Happy Thanksgiving (from the Tea Party)

24Nov10

Wait till you see what else we cut.

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111 Responses to “Happy Thanksgiving (from the Tea Party)”

  1. 1 1george1

    Happy Thanksgiving to e v e r y o n e.

  2. 2 ronmoreau

    George,

    DITTO

  3. 3 portia1776

    Happy Thanksgiving! Now, a word on what we have to be thankful for:

    “The Pilgrims founded their colony at Plymouth Plantation in December 1620 and promptly started dying off in droves.

    As the colony’s early governor, William Bradford, wrote in ‘Of Plymouth Plantation’:

    ‘That which was most sadd & lamentable was, that in 2. or 3. moneths time halfe of their company dyed.’

    When the settlers finally stopped croaking, they set about creating a heaven on earth, a society without private property, where all worked for the common good. Everything was shared. Especially bitching and moaning about working for the common good. Bradford again:

    ‘Yong-men that were most able and fitte for labour and service did repine that they should spend their time and streingth to worke for other mens wives and children, with out any recompense….And for men’s wives to be commanded to doe service for other men, as dresing their meate, washing their cloaths, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brooke it.’

    With nobody working [for their own self-interest], everybody was suffering. And in case you think nobody was working simply because they couldn’t understand a damn thing Bradford was saying, chew on this: In 1623, Bradford and the other leaders

    ‘Assigned to every family a parceel of land…this had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more torne was planted then other waise would have bene by any means the Govr or any other could use, and saved him a great deall of trouble, and gave farr better contente.’

    In no time at all ‘any generall wante of famine hath not been amongest them since to this day.’

    America would never go hungry again. So this week, before you drift into your annual tryptophan-induced coma, don’t forget to give thanks to the true patron of this holiday feast: property rights.

    For more on this topic, including controversy over whether the pilgrims were proto-communists, go to http://reason.tv/video/show/1515

  4. 4 portia1776

  5. 5 1george1

    Portia,
    I note your video/audio attributes success of getting fat and happy to
    property rights (I support private property and capitalism).

    However, it was the governor who assigned property grants to the people
    to be able to develope those private properties, which ties into my points
    about:
    1 – Royal land grants and sponsors
    2 – Presidential / Congressional land grants, organization, and support for
    the Railroads, which created the ROBBER BARONS and their WEST POINT
    ENGINEERS, who also became rich, with political patrons.

  6. 6 1george1

    I emailed this to a friend in India: Some things I believe and people
    (among many others) to be thankful to:

    Unlike many people I do not believe in PROTECTIONIST ECONOMICS,

    I believe in FAIR TRADE and blame our INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY for
    America’s problems and not MERCANTISM, nor NAVIGATION ACTS, nor
    TRIANGLE TRADE!
    > Our grocery store have more FOOD and more DIVERSE FOOD than
    ROYALS of the past could even concieve and from around the world.
    > Low cost labor from around the world allows lower cost products
    from around the world.
    > Low cost immigrants keep produce prices good.

    Conversely it gives jobs to people around the world where competition
    and jobs help raise their standards of living and they learn how to improve
    their lives.

    Nor do I believe in ZERO SUM economics.
    I believe in CORNUCOPIA ECONOMICS whereas Technology, Communications, Finance, and Transportation will help Education and developments of Talents, Skills, and Abilities for people to improve their lives.

    Google: Dr. Norman Borglaug, Alexander Fleming, Jonas Salk, Charles Laveran,
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Mohandas Gandhi, Desmond Tutu,
    Nelson Mandela, Jesus Christ, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Doctors of the church.

    Inventers: Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Steve Wozniak/Steve Jobs,
    D.A.R.P.A.=Internet, Eli Whitney, Clarence Birdseye, Auguste de Heine/Peter Durand, Jacob Perkins/William Cullen, Willis Haviland Carrier, Sir Thomas Crapper,
    Leonardo da Vinci/Karl Benz/Henry Ford, Robert Fulton, Nikolaus August Otto,

    I believe economic concepts of
    Adam Smith (diversified & Moral economics)
    Maynard Keynes (money supply-monitored/managed fluidity)
    George Marshall (format towards world peace and prosperity, within
    sovereign domain)
    Milton Friedman (Capitalism maximizing personal & society freedoms)
    and Arthur Laffer (Taxes have levels for benefit and/or destruction
    /\ rising (economic) tide raises all boats (people/communities).

    MY POLITICS:
    some people in town debate a bunch of stuff on a blog
    https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/

    You can see and hear me on the Cable Website
    SOUNDVIEW COMMUNICATIONS, State Street, Bridgeport, CT.

    Once in the website …. look for ARCHIVES (lower left)
    Find (town of) Stratford
    Look to the summer of 2009 for DEBATES
    1 – PYE (Protect Your Environment) Meet the Candidates
    2 – OSNA (Old Stratford Neighborhood Association) Stratford Mayor Debate
    3 – League of Women Voters > Stratford High School = Stratford Mayor Debate
    4 – League of Women Voters > Stratford Oronoque Village = Stratford Mayor Debate

    Mayor is like the President of the Town
    – compared to President of United States.
    Both control what the departments do and appoint department heads.

    Town Council is like the Congress of the Town
    – compared to the Senate and Congress of the United States.
    Both control raising Taxes and spending.

  7. 7 portia1776

    George,

    “it was the governor who assigned property grants to the people” – Right, ALL the land in question had previously been public and thus owned by the Pilgrims’ government. The Governor ended that by privatizing the land.

    “Presidential / Congressional land grants, organization, and support for
    the Railroads, which created the ROBBER BARONS and their WEST POINT
    ENGINEERS, who also became rich, with political patrons.” – Just to be clear: a “robber baron” is someone who becomes rich as a result of unfair government advantages.

    Many people who are often referred to as “robber barons” were actually true entrepreneurs who fought government-created monopolies and won, for their own benefit and the benefit of consumers. See Professor Boudreaux on the transcontinental railroads: free enterprise and the ingenuity of one immigrant created the Great Northern line, which remains profitable to the present day; the national government created several that were horribly run and went bankrupt after wasting tons of taxpayer dollars for their politically-connected owners’ gain.

  8. 8 1george1

    “it was the governor who assigned property grants to the people”
    – Right, ALL the land in question had previously been public and
    thus owned by the Pilgrims’ government.
    The Governor ended that by privatizing the land.

    WHEN / HOW DID THE PILGRIMS GAIN DEEDS FROM FORMER OWNERS?

    “Presidential / Congressional land grants, organization, and support for
    the Railroads, which created the ROBBER BARONS and their WEST POINT
    ENGINEERS, who also became rich, with political patrons.”

    THAT WAS ONLY SOME OF THE ROBBER BARONS.
    THERE WERE OTHERS WHO GOT THEIR OTHER WAYS.

    THE LAND GRANTS WERE NOT GIVEN TO EVERYONE.
    LAND GRANTS TO TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROADS COULD TOTAL
    CLOSE TO A LARGE PART OF RHODE ISLAND.

    – Just to be clear: a “robber baron” is someone who becomes rich
    as a result of unfair government advantages.

    YOUR DEFINITION DOES NOT QUITE MATCH THE BOOK.
    HOWEVER, as defined MODERN ROBBER BARONS COULD INCLUDE:
    – WEAPONS TRADERS
    – DRUG DEALERS
    – INSIDER TRADERS
    – LOBBYISTS
    – BILL GATES
    – WARREN BUFFET
    – BLOOMBERG

    Many people who are often referred to as “robber barons” were
    actually true entrepreneurs who fought government-created
    monopolies and won, for their own benefit and the benefit of consumers.

    See Professor Boudreaux on the transcontinental railroads:
    free enterprise and the ingenuity of one immigrant created the
    Great Northern line, which remains profitable to the present day;
    the national government created several that were horribly run
    and went bankrupt after wasting tons of taxpayer dollars for their
    politically-connected owners’ gain.

    REVISIONIST PAP.
    I WONDER WHO PAID BOUDREAUX or WHO HE IS RELATED TO?

  9. 9 1george1

    I watched the UTUBE – CATO after I posted.

    I strongly disagree with the statement attributed by BIDEN.
    I agree with much of Professor Bourdreaux position.

    However, I believe the book Robber Barons has a different view
    on Hill. (It has been awhile.)

    Government patronage towards human benefit exists.
    It apppears unbalanced by miseries caused.

    Economy to Scale give government unfair advantage.
    Individuals innovations contribute mightily.

    Eisenhower’s farewell also described the danger of government
    patronage and control of innovation.
    By government, I suspect he also means those hidden people who
    control the means of production, who are hardly humanitarians.

    Henry Ford created the auto assembly line and his pay structure
    assisted in creating a fraction of his market, to his own workers.
    > However the Ford products were timely.

    Among the (great) people I noted above, some were independents.
    some were parts of private or religious or business organizations.
    some were sponsored by government or organizations.

    BOTTOM LINE:
    I agree with your general philosophy, but do not agree
    your philosophy’s measurements would meet your degree.

  10. 10 jezebel282

    Portia,

    ““robber barons” were actually true entrepreneurs who fought government-created monopolies and won,”

    They were heroes? Who knew?

  11. 11 portia1776

    “WHEN / HOW DID THE PILGRIMS GAIN DEEDS FROM FORMER OWNERS?” – There were no “deeds” because the land was quite literally in the state of nature. (Since I’m always and wrongly accused of supporting anarchy, let me just point out that securing property rights is a fine example of why we created government in the first place. If there was a property dispute between two American Indian tribes or between a tribe and Pilgrims, there were no courts in which they could be adjudicated peacefully. Moreover, there were no land registries to prove ownership or allow for the peaceable transfer of titles).

    “THAT WAS ONLY SOME OF THE ROBBER BARONS.
    THERE WERE OTHERS WHO GOT THEIR OTHER WAYS.” – Agreed, I just want to make the distinction clear: those who received unfair government advantage are robber barons. Those who did not, and made it on their own, are market entrepreneurs deserving of our admiration.

    “YOUR DEFINITION DOES NOT QUITE MATCH THE BOOK.” – Depends on what “the book” is. See historian Burton Folsom’s “The Myth of the Robber Barons”:

    “A key point about the steamship industry is that the government played an active role right from the start in both America and England. Right away this separates two groups of entrepreneurs — those who sought subsidies and those who didn’t. Those who tried to succeed in steamboating primarily through federal aid, pools, vote buying, or stock speculation we will classify as political entrepreneurs. Those who tried to succeed in steamboating primarily by creating and marketing a superior product at a low cost we will classify as market entrepreneurs. No entrepreneur fits perfectly into one category or the other, but most fall generally into one category or the other. The political entrepreneur often fits the classic Robber Baron mold; they stifled productivity (through monopolies and pools), corrupted business and politics, and dulled America’s competitive edge. Market entrepreneurs, by contrast, often made decisive and unpredictable contributions to American economic development.”

    “MODERN ROBBER BARONS COULD INCLUDE” – Drug dealers are a perfect example; their cartels are protected by our government, as described by Milton Friedman. Many of the others on your list, however, are inappropriate.

    “REVISIONIST PAP.” – ‘A Little Revision, Now and Then, Is Relished by the Wisest Men’

    “I WONDER WHO PAID BOUDREAUX or WHO HE IS RELATED TO?” – George, you really must stop thinking of blood. In any case, it is irrelevant who (George Mason University) pays Professor Boudreaux or who he is related to.

    “I strongly disagree with the statement attributed by BIDEN.
    I agree with much of Professor Bourdreaux position.” Glad to hear it! I wish others, who shall remain nameless, would read/watch my supporting documentation.

    “Government patronage towards human benefit exists.
    It apppears unbalanced by miseries caused.

    Economy to Scale give government unfair advantage.
    Individuals innovations contribute mightily.

    Eisenhower’s farewell also described the danger of government
    patronage and control of innovation.” – Agreed.

    “By government, I suspect he also means those hidden people who
    control the means of production, who are hardly humanitarians.” – I can’t join you on this point… sliding, as it does, into conspiracy land.

    “I agree with your general philosophy, but do not agree
    your philosophy’s measurements would meet your degree.” – Can you please clarify?

  12. 12 portia1776

    Jez,

    “”robber barons’ were actually true entrepreneurs who fought government-created monopolies and won,’

    They were heroes? Who knew?'”

    Tsk, tsk, Jez, trying to make it seem like I believe the opposite of what I wrote. Robber Barons are scoundrels who made their fortunes on account of political connections and government favors that often protected their monopolies — all to the detriment of taxpayers. My point was that the entrepreneur who made the Gilded Age, well, gilded was not a Robber Baron, contrary to what a mediocrity of Biden’s aptitude believes.

  13. 13 1george1

    “I agree with your general philosophy, but do not agree
    your philosophy’s measurements would meet your degree.”
    – Can you please clarify?

    PORTIA – Like many Republicans or Democrats, you go WAY OVER the
    TOP in repeating certain MANTRAS.

    The OTHER SIDE is DEMONIZED with NO REDEEMING QUALITIES and
    ONLY YOUR position and those you agree with have MERIT.

    Look to your arguments and posturing with CHRIS for examples.

    ——

    “By government, I suspect he also means those hidden people who
    control the means of production, who are hardly humanitarians.”

    – I can’t join you on this point… sliding, as it does, into conspiracy land.

    PORTIA – DO YOU CLAIM CONSPIRACIES DO NOT EXIST?

    How do you explain pot and cocaine from low single digit use in 1950s,
    to close to a majority or a majority of adult americans have experimented
    or abused …..?

    How do you explain a national didtribution network, so effective that
    during the Reagan years, there were FLASH RECESSIONS due to MONEY
    SUPPLY drying up in various FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICTS and oversupply
    in the MIAMI/FL and LA/CA areas and FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICTS?

    How do you explain people who can not read, write, nor identify any
    part of the world outside their village possessing AK-47s, IEDs, Rocket
    Launchers, and more?
    How do they learn to make bombs, when they can’t grow crops or ranch
    or even sustain themselves as wid animal hunters?
    How does the Mafia HS drop outs, 4th world peasants, illiterate immigrants,
    and JAILED gangbangers – outsmart ultra degreed C.I.A., F.B.I., D.O.D., N.S.C.,
    state police and local police, etc with tools like super computers, satellite
    photocapabilities and communications intercepts, remote bugs/transponders,
    and wild toys and tools.

    Ask any police office you have known for a while or their families and ask if
    they knew police and politically connected who stole drugs and resold?

    CRIME and DRUGS are good economics to the political parties who, band
    together to use OPM and OPC.

    WAR is even more lucrative.

    —-

    I disagree with MARX solutions, which were adopted by those I believe
    he had correctly identified and vilified as causers of War.
    > The 5 permanent members of the UN are the 5 largest, but not ONLY,
    SELLERS of WEAPONS (SYSTEMS), MUNITTIONS, ARMS, and EXPLOSIVES.

    James Bond fiction last night “never say never” had S.P.E.C.T.R.E. # 1
    stating they were able to make money from the middle eastern OIL
    countries and others and sell weapons to both sides.

    In James Bond fiction “license to kill” cocaine was imported within Gasoline
    and the refining process separated cocaine from the gasoline and then
    allowed national distribution …

    Was the movie “the godfather” a mirror image of existing family values, or
    was it also propaganda towards proliferation of crime?

    Is it coincidence GAMBLE and GAMPLE look so much alike, when the State
    started using ex-Mafia cash cows for State Revenues, including eliminating
    the 1 year LAW and ETHICS LAW related to appointing GAMBLING LEADERS
    of the CASINOS from GOVERNMENT OFFICE?

    Are there private gambling rooms, where politicians, police, and others
    put money on a number on the roulette table, and win, regardless of
    what number the ball ceases?

    Are the politicians who take the “juice” of private contractors or more
    knowing they are “protected?”

    Were Rowland, Ganim, and Newton turned out as Scape goats to make it
    look like there were watchdogs on political corruption?

    How much of the FABRIZZI’S COCAINE came through the BANANA BOATS
    and how much came through Bridgeport’s Security at Skiorsky Airport?

    You are right PORTIA and others …there are NO CONSPIRACIES.

    “It’s a wonderful life” and “Ozzie and Harriet” describe america as it exists
    far more than “miami vice” or the “lethal weapon,” or “die hard,” or “cops!”

    Where are the COCAINE FIELDS in CT?
    New England?
    Coincidence O.P.E.C. looks and rhymes with Kopec?
    Coincidence O.P.E.C. took over for OIL / GAS prices from TX RR commission!
    Coincidence Dick Cheney is from the TEA POT DOME State.
    Coincidence Bush Family was partnered in a ROCKEFELLER FIRM, partnered
    to sons of ED HARRIMAN, from the STANDARD OIL TRUST.
    Coincidence Jay Rockefeller heads the Senate Intelligence Committee and
    Barb Kinnelly was Congress Intelligence Committee and Lieberman is head
    of FATHERLAND SECURITY when JOHN BURTURLA leap frogged everyone?

    Coincidence OIL went from $ 12.58 12/98 to $ 147 6/2008 dragging up Coal
    and Gas prices?

    Had Jay Rockefeller, Bush, Cheney, divested themselves of OIL STOCKS or
    were they in TRUSTS where chances are they may have risen with 1100%
    increase in pricing when every other industry (except WAR) lost money?

    Did George Pratt Schultz divest holding of Pratt & Whitney and others?

    Did Dick Cheney, ex-CEO of Halliburton, make sure Halliburton was excluded
    from any IRAQ / AFGHAN deals?

    Why weren’t IRAQ OIL fields, in the middle of NO WHERE developed with
    OIL RIGS, ROADS, RAILROADS, PIPELINES and REFINING in a country with
    2,200 oil rigs, while TEXAS has over 1 million oil rigs?

    IRAQ has highways, railroads, pipelines, ports, refineries, storage.

    No PORTIA, there are NO CONSPIRACIES ….

    No one makes movies of life imitating art or of …

  14. 14 1george1

    Eisenhower’s farewell also described the danger of government
    patronage and control of innovation.” – Agreed.

    “By government, I suspect he also means those hidden people who
    control the means of production,

    – I can’t join you on this point… sliding, as it does, into conspiracy land.

    You agree with Eisenhower’s speach and danger of conspiracy,
    while disagreeing with possibilities calling it conspiracy land?

    Is that having it both ways, and a flawed argument?

    I am NOT name calling …
    I am challenging what appears to be diametrics?

  15. 15 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “Tsk, tsk, Jez, trying to make it seem like I believe the opposite of what I wrote. Robber Barons are scoundrels who made their fortunes on account of political connections and government favors that often protected their monopolies”

    Whew!

    I’m glad you agree that it was the exploited (to death) Irish, German and Chinese immigrants that were responsible for the growth of our infrastructure.

  16. 16 1george1

    Portia,

    Jeze may faint, but I am with Jeze on the “robber barons.”

    “Andrew Carnegie” was a “robber baron” who used his wealth to help
    create the Library system in the U. S.
    However Andrew was no friend to workers in building his wealth.

    Violence was used by workers and antiworkers in many various cases
    and the Pinkertons, who got their start with Railroads and then with
    the Union forces in the Civil War, came back as Railroad security after
    the Civil War and then turned into the F.I.B., I mean the F.B.I.

    While you praised revisionism, a movie like “Mississippi Burning” making
    racist F.B.I. into the heroes is classic revisionism.

    I am sure there are Patriots in the F.B.I. and Police.

    However they are a TOOL of POLITICAL MANAGEMENT, and willingly have
    allowed DRUGS, CRIME, and WAR to BENEFIT POLITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE.

    The rise of Mexican and gangs from Central and South America is the classic
    way the modern sociopaths with political power have turned the United
    States into a COCAINE REPUBLIC.

    They reward WAR LORDS and MANUFACTURERS of DEATH and TRAFFICKERS
    in DRUGS, WEAPONS, MUNITIONS, OIL-GAS-COAL, ELECTION RIGGING, and
    INSIDER TRADING.

    I distrust even the heroes of Capitalism and Philanthropy:
    Warren (Gekko-Geico) Buffet and his best friend who owns LEVEL 3.
    Bill (Microsoft back door OS holes & patches) Gates
    Bloomberg (insider aggregator, analyser, and disemimator real time finance
    news)

    These 3 in particular are positioned to access and use inside information
    from 3 different vehicles.

    Buffet’s best friend who owns LEVEL 3 which owns ex-Gas PIPELINES (denying
    use to move Natural Gas / lower price) and controls 70 % of CABLE Traffic.
    It is speculation on my part, but who is to prevent tapping into those cables
    and accessing information, which can be analysed by SUPER COMPUTERS,
    for FINANCIAL INSIDER TRADING.
    LEVEL 3 can be a DOG STOCK which gives it cover for the REAL VALUE.

    GATES controls the Operating System that is INFERIOR to the MAC in every way.
    They constantly have HOLES, PATCHES, and UPGRADES for VIRUS, SPYWARE,
    MALWARE, TROJANS, WORMS, and everything else which creates whole new
    Revenue streams.
    I saw a video created by the man who ran the WTC communications who
    showed just some of the back door ports, which the bad stuff can enter.
    It looked like the thing in MATRIX.
    – Forget SECURITY on WIRELESS – It does NOT exist. Even GOOGLE proved that
    as their mobile camera vehicles taking 360 degree pictures of all streets, also
    captured DATA and PASSWORDS, concurrent to PICTURE taking.

    The movie “enemy of the state” took maybe 2 years to create. Technology
    shown in the movie was 2 to 10 years old, with multiple NEW GENERATIONS
    of ELECTRONIC SPYWARE.

    The NSC taps into 100% of Satellite switching on Voice / Data transmissions.

    PBS Documentary showed A T & T created mirror rooms for National Security
    to the rooms they have for collecting all Trans Atlantic Cable and Trans Pacific
    Cable under the pretext of the PATRIOT ACT.

    According to various documentaries over 70 % of national security and work
    for the INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITIES are outsourced to companies like
    HALLIBURTON.

    Portia, Jeze, Chris, and anyone else – here is a Hypothetical?

    Suppose you could elect Presidents who worked for your company or
    country over a series of decades.

    Suppose they could place people in all departments and agencies who
    control hiring, promotions, information, and resources.

    Suppose you were able to work with other operatives in other countries
    who personally had to do no violence and were protected by YOUR own
    Security People (praetorians) who could kill them and their families at any
    time, and knew they could be famous and wealthy if they played along.

    Suppose you were able to drop the price of Oil / Gas / Coal and chase all
    of your competition out of business who borrowed money on higher prices,
    like was done by JD Rockefeller building Standard Oil Trust.

    Suppose once your group controlled all OIL / GAS / COAL you could KITE
    PRICES to 1100 % of the low and AVERAGE TWICE the HISTORIC HIGH $ PRICE?

    Suppose you could CRASH all of the over priced, under valued DOT COMS
    and BUY UP the BEST IDEAS and BEST TALENT?

    Suppose you could CRASH WORLD COM which bought up all of the LONG
    DISTANCE CONTRACTS using INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS?

    Suppose you could crash ENRON, whose TALENT were SKILLED at manipulating
    ENERGY PRICES and who LOST everything in ENRON CRASH and were willing to
    WORK for the DEVIL to rebuild personal fortunes and who had contacts with
    all kind of INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS?

    Suppose you could use wealth from DRUG TRAFFIC, GAMBLING, WARS, OIL,
    etc to BUY National, State, and Local political parties’ leaders?
    > These are often grandchildren of PROHIBITION Political Prostitution who
    knew how to BUY / CONTROL JUDGES – CONGRESS – EXECUTIVE – POLICE
    BAR ASSOCIATION – RANK Party / Government

    Could such a conspiracy work, when none of the lower one know who, what,
    when, where, why, and how?

  17. 17 portia1776

    Jez,

    “I’m glad you agree that it was the exploited (to death) Irish, German and Chinese immigrants that were responsible for the growth of our infrastructure.” – As P.J. O’Rourke has said:

    “Hardly anyone wanted to come to America. Even the original inhabitants were just following a mammoth farther than they meant to. The rest of us were dragged here as slaves and bondservants. We were exiled here as heretics and criminals. We were chased here by poverty and oppression. And we came here because no place else would take us. We’re a bunch of losers and bums, the off-scourings of the planet. And now we are the richest and most powerful nation in the world. Why? Is it because we’re collectively good? No.
    It’s because we’re individually free.

    Freedom is tough. We’re tough. Freedom is difficult. We’re difficult. Freedom
    is a heavy load to carry. We’ve got baggage. And one more thing—freedom is messy. So I think we should make a mess.”

  18. 18 portia1776

    George,

    I didn’t mean to hit a nerve with the “conspiracy” comment.

    “Can you please clarify?” – I still don’t know what “your philosophy’s measurements would meet your degree” means and hope you will explain what you had in mind.

    In lieu of an explanation, I forthrightly reject your accusing me of repeating my repetitions (look-up the definition of mantra), going “WAY OVER the TOP” and demonizing without purpose, and being like “many Republicans or Democrats.” I have stood alone on principle against others not bound by the strictures of logic or decency or basic literacy. It is beguiling why you would reverse your prior praise and now claim that my “arguments and posturing” – not some, not a particular example, but all – deserve to be so maligned.

    “PORTIA – DO YOU CLAIM CONSPIRACIES DO NOT EXIST?” – No. But when considering such claims, I agree with the French mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace, who said: “The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.”

    With that in mind, perhaps you wish to reconsider your comment that there are “hidden people who control the means of production, who are hardly humanitarians”? Ditto your other contentions listed above.

    For example, “How do you explain pot and cocaine from low single digit use in 1950s, to close to a majority or a majority of adult americans have experimented or abused …..?” – First, any numbers on this would obviously be unreliable. Second, while the DEA does claim that tens of millions of Americans have tried various drugs, the only numbers that matter are those for addiction. Those number are dramatically lower, meaning that the majority of people who try drugs, even the most addictive, have not become addicts. Third, drugs are illegal so the fact that so many Americans are reaching for the “forbidden fruit” is not at all surprising.

    While, again, there are problems with the data, we do know that the effects of overindulgence of alcohol were never worse than when government prohibited alcohol—and we should not neglect the gangs and violence that developed solely as a result of prohibition. Or, that after becoming “frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people (http://www.slate.com/id/2245188/).”

    In any event, I’m not sure what you’re getting at. The “conspiracy” (actually a national disgrace and travesty) is that drug prohibition only serves the interests of large cartels and has caused tremendous suffering, especially to innocents.

    “SUPPLY drying up in various FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICTS and oversupply in the MIAMI/FL and LA/CA areas and FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICTS?” – Quite simply, even accepting your description as accurate for the moment. It is impossible for the FED to have enough information to determine what is the correct quantity of money. Similarly, it is impossible for the government schools of Fairfax County, Virginia to adjust to an increase in population as quickly and effectively as private enterprises (http://cafehayek.com/2010/11/school-lessons.html ).

    “How do you explain people who can not read, write, nor identify any part of the world outside their village possessing AK-47s, IEDs, Rocket Launchers, and more?” – Blame the Soviet Union, Cuba, et al. They polluted the third world with their siren socialism, weapons, and training, consigning millions to suffering and death in the process.

    “How does the Mafia HS drop outs, 4th world peasants, illiterate immigrants, and JAILED gangbangers – outsmart” – People are remarkably resourceful when they have much to gain and little to lose. Moreover, some of the best crime fighters are ex-criminals. It is not uncommon for security firms to hire former hackers.

    “Ask any police office you have known for a while or their families and ask if they knew police and politically connected who stole drugs and resold?” – See the futility of prohibition, above.

    I’m not sure how to respond to the rest of this….

    “You are right PORTIA and others …there are NO CONSPIRACIES.” – George, have I not, by your own account, written frequently about the “unseen”? Is it a conspiracy that the minimum wage is a cause of unemployment, and disproportionally hurts minorities and young people? Is it a conspiracy that Social Secuirty, Medicare, Welfare and other so-called “entitlements” erode individual liberty and initiative? Is it a conspiracy that conflicts of interest abound in the current and former administrations? Is it a conspiracy that FDA regulations have needlessly claimed the lives of countless Americans? Is what the TSA is doing at airports a conspiracy? After all, according to a 2006 Reason article as interpreted by John “don’t touch my junk” Tyner, “if a plane was hijacked and crashed once per week, one’s odds of dying would be 1 in 135,000. One would be almost three times as likely to be killed crossing the street, eight times as likely to be murdered, and over twenty times as likely to be killed in a car crash. Really think about that for a second. If a plane was hijacked and crashed once per week, you would still be more likely to be killed driving to the airport to get on that plane (http://johnnyedge.blogspot.com/2010/11/nothing-to-fear-but-fear-and-maybe-tsa.html ).

