertions of universal abstract truths [the Declaration of Independence] and of their own individual opinions and acts would not leave these men under any reproach of inconsistency; that the great truths they asserted on that solemn occasion, they were ready and anxious to make effectual, wherever a necessary regard to circumstances, which no statesman can disregard without producing more evil than good, would allow; and that it would not be just to them nor true in itself to allege that they intended to say that the Creator of all men had endowed the white race, exclusively, with the great natural rights which the Declaration of Independence asserts. But this is not the place of [sic] vindicate their memory. As I conceive, we should deal here not with such disputes, if there can be a dispute concerning this subject, but with those substantial facts evinced by the written Constitutions of States and by the notorious practice under them. And they show, in a manner which no argument can obscure, that, in some of the original thirteen States, free colored persons, before and at the time of the formation of the Constitution, were citizens of those States.”

    He substantiates this claim by reading the Constitution according to its plain meaning, as well as considering its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation:

    “On the 25th of June, 1778, the Articles of Confederation being under consideration by the Congress, the delegates from South Carolina moved to amend this fourth article by inserting after the word ‘free,’ and before the word ‘inhabitants,’ the word ‘white,’ so that the privileges and immunities of general citizenship would be secured only to white persons. Two States voted for the amendment, eight States against it, and the vote of one State was divided. The language of the article stood unchanged, and both by its terms of inclusion, ‘free inhabitants,’ and the strong implication from its terms of exclusion, ‘paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice,’ who alone were excepted, it is clear that under the Confederation, and at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, free colored persons of African descent might be, and, by reason of their citizenship in certain States, were, entitled to the privileges and immunities of general citizenship of the United States.”

    “Was the Constitution correct? Did it work appropriately? Would the Founding Fathers have been proud?” Yes. No. No. The Constitution was correct and if it had been properly applied in all these atrocious cases (Scott, Plessey, Slaughter House, Buck, Cruikshank) would have produced the right results. It did not work appropriately because of “moral decay.” The Southern socialists would never bow to the rule of law, and had to be made to do so by fighting a bloody civil war and passing additional constitutional amendments. The Founding Fathers would not be proud to have seen the growth of a political consensus that individual liberty is dangerous. The Reason video I linked to before about conservatives and leftish people taking red pends to the Bill of Rights is mush too close to the truth for comfort.

    “It is not a Universal Truth if an exception is found.” – True. Our individual rights, as codified in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, are inalienable. Recognition of that fact is not a “problem” unless you think they should not be.

    “You tend to cite one or two examples (OK, maybe 3 or 4. 5 or 6 if you have the time) of a policy not working. Then you say ‘see?'” – Well, do you think it’s a great idea for GM to be selling the Chevy volt at a loss of over $40,000 per car? For the FDA to deny desperately ill people the right to their own bodies, including to try potentially beneficial treatments? For our tax dollars be given away at nearly 6 to 1 in public financing to demagogues like Jimmy Miron? I could go on…

    My hope is that if you see the incompetence, ideological fervor, sheer waste and ill-effects wrought by unconstitutional government interventionist policies that you may come around to opposing them, as I do, not only because they are capricious and ineffective, but because by their very nature they could only be that way.

    “It is actually much the same argument that you have been using since the beginning.” – My thesis is individual liberty. Conditions change, policies change, strategies and tactics change, principles should not.

    “Dole? Get off? Sounds like a plan. Pay them to get people ‘off the dole’.” – Ha! I tricked you via that line of questioning into admitting that moral hazards exist and incentives matter. Of course paying national government “social” bureaucrats to get people off the dole would be a perverse incentive. Since you have know acknowledge the counterfactual, let’s attend to the factual. The existing nanny statist system pays national government “social” bureaucrats regardless of results. Results, moreover, are seldom if ever defined as self-sufficiency, self-regulation, and helping individuals work towards independence. These theoretical problems, in practice, produce awful results. For example: economist Thomas Sowell wrote, on the 40th anniversary of the “War on Poverty,” that “[t]he black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the… welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.”

  133. 135 portia1776

    Chris,

    What “olive branch”?

    “You may not like my beliefs or opinions, but they are no less valid or ‘truthful’ then anything you post here.” – As Camus said: “We have a right to think that truth with a capital letter is relative. But facts are facts. And whoever says that the sky is blue when it is gray is prostituting words and preparing the way for tyranny.” If you persist in denying the existence of truth than please answer Harry Frankfurt’s point about the incoherence of your logic.

    “Convenient how you leave out the aspects of Hamilton’s view that don’t support your interpretation.” – Do you read this stuff or just cut and past at random? Hamilton argued that “general welfare” was unlimited. You point to quote in which it clearly states that Hamilton argued that “general welfare” was unlimited, believing that there were no constitutional limits on the national government’s ability to intervene. Apology accepted?

    “With respect to the issues discussed here, my opinion on those issues differs (in some cases) from others.” – Based on the facts available at the time, the Loschiavo case made the record of Jim Miron’s administration clear for anyone who wanted to see what he was all about. But now we have definitive, factual evidence that Miron was not only reckless in flouting public safety recommendations and endangering lives (as we knew then). Now we have proof positive that Miron did so knowing full well what could happen, and even expecting it to. To your mind Is Jimmy Miron’s not-so-secret agreement an “opinion” or a fact?: http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Miron-LoSchiavo-signed-secret-pact-on-seizure-434243.php

    I know, I know, it doesn’t matter. “[We must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling… (Simpsons)” But the past has a way of becoming the present if we’re not careful.

    “I would rather have a discussion and set that aside, but you obviously can’t help yourself.” – You consider everything I write an insult because your arguments can’t stand-up to scrutiny (see above). That is not my problem.

  134. 136 portia1776

    Chris,

    “So who (or what entity) is to set the ground rules for what constitutes deception or fraud?” – Friedman answers that question in, of all places, Capitalism and Freedom, Chapter II: “GOVERNMENT AS RULE-MAKER AND UMPIRE.” The relevant section can be read for free online: http://books.cat-v.org/economics/capitalism-and-freedom/chapter_02

    Who (or what entity) decides whether they are engaging in open and free competition?” – Primarily consumers.

    “Are we to simply trust that the executives, boards and shareholders will abide by such a general statement?” – No. We have an elaborate system of checks and balances, political and economic, to provide proper incentives and punish bad actors.

    “And what is deception/fraud?” – Defined by the rule of law.

    “Will we know it when we see it and what will be the consequences?” – Yes. Madoff is in jail, which means he was criminally convicted and is paying the price, personal and financial, for his crimes.

    “the corporation (or the individual running it) have any ‘social responsibility’ to not dump things into the ground and water?” – Businesses have several compelling reasons not to: moral, legal (criminal and civil), and financial.

    “Do they bear any responsibility for cleaning it up?” – All the responsibility, unless government unhelpfully caps bad actors’ liability.

    “Friedman lobbied against environmental regulation which he obviously saw as an unnecessary restriction on the free market.” – Not true. Friedman said: “The problem is to make sure that people bear the costs for which they are responsible. A market system rests fundamentally on such an arrangement. If you hit me with your car and you damage me, you are obligated to pay me—at least until we have no-fault insurance. The problem of pollution is that if you emit noxious smoke that damages me, it’s difficult for me to know who’s done the damage and to require you to be responsible for it.”

    I discussed this problem already elsewhere: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/cap-and-down/#comment-13899

    “So if the corporation determines that greater pollution leads to greater profits, wouldn’t they be working against their interests by not polluting?” – Let’s take your premise at face value. Will polluting only lead to greater profits? For how long? While a company may delude itself into thinking polluting is in its best interest, its executives will quickly learn otherwise: civil lawsuits by workers and area residents (whether true or not, the attorney fees and settlement costs cut into the bottom line), customer boycotts (if you make it and no one buys, there are no revenues, to say nothing of profits), criminal prosecutions (if warranted), and bad publicity (the fourth estate is still pretty good about “if it bleeds, it leads”).