    My answer to all these questions, as well as the other issues I have written about, is a resounding “NO.” Some combination of wrong ideology, bad policies and worse implementation, and corrupt or incompetent bureaucrats explains almost everything.

    As for “It’s a wonderful life,” Mr. Potter is a “Robber Barron” against Mr. Bailey, the free-market entrepreneur.

  19. 19 portia1776

    George,

    “You agree with Eisenhower’s speach and danger of conspiracy,
    while disagreeing with possibilities calling it conspiracy land?” – President Eisenhower was warning of the obvious danger of an entire industry being tied to the fate of government contracts. What would he have thought of Government Motors, the Union-Democrats-Government nexus, and the Republicans-Democrats-TSA-Chertoff Security Complex?

  20. 20 portia1776

    Getting back on topic (Giving thanks for the ‘invisible hand’):

    “And yet, isn’t there something wondrous — something almost inexplicable — in the way your Thanksgiving weekend is made possible by the skill and labor of vast numbers of total strangers?

    To bring that turkey to the dining room table, for example, required the efforts of thousands of people — the poultry farmers who raised the birds, of course, but also the feed distributors who supplied their nourishment and the truckers who brought it to the farm, not to mention the architect who designed the hatchery, the workmen who built it, and the technicians who keep it running. The bird had to be slaughtered and defeathered and inspected and transported and unloaded and wrapped and priced and displayed. The people who accomplished those tasks were supported in turn by armies of other people accomplishing other tasks — from refining the gasoline that fueled the trucks to manufacturing the plastic in which the meat was packaged.

    The activities of countless far-flung men and women over the course of many months had to be intricately choreographed and precisely timed, so that when you showed up to buy a fresh Thanksgiving turkey, there would be one — or more likely, a few dozen — waiting. The level of coordination that was required to pull it off is mind-boggling. But what is even more mind-boggling is this: No one coordinated it.

    No turkey czar sat in a command post somewhere, consulting a master plan and issuing orders. No one rode herd on all those people, forcing them to cooperate for your benefit. And yet they did cooperate. When you arrived at the supermarket, your turkey was there. You didn’t have to do anything but show up to buy it. If that isn’t a miracle, what should we call it?

    Adam Smith called it “the invisible hand” — the mysterious power that leads innumerable people, each working for his own gain, to promote ends that benefit many. Out of the seeming chaos of millions of uncoordinated private transactions emerges the spontaneous order of the market. Free human beings freely interact, and the result is an array of goods and services more immense than the human mind can comprehend. No dictator, no bureaucracy, no supercomputer plans it in advance. Indeed, the more an economy is planned, the more it is plagued by shortages, dislocation, and failure.

    It is commonplace to speak of seeing God’s signature in the intricacy of a spider’s web or the animation of a beehive. But they pale in comparison to the kaleidoscopic energy and productivity of the free market. If it is a blessing from Heaven when seeds are transformed into grain, how much more of a blessing is it when our private, voluntary exchanges are transformed — without our ever intending it — into prosperity, innovation, and growth?

    The social order of freedom, like the wealth and the progress it makes possible, is an extraordinary gift from above. On this Thanksgiving Day and every day, may we be grateful.

    (Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe) (http://www.jeffjacoby.com/8393/giving-thanks-for-the-invisible-hand ).”

  21. 21 portia1776

    And let us not forget those unpleasantly regressive busybodies, spoilsports, and prohibitionists otherwise known as “Our puritanical progressives,” as described by George Will.

    Their latest target, in California, is video games for “18>” (because, you know, discrimination is so bad that the legislature didn’t even try to make a distinction between what’s appropriate for five and 17 year olds. They’re the same, right?)

    Read it in the Washington Post:

    “…Supreme Court justices may be playing the video game ‘Postal 2, (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/02/AR2010110204234.html )’ whose rich menu of simulated mayhem provoked California’s legislature to pass a problematic law.

    During the oral argument about whether the law restricting children’s access to violent video games violates First Amendment guarantees of free expression, the lawyer representing game manufacturers urged the court to remember America’s history of moral panics, which he said included one in the early 1950s about comic books. Really? Yes, and the episode remains instructive.

    The lawyer for the video-game industry warned the Supreme Court that ‘the land is awash’ with contemporary versions of Anthony Comstock (1844-1915), the crusader for censorship of indecency, as he spaciously defined it. ‘Today’s crusaders,’ the lawyer said, ‘come less from the pulpit than from university social science departments, but their goals and tactics remain the same.’

    Progressivism is a faith-based program. The progressives’ agenda for improving everyone else varies but invariably involves the cult of expertise – an unflagging faith in the application of science to social reform. Progressivism’s itch to perfect people by perfecting the social environment can produce an interesting phenomenon – the Pecksniffian progressive (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/26/AR2010112603490.html ).”

  22. 22 1george1

    From PORTIA:
    1) “Hardly anyone wanted to come to America.
    Even the original inhabitants were just following a mammoth
    farther than they meant to.
    The rest of us were dragged here as slaves and bondservants.
    We were exiled here as heretics and criminals.
    We were chased here by poverty and oppression.
    And we came here because no place else would take us.
    We’re a bunch of losers and bums, the off-scourings of the planet.
    And now we are the richest and most powerful nation in the world.

    2) Why? Is it because we’re collectively good? No.
    It’s because we’re individually free.

    From GEORGE:
    1) Looking at the above, I thought I was reading about BOTANY BAY
    Penal Colony in Austrailia, bought to more prominence by Star Trek?

    The IRISH “Potato Famine” had a bit to do with MASS EXODUS.
    > Leave it to a Jewish comedian (over a decade ago) to point out
    there was a FAMINE on an island surrounded by fishable waters ….
    > There were no Potatos, until found in the new World.
    Then they became a staple on european lands difficult to grow.

    > The German LANDGRAVES caused reasons for MASS EXODUS, whereas
    GERMAN, not ENGLISH, are the LARGEST MINORITY in the USA.

    > It was Dutch and Jews who first settled NYC.

    > Maryland was by Catholic immigrant.

    > Plymouth Rock, MA, was Puritans.

    > A wide variety of protestant groups settled most of Colonial USA.

    > About the 1990s there were about EQUAL PERCENTAGES of BLACK
    and HISPANIC. Now PAT BUCHANAN almost single handedly created
    the frenzy about Mexican illegal immigrants taking back those states
    stolen from Mexico, thanks to the TEXAS WAR.
    TEXAS + CALIFORNIFICATION are very highly populated.
    NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA, and NEVADA have huge unpopulated areas.
    * All could benefit from Terraforming and creating desalinated water
    from the Pacific Ocean, through the ROCKIES.

    PORTIA is partially correct about some criminals and unwanted from
    the OLD WORLD.

    The British Empire also created “plausible deniability” by using privateers
    to wreck havoc on Spanish and Portuguese Treasure Ships.

    As an Island nation, the British benefitted from the unique situation that
    land locked empires did not have, since they all had threats from neighbors!

    Defeating the Spanish Armada, effectively ended Spain as a power.

    The British and French divied up North America, with British and Colonials
    knocking off French Canada and influence along northern colonies.
    > French still controlled the Mississippi, and set up a unique French and
    Colonial English Gentry collaboration with REVOLUTIONS.

    2) See PARADISE LOST.
    “BETTER to RULE HELL, than to SERVE in HEAVEN!”

    The U. S. is RICH and POWERFUL, because the people who control the
    WAR MACHINE are the MOST RUTHLESS and CUNNING than any others
    who control other countries.

    The CONSTITUTION is a more SOPHISTICATED and ENCOMPASSING than
    the MAGNA CARTA, which created a GEMEINSCHAFT with GESELLSHAFT
    abilities to enter into the CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE, know as ROYAL lineage!

    > Primogeniture where only the OLDEST SON got the title and all of the
    land and wealth, caused an intelligent partnership of untitled relatives,
    who still went to the best education and populated the HIGHEST spots
    in Houses of LORDS or COMMONS, the MILITARY, the BUREAUCRACY, the
    FISHING / HUNTING / FARMING / RANCHING / MANUFACTURING / TRADE
    / DISTRIBUTION / SHIPPING-TRANSPORTATION / CONSTRUCTION / etc.

    Mercantilism and Navigation Acts are logical policy extentions for OCEANIA,
    who, like Japan, lacked many RAW MATERIALS and LAND for EXPANSION.

    Triangle Trade of Slaves from Africa to South / Central / North America
    to work the land, instead of the INDIGINOUS has a certain cruel logic
    that was supported by one of the 10 COMMANDMENTS.

    Using SLAVES for PLANTATIONS allowed for COTTON EMPIRES after the
    COTTON GIN.

    Using SAVAGE HUNTERS / TRAPPERS for FURS for Trade to europe had
    a logic.

    LIQUOR from FARMS to EUROPE / USA was LOGICAL because Water and
    Food would SPOIL, whereas LIQUOR did not.

    WOOD, COAL, GOLD, SILVER, and other things found around the world
    had European savage NOBILITY using TROOPS to SUPPORT CONQUEST
    around the WORLD.

    With less than 200 COUNTRIES chartered by the UN, the United States
    has Diplomatic Troops in all of them and Garrisons in over 100 countries.

    Some claim, with merit, many places are “stabilized” and WARS ceased.
    Others claim, with merit, some troops are placed in countries to act
    like Praetorians, to keep the front men / titular heads “in harnass?”

    PORTIA – If you classify W A R as “free enterprise” then the United States
    does owe its’ power and richness to “free enterprise!”

  23. 23 1george1

    TRIANGLE TRADE DEFINED

    SLAVES to the COLONIES to work farms and do manual labor.

    RAW MATERIALS from the COLONIES to ENGLAND to create Manufactured
    goods for England, Europe, British Colonies, and anyone who would trade.

    MANUFACTURED GOODS and TROOPS to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd WORLDS.

    MARSHALL PLAN

    Rebuilt
    United States;
    West Europe / British Empire as Common Wealth;
    Pacific Rim;
    CREATED BUFFERS around RUSSIA / WARSAW + CHINA / N KOREA

    Allowed former colonies to be “in play” for WARS of LIBERATION and
    for CONTROL of PEOPLES / MATERIALS, but really for WEAPONS and
    MATERIALS for WARS.

    TRILATERAL COMMISSION

    Outsourced American industries to lower labor countries.
    IMPROVED QL / STANDARD LIVING for places outsources
    HARMED QL / STANDARD LIVING for many Americans
    Increased Wealth of those cooperating with wealth transfer,

    Created American Market for POT / COCAINE / CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
    3 MILE ISLAND / CHERNOBYL eliminated NUCLEAR POWER for Energy

    Partnership with Russia on NATURAL GAS Pipeline through East Europe
    to West Europe, except FRANCE which EXPORTS energy from EXCESS
    NUCLEAR GENERATION.

    Partnership with O. P. E. C.:
    > cause OIL to go from $ 2 (1960) to $ 47 (1982)
    > cause OIL to go from $ 13 (1999) to $ 147 (6/2008)

    Partnership with RUSSIA to drop SAUDI / IRAQ OIL and allow RUSSIA #1
    OIL EXPORTS and KILL former RUSSIA enemies in AFGHANISTAN.

    BRIBE POLICE / BAR / POLITICAL PARTIES / COURTS / EXECUTIVE / LEGISLATIVE
    to become T R A I T O R S because many are have limited horizons and are
    ALL EGO, and NO S E L F – R E S P E C T.

  24. 24 1george1

    George,

    “You agree with Eisenhower’s speach and danger of conspiracy,
    while disagreeing with possibilities calling it conspiracy land?”

    – President Eisenhower was warning of the obvious danger of an
    entire industry being tied to the fate of government contracts.

    What would he have thought of Government Motors,
    the Union-Democrats-Government nexus,
    and the Republicans-Democrats-TSA-Chertoff Security Complex?

    —–

    PORTIA
    I am glad you spread the blame (D + R), besides raising legit issues!!

    Weren’t the INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS created under …. Pres Eisenhower?

    I had been tormented by some “TROLLEY PEOPLE” crazed that GM
    became the ECONOMIC ENGINE, which it became, as Automobiles and
    their AFTERMARKET were responsible for 40 % of GDP, when it was
    called GDP and not GNP, which now counts SERVICES and CONSUMER
    SPENDING is 70 % of GNP.

    If you were a Union member of GM / FORD / POLICE, then you feel like
    Unionism is a good thing, much like workers in Europe, where GREECE,
    IRELAND, and other Countries went “over the TOP” for not having the
    economics lined up to pay the piper.

    ————

    I do not believe there are any Democrats or Republicans, since the
    1970s, in “ranking positions.”
    By 1987, I believe everything was over, and controlled by the powers.

    Since 1987 most of the foreign and domestic violence and activities,
    have been designed to concentrate power and eliminate rights.

    ————

    There are real Democrats and real Republicans at our level around the
    country, who are principled and patriotic.

    The creatures who control Bridgeport / Stratford / CT economics and
    policies are NOT real Democrats and real Republicans .

    PORTIA – You are arguing APPLES and ORANGES and PEARS and POTATOS
    and TOMATOS.
    I am arguing VAMPIRES and GHOULS or those MORLOCKS and ELOI.

  25. 25 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “And one more thing—freedom is messy. So I think we should make a mess.”

    It is not a necessary condition that people should be exploited to death because “Freedom is messy”.

    “To bring that turkey to the dining room table, for example, required the efforts of thousands of people”
    Considering a population of 300+ million (not counting the ones out of work that couldn’t afford one) that is probably a little lower than the amount of people it takes to make toothpaste available 365 days a year. It is a fallacy to claim that as a victory for your “free market” philosophies. Which, by the way, seemed alternatively cruel or capricious over the holiday weekend. It has been proven many times by anthropologists that what made Man a successful species was the ability to divide labor. Some hunted, some gathered, some made weapons, some built dwellings, some kept the fires lit, some made clothing and some farmed. It was a living.
    It is a condition of humans to find better ways to do things. Some claim it was the increase in protein in the diet and others claim is was the availability of leisure time. Personally, I think it was the development of monogamy and the phrase “Yes, Dear.”

  26. 26 cstratct

    Jezebel,

    First, I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving.

    As to your last post, it has become abundantly clear upon re-reading some of these posts that the primary element lacking in all this talk of “free markets” is the idea of compassion for our fellow man. As you so lucidly explain (at least as I interpreted it), no man (or woman) is an island. Self-interest is fine to the extent that no individual should be required to sacrifice himself or herself for the sake of another. We do however find people committing selfless acts time and again, and for that we should be thankful.

    But a “free market” where it is every man/woman for him/herself without compassion is a “free market” I can do without. I don’t want to speak for you, but I never forget that a society is comprised of individuals, not objects. “Free markets” are for the exchange of goods and services, not the exploitation of workers.

    The true fallacy in all this is that “no one coordinated it.” Of course markets are coordinated. A store has a delivery schedule and an individual places an order from a distributor. The distributor has a schedule which is set in motion upon receipt of an order. A producer manages his/her product to be available upon receipt of an order from the distributor. I fail to see chaos or an “invisible hand.” What I see are processes and schedules coordinated by individuals operating in the market. Distribution channels function properly when they are coordinated. And just because those channels function properly in some situations doesn’t mean some oversight isn’t necessary to ensure the safety of all those involved, including the consumer.

    Best to you and your family during the holiday season!

  27. 27 1george1

    Happy Thanksgiving Chris

    This is NOT a cop out, however your position and Portia’s positions about
    the economy have truths and errors

    The american economy has a mixture of
    1 – Planned / Command economies via Federal / State / Local / Business
    and International Budgets (see Eisenhower farewell)

    2 – Free Enterprise with move legal and illegal businesses (See Wealth of
    Nations) where it is estimated 40 % of the World economy is black Market.

    3 -There are also Macro and Micro economies, where certain money and
    credits never leave certain Circles.
    The Macro Economist classify Macro Economies as M1, M2, + M3
    M1 = CASH
    M2 = CASH + CHECKING
    M3 = CASH + CHECKING + ELECTRIC

    Keynesian Money Supply has been debunked, by the Milton Freedman
    School of Monararism. However with Freedman deceased and before
    then out of power, many of his ideas were reversed and sabotaged.

    One idea was that a majority of people in the system had reliable
    discretionary income. (Destroyed by Oil/Gas/Coal wealth transfer
    and the massive financial / political / bureacratic / military / business
    conspiracy described by the new movie “INSIDE JOB” and movies
    “Wall Street” and Michael Moore’s movies and Nader books and
    writings, among others.)

    Even PORTIA is likely to conceed that MARX and ENGELS at least partially
    were correct in their diagnosis of contemporary power/finance issues!

    I disagree with most of their (& Nader’s and Moore’s) proscribed ideas,
    solultions, and writings.

    From my perception, PORTIA writes passionately about theory and the
    effect of theory on lives and livelihoods. It is not that PORTIA does not
    care about people, but his writing does not get into the description of
    pain and suffering of people.

    I was well behind activists like Sylvia and others who recognized the US
    has several worlds within the population, including various plateaus of
    disenfranched.

    It is only because the middle class now faces unemployment and under
    employment, which they always had, will they / we start to relate to an
    entire culture of people doing menial jobs, if any.

    They are literally fodder for:
    fighting wars – no job skills
    crime and jail – no job skills
    government worker – no constructive job skills
    menial low paying work – no job skills
    welfare / perpetuating networks of dependency – no job skills

    NOW many OLDER WHITE MALE need RETRAINING.

    > Many Machine Shops can product products at a fraction of the time
    with far fewer workers, because of programming computers.

    > Robotics reduce assembly line piece work.

    > Technologies reduce man hours to product products.

    > Cheaper overseas labor without OVERSITE, offshored industries and
    downsized surviving companies and workers.

    > Communications enhancements allower whole telephone services
    to be developed and off shored. (Younger and technologically more
    capable than much of comparable US job pool – so what if they can
    barely speak English?) Other technologies lowered administrative staffs
    needs.

    Many women paid their dues as Secretaries and Administrative assistant,
    and have risen to Executive Director, Manager, Supervisor, where women’s
    superior communication and dexterity skills instead of men’s strength have
    put them from competative disadvantage to competative advantage.

    Economics is a dismal science.
    However it is not rocket science.
    There are existing models of past successes and failures.
    One of the reasons I tout the Marshall Plan is that it embodies:
    1 – Adam Smith Wealth of Nations and Morality concepts.
    2 – It encourages Governments to be sovereign.
    3 – It encourages use of SEED MONEY and LOGISTIC SUPPORT to help
    build foundations to rebuild infrastructure, industry, societies, and
    economies, among more.
    4 – At $ 13 Billion 1947-1951 it was cost effective.
    5 – It states it purpose that are NOBLE and BENEFICIAL to ALL PEOPLE
    who share the common purposes to help free people.

    I WONDER if anyone on this blog has read:
    1 – The Marshall Plan?
    2 – Eisenhower’s farewell?
    3 – MLK Jr Mountaintop speach – it combines economics to higher purposes.

    Chris, I commend you on your “humanity perspective.”

    While PORTIA may view your ways and means toward achieving ends as not
    pragmatic, I think your heart is in the right place.

    I also believe PORTIA’S heart is in the right place too.

    I would give JEZE and other a similar compliment …
    but it would confuse them …
    especially Suddsie !

  28. 28 cstratct

    Happy Thanksgiving George, I didn’t mean to leave you out.

    I disagree with some of your points. I don’t have the time or inclination to get into all of it now, but suffice it to say it’s not about the “description of pain and suffering of people,” it’s about how society addresses that pain and suffering. We know it exists, we see it around us everyday. I could care less about the description, I’m more interested in the solutions, and that is where I find the “free market” as described by Portia failing to meet the challenge.

    A “free market” is a part of society, not the other way around. If our society is consumed by the “free market” and is at the mercy of the “free market” then what is there to keep that market from devolving into an exploitative free-for-all? If self-interest is all that drives the market it’s not hard to figure out where that ends up.

    I’m for a “free market” insofar as people have the ability to make choices about the products and services they choose to consume. That doesn’t mean every “product” should be placed into that market, as some are simply harmful or deadly. And just because someone has a choice doesn’t mean they have the knowledge or information necessary to make an informed choice.

    I believe governments, when constructed by the people and for the people, have a responsibility to see to it that those markets are playing by the rules and treating everyone equally. Some would argue that the government creates unequal treatment, others that the actors in the market create the unequal treatment. I think it’s probably both. But I’ll take a government that is elected by the people over self-interested actors seeking advantage in the market as an arbiter for the rules.

  29. 29 jezebel282

    Cstrat,

    “First, I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving.”

    Thank you. I hope that next year your new daughter is able to squish mashed potatoes & gravy all over everyone within 3 feet of her.

    The only point I continue to make is that Portia’s “free market” and “government control” are not always good and not always bad. Today, as unemployment benefits expire for millions of Americans, both political parties are blithely following their own agendas. Neither party seems to give even passing attention to what matters to actual citizens. And why should it? The only thing dominating the news cycle is TSA scans and pat downs. The real outrage is $25 to check a bag or $49 extra for window or aisle seat. 15 MILLION Americans have no hope of employment and no means to survive.

  30. 30 cstratct

    Jezebel,

    Thanks Jezebel. I’m so looking forward to her upcoming tantrums. I’ll actually have more fun at Christmas when she’s able to tear open presents and get excited about Santa.

    With regard to “free markets” and “government control” I agree with you wholeheartedly. That was my point regarding unequal treatment. I don’t believe governments or “free markets” have all the solutions or create all the problems. There has to be balance.

    The whole scans and pat down issue is ridiculous. I just took a quick business trip to CA. No scan or pat down in Philadelphia, quick scan in San Diego. I am curious though, do you think all these people screaming about pat downs and scans would have been as vocal 7 or 8 years ago? It’s odd, why aren’t these same people screaming about the ridiculously named Patriot Act? They don’t want a body scan before getting on an airplane, but they’re okay with a warrantless wiretap? Personally, someone listening in on private conversations or checking up on what books I read seems more invasive then a scan of my “junk.” (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

  31. 31 jezebel282

    Cstrat,

    “I’m so looking forward to her upcoming tantrums.”

    Not nearly as traumatic as, “Dad, this is my boyfriend “Sludge”. I met him online. Can we borrow your car tonight?”

    I’m still trying to get over statements by GOP congressmen that extending unemployment insurance won’t benefit the economy but extending $3.7 Trillion of unpaid tax cuts would.

    One particularly ignorant Congressmen implied that rich people create jobs and poor people don’t. You would never be able to convince the Walton family of Bentonville, AR of that.

  32. 32 cstratct

    “Not nearly as traumatic as, “Dad, this is my boyfriend “Sludge”. I met him online. Can we borrow your car tonight?””

    Really, Jezebel? Are you deliberately trying to reduce my sleep quotient to zero? 🙂

    “One particularly ignorant Congressmen implied that rich people create jobs and poor people don’t.”

    Ahhh trickle down economics at its best. The fallacy of that argument for me lies in the belief that the more money a person accumulates will lead to them being more likely to re-invest some of it by hiring others. This presupposes that those with the wealth are controlling the companies responsible for hiring people in the first place. The fewer people there are to purchase goods and services, the less likely it is that production and consumption will increase. At some point the accumulation of goods by the wealthy slows to a crawl and if new consumers are not identified, there’s no incentive to hire workers to produce products no one will purchase.

    Saying this doesn’t mean I support a communist or socialist society, I’m only pointing out that the more we lose a middle class, the more difficult it will be to grow our economy. The more have-nots we create, the fewer consumers there will be for products and services. And consolidating wealth to such an extent can only exacerbate the dilemma.

  33. 33 1george1

    I found it cute that while Chris and Jeze are reinforcing each other’s
    political, social, and economic philosophies, they were able to touch
    the most important issue about their own views as parents and their
    child or children.

    Each of us is guilty about parsing and reprioritizing arguments.

    Here is a counter intuitive perspective:

    America became more aware of Racism when seen / heard on TV

    America became more aware of Vietnam when seen / heard on TV
    > Military /Politicos has controlled views of IRAQ / AFGHAN / IRAN / PAK

    America became more aware of real issue when nonsense smoke and
    mirror issues were seen / heard on TV.
    > I won a huge victory for the people of Stratford by making Transparency
    and other ISSUES that caused BETTER CHANNEL 79 coverage and when Matt
    acquiesed to my continual badgering about DEPARTMENT EXPENSES.

    I have been playing head games with this town council, pointing out THEY
    will get the BLAME for the ACTS of all of the OTHERS.
    > They lack the B***s to not do what they are told by the PARTIES.
    > They also need to INSULATE themselves from being FALLGUYS / SCAPEGOATS
    and I fear targets of someone who loses his family and home to TAXES.
    > Frankly I am surprized by the low violence …. so far!

    Will politicians always lie and spin? Yep.

    But the people get easy access to the issues and the real trickled down
    is being able to see and hear the Bovine Scatology, SO EVENTUALLY people
    will cease stepping in the S. O. S.

    My letters to the editor have helped people wise up to the “party favors,”
    “diversions,” “smore and mirrors,” “partners in crime,” and “shell games.”

    However, if the entire system was not co-operating by reinforcing what I
    have exposed locally, state wide, and nationally – then people could NOT
    identify with some of those WACKO CONSPIRACY THEORIES as being too
    PLAUSIBLE.

    It has been over a year since MIKE REYNOLDS referred to my TIN FOIL CAP.
    Neither KANE nor CYCLOPS attack my theories.
    PORTIA, normally an ally who I both support and contradict, was a recent
    reference to CONSPIRACY.

    Jeze does not even bother moving anyone’s post anymore, since we all just
    carry on about what ever was posted above, such as I had done.

    And sudds …. maybe our posts accomplish nothing.

    However I can document insulting PRESIDENTS, CONGRESS, COURTS, DOD,
    CIA. JUSTICE/FBI, MAJOR CORPORATE PLAYERS, HARTFORD, NYC, DC and
    LOCAL, by NAME and.or easily identifiably!

    They do NOT like the LIGHT.
    I PISS THEM OFF INTENTIONALLY.

    There are some far smarter and more powerful than others.
    By attacking their professional powers, they assess their position.
    Occasionally, while PYA, they reprioritize and accidently do good
    things and / or do bad things to cause R E A C T I O N S.

    It is the contrary VIEW whereas MARX called the POWERS that were as
    REACTIONARIES. Now they are PORACTIVE, to CAUSE popular REACTIONS!

  34. 34 portia1776

    Jez,

    “It is not a necessary condition that people should be exploited to death because ‘Freedom is messy’. – “Freedom is messy” means that people can make mistakes but have to live with the consequences. For instance, here is an article about a family that lost their millions because of reckless financial decisions (http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/111434/familys-fall-from-affluence-is-swift-and-hard ).

    “Grateful to have found work in this tough economy, Nick Martin teaches grape growing and winemaking each Saturday to a class of seven students in a simple metal building here at a satellite campus of Highland Community College. Then he drives 14 miles in an 11-year-old Ford Explorer to a sparsely furnished tract house that he rents for $900 a month on a dead-end street in McFarland, a smaller town. Just across the backyard is a shed that a neighbor uses to make cartridges for shooting the prairie dogs that infest the adjacent fields.

    It is a far cry from the life that Mr. Martin and his family enjoyed until recently at their Adirondacks waterfront camp at Tupper Lake, N.Y. Their garage held three stylish cars, including a yellow Aston Martin; they owned three horses, one that cost $173,000; and Mr. Martin treated his wife, Kate, to a birthday weekend at the Waldorf-Astoria, with dinner at the ‘21’ Club and a $7,000 mink coat.

    That luxurious world was fueled by a check Mr. Martin received in 1998 for $14 million, his share of the $600 million sale of Martin Media, an outdoor advertising business begun by his father in California in the 1950s. After taxes, he kept about $10 million.

    But as so often happens to those lucky enough to realize the American dream of sudden riches, the money slipped through the Martins’ fingers faster than they ever imagined.

    They faced temptations to indulge, with the complexities and pressures of new wealth. And a pounding recession pummeled the value of their real estate and new financial investments, rendering their properties unaffordable.

    The fortune evaporated in little more than a decade.”

    (“Evaporated,” really? No, their spending was not an inevitable, involuntary process; it was a series of deliberate, stupid choices).

    Do I feel sorry for this family, particularly the children, YES. Do I want to live in a system where they could not have, of their own free will and accord, ruined their lives, NO, because such a system would destroy individual liberty and initiative. If everyone is a “winner,” we all lose.

    I know, I know you’re pinning to use our tax money to bail them out of their underwater mansion mortgage and get them on the government dole – why, you’ll say, the husband and wife are being “exploited” by working any jobs they can to get by rather than to hold out for a “living wage” (in their case, only about $1 million a year).

    But I suggest you remember that free-market capitalism is a profit and loss system. And “exploitation” is impossible when two parties mutually agree to exchange goods or services. Exploitation, in general terms, only exists in collectivist societies where classes of individuals (serfs, slaves, untouchables) are denied their liberty.