    “And wouldn’t that put them at odds with Friedman?” – Of course it would.

    “Speaking of Freidman’s legacy,” – You can’t speak of Freidman’s legacy independent of his principles, ideas, and facts.

    “the report card is not so glowing.” – Really? Individual liberty and free market don’t work? Care to prove you’re quotes veracity?

    “‘econ-wars’ of the late 1970s and 1980s.” – And what were the outcomes of those ‘wars?’ Keynes admitted to Hayek that he knew the Achilles heel of his philosophy was inflation. He did not live long enough, however, to address that as he promised Hayek that he would. In any case, I would love to hear a defense of stagflation, which Keynesians gave us in the 70s.

    “But Friedman’s ideas of directly targeting the money supply were tried and rejected as a failure” – Footnote anyone? Friedman’s idea was for the Fed, if it must exist at all, to keep a consistent 2% growth target on the money supply. Greenspan never adhered to Friedman’s injunction. While perhaps the best there ever was at fine tuning, the market showed Greenspan to be human as us all. His too loose money supply in the build-up to the financial crisis is generally thought to have made matters worse.

    “Friedman himself backed away from his dogmatic earlier positions” – Again not true. The only change was that Friedman became more vocal in his opposition to the Fed, something he had only done subtly in the past.

    ““And Friedman’s one success?” – Friedman’s one success, by his own account, was eliminating the draft. You don’t want to re-instate that do you?

    “Friedman’s views evolved (or devolved depending on one’s perspective) over time.” – Friedman’s thinking on the application of his principles evolved. His principled intellectual and moral concern with individual liberty, however, remained the same, as it should have.

    “The market, like fate, can be a cruel mistress :)” – Milton Friedman lived till 94 with his beloved wife, Rose, of 64 years. By all accounts, they lived happy and fulfilled lives, and made lasting contributions to the science of economics as well as the intellectual defense of freedom. How you can find such a disgusting comment like that funny is a reflection on your character.

  135. 137 1george1

    The cost of manufacturing the volt and all electric cars are
    well under $ 10,000.

    No business could survive selling at cost.

    Further there are far less parts, including no need for catalytic
    converters, nor emissions control.

    The U. S. Auto aftermarket was once 40 % of GNP.
    There remains much inventory.
    Big Oil needs to force continuation of hybrids, and it is a jobs issue
    as well as profit issue.

    The most important market to create all electric vehicle are tractor
    trailers where expensive Diesel Fuel and extensive time used with very
    low MPG guarentees RELATIVELY very quick ROI.

    The most important market for Bloom Box type “off the grid” utility
    for electricity and heat is for homes.
    Most USA power plants uses Coal.

  136. 138 cstratct

    Portia,

    With respect to the olive branch, here is what I wrote in FinReg (Post 617 – 9/16/10)

    “I appreciate the fact that we have (at least from the appearance of recent posts) been able to table the personal invective and focus on the debate. I’m willing to do my part to engage in respectful debate and set aside the personal insults.”

    Is that not extending an olive branch?

    As to Hamilton’s writings, I’ll point out once again that the very next paragraph states unequivocally:

    “It is therefore of necessity left to the discretion of the National Legislature, to pronounce, upon the objects, which concern the general Welfare, and for which under that description, an appropriation of money is requisite and proper.”

    It is clear from this statement that he expects the “National Legislature” to decide what those objects of general welfare are and how much is appropriate to be spent.

    The following paragraph goes even further, stating:

    “That the object to which an appropriation of money is to be made be General and not local; its operation extending in fact, or by possibility, throughout the Union, and not being confined to a particular spot.”

    So Hamilton himself is defining limitations in making this statement. This is the fundamental problem with many earmarks. In many cases earmarks go against that very principle, and in those cases I would absolutely agree that it is not an appropriate expenditure.

    As for the pollution hypothetical, perhaps clarification is necessary. Waste (which can lead to pollution, but not in every case) is an unavoidable byproduct of production. Most entities will create waste through production. The waste has to go somewhere. If a corporation is dumping waste that ends up polluting an area (land or water), who is holding that corporation responsible and if there are no (or vaguely drawn) regulations, what mechanisms are there to prosecute or hold the company liable?