    “Considering a population of 300+ million (not counting the ones out of work that couldn’t afford one) that is probably a little lower than the amount of people it takes to make toothpaste available 365 days a year.” – I agree that the estimate is too low. Millions of people are involved in generating the products we too often take for granted. How beautiful and wondrous free-market capitalism truly is when properly understood.

    “It is a fallacy to claim that as a victory for your ‘free market’ philosophies.” – What?! OK, Jez, how many brands of milk does the socialist economy of Cuba provide its citizens? Is it more or less than what, without any government planning whatsoever, every American has access to on a daily basis? (the answer is usually none, btw). Of course free market capitalism is responsible for the myriad products and services, as well as their quality and price, on the market. Cf. the sectors of economy that have not been liberalized (utilities, health insurance).

    “Which, by the way, seemed alternatively cruel or capricious over the holiday weekend.” – You’re blaming the free-market for the reality that Presidents Bush and Obama’s interventionist policies have ruined the economy by assaulting free enterprise, undermining the rule of law, and being fiscally irresponsible?! Please, Jez, come back to your senses. This statement is unworthy of you.

    “Man a successful species was the ability to divide labor. Some hunted, some gathered, some made weapons, some built dwellings, some kept the fires lit, some made clothing and some farmed. It was a living.” – I agree, but you must recognize that the free-market is all for specialization and the division of labor. Do you know which philosophy is fundamentally opposed to those things? Socialism. Marx described the division of labor as “alienation” that would be eliminated in the coming communist utopia.

    You are closer (whether you want to be is another question) to the classical liberal Adam Smith, who wrote:

    “In civilized society he stands at all times in need of the co-operation and assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons. In almost every other race of animals, each individual, when it is grown up to maturity, is entirely independent, and in its natural state has occasion for the assistance of no other living creature. But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and shew them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this…. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages…. As it is by treaty, by barter, and by purchase, that we obtain from one another the greater part of those mutual good offices which we stand in need of, so it is this same trucking disposition which originally gives occasion to the division of labour.”

  35. 35 portia1776

    Chris,

    “primary element lacking in all this talk of ‘free markets’ is the idea of compassion for our fellow man.” – Excuse me, you have shown ZERO compassion for the numerous individuals and groups of individuals that I have written about who suffer because of the unconstitutional government polices that you support.

    Market liberalization has lifted more people out of poverty and misery than any other force in the history of mankind. Norman “The Man Who Saved More Human Lives Than Any Other” Borlaug, an exemplar of the individual genius only realizable in a free market, saved at least one billion lives around the world, particularly in developing countries, and ended the scourge of natural famines (http://reason.com/blog/2009/09/13/norman-borlaug-the-man-who-sav). Classical liberalism and laissez-faire are not only compassionate in theory, but also in practice. Cf. Collectivism.

    See Columbia University Professor Jagdish Bhagwati’s “The Free Market and Morality”

    “Self-interest is fine to the extent that no individual should be required to sacrifice himself or herself for the sake of another. We do however find people committing selfless acts time and again, and for that we should be thankful.” – Mostly agreed. See Adam Smith above. I remain unconvinced that there is such a thing as a “selfless act” to the individual who undertakes it. Rather, I postulate that every act is self-interested to the individual who commits it, whether or not other people would agree is another question.

    “‘Free markets’ are for the exchange of goods and services, not the exploitation of workers.” – Correct! (You’re doing better than Jez, congrats!). In a free market, where no coercion is allowed (i.e., the workers freely agree to the terms of their employment), “exploitation” is nonexistent.

    “The true fallacy in all this is that ‘no one coordinated it.’ Of course markets are coordinated.” – Markets are coordinated by the free choices of millions of individuals. The point is that, in a free-market, the government is not making these decisions because it necessarily lacks the information to do so effectively. The coordination problem of socialist governments was the subject of a great debate among economists in the 1920s, which was settled definitely by Misses and Hayek as well as the decades of world history since.

    “A store has a delivery schedule and an individual places an order from a distributor. The distributor has a schedule which is set in motion upon receipt of an order. A producer manages his/her product to be available upon receipt of an order from the distributor.” – Right, because individual consumers freely chose which products they wish to buy. If a particular product isn’t selling, the store will eventually stop stocking it. If many stores stop stocking a product, the distributor will stop buying it. And, if that happens, the producer will either have to change their product, offer a new product, or go out of business. Now, if consumers really like a product, the store will adapt to their stated preference and stock more of it as well as consider offering similar products and/or other products from the same company.

    “I fail to see chaos or an ‘invisible hand.’” – The invisible hand is nothing more than a personification of millions of individual consumers. Do you not see from the above example that, without consumers, stores would have no idea what to stock, in what quantities, and at what prices? Producers would have no idea what to produce, in what quantities, and at what prices? Ditto distributors?

    “What I see are processes and schedules coordinated by individuals operating in the market.” – Yes, within a free market. In an un-free market, i.e., one in which government intervenes, there is always misallocation of resources.

  36. 36 portia1776

    George,

    You are right that our economy has increasingly become command-and-controlled by the national government to the detriment of everyone. You are also right that it is unfortunate Friedman is not here to defend himself against the pretenders to his ideas and his newly invigorated Neo-Keynesian opponents, last seen vanquished in the stagflation years their polices created. Friedman’s co-author on a Monetary History of the United States, Anna Schwartz, a nonagenarian, has condemned the madness but to no avail.

    “Even PORTIA is likely to conceed that MARX and ENGELS at least partially
    were correct in their diagnosis of contemporary power/finance issues!” – “Conceed” is the wrong word in more ways than one. I have said that the Manifesto was foresighted in its prediction of the great technological, material, cultural, and intellectual progress that capitalism, free trade, and globalization would engender. Marx and Engels, however, are about as useful as Keynes in understanding contemporary economic issues – which is to say, useless.

    “From my perception, PORTIA writes passionately about theory and the effect of theory on lives and livelihoods.” – Thank you.

    “does not get into the description of pain and suffering of people.” – To the contrary, I have written about the victims of the FDA (including California hippies!), minimum wage, the “Progressive” eugenics and segregationist movements, collectivism around the world, and so many other topics. The difference is that Jez and Chris don’t care one wit about these people because their suffering and pain is inflicted by “good intentioned” governments.

    Jez and Chris would be shocked to know who (hypocritical) spoke this truth:

    The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fibre. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of sound policy. It is in violation of the traditions of America. …The Federal Government must and shall quit this business of relief.

    ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt – in his 1935 State of the Union.

    ….

    “While PORTIA may view your ways and means toward achieving ends as not
    pragmatic, I think your heart is in the right place.
    I also believe PORTIA’S heart is in the right place too.
    I would give JEZE and other a similar compliment …
    but it would confuse them …
    especially Suddsie !” – I agree with you that all of our hearts (even Sudds’) are in the right place. The question, though, is does the softness of some hearts extend to heads, as well? After all, the road to a certain place that shall remain nameless was paved with “good intentions” (two sayings of Friedman).

  37. 37 portia1776

    Chris,

    “I’m more interested in the solutions, and that is where I find the ‘free market’ as described by Portia failing to meet the challenge.” – While I thought your argument that there is a “free-market” in health insurance since we have “choices” between government-created cartel providers was astounding, this has to take the cake. Really? George W. “I had to chuck my free market belief in order to save it” Bush and Barak “spread the wealth around” Obama are free-market capitalists? Their words and deeds beg to differ with your appellation.

    If you don’t like the state of the economy and the very real suffering Americans are enduring, look to the cause, the actual anti-free market polices – not the supposedly noble, big hearted (and small minded) intentions of their proponents – that this and the prior administration have implemented.

    “A ‘free market’ is a part of society, not the other way around.” – Society cannot exist apart from the “market.” Again, see Adam Smith above. The point of contention is how should that market be organized, i.e., what is the most moral and efficient way to structure the market? The answer is to keep the market “free,” meaning that individuals, not government, drive the economy. Alternatively, the market can be socialized, in which case and to varying degrees, it will cease to be moral and efficient.

    “If our society is consumed by the ‘free market’ and is at the mercy of the ‘free market’ then what is there to keep that market from devolving into an exploitative free-for-all?” – While the prior post was promising, you clearly have no idea what the “free market” is. How is society going to be consumed by free individuals? How are we, free individuals, at the mercy of free individuals (ourselves)? How will the rule of law, a necessary condition of a free market, devolve into anarchy, where free individuals will “exploit” each other. Clearly, your fears are irrational.

    “If self-interest is all that drives the market it’s not hard to figure out where that ends up.” – Yes. You end up with the United State of America, the most prosperous and free nation in the history of the planet, founded on the principles of individual civil and economic liberty and limited government, where individual rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are (were?) “inalienable” and “self-evident.” I know, how terrible… how did any American survive with a national government that was below 5% of GDP for most of our history and without “the Pecksniffian progressive” (to quote George Will) to run our lives for us?

    “I’m for a ‘free market’ insofar as people have the ability to make choices about the products and services they choose to consume. That doesn’t mean every ‘product’ should be placed into that market, as some are simply harmful or deadly.” – Who determines what is harmful or deadly? A medications that are deadly to one individual may be life savers for another (aspirin and penicillin, for examples); should government ban all medications because of potential, though individually unknowable, side effects. Even perfectly wholesome food, in the wrong quantity, is harmful or deadly; should government ration food?

    “And just because someone has a choice doesn’t mean they have the knowledge or information necessary to make an informed choice.” – Of course. Decisions have consequences, good and bad, intended and unintended. The onus is on the individual to make an informed choice based on available information. Perfect knowledge is seldom if ever available.

    “I believe governments, when constructed by the people and for the people, have a responsibility to see to it that those markets are playing by the rules and treating everyone equally.” – Right, provided that by “equally” you mean equality under the law. The distribution of income and wealth are different stories.

    “Some would argue that the government creates unequal treatment, others that the actors in the market create the unequal treatment. I think it’s probably both.” – There is only equality under the rule of law. Deviation from the rules, whether by private or more often public bad actors, is a violation of the individual liberty of all.

    “But I’ll take a government that is elected by the people over self-interested actors seeking advantage in the market as an arbiter for the rules.” – LOL. Yes, politicians like Jimmy Miron are benevolent, selfless actors who only have the people’s best interests at heart. In the real-world, Chris, political self-interest is far less altruistic than corporate self-interest.

    After all this time, zombie-like, you still believe “self-interest” is a bad thing. How sad.

    As I wrote a while back to George in response to his unfunny Smirnoff quote:

    Free-market capitalism means opportunity for an individual… with other individuals, for the benefit of themselves and, in turn, society.

    Communism is oppression and exploitation of an individual… by armed mediocrities, for the enrichment of themselves and, in turn, the detriment of society.

  38. 38 portia1776

    Jez,

    “The only point I continue to make is that Portia’s ‘free market’ and ‘government control’ are not always good and not always bad.” – Then you’re making a point not worth making because I have never argued the contrary. The only thing I have stressed, apparently to no avail, is that government intervention always has consequences, good and bad, intended and unintended. You and Chris prefer to see only the supposedly good intentions behind government interventions and ignore the consequences of such policies, no matter how glaring the failures (stimuli, bailouts, entitlements). I fully recognize that while the free market is the most moral and efficient way or organizing society, it is only as good as the individuals who compose it. Since human nature is irrevocably flawed, combing good and bad (more bad than good in the case of a bad actor like Jimmy Miron), the market will necessarily be imperfect. It will, however, produce more positive results than the alternative of government control.

    “Today, as unemployment benefits expire for millions of Americans, both political parties are blithely following their own agendas. Neither party seems to give even passing attention to what matters to actual citizens. And why should it?” – So you’re admitting that the agenda of the Democratic Party is not to help working people? Finally!

    “The only thing dominating the news cycle is TSA scans and pat downs.” – You don’t think the massive, taxpayer funded violation of civil liberties for non-existent “safety” merits attention? Since when did you start writing for The Nation?! Or perhaps you landed a job with the Obama administration?!

    As Ben Franklin wrote: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” As it turns out, we purchased the illusion of safety with our essential Liberty and now have neither.

    “The real outrage is $25 to check a bag or $49 extra for window or aisle seat.” – Choose an airline that doesn’t charge that rate. Of course, in that case, those costs will be embedded in your ticket.

    “15 MILLION Americans have no hope of employment and no means to survive.” – While, thanks to the failed interventionist policies of Presidents Bush and Obama, those Americans have diminished prospects for employment, they have themselves and their communities to ensure their survival.

    Jez, I suggest you recall the alarmist rhetoric of the mid-90s (via John Stossel): Welfare reform—who would have thought that was possible at the time? Nobody around me ever thought it would be anything but a disaster. The New Republic wrote, ‘Families will fracture.’ [Democratic Rep.] Richard Gephardt was widely quoted as saying, ‘A million children will be forced into poverty.’ Everyone I worked with certainly believed that. [Democratic Senator] Pat Moynihan said, “Trauma we haven’t known since the cholera epidemics will come.’ What happened? Welfare reform passed. Somehow it passed. Ideas have power. And the result of course is that not only have welfare caseloads fallen by half but 5 mil- lion people have been lifted out of poverty. Freedom works”

  39. 39 portia1776

    Chris,

    “There has to be balance.” – What balance do you propose between anarchy and totalitarianism? I propose that we should let the Declaration of Independence and Constitution be our guide, as they proposed that we have a limited but effective government and free market capitalism. Why, do you have a moral and efficient alternative in mind?

    “The whole scans and pat down issue is ridiculous.” – I agree completely. Unfortunately, the “Progressives” at The Nation are more interested in smearing classical liberals (John “don’t touch my junk” Tyner is a libertarian) than standing up for liberty.

    As Glenn Greenwald, a leftist but stout civil libertarian, wrote: “The Nation may want to ask someone what the ‘L’ in the ‘ACLU’ stands for.”

    Another good quote from his take down article:

    “These are Tyner’s actual crimes in the eyes of these Nation writers, at least judging by the accusations they make: (1) he’s not a good, loyal Democrat; (2) he did something that politically harmed Barack Obama; and, most and worst of all (3) he failed to submit meekly and quietly to Government orders like any Good, Patriotic ‘ordinary American’ would and should do. That is what has created their “sense” that he’s something other than an ‘ordinary guy’ — a ‘fake.’…. anyone who doesn’t quietly, meekly and immediately submit to Government orders and invasions — or anyone who stands up to government power and challenges it — is inherently suspect. Just as the establishment-worshiping, political-power-defending Ruth Marcus taught us today in The Washington Post, objecting to what the Government is doing here is just immature and ungrateful; mature, psychologically healthy people shut up and submit. That’s how you prove that you’re a normal, responsible, upstanding good citizen: by not making waves, doing what you’re told, declaring yourself a loyal Republican or Democrat and then cheering for your team, and — most of all — accepting in the name of Fear that you must suffer indignities, humiliations and always-increasing loss of liberties at the hands of unchallengeable functionaries of the state (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/11/24/tyner ).”

    “I am curious though, do you think all these people screaming about pat downs and scans would have been as vocal 7 or 8 years ago? It’s odd, why aren’t these same people screaming about the ridiculously named Patriot Act? They don’t want a body scan before getting on an airplane, but they’re okay with a warrantless wiretap?” – Actually, and unlike “Progressives” or Conservatives, classical liberals have been protesting the police state just as vociferously as the nanny (or bully) state since time immemorial. But don’t take my word for it:

    The February 2004 cover of Reason Magazine was entitled “’Dominate. Intimidate. Control. The sorry record of the Transportation Security Administration.’… [Reason’s] 2007 cover story warn[ed] of the privacy implications of emerging search technologies. For further reading, a quick search of our archives turns up dozens of Bush-era TSA articles and blog posts…

    Of course, Reason isn’t the only libertarian outfit around. Let’s move on to the also Koch-funded Cato Institute. Here’s a white paper [http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6330 ] Cato published devoted solely to documenting Bush’s contempt for the Constitution, much of which addresses the security state. Or check here [http://www.cato.org/counterterrorism-homeland-security ] for countless studies and opinion pieces critical of Bush’s DHS, TSA, and counter-terrorism policy….

    As it turns out, libertarian organizations actually did a far better job holding Bush’s TSA accountable than The Nation. That doesn’t surprise me, but it may surprise [Nation publisher Katrina] vanden Heuvel.”

    “someone listening in on private conversations or checking up on what books I read seems more invasive then a scan of my junk.’” – All of it is disgusting and unconstitutional and does nothing to improve our national security, an actual constitutional duty of the national government.

    TSA Slogans (via Dan Mitchell):
    Can’t see London, can’t see France, unless we see your underpants
    Grope discounts available
    It’s not a grope. It’s a freedom pat.
    If we did our job any better we’d have to buy you dinner first.
    Don’t worry, my hands are still warm from the last guy.
    We are now free to move about your pants.
    We handle more packages than the USPS.

    44 TSA acronyms (via Reason Mag):
    Transportation Security Administration
    Theatrical Security Agents
    Taking Scissors Away
    Touching Stuff Aggressively
    Too Stupid for Arby’s
    Trampling Several Amendments
    Teaching Submission to Americans
    Touching Sensitive Areas
    Thousands Standing Around
    Testicle Searchers of America
    Touch Stroke Assault
    Trained Sodomy Administrators
    Terrorist Support Agency
    Teabag Squeezers of America
    Testicles Scanned Aggressively
    To Stroke Asses
    Terribly Senseless Antics
    Trampling Servile Americans
    Target Sex Apples
    Thousands of Sexual Assaults
    Trying to Stop Air travel
    To Stoke Anger
    Touching Scrotums Always
    Thoroughly Screwing America
    Thoughtless Slobs Abound
    To Screw Anyone
    Targeted Sexual Assault
    Taking Security Away
    Treatment So Asinine
    This Sucks Always
    Terrorists Satisfied with Aftermath
    Tugging Sacks Assiduously
    They See All
    Torturous Sex Acts
    To Serve Al Qaeda
    Titillating Sexual Antics
    Trains, Suggested Alternative
    Totally Screwing Americans
    Tight Space Administration
    Tawdry Strip Act
    Time to Show All
    Totally Senseless Aggression
    Taxpayer Supported Assault
    Typical State Action

  40. 40 portia1776

    Jez,

    “I’m still trying to get over statements by GOP congressmen that extending unemployment insurance won’t benefit the economy but extending $3.7 Trillion of unpaid tax cuts would.” – As you know, I would support an extension provided that it is a permanent, rules-based extension that eliminates uncertainty and capriciousness. Please keep that in mind when reading what comes next: unemployment benefits are, at best, neutral. They are most probably a net loss for the economy.

    “One particularly ignorant Congressmen implied that rich people create jobs and poor people don’t.” – Poor people can create jobs. But, when they do, they stop being poor. Do ask the Walton’s about that.

  41. 41 portia1776

    Chris,

    “Ahhh trickle down economics at its best.” – I assume you mean Keynesianism, which posits that, in a crisis (one that mysteriously never ends), government should confiscate tax dollars from productive individuals and companies and redistribute them to favored special interests to help stimulate the economy.

    (For more on Keynesianism as well as its classical liberal alternative see: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/3/1/837337/-Smackdown:-Keynes-vs.-Hayek-With-Poll )

    “The fallacy of that argument for me lies in the belief that the more money a person accumulates will lead to them being more likely to re-invest some of it by hiring others.” – What does someone do when they accumulate wealth? There are just a few options: consumption, investment, burying it in the backyard. With the exception of the last option, individuals have no choice but to re-invest in the economy. Unless, of course, you believe in the fallacious category of “unearned” income or, in other words, that interest on money saved is not money earned.

    “This presupposes that those with the wealth are controlling the companies responsible for hiring people in the first place.” – Tens of millions of Americans are shareholders in companies, the vast majority of whom are not (yet) rich.

    “The fewer people there are to purchase goods and services, the less likely it is that production and consumption will increase. At some point the accumulation of goods by the wealthy slows to a crawl and if new consumers are not identified, there’s no incentive to hire workers to produce products no one will purchase.” – This is correct but makes an unfounded assumption that consumption is the only measure of economic health. President George W. Bush’s tax rebates failed for precisely this reason.

    “Saying this doesn’t mean I support a communist or socialist society, I’m only pointing out that the more we lose a middle class, the more difficult it will be to grow our economy. The more have-nots we create, the fewer consumers there will be for products and services. And consolidating wealth to such an extent can only exacerbate the dilemma.” – No, of course you’re not. You’re just casting aspersions mindlessly. Who is consolidating wealth? Who is creating more “have-nots”? Who is “loosing” the middle class? The answer to all those questions is the national government. Accumulated wealth, unless buried in the backyard, is reinvested in the economy. What you are too ashamed to admit publicly is that you support redistributing our tax money according to the prerogatives of self-interested politicians, which usually means favored special interests, who will kick some of the money back in the form of campaign contributions. Please do tell how that is in the least bit “fair”?

  42. 42 portia1776

    Jez and Chris,

    I have now answered each of your posts in kind out of fairness. It probably would have been better on my part just to post the immortal words of Lenny Bruce:

    “Capitalism is the best. It’s free enterprise. Barter. Gimbels, if I get really rank with the clerk, ‘Well I don’t like this’, how I can resolve it? If it really gets ridiculous, I go, ‘Frig it, man, I walk.’ What can this guy do at Gimbels, even if he was the president of Gimbels? He can always reject me from that store, but I can always go to Macy’s. He can’t really hurt me. Communism is like one big phone company. Government control, man. And if I get too rank with that phone company, where can I go? I’ll end up like a schmuck with a dixie cup on a thread.”

  43. 43 1george1

    Portia:

    It appears that you had some time on your hands and passion to refute
    certain positions and clarify others.

    Post # 42 in sarcastic, clear, plain, simple, and evident language is a nice
    summary and embodiment of all of your prior posts.

    I doubt anyone would disagree with POST # 42.

    CAPITALISM is BARTER.
    CAPITALISM is a FORM of SOCIALISM.
    > Other people make or provide services for what we choose to barter
    money for those services and products.
    CAPITALISTIC BARTER COMPENSATION is INEQUITABLE and UNFAIR,
    especially when MARKET DRIVEN, whereas empirics, economy to scale,
    and technology affects people who have not figured out how to
    “GAME the SYSTEM,” and use INSIDER ADVANTAGES for THEMSELVES and
    their TEAM.

    You also made it plain that you agree Government does have proper roles,
    and disagree with Jeze, Chris, and others including myself on just what
    those proper roles should be. HONEST DISAGREEMENTS are HEALTHY.

    They lead to what Marx called Hegelian DIALECTICS or what Managment
    calls ADJUSTMENTS.

  44. 44 1george1

    CHALLENGE to find and write the COMMONALITIES:

    1) Allegorical Commonalities: Enigmas?

    2) Magna Carta; Constitution?

    3) Wealth of Nations; Communist Manifesto; Federalist Papers;

    4) Marshall Plan; Eisenhower fairwell, MLK Mountain top?

    5) Robber Barons; O.P.E.C.; Trilateral?

    Movies:

    6) Inside Job; The International; Wall Street (both);

    Godfather; Capitalism (Moore)?

    7) Three Days of the Condor; Who killed the Electric Car?

    8) Die Hard, Live free; Batman, Dark Knight?

    9) Die Hard (first two) pyrotechnics = 9/11?

    10) High profile Airline flight #s from 1980s to mid 2000s?
    (hint: number – letter substitution code)
    KAL 007
    9/11 Flight #s (AA # 11 / AA # 77 – UAL # 175 / UAL 93)
    TWA 800
    (oct 4, 2001) siberian flight 1812
    (nov 12, 2001) AA 587
    Shullenberger
    locker”BIE” + ValuJet # 592 = scrambled matching letters / #s = BIE vs # 592
    MORE;

    11) Renamed Countries

  45. 45 portia1776

    George,

    Since you liked the Lenny Bruce, here is a Soviet joke:
    “Radio Mosca received a question from abroad. ‘Is it true that in the Soviet Union the salary is not commensurate with the labor?’

    ‘No, salary is definitely commensurate,’ replied Radio Mosca. ‘The government pretends they’re paying and we pretend we’re working.’”

    Getting back to the topic (Thanksgiving), here is an excellent program on the Tragedy of the Commons, from the Pilgrims to endangered species to the rain forests:

    On the topic of precise political terminology, here is classical liberal heroine Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

    “There is little consensus on what is moral, let alone on what corrodes morality. A man of faith measures moral character by one’s ability to abide by the demands of his God. A socialist might measure moral strength by one’s dedication to the redistribution of wealth. A liberal – by which I mean a classical, Adam Smith or Milton Friedman liberal, not a liberal in its American meaning of ‘pro-big government’ – might be religious, and he might see the merits of income equality, but he will always put freedom first. This is the moral framework to which I subscribe.

    According to this school of thought, freedom of the individual is the highest aim, and the ultimate test of a person’s character is his ability to pursue his own chosen goals in life without infringing upon the freedom of others to pursue their own goals. From this perspective, free economic activity among individuals, corporations, and nations boosts such desirable qualities as trust, honesty, and hard work. Producers are compelled to continually improve their goods and services. The free market establishes a meritocracy and creates opportunities for better jobs for those students who work hard at school. The same mechanism pushes parents to invest more time and money in the education of their children. Producers invest in research and innovation to beat their competitors in the marketplace.

    To appreciate just how effectively the free market strengthens moral character, it is helpful to glance at economic systems that undermine or openly reject it. Everywhere Communism has been tried, for instance, it has resulted not just in corruption and sub-standard products but also in fear, apathy, ignorance, oppression, and a general lack of trust. The Soviet Union and pre-reform China were morally as well as economically bankrupt.

    Or consider the feudal order typified by Saudi Arabia. There we see an absolute monarch, a religious hierarchy that reinforces the ruling family’s hold on power, and several classes of serfs: the oppressed Shi’a minority, the vastly exploited underclass of immigrant workers, and women, who are confined and abused. The stagnation and oppression of Saudi society make it utterly immoral in the eyes of a classical liberal. Unlike Communism, it cannot even proffer the fig leaf of greater ‘fairness’ (http://www.templeton.org/market/PDF/Ali.pdf ).”

    And Cato’s David Boaz:

    “In the 1820s the representatives of the middle class in the Spanish Cortes, or parliament, came to be called the Liberales. They contended with the Serviles, the ‘servile ones,’ who represented the nobles and the absolute monarchy. The term Serviles, for those who advocate state power over individuals, unfortunately didn’t stick. But the word liberal, for the defenders of liberty and the rule of law, spread rapidly. The Whig party in England came to be called the Liberal party. Today we know the philosophy of John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, and John Stuart Mill as liberalism.

    But around 1900 the term liberal underwent a change. People who supported big government and wanted to limit and control the free market started calling themselves liberals. The economist Joseph Schumpeter noted, ‘As a supreme, if unintended, compliment, the enemies of private enterprise have thought it wise to appropriate its label.’ Thus we now refer to the philosophy of individual rights, free markets, and limited government–the philosophy of Locke, Smith, and Jefferson–as classical liberalism.” He adds elsewhere “Some liberals, such as Hayek and Friedman, continued to call themselves liberals. But to younger generations, ‘liberal’ had come to mean advocacy of big government: high taxes, the extension of the state into the realm of civil society, and massive intrusion into the personal choices of individuals (http://www.libertarianism.org/ ).”

  46. 46 jezebel282

    Portia,

    ““Freedom is messy” means that people can make mistakes but have to live with the consequences.”
    Or die from them?

    “I know, I know you’re pinning to use our tax money to bail them out of their underwater mansion mortgage and get them on the government dole”
    How long did you have to search the Net for that story? Can we extend that example (after all, you must have used it for a reason) and say that most of the unemployed 15+ million Americans have started with $14 million in cash and have squandered it all?

    “Exploitation, in general terms, only exists in collectivist societies where classes of individuals (serfs, slaves, untouchables) are denied their liberty.”
    You’re kidding, right? You really can’t think of an example of exploitation in this country? Even after you spent all that time looking up the story of the guy who squandered $14 million? I’ll give you a hint: we didn’t always have Brown v. BOE Topeka, Pell Grants, equal voting rights or even mandatory education.

    “OK, Jez, how many brands of milk does the socialist economy of Cuba provide its citizens?”
    Brands? Of milk? Beats me. I only buy the white kind that comes from cows and is pasteurized. Maybe even homogenized. I can’t remember ever thinking that one brand was better somehow than the other. Maybe you need a better example. You know, like eggs. Oh wait a minute…

    “You’re blaming the free-market for the reality that Presidents Bush and Obama’s interventionist policies have ruined the economy by assaulting free enterprise, undermining the rule of law, and being fiscally irresponsible?!”
    Oh, hell no. I’m blaming you for posting your “freedom is messy” statement.