    Are you suggesting there is or is not a role for the EPA and the FDA in these circumstances? If not, do you really expect individuals to have the resources to take on a company with billions of dollars in profit? We need only look at Love Canal to see how that turned out.

    If our government is truly a “government of the People, by the People, for the People” then the people decide what activities are appropriate for that government. We elect those representatives we believe will promote our best interests. Elections are the people’s report card. No one here is arguing for a socialist state, at least I’m not and I don’t believe anyone else has done so. I believe the government, in limited cases, must take on the role of protecting the interests of the people. That sometimes means placing restrictions on what can and cannot be done by corporations whose only “responsibility”, as Friedman points out, is to maximize profit.

    I’ll try to respond to the rest later.

  137. 139 cstratct

    Just a quick note on the last statement: I didn’t wish death upon Friedman or laugh at his death. I don’t wish harm or illness to come to anyone. Death is a natural occurrence. I (like the rest of us) will end up in the same place as Friedman one day. He lived a full life and I’m sure he was loved by those around him. It was nothing more than a mildly amusing play on Friedman’s views of the free market.

    It’s better to laugh at death than get angry, says new UC Berkeley research on the death experience
    http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/97legacy/death.html

    “In contrast to traditional assumptions, two psychologists from UC Berkeley and Catholic University in Washington D.C. have found that people who laugh in the months following the death of a spouse are better able to function years later than are people who express more negative emotions.”

  138. 140 cstratct

    “The problem of pollution is that if you emit noxious smoke that damages me, it’s difficult for me to know who’s done the damage and to require you to be responsible for it.”

    So in this scenario no one is responsible and no entity can be held accountable. Perhaps George or Jezebel can answer this question, as I honestly can’t find any information about it: How much has Raymark contributed to the cleanup in Stratford? Has the state received the $20 million it was seeking from Raymark for the cleanup?

    Interestingly Raymark sued others trying to pass on responsibility:

    http://www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/view.asp?A=1773&Q=282716

    I realize most here know more about Raymark then me. I use the Raymark situation as a case study in trying to understand how Friedman’s principles and ideas of the “social responsibility of business” would apply and bring about a resolution.

  139. 141 1george1

    Chris,
    To answer your Raymark contribution question, please google
    EPA BULLETIN # 44, Stratford CT Raymark.

    The answer about Raybestos contributions may be in the background
    information (a few million $ = declared bankruptcy) and/or you can
    email / call Jim Murphy or/and Ron Jennings.
    Their contact info is on page 16, the last page.

    Please post the reply.

  140. 142 1george1

    I am not going to 3rd party Portia and Chris arguments, especially
    about interpreting positions of dead people and I N T E N T.

    1 – People change positions due to life experience.

    2 – Situations cause change in positions of any/every individual because
    specific factors merit considerations, analogous to court rulings being
    different, even about the same general topic.

    3 – Situations have changed just since Friedman was alive, and extremely
    since Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson, Payne, and others were alive.

    4 – Portia, Chris, Jeze, and I post 3rd party positions (endorsements) for
    our positions. Yet today’s expert are often proven wrong my new factors
    and findings, or even by old findings and facts.
    > Physical medicine has dramatically changed in my lifetime, where there
    are almost incontrovertible truths …. when you get into psychology and
    subjective medicine, it is not so clear, plain, evident, or incontrovertible.

    EXAMPLE:
    In 1951, my mother was carrying me and because of a childhood illness
    was in ST VINCENT Hospital for Months.
    She was the second Heart patient in CT.

    Almost 60 years later, several people I know have had heart operations
    and one had a heart transplant.

    EXAMPLE:
    In the early 1800s – about 1810 – there were estimated to be only 20
    indoor toilets in Paris.