    “you must recognize that the free-market is all for specialization and the division of labor.Do you know which philosophy is fundamentally opposed to those things? Socialism.”
    Quite a statement there, Portia old friend. One would think you were an expert on socialism or communism or have lived under those systems for quite some time. Would you like to use your favorite Socialist target; Denmark? You know, the socialist country that gave us Legos, Ikea, SAS, Maersk Shipping, Wind Generated Electricity…oh and Toblerone.
    (Sadly, Haagen Daz is actually made in Jersey).

    One more thing: according to Forbes “annual Best Countries for Business ranking looks at business conditions in 127 economies. Topping the list for 2009: Denmark, for a second straight year, takes the No. 1 spot. The U.S. is up two spots to No. 2,…” Damned Socialists!

    My point about division of labor was much more basic than mere economics. Without the division of labor we, as a species, would probably not have survived.

  47. 47 1george1

    From Jeze:
    Brands? Of milk? Beats me. I only buy the white kind that comes from cows and is pasteurized. Maybe even homogenized. I can’t remember ever thinking that one brand was better somehow than the other.

    Jeze,
    I find Garlick Farms milk to taste like chalk.
    Guida’s milk is more tasty.
    Hood’s milk is the best tasting. But I do not like their Ice cream.

    From Jeze / quoting PORTIA:

    “Exploitation, in general terms, only exists in collectivist societies where
    classes of individuals (serfs, slaves, untouchables) are denied their liberty.”

    I’ll give you a hint: we didn’t always have Brown v. BOE Topeka, Pell Grants,
    equal voting rights or even mandatory education.

    – GEO > Jeze forgot the RED Indian Nations and overlooked treatment of the
    Brown Hispanics of Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, arizona, and Californification.
    The spanish and portuguese were not kind to the indigineous populations
    either!

    From PORTIA:

    But around 1900 the term liberal underwent a change. People who
    supported big government and wanted to limit and control the free
    market started calling themselves liberals.
    The economist Joseph Schumpeter noted, ‘As a supreme, if unintended, compliment, the enemies of private enterprise have thought it wise to
    appropriate its label.’
    Thus we now refer to the philosophy of individual rights, free markets,
    and limited government–the philosophy of Locke, Smith, and Jefferson
    –as classical liberalism.”

    Do UNIVERSITIES still call the general fields of studies “LIBERAL ARTS?”

    My HS History teach pointed out in the early 1900s the political parties
    under went a form of role reversal, where the party of Lincoln became
    Democratic politics.
    Southern Democrats – Dixiecrats and people who became rich became
    Republicans as a block.

    A couple years ago I bought a book and lent it before I read it, about
    the people who vote and act against their best interests.

    Only 1 1/2 % of southerners owned slaves. But the clever rich are always
    able to manipulate others into fighting their WARS.

    Now 4 % own 70 % of American Wealth.
    The clever rich are always able to manipulate others into fighting their
    WARS and doing their WORK. OPM + OPC

    If everyone was given 40 acres and a mule ….
    A tiny minority would gain control of most of the land …
    and own, most of the ASSES!

    Hence, there is a need for government.

    While PORTIA and Jeze / Chris will disagree on priorities ….
    I think we agree NEITHER the REPUBLICANS nor DEMOCRATS care about
    anything but their EGOS, WALLETS/PORTFOLIOS, and GENITILIA!

    As for EGOS, they ceased caring about decency, integrity, ethics, morals,
    even legal laws and regulations. They are all EGO and NO SELF RESPECT.

  48. 48 portia1776

    Jez,

    “Or die from them?” – What world do you live in? Yes, of course. There really is no way to stop people from doing incredibly stupid and harmful and even deadly things to themselves. For instance, “recreational” drug use (cocaine, heroine, alcohol, meth, nicotine, marijuana). I find the stuff absolutely abhorrent and fail to understand why anyone would use them, but defend the individual right to do so because it is immoral to deny self-ownership. Sure, we have prohibitionist laws against some of these things but they are an unmitigated failure; “illicit” drugs are readily available to anyone who wants them. Alternatively, we have no explicit law on the books against cannibalism. And yet that behavior is non-existent in this country. Why do you think that is?

    “How long did you have to search the Net for that story? ” – I didn’t search at all; it was on Yahoo News.

    “Can we extend that example (after all, you must have used it for a reason) and say that most of the unemployed 15+ million Americans have started with $14 million in cash and have squandered it all?” – No, firstly, because it’s not true and, secondly, because both the husband and wife are employed. I had several reasons for citing it, primarily that it shows how people are not locked into their classes (poor people become rich and rich people become poor), choices have consequences, and that capitalism is a profit and loss system, wherein poor choices (in this case, literally) severe as an example for others to be prudent. I’m assuming that given what you know from this family if someone now handed you $10 million (after tax) you wouldn’t buy three houses, spend $5+ million renovating one of them, and indulge in all the other ways that landed this family in the poor house, or would you do things exactly the same but insist on the tax payers to bail you out?

    “You really can’t think of an example of exploitation in this country?” – In your improper sense of “wage slavery,” no. In a broader sense of “Progressive” politicians exploiting the unemployed, the poor, minorities, the uninsured, and other groups to increase their power? Those examples are plentiful.

    “Even after you spent all that time looking up the story of the guy who squandered $14 million?” – Yahoo News, Jez, I didn’t search at all. I actually don’t like the slant of the article (e.g., money does “evaporate”). In any case, you already articulated your support for “no millionaire or billionaire loser and no failed corporation or union left behind,” so I’m not sure the source of this angst. After all, your beliefs are government policy; everyone is “too big to fail” now. It is those of us who support the meritocracy and accountability of free enterprise who should be angry because we were opposed to this idiocy, we told you it was idiocy, and now we have to pay for and suffer under the idiotic consequences (did you hear the latest? the Administration is saying that unemployment will remain at current levels for at least the next year and deficits will continue to pile-up every year for forseable future. Happy (malaise) days are here again!)

    “I’ll give you a hint: we didn’t always have Brown v. BOE Topeka, Pell Grants, equal voting rights or even mandatory education.” – On Racial equality and universal suffrage, right, classical liberals have fought long and hard to ensure everyone’s individual liberty, as promised in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. At every turn we have been opposed by the statists and collectivists. The historical record is absolutely clear on the classical liberal orientation of the leading abolitionists, Radical Republicans, suffragettes, Civil Rights activists, and anti-imperialists.

    As for the anti-meritocratic Pell Grants is your idea of “exploitation” than the word has no meaning. On a related note, mandatory education in government schools is the problem, not the solution.

    “Brands? Of milk? Beats me.” – Uno for the few who can afford the regime brand. “…in Cuba milk is rationed, and only government-sanctioned restaurants and families with children may obtain it at local peso prices. Everyone else has to pay in dollars, at prices approximating American supermarket prices. This puts it out of the reach of most Cubans, whose official state salary [i.e., there are no private employers; everyone works for the government] is about $10 a month (http://dir.salon.com/story/people/feature/2002/02/07/cuba_milk/ ).”

    “I only buy the white kind that comes from cows and is pasteurized. Maybe even homogenized.” – What percent milk fat? Is it lactose free? Is it from a cow or soy? You see where I’m going with this…

    “Oh, hell no. I’m blaming you for posting your ‘freedom is messy’ statement.” – Well, P.J. O’Rourke is right. There is simply no way of avoiding the potential for messes, unless you want to deny freedom. But, in that case, everything just becomes a planned mess.

    “you must recognize that the free-market is all for specialization and the division of labor.Do you know which philosophy is fundamentally opposed to those things? Socialism.”

    “Quite a statement there, Portia old friend. One would think you were an expert on socialism or communism or have lived under those systems for quite some time.” – I don’t claim to be an expert. I do claim to have read a goodly amount of Marx, Mao, Lenin, Trotsky, et al., talked to a number of people who lived under their regimes and those who have written about their experiences, as well as read history and economics to learn the lessons of their failures.

    “Would you like to use your favorite Socialist target; Denmark? You know, the socialist country that gave us Legos, Ikea, SAS, Maersk Shipping, Wind Generated Electricity…oh and Toblerone.” – You’re saying I’m wrong about Marx’s ably stated hatred of specialization and the division of labor by pointing out that Danes specialize in toys, shipping, and chocolate?! Oh, right, they’re “socialists” (actually, social democrats) who open their markets to free trade and have a history of free enterprise before the advent of their nanny state (Btw, IKEA is Dutch not Danish). The ruling party, Venstre, Danmarks Liberale Parti (“Left, Liberal Party of Denmark”) was originally and still retains some of its original classical liberal orientation.

    “(Sadly, Haagen Daz is actually made in Jersey).” – What’s wrong with Jersey?

    “One more thing: according to Forbes ‘annual Best Countries for Business ranking looks at business conditions in 127 economies. Topping the list for 2009: Denmark, for a second straight year, takes the No. 1 spot. The U.S. is up two spots to No. 2,…’Damned Socialists!” – Why am I not surprised that free-market “socialists” beat mercantilist crony “capitalists”?

    “My point about division of labor was much more basic than mere economics. Without the division of labor we, as a species, would probably not have survived.” – Your pro-free market capitalist point is correct despite yourself!

  49. 49 1george1

    FROM PORTIA:

    On the topic of precise political terminology, here is classical
    liberal heroine Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

    “There is little consensus on what is moral, let alone on what
    corrodes morality.

    A man of faith measures moral character by one’s ability to abide
    by the demands of his God.

    A socialist might measure moral strength by one’s dedication to
    the redistribution of wealth.

    A liberal – by which I mean a classical, Adam Smith or Milton Friedman
    liberal, not a liberal in its American meaning of ‘pro-big government’
    – might be religious, and he might see the merits of income equality,
    but he will always put freedom first.

    This is the moral framework to which I subscribe.

    From George – although 50 % schooled in parochial and 50 % public,
    while being raised catholic …. I identify with judeo – christian –
    catholic – masonic thought

    I believe in the idealism of religion and philosophy, and golden rule.
    Unlike many Judeo – Christians – Catholics my life practices are closer
    to the 10 Commandments, while not embracing Catholic sacraments.

    All I ever desired was to be a decent person and to earn the American
    Dream. I think Jews call it being a mensch?

    Years ago former Town councilor Bob Blake replied related to ethics
    “Whose Ethics?”
    The conversation was interesting and when where it never occured to
    me that other people defined Ethics, far differently.
    Oh – then there is the oxymoronic Bar Association Ethics (as practiced)

    Point of fact it was inheritance which allowed part of it, which many
    people never see and thus are kinda disenfranchized.

    Some would feel I squnadered my life and revenue fighting political people
    who claim to be Democrats and/or Republicans – but are inhuman.
    I did my best. No regrets using money to try to protect lives – livelihoods!

    PORTIA
    According to this school of thought, freedom of the individual is the
    highest aim, and the ultimate test of a person’s character is his ability
    to pursue his own chosen goals in life
    “without infringing upon the freedom of others to pursue their own goals.”

    HUGE POINT – Too much of POLITICS / BUSINESS / LIFE is ZERO SUM.
    Someone GAINS / Someone LOSES.

    BEST BUSINESS PRACTICES = WIN + WIN + WIN
    WIN = CUSTOMER GAINS PRODUCT which INCREASE REVENUE / REDUCES COST!
    WIN = COMPANY GAINS PROFITS SELLING THE ABOVE
    WIN = END USER GAINS BUYING PRODUCT or SERVICE that SOLVES PROBLEM

    From this perspective, free economic activity among individuals,
    corporations, and nations boosts such desirable qualities as trust,
    honesty, and hard work.
    Producers are compelled to continually improve their goods and services.
    The free market establishes a meritocracy and creates opportunities
    for better jobs for those students who work hard at school.
    The same mechanism pushes parents to invest more time and money
    in the education of their children. Producers invest in research and
    innovation to beat their competitors in the marketplace.

    IDEALLY THE ABOVE IS TRUE.
    THEN WE GO TO WHO CONTROLS THE POWER.

    EXECUTIVE, CONGRESS, JUDICAL at each LEVEL of GOVERNMENT
    PRODUCE N O T H I N G.
    They can ENABLE or DESTROY.

    MILITARY KILLS PEOPLE and BREAKS THINGS
    BUREAUCRACY ADMINISTRATES.

    The Private and Corporate Sectors BUILD and CREATE.
    They are the GEESE which lay the GOLDEN EGGS.
    Increasingly they are being used for FOOD and not for PRODUCTION.

    Like MORLOCKS fed on the ELOI

  50. 50 1george1

    Everywhere Communism has been tried,
    for instance, it has resulted not just in
    corruption and sub-standard products
    but also in fear, apathy, ignorance,
    oppression, and a general lack of trust.

    The Soviet Union and pre-reform China were
    morally as well as economically bankrupt.

    George

    During IRAN CONTRA Oliver North pointed out
    the Soviets were NOT TRUE Communists NOR
    Socialists.

    Being a member of the Russian, Chinese, or NAZI
    PARTY or others had it’s PRIVILEDGES.

    (Much like Stratford, Bridgeport or America now!)

    Or consider the feudal order typified by Saudi Arabia.
    (how about Fuedal Europe and Colonizing Europe?)

    There we see an absolute monarch, a religious hierarchy
    (catholic church caused abuses – later protestants and
    masons matched / exceeded, and Palestinians compare
    Israelis to Nazis! Both arafat and menachem begin were
    considered patriots or terrorist, depending on perspective!)

    that reinforces the ruling family’s hold on power, and several
    classes of serfs:
    the oppressed Shi’a minority,
    the vastly exploited underclass of immigrant workers,
    and women, who are confined and abused.

    The stagnation and oppression of Saudi society make it utterly
    immoral in the eyes of a classical liberal.
    Unlike Communism, it cannot even proffer the fig leaf of greater
    ‘fairness’

    GEORGE:

    EXCELLENT – EXCELLENT POINTS

    IN EUROPE they HAD:
    SLAVES
    PEASANTS
    PEONS
    VILLEIN
    SERF
    BOND SERVANTS
    BOND SLAVES
    SHANTY

    and other classifications!

    PORTIA – JEZE – CHRIS others bring different priorities,
    yet how much is really agreeing with basic issues?

    Will we solve the world’s problems? NO

    Someone wrote or said:
    “When all is said and done …
    There is still more to say and do!”

  51. 51 jezebel282

    Update:

    Washington (CNN) — Senate Republicans promised Wednesday to block legislative action on every issue being considered by the lame-duck Congress until the dispute over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is resolved and an extension of current government funding is approved.

    Really? Are you kidding me? Holding their breath and stomping their feet didn’t work for the GOP? I guess after allowing unemployment compensation to lapse for millions of Americans, who cares if Congress shuts down? Maybe things will work better if they do.

  52. 52 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “Or die from them?” – What world do you live in? Yes, of course. There really is no way to stop people from doing incredibly stupid and harmful and even deadly things to themselves.”

    I sure hope that we are completely misunderstanding each other. I don’t think 146 employees of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company were not doing anything “incredibly stupid or harmful” to themselves. Similarly the countless miners who have died in explosions, cave ins or of brown lung. Or migrant farm workers who do not receive any education or health benefits. My point, in case you missed it, was the “free market” doing incredibly stupid and harmful and even deadly things to” their own employees.

    (cocaine, heroine, alcohol, meth, nicotine, marijuana). I find the stuff absolutely abhorrent. Me too. Well, maybe just two of them.

    “Alternatively, we have no explicit law on the books against cannibalism. And yet that behavior is non-existent in this country. Why do you think that is?”
    I’m not sure we don’t but in any case, give it another couple of weeks without unemployment compensation or jobs….

    (Btw, IKEA is Dutch not Danish). Err actually it is registered in Sweden with most of it corporate offices in Copenhagen.

    “(Sadly, Haagen Daz is actually made in Jersey).” – What’s wrong with Jersey?”
    Nothing in particular…I just don’t think Irvington Ice Cream would sell very well.

    George:

    “Will we solve the world’s problems? NO”
    Perhaps not. But clarity and definition usually provide better maps.

  53. 53 1george1

    I sure hope that we are completely misunderstanding each other.
    I don’t think 146 employees of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company were
    not doing anything “incredibly stupid or harmful” to themselves.

    (WHAT ABOUT “NEUTRON JACK?” He shut down locations and divisons
    because they did not meet profit objectives? What were his decisions
    that could have helped achieve OBJECTIVES?)

    Similarly the countless miners who have died in explosions, cave ins
    or of brown lung.

    (Are you picken on CHENEY (WY), TAFTS (OH) & ROCKEFELLER (WV))?

    Or migrant farm workers who do not receive any education or
    health benefits.

    (Keeping food prices down. No OSHA! > Some get FREE MEDICAL from
    people practicing the HIPPOCRATIC OATH (= those commies !!) in a
    highly regulated health care system where INSURANCE COMPANIES
    kick back, I mean donate hefty money to BOTH political parties?)

    My point, in case you missed it, was the “free market” doing incredibly
    stupid and harmful and even deadly things to” their own employees.

    (That is life! It is not fair! It is not equitable! Our Constitution only
    gives a framework from which to work.
    The clever & empiric power manage to find the LOOPHOLES from
    which they can shoot enemies, including their own people!

    (cocaine, heroine, alcohol, meth, nicotine, marijuana).
    I find the stuff absolutely abhorrent.
    Me too. Well, maybe just two of them.

    (That would explain a lot! 🙂 ) Now we will wake up Sudds!
    (We should add sugar and other abusives?)

    “Alternatively, we have no explicit law on the books against cannibalism.”

    (It is FREELY PRACTICED in AMERICA:)
    (cocaine, heroine, alcohol, meth, nicotine, marijuana).
    (war + crime)
    (party perks / insider trading / bribery / barratry / corruption / misprison
    / patronage / nepotism / fraud – in factum – instrisic- extrinsic / graft /
    abuse of discretion / bidding – change order – voter/candidate rigging!)

  54. 54 jezebel282

    George,

    “(cocaine, heroine, alcohol, meth, nicotine, marijuana).
    I find the stuff absolutely abhorrent.
    Me too. Well, maybe just two of them.

    (That would explain a lot!”

    Just for the record, there’s nothing I find abhorrent about a 15 year old bottle of Pommard, an ounce of Jamaican Gold in the right setting (a beach in Jamaica would be a good setting), a hand rolled Cuban cigar (those damned Communists make pretty good cigars), or a couple of lines of …oh never mind.

  55. 55 portia1776

    Jez,

    “I sure hope that we are completely misunderstanding each other.” – I share your hope but don’t think there is any misunderstanding between us. Let me try to clarify, anyway: Freedom is inherently messy. On the whole, that is a very good thing because it means an ever-increasing diversity of choices, from ideas to products to cultures. There is, however, no way to deny the downsides — mainly, freedom allows people to do incredibly stupid, harmful, and even deadly things to themselves. It is for this reason that classical liberals stress personal responsibility (self-regulation) as a necessary condition of individual liberty. Mind you that whether individuals have perfect knowledge (an impossibility) or are perfectly rational in all cases (often they are not) is irrelevant to the fundamental moral question of who should make such decisions; for the vast majority of people, the answer is always and everywhere that they themselves should freely choice because only they will have to live with the consequences.

    “I don’t think 146 employees of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company were not doing anything ‘incredibly stupid or harmful’ to themselves. Similarly the countless miners who have died in explosions, cave ins or of brown lung. Or migrant farm workers who do not receive any education or health benefits. My point, in case you missed it, was the ‘free market’ doing incredibly stupid and harmful and even deadly things totheir own employees.” – You speak as if the (scare quotes) “free market” is an employer, and a particularly bad one at that. In fact, and of course, the free market only refers to the ability of individuals to freely contract for products and services. You have and indeed cannot marshal one shred of evidence to show how classical liberalism or laissez faire are in any way culpable for the real and imagined occurrences of which you speak.

    To unpack your examples: there is plenty of blame to go around in the Triangle Shirtwaist tragedy. The fire’s cause, according to the fire marshal’s investigation, was probably some of the workers violating a non-smoking policy (yes, the factory was many decades ahead of Bloombergism’s “public health” regulations).

    While there remains great controversy about the deadly ninth floor (the others were nearly completely and successfully evacuated by voluntary cooperation), the building was, on paper and perhaps in actuality, fully compliant with the fire regulations of New York City’s Building Department.

    I admit in advance to not being particularly well versed in early 20th century building codes in NYC. The storyline, however, is eerily familiar. Government bureaucrats failed to do their job due to some combination of negligence, incompetence, and corruption while providing the employers (who rented the space and had not built the building) and employees (who worked there) a false sense of security.

    The district attorney Charles Whitman (a Republican who would go on to be New York’s governor in 1915) called for an investigation into this catastrophic government failure. And, unsurprisingly, the “Progressive” Democrat George McAneny, the Manhattan Borough President, defended his beloved bureaucracy’s misdeeds by claiming that the problem was a lack of money. If only the building Department had more money, why, it wouldn’t have failed nearly as badly (if only the stimuli was bigger (or if we could just have another 9/11), why, the economy would not be nearly as bad, says Paul Krugman).

    Before you come back with, what about the owners?, consider that they were found not guilty of all counts brought against them in a highly emotional and politicized trial. This is not to say they were blameless in this case, and certainly not in their dubious anti-strike actions a few years prior (though they did end the strike by eventually agreeing to employees’ demands for a shorter work week and wage increases of up to 15%). It is, rather, to caution against the unfortunate myths against the free-market that are promulgated by people with an agenda to usurp individual liberty. The fact that absolute virtue and absolute intelligence belongs to neither employers nor employees is no excuse for government intervention. If you disagree than kindly explain why you believe the self-interest employees who went on strike to demand higher wages for less work did not include safer working conditions on their list of demands?

    “Similarly the countless miners who have died in explosions, cave ins or of brown lung.” – Sorry, you have not proven that anyone coerces miners into the mines, fisherman to sea, soldiers to war (thanks to Milton Friedman only those who freely choose to serve do so), oilmen to rigs, teachers to D.C. government schools or any of the numerous occupations that are fraught with risks and rewards.

    “Or migrant farm workers who do not receive any education or health benefits.” – I, too, bemoan how the unions are exploiting migrant workers by claiming to represent their interests while actually doing their worst to keep them “undocumented,” illiterate, and dependent. Any employer who mistreats migrants workers should be prosecuted.

    “My point, in case you missed it, was the ‘free market’ doing incredibly stupid and harmful and even deadly things to their own employees.” – I agree that some employers are liable to do incredibly harmful or stupid things to their employees just as some employees may do incredibly harmful and stupid things to their employers. The point is that both parties are free to associate and work out their disputes through voluntary mechanism and, as a last resort, our impartial judiciary.

    “(cocaine, heroine, alcohol, meth, nicotine, marijuana). I find the stuff absolutely abhorrent. Me too. Well, maybe just two of them.” – Well, I hope not the two or more that Jimmy Miron fancies.

    “I’m not sure we don’t but in any case, give it another couple of weeks without unemployment compensation or jobs….” – Strictly speaking there is no law, though it is certainly covered by other obvious laws. What I was getting at is the value of culture and self-regulation, i.e., laws are only meaningful in so far as the majority of people freely choose to observe them. There is not way, for example, to make everyone stop at stop signs or obey the commands of traffic lights unless they voluntarily complied. And yet the vast majority of people simply do just that.

    “(Btw, IKEA is Dutch not Danish). Err actually it is registered in Sweden with most of it corporate offices in Copenhagen.” – Right, and I read that one of its wealthy owners lives in Switzerland due to the more favorable tax rates there – which, btw, were just protected by the smart Swiss people despite the counterproductive class warfare campaign of the social democrats.

    “Nothing in particular…I just don’t think Irvington Ice Cream would sell very well.” – Fair point. Will Fiji Water sell now that the Fijian regime has taxed the island’s famous and eponymous water company out of existence?

    “Perhaps not. But clarity and definition usually provide better maps.” – Finally something I can unreservedly agree with!

  56. 56 1george1

    Just for the record, there’s nothing I find abhorrent about a
    15 year old bottle of Pommard,
    an ounce of Jamaican Gold in the right setting
    (a beach in Jamaica would be a good setting),
    a hand rolled Cuban cigar
    (those damned Communists make pretty good cigars),
    or a couple of lines of …oh never mind.

    ROBIN WILLIAMS:
    “Cocaine is proof, we are all making too much money.”

    15 year old bottle of Pommard,
    Price ranges from $ 85 to $ 1672, according to internet

    Jamaican Gold
    A street name for marijuana or cannabis.
    (picked by peasants?)

    hand rolled Cuban cigar
    (picked and rolled by peasants?)

    couple of lines of (cocaine)

    ———————————————-

    Laws, pricing, and ethos are arbitrary.

    Vegetarians would be ticked about Steak or Prime Rib.

    Chichen and Lobster stir up some other people.

    My weakness relates to liquid sugar found in soda and milk.
    Everyone has a vice, mostly caused by ignorance or self destruction?

    ———————————————–

    In 1987, I could N E V E R imagine the reason for H I G H E R
    E D U C A T I O N, was to find ways to crime and hierarchy.

    Now, I realize there is a perverse logic in war, crime, and
    hierarchy.

    ——————————————-

    Robert L. Heilbroner, in his The Nature and Logic of Capitalism,
    struggles with three difficult-to-define words —
    “Nature”, “Logic”, and “Capitalism”

    The Drive to Amass Capital

    The attribute of wealth that distinguishes it from prestige goods is
    that its possession confers on its owners the ability to direct and
    mobilize the activities of society, although it does not necessarily
    also confer the repute or authority of distinction.

    Capital calls the tune, even though an individual capitalist may be
    an object of contempt. Wealth therefore implies rights of a kind
    that prestige objects do not have, in particular those we have
    previously discussed with respect to the domination of capital –
    namely, the right of denying to others access to the goods that
    constitute wealth.

    These goods may enjoy no symbolic importance, but they have
    material importance, so that control over access to them invests
    their owner with an attribute that goes beyond prestige and
    preeminence.

    This is power.

    The grain in the lord’s granary is not an object of prestige, as is
    the splinter of the Cross in his chapel, but it is the means by
    which he is able to command the labor of his slaves,
    which the splinter of the Cross may not.

    Wealth is therefore a social category inseparable from power.

    In simple egalitarian societies, where all have access to the resources
    needed for the maintenance of a conventional way of life,
    wealth cannot exist, although prestige objects can.

    Per contra, wealth can only come into existence when the right of
    access of all members of society to an independent livelihood no
    longer prevails, so that control over this access becomes of life-giving importance.

    The corollary is that wealth cannot exist unless there also exists a
    condition of scarcity – not insufficiency of resources themselves,
    but insufficiency of means of access to resources.

    As Adam Smith put it, ”

    Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.
    For one very rich man, there must be at least five hundred poor,
    and the affluence of the rich supposes the indigence of the many.”

  57. 57 1george1

    Unlike the simpler category of prestige goods, wealth therefore rests on considerations of power, and the drive to accumulate wealth requires some exploration of the drive to accumulate power.

    Power is not a well-understood aspect of human society. Essentially it refers to the ability to command or control the behavior of others; but this general definition passes lightly over the great range of relationships expressed in the power of the despot, the religious leader, or in the disembodied “power” of ideas. The power of capital, as we have seen, has the remarkable attribute of being devoid of direct punitive rights, which seems virtually a contradiction of the very meaning of power; but none would deny that capital has the power to enlist command and obedience on a vast scale.

    Power is not only protean in its aspects but obscure in its psychic roots. The “pleasures” of power are usually assumed to exist but are not explained; and the interrelation between the exercise of will as power and the acceptance of that will as obedience is similarly left unexplored. Here, as with prestige, it seems necessary to find some anchorage in those psychosocial capacities of the species to which we give the name “human nature.” It is tempting to suggest that at some elemental level this anchorage links that phenomenon of “domination” in human society with that found in many animal species. On second look, however, we see that the word refers to entirely different aspects of the two worlds. Domination among animals is largely sexual in nature, probably associated with survival changes for the herd or troop or flock, and completely divorced from any division of tasks or general subservience to the “will” of a hegemonic individual. Domination in human society, on the other hand, is of minor evolutionary significance, and largely devoted to the division of the social product or to the fulfillment of the prestige-laden achievements of rulers for which the organized labor of large numbers is necessary. Domination in human society, in a word, entails a structured inequality of life conditions that has no parallel in the animal world.

    The only reason that filiation with animal “domination” continues to attract attention is the need to explain why this inequality, which grossly disadvantages the majority, has appeared in every quarter of the globe, displacing the egalitarian social structures of communal bands that anthropologists assume to have been the original social formation. If the prevalence of domination in human societies cannot without gross anthropomorphism be ascribed to residual “animal” tendencies, we must account for this all-important historical state of affairs by resort to purely human characteristic. Here, of course, is where human nature enters, in the role of the generally acknowledged significance of prolonged infantile dependency, the uniquely and universally human experience out of which social behavior is formed.