    EXAMPLES:
    Light Bulb invented 1879
    Henry Ford assembly line – cars for the masses – 1913
    TV –
    The first regularly scheduled television service in the United States
    began on July 2, 1928. The Federal Radio Commission authorized
    C.F. Jenkins to broadcast from experimental station W3XK in Wheaton,
    Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C.
    In the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
    allowed stations to broadcast advertisements beginning 1941,
    but required public service programming commitments
    as a requirement for a license

    The personal computer (PC), which is also called the microcomputer
    and was designed for use by one person, was first developed for
    businesses in the early 1970s.
    Digital Equipment Corporation made the PDP8 for scientific laboratories.
    Steve Wozniak (1950– ) and Steve Jobs (1955– ), college dropouts who
    founded Apple Computer in 1976, are credited with inventing the
    first computer for home use.

    the fundamental ideas behind the Internet have been around for
    over half of a century.
    In 1958 the concerns of people in the US military triggered the creation
    of the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
    DARPA went on to have a direct contribution to the development
    of the Internet by appointing Joseph Licklider to head the new
    Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO).

    Licklider envisaged the potential benefits of a countrywide
    communications network, influencing his successors to implement
    his vision and to hire Lawrence Roberts who at that time was carrying
    out research with networks which was also being funded by DARPA.
    Roberts led development of the ARPANet network architecture, and
    based it on the new idea of packet switching. A special computer called
    an Interface Message Processor was developed to realise the design.

    The ARPANet first went live in October 1969, with communications
    between the University of California in Los Angeles and the Stanford
    Research Institute.

    The first networking protocol used on the ARPANet was the
    Network Control Program. In 1983, it was replaced with the
    TCP/IP protocol, which is still the standard used today.

    In 1990, the National Science Foundation took over management
    of what was then called the NSFNet, and significantly expanded its
    reach by connecting it to the CSNET in Universities throughout
    North America, and later to the EUnet throughout research
    facilities in Europe.

    Thanks in large part to the NSF’s free-thinking management,
    and the growing popularity of the web, the nature of the
    Internet changed quickly in 1992, when the U.S. government
    began pulling out of network management and commercial
    entities offered Internet access to the general public for
    the first time.

  141. 143 cstratct

    This is probably the best, and most comprehensive answer I could find:

    http://www.answers.com/topic/raytech-corporation

    “Raytech continued to maintain that it had no successor liability, litigating the matter for eight years until finally in October 1995 the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the argument, thus forcing the company to bow to reality and begin to negotiate with the parties suing it. In October 1998 Raytech reached a tentative agreement to resolve its legal difficulties, but it was not until April 2001 that the plan was finalized and Raytech was able to emerge from Chapter 11 protection. Under terms of the settlement, Raytech turned over 90 percent of its stock to trustees appointed by bankruptcy court, as well as to state and federal government entities, in order to satisfy $7.2 million in asbestos-related claims, plus future claims. Of that $7.2 billion, $6.76 billion involved personal injury claims and $432 million was connected to cleanup costs to federal and state governments.”

    It appears the state and federal governments were responsible for securing compensation from Raymark (Raytech).

    My question for Portia, without prejudice or hostility, is this: Based on your (or Friedman’s) principles regarding the role of government, was this an appropriate action for the government to take? Should the Dept. of Justice have been involved in any way in securing this settlement and cleaning up the sites? Is that an appropriate role for government?

  142. 144 1george1

    Chris,

    What role did local, state, and federal governments play
    causal to the problems?

    The RAC (Raymark Advisory Commission) had witnesses
    who saw DEP personnel dumping drums of poisons into
    the Raybestos pond.

    Licenses were granted.
    Health Departments and other agencies / departments
    were supposed to oversee, and likely were paid off?

    My position:

    The Feds, State, and Local governments and political parties
    and individual businesses caused problems.
    They are responsible for fixing problems they caused or allowed!

  143. 145 portia1776

    Chris,

    “It is clear from this statement that he expects the ‘National Legislature’ to decide what those objects of general welfare are and how much is appropriate to be spent.” “So Hamilton himself is defining limitations in making this statement.” – For the hundredth time, everything you quote validates that Hamilton unequivocally believed in an unlimited interpretation of “general welfare,” i.e., the Congress would be unconstrained by the Constitution in its application of the concept. Hamilton defined no limit on the scope of Congress’ discretionary powers, which is not a constitutional limit in and of itself.