    In this experience the individual personage goes through successive rites of passage that gradually and painfully separate it from an original psychic fusion with its mother and immediate environment. Through these inescapable trials the potentialities of independent behavior are created, but so also are the encapsulizations of infantile emotional requirements and sadomasochistic drives that recede, but are never extinguished, within the adult person. Some individuals emerge from this childhood experience with unappeased and unappeasable needs for affect; others with a submissiveness acquired in coping with adult wills; and all with enough residue of both to give rise to a widespread empathetic understanding of domination itself, and of the needs it satisfies from above and from below.

    Infancy is thus the great readying experience that prepares us for the adult condition of sub- and superordination – an experience that appears so ‘natural’ that few inquire as to the origin or nature of the desire to impose one’s will, or the pleasure that is derived from its imposition, or the obverse, the impulse to acquiesce in, or even to identify sympathetically with, the imposition of another’s will over oneself. Infancy is the condition from which we must all escape, and as such, the source of the emancipatory thrust that is also part of the human drama; but it is a condition to which we all to some degree wish to return, the prototype of the existential security that we also see.

    These roots of the power relation in human infancy do not, however, explain a crucial aspect of domination as an historic fact. It is that organized power is not a universal aspect of human history but a condition that only appeared when the first states arose from the aboriginal social formation of humankind. Thus the elements of the unconscious from which the act of domination draws its attraction, both for those who seek it and for those who yield to it, supply a necessary basis for understanding the psychological functions of power, but they do not sufficiently explain why humankind throughout the world took the extraordinary step of abandoning an equality of access to resources to enter into a condition in which the great majority of individuals became more or less dependent on a small minority.

    Only conjecture can fill this gap in our knowledge. Given the weakness of the power accorded prestigious individuals in primitive societies, and the tendency of these groups to fragment into smaller bands once the threshold of a dangerous infringement on independence is reached, it seems reasonable to assume that external pressures of some kind – limitations (or unusual concentrations) or resources, or the gradual forces of population growth, or the perceived advantages of a social division of labor – may have pushed self-sufficient communities into social differentiations, distinctions of rank, stratification, and finally differential access to resources. That this process must at some stage have required force rather than drift is evidenced by the universal “legitimation” of property rights by military power.

    Whatever its origins, the organized state, once established, had little difficulty in extending its dominion over unorganized communities. The advantages of a superior class or group that could marshall the labor of the underlying population were quickly apparent in the pursuit of war and in the accumulation of surplus. Following a theme of German historiography, the historian Alexander Rustow offers this plausible, if perhaps fanciful, reconstruction of a Neolithic push of horsed nomads into the territories of sedentary cultivators, perhaps as a consequence of climatic displacement:

  58. 58 1george1

    The rider appears on the stage of history like a new breed of man, marked by a powerful superiority; he is over two meters in height and moves several times faster than a pedestrian. The enormous impact that the first of such riders must have made on peaceful stockbreeders is depicted in the legendary form of the centaur….
    Superincumbency brought victors and vanquished, as upper and lower strata, into opposing social situations that would eventually produce equally diverse effects in selection, breeding, and hereditary character traits. The upper stratum was trained to cultivate lust for power, arrogance, pride, a sense of superiority, toughness, cruelty, and sadism, for the more it possessed and practiced these characteristic, the more solidly it sat in the saddle of superstratification. The corresponding characteristics of the lower stratum were subservience, flexibility, submissiveness, servility, spinelessness, masochism – for the more it possessed and practiced these characteristics the better it adapted itself to the role assigned by fate.

    Thus there is no difficulty in explaining how power, once set into place, could expand its domain and reinforce its own structure. The aspect of domination that requires elucidation, we repeat, appears so self-evident as to be in danger of being left unexplained. This is the characteristic of human nature that opens the possibility of a structure of domination in the first place, the aggressive and passive elements in the unconscious without which the exercise or sufferance of power could not originally appear.
    As we shall see in our next chapter, there are important considerations introduced into the mechanism of power once it is exercised through the accumulation of capital, including the quality of insatiability that is an inherent aspect of the drive to amass power-as-capital, whereas an insatiable drive after power in other guises appears only as a pathology. As Marx was to say in a somewhat different context, “while the miser is merely a capitalist gone mad, the capitalist is a rational miser.” Indeed we will see that the very absence of direct coercion in the social relationship of capital introduces an element of necessitous expansion that is largely missing from the exercise of power in other ways.

    At the moment, however, it is enough to recognize that the drive to amass wealth is inextricable from power, and incomprehensible except as a form of power. The social formation of capitalism must therefore be seen in the first instance as a regime comparable to regimes of military force, religious conviction, imperial beliefs, and the life. Capitalism is the regime of capital, the form of rulership we find when power takes the remarkable aspect of the domination, by those who control access to the means of production, of the great majority who must gain “employment” – the capitalist substitute for the traditional entitlement of the peasant to consume some portion of his own crop.

  59. 59 1george1

    Such has been
    The Nature and Logic of Capitalism

    Novus ordo seclorum
    Latin for “New Order of the Ages”)

    Annuit cœptis
    is literally translated as
    “He approves (or has approved) [our] undertaking(s)”.

    Definitions of Legal precedent

    In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority
    is a legal case establishing a principle or rule that a court
    or other judicial body utilizes when deciding subsequent
    cases with similar issues or facts.

    Antecedent

    –adjective
    1. preceding; prior: an antecedent event.

    –noun
    2. a preceding circumstance, event, object, style, phenomenon, etc.

    3. antecedents,
    a. ancestors.
    b. the history, events, characteristics, etc., of one’s earlier life:
    Little is known about his birth and antecedents.

    4. Grammar . a word, phrase, or clause, usually a substantive,
    that is replaced by a pronoun or other substitute later, or
    occasionally earlier, in the same or in another,
    usually subsequent, sentence.

    In Jane lost a glove and she can’t find it,
    Jane is the antecedent of she and glove is the antecedent of it.

    5. Mathematics .
    a. the first term of a ratio; the first or third term of a proportion.
    b. the first of two vectors in a dyad.

    6. Logic . the conditional element in a proposition, as
    “Caesar conquered Gaul,” in
    “If Caesar conquered Gaul, he was a great general.”

    Definitions of history:

    the aggregate of past events;

    a record or narrative description of past events;

    the discipline that records and interprets past events
    involving human beings;

    the continuum of events occurring in succession
    leading from the past to the present and even into the future;

    Definitions of continuum

    a continuous nonspatial whole or extent or succession in which
    no part or portion is distinct or distinguishable from adjacent parts

    Continuum theories or models explain variation as involving a gradual
    quantitative transition without abrupt changes or discontinuities.
    It can be contrasted with ‘categorical’ models which propose
    qualitatively different states.

    A continuous series or whole, no part of which is noticeably different
    from its adjacent parts,
    although the ends or extremes of it are very different from each other;
    The set of all real numbers and, more generally, a compact connected
    metric space;

    Definitions of future

    The future is a time period commonly understood
    to contain all events that have yet to occur.
    It is the opposite of the past,
    and is the time after the present

    Insanity:
    doing the same thing over and over again
    and expecting different results.
    Albert Einstein

    Hey PORTIA:
    The internet isn’t the only thing AL GORE
    stole credit for inventing ….

    But then … A L G O R I T H M
    (POLITICIANS STEALING is a FACT of LIFE)

    In mathematics, computer science, and related subjects, an algorithm
    (derived from the name of mathematician al-Khwārizmī)
    is an effective method for solving a problem expressed as a finite
    sequence of steps.
    Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and many other fields.
    (In more advanced or abstract settings, the instructions do not necessarily constitute a finite sequence, and even not necessarily a sequence; see, e.g., “nondeterministic algorithm”.)

    Each algorithm is a list of well-defined instructions for completing a task.
    Starting from an initial state, the instructions describe a computation
    that proceeds through a well-defined series of successive states,
    eventually terminating in a final ending state.

    The transition from one state to the next is not necessarily deterministic;
    some algorithms, known as randomized algorithms, incorporate randomness.

    A partial formalization of the concept began with attempts to solve the Entscheidungsproblem (the “decision problem”) posed by
    David Hilbert in 1928.

    Subsequent formalizations were framed as attempts to define
    “effective calculability”[1] or “effective method”

  60. 60 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “mainly, freedom allows people to do incredibly stupid, harmful, and even deadly things to themselves.”

    I see my hopes have been dashed. It appears that any exploitation, death, dismemberment, injury or disease is solely the fault of a worker who should have become a lawyer instead of a laborer in your view. I am also going to suppose that you would only grudgingly spare them an extra lump of coal to keep warm.

    “You have and indeed cannot marshal one shred of evidence to show how classical liberalism or laissez faire are in any way culpable for the real and imagined occurrences of which you speak.”

    Really? I would think during your scouring of examples extolling the virtues of the “free market” (I learned about scare quotes from words like “Progressive” and “Obamacare”) you might have run across a few showing how markets can become dominated by a handful of magnates who ruthlessly wipe out any competition and then maintain an uncompetitive stranglehold on their market.

    “Sorry, you have not proven that anyone coerces miners into the mines, fisherman to sea, soldiers to war”
    Really, you need to get out more. Or perhaps you’ve seen Billy Elliot one too many times.

    “I, too, bemoan how the unions are exploiting migrant workers by claiming to represent their interests while actually doing their worst to keep them “undocumented,” illiterate, and dependent.”
    I am beginning to think that nothing a union does is justified in your eyes.

    “Beef North West Contract Signed
    We are pleased to announce that we have signed a new three-year union contract with Beef Northwest Feeders. The company operates cattle feedlots in Oregon and Washington. Workers are now eligible for the UFW’s medical and pension coverage. They will receive paid vacations, six paid holidays and funeral leave. All the basic workplace rights are written into the contract, such as breaks and meal times, restrooms, drinking water and heat stress mitigation. Workers will not be required to work when there is a danger of injury to either themselves or the animals. Animal protection advocates will be glad to know there are beefed up guarantees of animal safety.
    http://www.ufw.org/

    “The point is that both parties are free to associate and work out their disputes through voluntary mechanism and, as a last resort, our impartial judiciary.”
    That is a point? CT is an at-will State. The “voluntary mechanism” is termination. If you file a complaint with our CHRO your case may be heard in 2-3 years. If you file a suit with our impartial judiciary (assuming you have enough money for filing fees, complaint service, jury fees, subpoenas, depositions and, oh yeah, legal fees) you may actually get to present your case in 4-5 years.

    “Will Fiji Water sell now that the Fijian regime has taxed the island’s famous and eponymous water company out of existence?”
    I didn’t know that. I thought all of their revenue came from the winnings of Vijay Singh.

  61. 61 1george1

    Isn’t it interesting that unionism has been broken around the country
    except “mostly” in the government and certain affiliated groups.

    Certain unions are an apendage of managment.

    There was a need in the past for unions.

    There appears to be a need again.
    Management appears to have unionized itself into “Chambers” of Commerce
    and Lobby groups…

  62. 62 1george1

    I suspect PORTIA will jump on this one?
    It bears closer look, later

    A Program for Poor-aholics
    by Anne Kadet – Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Can’t earn enough dough to pay the rent? A tiny but growing fellowship of New Yorkers might suggest that the problem isn’t the economy. The problem is you. You may have a disease—a compulsive addiction to low-paying work. And they have a 12-step program to help you recover:

    Underearners Anonymous.

    At a recent meeting, two-dozen men and women gathered in a windowless, rented room, squeezing themselves into a tight circle around a faded oriental carpet. After saying a prayer and introducing themselves (“Hello, my name is Mary, and I’m an underearner”), they discussed the symptoms of their condition: frittering away time, undercharging for services and neglecting to follow through on new opportunities. Moreover, they say they’re powerless to control these destructive, compulsive behaviors. They need help from a higher power that can restore them to sanity.

    “Jean” (I’ve changed names in this column to protect members’ anonymity) has a typical story. She’s attractive, ridiculously articulate and has a master’s degree from Columbia. When she “hit bottom,” the 30-something writer was earning $10,000 a year doing freelance work and falling behind on the rent. Her solution? She applied for a job at Staples.

    Sounds crazy, but for Jean, minimum-wage jobs served a purpose that she had yet to admit to herself: They came with few expectations and responsibilities. “I didn’t want to be controlled,” she says. The price, of course, was poverty. Now, she says, she’s earning 10 times her old pay and has launched an acting career, but it’s been an arduous journey. “The underearner doesn’t want to do the work required to make their life better,” she says. “UA gives you the willingness.”

    Underearners Anonymous isn’t the first 12-step program for folks with money woes. Debtors Anonymous, founded in 1976, offers 25 meetings a week in New York. In fact, UA’s founder, “Adam,” was sitting in a debtor’s meeting five years ago when he was inspired to launch the new fellowship. The chatty, middle-aged ad salesman heard a fellow member complain that her recovery from debt and overspending didn’t change the fact that she still wasn’t making enough money.

    Her insight struck a chord. Adam was also struggling, living in a mice-infested apartment overlooking a dumpster. He had plenty of dreams—maybe too many—but whenever he started to enjoy success with a new venture, he inexplicably lost interest. Maybe, he thought, folks like himself need their own program. Now, underearners can choose from seven meetings a week in Manhattan and the Bronx; participants estimate that NYC membership has doubled in the past year, to roughly 300. Meetings have also sprouted in L.A., Miami and London

    — more

  63. 63 1george1

    from their website:

    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

    The Twelve Steps of Underearners Anonymous

    1. We admitted we were powerless over underearning — that our lives had become unmanageable.

    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

    3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

    5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

    6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

    7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

    8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

    9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

    10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

    11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.

    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive underearners, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

    Copyright © A.A. World Services, Inc. Adapted and reprinted with permission

    The Twelve Traditions of Underearners Anonymous

    1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon UA unity.

    2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as is expressed in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern.

    3. The only requirement for UA membership is a desire to stop underearning

    4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or UA as a whole.

    5. Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry the message to the underearner who still suffers.

    6. A UA. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the UA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

    7. Every UA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

    8. Underearners Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

    9. UA, as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

    10. Underearners Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the UA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

    11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

    12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

    Copyright © A.A. World Services, Inc. Adapted and reprinted with permission

  64. 64 portia1776

    George,

    I have not yet read through your prodigious output so please forgive me if you have provided (but I have not yet read) the correct context for the Adam Smith quote and this is redundant: Smith is not talking of reality not casualty; the proportion of very rich to poor may be 500 poor men to one very rich man, but the very rich man did not get very rich on the backs of the 500 poor. This is clear from what Smith says before and after the quote, which is directed at the fundamental role of government (the “civil magistrate”) to protect the property rights of even those very rich who may be threatened by the masses for political reasons (yet another example that classical liberals are not anarchists, but those who engage in class warfare are because of their totalitarian ambitions to capriciously destroy the rule of law):

    “Men may live together in society with some tolerable degree of security, though there is no civil magistrate to protect them from the injustice of those passions.

    But avarice and ambition in the rich, in the poor the hatred of labour and the love of present ease and enjoyment, are the passions which prompt to invade property ; passions much more steady in their operation, and much more universal in their influence. Wherever there is a great property, there is great inequality. For one very rich man, there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many. The affluence of the rich excites the indignation of the poor, who are often both driven by want, and prompted by envy to invade his possessions. It is only under the shelter of the civil magistrate, that the owner of that valuable property, which is acquired by the labour of many years, or perhaps of many successive generations, can sleep a single night in security. He is at all times surrounded by unknown enemies, whom, though he never provoked, he can never appease, and from whose injustice he can be protected only by the powerful arm of the civil magistrate, continually held up to chastise it. The acquisition of valuable and extensive property, therefore, necessarily requires the establishment of civil government. Where there is no property, or at least none that exceeds the value of two or three days labour, civil government is not so necessary…”

  65. 65 1george1

    PORTIA:
    The above was taken from a WEB POSTING related to ROBERT HEILBRONER’S
    “The Nature and Logic of Capitalism.”
    Posts # 56, 57, & 58.

    There is a quote from and noting Adam Smith, near the bottom of # 56?

    I have or had the book for well over 10 years.
    I barely started it as it was extremely dry and difficult reading.

    One of the great things about the internet, is the encapsulization and
    summary of great concepts and access to quotes and great thoughts.

    Neither Cliff Notes not Wikipedia, replace a classic education.
    However by searching one concept or author, the internet leads to
    others.

    The saying is that the devil is in the details.
    By trying to understand religeon and philosophy one finds those to be
    the driving forces behind ancient knowledge, which have always been
    perversely used by the Warrior and Royal Castes.

    The Warrior and Royal Castes also populated the Religeous Caste and/or
    were educated by same.

    Primogenitor, Fuedalism, and Division of labor and sources of Wealth also
    caused places for the Royal Castes to migrate and populate the upper
    levels of the pyramids of power in Military, Bureaucracy, Politics, Religion,
    Farming, Fishing, Agriculture, Hunting, Manufacturing, Transportation,
    Media, Trade/Commerce, Labor, Mining, and all sources of Wealth / Power.

    The Magna Carta allowed mechanisms for gangsters known as Barons to be
    part of the Royal Crime Syndicate.
    They even developed allowances from “new blood” for the pool.
    They developed the gentry who naturally gravitated to the money class
    and power class, where forms of meriticracy mixed with consanginations!

    Note the difference between:
    Gemeinschaft
    Gesellshaft

    Note the mixture and benefit of same with
    Gemeinschaft
    Gesellshaft

    Properly practiced, the Constitution and Capitalism should be more of
    the later, while minimizing the former.

    Will humanity reach Marquis de Condorcet’s
    “10th Stage of human development?”

    Based on Tammany Troglodytes and Country club crony clowns
    of capITALYsm, it appears politics is a captive of de-volution and
    me-volution, and not evolution, nor revolution!

    The plutocratic esquirachy appears more interested in
    ME-ritocracy and ME-writ-ocracy, than Meritocracy.

    They mock being brother’s keepers, as in jailers, and not enablers
    towards being all that people can be-come!

  66. 66 portia1776

    Jez,

    “I see my hopes have been dashed. It appears that any exploitation, death, dismemberment, injury or disease is solely the fault of a worker who should have become a lawyer instead of a laborer in your view.” – The “have you beat your husband today?” argument is really beneath you.

    Right, I will never go along with your view that all workers are too stupid, too irresponsible, and too powerless to pursue their own self-interest. You won’t say it in quite this terms. But you description serve to infantilize workers and implicitly argue for government intervention to “protect them from themselves,” not to mention “rapacious” capitalists (you never mention the actually rapacious unions).

    My view, which you prefer to smear rather than understand, is that the only morally defensible position is for individuals to be free to pursue their own self-interest provided that in doing so it does not harm anyone else.

    An employer and employee negotiate a contract without any coercion on the part of either party. This is legal and moral, no matter what the terms of the agreement they reach. Who are you, frankly, to say otherwise? Why do you think you can, leaving aside whether or not you should, interfere to deny another individual their freedom of association?

    This is the same fatal conceit that belies the minimum wage, i.e., politicians know better than workers what the national “minimum wage” should be (why not $50 an hour or $100? either is just as reasonable as $7.25). The problem is that politicians can’t possibly know that because individual workers in diverse parts of the country have individualized standards of living. The wage an inner city youth who dropped out of high school, has no experience, and no other opportunities will work for is and should be considerably lower than a middle-aged doctor in the same city, or a youth living in the suburbs who just graduate from high school and has two years work experience. To say otherwise is ridiculous.

    “I am also going to suppose that you would only grudgingly spare them an extra lump of coal to keep warm.” – No, as a good classical liberal I believe in eleemosynary activity. And as a proponent of laissez faire, I understand the competitive advantage of any American company is and always will be its employees’ productivity. Treating employees well is the right thing to do and the free-market incentives doing so if for some reason you have the Scrooge about you.

    Let us take a look at two of these “exploitative” employers (I’ll add a third below), who represent the vast majority of employers:

    “(I learned about scare quotes from words like “Progressive” and “Obamacare”)” – First, I never used scare quotes on Obamacare (or Romneycare, for that matter). Second, and as stated previously, I put quotes around “Progressive” because I know the term to be ironic.

    As Professor Don Boudreaux explain in a 2007 article (“Progressive — not!”):

    “….Enemies of individual freedom and responsibility, and of the economic dynamism characteristic only of capitalism, routinely call themselves ‘Progressives.’

    These ‘Progressives’ want America to ‘progress’ back to a state of mind that holds that we ordinary men and women are so naturally weak in mind, body and willpower that we must be protected by heroic white knights from nefarious forces intent on destroying us.

    Just as feudal lords protected their serfs from being raped and pillaged by invading hordes, so, too, will the modern state protect us helpless and ignorant ordinary folk from unsafe foods, immoral drugs, blackhearted corporations, naughty words and inexpensive foreign products.

    Of course, would-be protectors demand the unquestioned cooperation of the protected. Serfs of old who insisted on freedom to make their own choices — ordinary persons who struggled to break free of the thicket of superstitions and dictates that bound them to the land and to obedience to their lords — could not be easily protected. Not only did such uppity peasants fail to contribute their ‘fair share’ to the maintenance of the lords and knights who so selflessly protected them but serfs who disobeyed their lords and masters arrogantly behaved as if they could run their own lives without the benevolent oversight of their betters.

    And if the peasants succeeded in breaking the bonds of their servitude, society would disintegrate into a terrible free-for-all in which no one knew his place and every man and woman would run about making individual choices based on nothing more than their own petty, narrow and base preferences. Orderly society would be replaced by unpredictable, disorderly chaos.

    ‘Progressives’ today believe the same.

    ‘Let me decide for myself if the promise of a particular medication is worth its risk,’ asks the uppity modern citizen. ‘How foolish!’ scolds the modern lord and his courtiers. ‘You are but a weak and uninformed individual who is too prone to rash judgments. We will protect your health with the Food and Drug Administration.’

    Another peasant, feeling full of himself, asserts his right to provide for his own retirement. ‘Thank you, m’lord,’ says this humble commoner, ‘but I’d prefer that you stop taking a sizeable chunk of my annual income and (allegedly) setting it aside for my retirement. I am sufficiently responsible and intelligent to determine for myself how much I should save for my retirement and how those savings should be invested.’

    ‘You haughty, misguided child-peasant you!’ intones the lord surrounded by his armored legions. ‘Only I am trustworthy enough to provide for your retirement. My foresight and self-control are necessary to protect you from your own likely myopia and weakness of will. Of course, the only way for me to have sufficient funds on hand to provide for your retirement is if you give me today, for my safe-keeping, some of your earnings. But precisely because you, serf, cannot be trusted to care for yourself, I must forcibly confiscate from you today the funds that I determine are necessary to provide for your retirement tomorrow.’

    Of course, when medieval superstitions, stasis and status eventually gave way to individualism, society did not collapse. It thrived as never before. Great cities were built. The profit motive led entrepreneurs to invent lifesaving medicines, more abundant food supplies, vibrant cultural products available to anyone who wished to partake in them and creature comforts undreamed of by even the wealthiest medieval monarchs.

    In short, individualism — and the freedom and free markets that it entails — sparked and sustained progress as never before.

    Today’s ‘Progressives’ seek a return to the status and static society in which the few direct and “protect” the many. That, of course, is the opposite of genuine progress (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/columnists/boudreaux/s_521069.html ).”

    When you put quotes around free-market, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. Now, if you were to write “the American ‘free market’ economy,” quotes would be appropriate; we do not have a free market and haven’t had one for quite some time.

    “…showing how markets can become dominated by a handful of magnates who ruthlessly wipe out any competition and then maintain an uncompetitive stranglehold on their market.” – There are plenty of examples of monopolies and cartles. Indeed, I have written about the health insurance cartels, the public utility monopolies, the government schools monopoly, the postal service monopoly, the FDA monopoly, the illicit drug cartels, and so many others… Only the government enables “a handful of magnates” to be able to “ruthlessly wipe out competition” by receiving corporate welfare, imposing tariffs, and getting other rent-seeking benefits from politicians. In a free market it is impossible for this to happen because companies must compete for customers, who do not have to buy their product or service. Rarely, a single company can rise to dominate a sector of the economy. But, provided the market remains free of government interference, there is nothing inherently wrong with this. The single company, perhaps led by a magnate, will only remain preeminent in so far as it is providing quality and prices that consumers are willing to of their own free will and accord pay for. If the company raises prices too high and/or drops in quality or service, competitors will enter the market and eat their lunch.

    To provide a real-world example: the Detroit “Big Three” used their powerful government connections to crush each and every competitor, most notoriously the pioneering 1948 Tucker. The Tucker had safety features that would not be seen in American cars for decades, such as seat belts, padded dash boards, pop-out windshields, and a third headlight to track the movements of the steering wheel. In other words, Preston Tucker’s innovative company was, without government regulation, going to offer a superior and safer free market alternative to the Big Three’s recycled 1930s junk. But Tucker found out the hard way that the American car market was not free.

    “Progressive” US Attorney Otto Kerner, who went on to be the first federal appellate judged convicted of fraud, and the SEC at the behest of Senator Homer Ferguson (a Republican on the Big Three’s dole), investigated, prosecuted, and slandered Preston Tucker and his employees. While he was acquitted of all the unfounded accusations in a court of law, by that point his company was ruined and American consumers were denied the choice to purchase his car, which would remain unmatched in safety by the Big Three for decades thereafter. How many lives were lost because of this? The numbers are unknowable, but considering how deadly driving is even today (vastly deadlier than terrorism, flying, and fires combined and multiplied by 11) it was probably considerable.

    (As this example and the Triangle Shirtwaist factor highlight, too often suppository freedom is to blame for government failure and the bad consequences of government intervention).

    “Really, you need to get out more.” – Where is your proof “that anyone coerces miners into the mines, fisherman to sea, soldiers to war (thanks to Milton Friedman only those who freely choose to serve do so), oilmen to rigs, teachers to D.C. government schools or any of the numerous occupations that are fraught with risks and rewards”? You would have to proof nothing less to even approach using the word “exploitative,” which is probably only applicable to the socialist’s slave states.

    “Or perhaps you’ve seen Billy Elliot one too many times.” – Never, actually. I recommend that you watch the following movies for some perspective on the goodness of individual liberty and the power of the human spirit to transcend obstacles: October Sky, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, The Pursuit of Happyness, Forrest Gump, Ghostbusters, Gran Torino, and the Star Wars series.

    “I am beginning to think that nothing a union does is justified in your eyes.” – I support real unions, not the often monopolistic, anti-worker imitations that falsely claim to be.

    “Beef North West Contract Signed” – Nothing in that contract could not and has not been negotiated by individual workers. Can workers choose to not join the UFW? Does the UFW have competitors? The contract sounds dandy, but denying workers their individual liberty is in all cases immoral.

    “The point is that both parties are free to associate and work out their disputes through voluntary mechanism and, as a last resort, our impartial judiciary.”

    “CT is an at-will State.” – Why do you think that is? Might it have something to do with the fact that CT’s labor legislation was written by the monopolistic unions? In other words, perverse incentives are provided to employers to avoid hiring employees with a proper contract because then the relationship will be liable to anti-competitive, government-imposed mandates.

    “The ‘voluntary mechanism’ is termination.” – Not in every case. And, more importantly, what do you propose as an alternative?

    “If you file a complaint with our CHRO your case may be heard in 2-3 years.” – What do you expect from government bureaucrats?

    “If you file a suit with our impartial judiciary (assuming you have enough money for filing fees, complaint service, jury fees, subpoenas, depositions and, oh yeah, legal fees) you may actually get to present your case in 4-5 years.” – Maybe if we got rid of all the agencies, departments, and programs government shouldn’t be wasting money on, its essential functions, such as providing an impartial judiciary, would not be so backlogged. In any case, you leave out that if the case has merit (and often when it doesn’t) a lawyer will take it on contingency.

    “I didn’t know that. I thought all of their revenue came from the winnings of Vijay Singh.” – Very funny. The latest is that the California entrepreneurs who exploit the natural resources of the country have decided to reopen while negotiating with the regime that now runs the island.

  67. 67 portia1776

    Another “rapacious” capitalist business owner who “Progressives” want to tax and regulate out of business:

  68. 68 portia1776

    “Progressives” are Pro-Business, Pro-Wall Street — and that is the problem. I am pro-free market capitalism, which means putting individual liberty, free trade, and free enterprise ahead of narrow business interests. The dirty secret about “Progressives” is that they are corporatists as well as statists. Their promotion of government intervention into the economy is always in order to give unfair advantages to favored special interests.

    Consider this story on this administrations crony capitalist/corporate socialist misdeeds from Professor Russell Roberts:

    “Bloomberg reports:

    ‘Citigroup Inc., recovering from its $45 billion bailout in 2008, is in advanced talks to hire former White House Budget Director Peter Orszag, people with knowledge of the matter said.