    You’re beginning to make me wonder about the plain meaning of words, or at least your ability to comprehend them.

    “in those cases I would absolutely agree that it is not an appropriate expenditure.” – Any earmark that does not fit within the enumerated powers of Congress to allocate money to is unconstitutional. Hamilton’s wrongful interpretation of “general welfare” may be popular among power-hungrary politicains (and how could it not be), but that does not make it right, as defined by being consistent with the Framer’s intent.

    “Waste (which can lead to pollution, but not in every case) is an unavoidable byproduct of production. Most entities will create waste through production.” – True. It is also the case that, as with individuals, corporate waste is a measure of inefficiency. It is a dead weight on the books. Therefore, the free market provides a positive incentive for individuals and companies to mitigate their waste products as much as possible (e.g., conserving energy saves money).

    “If a corporation is dumping waste that ends up polluting an area (land or water), who is holding that corporation responsible and if there are no (or vaguely drawn) regulations, what mechanisms are there to prosecute or hold the company liable?” – The civil and criminal court systems are the best ways of addressing these problems. But government, as Friedman said, can play a role by providing a market disincentive for pollution via taxation. That is an effective means of regulation that compliments the judiciaries role.

    “Are you suggesting there is or is not a role for the EPA and the FDA in these circumstances?” – The FDA, as noted, has a legitimate function, just not much of what it does now. The EPA, however, has no role to play. Unless, to name but one example, you enjoy breathing in MTBE, which the EPA has known since 1980 was a health hazard but supported the deceptively named Clean Air Act of 1990 that mandated increased use of MTBE. There are myriad examples of the EPA going against good science and endangering lives. But, then again, the agency was founded by President Nixon, so I guess we really shouldn’t be surprised by anything they do.

    “If not, do you really expect individuals to have the resources to take on a company with billions of dollars in profit?” – We need not expect this, it happens all the time. There are whole law firms dedicated to consumer protection and “toxic torts” (often on contingency). The true stories behind the films A Civil Action and Erin Brockovich show that no faith is necessary, and the EPAs role in both cases was an afterthought at best.

    “We need only look at Love Canal to see how that turned out.” – Love Canal is actually a perfect example of government failure.

    As economist Richard Stroupe notes: “…liability for pollution is a powerful motivator when a factory or other potentially polluting asset is privately owned. The case of the notorious waste dump, Love Canal, illustrates this point. As long as Hooker Chemical Company owned the Love Canal waste site, it was designed, maintained, and operated (in the late forties and fifties) in a way that met even the Environmental Protection Agency standards of 1980. The corporation wanted to avoid any damaging leaks, for which it would have to pay.

    Only when the waste site was taken over by local government—under threat of eminent domain, for the cost of one dollar, and in spite of warnings by Hooker about the chemicals—was the site mistreated in ways that led to chemical leakage. The government decision makers lacked personal or corporate liability for their decisions. They built a school on part of the site, removed part of the protective clay cap to use as fill dirt for another school site, and sold off the remaining part of the Love Canal site to a developer, without warning him of the dangers as Hooker had warned them. The local government also punched holes in the impermeable clay walls to build water lines and a highway. This allowed the toxic wastes to escape when rainwater, no longer kept out by the partially removed clay cap, washed them through the gaps created in the walls.

    The school district owning the land had a laudable but narrow goal: it wanted to provide education cheaply for district children. Government decision makers are seldom held accountable for broader social goals in the way that private owners are by liability rules and potential profits. Of course, mistakes can be made by anyone, including private parties, but the decision maker whose private wealth is on the line tends to be more circumspect. The liability that holds private decision makers accountable is largely missing in the public sector (http://www.nesgeorgia.org/files/free_market_environmentalism.pdf ).”

    “the people decide what activities are appropriate for that government.” – We our a nation of laws, not men. America is a Republic with democratic elements, not a pure democracy. The Constitution provides a limit on what activities are appropriate for the national government to engage in. Here is your chance to prove Friedman wrong. His contention was that:

    “Nobody believes in democracy…. that is democracy interpreted as majority rule. You will find it very hard to find anybody who will say that if 55% of the people believe the other 45% of the people should be shot that’s an appropriate exercise of democracy. What I believe is not a democracy but in individual freedom; in a society in which individuals cooperate with one another and in which there is an absence of coercion and violence.” Well, do you believe that a majority of the people should have the power to vote on the appropriateness of the national government to persecute or murder a minority of the population? Bear in mind that this has happened in American history even with the Constitution because people subverted or ignored its injunctions.

    “We elect those representatives we believe will promote our best interests.” – Just because something is in “our” best interest doesn’t mean it is constitutional or wise for national government to do it. Government Motors and Government Sachs think that their best interests entitle them to tens of billions of our hard-earned tax dollars. President Obama’s administration and a majority of Democratic congresspeople and senators agree. So what?

    “No one here is arguing for a socialist state, at least I’m not and I don’t believe anyone else has done so.” – Arguing that the Constitution does not limit the power of the national government is an argument in favor of authoritarianism, whether or not such an authoritarian government would socialist is besides the point. I don’t want to live under a rightist military junta or a leftish nanny state or a communist “workers paradise.”

    “I believe the government, in limited cases, must take on the role of protecting the interests of the people.” – The only reason for government to exist is to protect the interests of the people, as defined by their individual liberty.

    “That sometimes means placing restrictions on what can and cannot be done by corporations whose only ‘responsibility’, as Friedman points out, is to maximize profit.” – It does indeed, but such intervention must be guided by the Constitution. As for the second point, I know, isn’t it shocking that people and companies – gasp! – are motivated by profits. What you fail to realize is that when a company maximizes profits it is doing a social good. As Kim Strassel relayed from this past weekend:

    “…China’s wealthiest man, Zong Qinghou… was invited to this dinner at which Warren Buffett and Bill Gates tried to convince Chinese tycoons to pledge some of their fortunes to charity. Zong Qinghou did not attend. He is, however, on record as saying that he’s skeptical of philanthropy as a tax dodge, and he thinks real charity is creating wealth and jobs for society. Now, obviously, charity does matter, but it was really great to see a businessman out there talking about just how fundamental capitalism is to the general well-being of average people. We could use a few more guys like this in the U.S.”

    “So in this scenario no one is responsible and no entity can be held accountable.” – Correct, which is why Friedman free-market environmentalist measures to increase accountability, such as taxation on emissions.

    “How much has Raymark contributed to the cleanup in Stratford? Has the state received the $20 million it was seeking from Raymark for the cleanup?” – Good question. The only thing I found through a quick search is that in 2008 the Indian Supreme Court ordered Raybestos Co. to pay $16.4 million for clean-up of PCB’s at the company’s facility in Crawfordsville, as it should have.

    “I use the Raymark situation as a case study in trying to understand how Friedman’s principles and ideas of the ‘social responsibility of business’ would apply and bring about a resolution.” – As I’ve written previously: “While free market capitalism is ‘the anti-pollutant’ (http://cafehayek.com/2010/04/capitalism-the-anti-pollutant.html), providing the best system for reducing pollution by fostering innovation and providing incentives not to pollute (cf the respective environmental records of the industrialized Western free market economies with those of the Eastern socialist economies throughout the last century), pollution is at best mitigated, not eliminated.” If Raybestos had heeded Friedman’s advice, they would have mitigated their waste and thus liabilities. The EPA says that slightly less than 50 sites around town are contaminated. This number is almost certainly too low, considering that Raymark used to give away toxic fill for free. More importantly, the EPA/DEP solution to the problem was to recklessly expose residents to air borne pollutants. Thanks to Save Stratford and then Rep. Harkins, et al., their hazardous “solution” was not afflicted on Stratford.