    Orszag, 41, may take a job in the New York-based firm’s investment-banking division, the people said, declining to be identified because the discussions are private. An announcement may come as early as today, one of the people said.’

    Notice that he’s going to take ‘a job.’ It doesn’t tell us what kind of job because it doesn’t really have to. The important thing is that he’s on the payroll. What skills does he bring to the table? He’s a smart guy but one thing he brings is his ability to call people in the White House and the Fed and have them return his call.

    Here are a few more cronies:

    ‘His successor as budget director, Jacob Lew, worked at Citigroup from 2006 to 2009.

    Calls and e-mails to Orszag weren’t immediately returned. Citigroup spokeswoman Danielle Romero-Apsilos said she couldn’t comment.

    Before joining the White House as director of the Office of Management and Budget, Orszag was director of the Congressional Budget Office and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

    He previously served as economic adviser to President Bill Clinton and was a staff member of Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers.

    Orszag’s tenure at the Clinton White House overlapped with Citigroup’s former executive-committee chairman, Robert Rubin, who served as Treasury secretary from 1995 to 1999. In 2006, when Rubin, 72, helped to found an economic research group at the Brookings Institution called the Hamilton Project, Orszag was named its first director. Obama, then a senator from Illinois, spoke at the project’s unveiling.

    Rubin, who in late 2007 helped oversee the search that led to the appointment of Vikram Panditas chief executive officer, retired from Citigroup last year.

    Citigroup repaid $20 billion of its bailout money last year and the rest was converted into stock. The Treasury Department still owns 11 percent of the bank’s shares.’

    As Arnold would say: have a nice day.

    I am increasingly pessimistic about the fake nature of Wall Street as part of the capitalist system. It is part of the crony capitalist system. I am ashamed at how long it has taken me to notice this. But once you start paying just a bit of attention, it’s hard not to notice (http://cafehayek.com/2010/12/crony.html).”

    This all brings to mind a saying of Dick Miron, the felon who is serving time as a member in good standing of the Stratford Democratic Town Committee as opposed to in a prison cell where he belongs thanks to senator-elect Dick Blumenthal. When asked about his pension scheme, which had him in the span of a couple weeks resign for dire health, cash in his pension, and then return at full salary to the Registrar of Voters office, he said “it may not be ethical, but it’s legal.” What Peter Orzag is doing is lawful but unethical.

  69. 69 1george1

    PORTIA – NO time to see/listen to videos or properly read your positions.

    With what little I read, there is much to agree and some to disagree.

    TRIVIA about chosen movies and American spirit:

    TUCKER came out short time before DAN QUAYLE picked as Bush’s V. P.
    TUCKER is name of Dan Quayle’s son.
    QU AYLE – last 4 letters is amagram of Y A L E.

    STAR WARS – Movie 1 had ZERO BLACKS on screen, when released.
    Later BLACKS added in for rereleases and future movies
    BLACK Actor James Earl Jones = DARTH VADER Voice.
    – Was Lucas / Spielberg RACIST or CASTING DIRECTOR (Omission)
    – Did Tattooine have subliminal effect on population branding
    themselves with Tattoos?

    FOREST GUMP “happened” to be the name of an original KKK
    Grand Wizard or Grand Dragon?
    Anyway original Forest Gump was a prominent early leader of KKK!

    I have not seen the other movies.
    I am not suggesting PORTIA or others are RACIST or whatever.
    I am noting that producers of movies have an AGENDA.

    We know during WW II the military censors dominated everything,
    and logic dictates it is unlikely the government ever left the media,
    however, there are counter intuitive ways to guide reactions!

    CABLE TV in 80s-90s had debates between Conservatives like
    PAT BUCHANON and others who usually wiped up Liberals on
    “CROSS FIRE.”
    Retospectively, I realize a KKK BURNING CROSS was a CROSS on FIRE.

    NIXON admittedly had a SOUTHERN strategy.

    What do Bill Parcells, Bobby Knight, and Coach K (Duke) have in common?
    Each coached at West Point in the late 1960s.
    The Army has more Alumni than any college.
    It is not difficult for Military and Intelligence to steer college recruits
    and pro prospects towards friends / alumni. (everyone does it)

    Despite boorish behavior, Bobby Knight was the last coach to have an
    UNDEFEATED TEAM from INDIANA (Dan Quayle’s state)
    Bobby Knight also had very high graduation rates, compared to other
    programs.

    Bill Bellichic has ties to Annapolis.

    Robert Gates was president of TEXAS A & M, seventh largest US Univ.
    > Now a Football power, based on “D” (Gates is Secretary of “D”)

    These trivia are NOT anti-military!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It may or may not show a pattern or trend, which Sudds disagreed with!

    alaBAMA won NCAA Football Champs in oBAMA’s 1st year.
    > MARS is Roman god of War > mar KING ram won HE is MAN trophy.
    > MILES = SOLDIER in LATIN /\ Miles Austin star-NFL state = capital = Austin
    > Michael IRVIN starred in IRVING texas
    > AL KALINE starred in Detroit, home of ALKALINE batteries.
    > AL GORE > ALGORITHISMS
    ARKANSAS basketball won basketball champ during Clinton year.

    Jerry Jones ARKANSAS alumni won with COWBOYS in Bush years.

    MIAMI college powerhouse during COCAINE years.

    Are people in the government, military, business, & crime sports fans?

    Can alumni affect college and pro records?

  70. 70 portia1776

    George,

    “PORTIA – NO time to see/listen to videos or properly read your positions.” – I’ll wait for when you have had time to examining what is actually there before commenting.

    What I will say now is….

    1.) It is wrong to impute racism of directors/producers based on the number of minorities (or lack thereof) in their movies. October Sky, for example, is a true story set in a 1950s coal mining town in West Virgina, not a place known for its diversity in that time period.

    2.) Because you didn’t read what I wrote, you’re missing the context, which has nothing at all to do with race and everything to do with individualism as well as the power of government intervention (with or without corporate collusion) to destroy free enterprise. Consider The Pursuit of Happyness, a movie cited above, based on the true story of Chris Gardner.

    On account of falling for an investment scheme, Gardner went from middle class to homeless, but he went on (eventually) to became a self-made, free-market capitalist millionaire. How? He took responsibility for his failure and dedicated himself to a new career as a stock broker. Against great odds — being a single dad, being homeless, and having to work for free while competing against other trainees for a single paid position — he persevered, was awarded the coveted paid position, went on to found his own financial company, and remains wealthy today. Here is an interview with Gardner from this past summer:

    Atlanta Post: “How did your stepfather inform your understanding of ‘spiritual genetics?'”
    Chris Gardner: “I could have become him. I could have become another alcoholic, wife-beating, child-beating, illiterate loser. And a lot of people would have said ‘well, look where he’s from, he didn’t have a choice.’ And I say ‘no’ that’s not true. I did have a choice…. the spirit of who you’re going to become as a man or woman, I believe you can choose.”

    Later, in the same interview, he talks about a scene in the movie, which he re-wrote to affirm its individual message of empowerment:
    “Don’t every let somebody else tell you what you can’t do. When other people are saying something can’t be done, you have got to hear them saying that they can’t do it. You got a dream — you got to protect it. You want something, go get it. Period.”

    Here is the background on how the script was re-written (apparently, the first draft had been written by Jez):

    (If you’re wondering who the featured “failure” was at the end of the clip, Walt Disney was “fired by a newspaper for lacking ideas; went bankrupt several times; now a household name.”)

    As for Star Wars, I suggest your refer back to what I’ve written previously: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/the-dark-side/#comment-14311

  71. 71 portia1776

    Jez,

    “…We are pleased to announce that we have signed a new three-year union contract with Beef Northwest Feeders….Workers are now eligible for the UFW’s medical and pension coverage.” – If the UFW is anything like President Obama’s favorite special interest union, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), those workers should take note that their contract is not worth the paper it’s written on.

    SEIU bills itself as “an organization of 2.2 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide and dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society.” And yet this is SEIU’s idea of taking care of its members:

    “One of the largest union-administered health-insurance funds in New York is dropping coverage for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants, union officials said. The union blamed financial problems it said were caused by the state’s health department and new national health-insurance requirements.”

    Curiously, SEIU spent tens of millions of dollars in member dues supporting candidate Obama, subsequently propagandizing on behalf of “new national health-insurance requirements” (i.e., ObamaCare), and campaigning for “Progressive” Democrats. SEIU spent $44 million in 2009-2010 alone. Now, as a consequence of the unconstitutional health control legislation SEIU mightily contributed to forcing upon all Americans, the Union is dropping coverage for their neediest member’s children.

    Once wonders (admittedly, I’m probably alone on this one):

    a.) Why did SEIU spend all those millions on legislation that, predictably, would hurt its members? Even if this occurrence was a remote possibility, was it not the Union’s responsibility to advocate to ensure its members best interests were protected? It’s not like White House access was a problem: then-president Andy Stern has visited the White House more than any one else (possibly in violation of lobbying regulations according to the Alliance for Worker Freedom, which called for an investigation). Additionally, President Obama appointed Stern to his debt commission, a decision Americans for Tax Reform described as “like having a serial arsonist organize Fire Prevention Week.”

    b.) Why did SEIU not simply put these millions toward benefiting its members — for instance, by making sure its health insurance fund was adequately funded?

    c.) Is it not exploitative, in the correct sense of the word, for SEIU to force its poor members to pay dues, promise them “benefits,” spend that money instead on candidates and legislation that hurt those members, and then deny member’s children health insurance coverage?

    Perhaps you are suffering from (convenient) amnesia and don’t recall the impassioned warnings opponents of ObamaCare sounded about its intended and unintended consequences. In any case, something like this was not terribly hard to foresee:

    “’…new federal health-care reform legislation [ObamaCare] requires plans with dependent coverage to expand that coverage up to age 26,’ [Mitra] Behroozi [executive director of benefit and pension funds for SEIU local 1199] wrote in a letter to members Oct. 22. ‘Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible, and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible.’

    Behroozi estimated that the fund faced a $15 million shortfall in 2011 and more in the following years for the coverage of workers’ children.'”

    It seems government intervention does have consequences. It seems also that scarcity is scarcity no matter how many times politicians say otherwise. “Progressives,” once again, have failed to repeal the laws of economics. Sure, mandating coverage for the children of workers till age 26 sounds nice. In practice, however, it means unions that exploit their members to further their leader’s collectivist schemes (looking at you, SEIU), drop coverage for thousands of low-income children below age 23. The money has to come from somewhere.

    This is the real-world, Jez and Chris, where your supposedly well-intentioned policies have wretched results. Nevertheless, I am the one who both of you have hypocritical and erroneously and unfairly accused of not caring enough. Which one of you is going to defend this direct, and devastating consequence of ObamaCare? Presumably the silence will be as deafening as your reaction to the Chevy Volt, laissez-faire love, the FDA’s victims, and so many other subjects. Government failures of our increasingly crony capitalist/corporate socialist system just don’t fit your preconceived, fact-averse “narrative.”

    The SEIU local, not learning from its own problem of scarce resources, has a great idea to ameliorate the suffering the Union inflicted on its disenfranchised members: have New York taxpayers bail the fund out.

    “We hope the state of New York will do the right thing and provide the funding necessary for this most vulnerable population of direct caregivers (http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2010/11/20/union-drops-health-coverage-for-workers-children/?mod=wsj_share_yahoo_buzz ).”

    Are you serious, SEIU? You mean the “most vulnerable population of direct caregivers'” whose children the Union just yanked health insurance from after promising to protect member’s dignity, humanity, and benefits? And, right, New York taxpayers should assume responsibility for your incompetence and corruption and wickedness… because the desperate conditions of these members, which the Union has made worse by squandering their dues, are truly desperate.

    One wonders anew whether this was not the whole idea to begin with. As I have previously written, ObamaCare has nothing to do with providing health insurance and certainly not improving health care. ObamaCare only makes sense if the objective is to centralize power in the national government. Bailing out favored special interests (Unions who stop covering members and corporations that are granted exceptions) is a nice side benefit, which guarantees future political contributions and votes. President Obama’s re-election campaign is just around the corner, right?

    As the malodorousness of ObamaCare grows thicker, the chorus of those pushing to finish the job, to eliminate even the pretense of private health care, will grow louder. “Progressives” will shout that these failures are not the fault of ObamaCare’s curtailing of the limited consumer choice that now exists or even the administration’s disgusting attack on doctor autonomy, but should instead be blamed upon the non-existent health insurance “free market.” Of course this charge, false on its face, will be used to get to the end objective; an objective that candidate Obama articulated:

    (Candidate Obama: “I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthest country in the history of the world, spending 14% – 14% of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody.” Unfortunately, his myopia is now our problem. In fact, there are many reasons why: 1.) GNP is made by Americans not “America”; 2.) As such, GNP is not the property of our government to redistribute as politicians see fit to favored special interests; 3.) Whatever percentage of GNP is spent on health (or entertainment, or vehicles, or anything else) is the result of market forces, i.e., the individual decisions of over 300 millions individuals, rendering even the wisest politician’s jibe that “we’re spending too much on X” patently fallacious and a sure sign of their fatal conceit; 4.) How wealthy the country is does not change the moral and legal principles at stake, specifically the integrity of our supposed-to-be constitutionally limited government, individual liberty, and free-market capitalist economy; and 5.) It was preciously because the Constitution is a charter of individual liberty that guarantees individual rights not entitlements to food, health insurance, welfare, etc…, that we became the wealthiest country in the history of the world. Take away our freedom and an equality of poverty will follow, with the notable exception of the ruling class. As happened in the Soviet Union, there will be an inequality between the lords and serfs, masters and slaves. The ruling class will have their positions of power, chaikas and dachas, and better-than-the-rest health care while we will be out in the cold, negotiating how many illicit bottles of vodka to pay the black market plumber, doctor, dentist, mechanic).

  72. 72 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “If the UFW is anything like President Obama’s favorite special interest union, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)”

    I don’t recall mentioning the SEIU anywhere in my posts. Actually you were the one who mentioned “migrant workers”. I merely pointed out how the UFW helps them. Now you bring up the SEIU? Perhaps you can favor us with an essay (500 words or less) comparing and contrasting the SEIU and the UFW?

    “The “have you beat your husband today?” argument is really beneath you.” It’s a little more humane than your argument of “I beat my wife cause she wouldn’t listen.”

    “My view, which you prefer to smear rather than understand,”
    Smear? Moi? Nay, nay, nay, my friend. You are far better at the use of modifiers than a poor misspoken soul like me.

    “An employer and employee negotiate a contract without any coercion on the part of either party. This is legal and moral, no matter what the terms of the agreement they reach. Who are you, frankly, to say otherwise? Why do you think you can, leaving aside whether or not you should, interfere to deny another individual their freedom of association?”
    It sort of makes me wonder whether or not you’ve actually been in a job interview or have ever worked under, shall we say, adverse conditions. When you can be fired legally for having the wrong color hair, that is not exactly “freedom of association”. By the way, your “at-will” contract is as good as you lawyer can make it if you can afford to go to court. This is the problem with your philosophical positions versus actual experience.

    “Treating employees well is the right thing to do and the free-market incentives doing so if for some reason you have the Scrooge about you.”
    Now I’m beginning to wonder if you have ever held a job in private enterprise. Your own free market theories, which include supply and demand, state that when there is an over supply, like 5 unemployed Americans applying for every open position, that commodity’s value becomes less.

    “Only the government enables “a handful of magnates” to be able to “ruthlessly wipe out competition” by receiving corporate welfare, imposing tariffs, and getting other rent-seeking benefits from politicians. In a free market it is impossible for this to happen because companies must compete for customers, who do not have to buy their product or service.”
    Can you perhaps cite the government regulations in place when oil was discovered in Pennsylvania? I might just settle for any you can cite from the 1800’s except for “40 acres and a mule”.

    Where is your proof “that anyone coerces miners into the mines, fisherman to sea, soldiers to war”You would have to proof nothing less to even approach using the word “exploitative,” which is probably only applicable to the socialist’s slave states.”
    I actually thought that would be an easy one for you. Have you never registered for the draft?

    “In any case, you leave out that if the case has merit (and often when it doesn’t) a lawyer will take it on contingency.”
    ROTFLMAO! Can you provide his name?

    “I didn’t know that. I thought all of their revenue came from the winnings of Vijay Singh.” – Very funny.”
    Thank you.

    “Here is the background on how the script was re-written (apparently, the first draft had been written by Jez):”
    No matter how hard you try or how often you post the link, I do not have the time nor interest to watch or listen to anything Glen Beck has to say.

  73. 73 cstratct

    “Where is your proof “that anyone coerces miners into the mines, fisherman to sea, soldiers to war”You would have to proof nothing less to even approach using the word “exploitative,” which is probably only applicable to the socialist’s slave states.”
    – “I actually thought that would be an easy one for you. Have you never registered for the draft?”

    No, coal miners were never “exploited” mine owners. I’m sure it was all just a misunderstanding. Of course there’s this:

    “Miners were often dependent upon the company store, a store that miners had to use because they were often paid only in company scrip, redeemable at the store, which often charged higher prices than other stores. Many miner’s homes were also owned by the mines. Although there were company towns that raised the prices of all goods and made eviction a constant threat, these conditions were not the norm for all coal towns. But for the towns that did use the currency to their advantage, mining families often faced hardships in living conditions.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Mine_Workers

    “You’re just casting aspersions mindlessly.” – LOL! The exact same could be said of your excruciatingly long rants.

    “Accumulated wealth, unless buried in the backyard, is reinvested in the economy.” – no, it is not necessarily reinvested back in the economy. Stowing away large sums in off-shore accounts isn’t reinvesting in the economy. And fewer consumers means the less likely a recovery is to occur.

    Savings rate grows faster than consumer spending

    “Now, consumers are saving again. And, as this is so far a jobless recovery — the June unemployment figure, due out Friday, is forecast to remain unchanged at a very high 9.7 percent — hopes for a recovery rest in consumer spending.”

    “Miller Tabak equity strategist Peter Boockvar wrote that forecasters and government policy-makers should see the trend toward consumer savings as a long-term one, as “consumers rely less on asset prices to drive spending decisions and more on income earned and saved.” This means that consumers will be less apt to buy things just because they’re on sale and more likely to make a decision based on whether they can afford a good or service.” – Not much of a decision if you don’t have a job or an income.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/28/AR2010062805097.html

  74. 74 portia1776

    Jez.

    “I merely pointed out how the UFW helps [migrant workers]. Now you bring up the SEIU? ” – So because you haven’t mentioned one of the most powerful unions in the country, SEIU is off-limits? At least now we know your priories are in order: defending even the most disgraceful union misdeeds trumps workers rights or even the well-being of low-income worker’s children. I’m more generous than you, so I won’t ask “why do you hate these children?” or “who knew you’re such a fan of exploitation, provided the exploiter is a union” or bemoan a “lack of caring,” but you get the point.

    As predicted, there is no response to that post nor, I guess, can there be. ObamaCare is indefensible, unconstitutional, and its inequities and horrific effects will, tragically, only increase with time.

    “Perhaps you can favor us with an essay (500 words or less) comparing and contrasting the SEIU and the UFW?”- I could, but it’s much more fun to quote from the Socialist Equality Party, who has already done a fine exposé on the UFW’s hypocrisy and exploitation of its members. All one needs to know about the UFW is to be found in their “reactionary ‘Take Our Jobs’ campaign.”

    “The United Farm Workers of America (UFW) last month [June 2010] launched a campaign dubbed ‘Take Our Jobs,’ which supposedly aims to prove that unemployed American workers would never enter the farm labor workforce. Unemployed workers are encouraged to go to the campaign’s web site and submit their information to the UFW, which will then assist in connecting them with potential employers.

    The challenge serves, UFW President Arturo Rodriguez explained, as a tongue-in-cheek method of refuting the myth that immigrants, undocumented or not, are ‘taking the jobs’ of American citizens.

    In fact the campaign only lays bare the disdain with which the UFW bureaucrats view their own members, farm workers, and the American working class in general. This is a ‘union’ that revels in the miserable conditions confronting those it ostensibly represents [But, comrades, what union doesn’t do that? Cf. the similarly despicable actions of the SEIU described above or the teacher’s unions (e.g., New Jersey Education Association) putting the kids first by protecting failing and even criminal teachers].

    Rodriguez recently appeared on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report to make light of the working conditions of farm workers and to use these as a justification for the argument that immigrants are not taking the jobs of Americans. Rodriguez told Colbert: ‘Americans do not want to work in the fields. It’s very difficult work, it requires a lot of expertise. And the conditions are horrid. I mean I was in the fields on Tuesday with grape workers out in Delano, California, in the San Joaquin Valley, it was over 100 degrees … people don’t want to work in that.’

    The UFW’s web site further elaborates on the conditions facing farm workers: ‘[farm workers deal with] miserable conditions—inadequate shade and water, dangerous pesticide exposure, extremely low wages, and disrespectful treatment.’ Previous studies have shown that nearly 75 percent of farm workers earn less than $10,000 a year and 90 percent lack health insurance….

    While the UFW attempts to portray ‘American’ workers as incapable of doing strenuous manual labor in a taxing environment, its real condescension is reserved for those it claims to represent: farm workers. The campaign fully acknowledges the deadly conditions farm workers labor in, implicitly arguing that only immigrant workers should be subjected to such conditions.

    When Rodriguez told Colbert of the ‘horrid’ and ‘miserable’ conditions facing farm workers, he conveniently failed to mention that the UFW has done nothing for decades to improve the situation. Indeed, the current campaign signifies that union officials have no intention of improving the working and living standards of farm workers (http://socialequality.com/content/united-farm-workers-launches-reactionary-%E2%80%9Ctake-our-jobs%E2%80%9D-campaign ).”

    “It’s a little more humane than your argument of ‘I beat my wife cause she wouldn’t listen.’ – So,I take it, you have conceded the field of serious discussion to me? You know, I rather prefer having competition, because insightful pushback forces my arguments to be better. Obviously, nothing I have written could possibly be construed, even with the fantastical interpretive powers of Chris, as an endorsement of wife beating. Classical liberals and proponents of lassiez-faire, women and men, have historically been and remain today at the forefront of advancing the rights of women. The enemies of individual liberty don’t usually abide the equality of women.

    “You are far better at the use of modifiers than a poor misspoken soul like me.” – I’ll take this compliment by way of a sneer.

    “[Poria:] An employer and employee negotiate a contract without any coercion on the part of either party. This is legal and moral, no matter what the terms of the agreement they reach. Who are you, frankly, to say otherwise? Why do you think you can, leaving aside whether or not you should, interfere to deny another individual their freedom of association?”
    ” [Jez:] It sort of makes me wonder whether or not you’ve actually been in a job interview or have ever worked under, shall we say, adverse conditions. ” – This response sort of makes me wonder whether you are bothering to read my arguments at all. I made a statement and then offered two simple questions. You didn’t acknowledge the statement and failed to answer either question. Instead, you dabble in ad hominem. My experience, of course, has no bearing on the principles at stake here.

    Your non-response translates to the following unless you say otherwise: 1.) individuals do not have the inalienable right to negotiate their own employment because they are incapable of doing so (as determined by you); 2.) individuals, therefore, do not own themselves; 3.) government must intervene to protect hapless workers from themselves – another way of saying that the government owns individuals; 4.) this intervention would have to take the form of Nixonian wage and price controls to ensure “fair” pay for all; 5.) You believe bureaucrats like Andy Stern or Don Rumsfeld better able to determine the terms of employment for hundreds of millions of people better than all those people can in their own rights.

    “When you can be fired legally for having the wrong color hair, that is not exactly ‘freedom of association’. ” – Yes, actually, it is, provided that appearance was part of the terms of employment (it often isn’t). You’re not alleging hair color spontaneously turns metallic green or blazing orange, right? In any case, I wouldn’t worry too much about it considering this classic from 2002 (via Reason Mag):

    “[Jennifer] Portnick is a 240-pound San Francisco woman who tried to become a Jazzercise instructor and was rejected because she didn’t look the part. ‘Jazzercise sells fitness,’ the company told her. ‘Consequently, a Jazzercise applicant must have a high muscle-to-fat ratio and look leaner than the public.’

    Offended by this policy, Portnick filed a complaint last fall with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, citing an ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on weight or height. Jazzercise recently announced that it had seen the error of its ways and would henceforth certify instructors of all shapes and sizes (Jacob Sullam, “Food Fight,” May 10, 2002).”

    “By the way, your ‘at-will’ contract is as good as you lawyer can make it if you can afford to go to court.” – Who says you should work without a contract? Wherever possible, you should. If it’s not possible, you can ask for written evaluations in order to build a paper trail. Contracts are not worth the paper they’re written on if your employer is not trustworthy. The same is true for the employer’s perspective. If you’re employee is not trustworthy, the contract you signed them to is meaningless.

    “This is the problem with your philosophical positions versus actual experience.” – So you deny the actual experience of classical liberalism and laissez-faire capitalism in practice? You know, creating the greatest amount of freedom and wealth and equality in the history of human kind? It even works by degrees. China, politically, remains a socialist, centrally controlled, authoritarian nightmare, which recently arrested a woman for the “crime” of tweeting. Economically, however, China has, paradoxically, opened itself up to the free-market, which has pulled tens of millions of Chinese out of poverty by generating tremendous wealth.

    “Now I’m beginning to wonder if you have ever held a job in private enterprise.” – What relevance does this attempt at ad hominem have again? Where is the refutation of my factual point that “Treating employees well is the right thing to do and the free-market incentiv[izes] doing so if for some reason you have the Scrooge about you.” Why do you prefer to see all employers as corrupt and incompetent (Jimmy Miron) when the evidence abounds that many, probably even most, employers are actually good?

    For example, the 50 companies featured in CT Magazine’s annual “Great Places to Work”:

    “Let’s be honest: In light of recent economic woes and high unemployment, many people would say that any place that continues to provide a steady paycheck is a great place to work.

    While we would certainly be hard-pressed to argue with that, we would like to suggest that there are employers out there who go beyond simple compensation in exchange for a job well done. In fact, there are many companies that have actively developed strong employee-centric cultures and have ardently striven to create a positive work-life balance for each one of their employees (http://www.connecticutmag.com/Connecticut-Magazine/November-2010/Great-Places-to-Work/).”

    “Your own free market theories, which include supply and demand,” – Why do I get the feeling you’re using “theory” in the same perverted sense as a creationist describing the “theory” of evolution?! In fact, the economic laws of supply and demand are about as theoretical as the laws of physics. In the words of Professor Alan Sokal, “anyone who believes that the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment. (I live on the twenty-first floor.)”

    “supply and demand, state that when there is an over supply, like 5 unemployed Americans applying for every open position, that commodity’s value becomes less.” – Ceteris paribus, if the supply of X exceeds the number of X demanded, the price (not the value!) of X will fall. The problem for your argument is that X is not a mere commodity easily labeled “labor”; X is millions of individual workers with unique attributes, unique ambitions, unique standards of living. Even two workers with essentially identical skills will have more differences than similarities. Ultimately, the cost of employing X is dependent upon individual X’s and individual employers negotiating terms.

    Since workers are not perfectly interchangeable in our increasingly specialized economy, more applicants for the same position does not necessarily mean its salary will be cut. What it does mean is that the competition to get that particular job is more intense, but it offers no greater reward.

    While you imply otherwise, getting a job that pays less in a down economy than it did in a boom economy is not necessarily a bad thing. No one wants to be in that situation, of course, but Americans have traditionally prefered a job to no job, to feed their families by dint of their own efforts than to take taxpayer-funded handouts, and to provide for their own well-being without answering to government bureaucrats. (I learned recently from Sterling House that many people rely on their services even though they would qualify for food stamps. Why don’t these low-income individuals and families take the food stamps? Often, I was told, because they choose not to be forced to live under the program’s regulations).

    “Can you perhaps cite the government regulations…” – Your question on monopolies was asked, and answered, decades ago. Thanks to the Internet, the last truly free-market, you can even freely choose to watch this excahgange through the voluntarily connected interwebs:

    “I actually thought that would be an easy one for you. Have you never registered for the draft?” – Last I checked, women don’t register for selective service. I guess you also missed that Milton Friedman ended the draft, arguing on principled grounds that coercing individuals into the armed services was the moral equivalent of slavery. He also contended that having the armed services compete for recruits would result in highly qualified and motivated applicants. Care to disagree that our armed services are not the better for respecting individual liberty?

    “Can you provide his name?” – Depends on the case and on the attorney.