    To quote Stroup again, “Free-market environmentalism emphasizes markets as a solution to environmental problems…. free markets can be more successful than government—and have been more successful historically—in solving many environmental problems.”

  144. 146 cstratct

    Portia,

    I noticed there was no acknowledgement of the first part of my earlier post.

    As for this: “You’re beginning to make me wonder about the plain meaning of words, or at least your ability to comprehend them.”

    I comprehend the meaning of words perfectly well thank you. Your insult notwithstanding, as I have pointed out repeatedly, he does identify a limitation, however vague, in stating that expenditures should be toward the national good, not local. He is also stating that it is left to the legislature to determine parameters, and in the case of the subsidy, the legislature decided that was not an appropriate expenditure. But isn’t making those determinations one of the fundamental roles of Congress? And haven’t we had more than 200 years of revisions and corrections that have addressed some of the shortcomings of the original document?

    I think the Constitution is an amazing document for many reasons, none the least of which is the fact that it is not so inflexible that it cannot continue to advance with our society. There are many things the Founders could not have envisioned when writing the Constitution, and the mechanisms installed within the document allow it to remain a work in progress. It has changed over time because we as a nation have changed over time. And while there are certainly times when our individual rights have been harmed (the Patriot Act or Prohibition), it seems we as a nation do better at self-correcting then any other form of government or nation.

  145. 147 1george1

    Interesting. Both made good points.

  146. 148 jezebel282

    I hope we’ve gotten that out of our systems.

    But back to politics. As usual we find ourselves subjected to 30 and 60 sound bites that drone on incessantly every time we turn on a TV or radio. Particularly disappointing are the campaigns of McMahon and Blumenthal.

    McMahon seems bent on creating as many tax breaks for herself as possible. She rails about the deficit yet wants to reduce every tax she pays to nearly zero. Of course she wants to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy but goes much further.

    Prevent scheduled income tax rate increases and move to reducing the corporate tax rate.
    Stop the capital gains tax rate from going up.
    Stop the dividend tax rate from going up.
    Allow full same-year deductions for capital losses.
    Abolish both the estate tax and the gift tax.
    Allow businesses to deduct 100% of the cost of any capital expenses for equipment, technology, software, or buildings from their taxable income in the year they buy the asset.
    Eliminate the employer portion of the payroll tax for one year
    Increase Alaska drilling and production
    http://www.linda2010.com/issues/economy/

    Blumenthal, on the other hand has almost nothing to say about tax policy other than extending tax cuts for those with incomes under $250,000. His economic policies seem to be very focused on Connecticut small business assistance.
    http://richardblumenthal.com/Issues/JobsEconomy

    What is truly disappointing is that neither one has a real plan. From Obama down to State Representative candidates, no one has a plan to help the 15 million unemployed Americans. In a mere 6 weeks they will be cut off from any benefits whatsoever. If anyone thinks foreclosures rates are high now, wait until 15 million people can’t pay their rent or mortgages.

    In the meantime, whatever drugs the Fed is on should be distributed to everyone.

    Fed Mulls Raising Inflation Expectations to Boost Economy
    By Scott Lanman and Craig Torres – Oct 13, 2010 12:00 AM ET
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-13/fed-considers-raising-inflation-expectations-to-boost-economy.html

    Federal Reserve policy makers may want Americans to expect inflation to accelerate in the future so they spend more of their money now.

    Central bankers, seeking ways to boost flagging growth after lowering interest rates almost to zero and buying $1.7 trillion of securities, are weighing strategies for raising inflation expectations as well as expanding the balance sheet by purchasing Treasuries, according to minutes of the Fed’s Sept. 21 meeting released yesterday.

    But this has to be my favorite line:

    “There’s some evidence that inflation expectations are playing a role both in limiting demand and keeping prices low,” Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York said.

    “You look at housing now and one of the reasons people aren’t buying is they expect they can get a better price if they wait,” he said. “If that behavior spreads into other markets, it could be a real problem.”

    Where does this guy live? Who’s going to buy a house if they have no job or are afraid they might get laid off?

    Which leads me to wonder if there is any politician alive that is running on common sense?


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