    “No matter how hard you try or how often you post the link, I do not have the time nor interest to watch or listen to anything Glen Beck has to say.” – While it’s your right to self-censor, in this case you were doing it for the wrong reason. I clearly wasn’t posting the clip for what Beck had to say (not much actually) but for Chris Gardner’s explanation of The Pursuit of Happyness script re-write. Does this means that you did watch his interview with the Atlanta Post? I certainly hope so.

  75. 75 portia1776

    Chris,

    You never fail to fail. It’s a talent. One would think the limbo bar you’ve set for yourself is so low that nothing could underwhelm it. I thought you couldn’t get lower than “the primary element lacking in all this talk of ‘free markets’ is the idea of compassion for our fellow man.” But here, as Reagan said, you go again…

    “No, coal miners were never ‘exploited’ mine owners. I’m sure it was all just a misunderstanding.” – Please enlighten us: An employer and employee negotiate a contract without any coercion on the part of either party. This is legal and moral, no matter what the terms of the agreement they reach (unless, say, the contract is to perpetrate a crime on a third party). Who are you, frankly, to say otherwise? Why do you think you can, leaving aside whether or not you should, interfere to deny another individual their freedom of association? Their freedom to work? Their self-ownership?

    “Wage slavery” degenerates from the apologias of southern slave masters. The adoption of the term by socialists and “Progressives” is not coincidental. The Confederacy was a bastion of collectivism. It was precisely against the false moral equivocation between free northern workers and southern slave that Frederick Douglas, in “My Bondage and My Freedom,” addressed his quip upon the landing of his first job: “I was now my own master—a tremendous fact.”

    “Of course there’s this,” which conveniently leaves out where the workers came from. Where is the evidence that workers were forced to work in company towns? Given that, at their peak, company towns accounted for a paltry 3% of the US population, it would be a hard case to sustain. Even in a company town that had its own currency, leaving was not unheard of.

    What the paragraph you cite does rightly establish is that whether well-intentioned (Hersey Pennsylvania) or malevolently run (many a mining town in Appalachia), company towns and all other forms of collectivist living necessarily result in violations of individual liberty. The Soviet Union was just a very large company town, where everything was provided by the government monopoly.

    Free enterprise destroyed these uncompetitive aberrations in US history, throwbacks to the guild socialism of Europe. Unless you’re claiming that I am covertly a guild socialist (I did favorably quote from the Socialist Equality Party’s website earlier), I suggest that you actually address the points above.

    “The exact same could be said of your excruciatingly long rants.” – Perhaps. Your free choice includes not reading them. Never let it be said that I forced you to!

    Finally, a substantive question! (I wish they were all like this): “’Accumulated wealth, unless buried in the backyard, is reinvested in the economy.’ – no, it is not necessarily reinvested back in the economy. Stowing away large sums in off-shore accounts isn’t reinvesting in the economy.” – Only if you construe “economy” to mean the “American economy,” but even then your comment does not account for the globalized and complex free-market.

    Whether the bank is onshore or offshore does not matter because, wherever the bank is, its investors will be seeking opportunities to generate a profit (for themselves and for the saver whose capital they invest, to be paid as interest). A domestic bank may invest its depositor’s funds overseas and a foreign bank may invest its depositor’s funds here. Whether the investor in the foreign bank is American and the investor in the domestic bank is foreign, is meaningless. The important thing is that the capital is being put to productive use.

    “And fewer consumers means the less likely a recovery is to occur.” – No, because “Keynesian Economics Is Wrong: Economic Growth Causes Consumer Spending, Not the Other Way Around.”Instead of offering a long explanation that won’t be read, here is an excellent (and short) video clip:

    “Savings rate grows faster than consumer spending” – Those poor self-interested individuals who believe in personal fiscal responsibility. How terrible that they are paying down their debts and saving more of their income, rather than continuing to run up unsustainable deficits on wasteful spending (now who does that sound like?). I guess, Chris, everyone can’t be as smart as Joe “Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you” Biden.

  76. 76 jezebel282

    Portia,

    Whew! That was a lot of twists and turns. I hope I can follow.

    “So because you haven’t mentioned one of the most powerful unions in the country, SEIU is off-limits?”
    Err…you were the one who brought up migrant workers and then inexplicably switched to the SEIU. (By the way, the NEA is the largest union by membership). Although it does seem sort of incredible to select one or two particularly offensive examples (to you) out of millions of members and negotiations with thousands of employers.

    “At least now we know your priories are in order: defending even the most disgraceful union misdeeds trumps workers rights or even the well-being of low-income worker’s children.”
    “Disgraceful”? Really? Was that a modifier? Yet no mention of the headline on SEIU’s website of Express Scripts laying off 1,000+ employees despite profits of $851 MILLION? I wonder which building in Bangalore Express Scripts has selected….

    “It’s a little more humane than your argument of ‘I beat my wife cause she wouldn’t listen.’ – So,I take it, you have conceded the field of serious discussion to me? ”
    I think if a serious discussion is desired, then you should raise your level of colloquialisms. It was, as you know, a direct response to your “have you stopped beating your wife” line.

    “My experience, of course, has no bearing on the principles at stake here.”
    Certainly it does. Unless you are claiming that experience has no value. But I do not think you are. Some of your positions are based upon absolute theory and are stated as universal truths. Universal truths are much harder to come by, you know.
    Let’s just take one of your truths: “Who says you should work without a contract? Wherever possible, you should. If it’s not possible, you can ask for written evaluations in order to build a paper trail.” So what? You have a paper trail in an “at will” State. How many “paper trails” have the 15 millions Americans out of work left?

    “Last I checked, women don’t register for selective service.”
    Correct. It is only the other half of the population. Clearly discriminatory.

    “I guess you also missed that Milton Friedman ended the draft, arguing on principled grounds that coercing individuals into the armed services was the moral equivalent of slavery.”
    Did he really? WHO MUST REGISTER? Almost all male U.S. citizens, and male aliens living in the U.S., who are 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service. http://www.sss.gov/
    I guess you should call him and let him know what is going on behind his back.

    “Care to disagree that our armed services are not the better for respecting individual liberty?”
    Let me see: are you asking and expecting me to tell?
    Perhaps in terms of efficiency and training they are. However, as a nation, I am not thoroughly convinced that it is a benefit. We have been fighting wars in two countries for nearly a decade now. I have to wonder how many parents of 18 year old boys would tolerate sending their children off to these adventures.

    “While it’s your right to self-censor,”
    This is true. Admittedly, I also don’t listen to anything Sarah Palin has to say. Maybe you know; can Glen Beck see Russia from his studio?

  77. 77 cstratct

    “Free enterprise destroyed these uncompetitive aberrations in US history, throwbacks to the guild socialism of Europe.” – Seriously? Workers banding together in unions to oppose unsafe conditions and government oversight had nothing at all to do with it? Perhaps if you read a littler farther you would have seen this:

    “Safety was also a big concern, most coal companies wanted to produce the cheapest coal, so in return they would not update or replace old existing tools and carts. This led to miners becoming injured on a daily basis. However, most companies did not get into conflict over the deaths because miners would typically work alone or in pairs, meaning that an accident would only harm two people and not a large quantity. As mining became more of a demand, the workers started to understand that something could be done to improve the working conditions, and that something must be done soon before any more lives were lost. The health and safety concerns of miners in the early 19th century were what prompted the labor movements to begin.”

    Perhaps it was workers to organizing and opposing the hazardous working conditions and unfair terms of employment that led to the “destruction” of those “uncompetitive aberrations” as you refer to them. That’s free association as well. Why is it you want to deny individuals their right to free association by condemning unions? Unions which allow people to freely associate for their benefit.

    So you’re against workers freely associating in unions in order to advance their position, but those poor, mistreated owners are simply misunderstood and driven out of existence by those trying to level the playing field? I knew you were one-sided, but your anti-union tirades contradict your free association, “free market” mantra.

    “Those poor self-interested individuals who believe in personal fiscal responsibility. How terrible that they are paying down their debts and saving more of their income, rather than continuing to run up unsustainable deficits on wasteful spending (now who does that sound like?).” – Once again you missed the point. If a person doesn’t have a job and/or income, they can’t save anything. Nor can someone without an income pay down debt, in fact, it is likely that their debt will only increase as they are forced to borrow to keep food on the table and a roof over the family’s head. Fewer consumers means less demand for goods and services, meaning less production. A five minute you tube video is hardly irrefutable evidence. Just for kicks, what percentage of GDP is consumer spending?

    “During the first quarter, consumer spending – which accounts for 70 percent of GDP – increased at a 3.6 percent rate, compared with 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter.”

    http://www.joc.com/logistics-economy/consumer-spending-boosts-gdp-32-percent

    Then you’ll return with something like this:

    http://innovationandgrowth.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/giving-credit-where-credit-is-due-consumer-spending-is-not-70-of-the-economy/

    “By their calculations, personal consumer expenditures should properly be given credit for 46% of economic activity, rather than 70%. The government share goes up from 20% to 25%. It’s far more accurate to say that the U.S. needs to grow as much as possible without increased consumer spending if we are to prosper in the future.”

    Either way, personal consumer expenditures make up a large portion of economic activity. Take that out of the equation and it hurts the economy. Fewer consumers means fewer goods and services purchased, meaning less demand. A stocked warehouse doesn’t mean much if you’ve got no one to sell the goods to, whether it be nationally or internationally.

  78. 78 sudds

    HOLY CRIPES ON A SHINGLE BATMAN!!! Can you PLEASE just agree to disagree???

    Portia… how’s the gun cleaning and bible reading going???

    cstratct… how’s that tree you’re hugging… and (on a serious note) how’s the new little girl of yours???

  79. 79 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “Can you PLEASE just agree to disagree???”

    Interestingly, not as many comments about our disintegrating EMS service as there are here.

  80. 80 cstratct

    Hey sudds,

    Good to hear from you (seriously)! The trees are doing great.

    And, oh yeah, that little girl is amazing too. Although I never knew you would need a garden hose to clean a new baby from time to time. Seriously, I think sometimes it would be easier to just spray her down. How the hell does it get all the way up the front of the diaper?!!?!?! 🙂

    I hope you had a great thanksgiving!

  81. 81 portia1776

    Jez,

    This would be funny if it weren’t so sad. In defense of monopolistic unions you ably write “Although it does seem sort of incredible to select one or two particularly offensive examples (to you) out of millions of members and negotiations with thousands of employers” but then fail to realize that this statement is, in fact, more applicable to employers. Yours is a warped world-view that is detached from the reality of tens of millions of Americans; the majority of the Americans who are gainfully employed. That is not to say you are wrong to cite examples of corporate abuse. I am the first to condemn any maltreatment of workers. Interestingly, however, your examples never include the biggest corporate abusers and robber barons. Might that have something to do with their abuse being made possible by the government intervention you are so fond of? Orzag, the Volt, the health insurance company’s rallying to protect their beloved ObamaCare — you have not once joined me in condemning these manifestations of our crony capitalist/corporate socialist system. Why is that?

    “offensive examples (to you)” – Yes, I do take offense when low-income workers or anyone else is exploited by a monopolistic union. What is particularly egregious in this case is that the worker’s children will suffer. But, right, since SEIU did it, the action must be just.

    “(By the way, the NEA is the largest union by membership).” – Who is talking about membership size? My well-documented point is that SEIU is one of the most powerful unions in the country, judging by donations and White House attendance records.

    ““Disgraceful”? Really? Was that a modifier?” – You’re not only saying that the Union exploiting its neediest members’ children is OK, you’re saying it was justified? But, you counter, look, Express Scripts laid off people, as if their alleged misdeed is morally equivalent. Sorry, Jez, it just is not. SEIU promised these workers benefits and is now reneging on their contract, citing costs imposed by ObamaCare. That would be bad enough, but it’s actually worse. SEIU spent those members dues, tens of millions of dollars, to support the passage of ObamaCare. In other words, it wasted members hard-earned money to support legislation that, now they admit, is hurting their neediest members. And, finally, SEIU expects hard-pressed New York taxpayers to them out.

    As for Express Scripts, have you evaluated each of those workers? Do you know what the company’s fiscal projections are for the coming year? Are you claiming that these workers are entitled to jobs, as opposed to anyone else in the company, on account of a single profitable year? I sure don’t know. And without that information, I’m not prepared to jump to conclusions about their decision. Maybe those workers are not working out. Maybe the division they work for is no longer competitive because of the uncertain regulatory and tax environment imposed upon them by Presidents Bush and Obama. Maybe the CEO is incompetent and doesn’t recognize the value-added these workers are to the company. What I do know is that the company’s decision will be judged in the market, by their investors and customers.

    “building in Bangalore Express Scripts has selected….” – How “Progressive” of you to express such a xenophobic, illebral, anti-free trade view.

    “I think if a serious discussion is desired, then you should raise your level of colloquialisms.” – Colloquialism is fine when relevant. Care to offer an explanation for “I beat my wife cause she wouldn’t listen”?

    “Certainly it does. Unless you are claiming that experience has no value.” – Experience is valuable, but when speaking of the law and economy, individual examples must be treated with caution. People were fired during the Clinton boom years, were they not? Would it have been accurate to focus exclusively on Mr. Z who lost his job and claim him to be representative of an economy with decreasing unemployment? Of course not.

    “Let’s just take one of your truths: ‘Who says you should work without a contract? Wherever possible, you should. If it’s not possible, you can ask for written evaluations in order to build a paper trail.’ So what? You have a paper trail in an ‘at will’ State. How many ‘paper trails’ have the 15 millions Americans out of work left?” – Sorry, what did I write that was not true? As for the benefit of a paper trail – a different issue than the one I was addressing – if the written evaluations were positive and then the employee was fired anyway, the paper trail would bolster their case for wrongful termination.

    “Correct. It is only the other half of the population. Clearly discriminatory.” – No one should have to register. And, were it not for President Jimmy Carter reinstating the requirement, no one would.

    “Did he really? WHO MUST REGISTER? Almost all male U.S. citizens, and male aliens living in the U.S., who are 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service. http://www.sss.gov/
    I guess you should call him and let him know what is going on behind his back.” – So you’re saying that registration is the same as being forcibly drafted into the jungles of Vietnam? Friedman is credited with providing the moral and intellectual arguments in favor of creating the all-volunteer military and ending conscription. He made these arguments in the midst of the Vietnam-era draft. But don’t take my word for it. Here is a clip from a PBS documentary explaining the history:

    I eagerly await your correction.

    “Let me see: are you asking and expecting me to tell?” – Well, considering that no one who has not wanted to join the armed forces has been forced by government to do so since the mid-70s. And since our military has dramatically improved since that time and is universally acknowledged to be the best in the history of the world, I would tend to think this is a pretty straightforward case of freedom works.

    “However, as a nation, I am not thoroughly convinced that it is a benefit.” – I take it you never watched Stripes? In any case, it is certainly a benefit not to having dedicated and motivated and intelligent volunteers serving their country than an all inclusive army of slaves.

    “We have been fighting wars in two countries for nearly a decade now.” – Milton Friedman was opposed to Iraq and dubious about Afghanistan. George will like this excerpt from the SF Gate: “Progress in [Friedman’s] goal of rolling back the role of government, he said, is ‘being greatly threatened, unfortunately, by this notion that the U.S. has a mission to promote democracy around the world,’ a big Bush objective. ‘War is a friend of the state,’ Friedman said. It is always expensive, requiring higher taxes, and, ‘In time of war, government will take powers and do things that it would not ordinarily do (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/06/05/ING9QD1E5Q1.DTL&type=printable).'” (In the same talk, Friedman praised the divided government of the Clinton years and condemned President Bush and his GOP colleagues’ profligate ways).

    “can Glen Beck see Russia from his studio?” – If by Russia you mean the Russian Consulate, it’s a possibility 😉

  82. 82 cstratct

    Portia,

    It would help if you at least presented the whole story when in comes to the NY SEIU:

    “Union officials said the state compelled the fund to start buying coverage from a third party, which increased premiums by 60%.” Of course the state denies the charge, “State health officials denied forcing the union fund to make the switch, saying the fund had been struggling financially even before the switch to third-party coverage.”

    Whether the fund was struggling or not has nothing to do with whether the state forced the fund to switch.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2010/11/20/union-drops-health-coverage-for-workers-children/

    Oh, and here’s the update on that story:

    “Union officials said in a new statement Tuesday that the benefit fund “did not drop dependent coverage because of the new federal healthcare reform law.” The decision was due solely to rising insurance costs coupled with stagnant employer contributions, according to the statement.”

    “In an interview last month, Mitra Behroozi, executive director of benefit and pension funds for 1199SEIU, acknowledged that even without the health-care requirements under new federal laws, the benefit fund would have been struggling. “We would have had to reduce eligibility in some fashion at some point within the next year,” Behroozi said.”

    “In its statement Tuesday, the union also said that “most” children dropped from its health plan will be eligible for insurance subsidies under the New York State’s Child Health Plus program.”

    http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2010/12/01/union-health-care-reforms-not-to-blame-for-coverage-woes/?mod=rss_WSJBlog&mod=WSJ_NY_NY_Blog

  83. 83 portia1776

    Chris,

    “Workers banding together in unions to oppose unsafe conditions” – It might surprise you to find this out, but workers voluntarily banding together in unions to oppose unsafe conditions is a free-market response to unsafe conditions. As stated, I support workers’ rights to organize unions, unlike you and Jez who just support workers’ exploitation by union monopolies.

    “and government oversight had nothing at all to do with it?” – government oversight did have nothing to do with it. Mining remains a dangerous occupation with magnitudes more oversight than ever existed previously.

    “Perhaps it was workers to organizing and opposing the hazardous working conditions and unfair terms of employment that led to the ‘destruction’ of those ‘uncompetitive aberrations’ as you refer to them. That’s free association as well.” – Yes, of course. Thank you for agreeing with me.

    “Why is it you want to deny individuals their right to free association by condemning unions? Unions which allow people to freely associate for their benefit.” – Ah, because I don’t. Look back at what I have written, particualrly my argument with Jez about the injustice of Stratford’s finest being forced to accept the loathsome Justin Loschiavo as a member and then being forced to pay for his defense, both on account of the flawed collective bargaining agreement. You’re not going to argue that this was a shining example of “free association” are you? You can grasp the simple idea that if you’re forced to do something, it’s not “free choice,” right?

    “So you’re against workers freely associating in unions in order to advance their position, but those poor, mistreated owners are simply misunderstood and driven out of existence by those trying to level the playing field?” – Really, Chris, how low can you go? Where is your evidence that I do not support free association in unions? It doesn’t exist. Where is your evidence that I am a corporatist? Right, it doesn’t exist. Once again, when faced with the reality that you can not refute my principled positions in favor of individual liberty, you seek to conjure positions that I obviously oppose.

    As for “leveling the playing field” for uncompetitive corporations like GM (which, it has been said, puts the “NO” in innovation), who does this “leveling”? Moreover, do you also support a “level playing field” in other areas of life? How about Football? Why should there be great teams and abysmal teams. Wouldn’t it be more fun if government “leveled the playing field,” ensuring that all teams were equally mediocre? And why shouldn’t we also “level the playing field” of intelligence, beauty, and ability. You know, all those natural inequalities. Kurt Vonnegut foretold what a wonderful world that would be: http://www.nationalreview.com/nroriginals/?q=MDllNmVmNGU1NDVjY2IzODBlMjYzNDljZTMzNzFlZjc=

    “I knew you were one-sided, but your anti-union tirades contradict your free association, ‘free market’ mantra.” – It would if I were anti-union. Unfortunately for your argument, I am not. Interesting how you have made this about me rather than address the obvious violations of worker freedom, the obvious and indefensible consequences of ObamaCare and SEIU’s as well as UFW’s exploitation of their neediest members, and the subtle but important point that you actually support the “company town” model provided the “company” is the government while I vehemently oppose collectivism in all forms.

    “Those poor self-interested individuals who believe in personal fiscal responsibility. How terrible that they are paying down their debts and saving more of their income, rather than continuing to run up unsustainable deficits on wasteful spending (now who does that sound like?).” – You’re understanding of economics is worthy of Presidents George W. Bush and Obama.Yes, all we need is for heavily indebted consumers to continue to be irresponsible and buy more houses, cars, and products they don’t need. That is the key to prosperity!

    “Once again you missed the point.”- What is said of people in glass houses?

    “If a person doesn’t have a job and/or income, they can’t save anything. Nor can someone without an income pay down debt, in fact, it is likely that their debt will only increase as they are forced to borrow to keep food on the table and a roof over the family’s head.” – This is nice tautology, but does not support your conclusion.

    “Fewer consumers means less demand for goods and services, meaning less production.”- If the US was a closed market. The point you’re missing, again, is that we’re not a closed market. Foreigners invest in and by products from Americans.

    “A five minute you tube video is hardly irrefutable evidence. Just for kicks, what percentage of GDP is consumer spending?” – Care to refute it, then? I can post articles and full-length reports. The problem is that you are no more likely to read and understand them than to watch a YouTube clip. If you had watched the video (your question belies that you did not), you would have learned that consumer spending is not the most important measure of economic health.

    “Then you’ll return with something like this” – No, although interesting, that is not the point I was making.

    “Either way, personal consumer expenditures make up a large portion of economic activity. Take that out of the equation and it hurts the economy.” – Again, nice tautology, but you impute the wrong meaning to this reality.

    “Fewer consumers means fewer goods and services purchased, meaning less demand. A stocked warehouse doesn’t mean much if you’ve got no one to sell the goods to, whether it be nationally or internationally.” – If you have a stocked warehouse and no one willing to buy your goods at the price offered, you can do nothing, decide to invest in advertising, lower the price, or cut your losses by selling at a loss. These are the types of real choices the warehouse owner or renter will have to make. They may not be pleasant, but they are unavoidable.

    You see, Chris, in the real-world, every product that is made is not purchased and every company that exists only continues to exist if it can survive in the free-market.

  84. 84 portia1776

    Sudds,

    “Portia… how’s the gun cleaning and bible reading going???” – LOL!

    How have you been while incommunicado?

  85. 85 portia1776

    Chris,

    “It would help if you at least presented the whole story” – Everything I wrote is factually correct. I didn’t think weighing in on the minutia of New York “said this” and SEIU “said that” was relevant. In fact, it is not. And SEIU’s denial that ObamaCare plays any role in the decision to stop covering the children of their neediest members under age 23 is preposterous. Mitra Behroozi, the SEIU local’s executive director of benefit and pension funds, clearly said ObamaCare was responsible for the decision. Now, because of the bad press, they’re trying to cover-up his damning admission.

    The last line says it all: “In its statement Tuesday, the union also said that ‘most’ children dropped from its health plan will be eligible for insurance subsidies under the New York State’s Child Health Plus program.” Sorry, what? Most? But ALL these low-income members paid dues and were promised that their children would be covered. Whether or not they will now be eligible for subsidies (will those be equal to the coverage they were guaranteed by the Union?) does not exculpate SEIU from its reprehensible treatment of its own members. All this means is that New York taxpayers, through no fault of their own, will now be bailing out the Union. Expect this stunt to be repeated across the country.

  86. 86 cstratct

    I’ll get back to your earlier post later.

    I like how you completely ignore what the Wall Street Journal blog ACTUALLY stated. Let me refresh your memory:

    “In an interview last month [November], Mitra Behroozi, executive director of benefit and pension funds for 1199SEIU, acknowledged that even without the health-care requirements under new federal laws, the benefit fund would have been struggling. “We would have had to reduce eligibility in some fashion at some point within the next year,” Behroozi said.”

    The individual you cite “acknowledged that even without the health-care requirements under new federal laws, the benefit fund would have been struggling.” Your effort to paint the new health-care law as the root cause of the benefit reduction is demonstrably false.

    And there’s also this from the first article:

    “For the 1199 fund, premiums rose because Fidelis realized that the home health-care attendants are sicker than average, according to Mark Lane, president and chief executive of Fidelis Care. “These people are hard working people. There’s physical labor, which manifests itself in terms of more chronic and acute care type of illnesses,” said Lane.”

    Damn those hard working sick people, they just eat away at profits. If they didn’t work so hard and develop “more chronic and acute care type of illnesses” their premiums wouldn’t go up. Oh well, maybe Fidelis Care can just refuse to cover them since there’s no profit to be made from insuring sick people and paying out benefits to see that they’re cared for.

    But sure, keep trying to push everything back on to the health-care law. By the way, how much did those insurance premiums increase again? Oh yeah, 60%!

  87. 87 portia1776

    Chirs,

    “I like how you completely ignore what the Wall Street Journal blog ACTUALLY stated. Let me refresh your memory:

    ‘In an interview last month [November], Mitra Behroozi, executive director of benefit and pension funds for 1199SEIU, acknowledged that even without the health-care requirements under new federal laws, the benefit fund would have been struggling. “We would have had to reduce eligibility in some fashion at some point within the next year,” Behroozi said.'” – Sorry, Chris, you’re right. I should have pointed out how, even without ObamaCare, SEIU so badly managed its benefit fund that its members would have faced cuts, anyway. Maybe SEIU should have thought about the fund’s $15 million shortfall when deciding to spend $44 million worth of members’ dues on the last election cycle alone.

    “Your effort to paint the new health-care law as the root cause of the benefit reduction is demonstrably false.” – I didn’t say it was the root cause. I said, as Mr. Behroozi himself said, that as a consequence of ObamaCare’s requirement of extending coverage to age 26, some of his neediest member’s children under age 23 were going to loose coverage. Maybe they would have lost coverage in the absence of ObamaCare down the road due to the ineptitude of the Union. The issue remains that ObamaCare contributed to them loosing coverage now.

    “And there’s also this from the first article:

    ‘For the 1199 fund, premiums rose because Fidelis realized that the home health-care attendants are sicker than average, according to Mark Lane, president and chief executive of Fidelis Care. ‘These people are hard working people. There’s physical labor, which manifests itself in terms of more chronic and acute care type of illnesses,’said Lane.” – What is your point, exactly? You’re the one defending the existing health insurance market as “free.” I, on the other hand, have been arguing to end the insurance company cartels that enable devastating unilateral decisions like this, which leave individual consumers without coverage or with less coverage than they need.

    “Damn those hard working sick people, they just eat away at profits. If they didn’t work so hard and develop ‘more chronic and acute care type of illnesses’ their premiums wouldn’t go up. Oh well, maybe Fidelis Care can just refuse to cover them since there’s no profit to be made from insuring sick people and paying out benefits to see that they’re cared for.” – Wow… you have no idea what insurance is or how it works. Premium cost is based on risk. Chiropractors have a hard time getting disability insurance because insurance comapnies found that many chiropractors, rightly or wrongly, were going out on disability. If someone has an accident-laden driving history, their premium will be higher than a comparable driver who has a clean record. Similarly, if someone has a preexisting condition, they may pay more than a comparable person without that condition or even be denied coverage. The fundamental problem with ObamaCare is that it was designed by people like you who have no understanding of the complexity of the issues or basic understanding that every intervention has consequences, intended and unintended, good and bad.

    Case in point (from the Boston Globe):

    “….an error in the federal health care law that could cost Children’s Hospital Boston and others like it millions of dollars in added drug costs….. The error was a simple and unintentional omission in the final, frenetic days of drafting the landmark legislation and reconciling House and Senate versions. Congressional staff intended to allow children’s hospitals continued access to the portion of a federal program that offers below-market prices on 347 specific medicines for rare, life-threatening conditions. But that language was accidentally altered.

    ‘It was a drafting error,’ said a congressional aide familiar with the writing of the bill but not authorized to speak publicly.

    ‘Everybody on every side of the issue thinks it should be fixed.’

    ….

    If these efforts [Sens. Brown and Kerry’s respective fixes] fail, Children’s Hospital Boston officials say they will be forced to find a new way to fund the drugs for poor children with rare diseases, such as neurological disorders and severe juvenile arthritis.

    That would be expensive. The Boston hospital, one of nearly 30 across the country with this problem, estimates the mistake will cost between $1.5 million and $3 million annually. Nationally, the problem costs children’s hospitals about $100 million annually, according to Kaufman.

    Individual patients are unlikely to see an increase in the cost of care, unless they are uninsured and paying out of pocket. But hospitals could end up deciding not to offer certain types of coverage if it becomes too expensive, or could cut costs in other areas. And because the health care bill was passed earlier this year, some manufacturers are now going back to hospitals with steep retroactive bills.”

    See more examples at: http://www.obamacarewatch.org/promisesvsreality

    Tragically, there are too many examples of ObamaCare’s awful intended and unintended consequences.

    Professor Boudreaux recently observed that “If myths could be buried, this item [http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/a-wall-street-journal-column-understates-the-size-of-u-s-manufacturing/] would be yet another nail in the coffin of the data-less myth that Americans ‘don’t make things any more.’ Alas, one can neither reason nor empirically demonstrate people out of positions that they reached without reason or empirical support.”

    I share his lament about you and Jez. Your positions on individual liberty, free trade, and the free-market have been reached without reason or empirical support, so I can neither reason nor empirically demonstrate you out of your fallacious positions. In Jez’s defense, at least Jez admits to the validity of the true/false distinction.

    “But sure, keep trying to push everything back on to the health-care law. By the way, how much did those insurance premiums increase again? Oh yeah, 60%!” – Chris, I don’t think anyone would say I don’t offer enough material to work with. Why, then, do you insist on ascribing to me your own nonsensical ramblings about what I supposedly espouse? Unlike you, I don’t ascribe “everything” to one cause. ObamaCare is making matters worse, as we are already seeing. To say as much, of course, is not the same as saying our existing system of insurance company cartels and other government intervention is worth preserving. It is not.

    No matter how much piffle you write, the simple fact remains: we need real reform of health insurance and health care that would empower individual consumers and their doctors with the freedom to make informed health decisions for themselves.

  88. 88 portia1776

    Chris,

    “By the way, how much did those insurance premiums increase again? Oh yeah, 60%!” – Good question, why don’t you ask President Obama, who promised that the average family would see an initial $2,500 reduction in their yearly premiums. Ops?!

    Candidate/President Obama wasn’t consistent in this promise. Sometimes he said ObamaCare would result in “an average of” $2,500 in savings. Other times, he said it would mean”up to” $2,500 in savings. In either case, you’re not now going to argue that a 60% average increase is actually a savings, right?

  89. 89 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “Good question, why don’t you ask President Obama, who promised that the average family would see an initial $2,500 reduction in their yearly premiums. Ops?!”

    I agree! What a screw up! The reforms should have been effective immediately instead of caving into Republicans and giving insurance companies time to “adjust”.

  90. 90 portia1776

    Jez,

    “I agree! What a screw up! The reforms should have been effective immediately instead of caving into Republicans and giving insurance companies time to ‘adjust’.” – Republicans, what Republicans? Not a single Republican supported ObamaCare and yet it was still “deemed and passed.” Here is the pottery barn rule of legislation: Democrats voted for ObamaCare, they own ObamaCare, including its nasty intended and unintended consequences. Voters beware.

    As for health insurance companies, they love ObamaCare. I have pointed this out before but, somehow, you and Chris continue to think that this administration bravely stood up to them by forcing 30 million people to buy their product, eliminating any threat of consumer choice and competition to their cartels, and guaranteeing them profits even though they aren’t justly earned. But don’t take my word for it:

    “Cigna CEO: Don’t repeal U.S. health law”
    By Susan Heavey
    NEW YORK | Tue Nov 9, 2010 12:45pm EST

    “(Reuters) – Repealing the new U.S. healthcare law would be a waste of time, but there is room to improve it, the chief executive of health insurer Cigna Corp (CI.N) said on Tuesday [Nov. 9].”

    ‘I don’t think it’s in our society’s best interest to expend energy in repealing the law,’ David Cordani told the Reuters Health Summit in New York. ‘Our country expended over a year of sweat equity around the formation of it.'”

    Do you think, just maybe, ObamaCare’s mandate forcing individuals to buy coverage from robber barons like David Cordani has anything to do with his support for this legislation? Or, do you think “fat cat” health insurance companies really care about “society’s best interest”?

    Personally, anything short of a free-market in both health insurance and care is not in society’s best interest.

  91. 91 portia1776

    Jez,

    I will say it is rather touching how quickly you jump to the defense of President Obama, blaming others for his obvious and gratuitous and cruel failure. Opponents of ObamaCare predicted that this legislation would cause massive premium increases, but we were ignored.

    How I wish the Jez who excoriated ex-mayor Miron’s incompetence, arrogance, and malevolence were here to apply her sharp eye and sharper tongue to the same behavior on display in Washington. The emperors have no clothes.

  92. 92 cstratct

    “Similarly, if someone has a preexisting condition, they may pay more than a comparable person without that condition or even be denied coverage. The fundamental problem with ObamaCare is that it was designed by people like you who have no understanding of the complexity of the issues or basic understanding that every intervention has consequences, intended and unintended, good and bad.”

    You’re truly a condescending, arrogant know-it-all. I have a very clear understanding of the complexity of the issues. Under the previous rules people with pre-existing conditions could be dropped or denied coverage completely. Hence one of the many dilemmas with for-profit health insurance. Individuals making money basically betting on the health/sickness of individuals. The fundamental problem with people like you is that were it not for some interventions, more people would be dead, suffering or without any care at all because a faceless corporate shill denies coverage or decides someone is unworthy of coverage. You think the “free market” you advocate will solve these problems, yet you fail to provide any truly compelling evidence that the free market, as you have defined it, would do anything to protect the most vulnerable.

    “I should have pointed out how, even without ObamaCare, SEIU so badly managed its benefit fund that its members would have faced cuts, anyway.” – No, in your smugness you once again deflect in order to obscure the facts. Maybe a 60% increase in costs facilitated by the insurance company led to this problem, not mismanagement. But that would mean the company manipulated the market, and that would never happen would it?

    Just like your union rants. You claim to support unions, but throughout this and other threads you have done nothing but castigate unions and accuse them of every nothing short of destroying the country. You were the one arguing that individuals should “have the right” to negotiate with employers, which is a primary function of unions. But your posts appeared to promote individual negotiation with employers on a one-to-one basis, there was no discussion of collective bargaining. Oh that’s right, you don’t like collectivism. Maybe that’s where I’m getting the idea you’re against unions.

  93. 93 cstratct

    “By the way, how much did those insurance premiums increase again? Oh yeah, 60%!” – Good question, why don’t you ask President Obama, who promised that the average family would see an initial $2,500 reduction in their yearly premiums. Ops?!”

    Once again, trying to equate the health insurance reform with the 60% increase. Nice try, but that absolutely ridiculous, especially considering insurance premiums had been rising dramatically for the 20 years prior to health insurance reform. It just so happens to coincide with President Reagan’s deregulation of the market with the promise of reducing costs. That worked out well.

  94. 94 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “I will say it is rather touching how quickly you jump to the defense of President Obama, blaming others for his obvious and gratuitous and cruel failure.”
    Did you even watch or read about the Senate Finance Committee’s hearings last summer?

    You do have one political point that is approaching accuracy. The Democrats are almost sad in the way they fail at almost everything. It is like watching Charlie Brown trying to kick the football while Lucy yanks it away. The GOP could not have been clearer in their message. They will not vote for any bill that any Democrat proposes. Even if cosponsored by a Republican.

    This week is the most revolting act of this lame duck session. The GOP has allowed the extension of unemployment benefits to lapse and be held hostage to continued tax breaks for the wealthy. Literally millions of Americans will suffer as a result. While we listen to moronic Representatives insist that benefits be “paid for” they are silent on how to pay for the continuation of this disastrous tax policy. Somehow they are linking unemployed Americans to the wealthiest people in the country. Amazing and disgusting at the same time.

  95. 95 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “Personally, anything short of a free-market in both health insurance and care is not in society’s best interest.”

    Umm…I thought we (you and I, not that it matters to anyone else) agreed that a positive solution would be to open Medicare Part A to anyone and let insurance companies compete for everything else. Remember? It would remove the burdensome requirement for healthcare from the backs of businesses that have no business providing healthcare coverage.

    “How I wish the Jez who excoriated ex-mayor Miron’s incompetence, arrogance, and malevolence were here to apply her sharp eye and sharper tongue to the same behavior on display in Washington.”
    LOL! So little time, so many sociopaths.

    Sadly, in Stratford we have gone from aggressive megalomania to active neglect. I must admit it is somewhat more difficult to be either positive or negative about an executive sitting there waiting for the calendar to say “2013” than a nut case like Miron was. So much hasn’t changed that it sometimes slips your mind that the same incompetence and poor management are still running the Town into the ground. And we still get to pay the bill for it.

  96. 96 sudds

    1) awww…. good to know I was missed! 😀

    2) Chris… glad to hear that your baby is doing good!

    3) so much for that peace accord that I worked out! (I’m apparently as bad at this as Hillary Clinton)

  97. 97 1george1

    Sudds,
    I missed ya too!

    Hope you and the family had a great birdsday!

  98. 98 portia1776

    Chris,

    “You’re truly a condescending,” — well, if you (intellectually) grew a few feet… And I’m sure you’re perfectly capable of doing so; there just has been no evidence of such growth here. As I quoted above (via Professor Boudreaux): “Alas, one can neither reason nor empirically demonstrate people out of positions that they reached without reason or empirical support.”

    “Under the previous rules people with pre-existing conditions could be dropped or denied coverage completely. Hence one of the many dilemmas with for-profit health insurance.” – This is not a dilemma. It’s a reality. People with pre-existing conditions are more likely to need health insurance, hence their premiums should be more than a person without a pre-existing condition. But, no, you say,insurers shouldn’t “discriminate” on the basis of an individual’s health. Well, do you want to pay the same car insurance premium as someone with a pre-existing driving condition (e.g., three accidents and a DUI)? How about life insurance? Shouldn’t a 30 year old in perfect health pay the same premium as an 85 year old who had two strokes in the past five years and now suffers from COPD? ObamaCare is saying, yes, you should because its “fair.” In that case, premiums for everybody have to go up.

    The alternative would be to break-up the insurance company cartels and allow a competitive market to emerge in which the real dilemma — who will start a company to cater to individuals with pre-existing conditions by providing good and affordable insurance coverage — can actually be addressed. And not without imposing costs on everyone else, which is inherently unfair.

    “Individuals making money basically betting on the health/sickness of individuals.” – How terrible! People making money on basically betting you stay healthy/drive responsibly/don’t have your house burn down… and thus don’t actually need the protection you’ve paid premiums for.

    “The fundamental problem with people like you is that were it not for some interventions, more people would be dead, suffering or without any care at all because a faceless corporate shill denies coverage or decides someone is unworthy of coverage.” – The fundamental problem with people like you is that because there have been so interventions, more people are dead or suffering, as faceless government bureaucrats and fraudulent politicians deny them the opportunity to try potentially beneficial treatments, stifle scientific progress, protect health insurance company cartels, and think themselves capable of controlling the prices of medical procedures (or anything else).

    Please, Chris, anyone who wants to know how much you “care” can look back at your response to my victims of the FDA posts. As for your supposed “offense” with denial rates, how is RomneyCare?

    “You think the ‘free market’ you advocate will solve these problems, yet you fail to provide any truly compelling evidence that the free market, as you have defined it, would do anything to protect the most vulnerable.” – Just because you alternatively ignore or misread almost everything I write is not my problem. Why don’t we try something different for a change. Why don’t you provide the examples? Post an example of something in your life that you believe is created outside the free-market and then explain why you think this something is good.

    “Maybe a 60% increase in costs facilitated by the insurance company led to this problem, not mismanagement. But that would mean the company manipulated the market, and that would never happen would it?” – For the record, the SEIU fund was mismanaged even before all of this. If you disagree, please post the contribution rates? Of course the insurance company in question manipulated the uncompetitive market. This is not a revelation to anyone who understands incentives and that government intervention has intended and unintended consequences. Why is the insurance company raising costs? Have rates traditionally gone up this much in a single year? What you also neglect to mention is that while there is a market for everything, not every market is free. This is a case in point.

    “Just like your union rants. You claim to support unions, but throughout this and other threads you have done nothing but castigate unions and accuse them of every nothing short of destroying the country.” – Chris, don’t I write enough? Why do you have to keep fabricating position that I clearly do not hold and have actually written against? This penchant for fabrication has become pathological. Maybe that is why you still have such soft spot for Jimmy Miron, a fellow pathological fabricator, and fabricated so ingloriously on his behalf.

    In any case, here is me on August 15 stating my pro-worker freedom position:
    “I support unions provided workers can be paid based on merit and are free to associate or not associate with whatever union they please. In practice, this would mean that there would be more unions, more vigorous union organizing, and, yes, perhaps even more union militancy. Workers would be the chief beneficiaries of such a competitive system fighting to best represent their interests. They would not be the only beneficiaries, however. Taxpayers would also benefit by the new free marketplace for labor that would open up if the mandatory, closed-shop public sector union monopolies were finally busted.”

    What is troubling about your charge is that you imply that criticizing union monopolies that exploit their members is somehow anti-union, which would mean that you believe the UFW’s and SEIU’s obscene treatment of their members reflects all unions? As I have written previously, “I think one cannot lay claim to being pro-worker and pro-union without simultaneously opposing the manifold abuses of today’s union monopolies.” With this latest post you reveal your true colors as incapable of straying from the party line, even when it means violating your supposed principles.

    “You were the one arguing that individuals should ‘have the right’ to negotiate with employers, which is a primary function of unions.” – And you oppose the inalienable individual right to negotiate one’s own terms of employment? You must, to make such an absurd statement. Now let me teach you about union organizing. Workers form a union because they believe that by banding together their unified negotiating position will be made stronger; the union, then, only exists to represent their best interests. The worker’s best interests is, or at least is supposed to be, the union’s “primary function.” The problem is when workers are forced to join, workers cannot vote with their feet and their dues to keep the union accountable.

    “But your posts appeared to promote individual negotiation with employers on a one-to-one basis, there was no discussion of collective bargaining.” – Appeared to you, of course. Compare what you believe I wrote to what is above in this post….

    “Oh that’s right, you don’t like collectivism. Maybe that’s where I’m getting the idea you’re against unions.”… collective bargaining is perfectly acceptable provided the conditions described above are met. And no, freedom of association is not the same thing as collectivism. To claim otherwise is to admit ignorance of the meaning of the terms. And, for the record, I have written about the existing problems with collective bargaining, such as how the honest and good membership of the 407 was forced to accept into their ranks an inappropriate hire (Justin Loschiavo) and then waste their dues on his defense.

    “By the way, how much did those insurance premiums increase again? Oh yeah, 60%!” – Good question, why don’t you ask President Obama, who promised that the average family would see an initial $2,500 reduction in their yearly premiums. Ops?!”

    “Nice try, but that absolutely ridiculous, especially considering insurance premiums had been rising dramatically for the 20 years prior to health insurance reform.” – First, see above about the 60%. The biggest supporters of Obamacare, insurance company cartels, are hiking prices now because the law compels them to do so. They are expecting increased costs in the coming years while simultaneously facing restrictions on how they spend their funds and what they can charge for their services. Thus a massive increase this year, before the regulations take effect, will cushion the blow. This is the result of perverse incentives built-in to Obamacare (and the worst is yet to come).

    “It just so happens to coincide with President Reagan’s deregulation of the market with the promise of reducing costs. That worked out well.” – What deregulation? Deregulation entails freeing markets, not protecting insurance company cartels. The Gipper, again, was better in rhetoric than in deed. Reminds me of CT’s fraudulent deregulation of electrical suppliers. There are a plethora of options now but they amount to naught since the Big 2 distributors remain enshrined in their government protected oligopoly.

  99. 99 portia1776

    Jez,

    “Did you even watch or read about the Senate Finance Committee’s hearings last summer?” – Some… I tried not to. And what does this have to do with the fact that the average American family will not only go without the $2,500 premium reduction President Obama repeatedly promised, but this year will face (on average) a 60% premium increase? Again, I repeat, where is the real Jez? If you’re not going to do your job, I’m going to have to pointing out people who will:

    And here another just for Chris, “Great Moments in Unintended Consequences”:

    “You do have one political point that is approaching accuracy. The Democrats are almost sad in the way they fail at almost everything.” – Where have you been since 2006? Democrats won two pivotal elections, have passed, under President Bush and with Republican support as well as President Obama and often alone, massive new entitlements, created a whole new national government department and scores of new departments and agencies, promulgated millions of new regulations, hired hundreds of thousands of public employees, nationalized whole sectors of the economy… need I go on? And yet you’ll kvetch because Dems didn’t steal more money from wage-payers and wealth-producers when they had the chance to do so. The ruling class, Dems and Repubs, over the last ten years, have massively grown the national government at the expense of individual civil and economic liberties.

    “They will not vote for any bill that any Democrat proposes. Even if cosponsored by a Republican.” – Maybe that’s why they call it the “opposition”?

    “This week is the most revolting act of this lame duck session.” – I think that would have been the bill allowing Big Brother to ban brownies at school fundraisers. But maybe that’s just me.

    “The GOP has allowed the extension of unemployment benefits to lapse and be held hostage to continued tax breaks for the wealthy. Literally millions of Americans will suffer as a result.” – You really must keep your talking points up-to-date. President Obama now says that if his deal is not approved it will lead to a recession. And while, I’ll grant you, I do like how you accurately describing the existing tax rates as “continued tax breaks,” you neglect to mention that the GOP is for keeping the rates the same for everyone. Why don’t you support tax fairness? Since when are you for discrimination? You support the wealthy getting Social Security and Medicare, do you not?

    “While we listen to moronic Representatives insist that benefits be ‘paid for’ they are silent on how to pay for the continuation of this disastrous tax policy.” – It is moronic to say keeping the existing tax rates for everyone is “paid for,” because that is assuming that they must be. When your expenses exceed their revenue, you try to raise revenue and cut expenses. If you can’t raise revenue (in this case, increase taxes) then you must cut expenses to balance the budget. Of course if you don’t have a budget… I do agree with you that the tax policy is disastrous. We need a complete revision of the tax code, not the maintenance of the distorted, anti-competitive status quo.

    “Somehow they are linking unemployed Americans to the wealthiest people in the country. Amazing and disgusting at the same time.” – It’s called politics. How about how “Progressives” have held the country hostage to prevent entitlement reform by scaring seniors that the proposed reforms will result in benefit cuts when nothing could be further from the truth?

    “I thought we… agreed that a positive solution would be to open Medicare Part A to anyone and let insurance companies compete for everything else.” – As a step in the right direction, yes, I said the Jez plan would be much better than ObamaCare. I especially like the part about “It would remove the burdensome requirement for healthcare from the backs of businesses that have no business providing healthcare coverage.” I don’t think saying as much, however, precludes my statement that “Personally, anything short of a free-market in both health insurance and care is not in society’s best interest.” I am a policy realist. What is best for society and what is legislative possible are two entirely different matters.

    “So little time, so many sociopaths.” – Sad but true. But no excuse to let the ones on the national level get off so easy just because their on your team.

  100. 100 portia1776

    Since so much of what has been written is about taxing the rich is emotional and traffics in the language of class warfare, perhaps a more objective analysis is in order. Here is Professor Russ Roberts of Congressional testimonial and rap musical fame:

    “A few observations on extending the Bush tax cuts:

    1. The action is not a tax cut for the middle class or the rich. It is a decision not to raise taxes. It is only a two year rather than a permanent extension so I don’t know if the incentive effects are very large.

    2. People argue that we should raise taxes on the rich because they have gained x% of the increase in income since 1980. There is no “they” there. The people who were in the top 1% today are not the same people who were there in 1980. Some of them are dead. Some dropped out of the top 1% because they made bad decisions or had bad luck. Some of the top 1% today were not there ten or twenty years ago. Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded Google. They were not in the top 1% in 1980. They were 7 years old. Their parents as far as I can tell were not in the top 1%. Now they’re both very wealthy because they created something that is gloriously pleasant in our lives. Thank you, gents. Some who were in the top 1% are still in the top 1% and received a lot of income and wealth by making great products are providing great services. Bill Belichick might be in that group. In 1980 he was an assistant coach for the New York Giants. He was probably very well paid. Now he makes a lot more as head coach of the New England Patriots. Congrats, Bill, on your commitment to excellence and your success. And some in the top 1% were there in 1980 and are still there because they feed at the great rent-seeking trough. Wall Street, please get a life like the rest of us where bad financial decisions have consequences.

    3. Whether you think any of these people should be taxed more than they currently are is mix of philosophical issues, incentive issues, and market forces. Some people seem to think that all tax increases on the rich are good because the ideal distribution of income is one where everyone gets the same access to consumption. That is not my ideal and I do believe there are eventually incentive effects from raising marginal tax rates. I don’t think we have a very good idea of the magnitude of those effects. I also think that much (most?) of any tax increase is offset by changes in pre-tax wage rates. This last inconvenient truth is usually ignored by people on all sides of the tax debate. It is just presumed that changes in tax rates have corresponding effects on the distribution of income. This is not true.

    4. It is always good to have some idea of what the rich actually do pay in taxes [embedded link: http://cafehayek.com/2010/12/on-the-tax-burden.html%5D. It’s also good to remember that payroll taxes are not personal investments and add to the tax burden. They should be eliminated and replaced by a more transparent system [embedded link: http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/23/taxes-obama-recovery-oped-cx_rr_0123roberts.html%5D (http://cafehayek.com/2010/12/tax-cuts-for-the-rich.html).”

  101. 101 1george1

    PORTIA

    I was finally able to take the time to see the MILTON FRIEDMAN clip.
    I agree with the FREE TRADE idea.
    Yet, I also note your hero Ron Reagan had TRUST, but VERIFY, as a mantra.

    Meaning?
    FREE TRADE can, very, very very possibly be a NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE!
    I mean that in a few, OPEN ENDED, PERSPECTIVES ……

    One thing that frustrates me about the FRIEDMAN clip and most of the MEDIA,
    is the FREE RIDE BIG OIL, ROCKEFELLERS / BUSH get.
    NO MENTION.

    I liked another video explaining GROWING the “INCOME PIE.”
    That is the heart of the JACK KEMP / ART LAFFER paradigm.

    NADER is in favor of the SINGLE PAYER OPTION!
    OBAMA came out in favor of the SINGLE PAYER OPTION!

    In theory, with economy to scale, with the History related to Social
    Security, Medicaid/Medicare, there is much logic and emotion to be
    in favor of it and as much, if not more, to be against it!

    Far too many G R E B L I N S!

    NADER is CONSUMER PROTECTION.
    OBAMA working on CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY.

    Maybe, some of my respect for Nader was not misplaced?

  102. 102 1george1

    PORTIA:

    What do you think of the LAFFER CURVE?

    My vague understanding of it is like goldilocks and porridge?
    Tax too high …. this bad effect
    Tax too low …. this bad effect
    Right mix of Taxes …. ah! Just Right!

    Of course, I favor growing the pie and / or making many more pies,
    al la the GDI GROSS DOMESTIC INCOME

    or the JACK KEMP / ART LAFFER – Rising tide, raises all boats.

    —-

    I favor stronger base among the lowest income.

    Any mason or construction person will tell you, it starts with the plans
    and the foundation.

    Can’t build on Swamp Land / Wet Lands.
    Need Bed rock or reasonable basis.

  103. 103 phineast

    How about a flat tax of 10% no loopholes for everyone. How about 25% tax on businesses that out source personnel over seas and a 25% tax on incoming product from overseas. No loopholes, no exceptions. Now that just might bring jobs back to America.

  104. 104 1george1

    Phin
    The devil is in the details.

    I have no idea if your idea would be close to covering government
    expenses and legitimate needs.

  105. 105 jezebel282

    Update:

    Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) — The US Senate today is poised to pass President Barack Obama’s $858 billion proposal to extend Bush-era tax cuts

    Obama’s proposal? Really? An $858 BILLION stimulus for the wealthy?

  106. 106 1george1

    Tax cuts puts money in the hands of the private sector, which allows
    them to spend discretionarily.

    Extended unemployee, helps as a partial safety net.

    $ 750 Billion Paulson / Bush Tarp allowed people who invest and speculate
    in the stock market to rebuild the DJIA from 6700 to 11,200.
    > $ 750 Billion = 1,000 points
    > DJIA was about 2,000 points under PAR VALUE = OVER REACTION
    > Respeculation rebuilt the DJIA. The PAPER VALUE of PENSION FUNDS,
    like STRATFORD, rebounded from $ 35 MILLION to $ 110 MILLION
    – Stratford Case about $ 50 MILLION from TAX PAYERS for PENSION SHORTFALL.

    $ 750 Billion Obama Stimulus – partial payment saved states from collapse,
    but not enough for them to NOT to have to ADDRESS systemic issues.
    > GM was forced to retool
    > GM pensioners not scrooged, like under Bush / Cheney to Kmart and sooo
    many others.

    ——-

    I am definite critic of the whole mess and grand theft selling US to Russia,
    China, India, Brazil, East Europe, Pacific Rim, O.P.E.C. etc.

    However, the politicos protected their own, first, which they always do.
    They have screwed the rest of us.

    However, without stabilization, there can not be growth.

    There should have NEVER been these problems.

    The greatest generation, social security, poor, lower middle class, and many
    of the others have been screwed due to political priorities.

  107. 107 1george1

    I think it was JEZE who posted something about Town Attorney
    information being not available on Website, by Collier?

    I simply copied this and am now pasting:

    ___________________________________
    TOWN ATTORNEY BUDGET

    ORIGINAL — TRANFRS —/REVISED ——————————— AVAILABLE –PCT
    APPROP — ADJSTMTS — BUDGET– YTD Actual — ENC/REQ –BUDGET –USED
    __________________________________________________________________

    01104 6003 Payroll – Regular
    58,808 ————0 ——- 58,808 —— 24,201.68 ——–.00 —-34,606.32 — 41.2%

    01104 6102 Printing & Stationery
    —-500 ————-0 ———– 500 ———— 328.35 —-.00 —–171.65 ——-65.7%*

    01104 6109 Law Library
    10,000 ————–0 ———-10,000 ——–3,228.90 —–.00 —-6,771.10 ——32.3%

    01104 6381 Legal Salaries & Fees
    $ 1,020,000 ——– 0 —– 1,020,000 ——352,053.50 —–.00 —-667,946.50 —-34.5%

    01104 6510 Court Costs
    $ 90,000 ————-0 ——— 90,000 ———–15,523.68 —-.00 —–74,476.32 —-17.2%

    01104 6521 Liability
    $ 400,000 ————0 ——–400,000 ————-31,433.78 –.00 —- 368,566.22 —7.9%

    TOTAL GENERAL FUND
    $ 1,579,308 ——— 0 ——1,579,308 ——– 426,769.89 —- .00 —1,152,538.11 — 27.0%

    Jeze have fun.

    PCS

    Others
    TOTAL Town Attorney 1,579,308 0 1,579,308 426,769.89 .00 1,152,538.11 27.0%
    TOTAL EXPENSES 1,579,308 0 1,579,308 426,769.89 .00 1,152,538.11

  108. 108 pcsperling

    George ~ guaranteed we are in for a HUGE lawsuit by the parents of the girl from Wooster who was “groped” in the school. No matter what – she should have never been put in another school, that boy should be over at Center School with all the other problem children! But he is protected, while that girl suffers! So, the BOE should screwed us again – where’s that settlement going to come from?

  109. 109 jezebel282

    George,

    You are correct.Somehow I missed it.

    352,053.50…Berchem may have to cut back a bit if that’s all they got since July.

  110. 110 1george1

    PCS,
    Even Cornish came out against the decision by the BoE.

    The girl is traumatized and stimatized.
    While you can transfer her away from the gropers, you would also
    transfer her away from all of her friends & classmates of many years!

    The thoughtless little pr*cks who did this to her and the planner,
    have a slap on their hands, unless they have parents with some pride.
    The planner got away, so far.
    Likely a future RTC Chairman or a member of BMD?

    $ 352 K ?
    If you check the records, BMD were paid less than $ 200 K prior to
    the Charter Revision Commissions’ Mayoral implementation.

    I wonder who planned the change from Council/Manager to Mayor +
    Council?

    Chairman # 1 = Gavin

    Recent BoE Broadcast, the same Gavin who got ruling from Burturla
    (Town Attorney) that Term Limits were legal, came out in favor of
    having the electorate eliminate Term Limits, when talking about the
    BoE.

  111. 111 1george1

    I forgot to note that BMD gets money from BOE, besides the TOWN.

    During O’Connell’s years, they only noted an internal computer
    account and did NOT give me 1099, like I got from the Town.

    I had heard from reliable sources they were paid $ 180,000 from the
    O’C BoE, but the information I got was between $ 40 – 80,000.

    Months later it was published the Milford BoE paid a flat rate $ 180 k
    to BMD.

    Draw your own conclusions.

    —-

    The girl who got groped is likely to be extremely known by all or most
    of the parents, involved in school activities and their friends. Sad.
    > It is a topic that will linger.

    Unfortunately, getting groped is something most girls and many boys go
    through as they grow up.

    Date rape is a huge silent issue.

    The biggest killer of blacks is NOT
    MURDER
    DRUGS
    ALCOHOL
    CANCER
    LIVER
    HEART ATTACKS
    It is ABORTION

    Issues get e x t r e m e l y complicated!

    It was the correct thing for the little girl and parents to come forward.
    Money is the only resolution the Civil Courts present.
    Counseling can help the little girl deal with the realities of life.
    What about all of the other little girls?
    Little boys?

    What about the way political parties rape the rights and wage violence
    on the economics of the Stratford & American people?


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